Variable Monster Damage

Written by Sean.

My group and I use this variation on damage in our campaigns. We weren't happy with the static damage that 13th Age monsters, so we converted it to dice rolls. This was a simple conversion.

We rounded down the damage to the nearest common die. We then would add the difference between the two numbers as a modifier.
This modifier is optional, but then the monsters you encounter will never be as powerful as they were before.

13th Age Variable Damage  Conversion Table Variable Damage Equivalents
Orig.
Dmg
Dice
Roll
Mod*
(+)
Orig.
Dmg
Dice
Roll
Mod*
(+)
Orig.
Dmg
Dice
Roll
Mod*
(+)
Orig.
Dmg
Dice
Roll
Mod*
(+)
1 - 1 26 1d20
+1d6
- 51 2d20
+1d10
1 76 3d20
+1d12
+1d4
-
2 - 2 27 1d20
+1d6
1 52 4d10
+1d12
- 77 3d20
+1d12
+1d4
1
3 - 3 28 1d20
+1d8
- 53 4d10
+1d12
1 78 3d20
+1d12
+1d6
-
4 1d4 - 29 1d20
+1d8
1 54 2d20
+1d10
+1d4
- 79 3d20
+1d12
+1d6
1
5 1d4 1 30 1d20
+1d10**
- 55 2d20
+1d10
+1d4
1 80 4d20 -
6 1d6 - 31 1d20
+1d10
1 56 2d20
+1d10
+1d6
- 81 4d20 1
7 1d6 1 32 1d20
+1d12
- 57 2d20
+1d10
+1d6
1 82 3d20
+1d12
+1d10
-
8 1d8 - 33 1d20
+1d12
1 58 2d20
+1d10
+1d8
- 83 3d20
+1d12
+1d10
1
9 1d8 1 34 1d20
+1d10
+1d4
- 59 2d20
+1d10
+1d8
1 84 4d20
+1d4
-
10 1d10 - 35 1d20
+1d10
+1d4
1 60 3d20 - 85 4d20
+1d4
1
11 1d10 1 36 1d20
+1d10
+1d6
- 61 3d20 1 86 4d20
+1d6
-
12 1d12 - 37 1d20
+1d10
+1d6
1 62 3d20 2 87 4d20
+1d6
1
13 1d12 1 38 1d20
+1d10
+1d8
- 63 3d20 3 88 4d20
+1d8
-
14 1d12 2 39 1d20
+1d10
+1d8
1 64 3d20
+1d4
- 89 4d20
+1d8
1
15 1d12 3 40 2d20 - 65 3d20
+1d4
1 90 4d20
+1d10
-
16 1d12
+1d4
- 41 2d20 1 66 3d20
+1d6
- 91 4d20
+1d10
1
17 1d12
+1d4
1 42 3d10
+1d12
- 67 3d20
+1d6
1 92 4d20
+1d12
-
18 1d12
+1d8
- 43 3d10
+1d12
1 68 3d20
+1d8
- 93 4d20
+1d12
1
19 1d12
+1d8
1 44 2d20
+1d4
- 69 3d20
+1d8
1 94 4d20
+1d12
2
20 1d20 - 45 2d20
+1d4
1 70 3d20
+1d10
- 95 4d20
+1d12
3
21 1d20 1 46 2d20
+1d6
- 71 3d20
+1d10
1 96 4d20
+1d12
+1d4
-
22 1d20 2 47 2d20
+1d6
1 72 3d20
+1d12
- 97 4d20
+1d12
+1d4
1
23 1d20 3 48 2d20
+1d8
- 73 3d20
+1d12
1 98 4d20
+1d12
+1d6
-
24 1d20
+1d4
- 49 2d20
+1d8
1 74 3d20
+1d12
2 99 4d20
+1d12
+1d6
1
25 1d20
+1d4
1 50 2d20
+1d10
- 75 3d20
+1d12
3 100 *** -
                         
  *=Optional                    
  **=Can use 1d30 instead.
  ***=5d20 or 10d10 or 1d% + 1d10
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  • If it matters, this variable damage isn't even close to a conversion of monster damage. Dices make for variable damage, yes, but what you did there was set the maximum variable damage to be equal to monster damage. In this way, a monster that used to hit for 50 would hit for 2d20+1d10, which would transform its damage to "minimum 3, maximum 50", which becomes a joke of a monster.
    The real damage conversion would take the average from dice and add modifiers.
    1d4 has an average of 2.5, so, say, if a monster should hit for 5 damage, you could give it a 2d4 damage instead (transforming its damage from 5 to "minimum 2, maximum 10, average 5", which is perfectly acceptable)
    The average from each dice, as you might know, is (minimum+maximum) divided by 2

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  • Yeah to be fair I haven't played this game in years. When we came up with this, we were still noobs to tabletops but wanted a more "D&D" style flair. Now fast forward a few years later and we have a much better grasp on dice systems and averages. If our table top group decides to pick up and play this game again we will definitely revise it to make it more balanced and challenging

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