Some Rules Notes

Blue Medusa: Some Rules Details

After reading a lot of comment on the surprise and initiative systems, I’m going with some suggestions from long time OSR players who suggest that the standard rules are bit too wonky to work well. So I’m using a modified AD&D2E alternate group unitive system which makes each group roll a d10 and then add modifiers based on weapon or spell speed and dex. So each player will have their “speed factor” with a  particular weapon/spell and add that to the group roll to get their personal initiative. What this will mean is that using a shot sword or fist (speed 1-2) will be WAY faster than big weapons (8-10). A high dex monk will essentially go first nearly always. Not too much book-keeping, especially if you use the same weapons/spells most of the time.

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For surprise, I’m just taking some of the extreme results out of the picture. No “the opponent fires 15 missiles at you before you act” results. There’s a fair amount of random wandering monster action, so surprise might be something we often need to figure out.

No psionics in this game.

All class / race / gender / stats limits are open to modification. Assume the standard rules apply, but can be loosened if it seems fun.

No time/cost to level. It happens between sessions automatically.

Gold = XP is a thing; the gold has to be brought to a safe place to count for XP, so it’ll be less common than monster-base XP as, well, you’ll be in a dungeon most of the time. It may even be that you accumulate a lot of loot and then suddenly level a ton when you can find a place to keep it.


Roll d6 for each group:

  • Target number of group is ≤ 2, unless the opposition has a stated stealth / surprise value
  • For groups with different stealth, the least stealthy person determines surprise target
  • Target number is modified by the most stealthy / perceptive member of the group making the check.

If a group is surprised, the number they rolled is the number of segments that group is surprised and unable to act

  • Individuals dex modifiers affect how long they are surprised (when unencumbered)
  • Each segment allows a melee attack or simple action. 1st level spells take up ALL the surprise segments
  • Surprise will be a maximum of two segments.


Each group rolls d10 for initiative and adds their attack speed. Smaller number goes first. Your attack speed is one of

  • Weapon speed factor (adjusted by dexterity for missile attacks)
  • Number of segments needed to cast spell
  • 0 for anything other action
  • Subtract your dex bonus from the base speed

For combatants with multiple attack routines, make one set of attacks before those with fewer attacks (in initiative order), then the rest attack, then they take their other attack routines

  • Note that a routine is not an attack: claw/claw/bite is a single routine.


  • Move up to double pace
  • Lose dex bonus to AC (must lose at least 1)
  • Gain +2 to attack

Encounter Reactions

≤ 05 Violently hostile, immediate attack
06-25 Hostile, immediate action
26-45 Uncertain but 55% prone toward negative
46-55 Neutral – uninterested – uncertain
46-75 Uncertain but 55% prone toward positive
76-95 Friendly, immediate action
≥ 96 Enthusiastically friendly, immediate acceptance
  • Charisma modifiers apply. 
  • Racial Preferences might also apply

AC: Cover/Concealment

Hidden% Cover Concealment
25% -2 -1
50% -4 -2
75% -7 -3
90% -10 -4

Miscellaneous Combat

  • Magic users casting spells with somatic components cannot crouch or move appreciably, and lose all dex bonuses to AC
  • If target has adjacent opponents engaged in melee with it, there is a chance of hitting the wrong target with a ranged weapon. There is a 10% chance of hitting an adjacent Medium opponent, 5% chance for Small, and 20% for Large.

Experience Points

  • Divided evenly among players and henchmen
  • Each GP worth of treasure stored by a player at a place of safety is worth 1 XP
  • DMG p85 gives XP rewards for defeated monsters
  • No time or money costs to level