Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Barak Shathur

Damage bonus

Recommended Posts

Hi, is it just me or is damage bonus a tad high in the BRP family? Given that the average STR and SIZ for humans is just 1 point away from db it means almost everyone has it and it makes it a bit meaningless IMO. It also makes every fight exceedingly deadly.  I think it became a problem when human SIZ went from 3D6 to 2D6+6. Any thoughts on this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd prefer a more gradual increase in damage bonus, as adding a 1D6 is a big leap.  Going from say a 1D8 to a 1D10 then up to 2D6 for example, so you'd have smaller but more frequent damage bonus increases. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wait until you meet trolls, giants or dragons with buckets of D6s as damage bonuses.

A +1D4 or +1D6 Damage Bonus really is nothing. Against someone with armour, you might do damage or might not. If they parry, then you rarely do damage.

Magic has far more effect than Damage Bonus for normal humans.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, ORtrail said:

I'd prefer a more gradual increase in damage bonus, as adding a 1D6 is a big leap.  Going from say a 1D8 to a 1D10 then up to 2D6 for example, so you'd have smaller but more frequent damage bonus increases. 

I agree. I would start it at 1D2 instead of 1D4, then D6, D8, D10 etc. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, soltakss said:

Wait until you meet trolls, giants or dragons with buckets of D6s as damage bonuses.

A +1D4 or +1D6 Damage Bonus really is nothing. Against someone with armour, you might do damage or might not. If they parry, then you rarely do damage.

Magic has far more effect than Damage Bonus for normal humans.

Well that’s kind of my point, giants, trolls and dragons are huge creatures who should do much more damage than humans. But 1D4 adds up to 50% more damage to most one handed melee weapons, so that an average blow from a broadsword (4,5+1+2,5=8 hp) will sever a 4 hp arm. That doesn’t sound right to me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In practice, people normally have some kind of armour.

Having played someone without a damage bonus and someone with a damage bonus, we much preferred with a damage bonus. If we had spare capacity for STR that gave the chance of a damage bonus in future we generally tried to train up STR to get that damage bonus.

If not, we cast Strength to boost STR to get the damage bonus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, soltakss said:

In practice, people normally have some kind of armour.

Having played someone without a damage bonus and someone with a damage bonus, we much preferred with a damage bonus. If we had spare capacity for STR that gave the chance of a damage bonus in future we generally tried to train up STR to get that damage bonus.

If not, we cast Strength to boost STR to get the damage bonus.

Yes, under those conditions everyone is forced to wear armour or get truncated.  It’s that level of damage inflation I have a problem with. But you don’t, and that’s fine.

Of course we all prefer for our characters to have db, I just don’t think it should be so commonplace. I like it better in RQ 1 and 2 where human SIZ was 3D6 and it was just a little harder to get. Actually, I think this is the core of the problem. The 2D6+6 SIZ also creates that weird discrepancy between STR and SIZ, where a regular human is weak relative to size. I’m guessing they introduced this change to avoid unrealistically small characters, but I think they broke the system a little bit and it could have been done better. I wonder if that was the reasoning or if it was something else. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Barak Shathur said:

Yes, under those conditions everyone is forced to wear armour or get truncated.  It’s that level of damage inflation I have a problem with. But you don’t, and that’s fine.

The thing with the damage bonus is that it jumps in d6 increments. Now each d6 does represent a 400% increase in force, so it's not too unrealistic, especially as animals and monsters in BRP tend to be much stronger than humans. A bear really does have several times the strength and size of a man, and so can really rip someone apart with a swipe from a claw. But...

...in real life animals don't always attack with their full strength. That is usually overkill, ans either wastes energy, or is counterproductive to what the animal was trying to do. For instance, if hunting a predator generally wants to take down prey with the east amount of effort so that it can gain more food that it expends in the hunt. Likewise if an animal just wants to drive off another animal, it might not want to commit to a full force attack. 

 

1 hour ago, Barak Shathur said:

Of course we all prefer for our characters to have db, I just don’t think it should be so commonplace. I like it better in RQ 1 and 2 where human SIZ was 3D6 and it was just a little harder to get. Actually, I think this is the core of the problem.

It is part of it. Generally the average character's damage when from unmodified to a 50% chance of +1d4. A more gradual, smoother db progression, that started at say, +1d2, and then stepped up the die every 5 or 6 points would be similar to the official progression, but probably work a bit better. 

There is also a bit of a problem with using multiple d6s. Thanks to the bell curve the db becomes less variable than it probably should be. Stepping up the die size could help with that, too. Something like 3d10s as opposed to 5d6.

1 hour ago, Barak Shathur said:

The 2D6+6 SIZ also creates that weird discrepancy between STR and SIZ, where a regular human is weak relative to size. I’m guessing they introduced this change to avoid unrealistically small characters, but I think they broke the system a little bit and it could have been done better. I wonder if that was the reasoning or if it was something else. 

It was done not only to avoid unrealistically small characters, but to allow for animals and creatures that were smaller than humans. With 3d6 you only had SIZ 1 and 2 to work with if you wanted to stat up a dog, deer or cat.

Realistically most people are relatively weak compared to their size. Most men can't lift their own body weight. Also, thanks to something know as the cube-square law, in general, strength increases a a lower rate than mass does. This is why ants can lift or drag ten times their body weight (or more) while elephants cannot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

It was done not only to avoid unrealistically small characters, but to allow for animals and creatures that were smaller than humans. With 3d6 you only had SIZ 1 and 2 to work with if you wanted to stat up a dog, deer or cat.

Realistically most people are relatively weak compared to their size. Most men can't lift their own body weight. Also, thanks to something know as the cube-square law, in general, strength increases a a lower rate than mass does. This is why ants can lift or drag ten times their body weight (or more) while elephants cannot.

The part about small animals makes sense, but they could have achieved it without bumping the SIZ stat. Maybe by setting 8 as a lowest minimum, with values under that rerolled or set at 8. Or they could have used e.g. 6D3. But I guess either of those would have gone too far beyond contemporary stating conventions. 

Interesting point about the cube-square thing! Still, in terms of "man as the measure of all things" and 11 as the measure of all men, having two stats jump out like that feels somehow arbitrary, a clumsy solution to a (maybe unecessary) problem.

Thanks for your input, that's definitely food for thought!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have STR requirements for all of the weapons in my game.  Light Weapons (a descriptor I use in my game) give a bonus of +1 for every 10 full points of surplus STR the wielder has.  Heavy Weapons (another descriptor I use) do +1 to damage for every 5 points of surplus STR the wielder has.  I add +1 to the wielder's base STR score for every 10 points of SIZ over 10 that the wielder has.  My damage chart runs like this...

+1

+1D2

+1D3

+1D4

+1D6 (yes, I skip 1D5 because you have hit very large creatures at this level).

+1D8

+1D10

+1D12

and so on...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Barak, I will hypothesise... since I dunno what is the real problem you have in game.. But it might be a little like me.. Since I only really GM a D100 game only recently... But I was always keen because HP don't change and are not too high! (though I am still contemplating every now and then use the CON+SIZE option instead of (CON+SIZ)/2 for HP)

On one hand it's not very unrealistic (in fact it is realistic!) to die to 1 or 2 sword stroke.. (though it is definitely unrealistic to die, on average, from 3 punches), on the other hand it's. somewhat uncomfortable to kill the player characters almost on a whim and rather quickly... so if this is what annoys you, this is how I am slowly getting ok with it:

- 1: Luck points, very important, lot of ways to die quickly and nastily in BRP. And maybe damage are a tad much sometimes. But hey, that why you use luck point to avoid the situation altogether! Use CoC 7 rule for luck point, it's gud!

- 2: Another CoC 7: 0 HP or less doesn't necessary mean death!

- 3: finally (optional) location HP kind of give more life to a character.. though it is somewhat problematic with high damage / spell. undecided here...

Edited by Lloyd Dupont

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

The part about small animals makes sense, but they could have achieved it without bumping the SIZ stat. Maybe by setting 8 as a lowest minimum, with values under that rerolled or set at 8.

Well rerolling would be about the same as 2d6+6, and bumping 3-7 up to an 8 would mean that over 25% of characters would have been SIZ 8. Neither would seem to me to be a better solution. 

6 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

Or they could have used e.g. 6D3. But I guess either of those would have gone too far beyond contemporary stating conventions. 

Or 2d6+3, or even 2d8+2, which wouldn't have. But, 2d6+6 also allowed them to use a SIZ to mass formula that help up with human and animal stats. 

 

6 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

Interesting point about the cube-square thing!

I find it very helpful for statting up new cratures, and scienstists actually use it to estimate things like the mass and relative strength of extinct species. It's not exact, but it gives you a good ballpark figure. Since STR is tied to muscles, then a creature that weights more will tend to have more muscle mass and tend to be stronger. 

6 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

 

Still, in terms of "man as the measure of all things" and 11 as the measure of all men, having two stats jump out like that feels somehow arbitrary, a clumsy solution to a (maybe unecessary) problem.

THat's just it, man ins't the measure of all things. In old D&D 3d6 for everything worked because the attributes were on a human scale. Animals and monsters didn't have STR, CON and SIZ scores, just AC hit dice and such. So any attribute was only compare to other humans, elves, dwarves, and other creatures on the same scale. 

In RQ, cretures, animals and monsters used the same attributes as humans, and  and the scale for attributes needed to reflect that. With RQ2 SIZ was better tied to mass (and weight) making it easier to rate things relative to each other. 

It is  actually less clumsy that the 3d6 for all things approach-which is why it was changed, but, IMO they should have adjusted the damage bonus forumal to refect the fact the average STR+SIZ total was now 23.5 instead of 21. 

6 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

Thanks for your input, that's definitely food for thought!

Glad you liked it. Ultimately it probably isn't that big a deal. With most characters the extra damage tends to be offset by the slightly raised armor values at the high end, and the removal of the upper caps for battle magic. For big creatures/monsters the stats didn't change much, and the change in Attack bonus really helped by capping how much STR factored in. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Barak, I will hypothesise... since I dunno what is the real problem you have in game.. But it might be a little like me.. Since I only really GM a D100 game only recently... But I was always keen because HP don't change and are not too high! (though I am still contemplating every now and then use the CON+SIZE option instead of (CON+SIZ)/2 for HP)

On one hand it's not very unrealistic (in fact it is realistic!) to die to 1 or 2 sword stroke.. (though it is definitely unrealistic to die, on average, from 3 punches), on the other hand it's. somewhat uncomfortable to kill the player characters almost on a whim and rather quickly... so if this is what annoys you, this is how I am slowly getting ok with it:

 

No, this is not my problem at all. I like that it is possible to die on a single sword stroke. But it should be from a maximally hard sword stroke if it is a onehanded sword wielded by a normal human, i.e. one that rolls the highest damage possible on the die, in this case 8 on a D8. With a damage bonus which increases the power of the sword with up to 50%, all it takes is a median roll on the D8, i.e. 4-5, to critically damage a 4 point limb such as the arm (4-5 on 1D8 plus 1 for a broadsword= 5 or 6 hp, plus 2 or 3 on 1D4 = 7 or 8 hp damage, about twice the hp of the arm which will lop it off). This means that about 50% of "normal" broadsword strokes will sever limbs and this seems unbalanced to me , and the argument that one could always wear armour put forth above is not satisfactory. Now if the 1D4 db was limited to very strong characters or monsters, then yes, it would make sense that a blow of but average force could sever the arm of a regular guy. This is my problem, the frequency of severed limbs (which is a common critique of RQ).

Edited by Barak Shathur

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

THat's just it, man ins't the measure of all things. In old D&D 3d6 for everything worked because the attributes were on a human scale. Animals and monsters didn't have STR, CON and SIZ scores, just AC hit dice and such. So any attribute was only compare to other humans, elves, dwarves, and other creatures on the same scale. 

In RQ, cretures, animals and monsters used the same attributes as humans, and  and the scale for attributes needed to reflect that. With RQ2 SIZ was better tied to mass (and weight) making it easier to rate things relative to each other. 

It is  actually less clumsy that the 3d6 for all things approach-which is why it was changed, but, IMO they should have adjusted the damage bonus forumal to refect the fact the average STR+SIZ total was now 23.5 instead of 21. 

Ok, but in this case they weren't consistent, I wonder what a SIZ 2 dwarf or halfling would look like (SIZ 2D6 and 2D3, respectively). They should have one of their SIZ dies replaced by the max roll too, shouldn't they?

 This change, and nerfing the db, might just fix my issue with this game that I love so much.

EDIT: I realise I have started talking about RQ3 in terms of the dwarf or halfling SIZ, don't remember what it is in BRP)

Edited by Barak Shathur

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

It is part of it. Generally the average character's damage when from unmodified to a 50% chance of +1d4. A more gradual, smoother db progression, that started at say, +1d2, and then stepped up the die every 5 or 6 points would be similar to the official progression, but probably work a bit better. .

That's how Mythras damage bonus works, with a 0 db between 21 and 25,  and a die that grows or decreases by 1 step every 5 points.

Base weapon damage have a tendency to be smaller, though, with daggers doing 1d4 instead of 1d4+2 and broadswords dealing 1d8 instead of 1d8+1.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Mugen said:

Base weapon damage have a tendency to be smaller, though, with daggers doing 1d4 instead of 1d4+2 and broadswords dealing 1d8 instead of 1d8+1.

because of the special effects which compensate this, AFAI.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Zit said:

because of the special effects which compensate this, AFAI.

I think it's unrelated, given the weapon damage values are a legacy of MRQ1, which didn't have special effects.

My guess is it was an attempt to make the game less deadly (hp per localisation was also higher), and perhaps to use values closer to D&D OGL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...