giovedì 31 dicembre 2015

OSR critical hit based on armor

Critical hit rules have always been based on the attack roll, 3.x introduced the threat range based on the weapon used and on some character abilities.

The idea of having critical hits not only on 20 has its own merits and we discussed about it a little in the "Six 20 between 19 and 21" article.

Today we want to introduce a new perspective. As we all know armor in the OSR/D&D/d20 system has the only function of bettering the Armor Class and to make the character harder to hit.

With this article we want to introduce more differences between armored and unarmored characters.

Simple System

The system is very simple, if the attack hit and the unmodified roll is in the Critical Range than a critical hit is scored

 Armor Type  Critical Range 

Monster need to be assigned an Armor Type equivalence, usually normal animals have leather, fantastic monster Chain, ancient dragons, golems and other strong monster plate.
Alternatively if you want to be more precise you can assign a Critical Range to each monster based on his description.

Helmet System

The system is similar to the simple system but give a critical range for character w/out HELMET, if the character wear an helmet than the critical range is the same of the previous table. As the previous system this is very simple, if the attack hit and the unmodified roll is in the Critical Range than a critical hit is scored

  Armor Type    Critical Range  

Critical Hits

The effects of critical hits can be managed in various ways, from simpler to more complex:
  1. double damage dice (e.g. 1d8 become 2d8)
  2. additional damage based on the kind of weapon
    • Blunt/Slash: roll a second damage dice (e.g. 1d8 become 2d8)
    • Piercing: add maximum result of dice (e.g. 1d8 become 1d8+8)
  3. additional damage dice based on the kind of weapon
    • Blunt: +1d6
    • Slashing: +1d8
    • Piercing: +1d12
  4. use critical table
  5. use critical table differentiated by weapon
  6. use critical table differentiated by weapon and armor

mercoledì 23 dicembre 2015

Unconquered OSR Sun

To aptly celebrate the Sol Invictus in an OSR fashion we have until the 28th of December to bring the INEXORABLE VICTORY OF THE UNCONQUERED SUN.

This is a new bonus goals for the already successful Lairs & Encounters kickstarter by Autarch.

With this new bonus goals we will get all the additional  25 monsters and lairs.

But what is the Lairs & Encounters book? 

Keep reading and you will discover it.....

Here what you will find in this interesting book:

Lairs & Encounters is the ultimate supplement for fantasy RPG sandbox campaigns. Designed for use with the Adventurer Conqueror King System™ (ACKS™), it is readily compatible with other fantasy role-playing games built on the same core rules. In Lairs & Encounters you will find:
  • More than 135* ready-to-play monstrous lairs - that's at least one lair listing for every possible monster lair mentioned in the Adventurer Conqueror King System. The lair listings are designed to be used both as dynamic points of interest that can be discovered while wandering through the wilderness and as obstacles to a would-be ruler’s attempt to secure land for a domain. 
  • New subsystems for sandbox play, including rules for populating 6-mile hexes with lairs based on the terrain and extent of settlements in the region, and rules for searching for lairs in the wilderness factoring in terrain density, aerial reconnaissance, splitting up to cover more ground (never split the party!), and more.
  • Additional mechanics for monsters, including ability scores for monstersproficiencies for monsters, and young monsters.
  • A complete system for taming and training monsters, with details on the lifespan, roles, tricks, trained and untrained value, supply cost, training period, and the trainability modifier of every monster in the game.  
  • A complete system for creating your own unique monsters. In the ACKS Player's Companion we gave you mechanics to create balanced new character classes and new spells; now we bring our same rigorous attention to balance and customization to monsters.
*now already 145... and they will be 160 if we reach the inexorable victory of the unconquered sun

So bold adventurer what are you waiting? 25 new monsters and the details of their lairs are at hand....

Hail the unconquered sun!

martedì 15 dicembre 2015

Six "20" between 19 and 21 an old school take on d20 to hit mechanics

Some retro-clones keep using to hit tables, one the reason is to respect the presence of repeated 20s in that tables.

The clones that respect the 6 20s in a row are OSRIC and Adventures Dark & Deep (although the second is much more than a clone) the two games most faithful to AD&D 1st edition (the one with 6 20 in a row). Labyrinth Lord has the row of 20 but the tables don't show any number greater of 20 and in the advanced edition we have even 7 20. The Rules Cyclopedia and D&D BECM instead has 5 20 in a row (so I don't understand why Labyrinth Lord don't emulate this).

Classic Table with the six "20"
attack value is dependent on class, Fighters get +1/level, Clerics +2/3level, Thieves +1/2 levels, Magic-Users +1/5 levels

Since Ad&d 2nd edition which adopted THAC0 and the d20 system the 6 (or 5) 20 in a row are no more.

Can the 6 20 in a row be implemented in games without tables?

The answer is yes.

Simulating the 6 20 in the "d20+bonus greater then AC" system

It can be done by considering the bonus from strength and magic (BoStMA for short) and adding 5 (or 4) to the roll if the d20 roll+BostMa is equal or greater of 20 or more simply it can be calculated the d20 range for which the +5 (or +4) bonus can be added.
The "threshold" is the number to roll on the d20 to get the +5 bonus

Example: Igor has a +2 for strength and +1 for magic the +5 bonus range would be 17-20.
Using normal rules of d20 (and all system that don't use tables) if Igor has a total bonus of +5 (+2 for level +2 for strength and +1 for magic) when he rolls to hit he will hit up to AC 20 with a roll of 15 (15+5=20), AC 21 with a 16, AC 27 with 17 (17+5+5), AC 28 with 18 and so on.....

As can be seen with such a bonus you will get the same effect of the 6 (or 5) 20 in a row

More tricks from this system

A few things can be noticed:
1) this system (and the original tables) gave more importance to strength/dexterity, specialization and magic bonuses than newer system/editions (since with a +5 to hit from strength and specialization a 1st level fighter would hit up to AC -5/25 25% of the times)
2) since such low/high AC are not so common in old school game the advantage from this system goes out of the window quite soon.

So why not use the threshold from the above table for more effects?

Here some possibilities:
a) +5 to hit
b) +5 to damage
c) disarm
d) stun
e) additional attack