It is bad enough when one player character dies, so how do you address the unfortunate possibility of a Total Party Kill?

On a battlemat, several hero minis face off against a huge dragon mini.

"Okay guys, we have totally got this! What are the odds that a great wyrm red dragon will kill us all?"

Many view it as a sign of poor skills in a DM.  Others cast blame on the party for not understanding the severity of an encounter before it is too late.  Sometimes, the dice simply refuse to fall in favor of the heroes.  Thanks to the law of large numbers, the possibility of a TPK is present in almost any game, even if every single encounter in the entire campaign is balanced to be fair.  Unless you fudge the numbers, TPKs seem to be an inevitability in any DM’s career.

How, then, do we handle the entire party losing in battle?

Ming the Merciless

"You see, Flash Gordon, that with you and Miss Arden as my captives, Dr. Zarkov will be forced to complete my death ray, and I, Ming the Merciless, who is totally not Anton LaVey in drag, shall rule the planet Mongo FOREVER!"

Captured!

A-ha!  Now that the heroes have been defeated, the villain has them right where he wants them.  He cannot kill them off, however, since he needs their heroic spirit/special knowledge/physical strength/raw charisma to power the Armageddon device/unlock the planetary defenses/fight in the gladiatorial pits/make a nice pot of tea.  The trope of the bad guys capturing the good guys is likely as old as fiction.  While there are many silly or otherwise played-out examples of this behavior in movies, comic books, another media, it can still be handled well.

Ransom

In medieval times, it was common to take exceptional opponents as prisoners and ransom them back to their families.  A dead hero is of little worth, but surely the local lord would be willing to pay many, many gold pieces in  exchange for the safe return of his prized adventurers.  Instead of having the enemies kill all of their downed opponents, have the enemy capture the heroes so they can be ransomed.  This can lend a great impact to your story, because not only does this leave the heroes in debt to the local lord, but it also creates the expectation that the heroes will do the same for their enemies.  How will it be viewed by the population as a whole if the heroes wantonly slaughter the enemies who once showed them mercy?

Sold into Slavery

Surely, soldiers such as the heroes would make excellent slaves.  Once captured, the heroes might need to go through one or more adventures where they escape their slavers, bargain for their freedom, or fight in gladiatorial arenas.

Prisoners of War

The heroes could be a valuable source of intelligence for their enemies.  Keeping them in the dungeons is a much safer investment than outright killing them.  No one has ever escaped from the castle dungeons, so what are the odds the heroes will? (Answer: Very good, but only because no one has ever done it before.  Heroic fantasy metaphysics work like that.)

When dealing with the heroes getting captured, the game rules will sometimes stand in your way.  Many games have rules where unconscious characters will “bleed out” until dead, and you may have one or more dead party members on the field while the rest are still fighting.  There exist creative ways of dealing with this problem, and there is no one right answer.  Often, it may involve fudging the rules a bit for the benefit of the story.  Different players and DMs have different levels of comfort with this idea, so the :right” action in this case is highly dependent upon your gaming group.

Savior Mickey

While the Kingdom Hearts series of games is an odd amalgam that is not everyone’s cup of tea, Kingdom Hearts 2 takes an interesting stance on the TPK.  In certain boss battles, a TPK results in Mickey Mouse, the Badass-in-Chief and King of the game’s universe, arriving to save the day.  The player gains control of Mickey, and he can fight the boss as Mickey before eventually healing the party and resuming standard play.

Skip ahead to about the 43 second mark in the video below to see an example of this feature.

While the Savior Mickey approach works well in Kingdom Hearts 2, it might not be a fit for every tabletop RPG campaign.  With proper structuring, however, it could be a real benefit for your game.  Do the heroes in your game have some sort of powerful, all-seeing benefactor?  Maybe the benefactor can show up to save the day, but is expends a powerful magic item that can only ever be used once.  If you want to run with this approach, keep the potential savior printed out and ready to go in your game files.  Taking a cue from Kingdom Hearts, do not play the savior yourself while in combat.  Hand the character sheet – or monster stat block – over to the players and let them save their own hides.

We often see this approach scripted into various video games and tabletop adventures as an absolute moment in time – the heroes WILL fail in this encounter, so the savior WILL show up then.  Having a savior pre-written as a backup plan allows the introduction of such a character to feel far more organic and less railroaded by the DM.  If it never gets used, then just pat yourself on the back for good encounter design, and thank your lucky stars that the dice never rolled too hard against your players.

Time Goes On

Though this is probably the hardest option to pull off successfully, I feel it can be one of the most rewarding, in terms of story.  Simply put, a TPK can mean that the bad guys win.  The heroes have been defeated, and the evil forces now can operate fairly free of interruption for a time.  New heroes will one day rise to challenge the evil, but not right away.

For this case to work, you need your players to be invested not only in their character, but in the story as a whole.  The death of their party means that the bad guys won that round.  Restart your campaign with a new party, maybe years later in the game world, after the enemy ‘s plans have notably advanced.  Bards now sing of the heroic deeds of the old party, and how they were the best hope for defeating the enemy.  Cut down in their prime, they are martyrs and have become an inspiration for a new generation of heroes.

You need the right narrative style and the right group of players to pull this off successfully, but the rewards can be pretty impressive.  Epic stories are especially well suited to this style of addressing the TPK problem, and player buy-in can hinge on them seeing the advantages to picking up the story from a brand new viewpoint.  The biggest key to success in this scenario is not simply pick up where you left off.  As DMs, most of us have a certain idea of how the story will unfold, and this style requires a willingness to drastically alter that plan.  Staying the same old course with a brand new set of characters is the exact kind of narrative inconsistency that makes the TPK so awful and leads to players losing interest in the campaign.

If handled poorly, a full party wipe can ruin a game.  There is no one correct way to handle such an occasion, as so much is dependent upon the combined temperament of the players and their DM, the trust established between the two, and the agreed-upon goals of the story being told.  Hopefully, the above ideas will spark your own thinking on this topic and leave you better prepared from when it happens at your table.

Have you ever ran a game that resulted in a full TPK?  How did you handle it?  How did the game feel afterwards?  What advice can you offer on this topic?

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Death of a player character is often a difficult situation at the game table, but there exist ways of mitigating the damage it does to your game.

A man digs a grave.

Previous editions of Dungeons and Dragons place the cost of a grave digger's services at one silver piece. You know . . . in case it comes up.

In the last article on the price of failure, reader Haywire brings up how character death, or even total party kills, are clear cases of failure that need to be addressed in more detail.  I agree.

The very nature of character death and its frequency varies widely by system and game master.  Some systems, such as Traveller (Mongoose or original) are positively lethal.  Getting in a fight means that someone is going to end up dead, and it could very easily be a hero.  In traditional sword and sorcery games, like Dungeons and Dragons, death is generally little more than a highly inconvenient status ailment, easily curable starting at around 8th or 9th level, depending on the edition.  Some systems, claiming a focus on story-telling and character development, explicitly do not allow for character death without the consent of the  player.

Since I am not a fan of the Raise Dead spell, this article will focus on permanent character death, its complications, and alternative practices.

The biggest problem with permanent character death is generally the disengagement the  player feels from the story.  When we play, our characters capture our imaginations.  We think about what our character might be doing during the down time between adventures.  We get into the character’s head and really try to imagine what he or she is thinking.  Once we mentally and emotionally invest in a character, losing that character can upset some to the point of tears.  Losing our character means we lose our primary mode of interacting with the story.  There are several approaches to this problem.

Death is but a Flesh Wound

When a character “dies” by the rules of the game, there is nothing preventing you, as the game master, from transforming that “death” into a permanent injury.  Maybe that “killing” blow merely hamstrung and incapacitated the character, leaving thew character with an eternal -1 to movement once he or she heals.  Contracting a normally lethal disease could leave the character forever sickly afterwards, giving him or her a -2 penalty on all saving throws.  Losing an arm or an eye would fundamentally change how a character could fight, maybe costing a feat for the character to function as if he or she had no permanent injury.  This preserves death as a real threat, but it does not remove the character from the narrative.  For drama-driven players, this even provides a new angle to explore when role-playing the character.

Death is in the Contract

When the player begins playing a character, give that player a “death certificate” to fill out.  As the cause of death, allow the player to list all the circumstances under which he or she is comfortable with the character permanently dying.  This technique is useful because it allows for different levels of risk within the same group of players.  By defining the narrative structures which can kill the character, be it a bad roll of the dice or a heroic last stand, you dramatically lower the risk of player disenfranchisement if that death does occur.

I cannot claim credit for the above idea, because it was recently suggested in one of my social networks.  If you know who posted this topic in the past few days, please comment and let me know who the original author was.  I would like to give credit where credit is due.

Death is not the End

In fantasy games, there is little reason for character death, even permanent death, to be the end of that character’s story.  Write a final adventure for that character, where the character must cross the land of the dead and find their way to paradise.  On this adventure, all the other players could play shells of the normal characters – simplified versions that reflect how the dead character viewed them.  Instead, maybe the other characters actually cross over to the land of the dead, where they must to escort their fallen friend on his or her final journey.

Alternatively, you could place the character aside, and the player know that the character’s spirit has just enough energy left to return for one final battle when the heroes need it most.  The player can choose which battle the dead character joins.  To make it clear the character is a spirit, you can make the character incorporeal and give him or her a few ghost-like powers.

In a science fiction setting, the character’s final adventure could  fill the role of a flashback episode, similar to the Firefly episode “Out of Gas”.  Use this adventure to illustrate actions the fallen hero might have taken in the past to give the party one big help later in the story.  This also gives the player a chance to flesh out any final details of his or her story by simply implying that they had happened “off-screen” with respect to the previous adventures in the campaign.

Death is not (very) Important

Rather than investing the player in his or her character, try to invest the player in the story of your campaign.  Provide numerous, colorful, useful NPCs in your game.  Give the players allies in the form of companion characters that join them often, especially in major battles.  Give the companion characters just enough flavor to be interesting, but make it clear to your players that they should run the characters how they wish.  Let them know that their actions when playing this companion character dictate that character’s personality.  If you do this frequently enough, then the players will begin to cheer for more than just their own characters.

The benefit in this process is twofold.  First and foremost, when a character dies, the player of that character has a huge cast of characters to draw on with whom an emotional attachment has already been made.  This should ease the transition notably, and it is the approach I use in my current home campaign.  Most of my players have expressed interest in turning at least one of these NPCs into their PC in the event of PC death.  It would not be very weird at all for Eoindeln the elven Gheal or Diviner Marcus to join the party if Javiero the human ranger dies.  The party knows both of these characters through previous dealings, and the players have a good handle on the personalities of these individuals.

The second benefit of this  approach is that it also gives you plenty of meaningful characters to kill, if the story demands it.  The death of a frequent companion character can be a very dramatic, heart-wrenching moment for the party, and you can let the character die without any guilt about a player feeling upset about the death of his or her PC.

With the above strategies, you can hopefully find a technique that removes some of the sting of character death while still preserving an appropriate sense of risk in your game.  In a future article, we will look at the total party kill, its impact on a campaign, and alternatives to that scenario.

How do you handle PC death in your game?  Have you used something like one of the above strategies, or do you do something completely different?  How do the players in your game or the system you are using influence this decision?

When handled correctly, failure plays an important role in fiction, and it should likewise have its place in your campaign.

A "Motivational Poster" of a shocked-looking woman losing with $0 on Who Wants to be a Millionaire. The caption reads, "Failure: Priceless."In a recent article on the official Dungeons and Dragons website, Chris Perkins writes about a scenario where the heroes in his game have bitten off more than they can chew - they are doomed to failure.

Failure and loss on the part of the heroes is a centerpiece in most any work of epic fiction.  Many people regard The Empire Strikes Back as a great movie in large part because the heroes lose.  Han is a captive and frozen in carbonite, Luke is short a hand, and the party as a whole is lucky to escape with their lives.  This loss sets the stage for climactic triumph in Return of the Jedi, where the heroes reunite and can continue on to defeat the big threat at the end of the campaign.

If failure and loss makes for such a good story, why then is it often viewed so poorly by players?  One common, and I would argue incorrect, answer is that the players are only willing to win.  It is not that simple, however, and many good game masters know that.  For failure to be taken well by players, it needs to feel like a natural and legitimate consequence of their actions.

One of the many hats I wear is essentially being the game master for a longstanding series of LARP events within The Realms.  To date, our most successful story arc was Rites of War, the fight for the crown of what is essentially the Feywild.  This story arc comprised eight different adventures over the course of a year, each a unique experience when compared to the others.  Which adventure do the players tell the most stories of around the campfires?  It is not “Queen of the Hill”, where the heroes briefly reunited with the lost queen they loved.  It is not “A Murder of Crows”, where the combined army of mortals and fey marched upon the fortress of the false king of fairies.  The adventure the players, and their characters, still talk about the most is “Assault on Argyll”.  What made “Assault on Argyll” so memorable?  The heroes lost, and they lost HARD.  Worse yet, they knew this was likely going in, and it was all due to the choices they made.

Loss can be a major defining moment in any campaign.  It can turn a minor villain into a despised enemy.  It can set the stage for the rest of the story.  Most importantly, it can make the heroes, and their players, thirst so much more for victory that they bring the narrative to new heights of role-playing and drama.  While it can do all of this, loss can also completely destroy the trust built between a game master and his or her players, and it can kill a campaign dead in its tracks.

How do we make loss a positive force?  Why did The Empire Strikes Back makes us want Return of the Jedi so much more?  Why did “Assault on Argyll” leave the players with such strong memories that they still excitedly tell stories years later?

The game master cannot force failure – it must be a natural consequence from player actions.

In Chris Perkins’ example, his players made a rash decision to take on a foe they were clearly not ready to handle.  In The Empire Strikes Back, the heroes choose to trust Lando, a known crook and swindler.  In “Assault on Argyll”, the heroes chose to make a stand in a poorly defendable city against an army far larger than theirs.  In each instance, loss is not the result of the game master railroading the heroes to an inevitable failure, but it is instead a logical and legitimate consequence of player actions.

In addition to the loss feeling legitimate, it also needs to have some teeth.  Simply retreating is not really a loss – it is just a delay.  For a loss to effect the campaign, it needs to have a real, tangible effect on the party.  While the party can and should eventually recover from their loss, that recovery should never be 100%.  When the paladin is defeated by his nemesis, the nemesis might pick up the paladin’s Holy Avenger and shatter it over his knee .  The villain might place an indelible tattoo on the face of each of his or her prisoners, including the PCs when they get captured.  While the enemy general might keep the heroes alive for questioning, the general might kill the NPC allies of the heroes, as they are “useless”.  The important thing is for the loss to have a meaningful impact on the heroes, otherwise it is no loss at all.

Loss is a powerful, and some would argue necessary, transformative tool in epic fiction, where heroes are expected to grow and change.  As game-masters, we have an obligation to make those moments feel authentic and poignant.  Take your time and create scenarios where the heroes have the opportunity to truly fail, but do not force failure upon them.  When failure does come, make it sting.  Look at the enemy who caused this failure, and decide what major role he or she will play in the future of the campaign.  If you can do this, then your players will gnash their teeth at their enemy, but shake your hand for a story well-executed.

Have the heroes in your game experienced loss?  How did the players and their characters react to it?  Did you have a game master who handled failure particularly well for your party?  What did he or she do?

Sources of light are nearly always present, and they make for great terrain powers.

Meny men in costume carry torches down the street.

Angry mobs are one of mankind's greatest inventions - they combine the moral ambiguity of herd behavior with the destructive power of fire. I fail to see how this could ever end poorly.

Whether your character is a member of an angry mob, a swashbuckling  musketeer, or an evil priest, the odds are pretty good that you have some sort of light source nearby.  In movies, the hero will brandish a torch to hold back frightening monsters. or he might drop a chandelier onto the heads of  unsuspecting palace guards.  Heroes in our D&D games should have the same options.

Light sources make for excellent terrain powers, since they are almost always present, and they almost always have a dangerous, burning component.  If your heroes are being swarmed by zombies in a graveyard, you can hand the players the Back, Foul Beast power card.  They will know what to do.  Similarly, give the Upended Brazier card to your players as their characters kick down the door to the evil altar room, and you can watch them argue over who gets to throw burning coals into an enemy’s face.

Word and PDF versions of this set of powers are provided, as well as PNG versions of the individual power cards:

Try out these new terrain powers and let me know what you think.  Will you use them as-is, or do you plan to tweak them for your upcoming encounters?  What terrain power themes you would like to see explored in future articles?

 

Taking a deep look at one character can help us explore the advantages of taking the time to craft meaningful NPCs.

In four past articles, we looked at how to create NPCs with whom the characters can form meaningful relationships.  Today, we will look at one NPC in detail and see how he was created and managed to increase the likelihood that the players would feel an attachment to him.

Enter, Charles Galloway.A screen capture from the Ravenloft: Stone Prophet video game, showing a bald male fighter with a white beard and mustache

Commander Galloway is a paragon-tier fighter, and the early parts of this campaign centered on the PCs acting as his elite followers within his mercenary company.  His character design was taken, very roughly, from the leader of the Hell Riders in the old Ravenloft: Stone Prophet video game.  Charles featured heavily in the campaign from the very first adventure onward.  Even after his eventual death, the heroes still go by the moniker of Galloway’s Six.

Let’s take the time to look at each aspect of a friendly NPC and see how Charles meets them.

Paying Attention to the Heroes

Every mission began with a briefing from Commander Galloway, and the heroes were always expected to debrief their adventures to him upon their return.  These scenes were always role-played out, and I made a point of Galloway asking questions to clarify what happened during the adventure.  Charles would praise the group when they performed well, and he made a point of giving them free run of the camp when they traveled with the army.  To Charles, the heroes were the most important component of his mercenary company, and he was not afraid to let the PCs know that.

In addition to group discussions, I tried to make a point of Galloway having occasional, individual interactions with the party members.  He would pull aside the elven bladesinger to inquire how her daughter was faring on the road.  He asked the cleric to say special prayers over their fallen men after battle.  When the party wizard rose in stature to the point that he technically outranked Galloway within society, Charles gave him honest, if cautions, congratulations.  I was far from perfect at this, but I tried to have Charles build individual relationships with the party members, as well as with the group as a whole.  Rather than take time away from other players, I tried to do this when most of the group was engaged in discussion or planning that did not need much DM interaction.

To completely cement his relationship with the PCs, I had Charles Galloway join them as a companion character in a few different adventures.  Control of Galloway was passed from person to person around the table after each combat round, so the players invested in Charles, as well as their characters.

By the end of this NPC’s run, it was clear he had formed a bond with the party.

Flaws Make Characters More Believable

The good guy mercenary commander who values the PCs as people and tries to do right by them is, frankly, a bit of a boring character.  To remedy this, I assigned plenty of flaws to Charles.

Charles Galloway is a man with a hot-running temper when it comes to agents of evil.  When storming a stronghold full of wererats, he called for no quarter to be given to the enemy.  The heroes had previously discovered that there wererats were transforming orphans as a way of increasing their numbers, so they knew the potential for there being innocents in the fortress was high.  While the heroes continued to respect their leader, they did on numerous occasions try to figure out why his response was so severe during the assault.

Charles also suffered from the fact that great warriors are not always great leaders.  Try as he might, Commander Galloway had a horrible time managing his mercenary company.  His strong sense of right and wrong meant he frequently turned down the morally ambiguous jobs that are the bread and butter of most mercenaries.  When he found battles that needed to be fought and no one was willing to pay, he would use his own dwindling fortune to finance the company.  By the time of his death, the heroes were far wealthier than their commander, and he patently refused any financial help they offered.

No one in the party ever really debated whether Charles Galloway was a good man, but they did over time become slightly disillusioned with their mentor.  Rather than drive them away, however, it made their feelings for him stronger, because he transitioned from unrealistic perfection to being just another adventurer trying to get by.  He was the sort of person they could see themselves being in the future.

We All Have Our Own Little Quirks

Galloway had several behaviors that made him unique, and these helped to shape him as a character.  Charles wore his mustache and balding hair long, similar to the style of the Vos (Mongol-inspired culture) across the continent.  His tanned skin and the crow’s feet at his eyes sometimes completed the image so thoroughly that people would swear he was one of the Vos.  When asked about his family or his past adventures, Charles would grow quiet and avoid the question.  If confronted more strongly on these topics, he would cut the conversation short and excuse himself without another word.  This is not a great deal of character development, but it is enough to make him stand out and be more than a generic archetype.

Addressing the Future with Goals

Charles Galloway only had one major goal of which the PCs were aware: keep the mercenary company running.  As Galloway and the heroes grew closer, he let them know more and more about how this was faring.  As the heroes figured out that they were frequently the only profitable part of the company, their missions took on a greater importance with respect to helping their mentor.  When Charles confided that the money was running out and the heroes could not expect be paid, they viewed it as helping to shoulder the burden for their friend, rather than getting stiffed by their employer.  Helping Galloway with his struggles cemented the bond between him and the heroes, and it was an important final step in making Charles Galloway a man the PCs looked up to and the players wanted to interact with.

Designing the NPC

When I sit down to design a friendly NPC, they never get this much detail to start.  I am much more likely to make a simple bulleted list like the following:

  • Pays Attention to the Heroes
    • brief and debrief adventures
  • Character Flaws
    • loses temper with traditionally evil creatures
    • good heart makes for a bad mercenary captain
  • Quirks
    • long mustache and hair make him look Vos
    • avoids talking about family and past
  • Goals
    • keep mercenary company afloat

In less than half a sheet of paper, you can craft a well thought out NPC with whom your players are likely to enjoy interacting.  Does it work?  The best evidence I have is that my players no longer tell Chuck Norris jokes – they tell Chuck Galloway jokes.  I take that as a compliment.

How much effort do you put into designing your major friendly NPCs?  Have you tried this method, or does another style work better for you?  What NPCs have you crafted that stood out for your players, and what made them special?

As we age, our games change with us.

Three males stand near each other, a boy on the left, a fatherly man in the middle, and a grandfatherly man on the right.  They look as if a family.

Aging brings changes both obvious and subtle.

Aging does funny things to us.  When I was a teenager, gaming was my primary social activity.  My high school buddies and I would get together for entire weekends, playing game after game after game.  Everyone had a campaign to run, and we would stay up all night fueled by a powerful mixture of Doritos and Mountain Dew.  Flash forward almost twenty years to today.  As an adult, gaming is still my primary social activity, but boy has my table changed.

Time and Trappings

My D&D game often begins as early as nine in the morning on Saturdays, now.  We never start play before eleven on Sundays, but that is only because the entire crew will first go out to brunch at a lovely bed and breakfast.  Doritos and Mountain Dew still have a place at my table, but crudite, cheese and crackers, and calorie-free drinks are more common.  If we are playing all day, we will often break for a homemade dinner.

Companionship

For gaming to remain sustainable for my group, it has had to become part of a larger set of people and activities that share the day at my house.  All of my weekend players are now married or in a serious, cohabitating relationships, and we often have two or three extra people puttering around the house as we play.  No one has children yet, but it is pretty clear that children will also be joining us on game day when they come around.  Gaming day is also crafting day is also hangout day.  We do get interrupted a fair amount, but this is really just the social tax we pay for choosing a hobby that can be so time-intensive.

Content

As the DM, the biggest age-related change I see at my table is in the content of my game and the actions of my players.  As we are all solidly in our family-making years, children and families have taken on an increasingly important role in the campaign world.  One character began play with a twelve-year-old daughter, and the party adopted an orphan boy, who also happened to be a wererat, when he was abandoned by his caretaker.  Characters of noble title are seriously considering finding  spouses and producing heirs to their fledgling empires.  When one hero received a letter that mentioned one of her brothers was ill and possibly dying, she insisted that the party make an extended detour to go visit her family.  It is unsurprising, but I find it fascinating how the values of the characters at my table have changed as our gaming group has “grown up”.

How has your gaming table changed over the years?  Are your games noticeably different now from when you were younger?  How do you address the issues that arise, like the social limits that can come with a career and a family?

Terrain powers are a great way to change the flow of combat for your players.

The bar tile from the Harrowing Halls dungeon tile set

The Harrowing Halls dungeon tile set is a great resource for building tavern-based encounters.

The Dungeon Master’s Guide 2 introduced terrain powers as a way to spice up combat in 4e. Magical crystals that spew gouts of flame and poisonous fungal sacs you can lob at your enemies have their place in epic fantasy, but sometimes you need terrain powers for a more mundane setting.  Today, we have three terrain powers that are at home in a tavern-based encounter.

Use these powers if you want your barroom encounter to feel more like a brawl and less like a dungeon-esque slugfest.  Have your heroes check their weapons and implements at the door and stress the importance of non-lethally incapacitating  their enemies, and you have a recipe for a great non-standard encounter.

If you want to print or edit the powers, PDF and DOCX files are available for you to download:

Do you use terrain powers in your game?  What interesting effects have you come up with?  If you use any of these powers in your game, leave a note to share how they worked.

Flippin’ Tables Terrain Attack A quick shove earns you some much needed space. This is how you start a bar fight. At-Will  Terrain Minor Action C 1 Target: one square containing a table and any creature on that table Attack: Str, Dex, or Con vs. Reflex Hit: Creature standing on the table is knocked prone on the ground Miss: Creature standing on the table is left standing on the ground Effect: Push table one square, even into a square containing another creature. The square the table was pushed into is now difficult terrain. If the table was pushed into a square with another creature, push that creature one square.

Smashin’ Chairs	Terrain Attack With a satisfying CRACK, the chair shatters over your opponent’s head. He’s been left reeling, but his buddies are on to your dirty tricks. Encounter  Terrain Standard Action	M 1 Requirement: You must be in a square adjacent to a chair to use this power. Target: one creature Attack: Str, Dex, or Con vs. Fort Hit: Target is Stunned until the next of your next turn.

Slidin’ Down the Bar	Terrain Attack You are not sure why tavern-keeps polish their bars to such a beautiful shine, but it sure is helpful for sliding men down it. At-Will  Terrain Move Action	M 1 Requirement: you or the target must be adjacent to a bar Target: one creature Attack: Str, Dex, or Con vs. Fort Hit: Move adjacent to and then along the bar a number of squares up to your Movement, sliding the target onto the bar and down the bar, ending the slide in a square on the bar adjacent to you. The target is knocked prone.

 

I want to apologize for the unannounced lack on content last week.  A family emergency pulled me from the net for a while as I had more immediate concerns.  Blood, Sweat, and Dice resumes its regular update schedule immediately, with today’s post coming in a bit late.  Thanks for your understanding.

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