VP/WP criticals

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

My question is primarily in the context of Star Wars d20, but it's
equally applicable to the Vitality and Wound Points variant from
Unearthed Arcana.

How playable is the game at high levels using these rules?

In SW, by about 15th level, a reasonably twinked out lightsaber-wielder
Jedi can deal some 7d8+Str damage with his lightsaber and crit on 18-20.
A martial artist Jedi can deal 3d4+2d6+2d8+Str with his bare hands, and
crit on 17-20.

7d8 is averages more than 30, enough to kill most characters outright on
a crit, going from full VP and full WP to -10 WP. And with a threat
range 18-20 it happens on 15% of all hits! 3d4+2d6+2d8 isn't a quite as
certain one shot, one kill, but it's still very possible, and perhaps
even more deadly overall with a threat range of 17-20.

In D&D, single attack dealing 30+ damage are also far from uncommon.

It fine to aim for a different atmosphere, where even high level
characters are wary of combat, but there *will* be unavoidable fights,
and it's hardly fun to have a 1 in 7 chance of getting killed outright
with each hit in each of them.

What is the group's collective experience with this? Am I misjudging the
deadliness? Am I correctly judging the deadliness, but others aren't
bothered by it? House rules?

My suggestion to my DM for SW was to allow anyone to take a Dark Side
point to drop to -9 WP and stabilize any time you'd drop to -10 WP,
effectively allowing immunity to death at the cost of DPSs, barring a
TPK. I'm not really happy with that, but it's better than dreading
Random Death By Natural 20 in every high-level fight.

Another tweak which I like better just occured to me: you cannot be
dropped below -1 WP if you have VP remaining. Meaning you can still be
killed if you continue fighting after you're down to WP only, and you
can still be dropped in a single shot... but not killed outright in one
shot.


--
Jasin Zujovic
jzujovic@inet.hr
26 answers Last reply
More about criticals
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Wed, 23 Mar 2005 01:04:25 +0100, Jasin Zujovic <jzujovic@inet.hr>
    scribed into the ether:


    >In SW, by about 15th level, a reasonably twinked out lightsaber-wielder
    >Jedi can deal some 7d8+Str damage with his lightsaber and crit on 18-20.
    >A martial artist Jedi can deal 3d4+2d6+2d8+Str with his bare hands, and
    >crit on 17-20.
    >
    >7d8 is averages more than 30, enough to kill most characters outright on
    >a crit, going from full VP and full WP to -10 WP. And with a threat
    >range 18-20 it happens on 15% of all hits! 3d4+2d6+2d8 isn't a quite as
    >certain one shot, one kill, but it's still very possible, and perhaps
    >even more deadly overall with a threat range of 17-20.

    On one hand, it does seem rather excessively deadly...

    On the other hand, this is a lightsaber after all, and it's not like stuff
    *should* survive long against that. Being able to cut a person (or
    yourself) in half -by accident- with one means that with deliberate and
    skillful use, there should be some major carnage going on.

    I don't know the SW rules beyond a thumbing of the book, but don't jedi
    have some effective means beyond mere AC to avoid being hit? As for Jedi vs
    Non-Jedi...well, that *should* be a slaughter.
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Jasin Zujovic wrote:
    > My question is primarily in the context of Star Wars d20, but it's
    > equally applicable to the Vitality and Wound Points variant from
    > Unearthed Arcana.
    >
    > How playable is the game at high levels using these rules?

    In short, it is, but it isn't. Lots of insta-kills. That's almsot
    perfect for SWD20, in which mooks exist behind every corner. GMs have
    to do lots of tricky things to ensure the survival of evil lords and
    masters.

    A while back, MSB and I had a very short debate about importing the
    VP/WP rules to a D&D game, and I ended up trying to instead 'port the
    critical multiplier rules from D&D to SWD20 for a few play sessions of
    testing. Things got a good bit less deadly real quick. My players
    didn't like it much, for reasons I'll never understand.

    The way it worked was: every SW weapon in the RCR that didn't have a
    almost direct correlation with something in the D&D books got a
    straight x2 multiplier. Anything that *did* have a near-direct
    correlation got the listed D&D multiplier. Criticals were multiplied as
    per standard D&D rules, and no longer went directly to WP: all damage
    whittles VPs first, and when you run out of VPs, your WPs are whittled
    down until your dead or at -WPs.

    "Unusual" effects, like complete immersion in toxic or deadly
    fluid-like substances, or falling or stuff like that, *did* go directly
    to WP, though.

    Like I said, it wasn't as deadly. VP inflation *is* HP inflation. A lot
    less "Hit a guy once into beyond -10 WP territory." I liked it. My
    gamers didn't. We went back to standard SWD20 rules.

    Now I'm toying with the idea of converting D20 Modern's damage
    threshold rules to D20, but I sort of already have that, with the VP/WP
    distiction, and I don't have a SW group anymore, so I'm not sure how to
    proceed.

    > In SW, by about 15th level, a reasonably twinked out
    lightsaber-wielder
    > Jedi can deal some 7d8+Str damage with his lightsaber and crit on
    18-20.
    > A martial artist Jedi can deal 3d4+2d6+2d8+Str with his bare hands,
    and
    > crit on 17-20.

    And a martial artist Force Adept can embue his unarmed strikes with
    deadly Force energy that adds even more damage.

    > 7d8 is averages more than 30, enough to kill most characters outright
    on
    > a crit, going from full VP and full WP to -10 WP. And with a threat
    > range 18-20 it happens on 15% of all hits! 3d4+2d6+2d8 isn't a quite
    as
    > certain one shot, one kill, but it's still very possible, and perhaps

    > even more deadly overall with a threat range of 17-20.
    >
    > In D&D, single attack dealing 30+ damage are also far from uncommon.

    But magical AC bonus are also far from uncommon at 15th level, as well
    as magical damage soaks . . .

    > It fine to aim for a different atmosphere, where even high level
    > characters are wary of combat, but there *will* be unavoidable
    fights,
    > and it's hardly fun to have a 1 in 7 chance of getting killed
    outright
    > with each hit in each of them.
    >
    > What is the group's collective experience with this? Am I misjudging
    the
    > deadliness? Am I correctly judging the deadliness, but others aren't
    > bothered by it? House rules?

    It's pretty deadly. But in a D&D game, there's resurection magic, which
    SWD20 doesn't have, so that affects the game a lot, too.

    > My suggestion to my DM for SW was to allow anyone to take a Dark Side

    > point to drop to -9 WP and stabilize any time you'd drop to -10 WP,
    > effectively allowing immunity to death at the cost of DPSs, barring a

    > TPK. I'm not really happy with that, but it's better than dreading
    > Random Death By Natural 20 in every high-level fight.

    One thing I was going to do before my SW group went its seperate ways
    was changing the death limit. Instead, it was -1(10 + CON SCORE) =
    death limit. I proposed using that in my current D&D campaign, but for
    campaign reasons, they wanted a short amount of time between disabled
    and dead (we're fighting evil undead, and at least two PCs have already
    succumbed to the dreaded permanent energy drains, and so now the PCs
    are fighting undead former comrades, and everybody wants ANGST and
    TRAGEDY and blah blah blah). Maybe if I made it -1 to -CON score =
    stable, no longer dying but can only take 1 standard or partial action
    per round, with -CON score to -10-CON score is standard bleeding to
    death.

    > Another tweak which I like better just occured to me: you cannot be
    > dropped below -1 WP if you have VP remaining. Meaning you can still
    be
    > killed if you continue fighting after you're down to WP only, and you

    > can still be dropped in a single shot... but not killed outright in
    one
    > shot.

    Hmm.

    Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque; but you don't die until you've reach
    -10 WP . . . .
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "Jasin Zujovic" <jzujovic@inet.hr> wrote in message
    news:MPG.1caad0f8baf2049c9899f8@news.iskon.hr...
    > My question is primarily in the context of Star Wars d20, but it's
    > equally applicable to the Vitality and Wound Points variant from
    > Unearthed Arcana.
    >
    > How playable is the game at high levels using these rules?

    It's not. High level characters die as soon as a critical lands - which
    is quite likely, given the number of foes or skill of the foes they face.

    -Michael
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    mistermichael@earthlink.net wrote:

    > > My question is primarily in the context of Star Wars d20, but it's
    > > equally applicable to the Vitality and Wound Points variant from
    > > Unearthed Arcana.
    > >
    > > How playable is the game at high levels using these rules?
    >
    > It's not. High level characters die as soon as a critical lands - which
    > is quite likely, given the number of foes or skill of the foes they face.

    Well, yes... that was kind of what I was saying in my post. Any
    suggestions on how to fix that? What do you think about the suggestions
    in my post?


    --
    Jasin Zujovic
    jzujovic@inet.hr
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com wrote:

    > >In SW, by about 15th level, a reasonably twinked out lightsaber-wielder
    > >Jedi can deal some 7d8+Str damage with his lightsaber and crit on 18-20.
    > >A martial artist Jedi can deal 3d4+2d6+2d8+Str with his bare hands, and
    > >crit on 17-20.
    > >
    > >7d8 is averages more than 30, enough to kill most characters outright on
    > >a crit, going from full VP and full WP to -10 WP. And with a threat
    > >range 18-20 it happens on 15% of all hits! 3d4+2d6+2d8 isn't a quite as
    > >certain one shot, one kill, but it's still very possible, and perhaps
    > >even more deadly overall with a threat range of 17-20.
    >
    > On one hand, it does seem rather excessively deadly...
    >
    > On the other hand, this is a lightsaber after all, and it's not like stuff
    > *should* survive long against that. Being able to cut a person (or
    > yourself) in half -by accident- with one means that with deliberate and
    > skillful use, there should be some major carnage going on.

    As opposed to a +5 flaming keen holy sword?

    And you don't see people dying form *every* critical from one of those.
    And even if they do, there's resurrection magic available from mid-
    levels onwards in D&D. In SW, death is... deadly.

    > I don't know the SW rules beyond a thumbing of the book, but don't jedi
    > have some effective means beyond mere AC to avoid being hit?

    Not really.

    > As for Jedi vs Non-Jedi...well, that *should* be a slaughter.

    Well, that sure makes the game fun for non-Jedi, doesn't it?


    --
    Jasin Zujovic
    jzujovic@inet.hr
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Wed, 23 Mar 2005 23:43:29 +0100, Jasin Zujovic <jzujovic@inet.hr>
    scribed into the ether:

    >matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com wrote:
    >
    >> >In SW, by about 15th level, a reasonably twinked out lightsaber-wielder
    >> >Jedi can deal some 7d8+Str damage with his lightsaber and crit on 18-20.
    >> >A martial artist Jedi can deal 3d4+2d6+2d8+Str with his bare hands, and
    >> >crit on 17-20.
    >> >
    >> >7d8 is averages more than 30, enough to kill most characters outright on
    >> >a crit, going from full VP and full WP to -10 WP. And with a threat
    >> >range 18-20 it happens on 15% of all hits! 3d4+2d6+2d8 isn't a quite as
    >> >certain one shot, one kill, but it's still very possible, and perhaps
    >> >even more deadly overall with a threat range of 17-20.
    >>
    >> On one hand, it does seem rather excessively deadly...
    >>
    >> On the other hand, this is a lightsaber after all, and it's not like stuff
    >> *should* survive long against that. Being able to cut a person (or
    >> yourself) in half -by accident- with one means that with deliberate and
    >> skillful use, there should be some major carnage going on.
    >
    >As opposed to a +5 flaming keen holy sword?

    A powerful weapon, but a lightsaber still trumps it. The whole "cuts
    through anything" property really throws game balance to the wind, unless
    you start equipping everyone with Cortosis-weave armor, which is just as
    bad, in its own way.

    >And you don't see people dying form *every* critical from one of those.
    >And even if they do, there's resurrection magic available from mid-
    >levels onwards in D&D. In SW, death is... deadly.
    >
    >> I don't know the SW rules beyond a thumbing of the book, but don't jedi
    >> have some effective means beyond mere AC to avoid being hit?
    >
    >Not really.

    Not very in keeping with the source material then...

    >> As for Jedi vs Non-Jedi...well, that *should* be a slaughter.
    >
    >Well, that sure makes the game fun for non-Jedi, doesn't it?

    A good reason why I don't play it. Having a character class that is
    clearly, vastly, and overpoweringly stronger than the others is not good
    game design.
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "Jasin Zujovic" <jzujovic@inet.hr> wrote in message
    news:MPG.1cac0eed936ba8a39899fa@news.iskon.hr...
    > mistermichael@earthlink.net wrote:
    > > > My question is primarily in the context of Star Wars d20, but it's
    > > > equally applicable to the Vitality and Wound Points variant from
    > > > Unearthed Arcana.
    > > >
    > > > How playable is the game at high levels using these rules?
    > >
    > > It's not. High level characters die as soon as a critical lands -
    which
    > > is quite likely, given the number of foes or skill of the foes they
    face.
    >
    > Well, yes... that was kind of what I was saying in my post. Any
    > suggestions on how to fix that? What do you think about the suggestions
    > in my post?

    What, shifting to d&D crits instead? (I skimmed). Of course.

    -Michael
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Rupert Boleyn wrote:
    > On Thu, 24 Mar 2005 00:47:06 GMT, Matt Frisch
    > <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> carved upon a tablet of ether:
    >
    > > A good reason why I don't play it. Having a character class that is
    > > clearly, vastly, and overpoweringly stronger than the others is not
    good
    > > game design.
    >
    > That depends on how the game is suposed to be played. It worked
    > alright in Ars Magica (though sometimes the actual power of the magi
    > was debatable),
    [SNIP]

    Huh? Debatable how?

    You can build a Magi to be a fighter, taking every skill point
    a companion fighter would have, every stat, every advantage, but
    use nothing but hermetic disadvantages so he has NOTHING that hurts
    him in combat.

    The result is a character who (baring the social effects of the
    gift) is as good or better at EVERYTHING than the best fighter
    companion you can build even before he casts a spell, and he can
    cast spells, and longevity potions work better on him, and he
    gains skills faster (at least in some editions), and he has magic
    resistance, and he has more skills to start with, and ....

    If you take the 1 point advantage of gentle gift you can do
    effectively the same thing to a social or urban character, and the
    magic is even more useful.

    The only reason Magi aren't actually build and played like this
    is that massively and easily dominating a companion in his nitche
    is such a weak build as to be almost useless as a magi.

    A BEGINNING, BTB, straigh out of the box magi in at least three
    editions could multispell off multiple clenched grasps of the
    crushed heart all day if he wanted to...

    By the time twenty or fifty years have past the magi are so
    dominant that the only "balance" factor is that magi don't want
    to waste lab time on anything where there is any chance someone
    else can handle it instead.

    DougL
  9. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Jasin Zujovic wrote:
    > aaronbourque@aol.com wrote:
    >
    > > > My question is primarily in the context of Star Wars d20, but
    it's
    > > > equally applicable to the Vitality and Wound Points variant from
    > > > Unearthed Arcana.
    > > >
    > > > How playable is the game at high levels using these rules?
    > >
    > > In short, it is, but it isn't. Lots of insta-kills. That's almsot
    > > perfect for SWD20, in which mooks exist behind every corner.
    >
    > I have no problem with PCs or NPCs insta-killing mooks.
    >
    > I have a problem with a 15th-level Jedi PC killing a 19th-level Sith
    > lord NPC in one blow because the Sith lord has "only" Con 17, and the

    > Jedi deals 6d8 WP damage on a critical, which happens on 18-20.
    >
    > I also have a problem with a 10th-level soldier NPC killing a
    19th-level
    > Jedi PC in one shot because the Jedi has only Con 17, and the soldier

    > deals 6d8 with his tripod-mounted E-web blaster.

    Well, an E-WEB is supposed to be almost a light anti-aircraft
    emplacement. It's *supposed* to be damn deadly! It's because of weapons
    like these that things like *cover* are more important to "modern"
    combatants.

    > > One thing I was going to do before my SW group went its seperate
    ways
    > > was changing the death limit. Instead, it was -1(10 + CON SCORE) =
    > > death limit.
    >
    > This just delays the problem. Granted, it might well delay it beyond
    > 20th-level, effectively "fixing" it... but I'd prefer a more
    fundamental
    > fix.

    Well, I think that the above, coupled with the damage reduction armor
    of SWD20 would almost eliminate the problem except for truly impressive
    damage.

    And besides, a delay *is* pretty much the best solution. Otherwise you
    enter some weird territory.

    > > > Another tweak which I like better just occured to me: you cannot
    be
    > > > dropped below -1 WP if you have VP remaining. Meaning you can
    still be
    > > > killed if you continue fighting after you're down to WP only, and
    you
    > > > can still be dropped in a single shot... but not killed outright
    in
    > > > one shot.
    > >
    > > Hmm.
    >
    > I've talked with the DM today, and he seems to be in favour of an
    even
    > milder rule: you cannot be dropped below 1 WP with a critical.

    Like that.

    No, crit multipliers "work better" from a conceptual PoV (although I
    admit, perhaps not *best*, or my players would have gone for it . . .).
    Your GM's way, you end up with "crits that aren't crits," where you're
    hit with a crit and it drops you to X VP, 1WP, and you next crit . . .
    doesn't crit.

    It's a delay, like what I proposed, but it just ends up weirdening
    combats.

    "Okay, Dzurgan the Unclean hits! And it's a crit; confirm? Yup. And . .
    .. 16 points of damage! Haha! Now the evil overmaster's only got 1WP!

    ". . .

    "And it's Dzurgan's turn again and . . . he threats! Confirm? Yes!!! .
    .. . Oh wait. The evil overmaster already has only 1 WP . . . damage
    goes to VPs. ::sigh::"

    Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    aaronbourque@aol.com wrote:

    > > My question is primarily in the context of Star Wars d20, but it's
    > > equally applicable to the Vitality and Wound Points variant from
    > > Unearthed Arcana.
    > >
    > > How playable is the game at high levels using these rules?
    >
    > In short, it is, but it isn't. Lots of insta-kills. That's almsot
    > perfect for SWD20, in which mooks exist behind every corner.

    I have no problem with PCs or NPCs insta-killing mooks.

    I have a problem with a 15th-level Jedi PC killing a 19th-level Sith
    lord NPC in one blow because the Sith lord has "only" Con 17, and the
    Jedi deals 6d8 WP damage on a critical, which happens on 18-20.

    I also have a problem with a 10th-level soldier NPC killing a 19th-level
    Jedi PC in one shot because the Jedi has only Con 17, and the soldier
    deals 6d8 with his tripod-mounted E-web blaster.

    > GMs have
    > to do lots of tricky things to ensure the survival of evil lords and
    > masters.

    I'm even more worried about the players. Both by the virtue of being
    one, and on general principle, since the GM has an infinite supply of
    NPCs and each player only has one PC.

    > One thing I was going to do before my SW group went its seperate ways
    > was changing the death limit. Instead, it was -1(10 + CON SCORE) =
    > death limit.

    This just delays the problem. Granted, it might well delay it beyond
    20th-level, effectively "fixing" it... but I'd prefer a more fundamental
    fix.

    > > Another tweak which I like better just occured to me: you cannot be
    > > dropped below -1 WP if you have VP remaining. Meaning you can still be
    > > killed if you continue fighting after you're down to WP only, and you
    > > can still be dropped in a single shot... but not killed outright in
    > > one
    > > shot.
    >
    > Hmm.

    I've talked with the DM today, and he seems to be in favour of an even
    milder rule: you cannot be dropped below 1 WP with a critical. Might
    have a bit wonky result where you crit someone with 1 WP and X VP
    remaining and go "damn! a critical hit!"... but that's easily fixed by
    ruling you can choose to make any critical hit a non-critical one.


    --
    Jasin Zujovic
    jzujovic@inet.hr
  11. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    mistermichael@earthlink.net wrote:

    > > > > My question is primarily in the context of Star Wars d20, but it's
    > > > > equally applicable to the Vitality and Wound Points variant from
    > > > > Unearthed Arcana.
    > > > >
    > > > > How playable is the game at high levels using these rules?
    > > >
    > > > It's not. High level characters die as soon as a critical lands -
    > > > which is quite likely, given the number of foes or skill of the foes they
    > > > face.
    > >
    > > Well, yes... that was kind of what I was saying in my post. Any
    > > suggestions on how to fix that? What do you think about the suggestions
    > > in my post?
    >
    > What, shifting to d&D crits instead? (I skimmed). Of course.

    Ruling that crits cannot drop you below -1 WP if you have VP remaining.


    --
    Jasin Zujovic
    jzujovic@inet.hr
  12. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "Jasin Zujovic" <jzujovic@inet.hr> wrote in message
    news:MPG.1cad0ae25f89e5859899fd@news.iskon.hr...
    > mistermichael@earthlink.net wrote:
    > Ruling that crits cannot drop you below -1 WP if you have VP remaining.

    That solution is cosmetic and ineffective. The real objection to the
    wound point implementation is that they can be attacked *instead* of the
    vitality, which means that damage mechanisms that go for wound points
    basically eliminate any advantage of being a high level character. The
    issue is "defeated in combat", not "death of character".
    Direct-to-wound point damage cannot be implemented fairly (to high level
    characters) while retaining the full weapon damage ratings of SW weapons &
    their bonuses.
    More interesting effects would be: a critical always does a minimum of 1
    WP (and full vitality damage, spilling over to WP if exceeding), or a
    critical does 1d4, 1d6, or 1d8 (pick rationale for assinging die size;
    possibly by weapon size) WP ... these would at least allow some
    opportunities for dramatic woundings and would at least buffer wound point
    attrition.

    -Michael
  13. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Michael Scott Brown <mistermichael@earthlink.net> wrote:
    >"Jasin Zujovic" <jzujovic@inet.hr> wrote in message
    >news:MPG.1cad0ae25f89e5859899fd@news.iskon.hr...

    >> Ruling that crits cannot drop you below -1 WP if you have VP remaining.

    > That solution is cosmetic and ineffective. The real objection to the
    >wound point implementation is that they can be attacked *instead* of the
    >vitality, which means that damage mechanisms that go for wound points
    >basically eliminate any advantage of being a high level character. The
    >issue is "defeated in combat", not "death of character".

    Not necessarily. I think your point is a good one for most
    games, but the drop to -1 WP rule would be a good fit for
    some styles and/or players. It makes the crit rules just
    as nasty as they already are on a per-fight basis, but
    leaves characters alive for the next fight and the ones
    after that. Sort of a grim-n-gritty feel that still allows
    for long-term character survival. Those two things don't
    really go well together for a lot of people, but different
    strokes and all that.

    > Direct-to-wound point damage cannot be implemented fairly (to high level
    >characters) while retaining the full weapon damage ratings of SW weapons &
    >their bonuses.

    I'm not familiar with the SW wound point rules. Do they never go
    up at all after first level? Or so slowly that they might as well
    never go up, for all the good they do in high level combat? I
    can't think of any way of raising them enough to matter without
    making the WP/VP division pointless and just going to Hit Points.

    The homebrew 1st edition game I'm in has a WP/VP system - we
    call the vitality points evasion points - and it works for
    us, but

    1) It's a low level game without lightsabers, though we do
    have some nasty damage items such as acids and big-ass spells.

    2) We use an admittedly unrealistic hit location chart that
    has most WP wounds going to the limbs.

    3) Most importantly, we don't mind the high death rate all
    that much.

    I actually just found out the system is deadlier than I'd
    originally thought. No one ever sat me down and explicitly
    told me how the Hit Point system worked, and apparently
    I picked it up wrong via observation. I thought the base
    number calculated by class, Con and level was just for
    full-body damage (spells, mostly) and to calculate how
    many HP your limbs, torso and head had. I also thought
    that damage to your limbs can cripple or sever them but
    you didn't die until your head or torso were destroyed.
    Unrealistic, but I thought it was meant to make the
    high lethality slightly less so. Not so, it turns out.
    I'd wondered why my old fighter character seemed to survive
    much longer than was normal for front-line fighters. Oops.

    > More interesting effects would be: a critical always does a minimum of 1
    >WP (and full vitality damage, spilling over to WP if exceeding), or a
    >critical does 1d4, 1d6, or 1d8 (pick rationale for assinging die size;
    >possibly by weapon size) WP ...

    In addition to the VP damage? Or maybe you can choose to do
    that damage or normal VP damage, which might very well end up
    doing more WP damage.

    Pete
  14. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "Peter Meilinger" <mellnger@bu.edu> wrote in message
    news:d1v04b$brp$1@news3.bu.edu...
    > Michael Scott Brown <mistermichael@earthlink.net> wrote:
    > >"Jasin Zujovic" <jzujovic@inet.hr> wrote in message
    > >> Ruling that crits cannot drop you below -1 WP if you have VP remaining.
    >
    > > That solution is cosmetic and ineffective. The real objection to the
    > >wound point implementation is that they can be attacked *instead* of the
    > >vitality, which means that damage mechanisms that go for wound points
    > >basically eliminate any advantage of being a high level character. The
    > >issue is "defeated in combat", not "death of character".
    >
    > Not necessarily. I think your point is a good one for most
    > games, but the drop to -1 WP rule would be a good fit for
    > some styles and/or players.

    You have grossly misunderstood the proposition. Read again.

    > > Direct-to-wound point damage cannot be implemented fairly (to high
    level
    > >characters) while retaining the full weapon damage ratings of SW weapons
    &
    > >their bonuses.
    >
    > I'm not familiar with the SW wound point rules. Do they never go
    > up at all after first level?

    You have your constitution score (IIRC; it might have been a mirror of
    your first level hit points) in "wound points". Effects that are considered
    to 'really hit you' do their damage to this instead of to a "vitality" pool
    representing some dorky fatigue-used-getting-out-of-the-way mechanic (which
    scales as D&D hp do). Losing *any* wound points penalizes you. Losing all
    of them puts you in a coma where you may die.

    > 3) Most importantly, we don't mind the high death rate all
    > that much.
    >
    > I actually just found out the system is deadlier than I'd
    > originally thought.

    Then you didn't think.


    > > More interesting effects would be: a critical always does a minimum
    of 1
    > >WP (and full vitality damage, spilling over to WP if exceeding), or a
    > >critical does 1d4, 1d6, or 1d8 (pick rationale for assinging die size;
    > >possibly by weapon size) WP ...
    >
    > In addition to the VP damage?

    That's rather the point.

    > Or maybe you can choose to do
    > that damage or normal VP damage, which might very well end up
    > doing more WP damage.

    "and full vitality damage, spilling over to WP if exceeding".

    Please. Read. Then reply.

    -Michael
  15. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Michael Scott Brown <mistermichael@earthlink.net> wrote:
    >"Peter Meilinger" <mellnger@bu.edu> wrote in message
    >news:d1v04b$brp$1@news3.bu.edu...
    >> Michael Scott Brown <mistermichael@earthlink.net> wrote:
    >> >"Jasin Zujovic" <jzujovic@inet.hr> wrote in message

    >> >> Ruling that crits cannot drop you below -1 WP if you have VP remaining.

    >> > That solution is cosmetic and ineffective. The real objection to the
    >> >wound point implementation is that they can be attacked *instead* of the
    >> >vitality, which means that damage mechanisms that go for wound points
    >> >basically eliminate any advantage of being a high level character. The
    >> >issue is "defeated in combat", not "death of character".

    >> Not necessarily. I think your point is a good one for most
    >> games, but the drop to -1 WP rule would be a good fit for
    >> some styles and/or players.

    > You have grossly misunderstood the proposition. Read again.

    I don't think I misunderstood anything. I don't particularly want
    a game where high level characters drop as often or even more
    often than low level character, but somebody out there probably
    does.

    >> I'm not familiar with the SW wound point rules. Do they never go
    >> up at all after first level?

    > You have your constitution score (IIRC; it might have been a mirror of
    >your first level hit points) in "wound points".

    And I assume Con is at least as hard to raise as it is in D&D.
    Probably lots more so, since magic allows for a lot in D&D.

    >Effects that are considered
    >to 'really hit you' do their damage to this instead of to a "vitality" pool
    >representing some dorky fatigue-used-getting-out-of-the-way mechanic (which
    >scales as D&D hp do). Losing *any* wound points penalizes you. Losing all
    >of them puts you in a coma where you may die.

    That's about what I figured, yeah. What about poison? Do VP hits
    penetrate the skin?

    >> 3) Most importantly, we don't mind the high death rate all
    >> that much.
    >>
    >> I actually just found out the system is deadlier than I'd
    >> originally thought.

    > Then you didn't think.

    Well, no. I didn't know how the rules worked. They're not
    written down anywhere I have access to.

    >> > More interesting effects would be: a critical always does a minimum
    >of 1
    >> >WP (and full vitality damage, spilling over to WP if exceeding), or a
    >> >critical does 1d4, 1d6, or 1d8 (pick rationale for assinging die size;
    >> >possibly by weapon size) WP ...
    >>
    >> In addition to the VP damage?

    > That's rather the point.

    >> Or maybe you can choose to do
    >> that damage or normal VP damage, which might very well end up
    >> doing more WP damage.

    > "and full vitality damage, spilling over to WP if exceeding".

    Which comes right before "or a critical does 1d4, 1d6, or 1d8,"
    with no "and full vitality damage, spilling over to WP if exceeding"
    following it. I assumed you meant it to be included, but figured
    I'd ask since I was already responding to the post anyway.

    Pete
  16. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Thu, 24 Mar 2005 00:47:06 GMT, Matt Frisch
    <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> carved upon a tablet of ether:

    > A good reason why I don't play it. Having a character class that is
    > clearly, vastly, and overpoweringly stronger than the others is not good
    > game design.

    That depends on how the game is suposed to be played. It worked
    alright in Ars Magica (though sometimes the actual power of the magi
    was debatable), and it worked okay in the faux-Ars Magica game I once
    ran & played in that used C&S.


    --
    Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
    "Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
    should be free."
  17. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    In article <do25419jho1jnr4uq6fvdeueuqi3clcu2m@4ax.com>,
    Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz> wrote:

    > On Thu, 24 Mar 2005 00:47:06 GMT, Matt Frisch
    > <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> carved upon a tablet of ether:
    >
    > > A good reason why I don't play it. Having a character class that is
    > > clearly, vastly, and overpoweringly stronger than the others is not good
    > > game design.
    >
    > That depends on how the game is suposed to be played. It worked
    > alright in Ars Magica (though sometimes the actual power of the magi
    > was debatable), and it worked okay in the faux-Ars Magica game I once
    > ran & played in that used C&S.

    Similarly I've seen a few games run with the "just create a fun
    character, the power level doesn't really matter" system, and they too
    can work.

    I've got no problem with the SWd20 system on that score, just because
    it's really obvious in the source material that Jedi are better than
    everybody else. It's not as if some poor DM is going to get the shock
    of their life when they realise the Jedi Guardian kicks more arse than
    the Fringer.

    (Actually I understand that Soldiers generally have higher damage output
    than Jedi, since they get multi-attack feats with big blasters long
    before the Jedi bonus damage with a lightsabre catches up, and they can
    attack at range to boot. Jedi are just better at everything else).

    I wouldn't make tactical combat challenges the focus of a Star Wars game
    though.

    Kevin Lowe,
    Tasmania.
  18. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Thu, 24 Mar 2005 16:26:06 +0100, Jasin Zujovic <jzujovic@inet.hr>
    scribed into the ether:

    >aaronbourque@aol.com wrote:
    >
    >> > My question is primarily in the context of Star Wars d20, but it's
    >> > equally applicable to the Vitality and Wound Points variant from
    >> > Unearthed Arcana.
    >> >
    >> > How playable is the game at high levels using these rules?
    >>
    >> In short, it is, but it isn't. Lots of insta-kills. That's almsot
    >> perfect for SWD20, in which mooks exist behind every corner.
    >
    >I have no problem with PCs or NPCs insta-killing mooks.
    >
    >I have a problem with a 15th-level Jedi PC killing a 19th-level Sith
    >lord NPC in one blow because the Sith lord has "only" Con 17, and the
    >Jedi deals 6d8 WP damage on a critical, which happens on 18-20.

    The thing is, that this sort of thing accurately represents what would
    really happen.

    We've only really seen 2 kinds of lightsaber wounds in the movies...ones
    that are deadly, and relatively minor hits that are deliberately non-fatal.
    The problem with the fatal injuries we've seen is that they need not have
    been with a lightsaber to *be* fatal. Being impaled through the chest, your
    head severed, or cut in half at the waist are deadly irrespective of the
    weapon used.

    >I also have a problem with a 10th-level soldier NPC killing a 19th-level
    >Jedi PC in one shot because the Jedi has only Con 17, and the soldier
    >deals 6d8 with his tripod-mounted E-web blaster.

    Conceptually, it is not so good that significantly low level NPCs can cream
    high level PCs like that, but you also wouldn't expect someone to survive a
    hit like that. The abstraction of D&D combat is a bit missing from being
    nailed with a plasma weapon.
  19. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    "MisterMichael" <mistermichael@earthlink.net> wrote in
    news:1111783069.769226.62880@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com:

    > At least you're sharper than Goslin.
    >

    Faint praise indeed.

    --
    Marc
  20. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Fri, 25 Mar 2005 06:50:51 GMT, Kevin Lowe <me@private.net> scribed into
    the ether:

    >In article <p3o6411rd9gnoct833gu8g5d1fg4mt6g0i@4ax.com>,
    > Matt Frisch <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> wrote:
    >
    >> The thing is, that this sort of thing accurately represents what would
    >> really happen.
    >>
    >> We've only really seen 2 kinds of lightsaber wounds in the movies...ones
    >> that are deadly, and relatively minor hits that are deliberately non-fatal.
    >
    >Four.
    >
    >In every movie but one we have hand-severing blows which are mostly
    >incapacitating but not deadly.

    In the context of the movie, a minor hit, since limbs can be replaced
    fairly easily. Don't even need to worry about bleeding to death since it is
    also cauterized.

    >From AotC we have relatively minor hits that are mostly incapacitating
    >but not fatal, inflicted by Dooku on Obi-Wan. We know Dooku was
    >attempting to kill, because immediately after the two minor hits
    >incapacitated Obi-Wan Dooku attempted to finish him off but was
    >prevented from doing so.

    Killing was the objective, but not with those particular hits. He's evil
    after all, and sadism is part of it. He didn't *need* to perform those
    disabling hits, as he was very clearly the superior fighter.

    >> >I also have a problem with a 10th-level soldier NPC killing a 19th-level
    >> >Jedi PC in one shot because the Jedi has only Con 17, and the soldier
    >> >deals 6d8 with his tripod-mounted E-web blaster.
    >>
    >> Conceptually, it is not so good that significantly low level NPCs can cream
    >> high level PCs like that, but you also wouldn't expect someone to survive a
    >> hit like that. The abstraction of D&D combat is a bit missing from being
    >> nailed with a plasma weapon.
    >
    >Offhand I can't recall many instances where SW protagonists were up
    >against that kind of firepower in competent hands.

    Only time I can think of is in the escape from Hoth, but that was cannon vs
    starship, not against people, and IIRC, the stormtroopers got whumped
    before they even finished setting the thing up.
  21. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    In article <oq4941pc02frisepq88a041llk8lj6bk91@4ax.com>,
    Matt Frisch <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> wrote:

    > On Fri, 25 Mar 2005 06:50:51 GMT, Kevin Lowe <me@private.net> scribed into
    > the ether:

    > >> We've only really seen 2 kinds of lightsaber wounds in the movies...ones
    > >> that are deadly, and relatively minor hits that are deliberately non-fatal.
    > >
    > >Four.
    > >
    > >In every movie but one we have hand-severing blows which are mostly
    > >incapacitating but not deadly.
    >
    > In the context of the movie, a minor hit, since limbs can be replaced
    > fairly easily. Don't even need to worry about bleeding to death since it is
    > also cauterized.

    Okay, I didn't consider them minor because they inflicted permanent
    injuries that were at least temporarily incapacitating. But if that's
    what you meant by minor, okay.

    > >From AotC we have relatively minor hits that are mostly incapacitating
    > >but not fatal, inflicted by Dooku on Obi-Wan. We know Dooku was
    > >attempting to kill, because immediately after the two minor hits
    > >incapacitated Obi-Wan Dooku attempted to finish him off but was
    > >prevented from doing so.
    >
    > Killing was the objective, but not with those particular hits. He's evil
    > after all, and sadism is part of it. He didn't *need* to perform those
    > disabling hits, as he was very clearly the superior fighter.

    Let's just say that isn't clearly the case, and there's room to differ.

    > >Offhand I can't recall many instances where SW protagonists were up
    > >against that kind of firepower in competent hands.
    >
    > Only time I can think of is in the escape from Hoth, but that was cannon vs
    > starship, not against people, and IIRC, the stormtroopers got whumped
    > before they even finished setting the thing up.

    A speeder bike took a crack at Luke with vehicular weapons at one point,
    but those bike guys couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. Boba Fett as
    a kid took a shot at Obi-Wan with ship's guns on Kamino, but again
    there's no evidence that Boba was a great shot with ship's guns as a kid.

    Kevin Lowe,
    Tasmania.
  22. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Aaron F. Bourque wrote:
    > Jasin Zujovic wrote:
    > > I've talked with the DM today, and he seems to be in favour of an
    > > even milder rule: you cannot be dropped below 1 WP with a critical.
    >
    > No, crit multipliers "work better" from a conceptual PoV (although I
    > admit, perhaps not *best*, or my players would have gone for it . .
    ..).
    > Your GM's way, you end up with "crits that aren't crits," where
    you're
    > hit with a crit and it drops you to X VP, 1WP, and you next crit . .
    ..
    > doesn't crit.
    >
    > It's a delay, like what I proposed, but it just ends up weirdening
    > combats.
    >
    > "Okay, Dzurgan the Unclean hits! And it's a crit; confirm? Yup. And .
    ..
    > . 16 points of damage! Haha! Now the evil overmaster's only got 1WP!
    >
    > ". . .
    >
    > "And it's Dzurgan's turn again and . . . he threats! Confirm? Yes!!!
    ..
    > . . Oh wait. The evil overmaster already has only 1 WP . . . damage
    > goes to VPs. ::sigh::"

    *And* (I just thought of this) it makes force users with Heal Self a
    good deal more annoying!

    Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque
  23. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    On Sat, 26 Mar 2005 07:21:44 GMT, Kevin Lowe <me@private.net> scribed into
    the ether:

    >In article <oq4941pc02frisepq88a041llk8lj6bk91@4ax.com>,
    > Matt Frisch <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> wrote:
    >
    >> On Fri, 25 Mar 2005 06:50:51 GMT, Kevin Lowe <me@private.net> scribed into
    >> the ether:

    >> >From AotC we have relatively minor hits that are mostly incapacitating
    >> >but not fatal, inflicted by Dooku on Obi-Wan. We know Dooku was
    >> >attempting to kill, because immediately after the two minor hits
    >> >incapacitated Obi-Wan Dooku attempted to finish him off but was
    >> >prevented from doing so.
    >>
    >> Killing was the objective, but not with those particular hits. He's evil
    >> after all, and sadism is part of it. He didn't *need* to perform those
    >> disabling hits, as he was very clearly the superior fighter.
    >
    >Let's just say that isn't clearly the case, and there's room to differ.

    Bah, there was never any doubt in my mind about the outcome of that fight.
    Tyranus was just head&shoulders better than either of his opponents. He was
    toying with Obi-Wan to get an emotional response out of Anakin.

    >> >Offhand I can't recall many instances where SW protagonists were up
    >> >against that kind of firepower in competent hands.
    >>
    >> Only time I can think of is in the escape from Hoth, but that was cannon vs
    >> starship, not against people, and IIRC, the stormtroopers got whumped
    >> before they even finished setting the thing up.
    >
    >A speeder bike took a crack at Luke with vehicular weapons at one point,
    >but those bike guys couldn't hit the broad side of a barn.

    A strange charactaristic shared by most stormtroopers, and especially odd
    considering how they are described as being highly accurate. I can forgive
    them in this case, however...the bikes seemingly had no aiming mechanism
    beyond the Mark 1 eyeball, and they were moving *really* fast over less
    than ideal terrain.

    > Boba Fett as
    >a kid took a shot at Obi-Wan with ship's guns on Kamino, but again
    >there's no evidence that Boba was a great shot with ship's guns as a kid.

    Ships guns against an individual at such close range also isn't the best
    example to draw. I just watched the scene, and he had to go to a window to
    see if he'd even hit anything after firing the shots.
  24. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    mistermichael@earthlink.net wrote:

    > > Ruling that crits cannot drop you below -1 WP if you have VP remaining.
    >
    > That solution is cosmetic and ineffective. The real objection to the
    > wound point implementation is that they can be attacked *instead* of the
    > vitality, which means that damage mechanisms that go for wound points
    > basically eliminate any advantage of being a high level character.

    To be fair, they eliminate one advantage of being high-level: higher VP.
    Another advantage, not eliminated, is high Defense: it's more difficult
    to crit against a Defense 25 Jedi guardian 15 than against a Defense 15
    Jedi guardian 1.

    > The issue is "defeated in combat", not "death of character".

    It's safe to say I know what my issue is better than you do, don't you
    think?

    I'm a bit leery of sudden defeat by random crit too, but I'm willing to
    entertain the notion it might be a fun change of pace from D&D to play a
    game where combat is a bit more uncertain, and even high-level PCs
    aren't that eager to just jump in guns blazing. I'm starting to wonder
    whether it really would be fun, or even appropriate for Star Wars, where
    even mid-level heroes defeat hordes of mooks, but I'm not opposed to it
    as a matter of principle. That's why I asked suggestions on tweaking the
    VP/WP system instead of just switching over to D&D critical multipliers.

    But I am opposed to irreversible PC death by random crit as a matter of
    principle.

    > More interesting effects would be: a critical always does a minimum of 1
    > WP (and full vitality damage, spilling over to WP if exceeding), or a
    > critical does 1d4, 1d6, or 1d8 (pick rationale for assinging die size;
    > possibly by weapon size) WP ... these would at least allow some
    > opportunities for dramatic woundings and would at least buffer wound point
    > attrition.

    That's interesting. Thanks. I'll run this by my DM.


    --
    Jasin Zujovic
    jzujovic@inet.hr
  25. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    aaronbourque@aol.com wrote:

    > > I have no problem with PCs or NPCs insta-killing mooks.
    > >
    > > I have a problem with a 15th-level Jedi PC killing a 19th-level Sith
    > > lord NPC in one blow because the Sith lord has "only" Con 17, and the
    > >
    > > Jedi deals 6d8 WP damage on a critical, which happens on 18-20.
    > >
    > > I also have a problem with a 10th-level soldier NPC killing a 19th-level
    > > Jedi PC in one shot because the Jedi has only Con 17, and the soldier
    > >
    > > deals 6d8 with his tripod-mounted E-web blaster.
    >
    > Well, an E-WEB is supposed to be almost a light anti-aircraft
    > emplacement. It's *supposed* to be damn deadly!

    How is this different from a fireball, or a meteor swarm? And high-level
    D&D characters routinely suffer those (even crits are possible with
    meteor swarm!), and don't die outright.

    I really don't think such "realism" arguments are valid. "What do you
    expect from a lightsaber hit/an AA gun hit other than instant death?" I
    expect a fun game. Not a simulation of reality, and certainly not a
    simulation of a "reality" which exists nowhere except as a result of the
    simulation itself (not even in the movies, where the Cool Guys are
    capable of mowing down dozens of mooks without getting killed by a lucky
    shot).

    A 20-level game where PCs cannot reasonably expect ever to reach 20th
    level because they're bound to get killed by an (un)lucky shot is not
    fun, IMO. Nor is it a particularly good fit for the setting.

    > It's because of weapons
    > like these that things like *cover* are more important to "modern"
    > combatants.

    A SW RPG should be about lightsaber duels and wuxia action as much as it
    should be about cover and modernity, IMO.


    --
    Jasin Zujovic
    jzujovic@inet.hr
  26. Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

    Jasin Zujovic wrote:
    > aaronbourque@aol.com wrote:
    >
    > > It's because of weapons
    > > like these that things like *cover* are more important to "modern"
    > > combatants.
    >
    > A SW RPG should be about lightsaber duels and wuxia action as much as
    it
    > should be about cover and modernity, IMO.

    Only if you're a Force-weilding bad-ass.

    Or like Jango Fett.

    Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque; we just want different things from
    our games, I guess.
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