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Zamzoph

Primitive weapons too ineffective?

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Varnias Tybalt said:

Flak armour as they are described in 40K seem to be of rigid design, but still able to protect the user from solid projectile weapons and even certain types of energy weapons.

No. Flak armour is not rigid. It is pliable... I think one source describes it feeling like canvas. Flak is not the plates worn by the cadian plastic models. Those are carapace plates (just not enough to consider it giving them a better save). The flak "armour" is the uniform itself, the jacket at least, probably the trousers as well. It is made up of a couple of ablative layers which burn off to absorb energy weapon damage, and then a bottom layer which stiffens on impact to reduce the damage from impact by spreading and dissipating it (mesh armour does the same, but more so, while lacking the outer ablative layers).

"secondary sources like the infantryman's uplifting primer"

1) Well... if we suspend our disbelief and say the 40k universe is real it would actually fall into the primary, rather than secondary, source category.

2) It is written as a piece of propaganda... very little said in the Primer can be taken as read. Otherwise hammerhead railguns are as powerful as hotshot lasguns...

Heck, way back when flak was as protective as chainmail against all weapons (meaning pretty much not at all except against needle guns, bows and crossbows). It just weighed less and could be worn with other armours. Of course that was a long time ago, and stuff has changed, but flak has always been pants.

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 Kevlar is pretty useless without plates to begin with, it stretches. No plate means a regular round will pretty much just push it through the hole it makes, at best it will stop it from going all the way in, but it will still kinds all kinds of damage without a plate or pad.

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Bombernoy said:

 

 Kevlar is pretty useless without plates to begin with, it stretches. No plate means a regular round will pretty much just push it through the hole it makes, at best it will stop it from going all the way in, but it will still kinds all kinds of damage without a plate or pad.

 

Um, Kevlar is actually a material which distributes kinetic energy over a wider surface area.  The material has "excellent dimensionally stability," which means it does not "stretch" like you think.  The fabric is typically applied in layers (up to 18 if I recall).  Wearing a soft ballistic vest still offers protection from being penetrated by a bullet of sufficiently low caliber or velocity.  However, there will typically be enough force that fractures may occur, not to mention bruising of and around the impact site.

I suggest that maybe people should read up on what is being done with Kevlar these days before trying to completely disregard it as a viable form of protection against even a sword.  After all, if they can make effect protection for loggers to minimize possible damage from a chainsaw, I think it can stand up to a sword swing here and there.

For more information feel free to peruse BFG Industries, Inc. for more information about this particular matter.

-=Brother Praetus=-

Edit:   I dislike this software sometimes.

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borithan said:

2) It is written as a piece of propaganda... very little said in the Primer can be taken as read. Otherwise hammerhead railguns are as powerful as hotshot lasguns...

Except that it's not all lies - the sections on the aliens, and on things the Imperium doesn't want people to know about, are essentially false, but the majority of the book is apparently quite useful material, from what people familiar with the real-world equivalent of that kind of book have told me.

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ZillaPrime said:

You might try revising your oppinion of primitive weapons after running/playing Tattered Fates.

And what the heck are your agents doing running around in full-coverage armour at all times for?!   Sure, on the combat-excursion type missions it makes sense, but when you are doing a covert investigation in a hive-city?

High Tech armour is deliberately good in the 40K universe.  It has to be!  Look what gets thrown at it!   That said, a riot is not dangerous because of one punk with a rock...  It is dangerous because of the 4,999 assholes standing next to him with rocks too.  A non-ascended character (and even most of those) will have between 1-3 reactions in a turn.  After that a hit is a hit.   Say there is only a 20-30% chance of damage getting through per-hit...  That is still going to add up fast.

Of course it requires no rules changes to place a feral-worlder with a great-weapon in your group's way.   SB 4-5 and a 2D10+SB pen 2 primitive weapon will still pound through flak or even carapace with a halfway decent swing.   Add Crushing Blow and Sure Strike to the mix and the guy hits even harder, all while stiking at less armoured locations whenever the opportunity presents itself.

You can likewise use "modern" construction and forging methods to create such weapons that while not "mono" still lack the Primitive quality.  There is even precident in the Inquisitor's Handbook of a few normally low-tech items with high-tech construction losing their Primitive trait.   So maybe that gang leader has a fancy new tungsten-head axe with a polymer fiber and aluminum composite haft...   AKA:  "1D10+1 R pen 0 Unbalanced"

Sooner or later I WILL introduce an NPC who wears "modern" chainmail simply because it seems cool.  Titanium links or some-such.  Probably at least good quality too, with little "Aquila" etchings in prominent locations and of course bedecked with Purity Seals!  Sure, IG flak is still superior in performance, but try telling that to the frothing Preacher who is busy sermonizing the crowd in this stuff!

By the rules "Mono" modifies a primitive weapon to lose the Primitive trait and adds 2 to the existing penetration, but it also spells out that it is a "catch-all" term to describe the effect.   After all, a "Mono-club" is just silly, but a a "Gyro-actuated pneumatic hammer" is potentially pretty cool, it would simply be a waste of valuable space in the rulebook to come up with a different name for each weapon type.   So if you want to craft a "middle-ground" weapon upgrade it is easy enough to declare that a properly forged "modern" melee weapon can lose the Primitive trait without gaining the +2 pen from "mono" by paying an extra 20 Thrones for it. (Half of mono's price, handy isn't it?).   Call it whatever you want.

Oh no not another lecturing me... I HAVE played TF. I HAVE playtested primitive weapons, also in the hands of creatures with unnatural strength. And there is no problem getting full-coverage on a stealth mission. Armored Bodysuit fits easily under clothing, and Mesh armor can be concealed as well, including the mesh cowl which can be taken on whenever trouble arises. Carapace is less easily hidden, but on some planets walking around in it might not be looked at twice, and considering it consists of rigid plates far lighter than steel, you can cover it with the right attire. Nothing to use on a ball maybe, but on a dark night in the underhive it's no problem. 

Great Weapons is the only primitive weapon with good damage (but of course is SOOO much better with Mono!). 

"Primitive" weapons are not the same as thrown  rocks. An arrow is a real danger to someone with modern armor, but even so a thrown rock COULD easily hurt even a modern soldier, at least if the armor coverage was less than perfect. Take a rock and start bashing in the face of a US soldier and he will probably die despite the helmet and kevlar w/plates. Medieval Knights in full plate were routinely killed on the battlefield by peasants with daggers.. as long as they were able to bring him down and prevent him from defending himself. 

yeah yeah I can magically turn all my goon's weapons into non-primitive adamantite... or I can just remove the primitive quality, the effect is pretty much the same. 

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Honn said:

Friend of the Dork said:

 

Another problem is how armor works in DH. You either have armor on a body part or not. For example, even if using a reinforced hat or open-face helmet you're still just as protected against and arrow to the face. Actually there are no rules on called shot to the face, which means by RAW a gutterscum cannon jab a knife into the throat of someone unless he managed to deal enough damage to bypass the armor from the helmet AND deal critical damage. 

 

 

I'm nort sure I would call that a problem, I would probably choose "heaven sent" or something similar. I wouldn't want to keep track of a characters armor value on the face, the throat, the elbows, the feet, etc etc. Hitting the unprotected area is represented by the damage you do. Roll fantastic damage and you hit the throat, roll to little to even do anything and you obviously glanced of the helmet instead. Sure it's an abstraction, but it is a really handy one. 

No. Armor is applied no matter what you roll, and you cannot roll higher than 10 on a d10.Thus an arrow CANNOT hit an unprotected part even if there are tons of holes and weak spots in the armor. If you have a pot on your head you are fine. 

There is Righteous Fury, but that's for PCs only, and again is more the Emperor's will than not hitting armor. If there was a critical hit system which enabled you to bypass armor, it would be something else. 

Ways to fix it? Well on a roll of 10 you could get a chance to bypass armor. Or if hitting the head with a typical open helmet you'd roll 1d10, 1-7 hits the helmet, otherwise the armor is ignored. 

You could decide on a different variable if you want.. sat only 0 on d10 would hit an exposed bit of flesh, like in the armpit or achilles heel. I've played other games with such rules and the extra detail didn't make much more work. The only problems I have with this is that the PCs already does enough damage (I allow precision damage), and can get Fury as well. It would have to be either/or. 

Remember, even though lasguns are poor weapons against space marines, if you have enough guardsman shooting at the SMs long enough, they will go down eventually. (WH40k). Many weak enemies CAN overpower the mighty few. 

 

 

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Why make it more difficult than it has to be? Give righteous fury to NPCs.

Also, yes armour is applied no matter where you hit. But bullets don't do 1d10+2 in damage in real life. You roll high and penetrate the armour, not because the bullet was going faster or because this one was extra pointy. You do more damage because it hit better, i.e. hit a better place, such as a weak point in the armour. That's what the damage roll is.

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Graspar said:

Why make it more difficult than it has to be? Give righteous fury to NPCs.

Also, yes armour is applied no matter where you hit. But bullets don't do 1d10+2 in damage in real life. You roll high and penetrate the armour, not because the bullet was going faster or because this one was extra pointy. You do more damage because it hit better, i.e. hit a better place, such as a weak point in the armour. That's what the damage roll is.

Well yeah except in RL vulnerable areas often have MORE armor, not less. Thus shooting someone in the heart or brain is very effective.. unless it is covered with good armor. 

Thus trying to combine both doesent work well. 

 

+ fury to NPC can unbalance in other situations. 

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Well yeah except in RL vulnerable areas often have MORE armor, not less. Thus shooting someone in the heart or brain is very effective.. unless it is covered with good armor.

Thus trying to combine both doesent work well.

 

So? There are still places you want to hit and places you don't want to hit.

 

 

+fury to NPC can unbalance in other situations.  

 

How does fury to NPCs unbalance things more than armour bypassing called shots? We've been playing with RF for mooks since our tech priest broke 10 damage reduction and it's all been good.

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Graspar said:

Well yeah except in RL vulnerable areas often have MORE armor, not less. Thus shooting someone in the heart or brain is very effective.. unless it is covered with good armor.

Thus trying to combine both doesent work well.

 

So? There are still places you want to hit and places you don't want to hit.

 

 

+fury to NPC can unbalance in other situations.  

 

How does fury to NPCs unbalance things more than armour bypassing called shots? We've been playing with RF for mooks since our tech priest broke 10 damage reduction and it's all been good.

 

Yeah but shooting someone in an unprotected foot will deal less damage even if there is worse armor. Also, a shot able to penetrate a vital area is still more effective than a shot hitting a less vital area that is still less protected. 

Fury for NPCs is not reccomended because you don't want random mooks to kill PCs that easily. Important NPCs is another matter but they are also more likely to actually damage the PCs significantly in the first place. It seem silly to me to use RF for mooks just because some PCs have better armor/TB than before. 

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Friend of the Dork said:

Graspar said:

 

Well yeah except in RL vulnerable areas often have MORE armor, not less. Thus shooting someone in the heart or brain is very effective.. unless it is covered with good armor.

Thus trying to combine both doesent work well.

 

So? There are still places you want to hit and places you don't want to hit.

 

 

+fury to NPC can unbalance in other situations.  

 

How does fury to NPCs unbalance things more than armour bypassing called shots? We've been playing with RF for mooks since our tech priest broke 10 damage reduction and it's all been good.

 

 

 

Yeah but shooting someone in an unprotected foot will deal less damage even if there is worse armor. Also, a shot able to penetrate a vital area is still more effective than a shot hitting a less vital area that is still less protected. 

Fury for NPCs is not reccomended because you don't want random mooks to kill PCs that easily. Important NPCs is another matter but they are also more likely to actually damage the PCs significantly in the first place. It seem silly to me to use RF for mooks just because some PCs have better armor/TB than before. 

That's not an issue of objective game balance.  That's subjective, just a matter of personal preference really.

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Graver said:

Friend of the Dork said:

 

Graspar said:

 

Well yeah except in RL vulnerable areas often have MORE armor, not less. Thus shooting someone in the heart or brain is very effective.. unless it is covered with good armor.

Thus trying to combine both doesent work well.

 

So? There are still places you want to hit and places you don't want to hit.

 

 

+fury to NPC can unbalance in other situations.  

 

How does fury to NPCs unbalance things more than armour bypassing called shots? We've been playing with RF for mooks since our tech priest broke 10 damage reduction and it's all been good.

 

 

 

Yeah but shooting someone in an unprotected foot will deal less damage even if there is worse armor. Also, a shot able to penetrate a vital area is still more effective than a shot hitting a less vital area that is still less protected. 

Fury for NPCs is not reccomended because you don't want random mooks to kill PCs that easily. Important NPCs is another matter but they are also more likely to actually damage the PCs significantly in the first place. It seem silly to me to use RF for mooks just because some PCs have better armor/TB than before. 

 

 

That's not an issue of objective game balance.  That's subjective, just a matter of personal preference really.

It's not subjective in the sense that it benefits one player. As for objectiveness, well all rules are subjective in the way it is the matter of personal of the game designers.

However when I create house rules I want them to be applicable for ALL levels of play, not just "my PCs are tough so now i give all NPCs +30 to hit all the time"...

But as said the only reason why I don't just make it a called shot to the face/groin/armpit etc. is that will probably benefit the PCs more than anyone else, and make certain combats very anti-climatic unless I arbitrarily rule it's for NPCs only!

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Friend of the Dork said:

 

 

It's not subjective in the sense that it benefits one player. As for objectiveness, well all rules are subjective in the way it is the matter of personal of the game designers.

However when I create house rules I want them to be applicable for ALL levels of play, not just "my PCs are tough so now i give all NPCs +30 to hit all the time"...

But as said the only reason why I don't just make it a called shot to the face/groin/armpit etc. is that will probably benefit the PCs more than anyone else, and make certain combats very anti-climatic unless I arbitrarily rule it's for NPCs only!

 

 

 

Oh, sorry, I wasn't clear. I was referring to your statement that allowing all NPCs the chance at righteous (or unrighteous) furry would be unbalancing in certain situations. When asked to clarify what situations this would make more unbalancing then armour bypassing called shots, you stated that you, as in a general everybody, wouldn't want random mooks to kill PCs that easily. That is what I was referring to as being a personal preference and not an issue of balance. Sorry for not being clear.

However, I agree with your statement that any house rule should apply across the board independent of level. That's the over-ridding reason that, like some of the others here, all characters (PC, NPC, Mook, Scenery, what-ever) can RF. If the PCs can do it, then so can the NPCs... except for Fate Points. I just don't like suing such things on NPCs, it seems to much like arbitrary GM fiat especially since most NPCs have far less screen-time and chance for using and burning said FPs unlike the PCs. PCs get plot armour, not NPCs, but that is the only exception I make to the blanket call that if a PC can do it, so can an NPC.

One situation had a PC with a chain sword and a new swift attack talent and the itch to use it facing off against five magistratum officers with shields and chastiser batons. While he was wearing a helmet, his face was exposed and while, at first again, he was doing a frighting job of going all Texas Chainsaw Massacre-ie on them, one charge, rf, and burnt FP latter, he learned that not only can a charging magistratum officer deliver a terrible face breaking force to an exposed face with his baton, but that, no matter how fast you can swing a chainsaw like sword against guys who only currently have sticks and shields, a five to one fight is just not a fight to voluntarily get into. In HoDaA, cultists armed with knives would normally be no threat at all to mesh wearing acolytes, but one learned that when four of them corner you and hold you down (for the sweet extra dice for a helpless target which also increases the chance of RF), they will eventually be able to pull the mesh aside exposing your soft, soft belly and put the knife there... repeatedly. Lesson, even a mob of cultists armed with only knives can be quite hazardous to your health if they get their hands on you despite your exquisite mesh armour.

Of course, I don't think it's feasible to make a called shot on small exposed areas of armour (like the eye, the face, the crotch (that's usually armoured anyway), and what have you. I feel that the locations AP takes into account not only the stopping power of the material used in the armour it self, but also how well that armour covers that area. A little skull cap made of carapace would probably only have an AP of 2 tops because of how much it leaves exposed. A chain-mail bikini would really only offer an AP of 1 (primitive) if that because, lets face it, that leaves vast swatch of exposed real-estate for a pointy or burnny thing to be inserted.

The extra d10 of damage that hitting a helpless target goes a ways into supporting this view. Why would you be able to cause more damage to a helpless target? Because you are more likely able to land your blow in a vital unprotected area due to the fact that they are sitting still and not moving all over the damned place and not likely to make any sudden movements either. Why would an aimed shot with an accurate weapon do more damage then one that's not? Because, again, you're more likely to put your shot into a vital or unprotected area of the target. A called shot covers hitting the general area. Even if your aiming for the eye, a miss on that could still result in a hit to the head, thus the called shot was to the head with the lucky eye shot coming in if you get a lot of damage past the head's defenses.  Going for the crotch?  XCalled Shot... er, leg... or possibly body, with a hit resulting in hitting the main mass and the lucky damage roll resulting in striking home in that much harder to hit area.  Going for the face of a gaurdsmen?  Head shot (because he could still turn his head bow down, or move in such a way that results in the shot still hitting the head, but in the helmet as opposed to the face.

If you want mooks and what-not to be able to exploit weak spots in armour a bit better then normal, then let them RF... it's a very simple solution that works and makes primitive weapons not so laughable, believe me ;-)

 

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Graver:

It's an issue of "balance" since the rules do not allow random mooks to get RF. This is not just MY personal preference. It's obviously someone's preference as is someone's preference that PCs and important NPCs GET RF.

 

Now the imbalance lies in the fact that the PCs are expected to get attacked alot, often by multiple NPCs/mooks every turn. Now realistically, they would die pretty soon, but now allowing RF for minions and with some good armor for the PCs, they can still survive and come out on top.

 

So if you do allow RF for minions from day one, then statistically speaking the PCs will be burning FP often, unless you have a very low-combat game. And remember, the RF doesn't only occur when the PCs are stupid and overconfident and get surrounded by multiple opponents, it might as well happen any time they are shot at by automatic weapons or just a lucky shot of any gun really. 

 

As for your cultists making a PC helpless,... how did that happen exactly? A stunned PC is not helpless, a surrounded PC is not helpless... ok if he goes down on Fatigue then yes he is helpless in which case the NPCs can simply execute him... but otherwise you seem to be using a arbitrary system of called shot that only works when there are 5 to 1 and you are grappled. 

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Well you might have to make some consessions to represent being hugely out numbered FotD. The rules as they are an abstraction that works most of the time. If you have a guy that covered in modern armour with only small parts vulnerable then he's going to have a huge advantage against people with just knives.

Deathwatch has got a horde rule that sounds like it's applicable in this situation.

You could have the chance of hitting an unamoured part as someone suggested, but that's going to add an extra roll eveytime, and your players will just og out of their way to get full face armour and also be demanding that rule when the tables are turned.

Instead of giving mooks a full RF in situations where it's proc's allow the mooks to ignore or reduce armour. It could simple ignore armour but I think that's going to get bloody if you have a lot of people attacking as they'll ignore armour when they do max damage (and succeed the second attack roll). You could reduce the armour by 1d10 or by degrees of success or SB in melee.

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Yeah but shooting someone in an unprotected foot will deal less damage even if there is worse armor. Also, a shot able to penetrate a vital area is still more effective than a shot hitting a less vital area that is still less protected.

That'd be a house rule then. I've not got any hit location called "foot", it's all leg and it all subtracts from wounds.

And the point is that it doesn't matter what's protected well and what's vital. There will still be a general level of protection (your armour points) and on that general level of protection places you want to hit (high damage rolls) and places you don't want to hit (low damage rolls). It's an abstraction.

 

If that's not what the damage die is for, what's it for?

Fury for NPCs is not reccomended because you don't want random mooks to kill PCs that easily. Important NPCs is another matter but they are also more likely to actually damage the PCs significantly in the first place. 

 

Random mooks still don't kill the PCs that easily unless they act stupid. We've had plenty of new characters since that change and I've not noticed any dramatic difference in the mortality rate. If anything the fate burning rate tends to go up with better gear and more XP, a bloated sense of ones prowess in battle is the real killer.

It seem silly to me to use RF for mooks just because some PCs have better armor/TB than before.

 

Of course, "booh hoo, your character is immune to autoguns so i'll change the rules which are perfectly fine" would be silly, "oh wait, this is a prime example of a problem with the rules so we'll change them" on the other hand is not.

What's really silly is that the players can somehow penetrate power armour with a stub revolver while their opposition can't even hurt someone in carapace with the same weapon.  With better equipment , fate points and presumably better skills and stats than mooks they already have quite an edge  without adding "and also, your weapons magically become better just because it's you".

 

It's an issue of "balance" since the rules do not allow random mooks to get RF. This is not just MY personal preference. It's obviously someone's preference as is someone's preference that PCs and important NPCs GET RF.

That someone at black industries thought it was a good idea to give only PCs and important NPCs RF does not automagically mean that it's unbalanced to give RF to everyone. You want evidence of the fallability of game designers? Take a look at the errata.

 

Now the imbalance lies in the fact that the PCs are expected to get attacked alot, often by multiple NPCs/mooks every turn. Now realistically, they would die pretty soon, but now allowing RF for minions and with some good armor for the PCs, they can still survive and come out on top.

So realistically the PCs should: a) take cover, avoid acting like they are immortal, retreat if things go badly and use the vast rescources of the inquisition to gain the upper hand or b) be bulletproof?

 

So if you do allow RF for minions from day one, then statistically speaking the PCs will be burning FP often, unless you have a very low-combat game. And remember, the RF doesn't only occur when the PCs are stupid and overconfident and get surrounded by multiple opponents, it might as well happen any time they are shot at by automatic weapons or just a lucky shot of any gun really.

Well, that's your guesstimate. My experience on the other hand is that very few RF hits are instantly fatal and if it's a battle with mooks the other PCs invariably comes to the rescue in time.

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