Created By: DAN004 on May 6, 2014 Last Edited By: hbi2k on July 24, 2014
Troped

Randomized Damage Attack

This particular attack\'s damage is completely random.

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Rolling Updates

I've decided that this thing needs to be split into two. The other part is here.


In a combat game, with everything else considered such as basic attack damage, the attacker's strength, the victim's defense and resistance, and anything else that may modify the damage, a same attack will always do the same damage to the same enemy. Either that, or the game doesn't use a damage formula to begin with.

This, however, is when an attack doesn't always deal the same damage every time - it highly depends on your luck.

In some games (notably RPGs), even normal attacks have a range of values as their base damage. The idea is: No two strikes are ever the same. Maybe you hit a previous injury, or an armored part of the monster, something that's subject to the gameplay's conservation of detail. For games like these, only examples where an attack has a particularly wide range of damage values should be listed here.

Note that this doesn't just apply to attacks - it may be buff spell, defensive technique, even healing - so long as its effects vary depending on random chance.

The Gambler class usually will have many attacks of this property as part of their gimmick.

Related tropes are Random Number God, Random Effect Spell, Critical Hit and Critical Failure.

Compare and contrast Fixed Damage Attack and Percent Damage Attack.


Examples

Fighting Games
  • Nathan Drake and Good Cole MacGrath in Playstation All Stars Battle Royale both receive a 3-hit melee combo that always results in a randomized finisher, all gaining the same amount of AP, but with different hit-reactions. They are:
    • Drake's Neutral Square combos comes with a potential right-hook or uppercut, which both result in lifting the victim a short height into the air, and a frontal kick which knocks them onto their backside for a moment. For the combo's sake, you'll probably want the kick.
    • Good Cole's results in him either bashing the enemy with his amp in two different ways, both resulting in an eject roll, or jamming his palm into them for a crumple-state. Considering that Cole gets his major damage from combos, you'll probably want the crumple.
  • In the Super Smash Bros. series, Mr Game & Watch's side special attack (called "Judgement") does random damage AND random effects ranging from Mr Game & Watch damaging himself through various Status Effects to smashing the opponent off the map for a One-Hit Kill.

First-Person Shooter
  • Team Fortress 2 has this applied to most weapons by default (10% more or less), with the exception of Critical Hits, which always do the same amount of damage, and mediguns, which heal at a fixed rate. This can be turned off by typing "tf_damage_disablespread 1" into the Developer's Console (only applied to your own server).

Hack and Slash

MMORPG
  • Dofus has a gambling class in Ecaflips who have moves that deal damage randomly between a minimum and maximum base damage amount. The majority of their skills have random base damage, and are themed around gambling themes like card games, slot machines, and coin flipping. Some of their skills even heal the enemy back a small amount to add to the gambling theme.
  • In Elsword, Trapping Ranger's Fatality skill can deal either massive, medium, low or Scratch Damage in one hit.

Real-Time Strategy
  • Chaos Knight from Dota2 has Chaos Bolt, which deals random damage and stuns for a random duration. Upgrading the spell increases both the maximum and minimum values of both the damage and stun, but there's still a big difference between a 275 damage skill that stuns for 4 seconds, and one that does 100 and stuns for 2.

Roguelike
  • The old DOS game Wizard's Castle deals consistent damage with physical weapons, but the magic spell Fireball deals between one and fifteen points of damage, fifteen being enough to One-Hit Kill any adversary. Similarly, the Web spell will render an adversary unable to strike for as few as one turn to many as five turns.

Role-Playing Game
  • In Mega Man Battle Network series, NumberMan.EXE's Dice Bomb deals damage based on the number on the top side of the dice.
  • Chrono Trigger
    • Lucca has the Wondershot that deals random damage.
    • The enemy Nu only has 1 attack. This attack either brings a character down to 1 HP, or does 1 damage.
  • Pokémon
    • The move Magnitude can deal between 10 and 150 damage.
    • The move Psywave also does random damage; specifically it deals a random number between 0.5x and 1.5x the user's level.
    • Present does variable damage, in particular with a chance to do negative damage (ie heal the opponent).
    • Some moves, such as Fury Attack, Pin Missile, Bullet Seed and others, deal normal damage with each hit but hit a random number of times.
  • In several Final Fantasy games there's a high-level spell called "Comet" or "Meteor" with a huge variability in its damage output — it could do 100 points damage one turn and 9999 the next, when other spells are more consistent from one use to the next.
  • In Final Fantasy X, Wakka's Attack Reels overdrive deals as many hits as the number you line up in a quick slot reels Mini-Game. This can add up to quite a bit or be barely anything at all depending on the player's reflexes.
  • In Final Fantasy VI, Setzer's dice weapons do entirely random damage unaffected by stats.
  • Cait Sith's Dice Limit Break in Final Fantasy VII, which rolls several dice and then inflicts damage equal to the result multiplied by 20 to one enemy.
  • In Final Fantasy IX, Quina's normal attack does random damage which is either pathetic or higher than any other physical attacker. This makes him/her a capable (if unreliable) Fighter-type character, but his/her specialty is Blue Magic anyway.

Tabletop Games
  • Dungeons & Dragons. Almost all attacks that do physical damage (melee combat, spells, psionics, etc.) inflict a variable number of Hit Points. In fact it would be quicker and easier to list the attacks that always do the same damage. This is true of most games inspired by Dungeons & Dragons as well.
  • Warhammer 40,000
    • This game has several weapons with random strength or random amount of hits, usually determined by D6 or D3 roll. Examples include Chaos daemon weapons (random amount of hits) and Ork zzapguns (random strength). The most extreme example is probably the Dark Eldar Casket of Flensing, which has random range, random amount of shots and random strength.
    • Weapons with situational damage also exist, but are much rarer. The conversion beamer, a rare weapon available to certain Space Marine characters and Inquisitors, deals more damage the further away the target is, while the pulse submunition cannons of the Tau R'varna battlesuit increase in strength and amount of hits as the target's size increases.

Turn-Based Strategy
  • In Advance Wars, Flak's CO power randomly makes his units do a lot more more damage or a lot less.


Indexes: Video Game Tropes, Video Game Tactical Index
Community Feedback Replies: 22
  • May 8, 2014
    Chabal2
    In Advance Wars, Flak's CO power randomly makes his units do a lot more more damage or a lot less.
  • May 8, 2014
    hbi2k
    JRP Gs
  • May 13, 2014
    DAN004
    pmub.
  • May 13, 2014
    Astaroth
    • Cait Sith's Dice Limit Break in Final Fantasy VII, which rolls several dice and then inflicts damage equal to the result multiplied by 20 to one enemy.
  • May 13, 2014
    oneuglybunny
    [[Roguelike]]
    • The old DOS game Wizard's Castle deals consistent damage with physical weapons, but the magic spell Fireball deals between one and fifteen points of damage, fifteen being enough to One Hit Kill any adversary. Similarly, the Web spell will render an adversary unable to strike for as few as one turn to many as five turns.
  • May 18, 2014
    DAN004
    pmub.
  • May 31, 2014
    needsanewhobby
    Bumping again.

    In the Super Smash Bros series, Mr Game & Watch's side special (I believe the move is called "hammer") does random damage AND random effects ranging from Mr Game & Watch damaging himself through various Status Effects to smashing the opponent off the map for a One Hit Kill.
  • May 31, 2014
    Alucard
    I listed this as Luck Based Mission in the actual character-page, but...

    • Nathan Drake and Good Cold MacGrath in Playstation All Stars Battle Royale both receive a 3-hit melee combo that always results in a randomized finisher, all gaining the same amount of AP, but with different hit-reactions. They are:
      • Drake's Neutral Square combos comes with a potential right-hook or uppercut, which both result in lifting the victim a short height into the air, and a frontal kick which knocks them onto their backside for a moment. For the combo's sake, you'll probably want the kick.
      • Good Cole's results in him either bashing the enemy with his amp in two different ways, both resulting in an eject roll, or jamming his palm into them for a crumple-state. Considering that Cole gets his major damage from combos, you'll probably want the crumple.
  • June 1, 2014
    Zuxtron
    Chaos Knight from Dota2 has Chaos Bolt, which deals random damage and stuns for a random duration. Upgrading the spell increases both the maximum and minimum values of both the damage and stun, but there's still a big difference between a 275 damage skill that stuns for 4 seconds, and one that does 100 and stuns for 2. He also has Phantasm, which summons a fixed number of illusory copies, but with a 50% chance of creating one more on top.
  • June 2, 2014
    Arivne
  • June 16, 2014
    DAN004
    fixed indentations
  • June 21, 2014
    DAN004
    pmub
  • June 24, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    Shouldn't this be Explicitly Random Damage Attack?

    I think a recall someone pointing out that "random damage attack" is the norm, where the there are factors like Critical Hit and other stuff that gets calculated that makes the attack damage vary.
  • June 24, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ check the third paragraph (or around it).
  • June 26, 2014
    KingZeal
    In Final Fantasy IX, Quina's normal attack does random damage which is either pathetic or higher than any other physical attacker. This makes him/her a capable (if unreliable) Fighter-type character, but his/her specialty is Blue Magic anyway.
  • June 26, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^^ then what if someone didn't read that and only read the title? they'd add examples like it on the presumption it fits.
  • June 27, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Isn't the usual advice to read the full description before giving an example? See How To Write An Example.
  • June 27, 2014
    PsiPaula4
    I'm pretty sure that the aforementioned Mr. Game & Watch's side special is called "Judgement," not "hammer."
  • July 3, 2014
    DAN004
    Bump
  • July 19, 2014
    DAN004
    What would be the indices? I only know of Video Game Tropes and Video Game Tactical Index.
  • July 23, 2014
    DAN004
    Final bump
  • July 24, 2014
    hbi2k
    Fixed the red link on "RPGs" in the third paragraph of the description.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=1vriihvv5pnb4p88ax5qkoip&trope=RandomizedDamageAttack