[PnP] initiative in Powers & Perils

Scott Adams longshotgm at comcast.net
Fri Apr 6 05:16:14 CEST 2012

I never was a full fan of the weapon priority system.  X weapon 
faster than Y.  Mainly cuase it was at times too much work.  I just 
never got into it.  I do use the basic movement system - ie Agility, 
MR, CEL, etc to determine who moves first.  That has worked fine for 
the last 25 odd years.  Its easy to chart out to figure out who moves when.

As was said earlier though Richard was famous  for his 'you make the 
rules' as one sees fit.  This is why liked this game over certain 
dungeon oriented one.  You can pick or choose and add to if you want. 
IF you wan tto have a ambidex person move before a Green Eyed guy 
then you can do that.

Was going to post to the  blog. But I hate those character things you 
always miss it by a letter.  Hate those things.  Here is what I posted.

P&P is as stated obviously not a system for the simple player or 
GM.  It does require some level of brain power than say a pot smoker 
who could easily play the vast majority of other games.  Not that all 
simple gamers are that way.  But the vast majority of all rpgs tend 
to have the six-pack-joe type that can cookie-place the game.  Give 
some teen a pair of dice and majority will play the most popular 
systems out there in no time.  But on the other hand there are some 
systems that are a bit more complex that require thought and 
patience.  For example some board games or miniature games require 
more than just tossing some dice.  P&P is the same but for teh rpg 
industry.  BUT with a good skilled GM even the confused players can 
have a good time.  I run about 26 rpgs of various genres.  Probably 
countless board games.  Miniature games maybe a dozen. It is in the 
skill set of a person to learn the game for themselves.  Back in 
mid'80s when we got the game at some Con we enjoyed it in hours not 
weeks.  Two years later at a con I ran a 8 player game in on session 
teaching new players who never even played it how to use the 
system.  Course I did have tons of prepared things like cheat sheets 
and such.  But if a new group can enjoy it in a few hours then I 
think anyone can with the right patience.

Some consider the system just another hack.  This can be debated.  We 
can go back to shakespere and find only a few story lines in 
history.  Does that mean some unique movie is not worth watching 
cause it was just a 'typical murder' movie?  The problem is this 
system is a love or hate it game.  GM and player will either love it 
or hate it on that awful first impression likely the first hour.  But 
is that the fault of the game?  The complex rules?  The bias of the 
player?  The bad GM who can only read some adventure text and not 
come up with his own original idea?

Given the chance 99% of my friends/players have enjoyed the 
game.  Only one player didn't seem to like the math.  Another player 
refused to play team player and created havoc because he didn't like 
the game.  Two out of hundreds.

The math is complex for some who don't like simple math.  They need a 
calculator to figure out the things needed done.  But then these are 
the same people who work at a fast food place and can't make change 
from a 5$ bill on a meal of 2$.  They need a cash register to figure 
out for them.  This isn't the fault of the game but of the person who 
decides to be just lazy or give a brass bit.

There are much more complex games out there.  Chartmaster a certain 
name we give to a X-Master game I'll not name that is so full of 
chart flipping that a typical combat takes a full hour for one 
round.  Sometimes details can be overwhelming and it is up o the GM 
to decide what is needed in their game.  This is why this game works 
so well it was designed on purpose to give that flexibility.  Frankly 
many other games out there do not have that flex nature.

I've done the system for almost 3 decades.  I've run a game 
constantly for the last 17 years.  Before that off and on for a 
decade or two.

I am biased I bit but aren't we all?

RPGs adapt and change.  We've seen it go from that certain dungeon 
style to complex visions of worlds.  We've seen rpgs rise and 
fall.  Now kids consider Magic or those other systems to be 
'rpgs'.  But P&P to me has stayed the same for the last 3 
decades.  We've seen this version and the Xth version of this game 
come out - even to the point of stupid changes or just a new trick to 
spend money on.  Yet you can get P&P in 2 boxes and that's it.  No 
suitcase of just side supplements to cover one aspect or a briefcase 
of rule boks that debate on one rule.

To me this game has stayed in my heart for that.  I'll still play the 
other games but I prefer to RUN and play in P&P.  It is tied to 
another game system (fantasy genre) which I like and nothing else 
really compares to it in the scope of creativity.  This doesn't mean 
P&P is BETTER than X or Y system.  Been there done that debate.  This 
is only my view.

Given enough brain energy and time anyone can learn the game and ENJOY it.

Don't want the game to allow one to have the Hand to Hand skill - 
much rather add a martial arts skill?  So be it!  Do it.

Sadly many other systems do not have that a good flex ability as this system.

Some say it takes a player 3 hours at least to generate a player.  In 
the first few months I could do that in minutes.  Now I could do a 
dozen full players in a flash.

Again this is just how one learns and handles the system.  Come in 
without a open mind then you will just see another hack.

I rarely get to play the game myself due to time.  In the last decade 
we did have 2 GMs run pbem games.  As with the vast majority of PBEMs 
out there they failed shortly after.  But I have done a pbem (still 
so - on my 5th adventure) since mid-90s.  Some with the same players.

Another aspect I like about the game is the fans. While we aren't as 
diverse as certain dungeon fans we have a tight enogh group that 
allows us to just have fun.  None of the "well the spell says it can 
do this but the 3rd edition said the movement was changed and the 
physics of the spell mechanics..." blah blah.  Debate to no end.

How many do you get to deal with the author personally over the years 
and help create a entirely new version/update as we did for version 2?

To think that I'm a 100% fan of the game isn't right either.  Sure 
there are issues.  Minor ones which I simply ignore or change.  NO 
game is perfect.  IF you believe that then you are in your own 
fantasy world and no need to play in another fantasy world.

My 2 Brass Bits.

At 01:27 PM 4/3/2012, you wrote:
>Hi all,
>i would like to ask you a question about P&P. From what i 
>understand, initiative in p&p is just a matter of which kind of 
>weapon you are wielding, am i right? (whereas for monsters they have 
>to take into account their OCV).
>This means that high values in dexterity is of no use to players. I 
>am perplexed a little bit because if this is true, it means that on 
>every phase there is always the same order of initiative, for instance
>1- player x with a quick weapon
>2- player z with a not-so-quick weapon
>3- monster with a low OCV value
>exactly the same as phase 1.
>I got it right?
>Could you make a short example of combat? thanks
>pnp mailing list
>pnp at abroere.xs4all.nl

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