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mcbobbo

STR damage?

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In the intervening years since I've been involved in d6, a new start has crept in governing damage dealt by melee fighters. Effectively, it cuts Strength input in half. I have two questions for my fellow d6 GMs:

 

First, do you know why this happened?

 

Second, do you use it and/or would you recommend it?

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I would say the main problem is that you can easily have a situation where a melee type deals as much or more damage than somebody with some heavy firearm. Heroics notwithstanding, I know it doesn't sit too well with me, especially when the setting isn't some kind of fantasy/low tech one.

 

That said, after trying to simply reduce melee damage (either through dividing Str dices, or reducing damage category for melee weapons), I decided that this wasn't really satisfying. My latest take is to accept the damages rating "as is", but conditionally: a melee fighter damage rate remains as stated in the rules; however, beyond 2D, damage from strength is limited by how well you hit your opponent.

So, if somebody has Str 2D, and a weapon that does 2D+1, he'll do 4D+1 when he hits. If they have Str 3D, they'll do 4D+1 if they barely hit, and 5D+1 if they get a solid hit (attack above dodge/parry by more than 2), and so on.

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I understand where you're coming from on the perception, but experience tells me that there just isn't that great a gap between dead by sword and dead by bullet. The firearm isn't superior by raw killing power, but by range, rate of fire, etc.

 

If you get a chance, check out 'Deadliest Warrior' for some wxamples of what ancient weapons can do. OMG the cestus...

 

Anyway, I suspected maybe there was a game reason. Is realism the bulk of it?

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Honestly, the change was made due to a common misconception that melee weapons do less damage than ranged weapons. I believe it stemmed from the "Wookiee with a vibroblade" syndrome, where you could have a Wookiee with a melee weapon doing as much (or more) damage than an E-Web heavy repeating blaster.

 

What most people fail to realize (something that I must say I'm very surprised by your comments, mcbobbo, as you're one of a very few people that think the same as I do) is that melee weapons can inflict serios, grevious harm and even kill in a single blow, the same as a firearm. The advantage of the firearm is that it takes less skill to accomplish the same feat, you can wound or kill from afar, and you can fire multiple times (nowadays) so as to affect multiple opponents.

 

So a false idea of "realism" was taken into account when the change was made. Non-human races using melee is hard for some people to rationalize, and they don't think melee should end up doing more than a ranged weapon. Add in that a lot of the ranged weapons are perhaps a bit underpowered and it really accentuated the perceived problem. So they came up with the 1/2 Strength or Lifting skill as a way to account for it.

 

I don't use that. I still use the STR+damage for a melee weapon. If you don't want to be sliced in 'twain by a warrior with a two handed sword, you better maim or kill him before he gets to you. Use the ranged weapon for what it's designed...to inflict damage at a range before the other gets to you.

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I don't use that. I still use the STR+damage for a melee weapon. If you don't want to be sliced in 'twain by a warrior with a two handed sword, you better maim or kill him before he gets to you. Use the ranged weapon for what it's designed...to inflict damage at a range before the other gets to you.

 

Thanks for posting that Grimace, a great explanation.

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If you don't want to be sliced in 'twain by a warrior with a two handed sword, you better maim or kill him before he gets to you.
I'm still a bit uncomfortable with getting sliced in twain by the warrior with the pocket knife.

 

When STR for a human is in the range of 1D-4D and weapon damage is in the range of +1D for a large knife, +2D for a sword, and +3D for a big two-handed weapon STR+wpn often attributes more of the damage from a melee weapon to the STR and less to the wpn. I just don't see Arnold Schwarzenegger with a steak knife doing as much damage raw damage as Joe Average Warrior with a two-handed sword. I think D6 Space/Fantasy halved the STR damage and upped the weapon damage to "fix" this issue.

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If someone is statting a pocket knife at STR+1D, then they've got a problem with stats. Put a K-Bar in the hands of Arnold vs. Joe Schmoe with a two handed sword and yes, I would say Arnie could do substantial damage.

 

However, reducing it to 1/2STR (or 1/2 Lifting skill) + damage and you have the exact same difference between Arnold and Joe Schmoe. But what you don't have is a person with a knife being able to effectively damage, or even kill, a person when compared to a pistol or rifle. A pistol or rifle should make it so a less skilled person can shoot someone from further away and do the damage, it doesn't dish out more damage than a 5 inch (or longer) blade being jabbed into your body. THAT is the problem! When pistols and rifles consistantly do more damage than a person with a sword, it diminishes the effectiveness of melee weapons. If you don't want melee weapons in your game, I guess that's good, but you may as well just say you can't have melee weapons in the game if you're going to limit them so. The better option is to realize the true purpose of melee weapons and ranged weapons.

 

Melee weapons take skill, a LOT of skill, to use effectively. They require a person to literally be up in the face of another person, stabbing or smashing the person. Smelling the blood and sweat of the person you are attempting to kill. They are also physically tiresome in their use. Swinging a 6 pound sword for minutes at a time, or for more than an hour, is physically taxing. You get tired with melee weapons, chances are you're going to get hit because you're reactions are slower. Get hit, and you'll be hurt or even killed. Hurt is as good as killed, as once you are hurt you are even more disadvantaged than when you are tired.

 

Ranged weapons move your opponent out to a farther distance. Before the foe gets to you, you can shoot them. It requires some skill to aim and shoot, but much less skill to effectively attack a person with a ranged weapon than it does to attack with a melee weapon. And if you can injure or kill the foe before they get to you, you can then target another and you're not physically tired from shooting at your foe. Thus you can shoot and possibly kill more people for less physical exertion.

 

Bows were some of the first ranged weapons. The problem with bows is that they took a fair amount of skill to use effectively.

Then there were crossbows, which took less skill and less upper body strength to use. They were a bit more simplistic in their "aiming" ability. The problem with them is that while a crossbow could push out a bolt with the power of a bow, it couldn't be fired as fast as a bow. But you could begin to field more crossbowmen than archers because it didn't require as much skill.

Then they went to firearms. Matchlock, wheellock, and flintlock. Now a person could shoot FURTHER than they could with a crossbow, and it could penetrate body armor better than a crossbow bolt could. Additionally, they started to put sights on the weapons, making their aiming easier. The drawback was they still fired about the same number of shots as a crossbow. A skilled archer could still outshoot early firearms for speed.

Then the firearms started carrying more than 1 shot. So you could fire more than 1 shot without having to reload. Instead of injuring or killing up to 3 people per minute, you could injure or kill 5 or 6 or MORE before you had to reload! And you could start hitting people even further away than you could with the earlier firearms. Now ranged weapons were as good or better than even skilled archers.

Then firearms starting firing LOTS of shots. Dozens or even hundreds of shots! Now you could hit a person 3 or 4 times very quickly, being more certain of a kill instead of just an injury. You could fire more bullets, meaning you had to reload less often, meaning you could kill more people even faster!

 

THESE are the key differences between ranged weapons and melee weapons. Melee weapons aren't any less damaging, they simply require more skill to use and you need to be right up next to the person to use them. Ranged weapons do it faster, from further away, and with less skill needed.

 

A longsword is JUST as deadly up close as a hunting rifle is. You'll die from a hit from either one.

A two handed sword will cleave you almost in half at close range, and a .50 caliber will do the same thing to you at 800 meters. Which is easier?

 

D6 Space/Adventure/Fantasy made the change and they put out some weapons, but some of those weapons are so poorly statted as to be woefully innacurate and misleading. While some of the weapons stats are fine, others are flat out wrong.

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D6 Space/Adventure/Fantasy made the change and they put out some weapons, but some of those weapons are so poorly statted as to be woefully innacurate and misleading. While some of the weapons stats are fine, others are flat out wrong.

 

What resource do you think has the best stats? Is there a compiled chart or table you find most accurate?

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heh. The list I've created.

 

But since I haven't really put that out for everyone to see, it kind of falls to picking from various sources. Most of the weapons in the D6 System Book are decent. Granted, there aren't many listed. Other than that, it's really spotty on what is good.

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Here's a quick and dirty list I just typed up. Maybe it'll help.

 

Pocket Knife:

Damage: STR+1

Type: Slash

 

Sap:

Damage: STR+1

Type: Blunt

 

Club:

Damage: STR+2

Type: Blunt

 

Mace:

Damage: STR+ 1D+1

Type: Blunt

 

Staff: (2 handed)

Damage: STR+1D+1

Type: Blunt

 

Dagger:

Damage: STR+1D

Type: Pierce

 

Knife: (straight blade)

Damage: STR+1D

Type: Slash

 

Short sword:

Damage: STR+1D+1

Type: Slash/Pierce

 

Long sword:

Damage: STR+2D

Type: Slash/Pierce

 

Broad sword:

Damage: STR+2D+1

Type: Slash

 

Claymore:

Damage: STR+3D

Type: Slash

 

Two Handed sword:

Damage: STR+3D+1

Type: Slash

 

Spear:

Damage: STR+2D

Type: Pierce

 

Sling: with stone

Damage: STR+1D+1

Type: Blunt

Range: 3-15 / 30 / 50

 

Short bow:

Damage: 2D+2

Type: Pierce

Range: 2-28 / 56 / 90

 

Long bow:

Damage: 3D+2

Type: Pierce

Range: 2-30 / 90 / 270

 

Light crossbow:

Damage: 3D+1

Type: Pierce

Range: 1-20 / 40 / 220

 

Heavy crossbow:

Damage: 4D+2

Type: Pierce

Range: 1-30 / 65 / 330

 

Flintlock pistol

Damage: 3D+2 close / 2D+2 medium +

Type: Ballistic

Range: 1-10 / 20 / 35

 

Flintlock musket

Damage: 4D close / 3D+1 medium +

Type: Ballistic

Range: 1-60 / 155 / 220

 

M-9 Beretta pistol

Damage: 3D+1

Type: Ballistic

Range: 1-15 / 50 / 175

 

MP-5 submachine gun

Damage: 3D+1

Type: Ballistic

ROF: single shot or burst of 5

Range: 1-50 / 175 / 250

 

M-16A2 assault rifle

Damage: 5D+1

Type: Ballistic

ROF: single shot or burst of 3

Range: 1-130 / 525 / 800

 

SVD sniper rifle

Damage: 6D+1

Type: Ballistic

ROF: single shot

Range: 1-300 / 800 / 1000

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If someone is statting a pocket knife at STR+1D, then they've got a problem with stats. Put a K-Bar in the hands of Arnold vs. Joe Schmoe with a two handed sword and yes, I would say Arnie could do substantial damage.
The issue is not does Arnie do substantial damage, but does Arnie do the same or more damage than Joe. We'll use your wpn stats.

Joe STR 2D with longsword damage = 4D. Arnie with a pocket knife damage = 4D+1. Arnie does more damage with his swiss army knife than does Joe with 36" inches of steel. That strikes me (pun intended) as unlikely.

Joe with a 5 foot claymore damage = 5D. Arnie with a 8" knife damage = 5D.

 

Given the lever arm on a 5 foot sword is 7x that on the knife equivalent damage with the knife for someone who is not 7 times stronger seems unlikely.

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Knives are readily deadly. Outside of the RPG realm, there's just not any compelling reason to portray them otherwise. I understand how one might need to limit the combat effectiveness of a 'wizard' by limiting their access to the deadlier weapons in a game, but 'realism' just doesn't agree, IMO.

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If you want to have the weapons be less damaging, Bren, that's your prerogative. I'm only going by what I've found from researching various things and comparing them. Sure Joe at 2D with a long sword +2D is 4D vs. Arnie with a pocket knife at 4D+1. When you're looking at straight values, Arnie's is higher by 1 pip. In terms of actual rolls, they are practically the same. Suffice to say, Arnie with a pocket knife is probably a very dangerous situation. *I* certainly wouldn't want to be hit by Arnie in his prime while he's weilding a pocket knife (or club, or even with just his bare hand)...I don't know about you're outlook on that concept. Nor would I want to get hit by Joe with a long sword. Though I might feel better about going against Joe simply due to his size.

 

Either way, halving the STR might make an effect of how they relate to one another, but then you end up with melee weapons that become laughing jokes in games. "I pull out my knife." Other player "Ooo...I'm so afraid! Your knife will do, at most, 3D damage and I've got 4D to resist. You don't even have a good chance of even hurting me."

At least with even dice, a man with a knife, or a sword, is at least as potent as a many with a pistol (or blaster if you're in Star Wars), which is how it should be.

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I think it really depends on your game. For instance the setting I am working on assumes the 1/2 Str or Lifting bonus from damage. I find this accentuates the weapon while providing someone with raw strength a bonus and someone better trained at using their strength to mechanical advantage gets even more of a bonus. If you allow a natural unarmored "soak" or "resistance" to damage then this does not work. In a setting with a natural resistance to damage I definitely recommend using full strength or use half strength but double weapon damage. I believe that the weapons in d6 Adventure/Fantasy/Space are based on a no natural defense unless you use a character point as the default.

 

Assuming no soak as the default a 2D Strength character receives +1D damage. With a Dagger adding +1D. So this person does 6 points of damage on average.

Average Body points is roughly 26. So on average 5-6 un aimed random attacks which don't really connect, quite believable. Now add an aimed attack to a vital area. Suddenly we do 18 points of damage on average up to 24 points of damage in one hit. That dagger just became very deadly, now toss in the wild die. Quite believable. Wear some Chainmail and ignore it most of the time. Makes sense.

 

So I really think it depends on the setting and the GM, and all the tools are there to make it work for you. Another reason I love this system.

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You are correct, Ur Athal. All of my D6 games utilize a "soak/resistance" to damage. Even games where I use Health points (a meld of Body Points and Wound Levels) I still allow an unarmored character the chance to resist the damage. If you don't allow this, then reducing to 1/2 STR/Lifting is perfectly fine.

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Yes.

 

In the D6 Core books, it's generally inferred that you're using Body Points (or Body Points broken into Wound Levels). When Body Points are used, anyone NOT wearing armor doesn't get a STR roll to resist the damage they sustain. If you are wearing armor, you roll your STR+armor.

 

In both cases, you can add Character Points to the roll to resist/soak.

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Okay, wow. Good to know. So everyone's weapon gets buffed by +2D or so, and those 12D Physique creatures I've been seeing aren't so unkillable after all. I suppose that also explains why there is so much text devoted to armor bonuses of +1...

 

Yes, in that light, I see how you'd want to limit damage output. But it makes mechanical weapons a lot more lethal in comparison, unless they got nerfed as well. Of course, it wouldn't just apply to weapons, but to collision damage, fire, falling, etc, as well.

 

That's a pretty big change... I'll have to go read that section with due care.

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All in all, it's a change that I don't think worked well with the D6 core books, largely because of the overall descrepancies between being unarmored, armored, and all of the other damages you just mentioned, mcbobbo.

 

Just the fact that if I'm wearing normal clothes I get ZERO resistance to damage, but if I put on the lightest armor possible, I now not only get the armor bonus, but I also get to add my strength roll to it as well, is a balance problem. So you go from 0 resistance to at least a 2D+1 resistance with the inclusion of 1 pip.

 

I realize some people like it because it reduces the amount of rolls a person needs to make in combat (something that already includes initiative, to hit vs. an opposed dodge, and damage). I just think it introduces more issues than it solves. And I didn't think removing a PLAYER'S ability to save their character as a change that was needed.

 

So when I put up stats for things, it goes under the premise that people are running their D6 games based more on Star Wars (with a resistance roll against damage) rather than the D6 Core books of no resistance roll if not wearing armor but full resistance roll if wearing armor. I guess I should probably preface my stats with that bit of information for people, in case they use the D6 Core books fashion.

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So I did a little research, and the 'roll for resistance' total rule is present in 'D6 Space Opera' v 1.2. It changes to match Adventure in 'D6 Space' 2.0...

 

It should be noted that the damage tables between 1.2 and 2.0 actually have melee weapons increasing in damage. 1.2 also makes no mention of a special damage stat.

 

Interesting.

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You see that is not how I read the rule. You don't add Physique/Strength to armor unless you burn a Fate Point. Character Points give you additional dice. Personally I have no problem with an unarmored individual getting cut with the lightest of hits. The real defense is not getting hit in the first place. Once again I think it really comes down to the setting and what the GM is trying to accomplish.

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You see that is not how I read the rule. You don't add Physique/Strength to armor unless you burn a Fate Point. Character Points give you additional dice. Personally I have no problem with an unarmored individual getting cut with the lightest of hits. The real defense is not getting hit in the first place.

 

I reread the rule. It's very confusing and even some parts contradictory.

 

"The damage resistance total equals a roll of the target's die codes from armor or Special Abilities minus any modifiers from disease, ingested poisons, or other deblitating circumstances."

 

Okay, looking at that it does appear that you only roll JUST the armor code, not your Strength. Kind of counter intuitive, because all of the armor is listed as +X, as though it's supposed to be added to something. However it's contradictory in that it can actually REDUCE armor value if the character has been poisoned, even though the poison only affects the PERSON, not the ARMOR and you don't add any personal body resistance to it. How can poison reduce an armor's value? It should reduce a Strength value, but you don't roll the STR with the armor.

 

"A player may improve his character's resistance total by spending Character Points or a Fate Point on this roll. <paragraph break> If the character has no armor or Special Abilities, then the character has a damage resistance total of zero and the player makes no roll. However they can still spend Character Points, using them as a base damage resistance total. Spending a Fate Point allows the player to roll his character's Strength. Totals determined from spending points are adjusted as normal, including negative and positive damage resistance modifiers."

 

It looks like you are correct, Ur Athal that the Strength only comes in with the use of a Fate Point. Yet it doesn't double your Strength, it only allows you to add your Strength to the armor or Special Abilities. It does also state that if you have no armor or Special Abilities, and decide not to spend any Character Points or a Fate Point, you have a resistance of 0. Harsh!

 

What's particularly contradiciting is in the section on the same page called "Body Points versus Wound Levels", it claims that Body Points has the advantage of a gradual fall into death and a more rapid healing process. I wonder how they figure that, when an unarmored character has ZERO resistance and there's no Strength added to the armor (but poison, disease and other hinderances can still be negative) unless you burn a Fate Point every time you take damage. That has to result in characters getting damaged more quickly and the points adding up a lot faster due to the lower damage resistance totals overall.

 

Sure, they halved the STR/Lifting when adding to the weapon damage, but they essentially REMOVED the Strength addition to the resistance totals. In an attempt to make melee weapons not as powerful as ranged weapons, they also reduced the ability to resist the damage anyway without spending CPs or FPs. Gradual fall...yeah right.

 

I'm an unarmored guy with a sword. Strength of 2D. I'm going up against another guy, same Strength, with a sword, who is also wearing padded leather armor (+1D). We strike at each other and rely on our skill in an attempt to avoid the hits. We do pretty good, using up CPs in an attempt to avoid getting hit. But then my opponent gets lucky. He hits me with his Rapier (+2D damage). So he rolls halve his STR/Lifting plus the damage. He doesn't have Lifting, so the total is 3D. Now unless I burn Character Points or a Fate Point here, I have a resistance total of 0. So he rolls his 3D and gets 14. Even if I had 30 Body Points, that's pretty much HALF my points. So I'm Wounded (-1D).

 

Now it's easier for my opponent to hit me. But I get lucky. I hit him! So I roll my 1/2 Strength + weapon. 3D total. But he gets to add his armor (+1D). So if I roll a 14 as well, and he rolls 4, that's a difference of 10. Puts him only into Stun.

 

The next turn I take a hit again. 3D vs. 0 again (we've used up our CPs trying not to get hit). He rolls a paltry 9. 9 plus the 14 I have already is 23 out of 30. I'm now Severely Wounded. -2D to all my actions. Next round I'm hit again. Again he rolls pitifully low damage on 3D, getting only a 5. 5 plus the 23 I've already had is 28 out of 30. I'm now Mortally Wounded and fall unconcious. No chance of staying up and now roll my Strength ever round to see if I bleed out and die.

 

So I took a total of 3 hits, two of them with less than 10 damage each, and I'm still defeated. That's a "gradual fall into death"???

 

At least with a STR roll added to resist, I would have been rolling 2D to resist every hit (without needing Character Points or to use a Fate Point). And my opponent would have been rolling 1D more. So the total difference would be 2D total when he strikes me and and even roll when I strike him (because he's wearing padded armor). At least then the Body Points lost wouldn't be as steep as they are with NO resistance roll.

 

Yes, it does come down to what the GM is trying to accomplish. I try to accomplish a game where the characters make an effort NOT to get hit, but if they do get hit they don't necessarily go down in 3 hits of mediocre damage. I guess if you want to enforce a no combat type of game, or one where combat is exceedingly dangerous, the Body Points would be the way to go.

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I understand what you mean by the section being somewhat confusing. The concept of poison reducing your armor, is something I think is more related to it affecting Special Abilities a character might have, since it was being written essentially to cover multi-genre conventions. Superman being poisoned by Kryptonite would have any Armor Special Ability reduced, likewise creatures in a fantasy setting or even some PC races might have a Special Ability granting them armor.

 

The gradual drop into death results from the narrow range of results available for Damage & Wound Levels, even with the addition of Physique to the resistance total a strike sufficient to kill a character with a single blow is never far away. This is much less likely to occur in a game with Body Points, simply because it is a finite system. Everyone has that +20 base of Body Points as a buffer. Sure a bad ass can mow average people down, but Joe Average versus Joe Average is going to tell another story, and much like in real life the first person wounded is likely going to be the loser in the end. I think that the Body Point option works well for a Combat Intensive game due to the quicker recovery rate for minor effects. It encourages the use of multiple actions, one of which should always be setting up an Active Defense. An outclassed opponent quickly drops into the Full Defense category simply to survive long enough to get away or for help to arrive. Initiative becomes very important, and it encourages tactical thinking, while not having a high likelihood of punishing a character with death for a single mistake. All in all I see it as working in a some what gritty, yet slightly cinematic way.

 

Of course I think both methods can be used to adjust your game to where you want it just in different ways. I personally prefer Body Points because they are less random. By adjusting Body Points up or down, or by including Physique I can easily change the tone of combat. Of course skipping Physique makes wearing armor a requirement for battle. Which once again simply reflects real reasons people wear armor.

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What I find most interesting is, all of this is only found in Adventure/Space/Fantasy. It isn't in 51005 anywhere:

 

Attack Procedure

1.Add or subtract Offense Modifiers.

2.Roll attack dice.

3.Compare to attack difficulty.

4.If hit, roll damage.

5.Compare damage roll to defender's Endurance roll.

 

Defense Procedure

1.Declare dodge, parry, or no defense.

2.If dodge, add Dodge Modifiers.

3.Roll dodge or parry dice.

4.Compare attack difficulty to attackers weapon skill roll.

5.If hit, roll Endurance

6.Subtract Endurance total from attackers damage roll.

7.Record damage on character sheet.

 

No special sauce for melee weapon damage either:

 

Melee Weapons

WeaponRangeSpeedDamage

Baseball Bat–+2STR+1D

Battle-axe–+1D+1STR+2D

Brass Knuckles–+0STR+1

Electro-knife–+1STR+1D

Fist–-2STR

Knife–+0STR+2

Sword–+1DSTR+1D+1

War Hammer–+1DSTR+1D+2

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