How to handle a PC breaking through a shuttered window, NOT in combat, yet...


Would I try and have the PC do this like breaking down a door, or something else that I may have missed?

Its a regular glass window that is shuttered from the inside (the party is on the outside of the Inn), so the PC has to break the glass and then the regular wooden shutter.

There are things inside once the party breaks in so it will be a combat situation once the party gets inside.

Thoughts and suggestions please?




There are rules for this on page 173 of the Players Handbook but I can give you a quick run down.

You have 2 options in this situation.

Break DC is just going to be a Strength check. Depending on the material used in construction you can look up what DC is required to make this happen. Success means the item gains the Broken condition.

Damaging the shutter is going to be damage rolls. Depending on the material used in construction you can look up what Hardness and HP the item has. In mose situations all but a 1 roll on the dice is going to hit the item and do damage. Hardness is like Damage Reduction. Your players will need to roll damage in excess of the Hardness to do damage to its HP. Once its HP is at half of what it started at it is now Damaged. The Break DC I just talked about decreases by 2. They keep whacking at it to break it at 0 HP. Piercing weapons don't work to damage items and Ranged Weapons do half damage.

I personally would require everyone to roll initiative and work in initiative so as soon as the shutter breaks everyone knows who is up and whats going on. Odds are the enemy will be waiting with readied actions to murder them, so working in initiative makes it so they have to immediately start combat without time to shuffle around who goes in when.

Depends on how the shutters locked ? Is it barred with i stout piece of wood or is it just closed with a latch or bolt
If it's barred then the character will need to smash the shutter to bits which will take a couple of rounds if on the other hand its just secured with a latch or bolt then a simple strength check with probably the same dc as for a stuck door
This is of course after he's smashed through the glass which will alert everyone in the tavern who's not deaf that someone is trying to get in so they will have had plenty of time to prepare a welcome for them

Thanks guys, the enemy in the Inn know they (the PC's) are out there, but are busy doing something else and scattered about at this time, its a two story Inn so lots of places for them to be.

They even just took a civilian hostage, slammed the door and locked it.

Thief will most likely pick it (the door), but needs a distraction.

I am betting the PC party will try an assault on the two windows ( to the sides of the door) as the thief picks the lock, to get the guys inside away from the door.

But we not to far into this part of the scenario yet.

Cheers, intersting to have initiative with out being iin combat, I may just use that, thanks

Anything else you can think of on this subject?


OOPS, Window shutter is basic wood and is barred, not locked per say. And I think I would have to roll potential damage when breaking the window as well?

Sovereign Court

I use the Combat Pad and for certain things that will take time, I go down by turns and then roll init when we get into combat.

The turn tracking without combat is something I use a lot in "First Steps: In Service to Lore" in the "trap" room.

Ossian gave you a very good rundown of the rules. I also think you could could treat it as a door (see Table: Doors, at to keep it simple.

Shuttered windows would be like simple doors to my way of thinking; they are not meant to keep out motivated attackers.

I would likely apply a break DC 15, do opposed perception check by bad guys inside (but if they're expecting somebody to break in, chances are this point is moot) and go from there.

My local group would just try to burn the tavern down... -_-;

Yep, just a Break (STR) check to bust through. Also the party could just attack it with weapons or abilities, as Ossian said, and dealing enough damage would break it.

You don't do a Break check AND deal damage - just one or the other. If the Break check succeeds, then the window has been breached, no damage roll needed. On the other hand, by simply attacking the window with weapons or abilities, you ARE dealing damage to the window, so no Break check is needed. It's simply 2 different methods of trying to accomplish the same goal.

Also note that whatever the players do, the NPCs inside are automatically going to know what the PCs are doing (unless they try to go about it stealthily). You've mentioned you realize this, but I just wanted to emphasize it. Failing a Break check might represent a player THUDDING against the window, so the NPCs would immediately know that they are trying to use the windows and would take appropriate measures. Similarly if a player attacks the window but doesn't deal enough damage to break through, it could represent the window being CRACKED and the shutters damaged, and the NPCs would react in the same way.

Also don't forget that the bad guys will have time to set up defences inside even if they just turn over a few tables to provide cover or ready there missile weapons if they have any

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