I’ve never been a huge fan of the multiple attacks per round rule for fighters against weak creatures (1HD or less than 1HD, depending on edition), and am thinking of replacing them with a multi-attack rule similar to what the DC Heroes RPG did:
Clearly, the idea that one character could attack up to 125 enemies per round, regardless of level, seems a bit excessive unless you’re Superman, so the details would be different. But the base concept of “the more you attack at once, the harder it is to hit” and “one to-hit and one damage roll per group of targets, damage applied to each individual in the group if the to-hit is successful” would be fine, I think.
Maybe something along the lines of:
- Attacker may attack as many targets within range as he wants
- -2* modifier to to-hit roll for every target after the first
- Use AC of the best target as the AC that needs to be hit
- One to-hit roll applies to all named targets–all are hit or all are missed
- If the attack hits, roll damage once and apply that damage to each target
At first glance, I don’t see any gaping holes in this. It would be open to any attacker, but due to the negative modifier and the use of the best opposing AC it would still mean in practice that usually only more powerful fighter types (with better to-hit numbers) would be using it against weaker opponents (with poorer ACs).
This seems a better way (assuming it works) for a tough to plow his way through a horde of goblins, for instance. And it would take less time to resolve, which would speed battles a bit and would not leave other players waiting for the fighter to finish all of his to-hit and damage rolls.
Of course, this would work both ways. Now that troll can take on a party much more effectively. Or a tyrannosaur might be able to get a band of orcs, finally. Not sure about special attacks, though. Would a ghoul either paralyze everyone or no one?
I imagine that there are other similar systems, or systems that try to do similar things, out there. But I can’t think of one off the top of my head. Maybe something from Chainmail?
My intention is to use this with our Wizards & Warriors homebrew, but I don’t see why it (or something quite similar) wouldn’t work with standard oldschool games.
Anyone got any suggestions? For either this take or a pointer to an alternative?
* This had originally been -1 but that wasn’t enough.