Wednesday 11 March 2015

Describing the Auto-Hit in Into the Odd

Into the Odd Combat
- An Attack cause damage based on the weapon. For most this is d6 or d8. Armour reduces the damage taken by 1. There's no to-hit roll as in traditional D&D.
- This damage comes off HP, with new characters having d6.
- When there are no HP left, damage is taken off STR and the target must roll d20 under their STR to stay in the fight. If they fail, they take Critical Damage and are taken out.
- If you get to STR 0 you're dead outright.
- HP is recovered with a moment's calm rest. STR is only recovered with a week's rest and care back somewhere safe.

So how you do describe this? I've heard people call it an auto-hit system, which isn't really how I intended for it to feel.

A Quick Guide to Describing Into the Odd Combat

The attack causes HP loss, but doesn't take the target to 0hp.
Bullets blast the plaster off a wall right next to the target, or dent their armour with a concussive thud. Swords don't draw blood, but there's struggling, a pommel to the nose, kick to the groin, grappling and wrestling.
The target is roughed up but not yet taken a proper hit.

The attack causes STR loss, but the target makes their Save against Critical Damage.
This is what you'd think of as a hit. Swords draw blood, bullets hit home but the target fights on.
The target is hit, and should be reconsidering the fight.

The attack causes STR loss, and the target fails their Save against Critical Damage.
A blow that ends the fight and will kill the target if they aren't tended to. Bayonet right through the stomach, bullet in the shoulder knocking you back, heads slamming against the ground, choking up blood.
The target is down, and will die if left.

The attack takes the target to STR 0. 
An instant kill, as messy as the weapon would suggest. Decapitations, bullets through the throat, limbs being hacked off. The target is gone, so have some fun with the description.
The target is killed instantly.

The attack doesn't cause any HP loss, most likely due to Armour. 
Ping! Right off the strong-point of the armour. That was a good purchase.


  1. What if an enemy attacks a PC? does the PC get a Dex save to dodge the attack? or is the damage rolled just the same?

    1. just the same; PCs aren't "heroes" and don't get the movie magic

  2. I also wanted to ask you how do you handle lore/awareness checks: are they left out intentionally?
    I'd also like to add that i love Into The Odd and will keep an eye on your works! Saludos from spain

  3. Attacks against the PC are handled exactly the same as attacks against monsters and NPCs. No DEX Save to dodge, only a STR Save to avoid Critical Damage when you run out of HP (but the STR Damage is still automatic). It makes for very fast combat, where any fight will go deadly if you stick around for too long.

    Generally I don't use things like Lore skills. If the players ask questions I give them answers. Same for awareness checks. I try to give information and let the players respond to that with action or further questions.

    I'll sometimes give a DEX Save as a sort of awareness check, like seizing initiative or noticing a trap a split second before it goes off, but that's really more of a quick-reflexes thing than perceptive awareness.

    Glad you're enjoying the game, have fun with it!

  4. As i see it, HP in this situation are a measure of "plot armor" or "luck" that wears out once the combat progresses. I picture common enemies should not have HP at all; while high level enemies having more HP to represent importance on the plot.

    Just wondering! i love your system and it feels very hackable to any setting or tone. I hope to play it someday, but is hard to gather my group this days!

  5. In my games I usually rename Hp, calling them "Defence", since my players are used considering Hp as lifeforce/lifeblood. The idea of Defence explains clearly how it is lost and regained (fighting is tiring, especially for those who have few combat experience), and doesn't represent wounds/resistance/armor.

  6. I got questions regarding the original ItO ruleset:

    "Critical Damage: If a character is reduced to 0hp,
    they must pass a Save to avoid Critical Damage. This is
    a STR Save in melee and a DEX Save for ranged
    A character that takes Critical Damage loses STR equal
    to the damage caused by the attack."

    1) If I understood correctly, when HP are brought exactly to 0, should one make STR (or DEX) Save?

    2) My players keep asking, if the critical damage roll should be checked against modified STR score? Example: Pipp has 5 HP and 10 STR. He is struck for 8, so his HP is now 0 and remaining 3 points are taken from his STR, bringing its down to 7. Now Pipp has to make a STR save against STR 7, correct?

    From the above quote one can deduct though that Pipp has to make a save against 10 and only if not successful, his STR is reduced to 2 (STR10 - damage 8). Have you played it like that for some time, or is it just me misinterpret the wording?

    1. So this post is approaching 10 years old now, so is a little out of date with the wording in the current edition of Into the Odd.

      1. When hp is taken to exactly 0 the character is not yet wounded, so doesn't need to make their Save vs Critical Damage. This occurs when they take more damage than they have remaining hp.

      2. The Save is always made against the current ability score. So if your STR is reduced to 7 by damage then you Save using STR 7.

      Hope that helps!