Help me make week 3 more cinematic (DM's only).

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So week 3 appears to be a bar fight. While I could either tell my PCs they cannot use weapons or that they are only striking to KO neither of those seem to be a fun option so I thought about using the following rules. Feel free to add your own or tweaks what I have. I am going to assume the PCs have their armor for this fight.

Instead of the weapons the PCs might have they have acess to the following. All characters can use them. They count as RBAs or MBAs and get any of the bonus's a character might have. They are found either on the table or the stacked up supplies that patrons have used to put their drinks on and as a makeshift bar at busy times:

ONE HANDED
Full Beer Mug (Mace: 1d6 dmg, 5/10 range, melee or range, +2 prof, acess to full dicipline attack, as per Monk)
Empty Beer Mug (Mace: as above, except for Full Dicipline)
Beer Bottle Broken (Light Blade 1d8, +2 prof, breaks after one use)
Full Dicipline Full Mug: Player splashes the content of the mug in the face of target causing them to suffer -2 DEF untill the end of their next turn and then makes an attack with the mug).

TWO HANDED
Chair (Mace, +2 prof, 1d10 dmg, breaks on a 1-5 and crits on an 18-20 but this also breaks the chair.)

TERRAIN EFFECTs
Chandelier which can be shot down, it is AC 18, Reflex 16 and it takes 10 damage to drop it. Any target under it suffers an attack of +6 vs Reflex 1d12+4 and knocks prone. Targets missed can shift 3 squares as an II.

DRUNKEN STUPOR
Players can choose to start the combat in one of the following states. Do not tell them the effects until after all have chosen. Drunken and Really Drunk Characters must make a save at the end of their turn or they fall prone. If they roll a Nat 1 they fall unconcious (save ends). Dwarves get +3 to all saves

Sober: no effect
Sorta Drunk: -1 to hit with ranged attacks, +1 damage with melee attacks.
Drunk: -1 to hit with melee attacks, +1 Reflex defense (drunken sway), additional +1 damage with melee attacks.
Really Drunk: Resist all 3, -1 to saving throws
Effect Cumlative

These mechanics are pretty sweet, though I might alter them a little bit like this:

Sober: no effect
Sorta Drunk: -1 to hit with ranged attacks, +1 damage with melee attacks.
Drunk: -1 to hit with melee attacks, +1 Reflex defense (drunken sway), additional +1 damage with melee attacks.
Really Drunk: Resist all 3, -1 to saving throws.

These effects are all cumulative, by the way.

Cheers

DRUNKEN STUPOR
Players can choose to start the combat in one of the following states. Do not tell them the effects until after all have chosen. Drunken and Really Drunk Characters must make a save at the end of their turn or they fall prone. If they roll a Nat 1 they fall unconcious (save ends). Dwarves get +3 to all saves




Oh dear God. I'm running an all dwarf table. And I know if I give them the option to be drunk, they all will be.


And I will. This is an interesting addition to the session.
beowulfthehunter, I really like these ideas, but I have a question on one of your mechanics. What's the reason for having the chair break on two different ranges of dice rolls ("1-5 or 18-20")? What does the chair breaking on a 1-5 represent that's different from it breaking on an 18-20? Or am I reading it wrong?
- Rico
beowulfthehunter, I really like these ideas, but I have a question on one of your mechanics. What's the reason for having the chair break on two different ranges of dice rolls ("1-5 or 18-20")? What does the chair breaking on a 1-5 represent that's different from it breaking on an 18-20? Or am I reading it wrong?

Seems to me that the break on 1-5 (which would most likely be a miss) means you missed and shattered your weapon on something else.  If making the chair shatter on an 18-20, personally I would replace the "high crit" property with "crits on 18-20" so that those who roll 18's and 19's don't lose their weapon without some compensation. 
Overall, I love the idea! 
Even though I'm not running Encounters (and I so so so wish there was a FLGS in Leicester, UK that would let me) I love reading these threads and getting ideas for my own campaigns.

With the amount of bar fights my party start, I'll definately consider using these rules - thanks guys.

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beowulfthehunter, I really like these ideas, but I have a question on one of your mechanics. What's the reason for having the chair break on two different ranges of dice rolls ("1-5 or 18-20")? What does the chair breaking on a 1-5 represent that's different from it breaking on an 18-20? Or am I reading it wrong?

Zzaque read my mind. My idea was to have the low to hit mean, you missed with such lack of skill you bashed it against a wall, or you hit the guy with it and it had no effect, ala the old Mr. T gimic from the 80's A-team.

I think I will make the crit on a 18-20 and break the item. My concern is the PCs wanting to arm themselves with a chair instead of a weapon for later battles.
beowulfthehunter, I really like these ideas, but I have a question on one of your mechanics. What's the reason for having the chair break on two different ranges of dice rolls ("1-5 or 18-20")? What does the chair breaking on a 1-5 represent that's different from it breaking on an 18-20? Or am I reading it wrong?

Zzaque read my mind. My idea was to have the low to hit mean, you missed with such lack of skill you bashed it against a wall, or you hit the guy with it and it had no effect, ala the old Mr. T gimic from the 80's A-team.


Thanks.
 
I think I will make the crit on a 18-20 and break the item.


Yes. I like that idea. 

- Rico
I think I will make the crit on a 18-20 and break the item. My concern is the PCs wanting to arm themselves with a chair instead of a weapon for later battles.

You could have the crit effect be not extra damage but knocking the target prone?

This would be fun and cinematic but probably not something the PCs will want to use all the time.

Whatever you do, keep the mechanics in mind for the encounter at the end of chapter 2 as well.

Cheers

If you are worried about the PC drawing weapons and turning the Bar fight into a killing field.  You could say that the tavern enforces a no weapons policy.  That way everyones weapons are locked away for the encounter.
I like the idea of having to give up the weapons to get in the bar.

If the thief (or anyone) wanted to try a sneak in a dagger what sort of check and DC would be appropriate?

 
If the thief (or anyone) wanted to try a sneak in a dagger what sort of check and DC would be appropriate?



I'd allow a few different skills to be applicable in a situation like this.

Base Options:

Bluff, moderate DC
Diplomacy, hard DC
Streetwise, easy DC

Base skill DCs for level 1 is 8 / 12 / 19 for easy / moderate / hard
Handy Link: Skill DC by level

I'd also allow other skills with good RP and explanation by the player. Things like History, Arcana, Religion, Intimidate, Stealth, and Thievery could all have very viable reasons to be used. For such skills, I'd default to a hard DC (or moderate if the explanation and RP is really great / fun). Since you're dealing with getting something past the front door, I'd allow people to spend a little coin to help swing the odds in their favor... off the top of my head, adding +1 to their skill check per GP spent up to a total bonus of +5 as they offer the bouncer a genrous "tip" for their "excellent service".

Another factor to consider is the option of making this a group check - have each of the players make a single skill check. If the party as a whole scores 50% or better successes, the entire party is able to bring in their gear. With a group check, I'd limit the 'buying up' of rolls to a total of 5gp for the party.
Light blades or small weapons only (hand crossbows, slings, etc).

I would make concealing a weapon either sleight of hand (thievery), stealth, or bluff, or possibly more than one of those, depending on the situation. Sleight of hand to make it disappear initially, stealth to keep it hidden, bluff to convince someone you aren't packing. Generally they should be easy or moderate checks, as I'm sure a thief is pretty adept at secreting weapons. []

Cheers

I have edited the weapon and drunk table as per suggestions. All 3 GMs are looking forward to this encounter and have all been throwing in our own ideas. I really hope no one from our store is reading this, but we plan to do the following:

Pipe in Bar Brawl Music: the Doors song from Roadhouse, ZZ Top, and Ballroom Blitz will be on constant rotation. We are thinking of having random initive each turn to add to the chaos. Also after each round we are going to rotate in a player from each table and send them over to another table.
I finally read up on the first three encounters in preparation for PAX. (PAX will feature all three encounters).

With regards to barroom brawl rules, I am fond of this Barroom Blitz article by the Jester. He includes a number of cool powers that PCs can use in bar fights. He also alludes to in this article and establishes in a previous article some rules for intoxication.

I've used these with minor modification in my home campaign. In that campaign I started with a drinking challenge and then had a fight afterwards. I don't really recommend the drinking challenge unless you have a very adult group and extra time. I do think the fight with special powers is cool. Some recommendations:


  • Alternate powers are best when players want a new experience. Players new to D&D may actually prefer to continue to learn their PC powers and could be distracted and/or confused by new powers. Know your players! What Beowulfthehunter wrote sounds awesome, so long as his players are the type to buy into this.

  • If you use alternate powers, a big decision is whether they are an option or the only recourse. If an option, they must be as powerful as regular PC powers or they will not see use. This can be hard to achieve design-wise. If the only recourse, you must lock away weapons and implements and find a way to prevent PCs such as monks from using unarmed attacks (or implement users from using implement powers without an implement). The excuse of being an effect of alcohol is possible, or creating some law specific to the establishment (no weapons and no magic under penalty of jail time and monetary fine... let the PC know out of character if necessary that this is for fun and balance rather than try to punish a PC in character).

  • If you use alternate powers, print them up as a handout (one per player) and make them known up front. Players have a lot more fun using powers up front than "discovering them" slowly. A handout is actually very exciting while being transparent mechanically.


Separately, I think this encounter shines if you set up the RP beforehand. Interactions with the NPCs really can make this feel dynamic. The watersoul using her power to glide upstairs, RPing Sabine's combat on the far side of the room, having toughs the PCs spoke with earlier go after them or avoid them depending on badges... this can really make the fight have a good feel.

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