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Plushy

Hilariously Hard to Kill Someone

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Further complaining about the Wounds system below.

 

Let's say we have an unfortunate soul standing stock-still., an a nasty ganger with a knife wants to kill him.

 

He stabs the blade directly into the top of the poor fella's head and rolls maximum damage, getting to 5 on the Wound table (after standard 3 Toughness Bonus). He stabs again and once again rolls maximum damage, bringing it up to 15 on the table (5 damage after Toughness Bonus, plus the +5 modifier for hitting an already Wounded target).

 

The Blood Loss inflicted by this result (3) is not enough to kill someone. Our ganger is a metagaming little snot, and so he knows this. The poor fella he's stabbing is not terribly smart and has not moved.

 

Another stab, another devilishly good roll, and we're up to 25 on the Wound table. While Blood Loss will kill our fella now, that takes time. Our ganger wants to make this kill.

 

One last stab, one more maxed out damage roll, and the fella finally goes over the recorded levels on the Wound chart, dying instantly.

 

Dark Heresy is played at a relatively low power level at the start of a campaign. Combat should be scary. It should not take four knife wounds (at the maximum damage the dice can put out) to the unarmored skull to kill someone.

 

If I'm misreading any part of these rules, please correct me.

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I think you're rhetorically loading the matter. You say things like "directly into the top of the poor fella's head," that the target "has not moved," and you emphasize "the unarmored skull."

 

I don't think the regular combat rules are meant to reflect these circumstances.

 

First, I would guess the rules presume the target does not wish to be hit (is doing something less than a formal attempt to Evade) instead of dumbly standing stock still.

 

Second, you seem to be describing a series of critical wounds rather than normal ones. The entry for Result 5 under Table 7-12 is, after all, "a small cut and a purple bruise." This isn't quite sticking a knife "directly into the top" of the "unarmored skull."

 

Third, per p. 207, even one such critical wound would "instantly kill or incapacitate novice and elite adversaries." So when I represent your narrative in actual game terms, the problem you bring up evaporates.

Edited by Manchu

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As I haven't yet started reading rules, so far the situation, as described by you, needs change. It reminds me of those good old days of wfrp1 when a point blank shot from a crossbow at a naked dwarf could simply bounce off harmlessly in 2 cases out of 6. (4+D6 damage vs. Toughness = 7). This was ridiculous.

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Yeah, Plushy, you actually have missed something.  "Mooks" are considered Novice level NPCs.  As per the Novice level NPC notes under Advesaries (you can find it on page 282), these NPCs only have one Hit Location (so you don't have to determine hit location) and they die after receiving two wounds or one critical wound.  I read "receiving two wounds" as suffering two attacks that deal damage, though I could still be misreading that.  You will still need to track wound damage versus Elites, but they still instantly die if suffering critical damage.

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Actually, I think we may have missed something here.  I was re-reading the Wound Effects entry (pg 207), it states that you add modifiers for each wound that character suffered from prior attacks, the key word being highlighted.  Each wound adds +5 and each critical wound adds +10.  Thus, in Plushy's example, the damage would ramp up from 5 to 15 to 30, with 30 being an insta-kill.  Anyone care to re-read and offer their opinions?

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Actually, I think we may have missed something here.  I was re-reading the Wound Effects entry (pg 207), it states that you add modifiers for each wound that character suffered from prior attacks, the key word being highlighted.  Each wound adds +5 and each critical wound adds +10.  Thus, in Plushy's example, the damage would ramp up from 5 to 15 to 30, with 30 being an insta-kill.  Anyone care to re-read and offer their opinions?

If this is true, then I apologize. I'm away from my computer right now and can't verify, but that sounds a bit more sensical.

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Pretty sure it just means that each time a new wound is dealt, the final wound effect is modified by +5 for each wound, and +10 for crit wounds.

 

I'm pretty sure wound effect totals are not recalled between the hits you take.

 

So if you first get shot for a net total of 15 damage, thats 1 wound.

 

Then if I get shot again for 18 net damage, its an effect 23 wound I suffer (18, +5 from one previous wound).

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Except that the Healing section seems to imply that you need to keep track of wounds.  Natural Healing states that you remove one Wound per six hours of rest, while the First Aid Action under the Medicae Skill states that the action can be used to remove a normal Wound or downgrade a Critical Wound to a normal Wound.

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I'm reading it that each time you suffer a wound, you write out roughly what it is/where, and the condition it is causing. Whats interesting is there is a difference between removing the wound and removing the condition. Removing the wound results in just removing the increasing modifier to wound effects from further damage.

 

E.g. Healing a wound that caused limb loss does not actully remove limb loss. Most conditions have a given duration to them anyway.

 

@Manchu, you really need to clarify what you're saying, and not use multiples of 5 for the damage coming from an incoming attack.

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Yeah, now that I actually read the rule rather than just reading Plushy's and SwiftFox's posts it seems like where you are on the wound effect table is the result of damage taken only from the hit in question plus modifiers for wounds already taken. So if I have already taken two normal wounds and take 8 damage this turn, I look at 18 on the wound effect chart. In other words, damage (in the sense of HP) is non-cumulative between hits. That does mean PCs are pretty resilient in short combats.

Edited by Manchu

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I read it as +5 for each wounds cumultatively meaning that you actually pretty fast gets into a very dangerous situation. Imagine getting 4-5 hits from an autogun. It could be quite fatal, even if you are in power armor (but that is another discussion).

 

I really like the way that minor NPCs are handled, much less book keeping for the GM.

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Alox, you're correct.

 

Where I went wrong is trying to think about it like HP. You don't have a bank of HP that you subtract from each time you take damage.

 

Instead, you get discrete wounds that each add 5 or 10 to whatever damage you take when you get hit for the purpose of determining what kind of additional wound type you take from that particular hit.

 

All of the wound effect tables max out around 30, which means a PC can take 4 wounds (assuming the base damage is very low) before it's curtains. So you're example of taking autogun fire is indeed very quite lethal!

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