Scotty Makes Games: 5e Campaign

If I'm going to be blogging under a site that claims I make games, I suppose I should put up some of the stuff I'm working on. My current self-appointed exercise is to improve my coding while simultaneously creating something I intend to use.

So I'm writing my first D&D 5e campaign and it has necessitated the creation of a random house generator. Not in the sense of digitally constructing a 3D rendition of the space; all I need is a dirty little text readout of information. What I'm doing is effectively automating the random dungeon room contents from 3.0 with custom features. The way the generator works is I select the district of the city I want it to generate the house in and it adjusts what contents are available based primarily on that. I don't want my hovels in Barrowwood to have the same stuff as my manors in the Sealed Ward of Adderton, ja feel? Each district is divided into three wealth brackets; Low, Med and High. Med has the highest chance of being selected when left random but the option for manual override is available. The brackets influence what features are available, but not quite to the degree which the district does. Generally higher wealth houses are harder to get into but have a higher chance of have usable salvage.

I use the term "salvage" because the main theme of this campaign is very zombie apocalypse style, where the PCs will be expected to micromanage resources, sleep and health. Not all of the city will be inhabited to there are houses which players could break into if they saw the need to. I want the campaign to be very freeform once the PCs enter the city, thus the random house generator became necessary. What didn't register was how much there is to write when listing all the possible features in a specific type of room in a house of a specific wealth bracket within a specific district of a city until I tried listing all the possible features in a specific type of room in a house of a specific wealth bracket within a specific district of a city... It's going to take a long time, but I definitely think it'll be worth it.

If all goes well I'll attach my code files to a later post so anyone who is interested in using them for their own campaigns, they can. A fair warning though, I am not a software engineer and my coding is pretty shocking at times and tends to be very basic. The interface of my house-o-matic is super minimal but as functional as it needs to be.

I generated my first medieval bathroom the other day. It had a longdrop, a bench-mounted basin, a small basket, some soap and suspicious slime in it. What a treat.

As I mentioned before, the campaign will have a post-apocalyptic feel where raiding abandoned houses is something that is more or less guaranteed to happen eventually. In a situation where this is common practice, I think it's safe to assume usable objects will be relatively rare if other people have been looting before the PCs arrive. It's to be the type of campaign where I want the players to get excited about finding a pantry that hasn't been raided yet or a set of armour that isn't rusted out or full of holes. I've wanted to do a 'poor' campaign like this for a while and I've found 5th Edition's reduced modifier system caters to it rather well. I just hope I can nail the frequency of usable resources so the players feel desperate but play is sustainable.

Another element of this gritty theme is the significance of injury. 5th Edition's reduced criticals are too basic for the atmosphere I want to create so I whipped up the following table. Unfortunately tables don't translate into blog format so well but the layout is as such; roll on a d100, Bludgeoning, Piercing, Slashing, Magic.

Critical Success Table:

1-20

- Internal bleeding (x2 damage)

- Torn flesh on exit (x2 damage)

- Long cut (x2 damage)

- Direct hit (x2 damage)

21-38

- Broken ribs (x2 damage)

- Splintered bone (x2 damage)

- Hacked a deep gash (x2 damage)

- Unshakable focus (x2 damage)

39-56

- Fractured collarbone (x2 damage)

- Skewered shoulder (x2 damage)

- Removed a chunk of flesh (x2 damage)

- Power surge (x2 damage)

57-58

- Broken jaw (x2 damage, difficulty speaking - requires 15 points of magic healing or 3 weeks rest)

- Severe internalbleeding (x2 damage, Constitution save DC half damage dealt or suffer from one level of exhaustion)

- Severed fingers (x2 damage, -1 Dexterity, disadvantage on Dexterity checks that use affected limb - requires regeneration magic to restore)

- Concentrated impact (x2 damage, Constitution save DC half damage dealt or take 1 point of temporary Strength and Dexterity damage)

59-60

- Dislocated right shoulder (x2 damage, disadvantage on actions that use affected limb - requires 10 points of magic healing or 1 week rest)

- Torn axillary artery (x2 damage +1 bleed*)

- Slashed axillary artery (x2 damage +1 bleed*)

- Nerve damage, right arm (x2 damage, disadvantage on actions that use affected limb - requires 10 points of magic healing or 1 week rest)

61-62

- Dislocated left shoulder (x2 damage, disadvantage on actions that use affected limb - requires 10 points of magic healing or 1 week rest)

- Torn femoral artery (x2 damage +1 bleed*)

- Slashed femoral artery (x2 damage +1 bleed*)

- Nerve damage, left arm (x2 damage, disadvantage on actions that use affected limb - requires 10 points of magic healing or 1 week rest)

63-64

- Solar plexus (x2 damage, Constitution save DC half damage dealt or be winded* for one round)

- Deep torso penetration (x2 damage, Constitution save DC half damage dealt or be winded* for one round)

- Disembowelment (x2 damage, Constitution save DC half damage dealt or suffer from Filth Fever*)

- Blasted chest, direct hit (x2 damage, Constitution save DC half damage dealt or be winded* for one round)

65-66

- Shattered cheek (x2 damage, Constitution save DC half damage dealt or be dazed* for one round)

- Torn jugular (x2 damage + 2 bleed*)

- Slashed jugular (x2 damage + 2 bleed*)

- Blasted chest, unshakable focus (x2 damage, Constitution save DC half damage dealt or be dazed* for one round)

67-68

- Cracked skull (x2 damage, Constitution save DC half damage dealt or become dizzy* for one round)

- Ruptured bowels (x2 damage, Constitution save DC half damage dealt or suffer from Filth Fever*)

- Cranial gash (x2 damage, Constitution save DC half damage dealt or become dizzy* for one round)

- Blasted chest, power surge (x2 damage, Constitution save DC half damage dealt or become dizzy* for one round)

69-70

- Broken nose (x2 damage, Constitution save DC half damage dealt or be stunned* for one round)

- Punctured lung (x2 damage + 1 bleed, automatic level of exhaustion - requires 15 points of magic healing or 3 weeks rest)

- Gaping torso wound (x2 damage + 1 bleed, automatic level of exhaustion - requires 15 points of magic healing or 3 weeks rest)

- Blasted chest, flawless casting (x2 damage, Constitution save DC half damage dealt or be stunned* for one round)

71-72

- Struck in the temple (x2 damage, Constitution save DC half damage dealt or be knocked unconscious for 1d6 minutes)

- Severed spinal cord (x2 damage, paralysis below the waist - requires restoration/regeneration magic to restore)

- Severed spinal cord (x2 damage, paralysis below the waist - requires restoration/regeneration magic to restore)

- Blasted neck (x2 damage, Constitution save DC half damage dealt or be stunned* for one round)

73-74

- Broken right wrist (x2 damage, disadvantage on actions that use affected limb - requires 12 points of magic healing or 2 weeks rest)

- Impaled right forearm (x2 damage, disadvantage on actions that use affected limb - requires 12 points of magic healing or 2 weeks rest)

- Severed right bicep (x2 damage, disadvantage on actions that use affected limb - requires 12 points of magic healing or 2 weeks rest)

- Blasted right hand, moderate (x2 damage, disadvantage on actions that use affected limb - requires 12 points of magic healing or 2 weeks rest)

75-76

- Broken left wrist (x2 damage, disadvantage on actions that use affected limb - requires 12 points of magic healing or 2 weeks rest)

- Impaled left forearm (x2 damage, disadvantage on actions that use affected limb - requires 12 points of magic healing or 2 weeks rest)

- Severed left bicep (x2 damage, disadvantage on actions that use affected limb - requires 12 points of magic healing or 2 weeks rest)

- Blasted left hand, moderate (x2 damage, disadvantage on actions that use affected limb - requires 12 points of magic healing or 2 weeks rest)

77-78

- Fractured right femur (x2 damage, speed reduced by 5ft. - requires 12 points of magic healing or 2 weeks rest)

- Impaled right calf (x2 damage, speed reduced by 5ft. - requires 12 points of magic healing or 2 weeks rest)

- Severed right quadricep (x2 damage, speed reduced by 5ft. - requires 12 points of magic healing or 2 weeks rest)

- Blasted right knee, moderate (x2 damage, speed reduced by 5ft. - requires 12 points of magic healing or 2 weeks rest)

79-80

- Fracturedleft femur (x2 damage, speed reduced by 5ft. - requires 12 points of magic healing or 2 weeks rest)

- Impaled left calf (x2 damage, speed reduced by 5ft. - requires 12 points of magic healing or 2 weeks rest)

- Severed left quadricep (x2 damage, speed reduced by 5ft. - requires 12 points of magic healing or 2 weeks rest)

- Blasted left knee, moderate (x2 damage, speed reduced by 5ft. - requires 12 points of magic healing or 2 weeks rest)

81-82

- Shattered right hand (x2 damage, disadvantage on actions that use affected limb, -1 Dexterity - requires 15 points of magic healing or 3 weeks rest)

- Severed right wrist tendon (x2 damage, disadvantage on actions that use affected limb, -1 Dexterity - requires 15 points of magic healing or 3 weeks rest)

- Severed right wrist tendon (x2 damage, disadvantage on actions that use affected limb, -1 Dexterity - requires 15 points of magic healing or 3 weeks rest)

- Blasted right arm, moderate (x2 damage, disadvantage on actions that use affected limb, -1 Dexterity - requires 15 points of magic healing or 3 weeks rest)

83-84

- Shattered left hand (x2 damage, disadvantage on actions that use affected limb, -1 Dexterity - requires 15 points of magic healing or 3 weeks rest)

- Severed left wrist tendon (x2 damage, disadvantage on actions that use affected limb, -1 Dexterity - requires 15 points of magic healing or 3 weeks rest)

- Severed left wrist tendon (x2 damage, disadvantage on actions that use affected limb, -1 Dexterity - requires 15 points of magic healing or 3 weeks rest)

- Blasted left arm, moderate (x2 damage, disadvantage on actions that use affected limb, -1 Dexterity - requires 15 points of magic healing or 3 weeks rest)

85-86

- Shattered right kneecap (x2 damage, speed halved - requires 15 points of magic healing or 3 weeks rest)

- Severed right heel tendon (x2 damage, speed halved - requires 15 points of magic healing or 3 weeks rest)

- Severed right heel tendon (x2 damage, speed halved - requires 15 points of magic healing or 3 weeks rest)

- Blasted right leg, moderate (x2 damage, speed halved - requires 15 points of magic healing or 3 weeks rest)

87-88

- Shattered left kneecap (x2 damage, speed halved - requires 15 points of magic healing or 3 weeks rest)

- Severed left heel tendon (x2 damage, speed halved - requires 15 points of magic healing or 3 weeks rest)

- Severed left heel tendon (x2 damage, speed halved - requires 15 points of magic healing or 3 weeks rest)

- Blasted left leg, moderate (x2 damage, speed halved - requires 15 points of magic healing or 3 weeks rest)

89-90

- Compound fracturedright forearm (x2 damage, cannot use affected limb - requires 20 points of magic healing or 5 weeks rest)

- Severed right arm tendon (x2 damage, cannot use affected limb - requires 20 points of magic healing or 5 weeks rest)

- Severed right arm (x2 damage +1 bleed* - requires regeneration magic to restore)

- Blasted right arm, severe (x2 damage, cannot use affected limb - requires 20 points of magic healing or 5 weeks rest)

91-92

- Compound fracturedleft forearm (x2 damage, cannot use affected limb - requires 20 points of magic healing or 5 weeks rest)

- Severed left arm tendon (x2 damage, cannot use affected limb - requires 20 points of magic healing or 5 weeks rest)

- Severed left arm (x2 damage +1 bleed* - requires regeneration magic to restore)

- Blasted left arm, severe (x2 damage, cannot use affected limb - requires 20 points of magic healing or 5 weeks rest)

93-94

- Compound fracturedright tibia (x2 damage, speed reduced to 5ft. - requires 20 points of magic healing or 5 weeks rest)

- Severed right leg tendon (x2 damage, speed reduced to 5ft. - requires 20 points of magic healing or 5 weeks rest)

- Severed right leg (x2 damage + 1 bleed*, speed reduced to 5ft. crawl - requires regeneration magic to restore)

- Blasted right leg, severe (x2 damage, speed reduced to 5ft. - requires 20 points of magic healing or 5 weeks rest)

95-96

- Compound fracturedleft tibia (x2 damage, speed reduced to 5ft. - requires 20 points of magic healing or 5 weeks rest)

- Severed left leg tendon (x2 damage, speed reduced to 5ft. - requires 20 points of magic healing or 5 weeks rest)

- Severed left leg (x2 damage + 1 bleed*, speed reduced to 5ft. crawl - requires regeneration magic to restore)

- Blasted left leg, severe (x2 damage, speed reduced to 5ft. - requires 20 points of magic healing or 5 weeks rest)

97-98

- Brain damage, moderate (x3 damage)

- Punctured an eye (x2 damage, half blinded - requires regeneration magic to restore)

- Gouged out an eye (x2 damage, half blinded - requires regeneration magic to restore)

- Blasted eye (x2 damage, half blinded - requires regeneration magic to restore)

99-100

- Brain damage, severe (x3 damage + 1 permanent Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma damage)

- Struck the heart (x3 damage + 2 bleed*)

- Attempted decapitation x3 damage + 2 bleed*)

- Flawless headshot (x3 damage)

Note: x2 and x3 damage refer to the damage dice excluding modifiers as standard to 5th Edition.

Something that must be noted is this is the first draft of the table and it is slightly imbalanced. I have not tested it yet either and it might surprise me but I find Slashing type damage to be the most dangerous to receive a critical from because of the risk of dismemberment. I was trying to be "realistic," whatever that means in this context, but I'm also at the fault of having a nobody's knowledge of anatomy. I'm sure there are many more ways brain damage can manifest or ways puncture wounds can screw you over but I'll admit I was running out of ideas. One element I was disappointed about was the ways Magic criticals can manifest. The problem with Magic is it is so versatile that I had to be super generic if I was to keep it to one column (and this table was getting very dense). However, if you're dissatisfied with being able to sling fire from your palms at will then you may need to lower your expectations.

To have one is to have the other. I had a lot of fun writing this one. It was like watching a slapstick montage in my head of all the things that can go wrong when swinging a sword. Like the table above it, it is designed for humanoid creatures and context specific adjustments will need to be made when dealing with creatures with alien or beastly anatomies.

Critical Failure Table:

Roll

Effect

1-16

- Wild swing/shot (automatic miss)

17-19

- Overcompensate (automatic miss, disadvantage on next attack made that round)

20-21

- Flail (automatic miss, ends action phase)

22-37

- Slip (automatic miss, Dexterity save DC 10 or fall prone)

38-40

- Stumble (automatic miss, Dexterity save DC 15 or fall prone)

41-42

- Drop weapon (automatic miss, drop object in hand)

43-44

- Trip (automatic miss, fall prone)

45-46

- Trip, heavy fall (automatic miss, fall prone, Constitution save DC 15 or become dizzy* for a round)

47-48

- Trip, hit head (automatic miss, fall prone, receive 1d4 damage, Constitution save DC 15 or be stunned* for a round)

49-50

- Overexertion (automatic miss, Constitution save DC 15 or become winded* for a round)

51-52

- Overexertion (automatic miss, disadvantage on Strength checks until character completes a short rest)

53-54

- Overexertion (automatic miss, disadvantage on Dexterity checks until character completes a short rest)

55-56

- Overexertion (automatic miss, disadvantage on Constitution checks until character completes a short rest)

57-58

- Fatigued (automatic miss, gain one level of exhaustion after combat)

59-60

- Debilitated (automatic miss, winded* until end of combat, gain one level of exhaustion after combat)

61-77

- Chipped weapon (automatic miss, weapon suffers -1 penalty to attacks and damage rolls until mended)

78-80

- Cracked weapon (automatic miss, attack rolls made with weapon have disadvantage until mended)

81-82

- Broken weapon (automatic miss, weapon damage is reduced to 1 until repaired)

83-86

- Rolled ankle (automatic miss, speed reduced by 5ft. - requires 5 points of magic healing or a short rest to restore)

87-88

- Sprained ankle (automatic miss, receive 1d4 damage, speed halved - requires 10 points of magic healing or a long rest to restore)

89-90

- Broken ankle (automatic miss, receive 1d6 damage, speed halved - requires 15 points of magic healing or 3 weeks rest)

91-92

- Misjudgement (roll to hit nearby target determined randomly instead of intended target)

93-94

- Muscle strain (automatic miss, receive 1d3 damage)

95-96

- Enfeebled (automatic miss, receive 1d3 damage, -1 temporary Strength)

97-98

- Crippled (automatic miss, receive 1d3 damage, -1 temporary Dexterity)

99-100

- Severe muscle strain (automatic miss, receive 1d4 damage, -1 temporary Strength and Dexterity)

Any injury that requires a short rest also requires a successful Medicine check (DC 10) to recover from. Any injury that requires a long rest also requires a successful Medicine check (DC 12) to recover from. Any injury that takes a week or longer rest period also requires a successful Medicine check (DC 15) for each week of rest to recover from.

*Status Conditions:

-          Bleed: A creature suffering from severe bleeding receives 1 point of damage for every point of bleed the creature has sustained each round. If knocked unconscious while suffering bleed damage, the creature automatically fails its death save every round unless the bleeding is stopped. Removing a single point of bleed requires 5 point of magical healing or a successful Medicine check (DC 15). Creatures suffering from multiple points of bleed require successive Medicine check (maximum one per round).

-          Dazed: A dazed creature cannot take actions on its turn and has disadvantage on Strength and Dexterity saving throws.

-          Dizzy: A dizzy creature can only move at half speed and has disadvantage on Strength and Dexterity saving throws and attack rolls. Attacks made against a dizzy creature have advantage.

-          Filth Fever: Incubation period 1d3 days. Subject takes 1d3 Dexterity and 1d3 Constitution damage and gains one level of exhaustion. Each day after the disease sets in the victim must make a DC 12 Constitution save or take an additional 1d3 Dexterity and Constitution damage and receive an extra level of exhaustion. A successful save removes one level of exhaustion. If the victims exhaustion level is restored to 0 they have overcome the disease and their reduced Dexterity and Constitution will replenish at a rate of 1 point per long rest they take thereafter.

-          Stunned: A stunned creature is incapacitated, can’t move and can speak only faltering. The creature automatically fails Strength and Dexterity saves and attack rolls against the creature have advantage.

-          Unconscious: An unconscious creature is incapacitated, can’t move or speak and is unaware of its surroundings. The creature drops whatever it’s holding and falls prone. The creature automatically fails Strength and Dexterity saving throws. Attack rolls against the creature have advantage and are critical hits if the attacker is within 5ft.

-          Winded: A winded creature can only move at half speed and has disadvantage on Strength and Dexterity saving throws and attack rolls.


The Death Saves mechanic of 5th Edition will be tweaked somewhat as well: every time a character is knocked unconscious by being reduced to 0 hit points, they receive an automatic ‘failure’ roll for every time they’ve been knocked unconscious prior (by being reduced to 0 hitpoints) since their last long rest. As an example, a character getting knocked unconscious for the first time since their last long rest dies if they get three ‘failures’ on their death saves. If that character is healed before then but gets knocked unconscious again before completing another long rest, they die on two ‘failures’ instead of three. If they get knocked unconscious a third time before completing a long rest, they die on a single ‘failure’ roll. Getting knocked unconscious for the fourth time without completing a long rest automatically kills the character.

In addition to this ‘automatic failure’ rule for death saves, each automatic failure requires a separate long rest to recover from, i.e. if a character is knocked unconscious three times in a single day, it effectively takes them two days of recovery before they are back to normal (normal being three ‘failed’ death saves to be killed).

The inclusion of these rules is to increase the severity of being injured in combat, emphasising the risks involved in fighting. It makes damage a more long-term thing, as it would be in a more realistic setting.


I want to emphasise the significance of exhaustion during play. As games time will be managed on a day-by-day basis, characters will get tired if they overexert themselves which could lead to lingering effects.

Exhaustion:

As we will be dealing with management of food and water in this campaign, exhaustion from malnourishment is a constant threat. There are six levels of exhaustion which stack every time a character meets the requirements specified below.

Levels of Exhaustion

1.       Disadvantage on ability checks.

2.       Speed halved.

3.       Disadvantage on attack rolls and saving throws.

4.       Hit point maximum halved.

5.       Speed reduced to 0.

6.       Death.

Acquiring levels of exhaustion comes from being deprived of food, water, sleep or any other effects that ‘fatigue’ a character (such as a Barbarian’s rage or some necromantic magic).

Sleep

-          Characters need eight hours of rest every day to maintain peak performance (half for elves’ trance ability). Of those eight hours, at least six must involve sleep; the other two must not involve any form of strenuous activity. Elves’ trance must be undisturbed for it to be effective.

-          Characters who do not get their required amount of rest must make a Constitution save (DC equal to the amount of hours less than their required amount) or become fatigued. This DC is accumulative, based on twenty-four hour cycles, requiring a new save (at the new DC) every day to avoid gaining another level of exhaustion due to fatigue. The DC accumulates based on the last night the player received a complete long rest, e.g. a player denied 4 hours sleep every night for four nights would have to save against DC 4, 8, 12 and 16 respectively. Failure of all of those saves would leave the character with a halved hit point maximum and movement speed and disadvantage on their attack rolls, saves and ability checks.

-          Receiving a complete long rest restores one level of exhaustion and halves the DC to fight exhaustion for the next day. Successive long rests continue to raise exhaustion levels until they reach effective level 0 and are no longer required to make Constitution saves.

Starvation

-          Medium sized characters require one pound of food a day to stay healthy. Small sized characters require half as much. Preserving food by eating half as much counts as half a day without eating.

-          Every day that a character goes without eating food they must make a Constitution save (DC increases by 5 for every day since they last ate properly). Each failure results in a level of exhaustion through starvation.

-          Eating properly for a day restores one level of exhaustion to the character and reduces the DC by 5 for the following day).

Dehydration

-          Medium sized characters need one gallon of water per day. Small sized characters require half as much.

-          Drinking less than the required amount of water a day requires the character to make a Constitution save (DC 10 + 5 multiplied by the amount of days the character has gone without drinking the necessary amount of water). Failure results in one level of exhaustion through dehydration.

-          Drinking less than half of the necessary amount of water each day results in automatic failure of the Constitution save.

-          Drinking the necessary amount of water for a day restores one level of exhaustion and effectively resets the DC for saving against dehydration.

Note: Characters can only recover one level of exhaustion a day from good eating, drinking and sleeping. For example, a character who begins to eat, drink and rest properly after being reduced to the third level of exhaustion effectively takes three days of healthy living to recover. However, multiple levels of exhaustion can be gained simultaneously, e.g. a character who is denied food, water and sleep can die after two days if they fail all their saves.


So yeah, it'll be full on. As the campaign will take place mainly one district at a time, I will be able to adjust the values of things to account for unfairness or area where gameplay is weaker. Even though it'll be months before we can actually start playing, I am very excited for it. I intend to add developments up here as I make them so feel free to take what you want for your own works. If you can think of ways the tables could be improved, please leave a comment.