[OD&D] D6 Damage for All Weapons?

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[OD&D] D6 Damage for All Weapons?

Post by Bouv » Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:28 pm

This might require a seperate thread, but for those who have/use it, how do you like d6 weapon damage?

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Split from viewtopic.php?f=28&t=7898&p=128972#p128972 - DT

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Re: [OD&D] D6 Damage for All Weapons?

Post by Dragon Turtle » Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:36 pm

Bouv wrote:This might require a seperate thread,
As you wish...

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Re: [OD&D] D6 Damage for All Weapons?

Post by maddog » Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:24 pm

I've seen d6 damage in classic dnd too but I have to admit, I never understood why anyone would want to use it if you had the standard dungeon dice.
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Re: [OD&D] D6 Damage for All Weapons?

Post by Bouv » Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:28 pm

From the Save or Die podcast, Chrispy says he loves d6 damage because, for him, you then can make a character (especially fighters) that focus on a theme, instead of just saying "well, this weapon does the most damage so I'll chose it". I can get that, it adds a bit more role-playing into the element and you can make a cool fighter who just may use daggers as weapons but don't have to worry about doing less damage. Or a fighter that will wield a long sword instead of a two-handed sword for flavor instead of just pure damage.

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Re: [OD&D] D6 Damage for All Weapons?

Post by agathokles » Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:01 pm

Except that, since two handed weapons still don't allow the use of a shield, they become sub-optimal w.r.t. one handed weapons.

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Re: [OD&D] D6 Damage for All Weapons?

Post by ExTSR » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:11 pm

There's a room in the first-ever published module (PVQ) with a senior citizen and a jillion cats.
It's benign enough until a player realizes that the cats can inflict the same damage as bugbears...
then everybody's REAL careful not to startle them. Works better than a silence spell. ;>

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Re: [OD&D] D6 Damage for All Weapons?

Post by finarvyn » Sun Feb 07, 2016 1:58 pm

Bouv wrote:you then can make a character (especially fighters) that focus on a theme, instead of just saying "well, this weapon does the most damage so I'll chose it".
This was a hot topic for our group in the 1970's when Supplement I Greyhawk came out because the first thing a bunch of players wanted to do was crack out the calculators and work though the "variable weapon damage" tables. (And calculators back then were big and ugly and plugged into the wall and didn't do anything fancy other than add-subtract-multiply-divide. Ugh.) For years I stuck with the all-d6 damage system for exactly the reason suggested by Bouv.
agathokles wrote:Except that, since two handed weapons still don't allow the use of a shield, they become sub-optimal w.r.t. one handed weapons.
One modification that we made early on was to add a +1 hit and damage for two-handed weapons. We figured that it was a good trade-off since you lost the potential +1 AC from using a shield.
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Re: [OD&D] D6 Damage for All Weapons?

Post by JMiskimen » Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:04 pm

Our group not only utilizes D6 weapon damage, but D6 hit dice. I've had no complaints and it does seem that the players are more creative with their character ideas. Ymmv ...

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Re: [OD&D] D6 Damage for All Weapons?

Post by snorri » Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:54 pm

d6-only y opens a more wide variety of weapons than variable dices, so it's a good way to break the longsword's domination.

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Re: [OD&D] D6 Damage for All Weapons?

Post by Merctime (Tim) » Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:36 am

I'd like to offer why I have chosen to play with the D6 for all weapon damage, and also all hit die including both monsters and players.

I'm a 'new-ish convert' to the older gaming ways, myself, and am not an 'expert' of them nor did I play it back in the day (my closest was Holmes and B/X; One of these was my intro to our hobby, but it's been so long I can't remember).

I really, really love the "D6 Paradigm" (as I call it) and how it plays at the table. It evens the board for me in gaming, and keeps out some things of play that I don't particularly care for.

What do I mean? If everything, meaning player and monster hit dice as well as typical damage done, revolves around a d6, then an interesting phenomenon occurs at the table that I've never experienced while running variable weapon damage and hit dice... a phenomenon I'm currently, and totally, in love with.

Players play scared. Regardless of level. And scared players play... better. At least mine do, and I sure tended to when I was active as a player in a pBp!

When this field of hit dice/hit points to damage rolled is leveled, no matter how mechanically tough a character becomes through luck or outstanding play, a kobold with a club can still end it all. Dragons, Ogres, Giants.... Become scary again. Gone are the critical hits against large creatures that lay those beasts down in one or two combat rounds... Gone is the devil-may-care attitude some players (and even myself) gain from extraordinary amounts of hit points that leads to just shrugging off Dragon breath or braving great falls because you know you've got the hit points to survive it. Gone are people who choose weapons/proficiency of same because 'it does more damage'; This now being replaced with 'I'll use a spear because it's got reach' or 'I'll use a battle axe because they are cool and/or fitting to my character concept'.

Players begin to play cautiously, but still boldly... Looking for the lightning fast victory, or if they can't get it... Looking for the nearest exit. Its a style of gameplay I've never before had the pleasure of experiencing until OD&D. It's incredibly reminiscent of swords n' sorcery fiction with a hearty mix of military 'special forces strike team' sneak and destroy style play.

Another nice thing is that players seek to avoid conflicts that don't at least promise the hint of treasure (thus moving the game along at a good clip, if your rules center around treasure being the bulk of experience points gained). They become more choosy about how they expend resources like arrows, potions of healing, and hit points lost against wandering monsters.

...And you want to talk power? Get a Magic-User to survive beyond 6th level or so.

Of course I don't think that there is anything intrinsically wrong with variable hit die and weapon damage... Nor do I tell people who play that way that they are 'wrong'. But I do believe that a straight d6 paradigm affects the way the game is played... and even feels... in a very profound way. I find it amazingly fun.

I encourage everyone to try it for themselves, at least once, and experience some of the nuances of this style of play that might just surprise you in an exciting way. What do you have to lose? Either you end up liking it, or you end up not liking it.

...But if you DO like it... you just might love it!!

Fight On!

(Final note: This is an edited re-post of a reply I made to a gentleman on the "Original Dungeons & Dragons" Google+ page)

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Re: [OD&D] D6 Damage for All Weapons?

Post by Havard » Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:13 am

Merctime (Tim) wrote:I'd like to offer why I have chosen to play with the D6 for all weapon damage, and also all hit die including both monsters and players.
Interesting!

A few questions:
1) Do you give any benefits for using a 2H weapon (thus sacrficing use of a shield). I like the idea some suggested about offering a +1 bonus to damage from 2H weapons.
2) Do you use the rule allowing 2 attacks per round with a dagger? This seems crazy, even more so under this rule.
3) Do you find that d6 for HP and all weapons make Magic Users a lot more powerful?

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Re: [OD&D] D6 Damage for All Weapons?

Post by Merctime (Tim) » Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:36 pm

Havard wrote:1) Do you give any benefits for using a 2H weapon (thus sacrficing use of a shield). I like the idea some suggested about offering a +1 bonus to damage from 2H weapons.
These days, I use the following house rules for this. For two-handed weapons, roll a six-sided damage die twice, and take the highest result for damage done (note; I don't use critical hits... So you might consider ANY result of 6 being 'critical'). When using a weapon in each hand (and thus forgoing the use of a shield as you speak about above) I offer a +1 to hit so damage has a greater chance to occur from one or the other weapon. I am toying around with allowing the higher of two attack rolls to be used to determine if damage was done during that turn/round, instead. I guess I'll elaborate on why this might make sense on the table: I am very abstract in combat. Since I play using the "Delving Deeper" retro-clone primarily for my D&D, it's combat round isn't 10 or 6 seconds... It's a full minute long. So consider any combats being the struggle of an entire minute of actively attempting to injure your opponent, and not be injured by your opponent. In this idea, it's no longer really a 'to hit' roll; Rather, it's now a roll to see if one landed a SOLID hit during a minute's worth of maneuvering, feinting, test-strikes, and seeking an opportunity to land a telling hit. This is why I allow 2 damage rolls for larger, heavier weapons but for two weapons allow for more 'opportunity to do damage'. It's all part of the basic philosophy of how the combat is described and how the system supports that. Might not be for everyone! But I love it.
Havard wrote:2) Do you use the rule allowing 2 attacks per round with a dagger? This seems crazy, even more so under this rule.
I couldn't agree with you more, Havard! Without some careful consideration on the part of the referee/Dungeon Master etc, this really is a rule that seems crazy to me also. But, I believe Dr. Holmes was going in a particular direction when he included this in his rules, and the full extent of that direction may not have made it into the rules. I'm certain Zach H. of http://zenopusarchives.blogspot.com/ has a much more in-depth analysis of this topic than I do... Check it out if you've the inclination, Sir.

As for myself, I don't allow daggers or other weapons two attack rolls. Please see the bit above regarding how I conduct abstract combat. Daggers, or other lighter weapons, when used alone (and not in pairs, thus gaining the benefit of my 'dual wielding' rule above) will be allowed only one attempt to do damage during a combat round/turn, but I may describe a successful attempt at damage being a flurry of blows or perhaps only one successful stab, as it makes sense in the flow of that particular combat. So one 'attack roll' may be described as 3 stabs, etc.
Havard wrote:3) Do you find that d6 for HP and all weapons make Magic Users a lot more powerful?
Well, I do feel that they turn out to be... In a round-about way. Consider that first, lower-level magic-users, while not being able to wear armor, are still offered a six-sided hit die. Those extra couple of hit points from a lucky HD roll may mean the difference of life or death at lower levels when a magic-user is forced into a combat engagement and can't break from it sufficiently perhaps. And if he's able to swipe a staff or toss a dagger at a beast that only rolls a six-sided hit die (instead of d4/d6 damage vs a d8 hit die, for example), he may in fact be a bit more 'useful' in combat and could possibly kill even after spells and wands have been exhausted.

Also, please consider that in the 3LBB's that damaging spells don't occur until the 3rd level spell lists, but once that level of spells is achieved, a 6d6 damage lightning bolt or fireball becomes horrifyingly powerful against foes that possess a six-sided hit-die... Especially considering area affect damage. This is only if we are thinking about 'doing raw damage', as well. Charm spells, sleep, illusions... All of these throughout every edition provide discerning M-U players a wide variety of tactical options with which to increase their power and enforce their will on their foes.

But if you consider the d6 hit die/damage system, when you look at it say, as you look at investing money (that is, not looking at 'this particular moment' or 'that particular moment' in the game), but instead looking at the overall effects of play at the table across a few months, Magic-User characters tend to have a bit more hit points and a bit more of an 'even playing field' with other creatures than they do in systems where they possess only a d4 hit die. But then again, EVERYONE has this, now... Even Fighters ("Fighting-Men" and "Fighting-Women") have a d6 hit die, although of course they gain hit die more frequently and earlier than the other classes.

Now look at your OD&D reference material that you might have, and take a look at the experience point progression needed for Magic-Users to gain levels. Early on, say before 6th level, they require lots. But, (and I can't remember when this begins to happen on the level table for them), they reach a point where they comparatively fly through levels of experience, possibly passing up other character classes... Which means, more spells per day, and spells of greater power. They are engines of destruction in the later levels, I believe.

I might offer, if anyone would like to read how this might become entertaining, to purchase the 3lbb's from (I think Hasbro owns the property now?) or to have a look at the free retro-clone "Delving Deeper", which leaves out the Greyhawk supplement and thus practices d6 hit die and damage routines and may allow for easy understanding of it's use. It's availably freely here if you'd like to peruse it for study or play purposes. Also, please and certainly continue your own studies on this by looking at some of the relevant posts at http://odd74.proboards.com/ or http://ruinsofmurkhill.proboards.com/

(and also please let me know if such 'advertising' is not in good form and I'll remove that portion of my posts... I intend it for help of those who may be interested in this and no malevolence towards this board or it's custodians/posters).

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Re: [OD&D] D6 Damage for All Weapons?

Post by Havard » Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:44 pm

Thanks for your answers! :)

Sounds like you have very thought out balanced sollutions for the issues I raised. I like the concept of rolling two d6s and picking the best one, similar to D&D 5th Edition's advantage mechanic. 1 minute rounds is something I could never wrap my head around though, even at the glory of our 2nd edition days. I guess my gaming soul was forged in BECMI.

BTW, posting links to other gaming forums and free download resources when they are relevant to the topic is perfectly fine here at The Piazza. Feel free to post links the other way too so that all the communties can come together. Blatant spamming, especially of non-gaming commercial material is a different matter of course. :)

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Re: [OD&D] D6 Damage for All Weapons?

Post by Tim Baker » Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:38 pm

I thought I'd mention the solution that the 13th Age system came up with. Weapon damage is determined by character class. A fighter can select any martial, one-handed weapon, and will do 1d8 damage with it. She's no longer limited to using the longsword or any other weapon that's the "best" for the given edition/system. If the fighter selects a 2H weapon, she rolls a d10. Similarly, a rogue will roll a d8 when attacking with light, one-handed weapons. Yet a wizard will only do 1d4 damage with the same weapons.

Essentially, it allows each class to do what they're good at, without imposing a particular weapon choice.
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Re: [OD&D] D6 Damage for All Weapons?

Post by Hunter_Maddox » Sat May 05, 2018 6:38 am

Merctime (Tim) wrote:
Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:36 am
I'd like to offer why I have chosen to play with the D6 for all weapon damage, and also all hit die including both monsters and players.

I'm a 'new-ish convert' to the older gaming ways, myself, and am not an 'expert' of them nor did I play it back in the day (my closest was Holmes and B/X; One of these was my intro to our hobby, but it's been so long I can't remember).

I really, really love the "D6 Paradigm" (as I call it) and how it plays at the table. It evens the board for me in gaming, and keeps out some things of play that I don't particularly care for.

What do I mean? If everything, meaning player and monster hit dice as well as typical damage done, revolves around a d6, then an interesting phenomenon occurs at the table that I've never experienced while running variable weapon damage and hit dice... a phenomenon I'm currently, and totally, in love with.

Players play scared. Regardless of level. And scared players play... better. At least mine do, and I sure tended to when I was active as a player in a pBp!

When this field of hit dice/hit points to damage rolled is leveled, no matter how mechanically tough a character becomes through luck or outstanding play, a kobold with a club can still end it all. Dragons, Ogres, Giants.... Become scary again. Gone are the critical hits against large creatures that lay those beasts down in one or two combat rounds... Gone is the devil-may-care attitude some players (and even myself) gain from extraordinary amounts of hit points that leads to just shrugging off Dragon breath or braving great falls because you know you've got the hit points to survive it. Gone are people who choose weapons/proficiency of same because 'it does more damage'; This now being replaced with 'I'll use a spear because it's got reach' or 'I'll use a battle axe because they are cool and/or fitting to my character concept'.

Players begin to play cautiously, but still boldly... Looking for the lightning fast victory, or if they can't get it... Looking for the nearest exit. Its a style of gameplay I've never before had the pleasure of experiencing until OD&D. It's incredibly reminiscent of swords n' sorcery fiction with a hearty mix of military 'special forces strike team' sneak and destroy style play.

Another nice thing is that players seek to avoid conflicts that don't at least promise the hint of treasure (thus moving the game along at a good clip, if your rules center around treasure being the bulk of experience points gained). They become more choosy about how they expend resources like arrows, potions of healing, and hit points lost against wandering monsters.

...And you want to talk power? Get a Magic-User to survive beyond 6th level or so.

Of course I don't think that there is anything intrinsically wrong with variable hit die and weapon damage... Nor do I tell people who play that way that they are 'wrong'. But I do believe that a straight d6 paradigm affects the way the game is played... and even feels... in a very profound way. I find it amazingly fun.

I encourage everyone to try it for themselves, at least once, and experience some of the nuances of this style of play that might just surprise you in an exciting way. What do you have to lose? Either you end up liking it, or you end up not liking it.

...But if you DO like it... you just might love it!!

Fight On!

(Final note: This is an edited re-post of a reply I made to a gentleman on the "Original Dungeons & Dragons" Google+ page)
This! Merctime explains it perfectly for me as I am also knew to OD&D.

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Re: [OD&D] D6 Damage for All Weapons?

Post by Zenopus » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:29 am

My house rules for OD&D/Holmes:

All standard weapons d6
Two-handed weapons d6, and +1 to hit and damage, so d6+1 for damage
Short weapons (daggers etc) d6, and -1 to hit and damage, so d6-1 for damage
No weapons (fists etc) d6, and -2 to hit and damage, so d6-2 for damage

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Re: [OD&D] D6 Damage for All Weapons?

Post by Havard » Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:57 pm

Interesting.

Here are a few house rules inspired by Barbarians of Lemuria:
  • Most weapons do 1d6 points of damage
  • For heavy/2H weapons, roll 2d6 and take the highest die. Cannot be combined with shields.
  • For light weapons, roll 2d6 and select lowest.
  • Shields can be sacrificed in order to ignore the damage from one melee attack.
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Re: [OD&D] D6 Damage for All Weapons?

Post by Tim Baker » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:17 am

Havard wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:57 pm
Interesting.

Here are a few house rules inspired by Barbarians of Lemuria:
  • Most weapons do 1d6 points of damage
  • For heavy/2H weapons, roll 2d6 and take the highest die. Cannot be combined with shields.
  • For light weapons, roll 2d6 and select lowest.
  • Shields can be sacrificed in order to ignore the damage from one melee attack.
-Havard
Blueholme Journeymanne, an OSR game that extrapolates how Holmes Basic would play through level 20, uses the same rules for 2H and light weapons while maintaining d6 weapon damage. I didn't realize they were in BoL first.
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