Castle Chelmsford 3-D is a dungeon crawl game, intended to played by a group of co-operating players each controlling one or two characters with a gamemaster running the game system and controlling to opponents.
You have been imprisoned by the merciless British who have no understanding for your traditional way of life. Fortunately, one of their lackeys got careless and you have managed to knock out a guard.
Your cell door is now ajar. Quickly you free some fellow inmates and grab weapons from a nearby rack. Your objective is to escape your prison alive. You start with a Martini-Henry rifle and 5 rounds of ammunition.
As you start, you recall the words of the wise men: "He who escapes with the most loot wins."
Your job is to entertain the players. While you are controlling the enemy forces, your job is not to ruthlessly seek ways to kill the players off. Wait for the tournament edition rules for that.
Start slowly and gradually increase the pressure. It is usually necessary to play the guards a bit dumb to give the players a sporting chance.
Cut out the cards and separate weapon cards from loot cards (everything except weapons). Let the players choose a miniature to represent their character and give them an appropriate character sheet and their initial equipment.
I did not run the game with a hidden map, though that is also possible. With an open map, you'll want to give the players alternate routes to the goal, as they are likely to just ignore any dead-end sidetracks.
In addition to guards, liberally sprinkle treasure chests or similar items around the map. Picking up a chest allows the player to draw a random loot card.
Separate sections of the dungeon with doors. Doors stop sound and therefore you have a plausible excuse why all the guards don't dogpile on the players from the get-go. Opening a door activates the next dungeon section and guards in it will react to sightings or sounds.
|African Auxiliary||2||3||1||Martini-Henry rifle|
|Redcoat Guard||3||3||1||Martini-Henry rifle|
|Redcoat Sergeant||3||3||1||Webley revolver, saber|
|Sikh Guard||3||4||1||Martini-Henry rifle|
|Bombay Jones||4||4||2||Webley revolver|
|Lady||4||4||1||Shotgun, rifle or knitting needles|
Dead enemies drop their weapons and 1D6 rounds of ammo if they had a firearm to begin with. For simplicity, all ammo in this game is interchangeable.
Yes, I know the Sikhs and Africans didn't really have Martini-Henrys, but for the purposes of this game all single-shot breechloaders are effectively equal.
Shotgun: Accuracy 1D10, cannot aim, two shots, power 0, if hits roll 3D6 separately to wound.
Rifle: Counts as Martini-Henry, or maybe Winchester if you're feeling really nasty.
Knitting needles: Counts as close combat weapon +1D6.
Assuming you read everything so far, it should be pretty obvious to you that this game is a First Person Shooter simulator for miniatures. It's named in honor of the FPS classic, Castle Wolfenstein 3-D, the game that pretty much defined the FPS genre before the term FPS was even coined.
The basic story and some elements are shamelessly borrowed from Wolfenstein. The other defining influence was the control system in Red Faction II, which is rather similar to the one in HALO, but I haven't really played HALO. In fact, I pretty much burned out with the FPS genre after the original Quake, only returning to Red Faction II after a long pause.
This game was designed (if that isn't too fancy a word for something I wrote in a couple of hours) for a RopeCon demo. It's meant to accommodate several players, players joining in the middle of a game and the rules are intentionally light but with a few gimmicks you'll hopefully like.
It's also intended to be light entertainment instead of hardcore competition. That's one reason why the players are co-operating against the game system, dispassionately operated by the GM. It lets the GM adjust the difficulty on the fly and hide the possible loopholes in the game rules.
I think I nailed the system down pretty well. You could probably trim some unnecessary actions, the Jungle Yell probably should be downgraded but on the whole the balance is okay. Since in this game the more accurate weapons are also more powerful, you could probably do away with the "to wound" roll in shooting resolution.
There is no reaction fire in this game. That is quite intentional. The realistic option, especially for the guards, would be to hole up in a defensible location a shoot anyone coming round the corner. However, I didn't want a dull game simulating camping. Everyone hates campers.
The gatling and Winchester rifle are completely unplaytested. They might be slightly over the top. The gatling's power probably should be downgraded to force the players to spend a lot of ammo with it.
See the RopeCon 05 Report for more pictures of the game in action.
And yes, grabbing two sabers turns you into a virtual genestealer...
Caveat Emptor: This game was never intended to be run by anyone besides me. I may have neglected to mention something here.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.
Copyright 2003-2014 Mikko Kurki-Suonio