Post Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:11 pm

Combat Machinations

Combat Rules are for the Ref!

Technically, the players don't need to know the combat rules.
It may be of academic interest, however, and players might benefit from knowing some of this.

Combat is largely unspecified in OD&D, with play typically falling "back" to Chainmail, or falling "forward" to Holmes (or even AD&D). Hinterlands is based on the Delving Deeper rules and so is largely in the former camp. The following combat-related rulings/clarifications also apply:

The Big Picture

* The distinction between Normal and Heroic/Fantastic figures is observed!
* The distinction between Normal and Heroic/Fantastic combat is observed!
* The Swords & Spells reduction of Chainmail's combat rounds per turn rule is observed
** This means there can be 1, 2, or 3 rounds of melee blows per turn--see S&S p17.

The Little Details


* Padded, mail, and plate armour are AC 7, 6 and 5, respectively.
* Plate armor weighs 40 lb, mail 30 lb, padded 10 lb, shield 10 lb, helmet 5 lb.
* Halfling-sized plate weighs 25 lb, mail 20 lb, padded 7 lb.

* Wearing a helmet improves AC by 1 but will halve the odds of successfully listening at doors.
* Helmets are not included with any suit of armour, but can be purchased separately.
* A helmet will be dashed off by any head hit. Any normal hit with a damage die of 6 is considered a head hit. Damage from that blow is ablated (down to 1 hit point) and the helmet must make a saving throw or be ruined.

* Shields will improve AC by 2 while not attacked from behind.
* A shield will be splintered by a frontal physical blow would otherwise be fatal. Damage from that blow is ablated (by a maximum of 6 hit points) and the shield is ruined.


Weapon Selection
* Any player can generally use of any weapon but will always attack as a Normal Man with any non-class weapon.
* Special functions of magical weapons will not serve players of the wrong class.

Note that:
Daggers are frequently 9--12in blades with a large hilt, and not generally suitable for throwing.
War hammers are one-handed, throwable weapons (e.g., Thor's Hammer).
Lucern hammers, sledges, and mauls are two-handed hammers.
Morning stars are two-handed, spiked maces. They are approved for use by clerics.
Flails are one-handed, haft-chain-head weapons. They are approved for use by clerics.

Great bows include OD&D's longbows and composite bows and are only usable by Men.
Horse bows includes OD&D's horsebows, Holmes' composite short bows, and Elf bows.
Arbelasts ignore normal armor (but not shields).

Two-Handed weapons treat all targets as AC6.

Attack Matrices

Men 17; Heroes 14; Superheroes 11.
Monsters get the same treatment.

Allocating Attacks
* Attacks dealt to and by normal-types will generally be randomised.
* Damage caused by heroic/fantastic types carries over from one normal-type to the next, so it is possible for heroes and monsters hit (or even slay) multiple normals with a single damage roll.
* Attacks dealt to (and by) heroic/fantastic-types will generally be targeted specifically.

Order Of Battle

A combat turn is one minute long and potentially includes multiple rounds of combat. A lot of fightin' can happen in one minute!

Start of Combat Turn

Both sides roll for initiative, high roll wins.

    Both sides start spells,
    Winning side fires missiles,
    Losing side fires missiles,
    Both sides move,

        M-Us who didn't move and were not struck complete started spells in (reverse spell-level, or) initiative order.
        Archers who didn't move fire again.

        Started spells are ruined, archers may not fire again.

    Round of Melee: First blow is determined by weapon-reach, then elevated position, then initiative dice.
    If either side has suffers at least one-third losses: Morale check.
        If neither side is slain, flees, surrenders, or withdraws [b][color=red]melee combat can continue[/color][/b]**.

* Any figure within 3" of any enemy is considered to be ENGAGED.
* Note especially that there can be multiple rounds of melee attacks per player turn.

* Shooting is only allowed while not engaged.
* Shooting into melee is not generally advised; targets will be randomised.
* Clerical-types cannot use slings but can throw warhammers (3" range).

Burning Oil
* Can be thrown as a missile.
* On a hit the target will be subject to 1-6 points of fire damage in this turn, and a further 1-6 points of fire damage in the next turn if the fire is not doused or smothered.
* Multiple burning oil attacks do not stack; only the highest damage will apply.

Holy Water
* Holy Water functions as does burning oil except that it specifically affects undead (including incorporeal undead) and causes 2-12 damage points of damage in first turn only.

Rest and Recovery

Fighters are Meant to Fight
DD V5--per Chainmail--states that Heroes (4th level fighters) and above ignore the first three normal hits in any combat.

This benefit is extended to all fighters of Hinterlands such that fighters automatically recover all normal hits by resting after combat.

This means that normal combat that doesn't kill a fighter outright has no affect on him. I.e., fighters are not susceptible to attrition from contesting normal combat.

* Resting can occur immediately after any combat, pursuit, or after at least five consecutive turns of exploration.
* Resting takes a player turn; underground this will be a dungeon exploration turn (ten minutes).
* A resting figure must stow arms, remove shields, helmets, and backpacks in order to sit and take refreshment.

* Fighters recover all normal hits (hp).
* Non-fighters recover one normal hit (1--6 hp).
* Fantastic hits are only cured by town-time or magic.
* Consecutive rests are not cumulative, but the highest result applies.


* PCs and important NPCs are incapacitated at 0 hit-points. They can crawl, beg, and utter famous last words, but that is all. Any unhindered foe can automatically perform a coup de grace and end it all.

* PCs and important NPCs are slain instantly at-1 or fewer hit points.

* Mooks are slain instantly at 0 or fewer hit points.
[f=32]Golgildir the Elf Medium (MV 12", AC 9, HD 1, hp 1/1, AL N) great cloak, lantern; spells: color spray; scrolls: sleep, sleep, charm person
Hirelings: Georges; torch[/f]