What do damage rolls represent?

Rolls to hit already represent how well a character lands a blow on their target. Why are weapons so inconsistent in terms of damage from hit to hit in many TTRPGs?
What are the drawbacks of designing a system based on flat damage (perhaps derived from expected values?) + strength + degrees of success on the hit check to simulate a devastating blow?
If you see a case for the randomness of damage rolls, how would you explain them? What is a character not in control of when using the weapon to attack?

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  1. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >If you see a case for the randomness of damage rolls, how would you explain them? What is a character not in control of when using the weapon to attack?
    edge alignment, glancing blows, only inflicting flesh wounds, etc, or the opposite where they get the best possible non-critical

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I would say edge alignment is in a good swordsman's control.

  2. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    It represents how many times your mom was fricked by strangers. Reply to yourself as many times as you want, no one is interested in this basic b***h thread again.

  3. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    it's an abstraction of weapon damage to your opponents hp pool which is an abstraction of their total stamina and endurance, if you want a specific answer, call it the way the weapon hits, the weight and angle of the strike, opposed to the targets armor and ability to endure the blow.
    actually it ends up being quite an elegance, when you get to a higher level and your damage calculation including feats, magic and skills and ability fills up an entire page, you look back at the time your life depended on rolling over a 2 to finish off the random bandit that might outright kill you next turn.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Angle and weight should already be accounted for in the skill check to hit, though. That's why overshooting the TN could add damage.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Play Rolemaster then.
        Simple as.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >which is an abstraction of their total stamina and endurance
      No, it's how tough they are, how hard it is to cut their flesh and break their bones.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Ideally. The only systems for which HP operates as an abstraction suffer from such severe HP bloat that said abstraction is necessary.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          HP is only an abstraction or represents something like stamina in systems that explicitly say so (like L5R), in all others, it's your meat.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >call it the way the weapon hits, the weight and angle of the strike, opposed to the targets armor and ability to endure the blow.
      This is why I like systems with degrees of success. Like if you hit a certain number over, your strike is more impressive depending on how much higher over.

      Degrees of success plus flat weapon base damage is ideal.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        which games do this?

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Shadowrun.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >an abstraction of their total stamina and endurance
      Lie, HP is HP, it's literally hit points and nothing else, only dndrons can think otherwise.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Hm...Okay....But what about 2nd Edition D&D which allows called shots, and direct hits to limbs?

  4. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    IDK, I guess in some RPGs the hit roll is not based on STR, in others everything is too consistent so you need that extra randomness.

    In my RPG that I'm building I'm doing things the way you listed: Weapon Damage + Degrees of Success +/- other situational mods. You roll MELEEBASE+STR to attack, MB+AGI to defend, MB+INS to counter and MB+INT to maneuver.

  5. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    It's either:
    Meat points.
    Pain tolerance.
    Fatigue.
    Luck.
    Fate.
    A mix of all of the above.

  6. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Unless a system specifically says otherwise, health/HP/whatever, is meat points, it's how tough your meat is. In Star Wars movies getting shot with a blaster is fatal 99% of the time, in the RPG one shot us usually not a huge problem, because player characters are tougher.

  7. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Rolls to hit don't represent the quality of the hit, in most systems. It's a binary of you hit or miss. The damage roll afterwards is to see if it was a stab in the heart or a scratch on the arm. You answered your own question.
    Also, what system?

  8. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >What do damage rolls represent?
    Damage. Either to the body of the target or to the hit point pool.

    That was easy.

  9. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    They dont really 'represent' anything specific and I dont think it should. Damage in ttrpgs is not a precise simulation of the physical and medical implications of hitting someone in armor with a sword. Dice are being rolled to make the game interesting. If you knew 100% what happens it turns into a game of chess where you sit around for 10 minutes planing the next 10 rounds into the future in detail with all possibilities. The randomnes makes choices easier and quicker and forces the player to adapt to the unpredictable. And it also takes away the pressure from the GM to call everything and plan everything.
    As such it turns out applying hit points and damage rolls is a way people found the games to be fun and interesting. Dont think about it too much as a simulation and dont overcomplicate things.
    Compare it to a simple skill check: If you make someone climb a wall what does a target number of 14 on a d20 roll represent? Would the game be better if you accounted for a players shoes, gloves, the rock.. Maybe make 10 different rolls for each hold he had to take in the climb? It would make everyting overcomplicated and slow down the game and make it boring. Fights are a minigame within the game. The only thing they should have in common with real fighting is that equipment and skill matters, but still the outcome of a fight random and hard to predict, since lucky punches can always happen. And even when you win you can take away scars and bruises and exhaustion, which HP tries to emulate in an extremly simplified way.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Would the game be better if you accounted for a players shoes, gloves, the rock..
      Yes.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >it turns into a game of chess
      Good, this will filter out morons.

  10. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >What are the drawbacks of designing a system based on flat damage (perhaps derived from expected values?) + strength + degrees of success on the hit check to simulate a devastating blow?
    Haven't found any that personally bother me, at least, not with the way I do it.

  11. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >HP is meat points
    How? Does your character grow stronger fricking bones and flesh by leveling up like some kind of mutant?

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      It's fiction anon, the point is it doesn't have to be fully realistic.

  12. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Some people have died from the shock of a single minor bullet wound to the foot, some have taken forty bullets before their brain caught up to them, and told them they were dead. Hit points, and random damage dice serve to facilitate a degree of uncertainty in the lethality of wounds. Most systems I.E. D&D only consider a character who is out of hit points to be incapacitated, and in need of medical attention.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >D&D only consider a character who is out of hit points to be incapacitated, and in need of medical attention.
      Only if you're playing 3rd Edition or beyond. 1st and 2nd, once you reach 0 HP, you're fricking done-zo.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        In 2E, Death's Door was an optional rule used by damn near every gaming group. You died at -10 or neg con depending on the splatbooks your group had.

  13. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Talislanta 4e handles damage literally the way you want. I ve liked it so much to the point that i have considered making a basic fantasy conversion of their system. Easily my favorite d20 system out there.
    There are no drawbacks, maybe besides some gamist elements of characters knowing how much they can take, but that exists in most systems, just a difference in design philosophy.

  14. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Only gays go shirtless.
    Fun Fact:Arnold did gay porn.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      No he didn't. He posed nude for magazines, none of which were porn magazines though.

  15. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    [...]

    >posing nude for gays
    Most photographers in the modeling agency are gay, moron. Including the one's that worked for Playboy.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      That just proves my point, gaytard.

  16. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >roll to hit
    Does your attack connect without being block, dodged, or glancing off armor. If so...
    >roll to damage
    An abstracted representation of much do you harm them with that attack.

  17. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Systems where the damage is only modified by the degree of success exist and work fine. Weapon damage isn't necessary. But being able to use a degree of success depends on the dice system, so many games don't use it.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      To steelman this post, I use 1D20 with 4 degrees of success with the following distribution:
      >[ 01-04 ] "Weak" - Attack's strength is as described, roll hit location, then check for secondary effect(s) after damage resolution (usually 5-10% to succeed)
      >[ 05-10 ] "OK" - Power is increased by 10% of its base
      >[ 11-16 ] "Good" - Power is 25% higher than base, secondary effect(s) have higher chance to succeed (10-20%)
      >[ 17-20 ] "Fierce" - Power is 50% higher than base, secondary effects are even more likely (15-30%), user chooses hit location
      And when hit location is decided, the target gets a defense check with different degrees of success, depending on how many "body features" it has, and the ranges of success depend on what the body feature is (legs generally have higher avoid, arms have higher block, heads have lower critical ranges, midsections have high critical range but have the highest HP):
      >Critical - Attack's power is heavily increased and the hit feature is "staggered"
      >Direct - Attack is usually unmodified
      >Block - Power is reduced and damage will apply against feature's armor durability instead of HP (or target may choose to "parry", directing durability damage to their weapon)
      >Avoid - Power is heavily reduced
      Traits of the feature may also reduce power, but some attack types are more effective versus different feature types.

      Yeah yeah, I know, so many steps, so video games, but frick exceed-or-suck AC and anemic damage dice. My way is a little more lethal and makes you pay attention to what the enemy is made of and how best to use what you invested in to take advantage of that.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Of course, I still use weapon damage to a degree; a common formula to determine base power is:
        >[strength level of the attacking feature]
        +
        >[quality level of the weapon or armor used to attack]
        +
        >[technique level of the attack's associated art]
        with this baseline being modified by a percentage based on attack's ferocity and effectiveness of defense.

  18. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    An encounter with a high level wizard in fantasy literature:
    >My blade bit into the Limper’s shoulder above the stump of his right arm. His remaining fist came up and brushed me across the belly.
    >The air exploded out of me. I nearly passed out. I settled to the ground, heaving my guts out, only vaguely aware of my surroundings.
    >The dogs boiled over the Limper’s men, mauling them savagely. Several hit the Taken. He hammered them with his fist, each blow leaving an animal dead.
    >Goblin and One-Eye charged out, hit him with everything they had. He shed their spells like rainwater, punched One-Eye, turned on Goblin.
    >Pawnbroker’s shaft split his breastbone, stood three feet out of his back. He stood there swaying, a ragged little man in brown picking at the shaft. His whole will seemed to focus upon that. Goblin wriggled away. Inside the shed Pawn cranked the ballista back and dropped another javelin into its trough.
    >Whomp! This one ripped all the way through the Limper. It knocked him off his feet. The dogs went for his throat.
    ...
    >We hacked and slashed and chopped. The dogs snarled and bit. He would not die. Even when we ran out of energy, a spark of life remained.

    An encounter with a high level wizard in D&D:
    >my fire cantrip hit again, reducing his remaining luck
    >my sword swung past, causing minor scrapes
    >the barbarian picked him up and waded into the lava, dunking him in it, causing much exhaustion to both

  19. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I dunno ask /5eg/

  20. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Gameplay wise the randomness lets each point matter.

    With flat damage if you go from 10 damage to 12 it might not matter at all against many enemies, they still get downed in the same number of hits because they have 25 or 40 HP, etc.

    But if you deal a random amount of damage then each point has the potential to matter, even if not always.

  21. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    They represent beating the shit out of disingenuous shitposters like you.

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