Wednesday, February 07, 2024

Mad Mashup: One Roll Combat?

Ok, not a single roll to cover the entire fight.  But a single roll by each player to adjudicate not only the success or failure of their attack, but also how much damage they did to their foe and how much, if any, harm their foe did to them.

This should grant us a number of benefits:

  • It’s faster!  And when playing online (something I do a lot of lately), this is important.

  • If you roll high, you hit hard; no more rolling a 19 and then rolling a 1 on damage.

  • Often, both you and your opponent do damage to each other, which makes fights shorter.  

  • Something will happen every time, and we won’t go round after round where you miss, and your foe misses, and you miss again, and your foe misses again…

  • No rolling for the monster attacks.  Roll poorly, and the monsters will maul you!  Roll great and you’ll send your foe reeling.  This is great because:

    • It means a lot less rolling, so things move along a lot faster.

    • We don’t have to worry about initiative and fights can flow more dynamically.

    • Large solo monsters don’t get whaled on by lots of PCs, while only being able to target a single one in reply.  This makes big scary monsters big and scary, instead of dying in the first round to a massive alpha-strike from the PCs.

  • Things this doesn’t mean:

    • It doesn’t mean that monsters won’t attack if you don’t attack; they’ll still try to chew off your face if they can.

    • It doesn’t mean surprise doesn’t happen; if you get the jump on the baddies, you’ll get a full round to have your way without them getting to reply.

    • It doesn’t mean shooting someone with an arrow allows them to hit you with their claws from across the battlefield; ranged attacks will work a bit differently.


JB said...

Let's see; here's this:

And also this (which is probably closer to what you're looking for):

Having tried both, I found both wanting. I currently run straight 1E.
; )

Dick McGee said...

Sounds like the combat system Tunnels & Trolls was trying to have and has never gotten right.

Cribbing 13th Age's Escalation Die mechanic for any edition of D&D (and most d20-centric games) speeds up combat enough and reduces whiffs enough for me, and opens up some interesting design space for homebrew additions. The fact that many spells in D&D don't roll to hit (and therefore don't benefit from the ED) also shifts the relative effectiveness of non-casters up a bit, which doesn't bother me any.

trollsmyth said...

JB: I'll check those out. I suspect I have already, but I've had a nap or two since '14. ;)

Dick McGee: That wouldn't bother me any either, but... Wait, I'm probably getting this wrong, so remind me how 13th Age's Escalation Die works? Been more than a few years since I looked at that one, too.

Anders H said...

We are all fated to try something like this and and abandon it. It's the sisyphean yoke that no OSRer can ever truly hope to escape.
If not abandoned to return to the tried and true Lawful ways of combat, it is to walk down the dark Chaotic roads of free kriegsspiel.