Friday, January 13, 2017

Advanced Fighting Fantasy damage matrix

A while ago, in a review of Advanced Fighting Fantasy, I mentioned that the weapons damage and armour matrixes (seven digits in a row) are the least elegant part of an otherwise elegant combat system.

Is there a better way to do this? One method would be simply to roll d6, plus any modifers, for damage, which would probably result in roughly the same average damage, but perhaps lose some of the fine balance of the current damage system.

Is there a better way to represent the damage and armour table on the character sheet?

Some simply write out all seven damage values in order:

S. Sword: 1,2,2,3,3,3,4

But note that damage values only ever change by one point, and so instead of repeating figures, we could generate something like this:

S. Sword: 1 [2] [4] 4

What does this mean?

  • The left-most number is the minimum damage: that's the damage from a roll of 1 on the die.
  • The numbers like this [4] are the rolls on which damage increments by one point.
  • The right-most number is the damage on 7+, the maximum.

To use this damage profile, roll the die and check the result against the sequence. For each increment value in the table the roll is equal to or greater than, add one point to the minimum damage, and of course, if the result is 7+, use the maximum damage.

Hence, a sword profile is:

Sword 2 [2] [6] 5

This one takes longer to explain than to read. Is there yet a better way to set it up?