Task Resolutions

The BFRPG rulebook has optional rules for general task resolution in the Ability Rolls section on page 153. I use this but want to adjust the listed target number based on the difficulty of the task. As I want the bonuses and penalties to be somewhat consistent, I’ve put together a list of difficulty ratings based on D&D 5e’s Difficulty Class rule.

Each difficulty rating has a suggested Difficulty Adjustment (DA) value to add or subtract to the BFRPG Ability Roll target number. The DA doesn’t have to be exactly the numbers below. It could be any number in between.

  • Very Easy (DA -10)
  • Easy (DA -4)
  • Medium (DA +0)
  • Hard (DA +4)
  • Very Hard (DA +10)
  • Nearly Impossible (DA +14)

For example, Pedro the Level 3 Fighter with a Strength of 17 wanted to lift a heavy boulder that is blocking the group’s path. I decided that this is a Hard task. As a Level 3 Fighter, his ability roll target number is 16. As he has a Strength of 17, he gets a +2 bonus to his roll as normal.

Since this is a Hard task (DA +4), his actual target number is 20 (16 + 4). All he has to do is roll the die and add his +2 Strength bonus to it. If that adjusted roll value is 20 or above, he successfully moves the heavy boulder out of the way. So due to the +2 Strength bonus, he effectively needs to roll 18 (18 + 2 = 20) and above to move the heavy boulder.

There is really not much of a need to hide the actual target number adjusted by DA. However, for perception checks and some passive checks, the actual target number may be kept from the player making the roll so that the player doesn’t know if they actually succeeded or not.

Medium should be the default difficulty. Easy and Very Easy difficulties should not even need a roll to succeed unless the character is under stress and failure would be dramatic. Hard and Very Hard should only be used sparingly or in areas known to be very perilous (as the PCs go up in level). Nearly Impossible should only be used if the task shouldn’t be doable by anybody except the extremely lucky.

Thief abilities, racial abilities, open doors, and so on will continue to use the current rules as written except Ability modifiers could adjust the chances (Dexterity for movement-based rolls, Wisdom for detection-based rolls, Intelligence for knowledge-based rolls and Strength for force-based rolls). For percentage chances, each +1 modifier bonus is +5% improvement. For 1 of 6 chances, add the modifier to the chances so that a +2 of Strength gives the PC a successful open doors roll if she gets 3 and below (1 on a 1d6 becomes 3 [1+2] on a 1d6).

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Character Class House Rules

On top of the normal benefits a character gets for his/her class, I have additional Class benefits for the PCs.

Fighter

  • Pick one special skill at levels 1, 3, 7, 12, and 18.
    • Berserker:
      • Level 1: Before the initiative roll, choose to go berserk to gain +1 to hit and +2 to damage, but at the cost of -3AC. Stay in berserk mode until the fighter decides to end it at the end of a combat round before the next initiative roll.
    • Brute:
      • Level 1: Do +2 melee damage.
    • Healer:
      • Level 1: Can Heal a number of hit points equal to 2 plus their Charisma modifier. Can Heal once per day with an additional heal every odd numbered level.  So, it’s once per day at level 1 and twice per day at level 3, thrice a day at level 5 and 4 times per day at level 7 so on.
    • Sharpshooter (chose weapon):
      • Level 1: Gain +1 to hit and +1 damage with a chosen ranged weapon (chose upon picking this option).
      • Level 2: For the same weapon in Level 1, gain +2 to hit and +1 damage.
      • Level 3: For the same weapon in Level 2, gain +2 to hit and +1 damage and increase attack rate (the original rate of fire of once every two rounds becomes once per round; once per round becomes twice per round; and twice per round becomes thrice per round).
    • Swashbuckler:
      • Level 1: Gain +1 AC when wearing chain mail, lighter armor or no armor.
      • Level 2: Gain +2 AC when wearing chain mail, lighter armor or no armor.
      • Level 3: Gain +3 AC when wearing chain mail, lighter armor or no armor.
    • Weapon Master (choose weapon):
      • Level 1: Gain +1 to hit and +1 damage with a chosen melee weapon (chose upon picking this option).
      • Level 2: For same weapon in Level 1, gain +1 to hit and +1 damage and rate of attack is at 3 attacks every 2 rounds.
      • Level 3: For same weapon in Level 1, gain +1 to hit and +1 damage and rate of attack is at twice per round.

Magic-user

  • Arcane Blast: This is a bolt of raw magic. The Magic-User doesn’t roll anything, but the target gets a save vs. magic to avoid all damage. The bolt has a range of 30 feet and does 1d3 damage. Since it is pure magic, it will affect creatures which are only affected by magical weapons, but does not affect inanimate objects.
  • Cast Cantrips (Minor Magic): Magic-users are allowed to cast everyday magic at will. This is usable once per round if no other action taken. This ability is for non-combat use only. Attempting something abusive fails automatically. Abusive uses include pickpocket attempts, combat effects, etc.
  • Detect Magic: Can be cast at will. No spell slot is required and it’s automatically known.
  • Read Magic: Can be cast at will. No spell slot is required and it’s automatically known.
  • Spell Bonus based on Intelligence:
    • 13 to 15: +1 Level 1 spell
    • 16 to 17: +2 Level 1 spells
    • 18 above: +2 Level 1 spells and +1 Level 2 spell

Cleric

  • Cast Orisons: Clerics are allowed to cast minor divine magic. Clerics can cast a number of orisons per day equal to their level plus their Wisdom modifier. For example, a fourth level Cleric with Wisdom of 14 can cast 6 (4 + 2) orisons per day.
  • Turn Undead: Can only be used once per target creature per day.
  • Spell Bonus based on Wisdom:
    • 13 to 15: +1 Level 1 spell
    • 16 to 17: +2 Level 1 spells
    • 18 above: +2 Level 1 spells and +1 Level 2 spell

Thief

  • Hit Dice of 1d6: Instead of 1d4.
  • Knife Fighting: Cause 1d6 damage with daggers, knives, dirks, stilettos and similar weapons that normally deal only 1d4 damage.

 


I feel like there’s not much going on with Fighters as they level up except for getting better at hitting things and getting harder to kill. With 3 Fighters on the team, I want them to be able to differentiate themselves as well as look forward to some cool abilities when they go up in level.

I want the Magic-users to be using magic more, even if it’s not powerful magic, rather than try to help the party out by clumsily using weapons that they aren’t good at.

Having started running RPGs using AD&D 2nd Edition, I’m partial to having Thieves get d6 Hit Dice instead of a d4. So I changed that and also made them better dagger wielders.

For Clerics, I want them to be able to do some extra healing so I allowed them to be able to use Orisons (from the 0-level spell BFRPG supplement) for a limited number of times per day. Also, I depowered the Turn Undead power for now. If I feel that it’s not up for abuse anyway, I can always turn off the restriction.

Modified OSR character sheet

For the campaign I’m running for my friends at work, I wanted them to really continue playing the game after I’ve introduced the concept of a tabletop RPG to them. Part of that was to use what it thought was the most visually appealing character sheet in the list of Basic Fantasy RPG character sheets I could find.

The one I picked was the BFRPG version of the OSR character sheet from James V West. My players loved it so much that I’m going to start using it for my other game group as well.

However, after playing for about four sessions, I made some modifications to the original sheet that will hopefully make play run smoother in my own games.


I asked James V West on Google+ if it was ok to share the modified version of his wonderful sheet for any who might be interested and he was ok with it. Thanks!

If you are interested, you can get a copy of the PDF here.