Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A bucket full of dice - how the dice have changed in T&T through the ages

Like I wrote in my last post, it seems the biggest issue people are having with dT&T who have come to the game cold, are the dice pools. Since the basic combat mechanic is you roll all dice on one side of the conflict, add it up and subtract from the sum of the other side, you will roll a lot of dice. There ways to either roll fewer, or to sum them up, but I'm going to focus on the historical perspective.

So, was the game always like this? Let's take out the old books. I have in my possession the 1st ed reprint, the 2nd ed, the British 1st ed (1st ed with The T&T supplement included), 5th ed, 7th ed, the revised 7th ed and now dT&T.

Let's take a look at how some of the weapons have looked like through the ages.

Greatsword
1st2nd1st British5th7th8th
3d+33d+33d+3667
Bastard sword
1st2nd1st British5th7th8th
333555
Great axe
1st2nd1st British5th7th8th
4d+34d+34d+35d+35d+37

Can you also see a trend here? I could take more examples, but I think the point I'm trying to make is clear. The game has become more unwieldy because of  dice inflation.

It kind of reminds me of how D&D grew out of proportions in 4th ed. where the hit points of both player characters and monsters were in the hundreds! The game wont feel more epic if all numbers are raised, it will only take longer to play. I think WotC proved that for all of us who played that edition of D&D. But, wait! Did T&T raise all numbers? Let's look at some armor.

Plate
1st2nd1st British5th7th8th
101010141816
Scale
1st2nd1st British5th7th8th
4448810

Even though the Plate armor is not increasing all the way, we see the trend here as well. The fact is, the situation is more complex than it seems. In the earliest editions, armor was ablative! That 18 points of damage reduction you get in 7th ed is even better than the 10->18 step looks like!

So, the damage dealt have increased, and the damage absorbed by armor have increased. You could try to figure out the relation between those, but I will just state that in that increase you have also increased another thing. The time it takes to resolve a combat.

In my next post I will take a look at some other rules that have changed during the years, and in the final post I will serve up my take on how I would use the rules in my game.

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