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Mark Caliber

Whups Did it again! New Rule Change for the Defiant Core team: Grenades!

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So the team was fighting a swarm of Kinrath 'spiders' this week and two of the PC's felt (appropriately) compelled to deal with the swarms with grenades.

The highight of the evening when one of the PC's deployed a 'Flash Bang' grenade and the player rolled up two Triumphs.  I then informed the players that apparently that grenade had been "mislabled" and that it was actually a frag grenade.  (Many spiders died).

You know, sometimes these kinds of mistakes happen . . .

 

Any rate the players made quite a few comments about how disappointing the Star Wars grenades were and my best answer (as the GM) was, "yeah, I know."

Still the complaining persisted.

SO!  We're adding Shrapnel rules to the Grenades and I'm planning on boosting the listed Damage and Blast ratings for several grenades.

We're working out the details as of this writing, but here are a couple of things that are coming up.

 

First, the Range Bands for weapons are going to "change" to become fixed values.  Short range will be 30 feet (or 6 combat squares/hexes) up to Medium Range will become 

  • Short Range will be up to 30 Feet (or 6 combat squares/hexes/inches).
  • Medium Range will be up to 100 Feet (or 20 combat squares/hexes/inches).
  • Long Range will be up to 300 Feet (or 60 combat squares/hexes/inches).

And I'm thinking about adding a Very Long Range "

dddd

 

This also means that we'll be separating movement so that characters will have a base movement of 5 combat squares/hexes/inches per maneuver.

 

Next: Grenades will have a Weapon Quality called "Shrapnel."  In addition to the Base Damage and Blast quality, when explosives go off, everyone within Short Range of the grenade will have a chance to be damaged by Shrapnel.  In short the grenade will have an attack dice pool number (say 5 green) and it will be opposed by purple dice equal to the distance from the grenade in squares/hexes/inches.  So an NPC 3 inches from the grenade will have an attack with a dice pool of 5 Green and 3 Purple.  I figure appropriate conditions like cover & being defensive would apply the appropriate number of black dice to the pool.

But "Darkness" wouldn't.  (I tend to throw in a darkness modifier quite often in my campaigns to an annoying level.  But the PC's have recently done some Spelunking on Tatooine  in a Krayt Dragon tunnel network and currently extricated themselves from the ruins of a Jedi stronghold on Dantooine with no lights)!

Anyrate, someone left the ramp down on the PC's ship and a pod of Kinrath decided to set up a new hive in there.  (Oh look!  Lots of nice convenient nooks and crannies!  And bonus!  Free food too)!  So this should give us a good opportunity to test out these new grenade rules next week.

Cheers!  

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13 minutes ago, Mark Caliber said:

Anyrate, someone left the ramp down on the PC's ship and a pod of Kinrath decided to set up a new hive in there.  (Oh look!  Lots of nice convenient nooks and crannies!  And bonus!  Free food too)!  So this should give us a good opportunity to test out these new grenade rules next week.

Cheers!  

IN THE SHIP!? O_O

I hope you're going to throw a bunch of maintenance and needs for new parts (and bedding, and cushions, and decorations, and paint jobs, and a new dejarik table, and the list goes on) on them if they start chucking around frags.

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15 minutes ago, Mark Caliber said:

So the team was fighting a swarm of Kinrath 'spiders' this week and two of the PC's felt (appropriately) compelled to deal with the swarms with grenades.

The highight of the evening when one of the PC's deployed a 'Flash Bang' grenade and the player rolled up two Triumphs.  I then informed the players that apparently that grenade had been "mislabled" and that it was actually a frag grenade.  (Many spiders died).

You know, sometimes these kinds of mistakes happen . . .

 

Any rate the players made quite a few comments about how disappointing the Star Wars grenades were and my best answer (as the GM) was, "yeah, I know."

Still the complaining persisted.

SO!  We're adding Shrapnel rules to the Grenades and I'm planning on boosting the listed Damage and Blast ratings for several grenades.

We're working out the details as of this writing, but here are a couple of things that are coming up.

 

First, the Range Bands for weapons are going to "change" to become fixed values.  Short range will be 30 feet (or 6 combat squares/hexes) up to Medium Range will become 

  • Short Range will be up to 30 Feet (or 6 combat squares/hexes/inches).
  • Medium Range will be up to 100 Feet (or 20 combat squares/hexes/inches).
  • Long Range will be up to 300 Feet (or 60 combat squares/hexes/inches).

And I'm thinking about adding a Very Long Range "

dddd

 

This also means that we'll be separating movement so that characters will have a base movement of 5 combat squares/hexes/inches per maneuver.

 

Next: Grenades will have a Weapon Quality called "Shrapnel."  In addition to the Base Damage and Blast quality, when explosives go off, everyone within Short Range of the grenade will have a chance to be damaged by Shrapnel.  In short the grenade will have an attack dice pool number (say 5 green) and it will be opposed by purple dice equal to the distance from the grenade in squares/hexes/inches.  So an NPC 3 inches from the grenade will have an attack with a dice pool of 5 Green and 3 Purple.  I figure appropriate conditions like cover & being defensive would apply the appropriate number of black dice to the pool.

But "Darkness" wouldn't.  (I tend to throw in a darkness modifier quite often in my campaigns to an annoying level.  But the PC's have recently done some Spelunking on Tatooine  in a Krayt Dragon tunnel network and currently extricated themselves from the ruins of a Jedi stronghold on Dantooine with no lights)!

Anyrate, someone left the ramp down on the PC's ship and a pod of Kinrath decided to set up a new hive in there.  (Oh look!  Lots of nice convenient nooks and crannies!  And bonus!  Free food too)!  So this should give us a good opportunity to test out these new grenade rules next week.

Cheers!  

You certainly seem to have pretty heavily houseruled the system, but I'll offer most of my advice from inside the RAW as that is what I know best. (By the way, "Very Long Range" already exists: Extreme Range)

How would you apply damage from Shrapnel? What would be its base damage?
Rolling a second time seems a bit much to me. I think grenades should probably be more/more consistently damaging rather than having a wider AOE.

Suggestions for alternatives:
Maybe guarantee Blast damage on all Engaged characters, and then perhaps triggering Blast with 2 Advantage applies that damage to the primary target again. And/or perhaps the difficulty to throw a grenade is Simple (with 1 Automatic Success) unless the target is in cover, in which case it's based on range.

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1 hour ago, P-47 Thunderbolt said:

You certainly seem to have pretty heavily houseruled the system

Yes.  I'm at 10 or 11 cannon changes now.

1 hour ago, P-47 Thunderbolt said:

(By the way, "Very Long Range" already exists: Extreme Range)

I disagree.  Extreme Range is, I shouldn't be able to hit this but let me try anyway . . .  That also lets me convert Extreme Range into a six purple contested roll while permitting a Very Long range attempt at 4 purple (instead of 5 purple).

You may also remember that I have some incredibly capable PC's running around and a 4 purple shot isn't that much of a challenge.

 

1 hour ago, P-47 Thunderbolt said:

How would you apply damage from Shrapnel? What would be its base damage?
Rolling a second time seems a bit much to me. I think grenades should probably be more/more consistently damaging rather than having a wider AOE.

First, I'm actually modelling the grenade rules from GURPS, which I mentioned at the table this week, and based on player feedback they're willing to give it a go.  It also models real life better.

Shrapnel damage is as I've already described and consistent with existing damage rules.  Roll a bunch of green dice and all of the uncancelled successes yield 1 point of damage (less soak after the fact of course).

So if you happen to be in the same square as a grenade, you'll take a lot of concussive damage but if you're further away, no worries.  However IRL the real problem with frag grenades has always been the shrapnel.

And while I've been 'content' with the grenade rules according to the RAW, the players all expressed sufficient displeasure and requested that grenades have a wider AOE.

It's not a player complaint that I find unreasonable.

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Here's my take on it from one of my house rules:

BLAST (Active) Change 

Blast ratings have a base range for their area of affect be it explosive, flame, or chemical. This range is abbreviated as a single letter:  (P)rimary target only,  (E)ngaged with the primary target, (S)hort range of the primary target, etc.  On a net Success, the Primary target and all within this base range of the Primary target takes damage. If Blast is activated, anyone within +1 base range receives a second attack of ½ base damage. A few non-explosive Blast weapons also have the “full” designation meaning Blast damage is not halved. 
 
Example: A basic fragmentary grenade has a Damage of 8 and the Blast (E) quality. On a successful toss, this grenade does 8 damage (plus un-cancelled Success’s) to the Primary target and anyone Engaged with him. If Blast is activated, it does 4  damage (plus un-cancelled Success’s) to the Primary target and anyone within Short range of him. 
 
The GM may choose to activate Blast when it may be detrimental to the player (allies within the blast radius). On a Failure, 2xDespairs may be enough to activate Blast. On a Success, 3xDisadvantages or a Despair can activate Blast.

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Here's the homerule for grenades I have at my table.

Grenades can now be thrown up to medium range instead of only short range, using the rules for a Ranged (Light) attack, but with 1 added difficulty die.

Eg. 1 Purple for short range, 3 for Medium.

On a successful check, all engaged beings to the original target automatically take full damage. On a failed check, one may trigger Blast as normal, dealing damage to the intended target and those engaged equal to the Grenades Blast rating.

Further, to make Grenades more accessible to more styles of play, and be an option for more than just Ranged (Light) practitioners, a Grenade or Thrown weapon may be rolled with an Athletics skill check. However, due to it not being a combat skill the user may not benefit from aiming, and successes on the check do not add further damage.

Talents that increase a thrown weapons range still apply as normal, and also reduce the difficulty of the Medium throw (3d) to the regular 2. This also means a thrown weapon can be used at long range, but with +2 difficulty.

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18 hours ago, CloudyLemonade92 said:

Grenades can now be thrown up to medium range instead of only short range . . .

I'm coming to similar conclusions.  This sounds like a good idea for me to snick.

18 hours ago, CloudyLemonade92 said:

Thrown weapon may be rolled with an Athletics skill check. However, due to it not being a combat skill the user may not benefit from aiming, and successes on the check do not add further damage.

Another good idea for me to implement and it makes sense because throwing grenades IRL are an Athletic feat.

IRL, I am an amazing shot with both pistols and rifles but can't throw a grenade to save my life!  So from my perspective this adaptation makes a lot of sense!

 

Thanks!

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43 minutes ago, dreenan said:
So with the Strong Arm Talent  you can throw the grenade to long Range, then?

No.

On 6/25/2020 at 10:18 PM, CloudyLemonade92 said:

Talents that increase a thrown weapons range still apply as normal, and also reduce the difficulty of the Medium throw (3d) to the regular 2. This also means a thrown weapon can be used at long range, but with +2 difficulty.

 

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Posted (edited)

Okay so I've sorted it all out.

As a sample here are two of the grenades that I'll be making available for my campaign.  :D

 

Frag Grenades: Damage: 12, Blast: 9, Shrapnel 8, Limit 1

$50 R. Rarity cdd.

 

Flash/Bang: Damage: 6 Stun, Blast: 2 Stun, Shrapnel 1, Concussive 1 (to all victims in short range), Disorient 3, Limit 1.

$50. Rarity d.

 

I get to run all of the grenade stats by the player this week (I have seven grenades available) and we'll see how the Kinrath clearing operation goes with the explosive new rules. ;)

<end>

Edited by Mark Caliber

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Grenades being thrown past Medium range is a problem for me. One of the reasons to have Grenade Launchers is because Hand Grenades are limited to the range you can throw them, and the kinds of trajectories you can get from a throw vs. a shot. By shot I am referring to the typically low velocity grenade launchers usually seen in the 40mm short variety, that you can launch at a high parabola to get over the top and behind things sometimes. Some of the Star Wars grenades I have seen in various lore are really large (Imperial Detonator) so anyone but a wookiee or similarly large and powerful alien would not be able to toss it very far imo. 

I know there is a talent that lets you become a catapult, but at some point I drew the line so that grenade launchers were still useful. 

I like the Shrapnel quality :) 

 

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A couple of thoughts, all with variable interpretations based on your GM reality.

1) It is possible that fragmentation grenades are no longer part of the arsenal as they can be equally dangerous to allies as enemies.  Naturally you can reintroduce them or have that not be the case.

2) What is the weight of a SW grenade?  I don't have the physics to prove out all the options, but a reasonable number of professional baseball players can throw a 142g baseball 300-400' (from the outfield to home plate).  Yes a modern frag grenade is ~400g, which couldn't be thrown as far, but that doesn't have to mean a SW grenade is 400g, it could easily be more or less.

3) I won't even begin to discuss the impact of gravity.

4) Any changes to soak from armor to account for shrapnel?  

5) Anything the PCs can use can be used against them.  You soup up that frag grenade too much and it my be sayonara PCs one day.

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On 6/27/2020 at 4:03 PM, Archlyte said:

Grenades being thrown past Medium range is a problem for me. One of the reasons to have Grenade Launchers is because Hand Grenades are limited to the range you can throw them, and the kinds of trajectories you can get from a throw vs. a shot. By shot I am referring to the typically low velocity grenade launchers usually seen in the 40mm short variety, that you can launch at a high parabola to get over the top and behind things sometimes. Some of the Star Wars grenades I have seen in various lore are really large (Imperial Detonator) so anyone but a wookiee or similarly large and powerful alien would not be able to toss it very far imo. 

I know there is a talent that lets you become a catapult, but at some point I drew the line so that grenade launchers were still useful. 

I like the Shrapnel quality :) 

 

I think grenades being thrown to long range should be a possibility with the strong arm talent. Albeit, it would require a very difficult check, much like a QB in the NFL makes a hail mary. Difficult, but not impossible with the right skill and strength.

A Grenade launcher should simply make the check easier, and obviously it runs off of a different skill. 

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Footballs and baseballs are aerodynamically suited to being thrown long distances, a frag grenade isn't really (in the real world, they weigh roughly 2.5 times as much, aside from size and shape). Medium extends to "a few dozen meters" which I translate to 60 meters. For football, the longest pass in the air in 2018 was about 60 yards. For baseball, 60 meters is about 200 feet, which is roughly the distance between the infield and the outfield fence in a baseball stadium. Longest throw I've seen from an outfielder is about 300 feet, and that's with a huge step in and generally some bouncing at the end. A frag grenade is not nearly as aerodynamic as a baseball. If you extend it to long range, now they can throw it well over 100 meters.

I think Strong Arm is fine as-is, and opening it to Long range is too much. However, (some, at least) grenade launchers should probably be extended to Long range, probably with Inaccurate 2 when fired at Long range given the spread at that range.

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34 minutes ago, RickInVA said:

Just to say, the Thermal Detonator looks pretty round and just about the size of a baseball.  Naturally I can't comment on the weight.

Yes, the Thermal Detonator is shaped more like a baseball, but it is almost certainly heavier. What I was mostly referring to was frag grenades, of which there are a few sources. EotE CRB page 165 has a picture of a frag grenade, and it looks nothing like a baseball and is certainly not aerodynamic. There is another picture of a frag grenade in the same section in the AoR CRB, shown being thrown by a stormtrooper, and it also is not aerodynamic. Then you take the classic pineapple grenade, and it is not shaped like a baseball either.

This is not to even go into the circumstances in which you'd be throwing a grenade and the methods employed in throwing grenades, neither of which are conducive to just taking a hop-skip-and-a-jump and heaving it as far as you can. My earlier comment was just regarding the outer limits of distance to make a point about Long being way too far. From what I've read, the "sweet spot" for grenade use is somewhere between 20 meters and 40 meters. Both of which are actually in Medium range, but grenades in this game are much less effective than in real life anyway (smaller blast radius, lower damage, etc.), so I'll accept it. Really, the Thermal Detonator seems to be the best analogue to real world grenades as far as mechanics are concerned.

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Posted (edited)

@P-47 Thunderbolt

I see the logic behind what your saying, but I like my homebrew. In this fantasy settings I dont see much wrong with letting a freak of nature make an almost impossible throw to long range if they have the Strong Arm Talent and want to take the risk. Rule of cool wins for me here.  

Edited by CloudyLemonade92

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After giving it more thought, here's what I would do to make the grenades more realistic. I do not suggest implementing this, however, as it throws balance out the window entirely.

Let's look at the Frag Grenade and comparable ordnance first, ignoring stun grenades, glop grenades, and other more specialized ordnance:

Double the damage and Blast damage. Increase Blast Radius to Short and Blast now triggers automatically. Difficulty to throw is +1, but increase maximum range to Medium. Strong Arm now just reduces the difficulty by one, not reducing the range. Athletics check to throw it. Grenade launchers increase range to Long.
For triggering Blast on a miss, it costs 2 Advantage(maybe 1 Advantage+Defense from Cover?).

Conclusion: You can see why they nerfed reality. One of the big drawbacks to grenades is the danger inherent with throwing them because it often exposes you to fire.

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@P-47 Thunderbolt

I dont think anyone is trying to make them "realistic" to the point of what you're suggesting. The idea is to buff them or make them more accessible. The idea is to buff while maintaining a semblance of balance. If your suggestion throws balance out of the window entirely. Why make the suggestion? 

Do we not seem like reasonable people that want to play a fun and balanced game, but would like to improve things we feel is lackluster or could use some love?

Or do you view homebrews as breaking the integrity of the game and a waste of time?

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, CloudyLemonade92 said:

Do we not seem like reasonable people that want to play a fun and balanced game, but would like to improve things we feel is lackluster or could use some love?

Or do you view homebrews as breaking the integrity of the game and a waste of time?

You misunderstood my intentions, I'm sorry if it came off that way. I do not at all view homebrews as breaking the integrity of the game or a waste of time, and have fooled around with many in my time (including using some in actual play). I enjoy the process and discussion and find it an interesting and sometimes rewarding (aannnd... sometimes not :P) pursuit.

I disagree with extending the reach of thrown weapons to Long as I think that is way too much. I generally try to balance realistic with game balance, but in this case it was more just taking a shot at "realistic" grenades as I understand them because I had an idea on the matter (many of my houserule ideas are "hmm... this is an interesting idea" rather than "this is a good idea"). I'm sticking to the RAW for grenades, but if you want to tweak them more power to you.

Edited by P-47 Thunderbolt

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On 6/29/2020 at 5:56 PM, CloudyLemonade92 said:

@P-47 Thunderbolt

I see the logic behind what your saying, but I like my homebrew. In this fantasy settings I dont see much wrong with letting a freak of nature make an almost impossible throw to long range if they have the Strong Arm Talent and want to take the risk. Rule of cool wins for me here.  

I think it's one thing to get that distance, but another thing to accurately place that grenade within that distance (Long). A grenade generally has a lethal range of 5m so not only are you talking about throwing it at those ranges while in a firefight, but also getting it to land right where it needs to.  A wookiee or some other non human may be able to do it, or if it is a human character what led to the character having this ability to unnaturally fling projectiles at that distance? If they can throw things with that kind of velocity then you should probably let them kill other characters at short range due to the velocities and the weight of the projectile. 

A MLB pitch has a velocity of 45 m/sec

A low velocity Grenade launcher is 269 m/sec

If you get hit by that grenade launcher in the face and the grenade doesn't explode you are still likely dead. With no body armor the round itself will penetrate the body and even though it won't detonate it will have to be surgically removed. 

As for the Rule of Cool, that is kind of a nothing statement because the subjectivity of "cool" is really different to everyone. If you like something a certain way, then I feel that is enough reason to do it. Often (and I know you may not be doing this) it is proffered as some kind of RPG law. 

One final thing. As the GM you represent the physics of the game world and the players will be determining their physical capabilities somewhat based on how you represent the reality of the game world in your descriptions and rulings. It's your game so of course I agree that you can do anything that you want, but I would say that maybe having things behave realistically where you can, will give the game world a sense of verisimilitude that will make your players find it easier to estimate what they can and cannot do without setting up precedents that you now may have to apply equally (such as lethally tossing rocks). 

I'd like to know who wrote that talent and why they put it in the game. It feels like a balancing effort in order to make grenade specialists keep up with gun guys. Guns and Grenades and Melee are different though, and I wish they had recognized this. Players can easily act in such a way that they maximize their arena of combat without the rules arbitrarily making everything valid in all situations. 

 

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1 hour ago, Archlyte said:

I think it's one thing to get that distance, but another thing to accurately place that grenade within that distance (Long). A grenade generally has a lethal range of 5m so not only are you talking about throwing it at those ranges while in a firefight, but also getting it to land right where it needs to.

Why would you need accuracy for a weapon doing AoE damages ? A frag grenade has a lethal range closer to 25m than 5 m and you can still be hit by a shrapnel more than 40 m away. A 5 m lethal range is more a concussion grenade. But those grendes are  for use at close or medium range and inside rather than outside. Throwing a concussion grenade at long range is pointless while throwing a frag gerande at long range is useful.

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On 7/2/2020 at 5:23 PM, WolfRider said:

Why would you need accuracy for a weapon doing AoE damages ? 

Tell that to my drill sergeant. Soldiers are still trained to throw them accurately. A frag grenade landing 10m from it's target is going to be immensely more effective then one dropped 30m from it's target. Dropping a frag grenade in the enemy foxhole is extremely more effective then dropping it just outside the foxhole. Etc.

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Posted (edited)

Reach of thrown grenades today seems to range from ~60 ft to ~160 ft, so i see no problem in using those ranges for grenades in SW. As the max range is noted as beeing only achieved by well trained soldiers, this would perfectly reflect the strong arm talent. Why the "rule of cool" would allow "normal people" to act like they are a grenade launcher and bypass the 160 ft range is beyond me. But, as always, every table can do whatever they want.

To the damge itself you also could split grenades into offensive and defensive variants. Or include the high-tech version of switchable grenades by pushing a button on them.

That way offensive grenades would function like they are in raw (blast in engaged range) for use in close quarters fighting.

But bump up the ranges of defensive grenades (Blast hitting targets in short range + shrapnel trait to medium range). For the shrapnel trait u could skip the whole dice orgy by giving shrapnel a flat damage value like blast and make it halve the value of blast, as you want to increase the blast value anyway.

Edited by Malashim

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2 hours ago, Malashim said:

Why the "rule of cool" would allow "normal people" to act like they are a grenade launcher and bypass the 160 ft range is beyond me. But, as always, every table can do whatever they want.

Yourself like others are completely missing the point. I'm not talking about "normal" people, I'm talking about the freaks of nature. 

If my Nautolan player that has a Brawn of 5 (average human would be 2, max of 3 with training IRL) wanted to hand bomb a grenade to long range with the strong arm talent. I would say... Ok, but...

It's going to be 5 Purple, upgraded once, with a couple of setbacks for this or that.

I'm not saying anyone can just pick up and throw a Grenade past the optimal throwing distance and be successful. It's going to be stupidly difficult and rare. But wanna try it? Sure.. give it a crack.

That sounds like fun to me.

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