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The procedure I use is that the GM offers a "deal" to the players, and once they accept, we can end the combat. The GM of course tries the get the players to accept some attrition in exchange for winning the fight, while the players might ask for easier terms if they feel that the fight favours their side. If no agreement is reached, the combat continues until it resolves in the ordinary way.
there would basically never be a need for cutting combat short with a deal.
It may seem like it's more random, but it's not, really: it's just that the two rolls (HP and damage) are happening at two different moments in time rather than simultaneously.
The only difference I can see is that, under the normal rules, low-HP characters have a chance to know in advance that they are "weak", and therefore try to avoid danger.
Why even bother with HP at all?-Everything does 1d6 damage. -Level 1 Magic Users die (or Save Vs Death/Roll on Wounds table) on damage of 4 or greater, thieves/clerics on 5+ and fighters on 6+. -Wearing armour gives you an Armour Save before death rolls (geez, this is getting Warhammer pretty fast).-Higher levels increases the Damage Save score above 6 at some point. Powerful attacks deal 2d6 damage. There you go. I think I could probably run a dungeon crawl with those rules. Beermat Character Sheets for playing at pubs.
What is the reason so many OSR-people have for keeping damage to always/nearly always 1d6? Coming from 3rd Ed as I am, it's requiring some adjustment in my thinking. I get that there is certain verisimilitude to it, in that a dagger can kill someone just as dead as big two-handed sword. Is it just for simplicity?
Oh, sure. The superhero/glass-jaw divide is indisputably wonky - if we change the existing level-HD-HP architecture in a way that bell curves the chances of survival, that puts a different spin on things. But if we don't, extended blind HD rolls haven't helped balance the experience; they've just made it possible for any character to spontaneously become a glass-jaw, a condition that's generally terminal at low levels. It'd just make Mike and Eero both roll up new characters more often, instead of only Eero. (I guess that's balance? But it feels like chaos.)
What is the reason so many OSR-people have for keeping damage to always/nearly always 1d6? Coming from 3rd Ed as I am, it's requiring some adjustment in my thinking. I get that there is certain verisimilitude to it, in that a dagger can kill someone just as dead as big two-handed sword. Is it just for simplicity?The conundrum I have in particular is that one of my players has kitted himself out with a heavy crossbow - we were going off the LotFP equipment lists as a starting point. Now as far as I can tell in LotFP (and I was reading fast to make rulings mid-session so I may have misunderstood) there is no mechanical difference between light and heavy crossbows other than range penalties. Heavy crossbows can fire further more accurately.
I've always been fond of this kind of rule for D&D-esque game design. However, you have a bit of problem when a series of lucky rolls can have your 1st-level Fighter surviving 12 blows from a frightening monster, with no reduction in future chances of death. I mean, it's not necessarily a *problem*, but it might feel a bit funny that this same dude can go take *another* arrow in the chest with only a 1-in-6 chance of snuffing it.
(Talisman is an RPG, secretly)
Other ways to approach this I've seen in the OSR include:1. Variable damage by class....2. Considering weapon choice a tactical trifecta: do you maximize defense, offense, or damage? I've seen different ways of handling this, but the goal is to make the three options mechanically balanced, so that one option isn't always better than the others...
* How did you decide to get into this "Primordial D&D" business? What led to this starting up? Was it sparked by an interest in the OSR, or something else (perhaps your involvement with LotFP, and/or publishing modules)?
* Why did you decide to play D&D instead of, say, Tunnels&Trolls?
* Did you borrow or import any aspects of Tunnels&Trolls for your own D&D game? Which ones, and why?
If you have any thoughts on how D&D and T&T might be complementary or opposed to each other in principle or agenda, I'd love to hear about that. Are they near-cousins, or different species?
Do you remember what your own expectations and/or assumptions going into that first session were?
Fighters - professional fighters - are tough and their stats should prove it. The "Commoner" class (with a random medieval career) should be officially risen into the ranks of OSR classes (MU, Cleric, Elf, etc) and the Fighter should require a STR score of 14 or more as a specialist class.
Mike,Are you aware that there are OSR folks who play D&D with just d6s and a d20? For instance, in early versions of D&D all hit dice were d6s. I like this reinterpretation of it here: Rationalized Hit Dice
However, I'm not sure how it would be best handled: is the idea that you rolled bad stats, so you're punished by a "bad" character class, or would the "Commoner" have some other benefits to balance the lack of fighting ability/magic ability/whatever else?How would the Commoner work in play? The D&D rules make this kind of thing difficult: for instance, it would be tempting to say something like, "The Commoner's advantage is that he levels up faster", but then you get this weird situation where the Commoner might end up having more hit points than a Fighter with the same amount of experience (for example) - it's not easy to balance that.
Eero, did you experiment with any other non-standard D&D classes in an OSR context? (I know that in your original D&D game class was effectively a "freeform" trait, make up your own, but did you gradually gravitate to something more like standard D&D classes, or stick with that concept?)
Eero, would you run some T&T for us sometime? I'm super interested in variants.