Willows Game

This page is for my players over in the Willows.  You know who you are.

I'm writing this because people looked a bit confused at times during last weeks game.  This page is intended as a reference, so that you can look at it and be like "Oh, so that's how those rolls work."  I actually have all the rules typed up on my computer but it's all unedited so fuck that.  If anyone asks you what version of D&D you're playing, tell them that it's "B/X D&D with lots of house rules".

I know it seems complicated, but it's actually very simple after you've played for half a decade. *wink*

Also, I'm pretty busy DMing during the game, so if you have a question like "how do I attack something?" consider asking the person beside you.  You can also ask me, because I love talking about DnD and explaining shit, it's just that the table gets hectic.  (Sorry.)

this is you
you poor bastards

Roll-Under Rolls

Most rolls in the game are the "roll-under" kind.  You roll a d20 (a twenty-sided die) and compare the result to a number on your character sheet.  If the roll is equal-to-or-less-than the number on the sheet, the roll succeeds.  LOW rolls are good.

So if I say "test your Charisma", and you see that you have a Charisma of 14, you need to get a 14 or less on a d20 roll.  (In other words, you have a 70% chance of success.)

Sometimes I'll apply a modifier.  If the task is really hard, I might say "test your charisma with a -4 penalty", which means you treat your Charisma as if it were 4 points lower when you roll.  14 - 4 = 10, so in this case, you'd need to roll a 10 or less.

Pretty much everything works like this (ability tests, saves, skills).

moral of the story:
no one should ever go in a dungeon ever
Attack Rolls

Attack rolls are more complicated because you're trying to hit someone else with a weapon, and who knows what kind of armor or dodgy bullshit they have?

An attack roll is a d20 + your attack bonus, which will be written down on your sheet somewhere (usually a +1 or a +2, or maybe a +3 for a viking).  If the result is equal-to-or-greater than than the target's Armor Class, the attack hits.

d20 + Attack Bonus vs. Armor Class (AC)

Attack Bonus

Your attack bonus is: Str OR Dex bonus (this is probably a +1 or something) + your Base Attack Bonus.  Your Base Attack Bonus is +0.  Your Base Attack Bonus goes up by 1 point every even level, up to +4 at level 8.  (Vikings and Fighters might also get another +1, because they're good at hitting things.)

You use your Strength bonus when making a melee attack (sword, hammer) and your Dex bonus when making a ranged attack (bow, etc).  This means that a character effectively has two attack bonuses: one for Str (melee attacks) and another for Dex (ranged attacks).

i love this picture
look at what she did to his club

You have Strength 13 (+1) and Dex 10 (+0).  (The big number is the ability score, while the smaller number in parenthesis is the ability bonus).  You are level 1 and so you have a Base Attack Bonus of +0.  Therefore:
  • Strength (melee) Attack Bonus: +1 to hit.  
  • Dexterity (ranged) Attack Bonus: +0 to hit
If you reach level 2, these will improve to +2 and +1 respectively.  After rolling to see if you hit (d20 + Attack Bonus), you then roll to see how much damage you do.  The damage roll is based on your weapon.

Small weapons (daggers) deal 1d6.
Medium weapons (handaxes, swords) deal 1d6+Str.
Huge weapons (2-handed hammers, greatswords) deal 1d8+Str.

Special Exceptions:

  • If you hold a weapon in each hand, you get +1 to hit.  You cannot hold two huge weapons (greatswords) because a huge weapon requires 2 hands to wield.
  • If you hold a weapon with two hands, you deal +1 damage when you hit.  You cannot hold a small weapon (like a dagger) in both hands because it's tiny.
  • Medium weapons (sword, etc) can be held 1-handed or 2-handed.
  • You may use Dex to attack with medium weapons like short swords, instead of Str.
  • You must use Dex to attack with small weapons like daggers.  You cannot use Str.
  • If you roll a natural 1 (the die shows a 1) something extra bad happens to you.
  • If you roll a natural 20 (the die shows a 20) you can either deal double damage OR deal normal damage and do something cool.
And ALWAYS REMEMBER that you are not limited to your character sheet.  You can do more than just say "I attack the goblin".  You can attempt anything in-game that you could feasibly do in real-life, and with similar chances of success.  Think about your options, think about your environment.

the cat taught her how to do that
Armor Class

It's good to have a high Armor Class (AC), because then enemies cannot hit you as easy.  Enemies that have a high AC are harder to hit.

Unlike attack rolls, which involve rolling a d20, your Armor Class is passive.  Here is how you calculate it.
  • Start with 10.
  • Add your Dexterity Bonus (usually -1, +0, +1, or +2).
  • Add +1 if you have something in your hand to parry with, even a butter knife or a book.  If that thing is a shield, add +2 instead.  Basically, you add at least +1 unless you are empty-handed.
  • Add your Armor Bonus.
Your Armor Bonus Depends on your Armor.

Light Armor = +2 AC.
Medium Armor = +4 AC.  You need to make Str tests to swim.
Heavy Armor = +6 to AC.  You automatically sink like a rock if you fall in the water.

look closely
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