So, just for gaks and giggles, I've run a quick comparison between RAW and an adapted "Inquisitor" system. I've rolled up 10 lasgun hits (1d10+3) for 10 random body locations, and the target was a bog-standard human with TB 3 and 15 Wounds, wearing AP4 armour.
This was the result:
Body: 7-7=0 (15/15)
Head: 13-7=6 (9/15)
Body: 13-7=6 (3/15)
Right Arm: 9-7=2 (1/15)
Body: 7-7=0 (1/15)
Head: 8-7=1 (-1, 1st Critical: Grazing blow to the head, -10 to all Tests for 1 Round)
Left Leg: 4-7=0 (nothing happens. lucky Guardsman!)
Head: 13-7=6 (-7, 2nd Critical: Face burned off, permanently blinded, Fel reduced)
Body: 10-3=7 (-7, 1st Critical: Organs cooked, stunned for 2d10 rounds, TN reduced)
Body: 9-7=2 (-9, 2nd Critical: Burned out, character is dead)
INQ (removed Wounds, TB is now a "crit buffer" that divides penetrating damage by its bonus)
Body: 7-4=3/3=1 (-1, 1st Critical: Out of air, can only take Half Action on next Turn)
Head: 13-4=9/3=3 (-3, 1st Critical: Ear burned off, deaf until First Aid)
Body: 13-4=9/3=3 (-4, 2nd Critical: Body scorched, receives Fatigue)
Right Arm: 9-4=5/3=2 (-2, 1st Critical: Arm stunned, useless for 1d5 Rounds)
Body: 7-4=3/3=1 (-5, 3rd Critical: Knocked prone, may be stunned or catch fire)
Head: 8-4=4/3=2 (-5, 2nd Critical: Face burned, blinded for 1d10 Rounds and Fel reduced)
Left Leg: 4-4=0 (nothing happens. lucky Guardsman!)
Head: 13-4=9/3=3 (-8, 3rd Critical: Head explodes, character is dead)
As you can see, RAW is indeed somewhat less lethal than this alternative - however, obviously chance plays a big role here, and both systems offer advantages and disadvantages (in terms of player survivability) in different areas. Inquisitor's usage of TB to divide penetrating damage, for example, means that heavier weapons will almost always cause serious injuries, but are less likely to instagib you:
For example, the average damage of a meltagun (21, +12 Pen) would be 18 in RAW (reduced by TB 3), but "only" 6 in Inquisitor (divided by TB 3) ... although the latter would be applied directly to the Crit Table, whereas the RAW shot might be cushioned by Wounds (if you still have a lot left).
I think both results seem in line with the Meltagun's reputation (in both cases, a clever GM would narrate non-killing meltagun hits as grazing shots), but here it is the RAW that is more lethal. A lot.
And ultimately, starting to receive injuries right away from the very first hit just feels more gradual and gritty.
That being said, an option to "mix" both systems and increase survivability would be to keep Wounds and re-label them as "Luck". Shots against PCs would first have to deplete their "Luck" - but damage reduces Luck directly, without first being negated by armour.
Just an idea, mind you.
Edited by Lynata, 13 April 2014 - 09:30 PM.