Wednesday, September 18, 2013

D6 Damage for All Weapons... Until You're a Badass

I have been, at one time or another, on both sides of the "d6 damage for all weapons" debate. Over time, I've come down on the side of  "it's a good idea because it shuts up the rules-lawyers and munchkins so we can put the lists of weapon stats away, and finally play the damn game." I don't know about you guys, but the majority of time that I see wasted during sessions is spent on all the shopping. It's an RPG book, not fucking SkyMall.

A rules-lawyer, in his native environment

I still understand the players' need for something more, though. That's why I have a (very) light skill system in my home game which allows players to increase the value of their damage die based on their character's skill with a particular weapon, rather than just what type of weapon it is. That seems to scratch the itch of players wanting to murderize things harder, while still maintaining the abstract combat of OD&D. It's not that the character only scored one hit that did more damage because they have a Two-Handed BonerShank sword, it's that they've become skillful enough with whatever weapon they're using to make every hit during their action count just a little bit more. 

Character creation flies by, and the first game session still gets off the ground quickly, because all beginning characters start out at a set damage level, regardless of what kind of weapon they want to use. Nobody gets to increase their skill (or damage) until they've leveled up. Simple.

How to decide on what that starting damage should be? Just use their starting hit die. Clerics and Thieves start the game doing d6 damage. Fighters start at d8. Magic-users can sling whatever weapons they want in my game, but they're only going to do d4 damage with'em. Why? Because "Warriors are fuckin' METAL!, and Wizards are degenerate reprobates.

You sick fuck

From there, the progression goes:
Fighters - d8, d10, d12
Clerics/Thieves - d6, d8, d10
Magic-Users - d4, d6, d8

I like the way that this maintains the Fighter's badassery over time. Even at their utmost skill level, a Wizard can only do as much damage with a weapon as a 1st level Fighter. Besides, why is a Wizard wasting skill points on weapon proficiencies anyway? Don't they need to be learning more about blood sacrifices and infernal pacts? Even so, a first-level Wizard can still lay enough smack down to potentially snuff out a fellow magic-user with a single strike. That's the kind of lethality that I like to see in a game. The Clerics and Thieves get closer to the Fighter, but they're still not quite there. I might even upgrade the Fighter's d12 level of damage to 2d6 instead, just to give it that little extra bell-curve "oomph!"

If any of this offends the simulationists' sensibilities because they think that knives don't do as much damage as swords, or whatever, then they clearly haven't done an image search on "knife wounds." Seriously, make them Google that shit. It is grim.

No comments:

Post a Comment