Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Timberboar

Pen vs. TB

71 posts in this topic

Just a quick question to make sure I understand this mechanic.

 

RAW, a weapon's Pen value only subtracts from the target's armor, and not from the "soak" they get as a result of their toughness bonus, correct?

 

I tried to use the search function, but it removed every single one of my search terms for being under 4 characters. So... sorry if this is answered every other week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In a word: yes.

PEN reduces all armour types (be it natural or man-made or warp-made) but does not effect the Toughness Soak, the closest thing to reducing the Toughness Soak would be Felling, but it only works against Unnatural Toughness not mundane Toughness.

 

And yes the warp-machinations of this forum are fickle in deed, so its no problem to ask if it refuses you.

pearldrum1 likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, though I was confused about this when I started WH40k RPGs as well.  Everyone's new at some point.  

 

Though I also think it's dumb and having Tb be a straight damage reduction leads to tonnes of problems for everything apart from Daemons.  

Myrion, pearldrum1 and Lynata like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Though I also think it's dumb and having Tb be a straight damage reduction leads to tonnes of problems for everything apart from Daemons.  

 

To advertise another option in terms of houserules ...

 

In GW's own d100 game, "Inquisitor", TB was actually a sort of buffer between critical levels. Any damage that got through your armour automatically caused an injury, your Toughness merely dictated how badly you'd be injured.

 

Transplanted to this RPG, you could resolve damage as follows:

 

Step 1: Roll damage

Step 2: Deduct AP

Step 3: Divide remaining damage by TB

Step 4: Apply the result (rounded up) directly to the Crit Table, stacking with existing Injury levels

 

The result would be that characters are notably easier to injure and suffer lasting "souvenirs" from their battles (possibly requiring prosthetics/bionics), but are not at as much of a risk of "rushing through" the entire Crit table in a single dice roll.

 

I would also recommend to remove or at least significantly reduce Wounds, because using TB as a Crit Buffer essentially gives player characters 20-30 Wounds With Injury Effects, thus being a good substitute anyways.

 

So, what happens in RAW if you take damage is basically "nothing .. nothing .. nothing .. one injury .. you're dead", whereas with this change you'd have a far more gradual experience, feeling more vulnerable whilst at the same time actually having a higher survivability.

Jolly P and Gridash like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like that. The crit table pretty much means death, as it is right now. I've flirted with the idea of removing wounds all together, to make combat much more lethal and less, "I have 20 points till getting shot actually matters"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the "nothing, nothing, eh... urgh..." is true though it allows combat heavy campaign to somewhat keep its "cast" alive and attribute something "heroic" to the PCs. If that is the theme your campaign is about the standard rules are fine, if you want a more deadly system i'd go for the only crit table stuff. And either use the "True Grit" Talent mechanics where you subtract critical damage by the amount of Toughness, or as stated divide by TB and after that maybe even apply true grit, if bought for xp, anyways.

 

This way you get your battle-scars, loose limbs and several more PCs deaths. If you want that, go for it, but this may lead to some situations where your PCs get combat-lazy for they only engage if everything is in their favor. Ofc you can make another officer order them to charge but then it can just take two or three heavy weapon blasts/burst for an entire wipe.

 

It all boils down to what story you want to tell. Is it the tale of a band of brothers that survive because of plot/story telling-armor or is it a unit that constantly feels the losses of war and regularly requires reinforcements because of the grim nature of war.

 

But besides of that, I made the experience that after you crossed a certain line and start to fight real dangerous foes most 40k PnP have a tendency to become an insta-gib arena for it is much easier to carry destructive potential than armour/thoughness that adequately protect from these weapons. And that applies to both, PCs and their enemies. So for us everything balanced out. In the beginning it was in favour of the PCs so they can get adapted to the system and develop their characters, after a while though, when they face well equipped and trained enemies the system becomes dangerous of its own.

 

I just have to think of a horrible murderous urban warfare scenario against imperial separatists that was inspired by Sniper Alley and the Bosnian War. Even the regular autogun was a real threat to the NPCs and with the more dangerous rules this scenario would have been over quite early for they would have been simply dead. If you are willed to field the same tools against the PCs, that they utilize and maybe even bring them to a disadvantage they fall just as fast as the regular enemies do.

segara82, Lynata and Magus Black like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I consider the system deadly enough as it is, and any tinkering with the TB and wound mechanics in favor for realism works in my opinion only against the PCs. After all it's usually the 3-6 of them against literally hundreds of enemies. So more deadly only results in more re-rolls for character generating. Not what i and my players call fun.

And i agree with FieserMoep about the gear balancing out. The first weapons themselves already do a good job about that, an Autogun against an unarmoured opponent does 1-10 damage, either gracing or outright killing him. And the first armours are easily cancelled out by man-stoppers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My only issue is how you can take a bunch of hits (wounds) and not lose limbs, but when you do actually get there, you're already pretty much screwed.

Lynata likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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:

 

RAW
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
Gridash and pearldrum1 like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there is no nothing, nothing, urgh in OW, because the RF mechanic, which kicks in often, is going to lead to stuff.

 

When I was GMing Final Testament, one character got a broken leg without even landing the drop ship.

Edited by bogi_khaosa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dunno, is less than 5% "often"? Though, given how often people are getting shot at, I guess it is. But then again, this amount of hits also means they ought to be losing Wounds quickly, anyways, so the issue remains.

 

I also think it's not very consistent if you essentially have two different versions of Crits. Call it a desire for realism or for greater simplicity. It's probably a bit of both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a really interesting system, Lynata. The only real downsides are that it pretty much requires a calculator, and it doesn't 'scale up' enough to take huge stuff into account (that was a major flaw of the 'narrative' damage system proposed in the first version of the DH2 Beta). Carnifexes and Greater Daemons should be much harder to kill than a PC who somehow gets a comparable TB...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only real downsides are that it pretty much requires a calculator

 

Hmmh, you think so? The only real addition of math is dividing damage after armour by TB.

 

That said, I suppose this can become problematic with higher damage numbers...  :unsure:

 

Carnifexes and Greater Daemons should be much harder to kill than a PC who somehow gets a comparable TB...

 

That's true. I have been thinking of simply allowing such "boss creatures" to keep their Wounds. Easiest solution, methinks (in case of a Greater Daemon it'd be a whopping 80!). Could be fluffed as bleeding wounds that don't have any other effect, akin to the first few salvos into a bug creature in Starship Troopers. ;)

 

Another option would be to up their resilience by increasing Toughness or adding Natural Armour, although I was hoping to offer this system as an alternative that does not necessitate the rewriting of any stats, thus making implementation easier for anyone who's interested.

 

I've also been thinking about Unnatural Toughness as a trait adding the respective creature's TB as Wounds to each body location (thus essentially "adding a small cushion" before injury), though I suppose that would be too much bookkeeping?

Edited by Lynata

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a question regarding Pen and TB and Armor, nooby as it is: Say a weapon's penetration is higher than than the armor of  a target. 5 vs 4, for example. That last point does nothing, correct? That's what I understood it as in the rules, but that just seems pointless. Fighting anything with Flak armor means you are either under, or over and thus wasting the high pen (unless you are using a heavy flamer or bolter). Should it bite into TB? Be added as extra damage?

 

At the end of the day, what's the advantage of having an eviscerator with a pen of 9 when the toughest armor ratings you will fight will be that of carapace (6), Ork Mega Armor (14,9,5), Chaos Power armor (10), and Incubus armor (8)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a question regarding Pen and TB and Armor, nooby as it is: Say a weapon's penetration is higher than than the armor of  a target. 5 vs 4, for example. That last point does nothing, correct?

Absolutely correct.

At the end of the day, what's the advantage of having an eviscerator with a pen of 9 when the toughest armor ratings you will fight will be that of carapace (6), Ork Mega Armor (14,9,5), Chaos Power armor (10), and Incubus armor (8)?

As I recall, it get's even better, as the eviscerator is Razor Sharp and so may well have effective pen of 18 in many cases. This is only really useful if you decided to take on a tank in close combat.

Though if you take a look at that Ork Mega Armour, pen 9 looks quite useful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not an amazing idea, I confess, but that higher Pen could help against vehicles. Meltas are the same idea here, where their Pen is higher than most personal armor, and they won't BLAM through the natural Toughness, either, but they do amazing things against vehicles; that's what most people would say melta weapons are for, and the eviscerator might fall into that, too. Failing having a power fist, or happening to have an especially pious Priest, that uber chainsword could help buzz through a Chimera, Rhino, or Basilisk you just happen to be near, if you lucked out.

Lynata likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the TT and the Inquisitor game, Meltas and Eviscerators are universally useful against both infantry and vehicles because their Pen ensures they eat through almost any armour, whereas their standard damage is then sufficient to then kill or heavily damage it. Pretty much the only thing that keeps them from being the most popular weapons is their price and lack of AoE/RoF, thus mostly limiting them to dedicated tank killers (who proceed to killing infantry once all vehicles have been dealt with) or ICs who may face heavily armoured foot opponents (such as the enemy HQ).

 

In Only War and the other FFG 40k RPGs this gets cushioned somewhat simply because TB, as pointed out above, has a different effect here. But isn't their damage still high enough to retain their usefulness, even with this inherent drawback?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well in the case of the Eviscerator, when are you ever going to be charging a tank with a melee weapon? That doesn't sound like the smartest idea, considering many have pintle weapons and side sponsons, not to mention a turret and hull weapon. 2d10 sounds like a lot, and with the high pen, it will do all the damage you roll. 

 

Unless, of course, you can't seem to do any damage because somehow their skin is more durable than the armor they wear, and you simply can't penetrate that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well in the case of the Eviscerator, when are you ever going to be charging a tank with a melee weapon? 

 

When you're part of a suicide squad whose mission is to die a glorious death!

 

Other than that it's chiefly a badge of office, similar to a Commissar's bolt pistol, carried primarily due to association rather than actual battlefield efficiency. Still, it may find its use when push comes to shove.

 

Meltas are, of course, somewhat more useful, especially in an urban environment. They still have a rather limited range, but you can easily take out a tank by hiding inside some ruins and just waiting for your chance to caress that armoured hull with a disintegrating beam from the mouth of your thermal gun.

Edited by Lynata

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well in the case of the Eviscerator, when are you ever going to be charging a tank with a melee weapon? That doesn't sound like the smartest idea, considering many have pintle weapons and side sponsons, not to mention a turret and hull weapon. 2d10 sounds like a lot, and with the high pen, it will do all the damage you roll. 

 

Unless, of course, you can't seem to do any damage because somehow their skin is more durable than the armor they wear, and you simply can't penetrate that.

You charge the tank with a melee weapon when you are in a squad with guys that have meltas, or a melta bomb. You run up with them to maintain a group dynamic, and in fluff, to shore up their doubts that running up to a tank was dumb; that's how you plant a MB to a vehicle. I never said it was wise, or even a GOOD idea, but it IS a place where the high Pen matters, and when you get there with the rest, you'll want to be able to do something, too.

 

A bit of a rant here: what we MAYBE have is a bit like a video game. If you ever play DoW, you note that the weapons are divvied up into "good against infantry", good against vehicles", and occasionally good against buildings", as something separate from vehicles. If you fire a lascannon at infantry, they fly back, but take nil damage, and the same for the bolters against a Land Raider. I remember when the OW stuff was new, and vehicles were announced, and I remember saying "how will they balance vehicles and people?" If my gun will blow through a Chimera, NO infantry should stand against it, but that makes those guns only safe for PCs to use, or they make a lot of characters. The Toughness Bonus sometimes feels sort of tacked on, compared to armor and Pen, as a way to make the troops, which you are playing, tougher than the tanks, which are just props. Even in a grit game where we might expect PCs to fall like flies, no one wants to play when the missile launcher shows up, or the melta. Some of this could just be me being random, but I do feel that, for the most part, what I am saying does have some merit. Also, when you remember that you are Guard, possibly expected to fight Meganobs, Chaos Marines, and the like, all those people who get Power Armor, while you get cardboard, and always will (minus occasional carapace), you might be happy that your Toughness bonus helps, unless you like dying often, and either making the same character, with a different name, and one changed detail for the fifth time, or your fourth completely different, no personal investment in it character that campaign. I, for one, and not in that boat of "this is a game where Guardsmen die; that could be my special snowflake syndrome, again. I apologize.

Edited by venkelos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, there are occasional non-melee instances where that extra Pen comes in handy, namely making your own doorway in an otherwise blank wall...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, when you remember that you are Guard, possibly expected to fight Meganobs, Chaos Marines, and the like, all those people who get Power Armor, while you get cardboard, and always will (minus occasional carapace), you might be happy that your Toughness bonus helps, unless you like dying often

 

On the other hand, if TB would not work like it does in OW, your chances against Meganobs and Chaos Marines would actually be better. Simply because you are sacrificing 2-4 points of resilience, but the Meganobs and CSM sacrifice 6-10. That means your lasgun volleys might finish them off with a lot more ease.

 

If you're fighting against CSM, I doubt that your TB3 is going to be the decisive factor.

Edited by Lynata

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just don't really like how the mechanic works. The game is saying that a human being's body has this intrinsic defensiveness that no weapon can penetrate, not even when it could shred through your armor twice over.

 

As for your rant, I wouldn't want to die a whole bunch either, but you aren't supposed to win one on one in a stand up fight. This is a game where you are a grunt, with grunt armor and grunt weapons. Grunts don't kill Space Marines one on one. They do it in groups, with support, behind cover, in a way that benefits them the most. 

Myrion likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with what you are saying, but I don't mind the rule when it is saving me, and I like to think that, even if they are beefier, then the teamwork bonus should help mitigate their Toughness bonus. It's my experience that you can never count on players to play well, or to play intelligently. I've had numerous scenarios with people, both those I've known for years and newbs walking into the room while we were playing, who MIGHT'VE been surprised dice came in versions other than d6's, and between showboating, superiorship, a lack of tactical thinking, or any of a number of other things, they didn't play the team in that game, or maybe even build them well. If part of the group is shooty, and part hacky/slashy, part of the group might not be doing much, and if they are, they aren't doing all the smart things you said (teamwork, cover, etc). Sometimes they just want to play a pants-on-head stupid, and sometimes they can't help it, but you can't always pick your gamers, and the system MIGHT be giving a little leeway for those. In fact, I don't get the "nothing can pierce it" part, either; the energy of my soul is a mighty shield, indeed?, but when you are guaranteed the worst equipped people on that field, minus SevDom forces, every little bit helps.

 

The Toughness bonus? The Emperor protects.

Edited by venkelos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0