Experience and Combat Changes

Posted in News, and Process
Tagged: experience, doubles, rules, combat, free-for-all, information

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

This one’s kind of a biggie that changes certain aspects of gameplay a bit, especially the change to combat. Continue reading to learn more!

I recently discovered a conflict between the rolling doubles mechanic and the learning experiences mechanic: if someone has a level higher than 1, then they have the possibility of never earning learning experiences because a majority of negative impact rolls (1) causes a character to get a learning experience point. The problem is that you can choose to roll bonus dice for each double you roll, which means that you can always modify a negative impact into a more successful roll, which prevents you from getting learning experiences. While it’s possible to skip the bonus die, I feel that the majority of players would rather not have the negative impact failure than they would like to gain learning experiences.

To remedy this, I have updated the rules to prevent double 1’s from being allowed to roll doubles. I also updated the assisting to specify that 1’s are able to create bonus dice when another player tries to help, just to ensure that if someone’s helping, you can still avoid negative impacts. I had a lot of different possibilities that I could choose between, like subtracting arbitrary values or replacing die values, but I ultimately landed on this one because it feels like the easiest option to remember.

I also realized that higher level characters have the possibility of getting significantly more experience than lower level players, so I updated the way experience points are earned. Now instead of earning 1 experience point for each failure-level die you roll in a Check, you instead get 1 experience point if you get at least 1 failure-level die in a Check roll. This way you can only gain 1 experience point from rolls, so the scale remains the same as you level up. I also added a section to the GM handbook encouraging GMs to award experience points whenever players do something difficult, which should offset the decreased rate of earning experience points.

Finally, the biggest change I made is to the combat system. Before, it worked as each player taking turns based on how well they rolled their Gumption, but this can lead to some boring stretches that don’t make much sense in the context of the story. I’ve changed this to what I’m calling a “free-for-all” system where fights take place in approximately 5-second intervals where each character can take 1 turn at any point. This way, you can introduce more tactics to your fights by choosing when two characters might attack together or deciding to attack last so you can get an immediate second hit at the start of the next round. The only time where a Gumption-based turn order goes into effect is at the very start of combat so everyone can get an idea for how the characters react to a fight breaking out. I feel that this style of combat lends itself a little bit better to the free-form feel of GUTS+ as a whole, and it also allows for a little bit more narrative intrigue.

Leave a comment to let me know what you think! I hope you enjoy these changes and that they end up making your GUTS+ games a little bit more interesting and fun!


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