This weekend marked my 4th Session of Chaotica. The Rules have changed again, as they are wont to do. Bugbears are scarier, attacking from heights is easier, and, oh yes, Rogues can’t be player characters.
Summary of Events
So this week, the party started in front of Annie the Sage’s hut in the middle of the woods. (I guess I need to name the woods) They met with her, drank something she claimed was poison, paid for an antidote, then explored her house under the watchful gaze of Nipper the glidehare while Annie bathed her chickens in the Poison. They then slept while she worked, researching the function of a magic item the party no longer possessed. Then, in the morning, they decided to head back to Loamsbreath.
Arguing About Rules That Don’t Exist
If you think we didn’t get much done this session, you’re right! We spent a looong time discussion rule creation, as well as one new player having to build his character at the table.
Two of the rules took a while to figure out the wording. I’m still not super happy with them, but I think they’re awesome rules. (These are #12 and #13 on the list. I’m really excited about their interaction in the world. First, travelling through forests is more dangerous, as highwaymen will set up ambushes in trees for better effect.
Castles, as well, have an advantage, providing high ground and cover. Of course, it is easier than every to breach a castle with the Grapple Rope Rule. This makes raiding parties extra vicious, and so castle must always have people on the walls, standing their vigil.
We’ve yet to really plumb the details of these rules, but as DM, I’m really excited for some of the scenes I can create with them, which is why we do this, ya?
The Meta-Rule of Erasure
I implemented a new way the players interact with the rules this week, cementing an idea I’ve been toying with the last 2 sessions. When a new player joins, they create an unrestricted rule. Older players, though, make a choice. They can either roll on the rule restriction table, a chart I have that restricts a player’s new rule, or they can make a deletion and create an unrestricted rule.
A deletion is a removal of something. It has to limit the choices of new players. It can be a race, a class, a spell, an item, basically, anything. The only restriction is it can’t have been seen at the table. (Or at least, not in memory.) I don’t have an easy to peruse list, ATM, and I should probably make one. I have a good memory though and since I’m the adjucator, my word is law.
Why do I restrict rules? It helps keep the format dynamic. A player can’t really come up with a super rule that will win them the game if they don’t know what their restriction will be. They can, of course, plan to make a deletion as well, which I am okay with.
Why are deletions a thing? In part, it makes things easier for new players. With a bunch of new rules, there are a lot more options and values to be weighed. The less options, the more the things that are left stand out. This will help me to refine this setting into something interesting.
I don’t expect “No Rogues” will last if I put out a setting guide. It might be fine for a table, but I like to play rogues. They are a crazy flexible class. But what does it look like?
It’s a Wonderful Class: Life Without Rogues
As part of our thought process, this rule restricts only Player Characters from being rogues. There’s all sorts of thieves and assassins out there in the world, still roguing it up. I think it’s worth stating that Rogue might be my favorite class. It’s very flexible. You can be an edgelord assassin, sure, but the class also works for a bumbling researcher who has dabbled in a bit of the magic that he’s read about (High Int, arcane trickster, Expertise in History and Arcana. Don’t use sneak attack, let others do the damage).
At my Chaotica table, though, Rogues aren’t allowed. Which is interesting. That means no one has Thieves’ Cant or Thieves’ Tools. Only the Bard has Expertise and part of it is probably in Performance. This means that the part will have to either find the key to the door, or they will have to use knock. That’s interesting.
Also, a lot less expertise at the table. That’s interesting as well. It limits the skills available, not that it’s been a crazy skill level game. we’re still early level, though.
Multiclassing just lost it’s king of the dip. EVERY class can benefit from a d6 of situational damage, a skill proficiency, and 2 expertise. Now though, the only thing you can do with just Dex is a dip in fighter, which isn’t bad. A BA heal, d10 hit die, and a fighting style that might not come up for your Warlock, but nothing wrong with a bit of extra weapon oomph.
Spider Rope, Spider Rope, Falling Creatures now have hope
I was calling this the “Grappling Hook” rule, but now I think I’m going to call it “Spider Rope” rule. The idea is one of those things that makes for lovely world build. At it’s core, there is a particular mechanic that can, on occasion, get very annoying: trying to get a rope anchored to the top of a thing for easy climbing. Sometimes, a DM will just say “Easy enough.” and you’re good. Other times, though, you have to make checks to throw, percentages to have the hook land, you do have a grappling hook right? great, now roll to actually climb…
Way too much and a player decided to make a rule to nix it. But in discussing the rule, there is some cool things that come of it.
First off, if you’re using two ropes? Totally can websling move. Second, as part of that, if you have a rope in hand, you can pull yourself to a wall or a ledge while falling. No check (for that part) that’s what this rule means.
You can totally websling to the top of a dragon or to an airship, if they’re in range.
Throwing the rope is an “invibile action,” so it can be done once on your turn as part of a move action or a Standard Action.
(Invisible actions are what I call actions that aren’t worth speaking about normally, but we can’t let you do too many of them. Like how you can draw a weapon as part of the Attack action. Only people who are switching from a bow to melee or who does two weapon fighting actually cares. But it sorta kinda matters. As much as the rest of the game.)
The Highground Rule
Advantage is such a COOL MECHANIC! The fact that it doesn’t stack means you can line up as many ways of getting it as you want, even if it doesn’t get anything extra (and I don’t have to explain to rogues when the gain or lose Sneak Attack thanks to Rule #14. Double awesome)
So this rule is about where your feet are, not your head. Climb a building, and you have advantage on a dragon. Face him Mono y Draconis, and the dragon won’t have advantage, cuz his feet are on the same ground as you.
Get a lot of use out of this rule, guys, because there are some VERY scary monsters out there. I’ve placed them on the map. I just need you to walk out a biiiitttt further…
Are even scarier. That is all.
I’m interested to see where the world heads from here. I like the removal rule, but I might have the free reign rule be “Pick a monster that is scarier.” and see what happens with that….