Dirty Tricks

Creative players will constantly invent new combat tricks – for instance, throwing sand in the enemy’s face to blind him. This presents a problem for the GM. On the one hand, creativity should be encouraged; it makes the game more interesting. On the other hand, tricks only work when they’re new and original. If sand in the face worked every time, barbarian warriors would leave their swords at home and carry bags of sand instead!

The best solution is to let “tricks” work once – maybe twice – and then assume that word has gotten around. If you, as the GM, think that the players’ clever idea is a good one, you should give it a fair chance to work. But remember that elaborate tricks can fail elaborately . . . and word gets around. The first Trojan horse was a great success. It hasn’t worked since then.

IQ and Dirty Tricks

Often, the GM will find it appropriate to require an IQ roll when a fighter attempts a clever trick. Depending on the circumstance, the GM may:

• Make the trickster roll vs. his IQ to pull off the trick properly.
• Make the victim roll vs. his IQ to see through the trick.
• Require a Quick Contest of IQ to see who outsmarts whom.

There’s no hard-and-fast rule! Just remember: nobody who takes an IQ 8 fighter should be allowed to play him as a genius!

Liquids in the Face

This is one of the most common “dirty tricks.” Treat liquid tossed in the face as a thrown weapon with Acc 1 and Max 3. Remember the -5 to target the face!

On a critical hit, the liquid gets in the victim’s eyes, blinding him for 1d seconds (the GM rolls secretly). On any other hit, the target may defend normally – but note that it is impossible to parry a liquid. If he fails to defend, he must make a Will roll to avoid flinching. On a failure, he flinches: -2 to further defenses that turn, and -2 to any DX or Sense roll on his next turn. On a success, the attack has no effect . . . unless the victim has Bad Temper!

This assumes a relatively harmless substance, like beer. Acid, poison, etc. have their usual effects.

Dirty Tricks

A Path to Steam jkendall