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olskool

Weapon Penetration Ratings

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            As several of you know, I have modified my weapons and armor extensively from the basic game.  My most recent modification is dropping the Damage Bonus in favor of a Surplus STR Rule.  I always HATED the RQ Damage Bonus because it was applied to EVERY weapon regardless of its weight.  Thus a fighter with a 1d4 damage bonus applied it equally to a shortsword or a troll maul.   If this fighter PUNCHED you, he could inflict as much damage as an ordinary man wielding a Broadsword.  I found this problematic, so I changed the Damage Bonus Rule.

           Under the new system I use, I now subtract the weapon's Required STR from the Character's STR and give a bonus of +1 to damage for every 5 points of "Surplus STR" he has left.  I also add 1 point to his Surplus STR for every 10 points of SIZ he has over the weapon's Required SIZ.  All weapons now have a Required SIZ, STR, and DEX.   HTH damage is now a chart based on STR modified by SIZ and the largest man does about 1D4 damage with an ordinary man doing 1D2 damage.  This system has worked well for balancing out damages (a larger man might take a Broadsword because he will have more "Surplus STR" than with that Greatsword). 

           There is one more "reality-based"  weapon behavior that I have wanted to model and only just recently began to try out... armor penetration.  As we all know, the traditional way to deal with this is to increase weapon damage to overcome AP.  This tends to generate weapons that "one-shot" unarmored foes and that simply isn't realistic.  A Bodkin arrow isn't really more damaging than a broadhead arrow but it will penetrate armor better.   So how do we model this in a simple and fast game rule?  To do so, I have added Penetration Ratings to my weapons.

Penetration Ratings:

So what are Penetration Ratings?  In a word, they Modify the Armor Value of worn armor WITHOUT increasing or decreasing a weapon's listed Damage.  If the target of an attack is wearing armor, you will increase it or decrease it according to the Penetration Rating of the attacking weapon.  If the target is NOT wearing armor, the Penetration Rating is ignored.  Below are the 5 Penetration Rating along with examples of weapons that possess those ratings.

Very Poor Penetrators:  These weapons have trouble with even light armor.  Very Poor Penetrators ADD 2 to the Armor Points of the target location hit.  Examples include Punches, Kicks, and Headbutts from non-martial artists, The Bo Staff, Bolas, *Primitive Light Spears/Javelins, Whips, Single Sticks, Shovels, Clubs, and the Runner's Whipstick.  Stones which are thrown or from Shepard's Slings (but not Staff Sling stones or any sling bullets) also fall into this Rating.

Poor Penetrators:  These weapons have trouble with many armors.  They ADD 1 to the target's Armor Points on a given location.  Examples include Staff Sling Stones (but not Bullets), Hammers, Light Maces (without flanges), Rocks in HTH (as clubs), *Primitive Heavy Spears/Javelins, Darts (thrown and blown), ^Self-bow Broadheads,  Grain Flails, and the Quarter Staff.

Normal Penetrators:  These weapons are in the majority and provide NO BONUS OR PENALTY TO AP.  This list includes most Swords, Axes, Daggers, ^Self-Bow Bodkins, Sling Bullets, Mauls, ^Composite Bow Broadheads, and ^Light Crossbow Broadheads among others.

Good Penetrators:  These weapons are better than normal at penetrating armor.  The target's AP is REDUCED by 1 (minimum of 0) on a given location.  Examples include The Rapier, the Rondel Dagger, *Heavy Spears/Javelins, ^Elf Bow Broadheads, ^Composite Bow Bodkins, ^Light Crossbow Bolts, Black Powder Firearms, ^Heavy Crossbow Broadheads,  Mining Pickaxes, and Militarized Pitchforks/Tridents.  

Excellent Penetrators:  These weapons are very good at penetrating armor.  The target's AP is REDUCED by 2 (minimum of 0) on the location in question.  Examples include Military Picks, *Light Spears/Javelins, ^Elf Bow Bodkins, ^Heavy Crossbow Bodkin/Bolts, and Crow's Beak or Lucern Hammer style Polearms. 

This system has not been tested yet but I'm confident that it will add a bit of depth to the weapons without unbalancing the system too much.  It also allows for better armor penetration without creating a "Damage Arms Race."  After watching how much the addition of Reach affected my game, without unbalancing it, I'm confident enough in Penetration to post it.  So, what are your thoughts on my idea?  

* My Spears are segregated by Reach Length (2m Javelins, 3m Short Spears, 4m Long Spears) and Weapon Weight.  Primitive Light Spears/Javelins (in both Short and Long variants) have fire-hardened wooden tips (1D4 damage).  Primitive Heavy Spears (in all lengths) have stone tips (1D6 damage) and thicker hafts.  Light Spears/Javelins have smaller metal tips (and do 1D6+1 Damage) and smaller hafts while Heavy Spears/Javelins have thicker longer blades (like daggers but doing 1D8+1) heavier hafts and metal counter-weights on the back of the haft (like the Spartan Spear).  The larger blade reduces the Heavy Spear/Javelin's Penetration Rating.

^My bows do damage according to the Bow/Crossbow's Draw Weight.  The weapon requires 1 STR per 10lbs of Draw Weight (20lbs for Crossbows).  Damage is based on Draw Weight and ranges from 1D2 to 2D8 by individual weapon.  

  

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Reminds me a little of the Armour Class Adjustment tables for AD&D which tried to resolve the same issue 

What your approach does not take into account is the armour itself, hard armour is better a deflecting piercing and slashing attacks while soft armour is better at absorbing concussive blows (which if I remember is how RQ6 looks at it re combat effects) and the damage modifier was useful for calculating knock back but I agree it should only be used where a persons strength could logically enhance damage,  also note that with enough force (damage modifier) a sword doesn't have to penetrate the armour to break bones beneath 

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Basically, You give 1 extra Damage per 5 Free_Strenght (STR - Weapon_Max_Damage) and an Armor modifier (-2 to +2). A good idea in general but I'm not sure of its effectiveness.

 

About Damage Modification, I prefer 1 Extra Damage per 2 Free_Strenght (STR - Weapon_Dice_Max_Score). A factor of 1 per 2 is more logical in the RuneQuest system...

About Armor Modifier, your choice is bad because the modifier are too low and the concept is too much general thus false in peculiar cases like with a bullet proof vest (effective against bullet, ineffective against blades) or an antic Linothorax ( used Alexander the Great, effective against arrow and sharp blades but ineffective against blunt one).
RQIII chainmail have a peculiar rule of having a halved protection against blunt weapon. Similarly most thrusting weapon have the ability to double damage with special success; Using these rules as base you could switch to :

  • Penetrators factors : Very Poor | Poor | Normal | Good | Excellent
  • Damage modifier : DAM /4 | DAM /2 | Normal | DAM x1.5 | DAM x2

For the Damage modifier, you could apply to the Bonus damage, Weapon damage or even the Full Damage to balance your game level. But remember you'll have problem with the empaling weapon rules. As there is less armors than weapons, The very best and choice (Fewer to write, -you player will thank you-, Simplier, Easier to change)  is to apply the effects on the armor :

  • Penetrators factors : Very Poor | Poor | Normal | Good | Excellent
  • Armor Points Modifier : AP x2 | AP x1.5 | Normal | AP /2 | AP /4
Edited by MJ Sadique
some big error (didn't re-read myself :p), corrections with underline

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Damage Bonuses:

   The problem with 1 Damage Point per 2 STR points is that it recreates the imbalance of the original rules damage.  In a Thanksgiving game I just participated in, the group's heavy hitter broke his Bastard Sword.  He proceeded to PUNCH Trollkin with his gloved hand, doing 1D3+1D6 (2-9 damage points).  He was doing roughly the SAME DAMAGE as the Battle Axe armed fighter with NO STR bonus (2-9 points).  This demonstrates just how broken the Damage Bonus System is.  Using 2 points of Surplus STR to net 1 point of Damage would bring the damage back to the original system's ridiculous levels as lighter swords would have damage bonuses that allowed them to match the damage of larger weapons like Great Swords.  You could probably get away with 1 point of damage per 4 STR without upsetting balance too much.

Armor Modifiers:

  I like this idea and actually considered it myself.  The more I consider it, the more I like the idea. I like the following modifiers:

Excellent Penetrators:  Multiply AP by 0.5 (rounding up).

Good Penetrators:  Multiply AP by 0.75 (rounding up)

Normal Penetrators:  AP is UNCHANGED.

Poor Penetrators:  Multiply AP by 1.5 (rounding down)

Very Poor Penetrators:  Multiply AP by 2 (rounding down)

With most Characters in my campaign wearing between 3 and 5 AP,  this wouldn't unbalance the game too much.  while I do have armor types running up to 10 points for Heavy Plate (12 to 14 gauge thickness), the vast majority of the population CANNOT afford most metal armors and others avoid them due to weight or Skill penalties.  Thus, the higher APs are often around 6 points (chainmail) and not up to the max of 10.  This will also help replicate the protection that Heavy Plate armor afforded.  There is a reason that Knights are often referred as "Medieval Tanks."  Most weapons couldn't effectively penetrate Heavy Plate Armor.      

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18 hours ago, olskool said:

Damage Bonuses:

   The problem with 1 Damage Point per 2 STR points is that it recreates the imbalance of the original rules damage.  In a Thanksgiving game I just participated in, the group's heavy hitter broke his Bastard Sword.  He proceeded to PUNCH Trollkin with his gloved hand, doing 1D3+1D6 (2-9 damage points).  He was doing roughly the SAME DAMAGE as the Battle Axe armed fighter with NO STR bonus (2-9 points).

Little BIG error of calculation olskool ( 1 Extra Damage per 2 Free_Strenght (STR - Weapon_Dice_Max_Score) )
Punch + STR 9 = 1D3 + (9-3)/2 ==> 1D3 +3 B.D : 4 to 6 Pts of damage
Gladius + STR 9 = 1D6+1 (9-6)/2 ==> 1D6+1 +1 B.D : 3 to 8 Pts of damage
Battle Axe + STR 9 = 1D8+2 + (9-8)/2 ==> 1D8+2 +0 BD : 3 to 10 Pts of damage
Great Axe + STR 9 = 2D6+2 (9-12)/2 ==> 2D6+2 -3 B.D : 1 to 11 Pts of damage ... little man with big axe is NO GOOD !

No problem here...

18 hours ago, olskool said:

This demonstrates just how broken the Damage Bonus System is.  Using 2 points of Surplus STR to net 1 point of Damage would bring the damage back to the original system's ridiculous levels as lighter swords would have damage bonuses that allowed them to match the damage of larger weapons like Great Swords.  You could probably get away with 1 point of damage per 4 STR without upsetting balance too much.

Nope, the system was not broken... a bit too much lethal but broken, not really. And it's not the thread subject !

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5 hours ago, MJ Sadique said:

Little BIG error of calculation olskool ( 1 Extra Damage per 2 Free_Strenght (STR - Weapon_Dice_Max_Score) )
Punch + STR 9 = 1D3 + (9-3)/2 ==> 1D3 +3 B.D : 4 to 6 Pts of damage
Gladius + STR 9 = 1D6+1 (9-6)/2 ==> 1D6+1 +1 B.D : 3 to 8 Pts of damage
Battle Axe + STR 9 = 1D8+2 + (9-8)/2 ==> 1D8+2 +0 BD : 3 to 10 Pts of damage
Great Axe + STR 9 = 2D6+2 (9-12)/2 ==> 2D6+2 -3 B.D : 1 to 11 Pts of damage ... little man with big axe is NO GOOD !

No problem here...

Nope, the system was not broken... a bit too much lethal but broken, not really. And it's not the thread subject !

There is no error in the calculation for the damages I posted because the game I mentioned was game mastered by another person and I was a PLAYER in that game.  The game in question was essentially a RAW RuneQuest 2 game.  The damage bonus of the character who broke his bastard sword was 1D6.  His punch damage was 1D3.  This nets a 2 to 9 damage.  The fighter with the battleaxe was doing 1D8+1 because this GM house ruled that using a battleaxe ONE HANDED only did 1D8+1 (or 1D8+2 when wielded with two hands).  In addition, this fighter had no damage bonus.  This is where the 2-9 damage comes from.   Anytime you have a human punch doing the same damage as a Battleaxe, the damage bonus system IS BROKEN.  

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14 hours ago, olskool said:

There is no error in the calculation for the damages I posted because the game I mentioned was game mastered by another person and I was a PLAYER in that game.  The game in question was essentially a RAW RuneQuest 2 game.  The damage bonus of the character who broke his bastard sword was 1D6.  His punch damage was 1D3 ...

Oh... you were speaking RQ2 basic Rules. They are simple but a bit hard to figure sometimes, I understand you surprise and deception about it. I personally prefer RQ3 by far but you just had a munchkin in your game :
-1D6 bonus Damage mean average STR and SIZ is at least at 17 pts... Such person is at the very upper scale of mankind.
-A battle axe is not a Double side axe, it's just a lumberjack axe used for war... not a so great weapon

Battle axe in human hand (1D8+1)

(1D3 + 1D6) Powerfull punch from CONAN

combat_axe.jpg VS conan-the-barbarian-51594d49850b4.png

You just have seen a man as massive and strong as CONAN the barbarian (Schwarzzie scale, 120-14kg of Muscle at least) fighting bare hand ... in comparison a battle axe in the hand of a "normal human" (a 70kg man).

The system may be a bit generous or heroic but broken, no ! Personally, I prefer fight the guy with the battle axe than a barehand CONAN....

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19 minutes ago, pachristian said:

RQ6 fixed this by scaling back the damage modifiers. 

Indeed, it's almost impossible for a human to get a 1d6 damage mod (18 in both STR and SIZ). 1d4 is extremely good, typical of a Conan type of character (arguably around SIZ 15), and 1d2 is probably more normal for a trained warrior. Though I don't think it is quite so far off of his statement. His big hitter looks like he has exceptionally high strength and size.

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8 hours ago, Raleel said:

Indeed, it's almost impossible for a human to get a 1d6 damage mod (18 in both STR and SIZ). 1d4 is extremely good, typical of a Conan type of character (arguably around SIZ 15), and 1d2 is probably more normal for a trained warrior. Though I don't think it is quite so far off of his statement. His big hitter looks like he has exceptionally high strength and size.

OTOH, in an absolutely realistic system, I could see it entirely the opposite: strength being the PRIMARY creator of damage dice, with only a relatively smaller proportion coming from (or being capped by) the tool being used.  Let's not forget that to some degree (I assume) DM was at least rudimentarily trying to stay aligned with RQ canon - they weren't writing a new rule system on a clean sheet of paper.  Ie  a lightweight, quick weapon could really only passthrough maybe up to d4 of a strength mod, while a heavy 2h weapon would allow you more leverage and strength applicable, might be able to passthrough up to a 2d6 or 3d6 damage mod.

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9 hours ago, styopa said:

OTOH, in an absolutely realistic system, I could see it entirely the opposite: strength being the PRIMARY creator of damage dice, with only a relatively smaller proportion coming from (or being capped by) the tool being used.

I started thinking along those lines after playing GURPS extensively in the late 80s. It makes sense, all hand tools being force multipliers, not force generators. The RQ minimum STR requirements reflect this to some extent, but a base STR damage modified by the type of weapon/ attack might be more elegant.

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18 hours ago, styopa said:

OTOH, in an absolutely realistic system, I could see it entirely the opposite: strength being the PRIMARY creator of damage dice, with only a relatively smaller proportion coming from (or being capped by) the tool being used. 

Oddly, along the lines of Pendragon. STR + SIZ / 6 = Damage in d6

Quote

Let's not forget that to some degree (I assume) DM was at least rudimentarily trying to stay aligned with RQ canon - they weren't writing a new rule system on a clean sheet of paper.  Ie  a lightweight, quick weapon could really only passthrough maybe up to d4 of a strength mod, while a heavy 2h weapon would allow you more leverage and strength applicable, might be able to passthrough up to a 2d6 or 3d6 damage mod.

This is an interesting thought. Perhaps then, STR under the required for the weapon lowers the amount of damage for the weapon by one step? This of course would open up another can of worms; that being possibly penalized twice for low STR (in terms of damage), once with a low or no DM, and then again for not enough STR for the weapon itself.

SDLeary

Edited by SDLeary

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9 hours ago, Vile said:

I started thinking along those lines after playing GURPS extensively in the late 80s. It makes sense, all hand tools being force multipliers, not force generators. The RQ minimum STR requirements reflect this to some extent, but a base STR damage modified by the type of weapon/ attack might be more elegant.

Didn't one of the BRP spin off's try this? Damage based on a formula similar to DM, resulting in a die (say D8), then having the weapon type shift that up or down (ex d8 down to d6) depending on type? Or perhaps I'm remembering an old thread on a similar subject from the speculation period before one of the major game releases.

SDLeary

Edited by SDLeary

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5 hours ago, SDLeary said:

This is an interesting thought. Perhaps then, STR under the required for the weapon lowers the amount of damage for the weapon by one step? This of course would open up another can of worms; that being possibly penalized twice for low STR (in terms of damage), once with a low or no DM, and then again for not enough STR for the weapon itself.

SDLeary

I don't see anything wrong with that.  Imagine, say, a 12 year old trying to swing a mattock.  They're barely usefully going to be able to move it, much less harm someone with it.

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On 12/25/2017 at 7:31 AM, Vile said:

I started thinking along those lines after playing GURPS extensively in the late 80s. It makes sense, all hand tools being force multipliers, not force generators. The RQ minimum STR requirements reflect this to some extent, but a base STR damage modified by the type of weapon/ attack might be more elegant.

This method could be especially good for systems using characteristic scores as percentiles ala COC 7th edition.  Let's look at the idea of multiple dice based on STR for damage.  To determine hit points, just take CON and modify it by SIZ/10.  Thus a perfectly average character would have 55 hit points.  To determine the damage of weapons, you add SIZ/10 to STR (which would also be 55 for a perfectly average character).  You then DIVIDE this score by either 20 or 25 (rd) to determine the number of DICE OF DAMAGE the character does.   The character above (with a score of 55) would do 2 DICE of damage.  WHICH DIE TO ROLL would be determined by the weapon type.  Small weapons such as Daggers could use D4 (giving our character 2D4 damage). Weapons like Short Swords and Hand Axes could do D6 (giving our character 2D6).  Other weapons could do D8 or D10.  The options are nearly limitless.

      Armor could be multiplied by 5 or even 10 to give a reasonable level of protection.  You could even modify the Damage Inflicted by the Location hit.  Hitting the Limbs could do 1/2 Damage.  Hitting the Torso (Chest & Abdomen) could do unmodified damage.  Striking the Head could double the Damage inflicted.   You could even do a Less Than Lethal system where punching and kicking just reduced CON to 0.  This would knock out the character but not kill him.  You could even add "wound damage" from a beating by dividing non-lethal damage by 5 or 10 to get an additional "wound damage" in addition to the non-lethal damage.   

This idea should be explored for BRP if nothing else. 

Edited by olskool
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15 hours ago, olskool said:

This method could be especially good for systems using characteristic scores as percentiles ala COC 7th edition.  Let's look at the idea of multiple dice based on STR for damage.  To determine hit points, just take CON and modify it by SIZ/10.  Thus a perfectly average character would have 55 hit points.  To determine the damage of weapons, you add SIZ/10 to STR (which would also be 55 for a perfectly average character).  You then DIVIDE this score by either 20 or 25 (rd) to determine the number of DICE OF DAMAGE the character does.   The character above (with a score of 55) would do 2 DICE of damage.  WHICH DIE TO ROLL would be determined by the weapon type.  Small weapons such as Daggers could use D4 (giving our character 2D4 damage). Weapons like Short Swords and Hand Axes could do D6 (giving our character 2D6).  Other weapons could do D8 or D10.  The options are nearly limitless.

      Armor could be multiplied by 5 or even 10 to give a reasonable level of protection.  You could even modify the Damage Inflicted by the Location hit.  Hitting the Limbs could do 1/2 Damage.  Hitting the Torso (Chest & Abdomen) could do unmodified damage.  Striking the Head could double the Damage inflicted.   You could even do a Less Than Lethal system where punching and kicking just reduced CON to 0.  This would knock out the character but not kill him.  You could even add "wound damage" from a beating by dividing non-lethal damage by 5 or 10 to get an additional "wound damage" in addition to the non-lethal damage.   

This idea should be explored for BRP if nothing else. 

Wow, I like that a lot.

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If one is going down this rabbit whole then I seriously suggest a good look at FGU's (Fantasy Games Unlimited) systems  - Personal Combat Factors including all relevant characteristics, Weapons have required STR and other attributes and produced weapon damage modifiers. The best examples are Chivalry & Sorcery 2 and Aftermath. Aftermath was probably a more complete system as it did try (though it failed) to also factor in skill.

The however is in my experience this approach at best shifts the issue and often makes it worse as break points with a multiplier system regularly cause fractional differences to have stark and startling results.

I cannot overstate the skill bit as I do have some and friends with quite a lot of physical experience of reenactor actual combat experience. That dramatically shows the importance of experience, feel and favourite weapons etc. For much of my early time I hated sparing with the best instructor he timed blows had balance weight speed and body position so good he left vicious bruising with smooth ordinary effortless strokes - if he was not intensely concentrating on pulling his blows. For me while I liked the concept of a sword a spiked battle axe and a warhammer were just the best things to use, felt so right, comfortable and instinctive. Quickly I was only allowed to use these against the better instructors after accidently (genuinely and remorsefully) fracturing a collar bone with a blow I thought I pulled and a forearm with an ordinary and glancing strike.

The missing issue is the speed and relaxed flow with timing and positioning - good luck on this one - I've never even come close trying to factor it in. Underlying is that Kinetic Energy is M * V squared AND the whole point of weapon design striking with the balanced focus point of the weapon - a few inches or even centimeters out can reduce effect by 1/3rd to 2/3rds. Plus the importance of the ability of the blow and weapon to focus the energy to a narrow line, point etc (hence the shift to spiked and flanged maces).

What so attracted me to RQ2 was that it reasonably simply factored much of this in without convoluted preparation etc. Yes it was simple enough to be simplistic but it was a damned good trade off with flow, ease and playability.

Edited by Furry Fella

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On 2/9/2018 at 4:16 AM, Furry Fella said:

If one is going down this rabbit whole then I seriously suggest a good look at FGU's (Fantasy Games Unlimited) systems  - Personal Combat Factors including all relevant characteristics, Weapons have required STR and other attributes and produced weapon damage modifiers. The best examples are Chivalry & Sorcery 2 and Aftermath. Aftermath was probably a more complete system as it did try (though it failed) to also factor in skill.

The however is in my experience this approach at best shifts the issue and often makes it worse as break points with a multiplier system regularly cause fractional differences to have stark and startling results.

I cannot overstate the skill bit as I do have some and friends with quite a lot of physical experience of reenactor actual combat experience. That dramatically shows the importance of experience, feel and favourite weapons etc. For much of my early time I hated sparing with the best instructor he timed blows had balance weight speed and body position so good he left vicious bruising with smooth ordinary effortless strokes - if he was not intensely concentrating on pulling his blows. For me while I liked the concept of a sword a spiked battle axe and a warhammer were just the best things to use, felt so right, comfortable and instinctive. Quickly I was only allowed to use these against the better instructors after accidently (genuinely and remorsefully) fracturing a collar bone with a blow I thought I pulled and a forearm with an ordinary and glancing strike.

The missing issue is the speed and relaxed flow with timing and positioning - good luck on this one - I've never even come close trying to factor it in. Underlying is that Kinetic Energy is M * V squared AND the whole point of weapon design striking with the balanced focus point of the weapon - a few inches or even centimeters out can reduce effect by 1/3rd to 2/3rds. Plus the importance of the ability of the blow and weapon to focus the energy to a narrow line, point etc (hence the shift to spiked and flanged maces).

What so attracted me to RQ2 was that it reasonably simply factored much of this in without convoluted preparation etc. Yes it was simple enough to be simplistic but it was a damned good trade off with flow, ease and playability.

     I'm actually using the idea presented by MJ Sadique where armor is multiplied by 1.5 or 2 for poor penetrators or by 0.75 or 0.5 for good penetrators.  It adds an additional level of flavor/differentiation between the weapons and hasn't adversely affected game balance.  It helps that the most common weapons have no penetration modifier.

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On 12/25/2017 at 3:23 AM, styopa said:

OTOH, in an absolutely realistic system, I could see it entirely the opposite: strength being the PRIMARY creator of damage dice, with only a relatively smaller proportion coming from (or being capped by) the tool being used.  

That's the approach I used in The Quest Hack, my super-lightweight synthesis of RQ and The Black Hack.

Each character has a damage die based on their Strength and the die type is bumped up or down based on the weapon type.

Simon Hibbs

Edited by simonh

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I was toying with an approach used by some MMOs, which regularizes damage types into categories which then are a little simpler to balance (makes sense for a computer game to quantize these things, but also possibly for a PnP game to simplify the potentially radically complicated variables of combat).* 

It is the avenue D&D5e has gone down for magical effects only, I believe.

For example, damage and effects would always be accompanied by one or more 'flavors', ie X points of FIRE damage;  Y points of BLUNT, ICE damage,  Z points SPIRIT damage.  Befuddle might count as a 2 point SPIRIT attack, which if it affects the target has (effect).

This would then simplify and make consistent the various magical effects and relationships: so for example physical armor would count against anything but SPIRIT damage; rigid armor might count as 2x against any physical damage type EXCEPT piercing (or whatever.  Spirit Shield would block only SPIRIT damage, and so forth.

 

*this really depends on your tastes, of course; some people might be fine with very, very simplified/rationalized combat in which all this stuff is hand-waved in favor of story - I roll my "combat" skill vs your "combat" skill and we determine who won and by how much, and then just narrate the battle to that result.

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On 12/25/2017 at 5:22 PM, SDLeary said:

Oddly, along the lines of Pendragon. STR + SIZ / 6 = Damage in d6

This is an interesting thought. Perhaps then, STR under the required for the weapon lowers the amount of damage for the weapon by one step? This of course would open up another can of worms; that being possibly penalized twice for low STR (in terms of damage), once with a low or no DM, and then again for not enough STR for the weapon itself.

SDLeary

        This is my BIG beef with the Damage Bonus System.  A strong character receives the double bonus of being able to use high damage weapons like Great Axes or Troll Mauls AND then they get their FULL Damage Bonus as well.   There is just something WRONG with a strong warrior being able to do as much damage with a plastic spork as an ordinary man with a Dagger. This is why I have recently started using a "Surplus STR" system for Damage Bonuses.  If you are using a large, heavy weapon like a Great Axe;  you will see a "reduced damage bonus" over using a smaller weapon like a Short Sword because you simply cannot swing that Great Axe as fast as that Short Sword. 

          Under my system, EVERY weapon has a SIZ, STR, and DEX requirement that you must meet in order to wield it.  This not only reduces the number of larger weapons in the game, it also eliminates issues like the "Halfling with a Great Sword" one often sees in games without these requirements.  Once the players accept that you must have a certain SIZ and STR to wield the larger damage weapons, they begin to accept that larger weapons can have smaller damage bonuses due to less extra STR to generate that bonus.  The difference in damage bonus being offset by the larger base damage that the weapon generates.  

         The big issue I have with this system is regulating the NUMBER of "SURPLUS STR Points" needed to generate a Damage Bonus.  I always err on the side of caution and am using 5 surplus STR points per +1 Damage Bonus.   I allow the Character to add 1 to their effective STR for every 10 FULL points of SIZ they possess over the SIZ needed to wield the weapon.   I have this Bonus expressed as a "die" in my game.  If you would have +2 Damage due to excess STR, I would express it as +1D2 Damage.        

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