Dungeons. Dragons. Graph paper. Funny dice.

OD&D attack matrix

Looking at the attack matrix for men on page 19 of Men & Magic, I’m wondering what happens at high levels. The column header “16 & +” seems to indicate that fighting-men never get better than that (e.g.—hitting AC 2 on a roll of 5 or better). Given that fighting men progress in attack ability every three levels and top-out at level 16, what about the other classes? Clerics advance in attack ability every four levels, and magic-users every five levels. Will a magic-user eventually (at level 26) be able to hit AC 2 with a roll of 5 (i.e.—catching-up with the combat abilities of fighting-men, but ten levels later)? Or, does improvement of their combat ability end at level 16, hitting AC 2 with a roll of 10? It looks to me like combat ability for all classes stops improving at level 16; to hit AC 2 fighting men top-out at a roll of 5, while both clerics and magic-users top-out at a roll of 10 to hit AC 2. Do you agree? Or could Men & Magic mean that magic users and clerics are eventually able to hit AC 2 with a roll of 5? EDIT: I initially missed the bit that says “…and at 13th level the Patriarch would get 8 + 2 and fight as a Superhero - the next change in Fighting Capacity coming at 17th level.” So… it seems that attacks will continue to get better beyond level 16, yes?


JDJarvis September 28, 2010 at 11:33 AM

I’d certainly limit the ability of clerics and magic-users to ever be as good as a fighter of penultimate levels to hit things of AC 2.

Paul September 28, 2010 at 11:46 AM

The only issue I see (and I’m not sure that it’s a problem) is that the combat ability of clerics tops-out at level 13, hitting AC 2 on a roll of 10. Magic-users top-out at level 16, also hitting AC 2 with a roll of 10.

JDJarvis September 28, 2010 at 2:53 PM

I see nothing wrong with the spellcasters topping out much weaker then the fighters do, they are not fighters. Fighters hardly ever throw 10d6 fireballs or raise the dead.

Paul September 28, 2010 at 3:06 PM

Yeah. There’s nothing wrong with it. It implies that any sufficiently experienced non-specialist (cleric or magic-user) will progress to a certain level and no farther.

It’s just a bit of a surprise to me that clerics don’t finish slightly better than magic-users.

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