Dune and other 2d20 damage

So far, I’m a big fan of the 2d20 system… except for one glaring thing I just can’t get over. Allocating damage. I really don’t like the system of rolling d6’s and sometimes no damage at all occurs depending on what you roll, and otherwise the damage is always very minimal. Please forgive me, I’m a (very) old school gamer, and I’m so used to damage rolls being different for different weapons. Are there any alternatives that anyone has figured out to replace the 2d20 damage system that they like better? Thank you.


Dishonored and Dune use fixed damage, no damage dice. So that is an alternative.

As does John Cater of Mars - no d6s to be found!

For some 2d20 games, like Star Trek and Conan there is a damage system, but not for Dune.
In Dune you are either alive or dead :slight_smile:

Essentially, combat is a tactical battle with both opponents seeking the right time to strike, rather than stabbing each other until one falls over. If they attack when it isn’t the right time they just miss, and if it is the right time they defeat the opponent. No damage required.
It also doesn’t matter what weapon you are using, a knife through the chest makes you just as dead as being shot. If you get hit the right way the weapon makes little difference (except a good quality weapon makes it easier and more deadly to use).

Wounds can occur if you roll a complication, thats where your ‘damage’ can come from. You can always extend the complication range if you want more damage potential beyond rolling a 20.

If you want to go even further afield you might like to check out Dream and Machines that uses a Spirit attribute that can suffer damage in a version of 2d20 that doesn’t use the action dice (you can get the quickstart for free on the Modiphius website). You might find that easy to adapt into your Dune game.

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Thanks for the replies. I’m going to go read John Carter and the other 2d20 games and see if I can house rule something that feels right to me. If I come up with something okay, I’ll share it here.



For which 2d20 RPG do you want to develop such a house rule?
Some of the 2d20 RPGs depend very strongly on different weapon qualities that are triggered by rolled Effects. Changing that might result in very significant and probably unwanted consequences.

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I’ve just grabbed the D&M Quickstart, and in addition to it being an intriguing setting, i really like the damage mechanic that uses Spirit. I may fold this into my Dune game if the players require a little bit more crunch without trying to completely alter things.

Not a bad idea, although Dune is usually more brutal than most. :slight_smile:
What you might do is grant PCs some Spirit and allow it to be used to ‘resist defeat’ as per the usual rules for that.