Coeur de Lion

A place for DMs, GMs, or players to post stories, play reports, or general info about their current or ongoing campaigns.
Deil the Yin
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Re: Coeur de Lion

Post by Deil the Yin » Tue Nov 01, 2016 4:15 pm

I am also very interested in incorporating a "focus" for spell casting in my proto-Celtic Iron Age campaign setting. Have you considered including a wizard's "staff" as a spell focus? Wormtongue's request to confiscate Gandalf's staff before he enter the King's Hall from "The Two Towers" (movie) comes to mind as an inspiration, not to mention the movie dual between Gandalf and Saruman.

Image

Obviously a staff can be a bit more conspicuous than a wand, but it can also be readily camouflaged by its utility...


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Ancalagon
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Post by Ancalagon » Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:33 pm

Definitely have plans in place for the use of a staff as a focus for wizards. ;)

Captain_Blood
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Location: Texas

Post by Captain_Blood » Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:36 pm

Cool mechanic! I like it on paper, and it definitely makes it harder for the wizard to hide is identity in some scenarios.

Ancalagon
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Post by Ancalagon » Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:34 am

Coeur de Lion – Wizards & Spellcasting cont'd

In order to help simulate the unpredictable, potentially dangerous, nature of magick, if the wizard's casting roll is a "nat 20" then he/she has lost control of the spell and... something else... occurs.

When the "nat 20" result happens, the player must roll a saving throw v spells (or whatever I decide to call it). If the save succeeds, the intended spell is botched or misfires in some fashion and does not function as intended. The DM will determine the exact effect(s). If the save fails, then something has gone very wrong and the wizard suffers some type of magickal corruption. Again, the DM will determine the exact effect(s).

The ideas of botching or misfiring and corruption are put forth in various forms in several games I enjoy such as Ars Magica, Crypts & Things, DCC RPG, and WFRP2e. I like how it adds an unstable element to the use of magick and makes it risky, just as entering melee combat is always risky. Wizards should respect magick and not use it willy nilly. Lighting a torch is always safer than casting a light spell...

Ancalagon
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Post by Ancalagon » Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:24 pm

Initiative

Keeping in mind the notion of making each stat really important (q.v. CON for hit points and Death's Door), I've decided that DEX will be a vitally important factor in the determination of initiative. Rather than have every character, regardless of how graceful or clumsy they are, roll the same d6 (AD&D party v party or character v character) or a d10 (AD&D2e, C&C), the value of the DEX stat will determine the die type rolled by each character as follows:

17-18 = d4
14-16 = d6
8-13 = d8
5 - 7 = d10
3-4 = d12

The lower the roll, the better the result since initiative in Coeur de Lion will be a count up method. Die roll + weapon speed + misc. modifiers = initiative score. The DM will start at 0 and count up. Each character may act when his/her initiative score is reached. Using a die roll rather than straight modifiers based on DEX allows for the element of luck to impact initiative. Even a clod with minimal DEX might be able to act before a very nimble person... but it will be unlikely.

Players now have another point to consider when assigning values to their characteristics. What is more important to the character concept? ;)

Ancalagon
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Post by Ancalagon » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:26 pm

Initiative and Spellcasting

The intent to cast a spell must be declared by a player prior to any initiative checks for the forthcoming round. Failure to declare indicates the wizard will not be casting. The act of spell casting begins at the start of the combat round. The wizard’s initiative roll, based on his initiative die type determined by DEX score, plus the casting time of the spell, will be the count in the round at which the casting is completed. On the very next count, the spell discharges and the results are handled accordingly.

N.B. If the caster suffers damage, or is otherwise interrupted (tackled to prevent the required gestures, choked to prevent the spoken words of power from being verbalized, etc.) while casting a spell, the spell is disrupted. No mana is expended since the casting was not completed thus the power for triggering the spell was not brought forth.

Example: Dougal’s player declares Dougal shall cast Bolt of Bedevilment in the next round. Dougal, with a DEX of 12, has a d8 for his initiative die. The player rolls a “3” for initiative. The casting time for Bolt of Bedevilment is 1. If Dougal is not interrupted, he will finish his attempted spell on the count of 4 (3 for the initiative roll + 1 for the spell’s casting time). The spell will then discharge on count 5… assuming Dougal makes his casting roll…. Had the player rolled a “7” for initiative then the casting would have completed on the count of 8 and discharged on count 9. The Coeur de Lion setting is not as magick rich as some other settings such as Oerth (The World of Greyhawk), or Aihrde (the Castles & Crusades game world) so sometimes it takes more time for a wizard to harness magickal energies.

Ancalagon
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Post by Ancalagon » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:49 pm

Ancalagon wrote:Exploding damage dice help to even that out, too. More on that later. ;)
OK. It's later now and time to explain Exploding Dice in Coeur de Lion. The standard polyhedral set contains a d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and a d20. Coeur de Lion will make use of d2 and d3 which will be explained below.

Combat is dangerous. Even being in the wrong place at the wrong time is dangerous. Damage, whether inflicted by weapon, spell, falling, trampling, etc is determined by random die or dice rolls. Any time rolling of any of the standard dice yields its maximum result (E.g. a "4" on a d4, a "6" on a d6, etc.) then the die has exploded. When a die explodes, it is immediately picked up, rolled again, and the results added to the previous amount. If a weapon uses multiple dice in its damage determination, such as 2d4 for the broadsword, then both d4s are eligible to explode... probably one of the reasons the nobility has designated the broadsword as a chivalrous weapon and thus restricted to knights and others of higher social standing...

E.g. An outlaw is shot with an arrow for d6 points of damage. The die roll is "6" so the die is picked up and rolled again, this time resulting in a "5". The outlaw just took 11 hit points (6 + 5) of damage from the arrow!

E.g. A guard is standing too close to a concealed small barrel of oil when the barrel is shot with a flaming arrow causing it to explode. The DM rules damage will be 5d6 and rolls "1", "6", "5", "6", and "5" for a total of 23 points of damage. But wait! The 2 dice that turned "6" are picked up and rolled again yielding "3" and "6" for a total of 32 points of damage. The die resulting in "6" is picked up again and rolled for "4" more points for a grand total of 36 points of damage. The poor guard is on his way to the whatever awaits him in the afterlife...

There is a limit to the number of times a die may explode which is determined by the number of sides it possesses. A d4 may explode no more than 4 times, a d6 may explode no more than 6 times, etc. N.B. I've actually rolled 5 consecutive "6" on a d6 before so while very unlikely, it can be done. 8-)

Now before anyone starts thinking Ye Olde Zombie Master DM is a sadist, exploding dice don't function only in damage dealing situations. Healing effects such as the rare healing potions that actually work or the even rarer true believer able to lay hands to heal the wounded can also explode.

E.g. The outlaw shot with an arrow earlier manages to flee into a forest and elude his would be captors. He stumbles upon a hermit who offers to help him in exchange for help in return in the future. The outlaw agrees and is given a cup of bitter tasting drink. The potion heals d8 hit points with the die resulting in "8" points. The die is picked up and rolled again, this time resulting in a "2" for a total of 10 points of damage healed. The grateful outlaw promises to help his new friend whenever he may have need.

At the beginning of the post I mentioned a d2 and a d3 for use in the setting. A d2 is too small to explode. A d3 may explode only once per use, normally with some types of armour damage reduction or small knife damage.

Ancalagon
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Post by Ancalagon » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:11 pm

Armour & Shield

The function of Armour is to protect its wearer’s body from injury by blocking or reducing the effects of weapon strikes and other forms of impact. Generally speaking, as greater protection is desired, the bulk and weight of armour increases as more metal is used to fashion the armour. While greater protective ability is developed, mobility suffers. With this perspective in mind, armour in the Coeur de Lion setting functions as damage reduction (DR) as opposed to the standard practice of making it more difficult for its wearer to be struck by an attack.

Armour..................Initiative........Damage.........Hit.............Additional
Type.....................Penalty*.......Reduction.....Points**......Information
Padded......................0...................1................3...............A.k.a. Gambeson or padded jack
Boiled Leather............0..................d2...............6...............A.k.a. Cuir bouilli, DR die does not explode
Studded..................+1..................d3...............9...............DR die does not explode
Ring........................+2..................d3..............12..............DR die explodes once - not against blunt impacts
Mail, Byrnie..............+3..................d4..............25..............DR die explodes normally but not against blunt impacts, Chivalric armour
Mail, Hauberk..........+4.................d4+1...........30...............DR die explodes normally but not against blunt impacts, Chivalric armour
Mail, Full Suit............+5................d4+2...........35...............DR die explodes normally but not against blunt impacts, Chivalric armour

*This penalty can be offset by the STR damage adjustment if any is possessed. If a shield with an initiative penalty is used in conjunction with armour, the STR damage adjustment offsets the total penalty, not each separate penalty. In no way will such an offset result in a bonus to initiative.

**This is the number of hit points of damage a suit of armour can block before it is destroyed and requires replacement. Maintenance of armour is important for it to remain serviceable.

A padded jack (or gambeson) is a padded defensive jacket, worn as armour separately, or combined with mail. It so doubled as a winter coat for wearers. Gambesons were produced with a sewing technique called quilting. Usually constructed of linen or wool, the stuffing varied, and could be for example scrap cloth or horse hair. For common soldiers who could not afford better, the padded jack, combined with a helmet as the only additional protection, remained a common sight on European battlefields during the entire Middle Ages.

Boiled leather, sometimes called cuir bouilli, was a historical construction material for armour. It consists of thick leather, boiled in water. According to some sources, boiled oil and wax were used as well, while others posit the use of ammonia from fermented animal urine. The boiling causes the leather to become harder but also more brittle. The leather remains flexible for a short time after boiling, allowing it to be molded into larger plates.

Studded Leather is leather armor to which have been fastened metal studding as additional protection, usually including an outer coat of fairly closest studs (small plates).

Ring armour (ring mail) is a type of personal armour constructed as series of metallic rings sewn to a fabric or soft leather foundation. It is a leather or textile item of clothing (a jacket, or trousers) with a large number of metal rings sewn or tied directly into the foundation garment. Unlike mail armour, the rings are not physically interlocked with each other.

Mail or maille is a type of armour consisting of small metal rings linked together in a pattern to form a mesh. Such armor was quite expensive, both in materials (iron wire) and time/skill required to manufacture it. With this perspective mind, mail armours are considered “chivalric” and allowed to be worn only by knights or others of greater social standing.

A byrnie is a (nearly) sleeveless waist-length coat of mail.

A hauberk is a shirt of mail usually used to describe a armour reaching at least to mid-thigh and including sleeves to the elbows or slightly beyond.

A full mail suit extends sleeves to cover the full length of the arms with chausses protect the thigh area, knees, and lower leg areas.


The function of a Shield is to serve as a mobile barrier between its wielder and incoming attacks so as to prevent them from striking the wielder and inflicting damage. With this perspective in mind, shields in the Coeur de Lion setting function as a means to increase the defense score (DS) of a wielder by making it more difficult be struck by an attack.

Shield Type..........Initiative.......Defense.........Hit................Additional
Type...................Penalty*.......Adjusted.......Points**.......Information
Buckler....................0.................+1................3................No adjustment v missile weapons
Small Wooden.........0.................+2................6................Lacks metal binding & reinforcement with fewer hit points, is more easily split
Small (Heater)........+1................+2...............12...............Can be used either mounted or on foot
Large (Kite)............+2................+3...............18...............Used by foot soldiers, unsuitable for jousting. A Viking round shield is considered large

*This penalty can be offset by the STR damage adjustment if any is possessed. If armour with an initiative penalty is used in conjunction with a shield, the STR damage adjustment offsets the total penalty, not each separate penalty. In no way will such an offset result in a bonus to initiative.

**This is the number of hit points of damage a shield can block before it is destroyed and requires replacement. Maintenance of a shield is important for it to remain serviceable.

A buckler is a small shield, up to 18 inches in diameter, gripped in the fist with a central handle behind the boss. While being used in Europe since antiquity, it became more common as a companion weapon in hand-to-hand combat during the Medieval and Renaissance periods. Its size made it poor protection against missile weapons but useful in deflecting the blow of an opponent's weapon(s).

A small wooden shield is typically made from thin wood overlaid with leather. The design lent itself to being relatively inexpensive and easy to make. However, the lacking of iron bracings renders the shield less durable than the heater variety.

The heater shield or heater-shaped shield developed from the early medieval kite shield in the late 12th century as depicted in the great seal of Richard I and John. The term is a neologism created by Victorian antiquarians due to the shape's resemblance to a clothes iron but will suffice for game purposes. Smaller than the kite shield, it is more manageable and can be used either mounted or on foot. Heater shields are typically made from thin wood overlaid with leather and braced with iron. Heater shields often featured a strap, called a guige, for the shield to be slung over the back when not in use. The heater shield is used by almost every class of society in medieval Europe, from knights to typical soldiers. The relatively wide surface area of the shield and its shape made it excellently suited for heraldic display.

A kite shield is a large, almond-shaped shield rounded at the top and curving down to a point at the bottom. The term "kite shield" is a reference to the shield's unique shape, and is derived from its supposed similarity to a flying kite. A typical kite shield is between three and five feet high, being constructed of laminated wood, stretched animal hide, and iron banding at the edges. To compensate for their awkward nature, kite shields are equipped with enarmes which grip the shield tight to the arm and facilitate keeping it in place even the shield arm is relaxed; this is a significant departure from most earlier circular shields as they possess only a single handle.


TYPES OF ARMOR & ENCUMBRANCE
The encumbrance factor for armor does not consider weight alone; it also takes into account the distribution of the weight of the armor and the relative mobility of the individual wearing the protective material. Therefore, weights for armor shown below are adjusted weights, and base movement speed is likewise shown.

Armour or Shield Type......Bulk......Weight in Pounds......Base Movement per Round
Padded.............................Fairly...............10..............................90 feet
Boiled Leather...................Non.................15............................120 feet
Studded...........................Fairly................20..............................90 feet
Ring.................................Fairly................25..............................90 feet
Mail, Byrnie.......................Fairly................30..............................90 feet
Mail, Hauberk....................Fairly................35..............................90 feet
Mail, Full Suit.....................Bulky................45..............................60 feet
Buckler.............................Non...................2.................................n/a
Shield, small wooden.........Non...................3.................................n/a
Shield, small (heater).........Non...................5.................................n/a
Shield, Large.....................Bulky...............10.................................n/a

Ancalagon
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Post by Ancalagon » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:59 pm

Hit Points, Injuries & Healing

HIT POINTS
An evaluation of the ability to withstand and minimize physical damage through a combination of experience, fitness, physicality, skill, and no small amount of luck. Hit points are determined at character creation and increase at a set rate for each level gained. It is incumbent on the player to keep careful track of his character’s hit points. Using a pencil, he should jot down a temporary or “current” hit point total that reflects any loss or gain.

INJURIES
Sometimes, no degree of luck, skill, ability, or bribery to the DM can prevent overwhelming harm from coming to a character. An adventurer’s life carries with it unavoidable risks and sooner or later a character is going to be hurt; probably hurt badly.

When a character is hit in combat, falls off a roof or into a pit, is burned, trampled by horses, or harmed by any of the innumerable ways possible, damage is suffered. Each time damage is sustained by a character, the appropriate dice are rolled and the result is subtracted from his current hit points.

Injury Levels
A character is considered lightly injured if he has 5 or more hit points remaining.
A character is considered seriously injured if he has between 0 and 4 hit points remaining.
A character is considered critically injured if his hit points are in the negative range.

0 Hit Points
If an injury drops a character to precisely 0 hit points, he can remain conscious by passing a Test of CON but is unable to get up, crawl, fight, cast spells, retrieve items from pouches or packs, or pretty much anything else. He can lay where he fell, speak in a labored voice, and bleed. If the Test of CON fails, he passes out and collapses where he is in a seriously injured, but stable, condition. Every hour afterwards the character may attempt another Test of CON to regain consciousness. If the character is healed so that hit points increase above 0 then he revives and may resume activities.

Death’s Door
This number, based on a character’s CON attribute, is the lowest amount to which a character’s hit points can fall before death occurs.

Bleeding Out
A character injured to the point that his hit points are in the negative range (critically injured), but not yet beyond Death’s Door, is in the process of dying. At the end of the first full round after a character’s hit points fall below 0, and at the end of each round thereafter, he must attempt a Test of CON. If the test is passed, the character’s hit points remain at the current total. If the test is failed, the character loses another hit point. This process continues until the character stabilizes by passing three consecutive Tests of CON, is given aid by another and thereby stabilized, or bleeds out such that hit points pass beyond Death’s Door and his soul is released to the afterlife for whatever end awaits.

HEALING
Characters can heal by natural or magical means. Natural healing is slow, but is available to everyone. Magical healing is rare and may or may not be available, depending on the presence of spellcasters and /or magical items.

Damaged characters who have at least 5 hit points remaining are considered lightly injured with bruises, minor cuts, scrapes, etc. Lightly injured characters recover 1 hit point after a peaceful night’s rest, modified by the CON healing adjustment. Taking a watch shift does not prevent this recovery unless something happens during the shift. N.B. Once per twenty-fours, a draught of ‘strong drink’ (brandy, gin, scotch, etc.) can ‘invigorate’ a character, enabling him to recover immediately 1d3 hit points, but only while lightly injured.

Characters who have between 0 and 4 hit points remaining are considered seriously injured, thus requiring more time to recover. Seven days of rest are required to heal 1 hit point while seriously injured. Mild activity, such as riding a horse, travelling from place to place, studying, etc. will not interfere with healing as long as the injured character gets a full night’s rest (this means not taking a watch, but instead sleeping selfishly through the night) and adequate nourishment. Fighting, running, lifting heavy objects, manual labor, and any other physical activity prevents resting since it strains old injuries and may even reopen them.

Those characters who find themselves with negative hit points are considered critically injured. Once a character so injured is stabilized (q.v. Bleeding Out), he must be moved to a location conducive to recovery - a clean room (or similar dwelling / location) with a comfortable bed (no sleeping on cold, hard dungeon floors or similarly hostile environment). Twenty-four hours after arriving at a location conducive to recovery, the character may attempt a Test of CON. Passing the test restores 1 hit point. Failure means the loss of 1 hit point due to the extreme trauma. As long as the character is cared for, this process continues every twenty-four hours until he reaches 0 hit points, at which point he is considered seriously injured, and the chance to awaken occurs (q.v. 0 Hit Points) or he passes through death’s door.

CON Healing Adjustment
Characters with a poor CON require more time to recover from injuries than those possessing exceptional CON. Lightly injured characters recover 1 hit point after a peaceful night’s rest. However, characters with a CON of 15-16 will heal 1 extra point (total of 2 per night) while a CON of 17 permits 2 extra points (total of 3 per night), and a CON of 18 grants 3 extra points (total of 4 per night). Conversely, characters with a weak CON heal more slowly from injury. Lightly injured characters with a CON of 4-5 recover 1 hit point for every 2 peaceful night’s rest, while a CON of 3 slows recovery to 1 hit point for every 3 night peaceful night’s rest.

Pain Threshold
When a character suffers sufficient damage from a single instance (attack, falling, etc.) he may find himself at a disadvantage due to pain and shock. The amount of damage a character can sustain before possibly becoming disadvantaged is the Pain Threshold, determined as follows:

(CON * .667 rounding up) + (WIS Willpower Adjustment) + 1 for Fighter types

The CON value represents natural endurance and vigor. The WIS Willpower Adjustment represents the character’s resolve or “mental toughness” to not give in to the pain. For example: Phillipe is a 1st level French infantryman with a CON of 13 and a WIS of 10. His Pain Threshold will be (13 * .667 = 8.671 rounded up to 9) + (Willpower Adjustment = 0) +1 for being a Fighter = 10.

Any single attack resulting in damage exceeding the Pain Threshold requires the victim to pass a Test of CON or be fall to the ground writhing in agony for the remainder of the round and all of the following round. N.B. This provides a great opportunity for a free attack or, especially in the case of knights or other nobles, to subdue the victim and take him prisoner for ransom…

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