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olskool

Weapon Damage Modified By Skill Level

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I've been kicking around the idea of allowing a character to modify his damage by his skill level.  I have already taken steps to adjust STR Damage bonuses to a more realistic standard (starting with a +1/-1 Damage and based on surplus STR after subtracting the STR a given weapon requires to even wield instead of total STR) but I have had a discussion (in another forum) about how much skill affects the damage a weapon can do.  

The idea I'm toying with is... "for every 10 FULL points the Attacker rolls under his or her needed target number (to hit), they may add 1 point to the Damage Roll.  This CANNOT push the damage higher than a normally rolled MAXIMUM damage roll would inflict (in other words, if a weapon does 1D6, the maximum damage would still be 6). It does NOT apply to a Special Success (critical or crush/impale/slash) either."     

This will be my first attempt at such a house rule so I figured I'd ask the forum if any of you had tried something like this yet.  It's not a major issue, just something I'm thinking of trying out.   I just don't need The Law Of Unintended Consequences rearing its ugly head in the middle of a gaming session (especially if someone here has already dealt with it). 

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The immediate problem I see is that critical and special hits will do crazy high damage, as they are intrinsically quite a bit under the needed to hit, and have a much higher maximum possible.

You say this "doesn't apply to specials" I'm not sure how mechanically that exclusion would work?  So it does apply to criticals?

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This sounds a bit like the excess levels of success in dice pool systems.

Do you figure this from the attack roll only, without any influence of the parry? Or does a parry skill roll use a similar, contrary effect?

One might replace the damage roll entirely with this system.

 

I think that you are in danger of replacing the entire damage allocation mechanic with this system. This doesn't have to be a bad thing. But you are in experimental terrain there, and I wouldn't inflict such a change into a campaign's continuity.

On the other hand, you can neglect campaign continuity by tossing your players into a magical setting where these effects are limited to that environment and magics. Like a spell bestowed on them by the patron of a special quest into a neighboring realm with rules of its own, a pocket dimension or whatever. Make it clear to your players that this is a temporary or setting-specific effect, and test it out. If you are happy with the result, maybe the players can be enabled to carry the effect back to their normal setting - whether as a personal spell that needs activation, as a blessing that can be bestowed by a certain artifact, location or ritual, or as a permanent change to the normal setting.

 

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On 01/04/2017 at 5:41 AM, olskool said:

This will be my first attempt at such a house rule so I figured I'd ask the forum if any of you had tried something like this yet.  It's not a major issue, just something I'm thinking of trying out.   I just don't need The Law Of Unintended Consequences rearing its ugly head in the middle of a gaming session (especially if someone here has already dealt with it). 

When house ruling the best is to test it before hand, I personally use three tools : Soloquest, PNJ testing and my personal BFS-D.

For you Idea, For each 10% margin of success, you add 1pt to your damage_dice value (Δ 10% : Dam +1)

-Solo-test : Adding a step for damage calculation is a bit heavy, you have to roll the skill with a skill modifier and find out if you making a normal / special / critical. And you have to add one more step of calculation before doing the damage and then add a value after the dice roll. This really help a lot low damage weapon (dagger at 1D4+2) but become less effective with two hand one (heavy sword at 2D8) or spell (5D6 damage sun spear).

  • The Good part is you make a bit more damage and a good skill roll can compensate a bad damage roll.
  • The Bad part is a lot more heavy calculations and the fights became more mortal, and RuneQuest is already very mortal.

-PNJ testing : It take too much time but from my experience, you should always let your player the choice to use it or not. The other bad part is having a qualitative success (spe/crit) and a quantitative one Δ 10% : Dam +1 mixed up. Players usually dislike fight because of calculations. Special and critical should be calculated before hand or with a table. I agree 10% is easy to calculate but you lose a lot of time as master to use it and players too.

  • The Good way to implement it could be : PC choose a -10% malus to gain +1 Damage (cumulative, no limit) and/or -30% malus to gain ability to re-roll damage (no cumul).
  • The Bad way is often to not let them the choice or gain a boost without a risk.

-BFS-D : It's my personal way to analyse any modification, I mean Better Faster Stronger and Diamond (Solid, Clear and value). BFS is for the master system, D for players importance (remember players are lazy, demanding and ).

  • Better : Yes, the more skilled you are, the less lucky you need to be.
  • Faster : Really not, it take too much time.
  • Stronger : It's not very effective for weapon that do more than 10 pts of damage.
  • Solid : The Damage roll become too much complex, special and critical are more usefull. More special success will be easy to play without extra rules.
  • Clear : As player, I understand why you do it. But it's more a lucky fighter at skill roll make do more damage (than a skilled fighter)...
  • Value : Does we gain something... no because PNJ will also do a lot more damage. you better give us extra-armor point !

I hope these analysing could help you !

Edited by MJ Sadique
correcting not so readable part
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 As far as damage bonus due to strength plus size    goes , I prefer the RQ6/Mythras system . A Large troll with a size and strength of 30 doing a plus 1d10 is dangerous but under say  Magic World a 3d6 damage bonus  means  any hit has a good chance of instant death. 

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when fighting a troll with siz and str of 30 each any strike should threaten to be deadly, IMO. This troll would be 3,5 meters or twelve feet tall.

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I've done this in several different ways; none for inherently better just different

The design decision (I would suggest) is: do you want to get rid of the second roll for weapon damage or provide the opportunity for a higher total

Depending on your answer that you can then create the model you want

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I've done something similar too (as mentioned elsewhere). As has been pointed out, it will probably cause conflicts with specials and criticals. You might run into a situation where somebody does less damage because he rolled a special  

Another approach you might want to consider-if you want the bonus to be based on skill rating, would be to bump up the weapons's damage die based on the character's skill. For instance raising a d8 to a d10. You could put a threshold value where the character gets the increase (50% skill, maybe), and possibly  for additional upgrades  (say 75%, and 90%). The math would be a lot easier, the effect would be similar, and it would be more compatible with the existing rules for specials and critical. But that's just an idea.

A slighly different version of the above would be to reduce all the weapon dice to about in half) (i.e. A sword that did 1D8+1 would do 1d4) and would then be bumped up for skill as above. Special successes would mean rolling two dice damage, and crticals three. This would be slightly more skill dependent than RQ, and slightly less dependant on lucky die rolls. Again, just an idea. 

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On 4/3/2017 at 10:36 AM, Al. said:

I've done this in several different ways; none for inherently better just different

The design decision (I would suggest) is: do you want to get rid of the second roll for weapon damage or provide the opportunity for a higher total

Depending on your answer that you can then create the model you want

I could see a system where your (melee) damage was based on your strength, and the quality of your to-hit roll, CAPPED by the weapon's max damage.

Ie you have a table of damage based on your strength, like a 12 STR does 1 point, 16 does 1.5,  20 does 2, etc.  Then, for each 10% you are better than your to hit, you do a multiple of that damage.  So if you rolled 40% better than your to-hit, you'd do 4x that number LIMITED by whatever weapon you're using (ie a safe couldn't do more than 4, a 1h sword max of 8, a 2h sword max of 12, etc.

Just as an example.

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Here's a thought:  rather than do it as added damage on top of the roll, raise it from the bottom as a MINIMUM roll.

That is, if you think a +3 damage is due the character because of skill, then read all dice that roll below-average as 3 higher than the natural roll.

This doesn't affect the high end, per-weapon damage caps, etc... just means that the skilled character never gets a crap-for-damage roll.

 

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imho depends on the type of game you play, if its combat heavy its going to be to cumbersome. RQ combat is complex enough already.

If your game has limited combat it could work, but your combats become longer( per turn), more dealy and less random.

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Hell, is it 5e that in either the example or beginner modules, even offers the option to dispense with random damage entirely?  

I seem to recall some adventure where it says something like the goblin hits for 1d6 (3) meaning a dm that wants it as simple as possible can just use the single value?

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3 hours ago, styopa said:

Hell, is it 5e that in either the example or beginner modules, even offers the option to dispense with random damage entirely?  

I seem to recall some adventure where it says something like the goblin hits for 1d6 (3) meaning a dm that wants it as simple as possible can just use the single value?

D&D has been doing this for some time.  IIRC it began with stat-blocks in AD&D monster manuals stating not only hit dice, bit average hit-points.

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On 4/10/2017 at 10:29 AM, g33k said:

Here's a thought:  rather than do it as added damage on top of the roll, raise it from the bottom as a MINIMUM roll.

That is, if you think a +3 damage is due the character because of skill, then read all dice that roll below-average as 3 higher than the natural roll.

This doesn't affect the high end, per-weapon damage caps, etc... just means that the skilled character never gets a crap-for-damage roll.

 

I kinda like that. It's similar to how truesword worked in RQ2. I'd say got a step further and allow the character to apply it as a plus or minus to the roll, capped out at max. That way a highly skilled character could do precision light strikes instead of devastating wounds. I, fact, I'd let the character apply the modifier to either damage or hit location.

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1 minute ago, Atgxtg said:

I kinda like that. It's similar to how truesword worked in RQ2. I'd say got a step further and allow the character to apply it as a plus or minus to the roll, capped out at max. That way a highly skilled character could do precision light strikes instead of devastating wounds. I, fact, I'd let the character apply the modifier to either damage or hit location.

Well, the OP asked specifically about damage; but as you've included hit-locations how about a "Masterful Skill" rule:

  • When your skill exceeds your opponent's skill by more than 50%, you get a +/-1 bonus for every 10% over that 50% advantage.  You can apply each point of bonus to affect the hit-location or the damage dealt (either raising the minimum, or lowering the maximum)... choosing to obviously toy with them, hitting virtually anywhere-at-will with shallow cuts and bruising slaps (or choosing to kill them with brutal speed).

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44 minutes ago, g33k said:

Well, the OP asked specifically about damage; but as you've included hit-locations how about a "Masterful Skill" rule:

  • When your skill exceeds your opponent's skill by more than 50%, you get a +/-1 bonus for every 10% over that 50% advantage.  You can apply each point of bonus to affect the hit-location or the damage dealt (either raising the minimum, or lowering the maximum)... choosing to obviously toy with them, hitting virtually anywhere-at-will with shallow cuts and bruising slaps (or choosing to kill them with brutal speed).

For that matter, if you're revamping the combat system thoroughly, I could see a logical basis for having a SINGLE HIT ROLL ultimately generate location and damage.

It'd likely be complicated, but essentially a barely-hit ends up being a trivial wound - a minor cut on an extremity perhaps.  A good hit means meaningful damage, ie a solid hit on an extremity that causes some debilitation, or a minor wound on a vital part like head or chest.  A special means a serious hit on a limb, or a significant wound on a critical location, while a crit itself means both a serious hit & a critical location.

Toyed with that a little, but it ended up Rolemaster-y, with a big chart (and then it was tough to apply to non-humanoids in any case) so I bailed on it as RQ canonical again may not be perfect but hits the intersection (for me) of realistic enough, fast enough and convenient enough.

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1 hour ago, styopa said:

For that matter, if you're revamping the combat system thoroughly, I could see a logical basis for having a SINGLE HIT ROLL ultimately generate location and damage.

Toyed with that a little, but it ended up Rolemaster-y, with a big chart (and then it was tough to apply to non-humanoids in any case) so I bailed on it as RQ canonical again may not be perfect but hits the intersection (for me) of realistic enough, fast enough and convenient enough.

I wasn't proposing a thorough revamp -- just the single rule as an addendum (to RQ2/etc) covering the special case of one duelist being much MUCH better; giving the sorts of tactical control and choices that would reflect their actual ability to control the fight...

Also, as I think about it, the bonus should probably be able to affect a choice not only of hit-location and damage, but also SR/Init/whatever.

Edited by g33k

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4 hours ago, styopa said:

For that matter, if you're revamping the combat system thoroughly, I could see a logical basis for having a SINGLE HIT ROLL ultimately generate location and damage.

It'd likely be complicated, but essentially a barely-hit ends up being a trivial wound - a minor cut on an extremity perhaps.  A good hit means meaningful damage, ie a solid hit on an extremity that causes some debilitation, or a minor wound on a vital part like head or chest.  A special means a serious hit on a limb, or a significant wound on a critical location, while a crit itself means both a serious hit & a critical location.

Toyed with that a little, but it ended up Rolemaster-y, with a big chart (and then it was tough to apply to non-humanoids in any case) so I bailed on it as RQ canonical again may not be perfect but hits the intersection (for me) of realistic enough, fast enough and convenient enough.

I did just that in another thread. Basically you use the 10s digit as the damage and the 1s digit as the hit location. It's not all that complicated. But I do think the base chances have to be a bit higher for it to work. 

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On 01/04/2017 at 5:41 AM, olskool said:

The idea I'm toying with is... "for every 10 FULL points the Attacker rolls under his or her needed target number (to hit), they may add 1 point to the Damage Roll.  This CANNOT push the damage higher than a normally rolled MAXIMUM damage roll would inflict (in other words, if a weapon does 1D6, the maximum damage would still be 6). It does NOT apply to a Special Success (critical or crush/impale/slash) either."    

I would simply use the tens of the roll to determine base damage.

Doing so, you'll have a base value that highly depends on skill :
-For a 50% skill, you'll have a value between 1 and 5 (with 9% chance to roll a 1, 1% to roll a 5, and 10% to roll each result between 2 and 4)
-For a 80% skill, you'll have a value between 1 and 8 (with 3% chance to roll a 1, 1% to roll a 8, and 10% to roll each result between 2 and 7).

For a special strike, I'd use the 10s of the skill instead.

For a critical strike, I'd use 10 instead (or the 10s for skills above 110%).

Edited by Mugen

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5 hours ago, Mugen said:

I would simply use the tens of the roll to determine base damage.

Doing so, you'll have a base value that highly depends on skill :
-For a 50% skill, you'll have a value between 1 and 5 (with 9% chance to roll a 1, 1% to roll a 5, and 10% to roll each result between 2 and 4)
-For a 80% skill, you'll have a value between 1 and 8 (with 3% chance to roll a 1, 1% to roll a 8, and 10% to roll each result between 2 and 7).

For a special strike, I'd use the 10s of the skill instead.

For a critical strike, I'd use 10 instead (or the 10s for skills above 110%).

Not bad, but you might need a higher value for specials and crits. In the normal RQ rules a character can get up to 18 points with a critical with an impaling (or slashing) weapon. Even more with a damage bonus.  So 10 points probably wouldn't be enough. You will also have a problem with character who have a low skill score. Someone with a 25% skill can only get about 2 points and might never get past his opponents armor. 

 

Also, you will need a way to handle skills over 100% (unless you cap skills at 100%). I've got several, but have been leaning towards comparing the roll against 100% and the remainder of the skill. For example, if somebody had a skill of 150% and rolled a 47, he'd get 4 points of damage for rolling 4x and under 100% and another 4 points for rolling 4x and under the remainder of 50%. If he had rolled a 78, he'd only get 7 points for rolling a 7x under 100%, and nothing for rolling over 50%. It's simple, scales to handle even higher skill scores, and mostly cancels out when skills are close. 

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On 14/04/2017 at 4:09 PM, Atgxtg said:

Not bad, but you might need a higher value for specials and crits. In the normal RQ rules a character can get up to 18 points with a critical with an impaling (or slashing) weapon. Even more with a damage bonus.  So 10 points probably wouldn't be enough. You will also have a problem with character who have a low skill score. Someone with a 25% skill can only get about 2 points and might never get past his opponents armor. 

Also, you will need a way to handle skills over 100% (unless you cap skills at 100%). I've got several, but have been leaning towards comparing the roll against 100% and the remainder of the skill. For example, if somebody had a skill of 150% and rolled a 47, he'd get 4 points of damage for rolling 4x and under 100% and another 4 points for rolling 4x and under the remainder of 50%. If he had rolled a 78, he'd only get 7 points for rolling a 7x under 100%, and nothing for rolling over 50%. It's simple, scales to handle even higher skill scores, and mostly cancels out when skills are close. 

Well, what I propose here is a base damage value. Even though In didn't say it, my intention was to add a weapon factor to it, either a fixed one or a die.

Skills above 100% give higher chances of scoring a special or a crit, and reduce the chances to roll lower possible results : when your chance of rolling a special is 19+, you'll never get a result of 1, and once you reach 29 (with skill 142), you'll never get a 3.

I agree though that my proposal for crits could be changed, as they stop being different from specials once you reach skill level 100% or more. Perhaps (skill/5) ?

Edited by Mugen

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First, Thanks for the replies.  I'm really enjoying this forum.  Where the H**L were you guys back in the early 90's when I ran a Prax Campaign for 5 years?  I had questions that plagued me for a long time... 

As for Special Successes and the damages they inflict being in conflict with my skill modifier.  It is automatically dealt with by the cap on damage being the maximum damage you can roll (including STR bonuses).  If you remember from the Special Effects thread, I use a modified version of Special/Critical Successes. 

Crush:  This does MAX weapon damage plus I am allowing it to do 2 X MAX STR Bonus damage (ie. a 1d2 STR Bonus will do 4 points).  This hits the limit for the skill modifier automatically (because skill based damage cannot exceed MAX rolled Damage).  Thus you can ignore it.

Impale: This does MAX weapon damage plus ROLLED weapon damage (including STR bonus on the roll only) for up to 2 times damage.  Since the weapon does MAX damage initially, this hits the limit on skill based damage (which cannot increase damage beyond MAX rolled damage).  Thus you can ignore it.  

Slash: This does ROLLED damage TWICE plus any STR Bonus.  The Skill modifier COULD have an effect here if the player rolls a bad Damage Roll.

Critical Hit:  This does either the weapon's MAX damage while ignoring armor or 2 x MAX Damage in lieu of ignoring armor at the attacker's option.  This would include the skill modifier in either choice.

I'm actually considering this because my crew is already playing a Twilight2000/Twilight2013 game where skill modifies damage through a system know as the Margin of Success/Margin of Failure system (hereafter MoS/MoF).  Under this system, a success or failure is rated by how far under or over the Target Number you roll.  This is a familiar system to my players.  Secondly, there are THREE Military COMBAT veterans (including myself) and TWO police officers (once again including myself) in this gaming group.  One of my players even has an HTH kill using a Cold Steel Tactical Tomahawk during the battle for Ramadi Iraq.  They believe (and, for the record, I do too) that skill has a hand in damage inflicted and will call BS on any questionable "combat rules."  

One thing I do plan to implement regardless of my initial post is that... "EVERY 10 points OR Fraction thereof OVER 100% will inflict 1 extra Damage point.  This Bonus Damage CANNOT EXCEED the weapon's Maximum Rolled Damage (including STR Bonus)."  This would be in addition to the reduction in Parry and Dodge that 100% + Skill gives.    

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On 4/2/2017 at 5:16 AM, Joerg said:

This sounds a bit like the excess levels of success in dice pool systems.

Do you figure this from the attack roll only, without any influence of the parry? Or does a parry skill roll use a similar, contrary effect?

One might replace the damage roll entirely with this system.

 

I think that you are in danger of replacing the entire damage allocation mechanic with this system. This doesn't have to be a bad thing. But you are in experimental terrain there, and I wouldn't inflict such a change into a campaign's continuity.

On the other hand, you can neglect campaign continuity by tossing your players into a magical setting where these effects are limited to that environment and magics. Like a spell bestowed on them by the patron of a special quest into a neighboring realm with rules of its own, a pocket dimension or whatever. Make it clear to your players that this is a temporary or setting-specific effect, and test it out. If you are happy with the result, maybe the players can be enabled to carry the effect back to their normal setting - whether as a personal spell that needs activation, as a blessing that can be bestowed by a certain artifact, location or ritual, or as a permanent change to the normal setting.

 

 

Not my intention.  I just want Skill to have more of a hand in damage determination.  I DO NOT, however, want to reward that Skill with just a flat bonus.  The damage bonus should be modified by the Skill at that moment (in other words, skill modified by the circumstances of combat).

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On 4/2/2017 at 4:12 PM, TRose said:

 As far as damage bonus due to strength plus size    goes , I prefer the RQ6/Mythras system . A Large troll with a size and strength of 30 doing a plus 1d10 is dangerous but under say  Magic World a 3d6 damage bonus  means  any hit has a good chance of instant death. 

 

I agree that the Damage Bonuses for STR need some attention.  This is an area where Jason (one of my "combat vets") has called BS on the system.  He questioned why the STR bonus for a short sword is the same as a bonus for a great sword.  The short sword has a weight of around 1 kg and a typical Claymore or lighter Zweihander easily goes 2.5 to 3 kg. With a fighter's strength being the same, the Claymore would require more STR to put into motion and would be moving slower.  This reduces its Energy (being determined by Momentum, which is Mass X Velocity).  It weighs more, but would not have the same bonus for STR in the real world.  

I have considered his argument, and I see an alternative.  I think every weapon should have a minimum STR, DEX, and SIZ to use.  The Damage Bonus could be based on the "Surplus STR points" the user has beyond the STR requirements to use the weapon.  These surplus STR points could be divided by a "weapon factor" to create "Damage units," with each unit being 1 point of bonus damage.  So a chart could look like this:

1 Unit = +1 Dam

2 Units = +1d2 Dam

3 Units = +1d3 Dam

4 Units = +1d4 Dam

5 Units = +1D5 Dam

6 Units = +1D6 Dam

and so on....

Integrating SIZ.  For every 10 SIZ points over the Minimum SIZ requirement of the weapon, add 1 point to the user's SURPLUS STR for calculating the damage bonus.

Weapon Factors:  I would list a given weapon's "Weapon Factor" in parentheses after its Listed Damage.  I'm guessing larger weapons (with more weight) would have SMALLER Weapon Factors while a smaller weapon would have a LARGER divisor/weapon factor.  I was thinking that a range from 2 (for mauls, great swords, etc...) to 10 (for pen knives) would be appropriate.  I really haven't chewed on this idea much.  Maybe the mathematicians in the forum could examine this idea and render an opinion?

      

   

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On 4/10/2017 at 10:29 AM, g33k said:

Here's a thought:  rather than do it as added damage on top of the roll, raise it from the bottom as a MINIMUM roll.

That is, if you think a +3 damage is due the character because of skill, then read all dice that roll below-average as 3 higher than the natural roll.

This doesn't affect the high end, per-weapon damage caps, etc... just means that the skilled character never gets a crap-for-damage roll.

 

 

This very close to what I suggested.  My idea is based on the concept that Skill should influence Damage in combat.  The idea I suggested is employed by Twilight2013 and is referred to as a Margin of Success (there are also Margins of Failure).  In Twilight2013,  When you hit someone, you subtract the difference between your skill and your roll.  This total is added to the weapon's Base Damage to equal the total damage the target takes.  What I'm proposing is adding the difference between your Skill and your roll divided by 10 (rd) to the damage roll.  You still cannot do more damage than a maximum damage roll would do but you won't do 1 point either.  The reason you use the difference between the roll and your skill is that conditions in combat change.  This may cause your skill to be reduced, thus reducing the "bonus damage" you might do.     

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