D6 Weapon Damage

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.



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 Responses 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. Pingback: Yet more on D6 Weapon Damage « Lord Kilgore

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