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Combat

Damage Modifiers in Hack100’s Combat

Let’s continue our development of Hack100’s combat system by looking at how we will accommodate the effects of different weapon and armour types.

Previously, we’ve established the fundamental mechanics behind combat in Hack100 and how they build upon the game’s wider task resolution system. Missile attacks are made using a Ranged Task Roll. Close combat is resolved using an Opposed Hand-to-Hand Task Roll versus either the defender’s Hand-to-Hand Ability (an attempt to parry) or their Agility Ability (an attempt to dodge). If an attack is successful, the basic damage inflicted is equal to the tens die of the task roll. 

The question we will now address is by how much does an attacker’s weapon or a defender’s armour modify the total amount of damage caused by a successful attack? 

The two tables below, one for weapons and one for armour, provide details of these Damage Modifiers (DMs). They either increase (in the case of weapons) or decrease (in the case of armour) the amount of damage that is deducted from a target’s Health following a successful attack. 

 

Weapon

Damage Modifier 

Unarmed

0

Improvised

+1

Sling

+2

Dagger

+2

Bow

+3

1-Handed Weapon

+4

Crossbow

+4

2-Handed Weapon

+6

Armour

Damage Modifier 

None

0

Leather

-1

Chain

-2

Plate

-3

Shield

-1

 

 At this stage, the values of these Damage Modifiers are provisional. They may change following playtesting, but let’s see how they work for now by running some further simulations using the combat script we used previously. In an earlier example, we looked at a fight between two characters with Ability scores of 50 and Damage Modifiers of zero. In other words, the two combatants were unarmed and unarmoured. When we ran this combat 100 times, the win ratio was 47:52 with one draw, and the average fight length was 9 rounds. 

Let’s now look at three further examples in which the fighters’ arms and armour influence the outcome. 

Example 1 – Equipping the fighters with swords 

If we now give both fighters a sword, their weapon Damage Modifier increases to +4. They still have no armour, so +4 is also the net Damage Modifier. In comparison to when they were unarmed, they are still just as likely to hit each other, but the average damage from a successful attack will rise by 4. As you might expect, the overall win ratio across 100 fights remains balanced (55:44), but the average fight length drops from 9 rounds to 5 rounds. Simply, the increased damage from the swords allows them to kill each other more quickly! 

Example 2 – Still with swords, but one fighter is more skilled than the other 

This is the same scenario as above, but rather than both fighters having Ability scores of 50, one now has 60 and the other 40. In this case, as you would expect, the more skilled fighter wins. Not only are they more likely to hit, but they will also have more Health (24 vs 16) due to their higher Toughness and Willpower. Over 100 fights, the win ratio swings to 98:2, with an average fight length of 4 rounds. 

Example 3 – a more skilful fighter against a better-equipped fighter 

Finally, we’ll pit a 60-rated unarmored fighter wielding a 1-handed sword (DM +4) against a 40-rated adversary that is wearing plate mail armour (DM -3) and wielding a 2-handed sword (DM +6). Here we find that the superior equipment does aid the weaker fighter, but the more capable, less well-equipped stronger fighter still wins more battles overall (75:24) with an average fight length of 5 rounds. 

Overall, the above simulations seem to yield reasonable results. What’s more, when we take arms and armour into account, along with discrepancies in fighter ability, we start to get combat durations closer to the target of 5 rounds that was one of the original design ambitions. Further playtesting is most certainly needed, but we seem to be on the right lines.

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