SPELLS & SWORDS ADVENTURING RULES
Below are various things the GM and players must be aware of upon entering
as dangerous an environment as a Dungeon.
The players an GM must always be cognizant of the Parties Marching Order:
Who’s in front and Who’s in Back. Every Space wide a corridor is will allow
Another party member to join the Front Rank. The GM needs to know who
Approaches a Door first and who is the first to enter a room. When entering a
Room or Facing off for a Combat Encounter in a Room the players may want
Or need to alter their Rank arrangements.
Sprint Swift +4
Run Swift +2
Normal Per Movement Rate
Cautious Swift -2 (Can still make Search Skill Checks)
Crawl Move Rate = 1
Players in conversation can be heard by Foes on the other side of a door.
Players in Heavy Armor do not tread quietly.
Combats can be extremely loud.
Accidentally breaking or dropping things may tip off prospective enemies.
Many Monsters have acute hearing. They know you are coming.
If the players are arguing, this means that their characters are also arguing.
-Some Underground settings have fluorescent Fungi or glow stone to light
The way. Others leave the Characters in utter Blackness.
Some Characters will have Infravision, most others require a light Source.
-Players must state who is holding a Torch or a Lantern.
-The GM and players must keep track. Oil and torches get used up.
These are usually counted in terms of Days Supply, such as a Days worth of
Torches, or a Days worth of Lamp oil.
-Some will flicker out during a Combat (They can later be relit).
-Some Spells and Magic Items provide Light.
-Light Sources can be seen from great Distances by your Foes but the
Opposite is not true. Characters without light will be Blinded.
Blinded Characters have a tendency to panic.
-Quality of Light is also an issue. A Torch may light up a small room
Sufficiently, but in a larger room the ceiling and corners may be
Hidden in shadow.
A successful Lock picking Skill Check might do the trick, but sometimes
Brute Force is required. A Flask of Acid will corrode and weaken a Lock
Mechanism. Bombs and Exploding Rune Stones work great. Certain
Spells are extremely effective: Knock and Lock, Disintegrate, Lightning
Bolt, Tunnel, Energy Bolt, etc. Physical means will also work eventually:
Hammers, Picks, Crowbars, and even Kicks and Body Slams. Many of these
Methods are very Noisy and are sure to attract attention, especially from
Anyone on the other side of the door.
Lingering in Dungeons is never recommended. The GM should check for
Wandering Monsters every hour at least, more if the party is
Doing things to attract attention to themselves like being noisy or lighting
Up the place. Figure a base 25% of one showing up.
Short rests (30 Minutes) will allow recovery from Fatigue and Exhaustion.
Long Rests (8+ Hours) are required to replenish Spells. Successful Long rests
are unlikely due to the presence of wandering monsters.
WANDERING MONSTER TABLE
1-4 Nuisance Encounter
5-7 Weaker than Party
8-9 Equal Strength to Party
10 Stronger than Party
Cautious and Paranoid Players will spend lots of Time (Real and In-Game) using
the Search Skill to thoroughly examine their surroundings in search of traps,
treasures, and secret doors. This can entail an excessive amount of Dice Rolling
and secrecy as the GM will not want to tell Players outright that they have failed
Skill Checks. One possible Solution to streamline this process is to treat the
Party as a single individual. For each hidden thing make one Hard Skill Check
modified by Search. Use the highest Search skill of the party (Do not lose your
Rogues). The GM can then simply pick which characters find what. This seems to
work OK, unless you like rolling lots of dice.
After Several Minutes of Extreme Physical Activity, Individuals will Tire.
Running, Fighting, lifting heavy loads can all produce this effect.
Fatigue kicks in after 2D4 + X Minutes, where X is the Characters Toughness.
The basic Fatigue Penalty is -1 to all Rolls. Another Penalty will be
earned every 1D3 + X minutes after the first. For penalties after the first
the Character must save or Pass Out for 1D3 Hours.
Characters have a tendency to weigh themselves down with too much Stuff.
Each Encumbrance Penalty will give a -1 to all Rolls involving Physical
Activity and -1 to Movement. #EP = Number of Encumbrance Penalties
Items Carried: #EP Notes:
Fully Equipped 0 Armor, Shield, Helm, Full Pouch, Rations, Gear, 2-4 Weapons
Extra Set of Equip 1 Enough for a Another Adventurer
Large Treasure Bag 1 Filled with Gold, Jewelry, Coins, Magic Items
Something Heavy 1 Saddle, Canoe, Table, Barrel, Human Body, War Drum, Crate
JUMPS AND LEAPS
A Character can jump straight up 1.5 times his height.
With a running Start a character can clear a 10 Foot Gap (+1 Foot per level).
Skill Check: Add Swift Bonus. -1 for Halflings. -2 for Dwarves and Gnomes.
Leaping Attack: Often a Character will Jump off a ledge, Wall, Tree branch, etc. to
attack a Foe beneath him. The Attacker gets Attack +2 and Damage +2. There is a 50% the
Leaping Attacker will hurt himself also in the Maneuver: Suffer a Light Wound and
roll on the Light Wound Table.
When Chasing a Fleeing Foe, each round, each participant in the Chase rolls 1D20 and
Adds their Swift (or Ride) Bonus. The Highest Roll moves farthest.
The Run-Away starts with a slight lead.
If a pursuer beats the Roll of the Run-Away 2 rounds in a row, he catches him.
If the Run-Away out-runs a pursuer 2 rounds in a row, that pursuer gets too far behind
and drops out of the chase.
The GM may of course modify aspects of this depending on the details of the Chase.
For instance, the Run-Away may have a much larger Head Start. The Pursuers, if far behind,
may want to continue the Chase for minutes or hours. If the Run-Away gets out of sight,
the Pursuers may require Tracking Skill Checks. Difficult Terrain and obstacles such as
running through a crowded market may become an issue for both sides. One side may
acquire mounts. Pursuers may not be friendly towards each other. A Wagon may lose a Wheel.
Complications and combat during the Chase will make things more interesting.
A Character can hold his Breath for 2 Minutes.
The Beginning of Every Minute After that Save vs Death or Drown.
Get -1 to each consecutive Roll. Add Toughness and Swim Bonuses to Roll.
A Character with Swim Skill can hold their breath for 3 Minutes.
A Character without Swim Skill moves at half Speed when Swimming.
A Character with Swim Skill moves at regular Speed when Swimming.
A Diving Character gets Swift +2 on the round he dives in.
A Character who Fails a Climbing Skill Check will Fall.
Rope gives Climb +1. Spikes give Climb +1
Rope and Grappling Hook gives Climb +2.
Characters Climb at half their normal move rate.
Make one Climbing Check per 20 Feet or Less.
Straight Walls give Climb -2.
Ice Walls give Climb -1.
Smooth, Slippery Walls give Climb -2
Rough, Cracked Walls give Climb +1
Walls with Ledges give Climb +1
Sloped Walls or Trees give Climb +1
Incremental Damage Rule: Every 10 Feet or less after the first adds Damage +1.
If a Character Saves vs Fall ignore the Incremental Damage Rule.
The Slow Fall skill adds to the Saving throw as long as the Character is able
to grab things on the way down.
A ration is one days food.
Most Settlements will have plenty of food available for a few coins.
A small Dungeon may only require a couple of Days to clear.
An expedition to the Underworld could take weeks.
A normal load carried by an Adventuring Character would be around 10 Rations.
Effects: When you catch a Disease roll 1D3 times on this Table.
Incubation Period: The effects of a Disease will begin in 2D20 Hours.
A Disease will last 1D4 Weeks.
The Sickness Penalty is a -1 to all Rolls, Saves, and Checks.
LIST OF DISEASE EFFECTS
1D20 Disease Effect: Notes:
1. Blindness Blindness Penalty
2. Deafness Communication Difficulties
3. Speed Loss Move -2
4. Muscle Weakness Strength -2
5. Endurance Loss Toughness -2
6. Need for Sleep 18 Hours a Day
7. Lethal Save vs Death on Days 2, 3, and 4
8. Vomiting/ Dizziness Sick Penalty
9. Feverish Sick Penalty
10. Malaise Sick Penalty
11. Delirious Confusion Penalty
12. Paralysis Immobilized
13. Pain/ Cramps Sick Penalty
14. Headaches Sick Penalty
15. Lose Voice Communication Difficulties
16. Diarrhea Sick Penalty
17. Coughing Sick Penalty
18. Pox/ Boils Sick Penalty
19. Itching/ Rash Sick Penalty
20. Shortness of Breath Strength, Toughness, and Move -1
There is always a chance one of these guys will just randomly show up to make the Parties
Day better or worse. Better or at least more interesting than a Wandering Monster. These,
of course, are just a sample of what’s possible. You never know when your players are going to
Develop an unexplained interest in a minor NPC.
RECURRING NPC LIST:
1. Minor Villain – Will harass the party from a distance. Get them to walk into Monster
Lairs, Traps, and minion infested Areas. Likes to trick them. Makes Sport of it.
2. Competing Adventure party – Mirror Image of the Party, but more Evil. Will fight them,
Steal from them, Intimidate them, and leave them to die every time they have an advantage
3. Halfling Burglar – Nicest little guy ever. However he has a bad habit of stealing
Relics From the Party, especially the overpowered ones. If caught will escape.
4. Trouble maker - Unbeknownst to this individual, he accidentally makes trouble for the
Party even before they get where they are going. A Merchant or Rogue usually.
5. Love Interests – Meddling. Some cuter than others. Dependents or even Hero types.
6. Bard - Latch on to Party. Looking for inspiration for Stories and Songs. Also
Safety in numbers when traveling at night on the roads.
7. Mercenary - Always getting left behind, Separated. Bad Luck. Not too bright.
8. Traveling Merchant- Always asking top dollar. Will make a pretty penny on the Party.
9. Explorer will Exchange Rumors – Filling in empty spaces on his Maps and in his Journals
10. Runaway Princess – She didn’t want to get Married.
11. Scoundrel being chased – Lawmen not far behind. Hide me!
12. Duelist with a Vendetta – Always harassing the same Character.
13. Lone Wolf – May have Competing Missions. Might help momentarily or try to
Get the Party to leave. Might need help but rarely admits to it.
14. Peaching Priest – Will Heal party in hopes of getting Converts.
15. Alchemist looking for Ingredients – It’s just on the top of that Ridge!
16. Ranger with Dire Warnings – Over Dramatic.
17. Quest giver - Wizard, Spy, Noble. Sometimes has Maps, Keys, and other useful items
To give those who will do their dirty work for them.
18. Gnome Sky Captain – Balloon Airship. Gnome Crew. Taxi for hire.
19. The Giant Slayers - Will trade relics. Especially Armor that doesn’t fit them, and
spellcaster Stuff they cannot use. They have Beer! Party of Adventuring Dwarves.
20. Madman speaking nonsense - The occasional good Clue, Rumor, or Warning
BARRIERS AND OBSTACLES:
Below is a sample List of Actions your party may need to do to navigate or clear
a path through a Dungeon. Some are hard. Some are Easy. Some are obvious. Some
are not obvious at all. Consequences vary. Some require skill checks, or Spells,
or the use of particular items. Some are in the form of puzzles, traps, tricks,
or Creature encounters.
put together pieces of map
find hidden writings on document
use glasses with multiple colored lenses
use compass to find cardinal directions underground
use key in door with 20 magic locks
burn away cobwebs
knock ladder lose
press switch at bottom of pool
open covered shaft
bomb bricked up opening
crawl through hole
climb wall sideways
break barrier by jumping onto it with all your weight
find secret passage in grave in wall
push lid off sarcophagus
use lever to open sewer grate
use bolt cutter to break chains
slide down metal cable using grappling hook
swing on chandelier to get to balcony
pull levers up or down
deflect missile aimed at you
jump from moving platform
climb up chasm
rotating stone bridge
use figurine as key
blocking vines fall limp at smell of pipe-weed
replace object with one of same exact weight
open door in spiked wall moving towards you
jump past swinging axes by learning pattern
use math to calculate frequency needed
do not step on trap activating floor stones
use lasso, whip, or vine to swing across pit
use floor switch to change height of platforms
use crystal staff in conjunction with floor map and beam of sunlight
use mirror to reflect light beam onto light sensitive switch
light torch to open door
jump from exact spot
use portal on floor of pit
use sliding block to help climb
needed object behind block in wall
ring gong or giant bell X number of times
lower water level to use raft
shoot embossed metal plate in wall or doorframe
drop marked block onto target
fix exposed wiring in contraption
set dials on apparatus to zero to activate
align a series of magnets
set off domino type chain reaction
place metal discs in specified order on machine
play correct melody on glass organ
pick correct cylinder recording for automatic symphony
Find missing Cog for mechanism
revive puppet boy to get clues
animated hands on walls will move you up or down shaft
use technology skill to decipher control panel
maneuver block to use as part of a bridge
reduce light or cross area before false floor tiles become visible
defeat foes in a certain order to get a hint
get large foe to trap his head in a small opening
kill foes before they become fully activated
foe afraid of water. swim to safety
get horde to fight you in narrow tunnel
use maze skill to figure out where hidden passages should be
sneak past guards
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