Ever wondered how to make an RPG battle seem realistic, rather than just having your character smash all the orcs? Here’s a great system. All you need is dice or a graphing calculator. Here’s how to do it.

For each character, create a set of stats, probably including…

~ Attack

~ Defense

~ Speed

~ Agility

~ Strength

~ Dexterity

~ Endurance

If you want to make encounters more random, you could also do a Charisma stat. Now then, roll your die or put your graphing calculator on random with a range of 12. Roll for every stat, and write down the number. If you wish, you can put in race plusses and minuses – i.e., elves would get +1 dexterity, but would get -1 strength because they aren’t incredibly hardy.

When you are actually battling within your game, decide how strong the opponent is. The stronger the character (this is not random, it’s your judgement), the greater range within the rolls. Roll the die out of 12 for your attack. If your stat is under the roll, then you’ve hit it. To see how much damage is caused, roll for strength. The lower the number you get (below your strength stat), the more damage you have done. When you are attacked, you can either block (defense stat) or dodge (agility stat). Roll, and the lower the number is, the more sucessful you are. If the roll is over your stat, you’ve been hit. To see how much you’ve been hurt, roll for your endurance. Once again, the lower the number, the better off you are. In this case, the lower number is the lower amount of damage.

My suggested race plusses and minuses:

~ Man -none. You should have a character that is a mediator

~ Elf – Dexterity +1, Agility +1, Strength -1, Endurance -1

~ Dwarf – Defense +1, Strength +1, Agility -1, Dexterity -1

~ Hobbit – Agility -1, Endurance +1, Dexterity +1

Now then, say that I had a sample character. Let’s make it a Dwarf named Rotimil. I set up my stats, and then roll a die for each one. Say that my rolls are

~ Attack: 9

~ Defense: 6

~ Speed: 11

~ Agility: 3

~ Strength: 5

~ Dexterity: 12

~ Endurance: 7

Then, I add or subtract according to race, so for a dwarf…

~ Attack: 9

~ Defense: 6+1=7

~ Speed: 11

~ Agility: 3-1=2

~ Strength: 5+1=6

~ Dexterity: 12-1=11

~ Endurance: 7

So, these are my stats for my character. If he does really well he can earn stat boosts of 1-2 points at very long intervals. Now then, what if my character is attacked by, say, an orc? I roll the die to see if he hits me when he attacks. Since my Defense (blocking) is better than my Agility (dodging) I decide to block. My roll is a 9. Since this is above my defense stat, I’ve been hit. To see how much it hurt I use my endurance stat. If I roll a 3 on that roll, his hit gives me, maybe a scratch at most because three is far below my endurance stat of 7. If I choose to attack him, I roll to see if I hit first. If I roll a 9, then I’ve hit him, but just barely because it is so close to my attack stat. Then, to see how much my hit hurt him, I roll for strength. If I roll a 1-2, then that orc is out like a rock. The higher I go, the less damage I’ve done. If the roll goes above my strength stat, then my hit just sort of pings off of his armor.

That’s a basic layout of battle systems. It can be used with any range of numbers. Now, go set up an RPG!