Thursday, April 28, 2011

Making Variable Damage Make Sense To Me.

As I had mentioned in my previous post, 1d6 or Variable Weapons Damage, I have made the switch to 1d6 for personal preference. But, if I continue on with my train of thought, supported by the previous poll, that HPs are a representation of stamina and ones ability to defend ones self while the Strength, or even Constitution, attribute takes the physical blood letting wound damage, I can progress.

**Random Thoughts**

Perhaps defending against daggers and quicker weapons reduces the opponent's Stamina faster than the less rapid form of fighting with heavier weapons, but heavier weapons do more damage than the lighter quicker variants when they hit?

Dagger 1d10 to HPs (Stamina), 1d4 to Ability (Wounds)
S. Sword 1d8 to HPs (Stamina), 1d6 to Ability (Wounds)
L. Sword 1d6 to HPs (Stamina), 1d8 to Ability (Wounds)
2H. Sword 1d4 to HPs (Stamina), 1d10 to Ability (Wounds)

Critical hits (usually on a natural 20, though some versions span this out for some odd reason to 19-20, 18-20, etc. depending on weapon) could go straight through to Ability wounds.

In a system where level approaches something akin to experience, perhaps it could play a part in the by passing of taxing the opponent and just 'going for the kill'? Maybe the difference between the level of the attacker and the level/hd of the defender is the range for potential critical. Where a 4th level Fighter attacking a 2hd Monster would crit on 18-20?

 But isn't this already addressed with most systems having some form of attack bonus as they level, and how does it play-out?

Perhaps the advantage of level experience should be on the backside of the hit adding the attacker's level, or level difference, to the Ability damage.

I don't know which to start with for play-testing, but I like the general concept and think it lends itself to what I envision as an exchange in combat. I think the difference in level to level or level to hd for additional damage is more what I am looking for, but do you add it to the reduction of Stamina too?

Too many questions to speculate on at the moment. One that just occurred to me is, does this diverge too far from core old school sensabilities?



  1. The last issue of Knockspell has an article on d6 only weaponry that you might find of interest.

  2. I'll check it out. I like me some d6 only weapons. I was fiddling with this mostly as a thought experiment and possibly making variable weapon damage into something I might have been able to live with prior to making the d6 plunge.

    Thanks Ze Bulette,

  3. I like the idea of splitting damage into lethal and non-lethal (wounds and stamina), though I believe hit points were supposed to represent a blend of both.

    But your system is attractive to me in that: a character's hit points represent their ability to hold their own in a fight, which gets better over time (i.e., via level advancement); AND a character's ability to withstand wounds is essentially static (if I'm reading you correctly, STR and/or CON would indicate wound tolerance).

    This opens the door for one-shot kills (because you should be able to drop a 15hp orc chieftain with a well-shot arrow). It also lets you get nifty with to-hit rolls; to your thought, maybe you only do wound damage when the to-hit roll is a crit or the exact result needed, otherwise you just do stamina damage?

    Really enjoying your blog--just found it the other day because I live under a rock.

  4. @Erin - Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I envision either STR and/or CON representing wound tolerance. One shot kills would definitely be possibly with a crit, though I am uncertain as to how to determine crits at the moment. I am either going to try play testing crits = natural 20, or 20 - Character Level divided by something. I also want to consider adding the same (character level / something) added to the damage on a crit as I see level being a reflection of skill.

    To clarify, and address the question, I see crits bypassing conventional hit points and once hp equal zero all further damage goes toward STR and/or CON damage in the form of real wounds. Possibly forcing saves and/or moral checks with every wound so that it doesn't draw out combat. Most things (mooks in my mind) surrender or flee when they can no longer defend themselves (perhaps a reaction roll?)

    This is all in the brain-storming/planning phase. I just wanted to throw it out there to see what the populace thinks.