House Rules.   Posted by (all groups).Group: public
(all groups)
Thu 8 Dec 2005
at 17:22
House Rules
House rules or rule clarifications will go here.  Please do not reply here with questions or comments, but use the OOC thread or a PM instead.

This message was last updated by the GM at 17:22, Thu 08 Dec 2005.

 GM, 22 posts
 Game Dungeon Mistress
Thu 18 Nov 2004
at 20:58
How to Play -- Posting Rules
 Please abide by these rules within the game. Posts which break these rules are subject to editing, deletion, or angry rants from the DM -- we'd rather not go there. The Main Rule is bolded below, with clarifications and examples following:

• Players can only control their own characters.
    Players can only control their own characters when they post, not NPCs, not other PCs, not the environment, and not the outcome of any event (unless directly told so by the DM or the appropriate die roll).  Leave DMing up to the DM.

• Don't panic.
    Everyone makes mistakes.  Sometimes I'll forget something, or make a bad call. Just let me know and we'll fix it or work around it and make sure no one gets messed over because of it.

• Give others a chance.
  • Don't post over others' opportunities to do things -- give them a chance to participate too.
  • Don't ever write that your character does something to someone (PC or NPC) then they leave before anyone can react: they can try to leave before others have a chance to react, but the success of that is the DM's call exclusively.

• Keep up.
  • You must post once every week. If you cannot, let me know in advance of missing a whole week. I try to be flexible if you let me know what's going on and how we can work with it.
  • I will post once a week at minimum.  If everyone has posted in, I may post as quickly as within four days of my last post (if my schedule allows).
  • Be sure to read and pay attention to the DM's and other players' posts so your post reflects what's going on currently.  Don't "backtrack" and respond to something that's already long past -- go with where your character currently is in the thread.

• Write well, write in a narrative style, and proofread.
  • My preferred method is that each player writes in third person past-tense.  I'm strict about the third person bit, if not the tense, so do not write as "I" or address information to "you" but instead describe from a third-person point of view.
  • Proofread to make sure the worst mistakes are caught, that any color tags used in the post work properly, and so on. I'm not going to bust players for misspelling a few words, but if the readability of a post suffers due to unclosed HTML tags, multiple misspellings of simple words, and other sloppiness, I'll ask that it be fixed or just fix it myself (as clumsy as I am).
  • Do not write with net-speak ("u sur r gr8!") and do not use abbreviations in in-character posts.

• Be descriptive.
  • Don't try to cover all possible outcomes of a situation with vague generalities. That is, don't say, "He searches the door in the usual manner," or "She looks around and takes anything valuable she sees unless it looks dangerous." I won't make judgement calls for your character -- if your character looks around, I'll describe what they see; your character's specific decisions, however, must be made by you, not the DM.
  • Likewise, if you tell me how your character is searching for traps on a door, I can better respond as to what they find, and possibly even give them clues about how to avoid or disarm any trap found.
  • When a player uses generic language that doesn't describe how something is being done, it tells me that the character is being careless and isn't paying much attention, and I'll respond with that in mind.
  • Given that each player has several days (up to a week) to craft each post, and that they are free to bounce PMs off me in the mean time to ask for details and more information, there's no reason to write ambiguously or sloppily.

• Don't use formatting in place of clear writing.
  • Do not use color in place of quotation marks for speech -- use of color in addition is allowed, but proper punctuation is still required. Double quotes (" ") are for speech, and single quotes (' ') for thoughts, in broadest strokes. Please do not re-define these standard punctuation marks.
  • Italics and bold face may be used but should not be the "normal" speech for a character, nor for any players' "posting style".
  • Never use RPoL's "quote" tags in an IC post: There will never be a need to use <quote> in IC posts, and descriptive writing will always serve the story better.

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:14, Fri 02 Dec 2005.

 GM, 30 posts
 Game Dungeon Mistress
Sat 20 Nov 2004
at 17:06
Magical Spells
A spell is a formula for collecting and using magical energies. A magic-user controls these energies with a memorized set of words and hand motions: the spell. Each spell has its own special set of words and gestures.  Only magic-users and elves can learn these formulas, and thus only they may cast spells.

Spells must be memorized before an adventure begins. The character will remember the spell for any length of time until it is used. When a magic-user or elf memorizes a spell, the words and gestures are printed on their mind, much in the same way that writing is put on a blackboard. When the spell is cast, the writing is "erased", and they may not cast that particular spell again. A spell caster may, however, memorize the same spell twice if they are of a high enough experience level to do so. If so, only one is "erased" when the spell is cast; the other remains and may be used later. As characters increase in level the number and type of spells they may memorize increases.

If an adventure lasts longer than a day, a character may re-memorize "erased" spells (spells already cast) once a day. First, the character must be well rested, usually an uninterrupted full night's sleep. Then by spending an hour undisturbed, a spell caster of levels 1-3 may memorize all of their "erased" spells.

A character who cannot talk or use hand motions for any reason (such as being bound and gagged) cannot use a spell. Similarly, because the words and gestures must be repeated exactly, spells cannot be cast while performing any other action (such as walking or fighting).

Some Spell Explanations
Magic-users and elves may use one spell at first level. Magic-users and elves must select the spells to be used from those spells they know. These spells are stored in large spell books. As magic-users and elves gain levels of experience, the number of spells they may use also increases.

Each magic-user and elf has a spell book for the spells that they have learned.

    Detect Magic (Range: 60'  Duration: 2 turns)
    This spell determines if there has been an enchantment laid upon a person, place, or thing, causing any magic item within 60' to glow. Several items may be tested until the spell's duration is ended. It is useful, for example, to discover if some item is magical, if a door has been held or wizard locked, and so forth.

    Light (Range: 120'  Duration: 6 turns + 1 turn per level)
    This spell casts light in a circle 30' in diameter.  It is bright enough to read by, but not equal to full daylight.  It may be cast on an object.  The light may be cast at a creature's eyes. The creature may make a saving throw vs. Spells, but if it fails, the victim is blinded for the duration of the spell.  In D&D BASIC rules, a blinded creature may not attack.  The effects of the spell will last for 7 turns when cast by a first level magic-user, 8 turns when cast by a second level magic-user, and so on.

    Magic Missile  (Range: 150'  Duration: instantaneous)
    A magic missile is a glowing arrow, created and shot by magic, which does 2-7 (1d6+1) points of damage to any creature it strikes. It will automatically hit any visible target. For every five levels the caster has gained, they may shoot two more missiles when casting the spell. EXAMPLE: A sixth level magic-user may cast three missiles. These may be shot at one target, or the caster may choose to cast the missiles at different targets.

    Read Magic  (Range: 0 (caster only)  Duration: 1 turn)
    By casting this spell, magical words or runes on an item or scroll may be read. Without this spell, unfamiliar magic cannot be read or understood, even by a magic-user.  Once a scroll or runes are looked at with read magic, however, the magic-user becomes able to understand and read them later without the spell. A magic-user's or elf's own spell book is written so that only the owner may read it without using this spell.

    Sleep  (Range: 240'  Duration: 4-16 Turns)
    This spell will put creatures to sleep for 4d4 turns.  The caster can only affect creatures with 4+1 hit dice or less.  Only 1 creature with 4+1 hit dice will be affected; otherwise, the spell affects 2-16 (2d8) hit dice of creatures.  The undead cannot be put to sleep.  When affecting a group of creatures of mixed levels (hit dice), lower level creatures will always be put to sleep before higher level ones.  Any "pluses" are ignored (for example, 2+1 hit dice is treated 2 hit dice).  Creatures with less than 1 hit dice are still considered as 1 hit die.  Any sleeping creature may be awakened by force (such as a slap).  A sleeping creature may be killed (regardless of its hit points) with a single blow with any edged weapon.  EXAMPLE: A party encounters 4 hungry lizard men. Sarien, an elf, casts a sleep spell at them. The DM rolls 2d8; the result of 7 means that 7 levels of creatures are affected. Lizard men have 2+1 hit dice, treated as 2 for the effects of this spell. Three lizard men fall asleep: 7 divided by 2 equals 3½, but a creature cannot be "partially" asleep from the spell.

This message was last edited by the GM at 12:09, Tue 11 Apr 2006.

 GM, 31 posts
 Game Dungeon Mistress
Sat 20 Nov 2004
at 17:21
Experience Point Awards
Being an online game, Karameikos Adventures is a little different to a table top game in many ways.  First, it's much slower -- a lot slower since we have a post minimum of once per week.  Second, it requires a lot more dedication and effort from its players over the long term.  In that light, that effort is rewarded with experience points for their characters.

    Role Playing
    A character can earn up to twenty experience points for each post written on their behalf.  It doesn't sound like a lot, but it can really add up.  Posts are awarded points based on their appropriateness, the role-playing demonstrated in them, use of materials and props, character development within the post, and so on.  The average post award (for a basic post of one paragraph simply describing a character's actions) will be 3 XP, however -- players will have to work for those extra points.

    When a character uses their skills appropriately, I'll award some extra experience. These skills can be anything from using a spell successfully to picking a lock, tracking a beast, using character background knowledge in a clever way, and so on, but this does not include combat skills (which are rewarded appropriately with experience from the kill).  There is an extra award of up to fifteen points for making a post that describes the use of a skill and brings it to life (rather than just saying, "I cast cure light on him.").

    When a character comes up with a good solution to a problem, they get an extra
    experience award of up to fifty experience points.

    When a character come up with one of those truly special posts (maybe a character who fancies themself a bard actually tells a story, or a cleric runs a ceremony in-character) then I will award an extra thirty to fifty experience points.

    If a character does something which causes them to earn some notoriety, they'll get a bonus of a few experience points for it.

    At the end of a combat, I total the experience points awarded for whatever is defeated in the combat and divide it equally among the participating members of the party.   Participating members don't have to be involved in melee -- they may be on look-out duty, healing the wounded, firing missiles, or casting spells.  Since Karameikos Adventures will be slowly run, I plan to double the kill experience points to hopefully assist characters to gain levels at a reasonable rate.

    The group can receive experience points for money and other treasure brought back to their Home Base and stored safely away or sold.  Generally this is one experience point per gold piece value.  Experience is not awarded for magical items unless those items are sold for cash.

    So long as the party is doing things to carry out their mission, I will award extra story line experience occasionally (for example, a group bonus of five-hundred experience points for finally clearing out a troublesome rat warren, or for solving the puzzle given them).  This is generally divided equally between participating characters.  Characters around for part of the story will receive a partial award.

    Though I keep track of experience points as we go along in the story, I only award it to individual characters once they've returned to a "home base" to rest and regroup.  Characters will normally have a place that is a safe haven, where they can let down their guard, get a bath and a hot meal, and have a strong drink and a full night's sleep -- they'll receive their experience points added to their character sheets once they arrive there safely.  If they have enough XP to level up, I'll let them know that and let them know if there's anything they need to do to gain that level.

 GM, 47 posts
 Game Dungeon Mistress
Sun 5 Dec 2004
at 14:54
Light and Vision
Most dungeons are dark and it is necessary for characters to bring their own light source with them.  A torch or lantern will cast light 30 feet in all directions.  A torch will burn out in 6 turns (1 hour); a lantern filled with one flask of oil will burn out in 24 turns (4 hours).  It is important to remember which characters are carrying light sources.  A character could not, for example, carry a lit torch, a drawn sword, and a shield at the same time.

INFRAVISION:  Infravision is the ability to "see" heat patterns.  Most living things give off heat.  To infravision, warm things are bright, cool things are gray, and cold things are black.  Infravision is useless in normal or magical light.  Infravision cannot be used to read without light.
 GM, 62 posts
 Game Dungeon Mistress
Wed 29 Dec 2004
at 04:24
Usually, when combat begins, I will roll initiative -- a 1d6 for each side involved -- to determine who goes first.  The side with the higher number goes first; if the die rolls are the same, actions are considered to take place simultaneously.  In a fight time slows: Combat is played out in rounds, each of which is estimated to last about one minute (so there are ten rounds to a Turn, which lasts ten minutes).

When I make my DM post, it ends the previous Round (usually with a summary of events) and begins the new Round.  Because it's online and you don't see me rolling the dice it can be a little confusing, but after I make my post all characters may take their turns (unless I send you a PL stating otherwise).

Often, I'll roll initiative for a few rounds in advance and I might announce the party has "back to back" attacks.  For example, let's say the party encounters a band of kobolds.  I roll initiative and determine that in Round 1, the kobolds go first.  Then, I roll initiative for Round 2 and this time the party wins and will go first.  I then will add a line to the DM Post saying the party gets back-to-back attacks -- when this happens, you should write two combat rounds into your post (so two actions: twice the movement, or two attacks, whatever is appropriate).

Though players will post in order as they have the time and inclination to write their posts during the week, I may re-arrange things slightly when I write my DM Post and summarize the Round.  This will take into account individual character speeds (where appropriate -- based on your character's Dexterity Bonus), and the actual flow of Combat in Basic D&D which goes in this order:

  1. Morale checks for NPCs
  2. Movement
  3. Missile Fire
  4. Magic Spells
  5. Melee

In one combat Round a character can:
  • Move their Running Movement distance (if they are not in melee); or
  • Move their Combat Movement distance and make a Melee attack (if they are not already in melee); or
  • Move their Combat Movement rate and make a Ranged attack (if they are not in melee); or
  • Cast a spell; or
  • Make a Fighting Withdrawal and a melee attack (if already in melee); or
  • Retreat (if already in melee); or
  • Perform some other action (such as drink a potion, read a scroll, &c.).

More details on each of the steps of combat follow.

  1. MORALE CHECKS: Player Characters never need to check morale to see if they wish to continue fighting: if their players wants them to continue, they will, barring any special circumstances, such as Charm spells.

  2. MOVEMENT:  Meleed opponents (those with enemies within 5' of them) may only move defensively and spell casters may never move and cast spells in the same round.  A character who wants to use Defensive Movement must say which type of Defensive Movement they are using (that is, include something like this in your post: [Private to GM: My character will start a fighting withdrawal, and try to move southwest toward the door.]).  Defensive Movement is the only movement permitted for a character within five feet of an enemy.  There are two types of Defensive Movement:

      A Fighting Withdrawal may be used in combat if the defender wishes to back up slowly. Movement backwards is limited to ½ the normal movement rate per round (or less). There must  be enough room to back up. In crowded situations, characters or monsters behind a creature attempting to use a fighting withdrawal will prevent this form of defensive movement.

      Any movement backwards at more than ½ the normal movement rate is a Retreat. If a creature tries to retreat, the opponent may add +2 to all "to hit" rolls, and the defender is not allowed to make a return attack. In addition to the bonus on "to hit" rolls, the attacks are further adjusted by using the defender's Armor Class without a shield. (Any attacks from behind are adjusted in the same manner.)

  3. MISSILE FIRE: When using missile fire (or throwing a weapon), check your character's weapon on your character sheet, see what you need to hit the specified AC (I'll usually tell you what the monster's AC is), and check what range your character is shooting from: short range is +1 "to hit", and long range is -1 "to hit". Dexterity may also help, so make sure to add your character's Dexterity Bonus when using a ranged attack.  When you know what you need to roll, roll a d20 on the die roller.  In your post, declare who your character's target was and whether they hit or missed -- if they hit, be sure to roll damage!  You can include this as a Private Line in your post, for example: [Private to GM: hit with a 14; 5 damage].

  4. MAGIC SPELLS: If your character is casting a spell during their turn, then write that into the post.  You don't have to call the spells by their mundane rule-book titles -- in-character, your character can refer to them anyway they like (just be sure to always include a "Private to GM" line to tell me what it really is).  Magic spells sometimes don't work right, however.  Be as descriptive with your character's casting as you can -- in addition to earning more XP for your character, this will also help my judgement call if the situation is borderline for some reason.  If your character is attacked and injured before they finish casting their spell, however, the spell will be ruined, and will be gone from their memory too.

  5. MELEE: And finally, melee!  As with missile fire, check your character sheet to see what your character needs "to hit" with their weapon and then roll 1d20 on the die roller, adjusted by their Strength Bonus.  Declare your character's target in your post.  Always roll damage for them, and adjust it by their Strength Bonus, too (and then include this information in a Private Line to the GM, just as with Missile Fire).  This way, if they have hit (whether due to their roll or due to some circumstance only the DM knows) the roll is there for the DM to use.  A character may use a melee weapon to attack anyone who is within five feet of them.

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:26, Mon 26 Apr 2010.

 GM, 368 posts
 Game Dungeon Mistress
Fri 2 Dec 2005
at 15:45
Unarmed/Non-Lethal Combat

Who May Use Striking and Wrestling
All character classes and levels of characters may use striking and wrestling techniques.  In unarmed combat, the attacker either strikes an opponent (with a fist, kick, &c.), or tries to grab an opponent (jump on, tackle, &c.).  Thus, we use two systems: One for striking, including all unarmed blows, and one for wrestling, for all other forms of unarmed combat.

Unarmed Combat vs. Weapons of Opportunity
These striking and wrestling rules refer only to unarmed combat.  If a character attacks another with a weapon, even a weapon of opportunity (mugs, tables, chairs, &c.), this is armed combat and follows normal combat rules.  (Weapons of opportunity are treated as clubs, generally with a -1 to -4 penalty "to hit" based on how clumsy the weapon is in the opinion of the DM.)

When one character hits their target in unarmed combat, this is called "striking".  A strike normally results in either a "stun" or a "knockout".  However, if the attacker has less than 4 Hit Dice, a stun is the only possible result.

  • Attacker Hit Dice: Although any creature may attempt to strike an opponent, inexperienced (i.e., low level) characters do not do it very well.  If the attacker has less than 4 Hit Dice, they cannot achieve a knockout result; a stun is the only possible

  • Size Differences: A strike cannot achieve a stun or knockout result if the victim is two or more times the size (height/length, not weight) of the attacker. (The strike will still do normal damage.)  A halfling cannot do a stun or a knockout to a full-grown human, but can achieve these results against an elf or dwarf, which are not twice their height.  When a character strikes a monster, the DM decides whether the victim is two or more times the size of the attacker.

  • Monsters With Other Attacks: Creatures whose weapons are parts of their bodies (such as claws) do not normally strike.  There are exceptions:  Bears, for example, can strike as well as claw.  When a monster with natural hand-to-hand weapons also strikes, it does strike damage equal to half of its normal attack.

  • Monster Immunities: Creatures with multiple heads may suffer few or no results until all of their heads have suffered stun or knockout results.  Several types of creatures are immune to some or all of the effects of Striking techniques.  Undead, constructs, and all oozes, jellies, and molds are completely immune to the effects of strikes and immune to damage, stun, and knockout results.  Additionally, if a creature can be hit only by magical weapons, striking has no effect unless the attacker is wearing a piece of magical apparel on the body part doing the striking (magical rings do not count as "apparel" for this purpose).  Finally, creatures who are immune to most normal weapons but do not necessarily require magic to hit them do not suffer damage from strikes, but can suffer stun or knockout results. (Example: Lycanthropes, which are immune to normal weapons but can be hit by silver weapons.) If the attacker is wearing magical apparel as described above, the strike attacks will also do damage to these types of monsters.

Striking Procedure
  1. During the melee phase of the combat round, the player announces that they intend their character to strike.  The character may strike with their fist, foot (kick), head (butt), elbow, or knee.  If they intend to use a fist, the character must be emptyhanded, or may drop or put away an item in their striking hand.
  2. The character goes through normal attack roll procedures.
  3. If their strike hits, the character does the base damage of 0 plus any bonuses from a high Strength.
  4. A victim hit by a strike must roll 1d20, and subtract their Constitution score from the result.  If the total is 1 or more, the victim is stunned for one round.  The stunned victim must also make a saving throw vs. Death Ray with a +4 bonus to the roll, or suffer a knockout.  The duration of the knockout is simply the result of the "1d20-minus-Constitution-Score" roll in combat rounds.  (If the victim is an NPC and their Constitution score is not known, the DM rolls or selects one; if the victim is a monster, twice its Hit Dice is use das its Constitution score, ignoring "pluses".)

Stun Effects
With the one-round stuns caused in unarmed combat, the victim cannot make any attacks until the stun wears off.  Also, while stunned, the victim moves at one-third the normal movement rate for whatever speed they are attempting.  They suffer a -4 penalty to all saving throws, they suffer a +4 penalty to their armor class, and they cannot concentrate, cast spells, or use magical items.

Knockout Effects
Knockout is simply a short sleep.  The victim is unconscious and completely helpless.

Special Considerations
  • Pulling a Punch: A character with a strength bonus can choose to "pull" their punch, dropping as much of their strength bonus as they like and trying for a stun or a knockout only.

  • Regenerating Opponents:  If the victim of a knockout also has the power to regnerate, the duration of the knockout is reduced by one point per point of regeneration every round.

When an unarmed character grabs a victim and tries to hold him, pin him, or bear him to the ground, this is called "wrestling."  Humans, demihumans, humanoid monsters, and humanshaped undead monsters can all wrestle.

  • Who May Wrestle: Any character of any class or level, most humanoid monsters, and undead monsters that were originally human, demihuman, or humanoid may use wrestling.

  • Initiative, Armed vs. Unarmed: When a character attempts to wrestle an armed opponent, the armed opponent always wins initiative automatically.

  • Unintelligent Monsters: Unintelligent monsters will always choose to use their normal attacks instead of wrestling, unless controlled.

  • Monster Immunities: Several types of creatures are immune to some or all of the effects of wrestling: Noncorporeal undead (wraith, spectre, &c.), oozes, jellies, slimes, and similar creatures cannot be wrestled.  Ethereal or elemental creatures can be wrestled only by opponents in the same form.

  • Contact Abilities: Special "touch" abilities (Energy Drain, Turn to Stone, &c.) function normally during wrestling if the monster wishes them to.

Wrestling Rating (WR)
    Characters and NPCs
  1. Divide the character's level by two, rounding up.
  2. Add the bonuses (or subtract the penalties) for Strength and Dexterity scores.
  3. Find the character's unmodified AC (not counting magic or Dexterity adjustments), and add the result to the total.
  4. Magic-users suffer a -1 penalty to their WR; dwarves, fighters, and theives gain a bonus of +1.

  1. Multiply the monster's Hit Dice by 2, not counting pluses.
  2. If the monster is not wearing armor, add 9.  If the monster is wearing armor (orc,
    kobold, giant, ogre, and other humanoids), add its armor class number instead of 9.

Wrestling Procedure
Each opponent involved in wrestling (whether attacking or defending) makes a simple roll of 1d20 each round.  If the character is trying to wrestle, they add their WR to the roll. If they are trying to do something else (such as strike, use a dagger, &c.), they do not add their WR that round.

The highest roll wins the round.  Ties dictate no result in that round.  In normal wrestling contests, characters move up and down the following table according to how well they are doing.

Before the wrestler wrestles their target, both targets are considered free.  When one successfully attacks the other, they grab their victim.  If they win the wrestling roll on the next round, they perform a takedown, bringing their opponent down to the ground and getting to a superior position over  them. (If the victim is already down on the ground, the winner still gets into a superior position and sets themself up for the next round.)  If they win another wrestling roll on the next round, they have pinned their opponent.

This, of course, assumes that the victim isn't fighting back.  The victim normally does fight back.  So, each round the two parties are wrestling, each makes their wrestling roll.  Compare the two 1d20 rolls.  The higher roll wins.  A tie means that there is no change in the characters' relative situations.

Wrestler vs. Attacker
One fighter could be wrestling while the other might be using some other attack, such as an unarmed strike or a dagger attack.  In such a case, the character who is wrestling will be able to pin their opponent relatively quickly.  However, the other character can still make attacks while grabbed or taken down, and might knock out the wrestler or stab them to death before the pin occurs.

Wrestling Effects
A character who is grabbed by a wrestler can still do many things.  The easiest and most immediate reaction is to drop everything and counter-grapple the wrestling attack.  They can also throw a small or medium throwing weapon (not at the person who has grabbed them!) and attack unarmed or with any small or medium hand weapon.  They cannot fire a missile weapon, cast a spell, use a magical item, perform a fighting withdrawal, or retreat.

A character who has been taken down has fewer options.  They can throw only small throwing weapons (still not at the person who has taken them down) and attack unarmed or with any small hand weapon.  Counter-grappling against the wrestler is still available while taken down.  They cannot fire a missile weapon, cast a spell, use a magical item, perform a fighting withdrawal, or retreat.

A pinned character can perform no combat maneuvers.  Once per round, however, they can make their wrestling roll (at a -3 penalty) to try to escape the pin.  If they ever beat their opponent's wrestling roll, they break the pin and return to being taken down.  The pinning character can inflict 1-6 points of damage (plus Strength bonus, if any), if they wish to; they do not have to inflict this damage.  If they plan to do  damage to their pinned opponent, they must state this intent during the melee combat phase of the round.  The victim can make a saving throw vs. death ray to avoid all damage, and a natural "20" is an escape from a pin.  If a group has pinned a character (see below), all of them can inflict damage, but the defender only makes one saving throw.

Multiple Wrestlers
When three or more characters all decide to wrestle against a common opponent, find the single wrestler with the highest WR (called the "leader").  Use their wrestling roll for the entire group, modified as follows:
  1.   For each group member with half (or less) the leader's Hit Dice, add 1 to the group WR.
  2. For each group member with more than half the leader's Hit Dice, add 5 to the group WR.

A maximum of four attackers can wrestle an opponent of equal size. Up to eight attackers can wrestle an opponent of twice their size, 12 against an opponent of triple their size, &c.

Wrestlers Being Attacked
When a wrestler has grabbed, taken down, or pinned a victim and is then attacked by another wrestler, the defending wrestler may either (a) release their victim and defend normally, or (b) continue to hold their victim and try to defend against the new attack with a -4 penalty to their WR.  While holding a grabbed, taken down, or pinned victim, they can make no other grabs.  Each roll they win merely indicates they successfully avoids the new attack, while holding the previously-grabbed victim.

When a wrestler has grabbed, taken down, or pinned a victim and is then attacked by a nonwrestler, the defending wrestler may either (a) release their victim and defend normally, or (b) continue to hold their victim.  If they release their victim, they get their full armor class and can attack by means other than wrestling.  But if they continue to hold their victim, they're very easy to hit, being treated as AC 9 with no Dexterity bonuses, and they cannot attack the new attacker.

Special Considerations
  • Instant Pin:  When one wrestler's wrestling roll (1d20 + WR), is 20 or more points higher than the other's, the loser is instantly pinned, regardless of what the two wrestlers' relative positions were previously.

  • Opponents with Multiple Attacks: If a creature has multiple attacks and is pinned, only one attack is negated by each pin.  For example, two attackers pinning a troll would negate its bite and one claw, but the troll would still be able to use its second claw attack each round.

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:11, Tue 25 Mar 2008.

 GM, 788 posts
 Game Dungeon Mistress
Tue 25 Mar 2008
at 20:08
Game FAQ

What's the Party Notebook for?  Why not just use the ScratchPad?
    Only you can see your ScratchPad, and some notes are better off shared with members of your party, hence the is the "Party Notebook".  Since neither I nor other players can read your ScratchPad, and you and I are the only ones who can read your character sheet, the Party Notebook is a good place to put things that don't need to be private, and which others may find useful to know and likely would know about your character -- such as what armor they're wearing, what languages they speak, and so on.  Some also like to record clues they discover there that don't need to be private to themselves, and which may help the party as the adventure continues.

How do I tell if the enemy is too close for me to safely use a ranged weapon?
    The easiest way to tell is to look at the "Current Map" thread.  The current combat situation will be shown there, usually at scale with a grid so you can measure by glance.  Also look at your character sheet and you'll see your ranged weapons there: note that the minimum range on any ranged weapon is five feet, meaning that the shortest distance they may be used from is 5' from an enemy.  That means you'll want at least one whole clear 5' square between you and a the enemy on the Current Map if you're going to try to use a ranged weapon, otherwise, you're too close.  I rely on players looking over the Current Map before they write their combat post -- just so everyone's working from the same page of the storybook.

If I drop/shoulder my first weapon and grab another from my waist, is that one movement, or half a movement?
    Half, usually.  If a character were (for example) going to dig a potion out of their backpack, or locate a scroll they didn't keep handy, that would take the whole round, but since we assume their common melee weapons are sheathed at their waists, just half a turn will work.  The character can then still move their combat movement distance or attack in that round.

Can characters die?  What happens then?
    Any character reaching zero (0) hit points is considered to be unconscious in this game.  They can be healed, and if they are restored to at least one (1) hit point, they are conscious again.  Any character who reaches negative hit points (-1 or below) is dead, however.  This does mean that if your character has 5 hp and takes 6 points of damage, they are dead.  A dead character can be restored to life using the spell Raise Dead, but barring that, the player must roll up a new character.  Players whose characters were second level or less when they died will start with no added experience to their new characters.  At that point, however, they may choose either to roll for money, or to take their former character's possessions as inheritance (let the DM know before rolling the dice, else the dice roll is it).  Those opting for inheritance will be charged an inheritance tax on the possessions, and will need to include their former character in their new character's background.

Do we roll our own dice for attacks and stuff?
    For many things, I don't care whether I roll the dice or the player rolls.  There are exceptions:  Usually, I prefer players roll their own characters' saves, attacks, and ability checks, and that I roll for things a character wouldn't "know" the result of -- whether they heard noise successfully, whether their search for a hidden door was failed, &c.

    In combat, I assume players know to roll for attacks and won't specifically ask.  In special circumstances, such as if a character needs to make a dexterity check to avoid slipping and falling on an oil-slicked floor, I'll usually drop the character a Private Line saying what die to roll with what target number, and what the results mean, and then let them take care of describing the end result.

    Any time there will have to be a roll to determine how many hit dice of something a spell affected (or something like that), players should feel free to tackle the roll on their character's behalf and put the number in a Private Line to DM.  If I get to where I need the number and I don't see a roll, I'll just roll it myself -- either way, it's no big deal.

What are the coup de grâce rules for Basic D&D?
    The official rule is that any creature (including a player character) who is helpless may be killed with a single blow of an edged weapon, no rolls required.  In my game, this generally applies to blunt weapons as well.  Exceptions would come into play if the creature in question were somehow unusual in a way that would make the coup de grâce unlikely to be successful, such as the creature is enormous, it is immune to the weapon involved, and so on.

How do attacks from behind work in Basic D&D?
    In general, the only characters who receive any bonus for attacking from behind are thieves, who receive the bonus as a special ability.  The text reads: "When striking unnoticed from behind, a thief gains a bonus of +4 on 'to hit' rolls and inflicts twice the normal amount of damage."  The only other rule for attacks from behind is slightly hidden in the section on Retreats, which notes that attacks on someone who is retreating are made at +2 and then notes that their shield bonus is removed adding then that "Any attacks from behind are adjusted in the same manner."  So, any attack from behind ignores the target's shield, as make sense.  If the target is also retreating, then a +2 "to hit" is to applied.

Can my character do subdual damage?
    In general, subdual damage is done by striking non-lethally in combat, for example, with the flat of a blade rather than with its edge.  In Basic and Expert rules, subdual damage is only for use with dragons, in order to "subdue" them.  It cannot be used against other creatures unless specifically noted by the DM.

What happens if I choose to strike with my character's weapon's hilt, pommel, or flat, rather than "lethally"?
    If a weapon is not used as it is intended to be used (that is, using the flat of a blade, or the hilt, rather than the edge), damage is still real but it is significantly reduced.  Usually the damage will be 1d2, or 1d4, at the DM's discretion.  If you wish your character to be doing non-lethal damage to "knock out" an opponent rather than kill them, use the "Striking" rules above.  Note that a strike with any weapon in hand (axe, sword, or beer mug) is considered to be an armed melee attack and does real damage, not knock-out damage.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:20, Wed 28 Apr 2010.