Friday, 1 May 2015

Improving 52 Pages: Fighter and Rogue Combat Powers

Part of developing the 52 Pages Next, the Expert-like rules extension for my game, involves coming up with alternate powers (feats, whatever) for fighters and rogues as well as what they can do at 5th level. Well, here they are:



It bears repeating my design philosophy here: powers should add effects without adding decisions that slow down play. Most of them are either straight bonuses,consequences on things that happen anyway in combat, or "cool things that happen on this die roll." I find this is vital so as not to slow down the pace of Basic-derived D&D, where the tactical decisions should be less "which power should I use now" and more "how do I position myself and use weapons to best advantage?"

As I prepare for converting my existing Band of Iron players to the very latest version of 52 Pages - they've been playing the 2011 version for some time now - I realize that they've grown very fond of their Whirlwind and Quickshot feats - they really light up when they roll a 5 or 15 for their extra attack, even though these are underpowered compared to my new powers which give you 5 numbers to get an extra attack. So, I souped them up a little and added a couple more.



Yes, Weaponmaster is a little tribute to the old Rules Compendium stuff. I had to think hard on impaling to not create super-ridiculous archers with +d6 damage when ambushing, potential +d6 from Deadshot,and double damage (Runequest style) on top of that. I think the die minimum answer is a nice compromise.

Oh yeah, elves and dwarves now get one feat at level 5.


6 comments:

  1. Good ideas! What adventure are you running with this system?

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    1. Two campaigns currently - one is built together from various commercial and home brew sources (they're currently deep under Monte Cook's Ptolus in a dwarven resort from one of Jason Sholtis' d12 tables) and the other is a pseudo-Greyhawk campaign exploring Joe Bloch's Castle of the Mad Archmage in a medieval setting suspiciously like northwestern Indiana.

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  2. I used an extra attack option in a campaign. evertone got a freebie vs a foethat rolled a 1 And fighters got a freebie vs those that rolled 1-2. Only 10% of attaks and it still happens a fair amount of he time. 1-5 would feel like it was happening almost every round, not bad at all really and would make fighters a heck of a lot more impressive compared to fireball chuckers.

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    1. I actually benchmarked this rule on AD&D where fighters get an extra attack every other turn at level 7. So getting one every 4th turn at level 5 is not too overpowered I think.

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  3. Some calculations:

    Whirlwind/Quickshot on average give about 0.18 extra attacks per round. The effect on average damage output is similar to +2 to hit (assuming you naturally hit on a 10 or so) or +1 damage (assuming a decent weapon like a dwarven steel longsword). Of course rolling lots of dice and occasionally getting an absurd chain of attacks make feats more fun than bare bonuses would be.

    In comparison: Merciless attack (lvl 3) also gives +1 damage per round on average. Weaponmastery (lvl 5) seems a bit weak; not much stronger than whirlwind on average, as well as less fun (apart from the impaling one). Riposte on the other hand seems very strong: in solo melee, it's 0.25 extra attacks per round, beating Whirlwind and on a par with Reliable/Opportunistic at lvl 5.

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