Originally posted at Sword's Edge Publishing on January 14th, 2009
The first session didn’t totally sell me on True20. I realized this was partly my problem. I was still stuck in a d20 mindset. I missed the Minons rule, which would have made the combat with Hygelac’s warband fit my preconception. Also, while the iconic weapon concept I mentioned in my last post dealt with the combat competency gap, this could also have been dealt with--mostly--with the rules as written.
Here’s the thing: I started the characters at 3rd level to give them some experience. I chose 3rd level based on my d20 experience--the character is more capable, but is not yet nigh-invulnerable due to high hit points. Without hit points, I could have started the characters at 10th level.
Because the Toughness save doesn’t have level dependent bonuses, a 10th level character is as vulnerable as a 3rd level character, unless the 10th level character has burned feats on increasing his Toughness. I should have started the characters at 6th or even 8th level. That would have made them as competent as I had hoped, but would not make them tanks--the outcome of starting at such as level in d20.
A couple of problems remained, based on the conflict of my conception and the True20 rules.
Players would still choose weapons based on the mechanical benefits, or if they chose based on style, would face mechanical penalties. Giving iconic weapons a +4 damage allowed players to choose style over mechanics without penalty.
While a wounded character did have a penalty to most actions, it was not progressive. It was only applied once, no matter how many times the character was wounded. I changed that to a - 1 penalty per wound. It creates the kind of deteriorating condition for which I usually look.
Having addressed those problems with house rules, True20 is now chugging along very well. Truth be told, though, I have never met a system I haven’t house-ruled, so only applying two house-rules (so far) is impressive in itself.
One thing I couldn’t figure out and I need to research is the use of ranged weapons in melee. I know how d20 deals with it, but I couldn’t find anything in True20. Given that I totally missed the Minions rules, this may simply be my oversight. I’ll check back in later if I learn something more. As it was, the ranged weapon in question was an iconic weapon, so no worry.