Alternative damage system, or damage system modifications

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Postby frogspawner » Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:49 pm

Archer wrote:frogspawne:rYour combat system are intresting, as I recognize several designs in the mechanics from other games. Though you have combined them all into one system.
Absolutely! Hopefully it combines the best bits of all the others.
(You've set me thinking now - is there an original design in it anywhere? I'll have to go back and look...)

I heartily recommend your "Threshold" be Zero, with SIZ/2 HPs above and CON (/2, if you like) below being allowed before a character dies. It's much more obvious that "something bad" should happen at Zero.
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Postby Archer » Tue Jul 10, 2007 9:09 pm

frogspawner wrote:
Archer wrote:frogspawne:rYour combat system are intresting, as I recognize several designs in the mechanics from other games. Though you have combined them all into one system.
Absolutely! Hopefully it combines the best bits of all the others.
(You've set me thinking now - is there an original design in it anywhere? I'll have to go back and look...)
From what I can see, it combines elements from RQ2/3, a BRP based Samurai rpg named Samurai (how original) - mainly the hit locations are exactly the same, and it contains many elements I have seen in other BRP based or BRP clones in the past, whose names I can not remember at the moment. While it may be a bit more complicated than I prefer, it looks like a very good system. Why not write an article describing how it work and how to use it with RQ?
frogspawner wrote: I heartily recommend your "Threshold" be Zero, with SIZ/2 HPs above and CON (/2, if you like) below being allowed before a character dies. It's much more obvious that "something bad" should happen at Zero.
I appreciate your suggestion. The whole point of posting on this forum was to get suggestion, to brainstorm with other players and GMs, to hammer out the alternative rules so to speak. So please, let me explain my reasoning behind the design of the rules.

The Damage Threshold should be seen as a replacement for Hit Location HP rules. Instead of counting down HPs on a hit location, you get a Major wound to a hit location if you are hit hard enough.

As such they are not really the same Major wounds as those in the RuneQuest Main Rulebook. The effects are similar as you risk loosing body parts or die. Added are that you may have to roll in order to avoid death/loosing body part/get reduction of characteristic score.

Basically the Major wounds in the alternative are at the same time both the Serious and Major wounds in one package (covering the full range of what happens when a hit location is reduced to a negative HP score).

The whole idea of the Threshold being not "when reduced to zero hit points" is that it is a direct replacement for the HPs of the Hit Locations. It is on the same scale as the HPs each hit location has.

In the default rules when the abdomen is reduced to -1 or below HPs the character may be rendered unconscious. An arm reduced to same values is rendered useless. The threshold is a replacement for having to count the HPs of the arm or the abdomen. Instead stating; that unless the damage is _this_ severe, it will have no permanent effect.

With the Threshold being 1/2 your Total HP rounded up, the scale for disabling an arm, or render the character unconscious is the same (or as close as you can get) as when counting HP per hit location.

A character with 6 HPs in the Abdomen will risk unconsciousnes each round if she suffers 7 points of damage to the abdomen (-1 HP in that location).

If we use your suggestion, the character will be able to suffer up to 11 points (assuming Size 11 of an average human) before she risks the same, or worse. It shifts the scale dramatically. Epecially since I removed the modifications to the critical hits and impaling rules. But it might be a solution to having a more heroic damage threshold.

As for that something bad "should" happen when you reach zero hit points, it still does, because by then you are dying. You lie helpless, unable to take action, and have to make a Resilience test (with a cumulative per round penalty) in order to avoid death.

And when it comes to rewriting the current Damage Threshold to do the treshold the way you describe, we have the problem of a shifted scale when it comes how much damage a hit location can take, as I earlier described.
Even though it is a good heroic alternative that I like as a separate third alternative instead of an option to what is currently written. And even though it is more in line with how the effects depending on the current Hit Points in a Hit location are done now. I still feel that it is more intuitive that a character starts to die from bloodloss and trauma at zero hit points, rather than at -CON HPs. It somehow feels more "right" that when you reach zero total HP you are dying. But that is a matter of personal preference.

As your recommendation is not at all a bad idea for a more heroic damage threshold alternative, I would like to develop it as such. Giving you credit for the idea of course.
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Postby RosenMcStern » Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:28 pm

As for waiting for the GM guide that is not really an option for me. It may include alternative damage systems, but I am sceptical to that it will. Also, even if it does, there is no certainty that the alternative damage system or systems from that book will be Open Game content, and as such usable by third party publishers.
I think it will include everything sensible that has been thought and not published (yet). Except for Steve Perrin's Degree of Success, of course, which is the option I like the best but has been discarded in the early development stages of MRQ. A pity, but choices must be made.

There is no problem with the GM Guide not being Open Game content. I happen to be a third party publisher, and I have included optional rules in my book. I think that was not the best idea, now that the official errata are out. And please remark that I am the one who criticised the errata most loudly on this forum :twisted:

The fact is that you have a core rulesystem, with all its glory and its (many) faults, and a bunch of alternate rules. Publishing a new setting is not a matter of rules, it is a matter of creativity, inspiration, dedication, and, well, you should know better than me. Once you have a setting ready, nothing stops you from saying "Ok, I suggest you use alternate rule #31.47 from supplement XYZ in this setting". Even though the rulebook you refer to is not Open Content. Remember that saying "I recommend this" is allowed for everything, it is just literal quoting that is restricted to open content. If the rules in the GM Guide are good, then they apply to everything RQ, whether they are Open Content or not.
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Postby Archer » Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:39 pm

RosenMcStern wrote:
As for waiting for the GM guide that is not really an option for me. It may include alternative damage systems, but I am sceptical to that it will. Also, even if it does, there is no certainty that the alternative damage system or systems from that book will be Open Game content, and as such usable by third party publishers.
I think it will include everything sensible that has been thought and not published (yet). Except for Steve Perrin's Degree of Success, of course, which is the option I like the best but has been discarded in the early development stages of MRQ. A pity, but choices must be made.

There is no problem with the GM Guide not being Open Game content. I happen to be a third party publisher, and I have included optional rules in my book. I think that was not the best idea, now that the official errata are out. And please remark that I am the one who criticised the errata most loudly on this forum :twisted:
Ok. Guess we will se what it includes then. Will however not wait for that.
RosenMcStern wrote: The fact is that you have a core rulesystem, with all its glory and its (many) faults, and a bunch of alternate rules. Publishing a new setting is not a matter of rules, it is a matter of creativity, inspiration, dedication, and, well, you should know better than me.
Thats why I have not even bothered with rules yet. The only reason why I bothered with these is that I do not like the default RQ rules. And I am going to GM a Glorantha campaign soon. I have also on several occassions expressed my dislike about how the default rules work when it comes to HP per hit location. And as such I thought it only fairly to present my own ideas on the subject.

Rules for the settings we are working on will be a matter when they are nearing completion. Which varies greatly. In the pipe are a fantasy setting (which are our main focus), a post-apocalyptic setting (this will probably require the least work), and yet another that I am not prepared to discuss at all at the moment (it is too far into the future yet).
RosenMcStern wrote: Once you have a setting ready, nothing stops you from saying "Ok, I suggest you use alternate rule #31.47 from supplement XYZ in this setting". Even though the rulebook you refer to is not Open Content. Remember that saying "I recommend this" is allowed for everything, it is just literal quoting that is restricted to open content. If the rules in the GM Guide are good, then they apply to everything RQ, whether they are Open Content or not.
Well, it becomes a problem if the setting are using rules that are not 100% the same as those in the RuneQuest Main Rulebook. In which case you have to use the SRD and give all the rules with modifications in the book, or add a chapter that states how the rules differs (see the plethoria of d20 books for this).
Recommendations however, are as you say, free to use.
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Postby frogspawner » Wed Jul 11, 2007 8:07 am

Archer wrote:From what I can see, it combines elements from RQ2/3, a BRP based Samurai rpg named Samurai (how original) - mainly the hit locations are exactly the same, and it contains many elements I have seen in other BRP based or BRP clones in the past, whose names I can not remember at the moment. While it may be a bit more complicated than I prefer, it looks like a very good system. Why not write an article describing how it work and how to use it with RQ?
You're very kind not to mention that my system also borrows substantially from D&D (initiative, spells, 'feel' - not really the combat system, though), but I don't mind admitting it - it's historical, due to evolving in my (originally D&D) campaign. I don't know 'Samurai' - so at least those aspects (?) are independently developed, if not original! I have striven for simplicity, so I hope it only seems complicated because it's new to you. As for writing it up for use with (M)RQ, well, it's published already and I advocate it's principles here whenever opportunity arises, but the Mongoose-fans hereabouts aren't usually very receptive.

Yes, I'm with you on most of the system. Just let me clarify something...
Archer wrote:If we use your suggestion, the character will be able to suffer up to 11 points (assuming Size 11 of an average human) before she risks the same, or worse. It shifts the scale dramatically.
Actually my suggestion (and effectively what my system uses) is a 'threshold' of SIZ/2, so 6 points in this case before those 'bad things' happen. It's just that the remaining HPs are hidden below the waterline, so to speak. It makes players feel much more vulnerable (even though they're not) - and I think that's a good thing.
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Postby Archer » Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:48 am

I did not react that much as to the things your system had in common with D&D, because I have seen all those changes in BRP clone games before.

Ah, I see now. Yes, with SIZ/2 you have basically the same scale.

I think you have sold me on the idea, but I must think some part through though before doing any changes.

Basically since using the threshold as zero, it makes things scalable. And even if you use SIZ instead of SIZ/2 as a default number of HPs, it is not too bad.

Gritty Option: HP = SIZ/2 (rounded up) gives a gritty damage system, you can take one hit or less before you get seriously injured. On the same scale as RQ is now.
Mundane Option: HP = SIZ gives you about the average BRP fantasy game. Which means you can take probably two hits before bad things start to happen.
Heroic Option: HP = SIZ x 2 gives you a heroic damage system, much like D&D. But this is a bad idea unless you modify the critical hit rules, as
it otherwise prolong combat, and leave characters feeling near invulnerable. Still, it shows the scalability.

It also takes care of the fact that very large or tough creatures like dragons (high SIZ and CON) are near impossible to deal out a severe enough blow to cause a Major wound. As soon as their HP reach zero, they start taking Major wounds from hits.
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Postby Puck » Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:41 pm

Alternative #1 is very nice; reminds me of old runequest. It simplifies things. Simple=Good. Once they are solidified it would be nice to put these optional rules into the Wiki. I tend to read neat rules options and then when I want to impliment them or cross-reference them they are 20 pages long gone in the forum.

I tend to run two damage systems, one as written for the characters, major npc villains and big monsters, and a separate system, similar to your system 2 only simpler (no hit locations, less hp) for the grunt or pee-on monsters. That allowed me to make the combats more dramatic or a quick hack-up where needed.
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Postby Archer » Wed Jul 11, 2007 3:10 pm

Puck wrote:Alternative #1 is very nice; reminds me of old runequest. It simplifies things. Simple=Good. Once they are solidified it would be nice to put these optional rules into the Wiki. I tend to read neat rules options and then when I want to impliment them or cross-reference them they are 20 pages long gone in the forum.
I have strived to make them as simple as previous editions of runequest.
Feel free to implement these alternatives in the Wiki if you wish. All I ask is that my name and Frogspawners are mentioned as creators.
Puck wrote: I tend to run two damage systems, one as written for the characters, major npc villains and big monsters, and a separate system, similar to your system 2 only simpler (no hit locations, less hp) for the grunt or pee-on monsters. That allowed me to make the combats more dramatic or a quick hack-up where needed.
Yeah, that is what I have done for ages with BRP/RuneQuest. That is why I got so frustrated when there was no longer any Total HPs in current edition. I found that using 1/2 Total HP in previous editions or other BRP games, gives a good balance. Basically that is equal to the NPC/monster having a hit location disabled. The players never noticed any difference, and it never became unbalanced. It gave a slight advantage to the player characters, but that was ok with me.

My Alternative 2 is an attempt to recreate this for current RQ. However, due to the lack of Total HP and how HP per hit locations are handled in current runequest, things are no longer as simple.

Beyond that, I really hate having to carry rolls to stay unconcious/not die over from one round to the next if the character is still up and able to fight.

Stay tuned for my modified alternative 2. I am currently working on it to modify it to follow the idea given by Frogspawner.
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Postby Archer » Wed Jul 11, 2007 5:23 pm

There, version 3.0 of the alternative damage systems document is up on the site. The second alternative now follows Frogspawners idea of the threshold being zero hit points.

The changes (from the top of my head) for those that does not want to read through the whole document again;

> Hit Points is in the Grím Option; HP = SIZ/2, rounded up.
> Hit Points is in the Mundane Option; HP = SIZ
> Hit Points are in the Heroic Option; HP = SIZ x 2

> Damage Threshold is Zero Hit Points

> A character is not dying until her Hit Points score reaches a negative value equal to her CON score.
> A dying character no longer automatically looses 1 HP per round, but still must make a Resilience test each round with a cumulative -10% penalty per round, or die.
> A Major Wound is inflicted each time the character takes damage and her total HPs are reduced to zero or below. And eacth time she takes damage while her HP score is zero or below.

> Certain death occurs when the penalty to the Resilience skill test is equal to or greater than the characters Resilience skill score. Example; Fifth round penalty is -50% to the test, meaning a character with Resilience 48% automatically dies from injuries after five rounds (assuming all test have been succesful up to that point). This means that character with extremly high Resilience skill scores can linger between death and life for a very long time before death is certain.

> The point at which a creature without a Constitution score are "dying" are at his -SIZ HPs instead of his -CON HPs.

> Dying is now streamlined between alternative 1 and 2. -10% penalty in the first round, and a further -10% for each round that the character is dying.

> The Fast Major Wounds are modified to not cause any characteristic loss, and are otherwise tweaked.

> Both Serious and Major Wounds has been modified in the first alternative rules.

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