Sunday, May 19, 2013

Fighting with Saving Rolls Part 3: Melee, Missiles, and Magic

Here is yet another example of combat using the Saving-Roll based combat system where more aspects of the game are considered including missile weapons, magic, and combat stunts.

After his ignominious defeat by the swamp ogre, Brion the Ugly returned to his life of goblin slaying. He got quite good at it actually, and soon increasing his skill as a warrior. He also acquired some better weapons, armor, and friends. He soon began to think back on that ogre. It was still a menace and had grown no less ferocious, so Brion decided to lead his new comrades back to the swamp and confront the ogre once again. With him, Brion brought two other warriors, an archer, and a rogue.

Brion is a 2nd level Warrior. He has a CA of 18 (ST22 DEX16 LK16 SPD16), 22 Personal Adds, and 14 CON. He wears mail armor and carries a kite shield (36 hits total) and a war hammer (5D+1).

Freya and Olaf are two 1st level Warriors. Each has a CA of 14 (ST16 DEX13 LK16 SPD12), 9 Personal Adds, and 11 CON. They wear scale mail and carry heater shields (26 hits total) and broadswords (3D+4).

Horace is a 1st level Warrior. He has a CA of 14 (ST15 DEX16 LK13 SPD12), 8 Personal Adds, and 9 CON. He wears scale mail (16 hits total) and carries a medium bow (4D+0) and a saber (3D+4).

Cirreth is a 1st level Rogue. She has a CA of 10 (ST10 DEX14 LK16 SPD10), 6 Personal Adds, an INT of 14, a WIZ of 12, and 10 CON. She wears soft leather and carries a buckler (8 hits total) and a rapier (3D+4). Cirreth also knows the spells Take That You Fiend and Dem Bones Gonna Rise.

The small band of delvers head into the swamp heading toward the location of the last ogre attack. Brion, Freya, Olaf, and Doria stick to the worn path while Horace stalks the wood line. Soon they come to a clearing and see a horrific site. The ogre is sitting on top a pile of corpses and is munching on what looks like a horse leg. Sitting next to the large ogre is a slightly smaller ogre eating a whole sheep. Both ogres immediately look up and sniff the air; ogres can smell a human from a mile away they say. Rising to their feet, the ogres each pick up a club the size of a tree trunk and roar a challenge at the intruders.

The large swamp ogre has a MR of 50 (CA 38, 6D+25). It's new companion has a MR of 40 (CA 30, 5D+20).

Brion, Freya, and Olaf form up into a line and hold their ground. Horace readies his bow and takes aim while Cirreth prepares her magic.

The ogres bellow and charges the three warriors!


Horace fires his bow at the large ogre before it can reach the line of warriors. He is firing from Easy range so he needs a L2SR on DEX16 to hit. Horace decides to commit 4 Personal Adds to his attack to improve his chance of hitting the ogre; he only needs a 5 to hit. Horace rolls a 9 and hits! The arrow sinks into the side of the ogre dealing (4D+4)=19 points of damage.

Cirreth unleashes a crackling bolt of energy at the large ogre with a shout of "Take That You Fiend!" She needs to make a L1SR on INT14 to successfully cast the spell. She rolls a 9 and succeeds! The bolt hits the large ogre in the chest, staggering the beast with 14 more points of damage.

The large ogre is now down to a MR of 17 before it reaches the line of three warriors. The smaller ogre, however, is still fresh and ready to fight.

The ogres crash into the line of shields. There is a glimmer of recognition in the beasts eyes as the large ogre sees Brion's face. The ogre raises his club to squash the impudent human while its smaller companion focuses it's attention on Freya and Olaf.

Brion (2nd level) needs to make L4SR on CA18 to hit the large ogre and a L3SR to hit the smaller one. Freya and Olaf need to make L5SRs or L4SRs on CA14. The ogres can hit any of the three warriors with a L1SR on CA38 or CA30.

The three warriors break into two units. Freya and Olaf commit their 18 Personal Adds to defend against the smaller ogre. It now needs to roll an 8 or better to hit either one of them. Brion commits all 22 of his Personal Adds to offense in the hopes of taking out the big ogre quickly. He trusts in his armor to save him from the ogre's club. Both Brion and the large ogre now only need to roll a 4 or better to hit each other. Both Freya and Olaf need to roll a 21 or better to hit the smaller ogre.

Brion swings his war hammer tries to crush the large ogre's sternum. He rolls a 9 and hits dealing 23 points of damage!

The large ogre's club comes down hard and smashes through Brion's defenses. He rolled a 10 and dealt (6D+9) 29 points of damage.

Freya and Olaf attack with their broadswords and roll 10 and 6, respectively, but both miss completely.

The smaller ogre attacks (1-3 Freya, 4-6 Olaf) Olaf. Despite their combined defense, the ogre rolls an 8 and hits dealing 37 points of damage to Olaf!

Brion delivers a killing blow to the large swamp ogre. The hulking ogre falls to the ground, pierced by an arrow, blasted by magic, and bludgeoned by a war hammer. The ogre hits Brion hard, but he is able to deflect most of the impact with his shield; the rest is absorbed by his mail. Brion stands in shock. The creature that had slaughtered his comrades not so long ago was now dead. The sound of fighting to his left snaps him out of his reverie.

Both Freya and Olaf fail to hit the smaller ogre. The ogre, however, smashes Olaf with her club. Olaf's armor and shield take much of the force away from the blow, but he is still battered into unconsciousness (Olaf took 11 hits reducing his CON to 0).


Brion moves to support Freya and protect the fallen Olaf. Cirreth prepares to cast TTYF one last time before she is out of energy. Horace, not wanting to risk hitting his comrades, drops his bow and draws his saber. He moves quietly out of the tree line and tries to move up behind the ogre without being noticed.

The smaller ogre, excited over his kill, ignore the loss of his big friend and continues to attack.

Horace tries to move up behind the ogre without being noticed. This requires a L2SR on DEX. Horace rolls a 10 and succeeds. He is now in position to get an open attack on the ogre the next turn.

Cirreth prepares to blast the ogre with a bolt of energy. She needs to make a L1SR on INT14 and rolls a 4. Cirreth's concentration is broken as the ogre bellows and the spell fails.

Freya commits her 9 adds to defend against the ogre while Brion commits 13. The ogre now needs to roll a 12 or better to hit. Brion commits 9 adds to his own attack meaning he needs a 4 or better to hit (L3SR). Freya needs a 21 or better (L4SR).

Brion attacks and rolls a 7, hitting for 17 points of damage.

Freya attacks and rolls a 9, missing.

The ogre attacks (Freya) and rolls an 11, just missing her.

Brion's war hammer strikes again. The smaller ogre is wounded (MR 23), but not down.


The remaining ogre is bleeding heavily and in dire straits, but now has no where to run.

Brion and Frey continue to press the attack. Cirreth has consumed all of her magical energy, so she draws her rapier and joins the melee. Meanwhile, Horace moves up from behind to stab the ogre in the back.

Horace is attacking the unsuspecting ogre from behind, but he needs to make at least a L1SR to hit (things can always go wrong). Horace commits 6 Personal Adds to his attack so that he only needs to roll a 4 or higher leaving 2 for damage. Horace rolls a 38 (five sets of doubles!!!) and hits doing 19 points of damage.

Cirreth throws in her 6 Personal Adds to help defend the group meaning that the ogre now needs to roll an 18 or better to hit. Brion still just needs a 4 or better, Freya a 21 or better, and Cirreth needs a 30 or better.

Brion attacks and rolls a 3! He stumbles over Olaf's outstretched arm and nearly dislocates his shoulder with his awkward swing.

Freya attacks and rolls a 9, missing.

Cirreth lunges forward and rolls a 4, also missing.

The unfortunate ogre rolls a 4 and swings his club far too wide.

The ogre feels a sudden sharp pain in his back as Horace's saber cuts into his flesh. He is now down to a MR of only 4.


Horace joins the general melee throwing his 8 Personal Adds into the defense. The ogre now needs to roll a 26 or better. Horace needs a 21 or better to hit. They are all counting on Brion to finally bring the beast down.

Brion rolls a 10 and hits for 12 points of damage.

Freya, Cirreth, and Horace roll 11, 9, and 9 respectively all missing.

The ogre rolls a 3 and trips before having his skull crushed by Brion's war hammer.

Brion and his comrades are victorious!

For their efforts, Brion earned 96 AP, Freya 166 AP, Olaf 30 AP, Horace 112 AP, and Cirreth 65 AP.

Well this was a much quicker fight than I anticipated, but I was able to incorporate several different aspects of T&T combat.

Just like in standard T&T combat the effective use of missiles and magic can decide a battle. The large ogre was all but put down by Horace's bow and Cirreth's TTYF spell. Having at least one spell caster can mean the difference between victory and defeat. Having one or two good archers to send a volley into your foes before they can reach you line isn't such a bad idea either. You might wonder why I made Cirreth a Rogue and not a Wizard. Well, in 7e there is a 1st level spell called Hold That Pose (or HPT); HTP freezes one target for a combat turn making it impossible for it to attack at a cost of only 4 WIZ. That spell would have made this combat rather short and not the best example. With it Cirreth could have frozen the big ogre in Turn 1, allowing Brion to kill it without much effort, and then frozen the smaller ogre in Turn 2. Of course, this assumes that Cirreth could make a L1SR on INT, which she failed in Turn 2 when she cast a second TTYF. But HTP is a very potent spell and should definitely be used whenever possible.

Just like in the first battle against the large ogre, team work by the three melee warriors was vital. Both ogres could easily hit any of the warriors, so allocating Personal Adds to defense was necessary. The three warriors were well-armored, however, which saved Brion from suffering any wounds and saved Olaf from death. Knowing how to allocate all of the Personal Adds of a group of warriors is important, and I like the idea of forcing them to work as a unit rather than individuals. This is how you actually win a battle after all.

Of special note from this example was the application of Personal Adds in increasing the chance of hitting with missile weapons. Since you can increase your chance to hit with a sword by doing this I see no reason why you cannot do it with a bow as well. Allocating Personal Adds to defense when using a missile weapon is not allowed.

The damage potential of weapons and monsters cannot be overstated and armor is a must for anyone entering combat (unless you are incredibly skilled). I really like the way this system makes shields important. Those extra hits of protection can make all the difference.

The combat stunt I employed in this battle involved Horace sneaking up behind the ogre so that he could launch a surprise attack. Given that the ogre was busy fighting the two warrior and rogue, I decided that his attention as pretty much held in that one direction so a L2SR would be sufficient. Getting into position took an entire combat turn, his attack came on the next combat turn. In some situations, a GM might decide to allow an automatic hit but my personal feeling is that some kind of roll is needed; after all, in combat anything can happen. Since Horace was a Level 1 character and the ogre had a MR of 40, I thought a L1SR would be reasonable. If the monster that Horace was attacking had a MR of 19 or less I would have ruled that Horace only need to roll a 4 or greater.

As a final point, note the difference in Adventure Points earned per character. Freya earned the most APs since she was a Level 1 Warrior that fought in the front line against the two ogres. Horace earned the second most, largely due to a fantastic string of doubles. Brion was a close third, which makes sense given his higher level and lower risk, then Cirreth who stayed behind the line of warriors for most of the fight, and finally Olaf who go knocked unconscious in Turn 1.

1 comment:

  1. Good Stuff Dan. :0).

    I do notice references to both a Doria and a Cirreth. Are they one and the same?