The Table of Stunts (T&T)

Recently I asked at Vin Ahrr Vin’s Trollbridge which rules mechanics you think are the most important of Tunnels & Trolls. In my point of view stunting is a core concept (article in german) of Tunnels & Trolls. This is a translated version of my previously posted table.

The need and idea for the Table of Stunts arose as I found myself repeating the game mechanics of my rulings for the outcomes of stunts. One purpose of the table is to bring in a variety of outcomes. Another idea was to have a second lever to play with the randomness, excitement and risk of Saving Rolls (which is usually handled by the difficulty of SR) for the GM and the players. The table is meant to be a helping tool which should enrich the negotiation of the stunts. The GM and players may use it in a variety of ways. But it is not meant to be used in every stunt! Think of it like a spice for a meal – just use it according to taste and play with it, combine it with other ideas and effects.

 

The Table of Stunts lists many different outcomes. Especially high or low numbers lead to devastating, critical and permanent effects. These outstanding extreme numbers may only be achieved with DARO, with many dice or if you factor in a great margin of success or failure of the preceding Saving Roll. Small numbers equal more or less usual effects. They represent effects like fatigue or learning to predict the movements of the current enemy. Positive values are good for the stunting player, negative values are good for their enemies and bad for the player. You can slide in between both parts or roll some dice and fix the algebraic sign of the sum to get some good or bad results.

The possibilities for using the table are endless. As a GM the usual case would be to simply hand over the table to a player trying to stunt and ask him to roll some dice. As a player you might ask your GM to try a stunt, describe it and request to roll on the table. The effects can often be separated from their descriptions and labels. The table could also be used without SR and as a GM you could even let the player roll and let him choose the number of dice but decide randomly whether they count positively or negatively. The usual modifiers would be to vary the number of dice, to multiply the result with a factor or add or substract a fixed value or a value depending on the SR: e.g. the margin of success or failure of the Saving Roll. You can let your players roll spontaneously, even if they have no certain idea what to do, in this case just give them a negative bonus on the roll – just try out how it works for your group. As a GM you can roll spontaneously for enemies who rolled some spites and you can create enemies with distinct modifiers for the roll or modified entries for the table. Factor in the spites, the MR, the dungeon level, the level of the SR and the character level as you like. You can let the player roll several times and use every result or let him choose from a selection of results, for example one reroll for each level he succeeded his Saving Roll. You can let him roll and let him apply a modifier up to a certain span corresponding to the rolled level of SR or the level of the Character or just let him choose one result from 0 up to the rolled value. And the best: You can even let him invent his own entries to substitute some from the table, so that each player has a table of stunts or some outcomes of his own! For example one entry per character level?

The important thing about the table of effects is the idea and usability of the table and not its actual entries. You may adjust these entries and shift their values or replace them.

The Table of Stunts

-26: Emasculated! Takes you out of action for one round, then your HPT reduces to half of the original value for the round, your CON halves for the session. The character instantly loses a level. As he has to compensate and treat his emasculation medically with much money in the future, he needs to spend additional 1000 gold pieces for every level advance from now on.

-25: Weapon penetrates the eye. Severely impaired vision. Takes you out of action for one round, then your HPT reduces to half the value for the combat. Saving Rolls for ranged attacks increase difficulty by one level. Luck reduces permanently by 6.

-24: Severed toes! Takes you out of action for one round, then your HPT reduces to half of the original value for the combat. Dexterity permanently reduces by 4.

-23: Hand cut or crushed. 1-3 for right hand, 4-6 for left hand. Takes you out of action for one round, then your HPT reduces to half of the original value for the combat. Half Dexterity when using the wrong hand in future. Each session roll a die, if you roll under your character level you will reduce the penalty by 1. A specially constructed shield may still be attached to the severed arm.

-22: Disfiguring hit in the face, for example the loss of teeth or a the loss of parts of the tongue which leads to difficulties in pronounciation. Takes you out of action for one round, then your HPT reduces to half of the original value for the combat. Charisma reduces by 10 in encounters with unknown people. In encounters with long-known people this modifier may reduce by an amount up to the level of the character.

-21: Injured knee. The carrying capacity is reduced by one quarter. The walking and running speed reduces too (but not the reaction speed). Cumulative.

-20: Post-traumatic stress disorder: Something that the character has experienced or seen, makes him doubt himself, leads to feelings of helplessness in some situations, is troubling him with bad dreams and distracts him again and again. He loses a level.

-19: Your wounds heal to stiff scars. CON permanently reduces by 2. Cumulative.

-18: Annoying wound. The character gets a troubling wound at an unpleasant location of the body. The wound is especially disturbing at bad weather. Occasionally it develops a foul odor and is festering. It must be dealt with balms and resins permanently which can be expensive. Each session your luck will be temporarily reduced by 1d for the session. Roll at the begin of the session. Several doses of medicinal herbs for 1d x 100 G.P. may be used. The penalty reduces by 1d for each dose. Roll separately for the effect of each dose and decide after each throw if you want to buy more doses.

– 17: Taken out of fight. Unconscious (and generally overlooked or mistaken for dead) for 1d x 1d minutes. Take damage up to half of you constitution.

-16: Ridiculous failure. Your maneuver fails in such a sad way that your opponents break out in a laughter. Due to new moral they receive a total of +40 MR (distributed by the GM) but only from the next round on, when the laughter has ended. Alternatively, your opponents develop a strong hatred.

-13-15: Deep Wound: DEX reduces by 1d. At the beginning of each session a level 1 SR on CON is necessary to allow the wound to heal 1. Another roll may be tried once at the start of the session with the use of medicinal herbs in the value of 1d x 100 G.P. This effect may be rolled multiple times and DEX will reduce by 1d with each time.

-12: Painful failure. A bloodcurdling scream escapes you, which could attract nearby enemies! Roll on the table of wandering monsters and then again roll 2d on this table with DARO. Negate the total value.

-11: Cricked foot: Dexterity reduces by 5 and moving speed reduces by half. (not reaction speed). Applies to the whole session.

-10: Disorientating Headshot! For the rest of the fight every spite you have to take counts double and your spites are ignored.

-9: Disarmed: player loses weapon (1-3) or shield (4-6). A SR at the level of the dungeon is necessary to get back the object. In the round you are attempting this maneuver you can only defend (your HPT will not generate damage but may deflect damage) and your HPT is reduced by 10.

-7 To -8: Your equipment takes damage before calculating the damage in this round. If you want to repair it, each point costs 1/10 of the weapon. If you fumble a SR, the maximum damage of the weapon permanently reduces by 1.

  1. A particularly valuable object for the character is damaged. Game master chooses. (Eg, dungeon map, fragile vessels or purse so that coins flying around and it takes 1 round to collect them.)
  2. Weapon destroyed, your current attack is resolved with 1d!
  3. Weapon bent or blunted: subtract 2 points. 1d may be exchanged to +3 for this calculation. A Weapon with 3d will then reduced to 2d+1 damage. Javelins are immediately destroyed.
  4. Armor damaged: subtract 2 points – prior to the calculation of damage in this round. 1 point may be subtracted from any armor piece chosen by the game manager, the other from any armor piece chosen by the player.
  5. and 6. Shield is damaged and loses 5 points.

-6: Provoked to show too much of yourself: Your present enemy can now read you. Each spite he inflicts is doubled. While he fights against you, your spites have no effect. If this outcome is triggered multiple times the enemy spites are not doubled every time but multiplicated by the number of times this effect is triggered.

-5: Your arm loses strength: Strength reduces by 2. Recalculate if you can still wear your armor and wield your weapons. You are sweating heavily and you are in danger of hypothermia if you have no clothes to change in your equipment.

-4: Your enemy feints you: Your opponent ignores the armor piece of yours with the greatest protection in this round.

-3: Tumbled: Level 1 SR on DEX. If you fail, the margin of failure is the penalty to your HPT in this round.

-2: The enemy isolates you!
If several fighters are fighting on both sides, then an opponent weaker then you and chosen by the game master binds you. You both do not take part in any battle this round.
If you are fighting alone then the opponent’s side may decide whether to reroll all dice in the battle.
If you are you are fighting versus a single opponent he may immediately take the opportunity to escape.

-1: Being targeted: Your HPT may only be used defensively this round: your HPT will not generate damage but may deflect damage.

0: The character can perform a risky maneuver if he wants: your own HPT ignores the enemy’s HPT and is divided into as many opponents as supporters fight on your side. The armor of the enemies then reduce the damage taken. Your HPT is then spent and not calculated for the collective battle. Your protection depends on your allies and your armor.

1: calculated risk: you can take any amount of enemy spites. For each you may inflict 1d-1 spites to any opponent of your choice.

2: plan works: You can assign all damage your side receives in this turn. This also applies to spites received.

3: You put opponents off balance: Any damage dealt to your opponent in this round after factoring in their HPT and armor will be doubled.

4-7: You can read your current opponent: You get a bonus of +1 against one of your current enemies until he dies. Every spite you inflict in this round counts double and hits this opponent. This bonus counts cumulatively, if the result is rolled again.

8: Trapping your enemy: All spites on your side may be focused on one opponent of your choice.

9: New faith: Your luck increases for this fight by 1d.

10: Opponent disarmed: While he tries to retrieve his weapon, the HPT of the opponent closest to you counts only defensive. In addition, his MR decrease by half.

11: Surprise attack: Level 1 SR on DEX, ST, LK or CHR. Success margin is added to your HPT.

12: New energies set free: If you have had to reduce an attribute due to a botched stunt in this session, it increases by 1. Instead you may increase your luck by 1d for this session.

13: Good knowledge of your opponent: the next time your character takes damage from one of your current enemies of your choice this damage is ignored.

14: Successful maneuvering! If you have companions, you manage to fight directly against a particular opponent. If you are fighting alone, then you can decide whether or not to reroll all dice in this round.

15: Battle intuition: Each spite you are inflicting gives you a bonus for the entire duration of the fight. This effect is cumulative.

16: Charging assault: Your HPT works defensively as usual. It is counted to the group HPT for the purpose of deflecting hits but not for attacking. Choose one or more enemies as the target of this attack. It ignores these enemies HPT in this round. Only the armor and shields of these enemies reduce your damage.

17: Opponent shows too much: Each of your spites gives you a bonus of 5 against your current opponent. The bonus carries on to the following rounds until your enemy is dead. This effect is cumulative.

18: Controlling fighting technique: Roll one time on the table with 3d with DARO! Choose any outcome from 0 up the result of the roll.

19: Outmaneuvered: A number of opponent equivalent to your character level are kept out of the fight for this round.

20: Devastating attack: you inflict damage as high as your character level x dungeon level as spites on any current enemy of your choice. Roll then again 2d on this table.

21: Heroic valor: The opponents are impressed by your heroism. They offer you to let you live if you give up. You can then buy your freedom for 1000 G.P. per character.

22: Covered in blood: the blood of your opponents flows over you while you are lying on the ground. You look as if you were dead, and anyway it is hard to tell by your look whether you’re an ally or enemy. Your opponents do not seem to notice you, if you wish you could now try to retreat quietly…

23: Mass collision: While fighting you succeed in bringing multiple enemies to fall. If you survived the round you can now choose to flee or your enemies have 2/3 MR the next round.

24: Collapse: You have found a weak point in the dungeon architecture which you can exploit to collapse the ceiling. The CON or MR of all attendees is halved. All combatants are now scattered, disoriented and stunned. A level 1 SR on LK or CON is necessary to shake of the stun effect and to be able to act normal again. One adversary is capable of acting per player failing the SR. Each round one SR may be tried.

More thoughts on stunts are in Dan Prentice’s (Zanshin) article Dare to Daro which he published in march 2010 in TrollsZine! magazine (no. 1).

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