The Tribulations of the Orachu Tribe is our latest 50in50 offering.
In The Tribulations of the Orachu Tribe, the characters encounter a feared local tribe, coming across the tribe when the characters need something, or simply by chance. The characters will be taken by the tribe and will be required to prove their worthiness in a series of tests.
I don’t want to give anything away but there is an interesting Rolemaster-esque point here. In one of the tribulations there are sharpened stakes upon which the characters could fall.
In Brian’s version he gives the stakes an OB and an attack table, in this case +25OB and the Spear attack table. I have used this same threat in some of my adventures but I tend to use “(x number) of ‘A’ puncture criticals” rather than an OB. On the A puncture critical table there are plenty of chances of no extra damage or just a couple of hits but chances are at least one stake will do something regardless of what level the characters are. With Brian’s version a +25OB means that probably most characters won’t take any damage as their DB will cancel most of the OB and the GM would probably have to roll open ended to ‘hit’.
Furthermore there is only one fatal result (a natural 00) on the ‘A’ puncture critical column. No one really wants the hero to die to a fairly simple staked pit trap or in this case a balancing beam style challenge. Heroes should die heroically, at least most of the time. With my version I don’t need to pull any punches knowing that the challenge could harm, hinder and challenge the party, there are still nasty wounds that can happen on the A critical. That 00 result is a severed vein leading to a heart failure but with life keeping plus vein/artery repair (5th, 7th and 8th level respectively) the fatality can be avoided. Even if your party are not 8th level those spells are ‘overcastable’ at a push.
In contrast an open ended attack roll is five times more likely than a natural 00 on the critical and that opens the way to much more severe criticals than just an A.
So for future adventure hooks which method would you prefer for pits and traps? Fixed criticals or OBs for attacks? Do you care? We can use this to improve our adventure hooks for everyone.