Tuesday, 28 November 2017

1d6 tactical combat

on how to make combat have lots of choices with the simplest mechanics I can come up with. This is all so "in the air" yet, so these are just guidelines. I'm not claiming to have invented anything here or anything, I'm just taking a coffee and improvising to see how complex can one make combat from simple rules.

1. Both combatants roll 1d6 against each other, the highest one deals difference in damage to the other. Armor (+2 being rare and +3 monster-only) substracts damage after that. Probably hp for everyone should not ever be higher than 4 or 5 in order to make this not too endless. By the nature of this mechanics, commonly attacks among equal combatants will deal 0 to 2 damage; more being very weird chances. This makes up for tactics #1: Lots of times to look how the battle is going and ponder: when to run and when to keep on fighting?

2. Unless having an obvious ambush/surprise, there are no initiative rolls. So this makes up for the next point: ambush always. Attacking an unaware opponent let's you deal your damage straight. Having 5 HP as the total maximum means that you can potentially kill anyone with a lucky strike (not a cigarette)

3. Strenght modifier or equivalent adds to melee rolls. A little difference of strenght can make a great difference in combat, so if you're engaging an opponent who is visibly stronger than you, you better have a different advantage in mind.

4. Fighter class/feat/whatever can re-roll after they've seen their opponent's result; but only a determined number of times per day or combat; probably taken from their level or wisdom mod. This leaves in the hands of the player when to do it. The lowest the opponent's result, the higher chance of dealing a fatal blow. You can also potentially drive away a fatal blow directed at yourself. To even this, of course, monsters with trained fighting skills should have this ability on occassions. If this ability looks too small, we can alternativelly change to "add their roll" instead of just re-rolling.

5. Two persons engaging in combat with a third roll separately and keep the better result. Should the third person win, s/he deals the damage to any combatant s/he chooses.

6. Thieves (or anybody who has a nice dex and wants to take this chance, IDK) can just try to dodge a hit after the results have been shown. This is a binary check: either dodge or not, against their dex or whatever. If they pass, they can flee or attempt an action, no harm received. If they fail, they receive full damage. Having a shield or similar gives you the bonus here; but armor penalizes it. If you have to fight a swordsman and you're bare-handed, you HAVE to dodge first or think a way around this (maybe taking a tavern stool and hurling it at the guy, in which case we get into the next point:)

7. Ranged combat is modelled after all this premise, so let's see how well we can adapt it and still make sense: Roll 1d6 when you fire an arrow: that's the damage you deal; but on a 5 or a 6, you miss the shot. Dexterity adds to damage if dealt, or str if we're talking about the tavern stool from the previous point. Having expertise/being a fighter/ranger/or whatever still let's you re-roll as in melee attacks. On the improbable case of a duel, only the highest damage is dealt; as is considered to be also the one who shot first.

8. Magic works just like melee combat, but adding CHA instead of str, opponent rolls + CHA to resist it. On 0 hp, the opponent starts feeling drowsy, is charmed, whatever. Bypasses armor. Offensive spells work like ranged combat.

I don't know if I'll make something out of all this or not; but I'll leave it here in case I do. All thoughts on this are welcome!


  1. Friend I'm having a blast with your blog. World of Dungeons fan here, I'm about to start a campaign and found this goldmine of yours! And your monster drawings are so evocative... let me tell you, if you ever come with a "World of Pilgrims" pdf or some kind of DIY mini-game or monster manual, I would gladly pay for that. Keep it up with this creativity!

    Greetings from old Spain and may you always have dice in your hands, now if you'll excuse me I got a lot to read :)

    1. Hi man! Thank you for your comment, kind words always lift one's spirits. World of Pilgrims is not likely to go anywhere: in the end I found out that I was adding more problem factors into it than taking them out. I'm trying an opposite way now; more minimalistic and maybe less "guided" (I cannot help to do this things, tinkering with rpg systems is my equivalent of nicotine for a smoker). But sure I do want to make a monster manual someday, maybe added to a personal ruleset, maybe system-agnostic; whenever I get some time to do it. In the meanwhile, make yourself at home in this humble vault, I hope you can find weird things to take to your campaigns. Please tell me how it goes if you do!
      PS. I'm spanish too. Saludos desde Valencia, man!

    2. Permite entonces que te conteste en castellano! Te comprendo perfectamente, de hecho me gusta mucho más el trabajo que hiciste en tu entrada 2d6 system reworked o Great Silence. Creo que cuanto más años atesora uno en esto, más constreñido se siente por las reglas y convenciones y por eso sistemas como WoDu son una liberación. Me pasó con Dungeon World, me encantaba la premisa y filosofía, me sobraban la mitad de los movimientos y libretos.

      Te comprendo totalmente, hace un par de años que por viajes y demás me es casi imposible jugar, así que soy como un físico teórico del rol y por eso acabé aquí mismo jaja, rebuscando una alternativa a los puntos de golpe de hecho.

      A ver si yo me animo con mi blog, estaremos en contacto!

  2. jajaja Va, ya me mandas la direccion cuando lo tengas y echo un ojo a ver que haces!
    Yo he llegado ya al nivel de querer comprarme manuales por el mero hecho de tener algo físico, pero luego los leo y pienso en todo el trabajo de sintetizar reglas minimalisticamente para quedarme yo agusto y me entra todo el bajón!

    Yo creo que el que cada vez nos cueste un poco mas jugar nos vuelve un poco majaretas. Un saludo xiquet!