AFG is a game that welcomes tinkering. I wrote it so that parts can be easily taken out, replaced or defaced without making the rest of the game suffer. And while I’m very happy with the 5MORE mechanic, I have a few totally awesome 100% not rigorously tested home rules that you might want to try. I initially considered presenting only the ones I like best but, well, sometimes my standards are really low. Also, I love tinkering with rules. I really do.
In 5MORE experience points don’t influence the rolls until all 6 EXPERT letters are collected (I kind of realised now this sounds like Bubble Bubble’s EXTEND). The alternative is, when a character with some experience in the task misses by 1, either treat is as a partial success or roll 1d6: if the result is less or equal than the experience, the check is successful.
In some situations some experience is enough. Maybe if the character is very familiar with the circumstances of the task (“I hunt a lot of bears, that’s what I do”) or the task is kind of basic (preparing alchemical components). In these situations give the +1 modifier even if the character has 3 (or even less) EXPERT letters.
Instead of choosing the MASTER task when the 6th EXPERT task is gained, the character accumulates MASTER letters on a single EXPERT task of choice. Experience rolls for MASTER letters can only be attempted after an unmodified 6 on a 5MORE roll, and the MASTER letter is gained only on a natural 6 on the experience roll itself. The first time that happens, erase EXPERT from your character sheet and write down that big M letter next to the task. Yay you!
This replaces MASTER rules, and is worth trying for Engineers as they keep on making a ton of Engineering rolls. After a character becomes EXPERT, more EXPERT letters are accrued on specializations, and specializations bonuses stack. So if the engineer Tikola Nesla is already EXPERT in engineering and were to succeed an engineering experience roll while fixing a steam engine, she would get an EXPERT letter in Engineering – Mechanical. After becoming EXPERT in that, all 5MORE rolls on Engineering – Mechanical are at +2 and Tikola can now gain expertise in, for example, Engineering – Mechanical – Automatonic eventually getting a +3 on that if these giant robots don’t rebel and squish her first. Keep in mind that as more experience is accrued, the expertise coverage becomes narrower and narrower.
A specialisation tree for a steam-fantasy or tech-friendly fantasy setting might look like this:
- Automatonic (giant robots. Also less than giant robots, but why would you ever?)
- Arcane (where the best and brightest make magic and technology meet without uncontrolled explosions)
- Brain-valve Interfaces
Allow character to spend time and money training. Simply grant some EXPERT letters or experience rolls. Maybe grant letters up to EXP, with the rest to be gained through experience rolls. If you feel super-kind and have one of these long-term “more or less domain game” campaigns, allow a free experience roll for each season on whatever characters are busy doing, even without training. And to keep things interesting, never let that last T to be gained through training, let them sweat for it in dangerous situations. 😉
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