D&D 5E 1 Damage Die

ElPsyCongroo

Explorer
Actually pulled this idea from a reply to this reddit thread

So in this instance HP doesn't get much higher than at start but we also collapse/convert damage into a simple format of 1 Die = 1 Damage i.e. 1d4 = 1, 1d6 = 1, 1d8 = 1, 1d10 = 1 and d12 = 2

"1 damage per die of the effect (d12 being the special case of 2 damage). So a great sword would deal 2 damage on a hit (and would keep the bonus damages from magic. a +2 great sword deals 4 damage). And add 1 damage per 2 modifier, rounded up (2 = +1 dmg, 5 = +3 damage). So, a typical fighter with 16 str, 14 con and a great sword, would have 12 hp, and deal 4 damage per hit. Seems fair that 3 great sword hits would kill a fighter."

I may also play with the idea of 1 damage per d4 as it is the smallest dice value.
 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
Wait, it was supposed to be max hp at 1st level x 4, so the first-level fighter in your example would actually have 42 hp, not 12. So if you're using the x4 method, then reducing the damage to such a small amount would make combat last nearly as long as it currently does.

If you keep it as max hp at level one, I'd still have weapons do a bit more damage. maybe d4 and d6 do 1 point, d8 and d10 damage do 2 points, and d12 and 2d6 do 3 or 4 points. Because as you have it, it kind of makes the weapons boring. You may want to look at the way Cypher system does it. Light weapons do 2 damage but get +1 to hit, medium weapons do 4, and heavy weapons do 6 damage but always need two hands.

I assume that this would also affect magic and sneak attacks, and a fireball would do 8 damage at base.

I'm kind of sad that the thread was so old because I can't reply to the guy who says it would one-shot wizards at higher level and say "have fewer toe-to-toe combats with this method."
 

dave2008

Legend
I think a simpler approach would be go back to the 1e days and " soft cap" hit points at a particular level. We plan to do this in our next campaign. We plan to cap HP at 10th lvl. So you gain HP normally until lvl 10 and then after that you gain fixed HP based on your HD:
d6 = 1 HP/lvl
d8 = 2 HP/lvl
d10 = 3 HP/lvl
d12 = 4 HP/lvl

So a 20th lvl fighter would have a around 140 HP instead of 220 HP.

Depending on how deadly you want higher CR monsters, you could start the soft cap at a lower or higher level.

Maybe cap it a 5th, then a 20th level fighter would have around 100 HP which seems like a good number. Makes the 91 HP ancient red dragon breath weapon more frightening!
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
This reminds me of a simple "hits to kill" (HTK) system I did when I first started playing 5E to make the math easier for one of my players. The idea was you had your level in HTK plus your CON modifier (martials added double CON mod). Every die of damage caused 1 HTK, critical hits caused an extra HTK.

So, if you were an 8th level Fighter with CON 16, you had 14 HTK (8 level + 3 CON x2). If a fire giant hit you, it caused 6 HTK (since it does 6d6 weapon damage).

The player started using a calculator, so I dropped the idea. :)
 

So what you are saying is to rebalance every thing that deals damage or cures hit points. So weapons, spells, ... everything?
For the benefit of making combat shorter, more deadly and swingy?

Or am I missing something?
 

ElPsyCongroo

Explorer
So what you are saying is to rebalance every thing that deals damage or cures hit points. So weapons, spells, ... everything?
For the benefit of making combat shorter, more deadly and swingy?

Or am I missing something?
Essentially. I like the idea of permanent peril no matter the opponent. It makes the world more interesting and the struggles more compelling. Heroic by action not by nature, is a sentiment that I'd like to run a game with. Which does mean making the game more lethal and swingy, but it swings both ways so to speak.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Essentially. I like the idea of permanent peril no matter the opponent.
While I wouldn't go so far as to say "any opponent", I agree it is nice if there is a chance of death from every attack, even if the chance is infinitesimal. This is why we do critical damage, that way every attack has the potential for massive damage and potentially lethal.

Heroic by action not by nature, is a sentiment that I'd like to run a game with.
This, so much this! It is one of the things I despise about 5E and D&D in general so much--the mind-set that PCs are heroes just because they are PCs.
 

ElPsyCongroo

Explorer
While I wouldn't go so far as to say "any opponent", I agree it is nice if there is a chance of death from every attack, even if the chance is infinitesimal. This is why we do critical damage, that way every attack has the potential for massive damage and potentially lethal.


This, so much this! It is one of the things I despise about 5E and D&D in general so much--the mind-set that PCs are heroes just because they are PCs.
Any opponent might be an exaggeration on my part there would be a clear difference in lethality between a Kobold slinging stones and a Marilith hacking into the party like a whirling dervish.

Nontheless you understand my point of view.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Any opponent might be an exaggeration on my part there would be a clear difference in lethality between a Kobold slinging stones and a Marilith hacking into the party like a whirling dervish.

Nontheless you understand my point of view.
Totally. Of course, in my system a kobold slinging a stone could potentially kill the Tarrasque... of course, I'd hate to think about the odds LOL!

Ok, well maybe not since the Tarrasque is immune to nonmagical weapons... but a magic stone sling stone would do it. :D
 

Essentially. I like the idea of permanent peril no matter the opponent. It makes the world more interesting and the struggles more compelling. Heroic by action not by nature, is a sentiment that I'd like to run a game with. Which does mean making the game more lethal and swingy, but it swings both ways so to speak.
I've found that just by having critical damage be normal plus max (instead of roll twice) and by using re-roll initiative each turn and then putting it with my using appropriate encounters, lethality is never far off. A couple of bad rolls, a couple of bad decisions from the party and they know someone, or the whole party, may die.

I guess I see and use enough RAW dials plus those two 'house rules' to achieve the feel you are looking for, with a lot less work.
 

Horwath

Hero
have weapons deal fixed base damage plus their respective ability modifier.

from 0 for unarmed to lets say 5 for great axe/sword.

you need to hit AC with you attack roll to deal base damage, every point over it deals 1 extra damage.

that way you can get rid of -5/+10 part of the feats and all crit mechanics. just, the higher you roll, the higher you "crit".
 

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