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     Combat in the Kingdoms of Kalamar falls into the 'heroic yet dangerous' area of RPG's.  I have opted to use the Players Option: Combat & Tactics rules system as a base.  This allows me the best of both worlds...heroic combat with our lone warrior-king holding off an entire army of goblinoids single handedly, yet it is still possible (however unlikely) that any one of the goblins blows could get lucky and spell death for our hero.

     The Combat & Tactics book ("C&T") gives a lot of variation to combat in a game.  When coupled with the Skills & Powers ("S&P") book, a character can become a one man army (or woman, as the case may be).  This is typically not a desirable thing for most campaigns.  There will be exceptions, of course, but for general play these uber-characters can really make it hard on the poor DM (me, in this case).  To alleviate the sheer power that can be gained by a few well-spent CP during character creation, I have implemented a sort of 'top limit' on just how much expertise, skill and raw talent can be used combined effectively at one time..


     It is not uncommon for a fighter type character to be good at fighting.  That is what they do, and they should be expert at it in some way or another, be it one on one combat, war tactics, or missile weapon. In my Kalamar campaign, I have limited the total bonuses to hit available to any creature of mortal bearing at any one time.  This total base is listed below.

Class Maximum To Hit Maximum Damage
Fighter Type +3 +6
Cleric Type +2 +3
Thief Type +3 +2
Mage Type +1 +2

     To this total, each may add +1/+1 at every even level of experience (starting with a bonus at 2nd; then 4th, 6th, 8th, etc.).  What this means, for example, is that a 1st level fighter can have +3/+6 for combat totals.  If the character is a human fighter, has 18/00 Str/Muscle, is Specialized in his weapon, and has the human racial ability 'Attack Bonus', his normal th/dmg would be +5/+8.  This, in my opinion, is just a tad too powerful for such an so-called inexperienced warrior.  With my aforementioned maximums, the character would have to be 4th level in order to use all of these bonuses for his +5/+8 total.  A magic user, however, is quite weak in the realm of fighting, having a starting maximum of +1/+1.  Clerics are fairly good fighters as a base.  The clerics deity should more or less determine the skills and abilities that the character should have.  A thief, in general, tries to live by stealth.  However, the thief tends to be a bit better at accuracy and less in strength as the cleric.


Knockdown

     Knockdown in the C&T (and the Spells & Magic ["S&M"]) rules add a bit more realism to fights.  The only thing I have changed here is that if a character finds himself victim of a knockdown, in stead of making a save vs. death, the 'save' will be whatever seems appropriate for the situation.  For example, if the character was fighting an ogre with a huge club, the save vs. death seems correct.  However, if the same character was fighting a human with a 2-handed sword while standing on a frozen lake, a Dex/Balance save would be more likely.  When you throw magic spells into it (fireball, magic missile, etc.), changing the saves from only being vs. death makes more sense to me. Likewise, actually rolling for a KD shouldn't be made on every single to hit roll.  A little DM adjudication is in order here; if it seems likely that a KD could happen, roll. Guidelines would be hitting by a large margin (at least by 5 points), causing a lot of damage, hitting three or more times in one round, standing on uneven ground, entangled in some way, having just (1 or 2 rounds) woke up from sleep, drunk, etc.  This keeps down on the dice rolling and also encourages players to think tactically when entering into a combat.  All in all, better for the game. 


Armors & Dexterity & Armor Value

      As it is, a character with an 18 Dex/Balance can wear full plate armor and still be as nimble as a minx.  This just doesn't make much sense.  Armor, while protective, is also restrictive. To this end, I have developed a simple dexterity to armor chart.

  Bulk Points (S&P; pg131)
Dex/Balance 1 2 3 4
15 -1 -1 -1 0
16 -2 -2 -1 0
17 -3 -3 -2 -1
18+ -4 -3 -2 -1

     Shields do not count.  Likewise, magical armors of less than +4 count as full Bulk Points, but a +4 or +5 suit of armor counts as one Bulk Point less (so, a +4 suit of Metal Lamellar would have an effective Bulk Points value of 2 in stead of the normal Bulk Point value of 3).

     There is a new thing called "Armor Value".  Every piece of armor, from thick cloth, to double-thick plate, has an AV rating. In addition to protecting from "becoming hit" (as per normal AD&D rules), armor will protect from the actual points of damage scored by the attacker. When someone wearing armor is struck, they take damage, but subtract the AV of the armor they are wearing from that total.  So, if someone wearing armor that has an AV of 3, is struck for 11 points of damage, they subtract 3 from that total; resulting in them taking only 8 points of damage (11 damage - 3AV = 8 points of damage).

AV Armor Types
1 Heavy Cloth, Soft Leather
2 Padded, Quilted, Leather, Heavy Furs, Hide, Cord Armor, Wood/Bone Armor
3 Studded Leather, Ring Mail, Brigandine
4 Chain, Bronze Plate, Metal Lamellar, Splint
5 Plate, Banded, Improved Chain, Scale
6 Field Plate
7 Full Plate

     In addition to the AV above, if the armor is magic of +1 to +3 enchantment, 1 may be added.  If the armor's magic is +4 or higher, 2 may be added (so Plate+3 would have AV6; while Plate+4 would have AV7).

     IMPORTANT!! In any case, if a hit is scored, the minimum damage scored is equal to the number of dice normally rolled for the weapon!  So, a long sword (1d10) would always do at least 1 point, while a Maul (2d4) would do 2 points. A weapon that did 2d4+1 would do 2 points, not 3. Example: Brine the Cleric is hit by a large Orc wielding a Maul. Brine is wearing studded leather armor. The Orc rolls damage for the Maul and gets 4 points of damage. Studded leather armor has an AV of 3, so 3 is subtracted, resulting in 1 point of damage....however, a Maul does 2d4 damage, meaning it can't do less than 2 points on a successful hit...so Brine takes 2 points of damage instead of only 1. If the Orc had been using a short sword (1d6 damage), Brine would have only taken the 1 point.


Armor Availability.

     Armor availability is just that...how common certain types of armor are available for sale in any one area (both as pre-made, and capability of the areas armorer's).  Below is the base chance of finding a suit of armor of the listed type in some area that 'supports' that armor type (see The World for which locations support which armor types).

Full Suites

Armor Type

General Armor Availability

Banded Mail 10%
Brigandine 50%
Bronze Plate 8%
Chain Mail 35%
Cord Armor 50%
Field Plate 4%
Full Plate 2%
Hide Armor 40%
Improved Mail 12%
Leather Armor 83%
Light Scale 48%
Metal Lamellar 37%
Padded Armor 85%
Plate Mail 8%
Ring Mail 50%
Scale Armor 45%
Splint Mail 15%
Studded Leather 75%
Wood/Bone Armor 30%
Composite Armors

Armor Type

General Armor Availability

Back-and-Breast 40%
Chain Hauberk 30%
Chain Lamellar 20%
Gallic Armor 85%
Half-Plate 30%
Hoplite Armor 40%
Lamellar Shirt 33%
Lorica Hamata 35%
Lorica Segmenta 23%
Mail-and-Plate 15%
Three-Quarter Plate 9%
Helmets

Helmet Type

General Armor Availability

Cap 90%
Leather Helm 95%
Close-Faced 35%
Open-Faced 45%
Mail Coif 20%
Great Helm 10%

   Players should use this as a guideline when initially purchasing armor for their character for the first time (character creation).  If something seems unlikely to have been available, a compelling reason should be given as to why the character has such armor (family heirloom, gift from an important NPC, etc.).