Worst as a Long Term Game and Pinhead Characters

What I thought originally was that Worst RPG would be a great one shot game, something to play quick between campaigns from other systems, or at a gaming convention after a TPK. With that in mind, the characters in Worst can do a lot right out the door, after character creation. This makes for a fun one shot game. What my test group and I, have been doing lately, is to try playing the same characters, one game, after another, to see how the player character grew, and developed over time, and what would happen in the hands of folks that look for the best way to break the game rules. So far, we have played six games in a row with the same players and characters.

This is table top roleplaying at its best. We are all playing the WORST roleplaying game here.

Worst RPG rules allowed you to have a chance to try stuff you always wanted to try, without the extra bureaucracy of advancement rules. Many things like vorpaling the head off a monster can be done in your first combat if you so wish, as is healing afterwards, or tossing fireballs; all because the game was designed for “one off” adventures. Characters start with energy to use toward combat actions or spell or to bump up physical stats. Many game systems say your character can do X, once they get to level Y. We wanted to bypass the all of that  “leveling” mumbo jumbo, and get to adventuring and having fun around the table as a group. I found that the players wanted to continue to play, and try more things, so testing Worst rules with multiple game sessions was necessary, and almost right off, the cheesing began.

The past few games I found one player was good at cheesing the rules to get the best character possible, the fastest, using all his character’s energy to beef up his character’s stats, to get the best armor class possible. After six games, he had increased his body to score to give hime a +12 to attack and armor. They had found treasure, and he bought the best armor he could afford, plate mail, which was +12 to armor, and then a tower shield which was another +10, so the character had a total armor score of 34. He then gloated that the game is so easy to break. That comment got me put off a bit. I had the think more on armor bonuses, and on power bumps to stats and shield bonuses. Most characters start the game with an armor of 6 or 7 making combat really scary. I made rules that metal armor chain mail or plate mail required a character to pledge allegiance to a local lord and join the local military defense unit, this made for some fun role play moments in the game. This introduced the character to community rules and conduct kinda like alignment in some games.

If you wear the armor, you have to behave appropriately and represent the local lord and such. The players liked this and they got to bring their armor score up while in the better armor. Next was bumping up character stats; there are only three stats Mind, Body and Spirit. The max any stat can be is 200. The new rules are if any of those starts are under a 100, you look normal. From 100 to 199 things change. For Body, it grows one size category larger; a small character become medium or “man sized” and Medium person becomes large or ogre size. This size increase does not effect you head. You would have to increase your Mind score to 100-199 to get your head the same size as your body. So is you only increase you mind score your character will have an unusually large head on a normal sized body. If your Spirit goes above 100 (100-199), your whole body radiates light; if your spirit gets to 200 you only fail to cast spells on a natural 1 and glow like a torch. Characters with such high spirit cover their bodies in cloth, gloves and robes, to keep the light from giving themselves away at night.

As for tower shields, I think I have to redefine the rules. Like, to get the full bonus of +10, it takes two actions out of three. You can not shield bash and the bonus drop to +5 if you want two actions in a round and with such a large shield it always takes 1 action to use to get its benefit of +5. If you hide under the shield in a defensive way you get complete cover from enemy arrows from one direction. The shield can withstand 50 points of damage before it breaks and becomes useless. The shield can be repaired by an armorer. Most monster attack with weapons or claws or teeth causing physical damage, making armor important. Undead like vampires and ghosts and such ignore amor on most attacks and just the characters unarmored body score is used to determine if an attack from such creatures will hit and do harm.

As for augmenting your character stats, the ratio of 10 mana to 1 stat bump is the norm in Worst. Because you are using magical energy to boost these stats, they stay bumped up as long as you are alive or brought back to life quickly or your body is not disintegrated. Even then, only your body score bumps go away on coming back from the dead part. If you end up loosing “stat bumps”, to your body score, because of death, you will always come back with the stats you had when you started the game; what you originally rolled for your character, and you can always add mana at 10 to 1, to grow your character’s power like normal. Death is a setback not the end in Worst.


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About shent_lodge

Shent_lodge, AKA Jon, started this website, in 2000, initially as a player's guide to his home game. He has run through, and run for, hundreds of players of the Dungeons and Dragons game since 1980. These days he plays, or runs games using the WORST RPG rules set.