Table of Contents
CHAPTER XIII: Combat
“This day you become knights!” he laughed fiercely, pointing with his dripping sword toward the hillmen's horses, herded nearby. “Mount and follow me to hell!”
The hill steed reared wildly under the unfamiliar clash of the Kothic armor, and Conan's gusty laugh rose above the din as he led them to where the eastern ridge branched away from the plateau. Five hundred footmen - pauper patricians, younger sons, black sheep—on half-wild Shemite horses, charging an army, down a slope where no cavalry had ever dared charge before!
Past the battle-choked mouth of the Pass they thundered, out onto the corpse-littered ridge. Down the steep slope they rushed, and a score lost their footing and rolled under the hoofs of their comrades. Below them men screamed and threw up their arms—and the thundering charge ripped through them as an avalanche cuts through a forest of saplings. On through the close-packed throngs the Khorajis hurtled, leaving a crushed-down carpet of dead.
And then, as the horde writhed and coiled upon itself, Amalric's lancers, having cut through a cordon of horsemen encountered in the outer valley, swept around the extremity of the western ridge and smote the host in a steel-tipped wedge, splitting it asunder. His attack carried all the dazing demoralization of a surprise on the rear. Thinking themselves flanked by a superior force and frenzied at the fear of being cut off from the desert, swarms of nomads broke and stampeded, working havoc in the ranks of their more steadfast comrades. These staggered and the horsemen rode through them. Up on the ridges the desert fighters wavered, and the hillmen fell on them with renewed fury, driving them down the slopes.
Stunned by surprise, the horde broke before they had time to see it was but a handful which assailed them. And once broken, not even a magician could weld such a horde again. Across the sea of heads and spears Conan's madmen saw Amalric's riders forging steadily through the rout, to the rise and fall of axes and maces, and a mad joy of victory exalted each man's heart and made his arm steel.
- Robert E. Howard
The Black Colossus
Scalemail: Shorthand Rules for Mass Battles
Optional Combat Rules
Secrets of Kung-Fu
Weapon Specialisation (Revised)
SCALEMAIL: Shorthand Rules for Mass Battles
In the course of conducting a long-term campaign, mass melees, skirmishes, battles and even entire wars are natural occurrences. As the number of combatants involved is beyond the scope of the usual OSRIC combat rules, the following procedure is intended to offer a quicker method for resolving these contests. This system presents the results of group conflicts with additional rules for generating the outcomes of individual Player Character or NPC actions.
Each mass combat is divided into a number of Battle Turns. For each turn the GM will determine the progress of the battle that turn and any immediate effects on individuals involved in the hostilities. Each Battle Turn the GM should roll a 1d00 for each side in the battle, and after applying the indicated modifiers, the high roll indicates the winning side that turn. Casualties and other results are dealt with and the battle continues until a victor emerges or daylight fades. After the battle, victors enjoy the spoils of victory and losers taste the bitter fruits of defeat.
Army Points: The opposing troops that take part in the battle are rated in Army Points (AP). To calculate the number of army points for a particular force use the following procedure:
1. Add the Hit Dice of all troops. 0-level or other creatures with less than 1 hit dice should be counted as having 1 Hit Die. Example: 20 0-level men-at-arms, 15 1st-lvl knights and 5 3rd-lvl champions would have 20 +15 + (5×3=15) = 50 / 40 = 50 AP.
2. Add the levels of any spellcasters. Example: The above force has a 3rd-lvl Magic User and 2 2nd-lvl Clerics fighting with them, (3+2+2=7. The force has a subtotal of 50 + 7 = 57 AP at this stage.
3. Add the Leadership Bonus. Total the leader's level, Intelligence and Charisma and divide by three, rounding up. Example: Lord Nhutsak the Weighty, a 4th-lvl Fighter is leading the troops. None too bright, he has an INT of 11. He's also rather crude and uninspiring with a Charisma of only 9. His Leadership Bonus is 4+11+9/3= 8. His force's total AP is 5+8=13.
4. Modify the AP based on each troop types, their available weapons, and armor. Multiply the modifier in the chart below by the number of troops and divide by their total numbers. Example: The men-at-arms have chainmail (+1) and hand weapons (+0) for an equipment bonus of 1 x 20 = 20 AP. The 3rd-lvl champions are wearing plate mail (+2), have hand weapons (+0) and are mounted on warhorses (+4) for a bonus of 6 x 5 = 30 AP.
5. Add any situational or other modifiers applicable from the table, such as terrain or morale.
Army Point Modifiers
|ARMOUR||AP MOD||ATTACKER/DEFENDER||AP MOD|
|Unarmoured (AC 10)||-2||>1:4||-10|
|Lightly Armoured (AC 7-9)||-||1:3||-5|
|Armoured (AC 3-6)||+1||1:2||-3|
|Heavily Armoured (AC <2)||+2||1:1||-|
|Melee Weapons (Swords, Axes, etc.)||-||3:1||+3|
|Missile Weapons (Bows, Crossbows)||+1||5:1||+8|
|Light Mounts (Horses, Camels)||+2|
|Heavy Mounts (Warhorses, Worgs)||+3|
|Special Mounts (Elephants, Rhinos)||+5|
|Attacking into unfavourable terrain||-2|
|Attacking into favourable terrain||+2|
|Attacking into very favourable terrain||+3|
|Defending home territory||+2|
|TRAINING & MORALE|
|Attacker hates the Defender||+1|
|Troops are new recruits||-1|
|Troops are experienced veterans||+1|
|Troops are elite||+3|
|Troops are hungry/sick||-2|
|Troops are demoralized||-2|
|STRATEGY & TACTICS|
|Attacking enemy encampment||+2|
|Aerial vs. ground attack||+3|
|Scouted the enemy before battle||+1|
|Possess the enemy battle plans||+2|
|Defending a fortified position||+2|
|Defending a well-fortified position||+3|
|Defending a heavy fortification||+5|
PREPARING FOR BATTLE
Initial maneuvers and preparations take 1d3-1 Battle Turns. No important activity can happen during these turns, including combat or active scouting of the enemy. Once the preparation time has passed, the real battle begins.
Length of the Battle Turn: To calculate the length in minutes for each Battle Turn, divide the total number of troops involved in the battle by 10 rounding up to the nearest 5. Example: The 46 humans led by Sir Nhutsack battle a tribe of 25 Lioness Amazons. Resulting in 46+25/10=7.1 rounded to 10 minutes per Battle Turn (or equivalent to one standard OSRIC turn).
1. Determining Results: The results of each Battle Turn are decided by each side rolling 1d100. The higher roll is considered to have the initiative that turn and are WINNING. The side with the lower result is LOSING. If the results are equal, the two sides are considered DEADLOCKED.
Both sides' AP may be modified by circumstantial conditions that may shift from turn to turn or remain in effect throughout the entire battle. These modifiers are described below:
Situational Factors: The GM may assign additional AP modifiers based on careful consideration of the situation. These modifiers can be used to represent various intangible factors such as morale, advantageous terrain and weather. The GM should decide which modifiers last throughout the entire battle or just one Battle Turn. A side that has just suffered a LOSING result is considered demoralized for the next Battle Turn only.
Desperate Attack: When a general orders a desperate attack that side gains a +3 modifier for that turn only. That side also loses 1d6 AP in addition to their normal casualties. If the side loses that Battle Turn, they may opt to continue the desperate attack or return to a normal offense.
Retreating: A retreating result signals the last turn of the battle. The retreating side receives a -3 modifier to their roll for this turn only. Any wounded or unconscious characters or troops left on the battlefield are considered captured and the GM should roll on the Captured! sub-table to determine the results. NOTE: A NPC Leader of a force that faces 5:1 or greater odds will order a retreat (75% chance) or a desperate defense (25% chance).
2. Casualties: Subtracting the Winning roll from the Losing roll gives the casualties for that Turn. The Losing side of that Turn subtracts the Base Casualties from their AP total. The Winning side subtracts ½ of the Base Casualties from their AP total. At this stage, either Leader may attempt to rally their troops by making a successful roll under their Charisma score with 1d20. If the attempt is successful, the casualties are reduced by ½. If the attempt fails, the casualties are calculated normally and the troops should be considered demoralized for the next Battle Turn.
3. Heroes & Cowards: The actions of individual Player Characters (PCs) or Non-Player Characters (NPCs) involved in the battle are resolved. See Characters in a Battle.
4. Victory and Defeat: Any army reduced to zero AP or less is considered the Loser. The other side is the Victor. If BOTH sides are reduced to zero AP on the same Battle Turn, the battle is considered a Draw with no clear winner. A battle will also end in a Draw if three or more consecutive Battle Turns are Deadlocked.
THE END OF THE BATTLE
A battle ends when one of four things occurs:
- The AP of one or both sides has been reduced to zero
- One side has retreated from battle
- A total deadlock has occurred
- Nightfall. This is defined as the end of the sixth Battle Turn.
After a battle is concluded, and if both sides are still in relatively good form, the battle may commence again the following day. Alternatively, one or both sides may attempt to parley, engage in other forms of intrigue and subterfuge or withdraw during the night. The GM should adjudicate these on a case by case basis.
After a battle is concluded, calculate the casualties for each side. The winning side's casualties are considered 50% wounded / 50% dead. The losing side suffers 25% wounded / 75% dead. Wounded casualties may or may not be captured depending on the whims of the victorious leader.
Reinforcements & Returning Casualties: If the battle is to commence again the following day, each side will recover some of their APs, which represents lightly wounded or shell-shocked troops returning to active duty. The amount of returning wounded casualties is equal to 25%, rounded up.
The GM may also decide that a force receives reinforcements overnight. These can represent late arrivals, mercenaries from the area, or reserves brought from the rear.
CHARACTERS IN A BATTLE
Depending on the circumstances of the battle, player characters may find themselves willing or unwilling participants. Any PC may choose to act as a fighter, and this can be a respectable way to gain experience and treasure or a quick death. Untrained or unqualified classes may choose to hang back and provide support or perform duties more suited to their individual abilities - clerics may tend to the sick while thieves may perform scouting missions.
Each Battle Turn, the player should choose which stance their character will take for that turn: Heroic, Normal, Cautious or Cowardly. Roll on the Battle Results table and reference the appropriate progress column, applying a +2 modifier for a Heroic stance and a -2 for a Cautious or Cowardly stance.
At the beginning of the next Battle Turn, the player may shift one step to a different stance. Example: Cowardly to Normal or Normal to Heroic. Characters that have been consistently Cowardly for 3 Battle Turns are considered to be deserting and may escape from the field of battle. The GM should consider any other, possibly negative, effects of desertion. Characters that have been consistently Cautious for 3 Battle Turns may retire from the field of battle and assume a support or reserve role for the remainder of the battle (see Supporting Roles).
Personal Challenges: A character who is taking a Heroic stance in Battle Turn may opt to make a personal challenge against a particular enemy champion or leader. An NPC enemy will accept a challenge 50% of the time. If not accepted, the PC may force a confrontation 10% of the time. These one-on-one battles should be resolved using normal OSRIC melee combat rules. Whatever the results of the challenge, proceed to resolve the Battle Turn normally.
PLAYER CHARACTERS IN COMMAND
In certain circumstances a PC may find themselves in a leadership role during a battle. This could be the result of them being appointed a general by a liege lord or when a higher level PC decides to lead their own followers into battle. In these cases, the PC's own level, Intelligence and Charisma should be used to determine their Leadership Bonus. As a Leader, the PC must still choose a stance to take each turn of the battle as any other PC. Leaders will roll for results of their actions each turn on the Battle Results table using the Leaders column. Leaders who command a victorious army will receive an XP bonus equal to the starting AP of the defeated enemy forces.
PLAYER CHARACTERS IN SUPPORTING ROLES
Certain Player Characters may choose to spend the battle fulfilling a support role tending to the wounded or rallying the camp followers. These characters will not generally be any grave danger from the battle unless their side is defeated. In this case, roll a single time on the Battle Results column in the Defeated column with no modifiers to determine what happens to them. Characters in support roles do not receive any Experience Points from their participation.
|1||WND 3||WIND 3||WND 2||WND 1||WND 2|
|2||1d3 FOE||WND 2||WND 1||1 FOE||WND 3|
|3||ENC 50%||WND 1||-||1d3 FOE / ENC 25%||1d3 FOE / WND 1|
|4||1d6 FOE||-||-||HON 25%||-|
|5||ENC 25%||1 FOE||1 FOE||1d6 FOE / ENC 25%||HON 25%|
|6||WND 2||1d3 FOE / WND 1||1 FOE / WND 1||1d6 FOE / WND 1||-|
|7||1d6+2 FOE / WND 1||1d6 FOE / ENC 35%||1d3 FOE / ENC 25%||1d6 FOE / ENC 50%||HON 50%|
|8||1 FOE||1d6 FOE / WND 2||1d6 FOE / ENC 50%||1d6+2 FOE / ENC 75%||1d3 FOE / WND 1|
|9||WND 1 / CAP 50%||1d6+2 FOE / WND 3||1d6 FOE / WND 2||1d8 FOE / WND 1||1d8 FOE / ENC 75%|
|10|| 1d8 FOE / WND 2|
| 1d6+2 FOE / WND 1|
| 1d6 FOE / WND 1|
| 1d8 FOE / ENC 100%|
|Notes: Taking a COWARDLY stance should roll on the next lowest column, while taking a HEROIC stance should roll on the next highest column.
FOE= Number of common foes (i.e. 0-lvl Men-at-Arms) encountered and defeated
ENC=% Chance the character was challenged or engaged by a higher level foe or group of foes. Roll on the Foe Encounters table to determine the actual encounter details.
WND=Roll this number of d6 hit points of damage. If the character is reduced to 0, they have been killed in battle
CAP=The percentage chance the character has been captured and taken prisoner in battle. Roll once on the Captured! Table to determine the results. The character is out for the remainder of the battle.
HON=The character has performed some deed or taken some booty. Roll once on the Battle Honours table after the battle is over to determine the results.
FOE ENCOUNTER LEVEL
POST-BATTLE : The Thrill of Victory
Characters who have fought on a victorious side will gain normal experience for any foes slain during the battle, along with a bonus of 100 x times their Heroism Modifier. Further, there is a possibility for additional plunder - roll 1d20 once on the Battle Honours table adding the Heroism Modifier. Characters who acted in a support role during the battle have a percent chance of Battle Honours equal to their level x 5%. If Honours are indicated, the 1d20 is unmodified.
|1-5||Character recovers 1d6 x 100gp in mundane treasure|
|6-10||Character finds a magic weapon|
|11-13||Character finds a suit or piece of magic armour|
|14-16||As `1-5 and character finds a magic weapon|
|17-18||As 1-5 and character finds a miscellaneous magic item|
|19||Character awarded honours by the commander or another VIP after battle|
|20||Character awarded high honours by the commander or another VIP after battle|
POST-BATTLE: The Agony of Defeat
Characters unlucky enough to be captured on the losing side of a battle are in potentially dangerous straits. Roll once on the Captured! table to determine their fate. Leaders who are defeated and captured in battle receive a +3 modifier to their roll.
|1-5||Forfeits all treasure, magic items, weapon & armour before escaping with their life|
|6-10||As above bu the character was also badly beaten (2d6hp of damage)|
|11-13||As above but character also receives no XP for the battle|
|14-16||Character retains their belongings but spends all their cash bribing their way to freedom|
|17-18||Character is held for ransom (level x 1,000gp) until a compatriot or relative can pay for their release|
|19||Character is marched back to the victor's headquarters and imprisoned indefinitely|
|20||Character is slated for execution|
Optional Combat Rules
A shield may be sacrificed to negate one hit. The shield is destroyed but no damage is suffered by the user. A magical shield will lose one +1 bonus per sacrifice. (i.e. a +1 shield can negate two hits before being destroyed).
For a less heroic variant the shield can only be sacrificed if the hit comes from a creature to equal in size or smaller to the target.
As another option a shield be used with an iron boss that is gripped with one hand. This requires a 11 strength or better to wield for a small shield, 14 or better for a large shield. If the shield is sacrificed it may be continued to be used as a buckler with the +1 bonus to AC coming against only one target.
Use of this variant gives some added flexibility to a shield-using Fighter. Historically shields rarely survived the battles in which they were used. One of the reason an iron boss was often used that it still could provide a defence (as a buckler) even when the rest of the shield was hacked away.
A character may elect to knock prone a target with a pole arm or halberd instead of doing normal damage. On a successful hit the target must make a Saving Throw vs. Paralysation at +4 for a pole arm, +2 for a halberd. If failed the target is knocked prone. In addition a successful hit caused half damage to the target.
If a person facing a mounted fighting man and armed with a halberd or pole-arm; they may opt to automatically dismount a rider instead of damage. In addition a rider must make a Saving Throw vs. Paralysation at +2. Failure means the rider is prone. Success means the rider immediately regains his feet and may act normally during the next round.
If a character is knocked prone, he will need to take a full round to stand. Anybody attacking a prone character gets +2 to hit. Fighting from a prone position is -2 to hit for all weapons except a crossbow.
All heavy crossbows get +4 to hit
All light crossbows get +2 to hit
These bonuses represent their superior armour piercing and accuracy.
The standard unarmed attack of 1d2 is for the untrained brawler. Monks and Fighters (including Fighter sub-classes) who take a proficiency in unarmed combat do damage as below:
If the optional martial arts rules are in play then those rules should be preferred over these. Half all unarmed damage is considered subdual unless the attacker specifies otherwise. Characters without a proficiency in unarmed fighting may not make lethal attacks unarmed.
A character may attempt to grab hold of an opponent in order to restrain them. If the opponent is much larger than the attacker, then a hold may simply mean that they have succeeded in hanging on to them - a man may grab hold of a dragon, but it is unlikely that the dragon will be impeded!
In order to wrestle an attacker rolls to hit then rolls a number of Wrestling dice shown below. If the total exceeds the defender's current hit points, then a hold is made. Usually a held defender cannot cast spells or attack, except to attempt wrestling attacks against the holder. A defender who successfully wrestles the holder is considered to have broken free.
In cases where the defender is much larger (2 or more size categories larger) than the attacker, then the attacker is simply clinging on to the defender, for example an adventurer might want to grab hold of a roc so as to be borne aloft by the beast.
Maintaining the hold: No further attack roll is necessary to simply maintain the hold, but the defender can make a wrestling attack to free itself, and if it has multiple attacks, may use any further attacks to wrestle or attack in any manner it chooses.
Furthermore the holder may attempt an attack roll to attack with a weapon (at -4), throw the opponent or choke them (doing damage as per their normal unarmed attacks).
Takedown/Throw: Instead of holding an opponent, an attacker may opt to simply throw them to the ground, this will do normal unarmed damage, though it is possible to throw them off a ledge or onto traps and so forth, in which case falling/trap damage should be used instead. Obviously an attacker cannot throw an opponent much larger and/heavier than themselves (more than twice their weight).
Multiple wrestlers: Wrestling dice from multiple attackers are cumulative provided that all attacks are made in the same round. While multiple attackers cannot throw an opponent, they may combine efforts to bring them to the ground or push them back.
|Fighter (including sub-classes)||1d6/level|
|Many-armed or tentacled monster||1d10/HD|
Grappling weapons: Some weapons, such as bolas, nets and nunchuku may be used in a grapple. In this case the weapon's die is used as the base wrestling die (unless the attacker already uses a greater sized die due to class), multiplied by the attacker's level.
SECRETS OF KUNG FU (Optional)
Standard martial arts techniques are presumed to be part of to hit ability, hit points and wrestling dice. The exceptional abilities of mythical masters - the result of secret techniques and superhuman training are considered here. Each technique has a number of characteristics:
Chamber: This is akin to spell level, there are 13 chambers, with the 1st being the weakest and the 13th the most powerful.
Requirement: This is a general requirement in order to use the technique. For example an unarmed technique may not be used while armed.
Learning new techniques: a technique may only be learned by an adept of the appropriate level. In addition they must either have a teacher, manual of instruction or ability to observe a practitioner in training over a period of time (perhaps through stealth or scrying). They must study and train for a minimum one month for every Chamber of the technique. At the end of this time the chance to have successfully mastered the technique is 5% per point of Wisdom (maximum 90%). Failing an attempt to master a technique they must wait until gaining a level before trying again.
Kung-Fu Monks are assumed to gain a single technique at first level but all other techniques must be acquired by adventuring.
Each technique must be practised for 10 minutes a day if it is of the 1st Chamber, 20 minutes a day if is the 2nd Chamber and so forth. If the technique is not practised daily, it is lost until the practitioner spends 1 month training for each Chamber (so a 5th Chamber technique would require 5 months re-training to learn back).
Requirement: Light clothing and no armour
Preparation: 1 round.
Duration: Single combat
After executing a series of breathing exercises, the character employing iron shirt may improve their AC by 2+1 per 3 levels versus unarmed attacks (including special techniques). The effect lasts for a single combat.
Requirement: Light clothing or armour (studded leather or less) and no encumbrance
The character may leap up to 20' high or 80' forwards from standing.
Requirement: empty hand
Duration: Stun for 1d6 rounds
A striking attack is made at -4, but if successful, will stun an opponent for 1d6 rounds.
Requirement: Healing poultices and medicines
Preparation: 1 turn
Duration: Once per day per subject
By treating a character for a single turn, the practitioner may heal 1d3+1hp per level of experience. Further applications may not be made to the same subject until the following day. Each application consumes rare herbs and ointments worth 25gp.
Requirement: Staff and proficiency to use it
With this technique each end of a staff is considered as a separate weapon, allowing two attacks, though with the normal penalties for two-weapon fighting.
The practitioner may make 2 unarmed attacks as if fighting with two weapons (normal penalties apply), though neither may involve a special technique (so a practitioner with Tiger Style and Leopard Blow could not make to two attacks per round).
Requirement: Unarmoured and unencumbered. No larger than man-sized
Duration: 1 round/level
The practitioner is considered to weigh no more than a small bird, and may thus stand easily on small branches, walk across pit-traps without falling in, or hang easily from ledges. A practitioner employing humming-bird step assumes their full weight when making an attack or spell-casting. Thus the technique may prelude an attack but not be used during an attack.
Duration: See below
The practitioner is able to Move Silently without leaving a trace as a Thief of a level three levels less than the practitioner's level. Running is not possible with this technique.
Duration: See below
After a round concentrating on their chi, the practitioner may improve their AC by 2+1 per 3 levels versus all attack forms. The effect lasts until they employ another technique.
SILVER KNIFE HAND
The practitioner's unarmed strikes count as silver and +1 weapons for the purpose of attacking creatures resistant to normal weaponry.
THE HUNDRED FIST STRIKE
Requirement: Unarmed and unencumbered
Duration: 1 round
The practitioner unleashes a devastating sequence of strikes, only a single attack roll is made, but if the practitioner would normally have multiple attacks, they may add +2 to hit for each attack. On a successful hit the Hundred Fist Strike does 1d4 damage per level, up to a maximum of 10d4. So demanding is the Hundred Fist Strike that in the following round the practitioner is considered stunned.
Requirement: Unarmed, unarmoured and unencumbered
The practitioner has a +4 bonus to initiative and a +2 bonus to AC. Any circumstances that would normally deprive the character of a Dex bonus to AC will also deny the AC bonus from Snake Style
HEAR THE BREATH
Requirement: No helm, ability to hear
The practitioner attunes their hearing and chi to such an extent that they can accurately locate any being that breathes as if they could see it. Thus the practitioner can ignore the effects of darkness, invisibility or fog and fight as if they could see their opponents normally, they may even employ missile weapons up to 10' per level away. This technique is useless against opponents that do not breathe however.
The practitioner may make a leaping charge, when doing so any attacks do double normal damage. All other rules applying to charges apply as normal versus Winged Strikes.
The practitioner is immune to sleep and fear effects, ESP and mind-reading effects have a 30% chance of failure.
Requirement: A free hand
The practitioner is able to temporarily blind an opponent with an open-hand strike. The intended victim is allowed a Saving Throw vs. Paralysis to resist. If the technique is successful the victim will be blinded for 1d6 rounds.
Requirement: A free hand
Duration: See below
The practitioner may paralyse a target with a successful unarmed strike. The target gets a normal Saving Throw, failing which they are paralysed for 1d4 rounds+1 for every three levels of the practitioner.
Requirement: a free hand
Save: See below
The practitioner can leverage an opponents weight and momentum to throw them great distances. A normal to-hit roll is necessary. If successful the opponent will be thrown in whatever direction the practitioner desires. If the opponent is stationary they will be thrown 1' per level of the practitioner. If moving this will be 2'/level. If charging 6'/level. Thrown opponents must make a Saving Throw vs. Paralysis or land prone and must spend the following round regaining their footing.
Preparation: 1 round
Duration: See below
The practitioner, through meditation and intense concentration is able to levitate up to 1' per level. On successive rounds they can further levitate in any direction 1'/level. If any other actions are taken or if the practitioner suffers any damage their concentration will be broken and they will immediately fall to the ground.
THE SIDEWAYS STEP
Duration: 1 round
The practitioner may step into the æthereal or astral plane for a single round. During this round they may move, attack other astral or æthereal beings and observe. The following round they are assumed to have returned to the material plane.
Requirement: a free hand
Duration: 1d6 rounds
The practioner is able to release a vibration on the victim with an open-hand strike that causes intense agony if the victim fails a Saving Throw vs. Paralysis. The victim must be unarmoured for this technique. If successful, the victim will suffer a -4 to-hit and damage penalty for 1d6 rounds.
Requirement: a weapon
With this technique the practitioner is capable of breaking an opponents weapon. On a successful to-hit roll, the opponent's weapon must make a Saving Throw vs. Crushing Blow or be broken.
Requirement: a free hand
Save: See below
The practitioner is able to snatch missiles from the air before they strike. Only missiles targeting the practitioner can be snatched in this manner. For each missile snatched the practitioner must forfeit one attack for that round.
TOUCH OF DEATH
Requirement: a free hand
The striking attempt is made at -4 to hit, but on a successful attack roll the practitioner is assumed to have touched a point that may kill any humanoid being. The target must make an immediate Save vs. Death or die.
The practitioner of this art has learned the sublime art of Translocation. They may teleport up to 20' per round either before or after attacking, but may not make multiple attacks.
Requirement: a free hand
Duration: See below
The strike attempt is made at -4 to hit but if successful the target must make a Saving Throw vs. Death at -5. A victim failing a Save will die after a length of time in turns chosen by the practitioner. A victim who passes their Save will not be subject to further Lingering Death attacks from that practitioner until the practitioner gains a level.
|Horse vs. Foot||+1 to-hit|
|Foot vs. Horse||-1 to-hit|
|Light Horse Charging||+2 to-hit|
|Medium Horse Charging||+3 to-hit|
|Heavy Horse Charging||+4 to-hit|
The rider must be of an appropriate size to benefit from the size of the mount (possibly dictated by strength or race).
It is actually perfectly possibly to couch a spear and use it as a lance; the specialised long lances were improvements on the theme. Ordinary spears used as part of a charge on horseback deliver variable damage by mount:
|Light Horse & Spear||1d6/1d8|
|Medium Horse & Spear||1d6+1/1d8+1|
|Heavy Horse & Spear||1d6+2/1d8+2|
Damage is, of course, doubled if the attacker is riding a charging mount. The spear could be of any length, even up to 12' if used without a shield as the Byzantine kontos was used, but 6-9' would probably be most appropriate.
At the GM's option, this damage bonus could reasonably be applied to any weapon used from a mount during a charge, which would give a reason for double damage with a spear. The specialised horse lance would then be an improvement in terms of length and have slightly better damage:
|Medium Horse Lance||2d4/2d6||12' *|
|Heavy Horse Lance||2d4+1/3d6||15' **|
|* Only usable from a Medium War Horse, normal damage bonus for charging is not applied
** Only usable from a Heavy War Horse, normal damage bonus for charging is not applied
WEAPON SPECIALISATION (Revised)
This optional rule replaces the ones in OSRIC
Weapon specialisation is permitted:
1) To single-class Barbarians, Cavaliers, Fighters, Rangers and Paladins, and NPC Amazons, Anti-Paladins, Berserkers and Inquisitors, starting at level 1;
2) To multi-class Barbarians, Cavaliers, Fighters, Rangers and Paladins starting when they gain an additional weapon proficiency at level 4; and
3) To Thieves and Assassins starting when they gain an additional weapon proficiency at level 5.
Using an additional proficiency, it is possible to double-specialise in any melee weapon except the polearm, the two-handed axe and the two-handed sword. This is permitted:
1) To single-class Barbarians, Cavaliers, Fighters, Rangers and Paladins, and NPC Amazons, Anti-
2) To multi-class Barbarians, Cavaliers, Fighters, Rangers and Paladins, and NPC Amazons, Anti-Paladins, Berserkers and Inquisitors, starting when they gain an additional weapon proficiency at level 7; and
3) To Thieves and Assassins starting when they gain an additional weapon proficiency at level 9.
It is not possible to double-specialise in a missile weapon.
Weapon specialisation costs weapon proficiencies to acquire: one such proficiency to gain basic familiarity with the weapon, a second to specialise, and a third to double-specialise when this is permitted. It has the following effects:
|¹ For weapons that normally have more or less than one attack per round, use the best of this number of attacks per round, and the weapon's. Thus a longbow specialist at first level has 2 attacks/round (using the bow's stats, because those are best) and a heavy crossbow specialist at first level has 1 attack/round (using the specialised stats, because those are the best).|
FIGHTING WITH TWO WEAPONS (Optional, Revised)
This optional rule replaces the one in OSRIC.
If this optional rule is used, a character may fight with two single-handed weapons, one in the off-hand. The character will take a penalty on “to hit” rolls according to his or her Dexterity:
|DEXTERITY||MAIN HAND PENALTY||OFF-HAND PENALTY|
|5 or Less||Two weapon use not possible|
If the optional weapon specialisation rules are in play, then they apply only to the main hand weapon. The off-hand weapon receives no specialisation bonus irrespective of whether the character is specialised in it.
The character's number of attacks per round are improved by two-weapon use according to the following table:
|NORMAL ATTACKS||MAIN HAND||OFF-HAND|
The off-hand weapon may be a hand axe, dagger (any type), knife, short sword, light flail, light mace, light pick or light warhammer.
Various sorts of container may be thrown in OSRIC to achieve a “grenade-like” effect. The principal types are as follows, and are standardised as an abstraction for ease of game play.
|MISSILE TYPE||VOLUME||RANGE||DAMAGE||AREA of EFFECT|
|Holy/Unholy Water||4 oz.||1/2/3||1d6+1||1'|
|Flaming Oil||16 oz.||1/2/3||2d6||3'|
If a grenade-like missile hits its target, then it must be determined whether or not it breaks on impact by making a Saving Throw on the crushing blow column of the item Saving Throw table; in the case that it shatters then damage occurs to the target in the area of effect (assuming in the case of flaming oil that it has been set alight). Poison is also a special case, in that it must be a contact poison or else thrown so that it is ingested. The game master must determine how best to handle such incidents.
Acid: Creatures within 3' of the impact point must make a Saving Throw vs. Poison or suffer 1 hit point of “splash” or “indirect” damage.
Holy Water: This affects only undead and creatures from the Lower Planes. If within 3' of the impact point they must Saving Throw vs. Poison or suffer 2 hit points of indirect damage. Incorporeal creatures are never affected by holy-hand-grenades, neither directly nor indirectly.
Unholy Water: As above, except that it only affects creatures strongly aligned to good (Paladins, angels, shedu, etc.) or from the Upper Planes.
Flaming Oil: Creatures that take a direct hit from flaming oil suffer an additional 1d6 damage in the following round. Furthermore, those caught within 3' of the impact and failing a Saving Throw vs. Poison suffer 1 point of indirect damage every segment for 1-3 segments. A thrown lantern achieves a similar effect, but in an area of only 2' diameter. Creatures may leap over a puddle of flaming oil without damage unless highly flammable themselves, and cloth garments must make a Saving Throw vs. Normal Fire or catch alight. Should a creature try to pass through flaming oil or stand in its midst they suffer 1d6 damage every round thus exposed.
Poison: Refer to the rules governing exposure to poison for both direct and indirect damage alike.
Boulders: The size of these can be variable, but 1' for giants and up to 2' for siege engines seems reasonable. If dropped, then they inflict damage depending on weight and distance fallen, typically 1 point of damage per stone of weight for every 10' fallen with values above 60' treated as 60'.
Misses: In the case of a miss, roll 1d8 to determine in what direction from the target it deviated:
|8: Straight Ahead and to the Left||1: Straight Ahead||2: Straight Ahead and to the Right|
|7: Directly to the Left||THROWER||3: Directly to the Right|
|6: Back towards the Thrower and to the left||5: Back towards the Thrower||4: Back towards the Thrower and to the Right|
If the attack was made at short range use 1d4 to find the number of feet deviated, at medium range use 1d6, and at long range use 1d8.
Example: Grevous Phlegh has encountered a vampire flanked by two zombies. He hurls a vial of holy water at the vampire and hits! The vial fails its Saving Throw spilling all over the vampire for 1d6+1 damage. The two zombies are each within 3' of the impact point, so must Save vs. Poison or suffer 2 points of damage. Sir Dawn of Chanee follows suit and hurls a flask of flaming oil from behind Grevous, but at long range it misses the vampire! A deviation direction roll is made (5) and distance (1d8 = 2) to determine that the flask fell short by 2'. Luckily, this means that the vampire is still within range of potential splash damage. Unfortunately for Phlegh, the ground is soft grave dirt and the flask passes its Saving Throw, remaining intact and doing no damage.