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Subject: Home Made Rules to Simulate Character Advancement rss

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Joe Ferguson
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I know no one else is really playing this game. I also know that many people had issues with there not being any character advancement. So, I give to you something I'm playing with. It is obviously not complete, but hopefully, someone will read it and offer ideas and suggestions.

These rules are an attempt at creating a way for Dragon Strike heroes to advance. By letting the heroes advance, this opens the game up for campaign playing.

The overall idea was not to deconstruct the original rules, and then reconstruct new rules to accomplish this task, but instead, it was the intent to keep the original rules and add something simple that worked well within the confines of the original rules. The result is what I call Experience Learned Abilities, or ELAs for short.

ELAs are a set of cards for each hero that reflect knowledge that the heroes may gain while adventuring. For example, if a warrior has fought a great deal of Orks in his career, then it makes sense that he would eventually learn some of their tactics, and have an easier time in fighting other Orks. Or a theif, through many attmepts at lock picking in his/her career, may begin to quickly be able to figure out the internal workings of a lock and be able to pick them easier.

These ELAs are were a simple answer to a simple set of rules. Some ELAs are cards that are simply laid out and remain in play during the adventure. Others are single use items, but may, in fact, be taken multiple times. There should be enough choices to be made when selecting ELAs that allows for differences between two or three of the same class. For example, you may have one warrior who excels in the fighting of Orks, while another warrior excels in fighting Bugbears. One warrior may be better at using a shield, while another is better at dodging attacks.

With ELAs, we can then begin to assign levels to characters based on experience points. Heroes start their first adventure at level 1, and then gain experience based on treasure collected and/or monsters killed. For example, we could say that a character gains experience points equal to the hit points of a killed monster. Experience points for treasure could be worth the treasure's value divided by a certain number, or the DM could assign experience point value to the treasure.

Once a character has enough experience points, he/she may advance to the next level and immediately choose ELAs that they feel would be best for their character.

Advancement could look something like this:

(Level/ Points / Total number of ELAs for the Level)
1 / 0-99 / 0
2 / 100 – 199 / 1
3 / 200 – 299 / 2
4 / 300 – 449 / 3
5 / 450 – 599 / 4
6 / 600 – 799 / 5
7 / 800 – 999 / 6
8 / 1000 – 1299 / 7
9 / 1300 – 1599 / 8
10 / 1600 – 2000 / 9


So, a level one warrior would not get any ELAs until he/she has reached 100 experience points and become 2nd level. Then that warrior would get 1 ELA. When that warrior reaches level 10, he/she would have a total of 9 ELAs that are available to him/her.

The Warrior ELAs

1) Saw it Coming – Allows the Warrior to dodge one single attack from an opponent that hits. Discard after use. Can be chosen multiple times.

2) Shield use Expert – the Hero gains a +1 to armor class so long as the warrior has in posession a useable shield and is using it. Not compatible with Dagger Expert Secondary Weapon Use. This card is laid out at the beginning of the adventure and remains in play.

3) Counter – Allows the Warrior to immediately roll an attack for a single attack AFTER an opponent makes their attack. Discard after use. Can be chosen multiple times.

4) Dagger Expert – If the hero has a dagger, and a one handed main weapon, he may now use the dagger as a secondary weapon, giving him 2 attacks per round (one with main weapon and + d8 for dagger). However, if the character is using a shield as well as a main weapon, this card cannot be used. This card is laid out at the beginning of the adventure and remains in play.


4) Secondary Weapon Use - The hero may now use a secondary weapon along side a one handed main weapon. A secondary weapon cannot be used if the main weapon is two handed or a shield is being held. Lay out this card at the beginning of an adventure and it remains in play.

5) Knowledge of Ork Tactics – The hero has learned a great deal of how Orks fight. He gains +1 to his Armor class when fighting Orks. This card is laid out at the beginning of the adventure and remains in play.

6) Knowledge of Bugbear Tactics – The hero has learned a great deal of how Bugbears fight. He gains +1 to his Armor class when fighting Bugbears. This card is laid out at the beginning of the adventure and remains in play.

7) Intuitvie Fighting – Allows the Warrior to roll 2 dice during a single attack and choose the best roll. Discard this card after use. Can be chossen multiple times.


The Theif ELAs

1) Understanding the Trap – Allows the theif to roll 2 dice during the disarming of a single trap and choose the best roll. Discard this card after use. Can be chosen multiple times.

2) Knowing Where to Look – Allows the theif to roll 2 dice during the searching of a single trap and choose the best roll. Discard this card after use. Can be chosen multiple times.

3) Value Estimate – The thief has approximate knowledge of the value of gems and other treasures. This card is laid out at the beginning of the adventure and remains in play.

4) Expert in Dagger Use – The theif is an experienced dagger user. He/she gains a +1 to all combat rolls when using his/her dagger. This card is laid out at the beginning of the adventure and remains in play.

5) Understanding Dungeon Design – The theif instinctively knows the best place to place a secret door. The theif automatically finds any secret doors without having to roll. However, he still must declare he is searching. Discard this card after use. Can be chosen multiple times.

6) Intuitive Climber – The thief intuitively knows where to grab when scaling walls. He/she may reduce the dexterity feat roll by roll by 1. Up to 3 Intuitive Climber cards can combined on a single climb attmpt. Discard any Intuitive Climber cards after use. Can be chosen multiple times.

7) Lock Knowledge – Theif quickly understands the mechanisms behind the lock. He/she may roll 2 dice when attempting to pick a single lock and choose the best roll. Discard this card afer use. Can be chosen multiple times.
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Joe Ferguson
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The Wizard ELAs

1. Intutitive Magic Resistant – The wizard expected the spell. Any one Save vs Magic gets to add a +1 to the roll. Discard this card after use. Can be choosen multiple times.

2. Staff expertise – The wizard has learned some tricks to using his staff in close combat. Treat any attack made with a staff as a d10, instead of the normal d8. However, these attacks are non-leathal, and any monster reduced to 0 hit points is merely knocked out. Lay out this card at the beginning of the adventure and it remains in play.

3. Magic Trap Resistant – The wizard felt the energy of a magical trap about to spring. The wizard automatically dodges one magical trap. Discard this card after use. Can be chosen multiple times.

4. Stored Spell – After the wizard has cast a first level spell, he may choose to “store” it in his staff (keep it instead of discard it). The spell can be cast the same as normal spells, and if it is cast, it is discarded per normal. A stored spell cannot be restored. Only first level spells cast normally can be stored. Discard this card after use. Can be chosen multiple times.

5. Combat Calmness – the wizard may opt to hold a combat spell in memory (place the chosen spell face down in front of you), and then pass with no other actions. On his NEXT turn can effectively cast two spells, the held combat spell and another combat spell. These spells can target one monster, or two monsters. Only one Combat Calmness can be in use at a time (ie, you can't use combat calmness on the turn after a combat calmness was used). Discard this card after use. Can be chosen multiple times.

6. Parry with Staff – The wizard can use his staff to parry or block one attack. Roll a d8, if the roll is a 2 or less, the staff breaks (any stored spells are lost). Discard this card after use. Can be chosen multiple times.

7. Wirey – The wizard has gotten used to combat and finds it easier to dodge close quarter combat strikes. Add +1 to armor class. Lay out this card at the beginning of the adventure and it remains in play.
 
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Joe Ferguson
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Coming up: Dwarf ELAs, Elf ELAs, Buying armor and weapons and becoming proficient in them, and making new maps to expand on the original 4 map boards.

It's all in my head, just need the time to put it all down in writing.
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Joe Ferguson
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The Dwarf ELAs

1) Uneven Stonework – Dwarves know stonework, as long as they spend a little time studying their surroundings. Any time the Dwarf searches an indoor area (castle or cavern) for traps, he needs to roll a 4 or better to find anything. However, he still needs a 6 for disamring the trap. Discard after use. Can be chosen multiple times.

2) Knowledge of Ork Tactics - The hero has learned a great deal of how Orks fight. He gains +1 to his Armor class when fighting Orks. This card is laid out at the beginning of the adventure and remains in play.

3) Knowledge of Bugbear Tactics - The hero has learned a great deal of how Bugbears fight. He gains +1 to his Armor class when fighting Bugbears. This card is laid out at the beginning of the adventure and remains in play.

4) Strike Mighty Blow – Play this card anytime a the Dwarf rolls the highest number on the die during a single attack. The Dwarf does 2 points of damage to a single monster. Discard after use. Can be chosen multiple times.

5) Sprint – A Dwarf isn't always slow. Play this card on your turn to give the Dwarf a movement of 6 when indoors (castle or caverns)for one turn. Discard after use. Can be taken multiple times.

6) Devensive Axe Manuevers – A smart Dwarf knows how to use his axe well for defense, as well as offense. When attacked by a monster, the Dwarf gets a +1 to Armor Class for that single attack. Discard after use. Can be chosen multiple times.

7) Counter – Allows the Warrior to immediately roll an attack for a single attack AFTER an opponent makes their attack. Discard after use. Can be chosen multiple times.

The Elf ELAs

1) Aiming – The Elf may choose to take no movement this turn, and instead simply shoot at a target. He may roll a d12 for his attack die, instead of a d10. Discard this card after use. Can be chosen multiple times.

2) Combat Spear – The Elf has learned the tactics to make the spear useful in close combat. He may roll 2 dice on an attack and choose the highest roll.

3) Hand to Hand Bow – The Elf has learned how to effectively use the bow in hand to hand combat. He can roll a d10 for a close quarter attack. However, ona roll of 1, the bow will break. Lay out this card at the beginning of the adventure and it remains in play.

4) Like Quicksilver– The Elf may interupt his movement at any time with his 1 hand to hand attack for the round, and then continue his movement. The attack must be a close quartered attack. Long range attack is not allowed. The Elf does not get any other attacks this turn. Discard after use. Can be chosen multiple times.

5) Lightning Fast Shot – The Elf can load his bow amazingly quick. The Elf may forego any movement for this turn, and instead, shoot twice in a row. The two shots can target 1 or 2 different targets. Discard after use. Can be chosen multiple times.

6) One with Nature – if outdoors in the wilderness (not city, castle or cavern map), the Elf gains a +2 to all feats of dexterity. Lay out this card at the beginning of the adventure. It remains in play.

7) Commune with Nature – By passing on his turn, the Elf may regain 1 first level spell. The spell must be one that the Elf has cast already this adventure. Discard after use. Can be chosen multiple times.
 
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Simon Lundström
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GREAT JOB!

I fully approve of these kind of things. I don't have time to try it out soon, and I have a couple of comments immediately such as my eternal pet pevve on "what do you get XP for?" (meaning, only the guy who KILLS the monster, or as soon as you do damage, why just when you get treasures, and not when you pick locks and so on)

The main problem with inserting CP is that the game becomes competitive – everyone wants to level, so it turns into "No, don't kill that monster now, I want to level too!" which can ruin the atmosphere of "working together"… but I am just like you and I want to level up, so any work like this is amazing. Again, great job, and keep posting!
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Joe Ferguson
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Thanks for the complement. Much appreciated.

I completely agree on the XP issues. However, I couldn't come up with a better way to incorporate the limiting of the number of ELAs you get. I felt that getting an ELA after each adventure leveled characters too quickly and any other way that came to mind become even more burdensome than the ol' go to, XPs.

As for awarding XP, I would leave that to the DM to decide. It could just be a set amount for divided amongst the players for completing the adventure, or whatever. I only put killing monsters and treasure as an example. I fully believe that picking locks, doing something that saves the party, and other great feats deserve XP as well. As a DM, I would award points as I see fit, but always with the intention of motivating players to really "play" the game.

These really are a work in progress, and I think I've already found a couple of issues that would likely come up. I have yet to playtest the ELAs myself. It may just turn out that they are clunky and just not worth the effort, but the idea just popped into my head and I had to get them out on paper. ha ha!

 
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Simon Lundström
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zhenxiao wrote:
It may just turn out that they are clunky and just not worth the effort, but the idea just popped into my head and I had to get them out on paper. ha ha!


This is exactly how you should work on these issues
 
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Joe Ferguson
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Choosing New Weapons

Note: Due to the sheer number of ELAs that are becoming available, it would be better to write them down than have a card made for each and every one. I will be creating a generic “hero sheet” in which to keep track of ELAs as well as xp, treasure and any other notes.

Warriors

The warrior hero starts with a sword with a d10 attack. The warrior will never lose the ability to use a sword, which means that should he perchance across the magic sword, he can still use it. However, a hero isn't obligated to carry and use a sword. The hero could easily sell his sword and purchase another weapon that his class can use.

The warrior hero may carry up to 2 different main weapons, and one secondary weapon. Secondary weapons can be used on their own, or to enhance attacks/blocks with a single main weapon. These enhancements are usually through ELAs particular to that weapon.

Weapon.............Levels.....................Description

Hand Axe...........D8 / D10...................Secondary
Battle Axe.........D8 / D10 / D12.............Main, Two handed weapon
Dagger.............D8.........................Secondary
Sword..............D8/ D10....................Main
Two Handed Sword...D8 / D10 / D12.............Main, Two handed weapon
War Hammer.........D8/ D10 / D12..............Main, Two handed weapon


When purchasing a new weapon, the weapon can only be used it's lowest level (die type). Through learning how to use it, you may increase it's level. Increasing a weapons level is actually an ELA which can be gained as any ELA would.

Two handed weapons do not allow for sheild use, nor do they allow a secondary weapon to be used.

Secondary weapons can only be used as secondary weapons if the ELA "Secondary Weapon Use" has been taken. Otherwise, the weapon is used as a main weapon.


Hand Axe ELAs

1) Hand Axe Level 2 – You may now use a Hand Axe as a D10 attack. This level works when the axe is used as a secondary or main weapon. Lay out this card at the beginning of the adventure and it remains in play.

2) Hand Axe Counter – When used as a Secondary weapon, the warrior may take an attack after an opponent attacks and misses. Discard after use. May be taken multiple times.

3) Whirling Axe – When using the hand axe as a main weapon, the warrior can take a second attack at a d8 if his first attack succeeds in hitting. Discard after use. May be taken multiple times.


Battle Axe ELAs

1) Battle Axe level 2 – you may now use a Battle Axe as a d10 attack. Lay out this card at the beginning of the adventure and it remains in play.

2) Battle Axe level 3 – you may now use a Battle as as a D12 attack. Lay out this card at the beginning of the adventure and it remains in play.

3) Major Damage – If an attack succeeds, the warrior does 2 points of damage. Discard this card after use. May be chosen multiple times.

4) Follow Through – If an attack succeeds, the warrior may take a second attack with a d8 die on an target adjacent to both the warrior and the original target. Discard this card after use. May be chosen multiple times.
 
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Joe Ferguson
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Changed the Warrior ELA #4 to work with the weapon ELAs that have just been posted. I left the original with a strikethrough, and added the new under it.
 
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