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Old 10-26-2009, 12:57 PM   #1
Nymdok's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Houston
Default [GM] Individual Melee Combat Balance

This is my attempt at seeking out the feel of the 1eAD&D combat balance and using the GURPS system to represent it. From here I hope to do the sum over the participants to get Encounter Balance, Sum over encounters to get Adventure/Campaign Balance and maybe even an expectation value over HP and HT to get life expectancy.

The Full Treatment and spreadsheet is Here

For those who DONT have Office, the spreadsheet is here as a google doc.
Spreadsheet Link

On to the Discussion...

Since Im awful at game balance issues, I figured Id aim double barrel math at the problem and see what I get for my trouble. The problem as it turns out is two fold.

What is balanced?
In an RPG sense, my definition for balanced meant that the players felt like they were making progress but were well challenged. I was unable to quantify that. Instead I trotted out the old DMs Guide (1st cover 1st edition with Efreeti on front) and used their balance poitns as a guidline.

In combat, for a player to feel like hes being successful, he needs to be damaging the opponent/monster.

In Gurps that means Attack succeed, Defense Fail and Damage is > DR.

In 1eAD&D it just meant attack roll beats AC in the combat matrix.

How do We translate that?

The equality is where the odds of damageing the Monster is the same in each system.

So the odds of a 7th level fighter damaging an AC6 opponent in 1eD&D is 65%.

TO get that in gurps we need to look at what the Skill of the attacker is versus the Active defense of the defender is and what the Damage likelihood versus DR is. Although not a complicated calcualtion, a tedious one.

Odds of landing a blow = Odds of a critical + (Odds of a noncrital Attack success X Odds of an Active Defense Failure by opponent).

(Odds of Landing a Blow)x(Odds of getting through DR) = Odds of Doing Damage.

SO, we dont have AC, but we do have DR, if that DR is (DR1) and we are only doing 1d of damage then our odds of doing more damage than the DR is .833. TO get to 65%, our Odds of landing a blow need to be 78%.

Skill - AD
13 - 6

12 or below and the best you can do is 73% if the defender has an Active defense of 3!

For skills over 16 apply Deceptive attack to equivalence. For example
16-8 is the same as

Using these handy tables, I feel like I can quantitatively balance melee combat in a way that will be challenging enough to feel rewarding but not so difficult as to be discouraging.

p.s. Id LOVE feedback.

p.p.s. Ed the Coastie and Nerdvna - THis is why I havent sent you the Thundarr stuff yet :)
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balance, d&d to gurps, game

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