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Hitpoint-less combat and large creatures


Questbird

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So, I've been using a hitpointless combat system in my Swords of Cydoria campaign. It works well for battles with many mooks. However always inherent with this system is how to deal with huge creatures, whose size and strength makes them extremely resilient to damage. Now my characters have unleashed a Terax, a monstrous mutant reptilian thing in an ancient ruined city. Their weapons -- even plasma rifles and grenades -- are largely ineffective against it using this system (summary of the system in the thread below).

My question is: how best to deal with large critters using this system?

A few I've heard or thought of are:

1. The 'Swarm of bees' approach. All the damage inflicted on the creature by all its opponents in the whole round is added up and the monster makes a Resistance Roll against the sum. There could be a roll for each individual attack, but against the cumulative total of damage that round

2. Enforce the Resilience stat: use average of POW CON and SIZ instead of the lazy way of just CON and SIZ for monsters, on the assumption that most huge creatures won't necessarily have an enormous POW and therefore will be slightly easier to defeat

3. Just use the normal combat rules when dealing with large critters, which seems a bit of a cop-out or a failure of the hitpointless system, which otherwise seems quite promising so far.

4. Just laugh as your players are killed by unstoppable monsters (this is not really an option).

I'd be interested to hear any of your ideas.

Modelling these approaches

Rather than  answer my own post, I'll just add to it

First, I'll introduce our nasty beastie:

Large Reptilillian Terax
Monitor Lizard of Great Size
CON 37 SIZ 74 POW 2 Hit Points 56 Resilience 38 Armour (vs. guns) 3pt hide (normally 6)

This has been disturbed from an ancient slumber and lets say it has been trapped in rubble, exposing itself to a perfect 'shooting gallery' for our intrepid heroes(?):

Heroes, damage adjusted for armour
1. Norukarian Smuggler, Plasma Pistol (licensed), damage 9
2. Cyberdroid, Plasma Rifle (authorised), damage 21
3. Demetrian commander, Ballistic Pistol, damage 4
4. Guernan officer, Ballistic Pistol, damage 4
5. Norukarian noble, Plasma Pistol, damage 9
6. Bodyguard 1, Plasma Pistol, damage 9
7. Bodyguard 2, Plasma Pistol, damage 9
8. Targan soldier 1, Ballistic Rifle, damage 7
9. Targan soldier 2, Ballistic Rifle, damage 7

I'm assuming everyone hits the Terax this round.

Scenario #0:  Hitpointless System as written, using Hit Points (56) as target

Chance of Terax survival
1. 99%
2. 99%
3. 99%
4. 99%
5. 99%
6. 99%
7. 99%
8. 99%
9. 99%

Scenario #2: System as written, using Resilience (38) as target

1. 99%
2. 99%
3. 99%
4. 99%
5. 99%
6. 99%
7. 99%
8. 99%
9. 99%

Scenario 1a: "Swarm of Bees" Cumulative damage, use Resilience 38 as target
1. 9 99%
2. 30 90%
3. 34 70%
4. 38 50%
5. 47 05%
6. 56 (01%)
7. 65 (01%)
8. 72 (01%)
9. 79 (01%)

Scenario 1b: "Swarm of Bees" Use hit points 56 as target

Shows cumulative damage and chance of Terax survival
1. 9 99%
2. 30 99%
3. 34 99%
4. 38 99%
5. 47 95%
6. 56 50%
7. 65 05%
8. 72 01%
9. 79 01%

Scenario X: Normal hitpoints combat, Kill by attrition

Actually this isn't normal at all, since maximum weapon damage is used in the hitpointless system

So this would probably take twice as long.

Showing cumulative damage
1. 9
2. 30
3. 34
4. 38
5. 47
6. 56 - Dead
7. -
8. -
9. -

Analysis

"Swarm of Bees" vs. hitpoints (scenario 1b) gives a similar result to normal hit point combat (scenario X). These results assume no critical hits, which make the resistance rolls Difficult. Swarm of Bees vs. Resilience seems a bit of a pushover. These creatures shouldn't be either easy or impossible to beat.

Edited by Questbird
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I think the problem is that the resilience scores are just too high. What is happening is that the Resilience is increasing faster than the character's ability to do damage, so eventually they end up "behind the 8-ball".

 

Now enforcing POW into the equation will only help slightly, since the other two stats are still pretty big, and then there are always creatures like dragons, who have a good POW score.

My suggestion would be to come up with a way for the characters to do a called shot to a vital location lowering the Resilience (say half?) against that attack.  That way, the players have a chance of taking out an eye or something. Making it a called shot will still keep it a a tough thing to pull off. 

 

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

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2 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

My suggestion would be to come up with a way for the characters to do a called shot to a vital location lowering the Resilience (say half?) against that attack.  That way, the players have a chance of taking out an eye or something. Making it a called shot will still keep it a a tough thing to pull off. 

 

Quote

Old fool! Why there is a large patch in the hollow of his left breast as bare as a snail out of its shell!
—Bilbo Baggins, to himself concerning the dragon Smaug

This is a good idea.

In BRP, skill level is Difficult (halved) for an aimed shot
But Resilience for large creatures is halved if successful. 
In the case of this Terax, the Resilience would become 19.

Below are the chances of survival per hit for the Terax based on this method
The first % is for a normal success; the second number is for a special (1/10 here since the roll is halved to begin with); the third number is for a critical result (1/20)
Note that a critical ignores armour and makes the resilience check Difficult
Plasma pistol, damage 9(12): 99% / 99% / 43%
Plasma rifle, damage 21(24): 40% / 40% / 13%
Ballistic pistol (impaling, x2 damage for special), damage 4(7): 99% / 90% / 38%
Ballistic rifle (impaling also), damage 7(10): 99% / 60% / 23%

These numbers look better, making taking down one of these creatures a difficult but not impossible task, certainly not one to be approached by those with low skills.
 

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Might still be a little "nicer" to the monster than it should be.

 

What are the numbers for something like an elephant? (STR 45, CON 27, SIZ 53, POW 13, Armor 8 in RQ3)

The thing I'm thinking of is that in real lie an elephant might be big and tough, but someone armed with a decent "elephant" gun (3D6+4 damage in BRP) has a pretty good chance of dropping a elephant with one shot. In RQ/BRP it's not as easy, and pretty much requires a critical or impale to drop an elephant wit one shot. The Resilience method makes it even harder. In fact, since it takes 16 STR+SIZ to get an extra D6 damage,  it gets tough for big creatures to hurt each other. Characteristics are increasing at about four times the rate that damage increases, so the damage vs. Resilience thing is going to break down. 

 

For example an RQ 3 Dragon (STR 70, CON 35, SIZ 70, POW 20, with bite doing 3D6+8D6 (ave 38.5 damage), and claw doing 1D6+8D6 (ave. 31.5 damage)) is going to be hard pressed to beat a 53 Resilience (ave of CON and SIZ), or even a 42 Resilience (CON, SIZ and POW) and that's without counting in for any armor (24 points in RQ3, 8 in BRP). But the same dragons would be hirting each other nearly all the time in RQ3, and ripping each other to shread in BRP. 

 

I think what you need, mathematically, is to increase Resistance at the same rate damage increases (4 for 1). So rather than something like the average of CON and SIZ, I think you need to use something like:

Resilience = Armor + (SIZ+CON)/4

or 

Resilience = Armor + (SIZ+POW+CON)/6

 

 

Edited by Atgxtg

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

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9 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Might still be a little "nicer" to the monster than it should be.

What are the numbers for something like an elephant? (STR 45, CON 27, SIZ 53, POW 13, Armor 8 in RQ3)

The thing I'm thinking of is that in real lie an elephant might be big and tough, but someone armed with a decent "elephant" gun (3D6+4 damage in BRP) has a pretty good chance of dropping a elephant with one shot. In RQ/BRP it's not as easy, and pretty much requires a critical or impale to drop an elephant wit one shot. The Resilience method makes it even harder. In fact, since it takes 16 STR+SIZ to get an extra D6 damage,  it gets tough for big creatures to hurt each other. Characteristics are increasing at about four times the rate that damage increases, so the damage vs. Resilience thing is going to break down. 

Elephant
STR 45, CON 27, SIZ 53, POW 13, Armor 8 in RQ3, Resilience 31, Hit Points 40

Elephant Gun, damage 22 (impaling I guess? x2 damage for special)
Armour halved vs. guns

So damage is 22 - 4 = 18
success
18 vs 31 Resilience, 115% chance of success -- 99%
special success :
damage 44 - 4 = 40
40 vs 31 Resilience, -15% chance of success -- 0% there is your instant kill with elephant gun
critical success
same result as special

That's without using the 'aimed shot' rule you suggested earlier.
So a special success will take the elephant out in one round.

As for the large creatures vs. each other. Well the system wasn't designed for that but it actually doesn't work out too bad.

RQ3 Dragon
STR 70, CON 35, SIZ 70, POW 20, with bite doing 3D6+8D6 (66), claw 1d6+8d6 (54), Armour 24, Resilience 42, Hit Points 53

Remember the damage used in this system is the maximum rather than the rolled damage.

Dragon vs. Dragon

success:
Bite
damage 66 - 24 = 42
42 vs 42 Resilience: 50% for a bite to kill
Claw
54 - 24 = 20
20 vs 42 Resilience: 160% -- 99% to survive claw attack

special success:
Here I'm assuming that the bite would be crushing (?) (Impaling doesn't seem quite right) and that claws would be bleeding.
Bite
damage 72 - 24 = 48
48 vs 42 Resilience: 20% chance of survival
Claw
20 vs 42 Resilience: 160% -- 99% to survive but must make a check at this level each round following

critical success:
Bite
damage 66 vs Resilience 42: 0% instant kill
Claw
54 vs 42 Resilience: -10% : another instant kill

So Dragon vs Dragon is still an even match, though the claws are not so useful vs. the 24 armour.

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8 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

There is something I'm not following here. You have 18 Damage vs. 31 Resilience as a 115% success chance. How are you determining that? 

Note: by 'success' here I mean success for the elephant in resisting the damage.

If two stats are equal on the resistance table, the chance of success = 50%.

So when resisting 18 damage with 31 Resilience the formula goes like this:

31 -18 = 13

There is 5% success chance difference per attribute difference on the Resistance table

13 x 5% = 65%

add that to the 50% base chance of success if the two were equal

65% + 50% = 115%

This formula works the same way if the resisted attribute is higher, just with negative numbers.

So for example

damage 33 vs Resilience 31

(31 - 33) x 5%    +  50%

-10% + 50% = 40%.

Edited by Questbird
clarified 'success'
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Okay, so you are using the standard resistance table. What threw me is that you "reversed" the numbers. ususally it's the active value that gets a success chance. 

Nut, with that in mind, what I said before applies. SIZ and CON keep increasing for creatures, but weapon damage is capped out. So any time you end up with a 10 point difference the target becomes immune.  

 

Now in normal RQ/BRP game play, three 22 point hits would drop the elephant on total damage. In your system, that can't happen. 

 

Now one way to address this is to use the same progression that the SIZ table uses for damage, That is each doubling of damage is worth +8. That way eight guys using 9 damage rifles would get bumped up by +24 for 3 doubling, bring the total damage up to 33 (29 after armor). Which would have a good chance of dropping the Terax. 

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

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21 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Nut, with that in mind, what I said before applies. SIZ and CON keep increasing for creatures, but weapon damage is capped out. So any time you end up with a 10 point difference the target becomes immune.  

Now in normal RQ/BRP game play, three 22 point hits would drop the elephant on total damage. In your system, that can't happen. 

Now one way to address this is to use the same progression that the SIZ table uses for damage, That is each doubling of damage is worth +8. That way eight guys using 9 damage rifles would get bumped up by +24 for 3 doubling, bring the total damage up to 33 (29 after armor). Which would have a good chance of dropping the Terax. 

Criticals and specials do make some difference to the +10 difference thing but yeah, this is why large creatures need tweaking (Ray Turney didn't care about large creatures in Fire and Sword).

Here's how it flies.

Scenario 1c: "Swarm of Bees" Cumulative damage, doubling variant
Each double of cumulative damage does +8 damage

Here I'm assuming that the first hit (in this case a plasma pistol) provides the base 'doubling' number for a party with mixed weapons. Could be a problem if the cyberdroid with the plasma rifle goes first, but whatever.

use Terax Resilience 38 as target
Turns out plasma weapons are impaling (BGB,p.256), who'd a known?
Impaling weapons x2 damage on special
no armour, difficult check

Weapon, Cumulative damage, bonus adjusted damage, resistance chance vs normal / special / critical
1. plasma pistol 9 9+0 99% / 99% / 60%
2. plasma rifle 30 21+8 95% / 0% / 0%
3. ball. pistol 34 4+8, 99% / 99% / 65%
4. ball. pistol 38 4+16 99% / 99% / 45%
5. plasma pistol 47 9+16 99% / 70% / 20%
6. plasma pistol 56 9+16 99% / 70% / 20%
7. plasma pistol 65 9+16 99% / 70% / 20%
8. ball. rifle 72 7+24 85% / 50% / 10%
9. ball. rifle 79 7+24 85% / 50% / 10%

This shows that a large number of assailants can take down a huge creature eventually, which is how the rest of BRP works.

I still quite liked the aimed shot idea too, which gives slightly better chances of success at a skill penalty

Revised success chances for 'aimed shot' method

Difficult shot halves Resilience

This time accounting for plasma weapons being impaling

Chance of resistance for normal/special/critical

vs. Resilience 19

Plasma pistol, damage 9(12): 99% / 55% / 13%
Plasma rifle, damage (impaling) 21(24): 40% / 0% / 0%
Ballistic pistol (impaling, x2 damage for special), damage 4(7): 99% / 90% / 38%
Ballistic rifle (impaling also), damage 7(10): 99% / 60% / 23%

 

Either or both of these methods could be used. I'd probably say an opponent has to be, say, 3x your SIZ to put them into practice.

 

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On 8.4.2016 at 3:10 PM, Atgxtg said:

Okay, so you are using the standard resistance table. What threw me is that you "reversed" the numbers. ususally it's the active value that gets a success chance. 

Nut, with that in mind, what I said before applies. SIZ and CON keep increasing for creatures, but weapon damage is capped out. So any time you end up with a 10 point difference the target becomes immune.  

 

Now in normal RQ/BRP game play, three 22 point hits would drop the elephant on total damage. In your system, that can't happen. 

 

Now one way to address this is to use the same progression that the SIZ table uses for damage, That is each doubling of damage is worth +8. That way eight guys using 9 damage rifles would get bumped up by +24 for 3 doubling, bring the total damage up to 33 (29 after armor). Which would have a good chance of dropping the Terax. 

This is very consistant not only with the SIZ scaling, but with the resistance table itself. 100 vs. 105 (5% ratio) has the same chances than 5 vs. 10 (50% ratio). So in your system, "double damage = +N" (N=8, or +10 if you want to make it easier, or whatever fixed value which seems consistant -probably something close to the SIZ scale), definitely.

Wind on the Steppes, role playing among the steppe Nomads. The  running campaign and the blog

 

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Maybe I'll try N=10. When I designed the system I did use 10 as a kind of touchstone. 10 is average hitpoints/Resilience. 10 is also the damage of a sword (1d8+2). So a sword hit vs an unarmoured normal man has a 50% chance of taking him down, which seemed a reasonable starting point for me.

Scenario 1d: "Swarm of Bees" Cumulative damage, doubling variant #2
Each double of cumulative damage does +10 damage 

using Terax Resilience 38 as target
Cumulative damage, bonus adjusted damage, resistance chance vs normal / special / critical
Impaling weapons x2 damage on special or above
Critical: no armour, difficult Resilience check 
1. plasma pistol 9 9+0 99% / 99% / 60%
2. plasma rifle 30 21+10 85% / 0% / 0%
3. ball. pistol 34 4+10, 99% / 99% / 60%
4. ball. pistol 38 4+20 99% / 99% / 35%
5. plasma pistol 47 9+20 95% / 50% / 10%
6. plasma pistol 56 9+20 95% / 50% / 10%
7. plasma pistol 65 9+20 95% / 50% / 10%
8. ball. rifle 72 7+30 55% / 20% / 0%
9. ball. rifle 79 7+30 55% / 20% / 0%
 

It makes it slightly easier for the normal successes and significantly improves the specials and critical chances, especially if you shoot later in the round.

Well hopefully this idea will allow this combat system to scale gracefully for large creatures. In theory it should work for an actual swarm of bees vs. a human as well as a group of humans vs a dragon or other huge creature. The cumulative damage  with doubling does mean you have to track hit points (damage, at least) -- kinda anathema for a supposedly hitpointless system; but it's a rare situation I guess, and it's only one way. For that reason I didn't mind the simpler 'aimed shot' idea that Atgxtg suggested. However I can see that if you halve a creature's Resistance and its still +10 on your damage it is not going to help you at all.

Edited by Questbird
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On 4/9/2016 at 0:55 PM, Zit said:

This is very consistant not only with the SIZ scaling, but with the resistance table itself. 100 vs. 105 (5% ratio) has the same chances than 5 vs. 10 (50% ratio). So in your system, "double damage = +N" (N=8, or +10 if you want to make it easier, or whatever fixed value which seems consistant -probably something close to the SIZ scale), definitely.

LOL! I know. Way back, I was working on a Bestiary for BRP with someone else, and one of the things we did was to make everything use the same +8 doubling scale. Originally, it helped to solve playability problems presented by Kaiju, but eventually it helped us to scale all sorts of creatures so that we could extrapolate game stats for creatures that lacked writeups by scaling up the stats for existing stats using the square-cube law. Then we used it to determine the POT rating of various toxins. 

The idea was that you could plug in some basic real world data for a creature, such as mass, and type (i.e. dog, cat, whale) into a spreadsheet, and it would spit out reasonably accurate and consistent game stats. That way we could come up with  stats for hundreds or even thousands of creatures. And we would all get the same stats if we started with the same data. 

I was hoping to use the same approach for working up stats for vehicles,weapons, and other equipment. I've got a partially working framework alone those lines, using a bit of real world physics "behind the scenes".  By that I mean the methods use to calculate the stats are all based on real world formulas, but simplified into game terms that are easier to use. For instance the afore mentioned "square-cube" law basically translates into a change of  +/-2 points of STR and CON per +/-3 point change in SIZ. And vice versa.

 

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

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On 4/11/2016 at 10:02 PM, Questbird said:

Maybe I'll try N=10. When I designed the system I did use 10 as a kind of touchstone. 10 is average hitpoints/Resilience. 10 is also the damage of a sword (1d8+2). So a sword hit vs an unarmoured normal man has a 50% chance of taking him down, which seemed a reasonable starting point for me.

Scenario 1d: "Swarm of Bees" Cumulative damage, doubling variant #2
Each double of cumulative damage does +10 damage 

using Terax Resilience 38 as target
Cumulative damage, bonus adjusted damage, resistance chance vs normal / special / critical
Impaling weapons x2 damage on special or above
Critical: no armour, difficult Resilience check 
1. plasma pistol 9 9+0 99% / 99% / 60%
2. plasma rifle 30 21+10 85% / 0% / 0%
3. ball. pistol 34 4+10, 99% / 99% / 60%
4. ball. pistol 38 4+20 99% / 99% / 35%
5. plasma pistol 47 9+20 95% / 50% / 10%
6. plasma pistol 56 9+20 95% / 50% / 10%
7. plasma pistol 65 9+20 95% / 50% / 10%
8. ball. rifle 72 7+30 55% / 20% / 0%
9. ball. rifle 79 7+30 55% / 20% / 0%
 

It makes it slightly easier for the normal successes and significantly improves the specials and critical chances, especially if you shoot later in the round.

Well hopefully this idea will allow this combat system to scale gracefully for large creatures. In theory it should work for an actual swarm of bees vs. a human as well as a group of humans vs a dragon or other huge creature. The cumulative damage  with doubling does mean you have to track hit points (damage, at least) -- kinda anathema for a supposedly hitpointless system; but it's a rare situation I guess, and it's only one way. For that reason I didn't mind the simpler 'aimed shot' idea that Atgxtg suggested. However I can see that if you halve a creature's Resistance and its still +10 on your damage it is not going to help you at all.

One thing that might help would be if you let someone go for an every harder shot for an ever bigger bonus. Basically "stacking" aimed shots. That's closer to what hunters and snipers do. They will aim for the heart or the eye or behind the ear (and into the brain) and do their best to place their shot where it will do the most good. 5 points of damage to the heart of a  critter will probably kill it, no matter how big it is. It just might not do it quite fast enough for the player's comfort.  

It is of somewhat questionable merit to fatally would a Terax if the thing drops dead ten minutes after wolfing down  the PCS! 

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

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37 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

I was hoping to use the same approach for working up stats for vehicles,weapons, and other equipment. I've got a partially working framework alone those lines, using a bit of real world physics "behind the scenes". 

 

On the other hand, don't we design mechanics not to simulate the real world as it is, but as we believe it is, instead :P ?

Wind on the Steppes, role playing among the steppe Nomads. The  running campaign and the blog

 

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1 hour ago, Zit said:

On the other hand, don't we design mechanics not to simulate the real world as it is, but as we believe it is, instead :P ?

 

Or what we want it to be?:D 

Depends on what we are trying to accomplish. 

I was trying to come up with a way to stat up vehicles and extinct dinosaurs. In the case of the former I tried a few different methods, but was constantly disappointed when my methods gave ridiculous results. In the end I looked up the way engineers do it in real life and it turned out to be much simpler than most of my alternatives. In the case of the latter, I went with what I thought to be the easiest approach, and along the way discovered that it happened to be the same approach paleontologists used.  

And, even if we are trying to simulate things as we believe or want them to be the approach has merits. Some of the other things I was trying to do was come up with good game stats for fictional  items and beings based on the limited information we might get from sources such as Series Technical Manuals. If you know things like the drag equations you can reverse engineer a lot of things that you don't know about a object from the things that you do know. For instance, if you know the relationship between power and speed, you can work out how much faster a vehicle will be if you put in a more powerful engine.  

 

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

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 4/11/2016 at 0:02 PM, Questbird said:

Maybe I'll try N=10. When I designed the system I did use 10 as a kind of touchstone. 10 is average hitpoints/Resilience. 10 is also the damage of a sword (1d8+2). So a sword hit vs an unarmoured normal man has a 50% chance of taking him down, which seemed a reasonable starting point for me.

Scenario 1d: "Swarm of Bees" Cumulative damage, doubling variant #2
Each double of cumulative damage does +10 damage 

using Terax Resilience 38 as target
Cumulative damage, bonus adjusted damage, resistance chance vs normal / special / critical
Impaling weapons x2 damage on special or above
Critical: no armour, difficult Resilience check 
1. plasma pistol 9 9+0 99% / 99% / 60%
2. plasma rifle 30 21+10 85% / 0% / 0%
3. ball. pistol 34 4+10, 99% / 99% / 60%
4. ball. pistol 38 4+20 99% / 99% / 35%
5. plasma pistol 47 9+20 95% / 50% / 10%
6. plasma pistol 56 9+20 95% / 50% / 10%
7. plasma pistol 65 9+20 95% / 50% / 10%
8. ball. rifle 72 7+30 55% / 20% / 0%
9. ball. rifle 79 7+30 55% / 20% / 0%
 

It makes it slightly easier for the normal successes and significantly improves the specials and critical chances, especially if you shoot later in the round.

Well hopefully this idea will allow this combat system to scale gracefully for large creatures. In theory it should work for an actual swarm of bees vs. a human as well as a group of humans vs a dragon or other huge creature. The cumulative damage  with doubling does mean you have to track hit points (damage, at least) -- kinda anathema for a supposedly hitpointless system; but it's a rare situation I guess, and it's only one way. For that reason I didn't mind the simpler 'aimed shot' idea that Atgxtg suggested. However I can see that if you halve a creature's Resistance and its still +10 on your damage it is not going to help you at all.

Tonight's the night where I find out if my players get eaten or not. I'll be playing my Swords of Cydoria game using the above system, probably allowing the aimed shot idea as well. Fortunately huge creatures are not so common. Of course the above assumes that everyone hits, so it probably won't be easy.. Wish them luck! And thanks Atgxtg and Zit for helping me out with these ideas.

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  • 1 year later...

Well, seventeen months* passed between the session with the Terax lumbering out of the ruins about to eat the PCs and the next session, which we played a couple of nights ago. I'm sorry to say I forgot the finer points of nearly all of the above discussion, and had to look up my own hitpointless system. Fortunately I had written it down, and it's fairly simple.

I went for simplicity with the Terax fight too. I used its Resilience (CON+SIZ+POW)/3 rather than its hit points and I allowed the players to shoot at it like a Swarm of Bees, allowing cumulative damage for the round before the beast made its resilience check. This was an approach I had rejected early in this thread. The net result was that the Terax was downed in about 3 rounds, with no player casualties. When the cyberdroid with the plasma rifle appeared at the top of the temple steps things went downhill quickly for the Terax.

I'd forgotten about the approaches explored in this thread. Next time I would probably do the 'aimed shot halves Resilience' of huge creatures, just to keep it simple and memorable and consistent with the rest of the hitpointless system (ie, don't track hit points!)

 

* my group plays monthly, but there were two alternate campaigns between Swords of Cydoria sessions

Edited by Questbird
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My first thought would be to break wounds into 3 categories (for instance, minor, severe and critical) and shift the result of a successful attack according to the difference of SIZ between the attacker and the defender.

For instance, a minor wound inflicted by a creature 20 SIZ higher than the defender would be turned into a severe one.

To make it work, I'd use a mechanism similar to HeroQuest Masteries : after you're hit, make a Resistance versus Brawn roll. Add armor to Resistance, add weapon to Brawn, and modify one or both according to SIZ difference.

The outcome of the resistance vs brawn roll would determine the kind of wound you suffer:

-Major victory (crit vs failure, for instance): no wound.

-Minor victory : minor wound

-Minor defeat : severe wound

-Major defeat : critical wound

If the difference between Resistance and Brawn would put Resistance below 0%, the defender would be rolling under (100-negative value), but the kind of wound he'd suffer would be 1 step more lethal (or the other way around if the Brawn skill is reduced below 0%).

For instance, if a character with Brawn 85 is hitting a character with Resistance 25, has a weapon that adds 20% to his Brawn, and has such a SIZ that his Brawn gets +30%. Adjusted Brawn is now 135%, which means the Brawn vs Resistance roll is a 135 vs 25 one. Both rolls are reduced by 35%, which means it is now a 100 vs 90 roll, but with one additional wound severity.

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In my system, the wound severity is determined after the fight. The whole system comes down to the question: is this combatant still able to fight in this battle? And, as I found the other day, I strive to simplify the resolution of that question as much as possible.

I don't think I got it quite right the other day, but no matter.

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9 hours ago, Questbird said:

... The whole system comes down to the question: is this combatant still able to fight in this battle? ...

Personally, I really like the "whole nine yards" of RQ2, complete with HP-per-location, consequent effects of disabled hit-locations, etc.

The simplification of "is he still up and fighting?" (and the consequent "he's either fully-functional or fully hors-de-combat") don't appeal as much, to me.

 

That said, I might offer you one other idea:  "Cross The Streams."

All the PC's aim at *ONE* spot, making a Called Shot there & "holding action" as one guy calls out "3... 2... 1... FIRE!" so they all shoot at once.

Sum all the damages that hit into one BIG hit.

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10 hours ago, g33k said:

Personally, I really like the "whole nine yards" of RQ2, complete with HP-per-location, consequent effects of disabled hit-locations, etc.

The simplification of "is he still up and fighting?" (and the consequent "he's either fully-functional or fully hors-de-combat") don't appeal as much, to me.

 

That said, I might offer you one other idea:  "Cross The Streams."

All the PC's aim at *ONE* spot, making a Called Shot there & "holding action" as one guy calls out "3... 2... 1... FIRE!" so they all shoot at once.

Sum all the damages that hit into one BIG hit.

Yes I think I like the cross the streams approach. In the context of the earlier part of this thread, it's like the Difficult shot to aim for the one spot, but (for large creatures) it halves their Resilience if you hit that spot. That's what I'd do next time.

I use this hitpointless 'fully-functional or fully hors-de-combat' system specifically for Swords of Cydoria which is a pulpy swords and blasters wild west with ninjas science-fantasy setting. With this system the guns can blaze and the mooks swarm. If you go down shooting, it may not be the end for you. Guns in BRP are generally too lethal, even more so if you include Rakkhadian plasma rifles. Even though Swords of Cydoria suggests 'heroic' hit points for characters, I find this system better and quicker for large fights. Plus, you don't need to track hitpoints for swarms of Sand People when they attack the lizard-wagons.

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