Tuesday, June 1, 2010


While I mentioned the use of an armor divisor system to represent mega-damage in my first post, an idea that would save me some math has recently occurred to me, though it does have something of a catch.

The catch is, you'd have to give up all of your polyhedral dice and rely solely on the d10.

What I'm proposing is a damage-scaling system (sort of like how MDC works, but smaller so it's not as cheesy) where the next tier up isn't 100 points of damage, but only 5. And the reason that you'd have to leave all your other dice behind is that the average roll of a d10 is 5 (5.5 for those detail minded folks out there), so a 1d10 damage die could simply be averaged to 5 points of damage, or 1 point of damage on the vehicle scale. And rolling 5d10 damage against a vehicle and then dividing by 5 could be simplified to rolling 1d10 vehicle scale damage.

So this scaling mechanic has the ability to save us from the "buckets o' dice" problem of human-scale weaponry vs. heavy vehicles. It also grants the armor-like property of mega-damage to things that probably should have it.

For example, in the Rifts system, a car has about 200 SDC. An untrained mook does 1d4 damage (average roll 2.5) with a punch and has 2 attacks per melee. So at an average 5 damage per 15 seconds (I'll let someone with stronger math skills factor in the 15% miss chance due to the fact that he could miss his roll to hit), that car is useless after about 10 minutes of some guy (nobody special) punching it. A combat trained character could do it faster.

Under a x5 scaling system, the car has only about 40 vehicle scale hp, but it takes 5 points of human-scale damage to cause 1 hp. If an untrained human still does only an average of 2.5 damage per hit, that converts to 1d10-3 (it gives a larger range, 0-7, but retains the same average). Since only results of 5,6, and 7 (8,9, and 10 on the die) would damage the car at all, that's about a 30% chance of doing 1 point of damage on a successful hit. That feels a bit more realistic to me.

So here's the question, guys: This feels a lot cleaner than the current MDC system and seems to produce more realistic results. Is it worth giving up all of those funny little dice?

Bonus question: Am I doing my math right? Do I only think this works like I say it does?