Tuesday, 23 December 2014


Having just finished my initial read-through of the new DMG, there are a few options that I'll be adopting, some of which are new(ish), some of which restore some features of earlier editions.

  • Hero Points (p.264) is one — I prefer it to the Inspiration mechanic. I suspect a major use might be to stop people dying of crappy saving throws.
  • Healer's Kit Dependency (p.266) — I'll have to sort out just how much, in terms of game mechanics, a Healer's Kit can be used before it's exhausted and has to be re-stocked.
  • Action Options (pp.271-272) — Climb on to a bigger creature, Disarm, Overrun, Shove aside, and Tumble are all options I'm happy to adopt. I'm not convinced about Mark, and probably won't use it. I'll also reinstate Cleaving Through because I like the trope of fighters cutting a bloody swathe through legions of mooks, though it may very well make being mobbed a bit less frightening.
  • Lingering Injuries (p.272) — I'll use this, but only for when characters are reduced to 0 hit-points but not killed, not also for critical hits. It will mean that restoration/regeneration magic will be more necessary, of course.

I like the Chasing rules (pp.252-255), which will make chasing and escapes a lot more interesting and fun.

Something we haven't been doing, which we should get back into the habit of, is declaring actions before Initiative is determined, for the purposes of spell-casting interruption and so forth. I'd like to get back to using Speed Factor Modifiers (p.271) for initiative too, even if only for spell-casting and potion-glugging and the like.

Apart from anything else,
it gives me an excuse to use
my Judge Dredd playing cards.
I'm also wondering about modifying initiative determination from die rolls to secret card-drawing, and then running each turn through an initiative count-down. We'd use a standard deck of playing cards, with your initiative being the value of the card you draw (1 to 13 — Ace to King) plus or minus any DEX or situational modifiers. Maybe if you draw the Joker, you get to go first OR swap it with another player's (or DM's) card. (?) That would mean that if you have an absolutely vital spell in the offing, you can give the Joker to your wizard and be secure in the knowledge that she's not going to be interrupted in the casting... or not for that turn, anyway.

When the deck runs out, it's shuffled and re-started.

The advantage of all this is that it makes combat ever so slightly less predictable, since none of the combatants will know exactly when any of the others is going to act.