Friday, August 6, 2010

primordial_odd: A Work in Progress

Alright, here's the newest iteration of my attempt to write a simulacrum of the Fantasy Supplement from Chainmail:                                   


There are still lots of holes, but I've made a couple of breakthroughs that I'm pretty excited about.    

  1. I replaced the attack and defense terminology of Light/Heavy/Armored with Cunning/Fierce/Masterful. The more I studied the original tables, the more it became obvious to me that they really weren't so much about armor as they were a gestalt of force and skill. This is especially obvious when you look at the way the terms are used for monsters in the FS. That kind of abstractness appeals to me, so I just pushed it one step further. Armor as such still matters in the Dueling Table, but not at all in the Combat Table.
  2. Which leads me to my next breakthrough, which is the, well, not so much re-creation but interpretation of the three main combat tables in the FS, the Combat Table (kept the same name), Man-to-Man (now Dueling), and the Fantasy Combat Table (now Wondrous Combat). I made some significant changes, especially in the Dueling Table, but overall I think they closely adhere to the spirit of the originals. I can honestly say when I was madly designing "indie" games three and more years ago, I would laughed out loud if you'd told me I'd design a game with three good-sized, cross-referenced, combat resolution tables---the world is funny like that, I guess. :)
For the tables themselves, which still woefully lack any sort of instructions or examples, so here's a short crib:

  • The Combat Table uses single d6s, and the formula is dice/rank(target number to score a hit); e.g., 1/2(6) means one die/two ranks, with a 6 needed to score a hit.
  • The Dueling Table uses 2d6, and at least right now, the low rank in the duel is subtracted from the high rank. The high rank in the duel uses that "duel number" as the number of 2d6 combos he rolls. The low rank in the duel rolls their rank, unless it's higher than the duel number, in which case they use the duel number, too. Opponents of the same rank each roll one 2d6. E.g., a 4th rank character faces off in a duel against a 1st rank character. 4-1=3, so the high rank rolls 3 2d6s combos, while the low rank character only rolls 1d6. If the low ranking character was 2nd rank, then both opponents would roll 2d6.
  • The Wondrous Combat table uses single rolls of 2d6 for each opponent. Damage can be dealt in one of two ways: each successful roll equals one hit of damage, or a successful hit equals an actual kill---that'll learn ya' to take the Wondrous lightly! The scores needed to hit are listed, for instance, as "7/5". The character's score to hit is on the left, the monster's on the right.
  • Characters themselves have hits equal to their rank. They can actually be knocked down to zero hits and keep fighting. Once below zero, they make a Saving Throw---if they make it, they're unconscious, if they fail it, well, even heroes die. After a combat, all hits are restored. If knocked down past zero and only rendered unconscious, when revived, hits will go back up only to the character's rank minus one, until the Adventure's over (or they spend a few days resting.)
I'm happy to field questions, and if someone's willing to give the combat tables a spin, well, that'd be fabulous. I'll be playtesting it this Sunday for Otherness: Session 13. Already sounds like we're going to have weird characters, so stay tuned...


  1. Are people still confused on the classifications of troops? Sheesh!

    Troop type isn't a roleplaying thing; it's a wargaming thing. Like all wargaming things, it doesn't come from out of left field, it comes from history. It doesn't largely depend on the armor the troops are wearing. It depends on their battlefield role -- the purpose of those troops historically.

    Light infantry and cavalry are skirmishers. Usually lightly armored (or unarmored), they fight in an open formation, harrassing enemy troops and then retreating behind the main line.

    Heavy foot and medium horse are the bulk of the forces. They fight in a close formation (i.e.; shoulder to shoulder), attacking and defending as a formation. The enemy might kill one guy, but his buddy to his immediate left will probably kill the guy that did it.

    And then Armored foot/Heavy horse are the knights, the guys with the money. They have the best armor and equipment (armored foot are frequently dismounted knights -- remember that Chainmail specifically deals with Medieval combat, not that of other periods).

    So, to solve the "Blackmoor" problem, there very well could be heavy foot who wear leather armor. They'd be a bit faster than other heavy foot, but since they march in formation it wouldn't be enough to change their movement rate on the table. Their defense would still come from mass, more than armor. And they'd still be as effective offensively.

    (Hope you'll pardon the rant. I wanted to do it somewhere that that Cooper fellow couldn't confuse me even more. He seems to have rewritten Chainmail completely, to his own specifications. Perhaps I'd understand it if I weren't so old and set in my ways...)

    Verification word: erble - the sound I make when I try to understand what people are making out of a fairly simple wargame like Chainmail.

  2. Unlocker software which can be used to delete a file in Windows that can not be remove earlier.