😊 David Perry @ 2019-10-28 14:07:27
Are there any common/established hacks/house rules of old school D&D combat that are very freeform? As in, ask what the PCs do and then determine the results by roll under/ability checks? Spurring the question: https://twitter.com/DeePennyway/status/1188194332764975104
😊 Paolo Greco @ 2019-10-28 16:08:29
Adventure Fantasy Game has the 5MORE system that does pretty much that and also lets you learn skills from it, but it does not have a metagaming framing like the one discussed.
😊 Alistair Langsford @ 2019-10-29 03:34:54
If you’re looking for something that fits in with the ‘standard’ 6 stats, in the trad 3-18 ish range, then - The Black Hack is a roll under your attribute system that seems quite freeform. - Knave is a roll high system, based on rolling d20 plus your attribute bonus to beat your target’s ‘defense’ (which is based on their attribute). It is classless so everything is pretty much based on attribute checks. You could adapt its methodology to any DnD game really by just using that game’s existing stat bonuses, though if it was an older game where your bonuses were -1 to +1 you’d perhaps be better off using the stats themselves per TBH, or STAT-10 per Knave. - the White Hack and Macchiato Monsters are also built on roll under type mechanics.
😊 Alistair Langsford @ 2019-10-29 03:39:03
OR: you could even adapt the mechanics from Into the Odd, really. You’ve just got 3 extra stats than ItO to use for various ‘roll less than or equal to’ when it comes to rolls in general, but ItO just goes straight to rolling damage. A roll vs a stat is more like a saving throw if someone comes up with a plan to avoid damage or do different damage (e.g. force someone off a ledge so they fall into a pit) and then it is, based on the situation, the character/creature most at risk that rolls (check the free version of Into the Odd for more on this...).
😊 Bryan Mullins @ 2019-10-30 01:02:54
All the procedural checks in basic leading to the moments right before a fight are all...non combat. Encounter, distance, light?, surprise?, reaction roll... What I’ve seen from that point on usually has to do with table culture. In Gus’ Apollyon game, you blew out your candle and hid from the the things approaching...they’re usually undead and higher level...if they clearly can be talked to you try to weasel out or Buffalo them depending. Bribe monsters with food, drop treasure... That sort of thing is
😊 Bryan Mullins @ 2019-10-30 01:04:25
Some of that is procedure but the choices made around them...how to respond, how to leverage...are all pretty “freeform” given the frame.
😊 Bryan Mullins @ 2019-10-30 13:50:08
To me, the Reaction roll, perhaps modified by a roll under stat check that yields a -2 to +2 on the Reaction would fill this bill nicely. It basically works out to a WoDu roll or like a DW ‘Parley’ right? I’ve certainly seen roll under persuasion style checks used to modify a reaction roll. I have also used in my own games a “talk die” to show about how many interactions the thing is willing to tolerate before it defaults to its reaction / disposition roll. Like d4 talk die is impatient or hard to communicate with like a beast. If you roll it after every attempt to interact, you can set the range of how likely it is to default to its first reaction. Say you’ve given the beast some food, so it’s about 1 in 4 likely to tolerate another reaction. Then you count up. 2 in 4, 3 in 4... then times up.
😊 Eric Nieudan @ 2019-11-07 22:59:46
Love the idea of the talk die! Speaking for my own game, I think Macchiato Monsters would be able to handle the situation described in the thread. No initiative order, freeform actions, stat checks... Only problem could be the time scale: if someone fights, we're expecting their turn to be 6 seconds or so. While someone who's attempting parley will only roll after a few minutes. I'd happily rule that everyone gets a turn and a roll, with their action being resolved globally. The duelist goes back and forth and manages to damage or takes damage; the diplomat makes progress or doesn't; the thief sneaks past the enemy and recons the way ahead...

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