Twenty Questions

There are twenty questions going around about different ways DMs run games. I decided to add my 2 cents. I answered them for my D&D (2e) game. Maybe I should answer them for my WarHammer game next...

1. Ability scores generation method?

Roll six stats using 4d6, drop the lowest. Arrange in order desired to create the character you want to play.

2. How are death and dying handled?

0 HP is unconscious. -10 HP is dead.

3. What about raising the dead?

If you have it, cast it. If you can get to a temple, you might find someone who can cast it…if you can afford the price (money, quest, whatever).

4. How are replacement PCs handled?


I’ll work the replacement PC in as soon as I can. This usually only take a few minutes and a bit of liberty with the new PC’s background, as allowed me by the player. Or, the player can jump right in if there are other NPCs around that they want to turn into PCs.

5. Initiative: individual, group, or something else?

Individual. Let there be some consequence for choosing heavy weapons and armor.

6. Are there critical hits and fumbles? How do they work?


Yes. If/when I find a good critical hit and fumble chart I like. I like critical hits doing max damage. X2 or x3 damage sucks if you roll low.

7. Do I get any benefits for wearing a helmet?

Yes. It completes your ensemble. It makes you harder to knock out when someone sneaks up from behind to bash you on the head.

8. Can I hurt my friends if I fire into melee or do something similarly silly?

That’s where the fumble chart comes in handy…

9. Will we need to run from some encounters, or will we be able to kill everything?

You will need to run from some encounters.

10. Level-draining monsters: yes or no?

Yes. They haven’t come up in a long time, though.

11. Are there going to be cases where a failed save results in PC death?

Absolutely. Let’s say a fire ball does 30 damage, 15 with a save. If you have 20 HP and you fail your save, time for that raise dead. (Should you be raised with burn scars, though? Good question.)

12. How strictly are encumbrance & resources tracked?

Not until it’s getting ridiculous.

13. What's required when my PC gains a level? Training? Do I get new spells automatically? Can it happen in the middle of an adventure, or do I have to wait for down time?

Training is not normally necessary. You learn from experience. Experience comes from adventuring. New spells come from scrolls or spell books that you find, or ones you can buy. Or you have to go back to your mentor (or maybe a mentor’s friend who’s a bit more local to where you are right now and wouldn’t mind doing a favor). You can level up any time (except in the middle of a battle…theoretically that would be acceptable but realistically it would halt combat and make everyone else wait.) Normally my group levels up between sittings, as EP is doled out at the end of the night or sometime in between sittings.

14. What do I get experience for?

Just about everything that shows your characters are learning. This includes: making the night fun for all involved, survival skills, overcoming adversaries (not just killing them), and using class skills.

15. How are traps located? Description, dice rolling, or some combination?

Traps are located by searching, either randomly or because something cues you off. Description isn’t needed before rolling the dice, but a particularly good one that hits the type of trap right on the head could give you a bonus.

16. Are retainers encouraged and how does morale work?

Retainers are fine with me. Oddly enough, my group doesn’t usually look into them. Morale depends on how well they are paid and how well they are treated.

17. How do I identify magic items?

Bardic lore, arcane lore, or Identify spell. The first two depend on how much history I create for the item, or if I have a table to help me out.

18. Can I buy magic items? Oh, come on: how about just potions?

I don’t normally have magic items for sale. The party usually finds something acceptable during adventuring.

19. Can I create magic items? When and how?

Sure. When appropriately trained and rich enough to invest in the raw materials.

20. What about splitting the party?

Do what you want, but the enemy is not going to be merciful just because there are only two of you instead of four of you when you happen upon them.

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