Brief thoughts for a Sunday night. Are they solid gold? Probably not.
If you're just joining us, we've been discussing a sort of competitive die mechanic that came to me in a dream. What this says about my subconscious, determine for yourself in this post.
I've been quietly mulling this over in my head all weekend. One conclusion that I've come to is that a single die roll should be made for both our damage soak/armor effectiveness effects that we discussed yesterday, but also for damage. I've also come to the realization, a simple fact that I had overlooked in my quest for defining the purpose for a rolling of the dice, is that weapons of sufficient strength will always cause damage, even through armor.
More crunchy gaming goodness, below the fold.
The control group
Let's get back to examples. In this case, a 4d6 weapon versus 3d6 armor.
Damage roll (4d6): 5, 3, 3, 1
Armor roll (3d6): 5, 5, 3
By the rules as established thus far, the armor has held up successfully, meeting or beating its three paired rolls, 5-5, 5-3, and 3-3. What has troubled me so far is what to do with that extra Damage roll of 1 tacked on at the end. Now I'm thinking that it should be the damage. While the armor survived, intact, this extra, unopposed die is damage from blunt impact, heat associated with an energy weapon, or damage just sneaking through chinks in the armor.
So, in another example of the same matchup, we have:
Damage roll (4d6): 5, 3, 3, 1
Armor roll (3d6): 6, 2, 2
In this case, two of the armor dice were defeated, and one damage die was unopposed. This makes the damage total to the character 3+3+1 = 7, plus the two defeated armor dice are removed and the next Armor roll will be only 1d6.
Mixing it up
This leads to another mechanic that I touched on in the previous post in the 2d8 Damage roll example. Different die codes correspond to different types of damage, with different effects. If 3d6 is a simple "blaster" as we noted before, the 2d8 may be a focused laser weapon that, with its higher die code of d8 instead of d6, is designed to have more armor-defeating, penetrating power.
Likewise, we can now introduce the 4d4 explosive round, or other impact weapon. The total destructive force of this weapon (16) is equal to that of the 2d8 laser and slightly less than that of the 3d6 blaster (18). However, while it is less likely to penetrate the armor in our example (d4 Damage versus d6 Armor), it has more total dice (4 versus 3), and therefore will always deliver some limited damage by its blunt impact.
Damage roll (4d4): 1, 1, 1, 1
Armor roll (3d6): 6, 6, 6
Even in this worst-possible Damage roll against the best-possible Armor roll, the design of the weapon as represented by its die code will always deliver some limited amount of punch, in this case 1 point of damage.
As we continue this theoretical development, we see another example of developing the setting alongside the dice mechanics. This provides opportunities to develop and understand the technology of the gaming world, as well as ensuring that the "fluff" and the "crunch" get along with one another.
I'm off to bed, undoubtedly to dream up some major flaw in the system, if you don't point it out to me, first.