D&D General 5e but fewer rules and lower HP totals?

overgeeked

B/X Known World
You could also do combat as a group skill check with attack rolls and/or spells. On an individual failure that PC takes so many dice of damage, on a natural 1 they're knocked out and maybe start making death saves. A group failure everyone takes so many dice of damage and loses so many resources. That would sure speed things up. You're removing all those pointless filler combats. Hmm. I like it. I'll have to work on that some.
 

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Sure... it's evolved over years from "popcorn clustered" to a more mutable system or set of systems...

Dynamic Initiative
Dynamic initiative acknowledges that there are degrees of combat scenes, and they are served by different approaches to initiative.

Snap Scenes: When there’s just a few monsters of the same type, like a quick guard scene, it can be resolved with the active/leading player rolling initiative against a DC of 10 + the monster’s DEX. PC wins? They go first. PC loses? Monsters go first. Sometimes, the combat can even be resolved simply as “resolve the PC’s action" without this initiative roll.

Typical Scenes: For most combat encounters, initiative is not rolled and the round begins with whoever triggered the scene (if in doubt, have one PC roll versus one monster to determine who goes first). When that character finishes their turn, they choose the next creature/group to act, and so on. The last person to act in the current round decides who starts the new round – but they can't pick themselves. HOWEVER, a creature/PC that hasn’t taken a turn yet this round may interrupt the order if it took damage or if it spends Inspiration or a Legendary Resistance (or similar resource).
Side note: In dungeon exploration, maintaining initiative order throughout (so it doesn't always start with same person, but either with where you left off) can be a way to deal with one recurring instigator player stealing spotlight. It's an option if you need it.

Climax Scenes: For climactic / set-piece / boss encounters, everyone rolls initiative as per RAW. If the PCs are not surprised, the players may have about one minute to make their plan of attack. During initiative, players who have consecutive turns with no monsters in between them may act in any order they wish, including overlapping their turns.
Side note: I've been doing this a while as "clustered initiative." For point of reference, I believe this is how BG3's initiative works.
Stealing that last one, thanks!
 

mellored

Legend
I would give more temporary hit points but this sounds fun, imma try it, thanks.
If you assume 17AC has a 50% chance to hit, and adding 17 THP is roughly double your HP, then it mostly balances out.

Advantage and disadvantages still basically work too.

Obviously it would be better to rebalance everything, and a few things like crit range don't work well (not that anyone played a champion) , but it works reasonably well without any other changes.
 

ezo

Where is that Singe?
If I was going to simplify things, I would remove the to-hit and damage save rolls. Make everything HP.

You take 1d20+weapon+Str damage.
Or 1d20+6d8 fireball damage.
AC is now temporary hit points at the start of each battle (per level).

Still need saves for Charm and such. But that would speed things up.
A friend of mine posted a thread awhile back about removing the attack rolls and just rolling damage. Hits are so common making the attack roll almost becomes pointless.
 

Distracted DM

Distracted DM
Supporter
Sure... it's evolved over years from "popcorn clustered" to a more mutable system or set of systems...

Dynamic Initiative
Dynamic initiative acknowledges that there are degrees of combat scenes, and they are served by different approaches to initiative.

Snap Scenes: When there’s just a few monsters of the same type, like a quick guard scene, it can be resolved with the active/leading player rolling initiative against a DC of 10 + the monster’s DEX. PC wins? They go first. PC loses? Monsters go first. Sometimes, the combat can even be resolved simply as “resolve the PC’s action" without this initiative roll.

Typical Scenes: For most combat encounters, initiative is not rolled and the round begins with whoever triggered the scene (if in doubt, have one PC roll versus one monster to determine who goes first). When that character finishes their turn, they choose the next creature/group to act, and so on. The last person to act in the current round decides who starts the new round – but they can't pick themselves. HOWEVER, a creature/PC that hasn’t taken a turn yet this round may interrupt the order if it took damage or if it spends Inspiration or a Legendary Resistance (or similar resource).
Side note: In dungeon exploration, maintaining initiative order throughout (so it doesn't always start with same person, but either with where you left off) can be a way to deal with one recurring instigator player stealing spotlight. It's an option if you need it.

Climax Scenes: For climactic / set-piece / boss encounters, everyone rolls initiative as per RAW. If the PCs are not surprised, the players may have about one minute to make their plan of attack. During initiative, players who have consecutive turns with no monsters in between them may act in any order they wish, including overlapping their turns.
Side note: I've been doing this a while as "clustered initiative." For point of reference, I believe this is how BG3's initiative works.
How do you handle effects that "end at the start/end of a creatures turn" with this? Not touch it, or play with it in some manner?
 


Horwath

Legend
If I was going to simplify things, I would remove the to-hit and damage save rolls. Make everything HP.

You take 1d20+weapon+Str damage.
Or 1d20+6d8 fireball damage.
AC is now temporary hit points at the start of each battle (per level).

Still need saves for Charm and such. But that would speed things up.
I'm in favor of fixed damage, but increasing on how much is over AC.
that way we keep the current AC mechanics and keep crit mechanics somewhat same.

I.E. greatsword is 7 damage + STR mod + whatever.

Roll attack, if you hit AC, deal normal damage,
if you hit 5 more than AC, deal +50% damage
if you hit 10 more than AC, deal +100% damage(critical hit for game mechanics)
if you hit 15 more than AC, deal +150% damage
if you hit 20 more than AC, deal +200% damage(max damage)

graze global mechanics as an option:
if you miss by 5 or less, deal only 50% base damage and cannot trigger any on-hit mechanics

graze weapon mastery:
you graze in you miss by 10 or less, not by 5 or less.


then with 20 STR you can have table:

HIT: 12 damage
5 over AC: 18 damage
10 over AC(critical): 24 damage
15 over AC(critical): 30 damage
20 over AC(critical): 36 damage
Graze: 6 damage
 

Rabulias

the Incomparably Shrewd and Clever
Ah. You're assuming that the snippet of text explaining the gist of the house rule was the sum total of all the rules involved. It's not.
So, how would a Rogue's Sneak Attack hit be represented in your system vs a non-Sneak Attack hit?

How would a Wizard's fireball be different than burning hands, assuming both just hit a single target?
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
So, how would a Rogue's Sneak Attack hit be represented in your system vs a non-Sneak Attack hit?

How would a Wizard's fireball be different than burning hands, assuming both just hit a single target?
Sneak attack would do 2; a regular attack 1. A spell’s level determines the clock or countdown it marks. So fireball would be 3 and burning hands would be 1.

ETA: I was doing something similar towards the end of 4E. Minions take 1 hit and they die. Four minions are worth 1 standard monster, so a standard monster can take 4 hits. Elites are worth 2 standard monsters, so 8 hits. Solos are worth 5 standard monsters, so 20 hits. This is also directly stated in the 4E Player’s Strategy Guide, which I didn’t have until a few years after 5E launched.

The most recent touchstone for this system was a video by Professor DM. Using it speeds things up.

 
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