SF Alpha Dawn Rules Conflict

pineappleleader's picture
pineappleleader
March 4, 2009 - 3:31pm
Being a slug thrower kind of guy, I never noticed this before.

The Laser Pistol entry says that if the target is wearing a functioning Albedo Screen he takes half damager from lasers.

The Albedo Screen entry says that he takes no damage as long as the screen has power.

HUH? Which way do you play it?

I asked this question on the SF-UN Yahoo Group and was told - No Damage. I got to thinking about it, while I was asleep, and this morning concluded that, as a belt powerpack has 50 SEU, a fire fight between characters armed only with lasers and albedo screens w/full powerpacks could take all night.

Anybody ever have this problem in a game?



Comments:

Will's picture
Will
March 4, 2009 - 3:59pm
In my games, Albedo screens work like inertia screens and only absorb half damage.

Several others simply doubled the damage done by all weapons, so a laser pistol set on 5 does 10d10 damage and drains the screen quicker. 

"You're everything that's base in humanity," Cochrane continued. "Drawing up strict, senseless rules for the sole reason of putting you at the top and excluding anyone you say doesn't belong or fit in, for no other reason than just because you say so."


—Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stephens, Federation

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
March 4, 2009 - 4:09pm

I run it like the Albedo Suit: no damage as long as it still has points (or in the screen's case: power). Yeah it can take a while if the opponent only has beam weapons, but the plus side is a typical character can withstand a heavy laser blast that would normally decimate an unscreened target.


I believe the description on page 40 or thereabouts puts it in stone, detailing how many damage points per SEU the screen absorbs.

I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

pineappleleader's picture
pineappleleader
March 4, 2009 - 4:30pm
Shadow Shack wrote:

I believe the description on page 40 or thereabouts puts it in stone, detailing how many damage points per SEU the screen absorbs.


I'm using the Bill Logan Edition, so the page numbers are different. Smile

(The conflicted rules were in the original source material, so it is not Bill's fault.)

Somehow shooting someone with a beam(?) of light seems kind of dorky. I much prefer a large dose of kenitic energy in the form of a block of lead, or many blocks of lead. Full Auto is fun, even if it does waste ammo. Not the same with a laser.

Anyway I just wondered how you "SF pros" played it.

Sargonarhes's picture
Sargonarhes
March 4, 2009 - 5:24pm
I always played it as half damage as well. It's only a well focused beam after all where all the light waves are going in one direction after all. I like slug throwers myself, but if I'm going to be burning some one with any beam of any thing I'd much rather use the rules I've seen online that some one made for a plasma weapon.

And some where I remember there was the idea that wearing both an albedo screen and suit would reduce damage by 75%. This leaves you vulnerable to projectiles however but well protected from lasers. Well what's the point of wearing the albedo suit if the screen does all the work?
Although albedo suits only reflect 1 point per 1 point of damage up to 100 points.

No body used albedo suits anyways.
In every age, in every place, the deeds of men remain the same.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
March 4, 2009 - 8:29pm

"pineappleleader" wrote:
I'm using the Bill Logan Edition, so the page numbers are different. Smile

(The conflicted rules were in the original source material, so it is not Bill's fault.)


I looked it up for clarification --- on page 44 of the SF/AD expanded rules (not sure exactly where it would be on Bill's edition, but it follows the Weapon Description section where the laser pistol claims half damage so look another page or so after that one):

"Albedo Screen. An albedo screen projects a silvery aura that absorbs laser damage. This aura completely surrounds the person wearing the screen. For every 5 points (or fraction of five points) absorbed, 1 SEU will be drained from the power source. For example, absorbing 11 points would drain 3 SEU. The person wearing the screen will take no damage from lasers as long as the power holds out. A person can fire a laser weapon out of an albedo screen."

Obviously the quote on half damage was a typo or misprint...the Combat Rules description of an albedo screen on page 28 (the section just before the Vehicles and Vehicle Combat" section) echoes this same definition.

Two printed descriptions to one favors the "absorbs all damage" mindset.

Quote:
No body used albedo suits anyways.


Yep, for the most part folks opt for a skeinsuit and albedo screen rather than vice versa.

Likewise, a skeinsuit and inertia screen gives the 75% protection from projectile/gyrojet weapons but to parallel what you said, you get fully burned by the laser weapons. Nice aside to the skein/inertia combo is for vehicle use...if you crash you take only 25% of the normal damage. Not a bad sceanrio when your aircar gets shot down from an altitude of a few hundred meters!

"You take 41 points of damage from the crash, everyone else takes 164 points of damage."

I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

pineappleleader's picture
pineappleleader
March 4, 2009 - 9:07pm
Shadow Shack wrote:

"Albedo Screen. An albedo screen projects a silvery aura that absorbs laser damage. This aura completely surrounds the person wearing the screen. For every 5 points (or fraction of five points) absorbed, 1 SEU will be drained from the power source. For example, absorbing 11 points would drain 3 SEU. The person wearing the screen will take no damage from lasers as long as the power holds out. A person can fire a laser weapon out of an albedo screen."

Obviously the quote on half damage was a typo or misprint...the Combat Rules description of an albedo screen on page 28 (the section just before the Vehicles and Vehicle Combat" section) echoes this same definition.

Two printed descriptions to one favors the "absorbs all damage" mindset.

Quote:
No body used albedo suits anyways.

The Dragon Magazine article "Tanks a lot!" also says that albedo screens absorb all the damage (as long as they have power).So I agree: half damage is a typo.


Rum Rogue's picture
Rum Rogue
March 4, 2009 - 9:12pm
Shadow Shack wrote:
"Albedo Screen. An albedo screen projects a silvery aura that absorbs laser damage. This aura completely surrounds the person wearing the screen. For every 5 points (or fraction of five points) absorbed, 1 SEU will be drained from the power source. For example, absorbing 11 points would drain 3 SEU. The person wearing the screen will take no damage from lasers as long as the power holds out. A person can fire a laser weapon out of an albedo screen."


Obviously the quote on half damage was a typo or misprint...the Combat Rules description of an albedo screen on page 28 (the section just before the Vehicles and Vehicle Combat" section) echoes this same definition.

Yup. that is the one I go by.  Makes laser combats pretty interesting.

Time flies when your having rum.

Im a government employee, I dont goof-off. I constructively abuse my time.

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
March 4, 2009 - 9:51pm
Yeah, just ask the PC's in my Obar Enterprises game. They are trying to retake a mining compound and the bots just won't die. They've taken to blowing up the guard towers themselves and burying the bots in the rubble instead of shooting the bots directly

On a related note regarding the Albedo suit, one of the players had one on with his Inertia screen and got hit by a 20 SEU heavy laser blast. His suit took 99 points of damage and is now effectively useless. I think he's wishing he had an albedo screen instead. Shadow Shack's player got hit as well for around 115 points but since he had an Albedo screen hooked up to a power beltpack, he can still take another one of those and still remain unscathed.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
March 5, 2009 - 4:53pm
Suffice it to say, if the group was closer to the compound than Chatterbox's maximum range*, it wouldn't even be an issue right now LOL

(but then again that's why I requisitioned more than one ammo belt)






* for those not involved in the game, "Chatterbox" is the name my character has given to his machine gun.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
March 5, 2009 - 7:16pm
There is no conflict, only Zuel!

Tongue out

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
March 5, 2009 - 10:05pm
Okay, Zuellie...no more messin' around. I want my girlfriend back.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Will's picture
Will
March 6, 2009 - 4:14pm
TerlObar wrote:
Yeah, just ask the PC's in my Obar Enterprises game. They are trying to retake a mining compound and the bots just won't die. They've taken to blowing up the guard towers themselves and burying the bots in the rubble instead of shooting the bots directly


Something we should've thought of doing when we buzzed the camp the first time.

TerlObar wrote:
On a related note regarding the Albedo suit, one of the players had one on with his Inertia screen and got hit by a 20 SEU heavy laser blast. His suit took 99 points of damage and is now effectively useless. I think he's wishing he had an albedo screen instead. Shadow Shack's player got hit as well for around 115 points but since he had an Albedo screen hooked up to a power beltpack, he can still take another one of those and still remain unscathed.


Which is why I always go with albedo screen/military skeinsuit.....

"You're everything that's base in humanity," Cochrane continued. "Drawing up strict, senseless rules for the sole reason of putting you at the top and excluding anyone you say doesn't belong or fit in, for no other reason than just because you say so."


—Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stephens, Federation

Georgie's picture
Georgie
April 27, 2009 - 10:03am
Years ago, when SF was new, I'm pretty sure my group eventually nerfed the albedo screen. I think we went with a 2:1 ratio of damage:SEU. Suddenly we were every bit as afraid of lasers as we had become of machine guns.
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.    * Attributed to Mahatma Gandhi

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
April 27, 2009 - 10:49am
Georgie wrote:
Years ago, when SF was new, I'm pretty sure my group eventually nerfed the albedo screen. I think we went with a 2:1 ratio of damage:SEU. Suddenly we were every bit as afraid of lasers as we had become of machine guns.


Sweet! IMO, the way it should be. :-D

We're doing the same for FrontierSpace. Everything is either 1/2 damage absorption; suits, shields (screens) and armor.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
April 27, 2009 - 3:24pm
Georgie wrote:
Suddenly we were every bit as afraid of lasers as we had become of machine guns.


Actually a machine gun shouldn't even be feared...at 12d10 damage that's an average of 66 points of damage, halved by a skeinsuit or inertia screen to 33 which is something all but the weakest of characters should survive.

And that presumes there are no other targets to share the damage with...that 66 points can just as easily be divided by up to ten targets within a ten meter square. So if you ever want to take a machine gun nest, just arm ten guys with skeinsuits and march right up to the shooter (taking an average of 3 points of damage per round) and get him with a stunstick.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

umungus's picture
umungus
April 27, 2009 - 5:52pm

Maybe...
I think after the first round of that, the machine gunner would wise up and concentrate on the guy in front. hehehhe...

At least I got to scare an alien rabbit thingy......


Will's picture
Will
April 28, 2009 - 1:33am
Shadow Shack wrote:
Georgie wrote:
Suddenly we were every bit as afraid of lasers as we had become of machine guns.


Actually a machine gun shouldn't even be feared...at 12d10 damage that's an average of 66 points of damage, halved by a skeinsuit or inertia screen to 33 which is something all but the weakest of characters should survive.

And that presumes there are no other targets to share the damage with...that 66 points can just as easily be divided by up to ten targets within a ten meter square. So if you ever want to take a machine gun nest, just arm ten guys with skeinsuits and march right up to the shooter (taking an average of 3 points of damage per round) and get him with a stunstick.


I thought you added 1d10 per additional target with a machine gun....

"You're everything that's base in humanity," Cochrane continued. "Drawing up strict, senseless rules for the sole reason of putting you at the top and excluding anyone you say doesn't belong or fit in, for no other reason than just because you say so."


—Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stephens, Federation

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
April 28, 2009 - 3:48am
Whoops, you're right...so that would be 22d10/10 targets, or 121 average damage points divided by ten. 12 points per target, halved by skeinsuits.

Yeah, they'd still be able to bum rush the shooter. Good thing Sebastian's 900-1000 meters out right now LOL
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Will's picture
Will
April 28, 2009 - 2:47pm
And the Dart's just rejoined the fight, so that's Chatterbox, a PLT and a recoilless rifle against the charging mob.

"You're everything that's base in humanity," Cochrane continued. "Drawing up strict, senseless rules for the sole reason of putting you at the top and excluding anyone you say doesn't belong or fit in, for no other reason than just because you say so."


—Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stephens, Federation

umungus's picture
umungus
April 28, 2009 - 4:59pm

I've always been partial to grenade launchers....

At least I got to scare an alien rabbit thingy......


TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
April 28, 2009 - 5:56pm
<shameless plug>
umungus, your PC is still in the Obar Enterprises game Will is refering to.  Since you weren't around when they were requesting equipment you could have a grenade launcher if you wanted one and wanted to pick up play again.
</shameless plug>
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

Will's picture
Will
April 29, 2009 - 2:44pm
But, Chris makes a good point. Stick a guy with a GL in the same trench as the machine gunner, and watch the carnage.

The contoooooosions....

"You're everything that's base in humanity," Cochrane continued. "Drawing up strict, senseless rules for the sole reason of putting you at the top and excluding anyone you say doesn't belong or fit in, for no other reason than just because you say so."


—Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stephens, Federation

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
April 29, 2009 - 3:58pm
No doubt, beyond sonics at shorter ranges (hardly anyone buys a sonic screen) a grenade is your most effective weapon in the SF arsenal. Frags = 8d10 in a 3m radius (not divided among everyone, that's 8d10 each!), incindieries do 4d10 + 1d10/turn for the following three turns, tanglers and dozers render opponents, and poison gas grenades are fun too! 

Of course most grenades can be nullified by a simple RS check, half to no effect being the result. And anyone with a skeinsuit or inertia screen versus a frag grenade gets the damage halved again after successful RS checks.

Still, few things are more entertaining than firing or chucking a grenade into a crowd of baddies.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Will's picture
Will
April 30, 2009 - 1:19am
Contooosions.....

"You're everything that's base in humanity," Cochrane continued. "Drawing up strict, senseless rules for the sole reason of putting you at the top and excluding anyone you say doesn't belong or fit in, for no other reason than just because you say so."


—Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stephens, Federation

jedion357's picture
jedion357
April 30, 2009 - 12:47pm
maybe wartech should develope an over and under weapon system like in the Aliens movie- a sort of laser carbine with an kinetic type weapon all in one. so your enemy is using an albedo screen. No problemo. just switch to full auto slug thrower or the grenade launcher or whatever the under slung weapon is. No wasting time dropping a weapon and drawing another- just push the weapons slector and switch instantly.

Speaking of which- in STar Trek TNG the Borg had the ability to screen against phasers after a few shots so I was thinking the Mechanons or a Borg like race could  have incroporated into their bodies both inertia and albedo screens and maybe one more and they switch to which ever screen is the most effective  for the fire they are experiencing but it takes a whole turn for the switch to be made so that you only get about 2 turns to shoot at them till they switch to the screen that will nuetralize your fire.

I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
April 30, 2009 - 2:16pm
Smart Suit
Cost: 5,000 Cr
Weight: 4kg

A little bulkier than a standard defensive suit the smart suit is also a power screen. Smart suits protect the wearer from albedo, gauss, inertia and sonic damage. The screen is worn like a defensive suit and is covered with a mesh of sensors that detect incoming attacks. A smart suit can be connected to a power beltpack or power backpack. Each minute of activation the screen drains 1 SEU.

When activated the wearer determines the initial setting, typically depending on the type of attack she expects. After the screen takes damage the sensors automatically adjust the suit screens to protect the wearer. If the suit detects multiple types of damage it will adjust to the damage that caused the most ammount. The wearer can over-ride the automatic setting.

The suit is ruined after taking 100 pts of damage and must be replaced. Replacing the suit costs 2,000 Cr (the screen module can be reused).


... or something like that.

Rum Rogue's picture
Rum Rogue
April 30, 2009 - 7:22pm
jedion357 wrote:
maybe wartech should develope an over and under weapon system like in the Aliens movie- a sort of laser carbine with an kinetic type weapon all in one. so your enemy is using an albedo screen. No problemo. just switch to full auto slug thrower or the grenade launcher or whatever the under slung weapon is. No wasting time dropping a weapon and drawing another- just push the weapons slector and switch instantly.

Yeah. I have thought about putting one together for SF, but I always stop because I convince myself there is a cheeeze factor involved where there really isnt.

jedion357 wrote:
Speaking of which- in STar Trek TNG the Borg had the ability to screen against phasers after a few shots so I was thinking the Mechanons or a Borg like race could  have incroporated into their bodies both inertia and albedo screens and maybe one more and they switch to which ever screen is the most effective  for the fire they are experiencing but it takes a whole turn for the switch to be made so that you only get about 2 turns to shoot at them till they switch to the screen that will nuetralize your fire.


Definately like this!!
Time flies when your having rum.

Im a government employee, I dont goof-off. I constructively abuse my time.

Rum Rogue's picture
Rum Rogue
April 30, 2009 - 7:28pm
w00t wrote:
Smart Suit
Cost: 5,000 Cr
Weight: 4kg

This is a pretty cool idea too.

I adapted the GridSuit from Zebs at one time. Have to look for my notes...
Time flies when your having rum.

Im a government employee, I dont goof-off. I constructively abuse my time.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
April 30, 2009 - 10:05pm

"jedion357" wrote:
maybe wartech should develope an over and under weapon system like in the Aliens movie- a sort of laser carbine with an kinetic type weapon all in one. so your enemy is using an albedo screen. No problemo. just switch to full auto slug thrower or the grenade launcher or whatever the under slung weapon is. No wasting time dropping a weapon and drawing another- just push the weapons slector and switch instantly.


I allow combinations like that via a "Weapns Engineer" skill. Basically any PSA:Military character with a background in Technician can modify and adapt weapons, such as over/under beam and slug thrower barrles on a common stock or double barrel weapons with two ammo sources firing simultaneously (for double damage). As long as the Weapon Engineer has the corresponding weapon skill he may do so, with the restrictions being WE skill may not exceed the Technician and weapon skill (whichever is lower). And the big benefit of the WE skill is weapon repair (for when that dreaded 00 attack roll comes up).



Now what all characters need are "Hollywood" clips: they never run out until the character has a convenient opportunity to change them. (I just watched Matrix: Revolution last night...that freeway scene with the never ending 30 round submachine gun magazine cracked me up...dreadlock-dude must have fired a thousand rounds out of that thing without reloading! And then there was the train master who fired 14 shots out of a revolver...)

I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Will's picture
Will
May 2, 2009 - 7:51am
LOL.

Fine, give the PCs Hollywood ammo, I'll throw some Hollywood Indians at 'em.

You know, the kind that get shot off their horses, get back up and get shot back down again to start the whole cycle over.

Or, even nastier, do like AD&D did for firearm damage, every ten you rolled resulted in having to roll another 1d10 for damage, and so on.

Combat could get really fatal with that option....  

"You're everything that's base in humanity," Cochrane continued. "Drawing up strict, senseless rules for the sole reason of putting you at the top and excluding anyone you say doesn't belong or fit in, for no other reason than just because you say so."


—Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stephens, Federation