Under-Used Sub-Systems

These were notes James compiled for use in the Black Peaks game but they have more general applicability.

I'd like to run a couple Dungeon & Dragons encounters that highlight the various sub-systems in the game. Generally, D&D consists of exploring a restricted environment, and fighting people. I'm already including Wandering Monsters (sometimes), and Reaction Rolls (fairly often). But there are some other rules too!

Missile Fire. The group uses missile weapons, particularly thrown oil, very frequently. I think I want to have an encounter where these are used extensively: pretty much a ranged combat encounter. I really like the idea of a big open space, sort of like the Staircase of Fire in the movie version of Lord of the Rings, where the characters are pinned down and under attack from archers. Relevant factors include range and cover, and probably some concern with holding off a few melee rushers while other members of the party attempt to solve a difficult process.
Range is pretty simple: +1 for short range, -1 for long range
Cover varies between -2 for shrubberies and -4 to serious no-fooling cover

Retreats. The group hasn't had to deal with retreats yet, but it might be a good idea to include a couple encounters where enemies use a “false retreat” to lure the players to their deaths.
Withdraw is to move at ½ speed.
Retreating is to move faster than ½ speed; attacker gets +2 to hit, and you don't get your shield bonus (I would add: don't get your Dex bonus either)
Somehow, running occurs at 3x the encounter-walking rate

Encumbrance. This is the one vital piece of the game system I've neglected, in large part because the players have found such trifling weights of treasures, and they have a zillion retainers to carry the weight. This disappoints me, however, because movement through the dungeon is a vital part of the environment. Maybe part of an encounter will have to involve heavy, discrete objects: a corpse you have to carry, for example, or a heavy idol that three men have to haul to a particular spot (moving at a snail's pace) while other folks have to provide cover and help them.
Possibly combine this with the missile fire encounter.
Or: have to swim through an underground tunnel, relinquishing metal armor.
Or: balance a tilting-square like in National Treasure 2.
Or: crust over lava, must be light weight to cross.

Retainers. We're using this subsystem quite extensively already. As of the close of session three, retainers include Squire William the Veteran, Fingers the Apprentice, and Viktra the Acolyte. It might be fun, though, to include a doppelgänger or a were-rat, just for the hell of it. Maybe a 5% chance.

Evasion and Pursuit. Haven't had a chance to use these yet. Again, this might tie into the Retreat material with Fighting Withdrawals and such. Maybe the heroes need to capture a rare animal, or lure it into a trap somehow so they can capture it.

Morale. I'm already using this.

Strongholds and Followers. This is a long, long way off.

Researching New Spells and Creating Magic Items. Gradually working this in.
Wilderness Travel.
Waterborne Adventures – sailing stuff
Mass Land Combat.
Naval Combat.
Aerial Combat.
Underwater Combat.
Constructing Castles.
Hiring Mercenaries
Hiring Specialists
Taxes. I actually think this would be funny to work in.

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