The Alexandrian

Advanced Rules: Crowds

May 4th, 2007

BASIC CROWDS

Crowds are treated as difficult terrain (movement is at half speed). Characters in a crowd benefit from soft cover (+4 bonus to AC).

A character in a crowd may also become entangled by the crowd. When moving through a crowd, a character must make a Reflex save (DC 12) or become entangled. A character can take a move action on their turn to attempt a new Reflex saving throw or Escape Artist check at the same DC. If they are successful, they are no longer considered entangled.

(An entangled creature suffers a -2 penalty to attack rolls and a -4 penalty to effective Dexterity. An entangled character’s speed is halved again, resulting in movement at one-quarter speed within the crowd, and they cannot run or charge. An entangled character who attempts to cast a spell must make a Concentration check (DC 15) or lose the spell.)

MOVING CROWDS: Crowds can move on initiative count 0 at the base speed of the creatures making up the crowd. When a crowd moves, characters in the crowd must make a Reflex save (DC 12) or become entangled by the crowd (see above).

In addition, moving crowds create a flow of traffic within the crowd which lasts until the crowd’s next turn. Moving perpendicular to the flow of traffic inflicts a -2 penalty on the character’s Reflex save to avoid becoming entangled. Moving directly against the flow of traffic inflicts a -4 penalty on the character’s Reflex save to avoid becoming entangled by the crowd.

Characters entangled in a moving crowd are carried along by the crowd’s movement. At the end of the crowd’s turn, they are moved in the direction of the flow of traffic one-half the distance traveled by the crowd. Entangled characters can attempt to resist this movement by making a Fortitude save (DC 12) as a free action, but on a failure they are knocked prone.

PANICKED CROWDS: When presented with an obvious danger, a crowd will move away from that danger with a base speed of 30 feet. If someone is actually injured or attacked, however, a crowd will generally panic. A panicked crowd will run away from the danger at four times their base speed.

If a panicked crowd cannot flee, characters within the crowd must make a Reflex save (DC 12) each round to avoid being crushed in the panic. On a failure, the character is knocked prone.

Characters who are knocked prone in a panicked or running crowd risk being trampled: On its turn, the crowd makes an attack roll against each prone character inside of it. Crowds are considered to have an attack bonus of +0, modified by the size of the creatures making up the crowd. If the attack is successful, the prone character suffers bludgeoning damage based on the size of the creatures making up the crowd (2d6 for medium creatures, see table).

Characters in a running or panicked crowd suffer a -4 penalty on checks to avoid becoming entangled or knocked prone by the crowd.

CROWD DAMAGE

Creature Size Damage
Diminutive 1
Fine 1d2
Tiny 1d3
Small 1d4
Medium 1d6
Large 1d8
Huge 2d6
Garguantuan 3d6
Colossal 4d6

CROWD MODIFIERS

CROWDS AND SIZE: Characters larger or smaller than Medium size should add their special size modifier for grapple checks to any check made to avoid becoming entangled or knocked prone by a crowd. The special size modifier for grapple checks of the creatures making up the crowd should be added as a modifier to the DC of those checks.

The special size modifier for a grapple check is as follows: Colossal +16, Gargantuan +12, Huge +8, Large +4, Medium +0, Small –4, Tiny –8, Diminutive –12, Fine –16.

HEAVY CROWDS: As a general rule of thumb, a crowd is considered a heavy crowd when there is an average of more than one creature per 5 feet. Characters in a heavy crowd benefit from cover (instead of soft cover), but suffer a -2 penalty when making checks to avoid being entangled or knocked prone by a crowd.

MANIPULATING CROWDS

You can attempt to direct a crowd’s movement by making a Diplomacy check (DC 15) as a full action or an Intimidate check (DC 20) as a free action. These checks are modified by the crowd’s general relationship with the character attempting the check (see the Diplomacy skill). If the crowd is panicked, the check is made at a -10 penalty.

OPPOSED ATTEMPTS: If two or more characters are trying to direct a crowd in different directions, they make opposed Diplomacy or Intimidate checks to determine who the crowd listens to. The crowd ignores everyone if none of the characters’ check results beat the minimum DCs given above.

MOB TEMPLATE

Unlike a generic crowd, a mob takes action (usually violent action). You can create a mob by applying a template to a base creature representing the typical member of the mob (see below). A mob is made up of approximately 12 creatures of the base type. Larger mobs are made up of many smaller mobs.

A mob uses all of the base creature’s statistics and special abilities, except as noted here:

Size: A mob takes up a space four times larger than the base creature and is considered a creature of the resulting size. (For example, a mob of Medium-size creatures would take up four 5-foot squares and would be considered a Large creature. A mob of Large creatures would take up sixteen 5-foot squares and would be considered a Gargantuan creature.)

Unlike other creatures, a mob’s space is shapeable. It can occupy any contiguous space and it can squeeze through any space large enough to contain one of its component creatures.

A mob has the same reach as the base creature.

Type: A mob gains the Mob subtype with the following qualities.

  • A mob can move through squares occupied by enemies and vice versa without impediment, although a mob provokes an attack opportunity if it does so.
  • A mob has no clear front or back and no discernible anatomy, so it is not subject to critical hits or flanking.
  • A mob’s hit points represent its cohesion. Reducing a mob to 0 hit points or lower causes it to break up, though damage taken until that point does not degrade its ability to attack or resist attack. Mobs are never staggered or reduced to a dying state by damage.
  • Mobs cannot be tripped or grappled.
  • A mob takes half damage from all attacks and effects, except for spells and effects which affect an area (such as splash weapons and many evocation spells).
  • A mob is immune to any spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures (including single-target spells such as hold person) unless the spell causes damage (in which case it deals half the damage it would deal to a single target) or is a mind-affecting effect (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects).

Attack: A mob retains all the attacks of the base creature and also gains a slam attack if it didn’t already have one. This slam attack uses the base creature’s melee attack bonus and causes bludgeoning damage based on the size of the base creature (see the Crowd Damage table) plus the Strength modifier of the base creature.

Special Attacks: A mob retains all the special attacks of the base creature and gains those described below.

Improved Grab (Ex): When a mob hits with its slam attack, it can attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity.

Trample (Ex): A mob’s trample attack deals bludgeoning damage equal to the mob’s slam attack + 1 ½ times its Strength modifier. Targets may attempt a Reflex save with a DC equal to 10 +  ½ the base creature’s HD  + the base creature’s Strength modifier.

Special Qualities: A mob retains all the special qualities of the base creature and gains those described below.

Heavy Crowd (Ex): A mob is considered to be a heavy crowd except that they take action on their own initiative count (and not initiative count 0). Characters in a mob are affected as if they were in a heavy crowd in all ways. Characters attempting to manipulate a mob suffer a -4 penalty to their check.

Mob Members (Ex): Although a mob is immune to any spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures, a character can use such an effect while targeting a specific creature within the mob. If the effect causes the target to die, fall unconscious, become paralyzed, or suffer similar incapacitation, the mob suffers 1d6 points of damage. Otherwise it has no effect on the mob.

Mob Qualities: See above.

Abilities: Str +4

Challenge Rating: +1

FATE OF A MOB: When a mob breaks up, each member must make a Fortitude save (DC 10). If the mob was broken up using nonlethal means, a failure on this saving throw indicates the member is unconscious (as a result of nonlethal damage). If the mob was broken up using lethal means, a failure on this saving throw indicates the member is unconscious and reduced to 1d4-2 hit points.

Design Notes for Advanced Rules: Crowds

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