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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Stunt Rolls

All the cool kids who play the cool games are into "stunt systems", where describing a more interesting attack nets some kind of attack bonus or even an extra roll. Someone asked about adding stunts to Swords & Wizardry, Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game, or similar RPGs in a thread on Dragonsfoot, so I came up with the following, based on my earlier post about a critical injury/death and dismemberment technique using the dice map I introduced a while back: print that dice map, roll dice on the sheet, and where the dice land indicates what happens.

  • Roll the d20 attack roll on the dicemap: that's the basic location targeted, based on the associations from the death and dismemberment post: Strength: arms or upper body; Dexterity: legs or lower body; Constitution: guts/abdomen; Intelligence: head; Wisdom: sensory organs; Charisma: face or other "beautiful" body part.
  • For every extra "stunt" added to the description, roll an addition d6 on the dice map.
  • Each additional d6 indicates an additional "maneuver" in the description of the results of the attack; you might swing your sword at an opponent's head, be blocked, slide your blade down towards your opponent's hand only to have it knocked to one side, then kick out with your foot at the opponent's legs, all in one attack.
  • Whether or not any of these maneuvers connects depends on whether the attack roll succeeds or not.
  • If you want to provide a bonus for stunts, add the highest d6 stunt die rolled to the d20 roll.
  • Alternatively or perhaps additionally, add the highest d6 to damage, if the the attack is successful.
Thus, adding stunt descriptions increases the amount of description the GM must provide in return, although getting an actual bonus is optional.

As for the death and dismemberment post, doubles on the stunt dice indicate some kind of permanent loss or injury, like a severed hand. If the stunt dice land on a border, the dice is read as two results. If the dice land in the hub and the victim takes damage, figure the wound is a severe bleed, requiring bandaging in 1 turn to avoid death and persistent danger of bleeding. Results other than wounds to the vitals also bleed, but if bandaged, won't have as much chance of re-opening the wound.

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