Newbie with some questions!

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johnnybleu
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Newbie with some questions!

Post by johnnybleu » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:39 pm

Greetings one and all!

I've recently started my first game of AFF, and we just wrapped up our second session yesterday. The game is going over very well with the group, but I still have a few questions after reading (and re-reading, and re-reading again) the book(s).

I'm sorry if some of these have already been discussed at length-- I tried to use the search but came back empty-handed. It should also be noted that I'm no stranger to running a game, or making adjudications on the fly. Most of these concerns I can handle on my own, but I just wanted to see if there was an "official" answer, or get a sense of what others were doing. Anyway, let's get on with it!

Encumbrance
The section that covers encumbrance mentions that a character carrying more than his allowed number of items will be classified as carrying a "very heavy weight" for the purpose of certain SKILL tests. However, a lot of the lists of common modifiers for certain skill tests (Swimming, Dodging, etc) also list "Carrying heavy weight" as well as "Carrying very heavy weight". At what point is a hero considered to be carrying a heavy weight?

Movement
And a character that is over-encumbered is said to move at half the normal rate. However, no such rate is ever given, and indeed the book claims that movement rates are not important. Except they are. Ranges are given for missile weapons and spells, and certain situations, skills, and talents affect a characters movement rate. It's important to know how many shots you can take at the goblin before he reaches you!

Missile Weapons
Speaking of shooting goblins... The rules for Missile Combat are a tad wonky. It says that missile combat is done the same way as regular combat, except the target will not cause damage if they win unless they also have a ranged weapon. Does that mean that if you fire into melee at a goblin fighting a fellow hero, the goblin only gets one roll and the shooter needs to beat that roll (as per the multiple combatants rule)? Or does the goblin get a separate roll to fend off the arrow, before making his combat roll against his melee opponent? What if you're shooting at an unaware target? Do they get a roll at all? Is it even an opposed test?

Death and Dying
On p.57, it states that a hero is unconscious at 0 STAMINA, and dead at -4 STAMINA. Further more, an unconscious hero loses 1 STAMINA per minute until tended to.
Then on p.65 it states that an unconscious hero loses 1 LUCK per minute, until it reaches 0, and that if he can be restored to 1 STAMINA, he regains consciousness and ceases to lose LUCK.
So, which one is it? Personally, I'd be inclined to go with the LUCK version, as it penalizes the characters for dying (losing luck is bad).

Falling
This part is almost insane. The rules themselves are a bit clunky, but my real problem is with the distances generated... A falling hero tests his LUCK to avoid any and all damage. The roll gets a -1 penalty for every 5m fallen. This is rather absurd. A hero with 8 LUCK can casually jump down 10m (30 feet!!), and will lose a mere 3 STAMINA if he happens to fail (and land on a hard surface). Not only is a 10m fall easily fatal (or at least, exceedingly dangerous to your body), but a hero with low LUCK will always take damage from falls. I guess the LUCK thing could make sense, as it's the only thing that could reasonably help you during a fall...
Never the less, it's unthinkable that a hero in chainmail carrying a heavy load can fall 35 METRES (115ft!!!) onto a hard surface and only suffer 10 STAMINA. That sort of damage is extremely survivable for most heroes. And that's only if the LUCK test is failed. A lucky hero suffers NO ill effect.

Untrained Skill Use
Do you guys give penalties to heroes using Special Skill they do not have? For example, the book hints that a hero needs to have the Lock Pick Special Skill to even attempt picking a lock. What about riding a horse untrained? Or firing a bow? Do you just let them do a dry SKILL test? Do you give a penalty to the roll? Do you simply not allow them to try? Personally, I'm allowing it on a case-by-case basis. Most attempts grant a penalty (-1 to -6), but some things you can't even attempt unless you know how (you can't just "try" to read a foreign language, or forge a dagger).

Economy
Items are prohibitively expensive. Treasure tables generate pitiful amounts. This is frustrating to my players, but I can appreciate a game where money is hard to come by (within reason). However, the question then becomes where do people get the money to buy ANYTHING? Also, according to the book, a dragon's lair would get a +7 or +8 to the treasure table, pretty much guaranteeing that you get the 12+ entry. Which is an average of ~300gp and a magic item. Smaugh's hoard this is not... This is the kind of loot you can put in your backpack. Conversely, the necromancer in the Wishing Well has 250gp worth of loot in his chest! That's dragon loot, folks.
I guess my question is what methods of loot distribution do you use? Do you play by the book, and a goblin tribe has 2d6 silvers to their name, or do you just hand out what you think is an appropriate reward? If you stick to the tables in the book, wouldn't it take many lifetimes for the heroes to get into domain management and warfare as presented in the Heroes Companion?

Ok, that should be enough for now. Sorry for the long-winded post. I might add to this as more questions come up, and thanks to those who chime in!

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bottg
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Re: Newbie with some questions!

Post by bottg » Sat Jul 20, 2013 4:44 pm

Encumbrance
This was left deliberately vague as a heavy weight will vary from hero to hero. I personally consider anything that the hero would need two hands to carry. Thus a chest, unconscious companion etc will count as a heavy weight.

Movement
Movement rates are give on p48 (top of second column) and are 2m/round.

Missile Weapons
A goblin in HtH and under attack would indeed make one roll which both heroes would try and beat. Against an unaware opponent, follow the surprise rules on p64. This is +6 to the attacker and the defender cannot inflict damage.

Death and Dying
You must have a first printing of the rulebook. The correct one is LUCK.

Falling
Yep, heroes don't take a vast amount when they fall, and if they are lucky then they do indeed bounce. But they are heroes, and this sort of thing does happen in real life very occasionally. If you prefer falling to be more dangerous, just reduce damage by half on a successful LUCK test.

Untrained skills
Case by case is the best way. Most can be attempted by anyone, having the special skill just gives you a bonus. A few cannot as they require very specialist skills/knowledge.

Treasure
Heroes don't often find vast amounts in one place, rather it is spread out throughout an adventure. Heroes may also be paid by an employer, sell excess magic items etc, but again this is up to a director to decide.
I personally prefer to limit the money somewhat. If a character wants to invest one day in a business etc, they had better save carefully!

johnnybleu
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Re: Newbie with some questions!

Post by johnnybleu » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:54 pm

Thanks for replying! This helps clear some things up. I do have a few follow-up questions, however...
parkusuk wrote:Encumbrance
This was left deliberately vague as a heavy weight will vary from hero to hero. I personally consider anything that the hero would need two hands to carry. Thus a chest, unconscious companion etc will count as a heavy weight.
Ah, so there's no gradation in the encumbrance then? Either you're fine (less than your allowed limit), or you're over-encumbered (over the limit). The "carrying a heavy weight" is a separate thing.
parkusuk wrote:Movement
Movement rates are give on p48 (top of second column) and are 2m/round.
Umm, is it just me, or does that seem terribly slow? 2 meters in 10 seconds? I mean, if you want to cross a 10m room to get to a goblin who's pelting your with arrows, it would take you 5 rounds? Nearly a minute? Meanwhile, you take 5 arrows?
parkusuk wrote:Falling
Yep, heroes don't take a vast amount when they fall, and if they are lucky then they do indeed bounce. But they are heroes, and this sort of thing does happen in real life very occasionally. If you prefer falling to be more dangerous, just reduce damage by half on a successful LUCK test.
I suppose if you want more pulpy heroics, then that's fine. I think I'll go with more gritty realism and make falling damage 10 Stamina for every 5m. LUCK negates all damage, because that's what lucky heroes do!
parkusuk wrote:Treasure
Heroes don't often find vast amounts in one place, rather it is spread out throughout an adventure. Heroes may also be paid by an employer, sell excess magic items etc, but again this is up to a director to decide.
I personally prefer to limit the money somewhat. If a character wants to invest one day in a business etc, they had better save carefully!
That's fine, but I wish the book had more "guidelines" on how to allocate loot. If all the bandits you fight only have 1d6 silvers on them, you have to wonder why they're in the banditing (that's a word, right? ;))business. But on the other hand, you certainly don't want to shower your players with gold, otherwise it loses all meaning... I guess this is something I'll just have to get a "feel" for as the game progresses!

Thanks again for the input!

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torus
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Re: Newbie with some questions!

Post by torus » Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:32 am

Regarding missile combat, I had the same query in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=304. I proposed a variant rule (which I have used in my game) that firing a missile has an additional threshold of 15 on the attack strength, which must be exceeded as well as the target's roll. For inanimate or unaware targets that becomes the only threshold. I prefer this to using the surprise bonus on a target that cannot possibly be evading.

As to the movement rates, I think 2m must apply to the shorter round length. Perhaps something like 5-10m is more appropriate for 10s. However I suspect with AFF it's also probably best if possible not to get too bogged down in tactical calculations. I would always just say something like it takes 3 rounds (or whatever) to close the distance to the goblin. Maybe the ground is rough or they are backing away or the heroes are dodging missiles.

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Re: Newbie with some questions!

Post by d6&d6 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:58 am

johnnybleu wrote:Greetings one and all!

I've recently started my first game of AFF, and we just wrapped up our second session yesterday. The game is going over very well with the group, but I still have a few questions after reading (and re-reading, and re-reading again) the book(s).
You know, I've been playing this game for a while and have came with many questions on this forum to learn on the way that this game is very different than what we're used to in rpg's. What I mean here is that you have to eyeball most situations case to case without getting into precise tactics and rules. In a typical rpg view, AFF may seem not precise and sometimes clunky but if you deal with it with a "Fudge / Fate" approach, it goes very well. You can make sense of all of this without numbers to justify what you need to do.

You have already many good answers to your main message but the whole concepts can be integrated casually if you let go how you used to deal with similar situations in games like D&D or the such. Trying to get a realistic simulation out of AFF gets you farther from the spirit of this game.

Just a GM experience share here just to show you a way that succeded around my table.

Enjoy

François
Tentez votre chance...

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Re: Newbie with some questions!

Post by Slloyd14 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:59 am

To me, having a lot of money is not a big concern as long as the heroes can't buy anything that will unbalance the game with it, like a magic sword. The most powerful magical items you can buy are potions that restore one stat to its initial level.

If money is also an issue, there is an idea from the Conan RPG that you could use, which is the High Living rule - players who have over a certain amount of money (50 in Conan) and who aren't saving up for anything lose half of it per week due to blowing it on luxuries, gambling, drinking, fine food, whoring etc.
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torus
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Re: Newbie with some questions!

Post by torus » Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:20 am

That's a great rule. Was that from TSR's Conan game?

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Re: Newbie with some questions!

Post by Slloyd14 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 9:52 am

torus wrote:That's a great rule. Was that from TSR's Conan game?
It was from Mongoose Publishing http://www.conan.com/invboard/?showtopic=2734 page 142
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