[PnP] Rediscovering this classic

Tanghe, Thierry thierry.tanghe at logica.com
Mon Sep 17 08:02:19 CEST 2012

I can't resist the pleasure to ad my (French) version of P&P : check this out --> http://meure.be    Rules version 2.2 are just out !
Happy playing !

From: pnp-bounces at abroere.xs4all.nl [mailto:pnp-bounces at abroere.xs4all.nl] On Behalf Of William Wilson
Sent: samedi 15 septembre 2012 06:00
To: The Powers and Perils Mailing List
Subject: Re: [PnP] Rediscovering this classic

Thanks for the feedback, both of you. :)  Paul - I saw your Two-Handed Weapon houserules on the site, and if I ever get a chance to run P&P, I'll be incorporating at least some of them!  With how intensely valuable shields are, it's good to see a reason to haul around a huge axe!

I think my confusion on the Characteristic Points bit was that I wasn't thinking in end-of-session or end-of-adventure terms; in the book, it looked like you got your XP and EP right after a fight, and the Char. Points were part of that.  This way makes more sense!

I'm a poly-gamer, myself.  I looove systems.  I like finding out what systems are good at, playing to their strengths, and against their weaknesses.  Old-school, new-school, whatever - as long as a game has unique strengths, and I can see some interesting bits to build an adventure around, I'm a fan!  I think that's why P&P has stuck with me all these years - there's parts of the system I have literally never seen anywhere else.  IMO, some work better than others, but I'd rather play a unique game that tries something innovative than a safe game that only builds off the past.  So I have a lot of respect for games like AD&D 1e, D&D 4e, Call of Cthulhu, FATE-based games like Spirit of the Century, and, yes, P&P!

So please keep in mind - I'm pretty critical in my extended review.  Part of that is for comic effect, but honestly, after initial dismay, I found that this game still charms the heck out of me.  I hope that shines through, as well.

On Fri, Sep 14, 2012 at 10:39 PM, Paul L. Ming <pming at northwestel.net<mailto:pming at northwestel.net>> wrote:

 My turn. :)

  First, P&P is an excellent RPG. The one thing you should keep in mind is that it was made in '83. That means that it expects that the readers (and participants) are expected to use their own brains to decide something that doesn't make sense to them, is unclear, or that they don't like. So, the old grognard rule of "If it doesn't make sense...change it yourself!" needs to be kept in mind throughout the entire session. I could go on and on about the "good ol' days", but not now...so....

(1) Magic Experience Points & Characteristic Increases.  Let's say I take some time to cast an EL0 Healing spell on my buddy.  I get MEP & EP for this.  Do I also get a Characteristic Point bump?  I'm guessing No, but I have no idea. :)

   Looking at the end of Book 1 (page 51 or so), it clearly states "Per 50 CEP" and "Per 25 MEP", the character gets a single Characteristic point. So if you survive an adventure and have accumulated 344 CEP and 47 MEP, you will get 7 Characteristic Points. In my game, I require that the PC try to 'spend' those points on an appropriate ability for whever they got the Characteristic Point from  (re: of the 7 above, spending 6 on 'physical' abilities and 1 on 'mental' ones). They can spend them wherever they want, but should try and make it make sense for their character.

(2) The "stickiness" of melee.  According to the rulebook, it looks like once you're engaged in melee you're stuck unless you happen to be faster than a guy who wants to fight you.  Is this pretty accurate?  I was also unclear if you got to counter-attack everyone who attacks you in melee, but I settled on "no."  The book is a bit confusing on this count...

   Well, basically, that's kinda the way it actually is. If a guy with a knife is trying to stab you in the gibletts to take your lunch money, you don't really have much of a choice. You can just turn and run, sure...but if he is faster than you, you're going to get stabbed in the back as you flee. Of course, if you try to use the environment to your advantage (re: weaving in/out of traffic, running around corners, street lamps, fruit carts, and garbage bins, for example), then you may have a chance of getting away. But there are no 'rules' for doing that...that's where the "grognards rules" come in. Basically, the Ref makes some shit up and you keep gaming. Hopefully after a thrilling chase scene! :)
  Of course, the rules are written specifically, IMHO, to *not* give "absolutes" with regards to stuff like this. That is --a GOOD thing--. One of my most hated 3e D&D things I can think of is all the "absolutes" listed for combat...especially "Attack of Opportunity". The 3e AoO's basically ignore common sense and list "if X, then Y", which shatters believability quite often during a chaotic melee. Example, a fighter facing an orc. Suddenly, a kobold runs by, directly behind the fighter. Using AoO rules, the fighter can turn 180 degrees around, swing at the kobold, then turn back 180 degrees to face the orc...all the while the orc just stands there and does nothing because the fighter "didn't move out of his 5' square". Luckily, P&P doesn't do this sort of thing often, and when it does it is typically followed by a common "Of course, the Referee should [make shit up] if it suits his game style".

If you want to check out my work-in-progress, the main posts are linked here: http://tradwiki.foxxtrot.net/index.php/FATAL_%26_Friends:_P-Q#Powers_.26_Perils_.28by_dwarf74.29  But there's some other comments interspersed.  There's bad language, and I range between admiration and frustration, so be warned!  But have no doubt, I still love this darn thing, and I hope it shows.

   P&P is one of my constant Top 3 game systems. It allows me to play a very "heroicly gritty" campaign...something I find no other game has allowed me to do. Having a system that allows a PC to obliterate an entire dragon with one spell, and yet that same PC could be killed by a single dagger thrust is hard to beat, IMHO. One of my best, most memorable campaigns was in P&P (using my own world of Shadowthorn). The PC's basically were glorified tourists...then walked all over my map, going from one interesting place to the next, and never actually doing any "typical story-based campaign stuff". We played that for about 2 years and everyone loved it...advancement was not a concern, nor was accumulation of wealth, power, etc. Basically, the players characters were all interesting enough that they didn't *care* about advancing "levels and stuff". Any game system that can support a 2-year campaign of "just wandering around and seeing stuff" has GOT to be good! :)


Paul L. Ming

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