Thursday, February 18, 2016

Door Week: No Roll "Muscling Through" for DF - Take II

Keeping Door Week going.

Back in May 2013 I posted my No Roll Muscling Through rules for DF. I referenced them here recently.

But actually I have a somewhat modified version of them we've been using, which I just tweaked with some better rules for bars.


The rules below replace the rules for Forcing, GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 2: Dungeons, p. 8. The rules for Bashing, Lifting, etc. are unchanged.

Simplified Forcing

Roll your against your ST plus Lifting ST, +2 for a crowbar, with a penalty equal to the door's difficulty (see table below.) If you succeed, you have forced open the door. If you fail, you may try again, but each additional effort costs 1 FP and is at a cumulative -1 to your roll.

If you have Forced Entry skill, you may roll against your ST-based Forced Entry, instead.

Example 1: Vryce has ST 20, Forced Entry @ DX+1, and a crowbar. He rolls against 20 + 1 (Forced Entry) +2 (crowbar) = 23. If he raises Forced Entry to @ DX+3, he will roll against a 25, instead.
Example 2: Al Murik had ST 13, Lifting ST 2, and no Forced Entry skill. He rolled against 13 + 2 (Lifting ST) = 15, before he died horribly in a non-door related incident. So they say.

Extra Effort (p. B357) can be used normally.

For Locks/Hinges:
Lock/Hinge Penalty
Light 0
Average -10
Heavy -15
X-Heavy -25
Vault -60

For metalwork:
Construction Penalty
Light -10
Average -15
Heavy -25
X-Heavy -45
Vault -60

What about barred/wedged doors? Use the lock/hinge's or metalwork number, or the bar's number, whichever is higher.

Construction Penalty
Light -10*
Average -15**
Heavy -20
X-Heavy -30
Vault -45

* A light construction hinge/lock backed with a light bar is only a -5 to force.
** A light construction hinge/lock backed with an average bar is only a -10 to force.


- I smoothed out the numbers in my original post, and I've only used them since. So I didn't bother including the original numbers.

- the bar numbers are smoothed penalties based on a bar on an Average lock/hinge door. The higher numbers are actually consistent across all construction in any case, once you round. A light bar on a light door is only -5 using rounded penalties, and it's -10 with an average bar. so I made an exception for those. They don't come up much, though, honestly.

If you do these with non-smoothed penalties you'll need to calculate per hinge/bar combo or use the numbers from my post yesterday.

- Changing Forced Entry from a bonus to a ST roll to a ST-based skill roll makes higher levels of Forced Entry useful.

- the numbers are steep, but generally, well-constructed doors are better picked unlocked or battered down. You can't just put a shoulder or a boot against well-constructed hinges or heavily barred doors and expect them to give. That's not a change from DF2, either, it's just how it goes.

- These work very easily in play - and should work better than my original approach to bars and wedges. It's just one roll, the PC doesn't need to know the penalty if you don't want to share (or shouldn't know), and it's just success/failure not a contest.


  1. These are nice, and I'll likely use them. Though let me point out another drawback for multiple tries: the wandering monster roll. It's how I handle stuck doors: if you fail your Forced Entry roll, it opens anyways (it's only stuck after all), but I check for wandering monsters.

    1. Is the door necessarily stuck, though? Forcing works against locked doors, too. And barred. Do you set an upper limit on "succeeds anyway"? The ones so heavy you couldn't expect to succeed (X Heavy and Vault, for example) probably shouldn't open with a failure.

    2. In the case of the few in my game, they were indeed just stuck. Obviously, your rules above are for ones that are a little more.

    3. Yeah. A straight-up Forced Entry roll is good for stuck doors. If you need to roll against the construction strength of the hinges, lock, or a bar, you're clearly not dealing with something that's merely a little stuck. :D

  2. Are higher levels of forced entry really useful?
    Increasing that skill costs 4 character points. Lifting Strength is 5 character points IIRC. Or is it 3?
    The second sounds much more useful, especially since I remember you allowing players to spend 5 the remaining points to upgrade the lifting strength into real STR (with all the bonuses to attack, HP, STR-based skills, etc.)

    1. ST and Lifting ST are capped. Forced Entry is not. So it doesn't matter if Lifting ST is 3 points and Forced Entry is 4 if you can't buy any more ST or Lifting ST after a while. Or at all, if it's not on your template.

      I think you're remembering wrong on the upgrades - I generally don't allow piecemeal purchases to be "upgraded." Even if I did, see above - ST is capped!


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