V5 in Development

Whole of project topics (across booklets, versions, contributors, etc.)

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Post by kenbirdwell » Mon Dec 19, 2022 4:01 am

Re: V5 in Development

I noticed the Player Characters per level Hit Dice and Fighting Capacity numbers are quite a bit different in V5 than they are in original D&D. Are V5's a rebalance or are they from a later OD&D supplement?

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Post by waysoftheearth » Mon Dec 19, 2022 8:12 am

Re: V5 in Development

Thanks @kenbirdwell.

There are a couple of relevant parts to this. Firstly, DD must differ from the original to be considered a work of original authorship rather than a copyright infringement. Secondly, DD5 is still a work in progress so nothing therein is absolutely final yet, and yes, there has been an inordinate amount of hand-wringing over those numbers, believe me. Thirdly, and to answer your question more directly: there is no later source (beyond those already quoted in the annotated version) that I'm aware of that updates the original player type HD and FC figures. So yes, DD5 includes a certain amount of "smoothing" to comply with the first point, and then--given that necessity--to do so with its own internal consistency.

As far as I recall it, the current state of V5 the fighter HD and FC figures are pretty darn close. The MU figures are close-ish. And the cleric figures differ the most--largely because the cleric figures in the original are the most wayward. I would be pleased to hear your interpretation of the DD5 figures, and if there is any specific class/level stat which "off" to your eye. Let me know :)
[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]

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Post by kenbirdwell » Mon Dec 19, 2022 5:39 pm

Re: V5 in Development

Awesome @waysoftheearth, that makes a lot a sense, the original authors put a lot of themselves into the works.

I noticed your Fantasy Combat Table wasn't filled out yet, so I started diving into the original Chainmail rules which I never had as kid, then found the absolutely invaluable The Compleat Chainmail Combat System over at https://www.grey-elf.com/, which was a huge eyeopener on how FC and the rest of it all works. A true ELI5 for old gamers like me. :lol: Plus, it has a ton of great resources on how to run monsters through all three of the Chainmail systems - what? Dragons play as 4 Heavy Cavalry?!?! Cool! That makes it way easy to run.

I then noticed how non-nerfed the original Chainmail Wizard class was compared to OD&D - Spell Complexity? Counter Spells? Inherent Missile attack?, wow, I really do like the way they play - and then wondering if there was a better way to get the 4 other lower wizard levels (Seer, Magician, etc.) to fit into an OD&D style progression, and which point I noticed a bunch of naming differences and now we're back to my earlier post. Yeah, I now get why the names are different, it makes sense. Thanks!

Oh yeah, I still need to fill out your Fantasy Combat Table. :D

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Post by waysoftheearth » Mon Dec 19, 2022 9:48 pm

Re: V5 in Development

Yeah, I have consulted extensively with Dan (Aldaron) about his CM booklet, and also about very many areas of the DD5 rules. He has impressive historical knowledge especially of Blackmoor and Arneson's group, and has been a great reviewer.

re CM Wizards, yes, they are no slouch in combat. Remember that the OD&D equivalent is an 11th level M-U. So, the CM Wizard-1 thru Wizard-4 prolly could be mapped roughly to 9th, 7th, 5th, and 3rd level OD&D M-Us (respectively). Conveniently, this is where new spell levels become available in OD&D, so is a notable power step. Of course, Wizard-3 and -4 were edited into CM 3rd Ed, post OD&D. As were spell complexities, so these appeared in D&D first, and were back ported to CM after.

Yes, the DD5 fantasy combat table is a vexing beast. I have spent many, many hours analysing the original table, but it is essentially pure fabrication. Hence it is really tricky to "emulate" in DDV5 without copying. We'll get there. FWIW, the DD5 combat section has been rewritten since the last WIP went out. I will need to push an update early next year. Meanwhile, you might want to check out the V5 Ref's Quickstarter for a preview.
[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]

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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2022 1:10 am

Post by kenbirdwell » Wed Dec 21, 2022 5:34 am

Re: V5 in Development

Of course, Wizard-3 and -4 were edited into CM 3rd Ed, post OD&D. As were spell complexities...
Whoa, I had no idea. Like I said I never had a copy of Chainmail and my copies of D&D are from the 1974 printing, looks like my Chainmail pdf is a revision. Huh, time to hunt down an original!

So, one thing that seems unwieldily is this example given in Compleat-Chainmail pg19: A Warrior [OD&D Level 2] (as Heavy Foot) fights three Men (as Armored Foot). The Warrior rolls on the Combat Tables as two men, with a +1 bonus to one of the dice. Thus, he rolls two dice, with a +1 bonus to one of them. The Men, meanwhile, must make at least two successes (5 or 6) out of the three to hit the Warrior.

The whole lower level characters must make N simultaneous successful attacks against a Nth level opponent to do damage seems a bit harsh. I understand why Chainmail does it for kills since they don't do hit points, but for D&D with hit points? Hmmm.

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Post by waysoftheearth » Wed Dec 21, 2022 10:04 pm

Re: V5 in Development

kenbirdwell wrote:
Wed Dec 21, 2022 5:34 am
So, one thing that seems unwieldily is this example given in Compleat-Chainmail pg19: A Warrior [OD&D Level 2] (as Heavy Foot) fights three Men (as Armored Foot). The Warrior rolls on the Combat Tables as two men, with a +1 bonus to one of the dice. Thus, he rolls two dice, with a +1 bonus to one of them. The Men, meanwhile, must make at least two successes (5 or 6) out of the three to hit the Warrior.

Hi Ken. I had a quick look at the CC example. I believe the last passage should probably say "kill the Warrior" rather than "hit the Warrior", since all CM kills become hits in the D&D context. There are a few other interpretations in there that I don't apply in exactly the same way to DD/OD&D games, and these things are largely ref decisions. I.e., there is not exactly one way to do this.

That said, the two items that jumped out for me are:

1. It appears CC is applying the Hero's "simultaneous hits" rule to a 2nd level fighter (the Warrior), which implies they apply this quality to all Fighting-Men, which is a pretty big deal. You'd want to think about what that means more generally in a D&D context. (I commented on this in this very topic on Nov 09).

2. This example is under the bigger heading "Using Chainmail's Mass Combat Rules" for 1:1 scale, D&D combat. It's an interesting exercise, but CM also has Man to Man rules for 1:1 scale combat, and I'd suggest that OD&D largely assumes use of the 1:1 rules. This is why we typically don't see OD&D figures classed as as LF or HF (excepting large forces of Men). Moreover, there are several examples in the 3LBBs that imply the use of the man to man matrix. Assuming you were using the 1:1 scale rules for D&D, then you probably wouldn't use CC's Determining Hits method, starting on CC p15, for 1:1 combat involving the players.
[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]

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