Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fighting Large Monsters: an accounting nightmare

This is a relatively short post, and a minor flaw as well. But this deals with monsters with the ability to take scores of punishment, and the task of managing how much they have taken..especially with multiple monsters.

I use the damage divider mechanic. How does this work?

for perspective lets state that an average human can take 10 damage before dying (and 5 before passing out). An ogre in other games might thus be able to take three time as much damage, just crank up the hit points, and his attacks will do more damage (higher dice, different dice), all kind of "Jerry-Rigged" in my mind.

The damage divider would work by keeping the ogre (assuming its scaled up as an average human) to still only take 10 damage (5 before passing out), and with its club still only deal a d6 damage.

But, it would have a Damage Divider of 3. This means it would only take 1 point of damage for each 3 full points dealt, and for each point of damage it deals, it would deal a full 3 points.

This can work in reverse too, A pixie may have a damage divider of 1/3, meaning it deals 1/3 damage and takes 3 x damage. (or any other number).

What does this do? It keeps the sense that large monsters are dangerous and damaging while lowering the amount of accounting needed, especially when dealing with large groups of monsters (like a band of ogres or trolls or minotaurs). It also makes spells that change sizes (shrink and enlarge) a lot easier to figure out.

What do you think?


  1. Well, the numbers will certainly be smaller. This looks like more math to me, though. Even though you are dealing with smaller numbers in the end, you're taking the standard process of "Subtract!" and turning it into "Divide, then subtract!"

    In my experience, division is more difficult for most people than subtraction, so this actually seems more difficult than just keeping up with larger numbers.

    That said, I'd be willing to give it a shot. If I'm reading this correctly, the players won't even know the difference. I'll try to remember to give this a shot next time the crew gets together.

  2. You may want to take a look at FUDGE and the scale mechanic therein.

  3. If you are dealing with one monster, then yes, it can be no better. If you are dealing with several, it becomes (in my experience) far easier.