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Author Topic: D20-based Fastest Combat Rules  (Read 1176 times)

Nihilistic Mind

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D20-based Fastest Combat Rules
« on: November 01, 2019, 01:00:26 PM »
I have not playtested this, it's just something I've been thinking about. Feel free to critique, etc.

I have mostly been running Dungeon Crawl Classics so any modification replaces the standard DCC core rules.
Standard DCC: roll initiative at the beginning of combat and keep the initiative order until combat is over. Declare your action, then roll to see if it beats a target number/difficulty check, if a hit occurs the player rolls damage based on their weapon.

The idea: each round of combat takes one D20 to cover initiative (which changes each round), attack/defense/other, and damage (if attacking).
If the PCs or Monsters have multiple attacks, they roll all of their attack dice at once, then decide how to use their roll to resolve their actions.

Players and GM roll first, then decide what actions they will take.

Initiative:
Lowest rolls go first (high rolls are more likely to end the fights so they resolve last).

Action:
Players choose to Attack or Defend (or perform some other action such as casting a spell, etc).

-Attack:
--add your usual attack bonuses (strength modifier for melee or agility modifier for missile, plus any class attack bonus).
--add a bonus based on your weapon of choice (+0 unarmed, +1 for dagger (D4 weapons), +2 for swords/axes (D6 weapons), +3 for D8 weapons, +4 for D10s, +5 for D12s, etc etc).
--subtract target's Armor Class (+ defense bonus if any) from your total Attack Roll (die roll + all bonuses); the difference is how much damage the target takes as a result of your attack.

-Defend:
--add your die roll to your AC OR a target's AC (you protect an ally rather than yourself).

-Other:
--resolve all other actions as you normally would, spell check results, etc.

Stats that need to change as a result of these rules:
-Base Armor Class is 8 rather than 10.
-Armor bonuses add to your Base 8 AC, add Agility Modifier, etc (as standard rules).
-Keep hit points lower: PCs gain a static number of hit points based on their hit dice (D4 = +1 hit point per level, D6 = +2 hp/level, etc, like weapon bonuses).
-Monster stats stay mostly the same, except Attack Bonuses, Armor Class and Hit Points:
--Attack bonuses are based on monster hit dice: example 1, 8D8 Monster = +11 to attack: +8 (level 8 monster) +3 (D8); example 2, 2D4 Monster = +3 to attack: +2 (level 2 monster) +1 (D4).
--Armor Class is -2 (to reflect Base 8 AC).
--Hit Points ??? Not sure here if they need to be modified, but I feel like they might need to... Will have to playtest this and find out.

SPECIAL
Working together to target the same monster might mean additional attack bonuses or combined attacks. I think that would be pretty cool, but again, it needs playtesting.
Running:
Dungeon Crawl Classics (influences: Elric vs. Mythos, Darkest Dungeon, Castlevania).
DCC In Space!
Star Wars with homemade ruleset (Roll&Keep type system).

dkabq

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Re: D20-based Fastest Combat Rules
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2021, 04:35:10 PM »
Seems to me that whatever speed gain you may get would be more than offset by having to deal with the fundamental rule differences proposed to gain that speed. YMMV.

Chris24601

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Re: D20-based Fastest Combat Rules
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2021, 12:00:14 AM »
If you really want to speed up d20 combat within an existing system, the fastest approach is just calculate average damage for a hit, a critical hit and, if appropriate, miss damage and just use those. Over the course of an adventuring day its going to end up around that number anyway, so just save a step by using the averages. 13th Age figured out that such a change didn't matter appreciably for monsters whose stats only matter for a couple of rounds and 5e took a cue from that by including average damage for all its monsters in addition to the damage roll.

Snowman0147

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Re: D20-based Fastest Combat Rules
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2021, 08:26:36 AM »
Didn't D&D hacks make it quick enough by having only the player roll for attack and defense?  Like the monsters do things, but they don't need to roll so all the pressure is on the PCs.

Chris24601

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Re: D20-based Fastest Combat Rules
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2021, 12:55:02 PM »
Didn't D&D hacks make it quick enough by having only the player roll for attack and defense?  Like the monsters do things, but they don't need to roll so all the pressure is on the PCs.
There’s an option for that in the 3.5e Unearthed Arcana (it’s also open content and can be found in the free SRD at d20SRD.org), but in practice it doesn’t generally make it faster; it just offloads all the dice rolling to the PCs (which is only faster if your players already pay attention to everything when it’s not their turns).

The only thing that REALLY speeds things up in my experience is leaving steps out (ex. static vs. rolled damage, roll vs. passive defense instead of opposed dice rolls, rounding damage/hp values to the nearest five or ten for easier math, etc.) which has variable effects on immersion depending on what you’re skipping.

To put it another way; there’s a reason why weapon modifiers vs. armor type and using different damage dice based on target size only showed up in 1e AD&D and were largely ignored. d20 combat is already extremely simplified compared to earlier editions.

The biggies of the last half-dozen years for speeding up d20 combat are probably static damage for monsters and various “mook rules” (i.e. treating multiple weak foes as some variation on a single stronger foe).

sevenlabors

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Re: D20-based Fastest Combat Rules
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2021, 06:21:28 PM »
Quote
The idea: each round of combat takes one D20 to cover initiative (which changes each round), attack/defense/other, and damage (if attacking).
If the PCs or Monsters have multiple attacks, they roll all of their attack dice at once, then decide how to use their roll to resolve their actions.

Didn't one of Luke Crane's RPGs (Torchbearer, Mouse Guard?) take a similar approach?

I've not dived too deep into his catalog because I found this approach too obtuse, but it may be something to mine for ideas.