OD&D alternative combat Help

Discussion in 'RPG Discussion' started by Ash Whitewood, Jan 23, 2020.

  1. Ash Whitewood

    Ash Whitewood Level 0 Character

    I received OD&D and chainmail for Christmas, and my group is trying it out for the first time. As we switch from 5th edition, there have certainly been some growing pains, but none have been greater than the alternative combat matrices. I have had several discussions, opinions, and even debates on how the matrices work, and should be implemented. Can anybody help me out?
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  2. mordrin

    mordrin Spellbinder Staff Member

    I don't have the rules handy atm, but asked elsewhere. Two things they said of note:

    1) One person suggested the retroclones (Sword & Wizardry and Delving Deeper) are written more clearly and that, when you get stuck, using them to clarify what ODD is saying would be helpful.

    2) Another said
    Do these help, or are you still stuck?
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  3. Ash Whitewood

    Ash Whitewood Level 0 Character

    So my main issue was that, the charts themselves were not clear in what the X and Y axis were meant to represent. My friends and I debated whether the X represents level of the monster or your level (Notice how it says "to hit by level" is that your level or the monster's or the man's?). We also debated what the Y is ("Does your armor class determine your fighting ability?"). Finally, with AC being different, we were unsure if the dice is flipped as well ("So 1 is a crit?"). My solution was a chart I found at this link (https://songoftheblade.wordpress.co...ented-format-for-old-school-dd-attack-tables/). the chart this author made has virtually the same values, but much more clearly defined for my 9 in intelligence. Attack matrix.PNG Men Attacking.PNG Monster's attacking.PNG
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  4. mordrin

    mordrin Spellbinder Staff Member

    Glad you got it sorted. Have fun!
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  5. francisca

    francisca Troubadour

    Yeah, those are probably a bit odd if you are used to 5e. In short, the "Men Attacking" chart is for Fighters (Fighting Men, in OD&D parlance). If the Fighting-Man's level is 1-3, you use the first column crossed referenced with the AC of the opponent. If the fighter level is 4-6, you use the next column. As it says underneath, Clerics and M-Us get better at combat at a slower rate, so a M-U would use the first column from levels 1-5, etc... The procedure is roll, add mods, and a result with meets or beats the cross-referenced value is a hit.

    The other chart is for monsters, and you go by HD.

    Hope you enjoy the old warhorse!
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  6. Zenopus

    Zenopus Level 0 Character

    Cool to see someone from 5E going back and using the original! Glad you figured the tables out.
  7. Ash Whitewood

    Ash Whitewood Level 0 Character

    Yeah! It's been very interesting learning the nuts and bolts of how a miniatures battle game became the most influential RPG of all time. I am especially fond of its brutal simplicity. There is no "saving throw" this or that. When you die, it is basically permanent. In addition, a large group of level 1 and 2 characters decimated a myrmidon with magic armor, a warhorse, and a swordsman also with magic armor and a warhorse. You would think my sessions would just become Chainmail with levels, but there have been some great *gasp* role playing opportunities from the group choosing to recruit a group of kobolds or whatever into their war band for survival.
    Poindexter likes this.

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