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Old 10-20-2017, 08:31 PM   #1
Dalin
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Default Smaller creatures, hexes, and close combat (spoilers)

Spoiler Warning: Some details from "I Smell a Rat" are mentioned below.

Played my second session of I Smell a Rat today. It continues to be very compelling. Favorite scene was when the party foolishly split up in the sewer as they backed away from a roiling swimming horde of giant rats. I had boards going across the water, so most of the characters backed into the S hallway while the lead warrior, who had just bashed in the concealed door, backed up the stairs past the door, while preparing to engage the rats. The rats split, going into both passages. The lone warrior doesn't see the runes behind him (at the top of the stairs) because he's backing up and has continual light on his helmet. The rats are fodder for him, so he's not too worried. But as he steps back at the top step, he is nearly dropped by 10 hp of dehydration damage. He thought he was being attacked from the rear by an evil wizard and completely freaked out. Loved it!

I've been combing through the rules and am not sure I quite know how to handle smaller creatures like giant rates or big spider (both SM -1). Can more than one of them fit in a hex? If the party is in a one hex wide corridor, do the rats have to stay in single file, or can more than one swarm onto the front PC? I chose to allow two of them, which worked great and felt believable, but I wasn't sure if this was officially correct.

Then there's close combat. A rat enters the character's hex in order to attack (bite). If the character wants to counterattack with a reach 1 weapon on their next turn, they need to step back a hex, right? If they can't step back (maybe other PCs behind them, or, say, an evil runic hallway), then they can't attack with their swords. So let's say they want to punch the rat. Can they do that without dropping the sword? Or do they have to drop the sword (free action) and then start swinging their fists? (Nobody thought about kicking, which would have worked without dropping a weapon.)

Finally, the rats and big spiders can't get through much DR. I had the spiders attack a character's face, which was awesomely scary and everybody thought it was plausible because spiders are climbers and can jump. (Spider died before it succeeded, but it definitely spooked the player.) What about rats? Plausible to have them leap onto characters, climbing up to their faces? I mean, I know it's always the GM's call, but just curious how other people play this sort of thing out.
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Old 10-20-2017, 09:29 PM   #2
Rasputin
 
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Default Re: Smaller creatures, hexes, and close combat (spoilers)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
I've been combing through the rules and am not sure I quite know how to handle smaller creatures like giant rates or big spider (both SM -1). Can more than one of them fit in a hex?
Good question! When moving around, officially, they're one to a hex (they're Semi-Upright, so they're Horizontal when moving). You could reasonably have a swarm and have two or three in a hex.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
If the party is in a one hex wide corridor, do the rats have to stay in single file, or can more than one swarm onto the front PC? I chose to allow two of them, which worked great and felt believable, but I wasn't sure if this was officially correct.
It worked. Who cares?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
A rat enters the character's hex in order to attack (bite). If the character wants to counterattack with a reach 1 weapon on their next turn, they need to step back a hex, right?
Right.
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Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
If they can't step back (maybe other PCs behind them, or, say, an evil runic hallway), then they can't attack with their swords.
Well, you can allow an attack at a penalty. A certain book the guidelines for this forum says I shouldn't be mentioning says they can attack at -4.
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Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
So let's say they want to punch the rat. Can they do that without dropping the sword? Or do they have to drop the sword (free action) and then start swinging their fists? (Nobody thought about kicking, which would have worked without dropping a weapon.)
Drop to strike unless it's a cutlass, which can do a hilt punch.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
Finally, the rats and big spiders can't get through much DR. I had the spiders attack a character's face, which was awesomely scary and everybody thought it was plausible because spiders are climbers and can jump. (Spider died before it succeeded, but it definitely spooked the player.) What about rats? Plausible to have them leap onto characters, climbing up to their faces? I mean, I know it's always the GM's call, but just curious how other people play this sort of thing out.
I can see them climbing over each other to get to the face, say one on top of the other. DX rolls to keep from falling off on any failure.
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Old 10-21-2017, 08:21 AM   #3
Dragondog
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Default Re: Smaller creatures, hexes, and close combat (spoilers)

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Originally Posted by Kromm
See Placing Figures (Exploits, p. 28): "Multiple figures can share a hex, but this puts them in close combat (p. 51), limiting their options."
Or "Any number of people may participate in close combat in the same hex." (Exploits, p. 51)
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Old 10-21-2017, 09:01 AM   #4
Rasputin
 
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Default Re: Smaller creatures, hexes, and close combat (spoilers)

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Originally Posted by Dragondog View Post
Or "Any number of people may participate in close combat in the same hex." (Exploits, p. 51)
He's not talking about that. He's talking about them moving down a hallway that's 1-yard wide. (I almost answered the same as well.) Since both creatures are SM -1 and Semi-Upright, they're Horizontal while moving, so they take up the same space on the ground as someone one SM bigger, like a human. I went with the table on p. 31 of Pyramid #3/77, which has shown up in a few other spots as well, and read them as being SM 0 (which they are while moving, for the purposes of the hex grid).
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Old 10-21-2017, 09:18 AM   #5
Dragondog
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Default Re: Smaller creatures, hexes, and close combat (spoilers)

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Originally Posted by Rasputin View Post
He's not talking about that. He's talking about them moving down a hallway that's 1-yard wide. (I almost answered the same as well.) Since both creatures are SM -1 and Semi-Upright, they're Horizontal while moving, so they take up the same space on the ground as someone one SM bigger, like a human. I went with the table on p. 31 of Pyramid #3/77, which has shown up in a few other spots as well, and read them as being SM 0 (which they are while moving, for the purposes of the hex grid).
That doesn't matter. Any number of SM 0 people can share the same hex, as Kromm quoted. They don't have to be attacking anyone else.
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