So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

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So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by gambler1650 »

So I picked up C&C, and I'm reading the Ability, "Combat Dominance" for fighters and my initial reaction was "Uh. Pretty useless."

Now, my reaction might be colored by previous RPGs I've played, but how often will a 4th level party face 1 hit dice monsters (and it says 1 hit die or less... there are 0 hit die monsters???) I mean, it might be fun for a 4th level party to face a swarm of goblins... once.. maybe twice, or insects.. and I appreciate that the feat gives a fighter a way to mow down large numbers of low level creatures (or 'little craps' as my group calls them), but I just don't see that this feat will do much other than speed up a foregone conclusion (which is beneficial, but not exactly heroic... imagine a UFC fighter mowing down a bunch of 10 year olds with a roundhouse kick).

I guess part of this is that I'm underwhelmed by the Fighter. It's always a somewhat generic class, but here it seems far more so. I'd be tempted almost immediately to house rule a couple of "feat like" Abilities that the fighter could choose from the start (mainly to make him more of a melee or ranged type of character). Obviously it's easy to do so, and one of the selling points of C&C is how modular it is, but to me if I tell a CK that I want to be a fighter, and I hear the CK explaining the cool abilities for the other classes and when he gets to me, tells me about "Combat Dominance" my first reaction would be that it was some kind of a sick joke. :)

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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by Ogre »

gambler1650 wrote:So I picked up C&C, and I'm reading the Ability, "Combat Dominance" for fighters and my initial reaction was "Uh. Pretty useless."

Now, my reaction might be colored by previous RPGs I've played, but how often will a 4th level party face 1 hit dice monsters (and it says 1 hit die or less... there are 0 hit die monsters???) I mean, it might be fun for a 4th level party to face a swarm of goblins... once.. maybe twice, or insects.. and I appreciate that the feat gives a fighter a way to mow down large numbers of low level creatures (or 'little craps' as my group calls them), but I just don't see that this feat will do much other than speed up a foregone conclusion (which is beneficial, but not exactly heroic... imagine a UFC fighter mowing down a bunch of 10 year olds with a roundhouse kick).

I guess part of this is that I'm underwhelmed by the Fighter. It's always a somewhat generic class, but here it seems far more so. I'd be tempted almost immediately to house rule a couple of "feat like" Abilities that the fighter could choose from the start (mainly to make him more of a melee or ranged type of character). Obviously it's easy to do so, and one of the selling points of C&C is how modular it is, but to me if I tell a CK that I want to be a fighter, and I hear the CK explaining the cool abilities for the other classes and when he gets to me, tells me about "Combat Dominance" my first reaction would be that it was some kind of a sick joke. :)
I dislike it as well, I use a cleave type ability, it's similar, but allows for more use.

Instead of getting multiple attacks against lower hit dice monsters, they get an extra attack on any turn they kill something, you you drop the ogre with a final swing of your sword, you immediately get to attack another monster next to you, once you reach a certain level, you can do this multiple times.

The spirit of the rule is the same, but I feel like it gives the player more use of the ability.

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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by alcyone »

See this thread; you aren't alone: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=10938&p=171208&hili ... ce#p171208

For my part, it's saved my bacon once already at 3rd level. I like a more gritty, realistic campaign where something like this can serve its purpose: a chance, howerver small, at keeping you alive at earlier levels, because there isn't enough magic to save such unlucky souls as low-level adventures. Also, a world where goblins and low level foes don't just disappear and everything scales with you (you never get better, it's just first level all over again!)
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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by zarathustra »

Aergraith wrote:See this thread; you aren't alone: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=10938&p=171208&hili ... ce#p171208

For my part, it's saved my bacon once already at 3rd level. I like a more gritty, realistic campaign where something like this can serve its purpose: a chance, howerver small, at keeping you alive at earlier levels, because there isn't enough magic to save such unlucky souls as low-level adventures. Also, a world where goblins and low level foes don't just disappear and everything scales with you (you never get better, it's just first level all over again!)
At 3rd level you wouldn't have combat dominance...

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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by clavis123 »

My campaigns tend to feature a lot of urban scenarios, so there's no point at which the PCs aren't encountering potential adversaries with 1 HD, from drunken brawlers to common street thugs. Combat Dominance really proves its worth the first time a 9th Level Wizard gets completely incapacitated because he's been surprised and grappled by a "mere"1 HD mugger, and has to be saved by the Fighter who can kill the mugger and his entire gang in 1 round before the Guard comes and asks questions.

Also, Combat Dominance enables a wartime-based Campaign, providing a mechanism for the Fighter to continually survive in mass-combat situations. Furthermore, I find that the players of mid to higher Level Fighter players enjoy occasionally fighting hordes of 1 HD opponents, beacuse it makes them feel like their characters have actually become mighty warriors, feared by ordinary people.

Personally though, I grant Combat Dominance from Level 1, and against 1 HD opponents of any die type.
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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by gambler1650 »

Hey all, thanks for the replies.

Clavis: I guess I can see that, but I still get the feeling that fighters need just a touch more than what C&C gives them. Plus, while fighting a horde once in awhile can be fun, it's certainly not going to be the staple of any campaign I'm in (player or GM).

Aergraith: Thanks for the thread... there're some interesting ideas there.

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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by redwullf »

I did away with Combat Dominance and simply give the Fighter 3/2 attacks per round from 4th to 9th level, then they get their 2/1 attacks per round from 10th up. Having no Fighters at such high levels (yet) I'm toying with the idea of giving 5/2 at 15th level, and 3/1 at 20th level -- but I don't want the Fighter to necessarily shoot too far past the Monk in terms of attack ability, so this might not happen.
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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by alcyone »

zarathustra wrote:
At 3rd level you wouldn't have combat dominance...
True, I meant 4th.
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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by Omote »

In the games I play, we also tend to encounter 1HD creatures at higer levels. Just because you are 9th level doesn't mean that Kobalds mysteriously dissappear. I think that is the fault of CKs to completely dismiss weaker monsters based on character level. Sure. A bunch of 10th level dudes enocuntering a few kobalds that are intent on attack is a lame fight, but this is C&C. Most likely, not every member of the adventuring party has ACs in the mid20s+. There's got to be a party member or two with low AC that can stand to be brought down some HPs by the wiley spear of a kobald. Stop hatin' on the low HD creatures!

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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by REHowardfanatic »

Huh! Yeah! Ab-so-lutely-- Nuthin'!

Sorry... couldn't resist...
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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by alcyone »

By the way, the CKG has some Advantages that can be used as substitution or augment skills, one of which is a cleave (which 'stacks' with Combat dominance).
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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by Relaxo »

the much maligned Combat Dominance....
I'm not sure it's as bad as so many people think, but I once dreamed up a replacement that I never play tested. Not sure if I ever posted it. Does anyone like it? It's scaled to level 24 to keep up with the CKG.

Foe Slayer: Against enemies of one hit die of any size, Fighters gain extra attacks as they progress in level. They have two attacks at 3rd level, three attacks at 7th level, four attacks at 11th level, and five attacks at 15th level. At 16th level this ability extends to enemies of up to two hit dice, at 20th level it extends to enemies of up to 3 hit dice, and at 24th level to all enemies of 4 hit dice. In addition, at 15th level, the Fighter will automatically kill any creature of 1 hit die with a successful hit. At 24th level, they automatically kill any creature of 2 hit dice with a successful hit.

(yeah I know, how many 1st level things do you fight at 15th level...)
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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by REHowardfanatic »

I am working on a "Martial Specialization" series of special abilities that would act in lieu of a Weapon Specialization. These would reflect armed martial combat styles from various cultures, like Shield and Spear, Marksman, Swashbuckler, Spearslayer, Two Weapon Fighting, Staff, etc. That's my answer to the generic fighter. I'll post them when I'm done if anyone's interested.

As for Combat Dominance... Well, I always keep things as simple as I can when I house rule. My fix for this ability is pretty simple- the fighter can simply kill a single 1 HD enemy (and at later levels he can kill the increased HD, as in the CKG) without rolling an attack. This would require a save vs death on the part of the target, with a successful save indictaing it takes normal damage from the fighter. Either way, the fighter may still take his normal attack for the round as well.
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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by Ronin77 »

In my current game goblins are recurring threat. So combat dominance comes in handy a lot. I was thinking about expanding it later though. Maybe at higher levels I'll make it up to a d8 or d10 that it effects.

But then in the current game I'm using Epic6. So max level is six. So I guess every thing is a threat still.
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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by Sir Ironside »

Though a fault it may be. If you are going RAW then, to me, it is up to the CK to make sure that whatever you've picked should be useful, at some point(s), during the game. So, it isn't so much RAW, but a CK willingness to recognize what the players have picked for their characters and make it useful for the game your playing.

So, style over RAW.
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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by mediapig »

I think the last post hit the nail on the head... if you have a fighter with Combat Dominance, then just be sure to throw some "horde" type encounters their way every so often. As someone else already mentioned, C&C's reduced attribute bonuses and to hit bonuses mean that large numbers of single hit die creatures are still a threat, especially to lower level wizards and other characters that can't wear heavy armor. Also, if you allow the advantages rules from the CKG, Cleave stacks with combat dominance, so suddenly those two attacks can turn into 4, which really makes the fighter a combat monster, cutting through hordes of enemies!

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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by Relaxo »

I hadn't thought of that... cleave + combat dominance = Cuisinart.
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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by Go0gleplex »

Relaxo wrote:I hadn't thought of that... cleave + combat dominance = Cuisinart.
He slices, he dices, he julian's kobolds and goblins...all for the very low price of 100 gp per mission.
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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by Snoring Rock »

I have to go with the general lean here. I think it is realistic to say that some Baron with a keep has 5 men at arms (knights level 4) and 50 minions (fighters level 1) protecting it and him.

The same for some half orc amazon queen leading 200 orcs. She may be the target at 9th level, but you have to wade through the 200 orcs first. Combat dominance makes this fun.

One of the reasons I left 3.5/Pathfinder was because you scaled it as you increased in level. That is why there was so much emphysis on leveling up monsters. As a beginner you expect 1 HD orcs. As a 10th level character, all the orcs are 10th level too. Somehow that does not make sense to me. I still like the idea of storming the castle filled with minions and the one or two realy tough baddies at the end. Think of all the orcs that were killed by a hand-full of people in Lord of the Rings, but how hard it ws to take down a troll.

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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by Just Jeff »

Snoring Rock wrote:One of the reasons I left 3.5/Pathfinder was because you scaled it as you increased in level. That is why there was so much emphysis on leveling up monsters. As a beginner you expect 1 HD orcs. As a 10th level character, all the orcs are 10th level too. Somehow that does not make sense to me. I still like the idea of storming the castle filled with minions and the one or two realy tough baddies at the end. Think of all the orcs that were killed by a hand-full of people in Lord of the Rings, but how hard it ws to take down a troll.
Yeah, an image that comes to mind when reading this is Aragorn walking toward those fifty orcs with a smile on his face. :)

I get very frustrated with campaigns that scale to match the players. The jobs/missions/goals should scale, but when the minions scale, it breaks verisimiltude and damages my calm. Consequently, players in a game I'm running would have opportunity to make use of Combat Dominance.

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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by gambler1650 »

I understand the points... and agree that it's more 'realistic' to have to deal with large numbers of minions to get to 'the big bad'. My worry is that the combats themselves might get boring. But since I haven't actually played the game, I'll withhold further judgement. :)

One thing I thought about was dropping Combat Dominance and giving the fighter a choice between a Cleave type ability and a ranged weapon type ability (Point Blank Shot for instance) to allow a bit more differentiation in the fighter class. Or, keep Combat Dominance as an option but allow the fighter to choose the ranged weapon type ability instead.

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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by nwelte1 »

I am running a group through TOEE, and combat dominance RAW has come into play several times. A lot of the chambers seem to have one or two creatures/opponents that are over 1HD and then a bunch of 1HD speed bumps. Although, those 1HD speed bumps seem to cause a lot of pain when they work in force and the party cannot control which direction the fight is coming from.

Near TPK tonight from a bunch of 1HD critters mixed with slightly higher level critters.

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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by Relaxo »

these 1 hd speed bumps can be SOOO fun...
station a handful of kobolds armed with slings behind some cover (improves thier AC) and place them in some place the PCs can't reach (can only attack with missiles) and watch your players flip out as kobold whittle them down 1 to 3 hp at a time while the PCs keep missing due to cover...
hilarious!
Oh, but then the dwarf or rogue finds the secret door concealing the stairway up to where the kobolds are... and combat dominance feels SO GOOD. LOL
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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by Camazotz »

All I can say is that I once had a campaign where seven adventurers (around level 10ish) held off an army of approximately 1,000 goblins, orcs and a medley of ogres, trolls and other creatures. The initial push was a sort of "Helms Deep meets the Inglourious Basterds" moment with the fighter kicking the living crud out of everything in arm's reach. Combat Dominance proved very effective in that game.

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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by Just Jeff »

Relaxo, I like the way you think. 8-)

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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by Nyarlathotep5150 »

I haven't played much C&C either, but that power seemed pretty ho-hum to me as well. I'm seriously considering switching it out with something more like the 4E Fighters Combat Superiority power.
Something like...

Combat Superiority
Upon reaching 4th level, the fighter can make a free attack on any enemy that attempts to move through his reach. If this attack hits, the enemies movement stops there.
This power can be used once per turn at 4th level, twice at 8th, three times at 12 and 4 times at 16th.

In my opinion, that power is the greatest the fighter class has from any edition of D&D. It makes him effective at his major combat role of keeping badguys away from the wizard.
In first and second edition D&D, nobody in our groups ever played fighters. And in 3rd they mostly took a few levels of Fighter, just for the feats to round out their Rangers, Paladins and Barbarians (because those classes are just as good in a fight, but more interesting).
But in 4E the fighter is one of my favorite classes, and that power is the main reason.

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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by Go0gleplex »

Nyarlathotep5150 wrote:I haven't played much C&C either, but that power seemed pretty ho-hum to me as well. I'm seriously considering switching it out with something more like the 4E Fighters Combat Superiority power.
Something like...

Combat Superiority
Upon reaching 4th level, the fighter can make a free attack on any enemy that attempts to move through his reach. If this attack hits, the enemies movement stops there.
This power can be used once per turn at 4th level, twice at 8th, three times at 12 and 4 times at 16th.

In my opinion, that power is the greatest the fighter class has from any edition of D&D. It makes him effective at his major combat role of keeping badguys away from the wizard.
In first and second edition D&D, nobody in our groups ever played fighters. And in 3rd they mostly took a few levels of Fighter, just for the feats to round out their Rangers, Paladins and Barbarians (because those classes are just as good in a fight, but more interesting).
But in 4E the fighter is one of my favorite classes, and that power is the main reason.
It's a munchkinism.

Toning it down to someting a bit more moderate...

At 4th level the fighter may chose to take a defensive posture for the round reserving their attack for use against enemies attempting to move upon or within 5-ft of their chosen ground. The fighter gains a +1 to AC and may make a single attack against up to two enemies that are attacking or trying to move past within 5-ft. At 7th level, the number of enemies that may be attacked is increased to 3. At 10th level this number increases to 4 and at 13th level the number increases to 5.
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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by Nyarlathotep5150 »

Taking out the part where you stop their movement takes out the only thing that makes the power useful. A major part of the fighters job has always been protecting the wizard, but prior to the invention of Combat superiority, he was not at all effective at that, since monsters can just casually walk past him and attack the wizard anyway.
That's a major reason why in 1st and 2nd edition D&D, you seldom see fighters. Everyone plays Rangers and Paladins. Cause the in those editions, the Ranger fought WAY better than the Fighter (two weapons, no penalty) and the Paladin fought exactly as well as the fighter, but could also heal the Wizard if he went down.
Now, I concede that the attack and the stopping power might be a little much (I wrote the conversion on the spot, it wasn't meant to be a final draft) so maybe it should be more like, the attack does only STR Mod (plus specialization bonus) damage, plus the stopping effect (and/or maybe the target gets a save)?
I don't see why he should have to give up his normal attack for it though. Combat Superiority gives the same number of possible uses as the RAW for Combat Dominance, but with even less likelihood of you getting to use them. Whether you get to use Combat Dominance at all is a question of whether the GM puts you up against low level monsters (which you'd mow through anyway). But IF he puts a high level PC's against 1HD monsters, its going to be A LOT of them (guaranteeing you the use of all your Dominance attacks), but superiority is based around the number of monsters 1) wanting to move past you in one round and 2) being dumb enough to do so in arms reach, after they see what happened to the first guy.
Its VERY unlikely that you'd ever get to use all the extras from higher levels.

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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by Rikitiki »

Okay, I've yet to get a group together so I can actually play/CK C&C, so I haven't had a chance to see how Combat Dominance plays out.

However, I can envision future games where I'll throw hordes of giant rats or giant ants or other 1HD swarms at my group...and I think when that happens, regardless of their levels, Combat Dominance will prove its worth. And fun.

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Re: So... Combat Dominance, what's it good for?

Post by Relaxo »

Nyarlathotep5150 wrote:Taking out the part where you stop their movement takes out the only thing that makes the power useful. A major part of the fighters job has always been protecting the wizard, but prior to the invention of Combat superiority, he was not at all effective at that, since monsters can just casually walk past him and attack the wizard anyway.
Not when they're dead. :D

a 2nd Ed Fighter with 18(00) str was +3 to hit and +6 to damage... add the +1/+2? (or +1) for Weapon Specialist and that's a min of 8 points of damage before rolling the damage die... with a 3/2 attack rate that's two 1 HD baddies killed the first round, 1 the next... lather, rinse, repeat. So 18(00) is supposed to be really rare, at 18(-whatever to 99), they were still +2 and +5.... death incarnate at 1st level.

It's all minutia anyway... at a certain point, it's just about having fun. You can always improvise, instead of "just attacking", grab a kobold and use it as a club... a good old skool DM will roll with it (pun intended) and whatever. Fewer rules = fewer limits.
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