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Plasma Weapons


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#1 Morangias

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 01:14 PM

For a long time, my group kept treating plasma weapons as the redhead stepchildren of Imperial tech.

In Dark Heresy, they were plain awful - damage barely better than bolt weapons, Overheats, Recharge and damn expensive? Pass.

In RT, they got somewhat better, but Bolters were still better thanks to Tearing and Full Auto capability. I remember my Rogue Trader being quite fond of his standard issue plasma pistol, but he barely used it at all and when he did, he didn't exactly outshine anyone.

In DW, they were downright worse than Bolters. True, they had a slightly better minimal damage and better penetration, and they triggered Righteous Fury without a confirmation roll, but they had a much smaller chance of triggering Righteous Fury in the first place when they rolled one die for damage vs three dice of the bolter.

Finally, in DW errata, plasma weapons became quite awesome, with a much better damage output and penetration. And they even came in full-auto variants!

But the real game changer was in Black Crusade. The new wording of the Overheats special rule made it extremely dangerous to use, and Zealous Hatred made Volatile obsolete. Still, the damage was godly, even before Maximal setting, and the new rules on firing modes made the lack of full auto a mixed blessing rather than obvious suck it meant before.

All in all, I liked the BC plasma the most. It was powerful enough that you wanted it, yet dangerous enough to give you second thoughts, at least until you could afford it in best craftsmanship. It was fun, it was more or less consistent with the setting lore, and like most new weapon rules in BC, it made plasma weapons into an interesting choice rather than a must-have upgrade.

Therefore, I'm very unhappy that in OW, Plasma Weapons more or less returned to their RT state - the damage got nerfed back, and the old Overheat returned, making it more of a nuisance than a real threat. Since OW uses the same burst fire rules as BC, the lack of full auto is not the kind of problem it was in RT, but that's seriously the only thing that remained from the awesomeness that plasma was in BC.

My squad is not likely to get plasma weapons any time soon, but I'm inclined to change them back to their BC state, both in statline and in how Overheat works. What do you think?


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#2 Saibot

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 01:44 PM

Considering the low AP, TB and Wounds that most OW characters have and that most will only have a single FP a 10% chance of basically killing or at least incapitating your own character every time you fire seems silly dangerous. Some characters could literally be killed from full Wounds by an overheating plasmagun and that is before you even consider what an overheat after firing it on Maximal would do.

I do agree they could use a small buff, but nothing as major as BC stats.



#3 Cifer

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 02:29 PM

I agree with Saibot. BC overheating is acceptable for BC characters who can quite often take the damage, but against OW characters, it's overkill.



#4 Darklordofbunnies

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 03:28 PM

I'd put it at the BC standards(caveat: I think BC was the best system they've made) but still allow the reflex save to drop it before it burns you.



#5 Kiton

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 05:01 PM

A few suggestions [mostly in a "all or most of these", not a "pick one" deal at those values]:

 

Give them Overheat ONLY when rapid-firing or using Maximal. Reliability, like jamming, affects it. So slow, careful well placed plasma shots are perfectly safe, but full-auto can cause a bit of trouble, as can Maximal. A 1/100 chance you have to drop it? no big deal.

 

Pistol 1d10+6, Pen 8, Maximal, SA-FA Overheat, Felling [1]

A pistol fired in single-shot mode gets +2 damage. Maximal increases Felling by 1

 

Guns: 1d10+7, Pen 8,  S/2/3, Maximal, SA-FA Overheat, Felling[1]

Plasma Guns fired in Single-shot mode get +3 damage. Maximal increases Felling by 1

 

Cannon 2d10+10E Pen 10, Maximal [adds overheat], Felling[2]

Plasma Cannons gain 2d10 but no additional penetration on Maximal, and Increase Felling by 2



#6 Amaimon

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 11:04 PM

@Kiton - let's not overcomplicate stuff if you don't have too. 

I agree with darklordofbunnies or other furries. Leave it at BC level, and overheat quality from OW. If you think its too powerfull then don't allow to drop it, but leave at pen 0. It would be ok physicswise and with TT :)



#7 Morangias

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 12:37 AM

I wouldn't mind BC statline + OW overheat, I just think BC overheat is better for keeping players on their toes and not having them jump at plasma weapons at first opportunity.


There is no truth in flesh, only betrayal.

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There is no constancy in flesh, only decay.
There is no certainty in flesh but death.


#8 Kiton

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 07:34 AM

I know some might call this "too complicated", but honestly a player should at least know how his own weapon works well enough to never need to think twice about the thing:

 

Eldar Long Rifles had extra output depending on your accuracy, seperate form the 'accurate' trait. Lightning Claws also do things similarly, without going so far as to use Razor Sharp, Lance or the like. Mind you, Lance is a good rule, whose 'that name means its for dark lances and other eldar stuff' is a bit of an unwarranted stigma: It can be used to great effect for many things, including laser weapons.

 

Why not do the same for plasma?

Keep it at a base of 1d10+6E Pen 6, and add one damage per point of DoS. You can easily cap it to, say, 4

If you hit by 20 with a semi-auto 2 shot burst, that's two hits of 1d10+8 Pen 6 [the extra damage doubles as improved penetration; its also good against something not in power-armor], or 2d10+8 Pen 8 on Maximal.

Tearing's still much more reliable, but not quite as devastating now that RF no longer allows extra damage. You can't exactly count on lucky RFs to take down a marine with a hellgun like you used to [speaking of weapons that need a bit of love; but I've mentioned the Las category before for this] but this would bring plasma back up to par for a skilled, accurate, or just plain lucky user.

 

Hells, while this complicates things further, Plasma bolts cause enough searing in their path that maybe you need to remove those extra DoS just like they were extra autofire hits. Makes it something that might actually work against a temple assassin, as opposed to "oh looked he dodged the nova-cannon's flash-pulse. And the fireball. And the shockwave."

 

Well, work marginally better than not at all, anyways… Those lance-strike dodging bastards are annoying.



#9 DJSunhammer

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 10:00 AM

Essentially making a plasma weapon very hard to dodge with high DoS? Anyone dodging a plasma weapon would need to get enough DoS to negate the extra damage before they could dodge the main strike. I think that is what you mean, your explanation isn't exactly clear.



#10 Kiton

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 12:29 PM

given it would be capped, it would be slightly harder to dodge. A mild improvement to those very expensive shots.

 

Effectively, the idea is for a small amount of bonus DoS beyond your RoF to give a bit of a buffer versus dodging. With Plasma, dodging autofire is overall normal, except that highly accurate shots beyond the original hits, up to the damage bonus cap, count as extra "hits" you must be dodging.

 

To put it differently, it gets an extra set of "rof" and hits to cancel, but the bonus hits just boost the damage of the real ones by a single point.

 

Say the weapon is capped at +4. With single fire, you're out of luck; its perfectly normal for dodging.

If you're firing semi-auto on, say, S/2/-, however:

Dead-on: normal hit, normal dodge

1DoS: +1 damage, need ONE DoS [initial success lowers damage by one, big whoop, two dodges the shot entirely]

2DoS: Second shot hits. +2 damage to both. Need TWO DoS to dodge completely [first negates one damage and second hit; second negates the 1 damage bonus, third dodges the first hit]

3DoS: +3 damage to both hits: THREE DoS to dodge completely [-1 damage, -1 damage and negate second hit, -1 damage, negate original strike]

And finally, at 4DoS or higher, +4 damage to both hits, meaning FOUR degrees of success to dodge BOTH rounds of plasma. There's two "hits" of a buffer before you even cancel the second strike.

 

It may be a bit much, but it wouldn't really be complicated ["Okay three degrees and its semi-auto so both hit and I do +3 on each" "Dodge is one DoS so minus one DoS for you" "okay +2 on each then" and it would make plasma weapons very difficult to defend against.



#11 DJSunhammer

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 01:29 PM

That is a little bit more complicated than it needs to be in my opinion. I would go with something that is linear, rather than sequential like you have there, since it is much easier and faster to think of things in one straight line rather than two. Something like this.

Each DoS for the shooter adds 2 damage to a cap of four [or higher numbers for higher quality weapons.] Each DoS on the dodge reduces the damage by 2. If the person dodging gets enough DoS to reduce the bonus damage to 0, his next DoS dodges the entire attack. If the shooter fires on Semi-Auto, the attacks are dealt with one at a time so that this rule keeps in line with existing rules for dodging Semi and Full-Auto attacks.

You could also do something even simpler and more unique. The rules are as above; Each DoS for the shooter adds 2 damage to a predetermined cap. Each DoS on a dodge roll reduces the damage of the shot by 2 [possibly more], this includes the base damage of the shot and the damage that is rolled by the player.

For example:

Joe shoots at Bob with his Plasma Pistol and gets 1 DoS. He rolls 6 for damage dealing 14 damage total. Bob dodges successfully and gets 3 DoS, thus reducing the damage of Joe's attack by 6.



#12 Saibot

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 01:49 PM

What about giving Plasma Weapons an updated version of "Volatile" ?

"When scoring Righteous Fury with a plasma weapon roll 2d5 for the critical effect, discard the lowest roll." Then Tearing has more RFs while Volatile weapons have better RFs.

Alternatively, when scoring RF you cause a critical effect as normal AND do extra damage with the attack equal to the roll on the 1d5.



#13 Morangias

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 07:50 PM

"Reroll RF, pick better" is a good idea.


There is no truth in flesh, only betrayal.

There is no strenght in flesh, only weakness.
There is no constancy in flesh, only decay.
There is no certainty in flesh but death.


#14 DJSunhammer

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 09:44 PM

It is and I remember someone talking about it in a BC thread somewhere. I'm surprised I didn't remember it. Sometimes I get to caught up in making new stuff to remember something that is much simpler and does the job just as well.






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