I'm currently planning encounter 1 of the Amber Rage module. This looks like it could easily turn into something quite complex. I am able to offer my players up to 3 days stay at the festival. That's a lot of activities!
The books does explain that a lot of the games and events should be run as opposed tests, or perhaps something with an advanced threshold on it.
I was curious about what someone of you did to go above and beyond the call of duty as a GM, so to speak. Exceptional things where you took the basics suggested and added so much that you made it your own.
Here's something I've been planning for the festival. I've decided to heavily flesh out the wrestling.
Here are my ideas, let me know what you think. I thought it up quickly yesterday but felt happy enough to not change anything on reflection.
Firstly, though I do this anyway, in the wrestling I consider health loss as an abstract thing. They should be called hit points, and in fights only when hit points are 0 do you take that actual big wound that you die from or scar from if saved.
Health loss in something like this can mean loss of stamina, fatigue, near misses that push your luck (yes your hit points can be your luck running out abstractly) and so on.
Therefore this is a normal combat fight in a ring. No face shots. No repeated closed palm hits. No armour, weapons or magic.
Wins by submission, pin or disqualification.
As the GM, you should encourage players to describe what they are doing in great detail. This is about painting a picture of battle, not rolling dice. The dice are there to inspire your ongoing commentary as GM.
They can fight each other with normal brawling fist attacks with hit point loss as per the normal damage.
You do not have to do this every round as it would get boring!
Other ways they can lose hit points is by having the player tell you what he is doing from a list of 6 possibilities (see below) or if he won't decide fast enough, have him roll on the table. This is about being quick paced and exciting.
The table below can be used as you see fit, both rolling randomly or any combination you see fit. Each winner of a test takes hit points off their opponent. The amount of points is up to you. You could say the fist amount, a D6 or 2D6 if you want the fight to be faster.
Remember, while some of these effects may at first seem unintuitive to cause hit point loss, don't forget that hit points are abstract. An intimidation can result in hit point loss just from you being shaken up and being easier to hit perhaps. Internal fatigue is a big factor.
1D6 Roll on following table. All are opposed tests. One type of test can be generated or chosen to take on another type opposed -
1. Dexterity (Brawling)
2. Dexterity (Acrobatics)
3. Strength (Intimidation)
4. Strength (Might)
5. Constitution (Stamina)
6. Both wrestlers are hurt by an exciting move. Something along the lines of a double close line where both go down and hit the canvas.
Anyone from the module that you think would be suitable is fine. Perhaps you could use a few fort soliders taking part in fights, some of the pre-generated characters from An Arl's Ransom pdf and random villagers. That stats for soldiers and villagers are in the book, but villagers who are more suited to wrestle could be slightly modified to do so.
This would also be a fun time to bring in old names from the past.
I will have Coalan from Dalish Curse here, having travelled to the festival to sell his wares and enjoy festivities which will piss off the blacksmith of the town. One of our party has quite the history with Coalan...This is the sort of fun you could have.
I will bring in Ser Bridget too, from Arl's Ransom, as this is the land in which she serves anyway. It will give the players someone else they know to be embroiled and effected by the events to come later...
I have designed a Sothmere champion called THE HOG. He wears a huge dried pig's head so that his features are hidden. People wonder how he even sees out of it. An end boss that everyone wants to beat, but no one ever has nor likely will.
No armour of course
Constitution: 4 (Stamina)
Dexterity: 3 (Initiative) (Brawling)
Strength: 5 (Might) (Intimidate)
Willpower: 1 (Faith) <------Haha, yeah I know! It's flavour to inspire you!
1D3 +5 damage