I was thinking last night about combat in D&D 5th edition and had a bit of brain storm concerning adding details to Fighter / warrior combat without involving more dice throwing.
Here is what I came up with more or less on the fly.
I'm spit-balling here, I have not tested any of this yet.
This will involve 2 steps.
Take each character and monster and divide their hit points by 5.
The resulting number should be jotted down as what I am going to call the Character's "break" number.
If any single attack does equal to or more than the targets "break number" the attacker can cause a "break effect." on that target.
So if for example the level 10 fighter has 100 hit points any singe attack that does 20 (hp / 5) or more damage will cause a break effect.
- My thought was players could choose a break effect rather than a feat or attribute bonus when they achieve a level where they could take an attribute bonus. The player would choose weather o not to invoke the break effect when enough damage is scored.
- Monsters could have them randomly assigned or added to the monster combat description.
- Some magic items might be triggered by scoring a break effect.
- Some spells could have these effects tacked on by a caster, perhaps by spending a higher spell slot. Ala D&D 2nd editions meta magical effects.
- This could be a nice way to dress up monk physical attacks?
- I had some of the fancier types of pole-arms in my head when I wrote these. I think this system is a good way to simulate some of the tripping and guard break techniques of pole arm fighting, without getting too crunchy.
Some of these effects will have mechanical values such as granting advantage or disadvantage, others will have only descriptive value. (These description only effects are marked with a D.)
In the course of a combat, a descriptive value can become a mechanical boon if creatively used by the group. "Sent reeling" is a nice chance for the DM to describe a victim flailing backwards from the force of a blow. The same result becomes even more interesting if the target is standing next to a flaming building, a pit, or some magical webs.
Crowd sourcing even more of "Break effects" would be fantastic, so if you are reading this and have ideas leave them in the comments section.
(For these descriptions "Attacker" is always the person doing the damage, "Target" is always the person taking the effect.)
- Guard break: The attack forces the target's guard away, putting them at disadvantage on any attack rolls next round.
- Trip: The attack is telling, the target is now off balance, if the target fails their next combat roll they will topple over.
- Rend (D.): The attack causes a nasty wound, let the attacker describe it.
- Deep wound: The attack goes deep and the target will bleed severely for 3 rounds loosing 1d4 Hp per round
- Bash: This is a resounding blow any other friendly who attacks this target this round will have advantage.
- Disarm: If applicable, the target drops or fumbles their weapon.
- Stagger (D.): The target is sent reeling away form the attacker.
- Alarming blow: The target is forced to make a morale check.
- Crippling attack: The target will not gain any strength bonuses on next round, if they don't have strength bonuses they will be at a disadvantage for the next round.
- Feint: The attacker off balances the target in such a way that it sets up the next attack. The target looses it's dexterity bonus to armor for the next round versus attacks from the same opponent.
- Sunder: The attacker knocks aside the targets guard then strikes true, doing additional damage equal to the attackers proficiency bonus.
- Daze: The target looses any any non-magical wisdom bonuses for passive perception or saves for the next round.
- Flurry (D.): This chunk of damage was not done by one blow but a rain of fast strikes meant to overwhelm the opponent.
- Stick and move: The attack lands in such away that the attacker has time to change position before the target gets to act.
- Crumple (D.): The attack hits the target in the chest and crumples them to their knees (if appropriate.) This only applies to humanoid creatures of the same size category as the attacker.
- Cracked (D.): If the target has a shield it is torn from their grip.
- Stumble: The target is so overwhelmed by the ferocity of this attack that they can't stumble and have to gather themselves. The target is dropped to the end of the initiative order next turn.
- Advantageous Position: The attacker uses this powerful blow to position them selves for the next attack they jump to the front of the initiative order next round.
- Flair (D.): The attacker strikes with a flourish and great flair (attacker describes.)
- Weakening: This attack stuns the target to it's core, for the next round the target may not use any non magical bonuses from strength or constitution.
Those are the first 20 I thought of. If you think of any please leave them in the comments section below.
My only guidelines would be:
My only guidelines would be:
Try not to add another die roll to the combat.
Try to make the effects last a maximum of 1 (the current or the next) combat round, so the players and Gm's don't have rounds upon rounds of new effects to track.
As always thank you for reading.
Note 1: Pic found here
Note 2: Pic found here.