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Location-based critical damage - separate or stupid?


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#1 Aramithius

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 03:36 AM

Is it just me, or does a character's critical damage total apply regardless of location? In the example it states (p.201):

 

 

...dealing another 3 damage points to the head...

...dealing 5 points of damage to the body. Mordechai adds 5 critical damage to the 3 he's already accumulated....

 

Do characters seriously only have one critical injury total? If so, this allows ludicrous results like head explosions from a relatively light tap because their leg's been almost hacked off. Never mind that the head and leg are completely different parts of the body.



#2 darkforce

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 09:31 AM

Yep. Something which has been houseruled since ages (probably) and just received another houserule from my humble self. 


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#3 Simsum

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 11:48 AM

Do characters seriously only have one critical injury total? If so, this allows ludicrous results like head explosions from a relatively light tap because their leg's been almost hacked off. Never mind that the head and leg are completely different parts of the body.

 
As far as I'm concerned, it's no more or less stupid than an attack doing minimum damage after the best possible attack roll.
 
But then, it's the exact same problem mechanically: the system throws up what looks like important information during step one in a process, but this seemingly important information isn't carried over into subsequent steps in the process.
 
"I hit with lethal accuracy." Except you didn't.
"I caused localised damage." Except you didn't.

 

Fortunately houseruling that Crits only stack on a Locational basis doesn't have a drastic impact on the game balance. It makes goons a little weaker, and PCs & BBEGs a bit stronger. Which pretty much cancels each other out.

 

It took our group a very long time to realise all Crits stack, and since we thought that was ridiculous, we never started doing it the RAW way. And in... 2½-3 years of gaming, doing it the wrong way worked perfectly well.


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#4 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 09:59 PM

 


 
But then, it's the exact same problem mechanically: the system throws up what looks like important information during step one in a process, but this seemingly important information isn't carried over into subsequent steps in the process.
 

 

 

It's not important information. It just seems that way to you because you have psychologically equated a low roll on the dice with a good event. It's not, it's just a number on a piece of plastic. A 01 is just a different number on the hunk of plastic than 85, not a better hit, as long as the chance is 85%. Why not the other way around? Maybe the 01 is really awful (after all, everyone can roll it!) and the 85 is really good! Or maybe the roll right in the middle, 43! You have exactly the same chance of either one and which one you determine as "good" is completely arbitrary. There is no such thing as a better or worse roll outside of the game system, which defines them as such. It is literally nonsensical to say, "this system does not give good dice rolls credit," because good dice rolls only exist if the system says they do.

 

BTW in every system post-Dark Heresy, Degrees of Success do factor into damage done.


Edited by bogi_khaosa, 07 June 2014 - 10:13 PM.

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#5 Darth Smeg

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 06:45 AM

Indeed! And if you go with the EasyDoS rule (see my sig, basically the 10s digit = your DoS), then rolling high is good!


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#6 Lynata

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 07:23 AM

There is no such thing as a better or worse roll outside of the game system, which defines them as such.

 

Then it would be a case of the system not being consistent, wouldn't it? Degrees of Failure/Success do make an action better or worse in literally any other Test, after all.

 

We dont also roll 1d10 to see how well we pull off a Test in Scholastic Lore after having succeeded on Int. The only reason we do this for attacks is because of a weird sort of industry standard maintained by 99% of all RPGs. "This is how D&D did it! We must slavishly adhere to this!"  :mellow:

 

BTW in every system post-Dark Heresy, Degrees of Success do factor into damage done.

 

Which kind of disqualifies your point regarding an intentional lack of connection between the d100 roll and the final damage - unless you are judging the issue differently depending on the game you're playing?

 

Although I would say that the "swap DoS for damage" is still a rather poor representation of an exceptional shot/blow, given how there's something of a fifty-fifty chance to surpass the best possible result of the Test out of pure randomness. But it's certainly better than DH RAW, that much is true.


Edited by Lynata, 10 June 2014 - 07:26 AM.

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#7 darkforce

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 04:28 AM

Hmm... maybe another Rule might address that point:

 

"Once you have rolled for damage, the result of the Damage-Dice may be modified by +1 per Degree of Success on the Attack Role. Please note the Maximum Damage of 10 of one Dice can not be surpassed by this and Rigtheous Fury is only triggered by natural 10's. Should the Weapon have multiple Damage-Dice through any special Rules (Accurate or simply the Damage of the Weapon) this Additional Damage can be applied to any of the Dice. This increase in Damage is applied after any dice are discarded as per the tearing-special quality."

 

It requires to keep in mind the DoS, but overall it'd make bad luck on good and very good attack-roles a bit less important, while still using the damage-cap as a hard limit on how much a weapon can inflict. 


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#8 Lynata

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 11:44 AM

I like it - simple and to the point. :)

 

Personally, I'd probably limit it to single shots; with burst fire, accuracy is already sufficiently represented by how many bullets hit the target. Plus, it might make single shots a wee bit more popular? I keep seeing complaints regarding the autofire bonus, and even though I'd merely describe it as "controversial" rather than "broken", DoS-to-damage would exacerbate the issue...


Edited by Lynata, 12 June 2014 - 11:45 AM.


#9 darkforce

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 09:17 PM

Huh, forgot to mention that it is meant to be single-shot only. Yeah, with Full-Auto that rule would be rather... nasty,



#10 Captain Erf

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 06:26 AM

Indeed! And if you go with the EasyDoS rule (see my sig, basically the 10s digit = your DoS), then rolling high is good!

Man, that EasyDoS rule is brilliant. Also a little unintuitive, because with the normal DoS rule rolling low is better, and now you want to roll high, but not too high... but still your method is very elegant and fast. And mathematically pretty sound, according to our math adept.


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#11 Lynata

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 11:55 AM

Now I've had to look it up as well.

 

It's ... pretty ingenious indeed! You kind of want to roll high, but not too high because then you miss your Characteristic and it becomes a failure. Kudos. Will mention this to my group. :)


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#12 Covered in Weasels

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 06:30 PM

How do you calculate DoF using the Easy DoS method? Take the 10s digit of your roll and subtract it by the 10s digit of your target number?

I like the rule in principle and it would definitely speed gameplay, but psychologically it's not as satisfying as traditional DoS. If you use some sort of limited ability to gain a bonus on a test and then roll a 01, part of your brain feels like that ability was "wasted." Even though the change in probablility of success is the same for both methods, the EasyDoS way always gives the same result for a given die roll. I might give it a try and see which version my group prefers, and frankly ease of use might win it this case.

Re: stacking critical damage, our group has always played it RAW, and we've never had any problems with it. Location-specific crit damage is more realistic but drags out combat and adds a lot of bookkeeping to an already cumbersome system. It also leads to really bizarre "Black Knight" moments when a character loses multiple limbs but keeps fighting regardless.

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#13 Lynata

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 10:49 PM

How do you calculate DoF using the Easy DoS method? Take the 10s digit of your roll and subtract it by the 10s digit of your target number?

 

Just take the tens digit of your roll. At least if I'm interpreting this right.

 

If you're rolling a 28, you have 2 DoS. If you roll a 44, you have 4 DoS. If you roll a 5, zero DoS.

All provided that the Test otherwise is still a success, of course. That's the easy thing about this houserule: you literally just take the tens as-is.

 

I'm tempted to agree that it may not be "psychologically as satisfying" as RAW, but that's really just because we - or at least some people - allow ourselves to get cheated by our brain. I've suggested this to my group, and two people were immediately opposed thinking that'd suck, whilst the 3rd at least acknowledged that "mathematically it'd be the same" but they'd still feel weird. I for one would have loved to give it a try, as I really think this is an ingenious solution to a very small but still unnecessary bit of calculation.

 

 

It also leads to really bizarre "Black Knight" moments when a character loses multiple limbs but keeps fighting regardless.

 

That's why GW's Inquisitor game tracked a total injury score in addition to individual limbs. Solves that issue, but is - again - more bookkeeping.

BI's/FFG's rules also might circumvent this "Black Knight" syndrome by including a risk to die even on limb locations, though.


Edited by Lynata, 15 June 2014 - 10:51 PM.


#14 Simsum

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 03:33 AM

That's why GW's Inquisitor game tracked a total injury score in addition to individual limbs. Solves that issue, but is - again - more bookkeeping.
BI's/FFG's rules also might circumvent this "Black Knight" syndrome by including a risk to die even on limb locations, though.


Having played without meta crit stacking for a very long time, I have to say that Black Knight moments aren't the norm, and when they do, they're generally pretty awesome.

The moderately severe crits makes you very vulnerable in DH, and unless you want to seriously bog down combat, you're going to houserule that anyone who isn't a PC and lacks the Touched By Fate Trait, die the second they hit 0HP.

...

We're using an Inquisified injury system these days, but I'm actually not all that happy with it. It handles humans and similar fantastically well, but it becomes overly complicated for things that are very unlike humans.

But I'm counting on a friend to come up with something with more high-Toughness flexibility that's less humanoid-centric. Because I'm sick and tired of messing with the injury system.
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#15 Lynata

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 07:36 AM

Having played without meta crit stacking for a very long time, I have to say that Black Knight moments aren't the norm, and when they do, they're generally pretty awesome.

 

Aye, that's been my experience with it as well. :)

 

We're using an Inquisified injury system these days, but I'm actually not all that happy with it. It handles humans and similar fantastically well, but it becomes overly complicated for things that are very unlike humans.


But I'm counting on a friend to come up with something with more high-Toughness flexibility that's less humanoid-centric. Because I'm sick and tired of messing with the injury system.

 

Whenever you're ready to share details, please do! Both regarding this "Inquisified" injury system you use (its mechanics, and where you think it causes problems) as well as what your friend is building.

Toughness/injuries is one of the topics in these games where I'm always getting curious.


Edited by Lynata, 16 June 2014 - 07:36 AM.


#16 Simsum

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 08:13 AM

Whenever you're ready to share details, please do! Both regarding this "Inquisified" injury system you use (its mechanics, and where you think it causes problems) as well as what your friend is building.
Toughness/injuries is one of the topics in these games where I'm always getting curious.


If you check out Kainus' Living 2.3 PDF over at Dark Reign, it has an almost identical version of the system we're currently using as one of its optional rules.

#17 Covered in Weasels

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 12:27 PM

I don't find the single total of Critical Damage to be all that strange. IMO, any RPG requires a lot of abstraction, and I imagine Critical Damage to be a general measure of how battered a character has become. We don't track Wounds separately for each hit location, so why should Critical Damage be tallied by location after a character's bubble shield of Wounds has been depleted? While leg wounds don't actually damage your skull, an Acolyte who's taken several lasbolts to the thigh might not have the endurance to shrug off a gun-butt to the head. It's not perfect, but IMO the reduced bookkeeping is worth any lost authenticity.

IIRC Inquisitor tracks all injuries by hit location -- if you want to use that sort of wound system, all power to you, but it's not for my group.

We play with the DH2 beta rules, so regular grunts die after taking any Critical Damage. Enemies who are a cut above normal and PCs still use the crit tables. I highly recommend this rule -- it speeds up combat immensely and keeps the critical effects from getting stale.

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#18 Lynata

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 01:53 PM

We don't track Wounds separately for each hit location, so why should Critical Damage be tallied by location after a character's bubble shield of Wounds has been depleted?

 

Perhaps we should track Wounds seperately for each hit location. Or not have Wounds at all, like Inquisitor, because bubble shields aren't really gritty at all. Or should simply rename Wounds into Luck and limit Medicae to fixing Crits.

 

But the real question might be ... if we're not tracking Crits by location, why bother having different locations to begin with? You could just have a single table with a bunch of random effects for injuries all over your body. It can't get any weirder than it already is in the RAW, and it speeds up combat even further because you don't need to roll for locations anymore.

 

I mean, if you're abstracting this, you can just as well go all the way.  ;)


Edited by Lynata, 16 June 2014 - 01:55 PM.


#19 Simsum

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 01:54 PM

We don't track Wounds separately for each hit location, so why should Critical Damage be tallied by location after a character's bubble shield of Wounds has been depleted?


Equally you could ask: why shouldn't it?

I totally respect that you like hit points. More, I'll readily concede yours is the majority opinion.

It's just not an opinion our group shares.

That said, we do actually track a HP pool as well, sort of. Specifically, a target in our games can take a total number of injuries equal to its Toughness Bonus +4, and in addition to the penalties from Locational damage, every time a Target is injured beyond TB+4 divided by 2 (round up), it has to make a modified (starting at +60) Toughness Test or become incapacitated.
 

IIRC Inquisitor tracks all injuries by hit location -- if you want to use that sort of wound system, all power to you, but it's not for my group.

 

 

Actually, Inquisitor both tracks Total and Locational damage. And tracks both in a great deal more detail than we do. Our system is designed for ease of use and easy memorisation. Inquisitor's is designed for style.

We play with the DH2 beta rules, so regular grunts die after taking any Critical Damage. Enemies who are a cut above normal and PCs still use the crit tables. I highly recommend this rule -- it speeds up combat immensely and keeps the critical effects from getting stale.

 

 

We use that rule too. Or, we kind of do. The point of most of our combat isn't the actual combat. I typically throw combat at the players if they need some encouragement to get a move on, and I often use combat as a means of conveying important information about enemies (FX: the fact that there is an enemy). For those kinds of combat, the details really don't matter and the outcomes are mostly a foregone conclusion.

 

But we do occasionally have full on skirmish battles using terrain and miniatures. And when we have those, exhaustive detail is kind of the point. They're combats for the sake of combat. And in those, exploding goons may or may not be fitting.


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#20 Captain Erf

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 04:46 AM

 

How do you calculate DoF using the Easy DoS method? Take the 10s digit of your roll and subtract it by the 10s digit of your target number?

 

Just take the tens digit of your roll. At least if I'm interpreting this right.

 

If you're rolling a 28, you have 2 DoS. If you roll a 44, you have 4 DoS. If you roll a 5, zero DoS.

All provided that the Test otherwise is still a success, of course. That's the easy thing about this houserule: you literally just take the tens as-is.

 

To be precise, with the EasyDoS rule your total Degrees of Success is tens digit + 1. Or, to phrase it differently, you get one DoS for passing your test and you score a number of additional successes equal to the tens digit.

 

Unfortunately I don't think there's a neat equivalent method for Degrees of Failure. Our math adept came up with "DoF = 10 minus the tens digit"... It's mathematically sound but too counterintuitive to my taste, because it means that the higher you roll, the less DoF you gain, while rolling just above your target number would mean a catastrophic failure. The probabilities are (practically) the same as with the normal DoF rule, but it just feels wrong. 

 

Fortunately, DoF aren't nearly used as much as DoS. You can still use the old method for calculating DoF.






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