PC's fighting a combat with no/improvised weapons

13 posts / 0 new
Last post
So I am currently writing a campaign where the PC's are all kidnapped in the dead of night by spiders. The PC's awake trapped in web cocoons and have to get out. They are in a room filled with web cocoons of the people the spiders have been kidnapping all the people are dead and at the moment there are no spiders around.

Obvisiously I dont want them running around completely unarmed how should i best go about giving the PC's temporary/improvised weapons while making an encounter or two that is challenging enough but not so hard they all die.

The part consists of a rogue, ranged-Ranger, cleric, wizard, and Paladin they are all level 11

Thanks
Edition helps. In most cases improvised weapons will have a negitive to attack rolls. There are some feats to get around that.

I dream of Beer Head Armies.

Autocard is our friend. [c‍]Urborg Mindsucker[/‍c] → Urborg Mindsucker

Why would the PCs not have their equipment in this scenario? They were captured by spiders, yes, but how would the spiders know to confiscate their bows, wands, daggers, etc? If the PCs are in the wilderness, I would think that keeping a knife or wand or what-have-you concealed on your person as you go to sleep would be common practice.
My Sig
Reality is but the sum total of all illusions. Proud Hand of Karsus, now and forever Mess with one Hand, mess with 'em all I am Blue/Green
I am Blue/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
"just do what LM the lord of magical might does, and you'll be fine" - sfdragon, 10/12/09
Board Snippets
147048523 wrote:
"I don't like X, they should remove it." "I like X, they should keep it." "They should replace X with Y." "Anybody that likes X is dumb. Y is better." "Why don't they include both X and Y." "Yeah, everybody can be happy then!" "But I don't like X, they should remove it." "X really needs to be replaced with Y." "But they can include both X and Y." "But I don't like X, they need to remove it." "Remove X, I don't like it." Repeat. Obstinance?
56790678 wrote:
Until you've had an in-law tell you your choice of game was stupid, and just Warcraft on paper, and dumbed down for dumber players who can't handle a real RPG, you haven't lived. You haven't lived.
56902498 wrote:
Lady and gentlemen.... I present to you the Edition War without Contrition, the War of the Web, the Mighty Match-up! We're using standard edition war rules. No posts of substance. Do not read the other person's posts with comprehension. Make frequent comparison to video games, MMOs, and CCGs. Use the words "fallacy" and "straw man", incorrectly and often. Passive aggressiveness gets you extra points and asking misleading and inflammatory questions is mandatory. If you're getting tired, just declare victory and leave the thread. Wait for the buzzer... and.... One, two, three, four, I declare Edition War Five, six, seven eight, I use the web to Go!
57062508 wrote:
D&D should not return to the days of blindfolding the DM and players. No tips on encounter power? No mention of expected party roles? No true meaning of level due to different level charts or tiered classes? Please, let's not sacrifice clear, helpful rules guidelines in favour of catering to the delicate sensibilities of the few who have problems with the ascetics of anything other than what they are familiar with.
56760448 wrote:
Just a quick note on the MMORPG as an insult comparison... MMORPGs, raking in money by the dumptruck full. Many options, tons of fans across many audiences, massive resources allocated to development. TTRPGs, dying product. Squeaking out an existence that relys on low cost. Fans fit primarily into a few small demographics. R&D budgets small, often rushed to market and patched after deployment. You're not really making much of an argument when you compare something to a MMORPG and assume people think that means bad. Lets face it, they make the money, have the audience and the budget. We here on this board are fans of TTRPGs but lets not try to pretend none of us play MMORPGs.
90571711 wrote:
Adding options at the system level is good. Adding options at the table level is hard. Removing options at the system level is bad. Removing options at the table level is easy. This is not complicated.
57333888 wrote:
112760109 wrote:
56902838 wrote:
Something like Tactical Shift is more magical than martial healing.
Telling someone to move over a few feet is magical now? :| I weep for this generation.
Given the laziness and morbid obsesity amongst D&Ders, being able to convince someone to get on their feet, do some heavy exercise, and use their words to make them be healthier must seem magical.
158710691 wrote:
D&D definitely improves mental health; Just as long as you stay away from these forums ;)
Sounds like a job for the weapon breakage rules from Dark Sun to me. Let them find old busted EQ from the corpses of other adventurers who thought they could stop the spiders, but time has worn it away and it is likely to shatter with any given hit. It's far less annoying to have to grab another cheep ass rusted longsword from dead body #4 than deal with trying to use a chair as a weapon. Cleric and Wizard might not need to worry, since implements aren't needed to cast spells, just give them bonuses.
Sounds like a job for the weapon breakage rules from Dark Sun to me. Let them find old busted EQ from the corpses of other adventurers who thought they could stop the spiders, but time has worn it away and it is likely to shatter with any given hit.

I recommend the rules that lets players choose to reroll a miss (I think it was) at the cost of the weapon breaking after the attack. Having it break on a natural 1 is very unheroic.

Personally, I wouldn't force them to fight with the improvised weapons rules, even if they're using "improvised weapons." If they have to lose their weapons, fine, but let them use whatever they can find and treat them as their original weapons, just maybe not with any properties. The inherent bonus rules give precedence for this, and if you want you can imagine that they're fighting out of desperation and make up for the lack of their original weapons and equipment. It's silly how the game encourages building around a single weapon type, or even a single item, but it's probably not bucking that, unless everyone in your group really wants to. Might be fun for an encounter, but don't force it on anyone.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

we are playing 4ed and I guess i should have mentioned that they are staying in a castle in the middle of a very large city. the Spiders have been kidnapping people using secret tunnels hidden throught the city.

A couple hundred years ago the city was one of the last above ground Drow citys. During the war with their Kin the Drow fled underground and left the city abandoned. Fast forward a few hundred years and the Drow realize their city is now in the hands of humans. Being none to happy about that they send the spiders to kidnap people and sacrifice them to Lolth with the ultimate goal of using magic to cause a massive earthquake and bring the whole city down into the underdark pretty much killing everyone in the city and possibly the Drow casting the spell, but then again the priestess is a little deranged to begin with.

I was thinking maybe they could find bones or perhaps rusted weapons that they could use at least for the first encounter or two just to make things more interesting
I was thinking maybe they could find bones or perhaps rusted weapons that they could use at least for the first encounter or two just to make things more interesting

That runs a definite risk of not being considered "interesting" by the players, unless you've discussed it with them. If they're on-board, great. Otherwise, I would be very careful about my expectations for such a scene.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

I like the idea pof the old rusted weapons that may be lying about.  This gives them the added challenge of obtaining the weapons first, once they do this then they have no penalties (the chance of breakage might be interesting but only if there are other alternatives or if the players have a choice in the breakage as Centauri stated above).  These weapons may not even be any different than the ones they had (unless they are higher level and have magic items).

If you do decide to have actual improvised weapons, make it a level -1 or lower encounter to make up for the fact that the players will be hitting less often and doing less damage.
"The great epochs of our life come when we gain the courage to rechristen our evil as what is best in us." - Friedrich Nietzsche

The following are some questions you may want to know the answer to.  Do you already *know* what the PCs SOP is for going to bed? Ie who sleeps in their skivvies? (I would suggest having it be a chilly night so that the PCs are decent for the game at least) Who keeps their valuable magic items on in their sleep?  Does anyone sleep with a dagger hidden on them?  How many of the Mage's spells require material components?  Where precisely is the cleric's and the paladin’s holy symbol?  Is anybody a light sleeper (and in 3.X at least you’d all get listen checks to hear the critter sneaking in)?  Does the Wizard use an alarm spell or similar to secure the area?  Does anyone have an animal with them that would alert them to the attack?

You may want to bump this out a session.  At the next game have some other adventure in the city happen.  In the course of the adventure have the PCs go to sleep in their rooms in the castle; prompt them a little bit about describing what they do to get ready for bed, have 'adventury stuff' happen, have the party go to bed again and prompt them for what they do, have one mild to medium encounter come up the next day which involves most of the party but gets the cleric to cast a spell or two and the wizard to cast a spell or two.  Then have them tell you how they go to bed for the third night, have the spiders attack and attempt to kidnap; them and make sure that you have any listen checks play out and any warding/guard animal/defensive measures play out.  Assuming the party *is* kidnapped end the session with 'you wake up in a sticky cocoon'.

The first time the player's describe getting ready for bed they may be jumpy, the second time they'll likely expect an attack, the third time they may not expect an attack but they will have had enough of a chance to own their choices about how their PC prepares for bed.  If you don't play out the kidnap attempt then the players may feel cheated, and at 11th level they may feel rightly cheated, by playing out the attempt at the end they will be most likely to buy into the scenario.  The break between sessions allows the player's to adjust the PCs stats for missing equipment (check what spells the mage and cleric have though) Also if the PCs don't get kidnapped then you have a chance to prepare something else.  If part of the group is kidnapped then you get two sessions Team A and Helpful-Continently-Available-Adventures (the kidnapped PCs' players) go off looking for the victims while the Kidnapped and conveniently-Kidnapped-Adventures (the non-kidnapped PCs' players) work their ways down and up respectively toward one another.

Account for the fact that the PCs will be a *lot* weaker without their gear, and if needed have opportunities for the mage to get spell material components that are badly needed (you hear a grasshopper nearby... but where, or caves with bats and bat...droppings etc...).Come, have a good time!

I ran a tavern brawl encounter a while ago. I told PCs that if they used their normal weapons/implements, a missed attack would kill an innocent bystander, so they should use improvised weapons instead. Looking through the improvised weapon rules, I realised that this would completely nerf all their attack powers, so I added this temporary rule to the encounter:

'Non-Improvised Weapons: any attacks with non-improvised weapons or implements kill an innocent bystander on a miss - bars are unsuitable for normal fighting.'
'Improvised Weapons:The great thing about this tavern (other than the beer) is that it’s full of improvised weapons/implements such as tables, chairs, bottles, mugs of beer, darts, table cutlery, kebab skewers, and bowls of hot stew. All improvised weapons/implements are easy and instant to wield have the same stats and type (for the purposes of proficiences/powers) as the appropriate weapon or implement of your choice.' 

This made the encounter great fun: the bard used broken bottles as rapiers; the rogue darts as daggers; the fighter a table as spiked gauntlets; the warlock a mushroom kebab skewer as a rod; and the cleric cutlery as a holy symbol. The PCs had to justify their choicesk so it led to good roleplaying, but the rolls and background mechanics were exactly balanced as if they had been using normal weapons. 
we are playing 4ed and I guess i should have mentioned that they are staying in a castle in the middle of a very large city. the Spiders have been kidnapping people using secret tunnels hidden throught the city.

A couple hundred years ago the city was one of the last above ground Drow citys. During the war with their Kin the Drow fled underground and left the city abandoned. Fast forward a few hundred years and the Drow realize their city is now in the hands of humans. Being none to happy about that they send the spiders to kidnap people and sacrifice them to Lolth with the ultimate goal of using magic to cause a massive earthquake and bring the whole city down into the underdark pretty much killing everyone in the city and possibly the Drow casting the spell, but then again the priestess is a little deranged to begin with.

I was thinking maybe they could find bones or perhaps rusted weapons that they could use at least for the first encounter or two just to make things more interesting

@kdeathbringer I've got to second what Centauri said: At first blush it sounds like a really bad idea. Players are well known for hating " you've all been captured plots" because they typically rob player agency. Also, getting abducted by giant spiders seems like a heroic tier challenge to me - not a paragon tier one. *Maybe* if you were kicking off a campaign this way it could work. Or definitely if it follows logically from som mistake the players made in a previous session. But you've given us neither of those scenarios to go off of.

Also keep in mind in 4e there are several races with trance, which means they are basically fully aware while taking an extended rest, and some classes (notably the ranger) have powers/ abilities to negate Perception penalties while sleeping. 
Hence my suggestion to actually play out the capture attempt fairly.  There are bunches of ways for the PCs to potentially avert it and that way they are most likely to buy into the results if they are caught.
Hence my suggestion to actually play out the capture attempt fairly.  There are bunches of ways for the PCs to potentially avert it and that way they are most likely to buy into the results if they are caught.

Such has not been my experience, because whether or not they're caught often comes down to a matter of interpretation. "Fairly" is hard to determine, because the players aren't actually on the ground with their characters, and playing out every moment. It could even come down to the players asking how the monsters knew where the players were, and if it's something like "they saw the smoke from your fire," the door is open for questions of whether the characters would actually do something that thoughtless, or if it can be assumed they'd be safe.

I find it's better just to get the buy-in upfront, and do something else if the buy-in isn't there, because otherwise it can come down to one side or the other grudgingly saying "Fine, have it your way."

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy