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Author Topic: Idea for a Stepped Dice Combat System - Does it Suck?  (Read 434 times)


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Idea for a Stepped Dice Combat System - Does it Suck?
« on: November 16, 2021, 09:59:05 AM »
I have been thinking about an idea for what I call a stepped dice combat system. Each class and creature has a particular die type that they roll for combat. Higher level characters and more powerful monsters have bigger dice.

Some examples:

Fighter d8
Rogue d6
Mage d4

Goblin d4
Orc d6
Troll d12
Dragon d30

For combat, each combatant rolls their die. Higher die wins and the loser gets hit. In the case of a tie, both combatants take damage. I am also thinking if the loser has a shield that in the case of a tie, he can chose to block with the shield and the shield takes damage.

Combat example:

1st level fighter encounters a goblin. The goblin rushes up to attack:

Fighter rolls a d8 and gets a 6
Goblin rolls a d6 and gets a 4
Fighter wins combat so he rolls a d8 for his longsword and gets a 4 for damage
Goblin rolls a d6 for armor 1-2 = 0 points absorbed 3-4 =1 point and 5-6 = 2 points. He rolls a 4 and blocks 1 point of damage
Goblin has 4 hit points and takes 3 damage so he is still alive with 1 hit point.
The next round of combat begins.

I have multiple goals with this system. I want even a weaker character to have a chance, no matter how small to hit a more powerful character (even though thick armor means he may not be able to damage it.

I also want more powerful characters to easily hit weaker creatures. I have lots of permutations to the system I am thinking about, including allowing higher level fighters to hit multiple enemies in one round. I also am considering having 'steps' added to damage when one character has a much higher roll than the defender. For example, if a troll is fighting a goblin and the troll rolls an 11 and the goblin rolls a 2. Subtract 2 from 11 for a difference of 9. Each 'step' of damage is 4 points so 11/2 = 9 and 9/8 = 2 rounded down so the troll rolls gets +2 to his damage roll.

Of course there are lots of permutations to the system, like how to handle ranged combat, etc.

So, what do you think? Is this a terrible idea? Did I unintentionally rip-off of another system? If you like or dislike the system, please give feedback and tll me WHY! Thanks very much!


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Re: Idea for a Stepped Dice Combat System - Does it Suck?
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2021, 03:20:24 PM »
Wow. I guess my ideas are so incredibly uninteresting that no one even cares to criticize them LOL.


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Re: Idea for a Stepped Dice Combat System - Does it Suck?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2021, 04:36:17 PM »
No that's just this part of the site.

I had a similar idea where races got certain Hit Dice in addition to their class Hit Dice.

My biggest concern with this system is that it'll probably be super unbalanced and make Fighters near untouchable. Not to mention Trolls. Though Dragons being nigh unkillable kinda works.

What's a d30?
I am not X/Y/Z race. I am a mutant. Based and mutantpilled, if you will.


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Re: Idea for a Stepped Dice Combat System - Does it Suck?
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2021, 10:27:33 PM »
I'm a big fan of stepped-die systems. Check out the Cortex Classic system, used in the Serenity RPG and Battlestar Galactica RPG. Also in a generic book called "Cortex."

Different dice could be cool for mass battles. For example, if 20 kobolds (d4) fought 15 town guards (d6). Roll each dice pool, arrange highest to lowest, then pair off the dice. The higher rolls kill the lower rolls. Ties survive until the next round.

One problem I see is the lack of variety. What distinguishes a D6 orc from a D6 goblin from a D6 skeleton from a D6 wolf? Those monsters are going to feel all the same after a while.

« Last Edit: November 19, 2021, 10:30:19 PM by Aglondir »


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Re: Idea for a Stepped Dice Combat System - Does it Suck?
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2021, 10:53:12 PM »
Alternity stepping = awesome.

This is doable, too.

Maybe exploding on roll of highest value?

We like a stepped reroll. D6 gets a 6. We drop the result to 5 and roll next increment snd add… d8 could get an 8, so you are 5+7 for 13 and roll next stepped up. D10 rolls a 1. Your total is 13.


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Re: Idea for a Stepped Dice Combat System - Does it Suck?
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2021, 04:39:21 PM »
The only problem is mathematical, with various dice having different probabilities and so weighting activities with inherent bias. If you set a system so the core activity uses the heavier dice, then you could make it work. So a thief might only have a d4 in most things except thieving. Similar for fighters, magic users, and clerics or their equivalent. Not sure how this would pan out in a game though. Fighters in a game favouring combat might end up dominating play.