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View Full Version : [D&D/PF] Alternate way to calculate damage [PEACH]

2012-11-13, 04:42 PM
Hello there! So, recently I've been wondering how to combine attack rolls and damage rolls into a single roll. This is mostly a thought experiment (and it's entirely focused on melee combat, at least for now), but I'd greatly appreciate any critiques and input you guys might have to offer:

1) First, let's change he way HP works. Instead of the usual method, HP is now calculated as:

- PC's Constitution score * 2 + the maximum result of his class' Hit Die. So, a Fighter with Constitution 14 will have 38 (14 * 2, or 28, plus 10, the maximum result of a d10) HPs.

This value will NEVER increase during play, whether by gaining levels or any other way, short of something outside the players' control affecting the PC.

2) Now, let's change the way weapon damage works. Instead of rolling a die for damage, every weapon now has an Attack Modifier, calculated as follows:

Very Light Weapons (basically, weapons with d4 damage): +2
Light Weapons (weapons with d6 damage): +3
Medium Weapons (weapons with d8 damage): +4
Heavy Weapons (weapons with d10 damage): +5
Very Heavy Weapons (weapons with d12/2d6 damage): +6

3) And now for armors and shields. They will still give an AC bonus, only now it's calculated like this (by the way, let's remove the Max. Dex from armors and also fiddle with armor penalty):

Light Armor (basically, any armor with AC up to +4): +2 (Armor Penalty: 0)
Medium Armor (any armor with AC up to +6): +3 (Armor Penalty: -1)
Heavy Armor (any armor with AC up to +8): +4 (Armor Penalty: -2)
Light Shield (basically, bucklers and light shields): +1 (Armor Penalty: 0)
Heavy Shield (as usual): +2 (Armor Penalty: -1)

4) Finally, the revised attack/damage roll! Here's how it would work:

Attack Roll: 1d20 + Str modifier + weapon Attack Modifier
Armor Class: Still 10 + Dex modifier + armor AC modifier + shield AC modifier
Damage: attack roll - Armor Class. If the result is positive, apply it directly as HP damage.

So, what do you guys think? How do you think that would change the game?

Grod_The_Giant
2012-11-13, 05:45 PM
First thought: you've got a big problem in that health is a relative constant, while attack scales MUCH faster than AC. The difference between a 3rd and 10th character's AC is probably under 5, while his attack bonus may have increased by 10 or more.

Also, how does this work with spells? Ranged touch attacks like scorching ray? Auto-hit attacks like magic missile? Save-for-half effects like fireball?

Razanir
2012-11-13, 05:49 PM
1) Critical hits
2) Flaming weapons, icy weapons, and the like (Extra damage)
3) Any magic/mwk weapons, for that matter
4) Touch and flat-footed armor class (I assume it's the same)
5) Spells that don't fit into one of your categories

And why doesn't hp increase ever? This smells vaguely like Fire Emblem, so I feel like it should. Maybe add a multiple of your ECL to hp

TuggyNE
2012-11-13, 06:09 PM
As well as the other problems mentioned, this has an odd interaction with Con scores, since it's possible to increase your Con score during play, but not your HP. There's also no provision for weapon sizing/size penalties to attack, or handling sources of precision damage; true strike becomes absurdly powerful, and (as mentioned) wraithstrike/Deep Impact/etc also become remarkably useful. Presumably Power Attack etc are no longer included.

I remember an earlier thread with a similar goal, and some of these problems were worked out, but I can't seem to find it at the moment. :smallsigh:

Amechra
2012-11-13, 07:55 PM
Also, what happens if you multiclass as a Wizard/Barbarian (ridiculous example, but bear with me)?

Which HD would you use?

2012-11-13, 09:49 PM
Wow! First of all, thanks for all the comments, guys. :-) And thanks for bringing up those points - they're extremely relevant for this discussion. Right now, though, imagine this system would be implemented in a VERY homebrewed D&D game - a game without any spells of any kind, for instance, without multiclassing, etc. Partly because some of those things really won't exist in the game I intend to run, but also partly because honestly, I haven't gotten that far yet with this. :-)

Right now, what I'm really interested in is if this system would work as written, and more importantly, if it would be fast, effective and interesting in gameplay. But I will address the issues you guys brought up.

First thought: you've got a big problem in that health is a relative constant, while attack scales MUCH faster than AC. The difference between a 3rd and 10th character's AC is probably under 5, while his attack bonus may have increased by 10 or more.

Yeah, my bad, I actually forgot to add that AC would also increase at the same rate as the Base Attack Bonus.

Grod_The_Giant
2012-11-13, 11:53 PM
It's going to make things very static, then. Your HP never changes. Your attack bonus improves at the same rate as your defense, so all that'll change from 1-20 is that the attack and AC numbers will be bigger.

TuggyNE
2012-11-14, 12:10 AM
Wow! First of all, thanks for all the comments, guys. :-) And thanks for bringing up those points - they're extremely relevant for this discussion. Right now, though, imagine this system would be implemented in a VERY homebrewed D&D game - a game without any spells of any kind, for instance, without multiclassing, etc. Partly because some of those things really won't exist in the game I intend to run, but also partly because honestly, I haven't gotten that far yet with this. :-)

At this point, it would be more useful to state that it's for a "highly modified d20 variant" or something even further off; changing the entire system like that tends to make predictions rather harder to make in depth.

Edit: the thread I mentioned earlier was nonsi's Crit Substitution Idea.

2012-11-15, 10:30 AM
At this point, it would be more useful to state that it's for a "highly modified d20 variant" or something even further off; changing the entire system like that tends to make predictions rather harder to make in depth.

But surely you guys can make at least some predictions? :-)
Oh, and thanks for finding the other thread you mentioned! :-D

Well, I thought about some of the other stuff, and I'll try my best to answer them:

1) Critical hits

Hmmm... I'm thinking they would be unnecessary, though I think the variant where a natural 20 is converted into a 30 should be used. If necessary, maybe there could be an effect like: "After calculating damage, double it", or something similar.

2) Flaming weapons, icy weapons, and the like (Extra damage)
3) Any magic/mwk weapons, for that matter

Well, enhancement bonuses would only apply to the Attack Roll. As for extra damage in general (but not precision damage - see below), it would be turned into a static modifier, like weapon damage - but really, most of those would chucked out the window. :-)

4) Touch and flat-footed armor class (I assume it's the same)

Still work as usual: Touch AC does not take into account armor and shield, flat-footed ignores your Dex modifier.

5) Spells that don't fit into one of your categories

I'm not sure what you mean.

And why doesn't hp increase ever?

Because I want things to stay mostly constant between levels. I prefer that a 20th-level Fighter should take more or less the same amount of time to deal with another 20th-level Fighter as he did back when both were still 1st level.
Of course, in this type of game, the challenge levels would be a bit more mixed, to keep things dynamic.

As well as the other problems mentioned, this has an odd interaction with Con scores, since it's possible to increase your Con score during play, but not your HP.

If the Con score changes permanently, so does your HP. I thought that was a given.
As for temporary changes: if positive, they give temporary HP; if negative, they deal damage.

There's also no provision for weapon sizing/size penalties to attack,

Instead of changing weapon damage, weapons of different sizes (Large, Huge, etc.) would give a flat bonus to attack rolls - +1 for Large, +2 for Huge, etc. On the other hand, the current size modifier (-1 for Large, -2 for Huge, etc.) would be applied as an AC penalty.

or handling sources of precision damage;

Hmmm... Maybe they could work like this: a +1 attack roll bonus per die of precision damage, and if the attack generates damage, an additional +2 damage bonus per die of precision damage.

true strike becomes absurdly powerful, and (as mentioned) wraithstrike/Deep Impact/etc also become remarkably useful.

Well, true strike would either be revised or removed. I'd probably simply halve its bonus: spending a turn to gain a +10 on the next one should be strong but not too strong, I think.

Presumably Power Attack etc are no longer included.

I'm thinking Power Attack (and similar feats, like Reckless Attack - that one from the Psionic's Handbook) could be reworked as options available to all characters that would work like this:

- Power Attack: You suffer a -2 penalty on your attack roll, but gain a +6 damage bonus.
- Careful Attack: You gain a +2 bonus on your attack roll, but the maximum amount of damage you can deal is equal to your Base Attack Bonus + your weapon's damage modifier.
- Reckless Attack: You gain a +2 bonus on your attack roll, but suffer a -2 AC penalty.

Something like that, at least.

Also, what happens if you multiclass as a Wizard/Barbarian (ridiculous example, but bear with me)?
Which HD would you use?

Hmmm... I'm thinking, the average between both.

Also, how does this work with spells? Ranged touch attacks like scorching ray? Auto-hit attacks like magic missile? Save-for-half effects like fireball?

Ranged touch attacks: the spell's damage would be converted into a modifier, much like weapon damage (probably half of the spell's maximum damage). The attack roll would ignore armor/shield bonus to AC as usual.

Auto-hit: Well, they're auto-hit. Apply damage as usual.

Save-for-half spells: the number of damage dice would be fixed at the minimum for the spell (so 5d6 for fireball and lightning bolt). Otherwise, they work as usual.

On the other hand, maybe it would be better like this: all damage values are static (with the values explained in the first post), attack roll is changed to Dex + BAB only (plus Weapon Focus and similar things), and damage is changed to Str modifier + weapon damage value + the difference between the attack roll and the target's AC. That is, there would still be a clear difference between attack and damage, but the only random element for damage would be the attack roll.

Razanir
2012-11-15, 11:08 AM
I'm not sure what you mean.

You listed bonuses for 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10 and 2d6/1d12. I'm wondering what happens if, say, you cast cure serious wounds on an undead. You have no provisions for 4d8 damage. (Or healing, for that matter)

Instead of changing weapon damage, weapons of different sizes (Large, Huge, etc.) would give a flat bonus to attack rolls - +1 for Large, +2 for Huge, etc. On the other hand, the current size modifier (-1 for Large, -2 for Huge, etc.) would be applied as an AC penalty.

With this system, I might remove the AC modifier. The point of giving small creatures an attack bonus to match the AC bonus is so two creatures of identical size are as equally matched as two medium creatures. With all these modifiers (even including +/- 4 Str) there's a net imbalance. Larger creatures deal more damage against each other and smaller creatures deal less damage against each other

Hmmm... I'm thinking, the average between both.

Then why would I multiclass? Say I'm a fighter and get tired of being linear. So I multiclass into wizard, because they're exponential and cool. Oh darn, my hp just dropped. :smallannoyed: However, this might still be an okay system. The alternative would be take the higher die, but then everyone would dip into barbarian (or at least I would)