Saturday, April 24, 2010

What's Up With Attack Table Progression

What's up with attack table progression in original, classic, and retro D&D?

Whatever, I'm sure this issue has been talked to death. I just want to say I much prefer this table to the standard Labyrinth Lord one. Which among other things annoys me to no end that M-Us have same hit chance as fighter until 3rd lvl. In this table fighters (Edit: after 1st lvl) are always better to hit than other classes of same level.  Btw, I'm uninterested in AC lower than 0 (the best AC possible) or levels above 9-12.


Awesome Table
Warrior Whacker Wuss tohit 0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9
   0             1    +0  20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11
   1     1-2    2-4   +1  19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10
   2     3-4    5-7   +2  18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10  9
  3-4    5-6    8-10  +3  17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10  9  8
   5     7-8   11-12  +4  16 15 14 13 12 11 10  9  8  7
   6     9-10  13-14  +5  15 14 13 12 11 10  9  8  7  6
  7-8   11-12  15-16  +6  14 13 12 11 10  9  8  7  6  5
   9    13-14  17-18  +7  13 12 11 10  9  8  7  6  5  4
  10    15-16  19-20  +8  12 11 10  9  8  7  6  5  4  3
  11    17-18  21-22  +9  11 10  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2
  12+   19+     23+  +10  10  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  2


Instead of tables I much prefer the formula tohit + AC + d20 >= 20 scores a hit.

8 comments:

  1. "In this table fighters are always better to hit than other classes of same level."

    I'm not sure if this was your intention, but a level 1 Fighter and a level 1 Cleric have the same chance to hit.

    If you increased level 0 and 1 Fighters' chances by 1 then this would be true.

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  2. Yeah, it's kinda wonky. Swords & Wizardry is even worse. Due to the Cleric's quicker experience point progression, he'll eventually be a better fighter than the Fighter. Weapon Specialization and whatnot can help offset this, but a whole new table may indeed be the best solution.

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  3. Yep. Makes sense. May have to nick this...

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  4. @AoF
    I edited post to reflect that my initial intention was to have fighters be better after 1st lvl. I like that both fighters and the hybrids aka whackers (clerics, thieves, bards, etc) start off better than normals (0 lvl). Fighters should learn to fight better, faster than others.

    @James
    The different xp progression, yeah. For nice simple games like S&W and LL varying xp progression seems like such a worthless complication. It makes very little practical difference (except for LL elves). Requiring multiple high stats for xp bonus is better "balancing" method.

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  5. I mostly agree with everything said here. The OSR is a chance to rebuild around what was truly enjoyable, not slavishly follow early game design choices that never made much sense.

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  6. Magic-users can't wear armour, that gave the fighter a huge advantage right from the start. Once the Greyhawk supplement added variable weapon damage to the game, which allowed the fighter to use a two-handed sword and do 1d10 points of damage, not to mention higher hit dice (1d8) and access to exceptional strength for fighters, the magic-user was stuck with just a dagger that no longer did 1d6 points of damage but only 1d4, only 1d4 hit points instead of the original 1d6, AND he still couldn't wear armour.

    With all that, I don't think it really matters that all three classes had the same chance to hit for the first three levels, the fighter clearly had a great advantage in combat.

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  7. @David
    That makes sense. I still think my chart makes sense giving the following that are true for me.

    1) The Wuss line is for any class that doesn't train for combat. Those classes may be able to wear armor/use better weapons.
    2) Also, I'm undecided whether and which types of magic users will be restricted from wearing armor.
    3) Various classes using the Warrior line *are* armor/weapon restricted.

    The Wusses always being worse than Warriors is a quibble. It's not an "OMG game unbalanced!" issue. It just struck me as "weird" when running some one shots recently. I threw it in as an afterthought when I made the more substantive changes to the attack progression.

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  8. Hey nothing wrong with house-ruling Norman, I'm looking forward to introducing sword-wielding sorcerers to my game one day. I may even let them wear armour. Bottom line is what works and what is fun for you and your group.

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