Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Fgdsfg

Why is Toughness Bonus body-armour? Should it be changed?

Recommended Posts

I don't think either make sense.

 

You absolutely can be snipped to death with nailclippers, and that's not actually what TB Soak is about in the system. It's about body fat nullifying ray guns.

 

HP... Well, you put that perfectly already.

 

Both are an assault on the verisimilitude of combat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well it is a game system that models combat in a fantasy universe. I guess this particular game leans more towards the 'super heroes and monsters soaking up bullets' style of play depending on how individuals are armed. You could try a different system or convince your GM to use more lethal weapons. If someone points a lasgun at your head from across the room and demands surrender, you are fairly likely to be able to walk up to them and cut them in half with your chainsword, and that's not realistic.

 

But as for how well TB models combat, it seems to work fine for me. People can sometimes soak up almost all gunfire through a combination of high T and good armor, but for the players this is an exceptional circumstance, and for NPC space marines or monster this actually seems to fit the fluff.

 

Of course, anyone armed with a flamer, a heavy weapon, a vehicle, some nasty explosives, or who just plain rolls a 10 will blow a character off their feet.

Edited by eriktheguy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still have no idea what you're talking about. TB Soak makes perfect sense. If anything, it's Wound Points that don't make any sense at all and shouldn't exist. The first couple of solid hits get past your armor, overcome your natural endurance and then do... nothing. You suffer no real effects at all. You aren't impaired or injured in any way until this mysterious magical force field disappears are suddenly the next hit actually has some real impact. 

 

That makes no sense at all to me.

Wounds/HP was always a necessary abstraction, and represents glancing blows or lucked-out hits; actual injuries from straight-up hits are represented by going into criticals.

This is far from ideal, and I fully agree with your point that it's far from a perfect abstraction, but as far as gameplay is concerned, it's practically necessary. There's a reason there's very few systems that doesn't use some kind of HP mechanic.

Toughness, with the abstraction of Hit Points in mind, makes even less sense.

As to how someone's skin and bones can soak up half of the damage of a veritable death-ray while another person mysteriously explodes into soaky bits can make sense to you.. I have no idea.

 

Well it is a game system that models combat in a fantasy universe. I guess this particular game leans more towards the 'super heroes and monsters soaking up bullets' style of play depending on how individuals are armed.

[...]

Except that that has no basis in the setting as depicted, or the scenarios the game purport to support. But super-hero-skin-protection is de facto what RAW TB-Soak ultimately results in, which is the whole problem.

 

[...]

But as for how well TB models combat, it seems to work fine for me. People can sometimes soak up almost all gunfire through a combination of high T and good armor, but for the players this is an exceptional circumstance, and for NPC space marines or monster this actually seems to fit the fluff.

[...]

For specific monsters and, arguably, Space Marines? Yeah, sure, it can fit the fluff, to a degree. But I already addressed that. Edited by Fgdsfg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wounds/HP was always a necessary abstraction, and represents glancing blows or lucked-out hits; actual injuries from straight-up hits are represented by going into criticals.

This is far from ideal, and I fully agree with your point that it's far from a perfect abstraction, but as far as gameplay is concerned, it's practically necessary. There's a reason there's very few systems that doesn't use some kind of HP mechanic.

No. HP/Wounds are not a necessary abstraction, simply an easy one and more importantly a traditional one. As roleplayers and/or computer gamers, we're used to thinking in HP/Wounds/Health, so it's easy to explain. But it's also so horribly unrealistic that this entire discussion about TB is ridiculous by comparison.
 
Solve that issue, and I can be bothered to care about toughness again. Probably.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Wounds/HP was always a necessary abstraction, and represents glancing blows or lucked-out hits; actual injuries from straight-up hits are represented by going into criticals.

This is far from ideal, and I fully agree with your point that it's far from a perfect abstraction, but as far as gameplay is concerned, it's practically necessary. There's a reason there's very few systems that doesn't use some kind of HP mechanic.

No. HP/Wounds are not a necessary abstraction, simply an easy one and more importantly a traditional one. As roleplayers and/or computer gamers, we're used to thinking in HP/Wounds/Health, so it's easy to explain. But it's also so horribly unrealistic that this entire discussion about TB is ridiculous by comparison.

 

Solve that issue, and I can be bothered to care about toughness again. Probably.

 

If it's not an abstraction, then please explain how it makes any sense whatsoever. As far as my experience go, Hit Points have always been an abstraction. Also, provide examples of roleplaying games where this is not so.

Also, "Y isn't good so therefore X doesn't need to be good either" is a terrible argument.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Wounds/HP was always a necessary abstraction, and represents glancing blows or lucked-out hits; actual injuries from straight-up hits are represented by going into criticals.

This is far from ideal, and I fully agree with your point that it's far from a perfect abstraction, but as far as gameplay is concerned, it's practically necessary. There's a reason there's very few systems that doesn't use some kind of HP mechanic.

No. HP/Wounds are not a necessary abstraction, simply an easy one and more importantly a traditional one. As roleplayers and/or computer gamers, we're used to thinking in HP/Wounds/Health, so it's easy to explain. But it's also so horribly unrealistic that this entire discussion about TB is ridiculous by comparison.

 

Solve that issue, and I can be bothered to care about toughness again. Probably.

 

If it's not an abstraction, then please explain how it makes any sense whatsoever. As far as my experience go, Hit Points have always been an abstraction. Also, provide examples of roleplaying games where this is not so.

Also, "Y isn't good so therefore X doesn't need to be good either" is a terrible argument.

 

I wasn't protesting the word abstraction, because it clearly is, but rather the word necessary as I would have thought clear from context. And I don't actually make the argument that "Y isn't good so therefore X doesn't need to be good either", I merely point out that you're brewing a storm in a glass of water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was thinking of applying a rule I read in the Cyberpunk 2020 book (yes, I'm that old...).

 

Basically, Armour can reduce damage to zero, but Toughness cannot.

 

So, if you have AP 5 and TB 3, and you are hit for 5 damage, you suffer nothing. If you are hit for 7 damage, you suffer at least one Wound.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was thinking of applying a rule I read in the Cyberpunk 2020 book (yes, I'm that old...).

 

Hey, I'm old enough to remember the first edition of Cyberpunk, which was set in the far-away year of... 2013. Does anyone know a good place where I can by that cybernetic arm I was promised...?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it's not an abstraction, then please explain how it makes any sense whatsoever. As far as my experience go, Hit Points have always been an abstraction. Also, provide examples of roleplaying games where this is not so.

 

 

Hit/Wound points don't make any sense. They represent a simple and completely unrealistic system whereby a character with enough of them can be hit with what logically ought to be a lethal attack and emerge completely unaffected. I can shoot a storm trooper with a plasma gun and, even without counting TB, he gets one average-damage which will not impair him in any way... but the second hit will fry him. There is no logic to this. No sense to it whatsoever. It is purely a simple and familiar mechanic, started in the days when D&D had hobbits, which we are all comfortable with. That doesn't make a good system, just an old one.

 

As for "roleplaying games where this is not so" ... off the top of my head neither Ars Magica nor Shadowrun use a hit/wound point mechanic. I know without doubt there are any number of other system which also do not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For DH, and subsequent lines, we dropped TB and bumped (most but not all) AP +2. Mind, this is for humanoid combatants. Other tweaks have to take Unnatural Toughness into consideration, and things become quite a bit more tricky when you want to include Daemonic creatures, a Carnifex, and etc. Dropping TB and boosting AP fixes one problem and introduces a half dozen others.

 

Lynata suggests taking a look at the Inquisitor model for inspiration, and I concur. I know others have chimed in with their support of this idea, as well. The Inquisitor rules (last I checked, a month ago or so) are a free pdf on GW's site. What's it going to hurt if we take look? Worst case scenario: "I don't like it. Nope." And done. But I'm definitely not saying use it as-is, just as inspiration. Tom Cruise even cobbled together an alternative injury mechanic that shares similarities with it, one that I thought looked quite nice, particularly because it consists of five charts instead of nine.

 

On a similar note, what does everyone think of this idea:

 

Injury effects are (mostly) generic, and Damage Types alter/boost injury effects? Let Weapon Qualities determine how weapons function, but the Damage Type of a weapon determines the injury effect? This would allow for the return of X Damage, and perhaps a Quality or two might better serve as Types instead?

 

Ex: A chainsword (Rending) might increase the chances of causing a bleeding injury, whereas a truncheon (Impact) might increase the duration of Stunned. Energy results in additional Fatigue, Toxic increases Characteristic Decay, etc

Edited by Brother Orpheo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hit/Wound points don't make any sense. [...]

Right. Except as an abstraction. That was my point.

As for "roleplaying games where this is not so" ... off the top of my head neither Ars Magica nor Shadowrun use a hit/wound point mechanic. I know without doubt there are any number of other system which also do not.

I asked for roleplaying games where Hit Points are not an abstraction. Not systems without Hit Points. I know of none of the former, but plenty of the latter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wasn't protesting the word abstraction, because it clearly is, but rather the word necessary as I would have thought clear from context. And I don't actually make the argument that "Y isn't good so therefore X doesn't need to be good either", I merely point out that you're brewing a storm in a glass of water.

Except that's the exact argument you were making. You literally said that as long as Y isn't good, you don't care about X being bad, as if there's a list of issues that have to be resolved in sequence.

It may not have been what you meant, but it is the argument you raised. "That's not what I said!" may hold up in reality, but on boards, discourse-retcons are a bit harder to pull off, since everyone can always see what you just said.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was thinking of applying a rule I read in the Cyberpunk 2020 book (yes, I'm that old...).

 

Basically, Armour can reduce damage to zero, but Toughness cannot.

 

So, if you have AP 5 and TB 3, and you are hit for 5 damage, you suffer nothing. If you are hit for 7 damage, you suffer at least one Wound.

I actually like this idea as a middle ground. But if you don't think TB should be a damage soak don't use it! Toughness still determines your base wounds, your resistance to poisons and environmental factors, your endurance and it also affects your lifting/carrying capacity (Something often overlooked by heavy weapon toting Rambo wannabes  <_< ). With all that I don't think it would hurt my feelings if it didn't also reduce damage taken in combat! Mind you; this will obviously make combat MUCH more lethal but I'm Ok with that! I personally think many of the lower tyre weapons are actually underpowered somewhat. If I shoot someone with a 9mm. pistol, (A standard stub automatic) and he or she is unarmored they will NOT shrug it off if I hit them. It may not be fatal but they will know it! Now if that same person is wearing a modern flak vest, (AP 3) they will still feel it but they will likely be bruised and survive. To me the balance would be about right! Now if you go to a narrative damage system as proposed in DH2 beta then toughness soak is definitely appropriate!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Except that's the exact argument you were making. You literally said that as long as Y isn't good, you don't care about X being bad, as if there's a list of issues that have to be resolved in sequence.

I wasn't protesting the word abstraction, because it clearly is, but rather the word necessary as I would have thought clear from context. And I don't actually make the argument that "Y isn't good so therefore X doesn't need to be good either",

Ah, my mistake becomes clearer. I consider the TB-issue (well, non-issue) and the whole Wounds/Critical structure to be part and parcel. Trying to fix one part without fixing the whole is a waste of time IMAO. Which clearly I failed to communicate adequately.

 

My opinion is not that "Y isn't good so therefore X doesn't need to be good either", but that the whole basis of the system with wounds and TB is flawed. I do believe that trying to fix "the TB-issue" without trying to re-work the entire framework with wounds, criticals and all that is a waste of time in that you're trying to re-work something to be more realistic, without actually gaining any significant degree of realism. Thus the expression "storm in a glass of water" - which may have been chosen incorrectly, I'm not using my native language here.

Thus my opinion is not that "Y isn't good so therefore X doesn't need to be good either",

but rather that "Y isn't good so therefore X cannot be good, because Y is part of X". if I must simplify to use these terms.

 

As far as I can tell, this devolves into an issue of Game-ism vs Realism. Wounds and TB is a simple mechnism, easy to understand and apply. This has always been the argument in favour of HPs whenever this debate has raged (that I've seen anyway).

 

Now, I'm of the opinion that WH40K lies so far from reality on just about any sensible scale, that the realism argument becomes largely irrelevant. The setting fundamentaly isn't realistic and trying to make it more so defies to purpose of the setting and the games set therein, again IMAO. You can tinker with the system endlessly, but if you want realism, I find that you'll have to re-write the system from the ground up.

 

It may not have been what you meant, but it is the argument you raised. "That's not what I said!" may hold up in reality, but on boards, discourse-retcons are a bit harder to pull off, since everyone can always see what you just said.

... and appearantly mis-interpret freely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right. Except as an abstraction. That was my point.

 

Honestly, I don't why I even bother trying to discuss things with people who refuse to listen...

Ditto.

Like I said, it only makes sense as an abstraction, so arguing against it on the basis of treating it as if unabstracted doesn't really hold water.

Also, still waiting for those example roleplaying games. I'd love to see how they would rationalize it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still have no idea what the problem is.

 

Is it that things can't be hurt by things that they should (in fluff, or realistically) be hurt by, due to Toughness?

 

As I have pointed out ad nauseum, practically no such things exist in the game:

 

1) Literally nothing, other than vehicles, is immune to anything, due to RF. Enough concentrated fire will kill anything as long as it is not a metal box.

 

2) Even if we were to pretend that Righteous Fury did not exist, two of the Greater Daemons, as well as the Great Knarloc, are capable of being injured by (sanctified) laspistols. Standard shots by laspistols, no less, nor overcharged or overloaded ones.

 

If we mean that Toughness + Armour makes things uninjurable by things that they should be injured by, I suggest that people look at the damage ranges. we will use standard bolters here v s. space marines, because the weakness of Battle Sisters vs. Astartes is the real issue here and the rest is just smoke and mirrors :)

 

A "civilian bolter" (a misnomer, this actually means "non-Astartes bolter") does 1d10+5 Pen 4 Tearing. Space Marine average TB is 8, and can conceivably go up to 11. Space Marine armour AP 8 - Pen 4 = 4. 8 + 4 = 12. Average damage for "civilian bolter" with Tearing included is 12.5, I think (?). 12.5 - 12 = 0.5. On average, the bolter will get a wound through. In fact, 20% of the time it will RF, prompting a d5 X Crit, giving possible Blood Loss (which Astartes in Black Crusade and Only War can die from by the way, this is not Deathwatch), as well as getting their face ripped off, making limbs useless, permanent characteristic damage, lots of Fatigue and so forth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still have no idea what the problem is.

 

Is it that things can't be hurt by things that they should (in fluff, or realistically) be hurt by, due to Toughness?

 

As I have pointed out ad nauseum, practically no such things exist in the game:

 

1) Literally nothing, other than vehicles, is immune to anything, due to RF. Enough concentrated fire will kill anything as long as it is not a metal box.

 

2) Even if we were to pretend that Righteous Fury did not exist, two of the Greater Daemons, as well as the Great Knarloc, are capable of being injured by (sanctified) laspistols. Standard shots by laspistols, no less, nor overcharged or overloaded ones.

 

If we mean that Toughness + Armour makes things uninjurable by things that they should be injured by, I suggest that people look at the damage ranges. we will use standard bolters here v s. space marines, because the weakness of Battle Sisters vs. Astartes is the real issue here and the rest is just smoke and mirrors :)

 

A "civilian bolter" (a misnomer, this actually means "non-Astartes bolter") does 1d10+5 Pen 4 Tearing. Space Marine average TB is 8, and can conceivably go up to 11. Space Marine armour AP 8 - Pen 4 = 4. 8 + 4 = 12. Average damage for "civilian bolter" with Tearing included is 12.5, I think (?). 12.5 - 12 = 0.5. On average, the bolter will get a wound through. In fact, 20% of the time it will RF, prompting a d5 X Crit, giving possible Blood Loss (which Astartes in Black Crusade and Only War can die from by the way, this is not Deathwatch), as well as getting their face ripped off, making limbs useless, permanent characteristic damage, lots of Fatigue and so forth.

You need to go back a page or so and re-examine the answers you've already gotten. You're just repeating yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still have no idea what the problem is.

 

<Snip> Space Marine average TB is 8, and can conceivably go up to 11. Space Marine armour AP 8 - Pen 4 = 4. 8 + 4 = 12. <Snippage>

That right there is the problem. Going by the numbers, the Space Marine's fat rolls provides twice as much protection as his power armour.

If you re-read the thread, you'll notice that the topic isn't about the lethality of the system. Lethality is only tangential to it.

This discussion is essentially about how the fiction is impacted by the way the system works.

Having a Space Marine's flabby bits soak twice as much of the damage from a Bolt as his Power Armour does, is completely contrary to the fiction the system is supposed to be a framework for.

This system very much is designed to serve as a kind of laws of physics of the fiction, so when the system models the fiction is a way that's pretty much the exact opposite of how the events are supposed to unfold, the system ends up undermining the verisimilitude of the fiction.

I'm not saying you absolutely must have a problem with a system that can't decide if its level of abstraction should be consistent with in-fiction events or not. But to a lot of people a system feels schizophrenic if it doesn't consistently do one or the other. Which is.. again... exactly what this discussion is about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Simsum said:

That right there is the problem. Going by the numbers, the Space Marine's fat rolls provides twice as much protection as his power armour.

This discussion is essentially about how the fiction is impacted by the way the system works.

Having a Space Marine's flabby bits soak twice as much of the damage from a Bolt as his Power Armour does, is completely contrary to the fiction the system is supposed to be a framework for.

 

 

Having two hearts, metal-hard bones, auto-clotting blood, near-immunity to pain, etc. etc. shouldn't effect how much damage a Space Marine can ignore...?

Edited by Adeptus-B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having two hearts, metal-hard bones, auto-clotting blood, near-immunity to pain, etc. etc. shouldn't effect how much damage a Space Marine can ignore...?

If it provides better protection than power armour, why not just create fatter marines?

Like I said, it's a backwards mechanic. It makes armour feel like tissue paper, and makes naked skin feel like armour plating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having two hearts, metal-hard bones, auto-clotting blood, near-immunity to pain, etc. etc. shouldn't effect how much damage a Space Marine can ignore...?

The point is that two hearts, metal-hard bones, auto-clotting blood, near-immunity to pain, etc, etc, provides more protection than ten centimetres of plasteel, ceramic carapaces, servos and impact gels.

Like I've said numerous times, there might be circumstances where some TB-Soak mechanic might be warranted, such as in the cases of Space Marines and various xenos beasts. Not to mention that there are many different ways to potentially portray the added endurance and sheer survivability of Space Marines.

But having their skin be nearly twice as good as the power armour they wear is ridiculous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sort of ok with the TB+Hit Point mechanic as being a manageable track of damage in so much that I really hate purely hit-point bloat games where people club away at things until they eventually just fall over. Combined with the crit-mechanics, it can mean that sometimes PC's and NPC's get 'unlucky' and this does add an element of 'risk' to what is a dangerous activity.

So my vote would be to leave it as is, as a GM if you've got a serious problem with toughness stacking murder hobos, you can look at challenging them in other ways that they didn't spend any xp on... like thinking :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...