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Old 06-12-2020, 03:27 PM
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Sword &Sorcery Conversion for 5e Feedback

Hello fellow GM's. I am planning on running a campaign in Primeval Thule, but wanted to really ramp up the sword & sorcery genre specific elements (more deadly combat, low magic, all human PC's, etc.).

What started as a simple exercise has turned into a S&S conversion guide, which I have aptly named Blood & Tears.

I am looking for any feedback of any kind about the rule options I have selected, if you find them easy/confusing to understand, have you seen them used before to good/bad effect, etc.

Anything would be helpful.

Thanks,
-SR
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Old 06-12-2020, 09:40 PM
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Hi Silent.

You've put a massive amount of work into this. I'm really impressed.

In terms of feedback, probably too much to write out in a single post, so I'm going to start off with two:
1. Love what you've done with AC. I don't know if it'll work in practice. It'll need playtesting. But the concept is great.
2. I notice that you've reduced the amount of hit points every level after 1st level. It's something I've toyed with in the past, but I think you need to compensate by giving the classes slightly more hit points at Level 1. Otherwise, I think you get to the point where the deadliness is too exaggerated, especially spell damage. That may be okay in a book or movie, but in a RPG it kinda sucks if your characters keep dying and there doesn't seem a lot you can do to avoid it, except avoid getting into combat in the first place. With S&S, violence is the option of choice, and you don't want to discourage players from pursuing it.

Anyway, hope these two comments were of help. I may post some more as inspiration hits me.
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Old 06-12-2020, 10:11 PM
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Thanks for the feedback, Telcontar.

In regard to the low HP after 1st, my thought was since death saves are removed and all players can go up to -10, that would provide a cushion right out the gate (of course, by going negative, they are also taking critical damage and rolling on the critical dmg table).

Do you think that is still too harsh? As you said, I'm trying to find that balance between hard, but not too hard.
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Old 06-13-2020, 01:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent Rain View Post
In regard to the low HP after 1st, my thought was since death saves are removed and all players can go up to -10, that would provide a cushion right out the gate (of course, by going negative, they are also taking critical damage and rolling on the critical dmg table).

Do you think that is still too harsh? As you said, I'm trying to find that balance between hard, but not too hard.
I don't think you end up with a net balance.

At Levels 1 and 2, the changes result in more effective hp, in exchange for hits being auto-crits under 0 hp. It's not perfectly balanced, but it's workable.

The main problem will be as the characters level. Their lack of hp will become more and more pronounced. By Level 4-ish, even with them able to go to -10 hp they'll have less effective hp than they would have had in standard 5e... and the bottom range of that will be with hits becoming auto-crits. That's where survivability will become an issue, particularly against spell damage (which typically scales up with level).

I'm not opposed to the idea of making combat more deadly for players. But the inevitable consequence will be that players will start avoiding combat in favor of other methods (stealth, negotiation, trickery, etc). That can be fun, of course. But is it the outcome you want for your game?
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Last edited by Telcontar; 06-13-2020 at 01:23 AM.
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Old 06-13-2020, 02:03 AM
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I see your point. One thing I was considering doing, but had not yet implemented, was removing nearly all of the direct damage spells. This is actually in line with other low magic S&S rpg systems.

This would resolve the damage creep that scaling spells have and hopefully re-balance the low hp the characters have. As you said, it would really need to be play tested to get a feel for how it balances out.
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Old 06-13-2020, 08:02 AM
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If you want to bring 5e closer to S&S, you might want to check the Dragon Heresy. It changes the rules to make a Viking*-inspired setting, which is much closer to the desired "feel".
Also, no, going by Howard and Lieber stories, violence isn't the preferred tool in S&S stories - it just happens a lot despite this!

*Technically it should be Northerners-inspired, but whatever!

Last edited by AsenRG; 06-13-2020 at 04:15 PM.
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