The Battle for Taltos
CLASSES: AEC classes (No multi-classing).
ALIGNMENT: 3-point (L/N/C). No Alignment Languages.
SCORES: 4d6 and drop the lowest die x6. Place in SIWDCCh order, swapping 2 if desired. If the average score is < 12, the player can re-roll the set.
DEXTERITY: Thievesʼ DEX can modify their skills (AEC).
STRENGTH: Every point of STR modifier adjusts encumbrance/movement rate levels by ±10 lbs. For instance, normally carrying over 40 pounds would slow a character down from 40ʼ to 30ʼ. If the character had a 15 STR ( + 1 modifier), he could carry up to 50 lbs. before being slowed down.
STARTING XP: New Player Characters start with 5,001 xp. (2nd-4th level)
STARTING MONEY & GEAR: 125gp + a few select GM freebies (based on class)
HIT DICE & HIT POINTS & HEALING: Use the AEC HD. Maximum HP for 1st level, roll for all levels afterward.
0 hit points = KOʼd. -10 hp = dead. You lose 1 hp per round after -1. Binding wounds takes 1d2 rounds and heals 1 hit point. If a cleric binds the wounds, it restores 1d2+1 hit points. An injured character only receives the benefit of having wounds bound once; binding the wounds over and over will not yield more healing.
Characters naturally heal 1 + CON adjustment (min. 1) hp with 8 hours of rest. A full dayʼs rest (no travel, no combat) heals 3 hp.
Clerics have the ability to “Lay on Hands” for 1+ level hp per day (max. 6), divided as the player sees fit. Unused hp do not carry over. LoH is a touch ability and has no effect on poison, paralysis, disease, etc.
SPELLS: Use the AEC spell lists. Magic-Users and Elves get Detect Magic, Read Magic, and their spell slots’ worth of spells in their spellbooks. (Two 1st and one 2nd for MUs, two 1st for elves). They do not need to roll vs. INT for learning new spells (per AEC) and get a spell of their choice when the go up in level. Copying a spell into a spellbook requires the use of Read Magic. It takes 1 day, 1 page, and 100 gp in materials per level of spell. Copying in this way from another spellbook does not affect the original copy, but will erase a spell scroll.
Magic-Users and Elves can create a spell scroll from any spell they can read and are able to cast by spending 1 day per level of the spell writing the scroll. The cost of materials is 200 gp per spell level.
Clerics get bonus spells for high WIS as per AEC.
UNDEAD: Clerics have Turning as a class ability, but can only use it once per day per level.
Range: 30’ (Line of Sight)
Duration: 1d6 + 1 rounds
Use the turning tables to determine success and number of HD turned. If the cleric fails to turn a specific undead creature(s), they can use it on the previously unaffected undead again (assuming they have the taken spell more than once). The cleric must be able to see the undead and present his holy symbol clearly. The undead must be in line of sight with the symbol. Undead beyond the range of the spell are unaffected, but turned undead that flee beyond the range are affected for the full duration.
ARMOR: No “plain leather” armor, only studded leather (OK for thieves). Armor heavier than Studded Leather (Chain, Plate, etc.) slows movement by one “tier” regardless of weight (some magical armors might negate this penalty). Also, characters cannot sleep in armor heavier than padded or swim in armor heavier than studded leather.
ATTRIBUTE CHECKS “TARGET 21”: For attribute checks (e.g. “Make a DEX roll to keep your balance”), roll 1d20 and add the attribute. A result of 21+ is a normal success. Naturally the referee will modify the difficulty based on circumstance.
This has the same odds as an attempt to roll the score or less on flat 1d20, while making a natural 20 a good thing instead of a failure. ROLL HIGH!
HORSES: Unless specifically stated otherwise, horses are draft/riding beasts and NOT warhorses. A non-warhorse will try to flee any dangerous situation and cannot be commanded to attack. It may attack to defend itself but will most likely panic and try to bolt. A non-warhorse can be used to charge with a lance, but will not trample a foe if it can possibly avoid it. Mounted combatants gain a +1 to hit against unmounted man-sized opponents, but as soon as their horse is spooked (e.g. takes damage, sees flames, smells a predator, etc.), the horse will grow nervous. The rider must make a DEX check every round or lose control of the horse. A DEX check (successful or not) uses an action that round.
Warhorses are bred to keep calm in a fight and attack foes on command. They will still panic at fire or supernatural threats, requiring DEX checks like their non-martial counterparts.
COMBAT DOMINANCE: Fighters (and ONLY fighters) get their level in melee attacks per round vs. opponents of less than 2HD (i.e., up 1+x). He cannot move and make multiple attacks, though.
- When firing a bow (short or long, not a crossbow), you can fire two arrows per round if you do nothing but fire (no movement, etc.). Each shot is at -2 to hit.
- You cannot use ranged attacks if youʼre engaged in melee combat.
- You cannot use long bows from horseback. Short bows and crossbows are at -1 to hit while mounted.
- Shooting into a melee gives a -4 penalty, missing by 10 or more points (or a natural 1) automatically hits a random friendly adjacent target (if any).
- If a character does not move or take damage before their attack roll that round, they may take an aiming bonus of +1 to hit with any ranged weapon. Bows cannot fire twice per round and get the aiming bonus.
MAGIC IN MELEE: You cannot cast non-“touch” spells if engaged in melee. A “touch attack” goes against AC 9, modified by any DEX adjustment and magical protection, e.g. rings of protection or enchanted armor or shields.
ALL OUT DEFENSE: The character does nothing but defend themselves for a round. Anyone trying to hit him in melee must make two attack rolls and take the worse. “Dodge! Parry! Spin!”
ALL OUT ATTACK: In melee, the player makes two attack rolls and chooses the better one. If the target survives, he gets a free hack against the PC. “Left myself open.”
FREE HACK: If a character withdraws from melee without making a Fighting Retreat, opponents get a free melee attack against him at +2 to hit. Claw-claw-bite or other multiple attack sequences can never be used as free attacks; the creature or character makes just one attack, like one claw or a bite (or a single arrow*). A spell cannot be used, but a readied magic item (like a wand) can. The fleeing target gets no AC bonus from his shield (if any).
*Only if the target’s retreat means the shooter is no longer engaged in melee.
The Big d30 Rule
Once per session each player may opt to roll the big gold d30 in lieu of whatever die or dice the situation normally calls for. The choice to roll the big gold D30 must be made before any roll. The d30 cannot be roll for generating character statistics or hit points.
For to-hit rolls, a nat 20 on the d30 = double damage. Each point rolled over 20 = +1 damage beyond that. e.g. a 25 = double damage +5