Wednesday, October 6, 2010

d6 Only Weapons

In my current "Castle of the Mad Archmage" campaign, I am using d6 only weapons.  Mostly.

Small weapons like darts and daggers do a d4 and 2-handers add 2 pts. of damage, but I like this idea better, I think.

Found it over at Nine and Thirty Kingdoms:
Some old-schoolers use a simple three-damage system: roll 1d6 for average-sized weapons, roll 2d6 for others -- if the weapon is small, drop the highest roll, and if the weapon is large, drop the lowest.
I think I will be trying this out.  Has a certain flair and symmetry.  Gives daggers and darts the *chance* to do some real damage.

I currently give 2 handed weapons a damage "bonus" because the player sacrifices the opportunity to use a shield, and that has its own advantages in my games.  I have been using the 2d6 drop the low with characters who use two weapons.  They also lose the shield advantages.

Darts and daggers have a rate of fire (when thrown) of three.  I think I will now allow them to roll based upon how many darts hit a single target:
1 dart hits = 2d6 keep the low; 2 darts hit = 3d6 keep the middle; 3 darts hit = 2d6 keep the high. 
I'll let you know how it goes.


Bob Reed said...

This is an interesting idea I've never tried. For OD&D I use 1d6-1 for daggers, 1d6+1 for two-handers. Some magic weapons, instead of being +whatever, have different damage dice (e.g. 1d8 magic sword).

Sean Robson said...

I use a similar method, which I swiped from Philotomy's house rules: Two-handed weapons roll 2d6 and drop the lowest roll; small weapons deal 1d6 damage and can be dual-wielded to make one attack at +1 bonus to hit.

The result in play is a fairly even distribution; one player dual-wields daggers for +1 on his attack rolls, some use weapon and shield for +1 to AC, and some use two-handed weapons for the better damage potential. One method doesn't dominate over the others and it is quite well balanced.

Unknown said...

Nifty. I had never sen this approach before.

trollsmyth said...

I use 1d6 for most weapons, 2d4 for two-handers, and the best roll of 2d6 for quarterstaves and fighting with two weapons. Fighting without weapons tends to do 1d2.

UWS guy said...

d6 for "most" weapons. you're not really using d6 weapon damage then are've just gotten rid of the d4 and d8...except for daggers...or 2 handed swords.

Either you're in, or you're out. Either a weapon kills someone with a telling blow or it doesn't. If a man has one "hit" and a weapon kills when it "hits" that is the crux of the d6. What does it mean that a 2 handed sword does 2d6 or 3d6 or d10 dmg? Does someone explode when you hit them if a normal sword kills with d6 dmg?

"but how do you give meaningful choices to varying weapons?" The easy answer is the same way gary gygax did it in chainmail. Use a weapon vs. AC chart.

in D&D a 2 handed sword and a dagger can both do d6 dmg, but utilize the weapon vs. AC chart to modify thac0.

"but that's less realistic".

Actually it's not. Chainmail system even allowed for a dagger to be an excellent weapon against an unhorsed and prone fully plated enemy, does variable weapon damage do this? No. Everyone who says, "I like d6, but 2 handed swords do X dmg instead." Are doing no favors to realism or doing anything else for that matter, you've just replaced the listed damage charts with a confusing and limiting alternate one.

variable damage


d6 damage with weapon vs. AC adjustments

those are the only two logical choices. Variable damage with AC adjustments is redundantly redundant, and d6 without AC adjustments is bad for it's own obvious reasons.