Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Expanded Tables For 'Four Against Darkness' - Part 1

Before I went on holiday I expanded the encounter tables for Four Against Darkness, in order to give myself more options during the two weeks during which I'd be playing it. What I did was take the existing tables for Special Events, Special Features, Vermin, Minions, Boss Monsters and Weird Monsters, and create a parallel table for each. When required to roll on the tables I would select the existing ones on a 1-3, and on a 4-6 I'd use the new table. I did include some existing encounters on the new tables; Orcs are ubiquitous, for example.

In this post I'll detail the new Special features and Special Events. In my encounter table I have tweaked the occurrences; Special features only appear in rooms, whist Special Events can occur in both rooms and corridors (the reverse of how the actual table is arranged). They are designed for the Level 1-3 adventures of 4AD - feel free to modify them for higher level delves.

Special Features

On a D6 roll of 1-3 use the table in the rules. On a 4-6 use this table.

1 - Shriekers: Each character must make a dodge roll at level 1+D3. If any character fails, the shriekers are awakened. Roll a d6: 1-3 Roll on the Wandering Monsters table. 4-6 The next time the party enters a room/corridor with occupants (Vermin/Minions/Boss/Weird) they are alerted. You automatically roll on the Reaction table for the encounter; you can't choose not to.

2 - Meditation Chamber: The first time the party enter the meditation Chamber roll a D6 for each character. If the score is greater than their remaining Life then they recover 2 Life. Unique.

3 - Storeroom: Roll d6x5. The party can search this room once and find items from the equipment list up to the value in GP of the number rolled.

4 - Dread Portal: The party may pass through the Dread Portal and end up in any mapped room/corridor they wish. However each and every time the party chooses to pass through it, roll a D6 for each member. On a '1' they are lost in the portal. From now on, each time you enter a new area, immediately roll a D6 for each lost party member. On a '6' they reappear at your current location. You may opt to stay in an area and wait for them to reappear; test for Wandering Monsters each time you roll. If you leave the dungeon, or all party members become lost in the portal, anyone lost is lost forever. The portal may be used any number of times. 

5 - Crypt: you may leave the crypt alone, or search it. On a 1-3 you awaken the dead – fight D6+2 skeletons (see Vermin Table). The skeletons have surprise and attack first.
Skeletons or no, you find 2D6x10 gold pieces

6 - Control Room: The traps of this dungeon are maintained from here. You may try to figure out the mechanisms by rolling against a d6+1 puzzle. For every failed attempt, test for wandering monsters on a 1-2. Wizards and rogues add their level to their puzzle-solving roll. If the puzzle is solved, reduce the Level of all traps encountered from now on by 1. Once only – treat further rolls as Puzzle Room.

Special Events

On a D6 roll of 1-3 use the table in the rules. On a 4-6 use this table.

1 - Rockfall. All characters must make a dodge save vs level 4 to avoid the rocks or lose 1 life. It now takes an extra turn to leave this area, whenever the party pass through it. 

2 - Wandering monsters attack the party. See 4AD rules.

3 - A lady in white appears and asks you to complete a quest. If you accept, roll on the Quest table. If you refuse, she disappears. Ignore any further appearances of the Lady in White in the game. If you meet her again, treat this result as a wandering monster

4 - Trap! - See 4AD rules.

5 - You meet a wandering healer. See 4AD rules

6 - Lost! The party becomes disorientated. The lantern-bearer must make a save vs a level of 1 + the number of passages and or doors that lead into the current area. If they fail the party becomes lost, and their next move is determined randomly (it may take them back to an area they've already passed through). Make the same save in each area; the party moves randomly each turn until the save is made.

I also tried to rationalise the different types of save rolls, and which characters benefit from them, rather than have the rules written into each save. They are based on the comments on each character class in the 4AD rules.

Saves

All saves have a Level and Type. Modifiers for Type are as follows:

Dodge: Rogue +L, Halfling/Elf +1, Light Armour -1, Heavy Armour -2
Poison: Halfling +L, Barbarian +L/2
Magic: Wizard +L, Barbarian -1
Fear: Barbarian +L
Gaze: Rogue + L/2
Breath: All +L/2
If save involves Undead, a Cleric gets +L


In Part 2 I'll detail the expanded monster tables.

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