I am monkeying with some of the mechanics in Heroes By Trade. I have found that the current way I set up damage dealt in combat is mechanically very precise and generates the right numbers but it is clunky and sometimes confuses people. I swung a little too far into 'make the numbers beautiful' and too far away from 'make the game fun'. Keeping that in mind I want to change the way I do damage determination.
I still intend to have a hit roll that determines if the attack lands or not. The question is, what system should I use for damage?
Option 1. Everyone rolls 1d10 for damage and adds modifiers to that damage. Weapons and Aspects plus miscellaneous bonuses will be added on. For example, someone with 8 Strength using a Greatsword would do 1d10 + 12 damage.
Option 2. Damage is fixed. It is still possible to get a critical hit and ignore the opponent's Armour but otherwise every hit does the same damage. Note that opponents have different Armour values so the actual damage that ends up getting through is not the same on each opponent. For example, someone with 8 Strength using a Greatsword would do 18 damage.
Option 2 looks really weird at first glance. I am used to rolling damage in every system from DnD to World of Darkness to Cyberpunk but nonetheless there is no particular reason why it needs to happen. Removing the damage roll certainly speeds things up and makes it very simple but I wonder if something is lost. In particular I am concerned about whether or not people will find that it lacks the proper feel. I am currently leaning towards Option 1 but I don't want to do so just because of tradition. It is pretty hard to separate myself from so many years of that tradition though!
So, poll time. Do you like rolling for damage or fixed damage? If you have an opinion or any thoughts at all please do reply and let me know.