Sunday, February 28, 2016

House Rules Update: Rounds and Taking Actions

I have updated my House Rules tab. Just like in every other OSR style D&D game out there, the rules we use in my campaign are always evolving: trying to find the "perfect" balance between simplicity/playability and modelling in and out-of-game behaviors that are evocative, imaginative, and fun. In response to some recent confusion re: what my players can actually do in a combat round I have added the following information:


"I go first... um... what's next? They're charging!"

Doing Stuff in a Fight!
After having played D&D for years, I pretty much know what I can and can't do in a combat round. I have a group with many new players; in order to help then get a good idea of what they can and can't do in a round. I am going with a very 4e-esque method for categorizing actions in my Home School D&D.

Rounds vs. Turns: A round (not a turn) is about 6 seconds long. 10 rounds equal a minute. We generally say that 10 minutes equal a turn.

Move Action: This includes any sort of movement. It can be running, swimming, etc. Move actions typically draw attacks of opportunity from their opponents; they do not when a character takes only a "free" 5-foot step. 5 feet typically equals one square on maps used for running encounters. Each character gets one move action per round. A character may take an extra move action, running, but he also uses his standard action in doing this (see below).

Standard Action: Typically involves a large amount of effort or concentration. Attacking with a weapon or casting a spell are typical standard actions. Each character gets one standard action per round.

Minor Action: Drinking a potion or drawing a weapon are minor actions. Minor actions involve limited amounts of concentration to be done well. Each character gets one minor action per round.

Free Action: Yelling to an ally is an example of a typical free action. A character may have many free actions in a round.

So, this is our solution for now. By regulating what characters can "get away with" in a round, my new players should, over time, develop a feel for how permissive the combat environment is. Hopefully, we will be able to loosen this up and eliminate these stricter interpretations once my players have gotten to the point where they just "know" what they can do.

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