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Quick Blast Radius Rule
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:17 pm    Post subject: Quick Blast Radius Rule Reply with quote

Under the RAW, accuracy is an all-or-nothing proposition. If your character is standing on the surface of a planet, and a Star Destroyer fires a turbolaser at that character, the blast will most likely completely miss the character (due to the 12D Scale modifier). In a realistic scenario, however, for something packing as much of a punch as a turbolaser, there will be secondary blast effects that will still (most likely) do enough damage to a character to injure or kill them.

I have tried multiple methods in the past to number-crunch and generate rules for large-scale weapons to have a blast radius effect, but there just ends up being too many variables.

However, I have come up with a simpler version that is much better suited to gameplay, in that it generates a quick, usable number for the characters to take damage from a weapon that, under the RAW, doesn't have a chance of touching them, but realistically should, if only because it got "close enough."

Here's the gist of it:
    -When targeting a character or group of characters with a larger scale weapon, roll To Hit as normal, with each character in the group rolling to Dodge as normal.

    -Roll Damage as normal, including Scale Modifier (regardless of whether it hit).

    -Reduce Damage by 3 for every 1 point by which it missed. The resulting Damage value will vary based on the Dodge rolled by each character.

With a 1/3 ratio, accuracy & fire control are hugely important in inflicting damage; a 1D shift either way in fire control equates to a 3D shift in damage.

This, in turn, increases the necessity of firing in barrages (coordinated fire increasing accuracy) or of precision guided weapons.

Thoughts?
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cheshire
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There must be a component that I'm missing in here. If read literally, it appears that a Star Destroyer can target something, miss by a mile, but the characters would still have to roll to resist the damage.

How does one tell if the characters are within the blast radius zone or not?
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cheshire wrote:
There must be a component that I'm missing in here. If read literally, it appears that a Star Destroyer can target something, miss by a mile, but the characters would still have to roll to resist the damage.

How does one tell if the characters are within the blast radius zone or not?

Because the 3/1 modifier can easily reduce the Damage roll result to negative numbers.

For example...
    a character with Dodge 4D will be rolling 16D (4D + the Scale modifier) against 8D+2 (4D+2 Gunnery + 4D Fire Control). Using the 2D=7 rule, that's 56 over 30 for a 26 point split.

    Which is then multiplied by 3 to get 78.

    Now roll 17D Damage (5D + 12D Scale modifier) for 60 points.

    Subtract 78 from 60 and you get -18. The characters don't even need to roll to Soak, since the blast was far enough away that they didn't take damage.

This demonstrates the importance of Fire Control: getting the shot close enough to hit for damage. Like so...
    This time, the Star Destroyer fires a full broadside of 20 turbolaser batteries, which generates a +5D coordination bonus to Fire Control.

    All other things being equal, the character is now rolling 16D against 13D+2, for a result of 56 over 49, for a split of 7, which reduces the Damage modifier from above from 78 to 21.

    So now, Damage is rolled again, but with a much lower modifier, with a result of 39 (60 - 21).

    The character rolls his 3D Strength to Soak and gets an 11, for a split of 28: well into Killed territory.

That's a pretty graphic example of the importance of accuracy. The idea is that, if a powerful enough weapon hits close enough to something fragile enough, it doesn't matter that it wasn't a direct hit.

The idea is, if a powerful weapon lacks the accuracy for a direct hit, you either make it more accurate (precision fire control or "lasing" a target), or you fire a whole lot of them and hope you get lucky. Artillery has been based on this premise for centuries.

This rule won't tell you what happens to the surrounding terrain, be it a forest or a city, but that's more the venue of storytelling for the GM than anything requiring a results table.

Naturally, there will also be Cover modifiers, with different types of terrain affecting Fire Control in various ways. But for now, I think the basic rule is sound.
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Last edited by CRMcNeill on Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, rather than having to generate actual meter values for the blast radius, you simply bypass it and determine whether or not they were in range to take damage, and how much of it they took.
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
cheshire wrote:
There must be a component that I'm missing in here. If read literally, it appears that a Star Destroyer can target something, miss by a mile, but the characters would still have to roll to resist the damage.

How does one tell if the characters are within the blast radius zone or not?

Because the 3/1 modifier can easily reduce the Damage roll result to negative numbers.

For example...
    a character with Dodge 4D will be rolling 16D (4D + the Scale modifier) against 8D+2 (4D+2 Gunnery + 4D Fire Control). Using the 2D=7 rule, that's 56 over 30 for a 26 point split.

    Which is then multiplied by 3 to get 78.

    Now roll 17D Damage (5D + 12D Scale modifier) for 60 points.

    Subtract 78 from 60 and you get -18. The characters don't even need to roll to Soak, since the blast was far enough away that they didn't take damage.

This demonstrates the importance of Fire Control: getting the shot close enough to hit for damage. Like so...
    This time, the Star Destroyer fires a full broadside of 20 turbolaser batteries, which generates a +5D coordination bonus to Fire Control.

    All other things being equal, the character is now rolling 16D against 13D+2, for a result of 56 over 49, for a split of 7, which reduces the Damage modifier from above from 78 to 21.

    So now, Damage is rolled again, but with a much lower modifier, with a result of 39 (60 - 21).

    The character rolls his 3D Strength to Soak and gets an 11, for a split of 28: well into Killed territory.

That's a pretty graphic example of the importance of accuracy. The idea is that, if a powerful enough weapon hits close enough to something fragile enough, it doesn't matter that it wasn't a direct hit.

The idea is, if a powerful weapon lacks the accuracy for a direct hit, you either make it more accurate (precision fire control or "lasing" a target), or you fire a whole lot of them and hope you get lucky. Artillery has been based on this premise for centuries.

This rule won't tell you what happens to the surrounding terrain, be it a forest or a city, but that's more the venue of storytelling for the GM than anything requiring a results table.

Naturally, there will also be Cover modifiers, with different types of terrain affecting Fire Control in various ways. But for now, I think the basic rule is sound.




For me, this falls into the too-much-work-for-too-little-gain category, and it doesn't feel like Star Wars at all.

If you want a breath-taking scene where a Star Destroyer is targeting the PCs on the ground, then I'd just describe it, give the PCs a heroic out, and kill off an PCs who were stubborn and stayed in the line of fire.

Or, if you wish, come up with a couple of checks to avoid falling debris and what not and be done with it.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple points:

1). Was it really necessary to re-post that entire post to make your point? I'm pretty sure I could've figured out what rule you were referring to without it.

2). This isn't just for Star Destroyers. This rule also applies to things like strafing starfighters and the heavy laser cannon on AT-ATs. It also applies to things like the grenade launcher on the AT-ST and proton torpedoes and concussion missiles on starfighters, none of which have any sort of rule for getting "close enough".

The dice should be the final arbiter of what happens in the game, not GM fiat. If the GM wishes to bend the rules a little, that's his business, but there needs to be a rule there to provide a structure and standard from which to deviate.
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
The dice should be the final arbiter of what happens in the game, not GM fiat. If the GM wishes to bend the rules a little, that's his business, but there needs to be a rule there to provide a structure and standard from which to deviate.


For a more crunchy game, sure. Star Wars is more cinematic. And, the SW rules emphasize roll-n-go. Don't get stuck on details. Pick a difficulty, roll it, and keep the furious action high.

What you're doing doesn't seem to fit the SW universe, imo. But, hey, more power to ya!
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Quick Blast Radius Rule Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
Under the RAW, accuracy is an all-or-nothing proposition. If your character is standing on the surface of a planet, and a Star Destroyer fires a turbolaser at that character, the blast will most likely completely miss the character (due to the 12D Scale modifier). In a realistic scenario, however, for something packing as much of a punch as a turbolaser, there will be secondary blast effects that will still (most likely) do enough damage to a character to injure or kill them.


Have you considered that the Star Destroyer turbolaser attack includes any and all secondary effects that could harm the character?

In addition, have you also considered that you are trying to defeat the Dodge rule by damaging those who successfully Dodge with secondary--extra--damage effects?
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Bren
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
So, rather than having to generate actual meter values for the blast radius, you simply bypass it and determine whether or not they were in range to take damage, and how much of it they took.
I see why you want to avoid the blast radius effect question, but a character dodging the blast area of a Stardestroyer turbolaser battery feels weird to me. Consider two characters standing next to each other. One has a 2D dodge and the other an 8D dodge. It seems odd for them to take wildly different amounts of damage based on dodging a weapon that destroys entire buildings (in this example ~21 points).
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
For a more crunchy game, sure. Star Wars is more cinematic.
I think there is room for people to create different tones to their Star Wars campaigns.
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cheshire
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:

For a more crunchy game, sure. Star Wars is more cinematic. And, the SW rules emphasize roll-n-go. Don't get stuck on details. Pick a difficulty, roll it, and keep the furious action high.

What you're doing doesn't seem to fit the SW universe, imo. But, hey, more power to ya!


Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:


Have you considered that the Star Destroyer turbolaser attack includes any and all secondary effects that could harm the character?

In addition, have you also considered that you are trying to defeat the Dodge rule by damaging those who successfully Dodge with secondary--extra--damage effects?


I think I tend to run my games in a more narrative and cinematic style as well. I think if someone is looking for more crunch for their game, then this might do the trick for them. But I think I tend towards a style that would use the orbital bombardment as an environmental hazard for the characters to navigate. That is to say, they'd be crossing a bridge that's in the process of falling apart, or they're trying to make their way to a spaceport with buildings collapsing around them, etc.
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bren wrote:
Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
For a more crunchy game, sure. Star Wars is more cinematic.
I think there is room for people to create different tones to their Star Wars campaigns.


Absolutely.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
A couple points:

1). Was it really necessary to re-post that entire post to make your point? I'm pretty sure I could've figured out what rule you were referring to without it.

2). This isn't just for Star Destroyers. This rule also applies to things like strafing starfighters and the heavy laser cannon on AT-ATs. It also applies to things like the grenade launcher on the AT-ST and proton torpedoes and concussion missiles on starfighters, none of which have any sort of rule for getting "close enough".

The dice should be the final arbiter of what happens in the game, not GM fiat. If the GM wishes to bend the rules a little, that's his business, but there needs to be a rule there to provide a structure and standard from which to deviate.


Wow, i am agreeing with CRM here.. AS It stands, other than scripting things, OR tossing lots of dice onto a gunner/pilot, a walker and higher size, stands little to no chance of hitting anywhere close to a character. AND Since not one weapon that size, has any LISTED blast radiuses: hell the only NON pc scale missile/grenade that does, to my recollection, is the blaster artillery radar tower thinggy from ESB; there is no way to know "DId the shot hit close enough to still damage the characters"..
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Quick Blast Radius Rule Reply with quote

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
Have you considered that the Star Destroyer turbolaser attack includes any and all secondary effects that could harm the character?

In addition, have you also considered that you are trying to defeat the Dodge rule by damaging those who successfully Dodge with secondary--extra--damage effects?

I have considered this issue from multiple angles over the course of over two years.

The RAW is wrong. Here's why:

Since the advent of explosive artillery, the vast majority of human casualties in artillery barrages have been from secondary or tertiary effects (intense heat, shockwaves, shrapnel, structural collapse, etc.), not a direct hit.

The closest the RAW gets to this is the blast radius rules for hand grenades, yet grenades are the only weapon to feature a blast radius.

So what we are left with is this: either a character takes no damage at all (which is likely, due to the 12D scale penalty applied to the turbolaser gunner), even if the shot misses by a single point; or the character must somehow soak 17D damage (statistically, a near impossibility). There are no intervening steps where a character can be wounded, stunned, or even just knocked off of their feet.

As I said in the first post, it's an all-or-nothing proposition. It bears no resemblance to the reality of artillery, to say nothing of actual explosive ordnance like proton torpedoes and Concussion missiles not having a blast radius.

And to be frank, if you believe that a turbolaser blast capable of damaging a capital ship will leave a character completely unharmed just because it missed and hit the ground a meter away, I'm not really interested in your input.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bren wrote:
I see why you want to avoid the blast radius effect question, but a character dodging the blast area of a Stardestroyer turbolaser battery feels weird to me. Consider two characters standing next to each other. One has a 2D dodge and the other an 8D dodge. It seems odd for them to take wildly different amounts of damage based on dodging a weapon that destroys entire buildings (in this example ~21 points).

Blast effects are weird things; debris or shrapnel can strike one person, while another a few meters away is unharmed, random confluences of terrain and structure can create dead zones where characters happen to be just in the right place to be protected from the effects of a shockwave, and so on and so forth.

The reason I used Dodge was not because of the characters consciously choosing to Dodge, but because Dodge was the only available mechanic to generate randomly different damage results for characters based on incidents of random chance, as I described above.

After all, in a heroic / cinematic setting, the main characters are going to be the ones more likely to survive the random destruction that comes from an artillery barrage. On screen, it's because their survival is part of the plot; at the gaming table, it's because they have above-average reaction skills.
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