ARES dungeon crawl! Again!

Unit-based, continuous action, fantasy skirmish game

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smokingwreckage
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ARES dungeon crawl! Again!

Postby smokingwreckage » Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:57 pm

OK, so I'm thinking that I will double range penalties and that spell effects will be by squares-to-the-side, rather than radius. This is to make up for the very cramped quarters. I haven't thought more than that about range, but for spell effects a 2" radius becomes a 2x2 square. I think only heroes will get to borrow actions. No cavalry except in special circumstances: maybe wolf riders and other low-slung cavalry might be allowed. For now, no traps.

Did the yahoogroup have rules for repeating weapons? I might need that for chain lightning and magic missile type attacks.

Also: initiative will be broken into hero turn, monster turn, for simplicity. As the Monster player I plan to take it pretty easy on the heroes, so the enhanced coordination shouldn't be a problem.

I'll be playing this on the D&D Dungeon Tiles using whatever miniatures I have to hand. Miss soon-to-be-ten will be the hero! I just have to convince her not to play a dragon just yet.
-Sam

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Re: ARES dungeon crawl! Again!

Postby smokingwreckage » Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:57 pm

Well, my dear daughter directed two rather powerful warrior-women into a small dungeon we made up from the D&D Dungeon tile set. We played I-go-U-go, and without any form of looting or XP system yet. It was a simple series of rooms leading to an ancient crypt: known denizens of the region were a bunch of giant rats, some zombies, and a giant spider. Morale was ignored.

The first three giant rats were dispatched without incident, but two rooms in the sheer number of the hideous things nibbled heroine 2 into unconsciousness. Heroine 1 slaughtered the remaining rats and dragged her unconscious friend to safety, having failed to find any healing potions (6 on a D6, once per room or hallway) and inadvertently rousing a Skeleton (1 on a D6 while looking for potions), which she easily dispatched.

Thoughts:

Power and Dice: I don't have any D4, D8 or D12, which is a problem. This game ran on "heroes get D10, monsters get D6" but there's not much room there for advancement. I'd prefer monsters and mages on D4, heroes on D6, with D8, D10 and D12 for enormous monsters, magical weapons, etc. That would be Heroic, Mightily Heroic, Legendary and Godlike power levels, 4 grades... a bit like Fudge.

Morale: I think roomfuls of living monsters should maybe take morale checks like a squad, or something. Maybe. If I care enough. Which I don't.

XP and treasure: this is a tricky one. It would be nice to hand out Gold and let the player spend it on a variety of gear... but that's work, which is time, which I don't have. For one-off games it's no problem, and it's not really a game-breaker at this point, but Dungeon Crawls are meant to have Loot. It's... it's just not right without loot.
-Sam

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Re: ARES dungeon crawl! Again!

Postby smokingwreckage » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:24 am

I have now cribbed Ares "Up close and Personal" and will incorporate those rules, using numbered tokens rather than cards.

The Ares Yahoogroup has proved a source of extra special abilities and weapon stats.

Having read through the Swords and Wizardry .PDF I'm not sure whether there's much to be said for attempting to migrate the game to ODnD or ADnD style rules; Ares is easily competitive with ODnD. Ares magic is better and the combat cleaner, and wounds versus hitpoints isn't much of an issue. The one thing Ares doesn't do is levelling. I'm ignoring the fact it doesn't do attributes per se, since plenty of RPG systems don't, or disconnect them from skills in some way.

Most kinds of attacks can be resolved with Ares as-is; physical and magical attacks are all covered. That leaves psychic and morale effects (covered by Morale and applicable abilities) and disease/ poison resistance, assuming I want to go into that kind of detail.
-Sam

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Re: ARES dungeon crawl! Again!

Postby smokingwreckage » Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:11 pm

The adventure continues!

I have downloaded for future cribbing all the Ares_variants y!group files.

Tonight's game returned to a hero turn/ monster turn initiative, with each figure moving and attacking before the next. The dice pool still works OK, and held actions can be added later. This turn sequence seems simple and fun. A little unbalance in what works when is fine and acceptable in the dungeon-crawl genre!

I've been testing the waters with some weak monsters, b-movie/computer game style zombies, a few skeletons, some giant rats. I don't want to commit TPK out of inexperience!

I think I might add a single-die stat for "resistance", ie a one-stop-shop for elemental, weather "other" effects that aren't exactly physical effects and aren't exactly direct magic either. Anything I can visualise and describe as an outright physical or magical attack works off outright physical or magical rules as per Ares.

I added a "toxic hunchback" super-zombie tonight, with Regeneration and Persistent. I ruled that Regeneration works in combat as well. Call it "Improved Regeneration" if you like! I also ruled that Persistent could be cleared with additional healing successes over and above a full Healing. The Persistent was the horrible caustic slime dripping from these disgusting monsters.

Tim The Warrior very nearly got dissolved, but was rescued by Elizabeth the Elf with her zero-range Heal. The female centaur got so many successes on one attack a description seemed necessary; she tripped a zombie with her staff, smacked him in the head with the same staff, and then, at my daughter's insistence, STOMPED HIM THROUGH THE HEART.

It was awesome.
-Sam


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