I am still working on my DOOM-inspired OSR-ish game based on the framework of Swords & Wizardry (tentatively titled “SPACE DEMONS…IN SPACE”). One of my design philosophies is to keep things simple-ish, so there is speedy play at the table. Also, I am stealing…err borrowing…err using every good idea I can find in other roleplaying games. This includes the advantage / disadvantage mechanic from 5th Edition.
My question is this:
What is a good, simple OSR-ish system of combat resolution?
I know every game and gaming group has their preferred method and I am trying to find one that will work for a fast-paced game. With so many different ways of resolving combat in OSR games, what is the best solution for quick play that is easy to remember?
Something I have not mentioned in my previous posts is that my gaming group is not as…shall we say…rules-
obsessed interested as I am. Easy rules are better than hard rules. For example, Advantage / Disadvantage has been better than most situational +2 / -2 modifiers. While I doubt my group is interested in play-testing this game, I want to make this game with that experience in mind.
Without further ado, here is my proposed “official” system for combat resolution in SPACE DEMONS…IN SPACE:
There are multiple ways to run combat in this kind of game. If your group already has a preferred way of doing it, go for it! Below is one way to run combat and I guess you could call it the “official way”. However, the way your GM decides to run combat is the official way to do it.
INITIATIVE AND ORDER OF BATTLE
When the party of adventurers comes into contact with enemies, the order of events is as follows:
Surprise. The GM determines if one side is surprised. As with all of the GM’s decisions, this can be based on common sense instead of a die roll. The surprised group automatically loses initiative on the first round of combat. Also, they have disadvantage to all initiative rolls to the rest of the combat session.
Determine Initiative. Each side rolls 1d20, and the highest result wins. Ties go to the players. Note that this is rolled for each side, not for each combatant.
Winning Initiative Goes. The side that won Initiative acts first (casting spells, using medical experiments, attacking, moving, etc.), and results take effect.
Losing Initiative Goes. The side that lost initiative acts; results take effect.
The Round Ends. The round is complete; if the battle has not been resolved, begin the cycle again, starting with step 2.
What do you think? Is there a better system I should be using?
Once I have a suitable rough draft with all the features, I will let you all know and I will be happy to distribute it freely to anyone who wants a copy.
Here is where I am at with various features:
Character Creation: 100%
Combat System: 75%
Appendix of Influential Works: 25%