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Damage Bonus: RQ6 VS BRP


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#1 Michael Hopcroft

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 11:18 PM

One think I'm wondering about is the difference in the Damage Bonus calculation between RQ6 and BRP. In BRP, a dragon with STR 30 and SIZ 50 has a damage bonus of +4d6. In RQ6 it's only 2d8. I'm curious about the difference.

I'm thinking the reason might be that the two games do damage differently. So a RQ6 dragon who bites you for 1d12+2D8 is still going to do enough damage to wherever it strikes to, at the very least, ruin your day. In fact, few PCs could survive such a chomp (or, at the very least, any limb that gets chomped is gone). The typical BRP dragon is many times stronger and larger and does 11d6 with one chomp. One resultant to the RQ6 dragon still does 7d6 impaling, which will again ruin your day unless you happen to hail from Krypton.

Why is this?

#2 soltakss

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 12:37 PM

Damage Bonuses in MRQ2/Legend/RQ6 work differently to those in BRP/RQ2/RQ3.

The incremental steps are smaller, which means that creatures with higher STR/SIZ don't do extreme amounts of damage.

It also tops out at a certain point, meaning that the tables cease to make a lot of sense. One rationale is that, beyond a certain STR/SIZ it doesn't matter as they all do the same incredible amount of damage.

Also, weapon sizes make a big difference in RQ6, so having an Enormous weapon has a big effect in combat.
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#3 Michael Hopcroft

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 05:16 PM

This bringe me back to the dragon example. A dragon in RQ6 has about half the STR and SIZ scores of the same dragon in BRP (or at least possibly the same dragon -- hard to tell with the things). A RQ3 dragon has the BRP stats, so evidently this was a conscious decision on the part of the MRQ/RQ6 designers. Have dragons been nerfed?

#4 soltakss

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 06:08 PM

Not just dragons, basically any very large/strong monster has had its damage bonus reduced.

It takes away the fun of rolling handfuls of D6s as damage, but doe make even gross creatures beatable.
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#5 Rich Tom

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 08:30 PM

I think that you’ll find that damage is generally higher in BRP/MW than in RRQ6 across the board and not just with dragons, and large monsters. For example Chainmail absorbs 7 points of damage in RQ6 and 1d8+1 in MW which is an average of 5.5. A scimitar does 1d6+2 damage in BRP and 1d8 in RQ6. With a combined STR+ SIZ score of 30 in BRP/MW your damage bonus is +1d4 and in RQ6 it’s +1d2.

Perhaps the real balancing aspect of RQ6 is the way hit points are governed with each body part only having a few each, whereas In BRP/ you get a hit point pool, which if heroically played can be quite high. So overall I think the two systems workout about the same with perhaps the BRP/MW system being very slightly more dangerous.

However generally if my players get attacked by dragons in either game, we end up writing out new ones.

#6 DamonJynx

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 09:59 PM

[QUOTE=Rich Tom;54381Perhaps the real balancing aspect of RQ6 is the way hit points are governed with each body part only having a few each, whereas In BRP/ you get a hit point pool, which if heroically played can be quite high. So overall I think the two systems workout about the same with perhaps the BRP/MW system being very slightly more dangerous.

However generally if my players get attacked by dragons in either game, we end up writing out new ones.[/QUOTE]

You've hit the nail on the head. The RQ6 dragon with a successful bite and an ineffective parry, while it may not be immediately fatal, will certainly require a Resilience roll for a serious wound at best; assuming average rolls, 16 points of damage and plate armour 8 AP, that means 8 points of damage will get through, enough to bring any of an average humans Hit Locations into negative. Take into consideration Combat Manoeuvres and the fight, for that PC at least, is over.

#7 lawrence.whitaker

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 11:26 AM

Have dragons been nerfed?


No. Because, if you read the description provided in the RQ6 rules, you'll see, in the fourth para on page 346 the following statement (emphasis mine):

The dragon characteristics provided here are for a young beast... Older specimens should have their skills, physical characteristics and natural protection augmented to reflect increasing age and experience.

Take into account this, the whole range of traits they've been given, and the careful weighing of their attack types, and you should find that dragons are actually anything but nerfed...
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#8 Michael Hopcroft

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 03:13 AM

However generally if my players get attacked by dragons in either game, we end up writing out new ones.


Dragons go after your players? Remind me not to game with you before a work day. :)

(I know what you meant, mind you, but it was the sort of opening only a saint could resist.)

I wonder if players who expect their characters to be facing dragons sooner or later are disappointed when they do and find themselves hopelessly outmatched.

#9 bturner

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 04:27 AM

Whether characters who end up facing dragons should expect any chance of survival is much more a story consideration. The dragons Tolkien wrote about were much more like natural disasters than monsters: they consumed armies and laid wrack to cities, and to stop one demanded the capabilities of a hero (often a doomed hero). If that's the portrayal your game takes, random mercenaries should hardly expect to win in a fair fight. But then, who says dragons need to be fought in set-piece fashion? :-)

#10 Michael Hopcroft

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 04:42 AM

Whether characters who end up facing dragons should expect any chance of survival is much more a story consideration. The dragons Tolkien wrote about were much more like natural disasters than monsters: they consumed armies and laid wrack to cities, and to stop one demanded the capabilities of a hero (often a doomed hero). If that's the portrayal your game takes, random mercenaries should hardly expect to win in a fair fight. But then, who says dragons need to be fought in set-piece fashion? :-)


Dragons are also, generally speaking, too smart to fight fair. IIRC Smaug didn't exactly "fight fair" when he took over the Misty Mountain. A dragon who is both a living WMD AND a tactical and strategic genius is a force to be reckoned with.

You would have to be a fanatic to take one on and the stuff legends are made of to win. If you do it for the fame, or the glory, or for the promise of a great reward, you can be described in one word -- Lunch.

#11 seneschal

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 05:49 AM

Successful dragonslayers didn't always "fight fair" themselves. In one version of the tale, Sigfried found the trench Fafnir used to reach water, dug a hole in the mud, then stabbed him in the belly as the worm slid over him. Crusader John Lambton wore spiked armor so that the Lambton Worm impaled itself when it attempted to crush him. Daniel poisoned the dragon of Babylon with doctored barleycake offerings. Beowulf, who insisted on battling a dragon mano y draco, "won" but was fatally wounded in the process. St. George fared better, but his foe spit poison rather than flames, and George had the advantage of a lance or spear to keep the thing beyond arm's length.

Personally, I think a squadron of F-18s would be just the thing to teach Smaug some manners. Persaude the dwarves such a thing is possible and they'll figure out a way to build 'em. ;)

#12 bturner

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 03:09 PM

Dragons are also, generally speaking, too smart to fight fair. IIRC Smaug didn't exactly "fight fair" when he took over the Misty Mountain. A dragon who is both a living WMD AND a tactical and strategic genius is a force to be reckoned with.

You would have to be a fanatic to take one on and the stuff legends are made of to win. If you do it for the fame, or the glory, or for the promise of a great reward, you can be described in one word -- Lunch.


Agreed.

To take a slightly different tack (and make the idea of dragon-slaying more likely in games), consider the idea of a dragon race that pursues a low-Q reproductive strategy. This is very much not in the spirit of either Gloranthan dragons (who don't have a "reproductive strategy" in the sense that mundane creatures understand it) or Tolkien's dragons (who were originally an effort in embodying malignant spirits by Morgoth), but certainly would fit into normal fantasy tropes. An adult dragon lays a huge clutch of eggs and then abandons it somewhat before they hatch. All of them hatch around the same time and turn into a veritable plague of dragonlings. They'd spread out pretty fast to sate their hunger. Anybody in the area would very quickly be in the market for aspiring dragon-hunters, who might need only be able to kill a worm 3 to 4 meters long.

#13 bturner

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 03:16 PM

Successful dragonslayers didn't always "fight fair" themselves. In one version of the tale, Sigfried found the trench Fafnir used to reach water, dug a hole in the mud, then stabbed him in the belly as the worm slid over him. Crusader John Lambton wore spiked armor so that the Lambton Worm impaled itself when it attempted to crush him. Daniel poisoned the dragon of Babylon with doctored barleycake offerings. Beowulf, who insisted on battling a dragon mano y draco, "won" but was fatally wounded in the process. St. George fared better, but his foe spit poison rather than flames, and George had the advantage of a lance or spear to keep the thing beyond arm's length.

Personally, I think a squadron of F-18s would be just the thing to teach Smaug some manners. Persaude the dwarves such a thing is possible and they'll figure out a way to build 'em. ;)


Those are very good examples, and really point out that there are only two good ways for a hero to defeat something fifty times his size: be clever, or have a very remarkable edge in his favor. It entertains me that Tolkien visibly borrowed from the Volsunga Saga in describing how Turin slew Glaurung -Turin's approach was nearly a copy of Siegfried's.

Edited by bturner, 08 March 2014 - 03:17 PM.
grammar cleanup


#14 seneschal

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 04:46 PM

Not all dragons are created equal, though. The creature St. George fought -- based on paintings and illustrations -- was the size of a large crocodile, although poisonous and much more agile. The Lambton Worm and Python, the monster slain by the Greek god Apollo, were basically giant constrictors. (Anaconda, anyone? Hey, just where is Jennifer Lopez now that we need her?) The dragon of Babylon, though dangerous, was small enough to be kept in captivity by the priests who profited by its worship. We aren't sure how big the firedrake was, but the squad of soldiers Beowulf brought along to assist him was afraid to tackle it. Smaug, the Hyde River dragon from the novel The Oath, and Vermithrax from the 1981 movie Dragonslayer were all invulnerable freight train-sized flying flame-throwers. Toho's Godzilla and Ghidorah are skyscraper-sized behemoths invulnerable to the heaviest of modern weapons (why does the Japanese military always send in ground troops armed with mere rifles?), and Godzilla can regenerate from the tiniest scrap even if mankind does manage to temporarily defeat him. Beating any dragon is an epic accomplishment, but there's a difference between slaying a grizzly bear-sized lizard and taking out Gappa the Triphibian Monster.

#15 Michael Hopcroft

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 05:04 PM

Agreed.

To take a slightly different tack (and make the idea of dragon-slaying more likely in games), consider the idea of a dragon race that pursues a low-Q reproductive strategy. This is very much not in the spirit of either Gloranthan dragons (who don't have a "reproductive strategy" in the sense that mundane creatures understand it) or Tolkien's dragons (who were originally an effort in embodying malignant spirits by Morgoth), but certainly would fit into normal fantasy tropes. An adult dragon lays a huge clutch of eggs and then abandons it somewhat before they hatch. All of them hatch around the same time and turn into a veritable plague of dragonlings. They'd spread out pretty fast to sate their hunger. Anybody in the area would very quickly be in the market for aspiring dragon-hunters, who might need only be able to kill a worm 3 to 4 meters long.


I don't know that I want to think too hard about dragon mating season in your example. Given that dragons are so solitary, the nearest potential mate could be hundreds of miles away. Imagine rutting dragons criss-crossing the world in search of partners in a driven frenzy. Surely everyone would know something was going on. This would also probably be a rare event -- once every century or so -- so how prepared humans would be for this (and for the release of the hatchlings into the world six months to two years later) is uncertain.

#16 seneschal

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 06:12 PM

But it fits the mating patterns of many real solitary animals. They live alone most of the time but desperately hunt each other down when the hormones kick in. Spectacular combats with potential rivals are followed by sometimes bizarre rituals. After mating, the male and female separate (or the male is driven off, or is killed and eaten by the female). The female bears her young and cares for them for a time before chasing them away once her body is ready to reproduce again.

In the case of dragons, we can't assume the mothers lay their eggs and abandon them. Crocodiles and alligators, the largest existing reptiles, zealously guard their nests and care for their little ones after they hatch. Some snakes hatch their eggs internally, giving birth to live young. Dragons might even be warm-blooded and exhibit mammalian traits while rearing their babies. By all accounts, young dragons grow up fast. The creatures unleashed upon the world wouldn't be dog-sized hatchlings. They'd be partially grown, fully effective predators as large as a hog or calf or larger.

#17 Michael Hopcroft

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 01:47 AM

But it fits the mating patterns of many real solitary animals. They live alone most of the time but desperately hunt each other down when the hormones kick in. Spectacular combats with potential rivals are followed by sometimes bizarre rituals. After mating, the male and female separate (or the male is driven off, or is killed and eaten by the female). The female bears her young and cares for them for a time before chasing them away once her body is ready to reproduce again.


In the case of dragons, would it be reasonable to think that these combats can take many, many forms? Is the dragon trying to kill off his rival, or would driving him off so that he can breed with someone else be a suitable option?

Or perhaps "solitary" dragons mate for life but live apart except when it comes time to breed. Then they reunite and stay together until just before the eggs hatch, after which the father goes back to his own lair (possibly taking some of the young with him so he can raise them).

There would not be a lot of adult dragons running around in any event. It's possible to have only a hundred or two hundred individuals in the entire world and still be a genetically viable species. It's possible that out of a hundred baby dragons born only five live to be adults. Once they get there, though, they're going to be around for hundreds of years.

#18 seneschal

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 04:15 AM

Well, and a dragon's favorite meal is another (smaller) dragon. The young are safe until Mom says it's time to go. Once they're on their own, they are fair game, even if the next dragon they meet happens to be Mom.




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