Reply To: Rangers of Shadow Deep

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“But what about the ideals of the Codex?”

…As noted, I have some musings which I’ve been working on for this system, and perhaps you’d be interested in hearing about them. None of these items have been evaluated in play or analytics yet, but they may make for good conversation for those so inclined…


Consider the Fight Stat as a direct stand-in for the Base Attack Bonus, or whatever it’s called in the OGL. Also consider that the maximum normal Fight Stat is +5. Under some situations – namely special items or perks, Fight can also be temporarily improved beyond its standard levels. Consider then that a figure should use its current Fight stat given those values to determine its equivalent maximum Martial Pool:

[Maximum RoSD Martial Pool] = 1 + [Fight / 2], Rounding Down (integer values only)

…So, if a +5 Fight figure somehow ends up with +7 Fight for the scenario, that figure at most can have 4x D20s for their Combat Roll, and will of course choose the highest. But, the figure does not need to use all of the available dice. There’s a reason for that…

This is an opposed roll system! There is no need to divvy out different D20s for different martial considerations. How should one balance out this system? Prior to any actual testing, this is my proposal:

[Effective Fight] = [Fight] – [4 * ([Current RoSD Martial Pool] – 1)]

…What this is saying is that for every extra Martial Die which is used (not counting some abilities which allow for a re-roll), a figure is going to subtract 4 from their current effective Fight Stat. SO, if a +2 Fight figure decides it must roll two dice for a given combat, that figure will subtract 2 from their Combat Roll.

The idea with this version of the Martial Pool is one of diminishing returns. By rolling more dice for a better probability of landing a better hit, you actively choose to sacrifice something in return. In the example above, the +2 Fight figure rolls a 17 and a 12. The 17 turns into a 15, which is still not a terrible roll, but by making multiple rolls, you of course increase your chances of scoring a Critical, and if Fumbles are implemented, you have a VERY good chance of avoiding those as well. If you don’t use the extra dice, you get a shot at letting the fixed numbers give you a respectable boost.

It would be very easy to tabulate this information if you didn’t want to do the simple math (and it is simple, but if you find equations troubling: again, -4 to Fight for every extra D20 used). Nothing is final here, so I won’t make a formal table, but this listing should give you a general idea of what happens to the Fight Stat when using multiple D20s:

1 Die, +0, +1 Fight; Fight Levels 0 & 1
2 Dice, -2, -1 Fight; Fight Levels 2 & 3
3 Dice, -4, -3 Fight; Fight Levels 4 & 5
4 Dice, -6, -5 Fight; Fight Levels 6 & 7

…You again might take a rather substantial risk with 4 dice if you figured a better chance of getting a critical would be worth it – the natural 20 always wins (though there are double-hits in RoSD, so a critical won’t necessarily save you!) and usually does +5 damage, so a 19 doesn’t seem like such a shabby result.

Also note (if you’ve not done so already) that not all the dice need to be used just because they can be used. If a +5 Fight figure uses only one extra die per roll, they get an effective +1 Fight every time along with the option of choosing the higher roll: a 6 and an 18 turns into an easy 19… Otherwise, you’d be left with an 11, which might beat an opponent, but it probably wouldn’t leave them with a scratch. Likewise… keeping the +5 and landing the critical would yield an effective Combat Roll of 30 under these conditions, which is absolutely brutal!


There is one last primary consideration for this simplified Martial Pool system – is overuse possible? If the answer is “yes,” then the following rule could be the answer – THE POOL LIMIT:

The “Pool Limit” or “Limiting Pool” is a simple system based on the nominal Fight Stat of a figure. Weapons modifiers should not be counted in this figure, though perhaps certain other effects should. Thus, you can formulate this number as:


…Every time an additional dice is used, it is subtracted from the Pool, and every turn, the Pool recharges by one point. So, a +2 Fight figure could attack and potentially have to defend (or, rather, counter-attack) with two two-dice rolls. If a third instance were to occur, only one dice could be used. And, during the next turn, only a single extra dice could be used.

In a different scenario, if three dice were used in total for a roll, the Pool would be drained by two points, and then recharged by one the following turn. Etc., etc.

The Pool Limit is probably the weakest chain in the link so far, but I do not believe the idea is bad. To me, it kind of represents the expenditure of energy. And of course, all of this would have to be tested, both in play and in theory, for a really good assessment of it – or anything else here – to be made. However, even if anything needed to be tweaked, all of the bones are there at this point. ­čÖé