Monday, March 20, 2023

Scaling Results

In reading over Hack'D & Slash'D, and thinking about character growth (and even the growth of the game into other milieus), I've been considering damage... specifically, I'm thinking about how damage scales in crticial vs. half damage circumstances. In general, the rules look pretty solid when we're looking at a number like 4 - if 4 is your standard damage for an attack, then it doubles to 8 on a critical success, or halves to 2  on a partially blocked/neutralized attack. This works.

However, if you push the numbers to damage 12 (which might be for something like a dragon's bite), you end up with a much larger range - down to 6 on a partially blocked shot or up to 24 if the dragon lands a critical hit. 24 is a LOT of damage. But, this is a dragon after all... so it's not THAT crazy.

Just for fun, let's say we create a bit of a more structured tier system - like every 3 points is a 1 point modifier in either direction. This means that it scales like this:

1-3 [1]; 4-6 [2]; 7-9 [3]; 10-12 [4]; 13-15 [5]

Now, if your damage is 2 from a starter dirk, you are hitting for 1 (if armor soaks), 2 (on a normal hit) or 3 (if you crit); Conversely, that dragon is hitting for 8, 12, or 16. It's still got a solid range to it, but the numbers are a little more predicatable. A natural 12 on an armor check or resistant check still completely soaks a standard successful attack. You get bit by a dragon, you're probably suffering at least 8 damage, but your armor might help. 

Not sure how I feel about this... it feels more balanced, but it's a bit more mental math to keep track of. Although, to be honest, I'm not sure if remembering that 9 has +3/-3 attached to it is any harder than remembering that half of 9 rounds up to 5, and that it doubles to 18. And, parenthetically, 18 damage kills a level 3 character with stamina 1. 12 is a serious wound. It should be rare for a level 3 character to be one-shotted, but the type of damage I'm now suggesting would not be all that excessive.   

Hmmm. More stuff to consider and/or to play test and see how it runs...


The other possibilty here is to set a standard modifier for ranks of damage. If we go with the most common result (either 2 or 3) as the default, we end up with a range that looks something like this:

A weapon that deals 6 damage deals:

2 damage with -2 ranks of damage (standard hit vs. natural 12 armor check)
4 damage with -1 rank of damage (standard hit with successful armor check)
6 damage (standard hit with failed armor check)
8 damage with +1 rank of damage (natural 12 attack with failed armor check)
10 damage with +2 ranks of damage (natural 12 attack with natural 1 armor check)

Meh. This is a lot of numbers ot keep track of... I might just stick with what I have.


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