Monday, 20 August 2012

To Buy Or, Not To Buy - Part #1: Fighting Fantasy

One of the biggest problems that a lot of gamers have with systems that randomly generate attributes based on dice rolls is that if they roll poorly, then they can be on the back foot from the word go.

In fact it is fair to say that every future dice roll in any given attribute reflects upon how well you rolled initially. If you get a good result to begin with, then you are certainly going to have an easier time of things when it comes to testing that attribute in the future.

So if you are unlucky enough to roll a one for your Skill in the Fighting Fantasy system, even a double-six in Stamina is unlikely to save you from the pummeling that you are likely to receive from even the most mediocre of foes.

That doesn't seem fair right?

A simple solution I have introduced to my solo gamebook sessions to resolve this, is a basic point buy system based upon the averages generated by the dice you would ordinarily roll to generate an adventurer.

All heroes using this system begin play with the following attributes and, 14 points to improve them:

Skill: 6
Luck: 6
Stamina: 12

Every point spent on an attribute will increase its value by 1 and, there are no upper thresholds on how high you may push any attribute.

Many people may think that this is a bad idea, opening the system up to "Min-Max" exploitation, throwing all of your points into Skill for example to create a character with a massive 20 Skill points.

Consider though that this same character would only have a Luck of 6 and, how often the average adventure may call upon a player to test it. Taking this into account it soon becomes clear that this form of rules manipulation isn't really a viable approach and that point buy systems like this actually encourage balance.

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