Houserule for speeding up big blasts and bursts

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One of the things that came up as we were preparing for our next campaign was attack powers that target 4+ creatures take longer to resolve than we'd like.

The goal I've set is a houserule that can permit powers that are targeting 4 or more creatures for damage to be resolved with a single d20 roll.


One idea I've been toying with is the following:
Using the average/lowest/highest stat defense among the targets in the area, make the attack against that.
Then another dice is rolled to determine how many targets are actually hit, using a dice that most closely approximates how many are there  (example, there are 4 creatures, roll a d4.; there are 7 creatures, roll a d8)

Depending on the outcome of the d20 roll, the player will roll additional dx dice and take the highest number shown. (Or roll another and take the lowest number shown)
Affected targets are chosen by DM in order of lowest defense to highest.


An example of this in action:
The wizard uses a burst power that targets Reflex. There are 5 enemies inside the power's area.
The targets have Reflex defenses between 14 and 16.
The d20 roll is made to determine the number of targets hit by the attack.
Result of 12: Roll 2d6 and take the lowest number shown.
Result of 15: Roll 1d6 and take the number shown.
Result of 18: Roll 2d6 and take the highest number shown.


I've only just begun playing with this idea but it is something I would like to try out. Any feedback, suggestions, ideas, etc would be greatly appreciated.
Personally, I just made it a single attack roll against each creature in the burst. Seemed to work fine, since it doesn't guarantee a hit against all targets. Criticals only apply to one non minion target in the burst. Worked just fine thus far for speeding things up, and not much is lost for the change.
Personally, I just made it a single attack roll against each creature in the burst. Seemed to work fine, since it doesn't guarantee a hit against all targets. Criticals only apply to one non minion target in the burst. Worked just fine thus far for speeding things up, and not much is lost for the change.



Using a single d20 roll and checking that against each individual creature:

I like the sentiment, I've thought about it, I'm just worried it'll fall into an "all or nothing" situation.

Roll low: hit nothing.
Roll high: hit everything.

And only in very marginal cases would "some but not all" get hit.
Personally, I just made it a single attack roll against each creature in the burst. Seemed to work fine, since it doesn't guarantee a hit against all targets. Criticals only apply to one non minion target in the burst. Worked just fine thus far for speeding things up, and not much is lost for the change.



Using a single d20 roll and checking that against each individual creature:

I like the sentiment, I've thought about it, I'm just worried it'll fall into an "all or nothing" situation.

Roll low: hit nothing.
Roll high: hit everything.

And only in very marginal cases would "some but not all" get hit.


The mechanic isn't really new actually, as Star Wars: Saga Edition utilized such an area attack system.

An alternative is a LITTLE messy, and almost requires you to be generous from time to time: get a number of d20s equal to the targets hit, roll them simultaneously and let all the dice drop.  Then assign each result to each opponent (1:1 ratio).
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The mechanic isn't really new actually, as Star Wars: Saga Edition utilized such an area attack system.

An alternative is a LITTLE messy, and almost requires you to be generous from time to time: get a number of d20s equal to the targets hit, roll them simultaneously and let all the dice drop.  Then assign each result to each opponent (1:1 ratio).



I appreciate the sentiment, but the big bulk of the delay in resolution comes from the mental math of adding up so many different attack rolls.

I'll try this and see if it works better in practice than in theory. Hopefully we can quickly gauge which is the target number on the d20 itself for the purpose of determining hits and misses.
Except for one game, we've always played with rolling once for all targets in an area attack.  It's easier than rolling individually for each one.  The one game where we rolled for each individual target it definitely increased combat time.