Rolemaster Deconstructed: Action Resolution Mechanics

Happy Holidays and Seasons Greetings! This is going to be a short post and not as well thought out; I wanted to link to a few RMForum comments and the ICE website is still down with an expired domain. (That’s not good for brand equity). So while I wanted to dive deeper into skill bonus and penalty ranges I’m going to skim over that for now and just open up any thoughts on d100 resolution.

While Rolemaster is a d100 system, success is measured in a variety of ways and using some different mechanics.

Maneuvers: This is probably the most “pure” mechanic where a success is a 100/101 or better modified by penalties and skill bonuses.

Combat: Weapon tables go to 150 and there is no real emphasis on a 100+ result. There are a number of penalties and skill bonuses.

Resistance Rolls: RM uses a lvl vs lvl chart to generate a threshold number the resister needs to make.

SCR: hmm..I haven’t used this one is so long I forgot how it worked in RM and RM2…some sort of table?

Anyway, the point is that those are 4 different mechanics that seem close..maybe close enough to “unify”? Can we design a 101+ mechanic for all action resolution? The hardest one would be combat; giving up the individual weapon charts would be hard for me! Has RMU mostly done this? Does this need be fixed?

22 Replies to “Rolemaster Deconstructed: Action Resolution Mechanics”

  1. I think your initial assessment is flawed. Manoeuvres are not 100/101+ You actually have a graduated resolution from Absolute success, Success, Near Success, Partial Success, Failure and then down to Absolute Failure and then Blunder.

    I think trying to shoehorn everything into a 101+ success/failure is an unnecessary constraint. If we simply accept that RM is forever going to be table based then you can still retain your individual weapons tables but you could push them to +276 if you wanted. That would bring MM and combat resolution into the same scale.

    In RMC static manoeuvres are on a scale of -26 to +176 so stretching the results to -201 to +276 is not really that big a change.

    The SCR in RM2/RMC was a table with the result showing either spell failure or a mod to the targets RR and columns for realm and armour worn. The scale was 1 to 100 with spell failures at the bottom and big bonuses for UM99 and UM100 rolls. You could achieve a nicer result expanding that to the -201, building in spell failures in the low results and up to +276 losing the massive jumps from rolling a 96 vs rolling 99. Now the roll would be OE. Everyone loves rolling an OE result and it was something stolen away from spell casters unless you were hurling elemental attacks.

    If SCR rolls now go from 1-100 to -201 to +276 we could roll in resistance rolls? D&D had saving throws to halve the damage from fireballs and whatever. RM went to attack rolls and your DB saved you or it didn’t. A character could have a property of “Magic Resistance” or individual Essence/Channeling/Mentalism Resistances which behaved like a DB for magic.

    I can even imagine graduated effects. We already have effects that are 1 round/10 points of RR failure. If the SCR table, rather than listing damage and critical had points of effect and critical type steps (A-E) then Sudden Light would still do variable rounds of blinding but something like Sleep could put people into varying numbers of rounds of ‘magical sleep’ from which they cannot be woken depending on the final SCR roll.

    Does that make any sense or am I rambling?

    1. Concerning the base attack in RM2 I think it is over-complicated. I managed to rearrange bonuses to convert the resolution into a competetive roll. I have to emphasis that the result it exactly the same. Attacker rolls and adds his/her bonuses. Defender rolls and adds his/her bonuses. If the attacker has the higher result he/she wins. The “failiure” is simply the difference between the two results.

      My two major point here are:
      1) I think there are two ways to determine success. On one hand against a set threshold. And on the other hand against another roll.
      2) If you want to convert stuff into 100+, you definitley can do it.

      1. I agree completely. That is why I like the way RMU has reworked the base attack spells, which is essentially the same way you’ve done it: make it a simple opposed check. Then you don’t need to consult two different charts — or any charts at all. It is much easier than the RM2 resolution mechanic.

  2. I’m not sure moving RMU into a flat 1-100 result table for all actions is going to work or even be any fun. I can’t deny that RM has tons of charts and tables and it can certainly be streamlined for RMU, but at what cost? There will be a threshold we cross from “RM variety” to stock dagger/sword/axe/2H sword choices. The freedom and variety is what drew a lot of us to the game system years ago.

    The weapons tables, attacks, and damage results could be pared down certainly. The static maneuvers, as stated earlier, range from -26 to +176. I’ve always loved that feature as 100+ didn’t guarantee that the roller automatically “absolutely succeeded” at everything. There is success and varying degrees of success.

    For my gaming group, I’ve always used the MM table differently than what was probably intended in the rules. I love that there are varying degrees of difficulty that not only effect the dice roll, but also the results across the board. A net roll after modifiers of 75, isn’t going to give you the same result in the next difficulty column. A net roll of 75 on Mundane doesn’t yield the same result as a net roll of 75 on the Normal column and is also different on the Extremely Difficult column, etc. That is an ingenious feature. It’s not a flat out “You rolled 75 for impossible difficulty and you rolled 75 for Normal difficulty… OK you both succeed.”

    Now here is where I use the MM table differently. I never liked the flat out “the result is 80 so you succeeded 80% of your goal…” I was trying to pole vault over the pit. I can’t succeed 80%. I either make it or I fall in! How we handle things is thus: GM chooses a difficulty, perhaps informs the player that “it looks very difficult”, player rolls the skill, +/- modifiers. The GM refers to the chart, the result is given in words or the result is a number “80.” The player has an 80% chance to succeed…. the player rolls d100 open-ended*. 80 and under, the player succeeded at the task. No more jumping 80% of the distance across a pit, then making a second attempt. You had an 80% chance to succeed… you did! YAY!

    * Now I mentioned “d100 open-ended*” It is open ended because even though a task seems simple enough, sometimes people just blunder, no matter how simple the task is. I’ve seen people go to open a door and they hit themselves in the face with the door. Was is an “Extremely Hard” maneuver top open the door? Were the negative modifiers on the person to open that door? No. Sometimes S#!+ happens and you just plain blunder. I’ve walked into a door. I was in a fun house at a carnival and walked into a glass wall. I’ve seen people trip over their own two feet on a flat surface.

    The way the MM table is written, it can fill the needs of several charts and I’d hate to see that disappear. If it did, I’m pretty sure I would still use it in RMU anyway.

    In regards to the 150 threshold on attacks… I’ve mentioned this in the forum as well. Elemental Companion has 6 attack tables meant to represent the varying powers and purity of elemental force and those attack tables go to 300 yielding J-Criticals. The “Normal Attack” table can be substituted but this will not account for the different weapons and how each weapon yields varying crits and damage which brings us to a cross roads…. A) use the 3-4 attack tables in RMU that go to 300 with J-Crits, reducing the number of weapons choices to 1H, 2H, Blunt, Arrow… or B) We have the variety of attack tables we have now but extend them to 300 in RMU.

    So we’ve come full circle. How much variety do we take out of RMU to make it less chart-intensive than Pre-RMU? At what point does it become so simplified that it’s like playing a popular D20 game?

    1. I think I agree. Charts are not a bad thing. I have recently reviewed Mutant:Year Zero for another blog and their basic mechanic is d6, d66 and d666. Everything is chart based because a d66 has 36 different possible results and that is too many to carry in memory for probably 99% of GMs. 36 criticals on the critical table is no that great but even they have more variety built in. For example we would expect something like “Foe dies in 6 rounds.” They get a result like…
      “Internal Bleeding”, Fatal wound in D6 minutes, You suffer one point of damage for every roll you make to Force, Move or Fight. If you do not die recovery takes 2D6 days. In that game a successful medical skill test can stabilise a character with a fatal wound if they have not already died. The addition of the random time until death element turns this one result into six possible results.

      The point is that the random encounter tables are probably 1d6, criticals are d66, 36 results in a full page table, random treasure tables are d666, 216 results in a multi-page table. This is one of the most popular games of the past 3 years. To give you an idea of its popularity, a kickstarter for one of its supplements had a target of 50K Swedish Krona, it actually raised 755K Swedish, 15x its goal. If tables were ‘toxic’ then such a popular game would not have them as a core mechanic. They have had enough time to learn the lessons of the past.

      So I don’t see a need to lose tables. I do like the idea of unifying things into a coherent system and RMU does a lot of that. I have a real gripe about the RM2 skill system. Some skills like moving in armour and spacial location awareness are bought to reduce penalties, some skills work on a +1 per rank such as Ambush and the original stunned manoeuvre. Some skills like weapons and musical instruments have increasing skill costs the more you learn. Some skills have prerequisits such as Martial Arts Rank 2 requires rank 1 etc. Some skills come with unique one off rules such as disarming and quickdraw where you can end up throwing your own weapon away. There is absolutely no coherent structure there because most of the supplements were written as house rules for individual campaigns and then published. It was ourselves that frequently adopted this mishmashed bucket of slops and called it canon.

      I would like to see more granularity in the RMU combat tables in so much as I have no problem with shortswords being bonus daggers but I do not see two handed swords as big broadswords.

  3. I just threw that up to create some conversation–I didn’t have a lot of time to think it through. One of the things I’m playing around with is level-less RR’s but still maintaining spell attack level to model potency.

    I’ve already moved poison/disease to difficulty based rolls like SM. Any thoughts?

  4. @Spectre: I think the way you are doing Moving Manuevers is actually not that unusual. We do the same thing (if a maneuver is an all-or-nothing thing like jumping a pit, and the result is 80, then we roll percentile dice with an 80% chance of success). I am pretty sure we did not come up with that ourselves; it must be either in the core RM2 books or the Companions.

    The SCR rolls and RRs in RMU have been simplified. You just roll the SCR, and the result is the number the target needs to resist. It is essentially an opposed check. Doing it this way eliminates an entire extra roll as well as the need to consult a chart. Instead of rolling an ESF check, then an attack roll, then consulting a chart to find your RR bonus/malus, then consulting another chart to compare levels and see what the actual RR roll needed will be, you just make one roll, apply mods, and that is what the target needs to roll. The RMU systems is a huge improvement, IMHO.

  5. PeterR, you mentioned some skills and I agree that they could be considered “throw away” skills or that they simply do not behave the way the other skills do; Ambush, Disarm Foe, Body Dev, etc. To try to address those skills in particular, I tried to find ways to either utilize the skills more or to make them worth having.

    Ambush: I made it a skill such as setting up a successful ambush or finding a suitable location for an ambush, not simply modifying the crit roll. This is also used vs. Sense/Ambush Assassin skill of the target. I assigned IN/RE as the stats.

    Stalk/Hide: This was split into two skills. Stalking – actively moving about stealthily and hopefully undetected. Hiding – Locating and/or staying in place hopefully undetected. Hiding was assigned SD as a stat modifier. This too is used vs. Sense Ambush Assassin.

    Maneuver in Armour: If one is wearing armour, then any actions requiring success/failure would use MIA. Diving off a runaway cart, Climbing, Swimming (difficulty increased because of armour of course), Tightrope walking (Difficulty Near Impossible if wearing plate, Extremely Hard if wearing Chain, etc…) and so on. That worked well for a few decades. This past year, with all of the new PCs being created, I’ve gone back to using the MM penalty subtracted from the desired skill. There hasn’t been much data collected yet as these PCs are still low level and quite a few opted for armour with no penalty save for missile weapons.

    Body Dev: This one has been extremely difficult but any time there is a call for a ST roll or Endurance, rather than use the ST bonus, I allow Body Dev (CON stat) to be rolled. It felt more reasonable that being able to succeed at an endurance task, or feat of strength was more than simply how strong one is. A lean/trim Martial Artist can break several boards with technique, conditioning, training just as easily as the muscle bound dock worker can use sheer strength to accomplish the same feat. The dock worker could probably lift 150+ pounds where the Martial Artist could barely lift 100 pounds.

    1. I don’t use a Ambush for setting the ambush and I don’t have the Sense Ambush skill. The setting of the ambush is easy enough to role play that I don’t really need a skill check for it.

      You see I would disagree that tightrope walking was nigh impossible if you were wearing plate. I admit I have never done this but applying what I do know to what I don’t and my logic goes like this… In horse riding the primary attributes that keeps you on the horse are core strength and balance. I assume that the core attributes in tightrope walking are almost certainly core strength and balance. Therefore if you can ride a horse in plate then you should be able to tightrope walk as long as you could tightrope walk NOT wearing plate and you are adequately trained in wearing plate. To me that logic stands up. After all it is just mass and relatively stable, it is not like trying to carry three sacks of enraged monkeys which one would guess would move unpredictably.

      Body Dev I have struggled with. If it is a skill and it can be trained then presumably it involves some kind of physical conditioning training. All the wizards I have seen played never once mentioned doing circuits during the evenings around the campfire but insisted on buying a couple of ranks in BD each level. So should the PCs have about 30 #hits at first level and just stay there or are they all wizards built like hulk hogan by the time they are 7th level? I have gone for a semi fixed number of #hits based upon the characters Con stat plus half SD stat plus any racial stat bonuses. This gives a fairly fixed figure that only improves with stat gains. It removes BD from the Dev Point economy and it gives 1st level characters a lot more #hits and longevity when starting out. You have done something similar by starting people at 5th level to achieve the same sort of level of #hits.

      My main beef was that every other skill seems to have its own exception or mini house rule. This is simply a symptom of rules being developed in isolation and is one of the things that RMU has addressed.

      I am a minimalist and tend to strip out anything that I feel does not significantly add to the game.

      Incidentally, if you go to fixed #hits rather than the BD skill, use spells as skill rather than spell list gain rolls, which is the norm in RMU and point buy for stats, which again is presented as an option in RMU there is absolutely nothing random in character generation any more. You can no longer have one player forever hampered by a set of stats that is not entirely bad but so much worse than the other characters that they constantly have less DPs to spend, so less skills, so less option to earn EXP which leads to slower levelling and the circle perpetuates itself.

  6. To a certain extent, I think this debate goes quite beyond skills and subsystems to what kind of game you like and how much effort you and your table are willing to make in order to have your chosen rules work. It’s clear that we have a pretty polarised set of positions here (I’ve probably made it obvious where I stand…), but Spectre hit the nail on the head for me when he asked how simple the game should be – and if it is to be completely stripped back, what are we left with? One might as well play Swords & Wizardry (good game, BTW) and use a house-ruled Arms Law as a plug-in.

    The cogent question, to me, seems to be: what is Rolemaster? Is it the crit tables, spells structured by lists, the 10 stats, the wry humour, stat-derived DPs used to buy ranks, Background Options, the skill system, open-ended d100 rolls? Is it all of these, or only some of them? Rolemaster was built as an improvement on D&D, and aiming for a greater degree of sophistication (I don’t say realism). It achieved that – not to everyone’s satisfaction, I’m sure – but the original rules, despite their eccentricities, still hold up pretty well. The problem, if problem it be, is that RM got big: multiple elaborations proliferated throughout the companions and navigating these is by no means a simple process. There’s stuff I like, stuff I loathe, stuff I adore.

    Gosh, I sound like a Rolemaster grognard, but that’s not my intent. Maybe I can illustrate my point a bit better by recounting a recent event: my 3-year old son is fascinated by my polyhedral dice – dice of all kinds, really – so my wife and I bought him a box of dice as a stocking filler. Long story short: the box contained sixty-odd dice, including a full set of old-style polyhedrals, almost exactly like the sets I had when I was in my teens. Just looking at them gave me a fierce surge of memory and excitement. All those dice did different things in-game. Damage dice, hit dice, rolling stats, rolling attacks. I remembered just how it felt to make things happen with those dice. I never objected to using different dice to do different things, I just wanted to do them. I never cared that there wasn’t a clear central mechanic, to which we could reduce everything, I just wanted to play, and later, to tell stories. Subsystems and oddities didn’t prevent me from telling stories, they enabled a sense of mystery and sparked my imagination. They certainly didn’t preclude designing new options and rules. I must confess that, although I really like much of RMU, I consider it part of an ongoing ‘flattening’ and rationalisation of Rolemaster, a process that started with RMSS, and also includes HARP.

    So my point is this: if you reduce RM to single mechanics, you lose something. Is it more or less than what you might gain?

    1. I know my answer to the question you pose. When I started this blog I did so with three objectives. 1) To promote Rolemaster, 2) Related to (1) was to encourage Forgotten Realms GMs of ‘the other system’ to try RM and 3) to provide playable material in the forms of adventures, monsters, items, spells and dare I say it house rules the types of which you can find on D&D blogs and fan sites all over the web.

      That was the plan and to some extent there were no plan. I just explored what was possible both technically, within my means, and my knowledge. The first time I tried to publish an NPC I got slapped down by ICE because is violated their intellectual property to show the spell lists, not the actual spells just list of what spells the NPC would use. For nearly two years I put out 2 blogs a week with virtually no feedback beyond the very occasional comment.

      Now, taking into consideration the general criticisms of RM, deserved or not, typified by Rulesmaster, Chartmaster and Rollmaster etc. AND the desire to bring more people into RM a desire to simplify and streamline RM is a valid method of trying to reach out to people who have never played RM but have been brought up on the significantly lighter weight games such as FATE. RM is not actually that rules heavy compared to Pathfinder or even many versions of D&D. Its reputation for complexity is, in my opinion, undeserved. I think it comes from the mass of optional rules which many GMs imported wholesale into their games. As GMs we added the rules bit by bit as the companions were released but to a new entrant to the system it was an all at once deluge of rules, skills and options spread out over many books.

      Again this just my opinion, but so many of those options related directly to character creation and that directly impacted peoples first impression of Rolemaster. To spend 3+hrs in creating a character and then to have it die in the first fight was not a major selling point. I have seriously seen it suggested that a deer is a suitable challenge for a starting party in RMU. Not an orc or goblin but a deer. Just how many evil deer are their plotting to bring down the great elven nations? Who knows?

      Anyway, I am digressing! There is no harm in these deconstruction posts. They exist to make us question exactly what this skill, spell, rule or whatever is actually about and could it be implemented in a different way?

      I am a natural minimalist and as I take rules out of RM the game plays faster, there is less time lost at the table checking for rules and referencing books. I guess I am looking for distilled essence of Rolemaster. For me Rolemaster is a hand crafted character defined by its skills and played in hope of that elusive open ended roll, combat is dangerous and graphic and for the characters nothing is impossible.

      My first comment in this thread was that I felt that if there was an effort to unify things into a single mechanic then I thought the broader spectrum of results afforded by the MM table was my preference. The reason for my preference is that it makes the open ended roll more valuable if the bigger the roll the better the result. If one uses 101+ success or failure then a roll of 200+ is sort of a disappointment.

      You ask if you reduce RM to single mechanics, you lose something. Is it more or less than what you might gain? and my answer would be if you reduce the right things then you make RM better for us all and the potential new players who have never had the fun that we have all had. Somethings stand up to the scrutiny and others don’t. Some people are using the basic MERP combat system that fitted in about 4 pages, criticals and all, for me that is a step too far. I would be happy to see RMU expand the combat tables. That is not a reduction at all, it is a point at which More is More. The hodgepodge of RM2 skill buying methods, resolution methods and consequences that I mentioned above may be quaint but I think makes RM harder to grasp for a new player and GMs and slows down the game for even experienced players as we, or at least I, cannot retain all the core rules and 7 companions in my short term memory all at once. I have enough trouble with my own NPC’s names, races, skills and mannerisms.

      Your opinions are just as valid as mine or anyone else’s here. Spectre likes all his skills and starts play at 5th level to get the best balance of capable characters and breadth of skills. I on the other hand have gone with less skills but each skill enables you to do more and each character gets more #hits. Is there any difference? It is the same net effect. I may not have a Sense Ambush skill or a Body Development skill but then I have balanced the DPs in my game so people can buy enough skills to define their character. It is all swings and roundabouts.

  7. Thanks for the answer: my own post was somewhat of a ramble and didn’t quite put my finger on what I was trying to say – I was also wrangling the aforementioned 3-year old who had ‘mistaken’ toothpaste for sunscreen…he now smells like an after-dinner mint. Anyways, it wasn’t so much an opinion as an intuition, inaccurately apprehended and poorly communicated!

    Although I may have inadvertently suggested otherwise, I think the deconstruction posts are great: always food for thought! I guess I was aiming to say that I’d hope for a reconstructed RM to retain the romance, so to speak.

    Agreed that the MM table is a good basis for a central mechanic – especially as it potentially generates a number of readings, as you and Spectre pointed out. I like your distilled essence of RM, incidentally: that sums it up for me too. You’re also quite right with regard to the vast range of options proving daunting to a newcomer, I’ve seen that in RM for myself – and experienced it myself as a Pathfinder neophyte.

    Anyways, I’m off to write up a plotline for a new campaign in which evil deer team up with disaffected badgers to overthrow civilisation.

  8. “Anyways, I’m off to write up a plotline for a new campaign in which evil deer team up with disaffected badgers to overthrow civilisation.”

    That was wonderful!

    I just meant to point out that there is another resolution mechanic not really outlined in the original article: opposed checks. An RR is kind of like an opposed check (even more so in RMU, where it is a simple opposed check), but there are other maneuvers beyond RRs that are best resolved with an opposed check. Perception vs. Stalk and Hide, for example. The way I like to do it is the person with the Perception makes a skill roll; let’s say it is 87. That then is the number the Stalker has to roll to escape detection. Mods for circumstances can then can be made to either the Perceptor or the Stalker’s rolls (e.g. broad daylight gives +75 to Perceptor, absolute darkness gives +50 to Stalker, etc.).

    In regards to the wider questions about whether streamlining is better than complexity, my rule is basically Occam’s Razor: don’t multiply entities beyond necessity. That means that if a rule can be streamlined without sacrificing any functionality or depth, then it should always be streamlined. So I like the streamlining of the SCR.

    When rules can’t be streamlined without sacrificing functionality, however, then you have to make the decision as to whether simplicity is more important than functionality. The best example is the RMU weapon charts. In an effort so reduce the number of charts in ‘Chartmaster’, the designers make the same chart do double duty for both broadsword and two-handed sword. A Two-handed sword now uses the same chart as broadsword, but does more hits (determined by a size multiplier) and more severe criticals (+1 severity). But you really do lose some functionality when you do that: both weapons now have the same critical threshold (i.e. the point on the weapon chart where the weapon starts getting criticals), whereas in the old chart the two-handed version started getting criticals much earlier on the chart. That to me is functionality that I am not willing to sacrifice on the altar of simplicity. The RMU system is simpler in the sense that it requires fewer charts, but more complex in the math it requires players to do (players now have to calculate from the broadsword chart how many more hits a two-handed sword will do; there is no two-handed chart) and the variety of the weapons is eroded. That is something I think still needs addressing.

    My own current hack, by the way, is just to make the two-handed sword be a broadsword +15 OB, rather than a broadsword +1 size. It isn’t a perfect solution, but at least it does allow the weapon charts to retain some of the depth of RM2’s weapon charts.

    As you can tell, I think the weapon charts are one of the essential features of Rolemaster. I can’t imagine (and wouldn’t want to play) the game without them. That’s just my 2 cents of course.

    1. I totally agree with you about the +15 but I would suggest one little change. Do you remember the chart below? If you started with a base +15 you could adjust a Bastard Sword to +10 vs heavy armours and +5 vs light armours when used 2handed, The Claymore you make +10 vs heavy armour and +20 vs light and a No Dachi +20. All it would take a tiny reference table, one line per weapon to make them much more unique. Keep everything in round +5s and +10s and it is a non math type solution.

      Arms Law Weapons Stats Chart

      1. Yes, you could actually do something like that, and in some ways it would be better than the current RMU system (at least for two-handed weapons). The only problem I had with that system was that it did require quite a bit of bookkeeping when a weapon had different bonuses for soft leather and chain, and another different bonus for plate. It was hard to remember, especially as a GM. I could get behind something like that, though, to fix two-handed weapons, and if the rules also offered charts for them, especially for the two-handed weapons. Even if the Bastard Sword just used the broadsword charts as its base, so long as it had the bonus against lighter armor types (and the lesser bonus against heavier) baked into the charts, then I would be happy: because then we would have two-handed weapons that were appropriately deadly and worth using, and my players wouldn’t have to do any math.

  9. The comment about deer reminded me of something I read by Bill Webb (Necromancer Games/Frog God Games). He runs a game mostly home ruled around the original D&D rules, with bits of Swords & Wizardry, and a little bit of 3.x and Pathfinder thrown in. So it’s fairly low fantasy and pretty dangerous.

    In the wilderness, there are few monsters wandering around. They are largely found in dungeons; the reasoning being that if there were dangerous monsters wandering freely, the human race would become extinct (as it should probably be in Morrowind and Oblivion!).

    This is a quote from The Sword of Air:

    “…I have killed characters with goats, deer and even domestic cattle over the years. Likewise, roleplaying events can easily be made out of these common encounters (e.g. “You killed a deer! The deer was the property of the local lord, and now you must pay restitution”).”

    1. I have an adventure outline on RPGnow about Aurochs and having them stampeding though a dungeon. They are much more dangerous than the orcs that rustled the cattle in the first place.

      I had read this article and thought I would intentionally set out to create a cool NPC from Chult, just because I can.

      1. Yes, herbivores can be a lot more dangerous for carnivores. Carnivores generally attack for food, or perhaps to eliminate a threat, and are reluctant to get injured so badly that they can’t hunt. Herbivores can attack because you looked at them funny.

        Regarding that linked article, I think we’ve mentioned before that too many fantasy settings are just reskins of cultures from our past.

  10. I’ll not discuss deer. They are all evil and I’ll not be caught up in the mix.

    When I bought my house last year, it was the start of summer and the in-ground pool was calling my name. After a battle with the electric company to get electricity, the pool pump was up and running, the chemicals all balanced, and it was a hot 98 degree day. I finished my shift at the FD and head to my brand new home. Mind you, we still hadn’t slept in it yet, we were still moving things in, but the pool was ready.

    I arrived at the house to have the neighbor come jogging up to me. “Oh, we had some excitement at your house today. There was a deer in the back yard.”

    “Oh. OK.”

    “Well it had a broken leg, so we had to call D.E.M.” (Department of Environmental Management)

    “Ummm. OK.”

    “Well they had to shoot it.”

    “OK, well that happens. As long as it’s been taken care core of.”

    “Well we were going to have Derek shoot it because he’s a hunter but it’s illegal.”

    “OK. Thank you.”

    “Well, when DEM showed up they scared the deer and it tried to run.”

    “It had a broken leg, I’m sure it didn’t get far. Haha.”

    “Well, they scared it and it jumped into the pool and that’s where they shot it.”


    “Oh… by the way, you really should lock your gate. You have a pool and all.”

    “My gates are locked. I made sure of it.”

    “No they’re not.”

    “Yes. They are. I made sure they were locked, I’m the only one with the keys right now.”

    “Well you didn’t lock it today.”


    So… DEM did indeed shoot the deer in my pool. There was blood, fur, urine, feces in my pool, all over my deck. They dragged it across the deck, through the backyard where it finally let go completely and left a pile of feces again. Then the blood bath in my driveway where they had to try to hoist it up onto the truck to take it away. They didn’t clean anything, leave a note, or notify me of what had happened.

    Oh… and I was right. The gates were locked. The deer broke the latch and hasp on the fence when it went blasting through the gate.

    Stupid neighbor.

    1. Whilst I will not defend the deer; on a different day, in a different but parallel universe the deer could have been a alligator, no one could have noticed, no one call the DEM and you could have had a really nasty shock if it had followed you into the pool. So swings and roundabouts.

      1. This past summer, there was another deer in my back yard drinking from my pool. Mind you the fence is 7′ high but he managed.

        I’ve since posted a sign that reads “TRESPASSERS WILL BE SHOT.”

        I’m happy to report no deer have visited my pool since.

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