Friday, February 24, 2012

20 Questions: Outland Rules

Here are my answers to Mr. Untimately's questions, with regard to Outland.

1. Ability scores generation method?

3d6 in order. Reroll 1s. WIS is also used as LUCK.

2. How are death and dying handled?

When you drop to 0, you roll on the Death & Dismemberment table. There is no negative hp concept, but if you get totally wrecked, you might not get to roll on D&D.

3. What about raising the dead?

No such ability currently exists in Outland.

4. How are replacement PCs handled?

Switch to a henchman for remainder of session, if one is available. Otherwise get out your dice and a new character sheet.

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

Group initiative with a d6. Players go first on a tie, but the monsters still get their turn even if they were killed.

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

Yes. If you get a natural 20 or 1, I will tell you what die to roll to see what happens.

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

You get to look awesome. I had a rule where a helmet could turn a crit into a normal hit once per adventure, but everyone always forgets about it (including myself), so I'll probably just drop it.

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

Yes. If you fire into melee, and do not score a hit, and the number showing on the die/dice is odd, you hit a random ally engaged with your intended target.


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

Running is advised from time to time.

10. Level-draining monsters: yes or no?

Yes, but they just drain XP. You don't actually go down in levels.

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

Yes, but this is not super-common. I usually have poisons deal a certain amount of damage per failed save rather than insta-death.

12. How strictly are encumbrance & resources tracked?

Each character can carry up to 20 normal-sized items and 1,000 coins. For the most part, this works on the honor system and players police themselves.

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

Leveling happens only at the end of an adventure, and only if the PC is in a safe place. New spells from Men & Magic may be gained automatically. Spells from other sources or custom spells must be researched.

14. What do I get experience for?

1 xp per 1 gp of treasure.
100 xp per 1 HD of monster defeated in combat or otherwise neutralized.
Bonus xp for randomly rolling for new spells.
Bonus xp for doing other hardcore things.
Bonus xp for entertaining the DM.

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

Description. I almost always provide hints when a trap might be present.

16. Are retainers encouraged and how does morale work?

Use of henchman and hirelings is encouraged. Each player is allowed up to 3 henchmen if their PC was created in Outland. Otherwise they get 1 for free. Henchmen are stupidly loyal and never need to check morale. Once all the henchmen have been used up, PCs must resort to hiring help. Hirelings have a morale based on their employer's CHA (as per B/X). This morale will be checked as circumstances dictate.

I may goof around with loyalty as described in the LBBs, but most likely not since there is a bookkeeping element to it.

17. How do I identify magic items?

Even though I started working out a system for this, I usually just tell the PCs what they got.

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

Magic items are never for sale from NPCs, but players may attempt to sell magic items they find to other players through an NPC shop, which will of course take a cut of the sale price.

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

No rules for this yet. I'll work something out if a player ever actually asks for it.

20. What about splitting the party?

I won't tell you no, but caution is recommended.