This is what Frank Mentzer had to say on the subject of broken stairs To sum* it up, he hates them. And he none too fond of people who refuse to deal with them.
I remember when a young teenaged boy and his friend were charged with kiling the first boy’s younger sister. The detective on the case said they did it under the influence of D&D.
California’s attorney general got involved, the boys were cleared of the charge, and the girl’s actual killer was Identified, tried, and convicted. Thank to false accusatons pair of young mean very nearly got imprison and their lives ruined thanks to a coward who just wouldn’t admit he could be wrong.
Ms. Price gives me no confidece in her honesty or that she can be trusted. In fact she leaves me with the impression that she wants other women to be abused and left with no recourse but to cower in fear while their abusers parade around around like peacock popinjays.
*There, the spelling has been corrected. And I’m blaming it on my dysphasia.
Source: Apnea – Wikipedia
Today I learned that I have apnea. Not obstructive apnea perse, but what is known as central apnea. A medical assistant noted that my breathing is shallow and slow, which likely explains my lack of energy. Means I will be getting an xPAP, and maybe even supplemental oxygen. Though in the latter case it’ll most likely be a respirator of some kind.
Me with energy, that’ll be a change.
So the lesson for the day is, if somebody says your breathing is shallow, get it checked out, and get it done yesterday
Balrog Bashing and the Art of Rough Persuasion.
Here now we get down to the matter of fighting in Mythus; what another RPG would call combat. But combat as a term indicates something formal, something regular and regulated, when fighting at the least is rude, crude, and certainly not exactly regulated. But since Mythus is not exactly real life by any stretch of the imagination, we find that we do need to provide guidelines for handling it.
In the coming posts we’ll be looking at Mental, Spiritual, and Physical fighting, in each case covering what is involved, how it is handled, and what happens because of it.
In the previous post on initiative in Mythus I forgot to include an important part. What I covered was initial action, forgetting subsequent ones. This post is to correct that omission.
The difference between determining initiative for initial and subsequent actions is this: First, that initial initiative is determined as described in the previous post. However, when players and JM are determining initiative for any action following their first whatever initiative they get has a minimum value of one. That is to say, you just can’t perform your second action before you have performed your first.
So let’s say, what with all the shifting of position, drawing of weapon, and movement a player gets an initiative of 5. He performs his action and then decides he will be doing a follow up one. This time his initiative comes to to be a -4. But since a -4 is lower than a 5 it means his Persona will be acting at one point later than 5, meaning his effective initiative for his second action is 6. What it comes down to is, he is able to follow up his first action with another immediately. With the luck of the dice for all intents and purposes a Persona can perform a flurry of blows, so to speak, without having to follow a special rule for such.
Furthermore, while it is possible for two parties to act simultaneously, doing that isn’t always a good idea. For the time being I’m going to assume that the two parties are aware of what the other is doing, and so can decide to change his action to counter the others. That is, he may choose to perform a defensive action such as parry, block, or dodge.But by choosing defense instead of offense he has pretty much lost his turn and must therefor determine initiative again. Later I may require the two parties to check against Perception, Either (Notice) at a DR of Hard in order to notice that the other guy Is attacking them at the same time so that either, or both, can choose to defend instead. And since both in this case have had their action interrupted they would then have to determine initiative once more.
It comes down to this, in a fight you’re going to see a lot of hesitating and pausing. Which is pretty much what happens In real life, so why not an RPG?
Avoidance is used when a person or party would much rather avoid an encounter. When doing such the Persona uses the Speed Attributes appropriate to the situation.
- Mental Combat: Mnemonic + Reasoning Speed
- Physical Combat: Muscular + Neural Speed
- Spiritual Combat: Metaphysical + Psychic Speed.
Then the DR applicable to the situation is applied
- Total Surprise: Easy
- Surprise: Moderate
- Initiative Held: Hard
- Not Held: Difficult
- Surprised: Very Difficult.
- Very Surprised: Extreme.
Example: In our last post Ronald the orc scholar had initiative on his foe. We’ll say that the orc has a Muscular and Neural Speed total of 31, which with the Hard DR he gains for having initiative gives his player a target number of 31 to succeed in Avoidance. A roll of 42 on the percentile means he failed, and that means he now needs to succeed in outrunning the Cavalier.
In real life things not always happen in a neat order, and they most certainly don’t happen all at once. In that an RPG is a sort of simulation of real life as in real life things won’t always happen in a neat order, and they most certainly won’t happen all at once. Thus it is with Mythus, which is why the participants determine initiative when such determination is necessary.
When to Determine
For the most part initiative is determined when matters are critical. In short when play happens during the critical turn—CT. A CT is 3 seconds in length and is most often used when a situation is critical and events can and do happen rather quickly. This is when events will happen at nearly the blink of an eye.
A CT is further divided into 20 beats, each beat being 1/15th of a second, which is about how long it takes a human to react to a stimulus.
How to Determine
Initiative is determined using the following steps.
- Roll 1d10
- Subtract Appropriate Speed
- Melee: Muscular Speed
- Missle: Neural Speed
- Mental Power or Casting: Reasoning Speed
- Spiritual Power or Casting: Metaphysical Speed.
- Add item or action Speed.
- Attack Weapon Speed Factor
- To use a weapon artificial or natural to harm another.
- Action 2
- To take an action
- Casting: Begin/Activate 2
- To start casting or to activate one
- Casting: Ready 10
- Making a casting ready to cast
- Change Action 2
- Changing what you’re planning on doing
- Change Target 6
- Changing who you’re planning on doing it to
- Dive 5
- Leaping for the ground, or body of water, etc.
- Draw/sheath Weapon 7
- Pulling a weapon from a sheath or like item
- Putting a weapon back in a sheath or like item
- Enchanted Item* 1
- Speed factor of 1 applies to small items such as a brooch or wand
- Higher speed apply to larger items such as a rod or staff
- Use Power 3
- Other than an attack form
- Move Persona Movement
- Depends on the Persona’s movement, which at a CT amounts to 1/10th of his movement in a BT. Movement per Beat is 1/20th of a CT’s movement
- Switch Hands 2
- Moving item to the other hand.
- Natural Weapon cf chapter 7
- Reload 9
- Pulling ammunition from a bag, pouch, or quiver and putting it to the bow, xbow, or sling pocket
- Rise 4
- Getting to one’s feet.
- Tumble 12
- Using the Tumbling sub-area of Acrobatics so as to make hitting the Persona harder
- Turn 3
- Turning in place cautiously so as to face in a new direction
- Hesitate varies
- Holding off taking an action so as to take advantage of a better opportunity
- Cost depends on the situation and most often requires a good guess.
- Attack Weapon Speed Factor
Example: Fred, a gentry Cavalier, is facing Ronald, an aristocratic orc scholar. Fred’s player rolls a 5 on the d10, minus 14 for his Muscular Speed, and +7 for drawing his foil and +2 for attacking with said foil. His final initiative is effectively 0, which means his action takes place on beat one of the CT.
On the other hand Ronald’s player rolls an 8 on the d10. With the orc’s Muscular Speed of 16 that means his initiative is a -8, which gives him the initiative. Since his player wasn’t really expecting a fight he decides that discretion is the better part of valor and opts for Avoidance. Avoidance we will cover in a later post.
In any encounter how matters go is pretty much a matter of attitude, and that has a lot to do with personality. In general different species have different personalities. Specifically different individuals will have different personalities. By and large wolves will tend to avoid you, but it is always possible to meet a wolf who will approach you as a long lost friend. You get right down to it, how they handle matters is up to the individual.
In general a species will tend to act as a group in a certain way. Among those ways could include:
- Aggressively Friendly
- Mildly Interested
- Very Cautious
- Aggressively Hostile
In addition there are matters such as; hungry, in heat or rut, and seeking safety. As an example one could meet some orcs, who in general tend to be very cautious. These particular orcs could be hungry and seeking safety, which could lead them to being friendly so long as they say the HPs as a potential source of assistance.
How party handles matters also plays a role. Are the HPs friendly, cautious, or hostile? How do they see the other side? Do they see goblins as a threat or a source of amusement? Are they cautious around ogres or belligerent.
As a rough guideline the JM or players could roll 2d6, with a roll below 7 indicating a negative response and so a negative adjustment in attitude. While a roll above 7 would mean a positive response and a positive adjustment in attitude.
For instance: The party meets a gnoll. Gnolls, being bonkers by all accounts, generally start out being aggressively friendly. But friendly in a way that could include pain and injury. And in this case this particular gnoll decides he is going to be aggressively hostile—the JM rolled a 2 on 2d6, indicating a very negative reaction.
Or the HPs could meet a friendly demon. Demons don’t have to be hostile. Demons can be friendly indeed, offering assistance and guidance. But the thing to remember is that demons as a group are manipulative, sneaky, and corrupting. Demons always look out for what benefits them, and if they can get you to buy into whatever they propose to do, then all the better for them. That means helping you save a village from a danger, then the demon will help you, but his assistance always comes at a price.
Keep in mind that some encounters will always be simple. Meeting a Vargaardian wolverine for example, for these animals tend to be cautious and most often react to how you behave with suspicion and aggression. Then again, he may actually be friendly, depending on how previous encounters have gone for him
The smarter the soul encountered the more complicated his behavior. We tend to see the ogre as being stupid and violent, but there are ogres smart enough to understand the value of subtlety and to practice it.
Then there is the matter of keeping play fun. That is, interesting. Which is best done by giving the players different experiences. Meeting a dockalfar band doesn’t have to end in violence, while encountering a party of elves won’t always be a pleasant one—.sometimes an elf’s optimism means he’s optimistic about trouncing you. And always remember that being optimistic in general doesn’t mean a person can’t get angry and out of sorts. While the generally gloomy orc can still have a sense of humor and be friendly.
My advice in general is, don’t constrain yourself and allow stereotyping to keep you on a certain path. You want those hobbits to be mean and rude? Then maybe they’ve just had a bad day and the HP’s just happened to show up at the right rime to get some grief. Or that fire drake just saw the runt of the litter actually take flight just when she thought it was a hopeless cause and was about to kill the pup so he wouldn’t suffer.
Always remember that Mythus is about adventure and adventures don’t always have to follow a certain set course. How you as the JM handle matters is your business, as it is the business of you players.
So don’t stereotype your Personas buy let them be individuals, and always consider current conditions, for there can be times when otherwise friendly gnomes maybe having a bad day and are looking for somebody to take it out on.
Gallery showing all our illustrations by Ellis, Edwin John
Horses dating outside their species.
Latest news about the hepatitis A crisis in San Diego.
On the page linked to above are a number of links to stories on the HepA calamity. The impression I get is, our PTBs royally fucked up. People in the halls of power showed a base and vile hatred of people who just happened to be in dire straits, and very often such straits because certain parties just had to restrict life in this city to the priveleged few.
In case you haven’t heard, San Diego CA aint a gated community and can never be a gated community. The US Supreme Court wouldn’t tolerate such a thing.
I’m expecting a class action suit against certain parties, with the class being the citizens of San Diego as a whole. And part of the settlement will mean an expansion of rail lines north and the establishment of a new one east. Our civic puritans are going to hate it.
It comes down to this; life will never be pristine and you will never be able to restrict where people live, especially not in a prime location.
One last thing. When next you wonder just where our HepA epidemic came from, thank the city fathers of San Diego.
Workers in charge of maintaining San Diego’s busses and trolleys say homeless people regularly urinate and defecate inside the vehicles, and the hepatitis A outbreak across the county has them worri
We decided we didn’t need to provide public lavoratories, which left people with no place to poop and piss. Even those with a home and a toilet since emergencies are going to pop up at the most inopportune time.
It comes down to prejudice, the belief that those who aren’t like us deserve to be treated like trash. We refuse to accept the fact that people come in all conditions and that maltreatment of the other costs us in ways we really can’t afford. Seems to me that our slogan has become, “Millions for hospitalization, not one penny for shit cans.”