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Safe Areas

Safe Areas are areas blessed by the gods where monsters do not go, and where no fighting may occur. The party begins it's adventure in a Safe Area that is, effectively Level 0 of the dungeon. They may enter the first level of the dungeon through any of the stairs that lead down from the first level. Parties often return to safe areas from time to time to rest and recuperate without the threat of wandering monsters. A party that goes down a stair from level 1 again reaches the Safe Area of Level 0.


The party may also come across rooms with vendors in them in the dungeon, places where humanoids like themselves have set up shop. These are Safe Areas as well, the vendors having the blessing of the gods.

To find a vendor's wares, use the loot generator here: http://donjon.bin.sh/4e/treasure/index.cgi

  • Roll 1d6 to determine the number of “hoards” worth of stuff the vendor has for sale. Then generate that many at the level on which the dungeon is found.
  • Trade 1d10 x 10% of the vendor's coins for salvage.
  • The vendor will also have 2d6x100 rations, worth 1 GP each.

The vendor will sell items in the hoard, or buy items with coins, up to the amount they have available. A party may only attempt to buy or sell any item or batch of items once to a vendor, so usually the player with the Adventurer with the highest diplomacy/bargaining skills will roll. They roll vs the Vendor's bargaining skill, which is 1d10+5. Based on the player's margin of success, consult the chart below to find what price they obtain:

Margin of SuccessPlayer Sell PricePlayer Buy Price
-30 or less10%1000%
-29 to -2520%700%
-24 to -2030%500%
-19 to -1540%350%
-14 to -1050%250%
-9 to -560%200%
-4 to 070%150%
+1 to +580%125%
+6 to +1090%110%
+11 to +15100%100%
+16 to +20125%90%
+21 to +25150%80%
+26 to +30175%65%
+31 or more200%50%

The player may reject this price, but then the transaction does not take place, and the vendor will never change their price on those items, or the lot of items.

Note that vendors will not bargain with characters wearing magical equipment or using spells that they know gives the character any bonuses to the price roll, such as equipment that they've sold to the Adventurers.


The passage of time is abstracted into turns. It takes one turn to do the following things:

  • Move along a corridor to the next room.
  • Deal with monsters in a room or corridor.
  • Deal with the challenges in a room, other combat.
  • Search a room for secrets.
  • Rest in a room.
  • Pass through a clear room.
  • Going up or down a stair to a new level or safe area.


Characters carrying too much stuff will become encumbered, and suffer penalties. Add up all carried gear and check this following table.

Carrying Capacity

StrUnencumberedMedium LoadHeavy Load
-4 6 lb. or less 7-13 lb. 14-20 lb.
-3 13 lb. or less 14-26 lb. 27-40 lb.
-2 20 lb. or less 21-40 lb. 41-60 lb.
-1 26 lb. or less 27-53 lb. 54-80 lb.
0 33 lb. or less 34-66 lb. 67-100 lb.
+1 43 lb. or less 44-86 lb. 87-130 lb.
+2 58 lb. or less 59-116 lb. 117-175 lb.
+3 76 lb. or less 77-153 lb. 154-230 lb.
+4 100 lb. or less 101-200 lb. 201-300 lb.
+5 133 lb. or less 134-266 lb. 267-400 lb.
+6 173 lb. or less 174-346 lb. 347-520 lb.
+7 233 lb. or less 234-466 lb. 467-700 lb.
+8 306 lb. or less 307-613 lb. 614-920 lb.
+9 400 lb. or less 401-800 lb. 801-1,200 lb.
+10 500 lb. or less 501-1000 lb. 1000-1,600 lb.

The following penalties apply for the various loads. Note that the character takes these penalties, or their armor penalties, whichever are worse. But the penalties do not stack. Encumberance is a negative trait that offsets Dex. The Fatigue listed is gained at the end of each room, just before the exhaustion roll, or moving on to the next room if there is no exhaustion roll (except for dragging, which Fatigue accumulates each round).

Encumbrance Penalties

LoadMove PenaltyEncumberance
Medium-5 feet31
Max5 feetDex Incapacitated3
Drag5 feetDex Incapacitated1 per Round

Endurance and Recuperation

Characters cannot go on forever without a rest, and recuperation. On exiting a room, make an endurance check vs the character's Fatigue rating for the character to avoid getting the Exhaustion negative trait.


Exhaustion can only be recovered by taking an extended rest in a safe area.

Rations may be eaten while resting.


Food is measured in the game in terms of units called simply “rations.”

Scavenging Rations - monsters slain in the dungeon usually provide potential nutrition for Adventurers. The GM may rule that a particular sort of monster may not be eaten, such as an Iron Golem. Those that can be eaten provide a number of rations equal to the creature's Fort X 5. The GM may decide to increase or decrease this depending on the specifics of the monster in question.


A character may perform a healing skill check when the party decides to take a turn of rest. This lowers the character's total wound trait by one. No more than one wound may be recovered this way.

Stabilizing Dying Characters

A character may make a healing check during combat vs the total wounds of a character who is in danger of dying to stabilize that character. On a success, the character is still incapacitated, but no longer has to roll to survive at the end of each round… they're out of trouble for the moment. Note that continuing damage that is not stopped will put the character back to dying as soon as they take more damage from it (assuming that they were not somehow healed), so that always has to be stopped first before stabilizing makes any sense.

Recovering from Incapacitation

Incapacitated characters must rest at least 1 Day before they might be well enough to move about again.

Wandering Monsters

In each corridor segment or leg, roll 1 in 6 for wandering monsters, when entering the leg. On a 1 the monsters in question appear at the far end of the leg (see Entering a Corridor Segment below to determine surprise.

For each turn a party spends resting, roll a 1 in 6 for wandering monsters to enter the room through a random entry-way (note that if it is blocked, the monsters may have trouble getting in, just as the party would).

Surprise and Initiative

It is assumed that adventurers use commando style movement at all times, so they can surprise opponents whenever possible. The same can be said for the inhabitants of the dungeon, for the most part.

Entering a Room

If the door was forced, the sound will alert the inhabitants of the room, automatically. Otherwise the party may roll their Move Silently to enter the room, vs the target's spot, to see if they're noticed. If the inhabitant's of the room have Hide, then there is a 50% chance that the denizens are busy at something. If not, then they, too get a roll against the party to be hidden in the room. Continue movement until one side discovers the other, and gets surprise, or they both fail to remain hidden or silent, in which case combat starts as normal.

Entering a Corridor Segment

If there are wandering monsters, they can attempt to surprise as well using their Move Silently, just as the party does. If both achieve surprise, then it is canceled out.


On a round of surprise the surprised side can do nothing but defend. If there is no surprise, or on the round following surprise, an reflex roll is made to determine initiative, with the highest roller going first, and the next highest going next, etc. If there is a tie, the one with the highest reflex skill goes first. If that, too, is tied, then those involved act simultaneously. Damage and penalties from damage occur to either side only after they've first resolved any of their actions.

Ending Room Encounters

After each room is complete, there is an inter-phase where some book-keeping is conducted. The room is over when the adventurers either leave by an open door, or start working on a door to get it open to leave the room in question.

Note that if a wandering monster comes along, or if monsters from adjacent rooms come to investigate, or if Adventurers flee the room chased by monsters, the encounter is still considered to be ongoing, and the room-end steps are not concluded until the party has a chance to catch their breath.

Ending Room Encounter Steps

The following steps are performed in order:

  1. Ensure any Grim tests have been conducted
  2. Endurance Checks - each player rolls their endurance vs their current fatigue to try to save vs gaining an exhaustion negative trait.
  3. Advancement Checks (see Adventurer Improvement).

Knowledge Checks

livehack/adventuring.txt · Last modified: 2012/01/28 18:38 by Mike Holmes