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Last night while playing, I had a player that wanted to shoot past their adversary (they were in engineering on a ship) to hit a turbine engine that was powering an electrical field that was currently charging the floor.  The field was empowering the droid and helping to protect it. The adventure didn't really have anything written for this, I guessed it just assumed they would simply work to kill the droid, but I felt the idea was great.

 

A quick look, and I saw no rules for hitting or damaging inanimate objects.  The object was at the edge of short range 2, and obstructed by the field and droid 1, so I gave it a difficulty of 3. The engine was metal, not a quick creation or flimsy device, and recessed among other working gears.  Therefore, attacking with an energy weapon at range "I felt" was less effective, so I gave it a defense of 1 range.  I then took a wild guess on the soak value of the device.

 

They hit it, and damaged it, but not destroying it.  Our session ended so we will continue next week.

 

Good bad or indifferent, was there a chart or set of rules I should have, could have, used?

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I want to start off by saying: good call on just coming up with something in the fly. Exactly how you should be doing it. 

Btw: There are no "set rules" for this, with the only thing close being the Sunder quality and the item damage steps at the beginning of the equipment section, along with the "Spending Advantage and Triumphs" section of combat.

However, that doesn't necessarily cover these situations, and what you have to decide is: How difficult do I want this to be? Do they need 'X' amount of damage? Do they need 'X' amount of Advantage? A Triumph? 

It's really your call.

Go with what is fun and exciting for your group, not what the book might say.

So, for next session, just decide what they need to accomplish in order to destroy/deactivate it.

Cheers!

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Posted (edited)

I have yet to actually do this, but I've been thinking for a while about making a table of generic items, each with 3 tiers of durability. Windows, doors, walls, and items like you mentioned to make this sort of thing easier. I agree with your call in principle, but since I don't know the WT or Soak you gave it, I can't do much to critique it.

Edit: Another option is to simply one-shot it regardless, but in this case it probably makes sense to have a Soak/WT. A comparable effect is the Triumph option for "do something critical, like shooting the controls for a blast door." If the effect is something that you would allow to happen on such a Triumph result, I would suggest making it a hit=kill and saving yourself the trouble.

Edited by P-47 Thunderbolt

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Posted (edited)

For large, durable "environmental fixtures" like this, I use a port of the Sunder rules, IF it's a Personal Scale weapon being used on an analogously Personal Scale sized fixture (door, small generator/turbine). If it's a Vehicular weapon v. Personal Scale fixture, it's probably just gone if they hit it.

If it's a very large/"Vehicular Scale" environmental fixture (like, a whole structure), then I just apply Sunder principles at the Vehicular scale (and Personal Scale weapons, except explosives/Breach/being able to do 10s of damage, do nothing).

So, in doing things this way, the damage being done by the weapon is basically irrelavent, so long as they net damage (using a completely arbitrary Soak value, but usually 10/1 Armor for metal/plasteel-clad Personal Scale fixtures).

If they net damage, then they can spend 2 Advantage or 1 Triumph to Sunder the object 1 level, or 2 Triumph to do it in, in one shot.

Smaller scale fixtures, like, just a holo-terminal or door controls or whatever, I'll just require a singular appropriate expenditure of narrative symbols to destroy it in one go. Blasting door controls to open or close a door is a standard here, and I'll just do 2 Advantage (or Threat) to achieve that.

Edited by emsquared

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Posted (edited)

I never understood the concept of giving HP/WT/Health/Etc. to inanimate objects. Unless you are in structured time and are trying to blast something before the enemy overwhelms you or get to the enemy before they blast something. But that doesn't seem like a common enough scenario to garner extra space for every object in every book.

This rarely comes up in our games, but when it does I handle it as thus: Is the weapon they are using to break the object even capable of breaking it? If no, then they can't make the check "You whack at it a few time times with your vibrosword, but the metal door is not impressed". If it is capable. I have them roll a simple check just for the off chance a blank or failure with advantage result.

Edited by kaosoe

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I wouldn't bother with soak or WT, but simply make it a straight roll. If a weapon seems on the weaker side to cause enough damage, increase difficulty or demand a number of successes on the roll. For instance, if they use a blaster pistol, a single success may only damage it, while three destroys it outright. A blaster rifle on the other hand may just need a single success to damage it.

As for advantages and threats, you might rule that causing a crit would also destroy it, or just use them as you standard "ands" or buts" that cause additional effects that do not affect to success/fail of the roll.

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1 hour ago, kaosoe said:

But that doesn't seem like a common enough scenario to garner so extra space for every object in every book.

You don't, you just need a framework.  But I agree, a quick and dirty smell test ("could this blaster even damage the engine turbine") is probably enough if you're winging it.

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Posted (edited)

I would assign the difficulty as you did. Make it a called shot so add setback? Then, use the already in place damage levels for gear that we already have. Perhaps any damage at all gives 1 damage level. Maybe if you roll a large amount of damage or a triumph, more levels of damage? Make this in line with the results charts we already have (I don't have a table in front of me, I think triumph could destroy an item?).

Damaging a large object should be different then damaging a hand held weapon though. Perhaps give some Soak depending on what it was. A wooden structure would have no Soak but a metal encased powerplant would.

Just random thoughts.

Edited by Sturn

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One of the great things about these games is that you can use Rulings over Rules to resolve something in that instance. Keeping the game going was a better choice than hunting through the rules for some pre-made method of dealing with it that you may not have liked that much anyway. Having the rules be known and followed is important, but I like for players to try to solve problems creatively which means you have to adjudicate their ideas. 

 I like giving objects a soak and damage threshold, but I don't do it that way all the time. I just use what seems best in that moment without invalidating PC abilities if possible. 

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I would also consider the intended use of the object.  A table in a restaurant is likely not as sturdy as a table in a prison.

Is it heavy/bulky/lots of metal because that is necessary for its basic function, or because the designer/builder/user knew it could be subject to abuse?

In the example given, if the turbine was powering the floor intentionally, so that the droid would be powered and defended, as a guard or barrier, then it makes sense that it would be designed with the expectation that beings might shoot at it.  If there was another non-security use then probably no special plating or defense.

 

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