Monday, 7 May 2012

Combat musings

I am very close to abandoning traditional D&D combat.

Defence = current movement rate in inches.
Dexterity modifies Defence.
Encumbrance reduces movement rate, which in turn reduces defence.
To hit an opponent, roll above their defence on a d20.

Armor reduces the amount of damage inflicted per damage die rolled. All successful hits deliver a minimum of 1 damage per damage die.

Leather amor -1
Chain -2
Platemail -3
Plate -4

Shield = +1 defence, -1 damage.
Two weapon fighting = +1 defence, +1 attack per round (i.e. roll 2 d20 attacks)

eg Bob the Fighter, dexterity 13 (+1) wearing plate mail and shield has a movement rate of 6". He is attacked by a bite that may inflict 3d6 damage.
Defence = 6+1+1 = 8.
Monster rolls 9, a hit.
Damage roll for 3d6 = 5,2,6.
Armor reduces damage by -3 plate, -1 shield for each damage die (i.e. total of 4) = 1,1,2 = 4 damage.

So people who wear armor are easier to hit, but harder to damage.
Simple, I like it.

I just need to play test, next opportunity. Might even add into my Kids D&D.

Now, any idea how to make a horse, movement 24", able to be hit on a d20?
The law of unintended consequences - back to the drawing board.


  1. In Blood & Treasure, I give a "tactical advantage" (i.e. +2 to hit if you're on offense, +2 to AC if you're on defense) for being faster than your opponent.

  2. Now, any idea how to make a horse, movement 24", able to be hit on a d20?

    I've got an idea, but you ain't going to like it. It's based on the same idea Matt has. Instead of using Move as a target number, just set a flat target number. Compare Move for both attacker and defender, add a bonus to roll if attacker's Move is higher, add a bonus to target number if defender's is higher. Compare Dex for both, do the same.

    - target number is easy to remember (never changes)
    - bonuses can be set to universal +1 or +2 (avoid lookups)
    - same comparison can be used for ad hoc situations (higher ground, higher skill, calm vs. panic)

    I'd be tempted to suggest using standard AC as a damage-per-die limit, too, to avoid subtractions (Plate + Shield takes maximum 2 points damage.)

  3. For difficulty to hit, I think you really want to focus on agility rather than speed. Maybe 10 + dex bonus is "to hit" target? Armor could reduce damage as you describe. This would work, but you would need to be careful to keep attack bonuses restrained or everything is going to be hitting all the time.

    You might also want to check out Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay for inspiration if you have access to a copy. I am just now reading it for the first time, and the armor system there is pretty similar to the system you seem to be moving towards.

    Alternatively, you could adjust for size. A horse is twice as big as as human, so it's movement points would be worth only half defense. This would make dragons absurdly easy to hit by smaller creatures (somewhat realistic) but presumably they would also have very thick armor.

  4. Hey thanks everyone for the suggestions. I am not sure where to go, but plenty of food for thought. I'm not even sure why I want to change... just feel the need.