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illathid

Changing Toughness

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So, as I've stated elsewhere, I am not the biggest fan of the d100 system, but as a law student, I don't really have the time to homebrew a system my players and I would like better. So that leaves me with making house rules here and there to make the system "work."

Anyways, I came up with an idea for a house rule regarding toughness, and I thought I'd get feedback on it. As is, I really dislike how toughness works as "armour" and reduces the total damage taken. I don't think that really reflects what a "tough" character is. My houser use then would be to remove the toughness bonus from the damage calculation and instead use it to ignore the cumulative effect of wounds.

So a character would only start adding +5 to damage for wounds over their toughness bonus, while critical wounds would be unaffected. So for example, Avitus the Scribe has a Tb of 3, and so the first 3 wounds he suffered would not add +5 to his damage taken, but the 4th one would.

My immediate thoughts on this is that makes weapons more likely to cause an effect, as some of the damage is no longer being mitigated, but would still keep toughness important as it means your less likely to suffer system shock (which is how kind of I interpret the cumulative wound effects).

What I'm looking for is problems that this might cause in the system that I haven't thought about yet. Any feedback though, is very welcome. Thanks in advance!

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Interesting... It certainly has an effect.

 

In effect, what it does is make Toughness a quality that lets you soldier on through your wounds, which it sounds like how you want it to be, rather than something which reduces their effect. I can see that being appealing from a realism or taste point of view. It does create one specific problem in the rules but I think it can be fixed so I'll deal with that last.

 

Most of the 'take you out of the fight' effects don't really kick in until you start hitting 19+ on the Wound charts. Unless your characters are fighting naked or facing plasma guns, that's going to make it very hard to take them down fast. They'll rapidly hit a level of damage where they're suffering a variety of impairments or temporary status effects, but they'll be hard to finish off. And the tougher they are, the more they'll refuse to lie down and die despite the increasing mess they are in. It sounds like that's what you want and this works well for that. Without running simulations, my suspicion is a little more impairment for staying in the fight longer is a good deal for PCs in terms of power and you may find your PCs are a little more powerful than they "ought" to be by the original system.

 

The whole thing shifts a little as Toughness rises. There will come a cross over point where a character would have been better off with a really high toughness under the old system than they would under the new, because they'd be shrugging off lower damage levels entirely under the previous. But that cross over point is different for every weapon. High damage, high pen, wont matter so much. It makes very tough characters more subject to lower power weapons. A big beastie might care very little for Lasguns under the old system. Under the new, those guns are more likely to still hurt it. An ork warboss or other stupidly tough creature will no longer be able to walk through a hail of stubber fire shrugging off the tiny pellets like insect bites. But on the other hand, an ork warboss or other stupidly tough creature will no longer be able to walk through a hail of stubber fire shrugging off the tiny pellets like insect bites. So the question is - which suits your taste?

 

Due to its more dangerous effects at lower levels, Rending weapons may become slightly more appealing against tough targets, energy weapons perhaps slightly less so.

 

You need to also find some way to make this work with the Novice, Elite and Master traits if you're using those. Here the shift in effect for the way Toughness works does have a very large effect. Essentially, without modification, this makes your NPCs that use these traits, drop like flies. You need a way of fixing that. You could just not use Novice, Elite and Master, but I've found they really speed up play in a satisfying way.

 

Anyway, it's a neat idea and those are my initial thoughts. I reserve the right to be wrong in any and all instances. ;)

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I've thought some more about this and what this does is make rapid firing weapons considerably more appealing. Some weapons are low-powered but fire often. Some weapons fire slowly but hit very hard. (And some others are both or neither). The former are now considerably increased in power compared to what they were, relative to the latter. Assuming you have a high BS.

 

With targets being much easier to harm, you might prefer an autogun to a plasma gun. Whereas when fighting a really tough opponent before, you might land four hits but none of them do damage, now you might land four hits and all of them do. Whereas the plasma plasma gun. The plasma gun will still hit harder but has a low chance of actually pushing the character into the high 'take them out of the fight' wound results so you could well be better off with the autogun just using up that Toughness buffer.

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I've always interpreted hits that beat armor, but not TB, as hits which leave some insignificant injuries. Such as a small cut.

The higher someones TB, the larger an injury needs to be before they consider is significant.

 

The 10 or less results on the updated wound chart are more severe than what I'm considering.

 

I've thought some more about this and what this does is make rapid firing weapons considerably more appealing

Which is not a good thing considering that the wound system already favors lots of hits that barely damage the target over one big hit.

 

 

The other downside I see is that, if this change means characters are dying faster, then this move will favor the PCs. This is because it makes each evade roll more significant. PCs have fate points to let them reroll failed evades, NPCs don't. So NPCs will be hit worse by this change than PCs.

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I think that the house rule will:

- Make low damage weapons (lasgun, autopistol, and so on) much more dangerous against targets with high toughness and good armor. As mentioned above, the specific point where the weapons becomes more deadly differ according to weapons and targets.

- Make medium damage weapons (bolters, chain axes, sniper rifles) much less dangerous.

- Make high damage weapons (plasma gun, meltagun, autocannon) more random. That is more likely to kill with a single shot, but also more likely to be unable to kill with a few hits. 

 

Another house rule that you could use with a similar effect would be to vary the usual +5 pr. wound and +10 pr. critical wound depending on toughness. So a TB3 character may get +5/+10, while a TB1 character gets +7/+12 and a TB5 character gets +3/+8. It would produce slightly different results, but these results may not be superior to your own suggested house rules or the unmodified system.

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I HIGHLY support removing TB from its role in stopping damage.  The 'naked dwarf' problem has long been at the heart of warhammer RPGs.  

 

Your proposed shift away from TB as armour into reducing wound effects is an excellent idea.  However, the 'ignore TB wounds' idea  for me is still a bit powerful.

 

How about simply reducing Wound Effect by TB?

 

TB3 = -3 to all Wound Effect rolls.

 

That way it remains relevant and will 'take the edge off' most wound effects without making characters immune to plasma guns...

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One thing that's important to consider is that the entire point of the wound modifiers is to speed combat up, to stop it dragging like it did in first ed. Anything which reduces or eliminates those modifiers WILL drag out combat further, potentially for several rounds. I see that as losing one of the great advantages of this system.

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I think that the house rule will:

- Make low damage weapons (lasgun, autopistol, and so on) much more dangerous against targets with high toughness and good armor. As mentioned above, the specific point where the weapons becomes more deadly differ according to weapons and targets.

- Make medium damage weapons (bolters, chain axes, sniper rifles) much less dangerous.

- Make high damage weapons (plasma gun, meltagun, autocannon) more random. That is more likely to kill with a single shot, but also more likely to be unable to kill with a few hits. 

 

Another house rule that you could use with a similar effect would be to vary the usual +5 pr. wound and +10 pr. critical wound depending on toughness. So a TB3 character may get +5/+10, while a TB1 character gets +7/+12 and a TB5 character gets +3/+8. It would produce slightly different results, but these results may not be superior to your own suggested house rules or the unmodified system.

 

All good common sense rules - I wouldnt adopt the last one though.

 

The best ranged combat strategy in DH 2.0 as-is is to load up on Toughness, Ballistic Skill and get armour and high rof weaponry, preferably with some armour-piercing ammo. It's only the number of hits that you can dish out as warband in a short amount of time that counts (against a vast range of enemies). Head protection isnt so important as you can afford the occasional shot in the head.  Build up soak to absorb as many hits as you can and build the capability to place as many hits as possible on as many enemies as possible.

 

Alex

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Thanks for responding everyone!

Regarding the issue with NPCs my first thought was to keep this a PC only rule, and still have Tb soak for enemies. My other thought was to maybe just increase the protection offered by all armour by 3 (or something else) to compensate for the loss of soak.

knasserII was right about wanting toughness to represent the ability to tough it out through tough wounds, but I can see where problems might arise when you've got high toughness characters, as they probably just won't die. Would flattening the wound tables help with that at all? Maybe adding +5 or +10 to the table results?

Regarding the high RoA weapons v. High damage weapons, wouldn't that be a tactical choice then? Do I pick a weapon with high RoA and be more likely to give the enemy some kind of penalty, or should I get a high damage weapon and potentially be able to kill them sooner? I'm just thinking out loud here. Anyways thanks again for all the feedback. If anyone else has ideas about how to make toughness better, like Luddite's I'd love to hear them.

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Regarding the high RoA weapons v. High damage weapons, wouldn't that be a tactical choice then? Do I pick a weapon with high RoA and be more likely to give the enemy some kind of penalty, or should I get a high damage weapon and potentially be able to kill them sooner? I'm just thinking out loud here. Anyways thanks again for all the feedback. If anyone else has ideas about how to make toughness better, like Luddite's I'd love to hear them.

 

With each hit of your high ROF weapon, the damage of the next penetrating attack increases by 5. That's a **** lot. Enough bullets on target and the Righteous Furies keep coming, possibly even allowing for insta-death.

 

Anyway, if you remove Tb and add 3 to armour, everyone will be running around heavy armour. All subtlety gone. Instead decrease damage by 3.

 

Alex

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With each hit of your high ROF weapon, the damage of the next penetrating attack increases by 5. That's a **** lot. Enough bullets on target and the Righteous Furies keep coming, possibly even allowing for insta-death.

 

I haven't been keeping the best track of the rules, but I was pretty sure consensus was that you could only get one wound per attack, regardless of how many hits there were. Has this changed or was I just mistaken?

Anyway, if you remove Tb and add 3 to armour, everyone will be running around heavy armour. All subtlety gone. Instead decrease damage by 3.

 

Alex

Huh, I didn't realize subtlety and armour interacted like that. Do you have page reference, because I can't see anything regarding that in the equipment section. If I could I'd rather make a change to the armour section rather than then weapons, as the armour is all pretty self contained.

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With each hit of your high ROF weapon, the damage of the next penetrating attack increases by 5. That's a **** lot. Enough bullets on target and the Righteous Furies keep coming, possibly even allowing for insta-death.
 

 

I don't think this is correct. Beta. pg. 203 refers to a +5 / +10 on the wound results for each Wound or Critical Wound existing prior to the attack not prior to the hit. I know you wrote "attack" but talking about "insta-death", you obviously mean hits.

 

I.e. if you have one wound and then suffer an attack that scores three hits on you, then even if each one of those hits gets a +5 on the Wound result but only +5. The last one isn't getting +15.

 

This is backed up by the combat example on pg. 209 which has a PC receiving two wounds in a single attack (which scored 3 hits but one was below the Defence value). In working out the Wound results, neither receives a +5 and the last line of the example explicitly states: "Note that all the wounds in this attack are resolved simultaneously so there is no +5 for this second wound, but this will be added the next time he is wounded."

 

 

Huh, I didn't realize subtlety and armour interacted like that. Do you have page reference, because I can't see anything regarding that in the equipment section. If I could I'd rather make a change to the armour section rather than then weapons, as the armour is all pretty self contained.

 

I'm pretty sure ak-73 meant subtlety in the general sense, rather than Subtlety in the rules sense.

 

 

 

 

 
With each hit of your high ROF weapon, the damage of the next penetrating attack increases by 5. That's a **** lot. Enough bullets on target and the Righteous Furies keep coming, possibly even allowing for insta-death.


I haven't been keeping the best track of the rules, but I was pretty sure consensus was that you could only get one wound per attack, regardless of how many hits there were. Has this changed or was I just mistaken?

 

You can definitely get more than one Wound in an attack which scores multiple hits. But they don't add penalties until the next attack.

Edited by knasserII

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knasserII was right about wanting toughness to represent the ability to tough it out through tough wounds, but I can see where problems might arise when you've got high toughness characters, as they probably just won't die. Would flattening the wound tables help with that at all? Maybe adding +5 or +10 to the table results?

I have been thinking a bit about this, and the way I would do it, would be as follows:

1. Reduce the wound tables to 20 levels by removing the lowest 20 levels - effectively adding 10 to all damage rolls. Alternatively you could reduce the tables to 25 or 15 levels depending on how deadly you want weapons to be, and whether you let toughness subtract from damage or not.

2. Wounds no longer subsequent damage rolls. No +5/10 damage pr. wound/critical. 

3. Rolling a 10 on damage no longer causes a critical wound, since critical wounds does not do anything. Instead a 10 on damage either adds another 1d10 to damage, or some fixed number such as attackers Weapon skill bonus or Ballistic skill bonus, depending on weapon.

4. Divide penetration by 2 for all weapons. (Not at all necessary, just my preference since armor is completely redundant against many weapons as is).

5. The specific effects of the wound tables needs to be rewritten to include toughness. For instance:

 

"The shot punches the target’s temple, cracking his skull on that side and leaving him vulnerable as his mind scrabbles to

right itself. The target suffers Intelligence Decay (1d10) and becomes Stunned and Helpless for 1 round."

would be changed to:

"The shot punches the target’s temple, cracking his skull on that side and leaving him vulnerable as his mind scrabbles to

right itself. The target must make a toughness test or suffers Intelligence Decay (1d10) and becomes Stunned and Helpless for TB-6 rounds (minimum of 1)."
 
and:
"The slash hews into the target’s flesh and nicks one of his lungs, leaving him to painfully hack up blood as it slowly
drains into the breach. The target is Weakened (1) and Dazed for 1d5+3 rounds and suffers Blood Loss (6)."

would be changed to:

"The slash hews into the target’s flesh and nicks one of his lungs, leaving him to painfully hack up blood as it slowly
drains into the breach. The target suffers Blood Loss (9-TB) and must make a toughness roll or be Weakened (1) and Dazed for 1d5+3 rounds."

 

I think that this would have the following effects:

- It will make it possible to cause severe damage with a single attack. Death is still very unlikely, but possible.

- It will prevent characters from automaticly dying extremely messy after the 5th or 6th hit. 

- It makes it much more likely that a character will go unconscious from blood loss or fatigue, thus loosing the fight, but in a non-fatal way.

- It would make toughness very important, but in another way than armor. Personally, I don't mind toughness protecting against damage, but I like it being more important in this way as well.

Edited by Matias

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I'd like to make a short interjection -- I don't want to return to a system similar to the DH 1.0 Righteous Fury rules (rolling well on damage lets you roll more damage dice) simply because it adds more die rolls to the game.  I believe that fewer die rolls in an RPG system is usually a good thing.  If the role of Toughness is to change significantly, I feel it should be in a way that reduces the amount of bookkeeping and rolls on wound tables.

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