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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Different Damage systems

    I would like to get a discussion going about d20s- damage system vs the many other damage systems that are around (those that d20 hasnīt devored yet).

    I like D20, but the biggest drawback I see in the system is itīs damage system. It allows players to apply a great deal of mathematics to the game. A player at full health can take very high risks without worring of getting wounded. And you fight at you full abilty until the very end. Granted, it makes for fast gameplay.

    In Rolemaster (also known as Chartmaster), when you get damaged you recive hit point damage and criticals of varying severity. Criticals are rolled on a table, and even the tiniest of wounds can prove fatal if you are unlucky, much as in real life.

    "Drakar och Demoner", a swedish adaptaion of Runemaster so i guess itīs similar, does not allow characters to increase in HP, making fights very deadly indeed.

    Call of Cthulhus system is much similar to Runemaster damage.

    I know of a few other systems as well. However, what system is your favorite? And why?

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    Default Re: Different Damage systems

    You should look at the Mutants & Masterminds Toughness Save system. Damage has cumulative penalties and I find its not that hard to apply to a class-based system if you want to.

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    Halfling in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Different Damage systems

    My favorite system is Earthdawn, which has this mechanic built into it. Characters feature Unconsciousness / Death Ratings (max amount of damage capable before being knocked out/killed) and Wound Threshold. If a certain attack does damage above its Wound Threshold, the character can receive 1 or more wounds. Wounds give a -1 penalty to basically everything, excluding the first wound a character takes. Perhaps something simple could be done for a D20 system, based on the size of hit dice?

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Different Damage systems

    These days I prefer games not to have an explicit combat system at all...

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Different Damage systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan_Hemmens View Post
    These days I prefer games not to have an explicit combat system at all...
    Same for me. I like universal conflict resolution systems that treat them all the same, and keep things nice and abstract.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Different Damage systems

    I, for one, haven't ever really cared for game mechanics at all, period. They can be handy for expediating a story, though, and keeping players in line in a >1 player game. 1 gm 1 player is often my favourite setup though, and that works best with nothing but a few dice and a lot of off-the-cuff rules.

    that said, d&d and its derivative HP-based systems (palladium's stuff, for example) are far and away the worst for managing damage capacity that I can think of.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Different Damage systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Zid View Post
    I like D20, but the biggest drawback I see in the system is itīs damage system. It allows players to apply a great deal of mathematics to the game. A player at full health can take very high risks without worring of getting wounded. And you fight at you full abilty until the very end.
    Well, that's kind of the point. The D&D hit point system makes higher-HD and higher-level characters very tough (against normal attacks, anyway). So it encourages a heroic style of play.

    There are more lethal systems, like WFRP and GURPS, where a couple of hits from an axe will kill just about any character. It's more realistic, but more realistic doesn't necessarily mean more fun. When a single lucky hit can kill you, it encourages players to stay out of combat and out of trouble - and, if they really want to keep their characters alive, to stay away from dangerous adventures completely.

    As for fighting at full strength to the end, there are plenty of systems that track hit location and wounding, but it's a bit of a hassle to keep track of. In D&D, being one hit away from death is enough of a penalty already without adding anything more.

    - Saph

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Different Damage systems

    There are equally heroic systems that are less... well, silly. You can have systems where you take progressive skill and action penalties rather than HP damage until you finally fail (ideally with one last, great heave of strength), for example: I would argue those systems are more heroic. They represent the hero who slows, arrows in his arms and chest, but with another battle cry raises his sword again and continues... staggering more than before, slowing with every new gash, but pressing himself along until he is at last overrun. How's that less heroic and over-the-top than just slogging through battle grinning and up to your knees in blood until you finally keel over with x's in your eyes ;)

    and no, that isn't how I run my games. Just sayin'... I find as a storyteller that hit points are a barrier I have to overcome, not a tool to aid the job.
    Last edited by Erk; 2007-05-14 at 05:51 AM.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Different Damage systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Erk View Post
    There are equally heroic systems that are less... well, silly. You can have systems where you take progressive skill and action penalties rather than HP damage until you finally fail (ideally with one last, great heave of strength), for example: I would argue those systems are more heroic. They represent the hero who slows, arrows in his arms and chest, but with another battle cry raises his sword again and continues... staggering more than before, slowing with every new gash, but pressing himself along until he is at last overrun. How's that less heroic and over-the-top than just slogging through battle grinning and up to your knees in blood until you finally keel over with x's in your eyes ;)
    The rules don't say that you're grinning and fine - presumeably you're hurt, but tough enough to keep on going. That's the way I run it, anyway.

    As for progressive skill and action penalties, I honestly just can't be bothered to keep track of them. When you've got a big battle with 10-12 creatures fighting, keeping note of what injury penalties each combatant has is more work than I feel like doing. This is one area where I think D&D's right to simplify.

    - Saph

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    Default Re: Different Damage systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Zid View Post

    "Drakar och Demoner", a swedish adaptaion of Runemaster so i guess itīs similar, does not allow characters to increase in HP, making fights very deadly indeed.
    I haven't played Drakar och Demoner that much, but isn't there a skill called "kroppsbyggnad" that increases your HP?
    Yay!

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    Default Re: Different Damage systems

    My opinion on is that everyone has a unique DMing style and therefore MUST have unique mechanics.

    I'm sure there's absolutely no one in the world who runs DnD entirely by RAW. Even a virgin DM can and will do something different than as written (possibly by misunderstanding RAW, or getting a situation that's not covered by the rules in game). Everyone with a shred of DMing experience modifies the rules somewhat, be it houserules or grafts from different systems.

    So my claim is that every DM ("worth his salt" so to speak) should create their own mechanics. Me, for example, like it grim, gritty and urban, roleplaying instead of rollplaying. So my personal gaming rules strongly discourage combat: very high risk of death or permenant injury, and no combat profit (XP or loot).

    Sure, not everyone can/will spend the time and effort to create personalized mechanics. But even the laziest DM will feel that he has to develop some houserules on particularly glaring issues (like levels or spells.


    Now that I'm done going offtopic, time for some damage rules:

    Attack and damage are not seperate things. Damage is a direct result of the attack. AC and HP are also combined to get a single defence value. An attack result must exceed the target's defense. More difference between attack result and defence, harder the hit. A difference of 4 is an ordinary "hit" in DnD terms, while a difference of 10 or more is an instant KO and possibly death/permenant injury. Additional hits also KO an opponent.
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    Default Re: Different Damage systems

    Hmm. Well, the big White Wolf systems (World of Darkness, Exalted) run an HP system that's not much slower than D&D's, involving action penalties from wounding and different levels of damage.

    Those games tend to work with lower numbers of "HP" than D&D does, however.

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    Default Re: Different Damage systems

    My personal favourite damage system is that from 7thSea.

    Basically, whenever you are hurt you take a number of "Flesh Wounds". Every time you acquire Flesh Wounds you make a roll on your Brawn trait to see if these effect you. If you roll equal to the number of Flesh Wounds you have, you simply keep going.

    On the other hand, if you roll less than the number of Flesh Wounds you have acquired, you erase all of your Flesh Wounds and take a "Dramatic Wound" instead. This way Flesh Wounds keep stacking up from attack to attack until you eventually take a Dramatic Wound.

    Once you have a number of Dramatic Wounds equal to your Resolve Trait, you are Crippled and start to take penalties. Once you have twice this number, you are Knocked Out. Once you are Knocked Out, any further damage kills you.

    There are complications beyond this that add to the tactics of the game, such as the fact that you take extra Dramatic Wounds if you fail your Wound Check badly enough, and the fact that sometimes, if Flesh Wounds are really starting to rack up and you get a lucky roll you might choose to take a Dramatic Wound so that you get rid of the many Flesh Wounds you have acquired, but that is the basics of the system.

    I've always thought it is wonderful and keeps things nice and abstract without getting to the silly levels that hitpoints sometimes do.

    Chris

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Different Damage systems

    I prefer the shadowrun system myself. The game runs completely different than d20, but to simplify: there are no critical hits. How well your attack goes determines how much damage you do (to translate into D&D, how much you beat their AC by gives a bonus to damage), and some other flourishes like being able to negate some damage depending on how tough you are.

    In the end, you only have about a dozen or so HP (and that's for a tough character), and increasing that is hard to do. I love the system for other reasons, like being classless and having everything based on essentially a pointbuy. There's no "leveling up" either, you just get more points every now and then to put into things with ever increasing costs as they improve.

    Sadly a group for this is all but impossible to find where i'm at.
    ===


    Within D20 mechanics, I really like the star Wars HP system. There you have Vitality points (which are like HP from D&D in that they go up every level based on class) that represent near misses. When someone successfully attacks you, it was not an actual hit, but a near miss that you had to expand extra effort (vitality) to avoid.

    In addition to those, you have Wound Points; This is a relatively static number that doesn't increase much throughout the game (I think it's your con score; I forget though). After you run out of vitality points, you start losing wound points. In additon, critical hits aren't multiplied damage, but damage that skips your vitality points and goes straight to your wound points. Whenever you take wound points damage it represents actual damage, and you start taking penalties; I think anytime you have any wound damage you're at least fatigued. it's been so long since I had a group I forgot most of the rules sadly.

    One lucky punk with a blaster and you're going to be in bad shape (though it would usually take 2 good shots to outright kill you). Plus, I don't remember AC getting rediculously high either. This means even a horde of weaklings is something to think twice about and not wade into battle with, but it's not *so* lethal that you fear any and all combat. The game had other problems (jedi and lightsabers being wickedly overpowered), but I love the wound point system.

    My ideal D20 system would be D&D Themed with Star Wars D20 Wound points and D20 Modern based wealth and class layouts.
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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Different Damage systems

    The Wounds/Vitality system would work well for D&D, but I hated it for SW, mostly for the use of the Force. While distinctly different from Psionics, I think the Force should of been based off that system, with points granted by level and replenished daily.

    Fueling the Foce with Vitality destroyed the flavor of the genre for me, as Force Users became weaker to physical attacks by using their mental powers - which didn't mesh well with the movies. It looks like the Saga edition will use something more akin to maneuvers, which will be different for sure; and moving back to the HP system - which I think is too much too soon, but we'll see I guess.

    I had an epiphany while reading the Warblade Feats thread, coupled with a few other threads - such as why fighters suck, and multiple attack threads. For the last 20 odd years of my gaming life, I was under the impression that player characters, while heroic, were no better than say, Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris (before the jokes), etc. People who exemplified what a human could accomplish with training and practice. Perhaps it's obvious with a lot of you, but it didn't dawn on me until today that fantasy characters are 'superhuman'. Maybe because they're infused with magical energies they can accomplish things RL humans can only do against a greenscreen with decent CGI backing them up.

    If the 'why fighters suck' thread, I was under the impression that fighters were just normal folk who pick up a sword and mundanely beat things to death. WotC certainly has a different idea of what mundane in D&D really is though - maneuvers from the Tome of Battle allow incomprehensible abilities without the aid of overt magic or psionic talent - at high enough level, without any pre-requesits, a warblade can teleport (TELEPORT!!!) himself 50 feet. Not even Jackie Chan can do that - Hiro, from Heroes can, but, he's a Superhero - and here's a, until this morning, regular joe with some training able to do it too. Regular joe my butt.

    So, I had an epiphany - I was faced with a choice. I could accept these superhuman abilities, or I could reject them out of hand, because they were in fact, superhuman abilities, and normal humans couldn't do these things without aid.

    I chose the former; afterall it's a fantasy game, why not indulge in the fantastic? As such, even the damage system becomes realistic. As characters mature into their world, as they absorb more of the ambient energy that allows them to do such incredible feats, they become tougher, more resiliant, able to slog through seemly unscathed even when down to 3 hit points. Why add more complicated 'realistic' rules to damage when we're talking about the ability to do things that are not realistic in the first place. The laws of physics work differently in these games. The laws of biology obviously do too. The mechanics work on this level, and there's no need to change them.

    Given all that, there are times when a more realistic system, all around, is craved for - but then, you're not playing D&D.
    Last edited by Theodoxus; 2007-05-14 at 12:41 PM.
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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Different Damage systems

    Just to add i a few of my own thoughts. Iīm currently plaing in a PBEM campaign that has been going on for five years (between 5-6 players). The leveling in that system has made my character more powerful, however, he is not much more resistant to damage than he was before. A mere goblin could still kill him with just one lucky arrow. Death is real and permanent, and we have lost four PCs during these years. Itīs mostly roleplaing, and we have learnt to shy away from fighting as much as possible.

    I like the instant fear even a small battle invokes in all the players, as we know death is only a few bad rolls away on no clerics with diamond dust are waiting behind the scenes. It makes the characters somehow even more heroic in their actions, even though they are far from heros in the D&D-sense of the word. I guess itīs just my playing style that works that way.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Different Damage systems

    Quote Originally Posted by cnsvnc View Post
    My opinion on is that everyone has a unique DMing style and therefore MUST have unique mechanics.
    I have neither the time, nor inclination to do anything of the sort. Fortunately I can play Wushu as written, without having to do anything mechanically besides what's there. Simple games are like that.
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    Default Re: Different Damage systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Zid View Post
    I like D20, but the biggest drawback I see in the system is itīs damage system. It allows players to apply a great deal of mathematics to the game. A player at full health can take very high risks without worring of getting wounded. And you fight at you full abilty until the very end. Granted, it makes for fast gameplay.
    Thatīs because itīs designed so that PCs are the rough equivalent of superheroes.

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Different Damage systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaggab View Post
    I haven't played Drakar och Demoner that much, but isn't there a skill called "kroppsbyggnad" that increases your HP?
    Sorry, Zaggab, missed your post.

    I understand there is in some editions. However, remember that Drakar och Demoner has passed through seven different editions since itīs birth. Iīm most familiar with the 1991 edition (wow, that made me feel old...)

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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Different Damage systems

    I love the Mutants and Masterminds system. Simple, yet elegant and it covers that sort of action movie/comic book feel.

    Each time you fail a toughness save you take a bruised condition that incurs a cumulative -1 to further toughness saves. Fail a save by between 6 and 10 and you're stunned (can't move for that round), fail between 11 and 15 and you become staggered (on emove or standard actions, not both), fail by 15 or more and you're knocked out.

    Lethal damage has similar setup that ends with death.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Different Damage systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Beleriphon View Post
    I love the Mutants and Masterminds system. Simple, yet elegant and it covers that sort of action movie/comic book feel.

    Each time you fail a toughness save you take a bruised condition that incurs a cumulative -1 to further toughness saves. Fail a save by between 6 and 10 and you're stunned (can't move for that round), fail between 11 and 15 and you become staggered (on emove or standard actions, not both), fail by 15 or more and you're knocked out.

    Lethal damage has similar setup that ends with death.
    Hey, that's nice and easy. I think I'mma steal that for my current homebrew. It fits nicely with a lot of the rules I have already introduced, too.
    Last edited by Erk; 2007-05-15 at 09:24 PM.
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    Default Re: Different Damage systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Erk View Post
    Hey, that's nice and easy. I think I'mma steal that for my current homebrew. It fits nicely with a lot of the rules I have already introduced, too.
    Pfft, I'm already stealing it for my homebrew!

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Different Damage systems

    no wai piccamo, we shall have to have a Battle of the Brews for rights to it!

    Or just compare notes and then steal each others' cool adaptations BWA HA AHA.
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