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Monday, November 29, 2010

What I Learned from Naval and Aerial Rules

In a comment on the updated sailing modifiers diagram yesterday, zornhau was impressed about how exhaustive the Liber Zero rules are going to be. My first reaction was, "oh, they aren't that exhaustive." Sure, I plan on including the naval and aerial rules, which are sometimes skipped or truncated. But a lot of the rules are either identical to rules listed elsewhere or could be reused elsewhere. There's actually a sort of compression effect I'm working towards, based on interpretations I never realized were possible.

Previously, I'd avoided the naval and aerial rules and the situations they cover, because they looked complicated. Looking at them closely for the first time revealed details I wasn't aware of; for example, the three different rules for falling damage, which I realized could be compressed into a single rule, which would be a unique expression in the spirit of the original rules. Similarly, the time and manpower needed for a couple naval tasks inspired universal task guidelines. Who knew that the LBBs give a rule for smashing down a door that has nothing to do with rolling dice?

Similarly, although I changed the dice used for the aerial combat hit location roll, either approach is simple and adaptable to other situations, like determining a random broken bone after a fall, should you choose to apply that rule. It's a simpler approach than the Supplement II hit location system.

So what I've been doing is teasing out a couple general rules from rules that look specific. A lot of the complaints about the LBBs focus on how disorganized the rules are. This opinion comes from the fact that the rules are organized by topic instead of by mechanic; reading the books closely showed me that there's more common mechanics than many people believe.

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