Here’s what I’ve been trying out lately for a few Boss or Nemesis fights. I call it
Rather than assign a monster or foe a number of hearts of HP that you must count down from or up to, give yourself a simple Go/No Go Test that looks something like these…
Youngish Dragon 7>5 AND 2>8
The nomenclature should be read as “Youngish Dragon can take 7 hits of more than 5 damage each, and 2 hits of more than 8 damage.” Etc.
Couple more examples to show what you can do with this (with less overhead than counting HP):
Zombie in Armor 4>6 OR headshot 2>9
Froglodyte Super Ninja 10>1 OR 1>15 Retreat (effectively he leaps/rolls out of the way of all damage but one every single hit, but a biggie will scare him off.)
Please note that this is really just an elaboration on the Simple Effort rules (which people who’ve been here a while know I love). So This could also be used for mobs just by de-elaborating it back to simple effort, using the same nomenclature and jazzing it up a touch for funsies.
Gerblin Horde (3x#PC) Retreat
“Gerblin Horde Retreats once there have been 3 times as many hits as there are PCs”
Skellies (1@PC), Reinforced (2x#PC)>3
“Skellies fight till each Player has damaged at least one, then reinforcements arrive and fight till there’ve been twice as many hits over 3 points as there are PCs.
What happens when they do 2 points of damage? Narrate damage to their armor, or their weaponry, something fun and dramatic… they’ve still done something, but they’ve not fully broken through the foe’s passive resistance or native toughness… they’ve put the chink in the armor though!
In practice, it dovetails Tiny D6’s “count hits, not hit points” simplicity into the dice rolling crunchiness of ICRPG Effort, cutting book keeping and the sap of number braining away from creativity even lower than the already snazzy ICRPG 10 point Heart standard does for me. You can narrate slicing through three gerblins with one blow because it’s cool AF to do so, without having to roll a bunch of extra dice and drag everything down while you itemize your income taxes about it.
It also gives a GM a way to quickly set a pace for narration and battle that flexes to accommodate number of PCs easily.