HAMMERCRAWL! Games

HAMMERCRAWL! Games

About this Page

Welcome adventurers! This page is where I collect and post my own personal gaming notes for running HAMMERCRAWL! at home. If you have no idea what all of that means, and/or you want to read up on the HAMMERCRAWL! method and process, head over to its GitHub page. I keep all the “official” updates there. This page is purely for use with my home games, and contains a lot of house rules for various existing RPG systems and such things, which I feel don’t really fit in the official stuff.

Here are some other useful links:

All right, let’s get to the good stuff!

Rules of the House

Our gaming rules system of choice is a home-mixed hodge-podge of three specific books based on an old rules variant of Dungeons and Dragons known as “BECMI.” The three books in question are the D&D Rules Cyclopedia (aka RC), and two different versions of a BECMI “retroclone” called Dark Dungeons, all of which are linked at the top of this page. Primarily we’re using the rules as outlined in the 10th anniversary of the latter, known as Dark Dungeons X or just DDX (with the original version called DD). However, we’re schwipp-schwapping some of the core components around to create a sort of franken-game based on the source games’ corpses, and also throwing a few new house rules on top of them for good measure.

Below is an overall outline of what components of the game are coming from which book’s pages. Much further below are the extended house rules.

  • Basic Conceits: Largely based on DDX, except:
    • Time Counting: Say yes to Turns! (RC)
    • Attack rolls: D20 + BAB + enemy AC vs DC 20.
    • Saving Throws: DDX-style – that is, roll plus a number and try to beat 20, just like attacks.
  • Character Traits: Background and Traits all carry over from HAMMERCRAWL! tables
  • Classes: Use those in DDX, except:
    • Elf: DD
    • M-U: DD
    • If from DD, be sure to invert saves so they are an ascending bonus as in DDX
    • and see the House Rules below
  • Skills: DDX rules but with the classic HAMMERCRAWL! ever-growing Skills List
  • WPs / Weapon Feats: Mostly DDX, but see House Rules on these. Also:
    • bring back the two blowguns from DD, plus the “Shield, Sword”
    • some additional WPs from AD&D 2E to round out the list (see House Rules)
  • Equipment:
    • Encumbrance Rules: DD (coin weights!)
    • Firearms: Yes! Based on DDX’s Red Powder
    • HAMMERCRAWL! random items are a yes!
  • Magic:
    • Most Spells: DDX
    • Learning Spells: Loosely based on DD, see the House Rules
    • Clerics and Wizards now learn spells the same way, and preparation is automatic.
    • Clerics charging money for healing: DDX (almost free in most faiths)
    • Casting spells is heavily detailed in the House Rules below.
  • Adventuring
    • Light: Use the DDX hierarchy of light; however I DO still use “turns”
  • Combat:
    • Initiative: RC with modifications (see extended sections below)
    • Attack Rolls: DDX
    • Unarmed Combat: DDX (unified with core combat, and WP-based)
  • Rulership: Pretty much all DDX
    • Seasons: DDX (instead of monthly checks)
  • War: DDX

House Rules

Character Creation

If players so choose, they can randomly roll for their starting class. First roll 3d6 to see what species you get. Non-human species define their classes already (as in “Drawf” or “Elf”), while humans have a sub-set of classes rolled on a subsequent table.

Roll 3d6 Species
3 Clockwork (DDX)
4-5 Elf (DD)
6-8 Drawf (DDX)
9-12 Human (roll 1d6 below)
13-15 Hobbert (DDX)
16-17 H’fogre (new!)
18 Lupine (DDX)

If human, roll 1d6 below to find your class:

Roll 1d6 Human Class
1 Cleric (DDX)
2 Druid (DDX)
3 Fighter (DDX)
4 Magic-User (DD)
5 Mountebank (DDX)
6 Thief (DDX)

Each class is listed with its primary sourcebook, but most are additionally modified further below.

ALL CHARACTERS

Hit Points

Use the Hit Die format from DD/RC, and NOT the base per level format of DDX. Each class is listed with its relevant hit die. Max the hit die at first level.

Weapon Feats/Profs

Every class starts with two weapon feats in addition to those normally granted by their class (which is usually 4 or 2, making for a total of 6 or 4 weapon feats for most classes). They can choose to pick these based on class limitations, or roll for them. The others they would normally get at start are all randomly rolled! Roll 1d50 and see the table on them further below.

When rolling for these weapon feats, if the same weapon is rolled multiple times, reroll it. On a roll of 50, however, you get to roll again and get the new weapon rolled at Skilled tier. Consecutire rolls of 50 do not stack, and the maximum rank you can start with is Skilled.

Also, note that the random feat rolls are not restricted by your class! Meaning a Wizard could somehow know how to wield a 2H sword, if rolled!

Get more profs from the classes as detailed below, too.

Starting Gear

In order to keep things simple and not spend ages on gear buying, we’re using the initial gear system from the previous incarnation of the game.

All characters start with the following for free:

  • One standard weapon for the first half (round up) of their known weapon feats
  • 50% chance of a random suit of armor
  • A special “class kit” item suitable for their class, with a usage die determined by SOC score (see below)
  • A shoulderbag/satchel
  • 1d4 torches
  • 1d6 fresh rations
  • Some pocket change in GP (see below)

For starting pocket money, use the new SOC stat. Multiply your rolled SOC score by its associated multiplier, and that’s how much money you have to spend. If you have excess coinage, you can use the Equipment section of the game book to purchase anything you can afford.

SOC (3d6) Golds Kit Die Status
3 x0 dZ Scum
4-5 x1 d4 Peasantry
6-8 x2 d6 Poor
9-12 x3 d8 Middle Class
13-15 x4 d10 Lesser Nobility
16-17 x5 d12 Greater Nobility
18 x10 d20 Royalty

Cleric

Ignore spell knowledge tables. Instead:

  • Hit Die: D6 + CON bonus through 9th level, +1 every level after
  • Weapon Feats: Increase to 4, following same progress as skills
  • Spellcasting: Starts play with access to NO spell magic. Gain access to level 1 spells at XP level 2. Increase maximum spell level at every XP level that is divisible by 4 (4, 8, 16, etc).
  • Starting Spells at level 2: Two spells, plus/minus the WIS modifier.

Clockwork

  • Hit Die: D8 + CON bonus through 9th level, +2 every level after

Drawf

  • Hit Die: D8 + CON bonus through 9th level, +2 every level after
  • Darkvision: Change heatvision to Black & White Darkvision

Druid

  • Hit Die: D6 + CON bonus through 9th level, +1 every level after
  • Weapon Feats: Increase to 4, following same progress as skills
  • Spellcasting: Starts play with access to NO spell magic. Gain access to level 1 spells at XP level 2. Increase maximum spell level at every XP level that is divisible by 4 (4, 8, 16, etc).
  • Starting Spells at level 2: Two spells, plus/minus the WIS modifier.

Elf

  • Hit Die: D6 + CON bonus through 9th level, +1 every level after
  • Remove Heat/Infra vision entirely!
  • Bonus Attacks: Change extra attacks to +1 at 13 and 24 (total of 3)
  • Armor and Magic: Wearing armor restricts spellcasting by adding a chance of failure. Leather starts at 10% and each higher rank adds 20 more. Suit armor has a whopping 110% chance of failure. If the armor is magical, reduce the penalty by 10x its magical bonus (so a +1 armor reduces its failure chance by 10%).

Ignore spell knowledge tables. Instead:

  • Spellcasting: Start with access to level 1 spell magic. Increase maximum spell level at every XP level that is divisible by 4 (4, 8, 16, etc).
  • Starting Spells: Red Magic, plus two additional spells, plus/minus the INT modifier.

Fighter

  • Hit Die: D8 + CON bonus through 9th level, +2 every level after
  • Bonus Attacks: Change multiple attacks progression to a bonus attack at: 10, 17, 25, and 36 (total of 5 attacks)

Hobbert

  • Hit Die: D6 + CON bonus through 9th level, +2 every level after
  • Thief Skills: They now get Move Silently, Hide in Shadows, and Listen from the thief skills tree, with a +10 bonus on the first two when outdoors.

Half-Ogre Berzerker (NEW)

  • Hit Die: D8 + CON bonus through 9th level, +3 every level after
  • Armor limit: cannot wear higher than Scale mail, and must be sized for them at cost x 1.5
  • Saves: as Fighter with -2 penalty
  • Feats: Has minimal WPs, as they don’t really train all that much
  • Hungry: Requires twice as much food/rations as a normal character for all related purposes.
  • Outcasts: Frequently socially ostracized in major civilised areas, often chased out of town.
  • Special heatvision: They have heatvision, but only when they rage (seeing red!)
  • Bonus Attacks: Gain extra attacks at +1 at 14, 22, and 35 (total of 4)

Murderous Rage: Berserker blood is instilled with traces of the same dark rage that drives their ogrish ancestors to war against the kingdoms of humans. When a Berserker takes damage, they must make a Mind save (target: 12) or go into an uncontrollable violent fury. During this rage, they receive the following adjustments:

  • They gain one (1) additional attack each round, and an additional one at levels divisible by 12 (at 12, 24, and 36).
  • They gain temporary hit points = their CON score. This increases 2x at level 13, 3x at level 21, and 4x and level 36.
  • They gain temporary Heatvision as they are now seeing the world with pure heated rage.
  • They are immune to Fear and Morale effects.
  • They suffer a disadvantage on all saving throws except for DeathRay/Poison and Paralysis/Petrificaion, which they have an advantage on.

While in their Rage, on their turn in combat they must take action according to the following priority chain – higher-listed actions are mandatory if possible:

  1. Melee Attack the strongest-looking enemy within immediate striking range.
  2. Move to the strongest-looking enemy within charging range and Melee Attack them.
  3. Thrown (Missile) attack the strongest-looking enemy within Thrown Range.
  4. Melee Attack the strongest-looking standing living creature (friend or foe) within immediate striking range (Death Ray Save each time to avoid attacking an ally).
  5. Pass Out: If no other options are left, they must roll a Paralysis Save as the rage runs out: if successful the Berserker’s mind clears and they spend the round panting (no actions) but recover fully active the next round. If failed they collapse to the ground unconscious (remain unconscious for 3d6 minutes).

A Berserker can choose to voluntarily fail either save and willingly let the rage overtake them and/or knock them unconscious afterward. They can also trigger it on their own by causing themselves 1 point of damage with a weapon.

Lupine

  • Hit Die: D6 + CON bonus through 9th level, +2 every level after

Magic-User

Ignore spell knowledge tables. Instead:

  • Hit Die: D4 + CON bonus through 9th level, +1 every level after
  • Spellcasting: Start with access to level 1 spell magic. Increase maximum spell level at every XP level that is divisible by 3 (3, 6, 9, etc)
  • Use the LOW wps table from my spreadsheet
  • Starting Spells: Read Magic, plus three additional spells, plus/minus the INT modifier.

Mountebank

  • Hit Die: D6 + CON bonus through 9th level, +1 every level after
  • Saving Throws: As book, but replace RSS progress with same as DRP
  • Thief Skills: Gain an additional 2 bonus points each level to spend on special thief skills, including at level 1.
  • NEW Thiefskill: “Bluff” Thieves can use this to attempt to sway social encounters. Base Ability: Bluff advance identically to the Hide in Shadows Skill.
  • Armor and Magic: Wearing armor restricts spellcasting by adding a chance of failure. Leather starts at 10% and each higher rank adds 20 more. Suit armor has a whopping 110% chance of failure. If the armor is magical, reduce the penalty by 10x its magical bonus (so a +1 armor reduces its failure chance by 10%).

Ignore spell knowledge tables. Instead:

  • Spellcasting: Start with access to level 1 spell magic. Increase maximum spell level at every XP level that is divisible by 4 (4, 8, 16, etc).
  • Starting Spells: Read Magic, plus one additional spell, plus/minus the INT modifier.
  • Learning Spells: Can learn spells from all classes! However cleric/druid spells count as one level higher for purposes of level limits (so can’t learn level 1 cleric spells until they unlock level 2 magic-user spells).

Thief

  • Hit Die: increases to D6 + CON bonus through 9th level, +1 every level after
  • Thief Skills: Gain an additional 5 bonus points each level to spend on special thief skills, including at level 1. No more than 3 bonus points can be added to any one. Cannot add to Read Languages or Use Magic, those are set.
  • NEW Thiefskill: “Bluff” Thieves can use this to attempt to sway social encounters. Base Ability: Bluff advance identically to the Hide in Shadows Skill.
  • NEW Trait: “Lucky” Thieves roll with an advantage on all saving throws

WPs / Feats

From DD, we’re re-adding the two blowguns and the “Shield, Sword” WP. Additionally, we’re importing these from AD&D 2E (their feat tables are further below):

  • Dart (1H)
  • Harpoon (2H)
  • Mancatcher (2H)
  • Pick, Light (1H)
  • Pick, War (2H)
  • Scourge (1H)
  • Sickle (1H)

Random Roll Table for WPs:

Roll 1d50 Result Roll 1d50 Result
1 Axe, Battle 26 Pick, Light
2 Axe, Hand 27 Pick, War
3 Blackjack 28 Pike
4 Blowgun, Large 29 Pistol
5 Blowgun, Small 30 Poleaxe
6 Bolas 31 Scourge
7 Bow, Long 32 Shield, Buckler
8 Bow, Short 33 Shield, Normal
9 Cestus 34 Shield, Sword
10 Club 35 Shield, Tower
11 Crossbow, Heavy 36 Sickle
12 Crossbow, Light 37 Sling
13 Dagger 38 Smoothbore
14 Dart 39 Spear
15 Flail 40 Staff
16 Halberd 41 Sword, Bastard
17 Hammer, Throwing 42 Sword, Normal
18 Hammer, War 43 Sword, Short
19 Harpoon 44 Sword, Two-handed
20 Javelin 45 Trident
21 Lance 46 Fisticuffs (Unarmed)
22 Mace 47 Whip
23 Mancatcher 48 Wrestling
24 Morning Star 49 Roll Twice, keep both
25 Net 50 Roll again, take result as Skilled

New Feat Tables

NOTE: The Blowguns and their data are in the original Dark Dungeons book, and are used as-is. The tables below are those weapons newly-imported from AD&D 2E.

WP: Dart vs Armed
Proficiency Bonus Damage x2 Damage Range
None 1d2 15/25/35
Basic 1d3 15/25/35
Skilled +1 1d4 20 20/30/45
Expert +2 2d4 19 25/35/50
Master +4 2d4+2 18 30/40/55
Grandmaster +6 3d4+1 17 35/55/65
WP: Dart vs Unarmed
Proficiency Bonus Damage AC Bonus x2 Damage Range
None 1d2 15/25/35
Basic 1d3 -1 vs 1 15/25/35
Skilled +2 1d4 -2 vs 2 20 20/30/45
Expert +4 2d4 -2 vs 2 19 25/35/50
Master +6 3d4 -3 vs 2 18 30/40/55
Grandmaster +8 4d4 -3 vs 3 17 35/55/65
WP: Harpoon vs Armed
Proficiency Bonus Damage AC Bonus Skewer Range
None -1 1d4 20/40/60
Basic 2d4 20/40/60
Skilled +1 2d6 -1 vs 1 4dh 20/40/60
Expert +2 2d6+2 -2 vs 2 7hd 40/60/75
Master +4 1d12+4 -3 vs 2 10hd 40/60/75
Grandmaster +6 1d10+6 -3 vs 3 15hd 60/75/80
WP: Harpoon vs Unarmed
Proficiency Bonus Damage Skewer Range
None 1d4 20/40/60
Basic 2d4 20/40/60
Skilled +2 2d6 4dh 20/40/60
Expert +4 2d6+2 7hd 40/60/75
Master +6 3d6+2 10hd 40/60/75
Grandmaster +8 4d4+4 15hd 60/75/80
WP: Mancatcher vs Armed
Proficiency Bonus Damage Entangle
None 1 -4
Basic 1d2 0
Skilled +1 1d3 +1
Expert +2 1d4+1 +2
Master +3 1d3+2 +4
Grandmaster +6 1d3+3 +8
WP: Mancatcher vs Unarmed
Proficiency Bonus Damage AC Bonus Entangle
None 1 -4
Basic 1d2 0
Skilled +2 1d3 -2 vs 2 +1
Expert +4 1d4 -3 vs 3 +2
Master +6 1d4+2 -4 vs 3 +4
Grandmaster +8 1d4+5 -4 vs 4 +8
WP: Pick (Light) vs Armed
Proficiency Bonus Damage Hook Hurl
None 1d3
Basic 1d6 +0
Skilled +2 1d6+2 -1
Expert +4 1d8+2 -2 -/10/20
Master +6 1d8+5 -3 -/10/20
Grandmaster +8 1d8+7 -4 10/20/30
WP: Pick (Light) vs Unarmed
Proficiency Bonus Damage AC Bonus Hook Hurl
None 1d3
Basic 1d6 +0
Skilled +1 1d6+2 -2 vs 2 -1
Expert +2 1d8+2 -3 vs 3 -2 -/10/20
Master +4 1d6+4 -4 vs 4 -3 -/10/20
Grandmaster +6 1d6+7 -5 vs 4 -4 10/20/30
WP: Pick (War) vs Armed
Proficiency Bonus Damage AC Bonus Hook
None 1d4
Basic 1d8 +0
Skilled +2 1d8+2 -2 vs 2 -1
Expert +4 1d8+4 -3 vs 2 -2
Master +6 1d8+8 -3 vs 3 -3
Grandmaster +8 1d10+10 -4 vs 4 -4
WP: Pick (War) vs Unarmed
Proficiency Bonus Damage Hook
None 1d4
Basic 1d8 +0
Skilled +1 -1
Expert +2 -2
Master +4 1d8+6 -3
Grandmaster +6 1d8+8 -4
WP: Scourge vs Armed
Proficiency Bonus Damage Disarm Stun
None 1d2
Basic 1d4
Skilled +1 1d6 +0
Expert +2 1d6+1 -1 Y
Master +3 1d4+3 -2 Y
Grandmaster +6 1d4+4 -4 Y
WP: Scourge vs Unarmed
Proficiency Bonus Damage Disarm Stun AC Bonus
None 1d2
Basic 1d4
Skilled +2 1d4+1 +0 -2 vs 2
Expert +4 1d4+3 -1 Y -3 vs 3
Master +6 1d4+5 -2 Y -4 vs 3
Grandmaster +8 2d4+4 -4 Y -4 vs 4
WP: Sickle vs Armed
Proficiency Bonus Damage Hook x2 Damage
None 1d2
Basic 1d4 +0
Skilled +1 1d6 -1 20
Expert +2 2d4 -2 19
Master +4 2d4+2 -3 18
Grandmaster +6 3d4+1 -4 17
WP: Sickle vs Unarmed
Proficiency Bonus Damage Hook x2 Damage AC Bonus
None 1d2
Basic 1d4 +0 -1 vs 1
Skilled +2 1d6 -1 20 -2 vs 2
Expert +4 2d4 -2 19 -2 vs 2
Master +6 3d4 -3 18 -3 vs 2
Grandmaster +8 4d4 -4 17 -3 vs 3

Leveling Up

Unify everything to the Fighter Track as the singular XP track that all characters follow. No more of this mismatched leveling stuff.

Multiply all base encounter XP rewards by 10, across the board. This is a game of rapid progression through dangerous dungeons, and faster XP gain is a bit more entertaining. This multiplier does not apply to any other sources of XP.

Adventuring Gear

Usage Dice

Every item has both the usage die and six dots. when you roll the die and get a 1 or 2, mark a dot (but the die doesn’t change). If the sixth dot is filled, the item is useless. Occasionally items may have multiple dice. In such a case, a dot is only marked when both dice show either a 1 or a 2.

Good quality well made items have a d10 or d12. Common items have a d8. Cheap or used items have a d6, and really crap items have a d4. Top tier items of rare special sturdy materials have a d20. Magic items are often but not always indestructible by mortal means.

some items have a “dZ” for (d-Zero) usage die. This means you mark a dot every time it is used, no roll allowed. An entire combat scene is considered a single use for such items – use it many times in the fight, it still only marks one dot. A nat 1 rolled when using a dZ item fills all its dots, breaking it instantly.

Items can be repaired unless they are marked as Expendable. Items of dZ quality are usually (but not always) also expendable.

Class Kits

Every character starts with a special “class kit” item, This item exists so that players can quickly make new characters without needing to build out extensive gear lists. The class kit has a usage die set by the character’s SOC stat during character creation.

The kit contains an unknown number of items. When in possession of one, the player can ask the Smith if they are carrying any one non-weapon-or-armor item that it would make sense for them to have in such a kit. If the Smith allows it, the player writes the item down and rolls the die. As they are expendable, they cannot be repaired.

Combat Mechanics

Initiative and Flow

Use RC Initiative, but modified as such:

Roll: 1d12 + Leader’s DEX and WIS mods

Turn Order:

  1. Morale
  2. Movement
  3. Missile
  4. Melee (includes unarmed and wrestling)
  5. Magic
  6. Miscellaneous

Magic Mechanics

Spell Magic

For the purposes of cascading power, each successive spell level is considered to be twice as potent as the level before it. So level 2 is twice as powerful as level 1, level 3 is twice as powerful as level 2, level 4 twice that of level 3, and so on. This “power chain” of spell magic from levels 9 down to 1 are as follows:

1x 9th = 2x 8th = 4x 7th = 8x 6th = 16x 5th = 32x 4th = 64x 3rd = 128x 2nd = 256x 1st

So a single 9th level spell is equal to 256 1st level spells! This chart may also be helpful:

Levels 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
9 1 2 4 8 16 32 64 128 256
8 1/2 1 2 4 8 16 32 64 128
7 1/4 1/2 1 2 4 8 16 32 64
6 1/8 1/4 1/2 1 2 4 8 16 32
5 1/16 1/8 1/4 1/2 1 2 4 8 16
4 1/32 1/16 1/8 1/4 1/2 1 2 4 8
3 1/64 1/32 1/16 1/8 1/4 1/2 1 2 4
2 1/128 1/64 1/32 1/16 1/8 1/4 1/2 1 2
1 1/256 1/128 1/64 1/32 1/16 1/8 1/4 1/2 1

Learning Spells

Spells can be learned from those captured while adventuring. However in order to do so, the caster must bring them out of the dungeon, back to town or their lair, and safely research them during downtime.

Clerics learn spells the same as elves and magic-users. In the case of clerics, the spells they uncover are prayers and rites, either those lof their faith that were previously lost, or those of the enemy that the cleric “sanctifies” and converts to serve her own faith.

Memorizing Spells

A character knows all the spells she has transcribed into her currently-possessed spell or prayer book. Each day she can skim over the book and re-memorize every spell therein.

A character can not memorize any spells beyond their maximum spell level, which is determined by their class. They can possess such spells, but never memorize nor cast them.

Casting Spells from Memory

A caster can cast any spell she has memorized. The spell does either what its description says it does, or what the caster’s player can convince her GM to let it do.

When a spell is cast, she must choose to either forget that spell for the day, or instead forget an equivalent power amount of other memorized spells. Meaning, if she casts a level 4 spell, she can instead choose to forget a different level 4 spell instead. Or she can instead choose to forget two level 3 spells, or four level 2 spells, or even one level 3 spell and two level 2 spells, or so on.

Casting Spells from Scrolls

Item Magic

Smith’s Rules

New Monsters for HAMMERCRAWL!

Goblin, Flesh

(first appearance: Hooni’s Hammers in the kingdom of 1997)

Mimic Worm

(first appearance: HAMMERCRAWL! 3D Episode 1)