Wednesday, June 6, 2012

ACKS' Attack Rolls - Doing It Right

There's been much complaining about how ACKS' attack roll and AC system is bad.  I was kind of tempted to agree for a while, but we eventually stumbled upon a good way to handle things.

  1. Get your class' to-hit number from the appropriate table based on your level (say 9+ for a 2nd-level fighter).
  2. Subtract all of your bonuses from strength, magic items, dex, and so forth.  This gets you for example 7+ for our 2nd-level fighter with a 16 Strength.
  3. When you go to attack, roll the d20 and subtract your modified to-hit number.  Let's say our fighter rolled a 13; he reports to the DM in Traveller parlance that he got effect 6 on his attack roll, or "hit by 6", or something of that sort.
  4. The DM compares that margin of success to the monster's AC.  If it's greater than or equal to the AC, it's a hit.  Else, it's a miss.
When you run it this way, it's actually pretty nice.  One thing I like it that it keeps all the numbers small; because it's all subtractive, you're almost never going to deal with anything over 20, and most numbers will be single-digit, which makes the math easy for normal humans.

But yeah, we had quite a time before we switched from subtracting AC from the attack to using it as a target number.  I could see where the complaints were coming from, and should maybe send this procedure to Autarch as a "Hey, if you do it this way it's really fast and convenient" type thing.


  1. Definitely mention it to him. Once we started doing that it seemed almost elegant in its simplicity.

  2. Even simpler: Each time the target number changes, subtract it from 20, standard DC is 20.

    I need to make a save vs. Poison? RAW, I make that on 13+. Instead of trying to remember all the target numbers, I just roll d20+7, looking to hit DC 20.

    I'm attacking? Armor values get 10 added to them, then the same thing. I don't need to remember that I hit AC 0 (no armor) on a 14+ (18+ for being a Fighter 3, +3 Strength, +1 for the magic sword), then increase that target number by five because my target is wearing chain mail. I roll d20+6, compare to AC 15, done.

    I appreciate why they did it this way for ACKS, but as much as our group is really digging ACKS, that particular change didn't last the first hour. We were rolling 3e-style attack rolls within 45 minutes or so.