Weapons Lethality

Tollon's picture
Tollon
May 26, 2017 - 2:35am
I am working on a new set of weapon cards.  I noticed Rifles and Pistols have the same damage output.  I figure rifles should have more damage than pistols.  But in doing so lethality is increased.  I want to make all rifles 2d10 but, realize how fast it can kill off PC.  What are your thoughts?
Comments:

ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
June 17, 2017 - 9:47am
Depends on what yiou mean by "land".  Glide-in a la space shuttle, or classic sci-fi "lowering itself on a pillar of atomic flame".

JCab747's picture
JCab747
July 1, 2017 - 8:40am
Back to Tollon's original post... One way to increase the lethality of weapons is to use a ... Zeb's rule.

On a roll of 01-02, the weapon causes full damage. So if a bullet normally does 2d10, it hits for a full 20 points. A laser set at 10 SEUs does 100 points.
Joe Cabadas

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
July 1, 2017 - 4:11pm
JCab747 wrote:
Back to Tollon's original post... One way to increase the lethality of weapons is to use a ... Zeb's rule.

On a roll of 01-02, the weapon causes full damage. So if a bullet normally does 2d10, it hits for a full 20 points.

Except a bullet normally does 1d10 damage, and is halved by the most common defense in the Frontier (skeinsuit). Your odds are better at rolling the full damage (1 in 10) than rolling 01-02 on d%, and the damage goes further downhill in the Zeb's rule from there (before taking the skeinsuit into account).
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

JCab747's picture
JCab747
July 1, 2017 - 10:25pm
I guess it would just make lasers and other weapons more lethal then.
Joe Cabadas

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
July 2, 2017 - 5:41am
That would depend on how you determine multiple dice of damage. If you inflict 5d10 worth of damage and actually roll five dice, then yes...you have slightly better odds at maximum damage with the 01-02 to-hit roll than rolling five tens. But if you just roll one die and multiply the result by five, you're back to the aforementioned considerably better odds.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
July 4, 2017 - 9:42am
What if half the dice are automatically full damage? 1/2 dice rounded down is scored as a 10: 4D10 means 20 points and roll two dice ofr random results, 5d10 means 20 points and roll 3 dice for random results.

or 1/2 your skill level rounded down is the number of dice from a damage roll that automatically score a 10

level 1= no dice
level 2 = 1 dice
level 3= 1 dice
level 4= 2 dice
and so on
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

JCab747's picture
JCab747
July 5, 2017 - 11:24am
hhmm, my earlier post didn't go up so I'll try to recreate it.

Something similar to Jedion's idea would be for every skill level above 1 your character could deliver an extra +1 point of damage per hit because of improved accuracy. Thus, a level 2 character gets a +1, a level 3 a +2, etc.

Depending upon the amount of dice used, with the 01-02 = full weapon damage rule, a rocket launcher would do 150 points of damage to a target; a fragmentation grenaded would do 80 points; etc. It's just an added benefit of rolling so well... plus the target is automatically knocked out on a roll of 01-05 anyway.
Joe Cabadas

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
July 5, 2017 - 6:56pm
Just resurrect the infamous "everyone's D&D house rule": a natural 20 (i.e 01-05) is double damage.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
July 7, 2017 - 8:13am
Shadow Shack wrote:
Just resurrect the infamous "everyone's D&D house rule": a natural 20 (i.e 01-05) is double damage.

D&D need that rule because the damage expressions were so low: D4, D6, etc.

I like the +1 point per skill level idea better than mine as it's simpler. But the 01-02 for Max damage is limited: use the rule in the martial arts skill for special stuff happening on a good "to hit" ie the skill level is added it this 01-02 to expand the critical range. 

I don't think we need to double critical damage as the damage expressions are quite a bit higher in SF. 

Another rule I like from HARP is doubles that hit ie 22, 33 also cause a critical and doubles that miss like 99, or 88 are an appropriate "fumble" dropped wepon gun jam, cracked laser emmitter etc.

Expanding the critical range and adding a fumble/bad thing happening serves to make the game a little more exciting.

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

jedion357's picture
jedion357
July 7, 2017 - 8:33am
Also thinking back to when I decided to sneak off campus in the middle of the night for chips and dip and rather than just take the back stair we decided to hang a rope and attempt a body rapel from the 4th floor. I got out the window but could not get the rope wrapped around my body and had to settle for hand over hand till my hand failed and I fell from the 3rd floor. The impact with the ground left me stunned and unable to function for seconds. Then I just lay there in the snow mentally feeling each part of my body checking for broken bones.

The student security guard happen to do rounds and came and stood over me for a few seconds before returning to his post and never reported a thing!

The hit left me with a hellacious rope burn up my neck and a terrible limp and stairs were painful for a week. My point is a big hit on a character should have consequences. 

SF has the pain penalty for 1/2 STA but if a character survives a high amount of damage in any combat turn maybe they should make a current STA check or be stunned 1 combat round?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Stormcrow's picture
Stormcrow
July 7, 2017 - 8:37am
While we're importing from D&D, how about we import D&D's idea of hit points: they don't represent flesh and organs being damaged, but close calls and grazes using up one's supply of heroic luck. One isn't actually shot square in the chest until the shot that brings one to zero points of Stamina.

"But then why do different damage levels exist? What are suits and screens really doing?" I hear you cry. If you can accept the game-convenience of Stamina representing how long you can avoid being killed rather than how much of your flesh is being burned, then you can accept that defenses and repairs treat attacks as if they were all lethal. The game characters aren't aware of the metaphysical effects of Stamina.

So no, the average character doesn't survive getting shot in the chest four times. He gets grazed or burned for flesh wounds four times, each time whittling down his supply of metaphysical luck that keeps him alive. The shot that brings him to zero Stamina, however, DOES hit him in the chest, and he goes down.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
July 7, 2017 - 6:21pm
jedion357 wrote:
Shadow Shack wrote:
Just resurrect the infamous "everyone's D&D house rule": a natural 20 (i.e 01-05) is double damage.

D&D need that rule because the damage expressions were so low: D4, D6, etc.

Don't forget you started with the same d4, d6, etc hit points, so even without doubling the damage one hit can still kill you.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
July 8, 2017 - 8:28am
@ Stormcrow: the problem with making STA hit points is 1/2 STA causing the pain penalty for skill checks and combat. It would suggest that STA is a measure of physical stature not luck.


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

Stormcrow's picture
Stormcrow
July 10, 2017 - 7:58am
Think about what I said more carefully. When you use Stamina as a combination of everything that goes into keeping you alive, and you turn your head the other way when something comes up that calls into question exactly what Stamina physically represents in the character, which is exactly what D&D hit points do, then questions like why losing Stamina causes pain are irrelevant. For purposes of verisimilitude, Stamina is your physical health, and as it varies it has the kinds of effects you'd expect. But for purposes of game play, Stamina is just your Stay-Alive-O-Meter.

Suppose you get hit by a laser for 5 points of damage. If you started with 50 Stamina points, that's just 10% of your entire physicality. That's a graze. Now suppose you've been reduced to 5 Stamina points, and you get hit by another laser bolt for 5 points. That's 100% of your current physicality; you're dying.

It's not like Star Frontiers is trying to simulate actual health or anything. The point is to give you a game that feels like real life while giving you plenty of chances to take outrageous risks without automatically killing yourself if you fail. It lets you feel the effects of wounds without making you specify exactly what your wounds are. It gives you a chance to patch yourself up without making you justify the medical techniques employed.

You just have to agree that this is just a game, and the gameplay is improved for the abstraction.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
July 10, 2017 - 7:19pm
Let's not forget that death doesn't happen at STA=0 either.

A stimdose can revive anyone that has not dropped below -10
A staydose can revive anyone that has not dropped below -20
A freeze field can preserve anyone that has not dropped below -30

The first two are part of the standard equipment pack and can (arguably) be administered by anyone. This means even the weakest character (STA:30) technically has 50 points assuming a typical party, or 60 if a medic with a freeze field is present.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

JCab747's picture
JCab747
July 11, 2017 - 10:08am
One thing the game doesn't simulate is how some people can be horribly wounded but will linger, barely alive (conscious, semi-conscious or comotose) for hours or even days or weeks, then get rescued and then have a chance to heal and recover. But no, if you re at 0 STA or below, you lose 1 point per (turn? sorry, I don't have the rules in front of me right now) until you drop to below 30 and are irrevocakably dead (unless using the mystical body jump box from Zebs).

Should a character who is reduced to 1-5 STA fall into htis critically wounded category where they cannot heal the 1 STA per day of rest unless given medical treatment?
Joe Cabadas

Stormcrow's picture
Stormcrow
July 11, 2017 - 12:41pm
Shadow Shack wrote:
Let's not forget that death doesn't happen at STA=0 either.

No indeed, which is why I was careful to say "goes down" and "dying," not "dead" or "death."

But a strict reading of the rules says otherwise: "A character whose Stamina has been reduced to 0 or less is dead..." (p. 28) It goes on to say that revival may be possible.

Quote:
A stimdose can revive anyone that has not dropped below -10
A staydose can revive anyone that has not dropped below -20
A freeze field can preserve anyone that has not dropped below -30

The first two are part of the standard equipment pack and can (arguably) be administered by anyone.

Well sure, if you want to argue against black-and-white text. "Stimdose can only be given by a medic" (p. 16); "Only a medic can administer staydose effectively" (p. 28).

Quote:
This means even the weakest character (STA:30) technically has 50 points assuming a typical party, or 60 if a medic with a freeze field is present.

Only the 10 points of stimdose over the Stamina score is extra ability to participate in the adventure. The -30 potential only helps preserve your character for the next adventure.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
July 12, 2017 - 6:54am
<sigh> So sick and ####ing tired of this quoting issue. Two edits later, this ought to do the trick...


Well sure, if you want to argue against black-and-white text. "Stimdose can only be given by a medic" (p. 16); "Only a medic can administer staydose effectively" (p. 28).

Actually the jest is aimed at which rule set you are using...Basic allows anyone to administer either. Wink


Only the 10 points of stimdose over the Stamina score is extra ability to participate in the adventure. The -30 potential only helps preserve your character for the next adventure.

Keep in mind participation and surviving are two different things. I was merely referring to the latter with those totals. In that regard the weakest STA:30 character has 50 or 60 points...but yes, he'll be out of action at 30-40 points of damage without a stimdose (and will need a staydose if he drops below 0 again) and out of action regardless of what gets administered between 40-60 points of damage.

The point is it's a very generous safety margin that is not likely to be broken in BTB combat...it will take many hits to put you out of action and many more to actually kill you, and most opponents won't waste their paltry shots on a non-moving target when they can whittle down another character. 
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website