I'd like to speed up things at my table with streamlined consequences replacing minor, i.e. presumably inconsequential, combats.
The current crop of PCs in my Wilderlands campaign are mostly approaching mid-levels. They are exploring Dyson's Delve. Traversing the upper levels again and again entails quite a few minor combats.
(I should note we do use the morale rules and severely outclassed monsters try to avoid combat. This helps a lot, but skeletons and similar monsters still attack, of course.)
I'd like to give players and GM alike the option of offering a deal to replace playing out a combat in detail with a some quick and dirty costs. Eero is already doing this in his games, as far as I remember.
So far, I am going with damage dice, so a proffered deal might look like this: "Okay, a dozen skeletons are no serious threat. How about you distribute 4d6 points of damage (e.g. the 4th-level fighter takes 2d6 and two other frontliners take 1d6 each) and we move on?"
I plan on switching from damage dice to attack rolls (so critical hits remain a threat and AC plays an important role) with the option of using valuable Luck points (refilled only upon reaching a new level) to interrupt an unlucky sequence (i.e. if your fighter agrees to take two attacks and the first one is a crit, you may spend Luck to avoid the second attack roll).
However, several problems remain:
Problem 1: Many combats do not threaten the party as a whole (i.e. a TPK is all but impossible) or the highest level characters. However, there are usually one or two 1st-level characters and henchmen along who have a pretty high chance of dying outright when hit. I'm unsure if a deal where the players can distribute risk as desired isn't a bit soft.
Problem 2: (Group) Initiative plays a huge role as most combats last only 2 or 3 rounds (with another round of mopping up, perhaps). However, setting things up to the point where we can roll for initiative takes up some time. I'm trying to account for this with a swingy mechanic (see below) but remain somewhat unsure.
Problem 3: Estimating how many resources a given situation might use up seems all but impossible to me. I've used to try to estimate outcomes in some detail ("so there's a bottleneck on the left flank, which means only 2 attackers in the first round" etc. etc.). I don't want to do this anymore, though I'm certainly willing to haggle a bit. However, there are so many moving parts that I'd like to use a very limited set of broad standardized categories:
"almost negligible" - 1d6 attack rolls against the party, monsters chosen by the DM, distribute as desired by the players
"easy" - 2d6 attack rolls
"possibly harmful" - 3d6 attack rolls
What's your take on this?
What kinds of deals do you offer, Eero, and how do you determine the details?