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tetrasodium

Should AC be broken into E(nergy)AC, B(allistic)AC, & T(ouch)AC?

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Stargate is a setting with a lot of energy weapons...  Without getting into the creatures with energy capabilities & such Replicator Disruptors, Staff Weapons, Pain Stick, Ori staff weapon, Ori Warrior Weapon, Kull Plasma repeater,The zat, Kara kesh, particle magnum, & no doubt many more considering this is just the handheld ones I could find in a few seconds.  You've also got the jaffa armor that doesn't do much against bullets but presumably works well against staff weapons & the melee weapons  used by the occasional unruly slave, the full body black armor worn by kul,  the energy fied used frequently by goauld & maybe once or twice carter/vala, whatever the energy fields used by the asgards or ancient relics

 

Splitting them would mean that a wraith, shortblade(knife?) or whatever can target TAC, taur'i firearms target BAC, and the various energy weapons target EAC while players really feel the hurt or different perspective of having to keep up appearances sometimes.

 

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Rather than creating lots of ACs, you could go the route AEG went: create armor weaknesses, which reduce efectiveness against certain types of damage. That way, the tactical vest (a type of armor in Stargate SG-1 RPG) was vulnerable to attacks of chemical nature (fire, gas, poison) or explosives. So, earthling armors could be effective against ballistic weapons but perform rather poorly against energy weaponry.

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10 hours ago, Bahamut_A6M5 said:

Rather than creating lots of ACs, you could go the route AEG went: create armor weaknesses, which reduce efectiveness against certain types of damage. That way, the tactical vest (a type of armor in Stargate SG-1 RPG) was vulnerable to attacks of chemical nature (fire, gas, poison) or explosives. So, earthling armors could be effective against ballistic weapons but perform rather poorly against energy weaponry.

While true, that gets into DR &/or resistance complications & needs more balancing consideration than splitting into a couple types of AC that results in some armors being a point or three better/worse than others against various attacks.

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The problem is, you are taking as a given that the end result would be "a couple types of AC". But you would need an AC for every damage type, then add the corresponding variations for touch attacks dealing that kind of damage. Also, where do melee weapons such as knifes of ma'tok blows fall into? It's neither energy nor ballistic. So far, you would need ACs for slashing, piercing and bludgeoning damages; add then energy types (burning or similar for fire, laser, plasma,..., shocking for zat discharges, tasers, wraith stunners, etc.) Up to this point, I am counting five different ACs, they go up to 15 if you add the ACs against melee and ranged touch attacks. Too many numbers to keep track of.

It would be easier having weaknesses that would perform in ways such as causing full damage with certain damage types while armor strengths (those damage types not vulnerable to) would cut damage in half, for suggesting something.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Bahamut_A6M5 said:

The problem is, you are taking as a given that the end result would be "a couple types of AC". But you would need an AC for every damage type, then add the corresponding variations for touch attacks dealing that kind of damage. Also, where do melee weapons such as knifes of ma'tok blows fall into? It's neither energy nor ballistic. So far, you would need ACs for slashing, piercing and bludgeoning damages; add then energy types (burning or similar for fire, laser, plasma,..., shocking for zat discharges, tasers, wraith stunners, etc.) Up to this point, I am counting five different ACs, they go up to 15 if you add the ACs against melee and ranged touch attacks. Too many numbers to keep track of.

It would be easier having weaknesses that would perform in ways such as causing full damage with certain damage types while armor strengths (those damage types not vulnerable to) would cut damage in half, for suggesting something.

no you would not need one for every type of ac anymore than you need a save specific to each spell in d&d instead of just a couple.  Using d&d spells as a example for some extra examples

  • a staff blast or scorching ray would be an attack roll vrs energy AC
  • fireball & lightning bolt remains a dex save just as the tok'kal targets con save as a grenade with a 5m blast
    image.png.630087477cdc1259fe28c8f5b119efb6.png
  • a ranged weapon like a bow or tau'ri firearm might target ballistic AC,
  • a punch, sword blade(knife?), or just beating someone with a staff weapon strike targets touch AC.
  • The ma'Tok staff weapon is easy to handle, the blast targets energy ac & the beat someone with it like a quarterstaff mace or club option targets touch AC.
  • The zat targets energy AC
  • A wraith drain touch would probably target either touch or energy AC depending on how things play out & possibly have a save if it connects.

Starfinder does similar & the problems you cite are a nonissue in play compared to the improvements it makes to equipment choices.

 

Edited by tetrasodium

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You are oversimplifying the issue for your reasons' sake. Even if fireball and/or lightning bolt have REF/DEX save for half damage, a target with energy resistances would still aply them, no matter if save was successful or not (eg: a fire giant could roll a save for half damage against a fireball yet it wouldn't take damage from the fireball as it is impervious to fire damage). Same goes with the grenade example: two targets, one wearing an ordnance disposal armor and another a kevlar vest, could save for half damage and yet each one receives different damage points from the same source because an ordnance disposal armor provides better protection against explosive blasts than a kevlar vest.

Also, risks for oversimplifying bring you to comparing an arrow/bolt/bullet impact, a blow from ma'tok/mace/club and a swing from a blade against a ballistic AC as if each of those attacks behave the same. A kevlar vest is nearly useless against a blade, while it can stop standard bullets or bludgeoning blows. An arrow/bolt could pierce through the vest in a very similar fashion an AP round would do. In the same way, a fireproof suit could provide protection against a flamethrower blast but still be totally ineffective against a zat discharge.

I stand on a single AC for any type of direct attack, saves for indirect attacks and armor strengths and weaknesses for both. It would improve even more the equipment choices.

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17 hours ago, Bahamut_A6M5 said:

You are oversimplifying the issue for your reasons' sake. Even if fireball and/or lightning bolt have REF/DEX save for half damage, a target with energy resistances would still aply them, no matter if save was successful or not (eg: a fire giant could roll a save for half damage against a fireball yet it wouldn't take damage from the fireball as it is impervious to fire damage). Same goes with the grenade example: two targets, one wearing an ordnance disposal armor and another a kevlar vest, could save for half damage and yet each one receives different damage points from the same source because an ordnance disposal armor provides better protection against explosive blasts than a kevlar vest.

Also, risks for oversimplifying bring you to comparing an arrow/bolt/bullet impact, a blow from ma'tok/mace/club and a swing from a blade against a ballistic AC as if each of those attacks behave the same. A kevlar vest is nearly useless against a blade, while it can stop standard bullets or bludgeoning blows. An arrow/bolt could pierce through the vest in a very similar fashion an AP round would do. In the same way, a fireproof suit could provide protection against a flamethrower blast but still be totally ineffective against a zat discharge.

I stand on a single AC for any type of direct attack, saves for indirect attacks and armor strengths and weaknesses for both. It would improve even more the equipment choices.

I don't see ordnance disposal armor anywhere in the book so guessing it's something you made up, so there's no point debating the mechanics of an undefined item, but your right about kevlar not being especially useful against a knife & that is why I didn't list melee weapons hitting  with attacks against EAC or BAC ;).   You wouldn't be misinterpreting my examples "for your reasons' sake" would you?  The fact of the matter is though that we are both talking about changes to the system.  Your suggestion of armor as DR is how shadowrun handles it & combat is very different with opposed rolls.  Your example also encourages the odd feel of sgc teams converting tio jaffa armor & ditching tau'ri armor while jaffa do the inverse.  By comparison having some armors having a point or three different AC against some types of attacks doesn't cause the same shift because those armors are still goor or even better against other types of attacks.

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Right now, Stargate RPG is in beta stage; there's placeholder texts and equipment list isn't final. There's no way to know which armors, weapons or items would appear when the game is released. That said, ordnance disposal armor isn't a made up thing; it actually exists (that weird suit worn by people defusing explosives). I simply mentioned it to stablish a comparison between what would be an armor performance against a different one.

Melee weapons hitting against touch AC is an oversimplification again. A blade (knife, sword,... even rapiers, which pierce rather than cut) or a blunt weapon are all melee weapons. Touch AC would imply the same armor grants equal protection against all melee weapons (even though you've recognized my point about kevlar barely protecting against bladed weapons). So, according to your proposal, the touch AC bonus of a kevlar made armor is the same for all melee weapons, including blades. In short:

Firearms and projectiles (arrows, bolts): ballistic AC. Wrong. Arrows and bolts behave more like AP rounds, so an armor ballistic protection wouldn't be the same for those as it is for a standard bullet.

Energy discharges (fire, laser, plasma, shocks,...): energy AC. Same. An insulated suit (or a fireproof one) or the anti ma'tok armor plate the SGC developed wouldn't provide the same protection against a flamethrower attack, a zat or radiation.

Melee blows: touch AC. I won't repeat what I've said up to this point.

Armor as DR was also handled by Stargate SG-1 RPG, by AEG (developed under 3.x SRD, a d20 system). Your suggestion comes, as you stated, from Starfinder. I fail to see your angle in this issue.

About switching armors topic... I barely see why tau'ri and jaffa would want to do that. Jaffa worn chainmail seems as useless against ma'tok discharges as the tau'ri worn kevlar. In any case, jaffa would probably want that kind of switching, as their chainmail apparently doesn't work well against bullets. On a more lighthearted note, have you noticed how jaffa chainmail is bulletproof in Children of the Gods, as the stargate guarding troops barely managed to kill two jaffa with 9 mm. rounds but, as the show progresses, those same rounds seems to pierce through that same armor with ease?

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10 hours ago, Bahamut_A6M5 said:

Right now, Stargate RPG is in beta stage; there's placeholder texts and equipment list isn't final. There's no way to know which armors, weapons or items would appear when the game is released. That said, ordnance disposal armor isn't a made up thing; it actually exists (that weird suit worn by people defusing explosives). I simply mentioned it to stablish a comparison between what would be an armor performance against a different one.

Melee weapons hitting against touch AC is an oversimplification again. A blade (knife, sword,... even rapiers, which pierce rather than cut) or a blunt weapon are all melee weapons. Touch AC would imply the same armor grants equal protection against all melee weapons (even though you've recognized my point about kevlar barely protecting against bladed weapons). So, according to your proposal, the touch AC bonus of a kevlar made armor is the same for all melee weapons, including blades. In short:

Firearms and projectiles (arrows, bolts): ballistic AC. Wrong. Arrows and bolts behave more like AP rounds, so an armor ballistic protection wouldn't be the same for those as it is for a standard bullet.

Energy discharges (fire, laser, plasma, shocks,...): energy AC. Same. An insulated suit (or a fireproof one) or the anti ma'tok armor plate the SGC developed wouldn't provide the same protection against a flamethrower attack, a zat or radiation.

Melee blows: touch AC. I won't repeat what I've said up to this point.

Armor as DR was also handled by Stargate SG-1 RPG, by AEG (developed under 3.x SRD, a d20 system). Your suggestion comes, as you stated, from Starfinder. I fail to see your angle in this issue.

About switching armors topic... I barely see why tau'ri and jaffa would want to do that. Jaffa worn chainmail seems as useless against ma'tok discharges as the tau'ri worn kevlar. In any case, jaffa would probably want that kind of switching, as their chainmail apparently doesn't work well against bullets. On a more lighthearted note, have you noticed how jaffa chainmail is bulletproof in Children of the Gods, as the stargate guarding troops barely managed to kill two jaffa with 9 mm. rounds but, as the show progresses, those same rounds seems to pierce through that same armor with ease?

You misunderstand.  The problem with your example is not that it references a non-game item; the problem is that it is incomplete & doesn't give enough information in isolation about how it would work or what the dr levels would look like to not need a lot of balancing concerns. 

I just hope to hell they don't include 5e type resistances 

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Let's put it into a more "graphical" way. You suggest three ACs for armors. Let's imagine a kevlar vest under your idea:

  • ballistic AC: 14+DEX (same protection against a bullet, arrow, bolt, ¿hurled weapons?)
  • energy AC: 10+DEX (same protection against fire, electricity, radiation)
  • touch AC: 12+DEX (same protection against blunt and bladed weapons)

A fireproof suit:

  • ballistic AC: 10+DEX
  • energy AC: 14+DEX
  • touch AC: 10+DEX

Or the ordnance disposal armor:

  • ballistic AC: 14+ limited DEX
  • energy AC: 18+ limited DEX
  • touch AC: 14+ limited DEX

Now, as weapons might behave differently against various materials, the kevlar vest as it should look varying from you "different ACs" approach:

  • bludgeoning AC: 14+DEX (standard bullets, sling bullets and blunt weapons would fall here)
  • slashing AC: 10+DEX (kevlar doesn't bode well against cutting weapons)
  • piercing AC: 12+DEX (AP ammo, arrows, bolts)
  • fire AC: 10+DEX (laser, plasma, fire,... Note that I think this should even be broken further, as a fireproof suit shouldn't provide protection against a ma'tok blast)
  • electricity AC: 10+DEX (zats, wraith stunners, electrical shocks)
  • concussion AC: 10+DEX (explosives mainly)
  • ¿radiation AC: 10+DEX (particle weaponry)?

From this viewpoint, a fireproof suit:

  • bludgeoning AC: 10+DEX
  • slashing AC: 10+DEX
  • piercing AC: 10+DEX
  • fire AC: 14+DEX
  • electricity AC: 10+DEX
  • concussion AC: 10+DEX
  • radiation AC: 10+DEX

Or an ordnance disposal armor:

  • bludgeoning AC: 14+ limited DEX (hard materials, like ceramic or steel plates, improve its efficiency against blunt trauma)
  • slashing AC: 14+ limited DEX (hard materials, like ceramic or steel plates, compensate kevlar vulnerabilities)
  • piercing AC: 14+ limited DEX (hard materials, like ceramic or steel plates, compensate kevlar vulnerabilities)
  • fire AC: 12+ limited DEX (added minor fireproof protection against deflagrations)
  • electricity AC: 10+ limited DEX
  • concussion AC: 18+ limited DEX
  • radiation AC: 10+ limited DEX

Finally, what I proposed:

  • Kevlar vest, single AC 14+DEX, strong against firearms (half damage from them), weak against everything else (full damage from any other source)
  • Fireproof vest, single AC 10+DEX, strong against fire, weak against everything else
  • Ordnance disposal armor, single AC 18+ limited DEX (or no DEX at all), strong against firearms, fire, explosives, weak against everything else

(Then again, the "everything else" could be a varying amount of categories for damage sources. Also, this "strengths and weaknesses" system could also be carried to weapons and ammo).

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9 hours ago, Bahamut_A6M5 said:

Let's put it into a more "graphical" way. You suggest three ACs for armors. Let's imagine a kevlar vest under your idea:

  • ballistic AC: 14+DEX (same protection against a bullet, arrow, bolt, ¿hurled weapons?)
  • energy AC: 10+DEX (same protection against fire, electricity, radiation)
  • touch AC: 12+DEX (same protection against blunt and bladed weapons)

A fireproof suit:

  • ballistic AC: 10+DEX
  • energy AC: 14+DEX
  • touch AC: 10+DEX

Or the ordnance disposal armor:

  • ballistic AC: 14+ limited DEX
  • energy AC: 18+ limited DEX
  • touch AC: 14+ limited DEX

Now, as weapons might behave differently against various materials, the kevlar vest as it should look varying from you "different ACs" approach:

  • bludgeoning AC: 14+DEX (standard bullets, sling bullets and blunt weapons would fall here)
  • slashing AC: 10+DEX (kevlar doesn't bode well against cutting weapons)
  • piercing AC: 12+DEX (AP ammo, arrows, bolts)
  • fire AC: 10+DEX (laser, plasma, fire,... Note that I think this should even be broken further, as a fireproof suit shouldn't provide protection against a ma'tok blast)
  • electricity AC: 10+DEX (zats, wraith stunners, electrical shocks)
  • concussion AC: 10+DEX (explosives mainly)
  • ¿radiation AC: 10+DEX (particle weaponry)?

From this viewpoint, a fireproof suit:

  • bludgeoning AC: 10+DEX
  • slashing AC: 10+DEX
  • piercing AC: 10+DEX
  • fire AC: 14+DEX
  • electricity AC: 10+DEX
  • concussion AC: 10+DEX
  • radiation AC: 10+DEX

Or an ordnance disposal armor:

  • bludgeoning AC: 14+ limited DEX (hard materials, like ceramic or steel plates, improve its efficiency against blunt trauma)
  • slashing AC: 14+ limited DEX (hard materials, like ceramic or steel plates, compensate kevlar vulnerabilities)
  • piercing AC: 14+ limited DEX (hard materials, like ceramic or steel plates, compensate kevlar vulnerabilities)
  • fire AC: 12+ limited DEX (added minor fireproof protection against deflagrations)
  • electricity AC: 10+ limited DEX
  • concussion AC: 18+ limited DEX
  • radiation AC: 10+ limited DEX

Finally, what I proposed:

  • Kevlar vest, single AC 14+DEX, strong against firearms (half damage from them), weak against everything else (full damage from any other source)
  • Fireproof vest, single AC 10+DEX, strong against fire, weak against everything else
  • Ordnance disposal armor, single AC 18+ limited DEX (or no DEX at all), strong against firearms, fire, explosives, weak against everything else

(Then again, the "everything else" could be a varying amount of categories for damage sources. Also, this "strengths and weaknesses" system could also be carried to weapons and ammo).

You are suggesting seven ac boxes... That's pretty extreme given there are only 6 attributes, how would it even look on a sheet?  Here's a simple 30 second crappy artist example of what putting armor name plus BAC/EAC/TAC on the current sheet might look like

image.thumb.png.cd8e606a2387015ce49c6cba0323c856.png 

 

 

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I think that realism should come second to ease of play.  Why use 5E if you then load it up with so many layers of fiddly festures?

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On 3/2/2020 at 1:47 PM, tetrasodium said:

Should AC be broken into E(nergy)AC, B(allistic)AC, & T(ouch)AC?

No.

3 hours ago, Tavendale said:

I think that realism should come second to ease of play.

Agreed.

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10 hours ago, Tavendale said:

I think that realism should come second to ease of play.  Why use 5E if you then load it up with so many layers of fiddly festures?

why bother having more than one type of save when you can get rid of all those fiddly features & just have single saving throw?

@shadowmyre i Having tactical & subjective choices  to make in things like armor & weapons is not about "realism".

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1 hour ago, tetrasodium said:

why bother having more than one type of save when you can get rid of all those fiddly features & just have single saving throw?

Because the developers did not choose to alter 5Es base saves. Thus, SG-1 uses multiple saves.

Your proposition adds complexity; I feel that additional complexity is detrimental. It makes encounter design and resolution more complex, especially for newer GMs. Given that Stargate is a well-known media property that's been around for over twenty years, there is a good chance it will attract players who remember SG-1 but are new to role-playing.

Additional armor complexity would be best addressed in a later book, perhaps a book focusing on gear, weapons and tactics of the various races, or a book on 'advanced combat'.

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11 hours ago, shadowmyre said:

Because the developers did not choose to alter 5Es base saves. Thus, SG-1 uses multiple saves.

Your proposition adds complexity; I feel that additional complexity is detrimental. It makes encounter design and resolution more complex, especially for newer GMs. Given that Stargate is a well-known media property that's been around for over twenty years, there is a good chance it will attract players who remember SG-1 but are new to role-playing.

Additional armor complexity would be best addressed in a later book, perhaps a book focusing on gear, weapons and tactics of the various races, or a book on 'advanced combat'.

You are acting like the rules we have are completely unmodified 5e, have you not looked at the attributes & how moxie actually works, the classes & leveling, hp scaling, or the role & mechanics of of races & origins compared to stock 5e's races & backgrounds?

Yes they use 5e as a base, but there are plenty of changes to it in order to make it fit the game they are buildingrather than the old d20 style that would frequently direct you to the phb

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29 minutes ago, tetrasodium said:

You are acting like the rules we have are completely unmodified 5e

I am acting like the developers have produced a rule system, based on 5E, that has made some changes and not made others. Our job isn't to rewrite the game for them. Our job is to test the system, and offer corrections on grammar, spelling and word choice.

19 minutes ago, tetrasodium said:

have you not looked at the attributes & how moxie actually works, the classes & leveling, hp scaling, or the role & mechanics of of races & origins compared to stock 5e's races & backgrounds?

I have indeed read the playtest materials. More than once! I'm looking forward to testing some of the interesting ideas found within.

20 minutes ago, tetrasodium said:

Yes they use 5e as a base, but there are plenty of changes to it in order to make it fit the game they are buildingrather than the old d20 style that would frequently direct you to the phb

Changes that were made months ago, during development. The public playtest will be over in about two months (less now, I believe). This is not the time to make broad changes to a system, especially broad changes that increase complexity for new gamers. This is the time to 'test' via 'play' the systems that are there and then to offer what insight you have.

You asked for opinions in your thread header; opinions you did get. If you believe your opinion is the best way to proceed, hash it out; there's at least one person interested enough in your idea to refine it. Further conversation may draw out more.

I'm only responding to you because you are directing responses to me. My opinion is stated; unless you need a clarification from me, direct your energy towards people you might sway.

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Testing a system includes suggesting work arounds and different approaches if we feel the system as presented doesn't work. The whole point of betatesting is that we're trying to find stress and outright break points, and that as a result nothing we're given is set in stone..

Personally I dislike the higher AC = more effective armour idea and feel it fails on a number of levels, simulationist and otherwise. Armour makes you harder to damage; in doing so it can make you less mobile and easier to strike with a weapon that may or may not be effective.

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Incidentally, I think this whole argument comes down from the fact people is ignoring AC is an abstraction representing chances for a target to be hit (it consider factors such as size or mobility) AND be damaged. This notion of "attack roll failing to meet AC means failure" doesn't automatically imply a hit/shot missed the target; it could also be the hit was deflected by armor (strike actually connecting but failing to "penetrate") or absorbed (a round hits but the armor absorbs the energy and results in just a bruise).

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I always liked touch AC and flat-footed AC - the idea that some forms of attacks can hit you and while not necessarily get through armour still affect the armour itself or just slam into and push/throw you - platemail and all. That said, while allowing for those while DMing I played plenty without those rules and it worked out fine. While favouring preparation it also focuses more on the combat, which I feel detracts from the game. It's better to make exceptions for a few really special attacks to make those feel extra special, rather than stack up more on the system that has specifically designed to get rid of the undue complications.

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On 3/23/2020 at 9:10 PM, Bahamut_A6M5 said:

Incidentally, I think this whole argument comes down from the fact people is ignoring AC is an abstraction representing chances for a target to be hit (it consider factors such as size or mobility) AND be damaged. This notion of "attack roll failing to meet AC means failure" doesn't automatically imply a hit/shot missed the target; it could also be the hit was deflected by armor (strike actually connecting but failing to "penetrate") or absorbed (a round hits but the armor absorbs the energy and results in just a bruise).

Then maybe we don't call it AC, we call it Defense (Def). Remove the connotation of armour altogether from the namespace

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In the series the combat knife gets thrown quite consistently - 2-3 times per season, O'Neil uses it more often than handgun (for actually attacking) it seems

Combat Knife (Shortblade, Tech Level 2) - the standard prep-1 equipment

Shortblade stats: d4, melee, bulk 1, finesse

Thrown blade stats: d6, 5-30, bulk 1/5, be it darts or thrown axes
 

Does the combat knife deal more damage when thrown o_O? Cannot one smash a target with a throwing axe in melee? Sure there are special tiny throwing blades designed for mostly distraction and poison delivery, but why is it bigger damage than a hand wielded man opener? Also - the eventuality of the weapon throwing (especially knives, axes and spears, but also improvised weapons) should probably be covered. Same as butt whipping - pretty much any longarm makes for a particularly nasty 2h club hefty and with plenty of hard edges, which is usually designed to hit people with one end, and armies all over Tau'ri teach recruits how to do just that as part of basic training.

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The knife question seems something for the HP bloat thread 😉 It's been shown that a thrown knife moves slow enough to penetrate the goa'uld personal shield. I think the writer was trying to throw in a reference to Dune but utterly missed the point of the original scene -- the knife penetrates the shield because it's used with finesse during a melee duel -- and reduced what should have been a reasonable challenge to something as laughably ineffectual as stormtrooper armour.

That change in damage die makes my head hurt but I think it's trying to emulate the trope of thrown melee weapons always killing their target. Good luck with that using any sort of vanilla d20 system, because hp bloat makes it just utterly terrible at that sort of emulation.

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