A few questions

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Post by cbarchuk » Tue Apr 20, 2021 3:25 am

A few questions

Okay I'm still going through the rules trying to understand everything. I have 2 questions and I'll just add more to this same thread if needed.

1. Can AC go below 2? I noticed that If you get magical armor or a magic shield it reduces the opponents attack against you. Is there anything wrong with simply lowering your AC instead of having to remember attack penalties?
2. When a bow fires twice, does it inflict damage + bonuses on both attacks?

Thanks. Might have more...:)

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Post by acodispo » Wed Apr 21, 2021 1:31 pm

Re: A few questions

  1. I'm not too clear myself on why the magical armour/shield bonuses are the way they are. It may have something to do with the way the to-hit tables are/were structured? In any case, I don't imagine the math will change at all if you do it the other way. I personally use Target20 to resolve attacks, so the math's a tiny bit different anyway.
  2. Yes, when resolving missile attacks, I throw two attack rolls per archer if they are stationary. If both of those are hits, then I roll 2 dice for damage. Note that the only adjustment to missile damage by RAW is a magical arrow, so only the attack that is using the magical arrow would get any bonus to the damage die.
Others may have more information on why number 1! As I said, my historical knowledge on the deep background of this stuff is limited, but I can speak from how I run it. :)

Hope you're having fun digging through the system! :geek:
[f=32]Wiglaff the Elf, F3/MU2 (M 12", AC 9, HD 4+1, hp 14/14, N) cloak of elvenkind, battle-axe; light, colour spray (map)[/f]
[f=47]Wilibald "Willie" Whitfoot, F1/T1 (M 12", AC 6, HD 1+2, hp 9/9, L) gambeson+helm, shield+warhammer[/f]

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Post by cbarchuk » Wed Apr 21, 2021 3:28 pm

Re: A few questions

I LOVE the system. It's so unique and has so many personality quirks that I dig. Okay I've got another one: How on earth is HD calculated for Elven Fighter/Magic-Users? For fun I'm converting my level 6 BX Elf to DD. Total XP is giving me a F4/MU7. But I have no idea how HD is calculated. I'm getting a total of 9+5hd which seems high. Any guidance here would be much appreciated. Thanks again!

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Post by acodispo » Fri Apr 23, 2021 2:47 pm

Re: A few questions

Ah, fun one! First off, and this may blow your mind in a fun way (it did mine): DD v4 doesn't (to my knowledge) specify how and when Hit Dice are thrown to determine HP. For me, it doesn't make sense to treat it like later rulesets where you are adding the HD for a new level to the currently existing total for the previous level. Instead, at each level, throw the new HD, and take the higher value of the thrown total, or the character's current HP.

For example, 1st-level Fighters have 1+2HD, and Bev the Fighter throws 1d6 at 1st level (value: 4) and adds 2 for a total of 6 hp.

Level 2 Fighters have 2+1HD. Upon gaining level 2, Bev throws 2d6 (3+6) and adds 1 for a total of 10. That is higher than the previous value, so 10 hp it is!

At 3rd level, Bev throws 3d6 and has bad luck, 2+1+3 = 6. So max HP stays at 10 and there is no HP gain from level 3.

This is very different from later rulesets, as I said, and can take a bit of getting used to! But I find it very refreshing, and in my campaign I've taken it further: HD are rerolled every time you get a rest in town, and you keep the higher value of the total thrown, or current HP (after any damage taken while adventuring). In this way it doubles as a healing mechanic.

If you're curious, this way of determining HP is made explicit in M. A. R. Barker's Empire of the Petal Throne (as published in 1975 by TSR), which was one of the 1st "hacks" of the original D&D rules. :)

Now for the elf: I know that there are several ways elf levelling has been run in the play-by-post games here, all of which are fair interpretations. Here's how I would run them by-the-book (DD v4):
  • At 1st level, elfs choose a class. They obey all the rules for that class. After the adventure, any XP earned is assigned to that class.
  • In between adventures (in my campaign this is any time the elf is in a town for a night or more), the elf may switch classes if desired.
  • Once the switch happens the 1st time, the elf can use all the benefits of both classes simultaneously when adventuring, but XP per adventure is still assigned to one or the other of the classes.
  • When an elf gains a level in one class or the other, they roll the new HD for that class level, and if the total is higher than their current max HP, they take the new value.
  • For to-hit & saves they use the more favourable value.
For example, Sir Elf the Elf starts out as a Fighter and rolls 1+2HD for a total of 5 hp. He wins some treasure, and returns to town. The next time he goes to the dungeon, he decides to adventure as a magic-user. He rolls the 1st level magic-user HD (1) at this time, and gets lucky with a 6! He now has 6 hp. He can use any weapon, but he can only cast spells if he takes off his armour.

He adventures once as a MU, but then mostly adventures as Fighter, and after a few delves he gains 2nd level as a fighter. He rolls 2+1 HD, and gets an 11!

The next level he gains is Fighter 3rd, and he rolls 3 HD, but he has horrible luck and gets a 3. His hp remain at 11.

For your F4/MU7 elf, you could do several things: just roll the "last" HD for each class (4HD and 5HD, respectively), and take the higher. But more fair to you would be to roll each level, starting with e.g. 1st level MU at 1HD, then 1st level Fighter at 1+2 HD, then 2nd-level MU at 1+1 HD, etc up the charts. Each time you roll, take the new total only if it's higher than the previous.

Hope that all makes sense! Again, this is how I run it, and I know different refs have other methods.
[f=32]Wiglaff the Elf, F3/MU2 (M 12", AC 9, HD 4+1, hp 14/14, N) cloak of elvenkind, battle-axe; light, colour spray (map)[/f]
[f=47]Wilibald "Willie" Whitfoot, F1/T1 (M 12", AC 6, HD 1+2, hp 9/9, L) gambeson+helm, shield+warhammer[/f]

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Post by cbarchuk » Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:07 pm

Re: A few questions

Wow! That is the best explanation I've ever heard. Thank you. I really like the idea of rolling the listed HD per level for all classes. That is very cool and I'm going to adopt that at once. Again thanks for taking the time to walk me through it. Examples are always appreciated. Cheers!

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Post by cbarchuk » Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:45 am

Re: A few questions

One thing...would a character's CON bonus be added every level?

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Post by acodispo » Mon Apr 26, 2021 3:59 pm

Re: A few questions

In DD v4 that 15+ Constitution bonus to hit points is +1 "per die", so by the book I think e.g. a Fighter with 15 Con would roll 1d6+3 at 1st level, 2d6+3 at 2nd level, 3d6+3 at 3rd level, 4d6+4 at 4th, etc, always taking the highest total.
[f=32]Wiglaff the Elf, F3/MU2 (M 12", AC 9, HD 4+1, hp 14/14, N) cloak of elvenkind, battle-axe; light, colour spray (map)[/f]
[f=47]Wilibald "Willie" Whitfoot, F1/T1 (M 12", AC 6, HD 1+2, hp 9/9, L) gambeson+helm, shield+warhammer[/f]

Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:20 pm

Post by cbarchuk » Thu Apr 29, 2021 1:17 pm

Re: A few questions

Perfect! Thanks again. Okay I've got another one but this time its about monster damage.

Wherever special melee damage is detailed it is applicable to heroic combat only.
However, against normal-types, monsters throw one attack roll as a 1 hit die monster
for each of their own hit die, with each successful attack roll causing 1-6 hit
points of damage.

What is special melee damage? Does that mean any amount other than 1d6? For example Apes do 2-7 damage per hit. Is this considered special melee damage?

Now I know against normal types Fighters & Monsters will perform a number attacks based on their level or HD, respectively, and will do 1d6 damage with no modifiers. Single attacks WITH modifiers is only against heroic types. So in my example about Apes, I'm reading this that they have 4 attacks against normal types doing 1d6 damage. But against heroic types they have one attack doing 2-7 damage.

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Post by acodispo » Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:30 pm

Re: A few questions

Yeah, that's how I interpret that passage, too! I give each hit in normal combat a single die of damage, with no modifiers. All the specially noted modifiers come into play during heroic combat.

Thinking about it, I'm not sure where this way of treating normal/fantastic damage in DD comes from. At a brief glance, there isn't any corresponding text in the original booklets. Possibly it is inspired by some subtlety of Chainmail that I'm not aware of.
[f=32]Wiglaff the Elf, F3/MU2 (M 12", AC 9, HD 4+1, hp 14/14, N) cloak of elvenkind, battle-axe; light, colour spray (map)[/f]
[f=47]Wilibald "Willie" Whitfoot, F1/T1 (M 12", AC 6, HD 1+2, hp 9/9, L) gambeson+helm, shield+warhammer[/f]

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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:53 pm

Post by Makofan » Fri May 28, 2021 9:22 pm

Re: A few questions

My understanding is it does come from Chainmail

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