Monday, November 20, 2017

This Dungeon Is Full Of People Whose Families Cherish Them: Burglary and Larceny for OSR

Now instead of having to enter a dungeon, you can simply wait for night to fall and break into someone's house!

I don't know who drew this

This post draws lots of inspiration from here but tries to make the content more gameable.

Every settlement will have houses you can break into, which correspond to weekly expenses of staying in a settlement. Finding a house full of promise for robbing takes 1d4 days.

Villages are able to support house treasure up to Comfortable.
Towns are able to support house treasure up to Prosperous.
Cities are able to support house treasure up to Flush.

House Layout/Structure

These are rather sparse on purpose, because I feel that everyone has their own methods of creating dungeons.


This is barely a step up from mugging, and as such dungeon rule's aren't really useful here.


1 level
1+1d6 rooms
1 way out
2 Locks
Inhabitants (1d2 roll)


1 level
7+1d6 rooms
2 ways out
4 Locks
Inhabitants (1d3 roll)


2 levels
4+1d6 3+1d4 rooms
3 ways out
8 Locks
Inhabitants (1d4 roll)


3 levels
4+2d4, 3+1d6, 2+1d4 rooms
4 ways out
12 Locks
Inhabitants (1d6 roll)

Stocking the Dwelling

Stocking rooms in a dungeon generally follows this table:
Treasure with 75% Chance of Monster

These are changed for robbing a house:
Loot 50% chance of Inhabitant, 25% chance of Disturbance


This is someone who lives in the house and will likely not appreciate the characters entry into their home. The Reaction roll instead of reflecting the reaction is now used to determine the likelihood of the inhabitants being asleep at night.

Inhabitants Table
1d3 Non-Hostile Inhabitant
Hostile Inhabitant 1d4 HD
1d4+1 Huscarls 2 HD
1d6 Trained Beast 2 HD
 1d6+1 Patrolling Huscarl (Causes Wandering Monster Checks) 2HD
1d4 Elite Huscarl  4 HD


This is something you can steal and sell for money


These work like traps but instead of dealing damage, they increase the likelyhood of encounters by inhabitants

Light, Disturbances, Encounters, Traces,  and Consequences


In a dungeon, you need light to see and in turn explore. Similarly you need light to explore a house, but people can see the light and then you. Each light source can be seen from double the distance it illuminates. For every 10 feet of illumination provided by a lightsource, there is a -1 penalty to reaction rolls. These stack so if there are 2 torches (which illuminate a radius of 15 ft in my games) there would be a -2 to all reaction rolls.


Characters have a 2 in 6 chance of triggering traps in a dungeon. People generally don't have traps in their homes, but often they have things that can be knocked over like vases. Each time one of these disturbances occurs there is a -1 penalty to all future reaction rolls during this heist. Within a dungeon loud actions have a tendency to cause wandering monster checks, during a heist, instead loud actions have a 2 in 6 chance of causing a disturbance and incurring a a -1 penalty to all future reaction rolls during this heist.


The only wandering checks which occur during a heist are the result of rolling a 5 on the inhabitants table. Otherwise there are no rolls to see if someone shows up.

Every encounter causes a reaction roll, but unlike a dungeon, these reaction rolls determine the awareness of the encountered inhabitants. A negative reaction roll is indicative of the inhabitants raising an alarm and screaming that someone has broken into their house (if they win initiative or have surprise). A neutral reaction roll indicates that the inhabitants are aggressive to whoever has broken into their house and wish to do them harm. A positive reaction roll indicates that the inhabitants are asleep, and will ignore the characters unless they are disturbed.


In a dungeon, characters generally interact with their environment with no regard to traces they may leave. In a house, especially one that is patrolled leaving traces of yourself is a sure-fire way of being noticed and causing an alarm to be raised. Referees and DM's should note what the players do and if there is someone patrolling the location have them react to the traces of the players.


If you get caught you'll likely die. No-one likes thieves and communities will seek to rid you of your breathing. If an alarm is raised guards/a mob arrive in 1d10+5 minutes to deal with the players.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Roll to See Who You Sword-fight!

OSR Based Tournaments

Michal Zebrowski in the film 1612

This post details  how to make a tournament structure derived from OSR Mechanics. Essentially, rather than making a single elimination bracket, you use the rules for a monster encounter in order to figure out who fights whom on what day. The following assumes a week long tournament following the schedule posted below.

Week Long Tournament
Day 1: Introduction and Set Up
Days 2-6: Series of Single Elimination Bouts
Day 7: Celebration and Crowned Champion

Days two through six are essentially a single bout followed by announcements of who will face each other the following day. The first day of the tournament everyone arrives and registers.

The procedure for determining who faces who is essentially a Wandering Monster Roll with each part of the monster encounter determination how the match will be.

Three Mechanical Parts of a Monster Encounter
1. Which Monster
2. Reaction Roll
3. Surprise Check

Which Monster

The "Which Monster" component becomes the "Which Combatant" roll.

Each round roll on the Which Combatant Table and that's who you will face. As the tournament continues the table will be rolled upon with a smaller die as the lower values on the encounter chart are more difficult/dramatic to encounter.

Day 2 Roll a 1d12 (256 competitors)
Day 3 Roll a 1d10 (128 competitors)
Day 4 Roll a 1d8 (64 competitors remain) later (32 competitors remain)
Day 5 Roll a 1d6 (16 competitors remain) later (8 competitors remain)
Day 6 Roll a 1d4 (4 competitors remain) later (final 2 competitors face off)

On the first two days, due to the high number of competitors there is only 1 bout per day. As their number reduces the number of bouts increases.

Which Combatant Table

1Another Player's Character (Variable HD)
2NPC the Players have encountered before (Variable HD)
A Competitor Favored to Win (5+1d4 HD)

Competitor Temperament Table 1d6

1-3Professional and Calm
4-5Manic and Gregarious
6Ruthless and Cruel.

 Member of Nobility

Noble Identity Table 1d6

1-3Knight (2+1d4 HD)
4-5Noble (1d6 HD)
6Related to the King Himself (1+1d6 HD)

Traveling Outlander (Roll on Outlander Table)

Criminal Type Table 1d6

1-3Assassin (2+1d6 HD)
4-5Thief (1+1d4 HD)
6Bandit King/Boss (2d4 HD)

Disguised Person

Disguised Person Table 1d6
Daughter of Someone Important (1d4 HD)

Flip a Coin
Heads: As Criminal Tails: As Member of Nobility
4-5As Criminal
6As Member of Nobility

 Monster Poorly Hidden by Cloak (Variable HD)

Tournament Monster Table 1d6
1-3Controlled by a Magic-User
4-5Brought by Decadent Noble

Unscrupulous Cheater (3 HD)

Flip a Coin
Heads: cheating before the match Tails: cheating during the match
 Knight Errant (1+1d4 HD)

Knight Errant Table 1d6
1-3With Unrequited Love

11Generic Guy (Stats as Bandit)
Age Inappropriate Contender (1 HD)
Flip a Coin
Heads: Prepubescent Tails: Nearly Senile Old

Reaction Roll

The reaction roll is used for the bookies and gamblers rather than the opponent. The same distribution is used

Gambling Prediction Table
Favors Character to Lose
Favors Character to Win

Surprise Roll

The surprise roll is used to see if the crowd favors someone. Traditionally a roll of 1 surprises monsters and a roll of 6 surprises the player's characters.

Crowd Favor Roll 1d6
1 - Favors Player Character
6 - Favors Other

Miscellaneous Notes

Fight Rules

Fights are essentially until someone gives up in front of a crowd. Using the GLOG system HP heals back rather quickly so being reduced to 0 hp isn't that bad for a Player Character. There will be lots of betting each round and each day there is a 1 in 6 chance of someone attempting to sabotage a combatant for the purpose of rigging bets. (This is essentially a wandering monster check.)

Player Character Losing/Following Other Combatants

If a player character loses, then simply have whoever beat them progress to the next round and roll for who they face. Flip a coin to see if they win their next match unless it seems highly unlikely. If there is only one player character still contending for victory and they roll that they would fight another player character simply substitute a fighter who previously beat another character. Halfway through Day 5 there will only be 8 combatants left and if the players wish to know who they can bet on, then it would be appropriate to roll for who those 8 are. As day 5 ends, simply flip a coin to see if a combatant continues onward. The idea is that the tournament if player facing and that the other fights are only important if the players want them to be.

Mechanical Aspects of the Competitors

I would simply use the regular OSR system combat rules for these matches. Each Combatant has attached HD and is pretty loose mechanically speaking otherwise. If you want some inspiration on how to give them further abilities you can simply roll below and use the suggested class table to assign abilities as if they were that HD.

Suggestions for Abilities 1d6
Martial (Fighters, Dwarves)
Specialist (Elfs, Specialists)
Magic Users (Wizards, Clerics)