I need some help to adjudge some combat / skill penalties.


Party is going to be in some area where none of them can see much of anything (pervasive magical fog cloud) beyond a few feet. This may be almost continuous for several game sessions depending upon what choices they make. From past experience, I am 90% sure this group will tie themselves together while trying to sneak (poorly) around the maze.

Trying to decide how being roped together would affect their sneaking. I was thinking a -4 to stealth (or acrobatics if it comes up) and a -2 to perception. Seem about right?

Now in combat that could be a whole lot worse ... and confusing. They will be fighting creatures that can see just fine.
Can't travel forward more than the slack between them (or dragging the next in line).
Shouldn't affect your strength directly, but it seems like the rope should get in the way. So I was thinking a -2 to both attack and AC. Does that seem about right? (That is in addition to the normal penalties of being blind.)

I was also thinking any caster should have a concentration check due to being jostled around by the others on the rope. Not sure how difficult to make that. Maybe just a DC=15 if the ones adjacent in line aren't doing much of anything mobile. Maybe up to a 25 if the others are in melee combat.

Any comments or suggestions?

One thing to remember about how these checks work is that having multiple PCs roll gives them a better or worse chance of success.

For perception the PCs only need 1 success for everyone to succeed. This is akin to rolling twice (or 4 times) and taking the better result.

For stealth ghey only need 1 Failure for everyone to fail. This is akin to rolling twice (or 4 times) and taking the worst result.

My inclination would be to give them a minor penalty to perception if you feel the need to give them one (they'll already be taking penalties from the fog). I would NOT give them penalties to stealth though, the chances of them passing those checks are already low enough. If you have a full party of stealthy ninjas then that's a choice they all made and that choice should be rewarded, not punished.

Disagree a little bit.

If only 1 makes it on perception, that won't help the others right away, unless he blurts something out loud. Which could destroy any stealth they have managed.

Similarly, they tend to spread out a bit and put Sir-Clanks-Alot in the back. So the distance penalties for perception often make his stealth about as good as the average folks. Still not as good as the scout.

Been thinking about fog some more. And since it has been in the area a lot lately, was kinda paying attention. It does tend to deaden sound a fair bit. So, I'm thinking a penalty to perception for both sides but not much if any penalty to stealth.

I think I will still have the combat penalties and concentration checks for being roped together.

I think I disagree a little bit too. It feels like you are 'punishing' the party for using a rope. Did they easily overcome a previous hazard you had planned through its use?

Motivation for applying penalties aside. It won't take the party long to get used to being tied together and come up with systems to minimise any inconvenience.

I can't think why having a rope would inconvenience perception, so no penalty there.
-2 to stealth if moving at full speed.
-1 to acrobatics at half speed, -2 at full speed
-1/-1 to hit and AC
No concentration checks required.

I think if I was the party, I would have the rope attached to two party members and have the other two attached via cord, with a quick release, say a dagger hilt so they can go free when needed. Recovery after a battle would be straightforward using standard search techniques.

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