This is the test bed for the article to be submitted for Trollszine. I'll reserve a few paras to have the chance to expand.
They know Kung Fu!
In Trollszine 2 I explored a houserule for Warriors and Paragons trained in special weapon techniques in an article called 'I know Kung Fu!'
This took it's inspiration not just from a seminal 1990's movie, but also from the monster special attacks introduced in the 7th edition of Tunnels and Trolls.
These rules used the spite mechanic to trigger additional effects of a monster attack. Spite, initially a houserule proposed in Sorcerer's Apprentice, is damage done when a 6 is rolled on the combat dice. One damage is always done to the opposing side for each 6 rolled, regardless of armor and the combat totals. It has been variously defined as the 'spiteful' nicks and bruises inflicted in the rough and tumble of combat, or as damage dealt 'inspite' of the odds and circumstances being stacked heavily against one side.
The special damage rule for monsters is set out on pages 1 and 2 of the Monsters and Magic Book in the 7th and 7.5 editions of Tunnels and Trolls. Essentially , monster special attacks are triggered by rolling a certain number of 6's on the dice when they attack. The notation for describing a special attack trigger is X/description. The X stands in for the number of 6's that need to be rolled for a special attack to be triggered, the special attack being the one described.
This article will set out some guidelines and examples for creating your own special attacks. It also provides a couple of my house rules - Pack Attack! and There Can Be Only One! which you can consider for your use or discard as you prefer.
Last Edit: Nov 15, 2012 10:08:08 GMT -5 by zanshin
Where a bunch of monster with special attacks are fighting delvers do not separate out the dice by monster, roll all the dice together, and set aside any 6's. Resolve special attacks by having them happen in descending order of power and difficulty. The most powerful attacks are triggered first , providing enough 6's have been rolled to generate them. Take away that number of 6's and see if you have enough left for more special attacks to trigger. Any individual dice are converted to regular spite.
The party are fighting a pair of medusae, who have an MR of 60 each, and the special attacks 5/Petrifying Glare, and 2/Venomous Bite. The Medusae attack and roll six 6's from their 14 dice. It's a bad day for the delvers! As they have rolled enough spite to trigger a Petrifying Glare one hapless adventurer takes a harsh look. There is not enough spite left to trigger the Venomous Bite, so the spare point of spite is allocated as damage.
Last Edit: Nov 15, 2012 10:18:35 GMT -5 by zanshin
It is good to have special stuff happen. It lifts events from the mundane and the ordinary, adding spice to life, and to roleplaying. However , there is a law of specialness, that when everything is special, nothing is... Sad, but true. In order to prevent this appalling state of affairs occurring at your gaming table I suggest the adoption of this rule.
Only have One Monster Special Attack happen per delver per round. If you have to describe too many appalling events befalling one of the heroes (as they like to think of themselves) depression and ennui may ensue. Their schadenfreude at the misfortune of their comrades will be outweighed by their own desolation at having to once more haul out 3d6 , roll them in order, while pleading with you to be allowed to play a Dragon, a Naga or a Balrog.
Last Edit: Nov 15, 2012 10:26:25 GMT -5 by zanshin
Special Attack Examples for use with your monsters. Note any damage done by special abilities ignores any armour protection. Spells and special gifts may protect the Delver at the GMs discretion.
1/Cunning Strike - This monster is exceptionally vicious and however badly it is cornered, it knows how to draw blood, doing 2 points of spite damage for each 6 rolled.
1/Acidic Burn - This monster has access to acid, either in its blood, spit, claws or test tubes of sulphuric acid. Each 6 rolled burns a delvers armour or weapon, reducing the armour value or weapon adds by one.
1/Deadening Blow - The strength of this monster is such that it is tiring to fight, it's powerful blows draining the energy from Delvers muscles. Each 6 rolled reduces a delvers strength by 1. This loss can be recovered by rest in the normal way.
2/Appalling Stench - The reek of the monster has made the delver nauseous. L2 CON SR or at half combat total next round.
2/Venomous Bite - The monster has poison dripping from its' fangs. The delver has venom running through their veins and must make a L2 SR on their current CON. If they fail they lose 1d6 Dex until they have the poison treated.
2/Piercing Horn - The monster stabs the delver with a penetrating blow doing 1d6 Con Damage
3/Resounding Blast - The monster emits a deafening shout. The delver must make a Level 3 SR Luck save or lose their hearing for 1d6 hours and take 1d6 Con damage.
3/Crippling Strike - The monster chews or cuts the delvers leg muscles. Level 3 Luck Save or the delver is at half SPD until they have recovered all Con damage, and takes a d6 Con Damage.
3/Shield Smash - The monster deals a powerful blow, reducing a delvers shield AP by 1d6 points. If the shield is reduced to 0 AP it is smashed to kindling.
4/Sent Flying - The monster hits a Delver so hard that they are hurled into the air. 2d6 Con damage, and the Delver is at half combat value for the following turn. Additional amusing effects may occur depending on the terrain.
4/Hot Breath - A blast of superheated air fills the area. All delvers must make a L3 Dex or Luck SR, taking damage equal to the difference if missed.
5/Petrifying Gaze - The monster has the glare of the Gorgon and has caught the delvers attention. Level 4 Luck SR or the target is turned to stone.
5/Lightning Blast - The monster summons electrical energy to strike the delver. Level 4 Dex or Luck SR to avoid 5d6 Con damage.
6/Fiery Breath - The monster blasts the area with magical fire. All Delvers must make a Level 5 Dex or Luck SR or take damage equal to the difference.
7/Death Blow - The monster has the gaze of the basilisk or the claw of a cockatrice and has caught the target. The Delver must make a Level 5 Con or Luck SR or die.
When giving special attacks to a monster, have regard to how relevant the effect is to the type of monster - Sent Flying is particularly appropriate for big muscly monsters like ogres, trolls and giants - Hot Breath is similarly appropriate for Salamanders and Dragons.
Also have regard to how often an attack is likely to be triggered, the monster (or monsters!) need to have as many attack dice as the spite threshold to have any chance of triggering the attack. When a monster has six times as many dice as the threshold, it will trigger on most rounds.
I suggest most Monsters should have only one special attack, but big scary monsters like Demons or Dragons may have more than one. Mixed groups of Monsters might also have different attacks - employ the Pack Attack! rule to see what happens.
As with all my houserules, these ideas are presented for your interest and to whet your gaming appetite. Please feel free to ignore, change or use them according to taste.
Question about unarmed techniques: Besides diamond hand shenanigans, did you have in mind any other ways for players to roll 2+ combat dice unarmed? (Deluxe rules provide a way, but this was published in the era of 7th edition.)
I note the M!M! rules for monsters give monsters unarmed combat dice equal to their Strength multiplier, which is another way. Is there anything else I'm missing?
We're wrapping up a Dungeon World campaign now, and the players want to try T&T. I'm planning to run a kung-fu ghost mystery dungeon ruckus using the 5th edition rules, with ample supplementing from this IKKF article!
So to expand - all work in the way of the Nerve strike (6's explode) when used on the appropriate enemy.
Eagle Style - vital point strikes on humanoids - a rapid moving style, swooping and jumping in to target the enemies most vulnerable points - eyes, nerve clusters
Bear Style - joint strikes on undead - a hard , brutal style focused on the maximum output of damage on the undead with single massive blows, designed to disrupt their structure. Also used to impress onlookers by pulverising building materials
Mongoose style - vital point strikes on ogres, giants and trolls - the martial artist dances around the enemy , waiting for an opening or an overcommitment, then darts in and attacks their vulnerable areas before dancing away. Hobbs and Dwarves favour this style.
Spirit Shout style - disruption of ghosts, spectres, wraiths and other spirits by focussing Qi energy in a shout that reverberates through their form
Dragon Style - overwhelming demonic enemies - a very advanced style that requires mastery of Spirit shout style and 1 other form, the perfect fusion of speed and powerful blows, disrupting the demons body and their connection to the earthly plane.