Thursday, February 16, 2012

Splitting the Bonus - What if You Had to Choose Between To Hit and Damage Bonus?

I was thinking (something I've been known to do on occasions) about the strength bonus in the different OSR systems. It usually has a range from +1 to +3, and the bonus is applied to both To Hit and Damage rolls.

My thought is this - stretch the range to go from +1 to +5, but make the player decide where and how much of the bonus he is applying to each roll.

Hard to hit opponent? Apply the full bonus to the D20 to hit roll, nothing gets applied to the damage roll. Or maybe you split the bonus relatively evenly. Maybe you feel lucky with your hit rolls and want all the points applied to damage. The choice is in the player's hands.

The chart should be easy enough to do (but not on my iPad, which hates any kind of formatting).

I think it adds some options to combat (especially for fighters) without changing the balance of combat too much (I didn't do the math to prove this statement - just trusting my gut on this)

Thoughts? Suggestions? Maybe I'm insane for even thinking of such wickedness?


  1. What about missile combat? Muscle powered weapons can get the Str bonus to damage but wouldn't that tip the scales even more in favor of high str and dex?

  2. @JDJarvis - wasn't even thinking missle combat. Personally, I'd declare bows and X-Bows use the same process with Dex only, and drop strength for the equation totally.

    I'd still use strength (no dex) for thrown weapons

  3. Could slow combat, although probably not by much. I think I'd limit it to certain types of weapons instead, or a class-based feature.

    Or, to keep the bonuses as they are, have the player make a choice between one of the other, simulating an aggressive or more considered attack.

  4. I find these kinds of strategic choices tend to either slow the game or get ignored. Too much number-crunching as to which would give the higher average damage per round.

    There's enough strategy in the positioning of figures, I think. If you want a more complex combat decision game I'm not sure D&D's the best answer.

  5. I put some comments over at G+. I like the idea and the numbers aren't overly difficult to compute or power-gamey. I like the variability. But that's just me.

  6. @Roger GS - if my players could figure out THAC0 and negative ACs, this shouldnt be a challenge for them. If they don't like it, they can set a default split.

    @George - you broke the numbers down pretty well over there. Thank you :)


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