... now with 35% more arrogance!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Dice-Neutral Combat Table

I’ve tinkered with simplifying the combat tables as much as possible. Here’s something I’ve considered before: a dice-neutral table.

Defense Normal Hero Champion
No Armor N N+ N++
Light L N N+
Medium M L N
Heavy H M L
V Heavy V H M

Rather than carry on the debate about descending vs. ascending AC, this table focuses on armor descriptions. Similarly, rather than using numeric levels, it uses level titles. You only need to know two numbers to use this table: the value of N (target number to hit No Armor) and the shift modifier appropriate for the dice used. Shifting down a row applies a penalty. Shifting up a row adds a bonus. The same applies to shifting left or right one column.

The letters in the body of the table are abbreviations for the armor types in the leftmost column: a Hero attacking a Medium armor opponent has the same chance of hitting as a normal man attacking a Light armor opponent.

For standard 1d20 OD&D combat, N is 10+. The penalty or bonus for one row or column shift is +/-2 points.

For 1d6 roll high combat, N is 3+. The shift modifier is +/-1 point. This can be used for a crude mass combat system, for example.

For 2d6 roll high, N is 6+, with a shift modifier of +/-1 point.

The main armor types are Light (Leather or Padded armor, or other “soft” armors,) Medium (Chain and other metal/“hard” armors,) and Heavy (Plate and better quality “hard” armors.) Very Heavy is an extra category, useful for higher-tech plate armors, for example. It’s also useful for aimed blows at small targets (stabbing someone in the eye.) Most other aimed blows are treated as an attack against Medium armor, unless the target is wearing a better armor type.

I’m considering adding one other column, for Untrained. This would mainly be for attacks with improvised or out-of-class weapons, or when the attacker is crippled or otherwise seriously penalized.

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  1. It’s beautiful.

    This is the first OSR thing I have seen in over a year that has thrilled me.

    I’m serious.

    Thanks :)

    1. Would like to make it simpler... But as it is, I had to leave some things out. Fighters levels 10-12, 13-15, and 16+ are missing, but I didn't want that many columns. What I really wanted was a two-column system, with the first column being combined Armor Type and Attack Level, since moving right one column or up one row are equivalent. But I thought that would be too confusing.

    2. That's okay. If people ever get to those levels they can fiddle around with it. I think you did a wonderful thing here.