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Big, penalities and absorbtion in combat

Started by Trevis Martin, October 30, 2004, 07:46:31 AM

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Trevis Martin

Hey Ron,

I've done some searching through the threads for clarification on an issue that came up in an actual game tonight.

Let me refer to Big Trouble...  Where you said this.

Quote from: Ron Edwards
QuoteThe book reads that you add the demon's Power to the users Stamina for resisting damage but not to attack or defense rolls. So how does that work? Are they bonus dice that are rolled after it has been determined that you've been hit? Here's an example.

Fred has a Power 5 demon named Nax. Nax has the Big ability with Fred as the user. Just before combat Fred activates Big. Fred is facing Jared, an ex-cop with a gun. Jared wins the initiative with 10, 10, 9, 6, 5 against Fred who has 8, 8, 7, 6, 5, 5. Fred decides to tough it out and roll 1 die. It comes up a 7, giving Jared 3 victories, wounding Fred with 6 penalty dice (3 for next action, 3 lasting)

Now, Fred has been hit. Does he roll the 5 dice from Big against Jared's roll? Let's say he gets 10, 8, 5, 4, 4 plus the original 7. Using it that way he only takes 4 wounds (2 for next action, 2 lasting). Is this correct?

Big comes into it after the defense, not during. So now, Fred doesn't roll the five Big dice as part of his defense; he's stuck with his weeny single die. He has indeed taken 3 temporary and 3 lasting penalties.

The good news is that the Big will help him do something next round, as a bonus. If that something is an attack, then technically it's aiding his attack, but only in the sense of replacing the penalties up to his limit of 5 (the demon's Power). But it also applies no matter what he's trying to do, with the exception of defensive rolls.

This is especially good news because he has very likely been taken down to 0 dice through those penalties (unless his Stamina is 7+), in which case he has been saved from being forced to go to "Will recovery" in order to do anything except clutch the bullet wound and bug his eyes out.

People are probably staring at this - "Hey! Big is really useful!" Yeah, it is.
Any other good news? Yeah. Big can be used a lot like Vitality for purposes of checking the effects of lasting damage, even during the fight itself. So that gunshot wound is way less nasty than it would have been without the Big.

Now, my initial issue with big was that I thought that the demon's power
acted as either a soak layer (where penalites had to be greater than the demons power to penetrate to the user of Big.)  or that Big applied when it was first activated and then worn down by penalites until gone and then the damage affected the characters normal dice.

Your above explanation showed me that instead of what I thought, big acts as replacement dice during the round for the ones the character loses to combat penalties.  Is that correct?  And if so, does that mean that the big dice all apply, perhaps giving the character more than his initial score, or does it only replace dice up to the character's score?

Example: Vaxx has a parasite demon, Jor, with a power of 7 that confers the ability big.  Vaxx has a stamina of 4.  Vaxx takes 2 lasting and 2 temporary penalites for a total of 4 in all.  Does  the big ability simply stand in for the missing dice up to Vaxx's original score of 4, or does the full power of 7 apply giving him a score of 7 for his next action?

And say Vaxx aborts his next action, the round after, to defend, does he then only have his 1 die, or are the replacements in effect (like padding) from that point onward?

Finally, Once our Combat has ended, say Vaxx has taken a total of 9 permanent penalties.  About half go away when he rests following combat, bringing total penalties down to 5.  Does the big ability go offline in which case the character suffers 5 penalties until he heals a little, or does Big come into effect, conditionally of course, whenever the character does a roll in the future (until he heals).  Which, I note gives the Demon a nice bit of power to screw the character around with.

thanks,

Trevis.

Ron Edwards

Hello,

Big does act as a replacement for dice lost to penalties, as you state. However, it does not replace over the lost amount, just up to it. (And as you probably already understand, if the lost amount is bigger than the Big, then the Big only replaces up to the demon's Power.)

QuoteExample: Vaxx has a parasite demon, Jor, with a power of 7 that confers the ability big. Vaxx has a stamina of 4. Vaxx takes 2 lasting and 2 temporary penalites for a total of 4 in all. Does the big ability simply stand in for the missing dice up to Vaxx's original score of 4, or does the full power of 7 apply giving him a score of 7 for his next action?

Vaxx's next action is conducted with a score of 4, if it is a Stamina action. Let's say his Will is 6. If his next action is a Will action, then he uses six dice.

QuoteAnd say Vaxx aborts his next action, the round after, to defend, does he then only have his 1 die, or are the replacements in effect (like padding) from that point onward?

The replacement is in effect like padding, counting the whole conflict as one use of Big. (Demons tend not to wear out from using Big, Armor, and similar "on = one use" scores, but rather by using many of them as well as making lots of attacks.)

QuoteFinally, Once our Combat has ended, say Vaxx has taken a total of 9 permanent penalties. About half go away when he rests following combat, bringing total penalties down to 5. Does the big ability go offline in which case the character suffers 5 penalties until he heals a little, or does Big come into effect, conditionally of course, whenever the character does a roll in the future (until he heals). Which, I note gives the Demon a nice bit of power to screw the character around with.

Big is taken into account at the end, looking at his total of 5 permanent penalties, to figure out how badly hurt Vaxx is. As it turns out, he's not badly hurt! Cool! As you realize, without Big, Vaxx would be in very bad shape.

Now, those penalties do stick around. And once that final step is concluded, then Big is "over" for this conflict. So even though Vaxx is not hospitalized, he is in pain and will have to heal up. Arguably, to do anything effectively later, in a new scene or conflict, he'll have to turn on the Big again.

Best,
Ron

Trevis Martin

Thanks a lot.  All good now.

Just to clairfy for the reader (b/c I was confused a little at first when I read it.)

Quote from: Ron EdwardsBig is taken into account at the end, looking at his total of 5 permanent penalties, to figure out how badly hurt Vaxx is. As it turns out, he's not badly hurt! Cool! As you realize, without Big, Vaxx would be in very bad shape.

You still consider big when estimating how hurt the character is per the chart for lasting damage on p 109 and 132.  So Vaxx with his five penalites shored up by Jor's power of seven is apprantly not hurt much at all (I would rule superficial bruises/scrapes.)  After that estimation is made however, Big is off and Vaxx is (mechanically) operating at a -5 penalty for everything until he heals.

Spiffy,

Thanks again

Trevis