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House Rules

Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:18 am
by Grail
I am going to be running a game on New Years Eve for a group of friends (including my wife). This will be the first time that they've played Maelstrom, though many of them are long time gamers.

Anyway, I thought I'd post the House Rules that I'm going to be using here, and see what other House Rules people have used etc.

Modified Damage: For every 10 points of Endurance above 30, add 1 to damage from thrown, melee or bow weapons. If a melee weapon is used 2 handed, add an additional +2 to the damage. For every 10 points of Endurance below 30, subtract 1 from thrown, melee and bow weapons damage.

Fatigue: Every round of combat that a character either attacks or defends; they must make an Endurance save or suffer 1 point of Endurance damage. This damage heals at a rate of 1 per minute of rest or 1 per 10 minutes if not resting.

Heavy Weapons: Weapons have a minimum Endurance required to wield them. If a character’s Endurance is less than this, they suffer a penalty equal to the difference on Attack Skill, Defence Skill and Missile Skill when using it. In addition, if they are using a weapon that is too heavy for them, they automatically lose 1 point of Endurance each round from Fatigue in addition to having to make their save.

Heavy Armour: Characters who do not meet the required minimum Endurance for using Armour do not collapse under the weight. Instead, they suffer the penalty on all physical skill saves. In addition, they automatically lose 1 point of Endurance each round from Fatigue in addition to Heavy Weapons and normal saves whilst in combat. If they are not in combat, they need to make an Endurance save every 10 minutes or lose a point of Endurance. Whilst wearing Heavy Armour it is impossible to gain Endurance back from Fatigue unless resting.

Critical Success and Botches: A Critical Success or Botch is only achieved if the unmodified 01-05 (or 96-100 for a Botch) is confirmed with a second roll. For a Critical Success, the second roll need only be a successful save, and for a Botch it must be a failed save.

Armour Penetration: Some Sharp weapons and all Blunt weapons are able to reduce the effectiveness of armour. When struck by one of these weapons, the value of Armour Protection is halved (round up).

Bleeding: When struck by a sharp weapon, it is possible to suffer a bleeding wound. For any wound caused by a Sharp weapon that inflicts 10 or more damage (after Armour is taken into consideration) that wound will bleed (indicate it with an *, eg 5/10*/2 {17}). A wound that bleeds bleeds an amount equal to the first number of the wound value, eg a wound of 10-19 bleeds for 1, whilst a wound of 20-29 bleeds for 2 and so on.

Shields: Shields no longer provide an Armour Protection instead, they give a bonus to Defence Skill and are used to Parry blows rather than absorb injury in a passive manner like worn armour.

Missile Skill: Missile Skill starts at 20 rather than 30. Whenever a character modifies their starting Attributes, any reference to Attack Skill can be substituted with Missile Skill.

Effects of Training: All Additions gain +4 rather than rolling a dice. All subtractions get -3 rather than roll a dice.

In addition to this, I have mapped out individual weapon and armour stats.

Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:53 am
by Grail
And here are the weapon stats. Had to put in code, as no html table function.

Code: Select all

WEAPON                   AS      DS      DAMAGE  END     2-H     TYPE    RANGE        SPECIAL RULES
Knife - Small            -5      -10     1d6     -       N       Sharp   2/5/10       When thrown AS is -10
Knife - Large            -4      -9      1d6+1   -       N       Sharp   2/4/8        When thrown AS is -12
Knife - Cleaver          -5      -10     1d6+2   -       N       Sharp   1/3/6        When thrown AS is -15
Knife - Throwing        -10      -10     1d6+1   -       N       Sharp   3/6/12       When thrown AS is -3
Dagger - Stiletto        -4      -10     1d6+1   -       N       Sharp   1/3/6        When thrown AS is -10. Armour Penetration.
Dagger - Poniard/Rondel  -5      -8      1d10    -       N       Sharp   2/4/8        When thrown AS is -10
Dagger - Dirk            -3      -6      2d6     -       N       Sharp   2/4/8        When thrown AS is -10
Dagger - Main Gauche     -10     +5      1d6     -       N       Sharp   -            -
Sword - Short             0       0      2d6     -       N       Sharp   1/3/6        When thrown AS is -15
Sword - Tuck             -3      -4      1d10+2  10      Y       Sharp   -            Armour Penetration.
Sword - Falchion         -4      -6      4d6     25      N       Sharp   -            -
Sword - Broad            -1      -2      2d10    15      N       Sharp   -            -
Sword - Long             -3      -5      2d10+2  15      Y       Sharp   -            -
Sword - Rapier           +1      -1      3d6     -       N       Sharp   -            -
Sword - Two Hander       -5      -7      5d6     30      Y       Sharp   -            -
Club - Baton              0      -2      1d6+1   -       N       Blunt   1/3/6        When thrown AS is -10
Club - Cudgel            -3      -4      2d6     10      N       Blunt   1/3/6        When thrown AS is -12
Club - Shillelagh        -2      -3      1d10    10      N       Blunt   1/3/6        When thrown AS is -14
Club - Light Mace        -4      -6      2d6     15      N       Blunt   -            -
Club - Blackjack         -5      -10     1d10    -       N       Blunt   -            -
Club - Heavy Mace        -6      -8      3d6+1   40      Y       Blunt   -            -
Club - Bludgeon          -6      -9      3d6     35      Y       Blunt   -            -
Staff - Short            -3      +2      1d6     10      Y       Blunt   -            -
Staff - Quarter          -4      +3      1d6+1   10      Y       Blunt   -            -
Staff - Walking Cane     -5       0      1d6     -       N       Blunt   -            -
Flail - Grain            -5      -9      1d6     10      Y       Blunt   -            On a Botch, make an Agility check or suffer 1d6-2 damage.
Flail - Military         -4      -10     2d6     20      Y       Blunt   -            On a Botch, make an Agility check or suffer 1d6 damage.
Flail - Morning Star     -4      -10     2d6+1   25      N       Blunt   -            On a Botch, make an Agility check or suffer 1d6 damage.
Flail - Goupillon        -3      -12     4d6     40      Y       Blunt   -            On a Botch, make an Agility check or suffer 2d6 damage.
Flail - Horseman's       -3      -10     1d10    20      N       Blunt   -            On a Botch, make an Agility check or suffer 1d6 damage.

Spear - Hunting          -4      -3      2d6+2   15      Y       Sharp   4/8/16       When thrown As is -8. Double damage against Charging foe
Spear - Pike             -5      -9      2d6     25      Y       Sharp   -            Double damage against charging foe, can be used from distance.
Spear - Javelin          -8      -6      1d10    10      Y       Sharp   10/20/40     When thrown AS is -4
Spear - Thrusting        -4      -5      2d6     20      N       Sharp   3/6/12       When thrown AS is -8
Axe - Battle             -5      -6      3d6+2   25      Y       Sharp   -            -
Axe - Bardiche           -7      -10     5d6+2   45      Y       Sharp   -            -
Axe - Long               -6      -5      4d6+2   35      Y       Sharp   -            -
Axe - Hatchet            -4      -4      2d6+2   20      N       Sharp   2/4/8        When thrown AS is -12
Axe - Woodman's          -6      -7      3d6+2   35      Y       Sharp   -            -
Axe - Throwing           -8      -5      2d6     10      N       Sharp   4/8/16       When thrown AS is -6
Polearm - Lochaber Axe   -6      -8      6d6     40      Y       Sharp   -            -
Polearm - Halberd        -3      -5      4d6+2   35      Y       Sharp   -            -
Polearm - Voulge         -4      -6      3d10+2  35      Y       Sharp   -            -
Polearm - Glaive         -3      -4      2d10    35      Y       Sharp   -            -
Polearm - Partisan       -4      -4      2d6     25      Y       Sharp   -            Double damage against Charging enemy.
Polearm - Bill           -3      -3      3d6     30      Y       Sharp   -            -
Polearm - Military Fork  -2      -4      1d10    20      Y       Sharp   -            Armour Penetration.
Polearm - Lucerne Hammer -3      -4      3d6     20      Y       Either  -            -	
Hammer - War             -3      -5      3d6     20      N       Either  1/3/6        Armour Penetration.
Hammer - Horseman's      -3      -4      2d6     15      N       Blunt   1/3/6        -
Hammer - Maul            -6      -8      3d6+2   40      Y       Blunt	 -            -
Shield - Round           -15     +15     1d6     15      N       Blunt   -            Does not incur 2 weapon fighting penalty if used only to defend
Shield - Buckler         -10     +10     1d6+1   -       N       Blunt   -            Does not incur 2 weapon fighting penalty if used only to defend
Shield - Spiked Buckler  -9      +10     1d10    -       N       Sharp   -            Does not incur 2 weapon fighting penalty if used only to defend
Shield - Heater          -20     +20     1d6     20      N       Blunt   -            Does not incur 2 weapon fighting penalty if used only to defend

Bow - Self               -5      -       2d6     15      Y       Sharp   40/80/160    -
Bow - Short              -8      -       1d10    15      Y       Sharp   30/60/120    -
Bow - Long               -10     -       2d10    35      Y       Sharp   75/150/300   -
Crossbow - Hand          -2      -       1d6     10      Y       Sharp   10/20/40     Takes 1 round to load
Crossbow - Light         +10     -       2d6     15      Y       Sharp   30/60/120    Takes 2 round to load
Crossbow - Heavy         +2      -       3d6     35      Y       Sharp   50/100/200   Takes 4 rounds to load
Pistol - Light           +6      -       2d6     -       N       Sharp   10/20/40     Takes 2 rounds to load, Armour Penetration.
Pistol - Medium          +4      -       3d6     -       N       Sharp   15/30/60     Takes 2 rounds to load, Armour Penetration.
Pistol - Heavy           +4      -       4d6     10      N       Sharp   15/30/60     Takes 2 rounds to load, Armour Penetration.
Rifle - Light            +10     -       3d6     -       Y       Sharp   40/80/160    Takes 2 rounds to load, Armour Penetration.
Rifle - Medium           +8      -       4d6     10      Y       Sharp   50/100/200   Takes 2 rounds to load, Armour Penetration.
Rifle - Heavy            +4      -       5d6     20      Y*      Sharp   60/120/240   Takes 2 rounds to load, *Requires Stand or Endurance required is 50, Armour Penetration.

Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:04 am
by Grail
And here are the Armour stats. Had to put in code, as no html table function.

Code: Select all

ARMOUR                  AP  END 
Gambeson                2   - 
Cote Armour             3   - 
Leather Jerkin          4   - 
Brigandine              5   - 
Cuirboille Leather      6   10
Jack of Plate           7   10
Mail Shirt              8   15
Haubergeon              9   20
Breastplate             9   10 
Breast and Fauld        10  15 
Hauberk                 11  25
Mail Suit               12  30
Corslet                 13  35 
Half-Plate              14  35 
Plate and Mail          15  45 
Gothic Armour           17  50 
Plate                   18  55
Heavy Plate             20  60

Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:39 pm
by bottg
Very nice!

What adventure will you be running? One of ours or one of your own?

Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:14 pm
by Grail
I will be running one of my own.

Basic plot synopsis: On New Years Eve in 1547 a group of travelers are caught up in a conspiracy of murder and mysticism in the town of Elmborough, when a small cult of local women called “the Daughters of Azazel” try to summon a Fiendish Spirit to give them true powers of Witchcraft.

I will post a write-up of the game next year.

Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:06 pm
by Grail
So after running this game, it proved to be a success. I'm hoping the guys liked the system, but I feel that they're mostly more into the number crunching system and don't like flat dice rolls, even though they play d20 which is really just a flat dice roll... :roll:

However, I found that the Fatigue system, whilst looking good on paper was too cumbersome. All the other rules worked well.

Game post-up will be coming shortly.

New Year's Eve Game

Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:49 am
by Grail
Ok, here is the game that I ran NYE. It is slightly linear, but in a single setting game, you need to have a linear movement of plot. That's not to say that you can't sandbox a bit, and the walled town setting gives you a sandbox of very finite limitations that you can, as Referee, control easily.

The Game

The characters played were pre-generated and were:

Edmund Percy: A tall, gaunt Agent of Crown on his way to Norwich for reasons he was loathe to discuss.
Elizabeth Anderson: A plain looking woman claiming to be on a Religious Pilgrimige. She is really an Assassin who has given up her life of crime and is on the run from London, The Brotherhood and her past life.
Barclyffe Fitzhenry: A short and burly Mercenary on his way back to the North to fight in the Anglo-Scot war.
Jane Tripp: An attractive Huntress trying to sell fox pelts.
Friar Matt Tellor: A large, jolly Friar set on the roads for the last 6 years since the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
Miguel Sanchez: A Spanish Mercenary who had fled his home country and was now earning a living fighting against the Scots in the North.
Jeremy Wade: A Barber Surgeon and Mage of the ancient Ordo Calx Extraho that can trace its lineage to the early Roman Empire. He was recently forced to flee Cambridge after his books of magick were discovered by an Inn Keepers wife.

Highlights of the Game were:

* The characters splitting the party just prior to the attack by Herrick and their concern when he hefted the Bardiche.

* Friar Teller trying to get information from Michael in the madhouse and just causing him to get madder and madder.

* Elizabeth trying to hide her background, even though she kept doing things she shouldn't be able to do, such as ably stabbing Herrick in the back to put him down and trying to identify poison.

* The concern showed for Miguel when, after falling victim to Herrick, he was left unconscious in the care of Catherine Holmes who the group has just realised is one of the Coven.

* The group being certain that the Priest was behind it all, and that the crypt under the church was where the Beadle had been taken.

* The priest dying to the Daemon by being lifted bodily from the ground by his neck and then having it snapped like a twig. Edmund then saying "dodge this" and shooting said Daemon in the face with a crit and blowing out the side of its face. It smiling at Edmund after said crit. Edmund's response.

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:33 pm
by bottg
Sounds facsinating! I would say that the Fatigue system can indeed be a bit fiddly, so ignore it if you prefer. It doesn't really add much anyway.

I like the sound of that adventure though.

Posted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:44 pm
by Grail
Well, the fatigue rules were to tie in with END ratings for weapons/armour. IMO, there needs to be some reason why everyone doesn't wear heavy armour and carry heavy weapons.

Having Scalable Endurance meant that only those that were strong to start would use the heavy weapons from the get-go. I think I will continue looking at this aspect for future games, but I'll try to tighten it up somewhat.

As to the game, it was very good. Ran very smoothly and everyone got right into the swing of it. The players were dancing around a couple of the conspiracy members for a while, unable to bring them forth until the end, even though they knew that the Midwife was somehow involved and that the Beadle or his wife or both were involved.

The game ran from 3:30pm til 2:30am with a break around 8:00 - 8:45pm for dinner and another short break from 12:00 midnight to 12:15am for New Year celebrations.

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:49 am
by PaulB
While a Referee can benefit from having the crunch to penalise players for selecting big weapons and heavy armour for their characters, roleplaying has to provide the other angle. Whatever form the local law enforcement might take - whether Beadle, Justice of the Peace or the mob employed by a local noble - will not take kindly to characters wandering around the town with full battlegear on.

Such well armed characters will become a focus of attention for every law man, braggart, and rogue for miles around - keen to imprison, beat up, or steal from, respectively. Once jailed, overpowered or hoodwinked, the characters might think twice next time... but, better still, don't allow them to get hold of the stuff in the first place!

Unless someone used to be a soldier - whether from a disbanded private army or serving the King in one of England's many wars - why would they have such heavy weaponry and armour?

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:27 pm
by bottg
Also, in the core rulebook, under the description of mercenaries, it says that they are hated and feared, and all heavily armed characters will be treated the same.

Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:04 am
by Grail
Both good points, and good roleplaying does come into it.

However, one must take into consideration that this is not a heroic gamesystem, and it has no rules for proficiency in either armour or weapons. There is nothing to stop Sally Carpenter, servant for Sir Edward Sidebottom picking up a Bardiche off the wall and swinging it with aplomb other than her Attack Skill.

Now, Sally Carpenter as we well know is a dainty little thing with an Endurance of 30, she is fit and healthy but is anything but strong. Picking up a heavy weapon should come with some form of mechanical penalties IMO. This, after all is not a heroic setting or system and feats such as this would certainly raise the eyebrows of more than one God fearing Christian and result in the cries of Witch.

And then there are the players used to the heroic/d20/dnd style games. They will see no ramifications for wearing armour other than a few people casting side-long glances at them or their being refused entry to Lady Cossington's High Tea. Now sure, Dwight Michael, Tailor of the highest quality could put on that Hauberk for the first time, and sure he could manage to move about in it without too much trouble. That is, until he is put under duress. Then that mail long shirt suddenly feels like the weight of the Devil himself, and he would find himself tiring quickly.

Anyway, that is IMO why I thought up the Fatigue rules.

I still think that there is a place for them, but obviously, the original rules I came up with were clunky when the heat was applied, and they need to be re-thought.

Of course, I could just up the END requirements for both armour and weapons and be done with it, which might be a more elegant and simple method.