Thursday, 17 December 2015

Dying in a Tomb RPG

[Work in progress, more of an LotFP hack at the moment. It'll be worked on I promise guv]


You're not heroes. You've got no class and you're desperate.

Each character has 4 statistics. Roll 3d6 (in order) to determine their values.

A measure of toughness. Also reflects your HP.
How nimble you are. Helps avoiding damage.
A measure of raw physical power. Increases damage.
The ability to notice things, and unconscious caution.


Player characters get +1 to hit, and hit points equal to constitution.

I'm still working on money, so use lotfp standard I guess? With a mild adjustment, spoken about below.  (Playing around with using pounds/shillings/pennies because I'm awful)


Avoid fights. They're messy and people die. That said...

To hit someone, roll a d20 and add any relevant bonuses (to hit, conditional modifiers). If you roll high enough, you'll hit them. Now roll damage and add your strength modifier. They'll roll armour.


Initiative is side-based. Each side rolls a d6. Highest numbered side goes first.


Weapons come in 3 varieties. Shit, Normal and Good.
Shit weapons reroll any maximum damage rolls. (if you roll max. damage again, you can have it.)
Normal weapons just roll once.
Good weapons reroll minimum damage rolls. (if you roll min damage again, you take that.)

Damage is as LotFP, but adding strength modified, as mentioned above.
The prices listed assume shit weapons. 1.5x for Normal, 3x for Good.

Your defence is based on your weapon. Nobody wants to get hit, so being armed is the best way to stop someone getting in too close. NB. Bestial enemies and attacks bypass this, always attacking as if the target is unarmed. However, they take one attack automatically as they open themselves up to you.

Unarmed/Awkward Weapon - 8
Short Weapon - 10
Long Weapon - 12
Long Weapon + Shield - 14

All of the above values are modified by your dexterity modifier.

Shields increase your step along the the chain by one. Awkward weapons are things like pikes, bows, etc. Some weapons might be dual purpose.

When defending against ranged weapons, the weapon is ignored.

No Shield - 10 + Dex
Shield - 14 + Dex


Armour acts as a damage soak. The dice size listed is the amount of damage absorbed by the armour. Every time it sustains a full damage attack, roll under 10 on a d20 or it degrades, protecting at one level less.

Unarmoured - None
Leather - 1d4
Chain - 1d6
Plate - 1d8


As you get damaged, your ability to be an effective combatant is reduced.

At 1/2 HP, you take a -2 on all actions from pain, and -1 to damage rolls.
At 1/4 HP, you take a -4 on all actions from extreme pain and loss of function in addition to a -3 to damage rolls. Without medical attention post-fight, roll under constitution to not die. You'll be scarred from your wounds.
At 0 HP, you are unconscious and dying. One body part has been severely damaged or destroyed, and you will require medical attention during the fight to stabilize. If unattended for 3 rounds, you die.
At -3 HP you are completely dead.

Recovering the corpse of an ally allows their XP to be purchased in a straight money-for-XP conversion. This money is spent on the funeral for the player. This XP is divided between surviving characters.

Additional Considerations


The only XP gain is from treasure and Expenditure (covered below). Use the direct value of ALL loot recovered from the location and returned to an established 'safe zone' to determine total XP value, and then divide this between surviving characters.


When levelling, the characters may gain ONE of the following -

+1 to hit
+1 HP
Reroll on a specific spell (see below)
Reroll on specific task (i.e. picking locks)


Expenditure is vast sums of cash on activities not immediately useful. There are two varieties - Carousing and Research.

Carousing is a big night on the town. The players should describe what they plan to get up to (drinking, whores, tattoos, drugs, etc.) The DM should invent some potential consequences or use a carousing consequence table. The characters carousing will gain some renown in the area.

In a village, you can spend d8 x 100 silver, and gain that much XP. Roll under constitution+2 to avoid consequences.
In a town, you can spend d10 x100 silver, and gain that much XP. Roll under constitution to avoid consequences.
In a city, you can spend d20 x100 silver, and gain that much XP. You'll always suffer consequences.

Research is a less effective manner of gaining XP for accumulated wealth, but lacks consequences and has a small chance of being useful. It requires the character to be able to read, and access to a library (scholarly towns and cities only).

Spend d10 x 100 silver, and gain 1/2 of this amount spent as XP. Every 100 silver spent is a 5% chance to learn something useful. Before the next delve/heist, roll below the total % to gain a question to be asked the DM. This question must be answered truthfully, but must also be something reasonably learnt whilst researching. It can be asked any time during the raid, but must be used for that raid specifically.

Skills & Saves

It is on the player to explain how they attempt to achieve something. If appropriate, a roll will be made against one of their statistics, attempting to roll below their statistic value, modified by circumstance, methodology, etc.

Saving throws are used to avoid something, usually when you've fucked up. Again, it is on the player to describe (quickly) how the avoid the hazard, again, linked to a statistic. They should be warned if they're doing something impossible or stupid e.g. attempting to stop a rolling boulder with their fists, expecting a strength roll.


Magic is fucking terrifying and even more dangerous. If the characters are (un)fortunate enough to find a scroll, they can attempt to cast it. (Note that they will not know what the scroll does until they cast it). The character casting must attempt to roll below 10 minus the spell level on a d20. If they succeed, the spell is cast and the scroll is still available for use. Rolling up to 3 above the success number harmlessly discharges the magic, but spoils the scroll, Anything above this causes a horrific magical mishap, usually related to the spell at hand, or else using a mishap table. The scroll remains available for use on a mishap roll.


  1. Those weapon qualities and weapons as AC are great ideas.

    1. Use the weapon AC as initiative too? So unarmed guys go first, then knife fighters etc.

    2. Yea, definitely. It's tidy and smart.

    3. yes much great idea, ideally something like the longer reach weapon goes first, but if misses, the knife-fighter can totally hose the guy with the now too-long weapon

    4. Yea, definitely. It's tidy and smart.

  2. I like!
    Though would be tempted to allow wisdom mod or level advancement mod, or research to mitigate spellcasting problems.

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  4. From Wikipedia: "A tosher is someone who scavenges in the sewers, especially in London during the Victorian era. The word tosher was also used to describe the thieves who stripped valuable copper from the hulls of ships moored along the Thames. The related slang term "tosh" referred to valuables thus collected, both are of unknown origin."

    There's your game title and theme, right there. You're welcome.

    1. That is a gorgeous name, thank you

    2. Tosher was the name of my first wizard in 2E days, a sewer mage specializing in plumbing and pest control. In high magic cities not every magician can afford to sit in a lab pouring over books all day.

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  5. The funeral XP and next-raid research will probably be options in every game I run from now on. The skills and magic are nicely done too.

    1. I can't take credit for the funeral XP, but I can't remember where I read it either. Frustrating.

  6. For armour degradation I'd suggest you use odd (or even) rolls on the armour dice instead, same chance as rolling 10 or less on a d20 but it saves you a roll.

  7. The armor is pretty much right out of Elric!/Stormbringer rules. That's not a negative either since I really like the concept. I do enjoy the rules for weapons. A three inch stab wound is the same whether the blade used was a dagger, spear or arming sword so it's the quality that matters. It's a good start perhaps you should expand a bit on things and make it a PDF.

  8. Latest version, heavily modified.!74xCCDYB!dGkTZQbK94U7eStA0twGxRcyVK3-OhJvNNhIdBdP0I0