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abaros
10-12-2009, 01:41 PM
Hi all,

I am trying to put together a simple homebrew.

So far I have examined principles from from Fudge (simple task resolution) and D&D 4e (at-will, encounter, daily, etc), but I'm having a truly difficult time coming up with a health/combat system.

Any ideas?

Farcaster
10-12-2009, 03:40 PM
It would really depend on what you are trying to accomplish. What are your design goals with your system? Is combat very gritty, or completely abstract? Do you want combat to be fast paced, loose, or very tactical? Should it be possible for heroes in your game to be felled by a single slash of a sword? These are all considerations that would need to be answered before we could really start to get at what would be a good system for your needs.

abaros
10-12-2009, 03:53 PM
Hi Farcaster,

Sorry I should have been more specific with my goals.

I would prefer it to be gritty, fast-paced, and relatively loose.

Quicker resolutions are my aim, maybe with simple health levels.

Looking at the Fudge system... I see that there is a single roll to strike (modified by various things should they exist), followed by a damage calculation that translates to a scale (i.e. 1-2 points of damage and you mark your lightly wounded box, 3-4, heavily wounded, etc.)

Have you had any experience with this particular system?

In its simplest form:



Attack versus defense. Failure means the opponent parries, blocks, or dodges the blow or the attacker fails miserably.
Calculating Offense: Strength + Weapon + Attacker's Scale (bigger size means more damage) + any lethality bonuses (special weapon, skill, etc.) + Relative Degree

Relative Degree = number of successes beyond defender's Defense rating. I.e. he had a defense of 2, I rolled a total of 4, so I add +2 to my Offense roll when calculating damage.

Calculating Defense: Constitution + Armor + Defender's Scale (bigger size means less damage)
Subtract Defense from Offense to get your damage point then apply it to the scale below:
1, 2 - Scratched
3, 4 - Hurt
5, 6 - Lightly Wounded (-1)
7, 8 - Heavily Wounded (-2)
9, 10 - Incapacitated
11, 12 - Near Death
13+ - Dead
If one of these boxes are already marked, then you move to the next highest box.

Sascha
10-12-2009, 11:28 PM
A damage track that acts more like traditional HP will get you faster resolutions than marking off single boxes per successful attack. Also, use a shorter track, maybe half what that Fudge chart is. (Spirit of the Century, based on FATE, itself based on Fudge, uses a 5-box track, by default.)

abaros
10-14-2009, 09:36 PM
Thank you.

I will tinker with that.

Farcaster
10-14-2009, 10:24 PM
I'm not sure what the current system is in World of Darkness, but in the 1st edition Story Teller system, there was a wound system like the one you are talking about. Whenever you took damage, you might take one or more bubbles of damage based on how much of the hit your mitigated. That one would be worth taking a look at too.

WhiteTiger
10-15-2009, 08:50 AM
What about Earthdawn ??? I don't know much about it but doesn't that system use a damage track system rather a big pool of hit points ???

abaros
10-28-2009, 08:46 PM
I followed Sascha's suggestion and switched over to a hit-points system.

Now I am having difficulty properly balancing damage for spells, weapons, attacks, etc...

I am using a variety of dice for this (d4 to d12). I have a variety of different magical spheres (fire, telekinetics, etc.) and I would prefer damage to be more or less even, but it seems if I make the damage based on the spell level, the spells lack variety because, at the same level, they all do the same damage.

Any suggestions?

I'm curious how the folks who worked on D&D came up with damage for spells.

Sascha
10-28-2009, 10:36 PM
If you're still basing things off Fudge/FATE-style resolution, it's likely a factor of the details (typed damage, particular spells) being, well, irrelevant. It's fluff, as far as the game's concerned. FATE's default, especially, is designed around a relatively small variable spread (4dF, or 4d3-8), with degrees of success (shifts) doubling as effectiveness; how damage occurs isn't really nearly as important as who deals it.

Games like DnD, though, make weapon/spell choice matter beyond just the who. (Well, beyond really old DnD, that is, where all weapons did the same 1d6 damage.) Wanting to differentiate method is, from here, a matter of degree, really: what ratio of damage do you want to come from the character's skill, vs any given weapon/spell?

abaros
10-29-2009, 08:58 AM
With the group that I am playing with, Fudge just didn't cut it. I couldn't really figure out how to properly implement spells or damage, so I scrapped it and went back to d20.

D20 is substantially easier for my group.

I would prefer damage to be calculated just like D&D... Weapon/spell + Ability Modifier... i.e. Shortword (1d6) + Strength Modifier.

You might ask why I just don't modify the current 4e system. I'll say that I really don't like the narrow roles forced upon classes, the skill system, or the seeming lack of utility and fluff spells.

However -- I do like the simplicity of the system (no tracking mana, reagents, etc.) and I've thought about organizing spells along the lines of At-Will, Encounter, and Daily.

Sascha
10-29-2009, 11:38 AM
Fair enough. You already have a base model, then.

For spells: range, area of effect, duration, or resistance factors, plus damage, might help differentiate one from another.

MortonStromgal
11-04-2009, 03:23 PM
I'm curious how the folks who worked on D&D came up with damage for spells.

They made it up as they went along. They would just take a guess at what the damage should be and hope it worked. Later editions would alter the spells to be more balanced with similar spells. Magic Missile was at one time 1d6 not 1d4. Mistakes were made and corrected

trechriron
11-12-2009, 05:09 PM
What about Earthdawn ??? I don't know much about it but doesn't that system use a damage track system rather a big pool of hit points ???

You acquire damage as you take. As you cross thresholds, you can take wounds that are longer lasting. It's like a reverse hit point system. You accumulate damage versus losing hit points.


...

D20 is substantially easier for my group.

...

Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, why not just tweak out d20? Have you looked at Monte Cook's supplements like Book of Iron Might, Roguish Luck, and the excellent Books of Experimental Might (now available from Paizo Publishing in a combined hard cover)? Some great resources there for tinkering with d20 and making it your own (this assuming your a 3.x person). Fantasy Craft is a really nifty distro of d20. You should check out what they having going at Crafty Games.

It may be easier than writing your own. Also, you can spend your time creating adventures and running games! Which is (IME) more fun. :D

Good luck either way!

Winterknight
11-20-2009, 05:48 PM
A particularly gritty system is Arms Law from Rolemaster. With modifications to hit point assumptions, it's relatively portable to other systems. Each weapon has a table that cross-indexes your roll + offense - defense with an armor value for the foe. That provides a damage value and a critical result, if any. Most hits result in crits. Secondary roll is required on the crit chart for lots of gory possibilities.

HARP, also an Iron Crown product, is a somewhat refined system. Rather than individual tables for weapons with armor columns, armor is treated like any other type of dodge or defense bonus. So, you have about 10 weapon "group" charts, all single-column, that resolve hit, damage, and crit with single roll (offense bonus - defense bonus + roll). It's perhaps even deadlier, if you roll well.

Hit point systems, IMO, are good systems if the defense is relatively static. Systems like d20 or Rolemaster have such a system, where the defense's value is primarily derived from an armor type, plus some other largely static modifiers. You may have slight improvements to your defense over time (better gear, slightly improved stat bonuses, etc.), but the assumption is that the character's offense (and opposing offenses) will increase at a greater rate than the defense value. Hit points are a good method to overcome this imbalance.

If, however, you have a defense that progresses at the same rate as the offense (e.g. a system where skill vs skill is the core, like Feng Shui), then a wound system is a better method, to maintain a balance of power.

kirksmithicus
11-23-2009, 12:21 AM
D20 is substantially easier for my group.

I would prefer damage to be calculated just like D&D... Weapon/spell + Ability Modifier... i.e. Shortword (1d6) + Strength Modifier.

You might ask why I just don't modify the current 4e system. I'll say that I really don't like the narrow roles forced upon classes, the skill system, or the seeming lack of utility and fluff spells.

However -- I do like the simplicity of the system (no tracking mana, reagents, etc.) and I've thought about organizing spells along the lines of At-Will, Encounter, and Daily.

You like the system, it easier for your group, and you've identified the problems you have with the system. So change what you don't like brother! Expand the skill list to include whatever you want, throw in utility and fluff spells from older editions. You could even change rituals into daily spells. You don't like the narrows roles of each class, then take out your hammer and break it apart. Then glue it back together however you want. Broaden the scope to just Martial, Primal, Arcane, and Divine. Let your players pick and choose what pieces they want. Heck, let them choose aspects from each category if you want. Just lay out the rules and then apply them consistently and then go with it.

Personally I don't like a good number of things about 4e, but there is more that I like than don't. My 4e game has no magic item economy, But it does have magic items, very powerful and unique ones. The cleric weilds the petrified arm of a Saint. The game has guns. The ranger has a brutal longsword that does exploding damage on an 8 (on the first roll only though). I give extra bonuses and feats to Halfling, Dwarf and Human characters. Multi-class characters only have to spend one feat to multi-class. After that they pick and choose powers from whichever class they want. I allow custom feats. The Dwarf fighter can use a tankard as a shield or an off-hand weapon, and he is prof. with it. The guy running the wizard hates the encounter and daily spell system, so I'm thinking of letting him use a point system for his characters spells. I mean really, a wizard forgets a spell he has memorizes every day of his adult life after casting it, fat chance. Heck, I'd let everyone change to a point system if they wanted to.