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Author Topic: Tweaking the damage  (Read 4140 times)
Uriel
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Posts: 8


« on: March 24, 2004, 10:39:56 AM »

Hello everybody! I've been lurking around here for some time now, but I haven't posted before.

I've fallen in love with Sorcerer and plan on using it a lot in the future. I'll probably tweak it a little, I'm thinking of changing the stats a little and maybe add a little of Donjon's narrativism.

Anyway the only thing I don't like with Sorcerer is the damage scale. I dislike all systems where you can take a number of 1 damage hits, like I punch you real hard on your arm, leaving a nasty bruise, but not really doing any damage other than the hurt that might slow you down a little. If I do this a couple of more time you will die.

Now this bugs me less than it does in other games, but it still grates me. The system that really handles damage well though is Blue Planet where even the simplest knife held by a five year old might kill you. Shortly it works by rolling 3 dice under the attack damage rating. 1 success gives a light wound, 2 a serious and 3 a life threatening wound that will but you out of the fight. The wounds are in no way connected so you can take any number of light or serious wounds and not die. That you'll be quivering of pain on the floor is another matter.

So I'm wondering if there is any simple way to incorporate this into Sorcerer?
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2004, 12:13:55 PM »

Hi Uriel,

Nice to have you here.

I confess I do not understand your concern with damage in Sorcerer.

Quote
I dislike all systems where you can take a number of 1 damage hits, like I punch you real hard on your arm, leaving a nasty bruise, but not really doing any damage other than the hurt that might slow you down a little. If I do this a couple of more time you will die.


I think you might be confusing "takes penalties equal to Stamina" with "death." I've seen people make this mistake during play for the first time, for example.

But maybe I'm misreading you. Perhaps you're focusing on the "fists" damage category and thinking that a character cannot be killed by a single punch. This is, at first glance, true ... but it's also true that a GM is free to switch damage columns depending on his interpretation of types of damage. For example, if a character with "commando" for a Cover score were using barehanded attacks with intent to kill, I think it makes perfect sense to use the "edged weapons" damage category for him.

Quote
The system that really handles damage well though is Blue Planet where even the simplest knife held by a five year old might kill you.


H'm ... in Sorcerer, this can happen too. The amount of lasting damage delivered by an edged weapon depends on the number of victories (successful dice), which is actually quite similar to the rules in Blue Planet which you are describing. I'm not seeing any difference at all in terms of the amount of damage delivered ... and if we look at the long-term effects of the damage, the Sorcerer rules are actually more severe, not less (even a light wound can add up, which according to you, won't happen in Blue Planet combat).

And bear in mind as well that circumstances make weapon types more or less effective. If that dagger were being used in optimal circumstances (e.g. in bed, at midnight, with heavy covers involved), then it might use one of the more dangerous damage categories, up to and including one of the firearms categories.

Finally, you refer to the "shock and pain" effects of Blue Planet combat. This interests me, because one thing the Sorcerer damage system does really well is the initial shock and pain of an injury, independent of actual tissue damage. In Sorcerer, a character can be put into a helpless state with one or two well-placed, well-timed blows, without lasting or life-threatening injury. In fact, that is the typical outcome of a fight which does not involve major weaponry (e.g. automatic weapons-fire, optimized weapon-choice like the dagger above, or demon abilities).

Perhaps we should review some of the Sorcerer rules for damage. Can you provide me with a description of a couple of combatants, their weapons, and the physical circumstances of their fight? No need to provide numbers, just describe it. I'll work through the mechanics of their encounter.

Best,
Ron
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