Weird Game Wednesday: Proteus. Part 2

After establishing the pecking order as far as intellect went, it was decided that while I would have Danner talking like Niles Frasier, it would be all in his head and the other characters would hear is ‘Drulk Smash!’ Regardless though, Ness took the torch and climbed atop the ring of standing stones, making her way toward the altar. Which Adam took as to mean ‘breaching the circle’ causing three zombies to turn up.

THE RULES
As stated earlier, the system employs a 30-sided die, which is rolled with the intention of getting under the value of the relevant skill. Which, given how we power-gamed our characters, you think would result in an easy victory. Not so. Because it’s also about how much under your roll is when compared to the value.

Then you roll D30 to see whereabouts your blow landed (head, torso, legs, arm, Mum).
Which is then cross-referenced on a grid, indexed by the difference value, and then that result is compared to the armour of the critter. So with my Strength of 20, all I got was a +2 bonus on top of this value, while the other players got +1 and I needed that cause my first roll was a 23, which inflicted only 5 points of damage unmodified, that was easily absorbed by the putrescent hide of the undead, leaving only 1 wound inflicted on his right arm. While I had moved toward my zombie, Ness elected to stay atop the standing stones, sniping from above as the second zombie lurched closer, and Rhys lined up the third zombie with a spell.

Rhys then remembered why he hates mana-point-based spellcasting…

Rhys: I only have enough for TWO SPELLS!?

What’s worse was the first roll only got under by 6 which, after calculation, dealt 3 damage to another zombie’s left arm.

GM’s, last post I talked about tells or clues as to whether your players are having fun or not. A sure-fire way to determine this is if they start writing ‘SHIT’ multiple times on their character sheets with big arrows pointing to their spell selections. Subtler signs also include writing ‘EXOTIC’ in the notes section or ‘Orang-utan, lemur, monkey,l chimp gorilla cat woman, or 36, 25, 36 in the character description. Or, if you’re lucky, you might notice under Mutant Powers ‘Extra Helping of SUCK!’ listed.

The zombie, employing what we dubbed ‘The Chin-Up Ax’, available on the Home Shopping Network for 30% off unless you’re Rhys’s character in which case you get it as a Mutant Power (Axercise your way into shape!) scored a hit on Orang-Aileen, while she was atop a 10 foot standing stone, and dealt critical damage to her torso in one blow, putting her at +8 to all her dice rolls.

Here’s another clue as finding out if your players are having fun…

Adam: Have you got the damage written down?
Ness: Yes. I put ‘Sucking’ on the hit location table, but didn’t have enough room for ‘Chest Wound’.
Rhys:  I got ‘Sucking’ written down as well. Next to Ben’s Mum!
All: Hey-O!

Back in the carnage, Rhys decided that ‘Spellzors’ are teh suck and transferred points into his Swordplay skill, managing then to dispatch his zombie. After my dismal first blow, Drulk got angry. The zombie didn’t like him when he was angry.

Ness, meanwhile, was running for her life when she wasn’t shooting her zombie to dismal effect. The problem became further compounded when Adam informed her that each action after she fired an arrow, her next action had to be spent reloading. So while Ness effectively lost half her actions for that round, Rhys and I closed in and finished the job.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Proteus is staggeringly easy to min-max for a randomly rolled attribute sytstem. And given the difficulty of combat, you’d be mad not to. The primary attributes only serve as part of a formula to determine the secondary attributes, and then effectively discarded. The book’s information is poorly, to say the least, laid out. The races aren’t particularly noteworthty (save the comedic appeal of the Drulk) and the silver being worth more than gold bit is crap justication for the ‘Exotic’ label. Oh and Rhys would once again like to underscore tha magic in this, and most other mana-point-based system sucks and Ness discovered that the character sheet makes a really excellent paper aeroplane.

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