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Colyer

Variant Critical Injury Rules

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Hey guys,

 

So, over the last few weeks I've been working on making my own version of the Critical Injury rules to use in Edge of the Empire. Before I put them into play, however, I wanted to see what others thought of them and to, hopefully, catch any glaring pitfalls I may have missed. So here goes.

 

I should start by outlining what I want a variant critical chart to do. When I first read the Edge of the Empire Core Rulebook, I immediately realized the critical injury table and I were going to have issues. I opted to give it time and try it out, which I am glad I did, but the idea that it takes a +50 critical hit to even begin to threaten a player rubbed me the wrong way. Additionally, while a +40 critical injury has absolutely no chance of resulting in The End is Nigh or Dead, a +50 critical injury immediately has a 9% chance of resulting in The End is Nigh. This feels especially artificial to me, as if there is a switch that is suddenly flipped once +50 critical injuries become possible and the stakes become “real.” Instead, combat should always be scary, and there should be a risk every time a player decides a problem is best solved through the liberal use of a blaster. Nonetheless, the Star Wars roleplaying line is one catered to big **** heroes and is not looking to simulate gritty realities of war and conflict. With all of this in mind, I wanted a critical injury table that always had death as a possibility but not one that meant a player died every outing.

 

Alongside this, I realized that my players rarely wanted to spend the Advantage on critical hits unless it was against a minion group as too often meaningless results like Head Ringer came up making the players feel like their advantage was wasted. One of the issues I hope to fix with this chart is to remove the critical injuries that are overly situational so that both players and the GM can rely on their critical result to be something that helps them win the fight (this is also the largest impetus for me to give Vehicle Critical Hits the same treatment, but I have yet to finish that).

 

Finally, the change with the least impact, is that the critical injuries out of the book do not seem to follow any uniform naming rules. I changed some of the critical names so that they all can be read off as “You are x”. For example “You are Stung” or “You are Dying” rather than “You have been hit by a Stinger” or “The End Is Nigh.”

 

 

With that all out of the way, here is the link to it! Thanks for taking a look.

Edited by Colyer

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Average roll on 3D6 is 10.5.  You're going to end up disabling your PCs or kill them with that chart pretty regularly.

 

Thanks for taking a look.

 

I am aware of the math, but I don't think I see what you see. Ignoring previous critical injuries, Lethal Blows, and Vicious for a moment, the chance of causing a character to get the Dying critical is 0.46%. This critical is an Average crit, as opposed to the Daunting that The End Is Nigh is in the book, and so quite a bit easier to come back from. Part of the intent of this chart is definitely to increase the potency of any effects that increase the critical results like Lethal Blows and Vicious. When we compare the deadliness of this chart with RAW, we see that a +3 Critical Injury has the same chance of scoring the Dying crit as a +50 Critical Injury has of scoring The End Is Nigh. This difference is then offset by the fact that Dying is just easier to heal than The End Is Nigh. Crippling is likely to happen more than in RAW (because there are fewer results, they are all more likely to happen) but when you look at the specific mechanical effect of it, I don't see that as a big deal. It's a semi-permanent difficulty increase that seems about right for its location on the chart.

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Your game must be new because it is very easy to stack up bonuses for criticals, a modest weapon mod and a few xp in the correct spec and you can quickly have an easy +30 on critical rolls.  Someone with a vibro sword or a low crit weapon would be the 4 horsemen.  Apply the RAW to this chart and nearly every shot PCs and opponents with any real stats fire will be death and disfigurement.  Just my opinion.

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Your game must be new because it is very easy to stack up bonuses for criticals, a modest weapon mod and a few xp in the correct spec and you can quickly have an easy +30 on critical rolls.  Someone with a vibro sword or a low crit weapon would be the 4 horsemen.  Apply the RAW to this chart and nearly every shot PCs and opponents with any real stats fire will be death and disfigurement.  Just my opinion.

 

I definitely appreciate your opinion. Don't get me wrong. I've run two one-year campaigns and I know what you're talking about. But I think you're conflating what the players can do and what the GM will do. The players can and will stack high crit talents and modifications if that's what they choose to do (I do mention making Vicious weapons, such as vibro-swords, not socially acceptable as a bit of a countermeasure to this but that depends on a person's particular view of the setting). This means your NPCs are no longer safe, but the player has invested in making that true so let them have it. If they choose to gruesomely kill people with the most vicious sword in the galaxy then that is their choice. Additionally, I disagree that my crit chart introduces this 'problem'. This has happened in my game already when one of my players one-shot someone who was supposed to be a major villain with a modded vibro-sword.

 

What I think is more important is what the GM does when the players are the target. I specifically call out not to give NPCs Lethal Blows unless they really deserve it. Same can be said for low crit rating weapons. If an NPC has Lethal Blows/a modded Vibro-sword/a Disruptor Pistol then these should be factors in a player's decisions on whether to fight them in the first place. As the RAW is now, I've had to give all of my big bads these types of weapons and talents to make my players ever feel like their characters are at risk, rather than only giving those weapons to the people who would actually have them.

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OK, well you said you didn't like the +50 break on the chart as feeling artificial.  To me if you are specifically not using crits against PCs that's also kind of artificial.  Probably easier to just not use crits at all I would think.  Maybe use called Aim shots only for temporary debuffs instead and skip crits.

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After blinding my poor pilot in the Age of Rebellion game that I'm currently running, I think the critical results table works very well as it is currently written. Combat becomes vicious rather quickly, and just because the PC's don't die from a critical result doesn't mean it isn't something worth rolling for. In fact, it was the only way my PC's had to defeat a Rancor the last time I dropped one on them (12 soak is beastly on personal scale). They were doing minimal damage with great rolls, and eventually stacked criticals on the creature until it died. There are a plethora of ways to increase the critical results, through talents and items, or even activating the critcal rating multiple times (pg. 206 Edge of the Empire CRB) to try and get that number up. Other weapons have a minimum critical that they will give out, specifically disruptors. The minimum critcal a disruptor (pg. 163 EotE CRB) can cause is "crippled" which is a 96-100 roll. This only changes if the critical roll is higher, which is only achievable through modifiers. 

 

In the seedier side of the Outer Rim that Edge of the Empire takes place in, I would think criminals, especially any kind of assassin style character, is going to be looking at modifying their weapon to inflict some frightening critcals. This is all very achievable and keeps your PCs on your toes if you're not afraid to pull the punch and put them in a situation like that. My pilot felt rather worthless after he was blinded and it made the game a little difficult as he was unsure what he could really do effectively anymore. After reminding him that Han defeated Boba Fett while blind, that got the PC moving again. 

To summarize, I think the critical results work wonders for challenging both PCs and NPCs alike as they are written, and hope I gave you an example to see how they are needed and can become frightening in a hurry. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to find some cybernetic eyes for my pilot...

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OK, well you said you didn't like the +50 break on the chart as feeling artificial.  To me if you are specifically not using crits against PCs that's also kind of artificial.  Probably easier to just not use crits at all I would think.  Maybe use called Aim shots only for temporary debuffs instead and skip crits.

That's not what I said. At all. The GM controls how many people have the Lethal Blows talent or modded swords. NPCs will crit when it makes sense regardless. Yes that's arbitrary, but it's always arbitrary when the GM decides what abilities a particular NPC has.

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Just so it's been said:

 

You realize that unlike other systems and settings, once a character is dead here, it's usually for good, right?

 

I've just noticed some people seem to miss that in the transition from a certain fantasy game where death and resurrection is more commonplace....

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After blinding my poor pilot in the Age of Rebellion game that I'm currently running, I think the critical results table works very well as it is currently written. Combat becomes vicious rather quickly, and just because the PC's don't die from a critical result doesn't mean it isn't something worth rolling for. In fact, it was the only way my PC's had to defeat a Rancor the last time I dropped one on them (12 soak is beastly on personal scale). They were doing minimal damage with great rolls, and eventually stacked criticals on the creature until it died. There are a plethora of ways to increase the critical results, through talents and items, or even activating the critcal rating multiple times (pg. 206 Edge of the Empire CRB) to try and get that number up. Other weapons have a minimum critical that they will give out, specifically disruptors. The minimum critcal a disruptor (pg. 163 EotE CRB) can cause is "crippled" which is a 96-100 roll. This only changes if the critical roll is higher, which is only achievable through modifiers. 

 

In the seedier side of the Outer Rim that Edge of the Empire takes place in, I would think criminals, especially any kind of assassin style character, is going to be looking at modifying their weapon to inflict some frightening critcals. This is all very achievable and keeps your PCs on your toes if you're not afraid to pull the punch and put them in a situation like that. My pilot felt rather worthless after he was blinded and it made the game a little difficult as he was unsure what he could really do effectively anymore. After reminding him that Han defeated Boba Fett while blind, that got the PC moving again. 

To summarize, I think the critical results work wonders for challenging both PCs and NPCs alike as they are written, and hope I gave you an example to see how they are needed and can become frightening in a hurry. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to find some cybernetic eyes for my pilot...

I'm aware of all of the means of increasing a critical's severity and they're all mentioned in the variant rule.

My game has had a fair share of cybernetics, and maiming is still in my rules (blinding isn't, mostly because the idea of being blinded with a knife or gun is hard for me to swallow).

As for the assassin bit, that is what I've been doing. Certain NPCs have carried disruptors or ranks in Lethal Blows. But that means that guns just aren't dangerous. Only someone with a specialization in murder can kill someone (without Overpowered shenanigans like I've had in the past). Some are certainly more adept killers than others, but by RAW, it's simply not possible kill without special training.

These rules don't even change the statistics that much. They work out to being about a +20 passive increase to all critical rolls and the introduction of diminishing returns after +30. But they also mean that there isn't this sudden point where it goes from impossible to a 9% chance and some of the critical can be abandoned (like Overpowered or Head Ringer).

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OK, well you said you didn't like the +50 break on the chart as feeling artificial.  To me if you are specifically not using crits against PCs that's also kind of artificial.  Probably easier to just not use crits at all I would think.  Maybe use called Aim shots only for temporary debuffs instead and skip crits.

That's not what I said. At all. The GM controls how many people have the Lethal Blows talent or modded swords. NPCs will crit when it makes sense regardless. Yes that's arbitrary, but it's always arbitrary when the GM decides what abilities a particular NPC has.

 

I guess then maybe just replace some of your critical entries to the existing critical chart then would address what you're looking to do I guess to ease the harsh transition from hurt to dead.

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OK, well you said you didn't like the +50 break on the chart as feeling artificial.  To me if you are specifically not using crits against PCs that's also kind of artificial.  Probably easier to just not use crits at all I would think.  Maybe use called Aim shots only for temporary debuffs instead and skip crits.

That's not what I said. At all. The GM controls how many people have the Lethal Blows talent or modded swords. NPCs will crit when it makes sense regardless. Yes that's arbitrary, but it's always arbitrary when the GM decides what abilities a particular NPC has.

I guess then maybe just replace some of your critical entries to the existing critical chart then would address what you're looking to do I guess to ease the harsh transition from hurt to dead.

I don't understand. Excepting the way I fused Crippled and Maimed (both from the RAW chart) and changed the way The End Is Nigh works, they are all crit from the RAW chart.

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You do realize that once a PC suffers a Critical Injury it doesn't go away until it has been healed and the PC passes a Resilience check at the prescribed Difficulty of the Critical Rating?  And you do also realize that even if the effects of a Critical Injury can be temporary, the Critical Injury still stands at that rating and any additional Critical Injury suffered add +10 to the Critical Rating and that Critical Injury takes effect?  Also have you considered that Wound Threshold is not necessarily total Hit Points?  Once a PC goes beyond the Wound Threshold, any additional hit is a Critical Injury regardless of whether the Crit for the weapon used is activated.

 

If your PCs are not activating Critical Hits except against Minions, then maybe they might of the mind that Critical Injuries do more damage than a normal hit does.

 

Additionally, the GM controlling how many ranks of Lethal Blows a PC has kind of runs counter to the Careers and Specializations, especially since Lethal Blows is necessary to take in order to advance in some Specializations.

 

To be honest, I think this requires too much control from the GM's side and I know my Players would take exception to not having the ranks of Lethal Blows that they want.  The Specializations have been balanced in the way the developers want and I am not going to figure out something to replace Lethal Blows as my Players aren't going to pay the XP for an empty box just to maintain a track on the Talent tree.  I appreciate the time you put into your modified Crit table but I don't see any incentive to use it.

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You do realize that once a PC suffers a Critical Injury it doesn't go away until it has been healed and the PC passes a Resilience check at the prescribed Difficulty of the Critical Rating? And you do also realize that even if the effects of a Critical Injury can be temporary, the Critical Injury still stands at that rating and any additional Critical Injury suffered add +10 to the Critical Rating and that Critical Injury takes effect? Also have you considered that Wound Threshold is not necessarily total Hit Points? Once a PC goes beyond the Wound Threshold, any additional hit is a Critical Injury regardless of whether the Crit for the weapon used is activated.

If your PCs are not activating Critical Hits except against Minions, then maybe they might of the mind that Critical Injuries do more damage than a normal hit does. Those last two paragraphs have nothing to do with what I'm doing.

Additionally, the GM controlling how many ranks of Lethal Blows a PC has kind of runs counter to the Careers and Specializations, especially since Lethal Blows is necessary to take in order to advance in some Specializations.

To be honest, I think this requires too much control from the GM's side and I know my Players would take exception to not having the ranks of Lethal Blows that they want. The Specializations have been balanced in the way the developers want and I am not going to figure out something to replace Lethal Blows as my Players aren't going to pay the XP for an empty box just to maintain a track on the Talent tree. I appreciate the time you put into your modified Crit table but I don't see any incentive to use it.

I think there's a lot of confusion going on in here. I'm sorry for however I'm not being clear.

Yes, I'm aware of how criticals work. I understand why everyone is asking, but I assure you, I know how to play the game.

I don't know what that second paragraph means. Are you suggesting that my players don't know how to play now? We've been playing the game for two years across both of the released systems. Come on...

Who said anything about that? I specifically said both that PCs should get what they've paid for (getting the benefit of the Lethal Blows ranks they've bought) and that I would control how many ranks my NPCs have. Which... Of course I will. I'm the GM. I never said anything about new or changed specializations.

Edited by Colyer

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You do realize that once a PC suffers a Critical Injury it doesn't go away until it has been healed and the PC passes a Resilience check at the prescribed Difficulty of the Critical Rating? And you do also realize that even if the effects of a Critical Injury can be temporary, the Critical Injury still stands at that rating and any additional Critical Injury suffered add +10 to the Critical Rating and that Critical Injury takes effect? Also have you considered that Wound Threshold is not necessarily total Hit Points? Once a PC goes beyond the Wound Threshold, any additional hit is a Critical Injury regardless of whether the Crit for the weapon used is activated.

If your PCs are not activating Critical Hits except against Minions, then maybe they might of the mind that Critical Injuries do more damage than a normal hit does. Those last two paragraphs have nothing to do with what I'm doing.

Additionally, the GM controlling how many ranks of Lethal Blows a PC has kind of runs counter to the Careers and Specializations, especially since Lethal Blows is necessary to take in order to advance in some Specializations.

To be honest, I think this requires too much control from the GM's side and I know my Players would take exception to not having the ranks of Lethal Blows that they want. The Specializations have been balanced in the way the developers want and I am not going to figure out something to replace Lethal Blows as my Players aren't going to pay the XP for an empty box just to maintain a track on the Talent tree. I appreciate the time you put into your modified Crit table but I don't see any incentive to use it.

I think there's a lot of confusion going on in here. I'm sorry for however I'm not being clear.

Yes, I'm aware of how criticals work. I understand why everyone is asking, but I assure you, I know how to play the game.

I don't know what that second paragraph means. Are you suggesting that my players don't know how to play now? We've been playing the game for two years across both of the released systems. Come on...

Who said anything about that? I specifically said both that PCs should get what they've paid for (getting the benefit of the Lethal Blows ranks they've bought) and that I would control how many ranks my NPCs have. Which... Of course I will. I'm the GM. I never said anything about new or changed specializations.

 

I apologize for suggesting that you or your players don't know how to play the game.  I guess my confusion comes from the point-of-view that the Critical Injury applies more to PCs rather than NPCs, since PCs will most likely keep shooting until an NPC's wound threshold is reduced to zero and applying the effects of Critical Injuries to NPCs other than a Nemesis is pretty much unnecessary.  But I'm not going to comment further on this thread as it is really only a house rule.  Good luck and good gaming!

 

--Exits stage left..

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Just so it's been said:

 

You realize that unlike other systems and settings, once a character is dead here, it's usually for good, right?

 

I've just noticed some people seem to miss that in the transition from a certain fantasy game where death and resurrection is more commonplace....

I actually hadn't considered this. I don't think it's a major concern for me (I don't come from a fantasy game background) but I'm glad you brought it up. I do have changes in place that separate the Dying crit from Death, which no one has talked about yet. I'm not convinced that my variant rules even increase the lethality of the game that much. (Same probability at +3 in my rules as at +50 in the RAW being offset by the decrease in the difficulty of the Medicine check and the possible Resilience check to allow for more Medicine attempts).

 

 

 

 

You do realize that once a PC suffers a Critical Injury it doesn't go away until it has been healed and the PC passes a Resilience check at the prescribed Difficulty of the Critical Rating? And you do also realize that even if the effects of a Critical Injury can be temporary, the Critical Injury still stands at that rating and any additional Critical Injury suffered add +10 to the Critical Rating and that Critical Injury takes effect? Also have you considered that Wound Threshold is not necessarily total Hit Points? Once a PC goes beyond the Wound Threshold, any additional hit is a Critical Injury regardless of whether the Crit for the weapon used is activated.

If your PCs are not activating Critical Hits except against Minions, then maybe they might of the mind that Critical Injuries do more damage than a normal hit does. Those last two paragraphs have nothing to do with what I'm doing.

Additionally, the GM controlling how many ranks of Lethal Blows a PC has kind of runs counter to the Careers and Specializations, especially since Lethal Blows is necessary to take in order to advance in some Specializations.

To be honest, I think this requires too much control from the GM's side and I know my Players would take exception to not having the ranks of Lethal Blows that they want. The Specializations have been balanced in the way the developers want and I am not going to figure out something to replace Lethal Blows as my Players aren't going to pay the XP for an empty box just to maintain a track on the Talent tree. I appreciate the time you put into your modified Crit table but I don't see any incentive to use it.

I think there's a lot of confusion going on in here. I'm sorry for however I'm not being clear.

Yes, I'm aware of how criticals work. I understand why everyone is asking, but I assure you, I know how to play the game.

I don't know what that second paragraph means. Are you suggesting that my players don't know how to play now? We've been playing the game for two years across both of the released systems. Come on...

Who said anything about that? I specifically said both that PCs should get what they've paid for (getting the benefit of the Lethal Blows ranks they've bought) and that I would control how many ranks my NPCs have. Which... Of course I will. I'm the GM. I never said anything about new or changed specializations.

 

I apologize for suggesting that you or your players don't know how to play the game.  I guess my confusion comes from the point-of-view that the Critical Injury applies more to PCs rather than NPCs, since PCs will most likely keep shooting until an NPC's wound threshold is reduced to zero and applying the effects of Critical Injuries to NPCs other than a Nemesis is pretty much unnecessary.  But I'm not going to comment further on this thread as it is really only a house rule.  Good luck and good gaming!

 

--Exits stage left..

 

I'll respond to you nonetheless, but feel free to leave it be if you so choose.

 

I'm not sure I understand why you disagree with Critical Injuries being more important from a PC perspective than from an NPC one, so I'll just list the reasons why I think that's the case. First, as you said, a minion or rival dies once he exceeds his wound threshold. There is no need to roll a high crit to do so. And second, PCs are always moving from one fight to the next where most NPCs were either never shot and got away early or they were killed. The situation where an NPC is still carrying the critical injuries from the past (say Crippled which would still hamper them) is very rare. Both of these mean that criticals just carry more importance when they hit players than they do when they hit NPCs. As such, a GM should be careful who he gives Lethal Blows and Vicious weapons to, but if the players get access to such things it by no means breaks the game.

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Your game must be new because it is very easy to stack up bonuses for criticals, a modest weapon mod and a few xp in the correct spec and you can quickly have an easy +30 on critical rolls.  Someone with a vibro sword or a low crit weapon would be the 4 horsemen.  Apply the RAW to this chart and nearly every shot PCs and opponents with any real stats fire will be death and disfigurement.  Just my opinion.

 

I definitely appreciate your opinion. Don't get me wrong. I've run two one-year campaigns and I know what you're talking about. But I think you're conflating what the players can do and what the GM will do. The players can and will stack high crit talents and modifications if that's what they choose to do (I do mention making Vicious weapons, such as vibro-swords, not socially acceptable as a bit of a countermeasure to this but that depends on a person's particular view of the setting). This means your NPCs are no longer safe, but the player has invested in making that true so let them have it. If they choose to gruesomely kill people with the most vicious sword in the galaxy then that is their choice. Additionally, I disagree that my crit chart introduces this 'problem'. This has happened in my game already when one of my players one-shot someone who was supposed to be a major villain with a modded vibro-sword.

 

What I think is more important is what the GM does when the players are the target. I specifically call out not to give NPCs Lethal Blows unless they really deserve it. Same can be said for low crit rating weapons. If an NPC has Lethal Blows/a modded Vibro-sword/a Disruptor Pistol then these should be factors in a player's decisions on whether to fight them in the first place. As the RAW is now, I've had to give all of my big bads these types of weapons and talents to make my players ever feel like their characters are at risk, rather than only giving those weapons to the people who would actually have them.

 

OK, I'm just confused.  Let's try this.  Just explain what you are looking to accomplish with the new chart, honestly that's where I am lost.  No need for % chances of death or such, just why are you making the new chart, maybe that will clear things up for me at least.

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First, as you said, a minion or rival dies once he exceeds his wound threshold.

 

NOPE...

they are removed from the encounter, use this to your advantage as GM.

 

  • they waste a bunch of storm troopers and leave them adrift in their shuttle, have that come back to haunt them, some of those troopers woke up, reported in to their superiors and now theres a big bounty on the murder hobo PC's
  • they take down a rival in a gang they fight, then later take out the BBEG Gang Boss, guess what, that rival now takes over the gang and becomes a recurring Nemesis.

no one dies from exceeding wound threshold, only rolling greater than 141 on the crit chart.

 

Now I'm sure your thinking "but my players will just start slitting ever downed enemies throat to make sure" and if this was the 40k universe thats fine, but this is Star Wars and brutally murdering in cold blood would impart some serious Morality and probably a very bad reputation across the galaxy

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I am trying to make death always possible, rather than it having a sudden threshold where it goes from impossible to a sudden 9% chance. I am trying to make combat feel somewhat scarier but not necessarily trying to make it actually more deadly; to have more moments where someone almost died, but not necessarily more moments when someone actually died. I am trying to make silly amounts of crit bonus unnecessary as I'm tired of having to give every nemesis a disruptor in order to make him a threat. I'm trying to remove the overly situational or ridiculously powerful criticals from the chart so that activating a critical is always going to be helpful. So those are my intentions with these rules. Hopefully that's more clear.

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Much.  I think your chart does that for you to inflict on PCs, but it really won't be hard for a player with little effort to take out your Rivals and Nemeses pretty routinely with those results.  Winded is death to a Force user. Staggered for the encounter means the encounter is over for that target.  Pretty easy to shoot off limbs as well. If that's not an issue for you then game on, but a lot of those results effectively set death up for the next shot more or less.

Edited by 2P51

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OK, I'm just confused.  Let's try this.  Just explain what you are looking to accomplish with the new chart, honestly that's where I am lost.  No need for % chances of death or such, just why are you making the new chart, maybe that will clear things up for me at least.

 

I think this was essentially answered in the original post:

 

(Modified Quotes for brevity/clarity)

I should start by outlining what I want a variant critical chart to do.

 

1) Crits should have potential lethality at all times, not at certain breakpoints.

 

(The idea that it takes a +50 critical hit to even begin to threaten a player rubbed me the wrong way.

Additionally, while a +40 critical injury has absolutely no chance of resulting in The End is Nigh or Dead, a +50 critical injury immediately has a 9% chance of resulting in The End is Nigh.

Combat should always be scary, and there should be a risk [of] ... a critical injury table that always had death as a possibility but not one that meant a player died every outing.)

 

2) Players need more incentive to use Advantage on a Critical.

 

(I realized that my players rarely wanted to spend the Advantage on critical hits unless it was against a minion group, as too often meaningless results came up. 

Remove the critical injuries that are overly situational so that both players and the GM can rely on their critical result to be something that helps them win the fight).

 

3) The critical results should have a uniform naming convention.

 

(the critical injuries out of the book do not seem to follow any uniform naming rules)

 

 

Additionally, this was added later:

 

 

But that means that guns just aren't dangerous. Only someone with a specialization in murder can kill someone (without Overpowered shenanigans like I've had in the past). Some are certainly more adept killers than others, but by RAW, it's simply not possible kill without special training.

 

Which contrasts with this:

 

First, as you said, a minion or rival dies once he exceeds his wound threshold. There is no need to roll a high crit to do so.

 

Which can be combined to be understood, that PC's and Nemeses can not be easily killed and that this chart helps to rectify that, and really goes back to points 1 and 2 in the OP.

 

 

 

 

Personally, I believe the intent of the combat design in EotE was to avoid an overly lethal system, and so it was purposefully hard to kill, even with a crit.  If you and your players are happier with this house rule, more power to you.

 

For myself, I think the Crit table works well enough as is, and wouldn't bother trying to create and balance a new table.  "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" kind of mentality.

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There's a much simpler, more elegant solution to put death in the game... You can insta-kill an engaged helpless / unconscious character as an action, provided you're not actively under attack. Gun to the temple, blade to the jugular, etc.

 

I hang this threat over my players so that they protect people who are down, rather than assuming the critical chart's cushion will save them. The Coup De Grace, as it was called in D20, means that death is very rarely random, unless someone has a lot of stacked criticals. Random death never helped a game feel more exciting - it just kills the mood. At least, at my table it does. Players get shot and go down. Then the others get a shot at saving their comrades from death at the hands of an enemy, which feels a lot cooler than saying, "Tough luck - you died from a lucky critical roll."

 

That's how my table rolls and that's the only house rule I use for criticals.

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I am trying to make death always possible, rather than it having a sudden threshold where it goes from impossible to a sudden 9% chance. I am trying to make combat feel somewhat scarier but not necessarily trying to make it actually more deadly; to have more moments where someone almost died, but not necessarily more moments when someone actually died. I am trying to make silly amounts of crit bonus unnecessary as I'm tired of having to give every nemesis a disruptor in order to make him a threat. I'm trying to remove the overly situational or ridiculously powerful criticals from the chart so that activating a critical is always going to be helpful. So those are my intentions with these rules. Hopefully that's more clear.

Death is always possible.  This is star wars though. So death should happen when it is dramatically appropriate. Not because some random stormtroopers got a lucky shot. That cheapens it. The game is supposed to be fun. Being killed by TK4829 because he made a lucky shot is not fun as a player. 

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