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Re: (TFT) Random thoughts on rpg combat systems.

Rick writes . . .

>The jump from a 1 die horse bow to a
>1d+2 longbow for a only one point increase in
>minimum ST bothered me to the point where I
>increased the minimum ST of long bows to 12.
>(I added a 1d+1 hunting bow at ST 11.)

   I like this idea.

>Dave Seagraves uses a system where you may
>always parry a blow by rolling two dice more than
>the attacker's to hit roll.  Thus it makes sense
>to attack with 4 or 5 dice (if you have the DX)
>because this makes your blows hard to parry.

   In my modified /Advanced Melee/ the attacker gets to choose how
many dice to roll (any number from zero to infinity).  The more dice
rolled, the more difficult the attack maneuver (feint, etc.) his
character is attempting.  An attacker could roll more than 3 dice, but
if he succeeds it makes it harder for the defender to parry.
   Rick, your Thail character (with his super-high DX) definitely has
the wavos to routinely make 4-die attack rolls, and he has a really
good chance of making most ordinary defense rolls.
   I made this rule change for my campaign to increase the scalability
of the game and allow high-DX characters to show off by parrying.

>I had rules like this (see Inept Adept #1, I
>think) but his method is simpler.

   I'll take that as a compliment.  :^)

>Dave's system successfully slows down combats
>but it reminds me of GURPS.  Most of the time
>combat boil down to: [snip]

   I originally set up defense rolls as rolling just one more die than
the attacker.  IMO this fit reality pretty well, and it also helped
make military battles last a realistic amount of time.
   But I crunched the numbers and found that typical PC battles would
take too long.  An average battle might go on too long to hold the
players' interest, and a fight between two or more weapon masters (ala
the swordfights in "The Great Race", any of the Musketeer movie
fights, or any of the Star Wars light saber duels) would take several
game /minutes/ (and too much real time) with massive amounts of die ro
lling.  This is great cinema but maybe not so much fun in an RPG.
   So I bumped defense rolls up to +2 dice, and playtesting has shown
this to work pretty well.  Rolling an optimum number of attack dice,
two DX 10 fighters have a 94% chance to hit each other and a 16%
chance to parry.  Overall chance of attacker success (i.e. getting to
make a damage roll) is 79%.  If two average Joes have at each other
with baseball bats one of them will get clobbered pretty quickly.

   I used this system for the first time in a recent battle.  One of
the bad guys (DX 12) made a 5-die defense roll, and there were a
handful of successful defense rolls on the PC side -- just often
enough to be interesting but not enough to slow things down too much.

Lt. Dave Seagraves   zilchATaustin.rr.com
Combat Physician, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne Division, TMHS
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