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