Monday, November 17, 2008

Archaic Game Material of the Week

Once upon a time, we had a little game from Chaosium called Stormbringer. Stormbringer had some very cool ideas, but ultimately I believe it failed because of the complete adherence to the "slave of fate" idea that dominates the Elric stories. In character creation, not only do you randomize the abilities of your character, you randomly roll the race and class. While a really hardcore role-player might enjoy the challenge of playing a completely random character, most people have preferences on race and class.

One thing I liked about Stormbringer was the way the did character skills. Initially, your skill score is rolled 1d100, divided by 2. Thus your "out of the box" skill percentage could be up to 50%. You then add you ability modifier. When you use a skill, at the end of play, you roll 1d100. If you roll over your current skill percentage you get to add 1d10 to the skill percentage (thus, the higher the level, the harder it is to improve). After a skill level is 90% or better, it only improves by 1 point per improvement. Skills cannot exceed 100% under normal circumstances.

What I liked about this concept is that it allowed characters to have a real specialty. Maybe your character, overall, is not so great, but has a great stealth percentage... He then has a niche. Also, the way skills are done, it assumes that any character could be a natural. Hey, it happens in real life, why not in games?

2 comments:

Jamdin said...

I still have my boxed Stormbringer game and it was one of the first games that I ran.

Darius Whiteplume said...

I thought it was very cool, but lived in a strange D&D and Robotech (or some mech game) area. We tried it once, and it was cool. Finding people who read the books was also a bit difficult.

I liked that you blocked as a skill, so you could be a bad-ass with no armor, but you seem to get into a lot of "pitching duels" that way. :-) Hey! I used a sports metaphor!

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