I DO have some problems with it - and maybe I am doing something wrong with my group. I keep seeing people write about how simple and elegant the L6 system is, but we are finding it a bit wieldy.
The basics that Pumpkin outline are true: in a melee combat both opponents would make Scrap tests, but it is not as simple as the one with the higher result will be the winner.
Say Johnny wants to hit the guard and he has Scrap of 4. How hard this will be is determined by the guard's Scrap (as his defense trait), which is, say a 5. So Johnny needs a 5th grade result to hit the guard, but his normal Scrap ability is only 4. Yes, he would roll a single D6 – but he would need to get a 6 to Boost, raising his result from 4th Grade to 5th Grade. He would then get to reroll the 6 to try and get additional 6 results which would raise his final result even higher. Sounds simple – He would hit him, right? But first we must start calculating in the modifiers, which is where we get bogged down.
We have to consider Stature – Is Johnny bigger than the guard (perhaps it is a leprechaun!)? If so, then his initial Scrap trait goes up by one. Then we have to consider if Johnny is using a weapon – say a short sword. That also raises his initial Scrap by one. Also, weapons have Combat Points which have to be spent to alter Johnny’s personal defense or how much damage he is going to do, so we have to decide how he intends to use it. Now, does Johnny have any special abilities or Flaws that affect his Scrapping? Calculate those in. Has Johnny spent time Focusing before attacking, or is there Teamwork involved? That has modifiers.
Finally we let Johnny roll the dice…
Let’s say he does roll a success, now we need to determine if he actually does damage. Damage is not simply “when you hit you do this much.” Damage is done in what I call wound-sets, which is based on the person’s Stature. Kid-sized opponents do 4 points of damage per wound-set. His weapon automatically grants one wound-set of damage. Then, for every 3 grades that Johnny succeeded ABOVE the target (remember, that was the guard’s defense trait, which in this case was Scrap - 5th grade – I know, that seemed like such a long time ago, doesn’t it?), he does another wound set of damage. If he does 6 points above, 2 additional wound-sets. If 9 points above, 3 wound-sets, etc. Once we know how many total wound-sets of damage Johnny does, we add them all up. For instance, Johnny gets a 7th Grade result after calculating everything in the paragraph above, which unfortunately is NOT 3 grade levels above the target, so he does not do a personal wound-set. This leaves him with only the wound-set that the weapon did, and since Johnny is kid-sized that means a total of 4 points of damage. (Stature, remember?)
OHHHhh, but we need to deduct the guard’s Protection rating, which is determined by his own Stature. If the guard is bigger than Johnny – say Adult-sized – then his Protection rating is 5. So we deduct 5 points from Johnny’s damage result of 4 – and he actually ends up doing no damage at all. Yes, even tho we spent 10 minutes figuring out that Johnny actually DID hit the guard, he ends up doing no damage!
Whew! Guard’s turn.
Now, for the record let me say that I like GRIMM. My campaign is going very well and we are having a lot of fun. However, when I hear people talking about how simple and elegant the L6 system is I get one of those “head jerks back, one eyebrow goes up” kind of expressions. Maybe I have interpreted the rules all wrong – lord knows FFG is not known for their well-structured and easily-understood rulebooks. Please tell me if I have. I would LOVE to find out that it is all so much simpler so I can stop getting that bland look from my players while we spend time calculating their Scrap attempts (and don’t even get me started on Wrestling!).