Saturday, March 5, 2016

Combat capabilities through T&T editions

The next part of my walk through of T&T editions will be a closer look at some miscellaneous rules that pertain to combat, and that might exacerbate or alleviate some of the issues you might have.

Having talked about the hardware, it's time to look at how the classes/types work in combat. In T&T you have those wielding swords, and those wielding magic. There is the middle ground, the rogue wizard, but I will leave it out of the discussion as there's nothing new for that type of character. But, it's worth noting how opposition works, because the monster have their own rules.

Let's start with the Warriors. In the first two editions, the only thing a Warrior got was their adds from high stats. Then from the T&T Supplement and on to the latest edition, they get the ability to use their armour extra effectively. So, twice the value for absorbing hits. This kind of coincides with the first serious bump in dice for weapons. From the unofficial 6th unto the latest edition Warriors have also gotten a boost by adding extra damage. I think the +1/lvl kind of makes sense as the armour suddenly absorbs more from 5th ed on, but 1d extra damage per level as in 8th ed just sounds ill thought out. They mention in a side bar it was questioned in play testing. That should have told the game developers this was a bad idea.

The magic wielding class have been very uniform through the editions. All first level spells have been available for all wizards, and apart from the 7th ed era where they needed to make a Saving Roll to cast, they have been able to lob spells freely, paying for then by WIZ or STR points. From 5th ed they have been upgraded combat wise with the ability to not only use 1d weapon, but 2d weapons. Then they also got the ability to use adds from high stats, which they were forbidden before. Interestingly, before that switch they had the benefit of being assigned hits last.

How about the opposition then? Monsters can be stated out like characters, or they can use the more basic method of just having a Monster Rating. The basic idea is the MR gives the dice rolled, and the adds you add to that in combat. From 5th ed on you use the same amount of adds for each combat round, and before that the monsters used to loose steam as the fight progressed, loosing dice and adds. Interestingly enough, before 5th ed. the rules stated that monsters thrived in darkness and got double their rating in darkness! As sometimes is the case, the British edition adds in a line about rolling the dice off MR to generate the amount of hits a monster can take. Feels a bit odd if you already have the MR, right?

So what does this all mean?
I think we can see how the power of the classes have increased in lockstep with the die ratings for weapons and armor. There are some quirks on top of this, like the Wizards being last to take a hit, that I had either not noticed or just plain forgot. There was one quite interesting note in the editions before the 5th about monsters on deeper levels. I guess they game expanded out beyond the dungeon. But, that suggestion was to multiply the dice the monster rolled by the level to make it easier on the GM when rolling many dice. It seems like the rules writer and developer somehow changed their minds about big dice pools being a hassle.

It's not very far fetched to think that if you feel the present edition is cumbersome, just roll scale back all the numbers! In my next post I will consider that, and some other options.

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