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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 153 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Thoughts and an example of high toughness...  (Read 1062 times)
kenjib
Member

Posts: 269


« on: September 03, 2003, 09:03:37 PM »

There has been ample discussion of toughness in the past.  I just read something in Stephen Pressfield's great book Gates of Fire though, that brought this topic to mind:

"'I found myself across from a monster of the enemy, six and a half feet tall, a match for two men and a horse.  He was dismasted, his spear had been shivered, and he was so raging with possession he didn't have the presence of mind to go for his sword....'"

[narrator is striken and lies helpless on the ground, when...]

"'Suddenly he was there beside me.  My brother.  I saw him take a step and sling his xiphos like a throwing blade.  It hit this Corinthian Gorgon right below the nose; the iron smashed the fellow's teeth, blew right through the bone of the jaw and into his throat, lodging there with the grip sticking out before his face.'"

[cut some extra text]

"'It didn't even slow this *&!# down.  He came right back at Iatrokles, with bare hands and that pig-poker buried square in his jaw.  I took him low and my brother took him high.  We dropped him like a wrestler.  I drove the blade ned of my eight-footer that was now a one-footer into his guts, then grabbed the butt-spike of someone's discarded eight from the dirt and laid all my weight on it, right through his groin all the way into the ground, nailing him there.  My brother had grabbed the bastard's sword and hacked half the top of his head off, right through the bronze of his helmet.  He still got up.  I had never seen my brother truly terrified but this time it was serious.  "Zeus Almight!" he cried, and it was not a curse but a prayer, a piss-down-your-leg-prayer.'"

[skip some background info about his brother's Scythian squire]

"'Anyway here he comes, this Scythian lunatic.  Hoom, hoom, hoom, he put two darning needles [note:  javelins] through that Corinthian monster's liver and out his back, and added one for good measure right where the man's fruit hung.  That did it.  The titan looked straight at me, bellowed once, then dropped like a sack off a wagon.'"

With a great narration like this as inspiration, is it really necessary to limit toughness to 7 maximum, or to countering strength only instead of margin of success as well, as some people do?  A powerful man like this could be represented with a really high toughness and will power.  He can take these amazing blows that would kill any other man and still keep on coming.  Any thoughts?

The only difference I see is that in TROS when someone has a high toughness he actually takes a lesser wound, whereas here someone with a high toughness actually takes the gruesome wound but is somehow able to keep going, but maybe high willpower can account for that?
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Kenji
Caz
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Posts: 272


« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2003, 10:03:47 PM »

I'd say that's definitely not toughness, he's still being horribly and mortally wounded, but his adrenaline and mindset are discounting the pain and shock.
    It already described him as physically impressive, so no doubt a lesser man couldn't have taken so much.
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Pvt Kastro
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Posts: 7


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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2003, 04:42:06 AM »

Yep. Even if the monster of a man could keep on going for another 10 or maybe 15 seconds (which, Iīve heard, is approximately the time that a person could keep on going if his heart suddenly exploded - though a headshot would be a completely different topic), and perhaps even killing off his opponents, heīd surely be dead with his wounds afterwards.

Iīm not really very familiar with the Spiritual Attribute system, but Iīd imagine in some cases a character might be allowed to use his Luck (or whatever) to keep on fighting for a while even if the rules indicated that heīd die or be knocked down/out. Say, the character rolls a Will roll (+ Luck or whatever) with a high TN (or extremely high, depending on the level of realism you want to have in your game) just to see if it is possible at all for him to be in such an adrenaline rush. The TN could be taken from the Shock that the fighter has sustained. Modify the TN according to your gameīs level of realism. For each Success, give the character one or two more Rounds that he can operate, provided that he isnīt hit again, although only major wounds after a successful "Adrenaline Rush Roll" should affect the character. I think that kind of action should also be very berserk like, so that such a character probably wouldnīt do much to defend anymore.

I donīt own The Riddle of Steel rulebook, but Iīm also wondering if there are any general rules on how adrenaline affects combat. Having read some of the basic wounding rules, I guess not. Unless, of course, the factor of Willpower into Pain is how it is handled in the game. Anyways, in an Adrenaline Rush situation, Pain and Shock probably shouldnīt affect a personīs actions, so he/she should be able to act with his full (or near full) Combat Pool. Just remember that the combatant is all for attack now. Even if he doesnīt have the Initiative, he will more than likely attempt to steal it instead of trying to defend against the opponentīs attacks. This warrior is one pissed off mutha, so to speak, and he wonīt stop until stopped (or until his brain stops functioning).

Pvt Kastro
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2003, 10:29:27 AM »

I think the key is "invisible toughness". That is, points of toughness that affect the game effects of damage, but not the description. So, I hit and do a level 5 wound before the 3 points of invisible toughness. I still describe the level 5 wound, but only apply the effects of a level 2 wound.

On the topic of adrenaline, I'd think that the effects of damage as written assume that the character is prepared to be hit, and therefore full of adrenaline. I'd, I dunno, double? shock effects if a character was hit with no adrenaline in his system.

Now, as to what's "realisitic" here, I don't think anyone can rightly say (and no I'm neither offering nor asking for testing). I think that the fact that characters can continue to fight at all when wounded is testament to their adrenaline state. So it seems to work for me. I've been hurt when I've had a lot of adrenaline in my system, and I can say that, while the effect might be lessened, pain is still very much a factor. How many dice though I couldn't say.

OTOH, modifying pain down could make for interesting effects in play. Probably a lot more death for one.

Mike
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Pvt Kastro
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« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2003, 11:59:43 AM »

Quote
OTOH, modifying pain down could make for interesting effects in play. Probably a lot more death for one.


Yes, that tends to be the downside of not feeling the pain - you get killed before you even know it. :)
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