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enentol

Inflicting less close combat damage?

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I've poured through the book a couple of times now, but I'm trying to find if there is a way to hold back close combat weapon damage or to "pull a punch".

 

Essentially, is there a way to choose to strike/tap someone with weapons (say a Shock Maul) to inflict minimal damage but to still trigger certain weapon effects?

 

There is the combat action "Stun", but it causes a -20 penalty to do something that a shock maul can do anyways during a standard attack. Is there a way to simply choose to hold back and do less damage?

 

I could have sworn that I read something, but I can't find it now.

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The talent Takedown is there for the very same. :)

 

To expand on this, there is no way to "go easy" on someone and do less damage. When fighting a chainsword-wielding cultist, going easy is the last thing on an Acolyte's mind :) However, there is the Takedown talent, which represents specialized combat training in incapacitating enemies without killing them. It probably involves blows to the head, breaking arms, and judo-style throws which are designed to be non-lethal but still quite painful.

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I completely get that. It's definitely a lot harder to hit a flailing cultist lightly than to just go all out.

 

What I'm trying to get at is that a player can't just prod, jab, or tap an enemy with a weapon such as a Shock Maul to trigger effects like Shocking. It seems like unless you attack with a -20 penalty (Stun) or purchase a talent, you can't attempt to use the shocking trait of a shock maul without risking a potentially lethal hit.

 

If using Stun or Takedown, you don't actually get to use the Shock Maul's Shocking trait... It would be the same effect as if you would attack them with your fists or the but of a pistol...

 

Seems a bit odd...?

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The rules as they are are semi realistic, from person experience I can tell you trying to not kill someone while attacking them with a sword is VERY difficult.

 

As with most other weapons trying to disable someone is x5 harder than just killing them. That’s why talents like disarm exist to show that a person needs to master the skill of disabling there opponents,

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I completely get that. It's definitely a lot harder to hit a flailing cultist lightly than to just go all out.

 

What I'm trying to get at is that a player can't just prod, jab, or tap an enemy with a weapon such as a Shock Maul to trigger effects like Shocking. It seems like unless you attack with a -20 penalty (Stun) or purchase a talent, you can't attempt to use the shocking trait of a shock maul without risking a potentially lethal hit.

 

If using Stun or Takedown, you don't actually get to use the Shock Maul's Shocking trait... It would be the same effect as if you would attack them with your fists or the but of a pistol...

 

Seems a bit odd...?

Houserule it. Really, if you are not trying to hurt someone or really swing the hell out of a weapon, say, you are just trying to prod someone with your Shock Maul, not actually swing at them, I'd be perfectly fine with you simply not doing any damage whatsoever with a Called Shot (because yes, if you are trying to prod someone instead of hitting against them, that's a Called Shot in the context of a combat situation), and simply apply the Stun.

Also, if you look back on older editions of the ruleset, Shocking simply needed a Hit to cause it's effect. Post-Only War (and I assume it's the same in DH2), it requires you to do damage. This is likely a knee-jerk reaction that they made to de-power the Shocking Special Quality, without looking at cascade effects.

One solution to this would be to simply houserule that Shocking uses the earlier functionality (Hit Only) for Called Shots and Stun Combat Actions.

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Actually, I think Shocking is way more powerful now. Quite glad my players never considered shocking weps worth it.

In older stuff, shocking happened on any hit, but you got a toughness test to resist with +10 for every point of armour, so it only was really effective on unarmoured enemies. Now it's just cause damage? Toughness test or stunned and fatigued. Brutal

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Actually, I think Shocking is way more powerful now. Quite glad my players never considered shocking weps worth it.

In older stuff, shocking happened on any hit, but you got a toughness test to resist with +10 for every point of armour, so it only was really effective on unarmoured enemies. Now it's just cause damage? Toughness test or stunned and fatigued. Brutal

 

They are very powerful agaist weaker enemies but not so much agaist high XP characters.

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Also, if you look back on older editions of the ruleset, Shocking simply needed a Hit to cause it's effect. Post-Only War (and I assume it's the same in DH2), it requires you to do damage. This is likely a knee-jerk reaction that they made to de-power the Shocking Special Quality, without looking at cascade effects.

One solution to this would be to simply houserule that Shocking uses the earlier functionality (Hit Only) for Called Shots and Stun Combat Actions.

 
Thank you for a constructive answer. Knowing the historical context of the rule helps tremendously.
 
I was really hoping that there was just something I had missed in my readings, but it's nice to know I wasn't - and why.

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Actually, I think Shocking is way more powerful now. Quite glad my players never considered shocking weps worth it.

In older stuff, shocking happened on any hit, but you got a toughness test to resist with +10 for every point of armour, so it only was really effective on unarmoured enemies. Now it's just cause damage? Toughness test or stunned and fatigued. Brutal

Wow, seriously? I just assumed that it worked like in Only War, based on what others have been saying. These are the rules in Only War:

 

SHOCKING

Shocking weapons can Stun their opponents with a powerful surge of energy. A target that takes at least 1 point of Damage from a Shocking weapon, after Armour and Toughness Bonus, must make a Challenging (+0) Toughness Test. If he fails, he is Stunned for a number of Rounds equal to his Degrees of Failure.

If in DH2, they no longer need to take the Toughness Test, that's absolutely brutal and I would houserule that no matter what way it swings. That is just flat-out broken.

Edit: I just realized that I read you wrong. You mean the bonus to the Toughness Test that was given from someone's armour. I always found that incredibly clunky and was glad it was removed.

 

 

Thank you for a constructive answer. Knowing the historical context of the rule helps tremendously.

 

I was really hoping that there was just something I had missed in my readings, but it's nice to know I wasn't - and why.

For reference, this is the rule from Black Crusade (above, the rule for Only War):

 

SHOCKING

Shocking weapons can Stun their opponents with a powerful surge of energy. A target that takes a hit from a Shocking weapon must make a Challenging (+0) Toughness Test. If he fails, he is Stunned for a number of Rounds equal to his Degrees of Failure.

I would simply houserule it in this fashion:

SHOCKING (X)

Shocking weapons can Stun their opponents with a powerful surge of energy. A target that takes at least 1 point of Damage from a Shocking weapon, after Armour, must make a Toughness Test equal to the modifier in parenthesis (X). If he fails, he is Stunned for a number of Rounds equal to his Degrees of Failure, to a minimum of 1. As part of a Called Shot or Stun Combat Action, the Attack does not need to Penetrate Armour. At the GM:s discretion, this may have no effect on certain enemies, such as some with the Machine or Daemonic Traits.

Note that in context, I also rule that things with modifiers like Toxic (X) or Smoke (X) and so forth can be both negative and positive, because I find it stupid that going by the established terminology and ruleset, all tests of this fashion starts at Challenging (+0) and scale upwards (1 for -10, 2 for -20, etc). All in the interest of saving two letters or numbers.

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If you want someone alive there is no need even for shocking weapons if you are strong enough. Grapple the guy, hit him a few times bare-handed and watch his fatigue exceeding TB.

In all other cases non-lethal grenades are your friend.

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If you want someone alive there is no need even for shocking weapons if you are strong enough. Grapple the guy, hit him a few times bare-handed and watch his fatigue exceeding TB.

In all other cases non-lethal grenades are your friend.

From a mechanical point of view, this does achieve the same result, but from a narrative viewpoint, this is very far away from what the character is trying to do.

Poking some mud-covered peasant with a cattle-prod until they go down, you completely clad in enforcer carapace, just isn't the same thing as starting some kind of grapple-thon with said mud-covered peasant dragging you into the mud.

That's not mud.

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