A monster on the verge of eating an adventurer.

20 Quick Questions: Rules

by Ramanan Sivaranjan on May 05, 2014

Tagged: carcosa campaign mastersofcarcosa

I wrote this up some time ago for a Carcosa campaign I may never run. Brendan of Necropraxis suggested answering these questions as a way to help new players quickly get a sense of what’s up with your particular game of D&D. I haven’t ran a game since I was a little kid, but if I did it’d probably look like the sort of games I’ve been playing since I got back into old-school D&D.

  1. Ability scores generation method?

    3d6 in order, just like God intended.

  2. How are death and dying handled?

    If your hit points drop below or are equal to zero make a Save vs. Death Ray and Poison: success indicates your character is merely unconscious, completely incapacitated until they can get a full week of rest; failure indicates your character is oh-so dead. If you roll a natural 20 on your saving throw roll, your character not only survives, but is invigorated by his near death. In this case your character re-rolls their HP for the session.1

  3. What about raising the dead?

    The ancient snake-men may have had a ritual for raising the dead, though it is currently lost to the ages. Perhaps intrepid adventurers may uncover such a spell, though I am sure the costs to cast it would make death look like the better choice.

  4. How are replacement PCs handled?

    Roll up a new character and we will jam them into the game somehow. It’s handy to have henchmen for such a situation.

  5. Initiative: individual, group, or something else?

    Individual: roll a d6, high roll goes first, your dexterity score is used to break ties.

  6. Are there critical hits and fumbles? How do they work?

    Yes: a 1 is always a miss, a 20 is always a hit and you deal the maximum damage for the attack.

  7. Do I get any benefits for wearing a helmet?

    Of course: helmets shall be splintered! 10% of hits that would damage a character will be to a character’s head. If the character is wearing a well made helmet it will shatter protecting them from the blow.

  8. Can I hurt my friends if I fire into melee or do something similarly silly?

    Yes, targets would be chosen at random when firing into the fray.

  9. Will we need to run from some encounters, or will we be able to kill everything?

    You will probably want to avoid some fights.

  10. Level-draining monsters: yes or no?

    Hells no: they are the worst.

  11. Are there going to be cases where a failed save results in PC death?

    Yes, but hopefully that won’t feel stupid. What’s the point of a Save vs. Death Ray if you don’t have death rays in your game?

  12. How strictly are encumbrance & resources tracked?

    Strictly! Bust out that spreadsheet, asshole.

  13. What’s required when my PC gains a level? Training? Can it happen in the middle of an adventure, or do I have to wait for down time?

    Leveling happens during down time. There is no need for special training.

  14. What do I get experience for?

    Finding treasure, killing monsters and terrible people, freeing slaves, stopping sorcerers, exploring the wilderness and anything else I can think of.

  15. How are traps located? Description, dice rolling, or some combination?

    Description, mostly.

  16. Are retainers encouraged and how does morale work?

    Yes, the more the merrier. Morale is handled using the obscure rules hidden within OD&D. When a morale check is required roll a 2d6, adjusted by a retainers loyalty, the higher the roll the better.

  17. How do I identify magic items?

    Characters may encounter ancient magical snake-men artifacts, or the great technologies of the Primordial Ones or the Great Race. Chances are nobody in Carcosa will know what’s up.

  18. Can I buy magic items? Oh, come on: how about just potions?

    Sorry, no.

  19. Can I create magic items? When and how?

    It is possible, through some long lost terrible sorcerous ritual that’s probably not worth the trouble when you can just go hunting for laser guns.

  20. What about splitting the party?

    That never works out, right?

  1. The “Hulkamaniac” rule.

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