Previously, I introduced the idea of a severity roll that can be integrated with Delta’s Target 20 System, a d20 roll-under system, or even standard D&D (with a little bit more math than the first two.) The basic idea is that any attack with a Severity rating of 4+ is a critical hit with a special effect.
Severity effects can be expanded into a table:
|0-1||Almost Missed||Attacker’s weapon is weakened if damage = 5+.|
|2-3||Solid Hit||No special effect, just deduct damage from hit points.|
|4-6||Critical Hit||Look up damage roll on Special Effect table.|
|7-8||Super Critical||As critical hit, but apply max damage to hit points.|
|9+||Ultra Critical||As critical hit, but add max damage to damage rolled.|
All results assume the attack is successful, dealing standard damage at a minimum: 1d6 for most weapons, 2d6 for a spear when charging or setting spear for a charge, 3d6 for spear set for a charge against a fast and heavy monster, or other damage results for things like cannon or firearms. Always roll the damage, even if applying max damage to hit points. The damage roll is used in three ways:
- As a deduction from hit points (Standard damage rules.)
- As a test for whether a weapon is weakened (5 or more points of damage weakens weapon.)
- As an index when looking up results on the Special Effect table. (Use the unmodified roll for this.)
Weakened Weapons and Armor
On an Almost Missed result, there is a chance the attacker’s weapon is weakened. This has no immediate effect, just note somewhere that it is a weakened weapon. You can disregard this result if the opponent is wearing light armor (leather, cloth, heavy furs) or is not wearing armor, unless the opponent used a shield to block or a weapon to parry. Any damage roll of 5 or more weakens the weapon.
Weapons and armor can also be weakened when struck by a ferocious blow. Check this the same way (damage of 5 or more = weakened,) but only if the attack is Super Critical or Ultra Critical. Again, you can ignore the weakened test for Light armor or if the attacker’s weapon is a soft, non-rigid material (bullwhip, bare fists, garrote.) If blocking or parrying, only the shield or weapon is tested, not the armor worn.
Any weapon or armor that is already weakened will break if weakened again. Or, to put it another way, it takes two Almost Missed results with damage 5+ to break a weapon, or two Super Critical/Ultra Critical results to break armor.
Cheap weapons and armor, if available for sale, count as weakened, as do rusty weapons and armor. A curse can also count as a weakened effect on either the cursed piece of equipment or on all equipment, if the curse is on the person or location. Weakened equipment can be repaired, but not cheap equipment.
Special Effects for Critical Hits
Consult this table for the base special effect caused by a critical, super critical, or ultra critical hit.
|1-2||Painful Blow, injured next action.|
|3-4||Injured for rest of combat.|
|5-6||Crippled until healed.|
Being injured reduces Move to 3 and reduces effective level to 1 for the duration (next action, rest of combat, until healed, or permanently.) The reduction of level normally only applies to attacks, but if a blow is aimed, the injury will affect that body part. Injured limbs can affect physical skills, an injured head can affect mental skills or spell casting.
In addition to this base effect, each weapon may have a unique special effect based on form of attack.
- Slashing with Sharp Weapons causes bleeding (treat as a mild poison that does 1d6 additional damage every turn after combat unless bandaged.)
- Hacking with Sharp Weapons causes bleeding, but also any permanent injury means a body part is severed.
- Piercing with Sharp Points causes bleeding. If the attack was not aimed at a limb, permanent injury means immediate incapacitation and eventual death.
- Smashing with Heavy Weapons stuns weaker or smaller opponents for 1 to 4 rounds, knocking them prone on 5+. Also, on an Almost Missed result, an attacker using a heavy weapon can be pushed back or knocked prone if they themselves are weaker or smaller than their opponent.
This is basically a redesign of the weapon damage tables replacing multiple tables (one for each weapon type) with a unified Special Effects table and adding more variety via the severity levels. I should in the future revisit that material, especially the unarmed combat material, and update it to this format.
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