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Thursday, September 18, 2008

My AD&D 2nd House Rules Part 7 - Combat Part 4

No comic style this time. This one is back to text. And it is also MUCH shorter.

Encounters, Initiative, and Other Stuff.

For encounters its usually best to let the DM decide based on player actions which side is going first each round, and continue on that pattern unless something drastic happens. There is no need to roll opposing dice or anything. In the rare event two sides run into each other, roll 1D10 on each side, high side gets to act first.

Being surprised or getting the jump on the other side should again be DM determined. Either let the surprised side go second, or give the surprisers one action in combat then do the combat encounter as normal.

(To me this is simple, fast, elegant and usually how I played it in most RPGs to begin with.)


There are two choices for Initiative. Super Simple, and Advanced.

In Super Simple each side does all their actions at once, including multiple attacks per round, and spell casting, with Segment 5+ spells (to ones that take multiple rounds of combat which activate at however many rounds it takes just before that caster does anything else) happening AFTER the other side gets to do its actions.

The above is best for non miniatures combat, quick easy fights, or similar situations.

Advanced Initiative requires a bit more record keeping, but provides more tactical options. In Advanced, each side does their normal one side at a time deal like above, except you go based on your Dexterity Modifier during your side's actions. So a party with 4 characters in it, one with Dex 10, Dex 13, Dex 15, and Dex 17 would have the Dex 17 character perform his actions first (+2 modifier), the Dex 13 and 15 could choose to let one go before the other each round ( +1 modifier), and the Dex 10 (0 modifier) goes last. Then the other side goes.

If the other side doesn't have any units with a written DEX score, the DM can choose however he or she wants the order to go for the rest of the fight for those units. Generally officers, lightly armored units, smaller things, and such should go before the big lumbering bits. So a trio of Kobolds, an Ogre, and an Orc Commander would probably have the Orc Commander go first, then the Kobolds, then the Ogre.

Spell casting times go as follows:

Segment 1-3 spells go off instantly.
Segment 4-6 spells go off after half the other side has taken their actions.
Segment 7-9 spells go off just before your side's turn comes up again.

(The above is way simpler and faster than how AD&D 1 or 2 handles combat rounds. My combat movement seems to be too complicated for many, and the main goal of this is to simplify and streamline much of AD&D to play how I want it to. Thus we make up for it in how the round actually plays out.)

Other Stuff:

This is mostly a placeholder for things that come up in the midst of play. Usually let the PHBs or your DM handle it as you all think fit. Call this section the FAQ if anyone in my group or anyone online has questions that should be answered.

Like Power Stunts. Do you get multiple stunts, or is it your only combat action for the turn? Its the latter. You have one chance to do something that fancy a round.

TA DA! House rules are finished! Outside of doing a full combat round explanation comic, my little project has reached the end of the road! I'm sure there is plenty I have missed in rules to be tweaked, or in some cases my streamlining might just be complicated in all new ways, but it is something I am happy with overall.

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