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Terrainosaur

Damage clarification

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I sneak up on the cultist's guard post. A lone fanatic (TB4, W10) is standing there under the light. I lift my lasgun, take aim and shoot him in the head. I hit. Yay! I roll nearly max damage (9)! Yay!

 

He yells for help, draws his weapon and dives behind cover.

 

What?  Is that really how Dark Heresy combat works?  9+3=12-4=8 points of damage.  The fanatic suffers no ill effects, not bleeding, incapacitated, stunned or anything?  Please tell me I missed something.

Edited by Terrainosaur

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Wounds aren't necessarily representative of how much damage a character can take. Taking a different perspective, Wounds can be considered the target's morale (ohmigod, that bullet just barely missed me) and Critical Damage is when the target actually starts getting hit (ohmigod, I just lost my ear). I like thinking of Wounds as a character's confidence (or lack of it) rather than how many chainsword strikes their cloth robes can absorb.

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I've assumed that wounds factor in near misses as well as representing the effects of armor. Was the sentry wearing a helmet? Helmet must have absorbed enough of the shot that it merely left a bad burn on his head. He wasn't? Your character got a glancing hit instead of a clean shot.

 

In short, yes, that's how damage in Dark Heresy works, though it becomes less and less a problem as you get better gear. If you'd been using something like a long las in that situation he'd have been on his way to whatever dark god he served.

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Why? They both do 1d10+3. (I'm assuming no armor.)

 

 

Accurate special rule adds an extra 1d10 damage for every two degrees of success. With the long las it's insanely easy to get a +30 to hit, and with a character with even half decent ballistic skill, getting at least two degrees of success isn't hard, and even four's not THAT tough.

 

With a high Ballistic Skill character, getting 3d10+3 with the long las isn't that tough at all.

Edited by ColArana

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My rulebook just says Accurate adds +10 to BS when Aiming.

 

Check the errata. The errata added a rule that you can also add an extra 1d10 for every two degrees of success on aimed accurate weapons up to an additional 2d10 damage.

Edited by ColArana

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It's not that your high-damage shot did nothing, it's just that that consequences of your shot aren't immediately visible. I'd rather not have to play this card, but how would you feel if your character was immediately killed for not wearing a helmet? A clean headshot would certainly kill a man, which is covered under Critical Damage, so other head "hits" are ostensibly not direct hits. NPCs are bound to the same rules as players, with some exceptions.

 

Wounds are abstractions, not an actual measure of a character's physical durability. Realistically, a chainsword hit to the head wouldn't be soakable by any amount of human flesh and bone. Drumming up a successful attack as a near-miss or a hit that deals cosmetic damage help maintain a degree of realism. Similar to how bullets can ping off armor when they fail to penetrate, attacks that "hit" can chip that armour or shave off a few hairs. Armor and Toughess provide a sense of safety and superiority; wounds are that sense of protection being eroded away. This is how I view Wounds at least.

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My rulebook just says Accurate adds +10 to BS when Aiming.

 

Check the errata. The errata added a rule that you can also add an extra 1d10 for every two degrees of success on aimed accurate weapons up to an additional 2d10 damage.

 

Thank you!

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Combat rules are for combat situations, something I as a GM sometimes forget myself. What you describe, I would not classify as a combat situation. I'd still ask you to roll to hit, and maybe damage, in order to be able to narrate what happens according to your skill, but ultimately, as you say, there shouldn't be much of a chance for the guard to even survive.

 

If we follow your assumption, everyone involved should also roll for Initiative before anything even happens, and in certain situations, the guard would even be able to act before you. And as far as I know, there's no in-combat Stealth rules. Suck on that.

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Combat rules are for combat situations, something I as a GM sometimes forget myself. What you describe, I would not classify as a combat situation. I'd still ask you to roll to hit, and maybe damage, in order to be able to narrate what happens according to your skill, but ultimately, as you say, there shouldn't be much of a chance for the guard to even survive.

 

If we follow your assumption, everyone involved should also roll for Initiative before anything even happens, and in certain situations, the guard would even be able to act before you. And as far as I know, there's no in-combat Stealth rules. Suck on that.

 

Does that mean if an enemy NPC manages to sneak up on a PC, they should be allowed to instagib the PC just because the PC didn't notice them?

 

I find that could cause problems in a gaming group. "Oops, you failed your awareness test, you died." Fine for something like Call of Cthulhu, or something, sure, but while Dark Heresy's supposed to be dangerous I think that's a little too far.

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I sneak up on the cultist's guard post. A lone fanatic (TB4, W10) is standing there under the light. I lift my lasgun, take aim and shoot him in the head. I hit. Yay! I roll nearly max damage (9)! Yay!

 

He yells for help, draws his weapon and dives behind cover.

 

What?  Is that really how Dark Heresy combat works?  9+3=12-4=8 points of damage.  The fanatic suffers no ill effects, not bleeding, incapacitated, stunned or anything?  Please tell me I missed something.

 

You did the calculations right, Terrainosaur. "Bleeding, incapacitated, stunned or anything" is a function of Critical Damage in this game system; since most people use 'Sudden Death Criticals' for 'mooks' (i.e. any Critical damage kills them), these effects will almost never apply to nameless guards and whatnot, just like in D&D and the majority of other 'hit point'-based game systems.

Edited by Adeptus-B

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Combat rules are for combat situations, something I as a GM sometimes forget myself. What you describe, I would not classify as a combat situation. I'd still ask you to roll to hit, and maybe damage, in order to be able to narrate what happens according to your skill, but ultimately, as you say, there shouldn't be much of a chance for the guard to even survive.

 

If we follow your assumption, everyone involved should also roll for Initiative before anything even happens, and in certain situations, the guard would even be able to act before you. And as far as I know, there's no in-combat Stealth rules. Suck on that.

 

Does that mean if an enemy NPC manages to sneak up on a PC, they should be allowed to instagib the PC just because the PC didn't notice them?

 

I find that could cause problems in a gaming group. "Oops, you failed your awareness test, you died." Fine for something like Call of Cthulhu, or something, sure, but while Dark Heresy's supposed to be dangerous I think that's a little too far.

 

 

No, because that's not fun.

 

Seriously, what kind of question is that? (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

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No, because that's not fun.

 

Seriously, what kind of question is that? (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

 

 

A question coming from a GMwho tends to allow the enemy NPC's the same advantages and disadvantages of the players, (unless it is an especially large group of enemies (ie. 10+) in which case I forgo the Crit. table for them). Other than that exception, my NPC's generally tend to have all the same rules as the PC's.

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Currently, stealth just gives you a bonus to hit them. (Because they are an unaware target.) 

 

This can get frustrating, but the rules are an abstraction designed to keep things flowing smoothly. Personally I feel like a house rule giving headshots a greater chance of taking Righteous Fury (bonus damage) might be cool, but any fix is a house rule.

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Please tell me I missed something.

 

It is how it is. However, as a GM you are always free to modify the rules to better suit your personal interpretation.

 

Something I suggested over in the Only War forums was to draw a hint from GW's d100 "Inquisitor" game and implement the following modifications:

- remove Wounds from anyone who doesn't have Unnatural Toughness

- Toughness no longer counts like a second layer of armour, but instead divides penetrating damage by its value

- the remaining damage goes directly into a character's Criticals

 

Voila, now every attack that hits your fanatic and punches through their armour will be accompanied by suitable injury effects, and your constitution merely determines how bad it will be! As an added bonus, TB stacking with itself also makes "one hit kills" harder to achieve, removing the need for hitpoints aka Wounds.

 

Note that the above is just an idea for now; I haven't had an opportunity to play an actual game like that yet.  :ph34r:

Edited by Lynata

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