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The damage dice for weapons seem extremely underwhelming compared to the huge hp pools of PCs and NPCs, as well as very high AC.  A junkyard dog can take 3 max damage rolls from an RPG and walk away?  A rifle is unlikely to kill a common snake?  Are there any plans to change this at all? 

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It seems like the general idea is that a few of the feats are meant to be your big damage upgrades. For instance, under General Feats there's Attack Specialist/Veteran/Ace which have you roll double/triple/quadrupal damage die, respectively. There are also various Combat Feats that add the Tension Die to your damage roll, but that would often only be a d6 or d8. I assume they could stack though.

 

You can also upgrade weapons with modifications, but off the top of my head I don't remember if those add damage or do other things. But my guess is the design philosophy is to not focus on combat quite as much, so there don't need to be a hundred different ways to increase your damage. A few more would be nice though.

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Usually a game that doesn't want to focus the gameplay on combat does that by making combat a risky option.  These rules make combat hitting each other with nerf bats.  Yes, if the characters want to spend their feats on damage dealing, then they can reduce the amount of time combat is inevitably going to take, but that also only increases the viability of combat being the best option.  The problem here isn't only that PCs have low damage and NPCs have high HP, but also the reverse.  It's extremely easy to get 20+ AC at first level, HP is high, and PCs get resistance against tech 2 and lower attacks.     

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2 hours ago, UberStache said:

Usually a game that doesn't want to focus the gameplay on combat does that by making combat a risky option.  These rules make combat hitting each other with nerf bats.  Yes, if the characters want to spend their feats on damage dealing, then they can reduce the amount of time combat is inevitably going to take, but that also only increases the viability of combat being the best option.  The problem here isn't only that PCs have low damage and NPCs have high HP, but also the reverse.  It's extremely easy to get 20+ AC at first level, HP is high, and PCs get resistance against tech 2 and lower attacks.     

Look closer at some of the classes. 

Soldier: at first you can use an action to activate a tactics feat for a number of rounds equal to your cha mod.  at second you can activate two.  At third you deal max da,age with your weapons & choose one you crit on 19-20.

Scout can activate traps at first but the rules seem missing

in addition to being able to heal with firstaid at first, a medic deals an extra d6 of damage for organ targeting at second

engineer   at fifth can activate a machine to explode for 6d6 damage.

 

Is it a bad thing that a team comprised of diplomats engineers & scoutswill have a tough time with combat while walking all over social technical & survival type challenges?... not really & it's probably not a bad thing.

 

 

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So i see how a weapon is more powerful in the hands of a trained soldier (the references to LVL 3 you can this, LVL 5 that). Yes that fits. But the original point still stands, those examples given do ruin immersion. 

Sure it is a game about ages old wormhole circles that take us on magical adventures, but keep some parts of it believable. I felt underwhelmed by weapons at low level. maybe 1D10 for the assault rifle could be 2D6 or 1D8+2. A few bad damage rolls and a cow can take a dozen HITS from a military rifle and not even be badly wounded. This brings the mental image of supercow soaking bullets and not caring. Stuff a puddlejumper im taking a cow into the gate to take on Apothis. Damage variance is too wild and without feats the guns are weak.

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3 hours ago, tetrasodium said:

 

Soldier: at first you can use an action to activate a tactics feat for a number of rounds equal to your cha mod.  at second you can activate two.  At third you deal max da,age with your weapons & choose one you crit on 19-20.

 

 

 

I don't think that's how its interpreted.

direct quote from my version of the rules

"At 3rd level you’ve trained to deal maximum damage with whatever weapon you wield, even improvised weapons. The minimum damage die for weapons you wield is 1d8."

 Where does it say your dice rolls are always at max. I just think that its a poorly worded way of saying "you do heaps of damage". The only effect of that ability is to up minimum damage dice to 1D8. Unless you are one of the Devs. I could be wrong.

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Diplomats, engineers and scouts won't have a tough time with combat.  They're going to have 20+ HP and probably 18+ AC at level 1, and resistance vs anything that isn't an energy weapon.  Even if we're talking about 3rd level soldiers with max damage and a 10% chance of crit, we're talking about an average of 11+dex damage (not counting misses), which then gets halved when fighting Jaffa.  A machine exploding does an average of 21 damage on a failed save.  Add d6 to a medic's roll for an average of 9+dex damage.  We're talking here about it almost certainly taking at least 2 rounds for a level 3 party to kill a single dog.  This is bad for immersion, boring gameplay and makes a game that isn't supposed to be focused on combat centered on it (do to any combat encounter taking a long time to resolve).  

Like I wrote before, it isn't just that PC's aren't putting out enough relative damage, but also the reverse.  NPCs aren't putting out enough damage and ACs are too high.  Combat is going to be a slog with a lot of misses and low damage relative to HP on hits, even with 3rd level solders in the party.  

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14 hours ago, socialfauxpas said:

I don't think that's how its interpreted.

direct quote from my version of the rules

"At 3rd level you’ve trained to deal maximum damage with whatever weapon you wield, even improvised weapons. The minimum damage die for weapons you wield is 1d8."

 Where does it say your dice rolls are always at max. I just think that its a poorly worded way of saying "you do heaps of damage". The only effect of that ability is to up minimum damage dice to 1D8. Unless you are one of the Devs. I could be wrong.

I dunno what it intended

image.png.24ad5e63ea41278007f6b3744ea11130.png

But your right that the wording is definately clunky & invites confusion worse than 5e's action surge "and a possible bonus action"

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Sounds like fluff text to explain the d8 minimum.  Mostly only makes a difference with explosives and staff weapons, assuming 3d6 upgrades to 3d8. Even then its not an insane buff.  Upsizing by a damage die across the board would be better imo.

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I'll be going through and updating a good chunk of the damage, but keep in mind that the starting damage for a weapon doesn't account for the dice doubling at 6th, tripling at 11th, and then quadrupling around 16th (depending on how you build your character). But there is a numbers pass that will happen in a few days/a week when I get to that step of the chapter by chapter revisions. This is what testing is for! 🙂

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Good to know you are looking into this.

A few thoughts:

 

1.  Balancing for possible feat choices at mid to high levels has some problems.  It makes the feats almost a mandatory pick for at least part of the party.  Which becomes a big issue when the game isn't supposed to be centered on combat.  It messes with early game balance when that is the most played part of the game.  What was the research that WotC did where they found most games didn't last past something like 6th level?  They don't even make campaigns that go past level 9 any more.  (Though it looks like leveling might be faster here?)

2. After crunching some numbers in the other thread, the problem isn't just HP.  Part is how easy it is to get resistance, which is still sort of an HP problem since it basically doubles effective HP.  Part is too high AC for PCs.  A Jaffa warrior can nuke a level 1 PC on round one, but the average time to kill is over a half dozen rounds, mostly because of what is known as the "whiff factor" in the WFRP community.*  Very low hit chance leading to multiple rounds of no damage being dealt. (That Jaffa Warrior has a 20% hit chance vs a PC in heavy armor and helmet, and only shoots every other round.)

If I was to house rule the armor, I'd make resistance only against tech 1 ranged weapons.  I'd lower AC for vests to 11, 12 and 14, all +dex.  I'd remove the sneak debuff from plate carriers because it doesn't make sense, but keep the Str requirement. I'd switch helmets to light armor and make shields only apply to tech level 1 damage.  PC's can still hit 20AC, just not at level 1.  Snake helmet armor down to 16.  No charge on staff weapons (no burst and short range are big enough down sides).

3.  Bursting should give a damage buff in addition to giving advantage.  

*Maths: 

damage/round (DPR) = (chance to hit)×(attacks per round)×[(damage die+1)/2×(number of dice)x(1+crit chance)+Dex/Str]

Chance to hit = (21-AC+AB)/20 >/= 0.05

Rounds of combat = HP/DPR (x2 with resistance)

Jaffa warrior (CR 5) vs 21AC/40HP (level 5 HP, no Con):

DPR = (0.2)×(0.5)×[(6+1)/2×(6)×(1.05)] = 2.205 hp per round

Rounds of combat to kill the PC on average = 40/2.205 = 18.1 rounds

vs 16 AC = 8 rounds

No "1 charge" = 4 rounds (near good combat length)

PC (level 5, +3 Dex, rifle)

To hit = (21-14+6)/20 = 0.65 (0.88 with advantage)

DPR = (0.65)×(1)×[(10+1)/2×1×1.05+3] = 6.21

Rounds to kill Jaffa = 40/6.21 ×2 = 12.9 rounds

With burst = 8.4 rounds

No resistance = 4.2 rounds (near good combat length)

Combat vs Jaffa takes too long because of HP/damage.  Combat vs PCs takes too long because of low chance to hit and low fire rate.

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Posted (edited)

I probably should have made the math a separate reply.  To expand on that.  The 3 big issues I'm trying to address here are suspension of disbelief, sense of danger and playability.  

 

Suspension of disbelief I wrote about in the bestiary topic.

 

Playability is a huge concern.  Ideal combat encounters in 5e are usually around 3 rounds.  5 is where people start losing focus.  That's the big reason I keep breaking things down to average rounds to kill.  Combat PCs should be in the 2ish range, and Daniel Jackson PCs should probably be in the 4ish range.  NPCs of course will range based on how deadly you want the system to be.

 

Sense of danger is (imo) important to encourage players to seek out diplomatic options and to plan necessary combat encounters carefully.   Make them feel like they are the underdog defeating a superior foe through cunning.   If you want any sense of danger, then 4-5 rounds for NPC to kill PC maximum.  The closer that number gets to what the party can dish out, the more likely they lose people in a fair fight.  The more likely that is, the more they are encouraged to ambush, set traps and generally be smart.

Edited by UberStache

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Armour really needs to mitigate damage rather than induce the stormtrooper effect to make you unhittable. Even if the damage is non-lethal, a system that allows them to treat the combat option as a milk run is not a system that encourages them to avoid it.

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Posted (edited)

Read the advanced (lvl 5-7 buy skills.) I made a Jaffa 17 bad guy npc and just used hp, the ace weapon tree and the skill that Max’s damage. Ma’tok staff 3d6 Max’s and quadruples to 72 damage per hit. More than enough to seriously hurt a cow...now take a few players arm em with zat guns and pray, especially for diplo inspiration. Medic revival of dead not an option (Janet Fraiser anyone?) imho I like it.

 

i call sense of danger on this one. 

Edited by Gobekli
Number correction

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Posted (edited)

You do realize that quadruple damage has a level minimum of 17, right?   Also, as I wrote before, balancing things around certain feats makes those feats mandatory buys instead of just a build option. 

 

Zat guns are a weird anomaly, in that they are literally the only dangerous weapon in the game.  But they also only fire every other round, don't stun and are stopped by armor, so good luck having a standard npc ever hit a PC more than once.

Edited by UberStache

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On 3/14/2020 at 3:20 AM, Miggidy Mack said:

I'll be going through and updating a good chunk of the damage, but keep in mind that the starting damage for a weapon doesn't account for the dice doubling at 6th, tripling at 11th, and then quadrupling around 16th (depending on how you build your character). But there is a numbers pass that will happen in a few days/a week when I get to that step of the chapter by chapter revisions. This is what testing is for! 🙂

can you confirm if soldier gets all damage rolls maxed (from the ability "weapon training") or just ambiguously worded explanation of why die all go to D8 minimum. As i assume you are a dev from this comment. There seems to be some discourse on what that means.

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A Draft Horse (not even a war horse): Armor Class: 16 Hit Points: 175
a 5th lvl SG team - 4 people armed with P90s, all with Dex 14, all specializing in p90 - have 50/50 chance to hit the horse, 75% on full auto, double damage dice from the bonus feat
3/4 hit on average, dealing (11+2)x3=39 damage per turn on average, taking 5 rounds to kill one horse - 4 people unloading about 60 rounds at the poor thing over 30 seconds, and hitting it with the quarter of them rounds.
While it's dealing 20 damage every other round, since it hits 50/50

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12 hours ago, Logan Cipher said:

A Draft Horse (not even a war horse): Armor Class: 16 Hit Points: 175
a 5th lvl SG team - 4 people armed with P90s, all with Dex 14, all specializing in p90 - have 50/50 chance to hit the horse, 75% on full auto, double damage dice from the bonus feat
3/4 hit on average, dealing (11+2)x3=39 damage per turn on average, taking 5 rounds to kill one horse - 4 people unloading about 60 rounds at the poor thing over 30 seconds, and hitting it with the quarter of them rounds.
While it's dealing 20 damage every other round, since it hits 50/50

Meanie 😊😊😊

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8 hours ago, Gobekli said:

Meanie 😊😊😊

*Shrug* It's just math. Meanie is someone, who thinks that it's normal to unload a 50 round clip at a horse and then watch it gallop away...

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Cyberpunk 2020 handbook explained there's been instances of cops being wounded by several (too many) rounds and they still kept moving for minutes before their brains realized they were dead. And the opposite; cops dying to a single shot in a foot. Of course, those were extreme examples to justify how Interlock handled combat.

On the matter at hand, Logan Cipher has a point. In D&D 3.x, a goblin could be killed with just one blow; at best, a monster the same CR as PCs party's level could withstand two rounds, maybe three, of punishment. And dragons could be felled in under 10 rounds (or TPK the party in one 😛 ). In Stargate SG-1 RPG, combat was fast paced and the only thing making them last longer was throwing hordes of jaffa at the PCs; by round 4, it was pretty possible to have wiped at least several unnamed jaffa and having some PCs being wounded.

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Easiest way to handle this is to introduce a mook/main character divide so only characters that are supposed to be a major threat get full hp. Everyone else just gets a number of hit boxes equal to twice their CR, or even 2CR+1. Everytime they get hit, you ignore the damage the attack actually does and just tick off the boxes. The damage increment feats each add a box  to your output -- so if you have the feat @level five, evry time you hit  a mook you do 2 hit boxes worth of damage, for example -- with Crits doubling the number of boxes you can tick off, ie a crit @ level 5 does 4 boxes of damage

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