Re: Smashes (was: Another combat factor)

Carl Edman (cedman@cedman.remote.Princeton.EDU)
Tue, 20 Sep 94 22:09:43 -0400

From: Rich Skrenta <>
> So no group of peasants, no matter how large, could ever defeat a single
> elite guard?

No, the elite guard still has to hit the peasant. If he throws a hit strong
enough to hit a df of 1 the peasant dies. If the hit was also strong enough
to hit a df of 10 (assuming N=10), the guard gets to attack again. Sure, the
elite guard would get to kill about nine peasants on average every time it
gets to attack, but enough peasants can wear down any elite guard.

> So if there are 20 wolves vs. a noble, if the noble gets his 1/20 chance
> to hit, all the wolves are wasted. Meanwhile the wolves get their 6.5%
> hits in.

No, that is not so either. If N=10, the noble has about an 8/13s chance of
getting a second strike with each hit i.e. he would get to kill about 1.6
wolves with each blow. If N=5, the noble gets to kill 4.2 wolves each time
he gets to strike. Either result seems very fine and heroic to me.

> It seems wrong, but I suppose it could work out in the end in the
> numbers. But the idea of this warrior letting wolves snap at him for a
> while, then suddenly killing them all in a blaze of fury... I don't know.

In the average (and that is all the player ever gets to see) this works out
to just the same the idea of a 'speed'. But it does this without affecting
normal battles, introducing an extra parameter or adding any significant
amount of code. It also gives real meaning to high AFs. If there are
smashes an AF of 500 really is about 5 times better than an AF of 100 against

> It seems like this throws things really far in favor of an arbitrary
> level of outclassing.

That is why there is the parameter N. You can arbitrarily adjust the effect
of "outclassing" by varying N.

> Someone else on the list suggested weighting
> attacks to the attack factor (speed=af), which has a similar effect, but
> one which takes over more gradually, without the hard threshold.

There is no hard threshold in this system. In principle a peasant could
smash a dozen dragons in a row. All he needs to do is hit an effective df of
5000 (i.e. N*500) a dozen times. Hard thresholds almost always create
undesirable effects near the boundary, so I'd avoid them.

Carl Edman

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