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Crimson Death

Highest PC Soak Value?

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With my current build I believe I can attain a 12 soak value. 

 

Gadgeteer/Marauder/Assassin I wanted to play a melee BH and just picked those 3 specializations as they sounded the best for my concept.

 

That got me thinking what's the highest soak a pc can get.  

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I think you can make it to 13 if i'm correct, maybe 14 with another specialization

Brawn 5 base +1 dedication, +1 cybernetics (depends on if your gm lets the +1 brawn from legs and arms apply to soak) +1 soak for cybernetic armor. +3 for superior heavy battle armor +1 for Gadgeteer +1 marauder. should total out to 13

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The 13 soak PC, the reason the GM keeps on murdering everyone in the party but you (or the reason why you're somehow mysteriously separated from the rest of the group and, hey that sounded like a lightsaber).

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Use pierce or breach weapons and score a crit.  Even low damage can activate it, so a pierce 2 weapon dealing 2 damage through with that pierce can activate a critical injury :D

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Use pierce or breach weapons and score a crit.  Even low damage can activate it, so a pierce 2 weapon dealing 2 damage through with that pierce can activate a critical injury :D

A pierce 2 weapon would still have to do 12 damage to get past 13 soak.

 

I think you can make it to 13 if i'm correct, maybe 14 with another specialization

Brawn 5 base +1 dedication, +1 cybernetics (depends on if your gm lets the +1 brawn from legs and arms apply to soak) +1 soak for cybernetic armor. +3 for superior heavy battle armor +1 for Gadgeteer +1 marauder. should total out to 13

6 is the max player stat as far as I can tell so the cybernetic legs and arms don't count however Marauder actually get +2 so max player soak is still 13.

Best way to take them down would be a Heavy Repeating Blaster 15 base damage and Pierce 2 with auto fire.

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Use pierce or breach weapons and score a crit.  Even low damage can activate it, so a pierce 2 weapon dealing 2 damage through with that pierce can activate a critical injury :D

A pierce 2 weapon would still have to do 12 damage to get past 13 soak.

 

 

While the standard interpretation of Pierce and Breach would render your comment true, I saw a discussion on this board somewhere that suggested interpreting the weapon qualities a little closer.

They both say that they IGNORE soak equal to their various ratings, right?  Well, what if that means that that damage truly IGNORES it, and can go right through? 

If your damage was greater than their soak, it would work as normal.  10 damage to a dude with 5 soak does 5 normally, but if the weapon had Pierce 2 it would do 7.

However, if your damage was LESS than their soak, then damage equal to the Pierce rating could sneak through and possibly still crit if the attack is successful.  So, if I was fighting a dude with 10 soak and I did 5 damage, nothing would happen.  But, if my weapon had Pierce 2, 2 of my 5 damage IGNORES soak, so he still takes two damage and I can maybe score a crit with advantages.

I like this for a few reasons.

1.  It says ignores soak, not reduces.

2.  It doesn't make high soak high brawn high wound characters omfgroflstompOP and lets them have a weakness besides just strain damage.

3.  It allows for a "Death by 1000 Cuts" strategy for people using weapons that might not deal a lot of damage, and it allows players and NPCs better deal with walking tanks.

4.  It allows Lightsabers, Thermal Dets, and Missile Tubes to damage vehicles with Breach, since all of those weapons have been shown to be effective against vehicles in media (Luke vs. At-At, etc.)  You wouldn't deal a lot of hull damage, but you can score critical hits, which are truthfully more important when facing vehicles anyways.  It also adds to the deadliness of these weapons, which I think is very important.

I will be using this in all of my games because it makes everything way better and more balanced, and I almost feel like that's how the Devs wanted it to be played as.  If not, then I am anyways!  :D

Edited by Endrik Tenebris

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It does seem like it would be reasonable to cap soak at something like 8-10. Maybe that's good fodder for a house rule. I am not terribly comfortable with the idea of having to build encounters for a party that includes a player with a 10+ soak. My concern is that I would have to ratchet up the difficulty or always include an enemy with a piercing weapon of some kind who is there just to counter that high soak. It would be hard to make such an encounter without risking overkill on the other party members.

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My house rule is to cap soak from Brawn at 2, so even someone with a brawn of 6 or 7 only has a soak of 2 from brawn. A bit draconian, yes, but I think it makes things a little less silly; after all, it doesn't seem like being super strong and tough would make you nearly invulnerable to most small arms fire (certainly doesn't help much in real life).

I've also house ruled that Enduring doesn't stack with itself. So people who already have enduring can skip that entry in the talent tree, which I believe is already a rule for talents that don't stack with each other.

To make up for house ruling brawn, I've given melee combatants a free attack (a la d&d opportunity attack) against people trying to move out of engaged range with them (unless they spend their action moving out of the way, in which case they can't make an attack).

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Talents can help out in the damage department as well, since a PC wont have 13 soak at char-gen. Give their nemesis a few talents that boost damage. Or...shoot the s.o.b. with a vehicle scale weapon. Or swallow them whole, drown them, set them on fire, flush them out an airlock, poison them, drop them off a skyhook, fire a missile tube at them.

Soak is cool, but there are many

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Use pierce or breach weapons and score a crit.  Even low damage can activate it, so a pierce 2 weapon dealing 2 damage through with that pierce can activate a critical injury :D

A pierce 2 weapon would still have to do 12 damage to get past 13 soak.

 

 

While the standard interpretation of Pierce and Breach would render your comment true, I saw a discussion on this board somewhere that suggested interpreting the weapon qualities a little closer.

They both say that they IGNORE soak equal to their various ratings, right?  Well, what if that means that that damage truly IGNORES it, and can go right through? 

If your damage was greater than their soak, it would work as normal.  10 damage to a dude with 5 soak does 5 normally, but if the weapon had Pierce 2 it would do 7.

However, if your damage was LESS than their soak, then damage equal to the Pierce rating could sneak through and possibly still crit if the attack is successful.  So, if I was fighting a dude with 10 soak and I did 5 damage, nothing would happen.  But, if my weapon had Pierce 2, 2 of my 5 damage IGNORES soak, so he still takes two damage and I can maybe score a crit with advantages.

I like this for a few reasons.

1.  It says ignores soak, not reduces.

2.  It doesn't make high soak high brawn high wound characters omfgroflstompOP and lets them have a weakness besides just strain damage.

3.  It allows for a "Death by 1000 Cuts" strategy for people using weapons that might not deal a lot of damage, and it allows players and NPCs better deal with walking tanks.

4.  It allows Lightsabers, Thermal Dets, and Missile Tubes to damage vehicles with Breach, since all of those weapons have been shown to be effective against vehicles in media (Luke vs. At-At, etc.)  You wouldn't deal a lot of hull damage, but you can score critical hits, which are truthfully more important when facing vehicles anyways.  It also adds to the deadliness of these weapons, which I think is very important.

I will be using this in all of my games because it makes everything way better and more balanced, and I almost feel like that's how the Devs wanted it to be played as.  If not, then I am anyways!   :D

 

 

After learning how high soak can go and reading that discussion I totally agree with it. Even with a high soak you're still not invulnerable to taking damage.

Edited by Crimson Death

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And Pierce is a VERY easy quality to get.  Every vibro weapon and most heavier weapons have it, and most weapons that don't have it can get it or increase very easily with any number of modifications that can do so.  It is the least complicated way I have seen to deal with high soak high brawn dudes, and it doesn't penalize anyone, like the ideas presented earlier by Gloro.  I'm all about minimizing penalization, so I would recommend you maybe rethink that idea and consider using Pierce and Breach like this.  It seems way less complicated and less, as you say, draconian.

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To each their own, I'd say. My players don't really see my house rules rule as a penalties, as they like not feeling pressured to focus on soak to be as effective as possible in combat. And the one melee guy in my group really likes being able to lock people down in melee (plus he still has a ton of HP) so it works out pretty well, especially since everyone knew the house rules during character creation, so they went in with eyes wide open. And I'm happy for combat to feel a little deadlier (for both sides).

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The absolute max soak rating you can get is 16 I believe I calculated, Compared to that, the max damage you can do with one success with a heavy blaster pistol is 27 I think if you use a destiny point (that also includes the pierce quality).

Edited by Gallows

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Maximum Soak in game so far, without custom stuff that could increase it further: 17

7 from Brawn (5 base, 1 Dedicated, 1 Cybernetic Arm).
5 Enduring (1 Mechanic, 1 Survivalist, 1 Bodyguard, 2 Marauder)

3 from Armor (2 Heavy Battle Armor, 1 Superior attachment)

1 from Armor Master

1 from Implant subdermal Armor

 

Keep in mind that you would need a whopping 5 Specializations unlocked to reach this, along with a vast pool of credits.

 

On similar notes,

Maximum Wounds: 65

 

14 from Beefy Race (Wookiees, etc)

5 from starting Brawn.

46 from Toughened talents across the board.

 

Maximum Strain: 39 (40 with a custom race that had 12 starting strain)

 

11 from RAW Race (Bothans, etc) (I could see a custom race allowing up to at least 12 starting strain)

5 from starting Willpower.

23 from Grit talents across the board.

 

Keep in mind the EXP costs to get this, though.  You would have to get 14 specializations for Wounds and 15 specializations for Strain.  That, on top of actually buying all of the talents and getting your starting attributes up to 5 at character creation would be unfathomable.

Edited by Endrik Tenebris

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Yeah, you're right.  Maximum Soak in game so far, without custom stuff that could increase it further:

7 from Brawn (5 base, 1 Dedicated, 1 Cybernetic Arm).

5 Enduring (1 Mechanic, 1 Survivalist, 1 Bodyguard, 2 Marauder)

3 from Armor (2 Heavy Battle Armor, 1 Superior attachment)

1 from Armor Master

 

What about the sub-dermal cyber armor?

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Yeah, you're right.  Maximum Soak in game so far, without custom stuff that could increase it further:

7 from Brawn (5 base, 1 Dedicated, 1 Cybernetic Arm).

5 Enduring (1 Mechanic, 1 Survivalist, 1 Bodyguard, 2 Marauder)

3 from Armor (2 Heavy Battle Armor, 1 Superior attachment)

1 from Armor Master

 

What about the sub-dermal cyber armor?

 

Aha!  You're 100% correct!  I stand corrected.  I'll edit my post!  I completely forgot about that.

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My house rule is to cap soak from Brawn at 2, so even someone with a brawn of 6 or 7 only has a soak of 2 from brawn. A bit draconian, yes, but I think it makes things a little less silly; after all, it doesn't seem like being super strong and tough would make you nearly invulnerable to most small arms fire (certainly doesn't help much in real life).

I've also house ruled that Enduring doesn't stack with itself. So people who already have enduring can skip that entry in the talent tree, which I believe is already a rule for talents that don't stack with each other.

 

I have also changed Enduring in this way. Also in my games cybernetics that do rise Brawn do not rise soak.

 

I like a lot what you propose for caping starting soak. I will comment it with my players

Edited by Yepesnopes

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It seems kind of silly to talk about the ridiculous fringe extreme of soak without talking about how high you can crank damage from a hand-held weapon.

 

I mean, just take a Blaster Rifle at damage 9, add an augmented spin barrel for +1, mod it for +2 more, and slap on a superior customization for +1 more. Jury Rigg it for +1 more. Then take Deadly Accuracy (+5 more), and then max out either Barrage or Point Blank (+3 either way).

That is 22 base damage. Just base damage, for a mid-range weapon.

 

This number doesn't even take into account other mods (like adding pierce) or all the bonuses to the attack roll itself, or other talents which will boost damage even more. For example, if you want to spend a DP, Soft Spot or Targeted Blow can bump the damage up to your Cunning or Agility respectively (6 for this example). 

 

 

This is a lot easier to obtain, too, than a total soak of 14. Everyone worrying about high soak should consider that before declaring soak too powerful.

Edited by Doc, the Weasel

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And don't forget you only need to score 1 point of damage to be able to use advantage to activate critical hits, which have lots of fun things to inflict on the tank PC.

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It does seem like it would be reasonable to cap soak at something like 8-10. Maybe that's good fodder for a house rule. I am not terribly comfortable with the idea of having to build encounters for a party that includes a player with a 10+ soak. My concern is that I would have to ratchet up the difficulty or always include an enemy with a piercing weapon of some kind who is there just to counter that high soak. It would be hard to make such an encounter without risking overkill on the other party members.

In my mind, the way to deal with someone who decides to focus so heavily on soak value or just combat in general is with plot. So when I want them to have it hard, I make them relate with people or worse yet think. Also, you know what still makes a person  with a 13 soak value turn into a fine paste, ship scale weapons, lightsabers, heavy blaster rifles with auto-fire. You can also just try drain their Strain.

 

My house rule is to cap soak from Brawn at 2, so even someone with a brawn of 6 or 7 only has a soak of 2 from brawn. A bit draconian, yes, but I think it makes things a little less silly; after all, it doesn't seem like being super strong and tough would make you nearly invulnerable to most small arms fire (certainly doesn't help much in real life).

I've also house ruled that Enduring doesn't stack with itself. So people who already have enduring can skip that entry in the talent tree, which I believe is already a rule for talents that don't stack with each other.

To make up for house ruling brawn, I've given melee combatants a free attack (a la d&d opportunity attack) against people trying to move out of engaged range with them (unless they spend their action moving out of the way, in which case they can't make an attack).

 

I couldn't disagree with this more. The system's already very deadly and even with the addition of the new melee mods a little skewed towards Ranged combat. These changes throw it that way even more. How do you balance someone potentially taking 2-3 more damage every time they get hit with a hypothetical situation that might come up once or twice per session. Also, Enduring is in the middle of most trees it appears in, you would have them spend the xp for no gain on a Talent in the 15-20 range. Man that sucks.

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Well, I guess many people is discussing here if soak 13 or 18 or 10 will break the game. The counter argument is that since you can have very high damage output with talents and mods, those soak values are ok.

 

I may be agree that the soak values (+wound threshold) for "high level" PCs may be balanced with high level PCs damage outputs. In game terms may be ok. For me it does not feel right that PCs (and NPCs) can walk around with a soak of 13 and absorb all damage caused by regular weapons (like the ones stormtroopers use). It is not the style of game I want.

 

Probably the designers have chosen this way to scale damage and soak for high tier characters, I don't know with which end. May be to create more heroic characters. For me it is not necessary, I like to keep my games deadly without the need to scale up the weapons and skills of NPCs to ridiculous limits. By ridiculous I mean, having to present adversaries all the time against my PCs with a lot of talents or super modified weapons in order to be able to inflict wounds.

 

In that sense, it is very interesting to quote the book "Few heroes and villains of the galaxy wear armor because most weapons can penetrate it." This sentence will have sense in another game, but not on this one. If armor offers no protection against blaster shots, the difference between the brawn of two characters should be even less significant. You shot a bullet against me, or against LeBron James and we both will suffer very similar (bad) consequences.

 

Anyway, I don't have anything too strong against how soak is presented in the game. It is just not my piece of cake and I just limited it in my games. A stormtrooper will be always scary!

Edited by Yepesnopes

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