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Damage Die Increase

Damage Die Increase

I know there are specific rules for increase the damage from attacks but here is my quandary: why does it have to be d6s or d8s etc? I made a tiered strength increase talent for a D20 Modern game, each level gave a +2 strength and additional melee and unarmed damage. 1st 1d6, 2nd 1d8, 3rd 1d10, 6th 1d12, 9th 1d20. I did this because it seemed cool and dramatic to me. An old school gamer friend of mine reacted as though I suggested inserting that d20 into his urethra. He says that under no circumstance should you EVER use a d20 for damage. I love the guy, even if he is a stodgy old bastard, but I think he's over reacting. Discuss

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In the immortal words of James the Wanderer 'A road of gold is both loud and slippery'

You make it sound like his only reason for disliking the notion is silly tradition, but there are some fairly rational reasons to avoid it.

It has a very broad, flat range of randomness. While a 1d8 doesn't vary the total damage by much, a 1d20 will range from "won't kill a kobold" 1 to "take a chunk out of a dragon" 20, and because the probability with one die is flat, they'll both happen with regularity. The end result is that hitting someone no longer becomes the important hurdle. You have to hit that person, and then assure that your damage isn't strangely negligible.

Doubling up on dice give the probability graph a curve to it, which gives a greater sense of what one can expect with a hit. Compare 2d10 to 1d20. They have similar ranges (2-20 vs. 1-20) but 2d10 scores its lowest value 2 only 1 in 100 rolls, and its middle value, 11, 1 in 10 rolls, so 2 feels like a calamitous failure, and a 20 feels like a stunning success, rather than something which happens all the time.

I'd go with the standard D&D size increases - 1d6, 1d8, 2d6, 3d6, 4d6, 6d6, 8d6, 12d6.
Or with 1d6, 1d8, 2d6, 2d8, 2d10.
Once you get outside the normal dice, the range starts getting a bit random.

Fair enough. I just kind of like the idea of throwing d20s for damage. "I punch him in the face! 1d6+7+1d20, booyah!" As a player that would make me feel like a bad ass. As a GM, though, I can completely see your point.
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"Sometimes glass glitters more than diamonds because it has more to prove." Terry Pratchett

It's actually more advantageous to the players to avoid the 1d20 damage than it is to the DM. Consistency favors the players. Randomness favors the monsters.

To a certain degree, Jack Mann. It certainly makes long term planning, which players have to deal with and monsters don't, more difficult and risky.

On the other hand, a wide flat distribution range is to your advantage in overcoming damage reduction. Despite the fact that the average roll of a 1d20 is 10.5, and 2d10 is 11, 1d20-10 averages 2.75 damage per hit, while 2d10-10 averages 2.2. This is because the minimum damage an attack can do is 0. And since players rarely have damage reduction, and monsters often do, it sometimes favours the players.

Edit: Sorry, mixed up the math initially.

It's not that simple. The biggest complication, players will or at least should always have some static damage bonuses to offset that DR. Lets say the player in question has a not at all unreasonable +5 to damage. Effectively that's 1d20-5 and 2d10-5. 1d20-5 has a 25% chance of no damage at all, 2d10-5 only 10%.

I can't do the average damage calculation in my head for that scenario.

Here's a Google Docs of the excel sheet I was messing with:

At -5, the average is 6 for 1d20 and 6.1 for 2d10, which indicates its already started to gain, since 1d20 starts with .5 less on average than 2d10. I think 1d20 starts to gain advantage when the sum of bonuses and penalties is -2 or less. Try changing the value subtracted from 5 and you'll see why. 2d10 gets it maximum only when two 0s are rolled, while 1d20 gets its maximum 1 out of 20 times. The disadvantage of 1d20 is its easy-to-roll 1, but that becomes less and less important the more 0s are on the chart.

Where is this 'DR can't reduce total damage to 0' rule?
I'm not familiar with it.

Damage Resistance can't reduce damage below zero. It's not a rule, it's common sense! But it affects the math significantly.


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