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Tupper

Critical damage example.

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The rules for impaling damage  (page 203) say that "if the impale is also a critical hit, then the maximum possible impaling damage (14 points in the case of the short spear) is done to the victim, to which is added any damage bonus and any extra damage from spells".  However, on page 206, in the example of a fumble, Joshfar gets critically hit by a broo with a short spear.  The example says: "The damage is normally 1D6+1+1D4.  The damage is maximum damage plus rolled damage for an impaling attack, with the rolled damage modifier added.  In this case, the roll is an exceptionally good one, with a result of 7 (max of 1D6+1), 4 (1D6+1), and 4 (1D4)."  By my read of the earlier passage (page 203), the damage should have been 18 (14 (max of 2D6+2), and 4 (a lucky roll on 1D4))?  Which passage is right?

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Probably the the earlier passage. In virtually every other version of RQ a critical impale would do 2x Max plus damage modifier (if any). The only reason why I can't be 100% positive is that RQG has some differences from previous editions. 

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Since p206 in the rules text says:

Quote

 ...A critical hit ignores the effects of armor or any other protection, and does impaling, slashing, or crushing damage...

and the table result for a crit hit vs anything but a crit  parry says:

Quote

...Attacker inflicts max special damage... [for a non-fumbled parry, or]

...Attacker automatically hits, does maximum special damage...

[for a crit v fumble]

it's hard to know what's right. There are no examples on the table (which ought to be a summary of the interactions) where the crit only inflicts rolled Special damage. Maybe crit hit v crit parry should be rolled special damage, but it explicitly says rolls normal.

But 

Quote

 

...The damage is maximum damage plus rolled damage for an impaling attack...

 

is certainly copypasta from a previous version as Impaling damage in RQG is just roll twice the weapon damage (i.e. 2d6+2 for an impaling short spear). 

For my money, max special damage from a crit is way too much. it gives two benefits to crits: avoiding all armour and maxing the damage. It means that a crit shortsword slash will pretty much take off most ordinary peoples' arm in one go, without any damage bonus (and cut someone with 5 Abdomen hits clean in half in one blow with a d4 damage bonus), which is mostly nonsense.

 

 

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15 hours ago, Tupper said:

By my read of the earlier passage (page 203), the damage should have been 18 (14 (max of 2D6+2), and 4 (a lucky roll on 1D4))?  Which passage is right?

Yes I think your initial read is correct - RQG criticals do maximum special weapon damage and ignore armour. Any damage bonus is rolled as normal

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5 hours ago, womble said:

it's hard to know what's right. There are no examples on the table (which ought to be a summary of the interactions) where the crit only inflicts rolled Special damage. Maybe crit hit v crit parry should be rolled special damage, but it explicitly says rolls normal.

It looks to me if both rolls are a critical, then you resolve it all as a normal damage roll and armor counts (as well as the parrying item).  They kinda cancel each other out.  Which is what I am seeing on the table at 199.  Same thing if they are both specials.

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2 hours ago, Pentallion said:

This is where it would be nice for Jeff or Jason to pop in and let us know.  

Ask in the Rules Clarification thread?

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3 hours ago, Pentallion said:

This is where it would be nice for Jeff or Jason to pop in and let us know.  

You’ll have to wait as both are at Essen Spiel, or pop by hall 4, booth C124. 

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17 hours ago, womble said:

For my money, max special damage from a crit is way too much. it gives two benefits to crits: avoiding all armour and maxing the damage. It means that a crit shortsword slash will pretty much take off most ordinary peoples' arm in one go, without any damage bonus (and cut someone with 5 Abdomen hits clean in half in one blow with a d4 damage bonus), which is mostly nonsense.

 

 

Agreed. We've been playing it as max special damage and it's led to insta-death of enemies on several occasions. The players haven't complained, but the Humakti will be a bit cross if it happens to him. I'm almost certainly going to House Rule it to max damage and rolled special.

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It's probably also worth noting that the tables of interactions of attack success levels with defense success levels make no mention of critical attacks avoiding the target's armour (as is described in the body text entry on p206 for Critical attacks), while the body text entry makes no mention of doing maximum damage. So it seems to me that the design intent is to have one or the other of these benefits apply to crits. The question is, "Which one?"

I'm of the inclination to swap things around a bit. I'd make a Special success slip past any partial-coverage armour (so your physical stuff, not magic protections; I don't see how any amount of skill or luck will let you bypass a magical defensive shield - unless we're talking Dune-esque velocity shield-type interactions, at which point missile weapons couldn't take advantage), and critical hits do the specific extra damage "because they hit something critical" (like a nerve or a tendon or major blood vessel). Nothing inclines me to permit flat-out max damage just because of a good hit; the damage dice should determine how strong the hit is, and the to hit dice determine how well it was placed.

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37 minutes ago, womble said:

It's probably also worth noting that the tables of interactions of attack success levels with defense success levels make no mention of critical attacks avoiding the target's armour (as is described in the body text entry on p206 for Critical attacks), while the body text entry makes no mention of doing maximum damage. So it seems to me that the design intent is to have one or the other of these benefits apply to crits. The question is, "Which one?"

In all prior versions of RuneQuest, it's been both. I see no reason to think otherwise for RQG. Criticals are dangerous, just ask Rurik.

The only character that I ever saw effectively become "critical proof" had so many Strengthening Enchantments that he had 36 general hit points.

One way to look at it is, a critical IS a special. If you have 80% skill, you critical on 01-04, and special on 01-16.

Edited by PhilHibbs

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2 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

In all prior versions of RuneQuest, it's been both. I see no reason to think otherwise for RQG. 

Yeah, but most RQ related games since RQ3 tend to tone crtitals down a little, and  RQG does divert from RQ2/3 in several ways. 

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7 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Yeah, but most RQ related games since RQ3 tend to tone crtitals down a little, and  RQG does divert from RQ2/3 in several ways. 

The point about 01-16 being a special and 01-04 being a critical is still valid though.

*Edit* Ah, but the question is about maximum damage vs ignoring armour, and so nothing to do with specials. Ok, my bad, question is still unanswered.

I still think it's both!

Edited by PhilHibbs

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3 hours ago, womble said:

It's probably also worth noting that the tables of interactions of attack success levels with defense success levels make no mention of critical attacks avoiding the target's armour (as is described in the body text entry on p206 for Critical attacks), while the body text entry makes no mention of doing maximum damage. So it seems to me that the design intent is to have one or the other of these benefits apply to crits. The question is, "Which one?"

Are you talking about the table on page 199, where it says "Defender takes damage, with no armor protection" for all of the entries except critical attack vs critical parry? That just leaves that one outcome open to question, and I think it still ignores armour. They probably just ran out of space.

Edited by PhilHibbs

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2 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

In all prior versions of RuneQuest, it's been both. I see no reason to think otherwise for RQG. Criticals are dangerous, just ask Rurik.

The only character that I ever saw effectively become "critical proof" had so many Strengthening Enchantments that he had 36 general hit points.

One way to look at it is, a critical IS a special. If you have 80% skill, you critical on 01-04, and special on 01-16.

Just because it's 'always been that way' doesn't make it 'right'. Previous versions of RQ, Initiates didn't get reusable Rune Magic, either. 

36 general HP doesn't make you 'proof' against a crit broadsword to, well, any location, if it's doing 18HP plus damage bonus and ignoring armour. You're still not going to be using the location or just plain bleeding to death if it's a vital location.

And yes, a Crit is a special. But if it is a max damage special which also ignores armour you're getting a double dip of deadly goodness. 

However, there's more textual evidence that the design intention is that a crit is meant (at the least) to do max damage: page 204 where it's describing Slashing and Impaling damage does, indeed, say maximum damage should be inflicted and still makes no mention of ignoring armour. Notably, the entry for Crushing damage does not say a critical with a crushing weapon does full weapon damage plus the Crushing Special rolled-plus-max-DB. Oh, and I somehow missed the 'defender takes damage ignoring armour' bit in the tables. Why the frell it's written as two separate stanzas, I don't know. So yeah. RAW, it's meant to be max damage and ignores armour, for guaranteed insta-drops of any 'normal' target, even with small weapons and no damage bonus, once the crit number comes up (10 damage with a dagger FI's all but the toughest normal human, wherever it hits them).

I comprehend that there's a design goal of not having someone's "once-in-a-session-or-two" combat roll 'whiff' by rolling poor damage after their excellent attack, but it's too much like vorpal weapons to me: shortswords do not lop heads in combat no matter how lucky the limp-wristed scribe gets; it's difficult enough with an axe or two-hander when the target is kneeling on a block.

Edit: and Phil posted while I typed...

 

Edited by womble

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2 hours ago, womble said:

Just because it's 'always been that way' doesn't make it 'right'.

It doesn't make it wrong either. Going back to the way things always have been is really the only logical move we have, unless something is specifically noted as changed.

 

I can see the reasoning for weakening criticals with impaling weapons, though.  It's pretty much an autokill if it hits head chest or abdomen, otherwise it will sever a limb, and probably take someone out of the fight. Now there is nothing "wrong" with that, but it can lead to PCs getting killed off just from the laws of probability. 

 

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5 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Now there is nothing "wrong" with that, but it can lead to PCs getting killed off just from the laws of probability. 

Which for me is a good thing as it makes combat truly an action of last resort. 

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I think the Critical Hit vs Critical Parry is fairly unambiguous.  Page 198 says "The exception to this [critical parry effects] is if a critical parry is rolled against a critical hit: the parry is treated as a normal parry and the critical hit is treated as a normal hit."  That seems consistent with the table: there's no maximum damage, no armour bypass, and no special damage to parrying weapons.

The case that does seem ambiguous between the table and the text is what happens on a critical hit versus a normal parry with regard to weapon damage (and this would seem to be a common case if someone scores a critical hit).  The table says: "Defender's parrying weapon HP reduced by the damage rolled.  All excess damage goes to adjacent hit location with no armour protection".  However p200, "Parrying a Critical Hit" is much more elaborate:  "However, a weapon that parries a critical hit takes twice the damage it would take normally.  If the attacking weapon is a long hafted weapon or an impaling weapon, the parrying weapon takes no damage.  A shield that parries a critical hit receives twice as much damage as normal, and any unabsorbed damage strikes the parrying adventurer."

Here the question is: which is right?  The simple process (all weapons damage parrying weapons/shields on a 1:1 basis) or the complex process (only weapons that are neither impaling nor long hafted do double damage to parrying weapons/shields).  I suppose to make it more complicated one could quibble about the damage a parrying weapon/shield takes "normally", which is really just 1HP if the damage exceeds its HP.  But doubling that (2HP assuming the attack goes through) seems miserly compared to a special attack vs normal parry weapon damage.

This seems important because parrying a critical hit is going to be the only way of surviving it.

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1 hour ago, Psullie said:

Which for me is a good thing as it makes combat truly an action of last resort. 

I'm not sure if you get my drift. Let's assume that the typical NPC opponent is at 50% skill. That's a 3% chance for a critical. Now if you assume a group of 5 PCs, and that they each get attacked once per session, then on average,  a PC will be on the wrong end of a critical  every other session. If we assume that a typical PC is at 75% in his parry/dodge, that still leave you with one maiming or fatality every 8 sessions. Now if you game once a week that works out to a PC's death or dismemberment every other month. If they get attacked more often than once a session the mortality rates go up.  That might be a bit too much to be able to sustain a campaign. 

 

Thankfully, RQ has all sort of Healing magic including bring the dead back to life, and that helps a great deal with that.

 

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13 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I'm not sure if you get my drift. Let's assume that the typical NPC opponent is at 50% skill. That's a 3% chance for a critical. Now if you assume a group of 5 PCs, and that they each get attacked once per session, then on average,  a PC will be on the wrong end of a critical  every other session. If we assume that a typical PC is at 75% in his parry/dodge, that still leave you with one maiming or fatality every 8 sessions. Now if you game once a week that works out to a PC's death or dismemberment every other month. If they get attacked more often than once a session the mortality rates go up.  That might be a bit too much to be able to sustain a campaign. 

Thankfully, RQ has all sort of Healing magic including bring the dead back to life, and that helps a great deal with that.

 

Hi Atgxtg, I agree with your assessment, all I was saying was that I prefer combat lite campaigns and the RQG encourages that with a high risk factor in every fight. But that can pose a continuity problem if your primary antagonist gets killed due to bad luck, often requiring some very artful plot wrangling for the GM 

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1 hour ago, Psullie said:

Hi Atgxtg, I agree with your assessment, all I was saying was that I prefer combat lite campaigns and the RQG encourages that with a high risk factor in every fight. But that can pose a continuity problem if your primary antagonist gets killed due to bad luck, often requiring some very artful plot wrangling for the GM 

Death from a crit needn't be final - look at Rurik Runespear.

Antagonists get DI, too. Failing that, their vengeful ghosts could find a suitable vessel to further their schemes.

Heroquesters may have found their backdoor exit from the Descent to Hell. Belintar was killed multiple times before he returned the favor on Ezkankekko.

Then there are hoary old chestnuts like the body double, as in Kurosawa's inversion of this theme in Kagemusha.

 

"Bypassing all armor" - does this include all magical armor?

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2 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Death from a crit needn't be final - look at Rurik Runespear.

Antagonists get DI, too. Failing that, their vengeful ghosts could find a suitable vessel to further their schemes.

Heroquesters may have found their backdoor exit from the Descent to Hell. Belintar was killed multiple times before he returned the favor on Ezkankekko.

Then there are hoary old chestnuts like the body double, as in Kurosawa's inversion of this theme in Kagemusha.

 

"Bypassing all armor" - does this include all magical armor?

I actually meat to say protagonist, but valid points nonetheless 

"A critical hit ignores the effects of armor or any other protection" says the book so I'd say yes on bypassing magic

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15 minutes ago, Psullie said:

I actually meat to say protagonist, but valid points nonetheless 

"A critical hit ignores the effects of armor or any other protection" says the book so I'd say yes on bypassing magic

It bypasses static armour like Protection or Shield, but not sorcery like... whatever Damage Resistance is called nowadays... Ward Against Weapons. At least, traditionally that's the case, I think it still is in RQG.

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