Saturday, November 10, 2012

Enhanced Spite for Characters

I have lamented in the past that one of my hang-ups with T&T, or what I would miss when not playing AD&D, is the possibility of that 'critical hit' or heroic blow. Spite effects is one of the few ways within the T&T rules to really separate one monster from another other, besides the difference in base MR.

What about enhanced spite effects for the players? This could be an optional rule, especially for those who do not mind adding another step to the combat system.

Enhanced Spite for Characters
Some monsters can get additional spite effects or special damage based on the number of 6s rolled. This can range from double the normal spite damage for each, to spell effects or other such special attacks based on rolling higher numbers of 6s.

There could be 'finishing' talents that would specifically be triggered off of spite damage in melee combat. Instead of having a modifier like a normal Talent, there would be a spite modifier (2/, 3/) so that you know how many 6s it would take to trigger the effect. They could be things like:
Sweep (2/) - one opponent in contact with the PC (his choice) using Sweep is knocked off his feet and only gets half his combat adds the following round as he gets back to his feet.
Disarm (2/) - one opponent in contact with the PC (his choice) using Disarm has his weapon knocked out of his hand. Randomly determine direction and distance the weapon is thrown from the opponent.
Or maybe, they do not need to be Talents at all, but a table of Spite affects that can be randomly applied by the characters if they are on the losing end of a melee round, but have rolled a few 6's in their combat round. It could still be applied as a group 'Spite' total, and could be a way for a battle to be turned.

So often in T&T combat, the side with the higher number of dice and combat adds are eventually going to win out. Being able to alter that course for even one round may give some hope where it all may be lost.

Enhanced Spite for weapons
Likewise, spite could also be applied to weapons where it would make sense, and not just magical effects for enchanted weapons.
  • Polearms or spears should cause more of a chance to trip an opponent.
  • Whips should provide an opportunity to entangle an opponent.
I got some more thinking to do on this subject in general. Tom has had some similar thoughts as well.


  1. Thanks for the mention Jerry. :0).

    I like what you have there with the Enhanced Spite for Weapons. It's very similar to what Rolemaster did and, along the lines of how I have been framing my idea.

    I have also been looking to Deathblow magazine for inspiration.

    At the moment, I ma debating just how deep to go with the system. Do I go along the lines of a table for swords against armor / swords against no armor / axes against armor etc, or, do I simplify and go with a table for edged damage against armor / edged damage against no armor / blunt damage against armor etc.

  2. Just had a quick flick through the article that you mentioned in Dragon #39. Looks like I was planning something along the lines of what they produced without even knowing it!

  3. I'm pretty new to T&T with the use of Spite damage. But, considering how rare fumbles and critical hits can be in D&D style games with a d20, I'm thinking maybe include a special Spite Damage d6 of a unique color. That one die would have to be a "6" along with your other d6 rolls of "6" to determine the critical hit effect. Otherwise it would be considered normal Spite damage. Conversely, rolling a "1" on the Spite Die could trigger the possibility of fumble effects, tallying up your d6 rolls of "1". I havn't thought this through completely, but was trying to think of a way to make it a less likely event that still had the potential for game altering effect.

  4. Some good ideas T&T combat, if you roll low, you are gonna be taking damage, there really is no 'fumble' per se unless you are attempting some feint or action that would require a SR and then roll a '3'.

    I like the idea of the colored die though...others have mentioned something similar in the past on the 'walla.

    1. I was thinking that the Spite Die would only be a trigger for effect and would not be counted as part of HPT. It could even be an option that the player or GM do not have to take if they choose not to roll the (Enhanced) Spite Die. Beyond this, you would also have to roll "6's" or "1's" with your normal weapon dice for it to count as a crit hit or fumble. It's kind of a gamble. As far as fumbles go, possibly drop a weapon or stumbles or is stunned by a head shot, resulting in anything from self inflicted damage, loss of weapon adds or personal adds, or loss of a round of combat (in which case, if you are not fighting as a party, you better have good armor). If you're a really forgiving GM, You may allow a SR to avoid the fumble. Even in D&D and its clones, using crit hits and fumble tables has the potential for making combat more deadly. And who knows, maybe both sides roll a fumble and mutually stun one another (:

  5. Very interesting thoughts, you all.

    It seems to me, however, that special damage triggered by only 2 sixes would give characters too much of an edge. Just compare with the chances they have to achieve anything with a talent (see the excellent "Dare to DARO" article by Dan Prentice here You will notice that if you fail a SR on some combat talent, there are risks involved, which is not the case if you don't roll anough sixes to trigger some special damage.
    Therefore, I would use special damage very sparingly, no matter if they are character-based or weapon-based.

    I think I would rather go for some weapon-based special damage, which would be available only to certain characters. Let me explain.
    Instead of choosing a talent, your warrior could choose a special damage instead, and only for one specific weapon (e.g. the common spear, used to knock off his feet one single humanoid, average-size opponent).

    The number of sixes that trigger that special effect/damage would be determined on a case-by-case basis by the GM (frankly, I hate tables, or I wouldn't be playing T&T) :-)

    And you could even make you warrior a specialist of that weapon. If he has twice as many DEX points as required to wield his preferred weapon, you warrior would automatically trigger the special effet if he rolls at least one 6.

    That could be a nice house rule (Ken, you hear that?) :-)

    1. This sounds more like Combat Stunts then Critical Hit damage. It's certainly an option though.

      In my example, I would scale the effect of a critical hit based on the number of "6's" a player rolls along with a roll of "6" on the special (Enhanced) Spite Die. If the player only has a d6 weapon, the effect would be somewhat limited (say 1-6 pts extra damage win or lose). And there is a gamble that you might roll a "1" (fumble) on the special die.