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 Post subject: [HOMEBREW] Skirmish Rules (D&D3.5)
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:28 pm 
I've been playing with this idea for a while now, so I thought I'd write it up and see what people thought.

Note: To avoid confusion, the following conventions have been used:
Skirmish: The name of the sport described below
Referee/Governing Body: the GM
Team Manager: the real-life flesh-and-blood owner of the team
Player: Each character in a team

Basic Rules

The sport of the masses, Skirmish is played by two teams of five players on a clay field cleared of vegetation approximately one hundred and fifty feet by one hundred feet in size, containing a raised "home" platform at each end and between three and five twenty-foot fences placed parallel to the two home platforms in each half of the field, with an equal number in each half. The fences are twenty feet tall, twenty feet long and ten inches thick (DC10 balance check to stand on them), and block line of sight and of effect. The home platforms must each have two accessible staircases not less than ten feet wide and not less than sixty feet apart.
Climbing onto a platform without using the stairs is a DC15 climb check, and costs 10 feet of movement. Using the stairs counts as normal movement.
On each platform are two pedestals. In the centre of the field are two chests, each containing a gold statuette of a dragon.

Each team can have any combination of players, so long as there are no more than four players per team on the field at any one time.
Points are scored by defeating members of the opposing team or by performing a "loot rush"; taking the gold statuettes from their chests and placing them on the corresponding pedestal on one's own platform. Chests may be removed from their starting positions by any player, but the statuette must be removed from the chest and placed on the pedestal in order to score. A defeated player is worth three points, while a successful loot rush is worth one point and the option to bring a defeated player back into play. If a previously defeated player is returned to play and subsequently defeated once more, points are earned for his or her defeat on both occasions.
In the event of an entire team being defeated before all the statuettes have been rushed, the game is called to a close. Successfully rushing both statuettes also ends the game. The winner is the team with the most points at close of play.
Statuettes placed on pedestals may be recaptured at any time. Each time a statuette is captured and placed on the pedestal, the team has the option to bring a defeated player back into play. (e.g. if team A has a copper statuette on their pedestal and team B remove it, when team A return it to their pedestal they gain the option to have a player returned to the game. If team a just pick up the statuette from their own pedestal and put it back, they have only succeeded in wasting their time)

Weapons and armour
Any weapon type may be used in Skirmish, including unarmed strikes, but the weapons used in Skirmish are heavily padded replicas of normal weapons that act as normal except that:
-a padded weapon deals only non-lethal damage
- a padded weapon has a -2 damage penalty (minimum 1 damage)
- all padded weapons deal bludgeoning damage instead of their normal damge type(s).
Padded weapons may be enchanted/improved as normal, subject to DM approval and the following regulations:
(i) Weapons must be constructed to regulation guidelines (i.e. no special materials)
(ii) Self-wielding weapons (i.e. dancing) are banned under this season's updated Skirmish rules after unsportsmanlike use last season.
(iii) Vorpal and similarly functioning enhancements are similarly banned
(iv) Weapons enchanted to deal energy damage (flaming, etc) will do non-lethal damage of their energy type (e.g. flaming weapons deal non-lethal fire damage)
(v) Only weapons commissioned from authorised craftshops are allowed
(v) Unarmed strikes dealing lethal damage will result in immediate disqualification.
(vi) the use of poison is not condoned and will result in immediate disqualification.

Any armour worn is also subject to regulation in that:
(i) Any spikes, blades, or other protuberance designed to cause injury are strictly banned.
(ii) The player's name must be displayed in letters three inches high on the rear of the armour along with their number
(iii) Energy resistance shall be limited to one energy type per player.

Magic
The Skirmish stadium is covered by powerful wards that convert all damage to non-lethal. As such, any and all magic is allowed, though the following should be observed:
Disintegration, Finger of Death, Slay Living and all other instant-death spells instead render the target unconscious on a failed save (nonlethal damage set to MAX HP+1)
The stadium's wards contain a modified Dimensional Anchor effect that prevents ALL attempts to teleport opposing players out of the stadium.
All referees have True Seeing, so illusionary statues will be ignored.


General rules
Officials
- Referees are Iron golems, and are therefore immune to magic. Attempts to deal physical damage to referees (i.e. attacking them) will be met with lethal force. Referees do NOT deal non-lethal damage.
-Referees are constantly advised by a number of wizards scrying on the proceedings - they see EVERYTHING, so no cheating! (I may allow some Sleight of Hand for cheatiness, still thinking about it)

Damage and Healing
- As with a cosh, Rogues can deal non-lethal sneak attack damage when they qualify (flanking, dex bonus denied, etc)
- Ability drain/damage functions as normal, but scores of 0 or less are nonfatal - paramedics will immediately remove the player from the field.
- At the end of each match, all players are healed to full HP for free. Spells such as Restoration to restore ability damage and negative levels must be paid for out of the team's coffers.
- Ability damage that is not healed magically heals normally at the rate of 1 point per REAL day.
- On placing a statuette on a pedestal, a player may request that the referee cast Cure Moderate Wounds on any unconscious player (including those of the opposing team). This request MUST be made at the time of placing the statue on the pedestal, or not at all.
- Statuettes and chests may be recovered from fallen players as a move action that provokes attacks of opportunity, or as a full-round action to retrieve it if it has been stowed in a player's pack. Players may attempt to recover defensively with a successful DC20 Concentration check.

Gear, XP and Players
- Self-crafted weapons, armour and items are NOT allowed on the Skirmish field. Custom items can, however, be commissioned and upgraded at normal market prices from authorised craftshops, subject to approval by the Skirmish governing body (i.e. the GM). Crafted items take the same amount of REAL days to create as stated in the DMG (e.g. if you commission a +2 flaming battleaxe (9,310gp) then it will take 9 REAL days before it is ready for use, so if you commissioned it on a Thursday after a match, it would not be ready until Saturday the following week). This is to counter the fact that wealth-by-level guidelines are probably going to be left by the wayside.
- Gambling is encouraged, both between teams and with the bookmakers who will be more than willing to offer reasonable odds.
- Experience is earned treating each defeated opposing player as a separate encounter (i.e. each level 4 opposing player defeated offers XP as a CR4 encounter), and victory by capturing all three statuettes earns XP as an encounter of the opposing team's average level (rounded down)
- Each team may have six players on their roster at any one time, but players who do not participate do not earn XP. Players may retire at any time, but new additions to a squad are always rookies (see below)
- Any team that cannot field four players for whatever reason forfeits the match.
- Between games, players may choose to train with sponsored coaches for a fee of (current level)gp per XP, up to a maximum of 1000XP per player per week.
- All rookies join teams at ECL 3, with 28 points for ability scores and starting wealth as suggested in the DMG. No starting item may cost more than half starting wealth. Currently allowed books are PHB, DMG, PHB II and possibly XPH. This list may change.
- In light of improved relations with our more "savage" neighbours, rookies from the Savage Species book have been admitted into several squads this season, though the ECL 3 rule still applies, and LA buyoff is disallowed.
- Teams may arrange to trade players between themselves. There is however a transfer fee of 1000gp/level of the transferred player, payable to the Skirmish Governing Body.
- Each player will operate on their own initiative count, which is the responsibility of the Team Manager to track.
- After felling an opposing player or rushing a statuette, the player responsible may choose to make a DC15 Perform(Showboating) check as a full-round action on their next turn. Particularly impressive displays may result in gifts from fans. For every round that passes between a suitable event and a showboating attempt, the check takes a -5 penalty. (every point above 15 is worth an additional 100gp reward, but every point below 15 results in a 100gp penalty to fan contributions. These adjustments are cumulative throughout the game)
- Multiclassing penalties are (IMO) silly, and will be ignored.
- Statuettes are tiny and weigh 5lb
- Statuettes may be passed to another player. To complete a pass, the passer must target the receiver's square at AC 5, including a -4 non-proficiency penalty and a range increment of 10 feet. If the throw is successful, the receiving player must make a touch attack at AC14 (+2 per range increment thrown) to catch.

Others
- I'm currently playing with the idea of sponsorship deals. More details to follow
- Player substitution rules and game lengths are currently being considered and playtested.
- Races/Classes/Feats from 3.5 ed books not mentioned here will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and may result in the general release of a book.


Any ideas/comments/thoughts?


Last edited by Daremonai on Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:29 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:01 pm 
Noise Maker
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Looks like this will blend well with BigMad's arena game proposal.

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 Post subject: dear sir
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:01 pm 
Many moons ago there was a game all about gladiators and a lot of what you suggest was in there.

However your idea has merrit and would probaly play well as a mass combat one of winner take all scenario.

Maybe everybody has a certain amount of build points or experience to design a character then its game on.

You could have sides as well as you suggest.

It would be fun and very deadly.


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 Post subject: Re: dear sir
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:07 am 
Noise Maker
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SeanDm wrote:
...snip...
Maybe everybody has a certain amount of build points or experience to design a character then its game on.

Done:
Daremonai wrote:
- All rookies join teams at ECL 3, with starting wealth as suggested in the DMG. No starting item may cost more than half starting wealth. Currently allowed books are PHB, DMG, PHB II and possibly XPH. This list may change.

SeanDm wrote:
...
It would be fun and very deadly.

Not as written:
Daremonai wrote:
Weapons and armour
Any weapon type may be used in Skirmish, including unarmed strikes, but the weapons used in Skirmish are heavily padded replicas of normal weapons that act as normal except that:
-a padded weapon deals only non-lethal damage
- a padded weapon has a -2 damage penalty (minimum 1 damage)
- all padded weapons deal bludgeoning damage instead of their normal damge type(s).
Padded weapons may be enchanted/improved as normal, subject to DM approval and the following regulations:
(i) Weapons must be constructed to regulation guidelines (i.e. no special materials)
(ii) Self-wielding weapons (i.e. dancing) are banned under this season's updated Skirmish rules after unsportsmanlike use last season.
(iii) Vorpal and similarly functioning enhancements are similarly banned
(iv) Weapons enchanted to deal energy damage (flaming, etc) will do non-lethal damage of their energy type (e.g. flaming weapons deal non-lethal fire damage)
(v) Only weapons commissioned from authorised craftshops are allowed
(v) Unarmed strikes dealing lethal damage will result in immediate disqualification.
(vi) the use of poison is not condoned and will result in immediate disqualification.


So - when do you plan to run such games, Sensei?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:39 pm 
Sensei? I haven't been called that in years.

Anyway, I'll be (trial) running a game when someone offers an opposing team (and when I've drawn up a stadium on a battlemat).

One thing I forgot to put in the original post (now edited) is ability score generation. 28-point buy sounds about fair.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:49 pm 
Motor Mouth

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I'll make a start on a team when I get a chance then , hopefully I can have one ready for Thursday.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:51 pm 
Motor Mouth
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Wow!!!!

Nice one, looks very cool and great fun.

Would love to play please once you are happy with the system. So please add me to your league list if thats ok?

Thank you.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 3:39 pm 
I'll make a team tonight and PM you in once it is done, looks like alot of fun.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:24 am 
Noise Maker
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Played a game last night, and it was great fun - but it took all evening, and wasn’t finished when we stopped.
  • Both teams had the spell Entangle, which tied up huge areas of the field (and characters) for the majority of the night.
  • Controlling 5 characters each at once makes the game play relatively slowly.
  • Capturing the statuettes is secondary to a war of attrition.
  • There’s no time limit to the game.
We could fix some of these issues with suggestions made on the night:
  • The ‘fences’ become screens or walls – in any case, more defined structures: 15 feet high, one foot thick, made of logs. These can serve to obscure sight to of the opposing team’s platform, preventing static ranged bombardment.
  • Reduce the number of characters on the field to 4 – maybe allow substitutions from a controlled area (tag team style!)?
  • We played on a bigger field than listed, as the dimensions listed in the OP were deemed too cramped – but this lead to lengthy movement over the field, which reduced the ability to steal statuettes.
    • Maybe the number of statuettes could be reduced to one per team, plus the golden statuette, and the field set to 150’ x 150’
  • A game of two halves of ten round each was suggested. Perhaps we could make substitutions during the interval, and heal up players if we’ve got the spells. It could also improve the dynamic if points were awarded to the team with the most statuettes on plinths at the end of the halves.


They’re your rules, Ninja – what do you think?

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:52 am 
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Further to last night's second play test, some suggestions:
  • The court is clay, devoid of vegetation
  • Teams field four players from a squad of six
  • There are two statuettes, which start in locked chests in the centre of the field
    • Statuettes are tiny and weigh 5lb
    • Statuettes may be thrown to another player (targeting the square at AC5, with the receiving player making a touch attack AC14 (+2 per range increment thrown) to catch)
  • Play ends when all players of either team are down, or both statuettes are on one team's pedestals


Is that right?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:48 pm 
i thought that the statuettes reset after being placed on their respective plinths, and you received a set amount of points?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:27 pm 
The rules have been updated to reflect the recent playtests.

New rules/changes:
Additional allowed player race options
Team size changes
Clarifications on fence sizing
Showboating rules

Still to come:
Revised field size
Sponsorship deal details
Player substitution options
Game duration limits (?)


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