The Forge Archives

Inactive Forums => The Riddle of Steel => Topic started by: ULO on September 12, 2003, 05:57:23 PM

Title: Toughness question
Post by: ULO on September 12, 2003, 05:57:23 PM
What if instead of toughness acting like armor it reduced the shock and pain of a wound but left the bleeding and damaging effects?

Sorry if its already been talked about, I was just wondering.

Title: Toughness question
Post by: Ashren Va'Hale on September 12, 2003, 06:37:31 PM
thats outright genius.... since most players play not to get hit whatever their toughness this would be great, and I have no problem having it work in conjunction with the wp attribute for pain when I think about it.

you still have the hero getting cut up but still fighting hard and the realism of having to do something about that nasty shoulder wound before too much blood is lost.  

A good solution to the naked dwarf problem.

Title: Toughness question
Post by: MonkeyWrench on September 12, 2003, 07:44:57 PM
Not to rain on anyones parade but what about toughness reducing bloodloss much in the same way that willpower reduces pain.

Title: Toughness question
Post by: Brian Leybourne on September 12, 2003, 09:20:20 PM
Hmm... I'm not sure I grasp your meaning.

Lets say I am hit for a level 5 wound (before toughness is factored). I have a toughness of 4, so normally that means I receive a level 1 wound instead.

Your proposition is that I get the shock and pain from the level 1 wound but the blood loss and "description" effect of the level 5 wound? Is that correct?

If so, there's an inherent problem in that the damage scale is only 1-5 but many people have a toughness of 5 or more, meaning that you would miss the scale entirely, but I may be misunderstanding you.


Title: Toughness question
Post by: MonkeyWrench on September 12, 2003, 10:42:30 PM
I've thought about the toughness/naked dwarf syndrome problem before and pretty much came to the conclusion that the system is meant to be played as is. Every time I tried to monkey with it to produce some other effect it just didn't work or feel right. I think toughness is fine as it is. If some one wants to spend the priorities/sa points to boost toughness to 10 and wear full plate then thats fine, there are more things to do than fight.

  On the other hand it is interesting to see how other people are doing things. I still say that maybe toughness should reduce bloodloss but then it makes it doubly effective in combat.

Title: Toughness question
Post by: Pvt Kastro on September 13, 2003, 01:01:13 AM
This whole Toughness issue doesn´t seem very realistic in TROS the way it is intended to be. When two people take similar cutting wounds from a sword, for instance, to the exactly same location, they generally suffer similar wounds. One thing that might factor into this, is the general bulk and size of the person being hit. Especially with puncturing weapons, the more muscle and fat and the stronger and thicker the bones the person has, the more force is required behind the strike for it to hit vital organs and such. In this sense, I can see Toughness simply as measuring how fat or big sized a character is. If one wanted to use it like that, you could always make it raise the character´s weight an thus affect his movement and such. This might balance it a little bit. This is not, however, how I think it would be best used for roleplaying purposes.

Still, there is a problem, realism-wise, because Toughness can have such a huge impact on the wounding effects of a hit. For example, a character with Toughness 4 might get a Level 4 Wound whereas a character with Toughness 7 would get only a Level 1 Wound from a similar blow. For realism purposes - and notice that I am merely concerned with realism, as opposed to the TROS philosophy in general - I´d say that most creatures of roughly similar size should have similar Toughness when dealing with wounds. Again, I do not own The Riddle of Steel rulebook, so I do not know what other things Toughness might affect than combat, but I´d do it so that the Toughness affecting the Wound Levels is equal to the real Toughness attribute if its value is 4 or less. If it is more than 4, make the Toughness against wounds be 4 plus one half of the points over 4. So, a character with Toughness 6 would get an armor against wounds of 4 + 2 / 1 = 5. If there are some other functions that Toughness affects, some common sense can be used to concider how it works for them.

This essentially makes Toughness more expensive an attribute to buy since the advantage from it is lowered. I´m not fully familiar with the problem with Toughness in general, so these ideas are only for eliminating the "high Toughness is too good" problem. Otherwise you might simply divide the characters´ Toughness by, say, two.

Pvt Kastro

Title: Toughness question
Post by: Brian Leybourne on September 13, 2003, 03:32:40 AM
I reccommend that folk read Ron's comments in this thread ( It might give you a new slant on the whole toughness "problem".


Title: Toughness question
Post by: Durgil on September 13, 2003, 05:52:20 AM
Another much older thread that helped me understand Toughness a lot better is this ONE (  For opponents whose Strength and Toughness scores are roughly in the same range, the system works.  Problems start cropping up when opponents get really big or really small.  I have tinkered with the Toughness mechanic a bit; anyone who has been here on this forum for a while can testify to that, but what I have found is that when you make changes to this, you're also locked into making changes else where in the system such as with Strength.  I have come up what I think is a relatively easy solution, but a lot of people don't like it much because it involves more dice rolls.  This all has to do with THIS ( thread.

There have been tons of threads created about perceived Toughness problems; I suggest doing a search and looking at what others have come up with first before you try to recreate the wheel here. ;-)

Title: Toughness question
Post by: ULO on September 13, 2003, 08:27:15 AM
I was thinking that it would reduce the shock and pain by the toughness score not the wound levels, it would be the same wound level but the shock and pain would be less because of your toughness, letting you to continue to fight on (less CP loss)where others would have succumb to the shock and pain from such a grievous wound. After all isnt toughness the ability to carry on despite the pain not the ability to have it bounce of you. Didnt most bersrkers die from their wounds at the end of battle, but were famous for continuing to fight on despite their wounds.

Just an alternate idea for toughness.

Title: Toughness question
Post by: Durgil on September 13, 2003, 11:27:39 AM
Quote from: I
Maybe WP dives a character onward instead of succumbing to Shock and TO would be a character's ability to withstand pain. I can see Arnold Swartzenager (sp?), in one of his tough guy movies referring to an open wound on his huge shoulder as "it's just a scratch."
This one I pulled from that first topic that I included a link to in my previous post.  I'd continue to read the fallowing posts from Jake and I think Ron and or Brian, it convinced me that I was a little off base.

Little did I know he would someday run for the Governor of California.

Title: ?
Post by: Jaeger on September 13, 2003, 12:55:10 PM
I have come to prefer the solution that Toughness subtracts from an opponents Str only when determining damage. I forgot who came up with this simple solution but it works great.

 It has a few points in its favor:

1: No naked dwarf syndrome - anyone can kill anyone. No more laughing at a mob of angry peasants because given the averages you know a direct hit from anyone of them really won't hurt.

2: No more sliding scale of stronger and deadlier baddies to come up with for high TO PC's. Because weapon bonuses and successes still count.

3: No need to alter any other attribute such as Str. Because TO still sutracts from Str, keeping it from becoming an uber attribute. But uber strong PC's can still get an advantage over weak opponents as do Uber Tough ones, and well they should.

4: Armor is KING - just as it was in real life. You want to avoid damage from a direct hit? Wear Armor.

5: Some might say that it makes combat more deadly - I feel it just evens things out. It makes mastery of ones weapon more important than the thickness of your skin.

 - Just how it shold be IMHO.

Title: Toughness question
Post by: Rico on September 27, 2003, 08:19:21 PM
I still don't get toughness very much (if someone could explain please). Let's take our groups most powerful character for instance, He has 10 toughness and is working on bringing it up to 11. How can a person have 10 toughness when metal plate only has 6? I can understand bone blocking a bone, (but I can also see the sword swiping right through the bone) but what about the skin?
Now I know Jake said we don't need caps but he has never met our group and I think we need some caps on toughness (or at least change what toughness means)

Title: Toughness question
Post by: Durgil on September 27, 2003, 08:37:07 PM
The first chapter of the rule book is very specific about attribute scores being between 1 and 10 and the normal human range is between 2 and 7 with 4 being average.  A 10 and definantly an 11 is just pure munchkinism, IMHO!

Title: Toughness question
Post by: Jaeger on September 27, 2003, 09:16:09 PM

  That type of PC is what my post was all about - eliminating toughness as a munchkin attribute. Let him have his 10 TO, but let him know that now it only counteracts his opponents Strength only, not his weapon bonuses or successes.

  So if he gets hit with 4 successes with by a NPC with a ST of 5, and a arming sword with +1 that comes out to a DL of 10. Normally he would just shrug it off with his munchkin TO of 10. But, now that TO only subtracts from Str, well that means that his toughness accounts for his foes ST - so we subtract 5, but! his remaining 5 points of toughness do nothing against his successes or the weapon bonus, so he still gets hit for 5 successes... he better have armor!

   With a simple rule "re-interpretation/adjustment" munchkinism is cast back into the fiery pits of D&D hell where it belongs.

Title: Toughness question
Post by: Spartan on September 29, 2003, 11:52:42 AM
In Salamander's campaign, we use the the TO only negates ST rule, and it works well.  It doesn't undermine the basic mechanics at all, and is pretty transparent.  In the TROS-Hârn campaign I run, I merely cap TO at 6 or 7 for humans.  Works great: no muss, no fuss.


Title: Toughness question
Post by: Jake Norwood on October 08, 2003, 10:13:50 AM
I'm personally a big fan of the To vs. ST rules that Jaeger brought up.

On the other hand, TO is a cinematic element to TROS (ie: it isn't realistic, but wasn't trying to be). It's the "Ahnold Factor" that allows the predator to shoot him with no real effect when one shot killed everyone else.


Title: Toughness question
Post by: Lance D. Allen on October 08, 2003, 01:45:13 PM
Once again I'll toss out my interpretation of TO, which is somewhat in line with Jake's cinematic take on it.

TO is the character's overall ability to take a blow, not just the beefiness required to soak the blow. It contains said beefiness, and the instinct to turn the body at the last instant to keep the hit from being as solid, "rolling with the punch" to lessen it's impact, etc. It's all purely instinct so it's not part of the roll.

The flipside to this that most people bring up is if the character is unconscious, or unable to move. In those cases, I don't generally even require a roll. The attacking character does as he/she wishes to the incapacited foe. The other flipside is if the character is conscious and able, but is totally blind-sided, and is entirely unaware of the hit prior to being hit. I've never had a case of such total surprise, so I've not had to make a ruling on it, but if I did, it would probably be to simply half their TO. In this case, "Ahnold" with his 10 TO takes a hit just as hard as Joe-Average with his 5 TO. This ruling allows for scenes like Ben "the Butcher of Bakersfield" Richards getting knocked unconscious with a single buttstroke to the head in the opening scene of "The Running Man".

Your mileage may vary, but this is how I see things.

Title: Re: ?
Post by: toli on October 08, 2003, 02:39:14 PM
Quote from: Jaeger
I have come to prefer the solution that Toughness subtracts from an opponents Str only when determining damage. I forgot who came up with this simple solution but it works great.

I've suggested this, but I don't think I came up with it.  We use it.  I think of it as a sort of indication mass and physicall conditioning that can offset an opponents strenth.  

For blunt weapons we let it off set ST+1 and for hand to hand ST+2.  I don't care how hard I hit Lenox Lewis, I'm not going to KO him.  He is too TO for my ST.  


Title: Toughness question
Post by: Dan Sellars on October 08, 2003, 11:29:50 PM
I think that the problem is not so much hitting Lennox with your fist as standing there stabbing his bare chest with a knife and not doing any damage.

However having put that point forward, I enjoy playing the game with the  rules as they are.   I haven't been in an ingame situation where I thought something unfair happened.   Most of the arguments I have seen seem to be based on theoretical conjecture not ingame experience.  But I could be wrong here ;-)


Title: Toughness question
Post by: Mike Holmes on October 09, 2003, 12:42:48 PM
The other thing about Toughness, Dan, is that no matter what, you can't think of it as actually preventing weapon damage. That's certainly what it seems to do, but in game you have to describe it a bit differently. That is, if you stab the barechested guy, and TO reduces the damage to zero, that doesn't mean that the knife bounced off his skin. I'd describe it as the knife cutting into his chest, and skipping up a rib or two before the blow glanced off. The character is cut and bleeding.

He just doesn't take any game effect.

That is, the cut is, for that character, just not consequential in terms of the fight. Oh, he'll bleed a bit in dramatic fashion. Even grunt in pain. But it won't slow him up one bit. It's a "flesh wound".

It's even easier when armored. The character is just holding out better behind his armor. Making the armor work better for him by being a stout part of it. So, the blows aren't getting through the armor, they're being shunted off by armor combined with toughness. You can even describe the occasional penetration and flesh wound if you like. Just less neccessary with armor.

Does that help with the visualization of it? Toughness isn't armor. It doesn't keep sharp weapons from penetrating flesh. What it does is make those wounds less consequential in terms of battle. Like Jake says, they become shots like the Governor of California takes in movies. They bleed, but go unnoticed. To quote the last Governor of Minnesota from one of the same movies, "I ain't got time to bleed."


Title: Toughness question
Post by: Ville on October 10, 2003, 05:35:09 AM
Still the current rules for T can be somewhat illogical at times.
Take for example the assassin who has crept behind his target and is stabbing him (I personally let them choose the exact location in these cases.)
Surely those grizzlied tough guys cannot move away from the blade that is coming from the shadows?
Once again the issue is that this is just a game, not a simulation of reality. To me toughness rules are just fine.

Title: Toughness question
Post by: Ashren Va'Hale on October 10, 2003, 08:16:18 AM
your assasin must be an incompetant lout if he doesn't kill even a toughness 10 guy with a free cheap shot. Seriously, how often has your assasin not killed anyone witha  free unopposed strike? Thats just not a very good example. If your assasin has a CP of any reasonable amount then he should kill them right out despite toughness. If the CP is low then the toughness is not the limiting factor, its the incompetence of the assasin who has no idea which end of the dagger to stick in his target. and of course, remember, apply common sense.

Title: Toughness question
Post by: Ville on October 11, 2003, 02:09:21 AM
Well my assassin shouldn't need a combat pool of 15 or should he?

I mean I know where to stick a knife because I have studied the subject but I have never killed anyone. But I firmly believe that I could (physically) kill a guy from behind with a knife. No matter if he is Lennox Lewis or Hulk Hogan. Actually it would be easy (once again:physically not mentally.)
I do not think that my combat pool is very high however. And the TROS system does not choose the hit location on the basis of how high the combat pool is.

If we claim that someone who is very good can kill a man with high T well then we could claim that in D&D those guys with high hit points can be brought down by guys who are good at swinging big swords...:-)

Title: Toughness question
Post by: Ashren Va'Hale on October 11, 2003, 07:12:02 AM
I never said that your assasin had to be "very good" I meant he had to be a bit better than an amputated chimpanzee on LSD.....
Seriously, on an unopposed strike he should be able to off the dude with no problems toughness or no. and remember my last line there that I used, APPLY COMMON SENSE. It actually appears alot in the rule book even.

Title: Toughness question
Post by: Lance D. Allen on October 11, 2003, 12:13:35 PM
Hey Ville, in cases like that, you can always use my own suggestion, if otherwise the TO rules are fine. I'll rephrase it here to be totally clear.

Because TO, in my mind, is a matter of knowing how to soften a blow as much as beefiness, if the character is totally unaware of the coming strike (totally blows a perception check, for example) half the TO. Add that to the fact that your character will be able to use his full CP (which doesn't have to be THAT good in cases like this) and you should be able to stick that knife through his kidneys until it protrudes from his ribs in the front.

Title: Toughness question
Post by: Ville on October 12, 2003, 01:48:31 AM
Yup. I have tweaked the rules a bit and I apply common sense. Once again I believe the question was about game mechanics. We all know how to change them accorsing to the situation. I think I'll start a new thread about this and house rules.

Title: Toughness question
Post by: Ashren Va'Hale on October 12, 2003, 01:52:52 AM
thats just it, in TROS you will often find the core rule book saying specifically " use common sense with this rule" AS a mechanic.