Double damage. how do YOU do it

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Double damage. how do YOU do it

Postby garhkal » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:54 am

OK, so we have several magical weapons, instances and such that allow someone to cause 'double damage', whether it be someone swinging a backstab, setting a spear to receive a charge, and so on..

SO how do YOU Do it?

Is it just double the damage period (inc all bonuses from specialization, strength etc)?
Double the weapon, THEN add in bonuses?
Roll double the weapon, then add in bonuses??

Let's take a few examples.

Player 1 is a thief who lucked out and has a 16 strength. He's wielding a +2 short sword and is 5th level so is x3 damage for his backstabs..
So is that [d6 (sword) +2 (Sword) x3 (backstab multiplier)[, +1 from str? Giving him a damage range of 10-25?
Is that d6+3 x3, giving him a damage range of 12- 33hp?
Is it just 3d6, +2 magic +1 str giving him a damage spread of 6-21hp?
Or is it 3d6+6 (Sword x3) +1 from str giving him a damage range of 10 to 25hp?

Where as we then have player 2, a fighter who has 18/77 strength (+4 damage), is double specialized in the bastard sword (+3 damage), and is wielding a +3 bastard sword. The DM is using a "Nat 20 is double damage" rule..
Is that 2d4 (two handed S/M damage value) x2 + 4 str, +3 spec +3 magic giving him a 14 to 26hp spread
Is it [2d4+3 (sword) x2], +4 str +3 spec, giving him a damage spread of 17 to 29hp
Is it [4d4 (sword x2) +4 str, +3 magic, +3 spec giving him a spread of 14 to 26hp
Or is it [4d4+6 (sword x2) +4 str +3 spec, giving him a spread of 17hp to 29hp?
Or is it 2d4+10 x2 giving him a damage spread of 24hp to 36hp??

Does it depend on WHICH source the damage multiplication is coming from??

Linked to this IF say you are one of those who does double damage on a nat 20, and someone's already getting a x2 damage attack (Charge/set for charge), does it double again to x4? Or is it just X3?
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Re: Double damage. how do YOU do it

Postby Halaster-Blackcloak » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:55 pm

We used to simply double the damage rolled on the dice for the weapon damage itself. I believe we used the 2E optional rules from pg. 61 of the DMG. So you double whatever you roll, then add magical and STR bonuses. Say you have a long sword +3. You roll a natural 20, so you get double damage. Then you double what you roll. What happens when you roll a 1or a 2? Well, that brings the damage (doubled) to 2 or 4, plus the +3 bonus for the weapon. So with a natural 20 doing double damage, you inflict either 5 pts. or 7 pts. damage. Big deal. On average, you do 7.5 pts. (average of d8 = 4.5 + 3 magic bonus = 7.5) without rolling a 20. That sucks! Talk about anti-climactic! :roll: And that happened often enough that we didn't see the point. Sure, you could get lucky and roll a natural 20 to hit, then roll an 8 for damage, double that to 16 and then add the +3 making it 19 pts. damage. But on average you'd roll a 4, making it 8 + 3 = 11 pts. or just 4 pts. more than average. Bah!

We started doubling everything! So if a fighter has a long sword +3 and a +2 STR bonus and rolls a natural 20, that means he takes the total of his damage roll + STR bonus + magic bonus, adds them up, then doubles it. So if he rolls an average of 4 for damage (on d8), he adds his +2 STR bonus and +3 magic bonus for a total of 9, then doubles all that for 18 pts. damage. If this were a thief doing backstab damage x3, we would multiply that double damage x 3 for backstab, generating 54 pts. damage.

Now keep in mind, these rules applied to all the PCs' opponents as well! :twisted: Giant throws a boulder and rolls a 20? Double damage. Giant has a giant-sized two-handed sword +3? Better pray he doesn't hit with a natural 20. The weapon itself does 2d10 (averaging 11 pts.), plus the +3 magic bonus, plus I give giants their STR bonus (+9 for say a frost giant), which totals 23, doubled for the natural 20 roll means 46 pts. damage! 8O If that giant rolls even slightly above normal for damage, he could easily do 50+ pts. damage, and then we have to invoke the massive damage rule. :twisted:
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Re: Double damage. how do YOU do it

Postby garhkal » Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:56 pm

I know that. Several of my deaths that have occured in game were cause of a lucky crit from a monster with high damage..
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Re: Double damage. how do YOU do it

Postby lanir » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:12 am

It seems to make more sense to double just the dice but I've found in my games and others that going that route requires constant reminders. Thieves seem to be uncommon in my games so it just doesn't come up often enough to stick in anyone's memory for long. So I'd probably go with figuring whatever the full normal damage would be and just doubling everything.

For natural 20's I just do max damage. No need to roll. It's near the average of what you'd get doubling just the die rolls, it's simple, and it's an unambiguously good result. I wish other people ran things the same way, I seem to have an unfortunate affinity for rolling 2's on my damage dice whenever I crit.
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Re: Double damage. how do YOU do it

Postby Lyrwik » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:40 am

I've done both at different times. However the other minor change I like to have is to roll twice as many dice rather than just doubling the result of the dice. I prefer the more smoothed bell curve of results that this creates, and it seems to be easier for some players to add all of the dice results rather than have a multiplication in there (oh, what I wouldn't give for players with decent mathematical abilities).

Plus, it's more fun to roll more dice :P
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Re: Double damage. how do YOU do it

Postby Halaster-Blackcloak » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:10 pm

Lyrwik wrote:

I've done both at different times. However the other minor change I like to have is to roll twice as many dice rather than just doubling the result of the dice. I prefer the more smoothed bell curve of results that this creates, and it seems to be easier for some players to add all of the dice results rather than have a multiplication in there (oh, what I wouldn't give for players with decent mathematical abilities).

Plus, it's more fun to roll more dice


I've actually been considering switching to rolling twice for the dice aspect of double damage (say when rolling an actual 20), simply because even with adding everything and then doubling it, it always feels like a letdown to roll a 1 or a 2 for damage, even if after adding STR and magic bonuses the actual doubled damage comes out to 14 pts. of damage in a single blow. If you go with that method, even if you roll a 1, the second roll will on average be a 4 or 5 (on d8), so you end up with 5-6 pts. doubled instead of 1 or 2 doubled.

Especially because one of my players seems absolutely cursed to always roll a 1 whenever he gets double damage from a natural 20. It's uncanny, how often that happens for this particular player. The dice gods hate him! :lol:
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Re: Double damage. how do YOU do it

Postby Cole » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:30 pm

I do and always have done, ROLL for damage, double it and then add all bonuses, subtract any penalties if applicable.
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