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Fast Damage Calculation


Talon
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I'm writing a Fantasy Hero game for a convention, which means that run time is a consideration. I want to use the mechanics that provide the right feel but which don't slow the game down. It is likely that some players will be unfamiliar with the Hero System so everything needs to be as streamlined as possible.

 

In my experience, the Hit Location table provides an excellent mathematical distribution of STUN damage, but the time required is significant. An extra 3d6 roll, refer to a chart, then go back to the damage roll and multiply. It's not hard, but in a four hour con game with 6+ players it will add a noticeable amount of time. On the flip side, the standard 1-3 multiplier is simple but too low - without the possibility for higher STUN results, smaller fantasy weapons are not worth using. (For the old-school out there, d6-1 gets the higher STUN results but way too often). 

 

I have some crazy ideas using custom d6, but I'm wondering if other people have any ideas.

 

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The chart is reasonably easy to memorize, and I recommend doing that.  There are only 4 results: x½, x1, x1½, and x2 stun in the body column, so you just need to remember what roll gives you what.  Similarly, there are only 16 outcomes, and in terms of stun multiplier only 7 distinct results: head, arms/hands, shoulder/chest, stomach, thighs, vitals, legs/feet.  Its not too tough to remember 

4: head/x2

12: stomach/x1½

etc

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You could split the difference and go with 1d3+1. It's upper limit isn't as high as 5th's and it's distribution averages lower than 5th's but still higher than 6th's. 

 

You could also super simplify and say that all Killing damage has it's stun maxed out (thus always killing x3). There is no stun gamble but for players not used to the system, they don't know what they're missing and it makes the prospect of a good killing attack extra sweet with no bitter sweet 1s on the multiplier. 

 

For the sake of speed the second is the best and the former is best for the gamble but not ease. A third option to split yet another set of hairs and to give them a revised chart and instruct them to roll one off color Hit/Stun die. On a Six, x3; on a five, x2; on a four, three, or two, x1; and on a one, x1/2 or any combination thereof. Rolling at the same time with a simple index card should help speed things up while keeping the stun gamble. 

 

La Rose. 

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2 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

The chart is reasonably easy to memorize, and I recommend doing that.  There are only 4 results: x½, x1, x1½, and x2 stun in the body column, so you just need to remember what roll gives you what.  Similarly, there are only 16 outcomes, and in terms of stun multiplier only 7 distinct results: head, arms/hands, shoulder/chest, stomach, thighs, vitals, legs/feet.  Its not too tough to remember 

4: head/x2

12: stomach/x1½

etc

 

You aren't wrong. But memorizing the chart in the quiet of your home is a lot different than accurately remembering the chart during your tenth hour at a convention. :)

 

Quote

On the flip side, the standard 1-3 multiplier is simple but too low - without the possibility for higher STUN results, smaller fantasy weapons are not worth using. (For the old-school out there, d6-1 gets the higher STUN results but way too often). 

 

I've never done anything other than old school in FH.

 

Is it possible to do the bigger weapons with the standard 1-3 multiplier but have the smaller weapons do the d6-1 multiplier?

 

Would that give the chance for the smaller weapons to get the higher STUN results often enough to make them competitive but not make the bigger weapons way over-powered in comparison?

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57 minutes ago, 薔薇語 said:

You could split the difference and go with 1d3+1. It's upper limit isn't as high as 5th's and it's distribution averages lower than 5th's but still higher than 6th's. 

 

d3+1 has a separate issue, which is that the average of 3 means KAs do the same STUN as normal attacks, which makes normal attacks strictly worse (assuming you don't mind killing opponents). 

 

My design goal, which the hit location table realizes, is that normal attacks should kill less and do more STUN on average, while KAs kill more and do less STUN on average but with a flatter distribution. 

 

Take a reasonably armored character: 6 PD, 6 DEF armor, 15 CON, facing a dagger armored opponent (1d6). No BODY is going to be done. A x3 multiplier means no more than 6 STUN and no chance of being Stunned. A x4 multiplier means up to 12 STUN and no chance of being Stunned. A x5 modifier means up to 18 STUN and a small chance of being stunned. If x5 happens too often that's a problem, but if it's once in a while then it gives them something to worry about. In my experience (which is mostly a while ago), it's good to have that concern.

 

 

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13 hours ago, IndianaJoe3 said:

I'd avoid using Hit Locations entirely. Low damage rolls are limb hits, high rolls hit the head or torso. Low stun multipliers that do BODY anyway slip through a chink in the armor, high multipliers that do little BODY are square hits that hit the armor solid. 

 

True, and I may not use the hit location rules themselves (except for called shots which I find thematic). But my real question is how to do the STUN multiplier. d6-1 and 1-3 are too flat. 

I'm probably going to be making the case for whipping up some custom dice. d(0,0,1,1,1,2) + 1d6 BODY + 1 is pretty good IMO.

 

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