I just received the Riddling Reaver book from Amazon. It contains a four part adventure for Fighting Fantasy. It also contains alternative rules for battle damage, weapons, and magic.
Damage is rather simple. When reduced to zero stamina, the character is unconscious. -1 is a life threatening wound, -2 is dead. Not a bad rule. In fights, roll a natural 12 and the character slays his enemy outright. Not sure if I want to use this. I may, however, allow an extra wound for this. See below.
The book contains a chart for weapon damage. On a successful hit, you roll d6 and consult the chart for your weapon damage. Two handed swords do 2 or 3 damage, daggers do 1 or 2. Others a range from 1 to 3, weighted at the lighter, middle, or heavier end. My understanding is that Advanced Fighting Fantasy uses this system for weapon damage. I'm not hostile to variable damage. However, I do like 2 points of damage being a standard wound. After reading up on Old School Hack, which uses a wounds based system, I'm going to keep the damage rather simple for FF: A successful hit is 2 points of damage. Test luck to double it.
I will borrow from Tunnels and Trolls the "spite damage" concept. In T&T, if you roll doubles in battle, you do one point of damage. In that game you're potentially tossing a bucket load of dice, so there's potential for a bit of spite damage. In FF, I want to give the weaker fighters a chance to damage their enemies. So on doubles, you'll do one extra point of damage, even if your attack roll is lower.
Magic. In the Riddling Reaver, one player may become a wizard. His Skill score is 4 + d6 rather than 6+d6. His Magic score is 6 + 2d6. The total magic score acts as a vancian spell list: The character can memorize as many spells as his magic score. He can take multiple copies of a spell. There's only a handful of spells in the book. To cast a spell, he must roll 3d6 < Magic score to succeed.
Maybe I'm too obessive, but I don't like it. Why do 6+2d6 for magic when it's 6+d6 for Stamina and Luck? For a wider range of stats, 6+2d6 for all stats wouldn't be so bad. Mathematically, 6+2d6 averages out to just above the average 3d6 roll. So odds are your character would be slightly above average. So the real choice is to bump everything up to 3d6, but then any adventure supplements and monster manuals have to be converted. And that's more work. Ugh.
Like a poop sandwich, I don't need to try it to see if I like it. If I play this campaign, it will be 6 + d6 magic. Roll 2d6 < Magic to cast. And I prefer the system that depletes Stamina to cast. I'm not hostile to Vancian spell memorization. So either Stamina or Vancian will fuel the spells. I may ditch the Magic stat altogether, just to keep it simple.
I'm going to change how Luck works. Luck will only be depleted if your Luck check is favorable. There's already in game penalties for being unlucky. I see no point in both harming the character with both the bad luck consequences and making Luck less useful than before.