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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My AD&D 2nd House Rules Part 8 - Combat Appendix

Due to various whines I have gotten over too many details elsewhere, and just some other ideas I have, this part 8 will be my Appendix section. An ever evolving area for short term errata and ideas other places and games have given me.

(Updated on 20 November 08)

Over at James M.'s Grognardia a discussion of the overly detailed and unfun Weapon Type vs Armor Type came up. The discussion lead to a brainstorm that is my first installment here.

Though I guess if you wanted a quick and dirty weapon effect system you could go Cutting, Bashing, and Penalizing. (Obviously counting things like ranged, polearm, or normal.)

(Bonuses are in general, not just against what's reduced.)

Cutting gets improved damage but reduced to hit against any armored target. (-1 / +1)
Bashing has improved chances to hit, but reduced damage. (+1 / -1)
Penalizing does less damage and is hard to hit with, but causes lots of saving throw or attribute check type effects. (Stunning blackjacks, blocking attacks with a Sai or Main Gauche, tangling with Nets or Bolas.) (-1 / -1)

Sure my idea is just generalizing things (An Axe, Sword, and Spear all hit and hurt differently after all!), but its a quick and dirty way to make different weapon types appealing. Technically an arrow is gonna have little trouble with most armor, but abstractly it could be affected, and its pointy bleedyness shouldn't be any stronger, but its a neat quick way of doing it.

Do you have armor or something armor like? Ok, the most popular weapons have a harder time hitting you, but now they all do more damage. However, the mace and warhammer are gonna hit you more often, but in general aren't quite as deadly though it hurts. Penalizing weapons have a harder time causing actual hits and the damage is reduced, but they can SERIOUSLY mess you up.

I really like this quick idea and may implement it into the big houserules list.

IDEA 2: Unarmored AC. Sadly, most versions of D&D really penalize anyone dumb enough to go without armor. Here is an idea to fix it. If a character shuns armor of any sort (this includes Armor, Helmets, Bracers, and Shields, along with any sort of spell that physically gives the character armor like Barkskin or Stoneskin) outside of magic jewelry or spells that do not physically alter the character, they get DOUBLE their DEX AC bonus. This is in addition to any bonuses certain classes or kits gain. Thus an unarmored character with a +2 AC bonus for DEX would have a +4 AC bonus instead.

We can even add some neat perks to help this. Unarmored Shield Fighting allows Shields to not be counted as being armor, while Unarmored Helmet Fighting would do the same for helmets. A character could rock out Gladiator or "300" Spartan style.

Ya know, I really like this idea too. Its neat! I can't possibly be the only person to think of this.

IDEA 3: Simplified Diagonals Movement. Putting this into my actual text would be a pain and require a couple hours of rewrites, but a quick and dirty thing I houseruled into a Tunnels & Trolls game was an epiphany. If you move any diagonals in a turn your movement is reduced by 1 for every bracket of 12 movement you have rounded up but you may always move 1 square, even diagonal. (So a MV 1-12 loses 1 square of MV. A 13-24 loses 2 for doing 1 diagonal, a 25-36 loses 3 and so on. No fractional accounting needed. It would be fine for weapon ranges too. Just increase the actual distance by 1 for the same distance bands. So if you fire at a 25-36 distance target and its diagonally its really 3 squares further away!)

IDEA 4: Improved Starting Hit Points. This is an easy one! At first level PCs can either take their maximum Level 1 HP + CON modifier, or their CON score with no modifiers. Whichever is higher.

For most characters this increases low level survivability immensely. It probably won't do much for D10 or D12 HP characters, but for everyone else its pretty huge. I would still keep max HP rolls for level 2 and 3 though!

IDEA 5: Character Generation Dice. Instead of the 4d6 take 3 highest approach, its 2d6+6.

This lessens the really crappy characters that just don't belong in a middle fantasy game as PCs anyhow. 8 becomes the new minimum, and 13 becomes the average. For a slightly weaker game, do 2+2d8, but any rolled 1 becomes a 2. Minimum becomes 6 and average scores will be 11. Actually I would probably use this over the 2d6+6 to tell you the truth, especially if Idea 4 is used as well.

ERRATA: Firearms Backfire Damage. Looking back I seem to be saying if you roll a 1 for damage you do 8 damage to yourself. This is incorrect. You do maximum basic die rolled damage for that firearm to yourself, ignoring any bonuses or penalties. Also it seems I forgot to give a bonus to damage for close range firing to Mr Runtherd in one of the examples.

See kids, this is what happens when you don't have an editor looking over your work, and you just blat out your ideas with only a couple quick reskims over what you wrote. This sort of thing needs to be done, lest you be like a certain game designer from Michigan. (OOOH! I MUST BE A HATER NOW! Then again, compared to what some sites say about the dude, I am being nice about it. He sure writes some infectious fluff though! :P )

2 comments:

Edward Oleander said...

Hi... Good blog, just found it, only read a few bits so far. I'm a 30 year AD&D player, hate most other games except GURPS.

I like how your weapons v. armour system, separates out penalizing weapons... never thought of that bit... I would probably go with 4 categories, and include the pointies as their own group. We have used +/- 2 instead as well just to make the difference even more pronounced...

character roll ups: IMHO, 2d6+6 tends to produce cookie-cutter characters. Try this and tell me how you like it:

1) Roll 4d6, taking the best 3, until two scores of 15+ are rolled, ignoring all other rolls.
2) Once you have the two good scores, roll 4d6 recording the top 3 dice. Do this 5 times, drop the lowest of the five. Arrange remaining six scores per desired class.

Fresh Idea: Raising stats at level training time: A % chance to raise one stat one point, with the % going down if your stats are already good, and if you are of higher level. Racial max applies.

Base 80% chance to raise stat.
+5% if it is your primary stat.
-2%/level over 5th
-8% for each existing 15
-13% for each existing 16
-22% for each existing 17
-30% for each existing 18
-40% for each existing 19
-60% for any 20+ stats (yeah, like that happens... right.)
1% is minimum chance
10% is minimum if 5th level or lower.

Complex, but proven to be a lot of fun for players.

2x Dex bonus: Excellent idea. We have that attached to several home-brewed classes where you would traditionally expect people to wear light or no armour. Magic Items allowing the same are relatively common for those who want to ditch non-non-bulky armour. Never made it a general rule... Hmmm...

More some other day when more time available...

Nerd power!
edward oleander

Captain Rufus said...

Some interesting ideas, albeit more complicated ones. I'm personally going for more simplified and streamlined bits. Basically what D&D 3 should have been before they went all overdetailed and Gurpsy. (Seriously. Full on Gurps makes my brain hurt. Reading Gurps Ogre is a joy for the fluff, a terror to make sense of the vehicle stats!)

I like your +2 / -2 thing. Im not sure I would use it as it kind of puts a damper on sword folks, but it does make a serious difference on how various weapons work.

(Course right now I am mostly playing tabletop minis games and prepping for a possible Trinity game so I can't even put my own silly ideas into actual playtest to watch them fall apart miserably. Too many games, too little time, too few players willing to try them all out...)

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