Totally not about VDS…have not played yet. But hits Vs HP is not a new topic.
I’m having this discussion with a different group. (Simulation Vs. fun play) as to the slow down in game play…people can roll damage/effort and attack at once…time loss is minimal.
What we are really arguing is the thinking that gets us out of the action and imagination.
We can’t simulate combat in role playing games…we nearly can’t in very complex war gaming.
Best to do is trust the GM to fill the gaps, and fulfill the fairness concepts of the game. 1 attack in one round…drawing a sword, dawning armor, an arrow beating plate armor, one opponent grappling you, to leave you open to a different opponents blow…we allow the GM to blow past all that. Or we use the “rule” book as to what is allowed.
I am starting to lean into game speed adjustment during play. During low/medium threat combat…only on the roll of 20 will I roll damage against a player. Hits fit. But during a boss fight, a bit more granular process might be better/more fun.
In other cases the PCs might do Con checks and the enemy have only hits.
If the PC fails a con check after a hit, they are down…not dead, not unconscious, but out of the fight and not able to mount a decent defense…con roll to get back up.
If hit while down, and fails a hard con check…out cold, probably bleeding out…or if it was a big enemy…dead, but none of the players know for sure until they check.
This last can add drama, but a bit of scorn from players, after that first death, it will change tactics and protect downed comrades.
If a bad guy saw the PC down 2 of the bad guys comrades, even after he’s down…he’ll probably make sure the PC don’t get up no more.
So, I say give the bad guys hits, and the PCs saves. When a PC fails their second save in a fight, if they survive the fight, or get back up, Have them roll on a wound table…d100, most sore or a scar somewhere, a lost tooth…30 a bit more debilitating, torn muscles broken bones, and 10 being maiming, a thumb, 3 fingers, a hand, a foot, a nose, an ear, an eye, arm at the elbow, leg at the knee, lower jaw is powder.
How’s the archer going to arch with one hand? Does the party turn back and lick its wounds? Do they forge ahead, cause the fate of the future is their only reason for being there???
Different strokes and all that, but hits/saves can be faster, less record keeping, possibly more dramatic…but not all that faster.