1 August 2019

Rules Worth Stealing

Reading through the rulebook of Encounter Critical, I happened upon several rules that I wouldn't mind in the least to see adapted in other games.

Low Attributes, High Skills
Rolling low for attributes is infuriating. Sure, such character is still playable, but it's hard to shake the feeling they are bad because of the low scores.

In Encounter Critical, low attribute scores boost some of your skills - low Strength gives bonus to Logic and Scholarship, low Robotic Nature increases your chances of Seduction, etc. As you'll be rolling your skills much more often than attributes, low stats don't make your character worse, just specialised in different direction.
Adventuring party as should be!

Class Quests
Every class in Encounter Critical has its own inbuilt mini-quest that must be finished before you can increase in level. Quoth the rules:
  • A warrior cannot go up a level until he defeats an equal or more powerful foe using a new kind of weapon.
  • A criminal cannot go up a level until he commits a new kind of crime.
  • A pioneer cannot go up a level until he discovers a new locale or secret of the wild.
  • A psi witch cannot go up a level until she wins a battle blind.

There is even a place on the character sheet to write the deeds down, so the player can later review what helped them achieve their levels. Not only does this add a layer of flavour and personality, it also doubles as easy back story if you make your players come up with the deeds that raised them from 0th level NPCs to level 1 adventurers.
Cyaborg planetary ape.
Great Companion
Every warrior eventually attracts a great companion. This will be a monster mount such as griffin or space monster (25%), an equestrian mount of great endurance and intelligence (50%) or a shield mate, a warrior or like mind and half the warrior's own level, who is absolutely loyal (25%). This occurs when the warrior gains a level, but the exact time is uncertain. There is 15% odds each new level; those odds do not accumulate. Roll every time the warrior goes up in one level. The warrior's great companion is once in a lifetime.

For any swords & sorcery game, this rule is pure gold.

Amazon warrior and her great companion,
from High Couch of Silistra.


  1. Those are all very solid rules to borrow!

    Have you seen the Troika! initiative system? I haven't playtested it yet, but it looks promising...

    1. I haven't used that type of initiative, but I think Lexi tried something similar and did not like the random end of round:


  2. The Great Companion rule is giving me a serious His Dark Materials vibe. I freaking love it. Gaining the attention and respect of a spirit like that is a graduation for an adventurer. For a HDM game, mix it with the class quest rule. A character must gain the respect of their unique soul bound spirit to go from level 0 to level 1. Maybe that's what distinguishes adventurers from normal folk.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I need to make a soul-bound familiar table.