Page 138 - Complications Ensue

21st Jun 2012, 6:00 AM in Dragonshy
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Complications Ensue
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 21st Jun 2012, 6:00 AM edit delete
As a DM, you do what you can to make individual encounters or sessions interesting. Body-swapping. Icy floors. A little bit of mind control. Or just an ambush while the party's sleeping. Making up new mechanics on the fly is just part of the job of running an RPG.

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: January 27th, 2023.



darkwulf23 21st Jun 2012, 6:02 AM edit delete reply
So what would happen, they have to roll a save every time the dragon snores? That would get annoying after a while.
MirrorImage 21st Jun 2012, 6:10 AM edit delete reply
Like he said, new mechanics. In one encounter I ran, the party was invading the makeshift lair of Torog worshipers - Torog is known as the "King that Crawls," so not only are they fighting a group of Halflings standing all of 4 feet tall, but the shack is sized to halflings as well, so most of the party is bent over to fit under the low roof.

On top of that, these halflings are torturers. The torches they have lit are burning a weed that provides a similar effect to pepper spray. This was a second level encounter, so the players had 2 options with regards to it - breathe it in and take 5 damage, or make an ever-increasing Constitution Save each round you hold your breath to keep holding it, taking penalties as you go to other skills due to the lack of oxygen.
Bronymous 21st Jun 2012, 6:23 AM edit delete reply
So, the choices were either suffocate or asphyxiate? Cool. The way my dice work, I would have been dead in under 2 rounds.
Zuche 21st Jun 2012, 7:59 AM edit delete reply
Not in 4E, Bronymous, which I'm assuming based on reference to Torog. The penalty to skill checks isn't standard in any edition, but fair enough. I wouldn't use it because I like to encourage people to use more skills, but it can be fun.

I'd also use Endurance checks, because that's the point of the skill. Really, though, the mechanic is such that you'll eventually prefer to just take the damage in 4th, and may as well take it from the start in any earlier edition.

That's the armchair critic's view. I'm pretty sure the players were satisfied with its execution.
Innisa 21st Jun 2012, 6:29 AM edit delete reply
My goodness, what kind of sadist of a GM do you have? I can't imagine sending players into that sort of environment, especially at level 2.
Digo 21st Jun 2012, 6:55 AM edit delete reply
My group would have tried setting the lair on fire and smoke the baddies out.
MirrorImage 21st Jun 2012, 9:48 AM edit delete reply
For 1, the "lair" was this 20'x20' (4x4 square) shack the kind of which you'd find in the Favelas of South America - that is, made out of assorted pieces of scrap metal and wood with all the structural integrity that implies - set into the side of a small alcove against a cliff. One of the players was a minotaur, so you can almost guess what happens to the shack at that point.

And 2, most of the enemies were minions anyways, so it wasn't like they were going to take too long in that combat. They were done within about 5 rounds, the low-Con players wisely stayed out of the effect of the gas, and the only character who missed a check more than once was the Dwarf surprisingly.

It was hardly sadistic, but it certainly made my players think a lot harder than the typical W+M1 style of DnD 4th edition combat.
Bronymous 21st Jun 2012, 11:50 AM edit delete reply
So what your saying is, they could have just kicked down the building on top of the bad guys and avoided the whole thing.
MirrorImage 21st Jun 2012, 7:31 PM edit delete reply
Hadn't thought of it at the time, but I suppose so, yes.
kriss1989 22nd Jun 2012, 8:37 AM edit delete reply
As somebody that burned down a kobold converted barn lair at level 1, total destruction of the lair from the outside is something I always look for.
skrytch 22nd Jun 2012, 10:23 AM edit delete reply
This is when someone in my party would set fire to something or someone and claim it wasn't their fault.
or conversely the Goliath barbarian would decide he was claustrophobic and destroy the roof
Zuche 21st Jun 2012, 7:33 AM edit delete reply
It's best to take a Roger Rabbit approach to checks: They should only happen when it will be entertaining.

The first can be an isolated incident where there's no danger, as we saw here. It shouldn't come up again until the group is facing some obstacle where it enhances the challenge, which doesn't always translate as making it more difficult.

There's also an old chess maxim worth considering here: "The threat is stronger than the execution."

Once the players know that a given hazard can appear at any time, even The Worst Possible Time, and react to that possibility, you might be able to dispense with the die rolls entirely. Keep mentioning it, but tell them that their efforts to counter it are proving adequate... for the moment. False alarms can also be fun.

If they don't take steps to prepare for the danger, you still don't have to roll constantly. Wait until they're facing another challenge, roll a die to determine when the background hazard will strike again, and then feel free to roll without intent as it pleases you.

You should still feel free to bring the threat into play whenever the group looks bored. Likewise, keep it tucked away when dealing with a group that already appears to be exhausted with awesome.
Dr. Klaus 22nd Jun 2012, 4:09 AM edit delete reply
No, I'd say you could get away with making endurance checks every hour game-time or so. Now that they know the storytelling effects of the snoring, they could solve the numerous rolls mentioned and just go with something like, "The snores take their toll on you. Lose a healing surge." Or whatnot.
kriss1989 22nd Jun 2012, 8:33 AM edit delete reply
Fortitude is a defence in 4E, not a saving throw. Thus, the DM has to roll to hit each of them.
Bronymous 21st Jun 2012, 6:26 AM edit delete reply
Aww, what a nice DM, letting her fall into a bush the first time.

Has anyone else here fallen into a bush from more than 6 inches up? It hurts. A lot. And you might get impaled if you land the wrong way on the stem.
Anon 21st Jun 2012, 6:49 AM edit delete reply
Just as sharks have gotten a worse reputation than they deserve due to fiction, bushes have gotten a better reputation than they deserve. Bushes are NOT soft things, they hurt like hell even if they don't have thorns.
Yeguilty 22nd Jun 2012, 12:02 AM edit delete reply
I luv bushes. Bushes are awesome. <3
Raxon 22nd Jun 2012, 4:22 AM edit delete reply
I have had this experience with a hydrangea bush. If you are unfamiliar with them, they're basically shaped like a sea urchin, but with big bunches of flowers on the end of pointy wooden spikes.
Digo 21st Jun 2012, 6:54 AM edit delete reply
Once upon a time, I ran a party through a dungeon built inside an iceberg. I had to come up with a few new mechanics, such as slipping on icy floors (most of them), mirror-like reflections in rooms when fighting at range (most of them), and of course the funny way ice can act as an insulator and still be cold depending on the layout (its an iceberg!)

Turns out it was a lot of fun. Especially when the party triggered some insanely funny traps-- the best was a room that a wall of ice separated the party into two groups. One group was faced with an undead yeti, the other with the room slowly flooding with ice water.
They spontaneously broke out into chatter:

Group 1: "Let us out! Let us out! Let us out!"
Group 2: "Let us in! Let us in! Let us in!"

I about died laughing at that and gave them all bonus points. Also, turns out undead yeti can't swim.
Darkside 21st Jun 2012, 7:32 AM edit delete reply
And the first thing I thought of was the Clue movie:

Wadsworth: The key is gone!
Professor Plum: Never mind about the key, unlock the door!
[smacks Mr.Green on the shoulder]
Mr. Green: [grabs Professor Plum by the collar, throttling him] I CAN'T UNLOCK THE DOOR WITHOUT THE KEY!
[releasing Plum, Mr. Green rattles doorknob]
Mr. Green: LET US IN! LET US IN!
Colonel Mustard, Miss Scarlet: [on other side of locked door] LET US OUT! LET US OUT!
Digo 21st Jun 2012, 7:54 AM edit delete reply
Indeed that was the reference the party made. You should get bonus points too :)
Ranubis 21st Jun 2012, 7:12 AM edit delete reply
Oh wow, shades of the very first D&D session I had with my group. We're fighting assorted enemies in a dockside market, and one little flying kobold-like creature was hovering over the water and shooting arrows at us. Our ranger got annoyed and sniped it with a power to knock it prone, and the rest of the group argued that it should stop flying and fall into the water.

DM concedes and has the kobold fall into the shallows, where it spits curses until its turn came again and flew back up to dock level. Cue the ranger simply knocking it down again ad nauseam until our fighters could head over and finish it off.
Cain 21st Jun 2012, 9:08 AM edit delete reply
You mean the ass who stole the token sheets? didn't he also try to have Gorgon fall down a sewage pipe that encounter?
Boden King 21st Jun 2012, 7:14 AM edit delete reply
What do you do if someone calls BS on a mechanic you made up?
Lawzl 21st Jun 2012, 7:38 AM edit delete reply
Depending on how well you can think on your feet, either roll with it, ditch the mechanic, or cry.
Zuche 21st Jun 2012, 7:45 AM edit delete reply
If it can be resolved quickly, do so. If it looks like there will be discussion, table it until after the game. That way, it doesn't play and the player has a clearer perspective of the mechanic's effect on the adventure.
Digo 21st Jun 2012, 7:57 AM edit delete reply
Usually calling BS means I threaten to "kill a catgirl" by explaining what a real physics version of the mechanic would be like. This alternate version is usually worse than my mechanic so it tends to get players to understand I'm not trying to kill them.

I'm just making it LOOK like I'm trying to kill them.
deeman45 21st Jun 2012, 8:10 AM edit delete reply
I usually plan out elaborate ways for the party to die well ahead of time, so when I make up shit on the fly it's usually indicative of a flash of mercy.

Sometimes the party DOES call me on this (usually it's another member trying to troll the one who benefited from the mercy) and I can be pressed go with how things "should" have gone, which frequently results in near-fatal (or sometimes flat-out fatal) consequences. This doesn't really turn the players against me however, because this usually happens when one of the players pushes for "reality," thus sowing dissension among the party.

I love it when this happens--I get to kill a party member AND I'm not the bad guy, and the players spend the whole session holding a grudge against each other. Is there any way I don't win?
Digo 21st Jun 2012, 10:38 AM edit delete reply
When the group orders a pizza and you didn't get the topping you wanted?
kriss1989 22nd Jun 2012, 9:19 AM edit delete reply
Our group has a hard and fast set of rules.

1: NEVER give the DM ideas.
2: NEVER question anything that goes in the groups favor. Out loud.
3: ALWAYS question any coincidence that works out against us and demand the DM explain what is going on in a way to prove he is not out to arbitrarily railroad us or thwart us pettily.

Incidentally, when I DM for the group, Ty is very bad at the first one. So far he has given me a Mecha Kraken, troll pirates, a roving band of ghoul bandits, a reason for Sharktopus to show up that actually made logical sense, and an evil castle Greyskull.
Bronymous 21st Jun 2012, 11:52 AM edit delete reply
One would think, "Because Im the DM and I said so" would apply here. No?
Digo 21st Jun 2012, 1:24 PM edit delete reply
Well, sometimes a player or two really has a different way of thinking then the DM. I've learned that for my next campaign, I need to better define the 9 alignments for D&D 3.5 so that we don't have any more chaotic assasin monks running around thinking "They are the law".
MirrorImage 21st Jun 2012, 7:35 PM edit delete reply
If you want to keep all alignments open, I prefer to think of them more as a Karma alignment, rather than a traditional "criminal" alignment. Here's the rough breakdown (Good/Evil can roughly be interchanged with Lawful/Chaotic as well):

Good - "Certainly we will help you defend your town..."
Neutral - "...but we request 1000 gold to cover our expenses..."
Evil - "...per player."


Good - "The target is hiding inside this orphanage. We should wait for him to leave then ambush him."
Neutral - "The target is hiding inside this orphanage. Lets infiltrate it and try to keep casualties at a minimum."
Evil - "The target is hiding inside this orphanage. Lets burn it down!"
kriss1989 22nd Jun 2012, 9:22 AM edit delete reply
Um, that IS the GNE axis. You can be a criminal lawbreaker, but if you did it to save orphans from a vampire noble in charge of the law, welcome to Good. There is a reason following the law doesn't make you Good by itself.
MirrorImage 22nd Jun 2012, 10:10 PM edit delete reply
Hmmm... Maybe it's just my area then, but most people I know seem to believe that the GNE axis refers less to Karma and more to the standard "Good vs Evil" axis - Evil wants to destroy the world, Good wants to save it. That's what I was referring to when I said "criminal."

I suppose it's an interpretation issue - Robin Hood.trope could be interpreted as CG or LE. I tend to view him as CG.
Zarhon 21st Jun 2012, 8:29 AM edit delete reply
FS: Did I take damage from the bush?
PP: No, silly! You can't take damage from falling into a bush!
DM: Actually, yes she can. Branches aren't very soft.
TS: But she's a pegasus! She walks on cloudstuff! A bush would be like a pillow to her.
DM: Bushes are not clouds.
PP: Maybe it's... a magical cloud bush!
DM: ...
PP: *Squee*
DM: Strike two. Any more bright ideas?
FS: Actually... I'm a druid, so I'm naturally attuned and connected to them. Wouldn't a druid falling into the bush be like a pegasus falling into a cloud?
DM: Well, that's not exactly how that works, but you've still got a good point there. You take no damage from the bush as the bush reacts to your druidic attunement.
FS: Yay~
AJ: It's a good thing some of us weren't flyin' halfway up that there mountain when that shock hit us.
RD: Yeah yeah, rub it in why don't you... But hey, it could have been worse.
Could have been a rock she landed on. At least the bush is safe.
DM: Oh, that reminds me, I forgot to roll on an event... How many of you are adjecent to a bush? Apart from Fluttershy, that is.
RY: I am.
PP: Me too.
DM: Ok... Due to the combination of loud snoring of the dragon and Fluttershy's landing, a few serpents that were sleeping under the bushes have been startled. They attempt to bite everypony next to the bushes in confusion.
TS: What? No perception checks?
DM: You couldn't see them unless you went digging there, and you can't hear them over the dragon. That, and you didn't bother to check them.
RY: Thank you so much, RD.
RD: I'm not the one that fell into a bush!
FS: Sorry girls...
TS: Don't blame yourself, blame the dice. And the DM.
DM: I'll ignore that comment. Roll it... Okay, you all avoid getting bitten... Except for Fluttershy.
TS: Doesn't she get a bonus for being a druid, against wild animals?
DM: Not if she's prone, and the one that startled them. The snake only does 2 damage, but it poisons you. Roll constitution for effect.
FS: Oh no!
DM: Uhm... Okay... Hold on, I need to look this up... Oh wow. Apparently, you are completely paralyzed for two hours.
RY: All that from a serpent? I should have invested in poisons. Uhm, if I weren't neutral, of course.
DM: Ok, unless you plan on waiting for the effect to end, you'll have to carry Fluttershy with you.
TS: Can I carry her with magic?
DM: Not for two hours. Let alone whilst climbing up the route you picked.
RD: I've got wings, I'll just carry her that way.
DM: You risk getting hit by the dragon's snore then. Don't expect a bush to cushion your landing.
AJ: Hmmm... I got an idea girls!
Zuche 21st Jun 2012, 8:42 AM edit delete reply
Huh. That's a clever way to deliver the events of the episode while still feeling like it's a D&D adventure.
XandZero2 21st Jun 2012, 9:38 AM edit delete reply
Hey guys,

Been a while since I commented on one of these comics, but I'm planning to run a Bar-Room Brawl tomorrow in my Dragon Age RPG, and the home-brew mechanics are exactly what I'm trying to work out right now.

The trick will be allowing players to deal damage to heavily armored opponents with only their fists and improvised weapons. Some of the guys in the fight are going to be able to shrug off up to 8 Pts of damage from each hit!

So, I'm thinking of ways I can explain the PCs dealing penetrating damage that bypasses armor - and two things come to mind so far.

1. I'm going to allow players to make a strength (Might) check to pick up and hurl an NPC, thus dealing penetrating damage to the initial NPC plus anyone they collide with.

2. There's also a second story balcony overlooking the bar's central common room (think a wild west barroom layout) and a lot of tables scattered about the area. I'm going to let players be able to climb up to the second flight or onto the tables and then jump off and land on a target NPC, thus dealing more penetrating damage (depending on how high up they are when they jump - and if it's as high as the 2nd story landing, the PCs might take a bit of damage as well).

-I'm also considering a chandelier that can be accessed from the 2nd story balcony that would allow dextrous players to swing around before they get the drop on their opponents - thus gaining more distance and possibly momentum to their attacks.

If anyone can think of another way to do penetrating damage in a bar-room setting (without using weapons - or spells), I'd love for you to share!
nuramor 21st Jun 2012, 9:50 AM edit delete reply
If the barroom has an open hearth or something like that, they might use the wood/coal/whatever thats inside. Depending on where you grip the wood it might not even damage you.
Solyxam 21st Jun 2012, 11:17 AM edit delete reply
You might also let them smash bottles into the opponents faces. Unless they're wearing full face masks (in which case, how do they see?) shards of glass in the eyes would probably hurt.
Bronymous 21st Jun 2012, 11:57 AM edit delete reply
Really strong characters can take a penalty to attack in exchange for armor bypass or penetration, or extra damage, and dextrous characters can take penalty to AC in exchange for pinpoint hits at weak points (for armor bypass or penetration, or extra damage). Also, criticals.
Boden King 21st Jun 2012, 12:00 PM edit delete reply
Since this is Dragon Age, maybe you could give them something like the cutscene knife. That special knife all PCs have that can kill NPCs in a cutscene. Just say that since its a bar fight, their fists work like their normal weapons. I imagine this can only fail completely but it's an idea.
Zeeth 21st Jun 2012, 12:10 PM edit delete reply
Aside from smashing bottles in faces, what about pouring alcohol on one's opponents? And from there, if it's a strong brew you might be able to set fire to it -- would only take a spark, right?

Grappling an opponent might not damage them, but would that armor allow one to wrench limbs about? A twisted ankle, a pulled shoulder, a sprained neck... that's ugly stuff!

And of course you can't forget a few classic Three Stooges maneuvers.

Moving on, you could always just "bring the house down", literally or figuratively. Chandelier, railings, support beams, the ceiling....

Well. I'm sure you have a few ideas yourself now. Have fun!
XandZero2 21st Jun 2012, 1:26 PM edit delete reply
Hey guys,

These are some awesome ideas!

I had considered the bottle to the face idea. I think I'll definitely go with that one now. I'll have to consider rules for aiming too, and since everybody's eating and drinking in the bar, no one should have a helmet on - that'll be a weak-point to exploit.
XandZero2 21st Jun 2012, 1:28 PM edit delete reply
I like the fireplace idea a lot too, but I'm not too keen on the knife idea (though I appreciate the thought).

Thanks again for all the ideas!
The Guest 21st Jun 2012, 1:41 PM edit delete reply
Improvised weapons. If it can be lifted, swung, shoved, or smashed (specifically by a body slamming into it), it can deal extra damage.

Oh, I can't believe I almost forgot- if it's too heavy, sturdy, or bolted down, consider it a course hazard.

If you're really interested in a good time, have things catch on fire.
Izandai 21st Jun 2012, 2:34 PM edit delete reply
Regarding things on fire: give the bar a fireplace (the kind that's several feet across and tall if the climate is cold enough to warrant it, preferably) and let the PC's make grapple checks to throw their opponents into it (if it's big) of shove their faces in (if it's smaller). Also, your players could lure their opponents up onto the upper balcony and then bull rush them off the edge. But for the most part, improvised weapons. Or gathering everyone in the center of the room and dropping the chandelier on them.
Zarhon 21st Jun 2012, 4:26 PM edit delete reply
As far as improvised fighting in a bar goes:

PC improvised weaponry

- Tables and chairs can have legs broken off for impromptu weapons: Either for clubbing or to try to break the weapons into their armor - Wooden splinters stuck in the armor cause them pain and make fighting harder.
- A table can be used to sandwich enemies: Throw one on top of a prone enemy and apply pressure (e.g. a jump from the balcony). One could also pin enemies to a wall this way.
- Splashing hot/scalding/eye-burning liquids into enemies faces: Ultra-potent dwarven ale, freshly-boiled soup bowls, soapy water from the cleaning girl, spiced pepper drinks, and such.
- Impromptu molotov cocktails, using the barman's cleaning rags, booze bottles and a torch.
- Firebreathing: Sip a drink and apply a torch. Instant singed eyebrows!
- Wrapping enemies in tablecloths to blind/bind them
-Boxes, flower pots, barrels, pots and other such stuff can be thrown from the balcony onto enemies below for a good concussion.

Terrain hazards

- A nearby cleaning girl's soap bucket could be used to make the floor too slippery for the baddies.
- A Chandelier could be knocked from the ceiling, crushing/trapping enemies under it and scorching those next to it's impact. This might even cause an eventual spreading fire.
- The balcony should have railings that easily break from the enemies weight. That, or they should be low enough to push them easily.
- Barrels of booze near the staircase of the balcony: Either smash them to make the staircase slippery from the booze, or roll them down to knock out anyone trying to climb up.
- Torches on the walls, lanterns on the table. Both allow burning enemies.
- The players can cause an explosion by allowing fire to reach a barrel of freshly-imported dwarven-quality ale.
- A big "cauldron pit" for cooking soup or alcoholic beverages (Like the ones from the inns in Skyrim): Burn enemies with the fire, the red-hot cauldron metal, or the boiling liquid. PCs could even attempt to kick it over or grab the cauldron (needs two of them) and splash it on several enemies.
- Fireplaces with red-hot pokers, buckets of hot coals, burning logs.
- Braziers full of coal can be knocked into enemies to shower them in burning coals
- You could add a few "hazard NPCs" - bar regulars that ignore the fight until someone messes with them. For example, a dwarf that ignores the fight unless his mug is knocked out of his hand, or a Qunari that is drinking his soup. These guys are armed and dangerous and will easily dispatch whoever pissed them off (PC or enemy - PCs can frame the enemies with reasonable success)
- Weak floorboards - Enemies falling from the balcony drop through the floor into the cellar, or the floorboards can be stomped on to cause a groin attack, cartoon style.
Bronymous 21st Jun 2012, 6:12 PM edit delete reply
With regards to cleaning girl- if she's attractive, her suddenly and "accidentally" losing her top can prove to be an opportune distraction.

This extends to females in general, especially female PCs.
Suburbanbanshee 21st Jun 2012, 7:26 PM edit delete reply
Well, it would probably make life a lot worse for the barmaid, because danger of rape is a lot worse to deal with than danger of getting accidentally hit by a barfight. Especially since she's probably trained to avoid flying fists and bottles.

Of course, the nicer hometown boys will blame the party for anything bad that happens to the barmaid.
Raxon 22nd Jun 2012, 4:32 AM edit delete reply
If she's not pretty enough, the barmaid could be a melee weapon.
reynard61 21st Jun 2012, 7:33 PM edit delete reply
The only thing missing from this scenario is the Killer Rabbit and The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch. ("My neighborhood is so rough, I went to the local inn and World War III broke out!")
Zarhon 22nd Jun 2012, 5:18 AM edit delete reply
That's what the Barmen and innkeepers are for - Keeping the PCs from destroying a town. They are the deadliest NPCs in every session after all: They are usually rugged former adventurers (or even former PCs), and they get exp for every brawl in their establishment.

It's the same thing with farmers, travelling merchants and anyone else who travels outside the town: They get into several random encounters on a daily basis.
Crimson Doom 22nd Jun 2012, 5:22 AM edit delete reply
Crimson Doom
Well, all of these suggestions are all well and good, but I find myself wondering why on Earth you need to have unarmed PCs fight armored mooks in a bar fight. Who brings armor to a bar? I sure wouldn't, if I were the sort to actually go to one.
Zarhon 22nd Jun 2012, 6:02 AM edit delete reply
If it's guardsmen, they probably have a hour or two tops for a drinking break before going back on their shifts. Taking off their armor would be dangerous and unpractical.

Besides, what PC doesn't go everywhere with their armor on?
Bronymous 22nd Jun 2012, 6:22 AM edit delete reply
24 hour armor, true story. (See how I didn't link to TV Tropes? I know you all have things to do.)

Didn't he ask about mechanics that didn't involve weapons? Improvised weapons are weapons, are they not? Since we're on the subject though- a pint mug. If its metal, decent weight bludgeoning weapon; if its stone or clay, it smashes on the first opponent and then you have an improvised "unarmed" weapon with which to punch people.
Jason Shadow 22nd Jun 2012, 6:40 AM edit delete reply
Is this one of those bars where they have taxidermized animals decorating the place? A pair of horns or antlers on the wall, perhaps? Because I think SOMETHING could be pulled off with those if one is resourceful...
The Guest 22nd Jun 2012, 10:11 AM edit delete reply
"This isn't a weapon, it's a chair."

A bar may require that patrons come into the bar unarmed, but they can't expect them to not use anything available during a bar brawl. Of course, a clever enough person may sneak actual weapons in anyways. Bouncer's Perception vs. PCs Thievery. Penalty based on weapon size.
Crimson Doom 23rd Jun 2012, 5:18 AM edit delete reply
Crimson Doom
Okay, fair point about the guardsmen, but I can think of a number of spellcasting PCs who wouldn't wear a suit of armor if their life depended on it.
kriss1989 22nd Jun 2012, 9:29 AM edit delete reply
Since you are asking for things BESIDES weapons, a couple suggestions.

1: Nobody wears a full face helmet when they go drinking. For a penalty on the attack roll, let them just outright punch the guy/gal in the face.

2:Grappling. Knock em to the ground and you get an instant advantage of being able to stomp on them. Stomping on a prone person hurts a lot.
Bronymous 22nd Jun 2012, 11:13 AM edit delete reply
It's also a hate crime in some states.
Akouma 21st Jun 2012, 7:10 PM edit delete reply
Have I ever mentioned how much I absolutely loathe the mechanics for falling in 4e? Because it's a lot. The only thing I like about it is that at low levels even a mechanically-short fall REALLY hurts, which is fairly realistic without being unfairly so. That said, doing something combat-practical like, say, trying to push an enemy over a ledge into a pit, just doesn't work because of the saving throw to avoid being knocked off of stuff. It ruins potentially-dramatic moments. My go-to example is just IMAGINE how lame the scene from 300 where Leonidas kicks the Persian messengers into a well would have been if even one of them had passed their saving throw. Think about that; according to the mechanics of D&D 4e, every single one of those nameless mooks had a 55% chance of just collapsing where they stood instead of getting propelled backwards by a kick to the chest, then standing back up like it was nothing and lopping Leonidas's head off on their turn.

Factor in that there's rolls to halve the damage, and it's just mechanically unsatisfying. If you fall 100 feet, either you should be dead on impact, or crippled so badly that your adventuring career would be over faster than you can say "arrow to the knee" without immediate medical attention. And yet, I've seen a character outright shrug off a 100 foot fall, climb out of the pit she fell into, then didn't even bother getting heals because she was standing and had potions able to be administered to her if she got knocked out.
Zarhon 22nd Jun 2012, 5:10 AM edit delete reply
Leonidas probably had a bigger success chance, thanks to a intimidate check (THIS. IS. SPARTA!) and a surprise round.

Same thing for the cliff scene during the battle. Massive intimidation bonuses, using shields to push, advanced combat formation vs a bunch of Persians on difficult terrain and weapons ill-fit for close quarters.

As for the falling damage, I think that's to prevent DMs from going overboard on pit traps, or to make them construct slightly more complex pit traps (with spikes, spiders, etc...).
Let's face it, falling in a pit trap is either instant ultra-damage death, or an unneeded nuisance (since you have to get out of the pit somehow). Not to mention that you can't "disable" pit traps (unless they are mechanised to open under you): You need to bypass them half the time.
kriss1989 22nd Jun 2012, 10:41 AM edit delete reply
Bull rush occupies the opponent space. They cannot share space with you. IF they make the save, it's the 'dangling on the cliff' deal.
Raxon 22nd Jun 2012, 4:34 AM edit delete reply
Awww, I finally caught up to the current comic. I am so very much looking forward to the big confrontation. I have a plan.
Zarhon 22nd Jun 2012, 4:59 AM edit delete reply
Your avatar sure fits your comments.
kriss1989 22nd Jun 2012, 9:40 AM edit delete reply
Wait, YOU have a plan? But, you're not one of the players....are you?
Stairc 22nd Jun 2012, 1:28 PM Tonight's The Night edit delete reply
Tonight's the night of our first MLP session. Can't wait to let you know how it goes and how the new system turns out. :)
Lyntermas 22nd Jun 2012, 6:09 PM edit delete reply
Sweet. Looking forward to the stories.
Curb 22nd Jun 2012, 7:01 PM edit delete reply
I remember a session we had to get creative. We were in a bar that turned out to be a trap. While the rest of the party took a defensive stance, my brother and I were at the bar...we needed a way out, sooo, he got the brilliant idea to ask a old was the bar top. It was rumored to be 200 hundred years old. He grinned, cast burning hands and slammed them on the bar, igniting the alcohol soaked wood in a wonderful conflagration, hell of a distraction. We burned the bar down, made it out alive, but we had to cut around that town from then on, we weren't welcome any more :)
Curb 22nd Jun 2012, 7:07 PM edit delete reply
Oh, just a side bar. My MLP FiM Rifts concept is coming along nicely, I have nearly finished the Mane 6 stats, created several new races to travel alongside them.

And There is a second project using the simpler, if dead, Tristat system. If anyone remembers that one, made by Guardians of Order, they made a number of anime RPGs. I'll be posting them on my DA account as time goes on.
Zeeth 23rd Jun 2012, 11:19 AM edit delete reply
YAY!! BESM has been my go-to system for years.
TheGreat&PowerfulMaxwell 25th Jun 2012, 7:45 PM edit delete reply
this is how I game, as often as possible.
the best one for me was 'Cid' and his the 'boots of jumping' test.

Boots add 6 spaces
ceiling height 4 spaces.

we had a good bar fight too, if somewhat short.
the 'enemy' was an angry drunk who the ... cleric i think spilled ale on.
the 'fight' consisted of the babrian throwing his tankred of high proof ale at him.. and then shoving him backward... riight into the fireplace.