Many of these seem unnecessary or strange to me. I’d be interested to see the rationale though.
EDIT: OK, I just read through the article. I’m going to talk about each point here constructively. My intention is not really to criticize the Mythcreants rules, but rather to highlight some things that you’ll want to take into account before adopting any changes.
√ = It checks out!
1. Relaxed Class Restrictions √
Not only am I OK with this, the Mordite Press blog has a rule for it. However, just opening up all of the classes and stocks for combination is something of a free-for-all. It’s fine if your GM doesn’t mind smoothing over the cracks, but I prefer to retain some of the cultural implications of class and stock.
2. Extra traits for reduced Nature
The rationale given in the article seems to think reduced Nature is a punishment of some kind, which it isn’t. High nature and low nature both have strategies for play. Allowing a character to take additional traits and then learn new skills faster isn’t something I want to introduce into the game.
3. Skill Customization
Skills are a major part of class balance, and the choice of skills can have a direct relationship to what is allowed by level abilities and proficiency. If you open this up, you create both potential for abuse and potential for ignorant choices undermining the level ability arcs.
In Torchbearer you learn skills by trying them. It’s a huge part of the game, and not one I’d be anxious to see moved into the pre-game.
4. Balance Tweaks
“there’s rarely a reason to do anything but choose Attack over and over again because Attack is the action that actually wins the conflict.”
This statement does not track with my experience. I think a lot of people tend to analyze the action system as though dice pools are irrelevant. The truth is, having a TON of dice behind maneuver makes for a very different conflict than having a ton of dice behind attack.
I don’t see how adding dice to defend solves the perceived problem either. Wouldn’t that just cause conflicts to drag on?
As far as the Abstemious level ability, I wouldn’t change it. Conditions are experience points in disguise. I would way rather be able to gain angry. I’d advise you to pick the Stone Thrower ability if you don’t agree.
People say haggling is broken. I think it’s a form of gambling. This change wouldn’t break the game or anything, so go for it. There’s nothing especially troublesome about this.
Exhausted by work √
Interesting. The GM has a lot of leeway in what to pay with a “bag of silver/gold”, so I would usually apply exhausted (or any other condition) as a conditional success. You just need to remember that work in town isn’t about money, it’s about earning advancement for tests (and exhausted is a Health advancement test in disguise). If you’re accounting for that and you want to go ahead with this, that’s fine.
5. Helping counts toward advancement without spending a check.
As it says, this will inflate advancement a LOT. It also allows people to become wallflowers instead of engaging in Description Forward behavior. I think the latter is the bigger problem for me.
6. Reduce the number of Resource rolls
I have also dabbled with this rule, albeit for different reasons. In urban adventuring I found we had a need for quick market runs on the Grind; using a whole series of resources tests on the grind was punitive, so I lumped them together with the following factors. Players needed to build a list without looking at the factors:
Highest List Price (Obs 1 and 2 are free): Ob 3, Ob 4, Ob 5, Ob 6, Ob 7, Ob 8
Quantity: one, a few, a bunch, a load, a ton
Variety: factor one for each category included (first category free):
Armor, Clothing, Containers, Equipment, Food, Light Source, Magical, Religious, Weapons, Other.
Rarity (common is free): scarce, unique or priceless
Quality (crude is free): sturdy, exceptional, magical
Batch Resources Example
For example, you want to buy two stacks of torches (Ob 1), a satchel (Ob 1), wine (Ob 1), preserved rations (Ob 2) and a suit of chain armor (Ob 3). With six items on the list, the GM decides this is a “bunch” of items. Items from four different categories will increase the Ob by 3. All of the items are common. You are happy to accept crude items, figuring they are mostly consumable anyway. The highest price is Ob 3, an additional factor. This market visit will be Ob 7.
Another party simply wishes to eat fresh rations (Ob 1) and fill a wineskin (Ob 1) for the party (a few). The resulting market trip is Ob 2.
What did I find? It’s a LOT easier not to muck about with the Resources rules. But I do think this is an area with a lot of potential for improvement.
7. Each PC gets one action per turn
If you’re finding that the Grind advances unrealistically fast in your games, you may not be spending enough time on Description Forward and the Good Idea. I personally see no need for multiple rolls like that and I imagine it would drag the pace of my game to a standstill.
and acting on an instinct allows the test to ignore all conditions, except dead. √
I do like the instinct part part though. That would be a good way to deploy instincts that are cool but don’t really fit into the turn structure. I may adopt that!