Thursday, 7 January 2010

DW RPG: Rules

The basic rule is Attribute + Skill + 2d6 to beat the difficulty. However, there is more than just that, and I want to talk about to aspects.

The Combat Round, or Action Round as they are known as. The order isn't by initiative or anything, but by what you are intending to do. Talkers are first (and this means speech or persuasion by talking, as opposed to brief things like "Run!"), then the Doers, then the Movers then the Shakers... I mean Fighters. So instead of having to wait your turn, you need to know what you want to do. It's a nice mechanic, than enforces the idea of Doctor Who not being a fighting game, as they go last.

When we were playing it, there were two modifications we made, and from the looks of it, they took our suggestions on board! First is that originally you say "I'm going to be a Doer". I can't remember if we wanted some mystery or just wanted to get on with it, or what, but we changed that to being "Talkers, and Talkers?... Okay, any Doers?" That seemed to work better.

The other change was that: oh, they did something interesting, I want to change my action into something that technically has gone by. Often a Doer might do something, and then I'd change from a Mover to a Talker (Schread talked a lot). We went with, if you've moved up to before the next type of action, you go first. The GM book suggests you might want to impose a penalty, but we didn't bother, and it also fitted the idea anti-fighting. [We didn't have a lot of fighting with guns, and haven't really tried out the gun system, which looks very lethal to me.] Seemed an obvious thing to consider, but it wasn't in the original playtest document.

The other aspect is the Chase system (which reminds me of the Timelord RPG chasing). [Yes, there are a lot of slow monsters, but not everything is.] If you don't have any running (Coordination + Athletics) you are boned. I used a few story points to avoid failing completely. [Yes, failing can be interesting, but can also slow things down.] If you have any points left over, put them here, even if you just get the Run For Your Life trait rather than a lot of athletics which might not be appropriate for the character.

The easiest trick, though, in Chases (if the Chasee) is to pull a Stunt, where you do some move at a difficulty level you pick where if you make it, the bad guys have to as well. Pick a relatively high target, use a story point to give yourself a boost, and watch the bad guys fail and fall behind. Possibly a bit too easy to do, but an easy way out.

One, in my opinion, rather harsh rule, to also mention, is if you are unskilled. You get a -4 penalty. Given that most attributes are around 2 to 3, you better not try anything too hard. (Although there are story points.) That was one incentive to me making that example character with all skills, to get around that problem. Nasty.


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