Half Damage on miss and combat speed.

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I am thinking about implementing a house rule: When you attack, you deal half damage on a miss. It still counts as a miss in every other mechanical sense (no riders, reliable can be used again, etc). Feats, effects, and other things that deal damage on a miss increase your "miss: half damage" by an equal amount. By extension, dailies that miss will still deal full damage, but otherwise count as a miss. Abilities or effects that proc on a miss will still proc.

A natural 1 will not get half-damage on a miss (unless it is a daily).

At the same time, monsters will deal static damage equal to their level on a miss (possibly more damage on a miss with brutes). Same rules apply: this still counts as a miss for all effects and abilities, it just does damage.

Are there any nasty side effects this might have for my game that I cannot see?

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I've thought about doing this before because missing is really boring and leads to a lot of side effects like the feeling you need to optimize to be effective. "I attack. I miss. I'm done. Guess I'll wait around for 10 minutes for my next turn." That sucks. I think a consolation prize like half damage would be nice.

I never changed it because I wasn't sure of side effects, so I'm interested to hear what the math wizards have to say about this. 

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The problem I can see is that PC's don't have the same hp amounts as the monsters.  Generally the monsters, even at level, will have more HP.  Also, generaly there are more monsters than there are PC's in an encounter.  Of course if you only play against solo monsters then of course my previous statement isn't true for you, so expect table variation, YMMV.  However that being said, I feel confident in saying that most of the time, encounters are usually group vs group.  Most of the time the monsters are also higher level than the party.

Here's a scenario, the party is level 5.  HP goes from 35-50 for the PC's and 50+ for the monsters.  If the monsters do 5+ damage on a miss on top of whatever effects they may have for a miss, it goes fast.  Focus fire against a PC makes it even faster.  There's 8 monsters and 5 PC's.  PC's doing half damage on attacks does mean that combat will be faster, but affording the same for the monsters means you could very well TPK your party since monsters usually have ways to mitigate party damage and the party doesn't always have the same.  Maybe one utility power to gain resistance, maybe an at-will that gives resistance on a hit, something like that.  But none of them will naturally be insubstantial for example where all damage is halved.  If the party is level 10 and fighting level 11+ monsters, expected hp will be at most 90.  Meaning that in maximum 10 attacks, a PC could be down even if all 10 missed.  Monster HP would be around 120 or so, maybe more, maybe less.  Keep in mind also that monsters start getting a lot of multi attack stuff, even in mid heroic, some monsters get double attacks.

Anyway if it's fun for you and your party, go for it, but be weary of having a mechanic that counters the natural order of things.  It's expected that PC's work to improve their defenses and offense to deal with monsters.  Monsters rarely still do damage on a miss like PC daily powers often do.  It could work out really well for your party, but I probably wouldn't implement something like this.
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I think if you are going to do this you need to reserve it for the PCs, and not include monsters.  I currently run a campaign where the players are 17 level and if the monster dealt 17 damamge even on a miss (this is often times more than their average damage) then the party will run out of resources fast.  You also penalize those charactes that do not have the HP or surges to spare, for example when I do play I have an Elven Fighter who is designed around not being hit as he has fewer surges than most defenders, this rule would destroy my concept and lessen my ability to perform my role.  I would also only include encounter or daily powers (not at-wills).  It is an intersting concept and I can see this can making the combats go faster if that is what you are hoping to accomplish.
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Are there any nasty side effects this might have for my game that I cannot see?



Going through a very simple simulation (with a lot of averaging) in my head... assuming equal combat ability (same average AC, HP, to hit and damage) on both sides of combat (players vs creatures), an even spread of initiative (some players, creatures, rest of players), and logical use of PC healing...Your half-damage from PCs and level damage from creatures on misses skews combat in favor of the players in a (4e) system that already favors the players...the players will NEVER lose.

Yes, missing your one to hit roll in early levels sucks, but it is part of the game balance; encounter difficulty takes into account a certain percentage of misses and no damage.

If you are looking to speed up combat, there are alternatives, like the "egg timer" approach - remind the players that the combat round represents six seconds and that they should not spend more than a minute deciding what to do and once they are done they should be thinking ahead by watching what the other PCs and creatures do.

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RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
Are there any nasty side effects this might have for my game that I cannot see?



Going through a very simple simulation (with a lot of averaging) in my head... assuming equal combat ability (same average AC, HP, to hit and damage) on both sides of combat (players vs creatures), an even spread of initiative (some players, creatures, rest of players), and logical use of PC healing...Your half-damage from PCs and level damage from creatures on misses skews combat in favor of the players in a (4e) system that already favors the players...the players will NEVER lose.

Yes, missing your one to hit roll in early levels sucks, but it is part of the game balance; encounter difficulty takes into account a certain percentage of misses and no damage.

If you are looking to speed up combat, there are alternatives, like the "egg timer" approach - remind the players that the combat round represents six seconds and that they should not spend more than a minute deciding what to do and once they are done they should be thinking ahead by watching what the other PCs and creatures do.




there's several problems with what you're advancing.  Monsters usually have more HP than PC's, combat almost never has monsters of the same level or lower than the party, monster defenses are almost always higher than PC defenses for the same roles, monster to hit and damage is not the same as PC's of the same level.  So the basis of your simulation is completely flawed from the get go...  It's based on a simulation that will never happen.
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Are there any nasty side effects this might have for my game that I cannot see?



Going through a very simple simulation (with a lot of averaging) in my head... assuming equal combat ability (same average AC, HP, to hit and damage) on both sides of combat (players vs creatures), an even spread of initiative (some players, creatures, rest of players), and logical use of PC healing...Your half-damage from PCs and level damage from creatures on misses skews combat in favor of the players in a (4e) system that already favors the players...the players will NEVER lose.

Yes, missing your one to hit roll in early levels sucks, but it is part of the game balance; encounter difficulty takes into account a certain percentage of misses and no damage.

If you are looking to speed up combat, there are alternatives, like the "egg timer" approach - remind the players that the combat round represents six seconds and that they should not spend more than a minute deciding what to do and once they are done they should be thinking ahead by watching what the other PCs and creatures do.




there's several problems with what you're advancing.  Monsters usually have more HP than PC's, combat almost never has monsters of the same level or lower than the party, monster defenses are almost always higher than PC defenses for the same roles, monster to hit and damage is not the same as PC's of the same level.  So the basis of your simulation is completely flawed from the get go...  It's based on a simulation that will never happen.



My bad.  I am more used to 3e where in the games I have played and run it is just the opposite at low levels: Monsters have less of everything than the PCs..  Please ignore what I posted

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RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
Here are the obvious outcomes (assuming you're applying the rule to both PCs and monsters):

1. Combat will take less time (everyone is doing more damage)
2. Minions become more resilient relative to everyone else (they don't take damage on a miss)
3. The lower your average chance to hit, the greater your increase in damage will be from this rule
4. The greater your average damage on a hit, the greater your increase in damage will be from this rule
5. Powers that have higher damage become more powerful relative to powers that have lower damage, but inflict more powerful effects

Examples of points 3&4:


  1. Monsters tend to hit less than PCs, so this rule will benefit them more than PCs on average

  2. Huge relative decrease in power for avengers, who hit often, but do less damage when they do relative to other strikers

  3. Buff to reliable powers, especially those with high damage

  4. Relative decrease in power for weapons that give a +3 prof bonus in exchange for lower damage (blades mostly)


Silly stuff:



  • A wizard will do more average damage in melee with an executioner's axe than a dagger

  • A fighter with low hit chance, a big 2-hander he isn't proficient in, and lots of reliable powers might become a viable striker




Not even close to a full evaluation of the impact of this change, but you get the idea.  I wouldn't recommend implementing such a sweeping change to the rules without fully understanding the impact.  Giving your players access to a few rerolls would be a better option.  Cuts down the miss rates without having such a major impact on balance.
I like the idea of somehow giving them more rerolls than just straight up handing out half-damage on a miss. My philosophy is that while missing sucks, it is part of the game. If the idea is to get through combat situations more quickly, it will certainly work. Landing a hit is a great feeling. As a player, I don't think I've ever gotten over that feeling. Making everything a hit, even at half-damage, kind of cheapens that great feeling and makes it less special.
Landing a hit is a great feeling. As a player, I don't think I've ever gotten over that feeling. Making everything a hit, even at half-damage, kind of cheapens that great feeling and makes it less special.



100% agree.
Landing a hit is a great feeling. As a player, I don't think I've ever gotten over that feeling. Making everything a hit, even at half-damage, kind of cheapens that great feeling and makes it less special.



"Hit" is an unfortunate word choice considering it doesn't really mean "physical hit" unless you decide that's what it means. It really just means "success" for a given roll. You can "hit" without actually "hitting" a creature since "hit" points are completely abstract. Thus, half damage might simply be the cost the monster pays for getting out of the way in the nick of time in the form of luck, endurance, reflexes, stress, or whatever. That said, I know the default assumption most have is that "hit" means "physical hit." I'm just saying it doesn't need to be.

Back to topic: I like the idea of rerolls instead of damage on miss in light of the unintended consequences that would cause (as pointed out above). What if the PCs could opt to do that at any time, but had to pay for it in hit points? What might be the consequences of that rule? (Wait, maybe that's not really back to topic...)

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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Landing a hit is a great feeling. As a player, I don't think I've ever gotten over that feeling. Making everything a hit, even at half-damage, kind of cheapens that great feeling and makes it less special.



"Hit" is an unfortunate word choice considering it doesn't really mean "physical hit" unless you decide that's what it means. It really just means "success" for a given roll. You can "hit" without actually "hitting" a creature since "hit" points are completely abstract. Thus, half damage might simply be the cost the monster pays for getting out of the way in the nick of time in the form of luck, endurance, reflexes, stress, or whatever. That said, I know the default assumption most have is that "hit" means "physical hit." I'm just saying it doesn't need to be.

Back to topic: I like the idea of rerolls instead of damage on miss in light of the unintended consequences that would cause (as pointed out above). What if the PCs could opt to do that at any time, but had to pay for it in hit points? What might be the consequences of that rule? (Wait, maybe that's not really back to topic...)



Success. Hit. Yes, yes. Semantics aside, we get the drift. A success on a roll stills gives me a jolt!

I also like the idea that reroll should cost something. Lose a healing surge? Hit points? Stackable -1 to damage rolls? There needs to be something there. If you take the option to reroll, there must be consequences!
Success. Hit. Yes, yes. Semantics aside, we get the drift. A success on a roll stills gives me a jolt!



If it's the success on the roll that gives you the jolt, how does half damage on a failure diminish that success? Just trying to see your point of view.

I also like the idea that reroll should cost something. Lose a healing surge? Hit points? Stackable -1 to damage rolls? There needs to be something there. If you take the option to reroll, there must be consequences!



Reroll at the cost of a surge sounds like a decent balance. I'll leave it to the math guys though to tell me if it's fair.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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Reroll at the cost of a surge sounds like a decent balance. I'll leave it to the math guys though to tell me if it's fair.

Loss of one's weapon is considered a fair choice for a reroll in Dark Sun, but that assumes the use of inherent bonuses. This could be extended to implements without much effort. Presumably one wouldn't risk one's weapon if the scene didn't offer a quick replacement.

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I was being respectful, believe me. But whatever.
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Success. Hit. Yes, yes. Semantics aside, we get the drift. A success on a roll stills gives me a jolt!



If it's the success on the roll that gives you the jolt, how does half damage on a failure diminish that success? Just trying to see your point of view.



Perhaps the strength of the jolt is proportional to the variance between the outcomes of success and failure.  Try jumping a distance of a couple of metres in your living room.  Then try jumping the exact same distance over a 20 storey gap between two buildings.  Exactly the same chance of success each time, but I can pretty much guarantee the success of the second jump will be more exhilarating.


Success. Hit. Yes, yes. Semantics aside, we get the drift. A success on a roll stills gives me a jolt!



If it's the success on the roll that gives you the jolt, how does half damage on a failure diminish that success? Just trying to see your point of view.



Perhaps the strength of the jolt is proportional to the variance between the outcomes of success and failure.  Try jumping a distance of a couple of metres in your living room.  Then try jumping the exact same distance over a 20 storey gap between two buildings.  Exactly the same chance of success each time, but I can pretty much guarantee the success of the second jump will be more exhilarating.




What's even more interesting, is that it doesn't necessarily matter if the chance of failure is extremely low - it's the consequences of failure that make success so exciting.  Another point in favour of rerolls vs. damage on miss.

What's even more interesting, is that it doesn't necessarily matter if the chance of failure is extremely low - it's the consequences of failure that make success so exciting.  Another point in favour of rerolls vs. damage on miss.



Litmus is spot on.

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What's even more interesting, is that it doesn't necessarily matter if the chance of failure is extremely low - it's the consequences of failure that make success so exciting.  Another point in favour of rerolls vs. damage on miss.



In the case of most attack rolls though, aren't we normally talking about something exciting (hitting, doing damage, applying conditions) versus something not very exciting (nothing happens in most cases). If we're talking about jumping over a chasm or not, failure is interesting, certainly. On most attack rolls, failure is just... nothing happens. Damage on a miss for attack rolls seems like a decent consolation prize even if it doesn't work with the 4e ruleset as you point out. Rerolls also sound fun. I'm not married to either idea. I'm just wondering if there isn't something more interesting that can happen on a miss with attack rolls.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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What's even more interesting, is that it doesn't necessarily matter if the chance of failure is extremely low - it's the consequences of failure that make success so exciting.  Another point in favour of rerolls vs. damage on miss.



In the case of most attack rolls though, aren't we normally talking about something exciting (hitting, doing damage, applying conditions) versus something not very exciting (nothing happens in most cases). If we're talking about jumping over a chasm or not, failure is interesting, certainly. On most attack rolls, failure is just... nothing happens. Damage on a miss for attack rolls seems like a decent consolation prize even if it doesn't work with the 4e ruleset as you point out. Rerolls also sound fun. I'm not married to either idea. I'm just wondering if there isn't something more interesting that can happen on a miss with attack rolls.



If as a DM you say "You miss" then yes that is boring...a boring DM, mind you, not a boring result.

I narrate misses just as much as hits...and there are plenty of ways to make them interesting and to even give information to the players.

That missing is disappointing is not a glitch, it's a feature.

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Without reading this entire thread (sorry if it came up already) - but the short answer is this.


There is no longer a reason for anyone to play a defender, since they are now super squishy and probably still the lowest damage dealing party member. 
FWIW [4e designer] baseline assumption was that roughly 70% of your feats would be put towards combat effectiveness, parties would coordinate, and strikers would do 20/40/60 at-will damage+novas. If your party isn't doing that... well, you are below baseline, so yes, you need to optimize slightly to meet baseline. -Alcestis
In 13th Age, IIRC, PCs generally deal damage equal to their level on a miss.  A few monsters do too, but they are dangerous exceptions.  This works well for 13th Age, but I'm not sure how well it would work for 4e where they are already miss consolation prizes for quite a few powers.

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At the same time, monsters will deal static damage equal to their level on a miss (possibly more damage on a miss with brutes).



If you're looking to speed up gameplay from the DM side of things, you could do static damage on a hit. It works quite well in our campaign. For instance each d6=4damage each d8=5damage, etc...

Before battle, I just figure out what the static damage (2d6+3 would be 11 damage normally or 15 damage on a crit). That will speed things up a bit.

 
  You're probably better off to reduce creatures' HP rather than attaching half-on-miss to everything. It will cause fewer side effects.


  As far as creatures doing static damage, it's even easier than that: post-MM3 creature math has everything doing a base of 8 + level damage. Brutes get a 25% boost, and encounter/bloodied recharge powers get another boost. AoE powers take a 25% reduction. The only thing to watch out for is that ongoing damage and aura damage are deducted from this. (A few other things can also be, but they're corner-case.)
I wouldn't go with this. Your suggestion:

-Weakens powers that already deal damage on a miss.
-Makes some powers entirely worthless.
-Makes reliable powers very strong.
-Creates situations where a character might be better off missing than hitting.
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If you really hate that misses feel like a waste of a turn, perhaps give your players an opportunity to learn something from their failings - "Your sword glances off of the foe's armor. (Perception check) However, you notice from this angle an opening in this foe's armor that you hadn't seen before - +2 to attacks against this foe for the rest of combat." You can also do progressively increasing bonuses - first miss is +1, second is +2, third is +3, etc. or bonuses to all foes of a type for this encounter. Put some thought into a miss - what exactly is happening, and how might a hero find some advantage here? You can find all kinds of bonuses to give your players that result from failure. Increased determination, seeing enemies from different angles, recalling previous enemies who fought with a similar style, getting better positioning for a future attack. Turn a barbarian's missed swing into a seemingly-intentional, intimidating display of might and rage. A mage who misses with a fireball is still a fire-wielding menace who can scare lesser foes. Skills exist to make our lives better, and we can get some great flavor out of otherwise mundane situations. If you let your players know that this kind of thing is possible, you can encourage them to narrate their attacks in a descriptive way that leaves room for a skill check on a miss - "I swing" turns into "I spin around, bring my axe towards his head" so that a miss can be "I use my momentum to tumble and shift a square". The more they choose to narrate, the more control they have over what happens when they miss - and oh look, no more 5 second turns of "I swing, roll 2, your turn."
The more they choose to narrate, the more control they have over what happens when they miss - and oh look, no more 5 second turns of "I swing, roll 2, your turn."

Maybe not, but 5 second turns would get through combat faster, and save a lot of time for when something actually worth describing arises in combat. Isn't combat speed the point of this thread?

Don't get me wrong, I love getting descriptive in combat. It doesn't speed anything up, but it makes us less mindful of how long things are taking.

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I would suggest only implementing such a rule if the attack would have at least been a successful Touch Attack.  Even then, doing only the minimum damage for said attack.
What you are trying to do is this:
1.  Quicken each rounds thereby quicken the encounter.
2.  Make each turn meaningful to the player, who waited for his turn and need to wait again when it's over.

If you can do the 1st, you don't have to worry about the 2nd.  Making each round go quickly will not require you to make each player turn "meaningful", since the wait be quick for him/her to act again.

I would stick with #1 as your main focus.  Here is what I did at my table to make each round go quickly yet maintain the "feel" or "excitement" of randomness and variable of dice roll that needs to be present in any dangerous combat situation.  There has to be the element of "chance" & it's meaningful results that needs to be played out.

Just the few basics:  



  • MM1 or MM2 got major issues.  Dmg output vs Health scaling is totally foobarred.  Utilize either MM3 or if gonna use MM1 or MM2, you can use the Boot in Face damage to level scale: dmg42.blogspot.com/2012/02/boot-on-face-...



  • You can also scale the MM1 or MM2 monster health down, 25-30%.  You don't want the rounds to go on and on just hitting down Hit Points.  You want the encounter to remain engaging which means you want it to go fast & furious, and not spend 2-3 hours of hit point reduction in each encounter.


Now what I did at my table:  We wanted to eliminate unneccessary dice rolls.   We roll to Hit and made a chart to determine its outcome.  But for us to make this work and remain competitive & exciting, we swapped 1d20 to 2d10, 2-20 results (1% for roll of 2 or 20, 58% for 8-14).  The 1d20 (5% for roll of 1 or 20) for failure & crit wasn't working if want to go with 1 roll determine everything, especially when you want to build a chart:
















































































































1%





Natural 2



Critical Fumble:  You are stunned 1-4 Rounds.  Save Ends



2%



 



3



Fumble:  You are Dazed until start of your next turn.



7%



 



4 to 5



Up to 25% Damage  or Daze or Prone or Slide Target 1-2 Squares



11%



 



6 to 7



Up to 25% Damage 



58%



 



8 to 14



Up to 50%   Damage                                             



11%



 



15 to 16



Up to 75%   Damage                                           



7%



 



17 to 18



Up to 100% Damage                                                          



2%



 



19 or Crit



Critical Hit: 100% Damage and Target is stunned 1-4 Rounds.  Save Ends



1%



 



Natural 20



Epic Critical: 150% Damage and Target Makes a Save Against Unconscious



Target makes the save:  Target is stunned for 1-4 rounds.



Ω Hit result table applies to any damages that require dice rolls to determine total damage after an attack roll is made.  It does not apply to any other damages that do not require an attack roll.


Ω All other effects are compounded with the effects provided on the Hit Result Table.



We been playing with this last 5+ sessions for Paragon players and it's been working out GOLDEN at our table.  Since damage is percentage based, all we had to do is break down our At-Will, Encounter, Daily damages into the percentages before playing, including the Monsters.  1 Roll determine everything.

Also because we moved to 2d10 , the Epic Critical and Critical Fumble is only 1% chance meaning we were able to make those two rare rolls epic.  Believe it or not, that 1% do come into effect more then you realize, and when it occurrs it adds crazy excitement to the table.  Also due to the Epic Critical result of failing a save and going unconscious, the PC's tend to not treat lower level monsters or npc's with impunity.  They actually think before they act on any level mobs.

Also we decided that low roll hit means two things:  Either the attacker is much higher level, or has superb tatical superiority.  So on a low roll hit, we added some level of control the attacker can have when he does roll low and still hit.

Also we decided to go "up to" damage to give players and npc's a choice...  Just because the roll allowed you to do 50% dmg does not mean the player or npc has to exploit it fully and do 50%.  If the player wants to toy with a npc or vice versa, they can do whatever amount less then what the result.  It can provide a great RP session even during combat;  Player making a Insight check to realize the NPC is simply toying with him/her, not making the full thrust of his attack for the openning NPC had... or vice versa.  


This has solved our long boring hit point reduction problem and made our rounds go fast and the encounter, fast & furious, with Vegas style excitment when we roll the 1% odd.

Our table have not experienced any problem yet.. its been 6-7 sessions so far.  

Don't know if this will help you. But this is how we fixed the problem you are facing.   Hope it helps.








Ghost,
How does this apply to NADs vs AC?

If a monster has an AC of 30 and a level 15 warrior rolls a 10, how is that different than the wizard that has three targets of different REF and rolls a 10? 

Also, how does this distinguish between a Great Axe and an Executioner's Axe when they both have the same max damage?

I am interested in your system though.


 
Ghost,
How does this apply to NADs vs AC?

If a monster has an AC of 30 and a level 15 warrior rolls a 10, how is that different than the wizard that has three targets of different REF and rolls a 10? 

Also, how does this distinguish between a Great Axe and an Executioner's Axe when they both have the same max damage?

I am interested in your system though. 



We play 4e ofcourse.  We apply it to NADs and AC.  It's a hit chart for everything.  Only purpose is to eliminate dice rolling to determine damage with extra gravy with fumbles and crits.  Again the Hit Table purpose is to eliminate extra dice rolling for damages.. and instead 1 Roll Determine to Hit AND Damage, and it only applies to Damage Roll that requires an Attack Roll.  Any static damage that don't require an Attack Roll and a Dice Roll for damage don't apply.  

For the effects to apply it has to "hit".  A miss does nothing.  If 10 is a hit, against AC or whatever, Damage = 50%.  Now the percentage is only for damage that require dice rolls.  Static bonus such as magic item, stat.. don't get broken down.  Full static bonuses apply anyway if played out regularly.

This means, majority of time when our pc "hits", if encounter monsters are equivalent or bit higher level, the results of the damage be 50% and up since the PC's will need to roll around 10+ give or take a few to hit.  Mathematic average in 2d10 to roll 8-14 is 58% so each turn in a balanced encounter play, chances are pc will roll 8-14, 58% of the time, doing 50% damage.  The 3% higher hit ratio then the 1d20, (8-14 being 35% of the time, and 10+ 55% of the time), but we felt that no one gets excited on a miss on their turn.. we get excited on a hit, so that extra 3% bonus was significant then not.

Now against a low defense such as Will defense, the PC attacking the low defense may hit with lower roll, (not necessarily because of level difference or tactical bonuses).. but we felt a low defense is no different then fighting lower level and the Attacker can choose to add a control effect to the low "hit" roll of 4-5 instead of damage .  Low NADs didn't make a negative difference at all during our encounters.. and everything from Will, Reflex to AC were in play.   Rolling low such as 4-7 and then hitting the defense meant simply 25% damage with extra options if rolled 4-5 to hit.

For the mage hitting 3 targets with a burst or blast, the mage would have to roll attack rolls on each.. depending on the roll, the % damage and/or it's effects would apply individually.  Again nothing else changes except you don't roll the damages.  What you initially rolled to hit determines the damage. 

Now the difference of Great Axe and Executioner's Axe. Executioner's Axe has a Brutal point of 2.  We adapted the "Brutal value" as added Static value to the damage per extra dice.  So.. with a hit with Excecutioner's Axe, lets say a regular wielded by heroic (10 lvl, +4 str, no other static value damage).  Lets say 50% was the result.  12 x .5 = 6+ 4+2, resulting in 12 pts of damage.  If it was a +2 magical exe axe, then brutal static value for the crit be +6.  It's not perfect but we didn't want to ignore the "brutal" weapon properties all together, and it worked out well so far.  

We use this for paragon and epic... We never tried it on heroic tier 1-10 level.  For 1-10 level I don't think a home brew system is required.

Now a low level requiring high roll to hit a higher defense or higher level.. chances are he will miss most of time, but when he does hit, it will be a significant hit.. meaning 17 or higher roll to hit, everytime he hits he will be doing 100% damage and up. We decided that was great since even in the movies, weaker opponant may miss stronger opponant alot, while the stronger toys with the weaker, but when the weaker do hit.. its usually not a "scratch" but a dramatic game changer.  We thought how this plays out with the chart was good mirror of that.

Funny thing is, in one encounter alone, I rolled a 2...3 times, stunning myself for 1d4 rounds each time.  That 1% chance do come into play more often then I thought, but it adds Vegas excitement when it happens.  When it happens to monsters, its also a tide changer.  Losing fight can turn into a winning fight.  That variable element of chance seem to add so much fun.   This is what 1d20 can't give.  5% is way way too high to make it epic and there is no average roll.  We know for mathematic certainty with 2d10 that 8-14 will be rolled 58% of the time.  And everything below and everything above is a much lower chance roll but with added interesting outcomes for the variable.

For crit affecting paragon paths such as Dagger Master, or Epic Feats.. you can reasonably transfer the percentage value to the table.  For instance Dagger Master can crit with a dagger with a roll of 18-20.  That's a 15% chance in 1d20 terms.  Switching that to 2d10.. that would be a crit on a roll of 17+ which is 10% chance.  On the chart we use 19 as "all crits" effects.  Epic critical only requires a Natural Roll of 20.  So a dagger master will crit on a roll of 17-19 having the 19 crit effect, and Natural 20 being epic critical.  

Any Feat that gives weapon crit at 19-20 (10% 1d20), it would transfer to 18-20 (6% chance 2d10).  

Even though the % is lower transferred to 2d10, since the effect is higher, crit also causing a stun etc, and epic crit doing epic result, it balances it out fine.

Majority of the rounds, when a "hit" is involved it will usually be 25% to 75% damage 80% of the time(6-16).  100% damage 7% of time(17-18), 25% damage or slide, prone, daze target 7% of the time (4-5), Fumble, Critical Fumble 3% of the time (2-3), Crits and Epic crits 3% of the time (19-20).  These others only play out at low total percentage of 20% of the time.....but with very interesting results.

So basically we broke up the combat damage system to;  80% of the time 25%-75% of damage will be done when we "hit", and this math appears to be true when we tally the encounters up when we play, math being math it averages out close to correct given enough rolls.  20% of the time.. something special occurrs, out of which 6% of the time.. something really special occurrs either with fumbles or crits, out of which 1% of the time.. epic critical occurrs.  During our sessions only one time a player rolled Natural 20 for a epic hit.  Ofcourse I personally rolled Natural 2's 3x in one encounter.... you got to luv math but the variables and odds definitely makes things exciting.

How fast does our table go?  Since everyone's damages are broken down already 25/50/75/100/150% per basic, at-will, encounter, daily Powers;  Each player turn... What you roll?  13.  It's a hit.  I did 35 points.  Next... player.   what you roll?  10. It's a miss.  Next player.  What you roll?  17.  It's a hit. I did 55 points.  Next..and so forth.  With the added flavor of fumbles, crits, critical fumbles and epic crits when those rolls happen.  

And most of our time spent in a round in an encounter is making Tactical Decisions which shouldnt be rushed since thats fun part of combat round and it is what we want... not dice rolling and adding dices causing unneccesary time lag to the game.

As long as you are not stuck with 1d20 and don't mind 2d10 to simulate and adept into 1d20 with much higher variables and predictable average results due to the combination of numbers which 1 dice can't give..you can try and test this out your self with your friends.  It changed our combat faster and more exciting, and ao far no problems.
 

"We wanted to eliminate unnecessary die rolls and speed up combat, so we added percentile dice, a look up table, and multiplication by fractions."
Funny thing is, in one encounter alone, I rolled a 2...3 times, stunning myself for 1d4 rounds each time.  That 1% chance do come into play more often then I thought, but it adds Vegas excitement when it happens.  When it happens to monsters, its also a tide changer.  Losing fight can turn into a winning fight.  That variable element of chance seem to add so much fun.   This is what 1d20 can't give.  5% is way way too high to make it epic and there is no average roll.

I'm not sure I'd call it "Vegas excitement" if I got stunned for four rounds. That's basically "go make a sandwich and watch TV until the next encounter." Same thing with the monster - what's fun or challenging about beating a stunned blob? Did the party actually beat the BBEG or did the dice do it for them?

We use an added crit/fumble table as well, but making the effects too epic/harsh just gives the game a very swingy, random feeling that starts to diminish actual playing skill and/or tactics. It's fun until the first time the dice swing the party right into a TPK.

Anyway the rest of the table seems fine (although way more complicated than the simple d20 system), but the stuns would just be waaay too much for me to really enjoy the game.

We use an added crit/fumble table as well, but making the effects too epic/harsh just gives the game a very swingy, random feeling that starts to diminish actual playing skill and/or tactics. It's fun until the first time the dice swing the party right into a TPK.
Anyway the rest of the table seems fine (although way more complicated than the simple d20 system), but the stuns would just be waaay too much for me to really enjoy the game.



This was why we moved away from 1d20 to 2d10.  The 5% plays out too often resulting in TKP. Crits favors monsters more then players since there is more of them and more rolls.  1% chance seem to be perfect, and we never had TKP situation yet.  Lot of resources was used though when the effect hits players, whether it be critical stun or epic critical but low % makes our players respond excitedly about it then fear it, since it can be dealt with.  Paragon & epic there are so much survival resources to burn anyway so it seem to work without issue, hence forth why we keep on using it.  So far no problems.  We tried 1d20 with home brewed and dumb down version of fumble and crit but it just wasnt cutting it for us.

Having low % crit & fumble but much higher effect...and 1% is as low as one can get, seem to work for us extremely well... When it happens it feels like hitting a slot machine, whether its against monsters or players. We just enjoy the fact when it occurrs.  And because our Rounds go lightning fast, player stun for 1-4 rounds don't seem to bore the player, since his turn comes up in less then 5 min to make his save or etc.  5 min or less is our average round with 5 players at the table. So it works for us.;)
Partially agree.
Definitely bring back the fumble.
Evens out the fights against the monsters, and it can be quite entertaining!

 
















































































































1%





Natural 2



Critical Fumble:  You are stunned 1-4 Rounds.  Save Ends



2%



 



3



Fumble:  You are Dazed until start of your next turn.



7%



 



4 to 5



Up to 25% Damage  or Daze or Prone or Slide Target 1-2 Squares



11%



 



6 to 7



Up to 25% Damage 



58%



 



8 to 14



Up to 50%   Damage                                             



11%



 



15 to 16



Up to 75%   Damage                                           



7%



 



17 to 18



Up to 100% Damage                                                          



2%



 



19 or Crit



Critical Hit: 100% Damage and Target is stunned 1-4 Rounds.  Save Ends



1%



 



Natural 20



Epic Critical: 150% Damage and Target Makes a Save Against Unconscious



Target makes the save:  Target is stunned for 1-4 rounds.







Ghost - Have you considered a longer daze for a Critical Fumble, it'll still feel like an epic mistake but it won't take that PC or Monster out of the running for the rest of the encounter it'll just make their next actions count more and could make things more tactical? Also just to clarify because I'm a bit fuzzy on how the 2d10 are being used. You would roll them inplace of the d20 in order to determine the hit THEN refer to the table to see the hit's affect?


As far as the larger question of the thread I had a similiar discussion to this on my own thread and came out with a few ideas. On a miss instead of straight half damage if you'd still like damage to be done, have the PC's do damage based on how badly they missed. If the miss was by 1-2 they do about half damage, they still hit the monster but can't quite make it through their defenses. On a miss by 3-4 have them do 25% of their damage say it's a glancing blow and anything less then that just misses all together.

Also consider using a timer, either 1 minute or 1.5, it'll encourage quick decision making and force the PCs to pay attention to the encounter overall, instead of just sitting and waiting for their turn at bat.
Yes TheFenis, we roll 2d10 and whatever the number (2-20) if its a "hit" we apply the hit result.  Damage is precalculated by % break down, (not static damage but only dice damages) for all charactors and monsters rounding .5 decimals down if decimal exist.  All we do is Roll, hit, say the damage.  Doesnt take us 3 seconds To determine.  Thats how fast our round goes.

Yes.  Instead of 1d20(1-20) we swapped to 2d10 (2-20) to add math variables of 1-100 with predictable avg, instead of 1-20 variable.  We tried twicking 1d20 but just wasn't getting the variables we wanted.  It should be what variables one wants then choosing the dice to represent it then vice versa.  Happens to be 1d20 dnd core variable system can easily be tranformed to 2d10 so it was easy transition, and we got the variable we wanted with added "average"  built in with 2 dices then simple 1 dice.

This allowed us to make nat 20 and nat 2 epic since its extreme low frequency of occurance on table.  100 rolls before 2 or 20 is rolled is the odds.  Me rolling 2's 3 times was a variable fluke..kinda like getting a Royal Flush..but that appears to add excitement regardless.  We felt epic critical effect should have equal epic fumble effect and being stunned 1-4 rounds with saves every round was appropriate compared to 150% dmg and 45% of going unconscious on a nat 20 roll.  

We been using this for past 7  sessions and for the dm and players its been working out golden so far Without any problems.  

If we stuck with 1d20 variable, then nat 1 dazing for 1-4 rounds and nat 20 doing some added crit effect may be viable...BUT with 5% chance, anything more interesting cant be added since its table top frequency occurs too often.  1 out of 20 roll odd wasn't working for us hence forth increasing the variable with 2d10.

Predictable "average" was a bonus..why % 2d10 (1-100%) is inferior to adding two dices to get same 1-100 variables.

Now we only use 2d10 for combat and skill checks.  Rest such as making saves everything else not related, we use 1d20.  Saves in particular, you cant use 2d10 (2-20) to represent 1d20, since nature of save is straight up 55%  success and 45% faiulure chance and 2d10 wouldnt represent that properly, unless you switch 2d10 as % but keeping any changes simple, streamlined and stable adaptation to exisitng system is also important.  We are not trying to create entire new system after all, just adapting.

We tried timer but never worked.  Player gonna spend the time he she feels regardless of timer to make tactical decisions, and bietching about it at the table or punishing player by skipping him/her was counter productive to player fun.  So...we decided to evolve & twick system to shave off serious amount of time on the mechanical aspect (without losing challenge, engagement and variable risk) and allow players to spend their time on the decision making aspect...which is what players want...at least at our table.

Again this is Paragon and up.  System works fine until then. It don't show signs of breaking down until players start leveling paragon and into epic.
I like it!

But more monsters throwing more dice, it seems more likely for a player to get dazed/stun-locked when swarmed by minions. 

I would make the 2 and 19 = Dazed until end of next turn (if the attack normally dazes, than proned instead), and 1 and 20 = stunned until the end of next turn (if the attack normally stuns, then proned instead).

But Ghost says he has playtested his way and it works, so that's great!