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Fading Suns Energy Shield


KPhan2121

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I trying to make some rules for a Fading Suns game and I'm a bit stumped on the energy shields. I'm thinking of using a modified version of the rule from Fading Suns D20 since it's easier to translate mechanics. In the d20 game, the damage dealt to the shield is used as a modifier to roll against an activation check. The DC for ranged weapons is 15 and 17 for melee weapons. So a guy fires a gun and deals 5 damage. He rolls a d20 and adds the damage, if he rolls 15 and above, the shield activates and grants 15 damage resistance. Weapons that "leak through shields"  basically reduce the DR by half.

My own take for BRP is to have the Energy Shield give an armor of 15. The shield has a damage threshold of 5 and it only counts the weapon's unmodified damage. So it excludes the damage bonus, extra damage from martial arts, special successes, etc. The extra damage can be added after the hit lands. So a character with a dagger rolls 4 for damage, this goes underneath the shield's damage dice. Once the shield has been bypassed, he can add his damage bonus (d4) as well as the martial arts damage (d4+2). You wouldn't be able to do this with ranged weapons, so a bow's full damage is used to see if it exceeds the damage threshold.

Otherwise I'm thinking about a Shield Fighting Martial Art similar to Dune but I think that would be making energy shields too weak since having a high enough shield fighting skill will effectively render them useless, but it'll be simpler to do. They both have their pros and cons so I'm not sure which to use. What do you guys think?

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I tend not to like trying to emulate one game's mechanics in another game, personally.  I like a "native to the new game" sort of rule that gives some of the flavor or the old game...  So, off the top of my head:

Give the Shield a %Skill -- roll-under means the shield "activates" and provides armor-points.  Note that a shield thus has TWO ratings -- armor pts, and "activation".

I wouldn't try to do the "damage threshold," just make it less-effective (lower Armor and/or worse Activation) against non-ranged weapons.

YMMV

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3 hours ago, g33k said:

I tend not to like trying to emulate one game's mechanics in another game, personally.  I like a "native to the new game" sort of rule that gives some of the flavor or the old game...  So, off the top of my head:

Give the Shield a %Skill -- roll-under means the shield "activates" and provides armor-points.  Note that a shield thus has TWO ratings -- armor pts, and "activation".

I wouldn't try to do the "damage threshold," just make it less-effective (lower Armor and/or worse Activation) against non-ranged weapons.

YMMV

This sounds a lot like the shields and missile fire spot rule, just that it applies to melee attacks too. It could work, but it would require an extra dice roll. Maybe have something like a reverse martial arts skill? Like the attack roll must roll underneath the activation threshold to bypass the shield.

The reason why the damage threshold was used was due to a inherent property of the energy shields in the setting. Basically, a dagger could slip pass the shield more easily than a great sword would. The great sword has to overcome the shield through brute force. There would have to be some sort of modifier to the shield's activation check based on how damaging the weapon is. One of the things I can do would have the activation check be how much damage was dealt times 5.

1 hour ago, muminalver said:

Use the reistance table

Damage vs. Shield strength

You Can do it like the classical parry each time Damage goes through, the strength of the Shield decreases.

 

I prefer to stay away from the resistance table if I can, it would be very sluggish to have to use the resistance table after every hit.

You like Fading Suns? Well, I made a thing that's kinda like it!

 

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Although I understand trying to be true to the original, the most logical and easiest might be to just have the shield activate at 4, 6, or 8 damage depending on what the player wishes. I personally never found that variable reaction very logical as the shield would need to activate in literal nanoseconds between detecting how much force (damage) and how much it may or may do to the character. So set intervals give the allusion of a variable shield without the mechanical gymnastics.  It makes for one less die roll and calculation. 

However, if using a variable model, I would say a 20% chance of activation for damage over 4 : 20% at 5 damage, 40% at 6, etc... until at 9 or greater there is a 100% chance of activation

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32 minutes ago, Sean_RDP said:

Although I understand trying to be true to the original, the most logical and easiest might be to just have the shield activate at 4, 6, or 8 damage depending on what the player wishes. I personally never found that variable reaction very logical as the shield would need to activate in literal nanoseconds between detecting how much force (damage) and how much it may or may do to the character. So set intervals give the allusion of a variable shield without the mechanical gymnastics.  It makes for one less die roll and calculation. 

However, if using a variable model, I would say a 20% chance of activation for damage over 4 : 20% at 5 damage, 40% at 6, etc... until at 9 or greater there is a 100% chance of activation

Well that is my original idea that I posted. I had the shield's activation threshold be set at 5, but it only counts the weapon's damage dice without any modifiers to it. So the extra damage from martial arts and the damage bonus as well as specials doesn't count towards the shield's activation. So lets say a dagger rolls 4 for damage,  and the character also deals an extra 3 damage from martial arts and another 2 from his damage bonus. The weapon's damage dice are only counted in a shield's activation threshold and it doesn't activate due to the dagger only rolling a 4 for damage, but once he bypass the shield he uses his full damage, 9. 

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You like Fading Suns? Well, I made a thing that's kinda like it!

 

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  • 5 months later...

Some new thoughts I've had on the (Dune-style) Shield...  It's really IMHO about the attacker's skill.  The shield is always-on, a field that reacts to fast-moving objects (and energy-weapons of course).  Un-trained knife-fighters tend to try to hit fast, and the Shield deflects them.  I'd run Shield-use passively, off of the attack skill.

Recall Paul's first duel with Jamis, where Paul kept MISSING Jamis, because Paul was striking with Shield-trained reflexes.  They all (except Jessica) thought Paul was toying with him, because on defense Paul was SO much faster & better.

So, my proposal:

Either your attack-skill is Shield-trained or it is not (we might denote these as "Knife(ES)" vs "Knife" or "Rapier(ES)" vs "Rapier" for an EnergyShield skill or not), for strong defense but slower attacks vs ES's.

If you have an ES attack-skill, you roll normally vs someone using a Shield -- you know how to bypass Shield defenses, so you are un-penalized.  But you take a -20% penalty to your skill if you are facing an un-Shielded opponent -- you are just slower on the attack than you "should" be.

If your skill is NOT an ES skill, then it is HALVED when attacking a Shield'ed opponent.  Furthermore, all damages are ALSO reduced by one-half (rounding in favor of the defender).  Your best strikes are blunted, deflected.  You just aren't as competent at hitting your foe, and the penalty hurts.  A lot.  (n.b. I am deliberately making the penalties asymmetrical -- if the Shield weren't very-advantageous (asymmetrically so), it wouldn't be as significant as it is).

 

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Off the top of my head, I’d probably rule it as a separate skill “shield combat”. Like martial arts, it’s a limit on your attack skill - if you hit but roll over the shield combat skill, the attack is too fast to penetrate the shield. 

I’d also probably rule that since attacks intended to penetrate shields have to be slow, you don’t get a damage bonus when using the skill, or maybe the bonus is halved.

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