Multiple and Critical Successes in Forbidden Lands

Dice showing two sixes

Considering successes are so hard to roll in Forbidden Lands, it seems a waste of potential data to ignore multiple successes, outside of extra damage in combat. It’s also odd seeing as Fria Ligan’s other games all use multiple successes to some degree. So, I’ve mined them for inspiration and come up with these suggested non-combat criticals and stunts.

N.B. They are all completely unplaytested, so comments are welcome.

EDIT: Thanks to some feedback from the Fria Ligan forums I’ve removed the sharing successes options, altered the Stealth suggestion to be in line with the existing rules and made the option for critical wounds option on Melee and Marksmanship more difficult.

Might (STRENGTH)
For every success after the first, you may:

  • push or throw the object with great force. One target of your choice within Arm’s Length range suffers damage equal to the number of extra successes after the first,
  • if narratively relevant, impress or intimidate someone.

Endurance (STRENGTH)
For every three successes, the next roll (such as for resisting poison, cold or drowning) only needs to be rolled half as often. For example, while hiking through a snowstorm where you have to roll to resist the cold every hour, after a critical roll of three successes, you do not need to roll again for two hours.

Melee (STRENGTH)
For every five successes, you may, as well as causing the rolled damage:

  • roll on the relevant critical hits table without needing your opponent to be Broken from Strength or Wits loss (every additional three successes allow you to roll again and to choose between the results),
  • draw a second initiative card and choose which one you want to use,
  • inflict a fear attack (1 point of Wits damage) on all opponents in Near range.

Crafting (STRENGTH)
If you roll three or more successes, the item gains one, and only one, +1 Gear Bonus. This is in addition to any bonuses from the use of relevant Crafting talents.

Stealth (AGILITY)
For every success after the first, you may:

  • find something unexpected, or more of what you were looking for,
  • get a +1 modification to your next attack, if you are using Stealth to position yourself to do so.

Sleight of Hand (AGILITY)
For every three successes, you may:

  • if you are picking a lock, do so in half the time,
  • if you are picking pockets or palming an object, take additional valuable object,
  • gain a +1 bonus die to your next relevant die roll.

Move (AGILITY)

  • In combat, if you have three excess successes after dodging you do not end your turn prone, as per the rules.

Marksmanship (AGILITY)
For every five successes, you may, as well as causing the rolled damage:

  • draw a second initiative card and choose which one to use,
  • force your enemy to keep their heads down, also causing them 1 point of Wits damage,
  • roll on the relevant critical hits table without needing your opponent to be Broken from Strength or Wits loss (every additional three successes allow you to roll again and to choose between the results).

Scouting (WITS)
As well as seeing what something is and whether it’s a threat, as per the rules, for every extra success the GM will answer an additional question about it, such as:

  • Is it coming for me?
  • Are there more of them close by?
  • How do I get in/past/away?

Lore (WITS)
You get additional information and +1 bonus die to one roll when you use that information (up to +3).

Survival (WITS)
Multiple successes for use of Survival are already part of the Journey rules in the Players Handbook.

Insight (WITS)
As well as revealing an NPC’s strongest current emotion, as per the rules, for every extra success the GM will answer an additional question about them that you could reasonably intuit, such as:

  • Are they telling the truth?
  • Do they want to hurt me?
  • Do they want something from me?

Manipulation (EMPATHY)
Any option chosen must be plausible and make narrative sense. As well as agreeing to your deal, as per the rules, for every success beyond the first, the NPC:

  • keeps believing you,
  • will take risks to help you,
  • will try to persuade others to believe you,
  • is frightened, confused or impressed,
  • is infatuated.

Alternatively, for every three successes, the NPC:

  • forms a lasting relationship with you,
  • accepts your demands without asking for anything in return,
  • suffers 1 point of damage to Wits or Empathy.

Performance (EMPATHY)
Without the Path of Song talent, rank 2, a performer might earn 5 copper per quarter day of work. For every success after the first, you earn one additional copper per quarter day.

Multiple successes are already a part of the Performance skill rules for recovering Wits in the Players Handbook.

Healing (EMPATHY)
Multiple successes are already a part of the Healing skill rules in the Players Handbook.

Animal Handling (EMPATHY)
When riding, for every success after the first, you and your mount share +1 bonus die to one roll related to the same period of riding (typically, on the same day).

For every three successes, taming a wild animal takes one day fewer.

Advertisements

Crypt of Cthulhu

crypt of cthulhu cover

Compared to most games, Trail of Cthulhu is hardly complex mechanically, but for the past 10 years I’ve increasingly preferred simpler games.

(There’s a limit though. Completely freeform, stat-free games can be fun as one-shots, but they leave me hungry for something, anything, to study and ponder at the table.)

This is Crypt of Cthulhu, a hack of Trail that takes some inspiration from Cthulhu Dark and Barbarians of Lemuria, but also standardises some of the traits in Trail. I think it works surprisingly well.

 

Cthulhu Dawn – Proto Edition

 

Cthulhu Dawn - Proto Edition

As much as I love extremely grim and gritty games, I can also be extremely silly. That’s why I seem to be one of the only people who thought it was a natural fit to mash together Cthulhu Dark, the bleak and unforgiving game of cosmic horror with Og, the cavefolk game of slapstick hilarity.

So, here it is in all it’s glory: Cthulhu Dawn – Proto Edition.

I’ve pitched to run it many times, but only managed to persuade two small groups to play it. If you ever do, let me know how it goes!