4E + OSR + Story


All doors in the dungeon are stuck. This is weird and probably supernatural. They may be locked too, and you'll find that out when (a) you see there's a big lock there, or (b) you "force it open" and it still won't budge.

It takes a DC 15 Strength check to open a stuck door.

If multiple characters try, roll once with the helpers granting +2 to the attempt.

If the open doors check fails, making a new one costs 1 turn (10 minutes) of game time. These things are I'm talking stuck.

Stuck doors open automatically for monsters. A door that is not held or spiked open closes slowly within 1 round. It will be stuck again. This is why you bring a hammer and spikes.
There is a d6(2) chance that a normally spiked door will pull closed anyway or that the weirdness of monsters, regardless how strong, will force it open.


If you're running, increase your speed by 2 for as long as you're still running.

Multiply current speed by 5. This is how many feet you can move normally in six seconds (a combat round).

Example: Aleena (speed 5) moves 25' normally in a round (speed 5 multiplied by 5).  

Divide current speed by half. The result is the number of miles per hour the character may travel over good terrain.

Example: Aleena the cleric has a speed of 4 right now. She will travel at 2 mph overland.

Multiply speed by 3. This is how many five foot squares per turn you may move at exploration speed (i.e., being able to map, noticing important things, not auto-triggering traps) through the dungeon.

Example: Aleena the cleric has left her backpack at camp and is traveling light through the dungeon. Her speed per round is 5. Multiplied by 15. So she moves 15 five foot squares per turn through the dungeon.


Reduce your speed by 1 for:

  • wearing metal armor
  • carrying stuff secured awkwardly on your person
  • carrying heavy stuff
  • carrying a lot of heavy stuff

Example: Aleena the cleric has a base speed of 6. She's wearing metal armor, though; this takes her down to 5. She's started off with just a reasonable amount of stuff in her backpack, which was fine; but then she picked up a couple heavy bags of coins. This takes her down another square of movement, to 4, if she secures it snugly in her backpack. If she has to carry it awkwardly on her person, say cradling it in her arms, that's a further penalty, taking her down to 3. If she then picks up a couple more bags, she'll be down to a speed of 2. She'd better drop that junk when the goblins show up!


To generate the treasure of a lair or wilderness band of creatures, use my Moldvay Treasure Generator


If you take a character flaw, you'll get some extra XP, your character will change, and your character will experience comedy or tragedy. If you don't want that possibility, don't take one.

There are three things necessary to make this work:

(1) A goal the PC strives for militantly. This should already be baked into the setting. In Against the Pagans, it's the conversion of England. You can have an additional one personally if you want.

(2) Someone you care about. Ideally, this is someone else. But it may be yourself, a community, your goal, or an ideal.

(3) The flaw itself. This is either (a) your goal, if your goal is problematic, harmful, or if you are conflicted about it, or (b) something else that could lead to your severance from the thing(s) you care most about.

This can be freeform, or, for the sake of ease, you can roll a d8 on this table (of the 7 Deadly Sins plus one):

  1. Lust (sexual, or for power)
  2. Gluttony (intemperance / addiction)
  3. Greed
  4. Sloth (depression / guilt)
  5. Wrath
  6. Envy
  7. Pride
  8. Error (in doctrine or apprehension of another's character)
Here's the thing, then. These are generally player-facing. They usually only come into play when you want them to. But, every time they do, you get XP = the XP value of a standard creature of your level. 

Here's what I mean when I say "come into play." I mean I'll say, hey, show me how this is making everything terrible for you, or you can let me give you some ideas; I'll also tell you if something is weaksauce. Then you say it and get the XP. And it has to get worse each time; it has to escalate. You can set these situations up for yourself, or you can ask another player (including the DM) to do it for you. If you've played Fiasco, this is similar to the "Frame or resolve?" question.

  • At the end of every scene in which we see your issue killing you, save vs Tragedy (i.e., make a 4e-style death saving throw, unmodified by anything except your accumulated Save vs Tragedy bonus, if any).
In order to overcome your flaw, here's what you need to do:

  • Roll a 20+ on a death saving throw before accumulating three failures. 
That may seem steep. In order to improve your chances, here's what you do:

  • Hear someone giving you advice, counsel, or comfort about the issue. Whenever you do this, gain +1 (cumulative) to save vs Tragedy.

Whether you accept it or reject it is up to you. The important thing is that you hear it and then show how you're responding. You can seek this out yourself, or another player (including the DM) may give it to you unsolicited or at your request.

If you do roll a 20+ before getting three failures, then you may choose to have a comedic outcome, where you overcome (or, if you're not tired of your issue yet, at least take a major step toward overcoming) your issue, and you get an XP bonus = 2x the XP value of a creature of your level. If you choose a tragic outcome, or if you fail, you get an XP bonus = 3x the XP value of a creature of your level. Note that you can always choose tragedy, and you get more XP if you do so, although things will of course be worse for your character.

You can deal with your issue in these mechanically significant ways once per "day," i.e., between extended rests. The GM can force dealing with an issue in this manner according to the same schedule. 

So, to min-max your character, make a ton of really bad stuff happen and then tell me to make stuff even worse, as bad as possible

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