Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Preparing for Adventure

Well if you have been watching closely you've noticed that I've had a preview of the 4th draft of Beacon up for a few weeks now and you also probably noticed that it's been updated about 5 times in that space.  Well I had to keep it up there so it was available for character generation, but at the same time I had a lot of changes to make - way more than I thought I did.  I think I'm mostly finished with that now and even if it's not necessarily done, I think it's in pretty good shape.  Some of the things I ended up fixing were:

  • the price of whiskey (1000 bucks a cask- crazy!  I changed that trade item to horses instead.)
  • and armour ( I made all the 'fitted' armours much more expensive.)
  • more pole arm rules (pole arms are used at range (at least 5') and suffer a -4 when used point blank) 
  • fixing armour and shield effects on dexterity (it now impacts DEX instead of DEX bonus which allows it to be much more granular so I adjusted the shield AC bonus as well since I hated having to have +4 to AC to compensate for a -3 DEX bonus)
  • and lots more small rule, explanations and example wording tweaks on races, skills, monster abilities, combat.
  • Made monster damage into HD type+HD number which would mean a bugbear would do d8+3 damage with his weapons instead of just d8.  This is still easy to derive but lets the elite versions of monsters do more damage than their same sized but less skillful counterparts (in addition to the attack bonus).

A few of these items were pointed out to me by players, but most were me just re-reading things and preparing for the ADVENTURE*.

woo woo, bring it on!
And as to that adventure.  I have written up short backgrounds for each of the players which I hope will give them a sense of place in the setting without being too heavy handed as to their motivation or personalities.  I'll post these once I have actually sent them out and gotten feedback just in case someone hates what I've come up with.  The players rolled up a party consisting of an Elf Druid, a Human Hunter, a Human Fighter, a Dwarf Cleric and a Dwarf Enchanter.    I like the party composition, it's a bit different and I think we can spin out something entertaining from this.

I am a bit vexed about how to do the XP though.  As part of the update, I've adjusted XP to account for the change to monster HD so instead of a simple 100*HD number it is now (10*HD type)*HD number.  I don't know if I want to test this at this time however since I am of a mind to do things one of two alternate ways.  I could try to do XP based on damage to see how it will work; or I could simply do level progression by play session in order to get a wider range of levels for play testing in.  If I level the characters up each session it would be good for testing many parts of the game but it might not be as fun to run or to play.

*This is real awesome - you can play that old Atari 2600 Adventure in your browser.  Next thing you know we'll all be flying about in air cars!


  1. I caught that you had the 4th edition draft up, but didn't catch that you were updating it all along... DLing again now!

    Oh, bring me some details on XP based on damage! I have wanted to try that for a while. I think it would be a fine fit for Microlite20. Specially when you consider that a Mage is 'damaging' themselves with spell casting so the inherent problem of them having to go in close to give and take damage for xp is moot. They will get XP for utility spells.


    By the way, you keep going like this and I am going to scrap my Microlite20 rules that I am trying to tailor to my setting and just go with Beacon RAW! Awesome stuff!

  2. I think the 4th draft is getting pretty close to finished now - I'm sure that after the play testing there will be some things changed because they didn't pan out properly but that's why these are considered drafts. If you do use Beacon in a game please send me feedback from your play on what you think works and what doesn't.

  3. Woot! Background info! I love that stuff!