Monday, June 13, 2011

For Those About to Die…

…we salute you!

I’ve decided to run a gladiatorial games campaign over the summer. All the regular savages have chipped in and I ordered a shwack of Gladiators from Black Tree Design and Crusader Miniatures (I also already had a few from Wargames Foundry and West Wind Productions - mostly women..!?)

This past Saturday we drafted figures and everyone made their first gladiator – which I will be featuring in future posts…

Here are some of the rules I came up with for the campaign so far:

Character Generation

All attributes start at d4. You have 5 attribute points to raise them – as per the basic rules.

You have 10 skill points to spend – as per the basic rules (except a few less – because, really who’s going to take anything beyond fighting, throwing, and intimidation?).

Only certain hindrances will gain you “Hindrance Points”

Arrogant (major) must always attack the “master” in battle.
Bad Luck (major) -1 benny
Bloodthirsty (major) must deliver killing blow immediately, -4 charisma
Elderly (major) -1 pace, -1 Strength and Vigor (cannot be raised again),
+5 for smarts based skills
Habit (major) alcoholic – spirit roll before games fail = hung-over -2 to all trait tests.
Lame (major) -2 pace, run d4
Mean (minor) -2 charisma
Obese (minor) +1 Toughness, -1 pace, run d4 – but you have to find a suitably obese figure!
One Arm (Major) – but you also have to find/modify a one-armed figure!
One Eye (major?) -1 Charisma, -2 to throwing, shooting, etc.
One Leg (major) -2 pace, run d4, -2 fighting, etc
Outsider (minor) Not a Roman -2 Charisma
Phobia (minor or major) as per rules, but must be something you could potentially face:
Wild animals, Gauls, Tridents, etc.
Ugly (minor) -2 charisma
Young (major) 3 attribute points, 5 skill points, +1 benny

Most of the edges in the main rulebook are available. I’m also allowing some additional ones from other SW books:

Pirates of the Spanish Main
Dirty Fighter S PotSM pg.32
Really Dirty Fighter S PotSM pg.33
Entangle S PotSM pg.33
Grit H PotSM pg.
Improvisational fighter S PotSM pg.
Iron Jaw N PotSM pg.
Riposte S PotSM pg.
Improved Riposte V PotSM pg.
Spot Weakness S PotSM pg 36

Modern Martial Arts
Accurate Attack (Fighting) S
Bewildering Warrior S
Breaking Blow S
Bring It On S
Bring It ALL On H
Disarm Mastery S
Grab and Hold N
Ground Fighter S
Heightened Senses N
Improved Heightened Senses V
Hi-YAH!! N
Squeeze Play S
Superior Defence N
Unarmed Warrior N


Light (+1) Inferior 30lb 50d
Average 20lb 100d
Superior 15lb 200d
Medium (+2) Inferior 45lb 200d
Average 30lb 300d
Superior 25lb 450d
Heavy (+3) Inferior 60lb 350d
Average 45lb 500d
Superior 40lb 700d

Small Shield +1 Parry Inferior 15lb 25d
Average 10lb 50d
Superior 8lb 100d
Large Shield +2 Parry Inferior 30lb 100d
Average 20lb 200d
Superior 15lb 300d

When wounded check for damage on armour:
If shield and armour always check the lower quality if of equal quality, determine randomly.
Roll d6 for inferior, d8 for average, or d10 for superior
pass = no damage, fail = damaged
damaged armour has -1 protection value until repaired. Cost of repair is 25% cost of armour – or can be repaired by the gladiator with successful repair roll and 10% cost of armour.

Dagger Str+d4 1lb 25d
Short Sword Str+d6 4lb 200d
Spear Str+dx 5lb 100d one hand = d4, two hand = d6, +1 parry,
Trident Str+dx 10lb 200d one hand = d6, two hand = d8, +1 parry,
Great Axe Str+d10 15lb 500d AP1, Parry -1, 2 hands
Net * 15lb 100d +2 to grapple/ entangle an opponent (so, if offhand, net 0) once grappled with net may make fighting attacks at +2. May also be used for “Florentine” in place of a dagger.

+1 survived a match
+1 won a match
+1 (per multiple) match versus numerically superior foes
+1 (per rank) match versus more experienced foes
-1 (per multiple) match versus numerically inferior foes
-1 (per rank) match versus less experienced foes

(you always get at least ONE for surviving, though there are conditions that can reduce the experience you get it can’t be less than one)

The Thumb Roll

At the end of a combat when one character has been incapacitated (or taken a dive/begged for mercy/etc.) there will be a “thumb roll” to determine whether the gladiator is to be spared or killed.

(note – bloodthirsty characters will not wait for the thumb roll but will automatically deliver a killing blow to an opponent who is down)

Make a spirit roll; success = spared, failure = death
Modified by:
+/- charisma (outsider, mean, noble, bloodthirsty, etc).
-1 per rank higher than opponent
+1 for each wound you caused your opponent

Take A Dive
You don’t have to fight to incapacitation all the time… After you take at least one wound you can take a dive, or beg for mercy from the audience, but you are at -1 for each wound short of incapacitated for your thumb roll (i.e. -1 is at three wounds, -2 if at two wounds, -3 if it one wound).

Wounds and Recovery
We will assume a week goes by between rounds and thus injured characters will have an opportunity to recover between matches. We will assume they have doctors and a relatively pampered life – so there will be no negative modifiers beyond the wound modifiers.

I may also come up with a random “scenario” table (one-on-one, pairs, teams, vs. wild animals, vs. condemned men/slaves, etc.)

I am also considering using Showdown rules – so there will be a fortune and calamity table (though there may likely be some changes… out of ammo, for example, would be quite useless) and a random events table…

Stay tuned for Gladiator Profiles and reports of the action at the colosseum!


tim said...

Just a further note on armour:

Armour is pretty abstract - how it works is it depends on how many body parts of the miniatures we are using are covered. If you think of there being 6 body bits; head, torso, 2 arms, 2 legs - however many of those is covered determines what types of armour you can buy for your dude:

unrmoured 0-1 areas covered
Light Armour 1-2 areas covered
Medium Armour 2-4 areas covered
Heavy Armour 3-6 areas covered

There's a certain amount of leeway there - and even what is "covered" varies - for example there are a number of guys with a pair of half greaves - i.e. the shins of both legs are covered but not the thighs you could count that as two areas covered or two half areas (i.e. ONE area) covered

Basically you can't have a dude in a loincloth and call him "heavily armoured"

The characters start with 500 denarii. For one hindrance point they can get another 500 denarii.

further money can be gained through level-ups - one level-up = 500 denarii

Thomas Jakobsen said...

This sounds like a very cool and fun idea. I look forward to follow the "adventures" of the gladitors.