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Yepesnopes

Soak & Pierce

96 posts in this topic

I read something in these forums that took me to review the rules of Soak and Pierce, and now I am confused.

Apparently I was doing things wrong. I was applying Pierce only against armour soak and not against total soak (Brawn + Armour). So for example, if a weapon with Pierce 1 hits a target without armour, the Pierce is not applied. On the other hand if this same weapon hits a target wearing heavy clothes (armour soak 1), the weapon Pierce 1 was substracted from the armour soak, reducing it to zero. But after re-reading the beta book, this is not how things are done as per RAW. Pierce is substracted from the total soak, whatever it the source of soak, Brawn, Armour,…

But then my question is, why to bother at all with the Pierce quality? why not just increase the weapons damage and remove the Pierce quality? The maximum Pierce I have seen is 2 and I doubt there are many situations where PCs and NPCs are going to meet things with less than Soak 2 (Brawn + Armour).

Moreover, since Pierce is substracted from the total soak, and armours don't add more than 2 soak points (aside from additions), isn't Pierce a far better quality than Breach? (Breach only ignores armour soak)

Am I missing something? Thougths?

 

Cheers,

Yepes

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I haven't got the book with me, but I assumed that Breach acutally ignore 10 points of soak (or 1 point of vehicle armour which equals 10 character scale soak). This includes Brawn derived soak and armour - so only the brawniest characters with heavily modified armour will retain some soak against a lightsaber wielding yahoo.

Pierce is potentially an increase in damage, but not necessarily - and lets say your Pierce 2 weapon strikes a Brawn 1 Bothan with no armour (Soak 1 that is), the damage would still only be 1+Brawn - that extra Pierce doesn't cause more damage, but if that weapon had 3+Brawn damage it would cause lots more damage against weaker opponents. Also, Cortosis armour would retain Soak against both Pierce and Breach, in that case damage is reduced, whereas normally it wouldn't. Pierce ensure some damage, but doesn't necessarily increase it… does that make sense?

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Well, as Jegergryte mentioned, Breach lets the weapon ignore 1 point of vehicle Armor, or 10 soak.  I don't have my Beginner Box rulebook handy, so I don't know if Breach or how vehicle-scale damage interacts with character-scale damage (1 point of vehicle damage = 10 points of character damage).  So Breach is a hell of a powerful quality, and lead to a lot of outcries that lightsabers (which come standard with Breach 1) were far too powerful.

It does seem a bit odd at first pass that Pierce works against Soak rather than just any bonus to Soak provided by armor, but most of the weapons that have the Pierce quality are generally noted for being pretty nasty in the EU, not just for being able to bypass armor.  Again, to refer to Jeger's post, in most cases those ranks in Pierce are going to equate to extra damage on an attack, since that's more damage that gets through.

While it might be simplier to just increase the weapon's damage value, you run into problems of making the game too dangerous for PCs with low Soak Value or Wound Thresholds, which is going to be characters that didn't start out in Bounty Hunter or Hired Gun.  The Vibro-Ax in the initial Beta (before the weekly updates) was pretty darn nasty, dealing Brawn+6 damage while also having Pierce 2.  Given most melee-based characters are going to have a Brawn of at least 3, that's 10 damage with just a basic success, and your average PC's Soak Value being reduced to 1 point if they were wearing heavy clothing, leaving the target easy preay for the next attack that hits them as they've only got a few points left on their Wound Threshold before they get KO'd.  Even without the Pierce 2, the target is taking at least 7 damage (again assuming a Soak Value of 3; 2 from Brawn and 1 from wearing heavy clothing), which for most non-combat PCs is going to over half their Wound Threshold in one go, if not more should the attacker roll multiple successes on their attack roll.

Around the 3rd or 4th update, most melee weapons had their damage reduced, most notably vibro-weapons.  Thus, the vibro-ax in the above example did three less damage per swing, and could still mess up a target that had little to no Soak Value, but not leave them quite so badly injured should they not have a really high Soak Value.

So Pierce offers the designers a way to let characters using these highly-damaging weapons a way to deal out that heavy damage said weapons are generally known to do by reducing the target's Soak Value, while also not letting these weapons be too dangerous when turned on non-combat PCs.

A bit of a tangent, but one of the big complaints about Saga Edition from release to cancellation was that the crunch material had too much focus on combat, and that it was incredibly difficult to play a character that wasn't at least moderately adept at combat.  FFG seems to be trying to avoid that to some extent, allowing those players that want to have characters that aren't master death dealers without overly penalizing them.  Other than a few defensive talents, quite a few of the specializations that aren't attached to Bounty Hunter or Hired Gun have little benefit for combat participants, adding or expanding options for non-combat skills.

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Thanks for the replies.

After a second read on Breach, the "Breach problem" I had has been solved.

 

BREACH (PASSIVE)

Weapons with Breach are designed to burn through the toughest armor and are often heavy weapons or the weapons on starships. Breach weapons ignore one point of Armor for every rat­ing of Breach (meaning they also ignore 10 points of soak for every rating of Breach). 

Wich I guess it means total soak.

Ok, Pierce vs Breach solved!

On the other hand, I still think the Pierce quality has no meaning for the few situations were a Pierce 2 weapon will meet Total Soak 1 opponent, how many Total Soak 1 opponents out there?

I have no comments on cortosis thing, no idea how common it is expected to be, although I believe it is pretty uncommon based on its description.

"Cortosis is an ore found primarily in the Outer Rim. It is ex­ tremely rare and valuable, and was used primarily during the Clone Wars against the Jedi Knights. "

Whatever, I was surprised. I thought Pierce (and Breach) worked only on armour soak and not on total soak. As I said, it feels wierd to me that for the very few situations were Soak = 1, or someone is wearing Cortosis armor, the designers made a especial weapon quality instead of putting it all together in the weapon damage rating.

Cheers,

Yepes

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Well, as Donovan explains, Pierce and lower damage ensures the survival of low wound/low soak characters, or at least that they survive longer than they would have against weapons with higher damage - particularly the idea that the Pierce quality ensures some damage, but not necessarily lots of damage - and most vibro weapons are also vicious and have a fairly low critical range, which also is an important side of these weapons - and you need to at least cause 1 wound to cause crit. Not only that they deal damage, but can cause grievous damage, if not fast instant kills. Call it depth? There's more than pure wound damage to take into account.

I see your point, I guess you could just up the damage across the board, but then high brawn and well armoured characters will have even more advantage against low brawn, poorly armoured characters. I guess its a balance issue thing… To keep damage within a reasonable range against most/all types of characters/opponents, you need a quality like Pierce to ensure survival, tension and … well… death :)

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Thanks a lot for helping, but I think I am not making myself clear, I am sorry if I am confusing you guys.

I will try with an example

1) The Light Repeating blaster has Damage 11 and Pierce 1. Which is the difference between this and Damage 12 but No Pierce?

I think there is no difference since every character at least will have Soak 1 (Brawn 0 cannot exist). There is indeed a (minimum) difference, only when the opponent wears Cortosis armour.

2) Now for example the Force Pike, Damage +3 and Pierce 2. Which is the difference between this and Damage +5 but No Pierce?

Again minimum, only in the case the opponent has Soak 1(that is Brawn 1 and no armour), or again the opponent wears Cortosis armour.

 

If I am right, I see little use in this game for the weapon quality Pierce.

Or may be I am wrong because there are far more characters with Soak 1 (Brawn 1 and no armour) than I expect. I have to confess I have not too much experience with the game yet.

Cheers,

Yepes

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Yeah I get what you're saying. If pierce is to represent an armor "piercing" quality, then it should only be applied to the soak supplied by armor. Otherwise you're right, except for extremely rare cases, its benefit is not that different from increasing the damage of the weapon.

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Well, one way to put it, I guess, is that Pierce increases the chance for a minimum of damage, whereas Damage alone can be completely Soaked.

For the repeating blaster you mention, perhaps not much difference no… for the Force pike the damage dealt against a low brawn/armoured character would not be drastically more than against someone with higher brawn/soak. For the average human with Brawn 2 the damage is 5 (so 6 on a successful attack) - now against a low soak (i.e. 1 or 2) this results in 6 damage (due to pierce 2), and higher soak targets (lets say 5) will suffer 3 damage. If adding pierce to damage you get a base damage of 5, add 2 brawn and at least 1 net success that is 8. For the low soak this is 6 or 7 damage, for high soak (lets say 5) this is 3 damage. If my math is correct. Not a great difference, but some. Imagine a brawnier melee fighter the damage is higher, he can take more damage, soak more, whereas the weaker target soaks less and can suffer less. Pierce balances this, somewhat. Again, if my math above is corret.

I guess the point of armour only pierce could make sense, but then, in my opinon, armour should provide slightly more soak and brawn perhaps less? Or they replace eah other? Hm.. I think I remember a discussion on this from the beta-days…

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Yepesnopes said:

If I am right, I see little use in this game for the weapon quality Pierce.

It might help to turn the idea around and think of it from the target point of view.  I've seen other games with these conflicting qualities, and imho the purpose is to set a max damage even if the target is wearing no armour.  From a purely gameplay point of view, it helps keep the characters in the game and doesn't require them to make getting some cortosis armour their first priority.  Otherwise you would just add 10 points of damage to a lightsaber and it would be insta-kill all the time.  Also, it kind of makes sense to me that, armour or no, there is a limit to how much damage can be inflicted by a weapon based on its size, range, etc.

 

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Having looked at it a little more, I'm not sure you would want to just apply Pierce to only armor, though. As it doesn't just represent an armor "piercing" quality, more the ability of the weapon to get through many defenses. A vibro-weapon is not just good at going through armor but also the body. I think generally it works. There are situations where increasing damage may have the same effect. There are also situations where it would prove more advantageous to have pierce, such as the case where the target's soak may exceed the damage dealt and therefore no damage is dealt. In that case the Pierce quality may lower the soak enough so the attack actually inflicts damage. This may be important in the case of wanting to use advantages to activate a critical or some other quality that can only happen when damage is inficted. In general I think it works.

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So, I read through the thread and had a few thoughts on this.  I think I'm pretty clear on what the concern is from Yepes.

First, I like soak because I feel like it allows weapon damage to be increased without actually increasing numeric weapon damage.  This allows the numbers to stay in reasonable/manageable ranges.  I think this is an important concern to avoid stat inflation, even from the start of the beta.

Second, I have to wonder if pierce (and breach, for that matter) was originally an active weapon enhancement.  From that perspective, it might have been difficult to see your point: Increasing damage is a simpler solution.

Third, the examples you've provided are looking at the stock pierce values of the weapons.  There are at least 3 mods attachments that can further increase pierce rating of the weapon, and definetely put them into very useful ranges (Pierce 3-4).  I didn't look, but there may be talents that provide pierce ranks as well.

Finally, I would propose a pretty radical interpretation of the pierce mechanic.  Transcribing the pierce mechanic verbatim from the beta text:

"An attack made with this weapon ignores one point of soak for each rank of Pierce. If the weapon has more ranks of Pierce than the target's total soak, it completely ignores the target's soak.  For example, Pierce 3 against a soak of 2 ignores 2 points of soak, but the extra "point" of Pierce has no further effect."

The part of this text I would draw your attention to is in the first sentence: "ignores one point of soak for each rank of Pierce".  It does not read "Reduces soak" it says "ignores soak".  This phrasing COULD indicate that the intent of the Pierce mechanic is to allow some damage to go through ANY soak, and ensure some damage makes it through (i.e. pierces ) to the target.  An example of this interpretation in action is provided below:

A Bounty hunter with a soak value of 11 is hit with a modded Blaster pistol (damage 8, Pierce 2).  Under the current interpretation, a hit with a single success would deal 9 damage against a target with 9 soak (11 soak reduced by 2 by Pierce) and do no damage.  But if the interpretation I provided about is used/accepted, the Pierce would IGNORE 2 points of soak, allowing at least two damage to go through and tag the bounty hunter, regardless of how many points of soak that the BH had.

Now like I said, thats a very radical interpretation of the rules, and I'm not saying it is the correct interpretation.  It does, however, make Pierce much more appealing, especially against high soak targets, because it allows some hurt to go through on every hit.  It also substantially differentiates Pierce from increased weapon damage.  If anyone can find an example or rule that contradicts this interpretation above, please let us know.  

Overall just some thoughts on the subject.  Good question!

  -WJL

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LethalDose said:

The part of this text I would draw your attention to is in the first sentence: "ignores one point of soak for each rank of Pierce".  It does not read "Reduces soak" it says "ignores soak".  This phrasing COULD indicate that the intent of the Pierce mechanic is to allow some damage to go through ANY soak, and ensure some damage makes it through (i.e. pierces ) to the target.  An example of this interpretation in action is provided below:

A Bounty hunter with a soak value of 11 is hit with a modded Blaster pistol (damage 8, Pierce 2).  Under the current interpretation, a hit with a single success would deal 9 damage against a target with 9 soak (11 soak reduced by 2 by Pierce) and do no damage.  But if the interpretation I provided about is used/accepted, the Pierce would IGNORE 2 points of soak, allowing at least two damage to go through and tag the bounty hunter, regardless of how many points of soak that the BH had.

Now like I said, thats a very radical interpretation of the rules, and I'm not saying it is the correct interpretation.  It does, however, make Pierce much more appealing, especially against high soak targets, because it allows some hurt to go through on every hit.  It also substantially differentiates Pierce from increased weapon damage.  If anyone can find an example or rule that contradicts this interpretation above, please let us know.  

I think that would get confusing for people, because what you are suggesting actually works out to the Pierce quality reducing/ignoring soak and increasing damage, at least in your example. What happens if, in your example, the damage inflicted was 13? Do I now inflict 4 or 6 points of damage (4 because the 11 soak was reduced to 9 or 6 because the 11 soak was reduced to 9 and 2 points always get through)?

I agree that the Pierce quality gives the attribute of increasing damage without making the weapon dangerous to targets with low soak numbers. Which could be the exact reason for it.

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mouthymerc said:

I think that would get confusing for people, because what you are suggesting actually works out to the Pierce quality reducing/ignoring soak and increasing damage, at least in your example. What happens if, in your example, the damage inflicted was 13? Do I now inflict 4 or 6 points of damage (4 because the 11 soak was reduced to 9 or 6 because the 11 soak was reduced to 9 and 2 points always get through)?

I agree that the Pierce quality gives the attribute of increasing damage without making the weapon dangerous to targets with low soak numbers. Which could be the exact reason for it.


 

I believe you misinterpreted what I meant, MM.  In the alternate interpretation, soak is NEVER reduced by pierce.  In fact this was the reason I transcribed the description of the pierce quality: to demonstrate that, according to the RAW, Pierce does not reduce soak, it ignores soak.  I never stated it both reduces and ignores soak.  The damage in your example would be 4 under either interpretation:

Under the traditional interpretation, soak is effecitively reduced to to 9 with Pierce 2, and 13-9 = 4 damage 

OR

Soak is unchanged and stays at 11, so 13-11 = 2 damage but 2 additional damage still go through from 2 ignored soak due to Piercing.  Total damage = 4.

In fact the only place the interpretations would make any differnce is when the Target soak equals or exceeds weapon damage + Pierce quality rating.  Under the alternative interpretation, the "point" of pierce is to make sure that, if you hit something, it will do damage.  Specifically, you will be dealing damage to the target at least equal to the rating of the weapon's pierce quality when you score a hit, but possibly more.

For further clarification, setting the paramters of soak and pierce to 11 and 2, respectively, the damage dealt for weapon damage 5 to 14 under the propopsed alternate interpretation are presented below:

Damage Std. Interp Alt. Interp
5 0 1
6 0 1
7 0 1
8 0 1
9 0 1
10 0 1
11 1 1
12 2 2
13 3 3
14 4 4

To reiterate, under the alternate interpretation, Pierce ignores some soak to make sure some damage always goes through on a hit.

Under this interpretation, Pierce represents a very different weapon quality than increasing base damage of the weapon.

-WJL

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Ok. I think I understand better…but

LethalDose said:

In fact the only place the interpretations would make any differnce is when the Target soak equals or exceeds weapon damage + Pierce quality rating.  Under the alternative interpretation, the "point" of pierce is to make sure that, if you hit something, it will do damage.  Specifically, you will be dealing damage to the target at least equal to the rating of the weapon's pierce quality when you score a hit, but possibly more.

For further clarification, setting the paramters of soak and pierce to 11 and 2, respectively, the damage dealt for weapon damage 5 to 14 under the propopsed alternate interpretation are presented below:

Damage Std. Interp Alt. Interp
5 0 1
6 0 1
7 0 1
8 0 1
9 0 1
10 0 1
11 1 1
12 2 2
13 3 3
14 4 4

Wouldn't your chart read more like this…

Damage Std. Interp Alt. Interp
5 0 2
6 0 2
7 0 2
8 0 2
9 0 2
10 0 2
11 1 2
12 2 3
13 3 4
14 4

5

In that a weapon with Pierce would always do a minimum damage equal to the level of the Pierce quality?

And is that what the quality is really for? To make sure you always inflict damage no matter what? Or is it just supposed to make inflicting damage more likely? I have to say I'm not too fond of a sure thing and that seems to be attributing too much power to a quality.

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mouthymerc said:

Ok. I think I understand better…but

LethalDose said:

 

In fact the only place the interpretations would make any differnce is when the Target soak equals or exceeds weapon damage + Pierce quality rating.  Under the alternative interpretation, the "point" of pierce is to make sure that, if you hit something, it will do damage.  Specifically, you will be dealing damage to the target at least equal to the rating of the weapon's pierce quality when you score a hit, but possibly more.

For further clarification, setting the paramters of soak and pierce to 11 and 2, respectively, the damage dealt for weapon damage 5 to 14 under the propopsed alternate interpretation are presented below:

Damage Std. Interp Alt. Interp
5 0 1
6 0 1
7 0 1
8 0 1
9 0 1
10 0 1
11 1 1
12 2 2
13 3 3
14 4 4

 

 

Wouldn't your chart read more like this…

Damage Std. Interp Alt. Interp
5 0 2
6 0 2
7 0 2
8 0 2
9 0 2
10 0 2
11 1 2
12 2 3
13 3 4
14 4

5

In that a weapon with Pierce would always do a minimum damage equal to the level of the Pierce quality?

And is that what the quality is really for? To make sure you always inflict damage no matter what? Or is it just supposed to make inflicting damage more likely? I have to say I'm not too fond of a sure thing and that seems to be attributing too much power to a quality.

CRAP!  I set the pierce to 1 on that chart. Above, for the Pierce being 2 it would be:

 

Damage Std. Interp Alt. Interp
5 0 2
6 0 2
7 0 2
8 0 2
9 0 2
10 1 2
11 2 2
12 3 3
13 4 4
14 5 5


But what you posted is still not represented of what I've proposed, but mainly because the "Std Interp" col wasn't adjusted for my screw up, the "Alt Interp" col looks to be spot on.  It's not that important as long as it's been made clear that the theres only a difference between the two interpretations when damage and pierce together are still less or equal to the target's soak.  And that really was the main thrust of my point: that the only time there is a difference is in this situation, and this situation is INCREDIBLY rare.  Like probably only an issue when low brawn characters are wielding melee weapons with Pierce, or we're using hold-out blasters against big targets.  After a quick flip through the adversaries, it looks like maybe 1 in 5 adversaries have a soak of 5 or above, and only one, the Hutt Crime Lord, has one over 6 (the fat bastard has a 10!).  So, practically, the two interpretations are really not that different.  Remember, the table above set soak to 11!

Further, a weapon with pierce will not always do at least damage equal to peirce rating, but it will always do damage at least equal to the pierce rating on a hit.  And even then, its only a few damage since Pierce ratings aren't too high.  The purpose of the pierce quality under this interpretation becomes ANY pierce is useful, especially when firing at targets with high soak.  

While they are rare (see 2 paragraphs up), High soak targets are not only obscenely difficult to deal damage to, but also very difficult to inflict crtical wounds on, because you need that damage to go through all that soak AND enough advantages to activate the crit rating.  This allows a way to bypass this difficulty and still be able to activate those crits when you can, provide you have right weapon for it.

On the same note, I think it would be completely reasonable to allow a "Hardened" armor upgrade, that can negate Pierce on incoming weapon fire.

Finally, to address your question "is that what the quality is really for"….  I dunno.  

Maybe.  I'm not a EotE designer, and there's nothing that gives me magical insight into Jay's brain (even if he did sign my beta text at GenCon.  Srsly, wtf.)

And I'll say it again: I'm not saying this is absolutely what the actual designers intended when they wrote this rule.  

This is an interpretation that is actually VERY different than what I think has generally been accepted by the community that posts here, including myself.  I really just had this idea as I was writing the post above; I don't run this at my table.  But since the main thrust of this thread kinda became "Pierce, wtf?" I got thinking about the quality, and read the description as closely as possible, and tried to figure out what was going on in the Dev's minds when they wrote what they did.  I'm seriously just looking at the rule a little differently and sharing with the idea/concept with the class.  

I actually DO kinda want to play test this to see how it feels.  It very well may be way too powerful, but I doubt it would ever really come up because of soak values on published NPCs.  It may be more a way to actually deal some damage to Tank PCs if we start seeing characters obscene soaks values.

-WJL

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LethalDose said:

 

So, I read through the thread and had a few thoughts on this.  I think I'm pretty clear on what the concern is from Yepes.

Third, the examples you've provided are looking at the stock pierce values of the weapons.  There are at least 3 mods attachments that can further increase pierce rating of the weapon, and definetely put them into very useful ranges (Pierce 3-4).  I didn't look, but there may be talents that provide pierce ranks as well.

 

 

Thanks Lethal! I finally see the light!

Pierce 1 and 2 has not too much sense to exist, since there is nearly no diference with +1 and +2 damage (saving Cortosis armour and the very few characters with Total Soak of only 1). But indeed weapon attachments and their mods give the reason to it! The mods indeed allow to increase Pierce further, if I am not wrong up to Pierce +4. In this case the difference between having Pierce or more Damage becomes more appreaciable!

Definitively Pierce 6 is not as good as Damage +6 since the amount of characters with soak 6 are much less.

Since the Augmented Spin Barrel Pierce mods add +2 pierce for a single mod while the Damage mods add only +1 damage for a single mod; probably if one would like to maximise his weapon damage output, the most efficient would be to go for Pierce +3 or +4, and from there on go for damage mods. But this is just pure numerology.

Anyway, thax for making me see why Pierce has sense!

Cheers,

Yepes

 

P.S: Appart from superior weapon qustomization I see no single attachment for melee weapons… probably in a future supplement?

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Yepesnopes said:

P.S: Appart from superior weapon qustomization I see no single attachment for melee weapons… probably in a future supplement?

Probably in the Corebook, actually.  

The omission was noted during the beta phase (Melee weapons have HPs, but no attachments…?), and there was a mod response (FFG Steve_Stewart, I believe) indicating that there were would be several additions to the corebook that didn't appear in the beta text, and that melee attachments and mods were among those additions.

-WJL

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Yes, the rule for Pierce makes sense and has a point, but withthe current stat arrangement, it only rarely has a minimal effect.

Since the highest Pierce is currently 2 and the lowest Brawn is 1, therefore the lowest soak is 1, the only time (besides Cortosis) that Pierce does anything different than just adding 1 damage to the weapon would is in that case, Brawn 1, and then the difference is only 1 damage, not really significant.

BUT the ability does have a good use of capping damage while still defeating armor as people have pointed out, just not with the current numbers.

The fix?

Pierce 1 becomes Pierce 3, Pierce 2 becomes Pierce 4, lower the damage on the weapons by 1 and 2. Now in the standard case (Brawn 2 no armor) Pierce always has an effect, without increasing damage by 1. Higher pierce results in unarmored damage reduction. Higher soak results in more effective pierce and thus more effective weapon.

OR

Just remove ranks and say Pierce ignores Soak.

May be a bit extreme though.

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LethalDose said:

Further, a weapon with pierce will not always do at least damage equal to peirce rating, but it will always do damage at least equal to the pierce rating on a hit.  And even then, its only a few damage since Pierce ratings aren't too high.  The purpose of the pierce quality under this interpretation becomes ANY pierce is useful, especially when firing at targets with high soak.  

On the same note, I think it would be completely reasonable to allow a "Hardened" armor upgrade, that can negate Pierce on incoming weapon fire.

To be clear I actually like your idea, but I just want to try poking holes to make sure it works.

Yes I realize it is only on a hit. My concern is that in allowing for there always to be damage on a hit is it too powerful for such a quality? It is not the amount of damage that concerns but that some abilities like critical hits (and possibly some other qualities and talents) depend on there being some damage in order to be activated. Does having Pierce 1 make these too easily accessed? I guess only playtesting would tell for sure.

And there is already a "Hardened" quality, Cortosis. It allows for those Mandalorian armors so resistant to blasters and lightsabers.

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mouthymerc said:

To be clear I actually like your idea, but I just want to try poking holes to make sure it works.

Yes I realize it is only on a hit. My concern is that in allowing for there always to be damage on a hit is it too powerful for such a quality? It is not the amount of damage that concerns but that some abilities like critical hits (and possibly some other qualities and talents) depend on there being some damage in order to be activated. Does having Pierce 1 make these too easily accessed? I guess only playtesting would tell for sure.

Cool, I just wanted to be clear on what I was talking about, sounds like I was.  I'm glad its being at well recieved by someone, I was actually expecting a major $h!tstorm.  And you're right: the hole-poking and playtesting is absolutely neccesary to figure it if it's appropriate, but I still doubt that it's ever gonna a frequent issue.

 

mouthymerc said:

And there is already a "Hardened" quality, Cortosis. It allows for those Mandalorian armors so resistant to blasters and lightsabers.

Oh hey, check it out.  My bad.

-WJL

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Interesting discussion on Pierce and it's intent.  Particularly in light of Jay Little's advice on "reading the exact wording" in regards to successes adding to damage; a lot of us GMs goofed that one up.  But if LethalDose's interpretation of going literally by the RAW text for Pierce is correct, that suddenly makes Pierce (and by extenstion Breach, which as similar text) a hell of a lot more powerful.  Particularly for lightsabers, and even more so for missile tubes and thermal detonators, as under this reading they'd deal an automatic 10 damage per hit due to Breach "ignoring" 1 point of Armor or 10 points of Soak (paraphrased from pg105) plus whatever amount of their base damage exceed's the target's Soak Value.  That would make missiles and thermal detonators "insta-kill" weapons since they have a base damage of 20 as well as a Blast quality.  So while the "ignore means X amount of damage always gets through" is fine for Pierce, whcih isn't like to exceed a 5 under most instnaces, Breach opens a much bigger and worrisome can of worms.

Yepesnopes said:

P.S: Appart from superior weapon qustomization I see no single attachment for melee weapons… probably in a future supplement?

There were a few posters in the Beta forum that were quite vocal about how melee weapons got hosed in terms of enhancements, and it was Sam Stewart that said the final EotE corebook would include more weapon attachment selections for melee weapons.

It probably wasn't a huge concern for the designers for the Beta since they figured the rules were likely going to go some significant revisions during the course of the Beta, and that Star Wars combat generally favors using ranged weapons, with Jedi (who are being excluded by intentional design) being the most common exception, and that there might be one melee-focused PC in a group of a half-dozen or so players.

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LethalDose said:

Finally, I would propose a pretty radical interpretation of the pierce mechanic.  Transcribing the pierce mechanic verbatim from the beta text:

"An attack made with this weapon ignores one point of soak for each rank of Pierce. If the weapon has more ranks of Pierce than the target's total soak, it completely ignores the target's soak.  For example, Pierce 3 against a soak of 2 ignores 2 points of soak, but the extra "point" of Pierce has no further effect."

The part of this text I would draw your attention to is in the first sentence: "ignores one point of soak for each rank of Pierce".  It does not read "Reduces soak" it says "ignores soak".  This phrasing COULD indicate that the intent of the Pierce mechanic is to allow some damage to go through ANY soak, and ensure some damage makes it through (i.e. pierces ) to the target.  

If I understand your interpretation, it's that [pierce rating] points of an attack's damage ignore soak. That seems to be a completely different thing from the RAW, which is that the attack (i.e.: the entire amount of damage caused) ignores [pierce rating] points of a target's soak.

So I think the "standard" interpretation is more RAW than your alternate interpretation. That isn't to say I don't like the alternate interpretation - it seems quite elegant in some ways - but I don't think you can argue it agrees with RAW more closely than the standard interpretation.

DM - I agree that increasing the minimum damage of a wepaon could be problematic for some weapons - probably another argument (on top of RAW) against this alternate interpretation.

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I wouldn't let Cortosis ignore sunder or pierce/breach unless it came from a lightsaber. I`d replicate besker as superior battle armor, with it's defense and improved. Soak and tag cortosis on top of it. Cortosis shouldn,t stop a vibro-ax from sundering your sword, after all.

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Jon D said:

I wouldn't let Cortosis ignore sunder or pierce/breach unless it came from a lightsaber. I`d replicate besker as superior battle armor, with it's defense and improved. Soak and tag cortosis on top of it. Cortosis shouldn,t stop a vibro-ax from sundering your sword, after all.

I think the Cortosis quality is more a short-hand for 'really tough and durable gear."  It probably should be called "Hardened" instead to reflect that the object is made of something other than the standard materials, such as phrik alloy or Sith alchemy.

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