I’ve seen some posts about how to use the d8 for ‘Guns’ in an alternative way and just want to post another, less rigid idea.
Instead of thinking ‘what else can this d8 be’, I just keep the Effort dice categories from the ME book - but ‘step’ the Effort die up or down depending on situation. For example, it is in my world totally fine a dagger does D6 damage as does a battle axe - but if the PC does use it against a foe in full plate armour, the Effort die is stepped down to a D4 (the dagger just becomes a narrative element to be able to injure the foe at all, doing Basic Effort).
Similar to step up the die value: the PC is attacking out of the shadows, surprising the foe during combat, so it is stepped up to a D8. Another example: the Knight uses the chaos of ballte to flank the enemy and hit him in a less protected/defended area: step up the d6 die of the long sword to a D8.
OK, ‘what about Magic now, how does it step up’? Easy: I increase the amount of Magic Effort to d12. Example: the Mage uses a Firebolt against a water elemental, so the d10 Magic Effort die is stepped up to a D12. Similar to stepping down: The Mage uses a Firebolt against a Fire Elemental. Not the smartest thing to do, so the Magic Effort is stepped down to a d8.
The system above is less rigid and keeps the the main rules as they are, while awarding player commitment and engagement during combat. It also allows to exploit weak points and think tactical in an otherwise rules light combat system.
What do you guys think ?