4
\$\begingroup\$

I'd like to know if there are any pre-existing rules or guides in regards to consequences for the contents of a mundane locked container per action taken to break it open via both magical and non magical means.

So in one of the campaigns I run, the players found a locked and iron reinforced wood chest. After checking it for magic and alot of poking with a "Stick of Mimic Agitation", they confirmed it was more or less mundane.

Not carrying thieves' tools, forgetting they had crowbars, nor the will to lug a heavy thing back to town and potentially attract raiders, they decided to break it open with force, both magical and non magical.

Amongst the contents of the container were a number of potions as well as a few magic scrolls.

Their Goliath barbarian failed an attempt to smash the box open, with the intent to destroy/damage the container enough to reach inside for the contents. The Warlock then decided to hit the box with Eldritch blasts which eventually opened it.

At this point I ruled that the contents of the box had been damaged/broken and I calculated a simple roll of 1dx, x being the number of liquid containers, followed by 1dy, y being the number of scrolls, which I then marked as being in an unusable/soiled state.

My questions are:

  • Should rolls be made on content breakage per attempt made on the box

  • Are potion bottle and scrolls generally strong enough to not consider rolling breakage for, considering that they are made to be carried by people who get shot at, exploded, and set on fire all the time?

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Is there a question in here somewhere? \$\endgroup\$ – GreySage Aug 5 '16 at 19:16
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Are you asking how to figure out how to figure appropriate damage to the contents of a box? \$\endgroup\$ – Jesse Cohoon Aug 5 '16 at 19:19
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I edited the question a bit for formating and grammar (I can't help it). You don't need to include the Edit: section, since people can see previous versions. Also: Welcome to the site. Take the tour. \$\endgroup\$ – GreySage Aug 5 '16 at 19:31
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Reminder: comments are for clarifying content, not posting small or incomplete answers. Please use answer posts to submit answers instead. Prior comments containing answers have been removed. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Aug 6 '16 at 17:00
6
\$\begingroup\$

Should rolls be made on content breakage per attempt made on the box

There is a brief description of HP for items in the DMG (and repeated in the SRD), which basically says objects have HP, when that HP is exceeded it breaks. The rule books don't have any specific rules about damage carry over.

A fair house rule where any damage beyond the chest is done to the objects (evenly dividing or most fragile first -- up to the DM). If they exhaust the objects inside, they also break.

There is also armor classes for objects (DMG 246), but if the item is immediately in front of you, and there is no threat, rolling against AC is a silly exercise, as they'll just keep rolling until they finally hit it. Object AC makes more sense if in the heat of battle (or on the run fleeing) a player wants to smash something.

Are potion bottle and scrolls generally strong enough ... ?

A fragile Chest is 3 HP, and a resilient chest is 10 HP It also suggests a fragile Potion bottle is 2 HP, and resilient bottle is 5HP.

This chart is on 247 of the DMG.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ In a no-pressure situation, the characters could also arrange to simply apply attacks directly to the lock, breaking that with "minimal" risk to the contents, whatever the DM chooses to define "minimal" as. \$\endgroup\$ – tzxAzrael Aug 5 '16 at 21:22
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Yes. They COULD. But if they choose to hulk smash something, like his players did, here is what the rules say and a house rule to handle stuff inside the hulk-smashed item. \$\endgroup\$ – J. A. Streich Aug 5 '16 at 22:02
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Well of course. It's up to the players to realize that "chest" does not necessarily equate to "box of coins." \$\endgroup\$ – tzxAzrael Aug 5 '16 at 23:49
6
\$\begingroup\$

Let's remember how D&D is played PHB (p.6):

  1. The DM describes the environment.

  2. The players describe what they want to do.

  3. The DM narrates the results of the adventurers’ actions.

None of these steps require a dice roll. Rolling dice is only for situations where there is some random element involved in the result.

So should you roll dice? Well that's entirely up to you.

The DMG has rules for damaging objects using dice rolls but I wouldn't bother with them here. As there are no time pressures or other consequences of failure they will open the box eventually - making them roll dice is a waste of time.

The player's have described what the want to do: open the box by hitting it as hard as they can with mundane objects and magical force, repeatedly as necessary. The consequences of this on fragile objects within the chest seems obvious to me: they break, spilling their contents across everything else. So, lost potions and ruined scrolls is what I would narrate: next time they may be more careful.

\$\endgroup\$
0
\$\begingroup\$

I simply assign a % of chance based on the situation. For example, the easiest way is to say 50% it breaks. Roll d% and see what happens!

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to rpg.se! Please take a look at the tour, it's a useful introduction to the site. Here, the question is basically "Is there an official rule? If not, how exactlycould I model it?". "% of chance based on the situation" doesn't help much. Could you give more details? \$\endgroup\$ – Luris Aug 6 '16 at 17:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.