Grognardia points out a Fighting Fantasist post on all-d6 weapon damage. It’s actually more of a description of hit points, using the “measure the life expectancy of the characters under fire” description to justify all weapons doing the same damage.

2d6

2d6

To be honest, there are a number of things I was looking forward to in my since-abandoned Swords & Wizardry White Box game, and all d6 weapon damage was one of them. Another, which Fighting Fantasist also went with, was the removal of class weapon restrictions. I did the same thing. Since all weapons do the same damage, why tell the magic-user’s player that his character cannot use swords?

It also would have gone quite well with my Clerics as Mystic Warriors plan, though this isn’t necessarily dependent upon all-d6 damage. I’m going to use the mystic warrior concept in my Labyrinth Lord game instead of the more overt religious cleric design.

Something that I think is important to keep in mind when considering all-d6 damage is the hit dice power curve. All-d6 fits right in with d6 monster hit dice and the original character class hit dice (all d6). It is probably a little under-powered when monsters have d8 and fighters have d8 or d10 as in later versions of the game.

Though I will be using the BX-derived variable weapons damage in my Labyrinth Lord game, I do think that the all-d6 scheme has a lot of merit.

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11 Comments to “D6 Weapon Damage”

  1. Stuart says:

    One of the things that’s come up in the discussion is that if you use all d6 for weapon damage you might want to consider having 2-handed weapons get +1 to hit. That nicely parallels the +1 AC (effectively -1 to hit for your enemy) that you get by carrying a Shield. So the characters always do d6 damage, but they can choose whether to focus on offensive (+1 to hit) or defensive (+1 AC) strategies.

    • Kilgore says:

      I do like that idea, as well.

      Another d6 damage rule I liked for WB was that magic weapons rolled an extra die for each “plus” (i.e., a +2 sword rolled three d6) and you kept the best one. This ups the damage but doesn’t take it out of the d6 range.

      I was quite disappointed that our WB game fizzled, but I didn’t have enough time. Now I don’t even have time for LL.

  2. Stuart says:

    Very nice. 🙂

    I’m using something similar for fighting with 2 weapons: you can reroll damage if you want, but you need to take the second result even if it’s lower.

    I really like the idea of making magic weapons get a best of X dice rolls, rather than just tack on a + to the damage.

  3. 1d30 says:

    Intelligent swords with magic powers were originally a way for Fighting-Men to get a little boost. Hence Clerics and M-Us not being able to use them. I would suggest that if anyone can wield swords, you make intelligent swords unwilling to play nice with anyone but a Fighting-Man (Fighter, whatever). Just as an honorable principle thing.

    Or ignore it completely. But that and magic armor are sort of a fringe benefit that remains important throughout the game.

  4. bevisiscariot says:

    I’ve never played S&W, though I have the book (as well as the LBBs) and have read through it multiple times. I’m a basic (or LL) guy, and I think your comment at the end is on the money: d6 damage, while it may (I’m still not totally convinced)be right for S&W, doesn’t work for basic or beyond. For many reasons. It was difficult enough to convince my players to like LL fighters (no specialization, slower to-hit progression, smaller hit-die – for the first few levels, they’re not very good…well, fighters). To tell them that their ability to wield any weapon meant nothing too would have broken the camels back, I think.

  5. bat says:

    I will run d6 (plus a modifier for magic or two handed weapons) alongside the d6 HD when I run S&W:WB, but I think I will stick with the weapon charts as is with LL, BFRPG and S&W:Core.
    I see the wisdom in d6 weapon damage as presented, but only with a basic d6 HD for monsters as well, otherwise you are going to be hacking on things all day long.

  6. […] I really like the idea of all-D6 weapon damage, but it doesn’t work so well when the system uses hit dice greater than […]