Thursday, November 8, 2012

Barovania Difficulty Settings

So Zzarchov, Scrap and Joey have been throwing around ideas on how FLAILSNAIL's GM's can limit the use of strange powers or items coming in from some of the various universes without shutting someone down completely. These are all fine ideas and well within the spirit of the community that has sprung up around these campaigns.

Initially I thought adding to the list of ways to do things, but truth be told I'm pretty sure the problem isn't things coming into my games so much as leaving them.

So I scrapped the idea, figured I'd leave that to the people who've already proven to be proficient in it and try policing my own damn game instead. I've noticed that my adventures tend to vary quite a bit in difficulty, usually depending on the subject matter and methodology involved, so why not quantify that for player use?

Each Barovania session should be assumed to be in NORMAL mode, unless stated or requested otherwise by myself or the players.

EASY MODE - Sometimes a light touch is preferred. PC's are considered "Knocked out" at zero hit points and won't die unless abandoned (or otherwise kept from) their friends. All powers from other games are in full effect and characters of all levels may join in. Expect "Save or Ow."
The DM may give hints, but punch will not be served. Dungeon Maps will be drawn for the players as they go along.

 NORMAL MODE - Characters are unconscious at zero hit points and will bleed out at a rate of one hit point a round in till they are stabilized, either by healing magic or a successful wisdom check by another player. Players may bring any sort of character they like to the game, but the DM reserves the right make calls mid-game if stuff gets all wonky. Expect a variety of "Save or _____", including "die".

The DM is not your friend at this level, but he doesn't hate you enough to laugh too hard when you get eaten. The DM will draw Dungeon Maps as the players go along as with EASY mode.

HARD MODE - Characters are dying at zero hit points and have 1d4 rounds to be stabilized before they are dead for good. Players may bring any sort of character they like to the game, but special snowflakes can expect to be targeted ruthlessly by monsters in till they are eviscerated on the ground. Some more out of scope powers may be revoked, but the player will be warned ahead of time. Monster's "Number Appearing" and "Hit Points" will be weighted in favor of beasties. Expect "Save or Die", "Save or Screwed" or "Save or wish you were dead".

This is the level where the DM likes to smile, gleefully. He will not draw a damn thing for you, save your character getting eaten.

NIGHTMARE MODE - Characters are dead at zero hit points and can expect to be eaten or torn apart unless their bodies are recovered quickly by their friends. Only Standard Barovania characters are allowed.

"Number Appearing" will be weighted in the favor of monsters and "Hit Points" will be automatically at maximum value for them as well. "Save or die" will be prevalent and you can expect the DM will be keeping ACCURATE TIME RECORDS and demanding who is holding the parties' light source whenever its pertinent

The DM will draw out personal threats and mockeries on a misleading map for you at this level..


  1. Does the mode affect - not our XP, but our relatively nebulous "score"?

    1. I ought to make a "high score" picture to send to people, come to think of it.