Words from the Wise (Guys)

Copyright Peter Mork © 2013

Edited by Peter Mork for The Guild Companion

Welcome to the 175th edition of the Guild Companion. This month we continue our serial converting the priests of Forgotten Realms gods into the format presented in Channeling Companion, looking at the Dwarven Gods. We also present some ideas about creating extra-planar creatures based on "mundane" creatures (which might be a bit of a misnomer in a fantasy setting). Next we offer new options for using Combat Companion with RMSS or RMFRP. Finally, a bit of poetry to brighten your day.

I wonder if it's a sign of age, but I find that I increasingly opt for simplicity in my games. Today, I'm thinking about initiative. Back in my college days, we used a modified version of CEATS (I no longer have any clue what that might stand for, and Google figures I misspelled "cheats"). At least in our version of CEATS, we tracked actions down to the tenth of a second, even going so far as to allow an interrupted attack to be completed, provided it would have been resolved in the next two seconds, subtracting -5 from the attack for every 0.1 seconds it was interrupted. We introduced similar complexity for handling missile attacks against moving targets.

Even old-fashioned D&D had a fairly complicated initiative system. Woe be unto anyone who tried to fully use the weapon speed rules!

And then came D&D, 3rd edition.

Instead of rolling initiative every round, you roll it once and then take turns. It's so—so—simple!

Despite continuing to play RMSS, I've fully embraced a play style in which, once it's your turn, you can perform up to 100% activity. This being Rolemaster, we had to tweak the parry rules to preserve the distinction between Snap, Normal, and Deliberate attacks (I guess I haven't totally abandoned complexity). But, the result is dramatically improved speed of play. (If nothing else, eliminating the declaration phase moves things along considerably.)

Until next month, may all of your Large criticals be open-ended.
Peter Mork
General Editor