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Welcome to Outland
A Guide to Outland
Races of Outland
Classes of Outland
Character Creation
Societies of Outland
Geography of Outland
Creatures of Outland
Magic of Outland

"The strength of the sun, the beauty of the seasons, the power of the gods - everything, and everyone, follows a certain set of rules."
     - Potentate Gravis Tec


This is a listing of various general rules variations used in Outland.

Actions

A character has a number of actions in a round equal to the number of attacks he is allowed to take that round (normal attacks - attacks due to specialization or using an off-hand weapon are not counted). If the character is allowed one attack a round, that is how many actions he has. Characters with multiple attacks have multiple actions. For example, a level 13 fighter attacks twice per round. Therefore, he has two actions per round.

A character may wish to substitute an attack with an alternative action. Examples of such actions include, but are not limited to: picking up a dropped weapon, using an applicable proficiency (allowed by the DM), or drink a potion.

Burning Damage

If a character catches fire, he usually suffers 1d4 hps of damage per round, per round. This means that he suffers 1d4 hps of damage the first round, 2d4 on the second, 3d4 on the third, etc., to a maximum of 6d4 hps of damage per round.

To extinguish the flames, the character can "stop, drop and roll" (assuming there exists room for such a maneuver). This extinguishes 1d3 worth of damage per round, per round (1d3 hps of damage the first round, 2d3 on the second, 3d3 on the third, etc, to a maximum of 6d3). If, at any time, the adjusted burning damage for that round reaches zero, then the flames are out, and the Player Character is no longer on fire.

Character Fame Determination

To determine whether or not a Player Character has been heard of before, use the following system:

+3% per Player Character's experience level
+1% per level if the audience shares the same character class
+10% while in the Player Character's main geographic area
-10% to 60% if far away from the Player Character's main geographic area
+10 to 20% depending on how celebrated the Player Character is by bards

Combat Round

In my campaign, I have altered the concept of rounds and turns. Basically, I found the idea of 1 full minute for a combat round to be rather silly. The idea of striking only once very 60 seconds seemed a bit odd to me.

Thus, I have divided rounds and turns into combat and non-combat rounds and turns. The times of each are listed below.

Combat Time
Term Duration
Segment 1 second
Round 10 seconds
Turn 100 seconds (10 rounds)

Non-combat Time is handled using the standard AD&D system.

The combat round is 10 seconds long. One segment equals one second. Casting times in excess of 1 round see the spell completed at the end of the round. For example, if a mage has a casting time of 4, and initiates at 8, the spell will not go off until the end of the round, after all regular initiatives have been completed.

One turn is still equal to 10 rounds (i.e. 100 seconds, or 1 minute, 40 seconds).

Crossbow

Crossbows have a chance to knock down their targets on a successful hit. When struck, a creature must roll a successful strength check to avoid being knocked down. The strength check is made with a negative modifier, based on the type of crossbow being used. Always round down. Consult the following table to determine chances of knockdown.

Creature Size Heavy Crossbow Medium Crossbow Light Crossbow
Huge + nil nil nil
Large -1/3 hps of damage nil nil
Medium -1/hp of damage -1/2 hps of damage nil
Small -3/hp of damage -2/hp of damage -1/hp of damage
Tiny -4/hp of damage -3/hp of damage -2/hp of damage

Initiative System

We use a continuous initiative system: thus, rather than arbitrarily divide combat into "rounds", combat is continued to continue until battle ends. Each combatant makes a regular initiative roll, and complete their actions based upon these initiatives. However, once a combatant's turn is over, he immediately initiates again, and adds the new die roll to his old initiative.

For example, Brengar the fighter rolls a 3 for initiative. On 3, he makes his attack, and immediately rolls initiative again. He rolls a 4, and adds it to his previous initiative of 3. Brengar will attack again on initiative 7.

This system obviously can create situations in which a few lucky low initiative rolls can mean a greater number of attacks, whereas a few unlucky high rolls can mean the character attacks less frequently. I believe this system introduces a greater element of risk to battle, and better simulates the chaos and unpredictability found in general melee.

In addition, initiative is modified upwards by spell casting times and weapon speeds (as per standard AD&D rules).

Initiative System - Extra Attacks

In cases where a character has more than one attack per round, the extra attacks are resolved on the original initiative. For example, if Brengar the fighter attacked twice per round with his longsword, and his first initiative was 5, then both attacks would occur on 5. Once all regular attacks for that initial initiative roll are finished, a new initiative is rolled.

Initiative System - Modifying Initiative

High Dexterity scores modify initiative by subtracting the Reaction Adjustment from the rolled initiative (to a minimum of 1). Spells which modify movement rates can also affect initiative. Haste, for example, gives a -2 bonus to initiative rolls, while slow adds a +5 penalty to initiative rolls (ignore the part about halving normal attacks). Under no circumstances, however, can an initiative roll be reduced below 1.

Certain magical weapons (such as the scimitar of speed) grant an extra attack which is meant to be resolved before the combat round begins. Obviously, in a continuous, non-round based combat system, this becomes a bit more difficult. These weapons then require slightly different rules. To begin, a speed weapon does grant a bonus attack, which, when combat begins (i.e. on the first round) is taken before all other initiatives. From there on in (i.e. on subsequent initiatives), the extra attack is taken on regular initiative. However, the speed weapon grants its user a -2 bonus to initiative rolls (but cannot take an initiative roll below 1), and ignores weapon speeds.

Knockdown

Whenever a character is struck by a creature larger than he is, there is a chance that the character will be knocked down. To avoid being knocked down, the character must pass a successful Strength check. This check is modified as per the information below.

Attacker is one size category larger      no modifier
Attacker is two size categories larger      -1penalty
Attacker is three size categories larger      -3penalty
Attacker is four size categories larger      -5penalty
Attacker is five size categories larger      -7 penalty

Movement Rate

All characters have a base movement rate equal to their racial norm. Movement rate may then be further modified by adding the character's "Bonus to Hit" due to high Strength and "Reaction Adjustment" due to high Dexterity (if any). Also, armour worn can affect movement rate, as per the following table.

Armour Worn Modifier
Ring mail, scale mail, or hide armor -1
Chain mail, splint mail, or banded mail armor -2
Plate mail, field plate mail, or full plate mail armor -3

Thus, a dwarf with average Strength and Dexterity wearing plate mail would have a movement rate of 3. A human with a Strength of 18/23 wearing chain mail would have a movement rate of 11.

Note, magical armor reduces the movement rate modifier by 1 for every two pluses (round up). Thus, magical plate +2 would only reduce the character's movement rate by a factor of two, rather than three. If the dwarf in the previous example had been wearing plate +3, his movement rate would have been 5.

Characters have three categories of movement rates: Top Movement Rate (TMR), Battle Movement Rate (BMR), and Concentrating Movement Rate (CMR). These differing movement rates are used in different situations, explained below.

Top Movement Rate is the character's modified Movement rate, in tens of feet, per round (a period of time equal to 10 seconds). This is the top speed the character can hit while sprinting full out. Of course, moving at this high rate of speed during combat places the character at risk. Such characters are concentrating on nothing but running, and thus lose all bonuses to AC due to high Dexterity or shields. Furthermore, any attacks directed against such creatures gain an additional +4 to hit and damage.

Battle Movement Rate is the maximum safe distance a character can move in one action without leaving himself open to attack. It is equal to 1/3 of the character's TMR (round up). For each action a character has in a round, he can move one unit of BMR (however, each such movement sacrifices one attack roll).

Concentrating Movement Rate is the distance a character can move while engaging in an action. This includes situations like walking while spellcasting, or a fighter maneuvering into position to shoot an arrow. It is equal to 1/3 of the character's BMR (round up).

For example, Blackadder, an elven fighter/mage, has a TMR of 15 (12 for elves, +5 for high Strength and Dexterity, -2 because he is wearing chain mail). During battle, he has a BMR of 5 (one third of 15). He has a CMR of 2 (5 divided by 3 = 1.66, round up to 2). Thus, he can move up to 20 feet to make an attack without sacrificing an attack roll.

Any character can move a maximum of one BMR in any round without sacrificing an attack.

Noticing Spellcasting

In general, spellcasting is not something done covertly. However, a mage or cleric may wish to cast a spell without anyone noticing. Should this occur, it is helpful to have a basic description of what is required when spellcasting.

Verbal Components: verbal components can involve anything from a whisper to a shout. Unless the spell description states otherwise, it is assumed that verbal components can be whispered.

Somatic Components: somatic components may involve hand gestures, shaking the head, stamping of feet, etc. Unless the spell description states otherwise, it is assumed that these gestures may be minimized to appear less obvious.

Material Components: in the World of Tryll, material components are mostly unnecessary. However, if the DM uses material components, then there is no way to modify or minimize the use of these items.

Should a mage wish to cast without being noticed, it is assumed that he is whispering verbal components, and minimizing somatic components. These slight alterations to the spell impose a 2% chance per spell casting time (in segments) of spell failure, and a 1% chance per spell casting time (in segments) of the spell backfiring.

For instance, if a mage wanted to cast a lightning bolt without being noticed, he would have a 6% chance of spell failure, and a 3% chance of the spell backfiring. These numbers are then added together, and percentile dice are rolled. Therefore, if 01-03% is rolled, the spell backfires. If 4%-9% is rolled, the spell simply fails.

When a spell is cast covertly, anyone the DM rules might notice it may make a Perception check (or Intelligence, if the optional Perception statistic is not used). The check is modified positively by 1 for every segment of the spell's casting time (thus, a spell with a casting time of 4 would add a +4 bonus to the Perception check).

This may be modified further by the DM, based on the situation. For instance, if the spell casting occurred in the middle of a bar fight, the DM may add an additional -4 penalty to any applicable Perception checks. Or, if cast under the cover of total darkness, the DM may assign a -5 penalty to the Perception check, as the character cannot see the somatic movements.

If successful, spellcasters (and those reasonably familiar with the spellcasting process) will realize that the mage/cleric is casting a spell. Those unfamiliar with spellcasting in general will notice only that the character is mumbling and/or gesticulating strangely.

Perception

Perception is a new Player Character ability score (like Strength or Wisdom). This ability determines how perceptive the character is; how likely he is to notice difficult to see items, variations in temperature - anything which may be noticed, but not automatically. Highly perceptive characters receive bonuses to their Surprise checks (sic), as per the following table.

Perception Score Surprise Roll Modifier
1-3 -2
4-5 -1
6-12 0
13-16 +1
17 +2
18 +3
19 +4
20-25 +5

Thus, a human with a Perception of 14 adds a +1 bonus to surprise checks, while a human with a Perception of 4 would have a -1 penalty to such rolls.

Permanency

When making certain magical spells permanent, the permanency spell requires the mage to sacrifice a point of Constitution. Under the new rules, the mage must still sacrifice a portion of his life essence to make the spell permanent, but rather than sacrifice a point of Constitution, he must sacrifice a permanent hit point.

Furthermore, the mage can, if he so wishes, voluntarily end the permanency spell, removing the enchantment and regaining the lost hit point, at any time (at will). In the case of magical items, the item must be on the same plane as its creator in order for this ability to function.

Saving Throws vs. High Level Casters

The higher the level a mage or cleric achieves, the more powerful a spellcaster s he becomes. To simulate this, when saving against magic cast by these characters, a penalty is applied. The penalty is determined as per the following chart.

Level of Spellcaster Penalty
1-4 0
5-9 -1
10-14 -2
15-19 -3
20+ -4

Surprise

Most creatures use a base 1d10 to determine if they are surprised in a given situation. Some creatures may cause others to have negative or positive modifiers applied to their surprise check. The table below shows the surprise chances for the major races.

Race Chance of Being Surprised
Human, Half-elf, Dwarf 1-3 on a 1d10
Elf 1-2 on a 1d10
Half-Giant, Minotaur 1-4 on a 1d10
Kender 1 on a 1d10

Sweeping

If a fighter of at least 4th is attacking multiple targets of one hit die or less, he may make one attack roll for every three levels he possesses (round up) against all such targets within melee range. Sweeping may only be done when using an edged or slashing weapon. Blunt and pointed weapons cannot sweep.

Waking Up

Often, the DM will need to determine how likely a character is to wake up while sleeping. This is a function of Perception, modified for certain situations. Obviously, the more tired the character is, the harder it will be for him to awaken. The table below examines several common situations. The DM will have to determine modifiers for situations not covered below.

Situation Modifier
Very heavy sleeper -8
Very light sleeper +8
Faint noise (twig breaking, a whisper) -5
Moderate noise (normal conversation, dropped cooking pot) -2
Loud noise (nearby shout or scream, thunder) +2
Extremely loud noise (shouting in sleeper's ear, lightning strike nearby) +5
Poking or prodding the sleeper -3
Roughly shaking the sleeper +5
Water in sleeper's face +5
Physical attack on sleeper Automatic

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