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"A question about my Dungeoncrawl rule set" Topic

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Lord Ashram15 May 2017 5:46 a.m. PST

Hey all,

Okay, wanted to throw this out there, to get some thoughts from other people.

So, working on a dungeoncrawl game.

You play a group of guys (wizard, thief, cleric, warrior) who move through a dungeon doing your thing.

So originally the close combat model was this:

First, a roll vs a roll to see if a hit is achieved. This was using the "Fight" value of each participant, which was represented by a die. So, for example, it could be a d8 (good fighter) vs a d4 (crap fighter), high roll wins.

Then, a roll of weapon value vs armor value. Again, die vs die. So a d8 short sword vs a d6 helm and a d8 piece of chain mail, highest roll wins (note; you can have up to three armor dice.) Max damage was always one; monsters have between 2 and 3 'hit points' usually.

So combat was just going too slow. First, because there were two rolls, and second, because not enough raw damage was being done.

The thing is, I want to revamp the combat a bit, but I want to maintain…

A) a difference in equipment. The loot is a big part of the game.
B) that a d4 guy can almost always contest with anything up to a d12 guy, even if the chances are low
C) retain a difference in character skills, with the ability to 'level' them up

So I've come down to two methods.

Method 1: Keep the character "fight skill" as a die roll, and instead of it being a HIT roll, just make it all one pool; an "attack pool."

So, say a guy with a fight skill of d6 and a d8 sword attacks, he rolls a d6 and a d8.

This keeps it to one roll, makes it a bit more likely to cause damage (instead of a max of one damage roll vs a potential max of three armor rolls [helm, armor, shield] it is TWO damage rolls) and also allows a level up mechanism, in that guys can go from d4 to d6 to d8 etc.

Method 2: Fight still is a number, 0-5. Combat is simple the weapon roll vs the armor rolls as before, but the DIFFERENCE between a winning weapon roll and an armor roll is the DAMAGE DONE, up to a MAX of the characters "fight' skill.

So, say a Fight 3 warrior rolls a d8 against a goblin's d4 armor. If the warrior scores a 6 and the goblin a 2 (differential of 4) the warrior does his fight skill damage, so 3.

Warriors would start with a higher fight skill than mages and such, and there could STILL be 'leveling up' in that you could increase your fight skill.

This would reduce fighting to, again, a single roll, and would have the added benefit of increased damage per fight, resulting in fights sometimes being finished in a single roll off, if the characters roll is good enough.

I could also mix them a bit… for example, I am considering that if you attack and DOUBLE UP the best armor roll, you do 2 damage, or something like that. Or I could link max damage to the actual WEAPONS, which does differentiate the weapons a bit beyond just the die they add to the pool.

Also, a note; there WILL be up to +2 modifiers going either way, thanks to the magic items system. This is important, because I have to ensure that, even with the modifiers, the lower dice (d4) can compete at least in theory with the upper dice. I am going with the idea that an unmodified "lowest roll vs highest roll" means an autosuccess, even if the modifiers would change that.

Anyway… I am looking to keep it SUPER simple.

This make sense? Anyone help out at all?


Spooner615 May 2017 7:42 a.m. PST

I too have been toying with the combat system you describe. What about upping all the weapon damage dice one step so you get wounds more often. Maybe also add in a stength dice in addition to weapon die and take the higher of the two.


(Phil Dutre) Inactive Member15 May 2017 8:03 a.m. PST

My favourite method when using opposed die rolling, is to move the die type up or down.

You could do this ina single roll. Fighter is D6, but a sword upgrades this to d8. or something like that.

For a more thorough analysis, see my blogpost about this topic:

(Phil Dutre) Inactive Member15 May 2017 8:03 a.m. PST

My favourite method when using opposed die rolling, is to move the die type up or down.

You could do this in a single roll. Fighter is D6, but a sword upgrades this to d8. or something like that.

For a more thorough analysis, see my blogpost about this topic:

Lord Ashram15 May 2017 8:21 a.m. PST

Spooner, I've thought about that, and actually DID that… just making all weapons do more damage by a die level. That helped, but still made it two rolls. My Option 1 might be sort of what you were saying in the second part… combining them? So you end up with your weapon die, but also your SKILL die, as part of your attack?

Hm hm hm…

Okay, how about this? Oh, I think I might like this:

So, you attack with…

A) any applicable weapon dice
B) your "fight skill" die

So you roll, and for every die you "win" you do one damage.

So, lets say I have a tough warrior with a good weapon (say, d8 fight and d8 damage) vs a d4 goblin.

Warrior rolls a 3 and a 6.

Goblin rolls a 2.

Two damage scored.

This allows multiple damage (allowing the combat to move quicker) and STILL includes warrior skill (which can be upgraded) and ALSO makes sure it is only a single roll?

Actually Phil I had read your blog post with great interest!

Sure, the shifting of die makes sense. Sooo… like, a character has a "base fight" score, which might be the number of die shifts, and then the weapon has a die value?

So, a warrior with a +2 would be two dice shifted up… so a d6 becomes a d10?

But then what if that same warrior has a d10 sword? I am not using anything higher than a d12, as of right now… so it sort of "breaks" at the top of the system? How would you account for that?

Stryderg15 May 2017 8:31 a.m. PST

How much differentiation do you want in the weapon and armor stats? I would start by ranking the weapons lowest to highest. Like so:
1d4 dagger, cudgel
1d6 mace, morning star, spear
1d8 short sword, flail, halberd
1d10 claymore

Add a die for strength and another for skill/proficiency.

1d4 civilian                1d4 amateur
1d6 soldier 1d6 practiced
1d8 veteran 1d8 skilled
1d10 Rambo 1d10 expert

That's 3 dice for attack. Now defense, pick 3 of these and give them dice values so the defender rolls 3 dice as well.
chest armor, head armor, leg armor, dodge skill, shield.

If that's not detailed enough, give some of the weapons defense bonuses (shift a die up/down), or give the skills bonuses with certain weapons or armor. Maybe do that as special traits for the characters.

As for the actual roll-off, you've got some options that will need some testing done:
1. Compare the highest attack die with the highest defense die. Higher attack values = hits.
2. Sum the attack dice, sum the defense dice.

attack > defend x 2 = 4 hits
attack > defend x 1.5 = 2 hits
attack > defend = 1 hits

Each hit could also inflict 'wounds' which would degrade the defender's dice (shift down, or roll 1 less die).

I'm not saying this is perfect, but might spark some further thought. Good luck.

Russ Lockwood15 May 2017 12:24 p.m. PST


How about rolling one d10 per character, with +1 per skill level and +x for every contributing "loot" (+1 for shield, +1 for leather armor, +2 for chainmail, +3 for plate, etc).

On the character sheet, you have one + number in a prominent place (so you don't have to keep adding up everything each time you battle) to add to your d10. Highest total is the hit.

If you want striated damage, then > = 1 hit, 2x > = 2 hits, etc.

I doubt this is original, but if you only want one die per attack/defense and take into account multiple objects (swords, shields, magic gizmos, etc), this could be as simple as it gets.

Not quite sure with multiple opponents. Maybe multiple opponents roll 1d10 each and take highest die roll to apply to all vs character. Maybe a player has some skill to allocate points and damage to individual opponents in a multiple-opponent fight, or roll another die if moving and attacking. Or maybe it's a skill to spend 1 "pip" of the die roll total to "parry" and not take damage. Or maybe it's action point driven where you can spend an AP to roll 1 die, two APs to roll 2 dice, etc.

Lord Ashram22 May 2017 5:31 a.m. PST

Hi all!

I appreciate all of the advice… Russ, I am thinking of that parry skill… anyway, I think I've settled on a single roll, and the "fight" value of the player (i.e. d6 or d8 or whatever) is just added to the pool of attack dice… so now it will be…

attacker dice (fight skill die, weapon 1 die, and possibly weapon 2 die, if dual wield)


defender dice (fight skill, armor dice)

So… now, I am working on the next aspect of it; namely, how to handle damage.

Originally, everyone did 1 damage, no matter what. Wanted to keep it simple.

However, fights are dragging.

So I want to make it possible to do more damage. However, the issue I am looking at now… do I tie maximum damage to the WEAPON YOU USE (which characters are limited in… physically weaker characters like mages might max out on a d8 weapon, while warriors might have a d10 or d12… it is more tied to race than anything else, although mages get a downgrade and warriors get an upgrade) or to FIGHT SKILL?

The max weapon you can use is NOT upgradeable… your fight skill IS.

I am now looking at three possible solutions.

1) Damage is the difference between the highest attacker die and highest defender die, ANY die, with a CAP determined by weapon.

This still…

Allows for differences between warriors and less warrior types, in that the warriors tend to roll bigger (and therefore higher max damage) weapons, so will do more damage…I'm thinking d4 and d6 weapons will be max damage 2 (roughly, although this can be slightly varied to introduce different weapons… Like, certain more rare lower die weapons that still have a higher max damage, which are better for mages and the like…)

Still Makes fight skill somewhat important, because warriors will have higher fight skills, and so will have a higher die in the attack pool, thus generally allowing people with higher fight skills a better chance to do more damage (thus making upgrading your fight skill still somewhat important.)

Now, fight skill might not be as important as max weapon here, which might be an issue.

Other alternative…

2) Damage still determined by the difference between highest attacker die and highest defender die, but rather than tie max damage to WEAPON type, tie it to fight skill somehow… Either make fight skill a two level stat (say, for example, d6/2 to represent you roll a d6 and have a max damage of two.). This does make weapons slightly less different (the only difference is what die they add to your attack pool, instead of extra die AND max damage cap) and makes fight skill more important… This shifts a bit more emphasis away from weapons and to the player and their skills, and evens the playing field a bit, in that the most important stat (fight skill) is upgradable, whereas for max weapon allowed, it isn't… so mages CAN, if they want to invest experience to upgrade their fight skill, dole out some damage.

3) Could even do damage determined by difference ONLY between fight skill die and highest defender die with a CAP by weapon to ensure we don't get 8 damage (although I would imagine a somewhat higher cap than version a). So, you could win with your weapon die, in which case you are doing only one damage, but if you win with your fight skill you do damage on differential. This is again VERY player and fight skill tilted, which I like, but requires to you differentiate between your fight die and your weapon die (easy enough with different colors, if they are the same?). Now this puts HUGE emphasis on the fight skill, because your weapon die will only ever be doing one damage… You want a nice high fight skill to kill guys quick.

The third example might be slightly more complicated (you have to differentiate dice when you roll, which might be fine given that you are only ever rolling two or, at most, three dice) but might have the best mix of ensuring fight stats (which are upgradable) are important while also giving us another difference between weapons (the max damage they allow.)


Thanks all!

Zephyr122 May 2017 2:37 p.m. PST

Another way is to use the difference as the number of hits the winner made, and roll for damage for each hit (you are still guaranteed a minimum of 1 damage regardless of weapon die type… ;-) For an additional variation, you might also require the damage hit score to equal or exceed the target's armor value in order to cause any damage at all.


ced110617 Jun 2017 6:38 p.m. PST

You have a good system here. Keep it simple!

I think it's better for a miniature skirmish game, rather than a "level up" RPG. I think a game where both players roll makes it more participatory. The total number of dice depends on the range of wound points.

If you have the luxury of different colored dice, a player could roll their attack dice and defense dice at the same time.

You could also roll dice Risk style, where you roll all your dice, or even all the dice for a party (eg. the GM's band of orcs) and allocate the dice as you wish.

Your system looks like a super-simplified Savage Worlds game system, which is much more complicated, but does a good job simulating combat.

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