Massive Damage & Maximum Hit Dice

Kostchtchie

Mongoose
Ok,
This is a playtest review, no really, after playing with some higher level characters (16th-from my old campain, no magical items pretty much canon bar a good sorcery style) I have noticed something whilst creating NPCs, specificly giants.
I have some comics with Conan fighting what looks like an ogre or very clean hill giant- he wins by cutting the giants wrist with his broken sword which breaks it's morale. Probably not Canon but hey.
The massive damage rule gives an edge to medium size PCs as it stands. Ok so I have just built a 11th level borderer/ hill giant with pollaxe. But if the PCs do 20 points of damage he's likely to be toast. I mean yes he does have a good fortitude save but...
Mr. Darlage (and any interested rules parties Mr Iron Chef etc): is this intentional? Under the 3.5 rules every size level above or below medium added or subtracted 10 to the thresh-hold. i.e. if you are huge the damage threshold for massive is 70 hit points.
I could
a. give the beasties a higher or lower damage threshold based on size
(some what messy, is the save still 10 +1/2 damage etc)
b. give the beasties a bonus to fortitude saves only against massive damage
c. give the beasties extra damage reduction (a la armour) based on size so the 20 threshold is harder to reach
(mechanicaly this is the cleanest to GM but mmmm? dunno)

and further
would you (anyone :D ) give the borderer-hillgiant
d. 12d8 hitpoints (I notice that the big beasties, humanoid or otherwise have more than 10 dice) plus 11d10 for his borderer or
e. 12d8 +10d10 + 3 or
f. 12d8 + 33

brain hurts
5&1/2 thousand posts and I couldn't find a reference to either
:shock:
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
There are frost giants in Scrolls of Skelos (Atali's brothers, Ymir's sons), but no mention of different massive damage thresholds for them. They have an average of 209 hp. In REH's Frost Goant's Daughter, Conan kills two in about 3 rounds. They must have the same massive damage threshold in order for him to accomplish this unless they were all critical hits he delivered. In short, I don't have an answer for you.

You need Vincent or Ian, as I'm off to see "Hellboy" shortly. Sorry I couldn't be more help!
 

Yuan-Ti

Mongoose
Theoretically, giants have large Constitution scores. Therefore, they get a built-in bonus to making their massive damage save. I agree with the Chef (I think), that you don't want to make it impossible for Conan (and therefore the PCs) to actually win a fight against such monstrosities, provided they are mortal.

So, if he has 12 hit dice, he probably has something like +8 Fort save, with a 22 Con he has +6, for a total of +14 on his Massive Damage save. Now, a hero's blow deals 22 pts of damage, so the DC is a 21. In other words, your giant needs to roll a 7 or higher to make his save.

But if their Con isn't enough for you, have them use a Feat on Greater Fortitude. :)
 

Johannixx

Mongoose
I've been using the d20 Modern massive damage rules, i.e. your massive damage threshhold is your Con score. So far it's worked pretty well, though I've had to fudge a few die rolls to keep the PC's from slaughtering a particularly important NPC before it was 'time' ;)
 

Yuan-Ti

Mongoose
InsomNY said:
I'm too shagged to post links.

Does that mean you're
a) too tired?
b) too drunk?
c) have had too much sex and can't think straight anymore?
d) all of the above

:wink:
 

InsomNY

Mongoose
Yuan-Ti said:
InsomNY said:
I'm too shagged to post links.

Does that mean you're
a) too tired?
b) too drunk?
c) have had too much sex and can't think straight anymore?
d) all of the above

:wink:
Just a), I'm afraid. Workin' for The Man (tm) does bad things to one's brain.

b)/c)/d): I wish, mate. Oh how I wish ... :cry:
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
From the Rulesmasters forum for the lazy:

InsomNY said:
Yuan-Ti said:
InsomNY said:
I'm too shagged to post links.

The sliding scale for massive damage was an optional rule, and was available in 3.0 as well. Not that it really mattered; I've never seen anybody fail a massive damage save. In D&D, by the time you're facing opponents who can dish out MD-level damage, you have a high enough Fort save to succeed on all but a natural 1.

Flavor-wise, I'd be tempted to rule that MD does not apply to any non-natural creature. There are several instances in the REH stories and pastiches where the monster/demon takes several horrendous blows and just keeps on coming, eventually keeling over when its endurance gives out or it bleeds to death.

I haven't seen any critter write-ups from Skelos yet, so I don't know what DR looks like on them. If you find it's a tad low, slap on some more. If not, your option B – bonuses to Fort saves vs. MD – is likely to be your best bet.
 

Yokiboy

Mongoose
Yuan-Ti said:
Theoretically, giants have large Constitution scores. Therefore, they get a built-in bonus to making their massive damage save. I agree with the Chef (I think), that you don't want to make it impossible for Conan (and therefore the PCs) to actually win a fight against such monstrosities, provided they are mortal.

But if their Con isn't enough for you, have them use a Feat on Greater Fortitude. :)

I think this is a fair approach. Conan the RPG should allow for quick combats if you can dish out enormous amounts of damage.

When it comes to the Hit Points of your Giant, I don't know how to advice you. I haven't tackled this part of the game yet. I am about to create The Slithering God (big worm-like beastie) for an upcoming adventure, and will let you know what I find works.

TTFN,

Yokiboy
 

Kostchtchie

Mongoose
I have decided on giving the big stuff a couple of points of "natural armour", (damage reduction)
2 for large
4 for huge
6 for gargantuan
8 for colossal. unless you are talking about an ooze or soemthing unusual in contruction(which don't take massive damage anyway)
: this effectively gives them a modicum of massive damage resistance
it's a starting point, the idea being to make a set of rules for creating monsters, that are easy to generate and have some consistency

I think when people have played higher level characters a while this question will come back up
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I had considered house-ruling on massive damage. A DC20 minimum roll for massive damage seems pretty harsh; a lvl 20 char with average con - say 12 with a +12 class bonus Fortitude save is going to have a 35% chance of taking a dirtnap.

Rather than reducing the DC I think it might make sense to have a higher threshold for massive damage based on level, but it also makes sense to have a lower MDT at lower levels, because a 20 damage blow is likely to take the average lvl 2 character into negative hp to start with.

I thought maybe modifying the D20 modern rule of MDT = Con, to MDT = Con + level/hit dice.

Thus a lvl 2 Character with 12 con would have a MDT of 14.
A level 10 Character with 14 con would have a MDT of 24
A level 20 Character with 20 con would have a MDT of 40.

The DC would still be worked out the same - thus the DC for a 14 damage blow would be 17. A lvl 2 Soldier with 12 con (Fort + 4) would need to roll 13+

Similarly the a 40 damage blow would still be DC 30. A level 20 Barb with 20 con would have a fort save of +17 so would need to roll 13+

The only drawback of this is that it makes high lvl characters pretty impossible to be killed through massive damage from lower lvl characters. But then that seems fairly true to the literature; Conan gets swarmed and generally takes many minor blows rather than succumbing to a single lucky shot.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
MarkB said:
I had considered house-ruling on massive damage. A DC20 minimum roll for massive damage seems pretty harsh; a lvl 20 char with average con - say 12 with a +12 class bonus Fortitude save is going to have a 35% chance of taking a dirtnap.

Oops got that wrong - it's 30% not 35%
 

Kostchtchie

Mongoose
Why does level have any effect on your heart attack? (or other normaly fatal incident) and no crap about hitpoints. I like the PC's massive damage rule as long as the PCs are all one size... What I'm talking about is the difficulty of killing a tyrannosaur or similar sized hill giant with a short sword. (crit 2 hands, lots of strength and a bit of power attack)
:)
ok mayby an exaggeration. I mean my description for massive damage on a minotaur would be something like the Never Winter Nights Intro of Lord Nasher vs. Mino
now I'm rambling :oops:

Made a decision. Going with small quantity of extra natural armour as a minimum.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Kostchtchie said:
Why does level have any effect on your heart attack? (or other normaly fatal incident) and no crap about hitpoints. I like the PC's massive damage rule as long as the PCs are all one size...

Upping the massive damage threshold based on level is only illogical if you think of hit points only representing a characters ability to take the same physical punishment.

The thing is that a Character with 70 hit points can take three helpings of massive damage and keep on trucking provided he makes his fortitude saves.

For example – Bod has 19 hit points, he is struck by a javelin for 20 points of damage. The GM narrates this as a severe blow, the javelin transfixing Bod’s chest and pinning him to a tree.

Balth has 80 hit points, he gets hit by a javelin doing 20 points of damage. He makes his fortitude save vs massive damage, and carries on fighting, the GM narrates the wound as a nasty flesh wound to Balth’s upper arm. It would not make sense to narrate it as tranfixing his chest as it did to poor Bod, because we know full well that with 80 hit points Balth can conciveably take four such blows before collapsing.

With a giant with 80 hit points it might well make sense to describe the wounds as forceful and well placed as against Bod, because it’s logical that the giant’s body can take a lot more punishment than a humans.

The massive damage threshold is a device to level the playing field somewhat between high and low lvl characters. A DC20 fort save or die is a big deal even at high levels.

The only thing is is that it doens’t really make a lot of sense in terms of high hit point characters (or monsters), because a 20 damage blow is something a lvl 15 character with 14 con can heal in one day.

Realism has little to do with it really of course. I just felt that a house rule to adjust massive damage based on hit dice and con would make sense both for large creatures like giants, and for high level characters, who with their array of feats and special abilities dealing 20 damage (or being dealt 20+ damage) is a fairly common occurrence.
 

Yuan-Ti

Mongoose
The Frost Giants in Scrolls of Skelos have:
207 Hps
+2 natural DR
Fort Save +18 (hence, dealing 20 pts of damage is not enough for them to be in much risk -- well 5%)

You do NOT want to mess with them. :shock:
 

Yuan-Ti

Mongoose
As for PCs... remember a failed Fort save drops you to -1 hps -- it does not kill you. Unless it is a solo adventure, the high-level PC can expect to survive a bad/unlucky Fort save roll.
 

jcw8705

Mongoose
I personally just boost the threshold by 20 pts for each size category up of an opponent (and reduce it by 1/2 for each successive smaller size...i.e. a pixie getting hit by a war spear = dead pixie on a stick).

Another option would be to give a size modifier to the massive damage threshold. This modifier would be the inverse of its Defensive size modifier (i.e. a large creature is +1, huge is +2, gargantuan is +4, colossal is +8, while a small creature is -1, etc.)

John
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Yuan-Ti said:
As for PCs... remember a failed Fort save drops you to -1 hps -- it does not kill you. Unless it is a solo adventure, the high-level PC can expect to survive a bad/unlucky Fort save roll.

Actually the rulebook contradicts itself on this. On p.171 it says you drop to -1, on the next page (172 under 'Dead') it says if you fail the save you are dead unless you spend a fate point.

However Mongoose Paul favoured the latter interpretation when asked:


Massive damage. One area of the rules says that if you fail your save you're reduced to -1 hps. Another are says that if you fail your save you die. Which is correct?

MongoosePaul wrote:

If a character fails his massive damage check he is dead, unless he spends a fate point, in which case he's 'left for dead'.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Yuan-Ti said:
Ah, I like DEAD better. :D

I'm not sure my players will though. :)

It's all a bit academic for me though. I'm currently planning a lower level campaign so I think I'll probably stick to the 20 damage threshold for the sake of simplicity.

I don't plan on having any frost giants either for the time being :); I'm planning a mercenary/war type adventure with Hyrkanians and Stygians as the main foes.
 
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