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bradknowles

Slamming people/things into walls with Force Move...

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So, here’s an interesting thing that came up tonight, and which relates to something I saw in “Revenge of the Sith” in the final battle between Yoda and the Emperor.

So, in this scene, when Yoda enters the room, he force-slams two red Royal Guards into the wall, and knocks them clean out. Since they’re Silhouette 1, that should only be ten points of damage, minus their Soak. That shouldn’t be anywhere near enough to take out two Royal Guards.

So, maybe when you are force-slamming a person or creature into a wall, and you get enough pips, you can increase the amount of damage that you do to them, just as if you had hit them with a larger object? Maybe Silhouette 2 or even Sil 3?

What happened tonight was a fight with Rubat Spiders in a cave, and since they’re Silouette 0, they would normally only take 5 points of damage if force-slammed into a wall. With their Soak of four, that would only be one point of damage that gets through. And that just doesn’t make sense to me.

It seems to me that if you’re force-slamming a person or thing into the wall, the wall is most likely much larger than Silhouette 2 or 3, and therefore you could reasonably do a lot more damage to the target, if you could slam them into the wall faster/harder.

Of course, this most definitely isn’t RAW. But I’m curious to know what other GMs think about this situation?

Thanks!

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So, in this scene, when Yoda enters the room, he force-slams two red Royal Guards into the wall, and knocks them clean out. Since they’re Silhouette 1, that should only be ten points of damage, minus their Soak. That shouldn’t be anywhere near enough to take out two Royal Guards.

 

Isn't it 10 + Discipline check Successes (against silhouette as difficulty) - Soak? Yoda is probably rolling a hefty Discipline check. Probably 6 dice against a single purple. Shouldn't be that hard to roll 15 damamge each, with kills all Minions and a good portion of the Rivals with a single hit.

 

My group allowed crits on Force Move rolls. So, perhaps Yoda's GM allowed them as well and he rolled well on the crit charts.

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It seems to me that if you’re force-slamming a person or thing into the wall, the wall is most likely much larger than Silhouette 2 or 3, and therefore you could reasonably do a lot more damage to the target, if you could slam them into the wall faster/harder.

 

Since you can already do ludicrous things with only 3 pips if you have all the Strength and Magnitude upgrades (which Yoda would have), by RAW I don't think it's overpowered to allow you to treat smaller objects as if they were larger objects.  Whether you're throwing a Sil4 object at a person, or throwing a Sil1 person at a Sil4 object shouldn't make a difference so long as you have the strength upgrade to do it.  Probably the only thing that needs adjusting is the Discipline check, which would be the same either way:  PPPP.  That would explain Yoda's ease at taking out the Royal Guard...though it doesn't really explain how Palpatine survived the push, unless he used Protect to mitigate some of it.

 

Anyway, I think that works with RAW.  You know what I think of Move, so I won't say more :)

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Whether you're throwing a Sil4 object at a person, or throwing a Sil1 person at a Sil4 object shouldn't make a difference so long as you have the strength upgrade to do it.

A large object has a great deal more momentum (mass x velocity) than a small object moving at the same speed. So yes it does matter if the mouse is stopped by the wall or the wall is stopped by the mouse. That's Physics.

And because I think I can anticipate your reply, I don't think the mouse just moves faster to compensate. Whilst I'm sure that the same Jedi would move a heavy wall more slowly than a mouse, I don't think it's the case that a given Jedi exerts a set amount of newtons and everything works out in proportion. We see Jedi hurl battle droids away and they fly like they're thrown, not as if they've been shot out of a cannon. If you took the approach that a Jedi can just exert a set amount of force and the object moves at a resulting speed according to its mass then you have a problem. A jedi that could move an X-Wing for example, or to be honest just an astromech, would be firing small objects around like a rail gun. Imagine if it did work like that! The Jedi would say "I can throw an astromech at 8mph... so I could hurl this knife at 400mph?"

Basically the approach you outline doesn't work. You can't do the same damage by hurling a Sil 1 object at a Sil 4 object as you could the other way around. If that were the case then you could do the same damage with that Sil 1 object to anyone or anything else as well. I hurl a Sil 1 object at a wall (Sil 4) and the GM says well the wall is Sil 4 so we'll calculate the damage from that. Later on you hurl the same or identical Sil 1 object at a person. Now the player says "Wait? Why does it do less damage now? You're saying I can hurl things faster if they're heading towards a larger object than to a smaller one?!!?"

Newton disagrees. So do the game rules and what we see on screen.

Edited by knasserII

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The honest answer is since the Control upgrade for it talks about using all the rules for a ranged attack that would include total # of successes on the Discipline roll.  I'm sure Yoda rocks the house on his Discipline pool, so it would be silhouette plus those successes.  I rolled a YYYYYG, which I think is about right for the lil guy, and got 6 total uncancelled successes with 2 Triumphs.  That oughta handle a couple red shirt Imperials....

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To me it sounds more like a FaD career Signature Ability, there's 12 of them to come and I can only assume a Light Side user would have some way to disable Rivals with strain, describing it throwing them at the wall may be flavour.

I was definitely thinking of a different situation where a Force user might be able to use Move to slowly squeeze someone against a wall, thus causing them strain damage until they passed out. But that’s a separate issue, and deserves a separate thread.

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A large object has a great deal more momentum (mass x velocity) than a small object moving at the same speed. So yes it does matter if the mouse is stopped by the wall or the wall is stopped by the mouse. That's Physics.

So, if you want to talk about Physics, the law is “F=ma”, where the force involved is equal to the mass of the object times the acceleration of the object.

So, if you take an object with a small mass and apply a given amount of force, you get a relatively high level of acceleration. If you take an object with a greater mass and apply the same amount of force, you get a lower acceleration.

So, what is it that causes the damage in this situation? Is it the amount of force applied? If so, then how is that distributed?

If you slam two people into each other, why would they each suffer the same amount of damage as if you had slammed just one of them into a wall? Shouldn’t that amount of force be split between the two recipients, and thus cause half damage?

So, I think in this case we can rule out complete adherence to the laws of Physics as we know it with regards to Star Wars. I mean, they have explosions make sound in space, and starships have to bank in order to turn.

Given that this is Space Fantasy, and we can’t depend on 100% perfect adherence to the real laws of Physics, what kind of rule can we come up with that makes the most sense and fits in with the history of the story so far?

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Force Move should be pretty brutal when sufficiently upgraded. In Dark Disciple, certain characters used the Force to slam people into things and it was super strong. I think the only reason survival was even possible was due to the victims being fairly resilient and the person doing the attacking eventually stopped.

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A large object has a great deal more momentum (mass x velocity) than a small object moving at the same speed. So yes it does matter if the mouse is stopped by the wall or the wall is stopped by the mouse. That's Physics.

So, if you want to talk about Physics, the law is “F=ma”, where the force involved is equal to the mass of the object times the acceleration of the object.

So, if you take an object with a small mass and apply a given amount of force, you get a relatively high level of acceleration. If you take an object with a greater mass and apply the same amount of force, you get a lower acceleration.

The entire two central paragraphs of my post were about this and covered it.

Edited by knasserII

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The honest answer is since the Control upgrade for it talks about using all the rules for a ranged attack that would include total # of successes on the Discipline roll.  I'm sure Yoda rocks the house on his Discipline pool, so it would be silhouette plus those successes.  I rolled a YYYYYG, which I think is about right for the lil guy, and got 6 total uncancelled successes with 2 Triumphs.  That oughta handle a couple red shirt Imperials....

I think this is all that's really needed. Fits the rules and works fine.

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To knasserll:

 

Relative velocity is, what counts. So, yes a "heavier" object moving does have a lot of kinetic energy, but it will interact with the smaller object in the same way and only a part of that energy will be transferred, based on relative mass. For the equations feel free to reference "Inelastic Collision" in any physics book, or on Wikipedia.   

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To knasserll:

 

Relative velocity is, what counts. So, yes a "heavier" object moving does have a lot of kinetic energy, but it will interact with the smaller object in the same way and only a part of that energy will be transferred, based on relative mass. For the equations feel free to reference "Inelastic Collision" in any physics book, or on Wikipedia.

Pet peeve of mine - people who have a little knowledge about a subject and proceed to explain things to everyone else as if they didn't. You have leapt in at a snippet of my post and both made the same point which I already covered in my OP and you've skipped over. And you have taken the time to quote secondary school science at me and tell me to "feel free to reference Wikipedia". Well thank you very much, that's very gracious.

I wrote Momentum. You have "corrected" me that I should look up Kinetic Energy. Both scale linearly with mass which is the relevant aspect for my point so why you think I'm wrong to talk about Momentum I don't know. In fact, I used Momentum rather than Kinetic Energy because Momentum has a vector. KE does not. So in this specific context Momentum is actually the correct one to use. (Velocity has a vector, but the output of the KE function is a pure scalar. Feel free to reference Wikipedia. :/ ).

So if we've finished having a stupid side-track into intimating you have a greater knowledge of physics than other people. (Seriously, KE is secondary school science - do you always assume that the people you are talking to are under Sixteen?), let's look at what I actually wrote.

We cannot work from the principle that a Jedi exerts a fixed amount of force (not energy, btw. We measure force in Newtons, not Joules like KE) and that the resulting speed of the object is solely determined by its mass. I already explained both why this doesn't match up with what we see in the media and why it would lead to highly undesirable results in game. How much does an Astromech way? 60kg? I think that's probably conservative. But if a Jedi can move one of those at 10km/h, they can send ball bearings around like a rail gun launched them. And everything in between falls on a relative scale. Ever seen a Jedi in the cannon media use a flying blade like a Knife Missile from Ian M. Banks Culture novel? Or Magneto in that X-Men movie? No, because they don't. The movement powers of the Force are demonstrably NOT following some principle of a fixed amount of Force determining velocity based on mass. There's SOME correlation, but it plainly isn't linear. It's entirely plausible that it's a mental factor to do with control / precision rather than mass as it seems to have upper limits. I wrote all this. Two paragraphs on it. But you've skipped all this to tell me that I should look up inelastic collision.

Well inelastic collision doesn't really work for this. In fact, the moment we are discussing something to do with 'damage' we are not talking about inelastic collisions, by definition.

I don't know if you just assume everyone else is stupid or a young kid, or if you come from a country where science isn't a mandatory subject and where everyone by the age of 16 hasn't covered KE, but I'm an adult and before you decide to start "correcting" my post, I think it would be courteous to (a) check if I in fact made the mistakes you think I made and (b) read past the first two lines and see if I've actually discussed the area you suggested I "feel free to reference Wikipedia" on. Because your post comes across as extremely patronizing and superior. Without any good reason to, so far as I can see.

whafrog made an argument that it didn't matter if the mouse hits the wall or the wall hits the mouse because their relative velocities are what matter (a sentence you used as well, as it happens). That is a hopelessly flawed conclusion and violates basic physics. I pointed out what was wrong with that. You have tried to make counter-posts to what I wrote. You cannot be trying to argue for what my own post was a refutation of.

Edited by knasserII

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I think we all agree that throwing a dude at an ewok (for example) would probably hurt less than throwing him up against a durasteel wall. (Although, I suppose the wall would soak any damage while the ewok wouldn't!) I'm sure you could find a number of formulas on Wikipedia to explain this ;)

 

Taking it out of theory and into the "reality" of the game world, there are objects you could slam a guy into that would essentially count as a weapon (whether blunt or sharp) and would most certainly increase the damage dealt to the target of your Move power. 

 

Notice also that in the film, the guards seem to "disappear" from the scene after Yoda hurls Sidious over his desk. Perhaps they didn't exceed their wound threshold, but rather suffered a large amount of strain from which they recovered in a minute or two. I like Richard's idea:

 

 

 

To me it sounds more like a FaD career Signature Ability, there's 12 of them to come and I can only assume a Light Side user would have some way to disable Rivals with strain, describing it throwing them at the wall may be flavour.


I was definitely thinking of a different situation where a Force user might be able to use Move to slowly squeeze someone against a wall, thus causing them strain damage until they passed out. But that’s a separate issue, and deserves a separate thread.

 

 

 

But yeah, @ brad, this is definitely another topic (and has been covered in previous discussions in recent past, I think...I seem to remember a topic on Bind vs. Move, and how they can overlap each other in terms of application). 

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whafrog made an argument that it didn't matter if the mouse hits the wall or the wall hits the mouse because their relative velocities are what matter (a sentence you used as well, as it happens). That is a hopelessly flawed conclusion and violates basic physics.

 

No, I said nothing about mice or velocities or anything like that.  You have mischaracterized and rephrased my argument in order to talk about physics, completely missing the point that I was responding about effects *in the game*.  At this scale, I'm not sure the difference is worth quibbling over.  The OP's question is not about physics.  It's about game effect and using the mechanics to achieve a specific result.

 

If you apply the extra pip for the Strength upgrade, and you have all four Strength upgrades purchased, then it seems reasonable to me that slamming someone into something sufficiently large can have a similar effect in the game to slamming a larger object into them.  If you feel that's not sufficient to account for the damage difference, then, using the game mechanics, you can require yet more pips, or increase the difficulty of the Discipline check, or whatever solution you require.  We don't need a lecture on physics to resolve this problem.

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Knasserll, my intention was not to lecture you, but to clarify that your basic assumption is false. RELATIVE VELOCITY IS WHAT MATTERS. There's no difference between a train hitting a person at 100 mph or said person being flung at a stationary train at 100 mph (neglecting gravity, friction etc.). The deformation work to the person at the initial impact will be the same. It's just a question of the coordinate system you're using; transform as you see fit.

 

And yes, it is actually a PARTIALLY inelastic collision.

 

The reference was meant to stand in for an elaborate formal explanation, because I'm to lazy for such things.

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So, after seeing the comments so far in this thread, here’s what I’ve come up with at this point:

1. Several of us seem to agree that “physics as we understand it” cannot explain the behaviour we see in the movies or in the game. So, any discussion of physics in this matter would appear to be irrelevant and counter-productive.

2. Looking for in-game mechanisms/methodology that could be consistent what we see in the movies and wouldn’t make the power too munchkin-like, there appear to be at least a couple of different options that are suggested.

2a. One suggestion appears to be to use the results of the Discipline check to throw someone/something into another object, and count the Successes on that check as if you had done a Ranged attack on the party/thing, just as if you had shot them with a blaster or something.

2b. Another suggestion appears to be using additional Strength upgrades (either higher ranking of Strength upgrades, or more pips to activate more Strength upgrades), and thus being able to throw someone/something into an object as if they were one or more Silhouettes larger (depending on the number of Strength upgrades you can activate).

From my perspective, 2a seems to be successful in avoiding making the power too munchkin, and may be more in line with RAW.

However, I believe that 2b is a better fit for what I recall of the particular scene with Yoda and the Royal Guards, and has a lower cost to my “willing suspension of disbelief” on this matter.

I have not yet come to a final conclusion on this subject, but at the moment I am leaning towards 2b. However, I would like to see more discussion on the reasoning and explanation behind 2a.

Thanks everyone!

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I second 2b, as it is the most consistent from a physicist's point of view, at least this one's. And even more important; it leaves more narrative licence to the players: They can freely choose to smash the tropper into the shuttle or vice versa to the same result in different flavours.

 

One might consider limiting the vehemence of the attack to the Silhouette of the bigger/heavier of the two colliding objects to thwart exploitation attempts.

 

EDIT: How about this? By RAW a Sil. 4 weather balloon is more dangerous to be force-hit by than a swoop, isn't it.  

Edited by Grimmerling

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So, after seeing the comments so far in this thread, here’s what I’ve come up with at this point:

1. Several of us seem to agree that “physics as we understand it” cannot explain the behaviour we see in the movies or in the game. So, any discussion of physics in this matter would appear to be irrelevant and counter-productive.

2. Looking for in-game mechanisms/methodology that could be consistent what we see in the movies and wouldn’t make the power too munchkin-like, there appear to be at least a couple of different options that are suggested.

2a. One suggestion appears to be to use the results of the Discipline check to throw someone/something into another object, and count the Successes on that check as if you had done a Ranged attack on the party/thing, just as if you had shot them with a blaster or something.

2b. Another suggestion appears to be using additional Strength upgrades (either higher ranking of Strength upgrades, or more pips to activate more Strength upgrades), and thus being able to throw someone/something into an object as if they were one or more Silhouettes larger (depending on the number of Strength upgrades you can activate).

From my perspective, 2a seems to be successful in avoiding making the power too munchkin, and may be more in line with RAW.

However, I believe that 2b is a better fit for what I recall of the particular scene with Yoda and the Royal Guards, and has a lower cost to my “willing suspension of disbelief” on this matter.

I have not yet come to a final conclusion on this subject, but at the moment I am leaning towards 2b. However, I would like to see more discussion on the reasoning and explanation behind 2a.

Thanks everyone!

 

As I had stated above, I'm a fan of 2a because that's the rules as written. However, if we're looking for more options, how about this one.

 

3. Treat a throw against a solid surface as falling damage. When a target is thrown against a solid surface (floor, ceiling, walls, starships, ect that don't budge when hit by the thrown target) use the falling damage rules where the horizontal distance traveled is the same as the fall height. If you are thrown a close distance you suffer 10 damage and 10 strain. Medium distance is 30 damage and 20 strain. Long and Extreme you are incapacitated, suffer a crit, and 30 or 40 strain.

 

3a. A powerful force user may spend pips to upgrade the effective distance thrown. If you are at close range to a wall, the force user can throw you at a wall as if you were medium distance away. Effectively, this means that the throw can be sped up so that the impact speed is the same as a further falling distance.

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Knasserll, my intention was not to lecture you, but to clarify that your basic assumption is false. RELATIVE VELOCITY IS WHAT MATTERS. There's no difference between a train hitting a person at 100 mph or said person being flung at a stationary train at 100 mph (neglecting gravity, friction etc.). The deformation work to the person at the initial impact will be the same. It's just a question of the coordinate system you're using; transform as you see fit.

 

And yes, it is actually a PARTIALLY inelastic collision.

 

The reference was meant to stand in for an elaborate formal explanation, because I'm to lazy for such things.

This is unfortunate. Your explanation is actually incorrect. To get a small part out of the way first, you originally said that I needed to research inelastic collisions. I pointed out that any discussion involving damage (which comes from deformation) is inherently not an inelastic collision. Partial inelastic collisions are not inelastic collisions, which is as I said. I'm unsure why you are capitalizing "Partially" unless you think that this validates to some degree your suggestion that inelastic collisions is what people should be researching. They are different categories, the mathematics is different. Saying something is a partially inelastic collision does not make saying inelastic collisions somehow close to correct. If you understand this area, then you understand that such things are modelled differently and should not be trying to confuse the two.

Anyway, on to the main point. You capitalize "relative velocity is what matters". This is what whafrog said and it is incorrect. If you are hit by a grapefruit moving at 5m/s and then by a lead shot moving at 5m/s, then you're going to feel the second one a lot more. Yet the relative velocities are the same in both cases. Obviously the momentum of the latter is a great deal more and a great deal more energy can be transferred to you. It's the same with my mouse vs. wall example, except in that example, the different masses are different objects. But in both cases it's a question of the ability of one party to dissipate the energy transferred to it harmlessly. A mouse hitting a wall at 5m/s is the same relative velocity as that wall hitting the mouse at 5m/s. But the momentum and Kinetic Energy involved is different. And this matters. A mouse's body might be able to dissipate 1.25J of energy (assuming a 100g mouse!), but it wont be able to dissipate 12,500J of energy (assuming a 1,000KG wall). We are not talking about inelastic collisions so the question of how quickly a mouse can dissipate the energy becomes a big issue. It's little legs might be able to slow and then reverse the energy of its own body impact. Could it do so with the energy of a much larger impact? A cat can fall from a first floor window and be fine. A human not so much. Same relative velocity though. And it's not all because a cat turns in the air and lands better. Give a cat the mass of a human being and it wont fair so well. Basically, saying "relative velocity is what matters" is not correct. Even if you write it in capital letters.

What whafrog claimed, and which you are supporting, is the notion that it makes no difference if you throw a Sil 1 object at a Sil 4 object, or a Sil 4 object at a Sil 1 object. They argued that the Sil 1 object will simply move faster to compensate. As we can see from my previous posts, that doesn't follow from the media we see in canon nor would it lead to a healthy outcome in the game because a Jedi who could lift an astromech at a few m/s would be able to fire knives around like a rail gun because of their reduced mass. If you don't want that, you can't follow this approach in game. Furthermore, it makes no sense anyway. If throwing a Sil 1 object against a Sil 4 object still does Sil 4 damage, then why does throwing a Sil 1 object at another Sil 1 object do less damage? Can you throw things faster if they hit something bigger? That is the consequence of what whafrog proposed and it makes no sense. The moment you throw out the mass of the thing you're throwing as a factor in the damage, the system no longer makes sense.

You have to preserve the Silhouette of the projectile as a factor in the damage dealt.

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