Monday 15 October 2018

D&D Combat Supercharger

So you want to use Into the Odd’s ultra-fast Decisive Combat, where every attack causes Damage, but you want to stick with your more traditional flavour of D&D, say 5e or LotFP?

But Why?
  • Missing with an attack is a lame way to spend your turn.
  • Hitting and then rolling 1 damage is potentially even lamer.
  • Combat just takes so long!
We can make this happen. Let's use 5e as a benchmark.

Decisive Combat for D&D

Roll to hit as normal:
  • Natural 1 is a Miss, no damage.
  • Miss becomes a Glance: Cause the minimum damage for the attack, but this cannot take the target below 1hp. 
  • Hit: Cause the maximum damage for the attack
  • Critical Hit (usually a natural 20) causes a Glance followed by a Hit
  • Secondary Effects like Sneak Attack Damage, Poison, Grappling etc only take effect on a Hit and they roll damage as normal if needed. 
  • Resistance, Vulnerability, and Damage Reduction are also applied as normal. 
  • Breath attacks and other attacks that do not roll to hit are handled as per the normal rules. 
An Orc attacking with a Greataxe (1d12+3) causes 4 damage on a Glance, and 15 damage on a Hit. On a Critical Hit it causes 4 damage followed by 15 damage.

Resting Changes
  • To account for the higher amount of damage flying around, you do not roll your Hit Dice when taking Short Rests, instead taking the maximum possible roll on that die. 
  • A Long Rest restores all Hit Dice
  • Other types of Healing function as normal. 
A Level 3 Fighter with 3d10 Hit Dice and +2 CON Bonus recovers 12HP whenever they spend a Hit Die during a Short Rest. They recover all of their HP and Hit Die with a Long Rest.

Preparing your Notes
Write attacks with their Glance Damage followed by their Hit Damage, so instead of 1d12+3 you’d write 4/15.

Missing Damage Rolls?
If a Feat or other special ability relies on the Damage Roll (such as letting you reroll 1s) then the GM either:
  • Applies the benefit to the Attack Roll, if it’s a good fit.
  • Presents an alternative.
This is Too Fast, I Want to Get Off!
If you want a milder effect, have a Hit cause Average Damage rather than Maximum, then have Critical Hits cause Maximum Damage. Who wants things to be mild, though? I warned you this is a Supercharger!

A Note on Magic
This all boosts regular combat in comparison to spell effects that grant a Save, so my next plan is to suggest a way to make Spell effects equally decisive.

Of course, it makes Monsters more dangerous in return, so don't you Fighters be feeling too comfortable.

Now all you have to do is decide how to spend all that time you've regained from drawn-out combats. 


  1. Interesting! Makes sense; would also make combat a LOT faster, not just lesser rolls, but more damage being thrown around.

  2. 0.0!

    Off the cuff on the LotFP front:
    > 2-handed weapons are going to be cleaving people. D10 becomes 1/10. Felling most fighters in 1 hit.
    > Bows and Crossbows certainly demonstrate strong tactical superiority being ranged. Even firing every other round is not a big deal if you are getting -2AC and max damage (1/6).
    > Initiative is very important now.
    > To-hit bonuses are also very important (maybe need to be limited?)

    These rules might make the most sense with the Eldritch Cock rules where all weapons do 1d8 damage but light weapons increase opponent AC bonus by 50%, while great weapons decrease AC bonus by 50%.

    1. I might tweak it if I were running LotFP, this was working on a base of 5e where it's quite difficult to outright die. Maybe for LotFP you could use Average Damage for a Hit, rather than Maximum.

    2. I dunno, I think min/max will still work. LotFP character would just die as the same faster vs. 5e as they did before. Or maybe give max HD at each level, then even 3 to 5th level fighters can trade a few hits with enemies.

    3. Ugh my typing... "LotFP characters would just die as fast vs. 5e as they did before."

  3. Wouldn't this make fighters more or less useless, as their main advantage is better to-hit rolls?

    1. No: Fighters would now do max. damage more often, rather than merely some damage more often.

    2. Yeah, I think I must have misread the proposal. I ran the numbers, this actually makes fighters slightly better.

  4. Numenera does something a little like this. There is no Glance damage, but Hit damage is static based on weapon type. Like Into The Odd, this probably does speed combat up, just sacrificing the damage roll for speed instead of the to-hit roll like ITO does.

  5. How about you don’t roll to hit but roll damage straight away like into the odd and the opponent rolls under his AC to see if it takes half damage?

  6. This is also a very good post which I really enjoyed reading. It is not every day that I have the possibility to see something like this.. dnd dice

  7. Spells max effect roll sleep drop many