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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 70 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Damage mechanic  (Read 2296 times)
Morrius
Member

Posts: 18


« on: April 04, 2004, 09:07:57 AM »

Whenever I'm trying to develop a system in my head, the one part that always stymies me is the damage mechanic.  I'm currently working on a systems that uses an attribute (1-10) +2d6 as the core mechanic.  Here are the points that I want to incorporate into my damage system.

- Getting hit sucks.  When you are wounded, you have penalties to your rolls.

- The margin of success on the attack roll directly affects the damage.

- The defender's Endurance attribute directly affects his ability to absorb damage.

- Characters cannot die via the dice alone.

- No 'death-of-a-thousand-papercuts', i.e. a person cannot be beaten by inflicting many light damage attacks.

- Minimize the addition of new rules.


The mechanics I currently am interested in are the Health roll example from Scott Lininger's 'The Window', the health level systems from White Wolf and Story Engine, or the damage system from Ben Sones' 'Fable'  Would anyone care to offer sugesstions?
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I do not have an attitude problem, you have a perception problem.
Jasper
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Posts: 466


WWW
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2004, 09:28:50 AM »

This is pretty straightforward, but how about:

1. Subtract Endurance from margin of sucess.  This is the damage for the hit.  If this amount is greater than his current injury level, this becomes his new injury level.

2. For every injury level, a character gets a -1 to all rolls (or if you like, you can keep track of hit location, and only apply the penalty to relevant actions, like runing while shot in the leg).

Characters cannot be killed, but they can be totally crippled.  I don't know what kind of death mechanic you want to use.
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Jasper McChesney
Primeval Games Press
Knarf
Member

Posts: 16


« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2004, 10:50:28 PM »

Quote from: Morrius
Whenever I'm trying to develop a system in my head, the one part that always stymies me is the damage mechanic.  I'm currently working on a systems that uses an attribute (1-10) +2d6 as the core mechanic.  Here are the points that I want to incorporate into my damage system.

- Getting hit sucks.  When you are wounded, you have penalties to your rolls.

- The margin of success on the attack roll directly affects the damage.

- The defender's Endurance attribute directly affects his ability to absorb damage.

- Characters cannot die via the dice alone.

- No 'death-of-a-thousand-papercuts', i.e. a person cannot be beaten by inflicting many light damage attacks.

- Minimize the addition of new rules.


The mechanics I currently am interested in are the Health roll example from Scott Lininger's 'The Window', the health level systems from White Wolf and Story Engine, or the damage system from Ben Sones' 'Fable'  Would anyone care to offer sugesstions?


How lethal do you want combat to be? This decides how many hit points and other protections that characters get as well as how stiff the penalties are.

I came upon something similar to your third point when designing my Minima system (www.eccentrix.com/members/knarf). I wanted a damage randomizer that allowed big damage (firearms, not just punches and knives), but still worked with only 2d6. I wound up with damage as a flat number which could be reduced by making a Body Attribute Test. The Test Result is subtracted from the damage and any remaining damage goes down to hit points.

Your fourth and fifth points are very tricky. Any system that requires a character to track wounds less than what it takes to kill them ultimately allows for "nickel and diming" a character to death. There are a number of ways around this, depending on how you want to handle it.

Fast healing: Either some magical power or Story Effect (Hero Points or whatever) allows the character to recover from a previous battle very shortly before going to the next one.

Goon Rules: Instead of giving minor NPCs full stats and all the narrative protections players get (hps, unconsciouness threshholds, etc), use very simple stats that include some sort of "glass jaw." This allows minor goon battles to go fairly quickly and lets the PCs conserve resources for the boss battles, which should use full stats and protections.

Avoiding combat: Either the damage system is so lethal or you give "GM advice" that keeps combat to a minimum. This way, if characters get into a fight, it had better be worth fighting and they should have some expectation of winning. This is the most intrusive method and therefore the least recommended, but this is your game.
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Matt Machell
Member

Posts: 477


WWW
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2004, 02:02:21 AM »

Okay,

why is the damage system important? What do you want to achieve with it? What sort of play do you want it to encourage?

Think about those questions when deciding how your system works. Don't just tack on a damage system "because everybody else has one".

You could have a system as simple as "if you get hit you die unless you spend a plot immunity point". What you have to do is think about what your core concept for the game is and how you want the system to reflect this.

-Matt
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