Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rifts - An encounter sheet

Here's a sample of how I was handling encounters in my last Rifts campaign. Rifts beasties have a lot of fiddly bits as far as attributes and modifiers, plus the added complication of a hit location system. I used to keep stats on an index card (which I do for a lot of my games) nd then track hit points on my spiral notepad page for that session. This can get confusing however, especially when monster #1 has been shot in the leg, monster 2 has been shot in the head, etc. This doesn't happen in every encounter but it came up often enough that I wanted to get ahead of it this time. This was the result. It allows me to run 12 ghouls on one sheet without having to refer back to other books, and hit locations are covered with ease. I used these guys in one of the early encounters in the campaign and it was much easier than before. Now granted, it was some work up front but I just thought of it as prep time for that session. 

System-wise, this is why I like D&D's monster presentation better in every edition over Rifts. For Rifts I have to know the creatures stats and its attacks, and its HP value for all locations. For older D&D it's something like "8 HD, Bite 2d6, AC7"  for a useable stat block. Even newer versions will have something like "Bite +3 (2d6)" for the attacks. 

Additionally I have come to think that hit point and hit locations are a tough mix. The main advantage of hit point systems is simplicity, giving up some realism. Hit locations give some realism at the cost of simplicity. I liked the approach in both Hero and GURPS where hit locations can give some modifiers but do not require tracking of separate damage totals. Rifts gives totals for some locations but doesn't really give effects tied to those locations other than losing your head = dead. This is the kind of opening that leads to house rules and eventually to conversion.

Anyway, I have a few more like this including a minion of splugorth so if anyone is interested I can post them up too.

1 comment:

Eric said...

I'm interested! you've done an excellent job of it too!