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Part Three: New mechanics

  1. wizarddog
    Alternate Hit point Mechanics:
    The following is adjusted rules for the game regarding hitpoint lost and recovery.
    Natural healing: Being wounded is dangerous and healing natural is a slow process; a result of the grim reality of mortality. To emphasize the feeling of dread and fear of death players to not fall negative hit points.

    Hidden hit points: While as a player you are aware of your hit point total, during the course of adventuring the totals go down without you knowing the impact. The DM keeps track of your hit points in secret only revealing when you reached half, quarter and dying status.

    Full to Half HP: From full to half, the PC experiences many bruises and blows but no real major cuts. At half hit points, the player experiences cuts and slashes, they are “bloodied” by their experiences.

    Half to Quarter HP: By a quarter hit points, the wounds they have received start to hurt and the player realizes they are reaching a point of exhaustion from their ordeal.

    0 and negative HP: By 0 hit points, the player is exhausted and spent; now they are fighting for their life. When they start to reach negative, they know they are dying unless they can get out of the situation.
    Adeline keeps players going in the most horrific situations.

    Players do not fall unconscious below 0 hit points, rather they become exhausted and then start dying. At 0 hit points, a player is at level 1 exhaustion (having disadvantages on ability checks) but makes no death saves.

    Negative HP: When a player first goes into negative hit points, he reaches level 2 exhaustion and his speed becomes halved and he begins to make death saves with a deduction to the roll equal to his negative value.
    On a failed save (less than on 10 on a d20) he moves one more step into exhaustion.

    At Level 3 he has disadvantage to attacks and saves (including death saves) On a failed save, he moves to Level 4 exhaustion.

    At level 4 his maximum hit points are halved until he gains full rest (so even if he healed, at his max hit point value is halved and will affect his massive damage threshold.) He basically been severely wounded. If he fails that save he moves to level 5.

    At the next Level 5 he can no longer move as his speed is reduced to 0. On the last save he moves to level 6 and he finally perishes. If he ever takes a blow that damages him beyond negative of his max damage threshold, he dies instantly.

    The PC only makes death saves when at exhaustion level 2-5.
    Players that reach negative are scarred. The scars do not affect the players abilities but can be used in roleplay.

    Stabilizing: A PC in negative hit points can be stabilized through bounding of wounds or magical healing. A stabilized PC no longer is dying but the effects of exhaustion still persist until he takes a full day rest. If a PC goes back into negative from taking damage, or is damaged after being stabilized, he immediately rolls on the lingering injury table (DMG p. 272).

    Magical Healing: Restores vigor to a creature and seals wounds. Unless a single healing spell brings the recipient to over Ĺ his hit points, a scar will be formed. Only a spell such as Heal will leave no scar.

    Lingering Injury: A PC receives lingering injury if they suffer more damage than their body can endure.
  2. wizarddog
    Fighting the Enemy:
    Part of the fun in the horror based game is trying to understand your enemy. In the course of the adventure, the PC are at a disadvantage when they don't know what they are up against. In this setting, attempting to face the enemy without the right knowledge and materials is much harder. While creating new monsters can be done, it is much more satisfactory to use standard D&D monsters and give them a more sinister and dangerous tone.

    The following are mechanics that help to heighten the play of the game's genre.

    The Enemy is unknown: Should PC encounter their enemy before they are ready they have disadvantage on all rolls including attack, saving throws, and skill rolls in dealing with the enemy. This disadvantage is removed when players succeed in resolving several key milestones in their attempt to know the enemy and how to defeat. These attempts to gain information require role-playing and or difficult skill checks. The enemy need not be a actual monster. For example, a murder mystery would garner disadvantage on rolls unless important clues or evidence is discovered. The enemy can be more than one creature and the enemy can also be more than one fraction (i.e. demons vs devils).

    Typically the information required for successfully understanding the enemy are : 1) identify the creature 2) knowing its background 3) how did it get here 4) what motivates it 5) finding a weakness 6) how do defeat/destroy it.

    For example: The PC's investigate the strange apparition that has appeared in the church halls that has caused many young monks to die of heart failure. If they PCs try to track it down or identify the enemy, they experience difficulty (disadvantage). If however they speak to some of the monks that have survived the sight they learn a bit about the creatures abilities (walking through walls, translucent) and deduce it must be some kind of undead incorporeal creature. By the tattered robes and armor of the apparition, the PC deduce it is a some knight of forgotten order. Research into the history of the Knights show they were all condemn to the stake for heresy by the high church. However, not all of the knights were accounted for and the recent sightings have erupted when an old sarcophagus was opened by thieves and the knights sword was taken. This knight had betrayed his brothers long ago and now takes vengeance on all living creatures in the monastery. While impervious to normal weapons, the creature is fearful of fire and sunlight and by finding the sword and burning the Knights remains, his ghost can move one to the next life. While investigating the ghost, the PC may encounter the creature and do little in damaging it but when armed with their new knowledge, they now have the means to ends it haunting.

    The First encounter: The enemy gains advantage to its attack rolls in the first encounter with the PCs to demonstrate its danger. This is in addition to the disadvantages the Players may be experiencing. After such an encounter, enemy or others like it do no gain advantage.
  3. wizarddog
    Gaining inspiration
    Because this is a horror theme game players during their adventures gain inspiration when supporting the atmosphere of the game. This includes becoming overly cautious, responding accordingly to the horrors before them, and reacting in realistic ways to their situation. In addition players will receive inspiration when invoking their flaws (including through taint) enforcing their social class or roleplaying their backgrounds and some cultural rewards.

    THE DM IS THE FINAL DETERMINATE IF INSPIRATION IS EARNED. Players are welcome to nominate behaviors of others as warranted inspiration.

    Players will find gaining inspiration aids them in survival by counteracting the disadvantageous encounters they normally associate with unknown enemies.

    Players can only have one inspiration die with them at a time and must use it before reaching a MILESTONE (see later). After the MILESTONE is reached, players may earn more inspiration.

    Players may only earn inspiration one way once per session. For example, a player may earn inspiration by evoking his flaw. After a MILESTONE, the player can only earn inspiration by doing a different action such as supporting the theme through tasking a risk looking a the foul evil book with the strange tongue.

    Ways to gain Inspiration:

    Supporting the theme Through roleplay, players may get inspiration by supporting the theme of the game. This includes taking overwhelming precautions, fleeing from a fight, becoming paranoid, reactions to horror, and taking the games atmosphere seriously.
    This may also include avoiding meta game thinking. Players earn this type of inspiration through action or reactions although they must be related the the adventure in play.

    Investing into the story Players should make an effort to motivate their characters into the story rather than have the DM trying to get them motivated. Players include their backgrounds and the NPCs they have encountered to make the story move coherently and may even bring past up adventures and incidents as justification for their attention.

    Invoking your flaw(s) By invoking your character's flaws and weaknesses you may earn inspiration provided it places an actual hindrance or danger to the party. Players do gain inspiration if they are tainted and forced to evoke their flaw.

    Role-playing your conditions and afflictions PC's earn inspiration by role-playing the conditions they suffer such as blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, insanity, poisoned, diseased, cursed, scarred, dying, wounded, etc. that help to identify the characters hindrance. For example, a PC under a fear spell may well decribe what he see and why he reacts the way he does from the effect; perhaps having hallucinations.
  4. wizarddog
    MILESTONES are a mechanic that shows the PCs have reached a significant point in the story that could change the tide. The DM designs, designates and determines where and when the MILESTONE is met. MILESTONES are reached by different criteria determined by the DM. For example, the PC's collecting enough information, PC's accomplishing a set number of goals or objectives, PC's overcoming set number of obstacles, the PC finding a hidden or object(s), the PCs reaching a destination, the PC accomplishing something over the passage of time, etc.


    Usually, several things happen in MILESTONE that aid the PCs. These might not be all accomplished in the same Milestone.
    1) Players may earn more inspiration.
    2) PC know more about the ENEMY and no longer have disadvantage against it.
    3) Another Benefit as determined by the DM.
  5. wizarddog
    Taint and Madness
    Fighting the forces of darkness not only takes a toll on oneís body but on oneís soul. The great evil that lurks in the world has the capacity of scaring one both spiritually and emotionally. To show this mechanically, taint is the dreaded force that causes the player to fall into despair and give in to corruption.

    Charisma is the threshold of ones taint. Charisma is the overall self-identity of the individual and best reflects how one deals with the horrors by having a strong personality.

    Players begin the game with a Taint score of 0. As they progress in the adventures they may gain more taint as they develop deeper into the darkness of evil.

    When a player gains taint they immediately make a charisma save at DC 10+ current taint level. If they succeed the taint remains but no ill effects occur, If they fail, the player on (DMís encouragement) will evoke his characterís flaw in matter consistent to the story.

    Madness: If a players fails his charisma score by 5 or more, the player falls under a state of madness. A short term madness overtakes him lasting 1d10 minutes.

    Overwhelm with Taint
    If a players taint score ever reaches his current charisma, the PC rolls on the Long term madness for 1d10x10 hours if he fails a taint roll by 5 or more.

    When the taint score exceeds a playerís charisma, they become ever more affected by the evil and gain an indefinite madness. This indefinite madness will not go way even if taint is reduced unless healed by greater restoration or more powerful magic.

    Gaining Taint: PCís will gain taint whenever they enter, encounter or experience foul evil or acts thereof. Depending on the source of taint, the PC will make a saving throw against the event. For example, experiencing a horrid disgusting experience like the bloody dismemberment of a small child requires PCs to make a constitution check, while encountering something alien and hideous may require a wisdom check such as being buried by a rotting bodies or looking into the gaze of a worm festering zombie.

    PCís gain taint only by experiencing something for the first time. By encountering it again, the PC will not be affected the rest of the adventure.

    In some cases, taint is automatic by being in proximity of something evil and no saving throw is allowed.

    Removing taint: Players may take the recuperating undertaking to remove taint. During that phase of non-adventuring they seek solace to restore their inner well-being (see undertakings).
  6. wizarddog
    In between adventures (usually a month) players take on undertakings to establish themselves in the region. These undertakings allow the player to do downtime activities to improve their PC, their wealth or family ties. Players may take only one undertaking between adventures.
    Undertakings (downtime activities as listed in PHB and DMG) include:

    Crafting: Creating items, including magical items
    Practice Profession: Earning Money practicing a profession or skill such as smithy, hunting, performing scholar work ect.
    Recuperating: Healing wounds, madness, taint, and disease
    Researching: Learning about lore, researching spells and ancient places of interest
    Training/Taming Animals: Training a horse or animal for battle or to do tricks
    Attend Holding(s): Building, maintaining or expanding holdings
    Carousing: Drinking, attending parties, and gambling
    Attend Business(s): Starting, Attending, and expanding a business
    Selling Treasure: Finding buyers for acquired items
    Performing Duties: Fulfilling office duties, orders, or other duties related to oneís position including performing sacred and church rites with compensation or to obtain rank or prestige.
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