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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Reaction Table Combat

Over on Reddit’s OSR forum, I joked that I should have done a revised combat system based on the reaction roll table. For all I know, I may have done it, but I can’t find any post on that.

I don’t mean a 2d6-based attack roll. I believe I mentioned the idea of 2d6 roll under descending AC as a quick & dirty approach. No, I really do mean using the reaction table. That means that, instead of a binary hit/no hit result, you get five possible results (Very Good, Good, Normal, Bad, Very Bad.)

Here’s a quick reaction table hack:

Roll Result Result Details
2 or less Very Bad Weapon Damaged (Broken, if already damaged)
3-5 Bad Drop Weapon if damage roll > AC, vulnerable to Counterattack
6-8 Normal Attack ineffective unless either Dex > 2 x Move or opponent’s armor is damaged
9-11 Good Success! Attack does standard damage
12 Very Good Max damage, Opponent’s Armor Damaged

Add +1 to the roll if attacker’s level > defender’s level, +2 if it’s twice defender’s level. Optionally, you can give higher bonuses for higher multiples.

Armor subtracts 1, 2, or 3 from the roll (Light/Leather, Medium/Metal, Heavy/Full Plate)

Shield also subtracts 1 from the roll, but only against melee attacks from the front, or ranged attacks from a specific direction. Other attacks must be judged on a case-by-case basis.

Weapon Damaged and Armor Damaged are “tags” that have no mechanical effect except to make weapons and armor vulnerable to future bad results. If attacking barehanded, take 1 point of damage on first Very Bad result, break hand on second, rendering hand unusable.

Drop Weapon results only happen if the weapon’s damage roll exceeds the (descending) AC of the defender. For standard “all weapons do 1d6 damage”, this means that it only happens 1/6th of the time when attacking an opponent in chainmail, 2/3rds of the time when attacking an opponent in plate + shield.

Counterattack is an extra attack by an opponent if their Dex (or 2 x Move) is greater than the attacker’s Dex. The opponent must still roll, however.

Note that a Normal result means the defender takes no damage or other ill effect unless the attacker’s Dex is higher than twice the defender’s Move. It’s a probable “miss”, rather than a definite miss. If the defender’s armor is damaged, they are also vulnerable to Normal attacks.

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