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Paragon

Combined damage idea.

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I was recently looking at D6 Powers and being reminded that, though there's a lot of nice things about it, I'm a bit put off by the fact its written with the Body Points option assumed, and its not trivial to change that without having problems.

 

Which set me to thinking that both Body Points and Wound Levels have issues. With just Body Points, you not only have a random die roll that sticks you with whatever it comes up with forever, you're in the same bucket as many games where the result of a given wound level is deterministic; if you've 19% of your body points you're fine, but if you take one more point (in most cases) you're stunned. With Wound Levels you can have the issue that as the dice increase, you can shoot at something all day if its tough and do nothing.

 

So I got to thinking, what if you combined the two?

 

Basically, it works like this: you don't have a set number of body points. Instead, you record any damage done as though you were using Body Points (which is to say, you take off for armor and special abilities rolled first). Then after you see the total, you roll your Physique against that total (including any prior damage you took); if you succeed, it has yet to have any affect on you; if you fail, on the other hand, you look at the Damage Resistance table for amount failed by, and apply that effect.

 

Do people see any problems with it? It seems to address some of the issues with both the current systems, but it may, of course, bring in some of its own.

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I tinkered with something similar at one time. Basically a static value for the defense of items worn subtracted from the damage value, and then the remaining being applied against a STR roll. The thing I discovered is that is tends to make characters a bit tougher than they should be. If that's what you're shooting for, then it should work fine for your game. It's not really any more die rolling, but if you're not real careful with how you stat armor and other protection, you end up with people that are as close to tanks as you could get.

 

I've actually used to great success a wound system that combines the body points and wound levels together. The attacker rolls damage and the target rolls armor+STR. Attacker gets more, then the difference is subtracted from Health. Defender gets more and it's assumed armor came in very handy. Now if you don't have armor, you just roll STR and if you happen to roll greater than damage then you're still "stunned" that round from the impact of the weapon. Basically it gives the heroes a little better staying power but still brings into play what would happen if you were hit, even if the hit didn't wound or kill you.

 

Definitely give your idea some playtests, though, to see if it captures what you feel you need for your game. I didn't have quite the issues you seem to have with Wound Levels, and I only had minor issues with Body Points, but it's always good to see new ideas for things like this for D6. :)

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Well, I'd expect it would make people less tough against weaker attacks than the Wound System alone; one of the things I discovered last time I was using D6 was that once people's physique got about two dice up, they could ignore attacks semi-indefinitely, and this got more and more pronounced the larger (and more stable) the die pools got.

 

Now, the Body Points system probably avoids that too, but as I said, I've gotten to the point I find that kind of approach without a secondary system kind of unsatisfactory.

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What are you trying to accomplish?

 

I also have combined wounds and hit points (I refuse to use the term body points) in the past

 

My goals basically are

1. A Brawny Wookie in armor can laugh at feeble sidearms and take bunches upon bunches of blows to go down

2. But he will, still, eventually succumb to 'Death of 10,000 Papercuts'

3. That same wookie when staring down the barrel of a tank cannon knows fear

4. Squishy 2d humans squish quite reliably

 

Pure body points works very well for Objective 2

But work very poorly for 1+3 combined. I want the wookie to (usually) go down when smacked by a 12d blast from a AT-AT. I want the wookie to shrug off a bunch of 4d blasts. Unfortunately setting his body points low enough that he goes down in a 12d blast means he also goes down in say 6 4d blasts. Not cool. Setting his body points high enough it takes a more reasonable 20 4d blasts and he can take a few 12d blasts to the nose and keep on trucking. Also not cool

 

My current solution is

HP = 2 * Str Dice ^ 3 (so 16 for a 2d human and 432 for a 6d wookie) AND also, you roll normal Star Wars soak and use its results as well

 

This means that wookies still respect 3d sporting blasters and eventually go down, but that also they go down in a single shot from an AT-AT

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432 hit points for a wookie?!? Seriously? Wow! That's the same hits as 27 average humans.

 

I think using normal SW wounds with a small tweak or two would work better.

 

Tweak #1: Roll soak normally. Roll damage normally. Compare damage to soak, inflict wounds per normal. If no wound. Compare 2xdamage to Soak. If 2xdamage is >= Soak inflict one stun result.

Result: Wookiees still fall down after enough 4D hits. But he doesn't die, just falls unconcious.

 

Tweak #2: Characters do not fall unconscious until they have taken as many stun results as they have D in stamina rather than STR.

Result: Characters who increase their stamina become more difficult to take down with stun. But no harder than before to damage.

 

Tweak #3: As #1 above, but for every Y stun results where Y is the number of STR dice of the target, inflict one wound instead of the final stun. For example 6D STR Wookiee, is hit for 6 stun results. The 6th stun changes to a wound instead.

Result: Wookiees still die the death of 20 cuts (not a thousand).

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I dislike that extra dice roll to resist damage. Its one extra roll in a game that uses a lot of dice already that’s why I went with Body Points in GODSEND Agenda and D6 Powers. However we all have different taste and no one way is the right way.

 

How about the system below-

 

Wounds (-1D to all rolls until healed)- How about a number of wounds equal to the characters Physique die code. A normal person would have 2 wounds.

 

Stun (-1D to all rolls that round)- They would also have a number of stuns equal to 3 times their physique, so a normal human would have 6 stuns.

 

Damage Threshold- A hero takes a wound level every time they take damage equal to twice their physique. A person with a physique of 2d could take 4 points before taking a wound level. A person with a 5d could take 10.

 

 

Harry (Physique 2D) -6 stun and two wounds, Damage threshold of 4

Jimbo (Physique 5D)- 15 stun and 5 wounds, Damage threshold of 10

 

 

Let’s say both characters take 20 points of damage.

 

Harry takes 5 stun leaving him with one stun and two wounds

 

Jumbo takes 2 stun leaving him with 13 stuns and 5 wounds

 

No extra dice rolling

 

three 4D gun shots takes out a normal person while it only annoys the big guy.

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Well, to explain what I'm trying to accomplish:

 

1. I kind of strongly dislike simple, accumulative damage systems any more. I don't think that represents the way things work in either reality or fiction, even with effect thresholds. Its too deterministic. Its only virtue is its simple to track, but I'm not a fan of simplicity uber alles, and for my own taste, D6 isn't so roll-intensive that an extra roll on damage resolution is unacceptable.

 

2. That said, because D6 is a die pool system, its resolution can get awfully flat as the number of dice on both sides increase. I suspect the reason a lot of people never seen this problem, is that as long as most of your exchanges consist of something like a 4D6 hand gun with people with 2-3D6 of damage resistance, the resistance and wounds system can seem fine. But the moment you're looking at the same situation with, say, a grizzily bear (5D6 Physique), the relative flatness of the die pool means you could end up pumping an enormous amount of rounds into the bear without even slowing it down, and the numbers make it virtually impossible to kill the animal no matter how many times you shoot it. While a medium weight handgun isn't a great choice in that situation, its nowhere near as impossible as the rules will make it.

 

And of course, in some settings, big numbers on both sides aren't necessarily uncommon. That's why, over an above Jerry's dislike for the extra roll involved that he mentions above, I kind of think he had a point in avoiding the resistance and wounds method for D6 Powers; superbeings can end up generating a lot of numbers at both ends, and when you're talking about one entity doing 10D6 of damage and another with what, if using the wounds-and-resistance method would 9D6 of resistance, you're going to have a situation where a combat will go on forever, because you just aren't going to get a 9 or more gap between the two rolls because the number of dice produce a pretty stable result.

 

I don't think my idea is perfect--even with the non-deterministic property of the check, it may be that the damage accumulates too fast (that bear is going to be going at a pretty ugly target number after even two rounds for example) but it seems like it'd at least flatten some of the downsides of the damage point method, while dodging the problems I've referred to above with my otherwise preferred wounds approach.

 

The only other method I can think of (and this requires reconstructing almost all extent material to use) is to have characters have a Toughness rating (that goes up the way Physique currently tends to) that shows how much armor, mass and general resiliance a character has, that operates as a threshold for damage, and then a separate Stamina attribute that is much more compressed (so a healthy bear isn't really appreciably higher than a healthy human) that's used to check a result to the damage that gets through to see its effect.

 

But this is a game that, in most incarnations, doesn't even separate toughness from strength, that seems rather a bridge too far.

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i know this is going to sound too simplistic for some, but i have my players start with max body points and the armor soaks damage. if the character is hit with a critical success, the armor either has a big smoking hole in it or has been ripped, exposing flesh underneath. either way, with a critical success, the armor looses 1d of stopping power until repaired or it eventually falls off. it's mostly the rules as written, which i like.

 

i forgot to add that races other than human have a different base for body points. where humans start with a base of 20 plus roll and mods (which are maxed in my game), wookies start with 40 as do gorn in my trek game.

Edited by oz_chandler
forgot something

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I'm not quite understanding some aspects of what you're getting at, Paragon.

 

Taking your example of a 4D handgun and a 5D bear and working with a set of rolls (we'll say 6, assuming a revolver), we would end up with:

 

Handgun = 16, 18, 14, 5 (with a 1 on the wild that could make a total of 2), 13 (with another 1 on the wild that could make it a 7), and 9 (with yet another 1 on the wild that could make it a 3).

 

Bear = 22 (with a 6 on the wild, that could make it more), 20 (another 6 on the wild), 16, 15, 18, and 15.

 

Comparing those up, you have the bear beating the handgun rolls every single time. So effectively you don't have any excess to deal with anyway and the guy with the pistol gets eaten by the bear.

 

If you upped the damage of the handgun to be 5D against a 5D bear, then you're likely to have a couple points here and there where the handgun exceeds the resistance of the bear.

 

Using Wound levels you would end up with (barring the wild die having a huge effect on the rolls during the same exchange) mostly just stun damage (1-3 points or so). At most, using just the numbers that I rolled for the bear, there's only a range of 7 points between the highest and lowest numbers rolled. So at most the bear would be wounded. Based on what you're saying, that's not acceptable.

 

Using Body Points, those 1-3 points or so would add up and at a certain point would result in a wound for the bear. Using the rules as written, this wouldn't come into play until the bear is knocked down to less than 80% of its total Body Point total. Even with the "larger" 7 point spread on a roll, you'll probably only end up getting a wound inflicted.

 

So, using your idea, the first time the damage exceeded the resistance, the bear would roll against the amount to see if its wounded. If it gets higher than the amount, no wound. If it rolls lower than the current damage, then it's wounded. So given an average of 6 rolls you might have 2 or 3 that exceed the bear's resistance roll. At about 3-4 damage each time you're only looking at a 9 to 12 difficulty that the bear would have to beat to avoid being Wounded. Is that right? If so, then you're looking at about the same chance of the bear actually being wounded as with a body point system (assuming the bear rolls 3D to beat the wound accumulation number).

 

So, from what I'm seeing, is you're getting roughly the same benefit from what you plan as you get from Body Points, only with more dice rolling. You said that's not a problem, which is fine, but what you seem to be proposing is basically just body points with a twist. You still have a continual creep up until injury sets in. Granted with the added die roll the threshold to injury is variable compared to a rather static method that Body Points uses, but the concept of cumulative numbers is the same.

 

Or did I somehow miss what it was you were proposing?

 

As for remaking everything, you basically hit upon something that I realized quite a few years back when I first started tinkering with D6 with The D6 System book. If you want to introduce something that completely changes the way something is portrayed in D6, you're likely going to have to re-stat a great many things in the process. It can be great for a particular setting that you're creating for D6, but as a general "plug-in" for use with a lot of D6 games, it's not something that can be accomplished very easily. If you find, though, that it captures the feel that you're shooting for (pardon the pun), then you can definitely include it in either a specific setting or in your games. Or, if you're feeling REALLY boisterous, you can re-stat everything under your method (after you've playtested it and hammered out all the kinks) and put it out there for people to use. :)

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One house rule I've had great success with is and consider mandatory for any games I run is

'You are not, under any circumstances ever or whatsoever, permitted to have your main attack do less than 5d damage. Any character who does not comply is summarily rejected'

 

This forces that on average rolls, 2d mook soaking 5d damage hit, the magic 9 over happens and mook goes down

 

Most of the time I end up with characters rolling 6d+ as there base damage, potentially with upwards mods, vs enemies rolling from 2d on up to lots soak . . . . this usually works out fine. Basically eventually even if soak exceeds damage a bit people will eventually get lucky . . . . . and if soak exceeds damage by a lot, this is perceived by cunning players as a reason to use alternate strategies than just flinging repeated generic attacks

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I'm not quite understanding some aspects of what you're getting at, Paragon.

 

Taking your example of a 4D handgun and a 5D bear and working with a set of rolls (we'll say 6, assuming a revolver), we would end up with:

 

Handgun = 16, 18, 14, 5 (with a 1 on the wild that could make a total of 2), 13 (with another 1 on the wild that could make it a 7), and 9 (with yet another 1 on the wild that could make it a 3).

 

Bear = 22 (with a 6 on the wild, that could make it more), 20 (another 6 on the wild), 16, 15, 18, and 15.

 

Comparing those up, you have the bear beating the handgun rolls every single time. So effectively you don't have any excess to deal with anyway and the guy with the pistol gets eaten by the bear.

 

 

Unless I'm thorougly misunderstanding damage points, the bear, not having any armor, doesn't subtract anything. He takes the whole damage. Then, under my system, he has no maximum damage he can take, per se; what he does need to do however, is to make a Physique check against that damage; if he's successful, it has no immediate effect on him, but successive hits add to it, making it quickly difficulty to make the roll, and when he fails, the amount he fails by is read on the wound table to determine the effect.

 

Is it clearer what I'm talking about now?

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As for remaking everything, you basically hit upon something that I realized quite a few years back when I first started tinkering with D6 with The D6 System book. If you want to introduce something that completely changes the way something is portrayed in D6, you're likely going to have to re-stat a great many things in the process. It can be great for a particular setting that you're creating for D6, but as a general "plug-in" for use with a lot of D6 games, it's not something that can be accomplished very easily. If you find, though, that it captures the feel that you're shooting for (pardon the pun), then you can definitely include it in either a specific setting or in your games. Or, if you're feeling REALLY boisterous, you can re-stat everything under your method (after you've playtested it and hammered out all the kinks) and put it out there for people to use. :)

 

Well, that's why I'm trying this sort of approach; it changes resolution, but not the expect numbers and the like. As I said, it may well make it too easy to kill creatures with a fairly high Physique. It may be necessary to, say, treat half the Physique as though it were armor to prevent that.

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Well, if you're going to use the Body Points as is, that's correct, no roll for the bear and whatever the pistol damage roll is will be what damage is dealt. The problem is, if you're having a bear roll for injuries for each bullet, then you're looking at a dead bear after about 2 or 3 bullets.

 

But you had mentioned this:

The only other method I can think of (and this requires reconstructing almost all extent material to use) is to have characters have a Toughness rating (that goes up the way Physique currently tends to) that shows how much armor, mass and general resiliance a character has, that operates as a threshold for damage, and then a separate Stamina attribute that is much more compressed (so a healthy bear isn't really appreciably higher than a healthy human) that's used to check a result to the damage that gets through to see its effect.

 

So I thought you were going to have a roll to resist and then a roll to see if the damage causes a wound. If you weren't originally intending this and were just going to use the body points mechanic where no resistance roll is made, then you're going to have things dying pretty darn quickly, it would seem.

 

I guess that's partly where my confusion exists.

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Those were intended to be two alternate methods, not related.

 

And I agree that's a concern, but that seems even more true with the standard Body Point mechanic, no? Since once you go through the Body Points there (which are approximately the same as a Physique roll) you're just flat out done.

 

Like I said, I'm not really happy with either current method; one allows tough targets to take hits from slightly weak weapons all day, the other means that tough ones will be rolled up quickly. Perhaps I should go back to the idea that, like Mutants and Masterminds, there should be some cumulative penalty to successful Physque rolls that are close (within 5 of missing, perhaps), so that sooner or later you'll start to have problems if someone keeps pumping bullets into you.

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