Sunday, June 8, 2008

What Price Glory part One

What Price Glory is a collection of Rules Packets for combat. Each collection of rules or packets may be used alone, or with any combination of the other modular pieces of What Price Glory. As a whole, these Rules Packets present a detailed, advanced combat model for D&D encounters. What Price Glory is presented in this segmented, modular format to allow referees to pick and choose from amongst these alternate rules, and to fine tune and alter them to taste.

As promised, I am presenting here the 15 Rules Packets for What Price Glory.

Part One will be Rules Packets 1-5.

What Price Glory
Packet One: Hit Points

Hit Points are a measure of the physical damage a being can sustain. Hit Points for Characters, or other members of a Race, are slightly different than the Hit Points for Monsters. Characters increase their Hit Point totals through the acquisition of experience, and the extra Hit Points gained this way are an abstract measure of their expertise, morale and fatigue. Monsters are typically presented with an amount of Hit Points which represent their mass and ability to withstand physical damage before they are slain.

Each and every Character, or member of a Race, has two Hit Point values that must be recorded separately when sustaining damage, Vital Hit Points and Fatigue Hit Points. Vital Hit Points, or Vitality (VIT), is the amount of Hit Points at First Level. This is the actual tissue damage a Character can sustain before being reduced to zero Hit Points. Before any CON adjustments, this translates to six VIT for Magic Users and Clerics, and seven VIT for Fighting-Men. All Hit Points gained from subsequent levels after the first are Fatigue Hit Points (FHP), or simply Fatigue. These are the points which must be removed or lowered by attacks from enemies before the VIT points can be directly damaged. Thus, damage is sustained and subtracted first from FHP, once FHP is at zero, further damage is subtracted from VIT.

Vitality damage requires magical healing or long periods of rest to regenerate. Fatigue regenerates quickly during short periods of rest. Characters regenerate Fatigue at a rate of 3/level for each Turn (or 10 minutes) of rest.

Optionally, since first level Characters do not gain the benefit of fast recovering FHP, the referee might consider allowing 50%, or roughly three HP, of a first level Character’s VIT to be treated like FHP until they attain second level.

What Price Glory
Packet Two: Damage

Damage is the result of a successful hit in melee. Damage is calculated using d6. Characters and Monsters deal damage differently. Characters deal a default range of 1d6 damage, regardless of experience level. Monsters can deal 1, 2 or even 3d6 due to factors such as mass, fantastic prowess or even otherworldly power.

Certain weapons and fighting styles might add or deduct a point or two from a Character’s damage result, and Characters also have two bonuses which do not apply to Monsters.

Multiple Dice: Certain factors will allow a Character to roll more than 1d6, and select the highest roll from amongst all of those dice for damage.

Fighting-Men add a d6 to their damage rolls at level 5 and again at level 8.
Clerics add a d6 to their damage rolls at level 7.
Magic Users add a d6 to their damage roll at level 9.
Magic Weapons add a d6 to damage rolls.

When rolling Multiple Dice, while only a single die is used to calculate damage, any die that rolls a 6 and is not used as the highest result will add 1 damage to the attacker’s total. For example, if a Fighting-Man throws 3d6 to determine damage, and comes up with three sixes, his base damage would actually equal 8 (6+1+1) .

Dynamic Dice: Rolls of 6 call for an immediate roll again of that d6 for potential extra damage. This re-roll only applies to the single d6 selected to represent damage, not for each and every 6.

A 6 on damage means roll that die again:
1-3: +0 damage.
4-5: +1 damage.
6: +1 damage and roll again on this table.

These small bonuses for the Characters can add some excitement to damage rolling, and result in some rare but memorable blows of heroic proportion.

What Price Glory
Packet Three: Death

Characters and Monsters use slightly different rules to determine exactly when each is slain. Monsters are simply considered dead when their Hit Points are reduced to zero. Characters have a more in depth treatment of determining when death occurs. At zero Hit Points a Character is considered unconscious until Hit Points are gained through rest or healing. This state, also called At Death’s Door, increases in range as the Character gains experience. The range of At Death’s Door is equal to a Character’s level in negative Hit Points. If a Character stays in this range, he or she is merely unconscious. For example, a 1st level Character is unconscious at zero or -1 Hit Points, at -2 or lower, that Character is dead. A 7th level Character is unconscious through -7 Hit Points, and dead at -8 or fewer Hit Points.

Normally, an unconscious Character will remain at that less than one Hit Point state, At Death’s Door, until damage is healed or regenerated through rest. Certain types of damage might continue to reduce a Character’s Hit Points even while he or she is unconscious, as determined by the referee. For example, a Character on fire, in a pool of acid, or being devoured by Giant Rats will continue to lose Hit Points until death overtakes the Character.

What Price Glory
Packet Four: Combat Sequence

The Combat Sequence is an exchange of attacks between two or more opposing sides, normally Characters versus Monsters. At the outset of an encounter, the referee determines Surprise, Distance and Initiative as normal. The Combat Sequence has a length of just five seconds. All participants in the encounter may perform a Move and an Action, except in the case of spell-casters. Casting a spell requires both the Move and Action portion of the Combat Sequence to perform.

The Combat Sequence is fast and furious, and results are determined in steps in the following order of resolution:

Combat Steps:

Missiles: Firing or throwing a Missile. This action may be held until steps 2 or 3 as long as the combatant is willing to forgo any movement. Missiles may not be used if the combatant is engaged.

Movement: A combatant may move during this step, or fire a held missile. Movement is based on a combatant’s Move rate as follows, to arrive at a round distance called the Combat Move:

Move 3=10 feet
Move 6=15 feet
Move 9=20 feet
Move 12=25 feet
Move 15=30 feet

Combatants may forgo any Missiles, Melee or Magic in order to perform an extra Combat Move. The extra Combat Move occurs during the Melee step, and movement may be halted if the Character is engaged during this move.

Melee: Adjacent combatants may conduct Melee now, or fire a held missile if not engaged.

Magic: Spells being cast during the previous steps will resolve now. Spell-casters hit during the Combat Sequence will have their spell interrupted, but not expended. This step encompasses all Magic Item activations as well. A Magic Item may only be activated if the Character did not fire a missile, or conduct melee.

All spell-casters are allowed to have a single Readied Spell at all times, as long as they have a spell remaining, and have taken the time to ready it in a non combat situation. A Readied Spell will be cast unerringly, even if the spell-caster is hit during the combat sequence. A Readied Spell is the only spell which may be cast by the spell-caster. For example, a Cleric has readied Cure Light Wounds. During the next encounter, the Cleric may not cast any other spell until that readied Cure Light Wounds has been cast.

What Price Glory
Packet 5: Initiative

Initiative is awarded using no dice in What Price Glory. The order of actions is determined for each and every combatant in the following order: He who has the superior Range acts first, ties in Range mean combatants check the next step, Dexterity. Then, he who has the superior DEX rating acts first, ties in DEX mean combatants check the next step, Weapon Speed. He who has the superior Weapon Speed acts first. If the combatants are still tied after these three checks, the attacks resolve simultaneously. Whenever Initiative is determined, the winner has the option to elect to wait and ‘Hold Initiative’, forcing the opponent to act first.

Range, Dexterity and Weapon Speed Checks:

Range: Whomever has the advantage of Range gains Initiative. Normally, Missiles have the advantage of Range, followed by weapons with Reach, standard weapons, then short or natural weapons (claws, teeth). If Range is a tie, move to the next stage, Dexterity.

Dexterity: Whomever has the advantage of Dexterity gains initiative. Dexterity is measured as High, Normal or Low. High Dexterity is 15 or greater DEX score, or particularly quick Monsters. Normal Dexterity is a DEX of 7-14, and standard Monsters. Low Dexterity is a 6 or lower DEX, and slow Monsters like Slimes and Zombies. If Dexterity is a tie, move to the next stage, Speed.

Weapon Speed: This stage measures nothing more than the weight or method of attack of the weapon being used.
Fastest: Natural attacks (bite, claw, appendage, kick, head butt).
Faster: Dagger.
Fast: Spear, Sword.
Normal: Hand Axe, Hammer, Mace, Shield, Staff.
Slow: Flail, Morning Star.
Slower: Battle Axe, Halberd, Two Handed Sword.
Slowest: Lance, Pike, Pole Arm.

~Sham, Quixotic Referee


Anonymous said...

Very interesting stuff overall!! I specially liked hit points and damage. Keep this articles coming!

- Zulgyan

Sham aka Dave said...

Hiya Zulgyan

More coming soon! This will probably have a few changes here and there along the way-before it's makes it to the tiddlywiki in a final state. I'll put changes in the body and comments of the post.

I am already thinking it might be best to round off the Combat Sequence move rate as follows:

Move 3=10 feet, 20 for Double
Move 6=15 feet, 30 for Double
Move 9=20 feet, 40 for Double
Move 12=25 feet, 50 for Double
Move 15=30 feet, 60 for Double

Thanks for the comment!


Anonymous said...

I gotta tell you, I read almost all of your blog. Great stuff indeed, keep it up!


trollsmyth said...

Neat stuff here, Sham. I'm not sure I understand what you're doing with initiative, though. Does each character have three initiatives, or do you only go to Dex if you have a tie in range?

Also, if you have two opponents firing ranged weapons at each other, does the longest ranged weapon go first, even if the two combatants are fairly near one another?

- Brian

Sham aka Dave said...

Zulgyan: Thanks! I'm glad you are enjoying my ramblings.

Trollsmyth: Thanks for the input. I need to reword that packet, methinks.

DEX is used only when there is a tie in Range, and Weapon is used only when there is a tie in DEX.

In order to avoid dice rolling for Initiative, yes, the longer range weapon always fires first. So, Crossbows are faster than Bows are faster than Slings are faster than Javelins are faster than Hurled weapons. A loaded Crossbow should be fast, but I do have rules that only allow a crossbow to be fired once every other round in Solstice, so that advantage is not reliable.

Typically it should mesh well with the Combat Sequence of Missiles, then Move, then Melee, then Resolution of Magic.

I'll work on rewording that one as well.



trollsmyth said...

A loaded Crossbow should be fast, but I do have rules that only allow a crossbow to be fired once every other round in Solstice, so that advantage is not reliable.

Ha! I was just thinking of doing something similar with crossbows in my Moldvay/Cook/LL hack. Ok, yeah that makes sense. Thanks again.

- Brian

Randall said...

Very nice house rules, Dave. I can't wait for Parts 2 and 3.

Your Hit Points packet inspired a post on my blog about my old Body Point/Fatigue Point system. Similar concept but different execution.

Sham aka Dave said...

Thanks Randall. I'm updating two bits now: Changing Combat Move as I mentioned earlier, and rewording Initiative as pointed out by Brian.


PS - Part 2 will be up soon, and I'll be looking for more input.

Sham aka Dave said...

1. Combat Move.
2. Initiative.
3. Increased EXP level when C and MU earn extra damage die.
4. Clarified Dynamic Dice.