Tuesday, September 16, 2014

D&D Rules Comparison 7

Surprise
Encounter distance indoors changed from 20-80 feet to 20-60 feet.
Surprise can occur anywhere within the encounter distance. (D&D74 – only if an encounter occurs within 30 feet.)

Initiative
Initiative determined by rolling 1d6 per side. P37

Morale
Monsters assigned a moral score.

Movement:
Combat movement specified as 1/3 normal movement.
Combat withdrawal – 5 feet per round.
Combat retreat/rout (at a run) allows opportunity for opponent to attack from behind. 
Monsters who pass a morale check will pursue retreating PC’s 25% of the time. (p40)

Hit and Damage
A natural 20 always hits.
Damage is variable by weapon type – not all d6.
Bare handed damage is 1d4. (p51)
Attack Modifier table:
Circumstance
Modifier
Attacking from behind
+2 bonus to hit
Attacker Can’t see target
-4 penalty to hit
Larger than man sized monster attacking a Halfling 
-1 penalty to hit
Target exhausted
+2 bonus to hit
Attacker exhausted
-2 penalty to hit
Target behind cover
-1 to -4 to missile fire to hit


Discussion:

Surprise: nothing good about these changes.  The original rules were better and made more sense.

Initiative: Okay.  Although the 3lbb's have no initiative mechanic, the 1d6 roll is found in CHAINMAIL., and is also mentioned in the FAQ from '75.

Morale:  having a set morale score for each monster is a convenience, but it is not necessary.  Usually an OD&D referee will usethe reaction table as a kind of morale indicator allowing that any group of monsters, regardless of type might be particularly brave or shaky.

Movement: D&D94's movement at 1/3 normal movement is based on the notion of a 10 second round - which isn't established until the Holmes edition of the rules.  It could be applied to an OD&D game if the referee also wished to use 10 second rounds instead of the usual 1 minute combat round.  The same may be said of the withdrawal rule.  That is an interesting and potentially useful rule.  If the same rule were to be applied to a one minute round, the distance of a fighting withdrawal would be 30 feet.

Allowing a free attack on an opponent is a common house rule in OD&D.  It's a good rule.

The 25% chase rule is quite low by OD&D standards, where most monster are expected to give chase.  

Hit and Damage:
I like the crit hit on a d20, but that ought to be optional.  Likewise with variable weapon damage; take it or leave it as you please.

Bare handed damage at 1d4 is way to high.  Two punches would kill the average human.

The table of modifiers deal with things left unspoken in OD&D and so could be adopeted in whole or in part, if desired.

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