[Fast HERO] Simplified damage

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

As the HERO rulebook notes, adding damage from a high-DC attack can slow
down the game. The fast-play tip recommends using average damage instead
of rolling the dice, perhaps with extra rules to vary damage if it seems
to predictable. Here's an alternative that keeps some of the randomness
of the core system while still speeding up play.

Mechanics:

If an attack inflicts more than 3 dice of damage, only roll the first
three dice. Any DCs beyond that inflict simplified damage. For normal
attacks, add 1 BODY and 3 STUN for each DC above 3. Killing attacks add
1 BODY for each DC above 9.

Likewise, only roll the first knockback die. Every die beyond the first
subtracts 3 inches from the knockback distance.

Optionally, you can roll all the damage on some attacks. I recommend
using the standard rules when you roll a natural 3 on the attack and
when you just barely hit the target. (For example, OCV 5 versus DCV 5
hits on 11 or less. Roll full damage if you roll 3 or 11 on the attack.)

Habits:

Roll the damage dice, knockback dice, and the STUN multiplier for
killing damage all at the same time, using three different dice colors.

Rationale:

For most attacks, you can use the same three dice for attack rolls and
damage rolls. At most, you'll need to pick up one extra die for
knockback and one for killing-attack STUN. This saves time counting out
dice and adding up totals. Furthermore, HERO players should already be
skilled at adding 3d6 quickly.

The optional "3 or graze" rule allows the full range of damage, but
limits how often you roll a fistful of dice. Overall, you should end up
rolling full damage about once every turn or two -- often enough to
notice it, but not so much that it slows down the game. Also, players
seem to enjoy mechanics that give you "extra dice" for special rolls
(like in many critical hit systems).
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
16 answers Last reply
More about fast hero simplified damage
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    The Standard Effects Limitation takes care of this. Not the same way, but
    similarly. simply put, every die rolled for damage is considered to have
    rolled a 3. It makes the numbers so much easier to deal with when large
    amounts of dice are concerned.

    Of course, I've also gotten my hands on several sets of the Hero Dice. They
    come marked 1 through 6 with a number of pips equal to the body.

    Captain Geek
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    Detryxtyr wrote:
    > The Standard Effects Limitation takes care of this. Not the same way,
    > but similarly. simply put, every die rolled for damage is considered
    > to have rolled a 3. It makes the numbers so much easier to deal with
    > when large amounts of dice are concerned.

    I'm familiar with the standard effect rule (which is actually described
    as a +0 advantage, not a limitation). However, I don't think it goes far
    enough. My proposal applies the rule to /all/ damage rolls, except for
    three dice. That way, damage is still somewhat random, but there's no
    need to hunt for or set aside large numbers of dice. Instead, you can
    use the same three dice for attacks and damage.
    --
    Bradd W. Szonye
    http://www.szonye.com/bradd
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
    >
    > Roll the damage dice, knockback dice, and the STUN multiplier for
    > killing damage all at the same time, using three different dice colors.

    I've had players who do this, not just in Hero but in other games. I find
    that in practice the time spent hunting around the table for the right
    colours to roll then carefully separating them into groups after rolling is
    always slower than just picking up some dice and rolling them three times.


    --
    David Meadows
    "Ohhh-kayyy... Anyone got any kind of non-Zen plan?"
    --Sara, Heroes #21
    Heroes: the comic book www.heroes.force9.co.uk/scripts
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
    >> Roll the damage dice, knockback dice, and the STUN multiplier for
    >> killing damage all at the same time, using three different dice
    >> colors.

    David Meadows wrote:
    > I've had players who do this, not just in Hero but in other games. I
    > find that in practice the time spent hunting around the table for the
    > right colours to roll then carefully separating them into groups after
    > rolling is always slower than just picking up some dice and rolling
    > them three times.

    Yeah, I've seen that too. That's why my proposal also limits the number
    of dice rolled: 3d6 for damage, 1d6 for knockback, and 1d6 for killing
    STUN. (All other dice you'd normally roll are converted to the standard
    effect rule; e.g., 9d6 becomes 3d6+18.) The player can just pick up the
    three attack dice to roll damage, plus an extra die or two for knockback
    and STUN.
    --
    Bradd W. Szonye
    http://www.szonye.com/bradd
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    Oh no! It's Bradd W. Szonye!
    > (All other dice you'd normally roll are converted to the standard
    > effect rule; e.g., 9d6 becomes 3d6+18.)

    I don't know the HERO system so it's possible there's something system-
    specific I'm missing here, but shouldn't that be 3d6 + 21?
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On Wed, 01 Dec 2004 08:47:39 GMT, Jeff Heikkinen <no.way@jose.org>
    wrote:

    >Oh no! It's Bradd W. Szonye!
    >> (All other dice you'd normally roll are converted to the standard
    >> effect rule; e.g., 9d6 becomes 3d6+18.)

    >I don't know the HERO system so it's possible there's something system-
    >specific I'm missing here, but shouldn't that be 3d6 + 21?

    It's a HERO-specific thing. The "Standard Effect Rule" gives you 3,
    not the expected value of 3.5 (i.e. the average of values you can roll
    on a d6). They think that the disadvantage of a lower average total
    is offset by knowing ahead of time exactly what you will get (and
    especially, never getting a low roll).

    It's quite reasonable if you are dealing with lots of normal NPCs,
    trying to do mind reading or mind control or illusions or various
    other things and knowing that you are trying to get a multiple of 10
    for your various effects. 7d6 with standard effects will give you 21,
    meaning for a "straight 10s NPC" you will =always= get "their EGO/INT
    +10). If you rolled 7d6 you would =average= 24.5, but you would still
    =fail= to reach 20 every now and then.

    [Since they've now gone to calling the typical "man in the street" as
    having "straight 8 stats", 6d6 with Standard Effects will now get you
    your "Stat + 10" effect exactly. Player characters still start with
    "straight 10s" because they are considered exceptional even when they
    start.]
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    Harold Groot wrote:

    > [Since they've now gone to calling the typical "man in the street" as
    > having "straight 8 stats", 6d6 with Standard Effects will now get you
    > your "Stat + 10" effect exactly. Player characters still start with
    > "straight 10s" because they are considered exceptional even when they
    > start.]

    Champions gave the standard "man in the street" straight-8 stats as far back
    as second edition, which is the first one I ever saw...

    --
    ZZzz |\ _,,,---,,_ Travis S. Casey <efindel@earthlink.net>
    /,`.-'`' -. ;-;;,_ No one agrees with me. Not even me.
    |,4- ) )-,_..;\ ( `'-'
    '---''(_/--' `-'\_)
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    Harold Groot wrote:
    >
    > It's a HERO-specific thing. The "Standard Effect Rule" gives you 3,
    > not the expected value of 3.5 (i.e. the average of values you can
    > roll on a d6). They think that the disadvantage of a lower average
    > total is offset by knowing ahead of time exactly what you will get
    > (and especially, never getting a low roll).

    But with a "standard effect roll", there may be characters you can't
    stun (or even damage) that you would be able to stun/damage with an
    average roll. Even with a fixed 3.5 damage per die, you will do less
    average damage through armor than with a random roll. This may not be
    intuitive, so here is an example: 4d6 (average 14) vs. 10 armor.

    Always using average: 4 damage always.

    Rolling damage: 206 of 1296 results are 10 or less, meaning 0 damage
    (since you can't do negative damage even if rolling less than armor value).
    The remaining 1090 results give an average of 15.1 damage (5.1 after
    armor subtraction).
    The overall average is thus (206*0+1090*5.1)/1296= 4.3 damage (7.5% more
    than if using average).

    The effect is even more pronounced for higher armor values. If armor is
    higher than average damage, you can never do damage with average-effect
    attacks, whereas you would do *some* damage every 2 or 3 attacks if
    rolling damage. For similar reasons, killing damage generally does more
    average STUN through armor than a normal attack of the same DC.

    If I was to use a "standard effect damage" option, I would use 10 per
    3d6, this being a nice round number. But characters who choose this
    would tend to be screwed, so it is an option I would probably reserve
    for minor NPCs (whose attacks I would buy as multiples of 3d6).

    - Klaus
  9. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On Wed, 01 Dec 2004 22:21:53 +0100,
    =?ISO-8859-1?Q?=22Klaus_=C6=2E_Mogensen=22?=
    <klaudiusNOSPAM@get2net.dk> wrote:

    >The effect is even more pronounced for higher armor values. If armor is
    >higher than average damage, you can never do damage with average-effect
    >attacks, whereas you would do *some* damage every 2 or 3 attacks if
    >rolling damage. For similar reasons, killing damage generally does more
    >average STUN through armor than a normal attack of the same DC.

    That's generally why I have mostly seen this used for attacks where
    there is seldom any armor, i.e. mental attacks, especially at normals.
    Lots of normals have 8 INT, PRE and/or EGO. In low-powered Supers
    campaigns, you'll still see a fair number of 10s and 11s on Heroes
    (raising EGO to 11 means raising your ECV to 4, so even people with no
    mental powers often buy one point) and no mental defenses. So a 7d6
    trying to get Stat+10 effects tends to show up in low powered games.
    It's very good for villians - results that are dependable using
    innocent bystanders and so on.

    It's also good for a penetrating attack where you really, really want
    to be able to reliably get a single point of body damage through. In
    a Fantasy Hero game (usually low powered, usually with magic quite
    cumbersome to cast) you might find a 1d6 Killing Standard Effect
    Penetrating attack that is especially good at disrupting enemy
    spellcasting.
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    >>>>[Personally, I have always used the "average damage" rule when an
    attack isnt very important, or its so easy to harm the bad guy that
    its not worth the time to roll.... and then used full rolls when the
    attacks are more critical....

    This both speeds up, and keeps the flexibility of a characters
    atacks.]<<<<

    The Smiling Bandit (Strikes Again!/Ha:Ha:Ha)
  11. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On Thu, 25 Nov 2004 00:08:27 GMT, "Bradd W. Szonye"
    <bradd+news@szonye.com> wrote:

    When I want to use standard damge, I use 3.5 per dice--I've never
    agreed with penalizing the players with using 3 as the average. It
    works against them just as much, so no problem, rounding up for odd
    dice in the Players favor, per the Champions tradition. Most killing
    attacks are so small indice that it doesn't really matter. Just roll
    the hit dice, damage dice, stun mult and KB dice at the same time.

    For normal attacks, if the attack isn't especially 'important'--ie,
    just against an agent or run of the mill blast, why even roll KB dice?
    just average them out at 3.5 each.
    incrdbil
  12. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    incrdbil wrote:

    > For normal attacks, if the attack isn't especially 'important'--ie,
    > just against an agent or run of the mill blast, why even roll KB dice?
    > just average them out at 3.5 each.

    In our campaign, we substituted the KB dice for fixed values of 5 (the
    campaign was a bit high-powered, and we didn't want people to go flying
    every time they were hit).

    - Klaus
  13. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    On Sun, 05 Dec 2004 13:26:13 +0100,
    =?ISO-8859-1?Q?=22Klaus_=C6=2E_Mogensen=22?=
    <klaudiusNOSPAM@get2net.dk> wrote:

    >In our campaign, we substituted the KB dice for fixed values of 5 (the
    >campaign was a bit high-powered, and we didn't want people to go flying
    >every time they were hit).
    >
    >- Klaus

    Sounds plausible. In fact, considering how annoying KB can be
    (enought to move stufff, but not enough to make a difference), maybe
    you could just le players say they are not trying for KB, and use a
    modified knockdown--use a value of 5 per KB dice above, if any KB is
    left, then just knock the target over.

    incrdbil
  14. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    "Bradd W. Szonye" <bradd+news@szonye.com> wrote in
    news:slrncqa8jq.6br.bradd+news@szonye.com:

    > As the HERO rulebook notes, adding damage from a high-DC attack can slow
    > down the game. The fast-play tip recommends using average damage instead
    > of rolling the dice, perhaps with extra rules to vary damage if it seems
    > to predictable. Here's an alternative that keeps some of the randomness
    > of the core system while still speeding up play.
    >
    > Mechanics:
    >
    > If an attack inflicts more than 3 dice of damage, only roll the first
    > three dice. Any DCs beyond that inflict simplified damage. For normal
    > attacks, add 1 BODY and 3 STUN for each DC above 3. Killing attacks add
    > 1 BODY for each DC above 9.
    >
    > Likewise, only roll the first knockback die. Every die beyond the first
    > subtracts 3 inches from the knockback distance.
    >
    <snip>

    Or even faster:
    Use the value rolled on the attack dice as the first 3 dice of damage, and
    then 4 STUN for each DC above three.

    This means the attack dice become 'roll as high as possible, but under X' a
    la blackjack, instead of just 'roll under X'

    Since the successful attacks will have lowwer than average scores, the stun
    per DC level of the other dice is increased to make up for it.

    This doesn't quite work at higher DCs as the extra damage more than
    counters the low dice roll, but it's pretty close and it saves the player
    from having to roll twice.

    Example: A player with a 7d6 attack rolls the attack dice, and on success
    adds 4*4 = 16 stun to the number rolled on the attack dice to determine
    damage.


    JSwing
  15. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    >>>>[ Isnt this covered in the Knockdown rules? (A Knockback Variant)
    Or didn't they take Knockdown over to the latest edition?]<<<<
    The Smiling Bandit (Strikes Again!/Ha:Ha:Ha)
  16. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.super-heroes (More info?)

    "JSwing" <JSwing@no.spam.please> wrote in message
    news:Xns95B9BD7BC98CthreeMusketeers@216.168.3.50...

    > <snip>
    >
    > Or even faster:
    > Use the value rolled on the attack dice as the first 3 dice of damage, and
    > then 4 STUN for each DC above three.


    Or even faster than that- instead of rolling Nd6, roll 1d6 and multiply it
    by N. You could use the middle die of the attack roll if you wanted to
    reduce additional rolling and reintroduce a bell curve to the results.
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