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Topic: Mature Mode: Perma-Death and More

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  • Mature Mode: Perma-Death and More

    Wilf the Sexy Wizard, my first character, has managed to, against all odds, survive his first evening of DQ... but I'm sure that won't surprise anybody - heroes don't (really) die.

    Or do they...?

    I can understand why the rules were written this way... kids /= ♥ consequences. Everyone likes a "Win Button", right? Of course not... some of us enjoy the sense of accomplishment and reward that comes from braving the odds, but making a tactical retreat when life (literally) depends on it.

    So, I introduced a few mechanics into my gameplay last night: Escape and (Permanent) Death.

    If you know the odds are stacked, or the dice just haven't worked in your favour, it might be time to get out of harm's way and finish the job another time. Wilf the Sexy Wizard was faced with this situation when, after a hard-fought battle that left him the apparent victor but nearly unconscious, his foe transformed into a vicious were-rat and resumed the attack. By the rules-as-written, I was faced with possible "death", at which point I would've transported to the map, miraculously regained full health, and been allowed to go straight back to battle. That sounded too easy-mode for me, so I upped the stakes slightly by deciding that I could: 1.) Press the attack against all odds, and probably die (permanently) in the process. 2.) Attempt to escape... failure might have drastic consequences.

    Escape works like this: Roll 2 dice and add your speed. Roll 2 dice for each of your opponents and add their speed respectively. Any abilities, such as "webbed", that you can be used to affect the speed of your hero or opponents will apply against all foes in an escape attempt. If your total exceeds that of your opponent(s), you flee to the map and are allowed recovery. Any ties between your hero and opponent(s) result in a new combat round. A total lower than that of the opponent(s) results in an attack by all opponents with a higher result.

    Perma-Death works like this: If you are killed, you... DIE! Roll up a new hero and start again.

    I have thought of a few optional additions to Perma-Death that are a bit more of a compromise:

    Miraculous Recovey: Upon death, roll 2d6. On a result of 10 or greater, you were simply knocked unconscious and left for dead. You may recover and resume play from the map. See optional rule: Equipment Breakage. On a result of 9 or less... you're worm food, or worse.

    Or for those of you who want a challenge, but just can't face starting over:

    Pummeled So Badly, My ________ Broke:
    (Or simply, "Weapon Breakage")
    Upon Death, don't die (it's great to be a hero!). Go back to the map, recover, and figure out how you're go to persist now that your _____ has been broken. Assign a unique number from 2 to 12 to each equipment slot on your body, excluding Money Pouch and Backpack. Roll 2d6. The contents of the corresponding equipment slot has been destroyed. Ouch! Hey, at least they didn't take your cash... or did they?(see optional rule: Just Kidding).

    So, that's all the ideas I've come up with for now. As I run into mechanics further in the book, I may have to make adjustments. I have to say, after playing in Mature Mode for a few hours last night, I found matters to be a lot more tense and exciting. I was sweating bullets as Wilf the Sexy Wizard was dragged down to 1 health by a huge, acid-spitting Alpha Worm from which he could not manage to escape in the darkness below. One lucky roll, and some help from his lightning ring, was the only reason Wilf was able to return to the surface alive, collect his hard-won coin, and go treat the adoring ladies of the village to a drink and tales of his heroics.

    Let me know what you think and feel free to suggest your own mechanics!


  • Re: Mature Mode: Perma-Death and More

    i was thinking about trying hardcore mode for my next hero like diablo. but perma death would be painful(no kiddin) later in the book cos you can die so easily to the legendarys if you underprepared. i like the rolling and using speed to escape. thats a good one and would work. losing equipment would really suck and later in act2 and 3 then would never work, you need the best items to stay competitive

  • Re: Mature Mode: Perma-Death and More

    I never found the immortal thing that annoying. I used to cheat in the old fighting fantasy books anyway when I died and couldn't be bothered to start over. This is the first gamebook I actually played properly till the end. That's a special achievement for me. At least he makes the effort of explaining it all in the story. Its part of your character.

  • Re: Mature Mode: Perma-Death and More

    There are quests where you can "die" and its game over for that quest. Like the counts ball and a couple of the Act 3 ones. They were my favourite ones, incidentally!

  • Re: Mature Mode: Perma-Death and More

    This is a great idea. i just wrote in the RuleFaq-Forum that i will play some kind of "advanced" game were i loose items in any way to make the game more exciting - otherwise dying would only be a possiblility to fully heal up during a quest --> no need for healing potions - and i could try a hard monster whose stats are fare better for lets say 20 times as long as i have luck and win - and get good loot very early in the game - but of course that would only be tactic gaming but no fun - i need a bit of a feeling that dying is a bad thing.
    I love your Item-Breakage idea but maybe it is really too hard later in the game - depends on how easy you can die - i will see.

  • Re: Mature Mode: Perma-Death and More

    Thanks for the great feedback and ideas. I can see how some of my original suggestions would need tweaking, especially in the later acts which I haven't experienced yet. Much like D&D, I can see that in later levels, the loss of equipment is pretty much a fate as bad as death. Since this game is very much influced by WoW, according to the interview with the author... perhaps another WoW-influenced mechanic may help balance out the proposed equipment breakage rule: Equipment Repair.

    Equipment Repair: When your _________ broke, so did your confidence. Time to consult a professional. This is one-of-a-kind equipment that is going to require serious skills and components to repair, so it won't be cheap. Add the sum of numerical values for Speed, Brawn, Magic, and Armor attributes of the equipment you wish to repair. Add an additional value of 10 for each Ability assigned to the equipment. Take this sum and multiply it by 10. The grand total is your repair bill, in Gold Coins, to restore this equipment to working condition.

    That means that anything with an ability is going to cost at least 50 gold to repair... expensive in the early game, but probably worth the expense later on. Since I don't yet know what kind of wage a hero is likely to earn later on, the above values may need to be adjusted.

    If you are thinking about playing the late game in hardcore mode with Perma-Death instead of (or in addition to) weapon breakage and repair, perhaps another alternate rule would be in order: Orb of Recall. Very Diablo-esque.

    Orb of Recall: Once you become a Sthuper Sthpecial Hero wandering in the very dangerous places (at least Chapter 2), considering investing in this staple of professional heroes at your local retailer. 250 gold suggested manufacturer price, comes pre-filled to capacity with 1 charge. Recharges cost 100 gold. Usage: In an emergency, simply touch your Orb of Recall and tap your heels together 3 times (or wish *really* hard, in case you can't move)... you will be immediately transported back to the Map. Your Orb of Recall no longer has a charge and must be refilled before using again. Once used, a personal-use portal will remain open on the Map for your Hero(only) to transport back to the location you recently left. This personal-use portal will close immediately after being used.

    Again... any thoughts are welcome. Take it easy ~ Apocryphim

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