Monday, October 10, 2011

Labyrinth Lord Cover to Cover: Part 15, pages 50 to 60

For this series of posts I will be using the free PDF of the 
Labyrinth Lord rules that can be found Here at Goblinoid Games
This is the fifteenth part of a series, here are the links to the 1st, 2nd,
3rd,  4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th parts

Encounters: The Basics

   Finally the part where it all comes together and you fight something. But first lets talk about the basics shall we?
   Time in a encounter is measured in rounds. There is 10 seconds in around and so six rounds in a minute and 60 rounds in a turn. The turn is the speed in which you are exploring the dungeon doing the normal adventure type things like searching for treasure and not finding the obvious pit trap. Of course during all this crashing around the DM may check if any wondering monsters happen by. If one does it starts a number of feet away from you decided by a random roll and then check if the monster is surprised. Then the DM rolls for the monsters reaction and the party gets to decide what they want to do about it such as running like chickens, attacking and dieing, or the negotiating the rest of the parties passageway in trade for the succulent halfing.
   There is also mention of how to get lost in the wild. The fact that monster HD will tend to mean its around that level of the dungeon and how to find out your party was surprised by that horde of goblins. Also of note is that initiative is rolled as a team and on a d6 so your Dexterity means nothing (unless you use the optional rules for individual initiative but honestly past a small fight it just gets insane to keep track of the numbers).

Monsters and Movement

   Now if you had stopped reading after the first part you will probably make the same mistake a good number of people do when they see the monster reaction table. Most monster by the rules should just attack, its only sometimes when the DM feels it warrants it do you roll on the reaction table. A gelatinous cube doesn't  get to be friendly and helpful, it should just be straight to the combat. Maybe a mention of this in the overview that the books gives would be a good thing because even the words "for some" would add a good degree of clarity.
   Anyway onto how you move. In turn based exploration mode you move you speed and then in combat you can only move a third. The turn based speed is comparably slower because it represents the group not just walking along but also checking out stuff and mapping as they go. You can run at your full speed during combat but only for 30 rounds and then afterwards you need to rest for 3 turns and if you don't you suffer -2 to damage and to hit until you can.
   An interesting option you can do is a chase such as when a monster decides to flee or the more likely situation where the party is running away. If the ones being chased are faster they win. When a monster is chasing the party if the party can get out of its line of sight they win. There are also a few neat options for if the monster likes treasure or is hungry where you can throw what you want behind you and there is a chance they don't follow you because they got distracted by the shinnies. A note for DMs, though you can't force the party to stop chasing the monster if it is intelligent it may be able to escape by throwing treasure as well, this is even more effective if you hint that the treasure may not be there when they get back from chasing the current monster because something will probably take it.
   In the wilderness chases work slightly different in that you have a lot of percentage modifiers and such to see if the group being chased gets away though if one group is surprised the other can automatically make a run for it and succeed.

The Fight

   There is a nice little number list for how a combat round is supposed to go. Of course its a simple thing and as long as you understand that you have to declare what you plan to do before anyone does anything and that you move then magic then combat you should be fine. The basic system but it works well for what it is supposed to do.
   Some things of interest about the combat. First of all you can choose to move again during the combat step instead of attack though there are some rules to this. If you only move at half your move your fine and it is called a fighting retreat but if you move more then that opponents attacking you get +2 to hit and your shield does not count for your AC. Also if you are attacked from behind you do not get your shield bonus either.
   The combat system itself is the good old D20 plus bonus to hit and see if you match the opponents AC. Nothing that new but thats what I wanted anyway. The book also has some rules for aerial combat most of which besides the special fliers only swooping attack is common sense stuff though I guess that just makes it that bit more important. All weapons deal 1d6 unless you use variable weapon damages and 0 HP or less equals dead. That HP thing is important though and should be told specifically to anyone coming from newer versions as I have had everything from -10 is actually being dead all the way to negative your max HP so being dead at what would only be unconscious will probably shock a few players.
   There is stats for oil and holy water which each do 1d8 if you fulfill the conditions for them and interestingly enough you can throw them both farther then a dagger. I guess it makes sense in that you need the dagger to hit correctly and you only need the two to hit and shatter. Also another thing about oil, even though I don't find it in the book a barrel of oil will not do umpteen D8's of damage. Yes I know it has a great number of flasks worth of oil in it and sure you 18 Strength Fighter can probably throw it a distance but an oil fire only burns so hot and that is where the damage comes from. Maybe it can burn longer or spread out more but that is all.

Saves and Checks

   Various kinds of saving throws but really all you need to remember is that you need to either match or beat a score that depends on your class and level. There are three optional rules in this part though so lets check them out.
   First up is Item Saving Throws which basically decides how much of your magical gears just got fried by that fireball. It assumes already of course that your regular non-magical gear was fried so I would stay away from it unless your group is mature enough to handle their PC's being naked except for a few magical odds and ends and that they won't mind that the evil wizard they just dropped fireball on won't have any loot on him.
   Next is ability checks which I will dismiss out of hand. If you actually care to use them though its just roll under or equal to the stat you are using plus any modifiers for difficulty.
   The last one which I do like is the Morale check, or the "no goblins aren't that stupid" rule. The check itself is 2d6 and meet or beat the monsters morale which can be from 2 to 12 though a score of 2 will never fight unless cornered and a score of 12 will never run. The check is done when the monsters lose a member the first time and when they are down to half their original group size. You may end up adding a few more times but be careful you don't add to many or your monsters will be running all the time.

Wrapping Up

   There is a big section on combat at sea including all kinds of ships and the menuavers they can do. It is all very nice and even includes and example encounter but to really give it justice I would have to end up copying and pasting it here. Quick rundown though shouldn't hurt. Twelve different ships listed, The conditions of the sea and how they affect you, Chases at sea, Catapult, Ramming, and Boarding other Vessels.
   Another thing is the last few pages have charts for the character attack for all classes and levels including a zero level human and a chart for monster attacks as well.

This is the fifteenth part of a series, here are the links to the 1st, 2nd,
3rd,  4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th parts
Labyrinth Lord rules that can be found Here at Goblinoid Games

No comments:

Post a Comment