So like an idiot I got a full-time waste services job (which is actually great) so I’ve been doing more bin crawls than dungeon crawls lately. If you don’t like it pay me.
Justin Hamilton commented on Death & Dismemberment that he doesn’t like the idea of attacks causing wounds on max-damage because it means that smaller weapons end up having a better chance of causing actual bodily harm than large weapons, which for me isn’t a big deal, personally I really LIKE that the shitty knife you’re carrying around has a 1 in 4 chance of seriously stabbing the fuck out of someone’s internal organs. That’s a good trade-off to take a knife instead of a greatsword even though the greatsword technically does more damage.
BUT, in simplifying my rules I’ve also been trying to figure out how to make differences in weapon size affect combat without resorting to something like “longer always hits first”. In the past I made it so that if someone with a smaller weapon started a fight with you, you could make an Initiative check to attack first in the first Round. But god that’s boring to remember/play out.
So I had a potentially stupid idea.
What if when you attack/defend in melee (because I use contested melee rolls instead of the attacker targeting a static AC), you rolled a d20 AND your damage dice.
Now the size of your weapon directly affects your likelihood of hitting/defending against someone with a bigger weapon, and if you hit, we don’t have to wait for you to make another roll for damage: you already rolled it what’s the fucking number?
So the knife still has a 1 in 4 chance of causing a serious wound, but that’s because it’s hard to get it in there against an obese Plague Knight swirling a d10 damage carrion flail around his head, but when you do, you JAM IT RIGHT THE FUCK IN BETWEEN HIS RIBS UNTIL SOMETHING POPS.
Which also rolls in nicely to additional weapon qualities.
It’s pretty common for spears to have Reach, attacking first against charges and dealing double damage. So how about if someone attacks you while you’re wielding a spear (charge or not because personally I’d just stop charging people with spears if that’s the only time they do something cool?) you just straight-up roll double damage dice in the first Round. Now you attack/defend better and cause more damage because you’re the longest. Good job.
Big weapons should be hard to use in tight spaces, so how about you roll twice to-hit/defend and take the worst, which now includes your damage dice. It’s hard to carve someone up with a zweihander in a cave when you keep hitting the sides, you should have brought a knife.
That’s all for now love you x
So how are you adjusting defense, if at all?
Last I read, you were doing contested attack and defense rolls, but d20+d4 vs d20+d12 is a pretty big swing still.
My game’s on a 5E framework, so it’s probably less extreme if I’m not thinking about it in that context, but with the bounded accuracy and just higher stats of 5th this would be insane for me personally.
I’ve got to do some tweaks so I can fit this into my own game – the volatility of the dagger and smaller weapons in general feels great.
Seconding the Patreon, I already give to a few ttrpg content creators and they don’t give me as much useful stuff as I find here.
Yeah absolutely it IS a big swing, which is why I love it!
Bringing a knife to a battleaxe fight SHOULD feel daunting, which is something I never felt I could get right by modifying attack order, but this, this feels good.
I guess I’ll see when I can actually test it out in play though hahaha.
Awesome. I’m really looking forward to your ruleset coming out! I might hijack the core of the idea and use a static modifier based on weapon size or something like Reach, or maybe throw caution to the wind and say fuck it we’re bringing knives to the spear fight, good luck.
I would totally pay you via Patreon (or other methods)! Just a thought…
Yeah that could absolutely work too!
The problems for me with that would be having to remember what modifiers apply to what weapons rather than just using their dice, and that it would remove some of the swing, which is why I started using contested melee rolls instead of static AC in the first place.
I think melee should be uncertain. I should have a chance to roll a 4 with my knife while you roll a 1 with your greatsword because I’m slippery with a knife.
Also thanks both of you re: Patreon.
It’s probably not a path I want to go down at the moment, largely because I would never want to set it up on a per-post basis because that feels fucking gross to me, but right now I don’t think I’ll be able to put out enough content to make per-month worth people’s money.
Definitely appreciate it though.
Not tryna push the issue, if you don’t want to mess with any of it that’s your business, but there’s that Kofi business which, as far as I know, lets people donate whenever they please and at whatever amount they please. That way if you write a particular inspiring post and someone feels the urge, they can give you money, but without the worry of content scarcity or the understandable scumminess of pay per post. Again, just a thought.
If I wanted to throw this into a 5E game, I’d have to just move to contested rolls or figure out a rough average to adjust monster defenses up by. As is, this would put a level one rogue/dex fighter at a potential +8 to initiative and a standard fighter at +12-14. Thinking about it though, the swing alleviates the bulk of the concern there.
Goddamn, your work is like a rabbit hole, man. “Well what if I just stole this and threw it into my game” cascades in to having to rewrite major aspects of my home game. I have to take a whole new look at my weapon system, notches, weapon traits/tags. This is great shit!
Hey I’m not going to get mad at you for suggesting more ways to give me money hahaha, push away. I might take a look at Kofi, thanks heaps.
Oh and yeah this ABSOLUTELY depends on using contested melee rolls, using a static AC would mean having to make all sorts of adjustments that kind of defeat the purpose of doing this to simplify things in the first place.
I’ve got kind of an abrasive personality, so I’m always a little worried about coming across wrong, and tone is harder to infer in text. I just try to be careful.
Had another thought, are you applying this to monsters? Humanoids with weapons is straightforward, but does a forest animal or a non weapon using monstrosity benefit from this? And would you apply it just the same?
I thought about the same thing and I think it would work just as well/make as much sense!
Like, an animal/unarmed monster is going to do what, d4-d8 damage? It makes sense to me that if you’re swinging around a whopping great flail that does d12 damage, a creature trying to hurt you with its naked flesh is going to be a bit wary, so of course your odds are better than theirs.
Luke Gearing’s heartbreaker Swyvers (go read it it’s great) deals with this by treating animals and monsters as terrifying and reckless. Humanoids with weapons deal with their weapons as AC (longer is higher) but animals see a tasty treat (AC is ~10).
I’m inclined to do the same with exception to specific hunting weapons like boar spears and shit. Recall all those movies where dudes get ripped apart by a pack of wolves or bears. Leonardo DiCaprio got fucked up in The Revenant by a d12 damage dealing bear I reckon.
I’d say that bear def had at least +2d6 mum rage damage.
Just glad you’re back bub. One of my favorite content creators. I like the Kofi idea as well! Would be nice to be able to throw a few bucks your way with no expectation that I get more than what’s on the tin (or blog, as it were).
Unrelated, but if I may ask, how did you stumble upon this new career? I’ve heard that it can be one of the “hidden professions” when it comes to decent pay. Glad you’ve found something you like doing with your non-RPG hours!
Thanks! It’s good to be back even if I’m not back as much as I might like.
This reminds me a little, in a good way, of the combat in the old Tunnels and Trolls game. On the spear, when you suggest having it straight-up do double-damage in the first round, is that only if the hit gets through on a roll, or automatically like a one-time Into the Odd auto-damage for the first round only? I like both those ideas, but curious what you had in mind.
Yeah sorry I meant ROLL double damage rather than an auto-hit. I’m really not a fan of immediate unavoidable hits/damage.
Brahhh I’d totally pay you on Patreon. Please do it and don’t feel gross about it.
Thanks heaps, that’s honestly much appreciated.
I’ve actually set up a Ko-Fi account but it’s in review, probably because I named it Dungeons & Dildos.
I’ve seen an idea similiar to this before where attack bonus is the same as the class’ Hit Die. I’ve always liked that idea but this is a pretty great spin on that idea. You could also simulate ‘slow/unwieldy’ weapons by having you roll twice for attack and take lower, but maybe take higher for damage. Use the same roll. I love it.
This ruleset would work as is in traditional B/X with weapon restrictions, but I dunno how it’ll play out with LotfP style “fuck it anyone can use anything” style. Specifically: Do Fighters still get AB every level? This would either make they insanely good or make them chopped liver like later editions did.
Fighters would absolutely get +1 AB every level because they FIGHT!
Your idea for slow/unwieldy is interesting – probably a bit more fiddly than I’d want for the payoff, but still interesting.
Hey, sorry for the non sequitur but I think your dice roller is probably the best one available. Is there already a page/link for which it is the only element? That would make it objectively the best.
There isn’t, but I’ll put it on my list of things to do.
Standalone dice roller is go: https://www.lastgaspgrimoire.com/dice-roller/
Whoa, sweet! Thanks for the hustle.
This sounds like a dope idea I might steal. If you don’t mind my asking, how do you involve armor with your opposed rolls?
Currently with my opposed rolls you use your AB when you’re attacking, and your Defence Bonus when you’re being attacked, so armour adds its bonus to your DB (Light +2 Medium +4 Heavy +6).
How do the contested melee rolls work if the target is holding a ranged weapon? Would it be contested with a straight d20 roll?
Yeah absolutely – a bow isn’t going to help in melee so you just roll d20.
The exception would be that I allow firearms to be used as clubs so you’d use the damage dice for that as long as you check for breakage.