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Neeed Advice On A Small Detail


Rob

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Hey, I'm Rob and am new to this forum.

I have a BRP book and have learned a fair bit from it, but I was looking over the examples of poisons, each having a description of symptoms and a potency number. The thing is, it doesn't tell you how to apply this to any poisons or venoms not in the book, so my question is; how do you figure out what value a certain poison may have? How would you know what to compare it to?

I ask because I'm writing up my own game and some classic creatures have been altered to take on my own twists, some including venom/poison. The problem is, while I have the symptoms written up, I have no idea what would be a fair potency to apply to each. Are there any guidelines I can use? Do any of you have tips or something I can work with?

I'd really appreciate if you can help me out here, since randomly allocating a value would end up either becoming stupidly powerful or not powerful enough.

Money can't buy happiness. But it can buy marshmallows, which is kind of the same thing.

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The problem is, while I have the symptoms written up, I have no idea what would be a fair potency to apply to each.

The best way to deal with this would be to do a little Internet research concerning

the toxicity of various real world poisons in order to get a feel what plausible toxici-

ties / potencies would be like. A short cut is the fact that a poison's toxicity can be

expressed as the percentage of persons who are killed by the poison, or suffer the

poison's maximum effect if the poison is not a lethal one. So if you define the poten-

cy of your poison as the number of people of an average Constitution which are da-

maged or killed by the poison, you can compare that desired strength of your poison

with the Resistance Table on page 171 of the BRP book. For example, a poison that

is intended to damage or kill 75 % of all persons with an average Constitution of 11

needs a Potency of 16, a poison that is designed to hurt 40 % of all heroes with a

Constitution of 15 needs a Potency of 13, and so on.

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Approaching the thing from a different angle.

What I (sometimes) tend to do is relate the Potency to a statistic of the creature in someway. Base the POT on the critters POW, for example, which can potentially make for a powerful bite attack, depending on the critter.

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Great ideas, guys, thans. I'll give an example. My game will have vampires, but their bite does not turn people (they breed rather than turn). Instead, their bite, if a save is failed, would cause the victim to slowly rot from the inside out, like a nastier version of leprosy. What would you say its POT should be? Low? Mid level?

Money can't buy happiness. But it can buy marshmallows, which is kind of the same thing.

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mmmm......tough one. In my game diseases and such like have two POT expressed 10/11 ( for example ) the first is POT for catching disease the second for the effect. Use the common cold as an example. It's highly infectious so would have a high POT for catching it. yet in most cases it's fairly harmless so would have low POT for damage. Maybe the chances of catching the vampiric rot are low, but once you've it caught your fate is pretty much sealed ? so you might express it as:

Vampiric Rot: POT 5/20 where POT is rolled against CON on the resistance table

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That's a damn good idea, I forgot disease in games worked that way. I have others, like harpy and medusa venom, but the vamp one is a good guideline. Thanks Agentorange!

Money can't buy happiness. But it can buy marshmallows, which is kind of the same thing.

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Welcome to the forums, Rob!

How would you know what to compare it to?

This isn't an area that I've thought a lot about, so I'm not much use in the conversation except to say that when tooling around with the rules I like to first figure out what I want the end result to be, then run the numbers to try to find a good middle ground. After that, I look at the extremes to see where it breaks and what the special circumstances are.

Now, the Resistance Table is pretty straight forward so I'd think it depends on where you consider your average Constitution score. If you've got a venom at POT 8 it's going to have a much greater effect on PCs who's Con averages 11 and PCs who's Con averages 13. But that all ties in to how you like to generate characters.

In my game diseases and such like have two POT expressed 10/11 ( for example )

Words do not express how much I love this. Consider it yoinked.

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Hey, I'm Rob and am new to this forum.

I have a BRP book and have learned a fair bit from it, but I was looking over the examples of poisons, each having a description of symptoms and a potency number. The thing is, it doesn't tell you how to apply this to any poisons or venoms not in the book, so my question is; how do you figure out what value a certain poison may have? How would you know what to compare it to?

You've got great timing. As luck would have it Erasamus and I have been working on some animal stats and just recently devlved into the realm of venom and other toxins.

The way scientists handle this is something called LD50. LD50 means how much toxin would kill 50% of 1kg mass of creatures that are exposed to it. THis is very nice for those of use who play BRP because it mirrors the way POT and the resistance table works. The 50% mortiality rate in BRP occurs when the POT equals the CON (Hit Points) of the target. THe POT also increases with the amount of venom. For example the King Corbra has realtively weak venom compared to some other snakes, but it has a lot of it, and that gives the bite a higher POT.

With the LD50 values and dosage you can work out fairly accurate POT values for any venomous creature. With some limits. First off, most LD50 values are based off on the effect on ll mice (or rats), and these values might not translate directly to humans. Many snakes that hunt mice have venom that is tailored towards killing mice. Also, the LD50 can vary based upon the type of wound. Not surprisingly if a critter manages to bite deep and hit a vein the bite tends to be more lethal than with just a light scratch. But LD50 still gives us ballpark figures.

Our tables aren't finished yet, but if you want we could show you our method, table for determining POT from LD50 and dosage, and/or POT values for some sample poisonous creatures and toxic substances.

I ask because I'm writing up my own game and some classic creatures have been altered to take on my own twists, some including venom/poison. The problem is, while I have the symptoms written up, I have no idea what would be a fair potency to apply to each. Are there any guidelines I can use? Do any of you have tips or something I can work with?

I'd really appreciate if you can help me out here, since randomly allocating a value would end up either becoming stupidly powerful or not powerful enough.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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In my game diseases and such like have two POT expressed 10/11 ( for example ) the first is POT for catching disease the second for the effect.
This is brilliant. Wow. So simple, its been staring me in the face all these years! Thank you - its now in my home rules as well...!

" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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That's a damn good idea, I forgot disease in games worked that way. I have others, like harpy and medusa venom, but the vamp one is a good guideline. Thanks Agentorange!

The other thing to think about is that POT doesn't of necessity have to equal damage, Using my example of the common cold you might have a fantasy version that goes:

The Big Chill

POT 25/1D3

A highly infectious yet relatively harmless virus endemic to Oerth. Virtually everybody exposed to it will contract it, yet the symptoms are mild. For each day infected roll damage POTency against CON on the resistance table, if the virus wins all physical skills are considered hard for that day. If the virus loses subtract POT times 3 from all physical skills for that day. In any event all other skills are at minus POT times 3 for the day.

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Some excellent ideas here and I like the scientific touch of Atgxtg. Snakes are a good example and one of my creatures is a snake, so I'll be looking at snake venoms to give me an idea for what to give it in terms of POT and damage.

For others, they're entirely fictional, lie my vamires, medusae and harpies (all of them potentially nasty). I'll look into LD50 and Agentorange's vampire rot idea to help guage my other venoms and toxins. One is a paralysis venom, so its damage should be pretty low as it's more a muscle relaxant, rather than muscle spasms, which can lead to respiratory failure. Maybe I should keep that in mind for cases of overdosing?

The medusa in my game, as mentioned, will have a venomous bite instead of the petrification gaze attack. My idea is that the venom will cause the cells in the body to become solid or calcify, giving them the stony appearance once it has fully done its work. So, am I right in saying it should be high POT and damage? When I think of it, it makes sense that it would be.

Money can't buy happiness. But it can buy marshmallows, which is kind of the same thing.

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Some excellent ideas here and I like the scientific touch of Atgxtg. Snakes are a good example and one of my creatures is a snake, so I'll be looking at snake venoms to give me an idea for what to give it in terms of POT and damage.

One thing that is frustrating but helpful about the "scientific method" is that there are so many variables in determining the POT. It varies by age, size, health, diet, and geogrphical location of the creature, by the quantity of venom injected, by the location and depth of the bite, and by the phsiology of the species and even of the individual being bitten. So much so that POT can vary considerably, even by more that 20 points!. It's frustrating in that it makes it impossible to pin POTZ down to one number and have it be at all accruate. It's helpful in that it gives us a lot of wiggle room for assigning a POT score.

I'll pull together some same snake data and the method I used to determine POT.

I really like Agentorange's idea of separating the POT from the damage. It opens up a lot of possibilites, such as a disase that can be deadly but only affect those who are already unhealthy (low CON). Or, as Agentorange mentioned, something like the the common cold, which nearly everybody catches, but doesn't do a lot of "damage".

For others, they're entirely fictional, lie my vamires, medusae and harpies (all of them potentially nasty). I'll look into LD50 and Agentorange's vampire rot idea to help guage my other venoms and toxins. One is a paralysis venom, so its damage should be pretty low as it's more a muscle relaxant, rather than muscle spasms, which can lead to respiratory failure. Maybe I should keep that in mind for cases of overdosing?

The medusa in my game, as mentioned, will have a venomous bite instead of the petrification gaze attack. My idea is that the venom will cause the cells in the body to become solid or calcify, giving them the stony appearance once it has fully done its work. So, am I right in saying it should be high POT and damage? When I think of it, it makes sense that it would be.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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  • 2 weeks later...

One other thing. I'm thinking of adding in some fantasy races to give players some versatility, but here's the thing; it's modern day, so do I make them available to both worlds or just the one they will be visiting?

Money can't buy happiness. But it can buy marshmallows, which is kind of the same thing.

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Depends on the races and the worlds.

If there is free travel between worlds then have them on both.

If travel is restricted or magical then they would have to have a very good reason to be on both worlds.

Also, do they look like the other races in the worlds? If not, and the worlds have a xenophobic element, then they might have a reason not be be on both worlds.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

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Depends on the races and the worlds.

If there is free travel between worlds then have them on both.

If travel is restricted or magical then they would have to have a very good reason to be on both worlds.

Also, do they look like the other races in the worlds? If not, and the worlds have a xenophobic element, then they might have a reason not be be on both worlds.

Not free travel, no. I get needing a good reason for both worlds, so are you thinking maybe just on the one? Because I have thought that, maybe it would provide even more of a different feel? Keeping them off 'our' world could help make it more diverse, more unusual? They don't look like other races in the second world, but are still bound by allegiance, maybe that would help keep things workable.

Money can't buy happiness. But it can buy marshmallows, which is kind of the same thing.

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You could have one of the races as being major on one world and minor on the other. Maybe they were stranded there for some reason and occupy a small part of a continent. If their culture is different to the major one on the other world then it might be a bit of a shock when they encounter their cousins or when other people encounter the race on the other world.

For example, suppose a group left world A as refugees and arrived on world B. In World B they have developed a culture of freedom, as opposed to the tyrannical rule in World A. Or, suppose in World B they are religious heretics with a vastly different world view to those in World A (pacifists for example). People who encounter them in World B would see them as freedom loving pacifists, probably easy targets for slavers and so on. Then they arrive in World A and expect the ultra-tyrannical warmongers to act in the same way.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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How did you know one world would have a tyrannical theme? Are you watching me? What are you doing in my house?

Good example, that helps it to make more sense. Good job.

Money can't buy happiness. But it can buy marshmallows, which is kind of the same thing.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey guys, got another question for you.

The group are currently fighting two guards. The guards are wearing chain mail with an AR of 4, meaning not many points of damage go through when shot with a medium pistol (D8 DAM). I think the armour should be less resistant to bullets since they weren't a concern when that armour was made in real life. How should I go about it? A separate rating?

Money can't buy happiness. But it can buy marshmallows, which is kind of the same thing.

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Rob, the Big Gold BRP book has an answer in the Spot Rules for Firearms. On page 254 of the BGB it states that Primitive or Ancient armour offers half protection against high velocity or energy weapons. So your guards would have an AR of 2 against pistol shots. :)

Edited by Conrad
http://www.basicrps.com/core/BRP_quick_start.pdf A sense of humour and an imagination go a long way in roleplaying. ;)
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Rob, the Big Gold BRP book has an answer in the Spot Rules for Firearms. On page 254 of the BGB it states that Primitive or Ancient armour offers half protection against high velocity or energy weapons. So your guards would have an AR of 2 against pistol shots. :)

The same big gold BRP book that I have... well, this is embarrassing! Thanks man, I was thinking that.

Money can't buy happiness. But it can buy marshmallows, which is kind of the same thing.

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Very gracious of you. What makes it really bad is that on that same night, I had to look up spot rules :P

But now that I know how to go about it, all is well again

Money can't buy happiness. But it can buy marshmallows, which is kind of the same thing.

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