**what's the chance in combat of a starting fighter versus a house cat, and versus a tiger**.

This has its origins in a fight in my game between a panther and a giant rat - the panther was wounded, and there was scepticism expressed about the giant rat's chances to survive in real life. Delta then had a post on the stats of different cats in AD&D, which prompted me to dream up this test to run on Explore to iron out the sizing rules.

__The Fighter__First up is the fighter. Here's an average first level fighter:

The first line is the skills, the second is what arms and armour they've got, the third is the combat bonuses (just from adding up items on the first two lines, e.g. Melee 3 & A2 from sword give Melee A5) The last line is the fight rating and XP you gain if you kill it.Fighter TemplateSkills:Melee: 3, Parry: 2, Athletics:2 (K1), Unarmed: 1, Thrown: 1, Survival: 14.Arms & Armour:Sword (P2 A2 K2) Shield (P3) Chain [4] Steel Helm [2].Combat:Melee: P17 A5 K3 [8/11/14/17 (20)]FR39XP44

I've called it a template as from these stats you can quickly determine the stats for a fighter of any level, or any size (e.g. a giant fighter); also template seems appropriate as a fighter is just one particular choice of skills, you can make up your own templates.

__Adding levels__: Each level you get +1 on all skills you are trained in, and +1 on survival (which is not actually a skill). Which means the fighter gets +1 parry, +1 attack, +0.5 kill, +1 survival every level. So @3rd level they'd be Melee: P19 A7 K4 [8/12/15/19 (22)].

"Level" here is slightly misleading; you improve your skills incrementally as you gain XP - it's only saves that improve when you gain enough XP to make the next level. The Fighter template is just a predefined way of spending that XP on skills.

__Changing Size__: Size is included in calculating combat stats; the effect of increasing it is to give a bonus on kill and all your saves (where +4 size is double the weight). So size +2 would make you Melee: P17 A5 K5 [10/13/16/19 (22)].

I've described the Fight Rating (FR) before - it's attack + parry + kill + the middle save. It's a measure of how good at fighting you are. Your rating increases by 3 every +1 level, by 2 every +1 size. From this you lookup how many XP defeating it earns you (it doubles every +6 FR). From this you can easily approximate how well two combatants will fare in a fight by comparing the ratios of their XPNote that changing size doesn't give you any attack or parry bonuses. On the one hand being smaller makes you harder to hit because you're a smaller target, but on the other hand being bigger makes it more difficult to get past your defences and land a blow. By matching increases in kill with increases in saves, changing the size ofbothcombatants hasabsolutely no effect on the fight. Two giants fighting is the same as two humans fighting.

Being larger does make you easier to hit for missile attacks, but only in that it reduces the range penalty.

**.**

__squared__

__The Tiger__I'm going to assume a man sized tiger would fight about as well as a fighter, and claws and teeth and dodging being as good as sword (P2 A2 K2) & dagger (P1 A1 K1), with a tough hide giving the same as full leather [4].

So from this we get the stats for a Tiger by sizing it up:Skills:Melee: 3, Parry: 2, Athletics:2 (K1), Survival: 14+7.Arms & Armour:Sword & Dagger (P3 A3 K3) Full leather [4].Melee:P15 A6 K:4. [6/9/12/15 (18)].FR37XP36

: Size 7 (600lb), Height -8 (3'6''), Length 8 (10')TigerMelee:P15 A6 K:11. [13/16/19/22 (25)].FR51XP180

__The Pussycat__I originally had the domestic cat as a down-sized tiger, but while the lion has prey up to twice its size, the prey of a domestic cat is much smaller than itself, so I've reduced its kill by 3:

That's the stats for a tiger, but -23 size, -23 saves, -26 kill.: Size -16 (10lb), Height -28 (10''), Length -20 (18'')Domestic CatMelee:P15 A6 K-15. [-10/-7/-4/-1 (2)].FR2XP1

__Cat vs Fighter__So here's the answer you've all been waiting for...

**Domestic Cat**(1XP) vs 1st level

**Fighter**(44XP):

**1:1936.**

**Tiger**(180XP) vs 1st level

**Fighter**(44XP):

**17:1**.

These are only a ballpark figure and it gets less accurate the more extreme the comparisons so I ran it through my combat simulator which comes up with accurate odds:

**1:700**for the domestic cat,

**12:1**for the tiger.

The Tiger seems about right, and is quite deadly.

I think the pussycat's chances are still massively overrated, but I'm glad that it's in the right ballpark. In reality it would turn and flee rather than engage in a fight, but what if it is demonically possessed? You could add rules such as it always loses initiative the first round (long weapon advantage), or other rules for a small creature against a large one, but fundamentally it has a chance to kill PCs as a consequence of allowing PCs to have a chance to slay a giant.

*Another day I'll talk about how to make interesting differences between the big cats.*