Yes IMO Xoth is showcasing S&S specific rules. There are different opinions on how to create the S&S atmosphere in a D&D game. Excellent that he’s acknowledged this with an optional rule.His point is that Xoth should take the opportunity to showcase S&S specific rules.
Nothing wrong with "gritty" rules.
See my previous reply about "telling a story" vs "playing a game".Oh that - that story trope really needs to be outside the combat mechanic.
What I did when I ran OGL Conan was to have such things be completely arbitrary/fiated, since they occur to 'move the story along', not part of world-sim.
I prefer to play a game, where any "story" is one that develops through emergent play, as a mix of randomness and player choice, and where I as the GM don't know how the "story" will develop. I set up situations, react to player choice, and let the dice fall where they may.
Nehwon/Conan/Elric and such S&S. (Of course you can have low fantasy grim & gritty in an S&S setting - the players just need to know they're not Conan & never wil be).
Ah ok. Crossed streams.Please remember: the massive damage rule included in the actual Player's Guide isn't the rule discussed here (recently).
Again, I beg to differ. The instant death rule in the players guide is decidedly different from the core PHB rule.Ah ok. Crossed streams.
The instant death rule in the players guide is something that is already part of 5e. The difference with the (optional) rule, is that it unties the chances of dying instantly from a direct correlation with the amount of hp’s you have.
This has the effect of actually making you much less prone to instant death in the beginning levels, but then it flattens out a little. There’s still the level bonus increase, so you do have that increasing greater ability to thwart death (becoming more heroic), but not at the same rate as the PHB.
Again this strikes me (excuse the pun) as a more gritty but still heroic ruling. There’s a balance in there, with lower levels getting a big boost, then a gradual increase in survivability, which reflects an S&S with a pinch more grit, but still modelling heroic progression...just not at the same level as standard 5e which quickly sweeps up into super heroic.
Again really easy to ignore that rule (though instant death will be much more likely at low levels).
Personally I’m fine with it and will use it in my games. Very happy to have that optional suggestion as it fits with the balance of grit (not too much) and heroism in the S&S I’d like to play. I want hero’s, but not super high fantasy hero’s.
These optional rules makes the game accessible to me. Everyone is a winner.
There’s clearly a spectrum of different approaches possible which emphasis different aspects of S&S, as evidenced by our discussions here. Yours and Simons suggestions are valid, but so are approaches that emphasis a bit more grit, danger, and unpredictability.(The other point is that while "In sword and sorcery stories, the protagonists regularly kill their foes with a single well-placed hit" might well be true, but the reverse isn't.
I guess this is the thing I'm not seeing. The S&S stories I know do* have some sudden shocking protagonist deaths, but they are at the hands of something like Chun the Unavoidable or a bad-weather-bringing soul-drinking demon sword - never the random mook.S&S genre is a broad church so to speak, and there’s room for alternative approaches as Xoth has thoughtfully catered for.
Yes I don’t think that’s what he’s done. Wfrp is far more dangerous.But I didn't think that's what Xoth was going for
I disagreed, it’d be odd to agree with your reasoning if that wasn’t also my belief.What I hoped for is "know what? you're right. Didn't think of it that way. Your arguments for cutting out that rule makes a lot of sense, thank you."
Yeah not disputing those. The antagonist’s in most S&S literature don’t die at all. This is where gamest elements come into play, IMO you need a threat of failure to game it. Besides with the predictable damage of 5e, low level mooks are very unlikely to cause instant death anyway, unless they collapse a building on you. But the instant death rule does a good job (for me) of adjusting presumptions about the world in comparison to standard 5e. It sends out a message that we are all mortals, flesh and blood, at the same time still acknowledges growing heroic status. If that’s not your bag it’s very easy to leave it out, and take away any threat a mook might pose. What’s proposed is optional, so you can decide what you want to emphasise in your S&S. We’re all naturally going to be emphasising different aspects in our games as we take ownership of them at our (virtual) tables.Apart from early-GoT style low fantasy, another genre that suits insta-death rules is the gritty war drama. "Anyone can die" is perfect for 'Fantasy Effin Vietnam", to coin a phrase.
Basically it suits any genre where going into combat can result in random, sudden death from 'ordinary' threats, no matter the capabilities of the central characters. That does not match any Swords & Sorcery I'm aware of.
I think we all have valid points here. But your argument is premised on literally emulating all aspects of the Conan texts for instance, then we’re going to have hero’s that can’t die in our games.
That’s why I agree with Xoth, the 1/400 chance of a deadly crit is very low
Yeah cool. Don’t use it, it’s optional.Maybe it's because I mostly run long term campaigns over dozens to hundreds of sessions, but I have to disagree with this. In anything other than a one-shot, you are going to see a 1 in 400 chance come up pretty frequently. Over the long term it will guarantee a revolving door of replacement characters.
Yeah for me the pc’s are still powerful and are likely to win the day. It’s hard to die in 5e. And if that standard 5e approach is what your after it’s not being dispensed of in Xoths game .I generally take it that in playing an S&S game you don't know if your PC is Red Sonja or Belit - you don't know if she might die - but you do know that you're a protagonist-level character, not one of the random unnamed mooks Conan cleaves through.