Skip to Content

Damage tables or just d6 variations? for dark fantasy game...

10 replies [Last post]
devaloki
devaloki's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/15/2014

Hi all,
I'm working on the combat system for my game.
Combat basically works by you roll to hit first, enemy can do a reaction sometimes, if you hit you then roll to see how much damage you do, and then your enemy gets an armour save. You are fighting against enemy AIs not against other players.
In regard particularly to damage and armour, I want to have it so that the amount of damage and amount of armour damage reduction (Armour reduces damage rather than making you harder to hit) is variable rather than having fixed values.
The game only uses d6s and there may also be elemental strengths/weaknesses that characters/enemies may have.
At first I thought to implement a system to resolve damage where you roll 2d6 and consult a table such as this (Mag = Magical damage, Elem: Elemental Damage):

Fire Sword
Roll # : 1-3 : 4-6 : 7-9 : 10-12
Damage Phys: 2 : 3 : 3 : 3
Damage Mag : 0
Damage Elem: 1 : 2 : 2 : 4

And armour would work in the same way, it'd have a chart, you roll on it and it would give you numbers which you subtract from the opponent's damage, anything left over is applied as damage.
I found through testing it that having three different damage charts, though a cool idea, was a bit much math to do while playing quickly so I simplified it down to just one damage/damage reduction table and decided I'll implement strengths/weaknesses in a different manner (haven't decided on the hows of that yet).
Shields work in the game by having their own chart, but it's only 1d6 based and generally the only give low amount of damage reduction from rolling high on the 1d6 (it depends upon the shield size ultimately though)

After thinking about it though, perhaps instead of using a damage/damage reduction table I could just have it so damage/DR simply uses codes of variations you can do with d6s?

Weapons could start from 2d6 and armour could start from 1d6.
So, for example, a dagger could do 2d6-2 damage whilst plate armour could provide damage reduction of d6+3. So these give ranges that are generally easy to understand their effectiveness and make it easier to find the total during play.
The idea for armour is that it can occassionally reduce damage total to 0 but for the most part it is there simply to absorb some of the damage total.

What are all the variations I could do with d6s using a system like this in terms of generating variable number ranges?

devaloki
devaloki's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/15/2014
And also what are some ways I

And also what are some ways I could handle elemental strengths/weaknesses in this type of system?

Jarec
Offline
Joined: 12/27/2013
I thought that your initial

I thought that your initial 2D6 with tables was pretty good, straight up Xd6 damage and Yd6 reduction might be too random. 2D6 gives good bell-curve and table keeps the extremes in check, but if you thought of having a lot of character development and upgrading it might not suffice.

a Dice pool is something that can handle any character development and scaled infinitely, and can be easily given some additional functions by adding different colored dice to the pool (for elemental stuff and such).

Are you thinking of this game as deep and long lasting as something like D&D or something more easily picked up and played? If former, I think going through three tables in combat ain't that bad.

Also, if you decide to stick with your first dice system, I think that the example table you provided should be something like (just to acknowledge snake eyes and double sixes):
Roll: 2/3-5/6-8/9-11/12
Damage: 0/2/3/3/6

devaloki
devaloki's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/15/2014
I'm aware of the bellcurve of

I'm aware of the bellcurve of 2d6 and how 7 is the most likely result, so I do appreciate 2d6 for that.
Though I do get your point about how d6 may be too random, I did playtest my idea of having armour d6 based and weapons 2d6 based and it gave a nice feel to the system and it made play quicker since one doesn't have to look up a table. I like the feel of stronger armour having a bit more of a chance of preventing damage but to the point where it's super powerful. This is a problem i've noticed in systems before that use armour as damage reduction instead of using as an AC type of system where armour affects the to hit roll, this site (read points 1-4) analyzes the issues that can come up with armour as DR:

http://www.seankreynolds.com/rpgfiles/rants/armorasdamagereduction.html

I think that by having armour based upon just d6 or variable in a way could remove those issues.

Btw, one mechanic in my game that will be there for combat in one form or another will be "bonus dice" , which is where you roll extra dice for what you're rolling for and you get to choose the highest results. So perhaps some really good armour (if it's d6 reduction based) could be like "1d6+1, 1b" which would mean you roll 2 dice, choose the highest and add +1 to the total for your total damage reduction provided.

"a Dice pool is something that can handle any character development and scaled infinitely, and can be easily given some additional functions by adding different colored dice to the pool (for elemental stuff and such)."

Indeed, that's why I was considering doing without the tables you roll on.

"Are you thinking of this game as deep and long lasting as something like D&D or something more easily picked up and played? If former, I think going through three tables in combat ain't that bad."
A mix. Each time you play the game though you start with a new character though, so any levelling up etc is done in one play session. There is some connections between each game you play, but not like having a character you keep from game to game. I guess you could say it's close to a "roguelike" or action game compared to a straight up full on traditional rpg.
Board games like Eldritch Horror and Mage Knight are sort of similar to how it'll be too with regard to character progression.

"but if you thought of having a lot of character development and upgrading it might not suffice."
You have 5 (or 6) attributes/stats in the game. The attributes show how good you are with things. They range from 1 (lowest) to 6 (highest). Starting attributes range from 1-3, and you can level them up by up to +2 each during the game (to get 6 you have to combine levelling up attributes with using some sort of attribute boosting gear or spells etc.).
One stat would be your Combat stat, which governs your physical melee/ranged skill. Once you get it high enough you get bonuses to your rolls with weapons etc...Bonuses for that would be "bonus dice" you get to roll with your weapon roll, instead of simply giving things like +x damage.
Thus, even though you do increase your character's stats, it isn't "a lot" of development of the character in a flat power increase. The game doesn't scale up infinitely with things like hp, weapon damage, etc...your character simply just gets more skilled with using what they acquire/have (e.g. more likely to get higher results when using weapons). This could work whether it's table based or using freeform dice as damage.

"Also, if you decide to stick with your first dice system, I think that the example table you provided should be something like (just to acknowledge snake eyes and double sixes):
Roll: 2/3-5/6-8/9-11/12
Damage: 0/2/3/3/6"

Since there is a "to hit" roll you need to do before you roll for damage I'd have it, if using table for damage, so that you can't get a "0" result for damage on the 2d6 roll for at least one of your damage types.

" If former, I think going through three tables in combat ain't that bad."
I found it to be pretty slow when I was playtesting it.
Keep in mind the three tables aren't separate. Consider a combat using the 2d6 table method. Here's how it'd play out:

First you roll to hit. You find what the target number needed on 2d6 to hit the opponent on by referencing your accuracy to their evasion on a table chart. Say, you have ACC 3 and they have EVA 3, so you have to roll 7+. You have a Combat bonus of +1B from your Combat stat. So you roll 3d6 and choose the 2 highest and if you roll 7+ you hit. (one aspect of the too hit part I didn't mention: you can get "surges" , which function as critical hits)

Say you hit them. So now you roll for damage on 2d6 and you reference the table to see what damage you do:

Roll: 2/3-5/6-8/9-11/12
Fire Sword Damage: Phys: 0/2/3/3/6
Mag: 0/0/0/0/0
Elem: 1/1/1/1/2

They then roll for their armour and shield:

Roll: 2/3-5/6-8/9-11/12
Blessed Plate Armour Reduction: Phys: 1/2/3/3/4
Mag: 1/1/2/2/3
Elem: 0/0/0/0/0
Leather Shield: 1d6 roll. 1-4: +0 DR. 5-6: +1 DR.

Say you rolled a 11. So you go 3 PHYS, 0 MAG, and 1 ELEM damage. and say they roll a 4 on their armour and 2 on their shield, for a total of 2 PHYS DR, 1 MAG DR, and 0 ELEM DR. So they take 2 damage in total.

It can take a bit of time to calculate all the damage and damage reduction from three sources like that I think. I could make the numbers bigger for damage and DR, but I'd to have it so that in the game things like daggers and weaker weapons would be viable and that the game wouldn't become just a chase to get the most outright powerful gear.

If armour DR is a bit more random (by using 1d6 base instead of 2d6 for its check) , then it could make the player decide whether it's worth it or not to wear it (wearing heavy armour would give you some sort of penalty in the game as well). Weaker weapons would have advantage of things like extra effects they cause other than damage, higher surge/crit rate etc...I don't want it to be so that weaker weapons HAVE to rely upon crits to hurt guys in strong armour. If I use the 2d6 chart method for armour, perhaps surges by weapons could reduce what you roll. so for example, a dagger's surge could make it so that you you roll on the chart but with only 1d6...

My main concern with the chart method is if it will slow down the game too much with math and be visually hard to reference. Rolling a dice and simply adding or subtracting or halving the result is a lot easier to do. In either system, I'm also still concerned/interested in finding a different way to simplify elemental strengths/weaknesses.

I am leaning towards using a system so it doesn't use tables for damage/DR, but I will keep in mind what you said about the possibility of 1d6 being too random for armour due to its range...

So, in summary, if it's tables it'd be like:

Roll: 2/3-5/6-8/9-11/12
Fire Sword Damage: Phys: 0/2/3/3/6
Mag: 0/0/0/0/0
Elem: 1/1/1/1/2

Roll: 2/3-5/6-8/9-11/12
Blessed Plate Armour Reduction: Phys: 1/2/3/3/4
Mag: 1/1/2/2/3
Elem: 0/0/0/0/0
Leather Shield: 1d6 roll. 1-4: +0 DR. 5-6: +1 DR.

if it's not tables it'd be like:

Fire Sword: 2d6+1 damage

Armour/shield roll (roll 2d6 and assign one die to shield, and one to armour to account for the shield being used to defend weak areas; or alternatively roll 2 dice of different colours one for shield one for armour)
Leather Armour: d3+2 DR
Large Shield: d6 roll: 1-3: 0DR, 4: 1 DR 5-6: 2DR

devaloki
devaloki's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/15/2014
Testing the quick roughdraft

Testing the quick roughdraft of Fire Sword vs Leather Armour and Shield (no tables one) against a presumed roll of 7 on 2d6 (8 dmg) for the Sword, here's how much damage got through with the DR of the armour and shield out of ten rolls:
1 dmg x1
2 dmg x5
3 dmg x2
4 dmg x1
5 dmg x1

If I use the tables method alternatively, I could just alter the numbers so that weapons are generally always higher than armour DR

Jarec
Offline
Joined: 12/27/2013
The randomness of straight

The randomness of straight 2D6 damage and 1D6 armor (as opposed to table check) will give larger margins of damage dealt which in turn will make balancing the amount of hit points more of a hassle.

3-gated combat rounds might be indeed a bit too much for a game that's meant to be played through in one sitting. Have you tried just removing the first to-hit gate altogether? (I have one friend who I casually play D&D rule set PC games with, and he gets super frustrated whenever he clicks on some burly full plated enemy buffed with Luminous Armor and nothing happens, proclaiming that every game which has to-hit rolls is by default worse game than the one without them. I like the strategic target acquisition layer, but it might just broaden the target audience a bit).
Also, you going the armor reduces damage, not the hit -way, goes well with removing the hit roll.

Comparing of what I know about this project with one of my own similar, I feel that the table system is somewhat more elegant than my dice pool, since I too am going for smaller hit point and defense numbers (nowhere near double digits) and super limited character upgrading, I might just shamelessly grab this and bend it to work for mine.

I have only one roll for damage, and kinda do the hit roll with limited ammo and range (1900's wild west theme). I have it good in a way that I have a card for every weapon in game, so checking tables is no hassle.

Are you planning of having some sort of cards/tokens or just a fat list of weapons? Just making a good player sheet will make thing a lot faster when they can doodle the damage numbers on a blank table.

devaloki
devaloki's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/15/2014
It's not the 3 steps that I

It's not the 3 steps that I think would be too long, but rather having to calculate from 3 different damage/DR results possibly for each hit.
" Have you tried just removing the first to-hit gate altogether?"
If I do that then I may as well just use an AC type of system rather than DR. I want accuracy of attacks to be as important as the damage they do.

"I might just shamelessly grab this and bend it to work for mine."
That's fine go ahead. Sounds cool with the wild west theme.

"Are you planning of having some sort of cards/tokens or just a fat list of weapons? Just making a good player sheet will make thing a lot faster when they can doodle the damage numbers on a blank table."

The gear would be their own separate cards with stats printed on it.
Players have their own large player card/boards, similar to the game Mage Wars where you track your hp and other stats on it.

"The randomness of straight 2D6 damage and 1D6 armor (as opposed to table check) will give larger margins of damage dealt which in turn will make balancing the amount of hit points more of a hassle."

I'll try working on the tables thing then more. It's easier to simply do something like rolling "2d6+2=damage" rather than "roll 2d6, consult chart for total damage" imo. I'll modify the damage stats so they are higher than armour values generally. As said, I want armour to soak up some of the damage but generally not all of it, even if you are using a light weapon like a dagger against full plate armour.

devaloki
devaloki's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/15/2014
Although, thinking about it

Although, thinking about it now, i could remove step 1 if I make it so you roll to hit only if enemy specifically "dodges" (i intend to have dodge, block, and parry as 3 separate things you can do, block is already covered by shield rules);
here's how it'd look:
he advantage of using tables though is that i could make some very exact ranges though
so with combat in summary it's like this:
1. Roll to hit. Target number is based on a comparison of your Accuracy vs their Evasion (acc and eva are determined by a number of factors), you consult a chart that shows Target Numbers based on a crossreference of ACC vs EVA and that give syou the number you must equal or beat on 2d6. if you hit , each individual 6 rolled counts as a "surge" and activates a special ability or effect of the weapon if you hit
smaller weapons do less damage but surge on 5s and 6s
2. roll to damage if you hit. by using code or chart
by using 2d6
3. defender rolls for damage reduction, 2d6, one dice is for armour, 1 for shield (whether using code or chart it still involves 2d6)
4. apply total damage left over as a reduction of HP
in step 3, medium and large shields have advantage of blocking more generally, but you must roll 2 separate coloured d6s. small shields block less but allow you to assign the dice as you want (thus allowing you to block better with your armour)
So blocking works by having a DR shield roll in step 3
parrying and dodge would be separate things
i could also remove step 1 and make it so you just roll to see if you surge, you only have to beat a target number if enemy specifically "dodges"

Jarec
Offline
Joined: 12/27/2013
This came to mind when I

This came to mind when I tried to incorporate the stuff you mentioned without to-hit-gate.

Let's take a basic sword with some random numbers thrown in for base values (roll:damage)
2:0 3-4:2 5-6:3 7:3 8-9:4 10-11:4 12:6(surge)

Now a dagger with better surge bonus
2:0 3-4:1 5-6:2 7:2 8:3 9-10:3(surge) 11-12:7(surge+)
(or maybe just add a bonus line to item description that when 9+ is rolled surge occurs)

Parry could be something like -1 to the attackers roll total, or -2 with weapons made for parrying.

Dodge could be some sort of threshold, like ignore all damage if the attack roll was equal or lower than 5. Though this might go against what you had in mind for dodge, because this way it can not negate the most powerful hits. But that's one more mechanic that could be used with this table.
Or maybe just a simple forced one die re-roll for the attacker.

devaloki
devaloki's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/15/2014
I think I may just keep with

I think I may just keep with the idea that dodge makes it so you have to roll to hit rather than just seeing if your weapon surges.
I did consider having dodge make the opponent reroll their to hit roll, but if that were the case then it'd be very very hard to hit opponents that require a high target number to hit.
Btw, dodge, block, parry (defensive reactions) cost either an action point or energy point to use. EP are kind of a similar resource to magic points in most games. Action points you get a set amount each combat round , you use to attack and/or defend, you can get more defense by spending EPs.
I don't like your idea of parrying providing -1 to damage total (maybe to the to hit roll though may be fine) since that would make it so the opponent can never get a 12 on their damage roll (if using charts).
Not sure if I mentioned it earlier, but here's an idea I had for parry:
the opponent rolls to hit/check for surge. You can choose to parry after the roll if you are using a light shield like a buckler, but you must choose before the roll instead if you are using a medium shield like a kite shield. The opponent rolls to hit and then you roll to see if you parry by rolling 1d6+2 for small shields, 1d6+1 for medium. If you equal or exceed your opponent's total to hit/surge result then they end up missing (and perhaps you can perform an immediate counter attack). If you fail the parry they hit you and it counts as if they had got two surges even if they hadn't rolled the surges. The idea of parry is that it should be a high risk high reward type of thing with about (generally speaking) a 25% or so chance of success.
Block works by doing as I mentioned before.
Dodge , after having discussed this with you on here, I think could work in these different ways: 1. makes the opponent reroll their to hit, but costs 1 EP/AP 2. makes them have to do the to hit check and not just the surge check when rolling the 2d6 3. Maybe make it so it haves so that you have to EXCEED the target number for the to hit roll (if accuracy step always requires aiming for the target number) rather than simply being equal to or greater than it. 4. Make the to hit roll an opposed test.
Your evasion in the game btw would be based upon an agility stat, but limited by your armour. So you can wear heavy armour if you want but it will limit your max agility.
If I use your idea about there being no to hit roll and just the damage test, I'd change it so that surges occur on individual #s of 6s (or 5+s for certain weapons) rather than surges only occuring if you roll high. The idea of surges is that they add effects to your damage roll and/or boost the damage roll.
I also like how in the rough damage tables you posted, the dagger does more damage than the sword at the highest range. That's what I had in mind for weapons too. Some are more steady, whilst some have more varying ranges, etc.

devaloki
devaloki's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/15/2014
I'm sort of leaning back

I'm sort of leaning back towards using the tables for it instead of pools, but I have also been experimenting with ways to do pools and different ways of using d6s. I like how with pools you can make interesting ranges that are a bit random. For example, things like 2d3, 1d5+2, etc
With pools I'm finding it's quicker to reference and have a more general idea of how the damage will be. Charts though can allow for more exact and unique ranges for weapons.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut