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Review Giantlands, reviewed by David Flor on Twitter.


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Mezuka

Adventurer
OUTCH!
Wow - that sounds so much worse than it should be.

Not even the worst bit but one that jumped out immediately - I thought people figured out that randomly rolling attributes on a span of 0-100 with uniform probability was a bad idea decades ago. Even some of the first percentile driven games (like say Star Frontiers) understood you shouldn't do that. To see it in a modern game not written by a 12 year old figuring things out on first principles is shocking.
Indeed!
In Star Frontiers you rolled d100 for attributes but the results were looked up afterwards on a table that made most rolls have a value in the middle range (bell curve). You had to roll very low or very high to get exceptional percentages.
 
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Jer

Hero
This system seems like a clunky throwback to the 80s. It feels like something 40 years old rather than a new release.
I believe given the history of this whole project that was probably the point. It's supposed to be "old school" but it appears that unlike a lot of other "old school" projects - which use the lessons of last 4 decades of RPG design to try to create systems that give you the feel of an old school game while also giving you a solid gameplay experience - they seem to have decided to ignore the last 40 years of design lessons and just put together a game that could have been released in 1979.

I used a 1-100 scale when I created Altus Adventum...many years ago. While I think I gave options to prevent the wild swings in scores, I don't think I'd ever use a 1-100 range again.

View attachment 149430
I don't think there's anything wrong with a 1-100 scale per se - though I think the granularity of 1% differences in ability don't usually change the gameplay, so most percentile systems can be replaced with a d20 rollunder approach- 5% granularity is usually sufficient.

But if you're going to have a 1-100 span with random assignment of attributes then what you're doing here is the right way to go - respect the bell curve!
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
I believe given the history of this whole project that was probably the point. It's supposed to be "old school" but it appears that unlike a lot of other "old school" projects - which use the lessons of last 4 decades of RPG design to try to create systems that give you the feel of an old school game while also giving you a solid gameplay experience - they seem to have decided to ignore the last 40 years of design lessons and just put together a game that could have been released in 1979.
When most people (including myself) who put out OSR products, we have a choice on how to approach the design to emulate TSR.

Option 1:
Capture the feel of the gameplay (lethality and niche protection)
Tramp, Otis, Elmore, etc
Ravenloft
Isle of Dread
Theater of the Mind

Option 2:
Forest Oracle
All My Children
Woodburning kit
Put bare breasts everywhere
Racist tropes
Legal drama

It sure seems like these people (Dinehart, LaNasa, etc) sure seem to keep choosing option 2 by looking at their stuff.
 
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DarkCrisis

Adventurer
He has some valid points but he's also very nitpicky, like the Gygax secret door post.. I get the feeling he's never read Original D&D or is a fan of old school gaming. A lot of what I'm seeing is very "old school".

But yeah he's 100% correct it needed a better editor.
 


Bolares

Hero
It works for some games. For FASA's Star Trek in the 80s it felt right -- percentages go well with sci-fi.
That makes sense. I guess I just never found the right game with d100 to experience them right. (I have a chtulhu sized hole in my RPGs experience).
 


Liane the Wayfarer

Frumious Flumph
Call of Chtuluh and other Chaosium games have a large fan bases. It's just a question of preference. I like it.
But I can't recall CoC or RQ ever actually having you roll 1d100 for characteristics. Stats were 3d6 (or 2d6+6 for things like Size and Intelligence), the only things that were rolled on d100 were checks. The most recent edition of CoC has 1-100 stats, but you assign points, you don't roll them.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
I don't get the appeal od a base d100 system. Do we really need that level of granularity? Most games that use it yould do just fine using d20 or even a d10.
You probably could for a lot of things, but if you've got a feature that works really well on a 100 point scale, like Call of Cthulhu's sanity score, you might as well put as many things on those % dice as you can to maximize people's use of the same dice mechanic. And, in fact, CoC has doubled down on the % in recent editions. Converting the skill and stat checks to a d20 would be an unnecessary complication.
 


billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
But I can't recall CoC or RQ ever actually having you roll 1d100 for characteristics. Stats were 3d6 (or 2d6+6 for things like Size and Intelligence), the only things that were rolled on d100 were checks. The most recent edition of CoC has 1-100 stats, but you assign points, you don't roll them.
The skills have points assigned, but in CoC 7th ed, you're still rolling those stats on the 3d6/2d6+6/whatever. You're just multiplying by 5 to normalize into %-friendly scores so that the players can roll % dice for all their tests.
 

Jer

Hero
Did FASERIP use d100 for the Marvel game? (With the average stat being pretty low on the scale).
FASERIP used a d100 but attributes were not percentiles. You use a chart to translate your die rolls into success levels.

So a character with an average ability score (Typical) would have a 50% of scoring at least a "Green" result (a minimal success), at 20% chance of scoring at least a "Yellow" result (a solid success) and a 3% chance of a "Red" result (critical success). Things improve in roughly 5% increments at each level (except for criticals) from there as ability scores increase.
 

I don't get the appeal od a base d100 system. Do we really need that level of granularity? Most games that use it yould do just fine using d20 or even a d10.
I'm usually bummed out by the lack of mathematical smoke and mirrors in d100 systems (don't tell me the odds!), but some games do interesting things with it. Like in Delta Green:

A critical success is a roll of 01 or any success where the dice match. So if your Agent’s skill is 50%, you achieve a critical success with a roll of 01, 11, 22, 33, or 44. A critical success automatically succeeds, and exceeds expectations.

A fumble is a roll of 00 (100) or any failure where the dice match. So if your Agent’s skill is 50%, you fum- ble on a roll of 55, 66, 77, 88, 99, or 00.
 

I'm usually bummed out by the lack of mathematical smoke and mirrors in d100 systems (don't tell me the odds!), but some games do interesting things with it. Like in Delta Green:

A critical success is a roll of 01 or any success where the dice match. So if your Agent’s skill is 50%, you achieve a critical success with a roll of 01, 11, 22, 33, or 44. A critical success automatically succeeds, and exceeds expectations.

A fumble is a roll of 00 (100) or any failure where the dice match. So if your Agent’s skill is 50%, you fum- ble on a roll of 55, 66, 77, 88, 99, or 00.
I ran a playtest version of CHILL (until it and the company making it vanished due to licensing screwups) which used the exact same crit/fumble mechanic. I liked it because of the little extra excitement at the table rolling doubles brought.

It also used a "blackjack" mechanic where you wanted to roll as high as possible without going over the target number (usually Attribute + Skill + modifiers). This was because it also had a degree-of-success mechanic, where each increment of 25 you rolled over was an additional success.

IMO, one advantage of d100 games is small, incremental advancements of skills/attributes to achieve a sense of progress without bloat that's harder to do in some d20 (or d10) based games. This CHILL playtest was the same way, except skill advancements were given out 10 points at a time. Though a player could spend those points one at a time on various skills in a granular fashion, they were more likely just to dump them all on one skill, basically the same as adding +2 in a d20 game.

Really, though, the crit/fumble mechanics and Attribute increases (3 points at a time) were the only part of this abortive version of CHILL that couldn't be done with a d20. And the playtest docs were very plainly using the d20 OGL mechanics translated to d100 in many places.

But at least you couldn't roll a 1 for an Attribute :rolleyes:
 
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darjr

I crit!
Here is another look. From Matty Helms at RPGPUB.

 

Jer

Hero
Here is another look. From Matty Helms at RPGPUB.

That thread includes a link to a press release from Wonderfilled indicating that they are planning to open a theme park based around Giantlands - an "immersive gaming destination".


This seems ... ambitious? let's say ambitious.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
That thread includes a link to a press release from Wonderfilled indicating that they are planning to open a theme park based around Giantlands - an "immersive gaming destination".


This seems ... ambitious? let's say ambitious.
Yeah, that's been bantered around for at least a year that I'm aware of. A dream. Pipe dream, but a dream nonetheless. I suspect it will be an amusement park in the same way the Dungeon Hobby Shop is a museum. I.e., something contained to someone's home. Kinda like how people set up their own mini haunted houses in their garage during Halloween.
 

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