Friday, December 17, 2010

The Armchair Musketeer

Last night I played in a superhero RPG loosely based on "Mystery Men", in that we were supposed to play incompetent superheroes. The system was Savage Worlds, using the Supers Compendium.

I played the Armchair Musketeer, which is exactly what it doesn't sound like: a plushly upholstered Louis XV chair that had been granted sentience, served in the Royal Musketeers, and has been fighting crime ever since. Complete with an inconsistent "french" accent... and the last time he his upholstery repaired, he had "magic fingers" installed... "for ze ladies".

I spent his ten hero points on Construct (a requirement, really) and the rest on Super Skills. This, combined with the "Blind" Hindrance (chairs don't have eyes, you see) and "Trademark Weapon" edge allowed me a Fighting skill of d12-4 (d12 +1 +1 -6). I also had Taunt at d12-2, and Shooting at d10-6. Awesomely incompetent. I rolled a lot of (adjusted) 1's, but also the occasional high-level exploding successes.

Playing a Blind PC is really hard, by the way. GMs nearly always do the majority of their narrating as "Here's what you see when you open the door..." or "In walks a villain in a lab coat, and three thugs carrying submachineguns..." or, in our case last night "You hit Santa in the face, which peels back revealing he's a robot!" For some strange reason, the other players don't really enjoy having to repeat everything the GM says.

Or, maybe, they just didn't want to constantly explain things to an armchair. I can't completely rule out "the furniture factor".


r_b_bergstrom said...

On a related note, I was a little iffy on my Parry rating.

Parry is derived from Fighting skill, being 1/2 your fighting die type, plus 2.

My fighting skill was d12+1, plus an extra +1 for a trademark weapon, minus 6 on most rolls of fighting due to being blind, and then the special rule on rapiers is that they add +1 to your Parry.

The Blind hindrance doesn't really say whether or not it affects Parry. I'd be inclined to assume it does, but I can see the argument the other way, as well. And if it does affect Parry, do I divide the -6 in half to get -3? Or do I add the +1 and the -6 together to get -5... and if so, does -5 divided by two get rounded to -3 or -2?

Given all the factors going into it, I could concoct reasonable arguments for the characters final adjusted Parry score being anywhere from 3 to 10. Nothing in the rules that I could find stated clearly which interpretation is correct.

Luckily no one attacked me. said...

That sounds like a question that could be asked on the Pinnacle site. It may have been already asked. Lemme check. said...

Alright, and I just checked their forums. Blindness does not affect your parry score. So, AM would have had a 9 Parry.

And it turns out that your wound penalty does not affect your Parry score as well.

r_b_bergstrom said...

Cool. Thanks for looking that up. 9 is indeed what I'd actually written on the character sheet, but as the night rolled on I kept wondering if it shouldn't be lower.

r_b_bergstrom said...

Of course, there's still a looming question of why does d12+1 Fighting generate a parry of 6? The section on super-skills in the superhero compendium made it really clear that you divide die type and modifier in half, and round down. I suppose the reason is just "otherwise Parry scores would get ridiculous".

Mathematically, though, +1 to your die is better than increasing your die type. Both methods increase your average roll by 1, but a flat +1 modifier also eliminates the lowest possible result, and it does so without reducing the chance that your die would Ace (which increasing your skill die does do, somewhat frustratingly).

Edges that give +1 to a skill are better than just increasing your die type, and represent a larger boost to overall skill than simply raising a die type would. That's why such Edges have high prerequisites. When I saw the bit about dividing in half and rounding down any bonuses, I just couldn't agree with the principal of it. Strikes me as odd.

Oh well, enough idle rambling for now.