Here are the rules summaries, with a hypothetical non-gamer introduction behind a cut. Rules in parentheses with a question mark are possible rules additions I'm considering.
Attack (1d6) is potentially fatal if:
- roll <= 3 for unarmored opponent OR impaling attacks (spear, arrow)
- roll <= 2 for armored opponent
- roll <= 1 for full plate armor
- swords treat mail or other metal armor as full plate (1 or less)
- axes treat all armor identically (2 or less)
- (also two-handed weapons?)
extra 1d6 saving throw <= 2 blocks attack, but shield broken on 6
Hit Dice = fighting capability:
- improves attacks (+1 per 3 hit dice)
- roll for hit points (= maximum # of potentially fatal hits)
- track total damage taken during adventure
- victim only scratched or bruised if total damage < hit points
- total damage => hit points means death
- attack # 1-hit die opponents = Fighter hit dice
- (one extra attack if fighting one weaker opponent?)
If you want to attack an armored warrior or a monster with hide equal to armor, roll 2 or less on a six-sided die to score a potentially fatal hit. If your opponent doesn't have armor or you use an impaling weapon like a spear or arrows, your odds are better (3 or less.) Metal armor protects better against swords, and a suit of plate armor also protects better against impaling weapons (1 or less.)
If your opponent has a shield, he gets a saving throw: a 2 or less on a roll of 1 six-sided die means the attack was blocked; on a 6, the shield breaks and becomes useless.
Damage and Death
A hit that could potentially kill a normal man might still be a mere graze or bruise, if the opponent is lucky. If your attack was potentially fatal, roll 1 die of damage to see how deadly the blow could be; the opponent rolls 1 hit die to see how lucky *he* is. The opponent's roll is called his hit points, because it equals the maximum number of potentially deadly hits he can take. If the damage roll is equal to or greater than the opponent's hit points, the opponent is dead; otherwise, the attack is just a scratch, but the opponent keeps track of damage, dying if total damage ever exceeds hit points.
Some warriors and creatures have a bonus hit point or two, which means they can last just a bit longer in a fight than an ordinary man. Others have 2 hit dice or more, which means that they are not only luckier, but have a better chance to hit: add +1 to the chance to hit for every 3 hit dice. A creature of 2 hit dice or more can fight more than one opponent at a time if they have 1 hit die or less (one per hit die.)
If a player's character is a fighter with 2 hit dice or more, the character gets a monster's extra attacks against 1 hit die creatures. Other characters do not get this bonus, but they do get a better chance to hit.