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Staff Weapons


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Staff Weapons are difficult to model. They rarely hit, but when they do they usually do pretty epic damage. It might make sense for them to have a short effective range and penalties to hit - it is an inherently difficult weapon to actually aim. This could be compensated for with decent melee weapon stats. They could also have a knockback effect to handle the way people are usually knocked over when they take a hit.

Any thoughts on this?

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Based on what I know from D&D 5e, I think staff weapons should have a relatively short-medium effective range, with penalties beyond that (don't know if disadvantage is enough though, but maybe it is). A hit should definitely cause a knockdown, damage depends on how weapons overall do damage and how it can be mitigated with armor and dodging. As a melee weapon it has also proven to be effective, so in close range/within reach it should be usable as such. In either case, it's obviously a two-handed weapon. I think there's a good balance between being inaccurate and causing a lot of damage, and the ability to dodge at medium to long range.

Edited by NickEast
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Yeah, for the staff armour (standard Kevlar is actually worse in the show than just taking a hit naked iirc) it should retain the knockdown (perhaps allow a Dex save?) But the damage should be reduced or negated. Perhaps the armour can take a certain number of hits before it fails?

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Perhaps a Strength save rather than Dex, because the sheer force of the impact would knock someone down, so having a stronger footing (like a Jaffa) would allow them to remain standing. Standard kevlar is not worse than no armor, but it doesn't help much either. And later on, it is assumed that standard kevlar was replaced with a new type of material that does protect against a staff weapon's damage (but as demonstrated by Sgt. Siler, the blast still knocks you across the room).

Armor degrading does happen IRL, but I believe it could add more complexity to tracking armor and health if not handled well. Perhaps a kind of "resistance" against damage (e.g. amount reduced from total damage) that decreases with certain hits, until 0 or a base AC bonus or something. But that's beyond the scope of the topic on staff weapons. I think weapons and armor should be balanced between screen accuracy and game balance. I agree that both staffs and zats are rather difficult to balance for a game, due to how different they can work between scenes/episodes, and how OP they can be.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 10/2/2019 at 6:46 AM, NickEast said:

Based on what I know from D&D 5e, I think staff weapons should have a relatively short-medium effective range, with penalties beyond that (don't know if disadvantage is enough though, but maybe it is). A hit should definitely cause a knockdown, damage depends on how weapons overall do damage and how it can be mitigated with armor and dodging. As a melee weapon it has also proven to be effective, so in close range/within reach it should be usable as such. In either case, it's obviously a two-handed weapon. I think there's a good balance between being inaccurate and causing a lot of damage, and the ability to dodge at medium to long range.

You're pretty much spot-on to the GenCon playtest. However they were definitely tweaking the rules.

In the playtest - all attacks with staff weapons were with disadvantage. All attacks knocked all players within range prone unless you saved vs Dex saving throw.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I can see its final stat block looking kinda like this;

Staff Weapon:    (monetary cost if any) 1d6 Bludgeoning (weight) versatile 1d8 / Ranged 10/100 1d10 Radiant

Something like that at least.  now i haven't seen ANYTHING of this game prototype but it keeps being said its based on the 5e SRD so I can pretty much assume as to how things may behave.

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As a experienced DM I think staff weapon will be two-handed weapon, it is too long for one hand. It might come with reach and 1d10+STR bludgeoning damage or 2d6+STR/1d12+STR without reach. It looks pretty heavy.

It is alien ranged beam weapon so most of the players won't be profficient with it but still can have a lucky shot. Problem is players or NPC on higher lvl will hit almost all the time, so disadvantige on attacks or flat -5 for hit for example might be good idea.

For damage I think it will be force because that is the most dangerous type of damage that is similar to beam weapons by my opinion.

Damage dice? Well if players will gain HP on lvl up as they do in other d20 rpg's they might survive multiple staff weapon shots.

If Hp will be fixed then damage dice should be around max health. That way you can die in one shot, but you also might get lucky and survive

I would set it somewhere between 2d6 - 3d6 or 3d4+3

Knockback is usually STR save and for items it is usually fixed DC number. Might be around 15 but it should be auto knock if that weapon is that strong

 

If you would ask me about armor class, well  cover in field will be really important now (half cover +2 to AC, 3/4 cover +5 to AC, total cover - can not be shot at) then there is flanks etc. Kevlar Armor might give you +1 or more to your AC but it also might give you temporary hit points (5e do have these), so if you do got hit that armor might save your life but is ruined after

I am sure it is already done by now, so I expect them to outsmart me with their weapons this summer :D

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Problem with Ma'tok (staff weapon) is it's a dread-inspiring weapon because of its sheer firepower and showing that mechanically is hard. In the TV show, most people hit with it was basically instakilled and only plot armor would save main characters from dying when impacted by one. I have yet to see how Wyvern Gaming has managed the weapon, but my experience with it in AEG's Stargate SG-1 RPG left me under the impression it was an overwhelming weapon up to mid levels; a single shot wouldn't kill some characters but still leave them fatigued even at those levels.

In AEG's game, the staff weapon required two proficiencies, melee for using it as a quarterstaff in hand-to-hand and rifle proficiency for using it as a ranged weapon. It also had a recoil rating of 12 (meaning characters with STR scores lower than that would get a -1 to hit unless they only fired it in single shots), an accuracy rating of -2 (meaning all attack rolls made with it received that penalty), had an error range of 1-2 (fumbling with it was easier) but also extended threat range, 18-20 (making easier to crit), a ranged damage of 6d6 (a bit scary; it also was energy damage, making antiballistic armor nearly useless), had 75' range increments, it was considered an armor piercing weapon (meaning it could ignore some damage reduction from armors) and, on top of the previous penalties, difficulty to handle it meant characters suffered a -2 penalty on initiative rolls at the beginning of combat. Finally, when using fluid initiative, some GMs considered it a tactical weapon, thus imposing a -2 initiative every round it was fired.

So, in 5e, most of those features could be worked with some ease. But, as said, have to wait and see how devs modeled the staff weapon.

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Yeah that's a pretty beastly weapon.  I've never played the AEG version of the game.  But if AEG was the last company to have its license then it makes sense that a new version is ready to be deployed considering AEG has had a major face-lift.  I'm honestly surprised FFG didn't scoop up the opportunity.  I definitely see this game as a prime game to make several Proprietary dice for as FFG is oft want to do LOL!   But I for one am glad that Wyvern is using the 5e SRD I hate proprietary anything! but I digress

 

Its always difficult to match lore up with game rules.  Take space marines from 40k for instance...an entire ork waagh can be put down by only five or so but its not exactly fair to have super warriors.  same is true with the staff weapon.  we shall see!  

 

addendum:: maybe in addition to its other properties maybe it will provide a bonus to intimidation rolls or something of the like considering it is the most commonly employed weapon of the Jaffa and like ol' BahamutA6M5 said "it inspires dread..."

Edited by LiberatorJ4ff4
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