The Hero’s Journey, my 2 cents

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Greater Lore Drake
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The Hero’s Journey, my 2 cents

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So, thanks to a very long slow painfully boring day at work yesterday and today, thanks to the overreaction to Corona virus, and a night with bad internet coms so I missed the Monday night ne’er-do-well game, I was able to read through most of the PDF of ‘The Hero’s Journey’. I did skim over some areas – the monsters write ups and the spell descriptions etc, but I gave a good read through everything else.

I know DM Mike has a great pod cast on the rules here, but I have to do something or I’ll nod off here at work so I might as well look busy as people walk by the desk I have landed at today and throw my 2 cents in on it here.

For the most part, it is a great very rules light system. Now, I have never played anything more rules light than C&C, so it is a surprise how stripped down it is. That isn’t a negative by any means, it does give lots of room to grow or morph things as needed. Also because of the rules light of the system, I will more than likely use this as the rules for the kids that go to my girls school to introduce them to RPGs.

The flavor of the rules are without a doubt up my alley! Very Tolkienesk with some fairytale influences and the like to flavor it up a touch. Also it is without a doubt lower magic, so again something I’m dawn too.

I will say that I think the way magic is handled, and magic items are made/developed as the character progresses is the best part of the whole rules (well also the monsters, there are some interesting takes on monsters here too). If I do ever do my own home brew C&C, I will more than likely pull the magic system, and the item development, whole sale from this and slap it on the C&C siege system.

I also like the take on classes and races. Again keeping to the very rules light of the system, but giving the races benefits without ham stringing them (other than limiting race class progress see below). I will say this is 1 place I part ways with C&C the give humans 3 primes and everyone else 2 primes. I know you do have to balance race benefits with some negatives, but I still say that is too harsh). I especially like the take on a changeling race. I bet with would be a race between me and Rigon to see who would get to play one first.

Now for the thing that make me twitch a little

1 saving throw …. Come on … it is sprinkled throughout the book that this needs a save with resolve, or insight. However, the rules itself says that there is only 1 saving throw. It would be easy enough to pull all those lose threads together and say that various saves will be modified by the different ability modifiers as applicable. That said, I do like the saving throw getting easier as the character increases in level. It is the same as C&C adding level to the save, but simpler than the 12/18 from C&C.

Advantage / disadvantage. I know this is a 5e ism, and it does have a use, but from Rigon’s 5e game I’d argue against advantage/disadvantage all or nothing checks. Yes there are times that the character has a benefit and deserves the double chance at success, or a double chance at failure. However, there are gray areas that there should be an increased chance of success/failure without every time it being roll twice and take the best/worst role.

The HP progression. After 3rd level all classes only get 1, 2 or at most 3 HP every level. I do HATE the 5e HP bloat and would like it dialed back some. However, this is too far in the other extreme . I did a quick roll for HP on a knight, and at 10th level he had a total of 36 HP. Even at my grim darkest gritty game I have never seen a fighter type at 10th level with that low a HP. Yes the monsters may not be dealing out massive amount of damage, but still a Hero should be a little more resilient than this. If there is one thing I WILL house rule out of the gate it is this.

Similarly to the reduced HP it progression of the ‘myth points’ – the points used to buy and develop magical heroic items – seems to be a little anemic. 1 to at most 2 points per level. I don’t know how it would work in the long run as the player develops, but it does seem a little too low. With it like that, at best when the knight reached he would have had only 19 points to grow his sword of renowned, shield of defense etc etc. and that would be if DM was kind and gave 2 points per level. Plus some of the effects cost 2, 3, 4, points. It may actually balance out with play, but at first read, it seems painfully low. I do admit I don’t like the Monty Hall murder hobo mindset with lots of magic items at the player’s disposal. However, again, I think this may be a swing to far in the other direction.

The capping of everything at level 10. Unlike Tree, I tend not to play the uber high level of games, but at the same time I do have fond memories of my mid teen level paladin holding a pass from orcs goblins and the like to die a hero’s death as the rest of the party escaped. Similarly there are the racial caps on classes and some are painfully low – I do disagree with the 5e of having a hobbit paladin with no restrictions, but having some of the race/class combos cap at 3rd or 4th level. That is a bit harsh.

The Yoeman … not the class, I love the idea of a class that is there to aid and support the rest of the characters – the Sam to Frodo – so it isn’t the class concept that makes me twitch. It is calling it a Yeoman . To me from history, a Yeoman is a free English farmer, wealthy enough to have hearth and home and a bit of land, but not wealthy enough to have other farmer(s) working specifically for him. He has enough to be comfortable and owns enough to have a touch of free time and touch of luxuries, but he isn’t wealthy. So, he has time and money to own a long bow, practice with it, be good at it, and fill the king’s armies with sturdy bowmen that are the dread of the Scot spearmen and French knight. With that, every time I hear the word Yeoman I picture the bowman (and I do think it would be a perfect fit for this system and the implied setting,) but I don’t see Sam helping Frodo . So, don’t call this class Yeoman, call it Boon Companion, 2nd fiddle, pinch hitter, something, anything other than Yeoman !

Also with classes, there is no divine type caster/class. I know this comes from keeping the feel of Tolkien, however at the same time there should be some form of divine based class. I don’t know if it comes from years of gaming or what, but the lack of a cleric or a druid just leaves a gaping hole in the classes. There are 4 separate combat type classes, along with the thief type, the bard, and the mage, so it shouldn’t be too much or too hard to have a 2nd flavor of magic wielder for the divine side of the house beside the mage.

From DM Mike’s pod cast, I do know there is another book in the works that might change it a bit and take care of my gripes, and yes when I get it I will again blame Mike, Liz and Rigon for making me need it., but from the system as is now, that fairly covers my 2 cents.

Wow, after rereading this before I post it. That all sounds VERY harsh. It shouldn’t. Even with those things that make me twitch, I do like the system and feel of it, I do look forward to giving it a run through with my girls and the younger school mates that want to try role playing (or their dads that want them to try). So with my 2 cents take a grain of salt or 2 also
"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

Knight Errant & Humble C&C Society Contributor
C&C Society

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