Rules experiment: TGH minimum 1

Combat from the Bayeux Tapestry


Toughness is a pretty important characteristic in B&C. It gets used lots of places. It’s hopefully not a ‘god characteristic’ (that is, the One Important Characteristic that must be had at all cost), but it can be pretty important to have at a high level if you’re going to be doing any fighting. And it can be especially tricky if you’ve got END 1, which therefore means TGH 0. In that situation, you’re going to automatically fail rolls to avoid collapse, for example, so anything that takes a characteristic to 0 or less will automatically knock you out.

When I wrote B&C, I considered this a lot. Is this too much of a death spiral for weak characters? It seems fair that someone who is significantly weaker than the ‘standard’ adventurer might need to be especially careful in combat. If you can’t take the heat, in other words, stay out of the kitchen, or at least wear something fireproof. That was my reasoning as B&C went into the market.

In my ongoing B&C campaign, however, there’s a mage whose END is 1 and who therefore has a TGH of 0. In practice, this has meant that he needs not just to be especially careful in combat, but to avoid combat altogether. Some of the players in this campaign have complained that it makes his character altogether too weak.

I still think it makes sense, really, that someone with TGH 0 should be so easy to take out. After all, knocking them out requires taking one of their characteristics to 0, which isn’t easy to do. It might make sense that someone with characteristics that low would be easily taken out.

But I think I’m going to try an experiment where the minimum TGH for PCs is 1. It should make everyone feel just that little bit more willing to be adventurous, and should hopefully lessen the death spiral a bit. I’ll let you know how the experiment goes — and if you try it, let me know, too!

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