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D&D 3E
Quick question: 
25th-Jul-2006 07:23 am
There's a possibility in the next session or two that someone will try and shanghai the PCs--kidnap them during the night and take them to sea. My question is: how would you go about running such an ambush? What are the chances the PCs wake up before/during the attack? Any interesting rules for knocking out the PCs (other than just dealing a lot of subdual damage? I'm using the wound/vitality varient, so I may need to futz with how subdual works).

25th-Jul-2006 01:38 pm (UTC)
can you give a little bit-o-info on the PCs? And who is kidnapping them?

25th-Jul-2006 01:46 pm (UTC)
Well if we get to this senario, the PCs are a group of 1st (maybe 2nd, probably not) characters--I've got a barbarian, a wizard, a psionic warrior/monk (I think), a bard, and maybe one other character. (We haven't actually quite finished making up characters yet...)

The idea is that the PCs have managed to help fight off a pirate attack on the ship they were on, and the captain of the ship has gone around port exaggerating about how amazing they are (to make himself look good through his crew). Some locals have decided that they're sick of being raided, and want to try and practice piracy on the pirates. They figure the PCs would be a good addition. If the PCs refuse to come willingly, the townsmen try and grab them during the night. These would be commoners and experts of levels 1-3 (depending on the PC level), maybe with a warrior leading them. The PCs would probably be attacked in their room in the inn.

Does that help?
25th-Jul-2006 01:48 pm (UTC)
actually ... nope. I was thinking of higher level scenarios. :(

25th-Jul-2006 01:50 pm (UTC)
S'all good. Now the info is there is anyone else needs it :)
25th-Jul-2006 02:49 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure if it's official or a house rule but we've used a subdual coup-de-gras before-save or be knocked out. There are rules for larger saps, think they were called truncheons which do D8 subdual. It'd be best to attack while they're asleep; I'd probably do move silently V listen with a penalty to the listen-there are rules for listen checks while asleep, if you can find them that would probably do.

Where are the PCs staying?
If they're in a inn in town then maybe the innkeeper can help by either giving them more drink(after all a few free drinks for the "heros" isn't that unlikely), spiking their drink or actually using some sort of poison(sleeping draft). If they're drunk then it's much less likely they's hear anything(wisdom penalty).

If they're outside then it's probably down to numbers and if they set watches or not(actually that applies in the inn too-although the drink may help them fall asleep).
25th-Jul-2006 02:53 pm (UTC)
I need to find that Listen penalty. ;p

I like the spiking the drink idea. Maybe the PCs could make a Listen or Sense Motive to notice something is up. I hate when it's just "oh, you're attacked in the night!" Thanks for the idea :)
25th-Jul-2006 08:18 pm (UTC)
The penalty for a listen check while asleep is -10.
25th-Jul-2006 11:29 pm (UTC)
Another thought:
Passive checks lie non-suspicious guards etc the person concerned is assumed to be taking a 10. So with the -10 penalty for being asleep....their base listen V the move silently checks of the ambushers souds plausible.
I'd go for the same sort of idea spotting the poison, unless they say they're checking, ie 10+ sense motive on the person/people putting stuff in the food. Has the advantage of not warning the players about what's happening too.
25th-Jul-2006 03:46 pm (UTC) - Easy.
Poison, poison, poison.

Hit em with STR damage poisons. 0 str = cant move. Chances are the town has an apothecary or alchemist who could make them a few doses. If you can posions them while they sleep thats all the better. If not just equip a half dozen or so townsfolk/town guards with nets.


Even a commoner with a net has a decent chance of hitting since it is a ranged touch attack.

I did a similar trick to my PC's. They hired on as guards for a caravan that it turns out was capturing the guards they "hired" and selling them into slavery to a drow wizard who tortured them in new and exciting ways. It went a little something like this...

*Ding ding ding* "Dinner is served!"
(Gnome rolls a 20 on an alchemy check and detects the poisoned food)
Init is rolled as the slavers were watching them to make sure they ate the food.
The PC's fight to kill while the slavers are using nets and saps.
The PC's managed to sleep the Man-at-Arms and the Neutral Ranger finishes him off with a sword to the throat. But the mage and cleric get netted up right away and quickly get knocked out.. The Ranger and Dorf Warrior/Rogue hold up a bit longer but eventually succumb to subdual damage.

Enjoy. BTW the PC's will HATE you and/or whoever does this. Which is a great motivator.

25th-Jul-2006 11:48 pm (UTC) - Re: Easy.
Also, don't take your wife's character hostage from the rest of the group right before the ride home and a WEEK to find out what happened.
25th-Jul-2006 10:16 pm (UTC)
"And you wake up in a dark, rocking room. Your head hurts, as if you drank too much or were bit by a [whatever]"

There's no reason to play a scene where the outcome is predetermined. Skip it, and move right to the intersting thing -- figuring out what happened (feel free to just tell them what they remember) and how they'll escape.

You might have a player whose PC isn't the partying type, or who is the "I specify when the PC relieves himself" type. those are special cases, and require a unique answer I can't rattle off the top of my head. (Good suggestions for those: individual plots they didn't tell the PCs about, messages from the divine to aid their freinds, and plain ol' one-against-sixteen combat.)

Rules wise, if you really want to run the combat:

* Waking up is a standard listen check, with a -10 penalty due to the player actually sleeping. Allow a straight move silenty check for the attacker, or let them take 10.

* PCs can be subdued by poison (any type but CON will leave them alive), the 1st level sleep spell (or a more powerful (and "unofficial") variant), massive ammounts of subdual damage, or a successful coup de grace with a non-leathal weapon.
25th-Jul-2006 10:38 pm (UTC)
I don't think I want it to necessarily be a predetermined thing though. I'd like to give them a chance to get out of it... somehow anyway. I figured a quick battle might do it, but I think I'm going to go with a sleep "poison" and give them a chance to notice they are being poisoned. It... feels better. Though of course if one of the PCs make a save there may be a small fight :p.

Thanks though :)
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