Adventure Trove: Spotlight

Adventure Trove is a much different game system than Daring Adventures. It is much easier to make a character who sticks out in a game system where specialties, resources, and backgrounds make such a big difference in regular play. So how are the characters in Adventure Trove not just carbon copies of one another if they have similar skills? After all, the game system should encourage diversity in the party, even when some skills are vital and almost all characters will possess some ranks in them.

This is often referred to as niche protection. After all, how do you allow two different players who are on the forefront of battle to shine when none of the characters have classes? Firstly, while all characters are likely to have a combat skill or two, there is no comparison between even two swordsmen because their aspects and attributes change their capabilities. Weapon damage is often, but not always, based on Muscle, and swords in particular use Dexterity to hit with. Here you have characters who are likely to choose maneuvers to suit their capabilities, so the stronger character is more likely to swing hard, and the more dextrous character is more likely to swing multiple fast strikes instead, most of the time.

Even if you had two sword-wielding heroes with identical Muscle and Dexterity scores, the exploits they choose for themselves can differ because the players can create their own. Someone who uses their sword as a field of parrying defense is much different from someone who slips killing blows into foes one after the other.

Then of course, there is the concept of Specialty skills. This is the selection of one skill from a very small list of options based on Profession templates. This skill can be used once per scene by the character in question to greater effect than someone who does not possess that skill as a specialty. This doesn’t mean that someone with an identical rank and aspect for the skill is unable to perform as well as the character in their niche, but it does mean that the character is likely to attain a better success when it matters.

For example, Burglars excel at Athletics and Thievery. Bravos are specialists in Brawling and Intimidation and Pick Pockets are especially skilled in Sleight of Hand and Stealth. All three of these professions are criminals who might be very good at Stealth, Thievery and Sleight of Hand. The difference is that of the three, only the Pick Pocket is capable of being Specialized in Stealth, and only the Burglar is capable of being Specialized in Thievery.

Right now the benefit for being specialized in a skill is that you can re-roll failing dice once per scene, as long as your previously rolled 1s stay on the table. This is enough to turn a failing roll into a success, or a successful roll into an amazing one. When you re-roll dice for this mechanic, new 1s don’t count against you, so there is reason to pay attention to the roll by all participants at the table, but the tension is a good one, not a worrisome one.

On the supernatural side, the sorcery skill doesn’t encompass every set of spells in existence. So different sorcerers are likely to have access to completely different spells, again providing niches for players to fill. The same can be said of priestly magic where the miracles granted to one priest will be very different from those granted to another, and the skills which govern the use of rites (priest spells) can be advanced at different rates or not at all depending on character bias.

About Byron D. Molix

I am an information technology professional in Missouri. I've been an avid fan of fantasy and science fiction novels, comic books, pen and paper role-playing games, computer games and console video games for the last two decades. My dream would be to one day make a comfortable living while having the time to pursue writing (novels, rpgs, etc.) as a full-time hobby.

Posted on January 3, 2014, in AT, Gaming and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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