Thursday, April 12, 2012

Quick Idea for Houserule

So this just popped into my head during class, and I thought I'd jot this down. I was thinking (again) of Star Wars SAGA, although this can be adapted to any RPG. It's a modification to the initiative system.

Basically, whenever you roll for damage and exceed the target's damage threshold, apply your margin of excess as a bonus to your next initiative roll. Initiative would be rolled at the beginning of every round. The idea is to give combat the feel of "shock and awe" that's typical of a fight with big explosives. Once a side gets the upper hand they usually keep it. There needs to be a counter-system, like the other side using a Force Point to negate the bonus the other side gets. Dunno.

Thoughts? Tweaks?


  1. It would work as intended, I think.

    I'm doubting the players would appreciate being on the receiving end of shock and awe, though. Given that damage rolls in SAGA, as I recall, are very random (3d6+x at level 1), it's a punishment not for poor tactics but for bad luck. And if you've already taken a damage threshold hit, you've already received your punishment.

    That said, if you wanted combat where when things aren't going your way, you should withdraw and try again later, this would be awesome.

    But my players never run. They're like Spartans. Do yours?

  2. My current DnD players know to run when things start looking desperate. I haven't pulled any punches with them, and with the Monster Damage Values table I've doctored up they're pretty afraid of being hit (its damage on the normal scale is slightly higher than MM3's, and it's special damage is something to be afraid of). My highschool friends would never run from a fight. I've learned that you can't hold back if you want the combat to feel like something they may need to get out of.

    In other words, kill players when they mess up. Up the damage or the frequency of it, and find other things to lower their defenses and tired them out. If they're stupid they die, and you can just shrug and tell them the truth: they were idiots.

    Well, this wouldn't be the only part of the system. You'd have something in place to cancel the initiative bonus as stated, and then you could probably give the option to let players run away, using the bonus that the enemies have as their bonus to go first so they can get the hell out of there.