New to Darker Dungeons, few questions.

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nele
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New to Darker Dungeons, few questions.

Post by nele » Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:48 pm

Hello, my group is planning to start a campaign using Darker Dungeons rules. Everything looks good, but we have few questions regarding rules.

1. Is there something like Attack of Opprotunity? I can't seem to find anythng. What stops say a monster from ignoring the fighter and running past him (or just disengaging from melee) to attack the Mage? Can the fighter block the monster somehow? (besides the stun ability)
2. A fighter and an archer fight, they both declare their intent is to attack each other (archer using a bow). A Fighter wins the initiative, he moves next to the archer, attacks and ends the turn. Now what does the archer do? He can't shoot, as he is in melee, can he move or is his entire attack action wasted, so he just ends the turn?
3. Can a caster (say cleric) move and cast the spell in the same turn/action? The example on page 142 (Dying & Death) has the cleric (Elfstar) doing just that. Yet there is nothing in Casting spells section of Combat about moving.
Not about the rules but:
4. Where are the errata and extra things for Darker Dungeons at? http://www.gratisgames.webspace.virginm ... xtras.html site only has Darker Dungeons pdf and the automated sheet.
5. Speaking of automated sheet, it seems to be bugged. As it gives every character 'find secret door: +3' (which is strange on itself, as the finding secret doors is a 1d6 roll and not a regular >=20 check).

I would appreciate if someone can help me here.

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Blacky the Blackball
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Re: New to Darker Dungeons, few questions.

Post by Blacky the Blackball » Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:29 am

nele wrote:Hello, my group is planning to start a campaign using Darker Dungeons rules. Everything looks good, but we have few questions regarding rules.
Hi nele, and welcome to the Piazza!
1. Is there something like Attack of Opprotunity? I can't seem to find anythng. What stops say a monster from ignoring the fighter and running past him (or just disengaging from melee) to attack the Mage? Can the fighter block the monster somehow? (besides the stun ability)
There is no attack of opportunity in Darker Dungeons. It's based on the BECMI rules and attacks of opportunity weren't in that edition.

Basically, in a wide open field a monster can go around the fighter and attack the mage (obviously it's different in a dungeon situation where a couple of fighters can physically block a corridor). The mage had better be aware of that possibilty and use the flexible initiative rules to her advantage; either waiting to see what the monster is doing before committing to casting a spell (and not casting if she is going to be attacked, so she can use a staff to make deflect attempts) or hurrying to cast a spell hoping that the initiative bonus for hurrying is enough to get the spell off before the monster's action.

When compared to third edition, there are two important things to bear in mind when playing a caster:

1) The weapon master rules (and the fact that a staff is one of the better defensive weapons) mean that a caster is actually able to survive much better at melee combat in BECMI (and therefore Darker Dungeons) than in later editions.
2) On the other hand, casters have fewer spells and can't rely on always being able to cast a spell whenever they want to. There's no such thing as defensive casting and there's no opportunity attacks or marking to help fighters keep the monsters away from you.
2. A fighter and an archer fight, they both declare their intent is to attack each other (archer using a bow). A Fighter wins the initiative, he moves next to the archer, attacks and ends the turn. Now what does the archer do? He can't shoot, as he is in melee, can he move or is his entire attack action wasted, so he just ends the turn?
That's right. It sucks to be an archer when someone's coming at you. As with the caster example above, the archer could have hurried their shot in the hope that their initiative bonus would mean they won initiative, or could have waited to see what the fighter was doing and - after seeing that the fighter was going to close to melee distance and attack them rather than staying further away and attacking someone else - chosen to draw a melee weapon (which you can do for free) and attack the fighter in melee instead of with their bow.
3. Can a caster (say cleric) move and cast the spell in the same turn/action? The example on page 142 (Dying & Death) has the cleric (Elfstar) doing just that. Yet there is nothing in Casting spells section of Combat about moving.
That's one for the errata!

Yes, a caster can move before (but not after) casting, just like you can move before attacking.
Not about the rules but:
4. Where are the errata and extra things for Darker Dungeons at? http://www.gratisgames.webspace.virginm ... xtras.html site only has Darker Dungeons pdf and the automated sheet.
The automated sheet is the only extra thing for Darker Dungeons. There is no written errata currently, I'm afraid - I'm in the process of gathering as much errata as I can to correct in a second printing. When I've done that I'll probably put up a PDF of it for people with the existing book.
5. Speaking of automated sheet, it seems to be bugged. As it gives every character 'find secret door: +3' (which is strange on itself, as the finding secret doors is a 1d6 roll and not a regular >=20 check).
It should be giving every character a +3 except the elf, who will get +7 instead. Basically it's converting the 1-in-6 roll to a standard check. So you can either use a standard check at +3 (or +7 for an elf) or use a d6 and people find them on a 1 (1-2 for an elf). The odds are pretty much the same either way.

In the second printing, the book will be updated to match the sheet, and both will use a standard check rather than a d6 roll.
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nele
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Re: New to Darker Dungeons, few questions.

Post by nele » Sat Nov 23, 2013 2:00 am

Thank you for answering. The lack of AO attacks and reliance on tactical decisions before imitative, seems to be very interesting. It does make for a different experience (but fun) than our previous 4e campaign. :)

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Re: New to Darker Dungeons, few questions.

Post by nele » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:35 am

OK, we have ran into a bit of confusion when discussing missile combat.
On page 136 for attack action, it says:
When taking their action, the combatant must move TOWARD and attack the target(s) that they declared attacks on.
So an archer can't move away from their declared target and shoot? They must stay in place and shoot, or move towards their target and shoot? What about maneuvers? (moving from cover to cover)

Sorry if this has an obvious answer, we aren't familiar with BECMI system and I couldn't find anything relating to my question.

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Re: New to Darker Dungeons, few questions.

Post by Blacky the Blackball » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:06 am

nele wrote:OK, we have ran into a bit of confusion when discussing missile combat.
On page 136 for attack action, it says:
When taking their action, the combatant must move TOWARD and attack the target(s) that they declared attacks on.
So an archer can't move away from their declared target and shoot? They must stay in place and shoot, or move towards their target and shoot? What about maneuvers? (moving from cover to cover)
Imagine you have an archer and a melee opponent who can both move the same speed. They are not quite in melee range.

If the archer could move away from their opponent at full speed and also attack each round then they would do this and - despite the fact that they are moving backwards while aiming shots and their opponent is moving forwards - they'd be able to keep their distance from their opponent who would never be able to reach them and hit them. This would be very frustrating for melee characters who would never be able to close with an archer.

So instead the archer can't retreat while shooting. They still can retreat - using the "Run" action to get a triple move - but can't shoot while doing so. Instead they have to stop retreating briefly (doing an "Attack" action instead) when they want to shoot.

Similarly, if a character could move from cover to cover and shoot in the middle of their move this would have the result of them both starting and ending their action behind cover and only expose them to return fire for a brief period in the middle of their action (during which no-one can interrupt in order to attack). As you can probably imagine, this would result in stalemates where both sides are always behind cover during each other's actions and no-one can actually get a shot at the other.

So by restricting attacks to after your movement is finished, you can start your turn hidden behind cover but if you pop out to take a shot then you can't retreat back to safety until your next action - so it gives people a brief chance to shoot back while you're exposed.
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Re: New to Darker Dungeons, few questions.

Post by Blacky the Blackball » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:47 am

It might also be worth reading this older thread which discusses archers, fighting withdrawals, and other combat manoeuvring.
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Re: New to Darker Dungeons, few questions.

Post by nele » Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:34 pm

Yea, I suspected the reason attack action disallows moving away from your oppnoent is to prevent archers from kiting their target.
As for the cover to cover thing, I didn't mean for an archer to move from full cover to full cover, where he is fully protected, nor for him to move after attacking, I get that you only get to attack after you have finished moving. More on the lines that an archer is in a cover, but he cast sill shoot from it (thus he can still be attacked by others). So the only reason for him to move is to reposition, to get a different angle on his target, while still staying the similar distance. Or really if an archer can just move around his target (in rough circles), that won't prevent the target from reaching the archer.
Still I understand if that can be exploited as well (I am not sure right now). So the "shoot, then run to reposition, shoot again", sounds fair enough.

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Re: New to Darker Dungeons, few questions.

Post by Blacky the Blackball » Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:26 pm

Bear in mind that having to move "towards" your opponent doesn't necessarily mean you have to move in a straight line towards them. You can do things like circling round for a better shot - as long as you don't finish your move further away from them.
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