John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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Weird Numbers in IronClaw/JadeClaw [gaming]

I started building a JadeClaw character last night; I'll post the details of him when he's done and see what more experienced players think of him. But I've noticed something weird about the stat system.

The basic concept behind this character is that he's a tiger who started out as a warrior monk but whose order was wiped out, forcing him to turn to a vagabond kind of lifestyle to survive. (There's more to him than that, but that's the quick hook.) To that end, I worked on maxing his Brawling skill, particularly when using his claws.

But in IC/JC there are two major factors that determine your skill at any given endeavor, which are the number of dice, and the size of those dice. The more dice you have the better, generally speaking, if only to avoid a botch (which happens when you roll all 1s on a task). However, once you get past three of any particular kind of die, you quickly get into the realm of diminishing returns with that.

Between race, profession, an increased trait, and an extra trait IIRC (I don't have the character sheet in front of me), Fiery Mountain (the character) starts out with a Brawling skill of something like 2d8+d6+d4 when using his claws -- which means that his chances of rolling a botch are virtually nil. But on the other hand, he still doesn't actually fight all that well. The highest he can possibly roll is an 8, which is a respectable number but not likely to generate overwhelming success. In other words, having a handful of dice just means that Fiery Mountain never fails at being mediocre! 0.o

It strikes me as very weird, that with all these advantages stacking up in his favor, i.e., a race that has natural weapons, a profession that teaches him brawling, a martial arts-related trait, and so on, he's still not actually any better than a dabbler.

So in order to actually have him be good at fighting, I went ahead and spent the 5 points to give him a d12 skill die on Brawling, which suddenly gives him a Brawling skill of d12+2d8+d6+d4 -- several miles into the realm of overkill if I understand the rules correctly. I'm going to have to figure out a way to shift at least one of those dice off to another skill; probably the one from his profession (which is currently Escort). Besides just being able to viciously maul his opponents, I want him to be able to avoid and/or suck up damage. Dodge skill? Resolve? Hmm. Is there a "Soak" skill? ;)

More tinkering required!

-The Gneech
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