Dragonslayer Adventures is an RPG for online play geared towards fantasy. The focus has been rather item focused with it’s character packages and optional inventory system (though if I use it in every game now, I guess it’s not that optional for me…).
I’ve made some changes. It’s a living document, after all.
Before, Dragonslayer Adventures had this as its optional combat rules:
Hits and Healing. Most attacks deal 1 hit with stronger attacks dealing more. Each time a PC or NPC takes one or more hits, one player rolls 1d6. If the roll is above their current hits, they stay in the fight. Otherwise, they are Taken Out. Armor prevents being Taken Out, but is then damaged and must be repaired or replaced before being used again. Stronger NPCs roll 2d6 instead and take the higher die. Weaker NPCs roll 2d6 instead and take the lower die. When resting, each PC removes 2 hits and one player makes an Encounter Roll.
Here’s my problem: you get hit, you make a roll. The automatic doesn’t feels so great, it feels reactionary.
Also rolling more than one die for stronger and weaker opponents is silly. Any time something is uncertain, I want to roll 1d6, just once.
I like Troika and Maze Knights’ system for combat. Instead of having attacks be different for each side (I attack on my turn, you attack on yours), both sides roll at the same time. Higher deals damage to the other. On a tie, both deal damage. Cool, except that online doesn’t do well for rolling at the same time. It’s basically two rolls and then we’re back to square one.
Let’s make a contested combat roll JUST ONE ROLL.
Here we go:
Hits and Healing. PCs are taken out after three hits. When in melee, one player rolls 1d6. If the PC succeeds, they deal one or more hits to their opponent. If something bad happens, the PC removes one or more hits. When a PC makes a ranged attack, one player rolls 1d6. If the PC succeeds, their opponent removes one or more hits. If something bad happens, the PC loses ammo.
Is the opponent stronger? Raise the number it takes for the PC to succeed. Do the opposite if they’re weaker. Done and done.
This does mean adding an ammo system. This is item-based with each ranged weapon now coming with 3 ammo, but not LITERALLY three ammo. It’s only spent when you miss, very much like Dungeon World’s Volley move. Made changes to each item in the character packages accordingly…
What about armor? Can we just add more hits to a PC? Eh. That can feel odd. An example to illustrate: A fighter with leather armor can take four hits before being taken out. Without the leather armor to give him an additional hit, he’d be down to three hits. But now imagine he’s already taken three hits. What happens if he takes off the armor? CAN he even take off the armor? Is it glued to him?
Rules-imposed oddities on reality are icky.
Let’s try something more grounded in items in the physical world.
Armor prevents hits, but is then damaged and must be repaired or replaced before being used again.
Easy. Just write “damaged” next to your armor. Done. It’s “Shields Shall Be Splintered.”
How many hits does armor absorb in the exchange that destroys the armor? Up to you, depends on the armor.
Now, how to heal? Let’s make that item-based too:
To heal, a PC must consume food or drink. Each removes one hit.
I’ve played too much Breath of the Wild, methinks. But if you think I’m going to let players choke down food in the middle of a battle without consequence, you’ve got another thing coming.
It also lends itself to more scavenging and odd purchases. In the inventory shown above, you’ll notice things like “cooked clam muscle” and “cooked squid man.” I love stuff like that. Dungeon Meshi all over the place, please.