Okay. Responding to @jim and @Gabe:
Gabe, yes, the divine rebuke is punishing indeed. I haven’t reworked it yet to both make it a little less punishing and a little more interesting, but I like the overall idea of pushing priestly magic. In the game I’m running, I just introduced the change to casting and my son likes it more. He wasn’t grokking, or enjoying, the spell slots and the need to choose and prepare one in advance.
Jim wrote about Action Checks:
Is that last sentence meant to clarify the “class expertise lends a +1 or +2” rule, or is it separate? As an example, I think this system means that a level 1 thief with high DEX trying to pick a normal lock without any extenuating circumstances would:
have +1 for class expertise;
another +1 for high DEX;
and therefore succeed on a 3-6 (i.e., ~67% of the time).
It’s meant to clarify / add. PCs add +1 for class specializations from levels 1-5, and +2 for levels 6-10. I’m trying to respect the (pretty limiting) boundaries of the d6. So…
- Someone who is pretty bad at something (3-6 in the attribute) succeeds 1 time in 6.
- Average Joe succeeds 2 in 6 times.
- Natural Ability Pam (Attribute is 15-18) and Average Joe with the right training (class) both succeed 50% of the time, 3 in 6.
- Natural Ability Pam with the right training? – she’s at 4 in 6 chances to succeed.
- When Natural Ability Pam is a veteran at what she does (level 6+), well, now she’s at the top of her game, 5 in 6 chances of success.
Advantage and Disadvantage are used to protect the upper and lower ends of the range.
On Clerical Prayers, Jim says:
Your clerics are serious scholars! That puts a more wizardly spin on them than what’s implied by White Box: FMAG I think, but it’s closer to what’s implied by the original White Box rules where Clerics and Magic-Users both had spell books.
I hadn’t really thought about or intended this… I just want a cool way for them to learn new spells. Or a few cool ways. I think studying in the remote monastery in the mountains is the best way, frankly. Or quest for it, and the Head Honcho Cleric will teach you Stuff as a reward. (This is what the first adventure is. The head of the order / local church has asked Schlormp (yes, that’s the Cleric’s name) and Joe (the thief) to find out what happened to a templar knight who was checking in on some Trouble at the Mill.
Using Saving Throws to learn spells instead of avoiding harm seems off to me, because what is the Save supposed to represent now? General level-based competency?
You’re right, using a Save here is off. Which is a whole other topic I’ll get into shortly, based on play so far. I’ll switch this to an Action Check, perhaps. I will admit my instincts are to make this something like a roll-under Wisdom check, but more on that in a moment too.
Regarding prayers being uttered / cast, Jim Wrote:
If they miss the save, does the spell still work?
Yes. Unless a 1 is rolled. I will clarify that.
About the Divine Rebuke table, Jim commented:
This table is a good baseline, though I think you’re right on about dressing it up differently. A cleric who displeases their deity is just asking to be messed with, and atoning could definitely require some work.
Yeah, I’ll likely tear this whole thing down and rebuild it. Need to reread DCC and LFG, which are, I think, the gold standards for clerical magic gone wrong. Not 100% sure what you mean by atoning needing work. The durations?
Okay, I mentioned on the GBS Discord that I’ve now run three sessions, and have thoughts and feelings about running White Box. I said I would comment here, so I will, but now that another day has passed… I’m probably not going to launch into a blow by blow, but instead just state that I should trust the instincts I have that tell me not to GM “straight” OSR games, retroclones. There’s just too much I don’t enjoy, and want to change. If I’m going to bolt things on, why not start with a chassis that slews closer to my overall RPG sensibilities?
To be clear, I’m really enjoying running the game for my son and his girlfriend, and I’m noticing that my daughter is getting jealous and expect we’ll soon have another family game going. But – boy am I fighting annoyance in my head over so very many things. The experience just makes me want to run The Black Hack, and if another game -does- emerge and it’s fantasy-based, it’ll either be Tiny Dungeon or TBH.
From the Big Book of Grievances with White Box
- Experience Points
- Experience Points for Gold
- Different Classes Needing Different Experience Points
- No d4, d8, d10, d12. I miss them more than I thought I would.
- Saving Throws (one is better than multiple, but still hate them)
- Vancian Magic
- Class Limits on Weapons and Armor
- Dead PCs at 0 hit points
- Thief Skills
There are more, I’m sure, and while I can house rule virtually all of this… why? There are games out there that have already made most of the changes I want. So I find myself firmly thinking “play but don’t run” White Box.
The joy of the brand new player continues, btw. She’s journaling like crazy. Writing down specific attributes and features of the monsters they encounter, like “Lurks in trees, has AC 12 and paralytic tentacles!” for the Carrion Crawler / Creeper they encountered. (Which I reskinned as a swamp critter who drops tentacles from above, a Swamp Fisher.)
Anyway. Thanks again for the feedback. Fun experiment so far!