Today we played Mike's viking-themed AD&D 2nd edition game.
As we've been playing this game, I've noticed something that I call "The Glitterboy Effect."
Let me interject here that character creation in Mike's game is point-buy, and that I am the only person in the group who doesn't have 18 strength. Characters who drop 18 in strength were previously allowed to roll their exceptional strength randomly. This has also been changed; now Mike charges an additional point for every 10 points of percentile strength, but characters made under the original rules are grandfather claused.
During combat, if my character hits, he does usually 5-8 points of damage with his broadsword. Other characters in the party, particularly our strength 18/93 specialized two weapon fighter, dish out damage in the 20's or 30's each round.
We had another PC who threw a dagger for 13 damage. That's more from her dagger than I can possibly do with my broadsword in one round.
Mike, our intrepid GM, has us fighting twenty orcs at a time. We also tangled with seven 4 Hit Die wolves and a pack of boars that are able to dish our a dozen damage on a good hit. We are first level. (At least, we were at the start of the session today) I think I dropped into negative hit points three times.
We have here what I call the Glitterboy Effect. If you're not familiar with RIFTS, here's the deal...in the same party in RIFTS you can have: a guy in a huge robot powersuit (Glitterboy), a guy with science skills (Rogue Scientist), a D&D style thief with tech skills (City Rat), and a guy with low level magic and psi (Mystic)
The scientist has a sidearm that does 2d6 damage. The Glitterboy has a cannon that does 3d6x100.
The GM has a difficult time creating combats. Any foes that will challenge the Glitterboy will make mulch out of the other characters. Any enemies that would prove challenging to the other three are instantly blasted out of existence by the Glitterboy. Yes, I know combat isn't the point of the other three classes. Yes, I know there will be certain situations where the ability to read makes the Rogue Scientist the hero of the story. A foe who can be dealt with my magic can only be defeated by the Mystic. Yes, yes yes....but what about run-of-the-mill combat? What about when the party gets ambushed or surprised by a random encounter?
I've blogged about this before, but the solution continues to elude me. I know Mike is also challenged by the power levels of the characters. He wants to make things challenging for the mighty warriors in the party, but at the same time, I often feel my character is completely out of his league in any combat we enter. Our poor cleric seems to be in the same boat.
Mike has tuned up the experience in the game as well. I started 1st level today, and I ended the session 3rd. I am a stone's throw from 4th and will certainly level next time.
I also had the chance to skim the original slim little Traveller books at Mindy's today. My experience running Traveller (Mongoose edition) left me with a sour taste for the game, but it appears that the older iterations might have curbed some of my problems with the game.
...hmm, me liking an older version of a game better. Imagine that!
More on Traveller some other time when I don't have to get up in six and a half hours.