Like you, I've always considered a graze as an attack that just barely missed. Thus, if the dude with the .50 cal misses by 2 percentiles, then the target felt the round pass, if the miss it by 1 percentile, then it probably penetrated their clothes and perhaps left a scratch or burn as it passed if they were wearing no ballistic armor.
I would consider a graze by a dagger or other weapon to be the same. A miss by the attacker, but just barely. I would consider grazes and whatnot to also be inflicted when the attacker is pulling their blow to perhaps annoy or subdue.
It would work, but then we would have to find another way to differentiate between weapons, some very powerful compared to the baseline, with a finite number of die types. I'm not really one that likes rolling tons of dice.Personally I'm all for losing +/-'s from damage rolls. I'm old enough that when faced with a weapon doing 2D6+2, a 1D4 damage bonus and +2 damage from a spell that I start to lose the will to live when asked to roll damage.
And, honestly, while skill should help determine how well an attack is placed, even a master can be thrown off by angle, etc, in dealing a definitive blow. Perhaps certain weapons should have more impact in Special and Critical situations, masters being able to hit these thresholds more often.
Also, weapons in BRP and RQ in general are assumed to be sharpened metal. Wooden equivalents would not get the +1 damage. A fire-hardened spear, for example, does 1D6 damage.
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So while a 1d4+2 can become 1d6 easily enough, 2d6+2 (3-14) becomes 2d6+1d4-2 (1-14) maybe.
The thing is, since crits and specials don't occu that often (less than 20% of the time, for success chances below 100%) they don't mean as much as the weapon damage die.
Smiley when you say that.
One way to do it would be a "6 step system"
You have 6 damage dice: 1d2, 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 1d12
If damage exceeds 1d12 you simply add the next dice step so it becomes 1d12+1d2, 1d12+1d4 and so on.
1D6+1 would be 1D8 in this system. Damage bonuses/penalties would step the damage dice up or down as appropriate. Atg's armour system presumably works similarly, stepping damage up or down rather than subtracting from damage done.
If you want to you can say that any result that rolls all 1's only counts as 1 point of damage.
That would probably work best with locational hit points as that tends to be the most lethal flavour of BRP.
It is roughly the system I use in my very lite CoC variant I use for running coC with non-rpgers.
In the shower, where I do all my best thinking, I realized why I have issues with the armor reducing damage classes idea - it means that light armor can't ever protect you from taking damage from a heavier weapon. 2 point leather would make a d10 weapon into a d6 weapon, say, meaning that you're taking damage, where if you had 2 point leather on versus a d10 roll, you'd have a 20% chance of avoiding damage altogether.
Not sure which is closer to realistic, but it feels wrong to say that your leather can't ever protect you from damage from a larger weapon, even close blows.
d6: 1 2 3 4 5 6 - average 3.5, median 3.5
The difference is fewer extreme results so your leather armour prevents you from ever taking 7 or 8 points of damage. Say you have a 5 HP head then would you rather have a 40% chance of being knocked out by a single blow or a 33% chance?
I'm not sure there is a 'realism' element here. Reducing damage steps means that armour tends to "muffle" the impact but rarely fully negates it.