Cold Iron Blackmarsh Adventures

Best Selling RPGs - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

ffilz

Legendary Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
2,171
Reaction score
3,715
One thing I need to work out is encounter tables. My original plan in trying to get Cold Iron rolling again was inspiration from Ben Robbins's West Marches with it's regional difficulty levels which would have meshed well with Cold Iron's class and level nature. Blackmarsh is a more organic setting so doing regional difficulty levels won't work as well. Certainly there can be adventure sites that offer different difficulty levels and there may be some areas that appear to be "high level".

One interesting read for encounter tables is this:


There's also this:


I'm not sure if Wizards and Dragons are the right choice for "always on the encounter table" for Cold Iron, and I'm not sure if a 2d6 encounter table has enough options on it, though with my thoughts on a limited set of creatures maybe that's OK, especially if sub-tables are used or something.

I need to work on how to determine the strength of encounters. In Cold Iron, everything has a Fighter Level and maybe a Magic Level. So is your Goblin 1st level, 3rd level, 8th level? And that really gets to the problem of difficulty level. Drop an encounter with a Goblin Wizard (8th level Magic User) and his 3 Goblin Champions (8th level fighters) on a low level party and the PCs are never going to want to venture outside the gates again. But make most of the encounters low level Goblins with an occasional mid level Troll and the high level PCs are going to tire of all these nuisance encounters (see why the West Marches difficulty level by region sounded like a good fit...).
 

ffilz

Legendary Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
2,171
Reaction score
3,715
Seeing as there has a already been some talk about character class and skill type stuff here, I’ll open up more conversation on that line.

Cold Iron characters all have a Fighter Level. If they are a caster they have Magic Level or Cleric Level. Characters also have Expertise Level that covers non-combat skills.

Skills (combat of otherwise) cost ((level + 1) * level) / 2 points. Fighter and Expertise Level each give 5 times that many points plus 5. Except Magic Users only get 3x+3 and Clerics 4x+4 from Fighter Level. There are various other intricacies but a notable one is that a fighter can actually use Expertise points to buy combat skills.

5 combat skills let’s a fighter be well rounded wIth Dodge, Hand Hand (grappling), weapon attack, weapon or shield parry, and a missile weapon.

My challenge is how granular non-combat skills should be to make non-soldier professions work well. Ideally a profession like Ranger or Thief should be 3 or 4 skills leaving one or two for social skills or a side skill (or two if skills aren’t taken at full level). This also allows for different levels of focus as a ranger or thief or bard or whatever.

I may handle some things by additional classes like a Dwarf Artificer that is basically a magic type level without spells but also grants skill points.

Any thoughts?
 

ffilz

Legendary Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
2,171
Reaction score
3,715
I was looking at robertsconley robertsconley 's Majestic Fantasy RPG for thoughts on skills but the skills in that seem a bit too broad for the 5 skills paradigm. On the other hand, RuneQuest is too granular (RQ1's Thieves Guild offers training in 15 skills). Even AD&D is a bit too granular. On the other hand, "thief" or "rogue" is a broad enough concept that maybe some specialization is appropriate.

I think at least Stealth, Sleight of Hand (pick pockets), Devise (locks & traps), and Climbing make sense. Then looking at other systems there's a variety of ancillary skills (Thieve's Guild has a bunch of sensory skills, D&D and RQ have listen and find/spot traps, RQ has camouflage , there's things like shadowing and disguise).

Cold Iron has an Alertness attribute so many sensory things don't need skills at all, and those that do can reference other skills (like "Sense Trap" can just be using Alertness informed by Devise).
 
Cthulhu Mythos - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com
Top