Monday, March 19, 2012

Detailed Combat Posts - Fighter Attacks

At the end of the last post, I suggested that I had eliminated the "zero-level" in my world.  This is true.  I did it with this.

If every individual's base hit points are determined by their mass, and a "hit die" is defined as the composite of that mass, than every creature by definition has at least one hit die.  Gygax and cronies decided that a suitable solution to things having less hit dice that a leveled character was to define them as having half a hit die, or a quarter of a hit die, or a die 8 minus 1, or other such garbage; when I created the Mass Effects On Hit Points rule, I eliminated zero levels ... and unfortunately, I eliminated the fighter attacks against zero level rule as well.

So I created this table, which I should have posted a couple of months ago before my online player Ahmet reached 3rd level (but I don't think he's fought anything of 1 hit die since doing so):

I can almost hear the screaming as I violate the inviolable rule - but I don't really care.  I do confess to making some ad hoc decisions about the above table, based on experience.  I have limited the number of attacks to 10; in my combat system, this is an attack every 1.2 seconds and I am comfortable saying that pushes the boundary of believability.

It's even worse than that, though.  My rules are that multiple attacks for fighters gained from levels are still done in the "2 movement point" requirement time frame.  Thus, if it takes a 1st level fighter 2 points of movement to attack a 1 hit die orc, then a 3rd level fighter attacks that orc twice in the same time period.  This means that a fighter can still move forward and attack - even needing less movement than before, if desired.  As such, those 10 attacks would occur at 0.48 seconds per attack.  It just doesn't come any faster.

Another ad hoc limitation is the 7+ hit die ceiling; since the change from 6th level to 7th level is all-important to an advancing fighter (1 attack per round to 3 attacks every 2 rounds), this seems a reasonable stop for the table.  After all, it was an ad hoc rule in the first place that limited multiple attacks for fighters to zero level - I'm just picking the limit that suits me.

If you are a DM designing your world, you can always design your own table.  The important thing here is the possibility of increasing fighter attacks against lower level/hit die creatures.  It works in the game, and it is a marvelous counterbalance for fighters vs. mages (and their mooks) at higher levels.


Oddbit said...

The whole partial hit die feels like an awkward solution. Almost as awkward as the d3 (I personally don't own one, but use a consistent system on the D6)

Though I must admit, meta-knowledge determining players maximum actions seems slightly awkward to me as well.

I understand the idea of attacking low levels granting more openings for damage, but the mechanics of how many attacks the player gets when attacking an opponent of unknown skill seems to add in a bit of a moment where you have to ask the DM how many HD the guard has, or the DM has to announce you have this many attacks remaining after the first.

Furthermore, maybe I just don't know the mechanics due to inexperience, but after you defeat the 1HD opponent with two attacks, then the 2 HD with 1 attack, and you are level 10, how many 'attacks' do you have left? Or can you even go after the 2HD after attacking a 1HD?

That's the kind of stuff that makes my head explode. If I were to attempt to mechanically approach it, I would probably follow a different solution. Though I guess that gives me something to think about.

Alexis said...

It sounds complicated, but it isn't. I admit it is hard to describe in text.

Let's say you have 1 attack against George, a 2HD creature. Each attack against George costs you 2 mp.

And let's say you have 2 attacks against Hank, a 1HD creature. Each attack against Hank costs you 1 mp.

You can only attack a maximum of 2 mp per round, per weapon you are using.

If you are using 1 weapon, and you attack George, you use all your mp and you can't attack Hank.

If you attack Hank, you use at least 1 mp and you haven't got enough to attack George. But you can attack Hank again.

If you are using a second weapon, you can use one weapon to attack George once, and the other weapon to attack Hank twice.

But you suffer to hit penalties for using two weapons, according to dexterity.

This doesn't make my brain hurt.

During combat, I will tell you who is the better fighter, because you can judge that through fighting them ... watching how they move and ready their weapon. I'll flat out tell you who is the really dangerous opponent, because you can SEE it if you're a fighter (I don't tell non-fighters). Then you can judge your attacks accordingly.

It's only that I won't reveal who is a good fighter UNTIL you fight them.

Alexis said...

Well... sometimes I'll tell non-fighters.

Oddbit said...

So for the level 10, you will say it cost .2 mp for the attack vs the HD1 and for the HD2 it costs 2/6 an mp. Then it's up to the fighter to do the math after you told them the HD values?

Alexis said...

As the DM, I am nearly always right there with you, Oddbit. I will do the math for you if you want.

Oddbit said...

Fortunately I won't be the one dealing with that particular math. I always hated sixths and thirds.

Sounds like a handy excel chart can help with adding up the attacks...

Now for something completely different. Do you allow the fighter to move between attacks? Or does the math become less problematic when you take into account they probably wont have more than 8 guys in range...

Alexis said...

It wouldn't be much use if the fighter couldn't, would it?

You want the Aragorn/Boromir slaughter-mayhem concept - so that Ahmet, frustrated at his speed at the moment, can attack orc #1, move one hex, and attack orc #2, in the same round.

Assuming, of course, that he hits and stuns/kills orc #1, so that he doesn't have to pay the break from combat movement penalty.

Butch said...

Do you have to spend 2 MP for every attack?

Alexis said...

If you have sufficient level that you can attack a creature twice or more, then the answer to your question is no, Butch. If your 3rd level fighter were attacking a kobald, say, and you wanted to attack him once, and move two, you'd be in your rights to do that.