I'm not certain of the correctness of this, but I have a vague recollection of reading many years ago that the original Spite mechanism was only for the losing side, and only used in the very last round of combat. Not so much the of scoring of minor cuts against a superior enemy each round due to luck, but a desperate last-gasp attempt to leave your foe with something to mark your final battle.
Very much in the mood of "For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee", and seems to fit the 'Spite' name better, in my view.
Though we are here trying to generate a game balance.... and we know that is not easy with T&T... There is something missing with the spite ruling...
Much like Houndle I just want to by pass the horror story of creating a delver with CON 7 that can battle a Troll and endure only because his armour protects him and as he slowly whittling the beast down to zero, but is slaughtered by the spite from those dreaded sixes.
I actually enjoy spite rules as I can see its purpose; getting hit with a club, no matter the armour, should leave a bruise, so damage kind of gets through, or rattles the teeth, dislocates a bone, weakens the will and caused internal bleeding, etc...
And balances a fight so there is wounds on both sides.
But there is no counter to it, a problem needs a counter.
** Theory could be, for each '1' rolled it reduces any spite generated, much like apn counter with the imploding dice. This allows for spite, but not as a constant till it loses any structure and personally frustrates!?
For example: Group A generates five 6s and six 1s. They reduce their spite damage to zero with no other negative; as an '1' in itself is its own negative?
The 6s and 1s would generate multiple varies of possibilities for extra damage adding to the risk and excitement of the combat?
The crux of the problem I think is that every fight should present an element of risk to the delver, no matter how strong they are. On that basis I'm completely in favour of it.
The flip side is that in the long run, it gives the delver no chance of winning. If the adventure is long enough, the Spite damage will continue chipping away at them until their CON is gone. You can mitigate it with healing opportunities, but eventually those would (normally) be exhausted.
Solos will sometimes give the option of running away or avoiding combat, fine in its way but that also means you may cut your adventure short or end up repeating sections - or miss out on some of the cool stuff the writer had in mind (in spite of what I've posted elsewhere about "cheat mode", I do see that as very much a last resort after all else has failed repeatedly - and it's a reflection on the person who designed the adventure as much as the player).
I'm not sure what the answer is. Possibly "stunting" of some form. But I think it still needs to present the delver with a dilemma and a risk. A rule I've occasionally used when playing solos is to allow a "dodge" rule - saving throw specifically against spite, but with a chance of suffering additional damage if you miss it. (For what it's worth, I also toyed with the idea of allowing warriors to increase their raw combat score against enemies for the purpose of inflicting damage, at the cost of reducing their score for purposes of determining damage suffered. It's a little clumsy and involves another calculation, but it sort-of worked when I tried it.)