OGC:Restraints (3.5e Variant Rule)

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The statistics for manacles and ropes provide the information you need to break free of the restraints — but very little information on what it actually means to be restrained. If you run away while you’re wearing leg irons, exactly how much of a handicap is it? Can you fight while in chains?

The effects of restraints vary considerably based on placement and style. Note that manacles must be specifically designed as ankle or wrist restraints; the statistics and cost of the manacles are the same regardless of what they are designed to restrain, but it’s something you need to specify.

This section presents three different styles of restraints: Bar, Loose, and Tight. The style does not affect the cost of the object. These styles can be used with any type of restraint, from iron manacles to rope bonds.

Bar Restraints

In bar restraints, the victim’s limbs are pinned to a metal bar or wooden pole. The rigid bar severely restricts movement and places the weight of the bar directly on your wrists or ankles.

Loose Restraints

Loose restraints allow the prisoner significant freedom of movement. These are manacles separated by a long length of chain, or similar bonds of rope. These are working restraints; they hamper you slightly, but allow you to move normally and to perform basic actions like walking and feeding yourself. Because of this, you get a +5 circumstance bonus to any Escape Artist check to free yourself from loose bonds. On the downside, if the bonds are linked by chains, you get a –3 circumstance penalty to any attempt to Move Silently; this is a cumulative penalty, so if you’re wearing loose wrist and ankle restraints, you take a –6 on the roll.

Tight Restraints

Tight restraints hold the wrists or ankles directly together. Think of modern handcuffs, or a pair of manacles with no linking chain. This is the most restrictive form of restraint; with the limbs bound together, it is extremely difficult to take any sort of action. The effects of manacles also depend on what part of the body is restrained.

Wrist Restraints (Front)

When your wrists are bound in front of your body, you still have some freedom of movement; the ability to move your shoulders and elbows can allow you to take some basic actions. The precise penalties depend on the style of restraint.

Bar Wrist Restraints

These restraints are very restrictive. While in the restraints, you take a –6 circumstance penalty to attack rolls or skill checks requiring use of your arms, and a –2 to melee damage rolls. You cannot wield a two-handed weapon or use a shield, a bow, or a sling; you can fire a crossbow, but it will take you twice as long as usual to reload it. You can use the bar itself as a weapon; it inflicts 1d6 points of bludgeoning damage, with a x2 critical multiplier. As a general rule, physical tasks requiring the use of your hands (combat aside) will take twice as long as usual. You may attempt to cast a spell with somatic components, but it takes twice the usual casting time, and you must make a Concentration check (DC 25 + spell level); if you fail the check, the spell is lost. Bar restraints keep your hands a set distance from one another; as a result, you cannot try to pick the lock on the restraints you are wearing.

Loose Wrist Restraints

These restraints allow more freedom of motion. While in loose wrist restraints, you take a –3 circumstance penalty to any action that uses your arms and a –1 penalty to melee damage rolls. You can wield a weapon or use a shield, but you cannot do both at once; if you make an attack you will lose the shield bonus to AC for that round. You cannot use a bow. You can attempt to cast a spell requiring somatic gestures by making a Concentration check (DC 15 + spell level); if you fail, the spell is lost. You can attempt to pick the lock on your own loose manacles.

Tight Wrist Restraints

These restraints are even worse than a bar. Your hands are tightly bound together; many actions are simply impossible. The GM has veto power on any action you wish to take; if she allows you to use your arms, she can apply a circumstance penalty of up to –9 to the roll, or –3 to any melee damage roll. Physical actions will take up to three times as long as usual. The GM may choose to reduce this penalty if you have a creative explanation for how you are overcoming your handicap. While restrained in this manner, you cannot use two-handed weapons, shields, or any sort of ranged weapon. At the GM’s discretion, you may try to cast a spell requiring somatic components; this will require three times the usual casting time and a Concentration check (DC 30 + spell level). If you fail the check, the spell is lost. You cannot pick the lock on tight wrist manacles unless you come up with a clever explanation — somehow getting the pick to your mouth and holding it in your teeth, for example — and the GM may impose what- ever penalty she sees as fit in such a situation.

Wrist Restraints (Back)

If your arms are pinned behind your back or behind your neck, it’s almost impossible to take any action involving your arms. You cannot cast any spells using somatic components. If the GM wishes to allow you to attempt some sort of action — for example, you get pushed into a stream and have to try to swim — she can apply a penalty of up to –10 to the check.

Ankle Restraints

Ankle restraints are generally designed to keep a victim from running. The precise effects depend on the style of restraint. You cannot run, charge, or perform a bull rush while wearing any sort of leg restraints.

Bar Ankle Restraints

These restraints place a tremendous amount of weight on your ankles and also force your feet to remain at a set distance. This reduces your movement to 5 feet per round. If you are heavily encumbered, you cannot move at all. While restrained, you suffer a –7 circumstance penalty to your AC and a –2 circumstance penalty to attack rolls; this is cumulative with any penalty from wrist restraints. If a skill specifically requires use of your legs — like Climb, Swim, or Tumble — you take a –8 circumstance penalty on the action; this penalty also applies to the contested roll if an opponent tries to trip you.

Loose Ankle Restraints

These restraints do not actually reduce your movement rate, although they keep you from running or charging. While wearing the bonds you take a –2 circumstance penalty to your AC and to any action that requires the use of your legs. This penalty also applies to the contested roll when an enemy tries to trip you.

Tight Ankle Restraints

These restraints prevent you from walking; you can pull yourself along using your hands at a rate of 1 foot per turn. While restrained in this manner you take a –10 circumstance penalty to your AC, a –4 circumstance penalty to attack rolls, and a –12 circumstance penalty to any skill checks requiring the use of your legs, including the contested roll to avoid being tripped.

Monks and Manacles

A monk is a deadly unarmed fighter with both fists and feet. If a monk is wearing wrist restraints but has both legs free, he can make unarmed attacks without taking any penalty to his attack or damage rolls.

Stocks and Bonds

While in stocks, your movement rate is reduced to zero. You lose your Dex bonus to AC and take an additional –7 penalty to your Armor Class, and you’re effectively flat-footed. If your hands are left free you can perform any action that you could do while sitting. You take a –2 circumstance penalty on any melee attack roll due to your limited ability to move, however.

Wooden stocks have a Hardness value of 5 and 30 hit points; you can break free of the stocks with a Strength check (DC 24). Iron stocks have a Hardness value of 10 and 60 hit points, and require a Strength check of DC 27 in order to break free. The stocks are held closed by a lock. Depending on the number of people the stocks are designed to hold, you may not be close enough to reach the lock; even if you are, you’ll take a –5 circumstance penalty on any Open Lock checks due to your awkward position. If you make a successful Escape Artist check (DC 30) you can slip your legs free.

If you’re trapped in a pillory, your movement rate and AC are both reduced to zero. You lose your Dexterity bonus to your AC and are considered to be a helpless opponent. You cannot cast spells requiring somatic components. You cannot use skills involving any sort of physical motion, but you can still use Bluff, Diplomacy, Knowledge, or similar skills — although you get a –3 circumstance penalty on any use of Intimidate.

A wooden pillory has a Hardness value of 5 and 30 hit points, but it is extremely difficulty to force your way free from it; this requires a successful Strength check (DC 27). An iron pillory has a Hardness value of 10, 60 hit points, and a Strength check DC of 30. Like the stocks, a pillory is held closed by a lock. However, it’s impossible to reach this lock while you’re actually in the pillory. It’s also difficult to squeeze your head out using Escape Artist (DC 35).

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Stop hand.png Restraints from Crime and Punishment, © 2003, Atlas Games; Author Keith Baker, based on original material by Keith Baker. It is covered by the Open Game License v1.0a, rather than the GNU Free Documentation License 1.3. To distinguish it, these items will have this notice. If you see any page that contains Open Game License v1.0a material and does not show this license statement, please contact an admin so that this license statement can be added. It is our intent to work within this license in good faith.
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