My layout is straightforward.
First a quick blurb about rounds, then the order of the three phases of a round (Statement of Intent, Initiative, Actions).
Then a description of each phase, including a list of actions that you can do.
Then more detail about attacks, with to-hit tables.
Then more detail about spells, with saving throw tables.
Sounds sensible enough, although there are a lot of undefined points in the rules that I'm having to clarify as I go along.
For example, there's the whole "Statement of Intent" business. The rules for things like spell casting and special attacks such as the Smash attack seem to have an assumption that there should be a statement of intent at the beginning of the round. And conversations with Frank Mentzer over at Dragonsfoot have resulted in him saying that there was supposed to be a "Statement of Intent" in the BECMI rules, but somehow it got missed.
So I've included it in the combat section for compatibility with the other parts of the rules that expect it to be there. I'm using rules for it based on my old house rules here (but simplified in that I've dropped the "allow a change of intent for a -2 initiative penalty" step).
Also, as usual, weapon mastery is ambiguous. Particularly when it comes to AC bonuses and deflection attempts. When exactly do you get them? I've made some decisions based on the list of actions that can be declared, trying to resolve the ambiguity while keeping things balanced.
- If you're attacking, parrying or making a fighting withdrawal; you get weapon mastery based AC bonuses and deflection attempts.
- If you're running you don't get them.
- If you're casting a spell or concentrating on a spell, you don't get them unless you voluntarily let your spell casting or concentration be disrupted; or unless your spell casting has finished.
- When spellcasting, using a magic item, or making a smash attack, you can't move.
- When concentrating, you can move half your per-round speed.
- When attacking or making a fighting withdrawal, you can move your normal per-round speed.
- When running, you can move three times your normal per-round speed.
I'm sure there will be many other ambiguities that will need clarifying before I've finished this chapter.