Alright, we need some derived stats and I want to keep rolls minimised. Attacks then, should be against set target numbers, as much as possible:
- Combat Defence: Against melee or ranged attacks a character has a defence of (10 + Dodge + Dex Bonus + Armour Rating*).
- Mental Defence: (10 + Willpower + Wisdom Bonus)
- Physical Defence: (10 + Toughness + Constitution Bonus)
What else do we need?
Hit Points: Constitution+ Strength.
A relatively flat hit-point total keeps combat quick, deadly and high-stakes. Warriors who want to be really, really tough can invest their level bonuses and up their Toughness skill if they want to be tanks.
One thing I do actually like from 4e is ‘Bloodied’. I’d make it a ‘death-step’ rather than a ‘death-spiral’ though. Half hit points and your actions are penalised by your wounds, but some special effects could also be triggered or compensated for related to that. Instinct says a -5 penalty.
Mana: Wisdom + Intelligence
Yes, Mana. Vancian magic can fuck right off as far as I’m concerned. I’ve got some ideas about magic that’ll come later but this measures people’s magical potential and their capacity to put ‘oomph’ into manipulating reality.
So going into combat in a more detailed fashion then…
Del swings his sword at an Orc, nothing fancy for the purposes of this example. The Orc has a Defence of 15 (10 + 2 dodge + 1 Dex bonus +2 leather armour.)
Del has an attack score of +8 (+2 Dex bonus +5 one-handed weapons, +1 ‘Flashing Blade’)
Del rolls an 11 for his attack, adds 8 to gain a total of 19, which beats 15 by 4. The Orc takes 4 hit points of damage.
The Orc can take 24 hit points of damage and is Bloodied after taking 12. He’s only down 4, a non-trivial wound, but not a terrible one.
If Del had rolled a 20, for a highest possible total of 28, he would have done 13 damage, enough to Bloody the Orc and cripple its capabilities.
Weapons in this system would have a maximum damage stat, roughly equivalent to their old d20 damage values (Max roll x Crit multiplier) and with a character’s strength bonus added on top. This means any attack is capable of scoring from 1 damage to a possible maximum.
A crit (20) would always hit and cause at least 1 damage. Even if it never would otherwise. A ‘lucky blow’.
A couple of weapon examples:
Dagger: +1 to hit, Max damage 8
Mace: Max damage 12
Club: -1 to hit, Max damage 12
Heavy Crossbow: +1 to hit, Max damage 20
Longsword: Max damage 16
Longbow: Max damage 24
*Heavy armours would have seemingly contradicting effects in that their value may outstrip their actual defence bonus. This is to balance out exhaustion/weight with protective value. Against some attacks the value would directly reduce damage and dodging wouldn’t come into it. Equally ‘touch’ equivalent attacks would not necessarily be reduced by the armour’s protection value.