The original rules of combat took a player's attack dice pool and reduced it by the target's defense pool. Because two equal opponents would then have zero dice, we added 6 dice to the attack dice pool. However, we found a new system to remove this extra math and make attacks feel more like other skill checks.
Now, when a Player makes an attack, they roll a flat dice pool against their target's defense rating. However, the defense ratings are closer to difficulty levels rather than full defense dice pools. The play deals damage for every success they exceed their target's defense.
When a player is attacked, the enemy deals a set amount of damage and the player reduces that damage with each success they roll on a defense check.
This means that players make a single roll for attack and defense, and the game master never rolls for attacks. I prefer this new system for a few reasons.
-Attack rolls are now done more like skill checks. Weapons even add dice to the pool like items do to other skills.
-I think it's more fun when the players get to roll. It also makes it easier on the GM, who doesn't have to roll and do math for a whole group of enemies. It keeps everyone engaged in what is happening. I often find in games that when the GM starts rolling for all the enemies, it can become a bookkeeping nightmare that disengages the game.
-Another interesting effect of giving the enemies set damage is that it removes their criticals. The Norn dice have a very large range of potential rolls, but their average result is relatively low. This means that particularly strong rolls can do incredible amounts of damage. These huge crits are a lot of fun for players but would be frustrating if an enemy rolled a powerful crit and killed a player instantly.
Because of these potential, unpredictable huge crits, we had to take that into account when designing player hp and injuries. Now that NPCs do set damage, we can rebalance player defenses and the effects of injuries.