Sunday, February 12, 2012

Swords & Wizardry Combat Notes, Two years later

When I published Majestic Wilderlands, I vowed to eat my own dogfood and ran several campaigns using Swords & Wizardry plus Majestic Wilderlands. Nearly three years later one campaign was completed and one is still ongoing.

When I started I posted some notes on how I planned to run Swords & Wizardry combat. Here how it shook out after two years of use.

1) Everybody rolls individual initiative every round adding their Dexterity Modifier.
Still use this, but now Fighters get to add their to hit bonus. The initiative die is 1d6. I switched from a initiative board to a countdown system. I first ask if anybody rolled higher than a ten. That determines the number I start counting down from. Then I go ten, nine, eight, etc. This developed from having 7 to 8 players at my table during the Gold Star Anime games.

2) You can move up to 1/2 of your movement and get your full range of attacks.

I still do this. Works well nothing more to comment, other than a bunch of stuff like drinking a potion, dragging something out of the backpack count as a 1/2 round action. Basically a character can do two things a round.

3) If you get multiple attacks in melee you get one attack during your initiative and the rest at the end of the round.
Quickly fell by the wayside as too fiddly.

4) You can 1/2 move and attack, and attack and 1/2 move.
See #2.

5) If you have multiple melee attacks you can step on one square before each attack
You get to step one square before each attack and take one 1/2 move anytime keeping with the "You can do two things in a round" rule.

6) multiple ranged attack all go off on your initiative.

7) you can choose to move up to 1/2 move and split multiple ranged attack at any point on the move.
Never came up in two years. Although if somebody wanted to do this I would let him.

8) There is not attacks of opportunity or free attacks you can roam the battlefield how you feel like it.
9) The only exception is that you must stop movement when entering a hexes or squares next to a enemy. If you are already next to an enemy you can always take a step of a single hex or square before attacking. This includes multiple attacks.
Still do this. Basically you can take a step as one of your actions and not have anybody free attack you. Anything else draw a free attack. The procedure for retreating is to step back a step and then do a 1/2 move.

10) Spells goes at the caster's initiative. If the caster takes damage before their initiative then they can't cast a spell.
Quickly fell by the wayside as too fiddly.

11) Take a round to get up if you are knocked prone
Still in enforce although it rare when somebody is knocked prone.

12) 1 results in a miss and you throwing your weapon into a really inconvenient spot.
13) 1 while using unarmed combat results in you falling down and going prone
I use a d6 roll for critical miss. 1-3 fumble your weapon away/fall prone, 4-5, hit an ally, 6 hit yourself.

13) a 20 results in a critical hit that is your normal damage + max damage. You can keep rolling and for every 20 you roll you get to add max damage again. For example if Able rolls three 20s in a roll with a longsword and a +1 str modifer then he would do 9+9+9+1d8+1 damage.Works great and still use it. After reading a very similar rule in another game, I may modify the roll so that if you score a second success you get to do some type of extra game.

14) See the Majestic Wilderlands for various rules on weapons like polearms, crossbows, shields, and mounted combat.
Still used but doesn't come into play often.

15) attacks from the rear are +2 to hit or flanking a target will grant a +1 to hit to both flankers. 
It all +2 to hit bonus.

Thought you find this useful to see how house rule play out over time.


Anonymous said...

I'm taking advantage of currently being a player and not the DM by having a good think about house rules for my next campaign, so I find posts like this very helpful and inspiring. Thanks Rob.

Sean said...

This seem like a good selection of houserules, except I question how often a rule calling for repeated rolls of 20 is useful.

David Baymiller said...

Good stuff Rob.
We play S&W and Labyrinth Lord here and have a few ourselves, mostly cobbled together from Rules Cyclopedia and a few 2ed combat bits we liked.