You are on page 1of 8

Playing D&D With Six-Sided Dice

Copyright 2013 J.D. Neal All Rights Reserved Note: DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, D&D and all other Wizards of the Coast product names, and their respective logos, are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast (WOTC) in the U.S.A. and other countries. This document makes no claim to any form of relationship to WOTC or its products. More than one person has posited the idea of playing D&D with six-sided dice, and some people even do it. Most discussions I have seen involve older, simpler versions of the game, but after looking at newer versions I saw no reason not to try it with them, too. Using the standard dice (d20, d8, etc.) is very simple and straightforward. If you have them and like them, use them. This discussion is for gamers who want to explore the use of d6s. Perhaps they want to throw a couple of dice in a bag and play D&D on the move, without a lot of dice, rules, etc. Of course, some people will spout all sorts of "You can't do that! D&D was made for the d20!" comments. Never mind that D&D was originally published as a supplement to the Chainmail combat rules (which was based entirely on d6s) and the use of the d20 and other dice was an alternate choice. Let alone dice and numbers are just tools of the game. People nay-saying the idea are more interested in numbers than adventuring; at one time numbers were merely a means to the end (a way of playing the game). Anyone with experience has seen them change, not to improve the game but rather to fit the specific interests of whoever was allowed to design the game. There has never been a single variant of D&D that was like all others. Some were close, but D&D has seen many forms from the very beginning. And each featured a number set intended to express a style of play. The "six-sided dice" number set expresses the "simple and easy" style of play, reducing numerology in favor of adventure. This is intended for the experience gamer, not a novice who struggles over basic terminology. d4 d6 d8 d10 d12 d14 d16 d18 d6-1 or d6 reroll 5 or 6 or quasi-d4 d6 d6+1 d6+2 or d6+d3 2d6 or d6 x 2 2d6+1 2d6+2 or 2d6+d3 3d6

Repeat the pattern as needed. Note that the above does not give the same high and low numbers but does give much the same average (except rolling 1d6-1 for a d4). Mathematically speaking: divide the maximum point value by 6 to find how many dice to roll: if there is a remainder of 1 or 2, the roll is "+1"; if it is 3 or 4 the roll is either "+2" or "+d3"; if it is 5, add another dice. Thus, 4-32 damage becomes 5d6+1; 6-34 becomes 5d6+2 or 5d6+d3.

Hit Points

Some games use set hit points. The approach to random hit points can vary depending on whether the user prefers averages, something close, or to simply base them on d6 with changes for the original die type. Examples: Hit Die Type d4 d6 d8 d10 d12 Solutions Average a d4 substitute as-is d6+1 (average 4.5) d6+2 or d6+d3 (average 5.5) a d12 substitute d6 base d6-1 as-is d6+2 (3 - 8) d6+4 d6 x 2, 2d6, d6+6

Damage

When it comes to quantities, the goal is usually to mimic the average of the original or create a scale like the original. Older games were often based greatly on d6s for damage, so conversions aren't quiet a tedious. The earliest version of D&D didn't even use variable damage rolls. All attacks did 1d6 damage, including those by monsters, though certain monsters were given extra dice to make them more deadly. And all creatures made only one attack. Simplicity was the name of the game. Eventually variable damage and different numbers of attacks was introduced. The intent of variable damage is to create a scale: a d4 does less damage than a d6 which does less than a d8, and so on. The substitute for this is simple.

Probabilities

Probabilities are a concern for succeed or fail die rolls: saving throws, to-hit rolls, skill rolls, etc. And random table picks. While some people try to convert various games to 3d6, 2d6 or d12 using math and comparing percentages, the author prefers to reformulate the game. There is no reason to take what is basically a simple game and add complexity: keep the underpinnings simple and let the dice speak for themselves and have their own effect on the game. Many people are used to thinking about probabilities in terms of decimals. Decimals are handy, but what some people forget or never think of is that a decimal is more properly the "decimal representation of a fraction." 1

The chance of any number appearing on a common d20 is 1/20 or 5%. The chance of a 12 occurring when making a standard 2d6 roll is 1/36, which is converted to 2.7 (repeating). Indeed, each combination (number) on a 2d6 roll is some fraction of 36. The chance of a 1 or 2 occurring on a d6 is 2/6 or 1/3, which gives a repeating remainder (or .333 repeating). If you try to do various conversions and get bogged down, consider working with the true fraction that a probability is represented by.

d20 A d10 roll and an adder die: add 10 if even Rather than adder die, coins or poker chips can be used with "0" on one side and the added number on the other (4, 5, 6, or 10). Below is an example of a "quasi-d4", one way of using a d4 to create a 1 - 4 roll with the same average as a d4 for quantities. With individual die rolls, 2 and 3 are favored, but in the long run (barring any bias on the die roller's part or random flukes) the total quantity will be much the same as a d4 was rolled. d4 # 1 2 3 4 Frequency 25.0% 25.0% 25.0% 25.0% Average: Weighted Value 0.3 0.5 0.8 1.0 2.5 Quasi-d4 # Frequency Value 1 16.7% 0.2 2 16.7% 0.3 3 16.7% 0.5 4 16.7% 0.7 2 16.7% 0.3 3 16.7% 0.5 15 Average: 2.5 2.5

Analyzing Die Rolls: Anecdotes vs. Reality

Dice are random number generators. How they are made and rolled can affect outcomes. Plus they are random: randomness itself means they should not be predictable, which means one person may very well get the same numbers a lot while another may get a wide mix of numbers - just because they are unpredictable. Thus, die rolls cannot be analyzed by anecdotes like, "I wrote down all my die rolls and they weren't any different than a d12." or "I actually get mostly 2s and 12s." Such things happen because of randomness, the dice being used, rolling techniques, lies, or ignorance. The concepts involved have to be analyzed from a viewpoint of what will generally happen to a large population over a long period of time when using honestly random die rolls.

D&D With 3d6

Making Standard Die Rolls Using Only d6s

One of the simplest methods that requires no conversion of the game itself (just conversion of die rolls) is to make d10 and other die rolls using d6s. A d6 is of course the d6. A d12 is made by rolling a d6 and reading it as-is; roll a second die and interpreting it as "add 6" if the result is an even number (odds mean "add nothing" or "add 0"). Or you can use 1 to 3 as "add 0" and 5 to 6 as "add 6" - there are numerous ways to interpret the dice to get the same thing. A d10 roll can be made by rolling two dice. One, (the base die) is rerolled if a 6 occurs but it is otherwise read asis for a base of 1 to 5. If the other (a control die or adder) is even then add 5 to the base die (if it is odd then don't add anything). The result is a number from 1 to 10. With a second control die that is read as "add 10" if the result is even, a d20 roll can be made. A d4 is made by rolling a d6 and re-rolling 5 or 6. For quantities, the 5 can be counted as 2 and 6 as 3, which gives the same average as a standard d4. A d8 is made by adding a control die, and reading evens on it as "add 4". And there you have it: a die roll for a d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20. d4 d5 d6 d8 d10 Roll d6, reroll 5 or 6, or make a quasi-d4 Roll a d6, reroll 6. A d6 A d4 roll with an adder die: evens = add 4. Roll a d5 and an adder die (add 5 if the adder is even). d12 A d6 and adder die (add 6 if he adder is even) 2

Since ability scores are typically based on the 3 to 18 number range and often determined by rolling 3d6, some people consider using 3d6 instead of a d20 roll. Thus is not a new idea. Games such as GURPS, Dragon Age, The Fantasy Trip (Melee, Wizard, etc.), and the SwordQuest game book series use a 3d6 as the standard resolution die roll. There are various tutorials that use 3d6: J. Eric Holmes offered one, Ian Livingston's Dicing With Dragons included one and then there was the Smoke Dragon fast play introduction for Dungeons & Dragons circa 1999 or 2000. Rolling 3d6 favors the middle number and slights the end numbers quiet a bit. Some people may like that: others may not. Those who do not can always make a d18 die roll instead, which involves only two dice, as explained later. 3d6 Probabilities # 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 1/216 3/216 6/216 10/216 15/216 21/216 25/216 27/216 27/216 25/216 21/216 15/216 10/216 6/216 3/216 1/216 Each % 0.5% 1.4% 2.8% 4.6% 6.9% 9.7% 11.6% 12.5% 12.5% 11.6% 9.7% 6.9% 4.6% 2.8% 1.4% 0.5% Cumulative % Asc % Desc 0.5% 100.0% 1.9% 99.5% 4.6% 98.1% 9.3% 95.4% 16.2% 90.7% 25.9% 83.8% 37.5% 74.1% 50.0% 62.5% 62.5% 50.0% 74.1% 37.5% 83.8% 25.9% 90.7% 16.2% 95.4% 9.3% 98.1% 4.6% 99.5% 1.9% 100.0% 0.5%

A 3d6 roll changes the flavor of the game. With a d20, everything is flat and a 20 will occur just as often as a 1 or any other number, instilling a lot of randomness to play and reducing the effect of bonuses and penalties. With 3d6, the game becomes more predictable: indeed, die rolls will greatly favor 9, 10, 11, or 12. Some people like this because, in the end, randomness does tend to create chaos. Yes, the characters might win a fight by rolling great on a d20; and they may also loose it by rolling poorly. Most die rolls will be average, and the strongest side will tend to prevail by the law of averages. The differences in bonuses and penalties become more significant; the smaller modifiers of +1 or so can stack up and become more important by pushing the overall bonus higher. Note how (when modifiers are more level due to using a d20) it is possible for characters to function somewhat like each other if they manage a bonus in the same general area - such as one character with a +3 bonus to hitting due to high strength while another has a +6 bonus due to strength and perhaps a higher experience level. Using 3d6, though, the +6 bonus can be far more significant than a +3 bonus because, in the end, both characters will usually roll the same thing. Critical failures and critical successes will become less common and have to be adjusted for the newer number ranges. It becomes much tougher to make high saving throws or hit high armor classes; and a bit easier to make lower ones (high meaning "higher number needed to succeed"). Tough monsters become much tougher and weaker monsters loose some of their danger. Succeeding by random luck is not as easy; a referee used to more randomness from d20s has to be careful not to blithely throw tough monsters at the party as the monsters will be even tougher with 3d6. You wind up with a different feel to play, one that some people enjoy.

7, 8, 11 6, 8, 9 6, 7, 8 7, 8, 9, 10 5, 6, 7, 8 5, 6, 7, 8, 11 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 All except 5, 6 All except 2, 7 All except 2, 5 All except 4 All except 3 All

35% 40% 45% 50% 55% 60% 65% 70% 75% 80% 85% 90% 95% 100%

36.1% 38.9% 44.4% 50.0% 55.6% 61.1% 66.7% 72.2% 75.0% 80.6% 86% 92% 94% 100%

d20 to 2d6

Percentiles With 2d6

The following table shows how to approximate some percentiles using a 2d6 roll. This is based on number set theory: grouping numbers by a certain percent and then treating all numbers in said set as that percent. That is to say, there is a 55% chance that a 2d6 roll will be a 5 or 6 or 7 or 8: thus if 55% is the goal, success is indicated by getting a 5, 6, 7, or 8. Anything else is failure. Note that there are many possible combinations to create the same basic thing; the following was tweaked to suit "higher = better" concepts and in some cases uses fewer exceptions than similar tables the author has seen. The users must define a specific set of numbers as the only allowed set for a result. Number Rolled 11 9 8 7, 12 7, 10 7, 8 Percentage 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% Actual Percentage 5.6% 11.0% 13.9% 19.4% 25.0% 30.6% 3

While some people try to convert a d20 roll to 2d6 or d12 using math and comparing percentages, the easiest way is to use basic ideas and reformulate the game. There is no way nor reason to slavishly try to replicate the numbers of a game; it is easier to recreate a game that plays much the same way as the original. The average roll of a d20 is 10.5; often 1 to 10 is considered failure and 11 to 20 success. To-hit rolls, saving throws and such typically increase or decrease from the middle. The to-hit tables of older games often starts at 10 rather than 11, but since that applies to monsters and characters alike, it is not so important. Rather than use 2d6, base a 2d6 game on a d12 roll. The average is 6 or 7: 1-6 is failure and 7 to 12 success. As an example: in older games, using a d20 roll start at 10; leather armor often increases protection 2 points; chain mail 4 points; plate mail 6 points; etc. On a d12/2d6 roll, start with 6 and leather adds 1, chain mail 2, plate mail 3, etc. A shield adds 1. Saving throws can be reworked much the same: in older games a fighter might start with 14, 16, and 18 - converted to a 2d6/d12 system that is close enough to 9, 10, and 11. The intermediary numbers are lost (i.e. 13 and 14 both become 9), but the intent is to play a simpler game and such simplifications help reduce tracking picky numbers.

d20 to d18

Using a d18 roll instead of a d20 gives the option of not changing anything but the end point of 18 rather than 20. Those wanting a slight change might subtract 1 from the number needed for a d20 (counting 0 as 1) to bring it closer to the d18 center point of 9 and 10. Those wanting to develop their own play-alike game might simply start with the center points of 8 or 10 and adjust as explained above: i.e. leather armor adds 2 points protection, a shield 1, and so on.

Adder Dice and d6s

Adder dice expand the versatility of the d6. Indeed, the d18 roll can be used in place of a d20 and hence even many modern versions of D&D (let alone any d20 game) can be played in most part using just d6s with few changes. Consider the following table. Mark a six-sided die as

follows and roll it with a regular die (adding the two results) and you get a flat number range. Used For Roll d12 d18 d36 1 0 0 6 2 0 0 12 Remarked d6 3 4 0 6 6 6 18 24 5 6 12 30 6 6 12 0

A d36 roll can be made using a d3 as the tens digit and creates the first 18 combinations of the d66 (11 to 36). The concept can be used to make d666, d366, d336 rolls and so on. Converting a d66 (and hence d36) roll to a d20 (rounding up) gives this. d66 11 12 13 14 15 16 21 22 23 24 25 26 31 32 33 34 35 36 41 42 43 44 45 46 51 52 53 54 55 56 61 62 63 64 65 66 d36 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 raw % 2.8% 5.6% 8.3% 11.1% 13.9% 16.7% 19.4% 22.2% 25.0% 27.8% 30.6% 33.3% 36.1% 38.9% 41.7% 44.4% 47.2% 50.0% 52.8% 55.6% 58.3% 61.1% 63.9% 66.7% 69.4% 72.2% 75.0% 77.8% 80.6% 83.3% 86.1% 88.9% 91.7% 94.4% 97.2% 100.0% d20 raw .56 1.11 1.67 2.22 2.78 3.33 3.89 4.44 5.00 5.56 6.11 6.67 7.22 7.78 8.33 8.89 9.44 10.00 10.56 11.11 11.67 12.22 12.78 13.33 13.89 14.44 15.00 15.56 16.11 16.67 17.22 17.78 18.33 18.89 19.44 20.00 d20 int 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 6 6 7 7 8 8 9 9 10 11 11 12 12 13 13 14 14 15 16 16 17 17 18 18 19 19 20

NOTE: The "d36" adder can be marked however you wish. The system shown makes it easy to roll a regular die and multiply by 6, counting the die face of "6" as "0" instead of 36. There is no reason to stop there. Mark a third die as follows: Used For Roll d24 d108 d216 1 0 0 36 2 0 0 72 Remarked d6 3 4 0 12 36 36 108 144 5 12 72 180 6 12 72 0

Roll (and add together) the d24 adder, the d12 adder and a normal six-sided die (d6) and the result is a number from 1 to 24. If you own a normal d12, you can roll the d12 adder with it for a total of 1 to 24. Roll the d108 adder, d36 adder, and a normal d6 and the total will be a flat number from 1 to 108. This is clumsy, but it works. This concept is not new: it was suggested in the some of the earliest role-playing games produced. It can be expanded to the use of other dice in infinite ways. Consider an 8-sided die interpreted as follows and added to yet another d8: d64 1 8 2 16 3 24 4 32 5 40 6 48 7 56 8 0

d66, d36 etc

Some gamers use a "d66" roll, which is very similar to a d100 roll using two ten-sided dice except it generates 36 numbers from 11 to 66. Two d6s are rolled (or one d6 is rolled twice) and one is read as the tens digit and the other as the ones digit. d66 d36 Result 11 1 12 2 13 3 14 4 15 5 16 6 21 7 22 8 23 9 24 10 25 11 26 12 d66 d36 Result 31 13 32 14 33 15 34 16 35 17 36 18 41 19 42 20 43 21 44 22 45 23 46 24 d66 d36 Result 51 25 52 26 53 27 54 28 55 29 56 30 61 31 62 32 63 33 64 34 65 35 66 36 4

Custom Dice

Following are scans of some of the dice I have remarked. I currently don't have a camera (even a camera phone) so I scanned them and haven't had time to remove the gray areas around them.

Playing With 2d6


This is for people who don't want anything more complex than to roll two six-sided dice (2d6). Various games have been built around rolling 2d6 for resolution, including Traveler and MechWarrior.

The 2d6 Die Roll

Converting Modules to 2d6 Systems

Some people have fun making up lists of conversions such as for armor-classes. The author prefers to develop a base system and convert modules to it without referring to the other game statistics. The statistics used in other games might be looked at to see what they intend, but what is really important is the approach to the game being used to play the module, not the game the module was designed for. For example, the author starts with an armor class of 6 for all monsters and if he wants something to be tougher, he bumps it up. When dealing with NPCs, he looks at their description for ideas, but in the end he assigns ability scores and armor (if allowed) as he wants them. 2d6 Probabilities # 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Occurrences 1 2 3 4 5 6 5 4 3 2 1 Total: 36 Prob % 2.8% 5.6% 8.3% 11.1% 13.9% 16.7% 13.9% 11.1% 8.3% 5.6% 2.8% 100.0%

The author prefers to convert games to a d12 basis, starting with a mid point of 7 or higher versus 11 or higher for a d20. When he uses a 2d6 roll, he uses a 1 to 12 base number range, letting the 2d6 roll speak for itself rather than trying to rejigger the numbers for the probabilities of 2d6. A roll of two dice (2d6) is typically used for saving throws, to-hit rolls, and skill rolls. This die roll generates 11 numbers (2 to 12) with the median being 7. Individual numbers do not have the same chance of occurring with each die roll: the end points (2 and 12) have a 1 in 36 chance of occurring, while the mid point of 12 has a 1 in 6 chance of occurring. The following compares a roll of 2d6 to a roll of 1d12: with a d12, each number has a 1 in 12 (8 %) chance of occurring.

Cumulative % Asc Desc 2.8% 100.0% 8.3% 97.2% 16.7% 91.7% 27.8% 83.3% 41.7% 72.2% 58.3% 58.3% 72.2% 41.7% 83.3% 27.8% 91.7% 16.7% 97.2% 8.3% 100.0% 2.8%

# 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

1d12 8.3% 16.7% 25.0% 33.3% 41.7% 50.0% 58.3% 66.7% 75.0% 83.3% 91.7% 100.0%

2d6 vs 1d12 Cumulative Comparison


2d6 vs 1d12 Point by Point Comparison
18% 16%
percent probability

14% 12% 10% 8% 6% 4% 2% 0% 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12


1d12 2d6

100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
number

percent probability

number

2d6

1d12

Graphing the individual probabilities results in a pyramid for the 2d6 and flat line for the d12. The graph of the cumulative ascending probabilities reveals an s-shaped line versus a straight line: What this is intended to point out is that a roll of 2d6 is not a flat die roll, although the cumulative percent can come close and match that of a d12 in certain cases.

roll of 3d6 for ability scores (with various point buys and pick lists based on that). Various games use various schemes for ability score bonuses. The following gives a pretty hefty bonuses for high scores (low scores are often rare; few people enjoy playing characters who are inferior). Ability Score 1-3 4-5 6-8 9-12 13-15 16-17 18 Base Bonus/penalty -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3

Affect of 2d6 vs d12

Using a 2d6 roll reduces randomness and increases predictability, as explained in the use of 3d6. Most die rolls will be 6, 7, or 8. A 2 or 12 will be less common.

The Value of Pluses and Minuses


Each number on a d12 has an 8% chance of occurring and hence many people realize that a +1 bonus is the equivalent of an 8% increase. When analyzing a 2d6 roll, the chance of different numbers occurring varies. For example, a +1 bonus added to 7 increases it to 8 with a roughly 14% increase while 1 added to 11 increases it to 12 for roughly 3% gain. Numbers past 12 involve esoteric math: consider how a 7 has a 58% chance of occurring with 2d6, which means an 8 has a 58% chance of occurring with 2d6+1, while a 13 has a 3% chance of occurring with 2d6+1. The math involved can be quirky: consider a roll of 2d6+3 that starts with a 10: 2 points increases it to 12 which is an 8% jump and then the extra point goes to 13 which is a 3% jump which is about 11%. Keep in mind that in practical terms, the importance of any die roll is not the percentage but rather the number itself: an 8 is still an 8 and a 13 is still a 13 and they are typically compared to numbers from 1 to 12 on 2d6. Using a d12 roll as a basis of comparisons, a bonus of 1 (8 %) is almost the same as a +2 bonus for a d20 roll; 2 (16 %) is a little over a +3; and 3 (25%) is a +5 bonus.

The scale of the plus or minus is mainly important for tohit rolls, saving throws, and skill rolls. Quantities are usually based on a d6 in the first place, so there is little need to adjust for them. Below is an example of a system with slight changes: Prime Requisite Experience Effect Score 1 -5 6-8 9-12 x.p. -20% -10% x1 x.p. x.8 x.9 x1 Score Charisma: Morale: Reactions Retainers Constitution: Hit Point Rolls Poison/Disease Saves Dexterity: Initiative Missile To-hit, fighter Missile To-hit, other 6 13-15 +5% x1.05 16-18 +10% x1.1

1-3 4-5 6-8 9-12 13-15 16-17 18 4 -2 0 -3 -2 -2 -2 -2 5 -1 1 -2 -1 -1 -1 -1 6 -1 2 -1 -1 -1 0 -1 7 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 8 +1 4 +1 +1 +1 +1 0 9 10 +1 +2 5 6 +2 +3 +1 +2 +2 +3 +1 +2 +1 +2

Abilities Scores And Their Uses

This discussion involves the typical game that uses a die

Score Armor Class Strength: Brute Strength Melee Damage* Throwing Damage* Melee to-hit, fighter Melee to-hit, other Wisdom: Save vs. Magic Detect Lie

1-3 4-5 6-8 9-12 13-15 16-17 18 -2 -1 0 0 0 +1 +2 -3 -3 -3 -2 -2 -2 -3 -2 -2 -2 -1 -1 -1 -2 -1 -1 -1 0 -1 -1 -1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 +1 +1 +1 +1 0 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +1 +1 +3 +3 +3 +2 +2

start with 5 as unarmored and apply armor effects: Armor No Armor Leather Chain Mail Plate Armor Shield AC 5 AC 4 AC 3 AC 2 Reduces 1 point

+1 +2 +2 +3

In this case, 2d6 + the target's armor class plus modifiers is a hit if it equals or exceeds 12. Ascending Armor Class This is used in more modern system: the target's armor class is the number that must be rolled or beaten to hit it. Some people might prefer to start with 6 as unarmored. Armor No Armor Leather Chain Mail Plate Armor Shield Option #1 AC 7 AC 8 AC 9 AC 10 +1 Option #2 AC 6 AC 7 AC 8 AC 9 +1

Score Intelligence (Languages) 1-3 Can only grunt and gesture crudely. 4-5 Can speak racial language poorly; cannot read/write. 6-8 Can speak racial language well but read/write it crudely; can speak common poorly but cannot write it. 9-12 Can speak and read/write racial language and common well 13 As 9-12 and can speak 1 more language 14 As 9-12 and can speak 2 more languages 15 As 9-12 and can speak 3 more languages 16 As 9-12 and can speak 4 more languages 17 As 9-12 and can speak 5 more languages 18 As 9-12 and can speak 6 more languages

In d20 games there has been various approaches to the base armor class (unarmored): 10, 11, 12. Softening the Effect of Armor When rolling 2d6 (let alone a d12), armor can rapidly become daunting. Following are two examples of how armor might be treated - it is kept useful, but does not overwhelm the game. Doing this allows a tweak in giving fighters a bonus of 1 to armor class for their combat training. Armor No Armor Leather Chain Mail Plate Armor Asc. AC 6 AC 7 AC 7 AC 7 Desc. AC 5 AC 4 AC 4 Option #1 other effects

Armor Class

There are two main systems for AC: ascending and descending. Descending Armor Class Older games started with a descending armor class where higher was worse: unarmored creatures started at 9 or 10 and armor would reduce this to as low as 3 for plate armor and even lower. These games often used tables to look up to-hit numbers. Eventually they began using a THACO or THAC0 system (To-hit Armor Class 0), with the target's armor class subtracted from THAC0. A different approach is to view armor class as a bonus to the attacker's to hit roll: thus, if a d20 roll + the target's armor class plus modifiers equal or exceeds 20, a hit is scored. Calculate a to-hit modifier for the characters by subtracting their THACO number from 20 or 21 as is desired. Note that some games use repeating 20s rather than 2 for the THAC0 for low hit die/level characters; you may have to manually assign THAC0s of 0 or -1. Or, the formula can be used as: d20 + modifiers is a hit if it equals or beats the THACO. Thus, you have: 1. table look-up 2. THAC0 - armor class 3. d20 + armor class + to-hit modifier >= 20 3. d20 + armor class >= THAC0 To use a descending armor class system for 2d6 games, 7

+1 saves versus dragon breath, fireball, etc. (but not lightning) AC 4 +1 saves versus dragon breath, fireball, etc., + 6 hit points*

* Both maximum and current hit points are increased by 6; if the armor is removed, they both drop by 6. If current hit points drop below 1 the character is slain by the next hazard or monster they face, no die rolls allowed to save them. Armor No Armor Leather Asc. AC 6 AC 7 Desc. AC 5 AC 4 Option #2 other effects

Chain Mail Plate Armor

AC 8 AC 8

AC 3 AC 3 +1 saves versus dragon

breath, fireball, etc. (but not lightning)