I know I know. 2e? Really? Even Myth & Magic went 3e on everything.
Yet, here I am still thinking about it. I realized that the math from a previous post about my 2e ideas is more complicated than I think is fun. When my friends and I are playing at 4am, I am not thrilled about the commutative property of addition or its effects on making a roll. I want something simpler.
In re-reading my 2e Player's Handbook, I realize that I had proficiencies wrong. Proficiencies do not provide bonuses - they create penalties for using non-proficient weapons.
Weapon specialization, however, provides +1 to hit, +2 to damage and multiple attacks sooner than non-specialized fighters. For bows and crossbows, specialists can fire at point-blank range.
Proceeding forward, I'm basically going to assume the use of weapons proficiencies and specialization for fighters. Secondary skills and non-weapon proficiencies can be tacked on later.
Having said that, let's start with the example in the Player's Handbook and work around it.
Seventh level Fighter with 18/80 Strength and longsword + 1 attacking creature in chainmail AC 6. THAC0 is 14, the final target number is 14 - (2 + 1 + 6) or 5. So I need to roll a five or better to successful hit the creature. You could also think of this as an 80% chance of success.
I'm not afraid of subtraction by any means. What I am thinking about is explaining the math in a sentence. Right now, the successfully hit something you have to roll a d20 greater than the difference between your THAC0 and the sum of all your modifiers. Sounds bad, but it is easily mastered once you do it four or five times.
I'd rather have something easier to explain in English. For example, to successfully hit something you have to roll a d20 under the sum of your Base Attack Bonus and all your modifiers.
In fact, I'd like to go a step further and say that any success comes from rolling a d20 equal to or under the sum of your base ability and all your modifiers. That's where I started with the thieves' skills in the previous post. Here's what it looks like:
Our seventh level fighter with 18/80 Strength and longsword + 1 attacking creature in chainmail AC 6. With a Base Attack Score of 6, we add all of our modifiers to 6, including the opponent's Armor Class. This gives us 6 (Base) + 2 (Str) + 1 (Magic) + 6 (AC) to total 15. Rolling 15 or under on a d20 has an 80% chance of being successful.
Let's take our thief trying to pick pockets:
Our first level thief lives in an urban area where picking pockets is a way to earn a living. When determining his thief's skill, he starts with 3 in Pick Pockets and adds the maximum of 6 to it. So, he has a Pick Pockets score of 9. To determine if he is successful, roll a s20 and get 9 or less.
This even applies to Non-Weapon Proficiencies. They are determined by primary attribute +/- and adjustment. Roll 1d20 under to determine success.
For example, anyone with the brewing proficiency would roll based on their Intelligence score. Our thief, will an INT of 14 and a brewing non-weapon proficiency would roll equal to or under 14 to brew a good beer.
That is just a look at having a universal mechanic. Next up, how to avoid the explosion of awful kits...