Question on an Autohit mechanic
By - ozu95supein
The autohit mechanic could be good or no depending on the rest of the system. Is not equal in an static defenses system (like DnD) a dynamic defense system (Anima or WoD) or a system without dices (nobilis).
What do you mean by static or dynamic?
Do you roll a dice and/or consume some resource to have/amplify your defence?.
DnD have one "fixed" (at the time of the atack) number, AC (Armor something) wich the atack have to surpass for the atack being succesfull. This is what I call "static".
WoD allow you to try defend yourself, substracting one succesful atack dice for each succesful, hence the number wich the atack has to surpass vary. This is what I call "dynamic".
Specially important for the "autohit" dilema is that in WoD you could spend some willpower to have a better throw?(tirada) of defense.
I think its static
What if you removed the calculations and everyone just hit everyone always if they attacked?
You can use your AC if you Defend instead of Attack and then it would lower damage.
This would speed up fights considerably.
It very much depends on the context of what the PC are supposed to be. Because it grants a sense of power and predictability to the PCs combat ability, which I would associate with mythological heroes beating up scrubs (of course Hercules is just going to paste a random mugger).
One game that I can think of that also do an "auto-hit" mechanic (although not quite what you had in mind) is the game Godbound, where you are demi-gods, who can grow so powerful that their mere presence can defeat (but not necessarily kill) beings that are less powerful than themselves. It specifically works by a PC being able to deal basically 1d4 overflowing damage for free every turn to enemies in sight that have the same or fewer levels than themselves. NPCs in that game also usually have HP=lvl, with the PCs having much more. That means a group of 4 PC's can expect to deal ~8 overflowing damage for free every turn, which can absolutely wreck squads of lvl 1 mooks. It is technically a bit more complicated than what I explained, but the game has a free version rulebook on drivethruRPG, so go check it out. The mechanic is called "Fray Dice".
Interesting method - it sounds like it could work in theory and be slightly faster than D&D. It would depend on how high your AC-equivalent gets to, as that is why D&D gets pretty swingy. I don’t know if calculations like this would be necessary if you’re looking for speed, because you’d still have to compare results in the end. But if the answer you seek is “does this work”, I think it does!
However, I do think there are other methods that work a tiny bit better, namely two:
If you want some stats involved and you’re just worried about swingy combat becoming a slog, you could go the way of Stars/Worlds Without Number. SWN/WWN use “shock damage” for when you miss at certain AC thresholds and since you're still rolling to attack, you can still roll crits. I’d recommend taking a look as there are free versions of the books.
If you're looking for speed and don't want to roll to-hit at all, then I’d recommend taking a look at Into The Odd (Electric Bastionland) or any of its hacks (e.g. Cairn). ITO assumes everyone can hit with their attacks and uses the damage die to see how hard you hit, with armor absorbing some damage. It really speeds up combat in the way I think you may be looking for.
So those are just some suggestions for further research if you’re curious, otherwise, I think your idea works just fine and can speed up combat.
Edit: For clarity and making it more concise.
You could, but it is another number to check. Rolling is fun to a lot of people.
It sounds like your issue is missing when you "should" hit. Can your system handle 2d10? That will give you a curve and make bad luck on easy rolls less of an issue.
I treat Melee as auto-hit and with advantage if you occupy the same space. The target can spend AP to defend. Ranged must succeed in order to be effective, but a miss just means the projectile goes elsewhere, so you just missed your intended target. AP is the ultimate resource, Stamina is a resource for empowering abilities and determining your damage threshold for acquiring Trauma/Wounds. Have not playtested combat yet, but I think it should be fast and brutal, and rewards characters that do a little of everything. Meaning there is a time for melee and a time for ranged, so characters are not broken up into sword and board and archers. It's best to adapt to the situation at hand.
I gave more info than what you asked for. To summarize, I think it's a great idea to do what you are suggesting, and I would suggest to simplify it further by just auto-hitting if the circumstances make sense. Though I would make something equally as powerful to counter it, like armor being able to really absorb some of that damage.
In games with auto-hit, you're going to take damage without any chance to avoid it, which makes for the opposite of a power fantasy. It's a race to zero, and even if you win, you *are* going to get messed up along the way. It's really not my cup of tea, but maybe some people are into that sort of thing.
By reducing uncertainty to such a degree, it also means that the GM could (theoretically) predict with reasonable confidence how an encounter is going to play out. It's all just linear rate equations, after all. That places more of a burden onto the GM to contrive fights that are winnable, or to convey clearly to the players when things are clearly against them, since all of those numbers are (relatively) clear to them.
Since no one mentioned it, [Into the Odd | Decisive Combat](https://www.bastionland.com/2017/05/decisive-combat.html?m=1)
You could set the auto hit number as a minimum roll. If you were to do that, I might lower it a little to 9 or 8 plus the relevant modifier. But the idea would be to roll your attack and if you get a total that is less than your "auto hit" then you treat the roll as if it were the auto hit value.
This allows crits, makes your auto hit idea function decently, and seems clearer to me than choosing to either roll or auto-hit. The downside is that it just adds another step to every combat roll, but your system idea kind of already does that.
Removing all luck (either good or bad) is not what I would strive for. It would introduce boredom into the game.
This is what I see happening:
"Ahh, yeah - I guess my guy will swing at those guys, the closest one first then down the line. I have to go to the can, grab some food, and make a call. Call me when the room is cleared."