Jeremy D. recently posted this simple and elegant stunt system based on the DCC deed die but intended for use with traditional rules. The basic idea is that attack rolls are made with d16 + class hit die (assuming B/X style variable hit dice), and a pre-declared stunt is successful if the hit die comes up 4 or greater and the attack roll is high enough to hit. This gives fighters (d8 hit die) roughly a 62% (4 or higher on a d8) chance of pulling off a stunt, given a high enough modified attack roll. Magic-users (d4 hit die) have a 25% chance (4 or higher on a d4). What’s the trade-off? If the stunt fails, the attack misses, even if the number would have been high enough to hit had a stunt not been attempted.
The system is clean, but does require Zocchi dice, which is a downside. However, thinking about the trade-off gave me an idea for another system based on a similar principle. The basic idea is to gamble on two independent dice both coming up high. So why not make stunts require success on two attack roles rather than one? This would still represent a single action, but would be similar to roll twice, take the lowest (since both need to hit). The essential dynamic of fighters being most able to benefit from stunts would be preserved, because (assuming the same level) fighters will have the best chance of hitting. This also seems like it would be easy to communicate to players: just make two attack rolls; no new mechanics would need to be introduced.
In other words, Disadvantage.
Yeah, similar to disadvantage. I didn’t call that out for two reasons:
1. Roll two, take best (or worst) significantly predates Next. See the references here:
2. There are no potential complications regarding stacking. For example, in Next I think getting advantage somehow can undo disadvantage.
Advantage is also an “OR” function while Brendan is proposing “AND.” If you miss your normal hit there is no need to roll for stunt. Actually, it is like 3rd ed critical hits, but more forgiving on the first result.
Assuming B/X rules as you did above, fighters only have a significant advantage at high levels; at 1st level it’s little-to-no advantage on attack rolls, right?
That’s true. In my own adjusted house rules, fighters do start out with a higher attack skill though, and if I was starting from scratch I would do it this way:
I dig it.
I prefer the chaos of Zak’s Called Shot rule with its high fumble chances, but one of the issues I keep having is that my players end up wanting EVERY ATTACK to be a Called Shot.
I think this might help tone that down since the chance of missing outright is higher, and besides that it does preserve the Fighter being more Fighty and is cleaner/faster to use, my players usually set their Called Shot range at 11-20 simply because they don’t want to stop to think any deeper about it.
And hey it still means double fumble chances and I’ll probably increase the fumble range depending on how ambitious the attack is.
The more I think about it the more perfect it feels.
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I think this is a fantastic idea. It’s simple, flexible, it leaves fighters with a better chance to do a stunt than the wizard, and it gives a good probability curve.
A sexy, sexy idea. Dad-gum.
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