CotMA: Castle of the Mad Archmage
1.) Character Creation:
a.) Ability Scores: Generate ability scores by rolling 4d6 for each ability score, discarding the lowest roll each time. Scores must be assigned in order (STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS, CHA), with a single “swap” between two scores allowed per character. You may roll as many sets of stats as you wish.
b.) Ability Score Changes: All characters may add their CON modifier when rolling saving throw vs poison.
c.) Hit Points: When rolling hit points, always re-roll a result of one. When a new experience level is achieved, re-roll all hit dice until you have a result higher than your current total (re-rolling ones).
d.) Starting Wealth: Starting wealth shall be 10d10 Gold Pieces.
e.) Multiple Characters: Players are encouraged to have at least 2 characters. Each session, choose 1 character to participate in that night’s adventures. Alternate characters may pursue Out-of-Session Activities.
2.) Classes & Class Changes:
a.) Available Classes: The following classes are available in addition to those classes detailed in the Core Rules: Bard, Gnome, Ranger, Monk, and Paladin.
b.) Modified Hit Die: Dwarf characters may use 1d10 as their hit die. Thief characters may use 1d4+1 as their hit die.
c.) Weapon & Armor Restrictions: Clerics may wield a single non-standard weapon if it is considered their deity’s favored weapon. Elves may wear up to Chain Mail Armor or equivalent. Magic-Users may wield magic swords, staves, clubs, daggers, and darts.
3.) Game System Changes:
a.)Simplified Encumbrance: A character may equip a number of items equal to ½ STR score, rounded down. Equipped items are those that are worn or carried. Suits of armour, quivers of arrows, and potions on a belt all count as equipped items, while mundane clothing and jewelry do not. A character may draw or produce a equipped item as a free action.
A character may stow a number of items equal to their STR score. Stowed items are carried in backpacks, gunnysacks, hard to reach pockets, or otherwise packed away. If a character needs to reach a stowed item during combat, it is equivalent to a move action.
Small items do not count against encumbrance individually. Small items can be packed together or bundled into a single “item” for encumbrance purposes. Exactly how many of a given small item can be packed into a single bundle is a judgement call. A general rule of thumb is 5 to 12 items, or 2.5 to 5 lbs. Likewise, extremely bulky or unwieldy objects might count as multiple items. Examples:
200 Coins (any type)
Chainmail (2 Items)
Platemail (3 Items)
Characters willing to sacrifice movement rate may take on items. Characters may equip up to 2 additional items or stow 4 additional items at the cost of becoming Lightly Encumbered. A further 2 items may be readied or 4 stowed at the cost of becoming Heavily Encumbered.
Lightly Encumbered — 90’ movement per round
Heavily Encumbered — 60’ movement per round
b.) Individual Initiative: In combat, each player shall roll 1d20 + DEX to determine their character’s initiative order. High rolls go fist and player’s act before DM controlled forces in a tie. NOTE: when use the normal modifier progression (13-15=2, 18=+3, etc) when adding a DEX modifier to Initiative.
c.) Revised Combat Sequence: All actions shall resolve on the same turn/initiative order in which they are undertaken, regardless of the action type. Actions must still be declared at the start of each combat round.
d.) Death and Dying: When an attack would reduce a character’s hit points to 0 or below, roll a saving throw v. death. If the save is successful, character drops to 1 Hit Point and falls unconscious.
e.) First Aid: A qualified healer may administer first aid to injured characters immediately following a battle. The healer may spend 1 turn per target to restore 1 hit point per HD of target. First Aid may not be attempted more than once per character after an encounter.
f.) Cleave: If your melee attack deals enough damage to “down” a foe, you may make an immediate bonus melee attack on any target within range. “Cleaving” continues until an attack misses, fails to down a target, or there are no more targets in range.
g.) Experience for Loot: Scavenged treasure may be exchanged for experience points at a 1gp to 1xp ratio. Such exchanges represent martial or magical training, carousing and debauchery, tithes and fees paid to political or religious organizations, and the general cost of high living. Such activities are deemed to take place between play sessions.
h.) Critical Hits & Fumbles: If a natural 20 is rolled when making an attack roll, immediately roll a second attack roll (applying same modifiers or penalties). If the second roll would also hit, roll a d30 and consult the Critical Strikes & Grievous Wounds Table. Permanent injuries may be reversed through the use of high level magic (Heal, Regenerate, Wish, etc.).
i.) Sleeping in the Dungeon: Camping within the confines of dungeon is an ill-advised activity. When sleeping within a dungeon (with a few exceptions) the DM shall roll on the Triple Secret Random Dungeon Chart of Very Probable Doom.
j.) Shield Save: A character with a shield may choose to sacrifice their shield to negate the damage from a single attack. Magical shields are discarded for the remainder of the encounter but not destroyed. Magical damage occurring from “destructive” spells may be reduced to ½ damage (or ¼ with save) in the same manner.
k.) Weapon Mastery: At every level evenly divisible by 3 (or 4 for all other classes), a Fighter may choose to become a master of a weapon. Basic Weapon Mastery grants a +1 bonus to hit on all attacks made with that weapon. Advanced Weapon Mastery grants a +2 bonus to all damage rolls made with that weapon. A character may become a master of more than one weapon.
4.) Magic Changes
a.) Starting Spells and Spell Book (Grimoire): All spell casting characters begin with Read Magic and 2 random 1st level spells recorded in a grimoire (as applicable by class). Starting grimiores are not purchased with starting wealth.
b.) Bonus Spells: All spell casting classes gain bonus spells for high ability scores (16 – 18) as appropriate for that class. A score of 16 grants a single bonus 1st level spell; a score of 17 grants a single bonus 2nd level spell, and a score of 18 grants a single bonus 3rd level spell (and so on, for supernaturally high scores).
c.) Cantrips: Elves, Gnomes, and Magic-users may cast Cantrips at will, up to a maximum of 6 in one hour. See Cantrips.
d.) Counter-spells: Spell casting characters may negate a single enemy spell (or spell-like ability as appropriate), by declaring a readied-action “Counter Spell.” If a suitable spell is cast after your turn in the initiative order, you may counter that spell by sacrificing a spell of equal or higher spell level. A successfully countered spell is removed from the caster’s store of memorized spells. If a suitable spell is not cast in that round, your action is lost. In addition, casters must be of the same class (or able to cast the spell by class) in order to counter a spell.
e.) Elf Magic: All Elf characters shall use the Druid Spell List from the LL Advanced Edition Companion. Elves may still use ‘wizardly’ magic items, with the exception of magic-user scrolls. See LL Advanced Edition Companion.
f.) Spontaneous Healing: A cleric can sacrifice any prepared spell in order to cast a healing spell of the same spell level or lower. Evil clerics may choose to do the same with “inflict spells.”