Tuesday, April 2, 2019

[D&D] More miscellaneous AD&D house rules

A few more miscellaneous AD&D house rule bits and pieces I've had sitting around. This material would've been included in the AD&D Companion except that I thought them up and wrote them down after I'd decided I wasn't going to make any further additions or changes to that book. But so that I don't forget about them, and since one of them is referred to in the AD&D Initiative Primer I posted a couple days ago, I figured it was worth making a post to memorialize them here:

Reach advantage: In melee where one combatant has a reach of advantage of 3' or more over the other, the individual with the greater reach receives a +1 individual bonus to initiative. This advantage persists until the individual with the shorter reach achieves a successful hit, at which point that character is considered to have closed in, the reach advantage is negated, and, depending on the comparative speed factors of the weapons involved, the characters with the faster weapon may be entitled to extra attacks (q.v. DMG p. 66). A character with more attack routines than his or her opponent (whether due to superior speed or skill) or any character with the advantage of surprise is always able to close successfully and negate superior reach.

When calculating reach, the character's size matters as well as the length of the weapon being used. Any individual 3' tall or smaller (e.g. a halfling, kobold, xvart, tasloi, pixie, brownie, etc.) has an effective reach 1' shorter than indicated by their weapon type (e.g. a kobold wielding a club has a reach of 2' rather than 3'). Creatures larger than man-sized add 1' to their reach for every 3' in height above 6', so a creature 9-11' in height (e.g. an ogre, hill giant, bone, horned, or ice devil, or solar) has +1' reach, one 12-14' tall (e.g. a stone, fire, mountain, or fomorian giant, ettin, yagnodaemon, pit fiend, or type VI demon) has +2' reach, 15-17' tall (e.g. a frost giant, Orcus) gives +3' reach, 18-20' (e.g. a cloud or fog giant, or titan) gives +4', and 21-24' (e.g. a storm giant) gives +5' reach. Thus a type VI demon armed with a greatsword has a reach of 8' and advantage over any melee opponent whose weapon does not have greater than 5' reach. Large monsters that attack by claws or biting, such as trolls and type III-IV demons, still apply their size bonus to their natural reach, so for example a troll's claws have a 3' reach and the fists of a massive goristro demon have a reach of 7'.

Space requirements: Medium-sized individuals (and dwarfs, who are short but broad) require 3' of frontage space, while small ones (e.g. gnomes, halflings, goblins, kobolds) require 2' of space, and large ones (e.g. half-ogres, gnolls, bugbears) require 4' (or more, for trolls (5'), giants (6'+), etc.). Space required for weapons is total, not per-side, and overlaps with the space occupied by the wielder (so a weapon that requires 1-2' to use is subsumed into the space occupied by its wielder). If there isn’t sufficient space for a weapon, it can't be used. If a character with a footman's flail and another with a two-handed sword are standing side by side in a 10' wide corridor, for example, only one of them can attack in any given round (presumably the flail, since it has a faster weapon speed). Weapons 5' or more in length can be used from the second rank (subtract 4' to determine their effective length when so doing, and all attacks made from the second rank are at -2 to hit unless the second-rank character is larger in size than all of the characters in the front rank) but require open space in the first rank. So, for example, a 10' wide hallway can fit up to five small individuals so long as all of them are using a weapon that require no more than 2' to use (hand axes, short swords, etc.). Or, if there are four such individuals in the front rank, then two individuals in the second rank can also fight with spears or stabbing pole arms that only require 1’ of space each. If three medium-sized individuals are abreast in a 10' wide hallway, all using weapons that require 3' or less of space, then one individual can fight from the second rank; two dwarfs with battle axes (i.e. taking up 4' each) can be backed up by two second-rank spearmen, and so forth. Spears or pikes of 9’ or more length can be used from the third rank, at -3 to hit, if there is sufficient open space in both the first and second ranks. That is the limit indoors, or for regular footmen, however trained pikemen in close formation on an open field of battle are able to attack simultaneously with up to five ranks of awl pikes 

Speed factor for natural weapons: Natural weapons (claws, bites, kicks, horns/antlers, stingers, etc.) have the following assumed speed factor: 1 for Small-sized creatures, 2 for Medium-sized creatures, and 4 for Large-sized creatures. This value is used both for breaking tied initiative rolls and also for determining bonus attacks against opponents with slower weapons. However, note that opponents with superior Reach (see above) will at least initially be able to hold many of these attackers at bay.

Use of holy symbols: Holy (or unholy) symbols have differences in effectiveness depending on the material of which they are made. An iron holy (or unholy) symbol allows a +1 bonus to Turning Undead attempts made by clerics against chaotic evil undead (ghouls, shadows, ghasts, vampires, apparitions, coffer corpses, huecuvae, sons of Kyuss, and demons). Furthermore, any chaotic evil undead or lower-planar being struck by a properly-consecrated iron holy (or unholy) symbol (cf. Holy Symbol spell, UA p. 35) suffers 1-3 points of damage and must make a morale check or retreat for 1-3 rounds.A silver holy (or unholy) symbol has the same effect but with respect to lawful evil undead (wights, wraiths, mummies, spectres, ghosts, poltergeists, and devils) and lower-planar beings. A holy (or unholy) symbol made of nickel costs 10 g.p. and has the same effect against daemons and other neutral evil lower-planar beings and undead (liches, juju zombies). For purposes of striking, a holy symbol is considered to have a weapon speed of 2, length and space requirement of 1', no weapon vs AC adjustments, and does not require a proficiency slot for use. 

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