So, as my group disintegrated in the middle of a campaign I had just come up with an idea. Rather than see it lost I thought I would share it here.
Unisystem uses Success Levels to show how well someone has done. After all damage is determined (weapon adds and armor reductions) the Success Levels show some of how the combat when by having the successful combatant describe an action for each SL. The opponent then describes their attempt to evade it if they tired. The damage will be received, and it will not be added to at all, nor deducted from. But each action is described.
In example we have two combatants in a sword fight: Lilith and Marco. In the first exchange Lilith scores 3 SL over Marco’s successful, but insufficient, defense. The damage after armor is 22 points. Lilith (a PC) says the first action is a thrust at his guts. The GM says Marco twists to avoid it, but is too slow, taking 8 points from that. Lilith then does a sweeping slash in a full spin, but Marco isn’t there to hit. But, Lilith steps into him and rams the sword home, doing the remaining 16 points.
Armor does not get rolled for each SL, nor does damage. The GM (and potentially the player as well) simply decide how much damage is done. A phrase as simple as “lightly strikes” is good enough, just so long as it is descriptive.
It is even possible to do no damage in the action. For instance, Marco gets 2 SL and does 19 points of damage. “Marco slides the length of his blade across your ribs (first SL) as he steps into you and kisses your cheek, saying (second SL) “Cara mia, I wish you would reconsider.”
The idea being to force boring situations into stories.
I would have loved to have had a chance to experiment with this idea, but that isn’t an option now. Shame, really. Maybe I will reform a new group or something. I don’t know.
And, yes, I realize not every combat situation can handle this idea. Shooting someone hardly uses it at all, nor should it.