Gonna spitball off of this thread because I’ve got ideas: source
This is a basic spitball but okay here goes: single-roll combat
The GM establishes the enemy fighters, and then everybody rolls a skill check using whatever skill they want to use in the fight. Swords, magic, diplomacy, intimidation, alchemy.
You roll a d20 and add your skill bonus.
the GM rolls too, for the enemies. Maybe they roll multiple times if the combat is complicated.
The highest roll wins the “highlight reel”.
winning the highlight reel means that in this fight, your character gets the Big Blow that either ends the fight or turns the tide.
If an enemy wins the highlight reel, that means the players get defeated and we find out what happens when they lose here.
Then we take turns, in ascending order of everybody’s roll, describing what our character did in the fight using that skill.
That means if you rolled low, you’ll go first. You get to set the tone of the fight with your action, and then everybody else builds on that, rising up to the winner taking the decisive moment.
And within that framework, you can use your abilities, your special moves, your spells, however you want. If you’re layering this on top of D&D, that means you don’t have to spend spell slots, you can just do it.
The only limitation here is that if you don’t win the highlight reel, you don’t get to “end the fight early”. So if it’s a dragon and you rolled low, you can’t cast Disintegrate on it, because then nobody else gets to do anything.
If you want the fight to last longer, you can do a series of highlight reels. Maybe set a condition where if the enemies win 3 out of 5 rolls, they win the fight.
maybe if you want to add more limits to it, you can say that a given player can only use a certain skill once per fight. So if the fight lasts five rounds, you can’t just use Sword Sword Sword Sword Sword until you win, you have to switch it up.