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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Should Hit Dice Be Hit Dice?

I'm beginning to think I need to modify the "to hit" tables.

What do I want out of a "to hit" table?
  • all classes start out the same as far as combat effectiveness;
  • fighters progress faster than clerics/magic users, but not too fast, and never become unstoppable;
  • the progression is easy to grasp and can be quickly calculated in your head, if necessary.
Microlite74 fails on point 1. AD&D fails on point 2 (at the highest levels, a fighter can only miss AC 2 on a natural 1, assuming that rule is even in effect.) OD&D fails on point 3, improving by 2 steps in some cases and 3 in others. Monsters seem to have an entirely unrelated progression.

The Target 20 algorithm helps to meet point 3, as long as the combat adjustments for monsters and classes are regularized. What I'm thinking is: use the original d6 hit dice progressions for the classes and monsters, and make the "to hit" adjustment equal to the hit dice. Monsters with hit dice plus adds round up to the next hit die, characters don't. However, this does make fighters progress too rapidly. I may have to tweak the character hit dice, if I go with this.


  1. However, this does make fighters progress too rapidly.

    You should be able to fix this by modifying the variable XP advancement in the character tables to reflect the 'to hit' advancement you want... M-U would require twice (or whatever) the XP because you want their THAC0 to improve more slowy.

  2. Depending on your feelings on level limits (I personally prefer them) giving fighters a +1 every level doesn't go too far as long as you cap their levels below 20. Then less fighty types could simply increase every other level, every third level or what have you.

  3. @rainswept: Actually, I just meant the fighter's "to hit" progression. Adjusting XP would slow down level progression in general.

    @Daniel: I'm fine with level limits -- I'm thinking 12 or 15 -- but I'm looking for a shallower depth for "to hit" adjustments. A lot of these thoughts came from studying a spreadsheet someone made to compare the THAC0s for monsters and classes in LBB, B/X, BECM, AD&D, OSRIC, Labyrinth Lord, and S&W Whitebox. Yje LBB progression is what I really want, but I was just wondering how to get that without a chart...