The bar fight – classic stuff, and a pain in the ass to run. Try this …
First and foremost – how big is this thing? Either find the number of combatants on the table below, or roll randomly:
“Hit Points” refers to the total hit points of the faceless crowd. When hit points are down to zero, the fight is over because all the non-PC combatants have either fled or are unconscious.
Each round, PC’s can choose one of the following actions:
FIGHT: The character jumps into the fight with feet and fists flying – he’ll take all comers
FLEE: The character tries to scramble out of the fight
HIDE: The character is hiding under a table or hiding behind the bar
LOOT: The character wades through the fight picking pockets or stealing drinks
SEEK: The character wades through the fight looking for a specific target; the target could be a person or an item
The Referee rolls 1d10 and checks the matrix below, cross-referencing with each character’s stated action. Any time a character suffers damage, they must pass a saving throw (Fortitude, or vs. petrifiation) with a penalty equal to the damage to avoid being either stunned (lose turn for 1d3 rounds) or knocked unconscious for 1d10 minutes. There is a 50% chance of either. A stunned character is considered to have chosen “Hide” as his action each round he is stunned.
A is for “Attacked”
The PC is attacked by other combatants, and can attack them back, roll 1d6
1 = AC 10, Attacks with +0 bonus for 1d2 points of damage
2 = AC 11, Attacks with +1 bonus for 1d3 points of damage
3 = AC 12, Attacks with +2 bonus for 1d4 points of damage
4 = AC 13, Attacks with a +3 bonus for 1d6 points of damage
5 = AC 14, Attacks with a +4 bonus for 1d8 points of damage OR attacked by a special combatant who happens to be in the bar (an ogre, minotaur, mind flayer, flumph – whatever)
6 = Attacked by two combatants, roll 1d5 to determine each one; if struck by both of these combatants, the PC must make a save (Fortitude or vs. petrification) or be lifted and thrown:
/ 1-2 = Slid down bar for additional 1d6 points of damage and knocked prone
/ 3-4 = Thrown out door and into street for 1d6 points of damage and knocked prone
/ 5 = Thrown out window and into street for 2d4 points of damage and knocked prone
/ 6 = Thrown off balcony or stairs onto a table, suffering 2d6 points of damage and knocked prone; if this doesn’t make sense, re-roll
B is for “Bystander”
The PC catches sight of an innocent (or not) bystander
1-2 = Child (or maybe a halfling) hiding from the fight; lawfuls must attempt to save them, first by seeking and then by fleeing
3-4 = A dancing girl or guy (we’re urbane and sophisticated in the Land of Nod) motions you over to a door; you must “Move” to get there (it is 2d10 feet away), and once there are pulled inside and either:
/ 1-2 = Quit the fight and do some more enjoyable wrestling (50% chance of being slipped a Mickey or simply being pick pocketed, 10% chance you are hunted down by a jealous lover afterwards) – either way, you earn XP per a 3 HD monster you dog!
/ 3-4 = Suckered into an ambush, roll as per “A” above, but roll 1d3+3, and you don’t get to hit back
/ 5-6 = Punched by the girl/guy (AC 10, attack at +1, 1d2 points of damage) – this is a surprise attack, so you don’t get to hit back
5-6 = See a damsel faint, roll attack vs. AC 15 to catch her for XP (per a 1 HD monster) and now must fight with a -2 penalty to hit
F is or “Flying Debris”
The PC is struck by flying debris; monks can make a deflect arrows roll to avoid this, but for everyone else it is just the luck of the draw. Roll 1d6
1-3 = Hit by bottle for 1d3 points of damage; save vs. stunning or unconscious
4 = Hit by chair for 1d6 points of damage; save vs. stunning or unconscious
5 = Hit by a flying body for 2d4 points of damage; save vs. stunning or unconscious; if a compatriot was thrown this round, you were hit by them
6 = Hit by a random spell (1st or 2nd level), type depends on what spell casters are present; if no spell caster is present, roll again.
L is for “Looting”
The PC acquires some loot – roll 1d6
1 = Acquire a single mug of ale or a shot of whiskey
2 = Make pick pocket roll to acquire 1d10 cp worth of goods
3 = Make pick pocket roll at -5% to acquire 1d10 sp worth of goods
4 = Make pick pocket roll at -10% to acquire 1d10 gp worth of goods
5 = Make pick pocket roll at -15% to acquire 1d10 pp worth of goods
6 = Make pick pocket roll at -20% to acquire a treasure map or some other plot-driver
On a failed pick pockets roll, you are attacked (see “A” above)
M is for “Movement”
The PC moves 1d10 feet towards his chosen exit (door, stairs to second floor, etc.)
N is for “Nothing”
Nothing happens to you this round, nor do you get to do anything
R is for “Reach Target”
PC reaches the target they were looking for!
“Okay, Break it up!”
Each round of the fight, there is a 1 in 20 chance that the town guard shows up in force to break up the fight. Assume a number of men-at-arms equal to the number of PCs, plus 1 man-at-arms per 3 hit points worth of crowd remaining. Combatants, including the PC’s, will be arrested (unless they fight their way out or find a way to sneak out). If the guard is on its way, there is a 50% chance that the round before they arrive some bystander yells “Cheese it! The Cops!” to give the combatants a warning.
Bringing a Knife to a Fist Fight
Pulling a weapon or casting a damage-dealing spell during a bar fight is a chaotic act (small “c” chaotic, not big “C” summoning-Cthulhu-to-destroy-the-world chaotic – i.e. you’re a dick); and results in you being avoided by other combatants for the duration, but suffering a -4 penalty to reaction checks in this settlement forevermore. Also, it just isn’t any fun.
Death and Dismemberment
Bar fights shouldn’t really result in PC death – death just isn’t the point of these things – but your mileage may vary. At 0 hit points, assume that a PC has been knocked out and will awaken in jail (or the stocks) if not rescued by a compatriot.