My Houserules for Combat

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Saturno
Joined: 2018-07-29 15:08
My Houserules for Combat

So I would like to share with you some tweeks I've made to combat in ACKS, and of course I'm open to suggestions and scrutiny!

In my games I use positive AC and attack rolls (just like D&D5E), I also use critical hits as double damage OR an automatic success on a combat manouver, I also treat rolls of 1 as critical miss, rolling on a Fumble Table of my doing. Double damage works by doubling the damage after rolling and after adding modifiers, so usually the damage output is greater than normally it would be.

But the main difference to ACKS standard comes to the advantages of the many types of weapons that the system offers to us. In my games there are bonuses and/or penalties depending on the weapon you are using.

 

Large two-handed weapons = -1 Initiative / +2 to damage.

Shield = you can destroy your shield to avoid damage from one source (you can decide to use this after the damage roll). Magic shields are able to do that without being destroyed a number of times per day equal to their magic bonuses, so a +1 shield would do that once per day, a +2 twice and so on. Similarly magic weapons usually deny this abilities by a number equal to their own magic bonus (so yeah, you can't use a common shield to ignore the damage from a magic sword).

Small weapon = +1 initiative.

One weapon + another hand free = You gain +1 on attack rolls or +1 to your AC against melee attacks, decided on the Initiative phase. May use free hand to interact with stuff.

Two weapon fighting = If you hit you can roll the damage for both weapons and take the higher result. You can choose use 1 medium weapon and 1 small (so 1d6/1d4) or 2 small weapons (+1 Initiative, 1d4/1d4).

Ranged weapons in short range  = +1 attack roll and +1 damage.

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My initiative works a little differently with NPCs. I divide my NPCs in "Individuals" for bosses and characters of some importance, and they are subjected to the above rules and benefits... and "Groups" for the unnamed NPCs that roll initiative collectively... they can't benefit from these modifiers. So if my players are facing a group of Orcs and their mystic leader I would roll one initiative for the Orcs as a group and one roll for the singular mystic leader, who could benefit from using a different set of weapons.

golan2072
Patreon SupporterBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu AuthorPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters BackerBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2012-01-14 14:14

I really like your shield rules - especially the nuanced part with the effects of magic arms and shields. Also lets you get away from very nasty enemy rolls by sacrificing your shield, which reduces combat "swinginess" a bit.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

My initiative works a little differently with NPCs. I divide my NPCs in "Individuals" for bosses and characters of some importance, and they are subjected to the above rules and benefits... and "Groups" for the unnamed NPCs that roll initiative collectively... they can't benefit from these modifiers. So if my players are facing a group of Orcs and their mystic leader I would roll one initiative for the Orcs as a group and one roll for the singular mystic leader, who could benefit from using a different set of weapons.

That's actually how I handle initiative too. If the group of identical NPCs exceeds the size of the PC party I will split it up into multiple groups. So for instance if a party of 5 PCs encounters 10 orcs, orc shaman, and ogre, I would roll:

Orc group #1 (5 orcs)

Orc group #2 (5 orcs)

Orc shaman

Ogre

 

Zombiehands
Joined: 2013-06-21 20:23

Even though some versions of d&d have two-handed weapons being slow, realism say the opposite. Longer weapons have huge first strike ability. 

Loswaith
Joined: 2017-05-12 02:19

Typically initiative isn't just the speed of an attack it it also about the ability to recover from strikes and keep everything fluid (thus essentially a measure of effort).  While attack rolls aren't just a single swing but a back and forth and how well an individual can make an opening in the defense of their target to land a more telling blow on them.

While long weapons do initially have a better chance of getting that first blow, if you cant keep the distance of the weapons optimal reach it becomes much harder to bring it into play.

All that said at the end of the day it is often done to balace the gaming system (trading speed for extra damage) and has little to do with realism.  We aren't going to be able to represent real combat in RPGs without getting super complex, so at one point or another realism needs to take a step back for the game mechanics and abstraction to make things useable and more importantly enjoyable.

GMJoe
Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2013-01-04 12:56

That said, ACKS does a reasonable job of simulating the "long weapons do initially have a better chance of getting that first blow, if you cant keep the distance of the weapons optimal reach it becomes much harder to bring it into play" thing by giving two-handed weapons an initiative penalty but allowing weapons with reach to attack first when an opponent closes to melee range.

Zombiehands
Joined: 2013-06-21 20:23

I don’t think long weapons only have an advantage in the first clash. They can keep foes at bay and allow striking first every exchange. Weapon length is really a huge advantage in sparing.