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1
I would make that catastrophic 1% failure chance something that wasn't immediately fatal, but lead to a game play challenge that might yet be fatal. So getting stuck somehow in hyperspace and having to power up the drive a second time and punch through, partially phasing with an asteroid so now your ship is hanging off an asteroid and maybe the airlock's covered up, coming out somewhere completely different than expected (either in deep space so they have to make some hard choices about cold sleep, or if in-system somewhere very far away from where they want to be), and so on.

If I get to run Traveller again and I get a catastrophic misjump I'm going to convert and run Dead Planet (adventure for Mothership) rather than just close the book and tell the group they're dead.
2
4d6 drop lowest in order. I've done 3d6 in order as player and GM, and I didn't mind the experience but it convinced me there's nothing too wrong with 4d6 drop lowest.

Arrange to suit, I'm aware let's people play what they want to play, but to me at that point you might as well consider stat arrays. Roll and arrange actually exaggerates the differences between high and low rollers, compared to roll in order and getting something that might be powerful but not where you want everything.
3
As a matter of course I would never do a, "Oh, you rolled 01?  Rocks fall, the party dies."  I would still have disaster strike if someone managed to mess up a significant piloting check, but not in an instant-death way.  Back in an Alternity game I was running the party managed to get their ship blown up to the point that most of it was open to space, they had to do a lot of scrounging and jury-rigging to set up a small area with enough oxygen to make it back to civilization.
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Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / Re: Hunger/Thirst Rules
« Last post by Pat on Today at 01:45:31 PM »
Watch out for death spirals. When you apply a penalty to everyone's actions, you make it harder for them to succeed. And when they need to succeed or the penalties get worse, failure gets more and more likely. This is amplified if the difficulty is also increasing, say because they have to take higher risk actions due to time constraints. Due to that mechanical trap, it can become much harder than it looks to turn things around.

It might be better to get rid of the penalties and keep it descriptive, similar to the way hp work in D&D, i.e. no penalties until you drop. That way you can still die of hunger, but there's no spiral. Another option is to take away some of their agency, say having to make a will check to avoid grabbing a burger, even when it's clearly a trap. That adds danger and complications, while punishing the players in a different way, because they can't do what they want all the time. Or change to a mode that's not harder or easier, just different. For instance, give them a desperation bonus for immediate physical actions, but things that require concentration or thought suffer. That will change optimal tactics, and can make it feel like a different game, which can be a fun change up.

Or just make it all about resource tracking. After all, unless they're starting out, characters in a post-apocalyptic game should be collecting resources. A home bases, allies, stashes. Give numbers to everything, and let the players build up a scorecard/treasure trove. A disastrous event like losing their base and having to flee might result in a temporary shortage, but after the first few sessions the game shouldn't be about recurrent privation. Instead, the players should be focused on the best way to use and build the resources that are available. A campaign structure designed around this would have a timeline as store shelves are stripped and goods go bad, but also options to build new resources like setting up farms, or trading for the output.
5
I'm working on a post apoc setting where it's been a year or so since the world has gone belly up. By now everything that was mass produced is becoming harder to come by. The places where one might find some stores of supplies are either environmentally difficult to get into (radiation or biohazard), or are heavily patrolled by other forces. I'm thinking about adding some optional mechanics to motivate the characters to get out and look for food and water for their survival. The mechanic would impose penalties to the characters physical and mental activities after so many days gone without proper sustenance. Aside from record keeping, what other issues would you have with rules like this?

None, it's perfectly reasonable given the setting.
6
8d6 Take the bottom 5.  Then roll an extra 5d6  and add it to those 5 and take the 4th, 6th and 7th highest dice of that.

Then assign at random an ability score to each player at the table by drawing cards.  If you don't have 6 players than you just assign empty cards to empty places.

You then assign the ability scores in the order of the cards going counterclockwise from the youngest player.  Repeating the initial process as above.

You then check which ability score corresponds to the GM.  The player may then choose to reroll that score by rolling 6d6 dropping the highest and then choosing the next 3 highest die numbers.  If the result is higher than the previous ability score they can swap it.  If it's lower they can they choose to use it in place of their lowest other ability score.

If any player has their birthday in the month in which the characters are created they may choose to scrap the process of the first result, in which case, every goes through the process again, unless it is a leap year, in which the oldest player may make that choice instead.

I came to this method after a lot of experimentation and found that it was generally the simplest method to remember.


But how do you break ties?
7
Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / Hunger/Thirst Rules
« Last post by Jamfke on Today at 12:46:49 PM »
I'm working on a post apoc setting where it's been a year or so since the world has gone belly up. By now everything that was mass produced is becoming harder to come by. The places where one might find some stores of supplies are either environmentally difficult to get into (radiation or biohazard), or are heavily patrolled by other forces. I'm thinking about adding some optional mechanics to motivate the characters to get out and look for food and water for their survival. The mechanic would impose penalties to the characters physical and mental activities after so many days gone without proper sustenance. Aside from record keeping, what other issues would you have with rules like this?
8
It sucks it has to be this way, but it's basically impossible to have any confidence in any person or product that won't at bare minimum pledge to not cave to the outrage mob.
"Why are all the characters in my book white men and hot redheads? Because I'm choosing to support the extreme demographic minorities of the world that are chronically underrepresented in the present media marketplace. Now go away you bigot!"  ;D
9
I've been funning MSH (FASERIP) since it dropped, and it's my current weekly even today. And the weird thing is this... on this forum which has a lot of fans of the OSR, some call MSH an OSR game...

when in reality it has a TON of mechanics that are purely meta (Hello Karma) that are really integral to the system. It gets a pass. I'm not trying to shit on my own favorite game or anything, I'm using it to illustrate my own general ignorance of what the OSR *really* means other than games not bogged down by shit we don't like.

And by this standard I'm not an OSR guy, I should be, by dint of my age. I started with Holmes then went to AD&D from the first drop and never looked back. Yet, while I'm a huge fan of the content of OSR games, I'm not a big fan of the systems. I don't hate them or anything, but anything going back to Basic-era rules loses me. I'm somewhere in the middle. As a movement in the gaming industry - I have nothing but respect for the OSR folks.

Well, I have heard (read really) many OSR guys say all games from the 80'ish and back fall into it. So Cepheus Engine (Traveller), Star Frontiers, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay,  Advanced Fighting Fantasy, WEG Star Wars, Gamma World among others. But I have also read many say only certain D&D editions count.

It certainly started with the OGL.
10
Design, Development, and Gameplay / Re: The mysterious RPG market
« Last post by imurrx on Today at 11:46:51 AM »
The layout and editing is very important to me. Easy conscience content with an easy on the eyes format. Illustration and flashy formatting can be a distraction. Look at World Without Numbers then Old School Essentials.  Two systems I just picked up. I prefer OSE for its layout and ease of reading. WWN is nice but harder to read and more wordy.
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