VDS: How do you find 'Hits' instead of rolling damage?


Hi all,

Just got my hands on VDS pdf :exploding_head::hugs:, but won’t have a chance to play it for a while.

Really interested to hear from people who have: how do you find using static “hits” instead of rolling damage?
I’m interested because I’ve been working on designing my own frankenstein system (majorly inspired by Hank and others) that is focused on getting to a point where combat is fast + dramatic, and can flow seamlessly in and out with exploration/rp, whilst maintaining the ‘tactical-ness’ of a game.
In my RPG playing experience, damage rolls (i.e. a second roll) have always struck me as something that slow down the momentum in combat. The difference between ‘I am going to do this, Roll!’ and ‘Roll, “hit”, roll other dice!’ is noticeable, not to mention the more finicky note-keeping it calls for. On the other hand, its satisfying/exciting (unless you roll low) and is great for character progression and ability/item design.

So how has playing with Hits been for you? Does it speed things up noticeably and make combat flow better? Does it make your character (specially ‘warrior’ roles) feel a bit flat or boring to play in combat?


VDS is one of the fastest resolution systems I have played.

There is some work on the GM side to track some things. but the system rocks!

Game On!


I only had the funds to pick one release and got icme. Can’t wait to see some videos on vds as I hear great things about it.


It runs really fast. It’s brutal because armor is only good for 3 hits. At max, a character can have 4 armor pieces. So barring special gear, effectively only 12 hits.

To answer your other question is a bit harder. VDS being a dice pool system makes it hard to compare to a d20 system imo. Also, the to hit number varies based on speed rolls in VDS and is not static. So a static d20 system versus a variable d6 pool system is apples to bananas imo.

In order to pull it off in a d20 system you would have to rework attack bonuses and ac. Also, you would need to rework armor cost as well. If you get something workable, I’d be down to test it on my group though.


once you adopt that triangle trick, you’re gonna hug me :slight_smile:


I appreciate it for what it is, but a dagger is not and never will be equal to a battleaxe, thats my only complaint.
In the case of VDS, the rest of it is so good I can move past this pretty easily.


Hey Rush,

I did struggle with this for a while when I tried systems where all weapons did the same damage (1d6, one hit, etc.).

It’s really important to remember that the damage you deal with an ATTACK isn’t the damage you deal with a SINGLE BLOW, nor is damage necessarily injury. A successful knife attack can and will kill most normal people (one hit, or more damage than they have HP), the same is true of even improvised weapons. All it takes is one punch to the chin, and your head bouncing off concrete, to cause death. We might argue that a battle axe has more “killing potential” than a knife, but dead is dead.

That said, I think you may be underestimating the lethality of weapons, particularly knives and daggers. I study criminology and I can tell you that a “successful attack” with a knife is often lethal. The only reason a surprising amount of people survive in modern times is medical knowledge and sheer luck. The fact of the matter is that any weapon, in the hands of a meagerly skilled but committed attacker is lethal.

In any case, do whatever makes your games more fun. They are games after all, not battery simulators. :slight_smile:



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.