Twelve Hours of Dwimmermount at Madicon 24

Monday , 16, March 2015 23 Comments

Okay, we just sort of kept playing and playing and playing here. I don’t think this should have worked– this was an unscheduled game set up on the spur of the moment at a small town university science fiction and fantasy convention. Basically no one signed up for this, either. Well, a couple people did– but they crossed their names off to go play the LARP or something. Friday night– which I thought was the best time slot for this– was pretty well dead this year. (For Comparison, when I ran Isle of Dread a couple years back, I had eight people show up.)

This should have been a bust, but on Saturday, people that had played in other games I’d run walked by, checked us out, and then joined in. (There’s this look of longing on their faces that is immediately evident when they see the dice and maps.) My group of three die hard, ultra-reliable roleplaying addicts were thus joined by three additional players over the course of the afternoon– a respectable troupe! People I didn’t know would occasionally walk past, ask a few questions, and then end up sitting in for while, too. (One guy played a full sortie and another just dipped in for half an hour just to sample again the old school way of playing.)

In terms of how things shook out, I’d say that play fell out into roughly equal chunks: exploration, investigation, planning, fighting wandering monsters, and fighting the set piece encounters. (The players could generally tell the difference between the latter two.) Here is a rundown of the overall action for each of the five sorties that the players made into Dwimmermount.

First Sortie

The party entered the dungeon and went through the southern double doors and into the first level’s main crossroads. They tried to shove their way into a door, but a gelatinous cube showed up. (The dog started growling or else someone would have gotten eaten by it.) They retreated back to the entry area– the thief fired a crossbow bolt into the monster as a fighter knocked the iron spike out from the door.

The players then explored the western section. They came across an iron face and a rune inscribed obelisk. The mage was stunned by some sort of magical trap and the party went outside to rest; she ended up recovering in forty minutes, so the party went back in and fought some orcs. They took exactly 1,000 gold pieces off them after sleep spelling them and the players were shocked to see that the six orcs were all identical… as if they were all twins.

The players took one orc back to town for interrogation. After bribing the watch to give them some time and hiring someone that could speak bestial, the party was intrigued to hear about the large numbers of orcs on the next level down. The party asked about the orc’s mother and so forth and it claimed to have come from the pool. The players decided that this must be like something from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings adaption….

XP: 1060 divided 6 ways

Rooms: 1-11-1-64-61-1, 1-61-62-61-1

Second Sortie

The party loaded up on supplies and enjoyed the finest cooking and revelry they could get in Muntberg while one of their critically wounded comrades spent a week recovering. (Local priest charged 100 gold for a cure light wounds.) The players then returned to Dwimmermount with the intention of taking out the gelatinous cube with flaming oil.

They entered the room that had stymied them before and searched some dwarvish bodies. The presence of blood and the fact that they were turned to stone lead to a lot of speculation. The cube showed up and the players set an oil trap for it. They explored the next room and discovered some sort of contraption. Before long, what they thought was the same cube blundered in and the players lobbed oil at short range to take it out as it almost backed them into a corner. It was dispatched rather easily, though.

The players insisted on fiddling with a device and switched on a training automaton. In the ensuing melee, Virgil the cleric was perhaps needlessly killed. The party went back to town to roll up a new cleric.

XP: 217 divided 5 ways

Rooms: 1-11-16-17-16-11-1

Third Sortie

The party spent one night in town and headed straight back to the dungeon. (Dead people don’t require recuperation.) They actually had a complete map of the first level that they got off the dwarves last time. The adventurers cruised over to one promising room, but found only centipedes and rubbish. They found not much in a similar room on the opposite side of the dungeon, but some crab spiders harassed them as they came out. The found a weird room with voices in it, a really nice library, and a weird contraption that nearly killed one of the player characters. Kobolds were fought, orcs were fought, and some more centipedes as well. A really nice 120 g.p. piece of jewelry was taken off the orc lieutenant.

Another thing happening this time had to do with the players electing to avoid the kobold caves after they took out their main guards. They found some really nice double doors made of some kind of white metal which didn’t open with the thief made a successful pick locks roll. The orcs ended up coming after them when they decided to pop some weird silvery bubbles. Come to think of it, there was a great deal of varied things to interact with and puzzle over this time.

The players spent another week in town so a player character could get over a brush with death. A fighter spent the time reading one of the old books on martial arts and gained 500 experience points.

XP: 318 divided 6 ways (Bogdar the Tolerant sat out of this round.)

Rooms: 1-11-57-12-14-11-18-19-20-21-22-23-22-21-11-54-11-1

Fourth Sortie

The party was tired of the wimpy treasure hauls they’d gotten so far and feeling rather bold, they opted to risk going down the staircase on the eastern side of the dungeon. Some weird skeletons met them at the foot of the stairs and they seemed to be immune to turning. One of the player characters died in the fighting. In the next room were some weird pillars that the players couldn’t understand.

Again the players went at 60′ a turn through large passages. (People in plate mail are slow… and the rules assume careful, searching movement at full alert.) They came across some rats and managed to block them into a corner with flaming oil and easily wiped them out. They then found a strange alter with an orichalcum box on it. They found a well that they investigated for a bit. And they found some hobgoblins. The beastmen wanted to parley, but the mage ended up sleep spelling them on the sly. This resulted in a fair treasure haul and the party encountered crab spiders on the way out of the dungeon.

Back in town, a couple of player characters took a priest out for drinks trying to pick his brain about how they could get into the orichalcum box. The advice boiled down to him suggesting that the players show a little more reverence and avoid using arcane abilities to solve religious puzzles. (The two are inimical to each other.) He admitted his bias, but the players seemed embrace this type of thinking.

XP: 1049 divided 6 ways (Bogdar was back now.)

Rooms: [1] 1-11-14-15… [2B] 1-2-30-16-15-14-2-1… [1] 15-14-11-1.

Fifth Sortie

The party blew into the dungeon knocked the heads off all the statues in the entry area. This made a lot of noise. They wanted to check out the other stairs and headed for them. They fought some orcs and took their stuff. They found a neat map room and then made it to the stairwell. They cleaned out some yellow mold at its entrance and went down.

At the foot of the stairs were five orcs. The two lead fighters quickly got dropped, but the party kept on. Reinforcements showed up and got sleep spelled. The orc leader was tough, but went down. The party slit the orcs’ throats and did not search, but decided to get out. Healing proficiency actions got the two fighters on their feet again. The party encountered crab spiders on the way out and fought through them.

Heading out of the dungeon, they encountered the dreaded NPC party that they had expected to run into sooner or later. The players were not intimidated and chose to fight, even though they’d burned through all of their spells and such. The players’ thief got high initiative as usual and shot the enemy mage at a range of 120 feet. If the NPC’s could have cast a sleep spell, it would have resulted in automatic defeat… but whatever the mage had, it was spoiled.The NPC’s ran down the stairs at this point and the players chased after them. The thief and mage got away, but the two fighters and the two clerics turned to give battle. They were soon killed except for one cleric which was taken prisoner.

XP: 2651 divided 6 ways

Rooms: [1] 1-11-48-47-44-45… [2A] 1-41-1… [1] 45-44-47-48-11-1

Afterwards

The opening room is of course an homage to Gary Gygax’s Random Dungeon Generation scheme. The principle embodied there is to give the players multiple options right from the start rather than shepherding them along a linear series of encounters. The map of the first level being given over to the players so soon was a surprise to me, though. This really changed the tone of the game from one of pure exploration over to a more strategic sort of sacking. But the players were presented with multiple ways down into the next level there, with each one amounting to its own adventure hook that they had varying degrees of intel on. I have to say, though, this set up seems to encourage players to think in terms of their own objectives rather than simply systematically clearing out the dungeon.

I had intended to just focus on the dungeon crawling above everything else, but the players asked quite a bit about the history and the background of the setting over the course of the sessions. This is no doubt due to the many rooms that appear to be some sort of puzzle or problem for the players to solve. It feels like something large and intricate is unfolding here, but it is at the pace that the players set, not me. I never really had to “brain dump” them with the boring “game designer wishes he was a novelist” stuff. The details are there to enhance the players’ adventuring, not to merely be foisted on them.

The surrounding region is starting to become a factor as well. Players that are not satisfied with what they can get for selling various artifacts in Muntberg will soon have a reason to go ranging across the wilderness hexes to go to larger cities. The players had no use for the NPC mage that begged to include them in the adventuring, but they spend money quite freely in town and word of their success in the dungeon has gotten out. Competing adventuring companies are sure to be a factor in any future sessions– indeed, they are already complicating the players’ exit strategies.

The scope of the dungeon combined with the many uninhabited rooms have some surprising consequences as well. The various factions feel like they are a long way away from each other. This is not like the Caves of Chaos where the players scoff at so many humanoid factions setting up right on top of each other. As far as the balance of power is concerned, the players have killed more orcs than just about anything else. It is harder to think through the ramifications of that than I would have thought. Given the way that the material is presented, I had expected that the way that the factions interact would have been a much more prominent feature of the gameplay so far. But that just isn’t happening, yet. The players are too strong at first level in ACKS, everything is remote, and the first level is tilted toward mindless vermin. There’s just not a lot of reason to negotiate there….

Probably the biggest headache I cause the players is due to my extreme lack of interest in setting up miniatures on a grid for them. My rough sketches of the various situations aren’t doing the job. For my part, I don’t mind how fighters in ACKS cleave through large swaths of monsters– it speeds up the combat resolution, after all– but I have to say that I cannot stand how the game comes to a stop whenever someone with a healing proficiency tries to take care of the fallen after a battle. Or during battle for that matter…. I might have been playing it wrong, but I am of a mind to cross both healing and laying on of hands off the cleric’s list of allowed proficiences just so I don’t have to deal with it anymore.

As things went on, I think I was more and more tempted to impose some sort of artificially climatic scene on the game in order to give it a sense of moment or closure. Maybe that’s coming. Maybe it isn’t. Maybe the occasional player death combined with a knowledge of just how close the party has come to getting decimated is all the drama a campaign really needs. Either way, this truly gigantic dungeon seems real enough. Every time the players go in, they find out something more… and their adventure options just keep getting richer and more numerous. The place seems alive with activity somehow as well, even if half the action is coming off a wandering monster table. (I’d never really used them to this extent. I gotta say… they really seem to work.)

At any rate, the party is liable to begin leveling up very soon; that will no doubt further increase their range of operations. Even after twelve hours of play, I’d estimate that they’ve only explored about half a level all together. Maybe a bit more. We could easily play this campaign all year long and still have plenty of dungeon to delve. If prepping for game sessions strikes you as being a chore, then you might want to consider this. In spite of its scope, it is relatively easy to keep up with. (The Dungeon Tracker is a big help.) I think I was most worried about presenting the overall situation accurately, but really… it’s designed to be discovered piecemeal while gradually coming into focus. Gaining information is coequal to recovering treasure, after all. The players aren’t going to learn it all at once and it isn’t terribly difficult to stay ahead of them….

Characters

(F) Abimelek — attended all sorties
XP: 177 + 43 + 53 + 500 + 175 + 442 = 1390 * 1.05 = 1460
Gold: 110.7 + 512.5 = 523.2

(T) The Artful Dodger — attended all sorties
XP: 177 + 43 + 53 + 175 + 442 = 890 * 1.1 = 979
Gold: 202 + 512.5 = 714.5

(M) Raph — attended all sorties
XP: 177 + 43 + 53 + 175 + 442 = 890 * 1.1 = 979
Gold: 155 + 512.5 = 667.5

(C) Dorian — started on the third sortie
XP: 53 + 175 + 442 = 670 * 1.05 = 704
Gold: 162 + 512.5 = 674.5

(F) Brock — started on the third sortie (?)
XP: 53 + 175 + 442 = 670 * 1.1 = 737
Gold: 75 + 512.5 = 587.5

(F) Bogdar the Tolerant — missed the third sortie
XP: 177 + 43 + 175 + 442 =  837 * ??? = ???
Gold: ??? + 512.5 = ???

Rest in peace:
(C) Virgil: Killed by a training automaton on level 1 of Dwimmermount.
(F) Shard: Killed by a silver skeleton on level 2 of Dwimmermount.

23 Comments
  • Aurumvorax says:

    Movement is the main problem with this system. 60 (or 30 in extreme cases) to 120 feet every 10 minutes is too slow, and the corresponding 15 to 30 feet per combat round would be good for 10-second rounds, but you said in-game that they were a minute. I’m hoping you read something wrong, because this doesn’t seem to mesh with the stated 20-foot fighting advance or withdrawal move. That would make sense, as it has nothing to do with what you’re carrying and everything about the fact that you’re fighting at the same time.

    I know there are blogs & reviews out there about ACK (Adventurer, Conqueror, King) from the last 3 years. I haven’t read them & I’m just expressing my own opinion. If houserules are considered or a revision is on the table, I would say to offer greater movement-per-turn rates when not investigating, such as remapping, leaving and full-on retreat scaling up in speed.

    I don’t think the characters are “too powerful.” Encountering 14 Orcs (including an Orc King with whom I tried to strike up a diplomatic relationship) was a warning for even 6 first-level characters venturing onto the second dungeon level. As I mentioned in play, I feel penalizing the party for relying on a “Five Minute Workday” would be appropriate. I think Jeff’s impression of the healing proficiencies & spells as cumbersome stems from a lack of understanding of how they are supposed to work in combat, and the need to integrate that knowledge into streamlining allowed actions which the cleric and trained healer (we have both types, a valuable opportunity to develop additional insight) can substitute for attacks, much as the Sanctuary spell provides for in D & D.

    Jeff, I stopped reading when you started writing about factions, as I am evaluating the game as a player, not reviewing the module as a DM. I respect your enthusiasm for the inbuilt encumbrance system. I might like it better if there were inventory handouts with the stone (and fractional) weights and a brief table of how they affect speed.

    The only other bones I have to pick with ACK are minor and concern character generation. It annoys me not to be able to play a hobbit and, although under constraints related to the convention situation I didn’t get to check out the allowed variants, not having the opportunity to play a straightforward dwarf or elf has the potential to be similarly irksome. That is a system=setting-related issue which could have been avoided by modeling AD&D more OR tweaking the proficiency system.

    Not going into detail about how being a dwarven cleric might be conceived of as a skill, the proficiencies are still well-thought out and flavorful. As a vision-impaired person I found the layout disorganized, as I was unable to leaf through their descriptions and immediately identify for which ones I was eligible. On a related note, it doesn’t seem quite fair that clerics can take a proficiency with polearms, but fighters can’t be well versed in world religions (thieves sniffing out magic is also a convention of heroic fantasy which should be allowed).

    Last but not least, like many people I see being stuck with low rolls as undesirable. One of my fellow players rolled a 16 and one score under 9 and immediately started agitating to roll another character, but I rather think the rules should include a definition of hopeless. That keeps me from having to quietly endure having two negative modifiers while powergamers around me gambol happily with the end result of classifying a first attempt as “practice” rolls.

    • Jeffro says:

      Okay, I looked it up. A combat round is ten seconds. I’ll reread the movement rules with your comments in mind.

      “Inventory handouts with the stone (and fractional) weights and a brief table of how they affect speed” — Ah, I’ll work on that!

      Hobbits are monsters in ACKS, but not a player race. (!!) The designers of this adventure and rules system clearly had it in for them.

      There are Elf and Dwarf classes in ACKS. Three dwarf classes are suggested for use with Dwimmermount and five elf classes. These are currently off limits to players for arbitrary game mastery reasons. “By the book”, the adventure module recommends limiting them to being only one or two members of the party.

      There are 12 human classes that are suggested for ACKS/Dwimmermount: assassin, barbarian, bladedancer, cleric, explorer, fighter, mage, priestess, shaman, thief, venturer, and witch. There is no suggestion for limiting, but I am of a mind to tying them to various locations on the campaign map and then having the classes be “unlocked” as the party travels around. (In any case, I wanted to hammer out the rules questions we’ve outlined before flooding the game with “weird” classes.)

      “Last but not least, like many people I see being stuck with low rolls as undesirable.” — Just my opinion… but those crappy characters are just supposed to die. Heck, the too-good characters are supposed to die, too. Arbitrarily. Heh.

      • Aurumvorax says:

        I’m a little worried about my character dying–if I have to start over at first level, I am motivated to suicide ASAP–if, on the other hand, players are not sufficiently disincentivized, we will start dying in droves (OK, at least the less favority characters) as soon as we reach those enticing environs–shaman/barbarian lands, elven spellsword school and so forth.

        • Jeffro says:

          The rules as we ran them this weekend cut the death rate down to a third of what’s usual in a B/X game. Three fighters with strength at 15+ and with the ACKS damage bonus and the cleave ability have simply withering combat power. My argument is… the game would feel much saner without the healing proficiency at x3 and x2 respectively. I mean… this is a game where the cleric doesn’t get a spell at first level. If he’s going to be doing this much healing under a glorified house rule, then you might as well do this the AD&D way and give him 1 to 4 first level spells right from the start…!

          • Aurumvorax says:

            I catch the sarcasm there at the end which I guess is why your answer to my comment on your reply isn’t a reply to Stanzi’s otherwise more relevant comment! No other skill system allows first-level characters to have third-level abilities like Cure Serious Wounds, so what you say about the Healing proficiency is completely apropos. Setting the first point you make aside for the moment, I think the fighter would be better balanced with lower save targets (that is, better, as in AD&D), and limited cleaving (with no cleave for spellcasters—at least human ones). The designers opted to make combat shorter & more exciting, though, with at least some extra healing to keep it from being too swingy.

            I got no problem with my character, crappy or not, not dying through no fault of my own. Other than that, you have fired up my pet peeve by not responding to my actual comment! At least say you’re going to let us roll up replacement characters one level lower than the ones that die, ha ha.

          • Jeffro says:

            Aurumvorax,

            If you’d like your replacement character to start at a higher level, you can arbitrarily spend money on tithes and/or carousing in order to bank it as XP for that new character. So when a fighter gains 2,000 gold, he can in effect buy the right to have has player start the next sortie with a fresh character at second level. This is plain vanilla, “official” ACKS rules and not a house rule.

    • Hi Aurumvorax! There are options for faster speed when you’re not exploring.

      Fighters CAN take Theology as a general proficiency – it’s just not a class proficiency. Thieves can take Arcane Dabbling as a class proficiency – that was my homage to the Grey Mouser. I can see the argument for allowing them to take Sense Power, too, though the rules as written don’t allow that. (Easy enough to house rule if desired).

      The B/X Elf is in the game as “Elven Spellsword” while the B/X Dwarf is in the game as “Dwarven Vaultguard”. There is also a “Dwarven Craftpriest” (cleric) and “Elven Nightblade” (thief/mage) in the core rules, and a host of other demihuman races in Player’s Companion.

      I’m sorry that the book was hard to read as a vision-impaired person. Was it the tables, the font, the spacing?

      • Aurumvorax says:

        Thanks for the attention, A.M.  It’s good to know what those other options are, as I only had access to some player guides Jeffro made up for the event, not the actual book.  My quibble with the proficiencies is organizational.  It’s hardly unique to any mechanic let alone skills, but the difficulty of having to page between a list of allowed options and their undifferentiated (alphabetical) descriptions is compounded when trying to pick from two different lists.

        Your character tree suggestion below is very encouraging.  If I were the guy or gal (not giving any hints) who had rolled a +2 and a -1 (modifiers) I would’ve stopped right there, but I didn’t get a +2 and it’s my fault I’d rather play a relatively low-Strength fighter than spend my tepid 11 Charisma down to a dreary 9.  I could have, alternatively, taken my Strength down to 10 and played a Cleric with 13 Wisdom.  This brings me to a rules interpretation question:  Could I have “saved” my character from a 5 Dexterity by reducing his Strength, Wisdom and Charisma to make him a Thief with 9 Dexterity?  The numbers are there, I’m just curious whether the entrance requirement for the class has to take precedence over the buy-down rule.

        • Jeffro says:

          The only way to “officially” raise the low Dex under ACKS is to choose a class where Dex is the prime requisite and then “rob” the other attributes that are at 11 or better in order to bring that horrible stat up.

          Note that under classic B/X, Dexterity could not be lowered and Constitution and Charisma could not be raised or lowered. Given that ACKS is much more free with this stuff, it’s much less common to see characters without the +10% xp bonus.

        • Out of curiosity, what ability scores did you roll?

          • Aurumvorax says:

            Neither one of you guys said whether you can actually make your character a Thief when you rolled a 5 Dexterity (although Jeffro strongly implied it).

            Str 14, Dex 5, Con 10, Int 6, Wis 11, Cha 11. I was using a Labyrinth Lord character sheet (I don’t do well with notebook paper). Jeff, I think you indicated that you’re used to 15 Strength giving you a +1, but ACKS goes 3, 4-5, 6-8, 9-12, 13-15, 16-17, and 18 like Castles & Crusades.

          • Jeffro says:

            Under B/X there was no ability score restriction for mage, thief, fighter, or cleric.

            ACKS states there is no requirement for those classes in their class description. However… on page 17 it states that you much have a score of 9+ in the prime requisite(s) before you can choose the class. THEREFORE… my trick for “fixing” a Dex of 5 is technically not legal under ACKS. (!!)

    • As far as hopeless characters, the rules suggest each player rolling up 5 characters and then choosing the one he wants to play, with a second choice as back-up. That s system goes far towards alleviating hopelessness. (Though a 16 with one score under 9 is by no means a hopeless character! ACKS characters just aren’t expected to be always at “elite array or better” standards).

  • Stanzi says:

    Aww, you left out Shard’s dying soliloquy. I was so proud of that.

    On a more serious note, I’m with Aurumvorax on the healing rules. If you’re positive you’re using them correctly, I’d advise house ruling modifications over cutting them out entirely. Yes, the game may seem to stop when there’s healing to be done, but don’t think for a moment that isn’t a tense moment for the players! Their lives are on the line!

  • David says:

    I am not sure but I think the reason hobbits/halflings are not part of ACKS is that particular stretch goal was not reached for the Kickstarter.

  • Jeffro, thanks for the splendid review! A few quick comments:

    Movement Speed: If you want to get a sense of how fast adventurers are moving using exploration movement (120′ per turn), it’s about as fast as shoppers in a grocery store searching the aisle for goods. Characters are walking a few steps, looking around, taking notes, sketching a map, talking; walking a few steps… Adventurers can move MUCH faster if desired – 120′ per 10 seconds – but they cannot map, have no chance to detect traps, and cannot avoid surprise. Typically my adventuring parties use exploration speed in new areas, and combat speed in areas they’ve already explored.

    Combat Power: ACKS characters are definitely more powerful than B/X characters, but are less powerful than 3.5-5e characters. ACKS Dwimmermount is balanced against ACKS characters.

    Cleave: I’d highly recommend NOT altering Cleave. This system is the product of literally hundreds of sessions of playtesting. It synergizes with the fighter damage bonus to keep fighters competitive with spell casters over the course of a campaign.

    Healing: The intent of the Healing proficiency is to provide for substantially better healing for low level parties than B/X afforded, WITHOUT increasing the amount of divine spell casting in the game. This allows players to adventure without a cleric if they’d like, and it keeps the amount of magic in the world at low levels limited. ACKS 1st level clerics are likely to be the most common type of cleric that villagers and peasants interact with. I didn’t want to assume a world where every local priest can ACTUALLY do miracles.

    Question: What about healing slowed the game down? I’ve never heard that complaint before. Most playtesters have previously reported that they love the Healing proficiency. Likewise the Mortal Wounds chart is so beloved that it’s a thing people steal for other games. Please fill me in! Thanks.

    • Jeffro says:

      The question I had running the healing proficiency with the herb rules and the mortality chart has to do with timing and duration.

      First… how much time does it take to bust out the “cure light wounds” and “cure serious wounds” effects from the healing proficiency? Is it instant like a spell effect or is this more like Aragorn’s kingsfoil doctoring?

      Second… can healing spells and healing effects bring a character back from zero-or-less hit points? If it does… is a mortality chart roll still required? (Or do you mortality check first… then allow the healing spells/proficiencies to take effect when/if the person is deemed to be alive?)

      I might have answered my own questions by studying the rules myself, but during play… the friction was due to a lot of off-the-cuff rulings or interpretations I seemed to make every single time someone got dropped.

      Here is one case:

      Character dropped to -1 hit-points. Cleric executes Laying on Hands to heal two hit-points. Is a mortality chart roll required?

      Here’s another:

      Character dropped to -12 hit-points. Cleric succeeds with cure serious wounds via a triple healing proficiency after the battle. Mage succeeds with cure light wounds via a double healing proficiency. (Herbs were used to give both rolls a +2.) Character is now at positive hit points. Is a roll on the mortality chart still required? (Also, is there really time to do all this doctoring in a single combat round…?)

      Not knowing what is “actually” happening makes it hard to rule on what happens and when. I’m thinking that going to zero or less is a BAD thing no matter how much healing is brought to bear on it. It’s generally supposed to result in someone being brought back to town or whatever. But then, even for the people that survive their mortality chart rolls… I’m not always clear on how “out of it” they are supposed to be for the rest of the adventure.

      There’s so many shades of “dead” and “nearly dead” here that it’s just hard for me to rule on what is actually happening given my lack of clarity on the exact sequence that everything occurs in….

  • 1. How much time does it take to bust out the “cure light wounds” and “cure serious wounds” effects from the healing proficiency?

    It takes one combat round to use them for purposes of treating a mortal wound, one turn otherwise.

    2. Can healing spells and healing effects bring a character back from zero-or-less hit points? If it does… is a mortality chart roll still required?

    The moment any character treats the mortally-wounded character, you IMMEDIATELY roll on the Mortal Wounds table to see what happened, adjusting the roll based on the treatment used. The character does not recover any hp from this treatment except as noted from the table (e.g. he might recover to 1hp).

    The table will then tell you the character’s state – either dead; recovered to 1hp; or at negative hit points with a certain period until he dies. In the latter cases you can then use healing, hopefully restoring the character to 1 hit point before it’s too late. Once the character reaches 1 hit point, he cannot heal or be healed any further until he has recuperated from his mortal wound, during which time he can take no actions except a half-walk.

    • Jeffro says:

      “The character does not recover any hp from this treatment except as noted from the table”

      Okay, I definitely wasn’t doing that. Or else, I did something different on different occasions. This should make “death” scarier than what I was running.

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