Monday, January 7, 2013

Helmets Shall be Split in Twain!

Despite a rather busy holiday season so far, I have been keeping both of my main gaming groups going: the Skype-based "home" Labyrinth Lord campaign, and the campaign I run out of  Lift Bridge Books, the local book shop.

The latter group just met yesterday and continued its adventures marauding around in a parallel dimension dominated, on the one hand, by the vast, human-dominated city of Vornheim and, on the other, by a sinister Citadel commanded by a society of Dark Elves.* That gaming group is really picking up steam despite some wavering attendance over the holidays: yesterday our two regular core attendees were there plus two others, making a total of four players plus me.

A photo from a late November meeting of the Lift Bridge Old-School D&D Group.

During the session, one player made a pitch for an extension of the "Shields Shall Be Splintered!" rule, i.e., the "Helmets Shall be Split in Twain!" rule. It would work the same way as the Shields variant, but with only a 2 in 6 chance of working when invoked:

Upon a successful 2 in 6 roll, a helmet may be used to "soak" damage from a single attack, thereby reducing damage to zero. Soaking damage destroys the helmet; it is split in two.

* Once the group entered this dimension -- by opening a magical trunk in the underground lair of Zappo the Mysterious -- I had my first chance to use Vornheim, Zak S.'s fucking excellent city gaming supplement. (plans for a review in the near future). For the alternate dimension's Drow-inhabited lands I am mostly cherry-picking stuff from D3 Vault of the Drow.


  1. Okay here is my METAL variant to the Helmets Shall Be Split in Twain rule:

    Roll d6 - Failure: 1-3 Success: 4-6
    Success: No damage, helmet is sundered
    Failure: Attack deals double damage 'cause it hit your head, stupid

    1. My first though was something along these lines too. A colourful difference to the 'Shields...' rule too.

    2. I like your METAL variant, Carl. Also, I ran it in-game on Sunday using the 50-50 chance, and it worked okay. That seemed a bit too powerful in retrospect, though, so I scaled it back to a 2 in 6 when I posted about it.

      I think we should adopt your version for our campaign.

  2. Very cool that you're able to game in-person. Fun stuff, I'm sure.

    Happy 2013 :-)

  3. So this would be in lieu of a shield or in addition to a shield? If you don't have rules for damage to specific body parts then it seems a bit wonky. A shield might cover any body part since it's mobile, but if the PC only had a helmet on, why would a monster attack the head rather than a leg or the trunk?

    1. Making it, player choice, and only save on a 3in6 or a 2in6 else DOUBLE DAMAGE!, suggests that the PC is attempting to stick his metal encased head in the way.