Combat Options Supplement

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Solomoriah
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Combat Options Supplement

Post Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:34 am

Post your comments here for the Combat Options Supplement.
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Sir Bedivere
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Re: Combat Options Supplement

Post Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:46 pm

Here are some thoughts for the next release. I'm using a number of these now and they seem to work well, though I haven't played them extensively.

1. Starting HP

Option 1: I think it's common to boost the starting HP for PCs. One common option is giving PCs max HP for their class at 1st level.

Option 2: Working with the idea that the PC was once a 0-level character in training, have the player roll d4 for that period of the PC's life, regardless of class, w/o CON bonuses. Then the player rolls the class HD normally for gaining first level. This gives an average 2-3 HP boost.

2. Armor and Movement

Option 1: Don't use any armor penalties for movement, but do add the weight of armor for encumbrance purposes.

Option 2: Allow Magic-Users to wear specially-made leather armor which is designed to allow full range of motion. Stats: Magicians leather, 40 gp, 14 lbs., AC 13.

3. Weapons

Option 1: All classes except the cleric can use crossbows. (Clerics might, however, be able to use crossbows with blunted bolts that cause subdual damage.)

Option 2: Due to the extended training time necessary to become proficient, only Fighters may use long bows. Long bows cannot be used while mounted (at least, not by M-sized beings).

4. Movement and Attack

Option 1: Allow movement and attack in either order.

Option 2: A character has three options: he can move one-half his movement and then attack, attack and then move one-half, or move his full movement without attacking.

Option 3: Fighters can forego all movement and attack twice in one round. The first attack takes place on their initiative number and is a normal attack. The player must declare that he is taking a second attack immediately after the first attack is resolved. The second attack comes at half their initiative, rounded down. So, a fighter who rolls a 6 for initiative and who chooses not to move can attack once at 6 and again at 3. If the fighter has a 1 initiative, he cannot use the Double Attack ability. The second attack gets no bonuses to hit or damage from strength or dexterity (though it does get penalties from low STR or DEX) and is at -2 to hit.

5. Attack Bonus

Fighters get +1 per level up to 8th level, then +1 at every even level thereafter (i.e., 10th, 12th, etc.). Clerics, Magic-users, and Thieves all have an attack bonus of 0 at first level, then from second level on use the core rules table as written.

6. Missiles that Miss (Massed enemies version)

When a missile is launched into a mass of enemies and misses its intended target, roll to see if it hits any enemies behind it. Roll once for each 'row' of enemies behind the intended target without any bonuses.

Notes: The fighter getting a second attack and/or using the adjusted attack bonus would make them too powerful in a core rules game, I think. I use them because my house rules increase the abilities of the other classes to roughly match these, so they balance in my game. (Thieves start w/ higher thieves abilities scores, mages start w/ more magic, and clerics start w/ more divine power.)
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Re: Combat Options Supplement

Post Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:37 am

Sir Bedivere wrote:Here are some thoughts for the next release. I'm using a number of these now and they seem to work well, though I haven't played them extensively.

1. Starting HP

Option 1: I think it's common to boost the starting HP for PCs. One common option is giving PCs max HP for their class at 1st level.

Option 2: Working with the idea that the PC was once a 0-level character in training, have the player roll d4 for that period of the PC's life, regardless of class, w/o CON bonuses. Then the player rolls the class HD normally for gaining first level. This gives an average 2-3 HP boost.

2. Armor and Movement

Option 1: Don't use any armor penalties for movement, but do add the weight of armor for encumbrance purposes.

Option 2: Allow Magic-Users to wear specially-made leather armor which is designed to allow full range of motion. Stats: Magicians leather, 40 gp, 14 lbs., AC 13.

3. Weapons

Option 1: All classes except the cleric can use crossbows. (Clerics might, however, be able to use crossbows with blunted bolts that cause subdual damage.)

Option 2: Due to the extended training time necessary to become proficient, only Fighters may use long bows. Long bows cannot be used while mounted (at least, not by M-sized beings).

4. Movement and Attack

Option 1: Allow movement and attack in either order.

Option 2: A character has three options: he can move one-half his movement and then attack, attack and then move one-half, or move his full movement without attacking.

Option 3: Fighters can forego all movement and attack twice in one round. The first attack takes place on their initiative number and is a normal attack. The player must declare that he is taking a second attack immediately after the first attack is resolved. The second attack comes at half their initiative, rounded down. So, a fighter who rolls a 6 for initiative and who chooses not to move can attack once at 6 and again at 3. If the fighter has a 1 initiative, he cannot use the Double Attack ability. The second attack gets no bonuses to hit or damage from strength or dexterity (though it does get penalties from low STR or DEX) and is at -2 to hit.

5. Attack Bonus

Fighters get +1 per level up to 8th level, then +1 at every even level thereafter (i.e., 10th, 12th, etc.). Clerics, Magic-users, and Thieves all have an attack bonus of 0 at first level, then from second level on use the core rules table as written.

6. Missiles that Miss (Massed enemies version)

When a missile is launched into a mass of enemies and misses its intended target, roll to see if it hits any enemies behind it. Roll once for each 'row' of enemies behind the intended target without any bonuses.
A few comments:

I like points 1, 4.1, 5, 6

Point 2 makes for messier encumbrance rules, I prefer BFRPG's current easier way of handling encumbrance.
Also I would avoid giving Magic-users the chance to wear armor as it breaks the feel of continuity with the original game. The same goes for point 3.
Regarding 4.3 makes for stronger fighters -which is a good thing. I'm pretty satisfied with the specialization rules that Solomoriah wrote though, as those too keep with the tradition.

Best regards
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Re: Combat Options Supplement

Post Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:42 pm

I agree with artikid here. I'll go point-by-point, though:
Sir Bedivere wrote:Here are some thoughts for the next release. I'm using a number of these now and they seem to work well, though I haven't played them extensively.

1. Starting HP

Option 1: I think it's common to boost the starting HP for PCs. One common option is giving PCs max HP for their class at 1st level.
This is, in fact, a common house rule... my group does it, in fact. I may list this as an optional rule.
Sir Bedivere wrote:Option 2: Working with the idea that the PC was once a 0-level character in training, have the player roll d4 for that period of the PC's life, regardless of class, w/o CON bonuses. Then the player rolls the class HD normally for gaining first level. This gives an average 2-3 HP boost.
This fails continuity with the traditional game, but it isn't that bad a rule. But I don't see any need to codify it.
Sir Bedivere wrote:2. Armor and Movement

Option 1: Don't use any armor penalties for movement, but do add the weight of armor for encumbrance purposes.
Removing armor penalties for movement, at least in my group, guarantees that everyone will suddenly move very fast. I think I even explained that in the Core Rules. Remove it at your own risk. As far as I'm concerned, it's staying in.
Sir Bedivere wrote:Option 2: Allow Magic-Users to wear specially-made leather armor which is designed to allow full range of motion. Stats: Magicians leather, 40 gp, 14 lbs., AC 13.
Fails continuity with previous rules, and further, I just don't like it. What's to prevent a thief from wearing this armor?

If you want to allow magic-users in leather armor, go for it. It won't "break" the game, but it does change it slightly.
Sir Bedivere wrote:3. Weapons

Option 1: All classes except the cleric can use crossbows. (Clerics might, however, be able to use crossbows with blunted bolts that cause subdual damage.)
Basically, this means magic-users can use crossbows; of the core classes, fighters and thieves can already use them, and you aren't allowing them for clerics without some trickery.

Why should magic-users be allowed to use them?
Sir Bedivere wrote:Option 2: Due to the extended training time necessary to become proficient, only Fighters may use long bows. Long bows cannot be used while mounted (at least, not by M-sized beings).
This won't break anything. But again, why? What is the purpose of this rule? Keeping thieves from using longbows? Why?
Sir Bedivere wrote:4. Movement and Attack

Option 1: Allow movement and attack in either order.
Doesn't hurt a bit, as far as I know. I may include this.
Sir Bedivere wrote:Option 2: A character has three options: he can move one-half his movement and then attack, attack and then move one-half, or move his full movement without attacking.
Really, if you look at the running rules, you'll see that we do something like this anyway... if you add 4.1 above, we already have all of this.
Sir Bedivere wrote:Option 3: Fighters can forego all movement and attack twice in one round. The first attack takes place on their initiative number and is a normal attack. The player must declare that he is taking a second attack immediately after the first attack is resolved. The second attack comes at half their initiative, rounded down. So, a fighter who rolls a 6 for initiative and who chooses not to move can attack once at 6 and again at 3. If the fighter has a 1 initiative, he cannot use the Double Attack ability. The second attack gets no bonuses to hit or damage from strength or dexterity (though it does get penalties from low STR or DEX) and is at -2 to hit.
I don't like this. Do fighters need that much help?

As far as I'm concerned, specialization and two-weapon combat give enough extra attacks.
Sir Bedivere wrote:5. Attack Bonus

Fighters get +1 per level up to 8th level, then +1 at every even level thereafter (i.e., 10th, 12th, etc.). Clerics, Magic-users, and Thieves all have an attack bonus of 0 at first level, then from second level on use the core rules table as written.
I considered AB +0 for magic-users at 1st level, but for some reason I don't remember, I decided against it. The progression for the other classes I remember calculating... I'm not changing them. You may, of course, do as you wish in your game, but the AB table is done the way it is deliberately.

Giving fighters an AB that mirrors monsters gives them too much advantage over the monsters (since the average character of more than 1st level has some sort of magic bonus, but monsters rarely get them).
Sir Bedivere wrote:6. Missiles that Miss (Massed enemies version)

When a missile is launched into a mass of enemies and misses its intended target, roll to see if it hits any enemies behind it. Roll once for each 'row' of enemies behind the intended target without any bonuses.
I don't like this. For non-grenade-like-missiles, the attacker should never get a second chance to hit after blowing the first roll.
Sir Bedivere wrote:Notes: The fighter getting a second attack and/or using the adjusted attack bonus would make them too powerful in a core rules game, I think. I use them because my house rules increase the abilities of the other classes to roughly match these, so they balance in my game. (Thieves start w/ higher thieves abilities scores, mages start w/ more magic, and clerics start w/ more divine power.)
Here, you have already pointed out why I wouldn't publish that rule. An "advanced" supplement, incrementing the power of all the core classes, could do this; but I prefer to hold the game balance math as close to the core rules version as possible. I consider the Combat Options Supplement as about a "half increment" above the core rules.
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Re: Combat Options Supplement

Post Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:35 pm

Thanks for the feedback, guys.
Solomoriah wrote:
Sir Bedivere wrote:Option 2: Working with the idea that the PC was once a 0-level character in training, have the player roll d4 for that period of the PC's life, regardless of class, w/o CON bonuses. Then the player rolls the class HD normally for gaining first level. This gives an average 2-3 HP boost.
This fails continuity with the traditional game, but it isn't that bad a rule. But I don't see any need to codify it.
Weird. Because it extends an existing dynamic, I felt this was actually more in line with the original game than just giving max HP at first level. That was the very thing that appealed to me about it.
Solomoriah wrote:
Sir Bedivere wrote:2. Armor and Movement

Option 1: Don't use any armor penalties for movement, but do add the weight of armor for encumbrance purposes.
Removing armor penalties for movement, at least in my group, guarantees that everyone will suddenly move very fast. I think I even explained that in the Core Rules. Remove it at your own risk. As far as I'm concerned, it's staying in.
Well, I wasn't proposing taking that out, just allowing the change as part of an optional rules supplement. But, with two no votes so far, it isn't winning any popularity contests. And, as artikid points out, it does increase bookkeeping.
Solomoriah wrote:
Sir Bedivere wrote:Option 2: Allow Magic-Users to wear specially-made leather armor which is designed to allow full range of motion. Stats: Magicians leather, 40 gp, 14 lbs., AC 13.
Fails continuity with previous rules, and further, I just don't like it. What's to prevent a thief from wearing this armor?
Why would a thief want to wear it? They can already wear leather and this stuff is twice the cost. It is one pound lighter, but that seems pretty much irrelevant.

At this point I have a design philosophy question. How much should optional rules supplements try to maintain continuity with the Core Rules? For example, in my mind the sorcerer class is a pretty significant break in continuity from the CR, as are quasi-classes. Am I not looking at this properly?

What do you guys think?
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Re: Combat Options Supplement

Post Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:20 am

Sir Bedivere wrote:Weird. Because it extends an existing dynamic, I felt this was actually more in line with the original game than just giving max HP at first level. That was the very thing that appealed to me about it.
It's not that bad, actually. It's just not been done before, and most of Basic Fantasy has been "done" (which is a lot of the point in it, actually).
Sir Bedivere wrote:Well, I wasn't proposing taking that out, just allowing the change as part of an optional rules supplement. But, with two no votes so far, it isn't winning any popularity contests. And, as artikid points out, it does increase bookkeeping.
Um... how? I guess I don't see it. The weight of armor always counts for encumbrance.
Sir Bedivere wrote:Why would a thief want to wear it? They can already wear leather and this stuff is twice the cost. It is one pound lighter, but that seems pretty much irrelevant.
I guess my point is, why do we need this at all? If you want to let magic-users wear leather, go for it. It doesn't break the game, just tweaks it a bit. In my regular Glain campaign, I've allowed it for a long time.
Sir Bedivere wrote:At this point I have a design philosophy question. How much should optional rules supplements try to maintain continuity with the Core Rules? For example, in my mind the sorcerer class is a pretty significant break in continuity from the CR, as are quasi-classes. Am I not looking at this properly?
Rules that affect the balance between the core classes, or between PCs and monsters, have to be scrutinized pretty closely. I'm extremely conservative with what I'll publish, specifically because people will look at the rules we put out as a starting point, and give additional advantages from there. It's the key source of power creep, in my opinion. So, I'm very, very conservative about it.

The other reason is, when I put out an optional rule, I have a reason. I asked "why" to a lot of the rules you posted above, and you really didn't answer, so I still don't know what you intend to accomplish with them.
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Re: Combat Options Supplement

Post Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:43 am

Sir Bedivere wrote:At this point I have a design philosophy question. How much should optional rules supplements try to maintain continuity with the Core Rules? For example, in my mind the sorcerer class is a pretty significant break in continuity from the CR, as are quasi-classes. Am I not looking at this properly?

What do you guys think?
I enjoy seeing new directions in thought and implementation. That said, things need to be very simplistic in design. Even of the stuff I have designed personally (such as those quasi-classes), I don't even utilize all of it... and it was never intended to be offered as all-or-nothing; even within a given supplement, things are intended as optional components. One may like Rangers, while not liking Paladins. Certain races either fit within a given GM's campaign concept or they don't... no reason to think further into it.

Consider all the material as optional grab-bags for building your own concept of the game.

For me, bring on more. Bring on new races, bring on more classes, especially bring on more spells, magic items, gear, etc... it is all optional and easily omitted when it does not fit my idea of the game.
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Re: Combat Options Supplement

Post Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:29 pm

Solomoriah wrote:
Sir Bedivere wrote:Well, I wasn't proposing taking that out, just allowing the change as part of an optional rules supplement. But, with two no votes so far, it isn't winning any popularity contests. And, as artikid points out, it does increase bookkeeping.
Um... how? I guess I don't see it. The weight of armor always counts for encumbrance.
Sorry, I misunderstood your comment. My bad.
Solomoriah wrote:
Sir Bedivere wrote:Why would a thief want to wear it? They can already wear leather and this stuff is twice the cost. It is one pound lighter, but that seems pretty much irrelevant.
I guess my point is, why do we need this at all? If you want to let magic-users wear leather, go for it. It doesn't break the game, just tweaks it a bit. In my regular Glain campaign, I've allowed it for a long time.
The plain reason is that MUs can use a little extra protection at lower levels. As this is an optional rules supplement, I thought it would be a good place to include this kind of rule. Do we need a special kind of leather armor just for MUs? Not really. I just thought the added cost would be a good trade off for the benefit they get, and it extends the exotic flavor a bit as well.
Solomoriah wrote:
Sir Bedivere wrote:At this point I have a design philosophy question. How much should optional rules supplements try to maintain continuity with the Core Rules? For example, in my mind the sorcerer class is a pretty significant break in continuity from the CR, as are quasi-classes. Am I not looking at this properly?
Rules that affect the balance between the core classes, or between PCs and monsters, have to be scrutinized pretty closely. I'm extremely conservative with what I'll publish, specifically because people will look at the rules we put out as a starting point, and give additional advantages from there. It's the key source of power creep, in my opinion. So, I'm very, very conservative about it.
Yeah, that's understandable, but that isn't continuity so much as game balance, it seems. More on this below.
Solomoriah wrote:The other reason is, when I put out an optional rule, I have a reason. I asked "why" to a lot of the rules you posted above, and you really didn't answer, so I still don't know what you intend to accomplish with them.
Once I realized I wasn't really understanding the feedback, I stopped replying and asked for clarification. I'll run through my reasons in a follow-up post.
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Re: Combat Options Supplement

Post Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:44 am

Solomoriah wrote:I agree with artikid here. I'll go point-by-point, though:

...
Sir Bedivere wrote:3. Weapons

Option 1: All classes except the cleric can use crossbows. (Clerics might, however, be able to use crossbows with blunted bolts that cause subdual damage.)
Basically, this means magic-users can use crossbows; of the core classes, fighters and thieves can already use them, and you aren't allowing them for clerics without some trickery.
Good point. I wrote it as a general rule so that it would include optional classes as well, though right off hand I can't think of any non-MU subclass that can't use them. Also, this would allow clerics operating under optional rules that allow edged weapons to use crossbows.
Solomoriah wrote:
Why should magic-users be allowed to use them?
Two reasons. First, it's logical, I think. Crossbows are relatively easy to use. A bit of instruction and some range time and you're good to go. It would be much easier to learn than throwing daggers. Because of the attack bonus table, MUs will never (except at 1st level) have the same proficiency with them as fighters, and that's appropriate as well. Plus, no MU should want to go hand-to-hand with the enemy.

Second, MUs can use some beefing up at low levels, and this doesn't give them any significant benefit at high levels, so it seems like a decent balance to me. The fact that crossbows fire at 1 per 2 rounds or slower also keeps the effect relatively small.
Solomoriah wrote:
Sir Bedivere wrote:4. Movement and Attack

...

Option 2: A character has three options: he can move one-half his movement and then attack, attack and then move one-half, or move his full movement without attacking.
Really, if you look at the running rules, you'll see that we do something like this anyway... if you add 4.1 above, we already have all of this.
Right you are. Sorry.

Okay, let's get into my reasons for beefing up the fighter. First off, your comment that,
Solomoriah wrote:An "advanced" supplement, incrementing the power of all the core classes, could do this; but I prefer to hold the game balance math as close to the core rules version as possible.
makes a lot of sense, and I think that's probably what I should do with some of these rules, if anything. I've developed a good part of such a supplement (my house rules), and maybe at some point I'll finish them up and see what you think. (Although, I don't think of them as 'advanced' so much as fitting the style of campaign I like to run.)

On to specifics.

Limiting the use of longbows to fighters, the double attack rule, and the increased attack bonus for fighters are all intended for a campaign where the other classes are beefed up as well. I mentioned this when I originally posted them, but maybe I shouldn't have posted them without thinking through this a bit better.
Solomoriah wrote:
Sir Bedivere wrote:6. Missiles that Miss (Massed enemies version)

When a missile is launched into a mass of enemies and misses its intended target, roll to see if it hits any enemies behind it. Roll once for each 'row' of enemies behind the intended target without any bonuses.
I don't like this. For non-grenade-like-missiles, the attacker should never get a second chance to hit after blowing the first roll.
If you don't like it, then it doesn't go in, but it's both fair and logical. If you fire at an enemy next to an ally and miss, the Core Rules make you check to see if you accidentally hit your ally instead. So, it's fair to possibly hit another enemy standing behind the one you missed as well. And it works both ways; when the orcs launch arrows at the PCs all lined up in a hallway, they get the same benefit.

The logical argument is that military attacks are planned to take advantage of just this kind of accidental hit, and defensive maneuver is designed to avoid or get out of situations where the enemy is doing it to you. Ambushes, for example, are set up so that the ambushers can fire down a line of enemy troops. If you miss the guy you were aiming at, your bullet has a reasonable chance of hitting someone behind him. It's a significant part of combat tactics.
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Re: Combat Options Supplement

Post Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:23 am

Sir Bedivere wrote:If you don't like it, then it doesn't go in, but it's both fair and logical. If you fire at an enemy next to an ally and miss, the Core Rules make you check to see if you accidentally hit your ally instead. So, it's fair to possibly hit another enemy standing behind the one you missed as well. And it works both ways; when the orcs launch arrows at the PCs all lined up in a hallway, they get the same benefit.
I see your point. However, you need to understand that my rule here is aimed not at simulationism, but rather at gamism. A failed roll to hit should never have a positive result in normal combat situations.

I'd be more likely to agree with an optional rule giving a bonus to hit when attacking opponents in a massed group, provided they all have the same AC.
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