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Snapshot
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:10 pm    Post subject: Stun Reply with quote

I'm obviously not the first to observe that setting your weapon to "stun" is a very effective way to take enemies down. While it requires a wound result or better, the 2D minutes unconsciousness seems overpowered.

(Note this refers to REUP rules - not sure about earlier versions).

I'm looking for a mechanic that makes stun useful, but not so useful it becomes the go-to method for dealing with enemies.

The key to the idea is that a target's stun results accumulate for 30 minutes (unless 1 minute rest is taken). Plus, a character falls unconscious for 2D minutes when he suffers stuns equal to his (full) D in STR. (p100 of REUP edition).

So, when a weapon delivers stun damage, compare the damage to the target's resistance roll. For each full multiple that damage exceeds the resistance roll, the target suffers 1 stun result.

For example, a 4D blaster set to stun, does 14 stun damage against a target with 2D STR. The resistance roll is 7, so it inflicts 2 stun results, and the target falls unconscious for 2D minutes. Against a target with 3D STR, rolling 11, the target suffers 1 stun. If he is already under the effect of 2 earlier stuns, he also falls unconscious. The dice gods mean it's perfectly plausible for the blaster to knock the 3D STR target out, but the odds are in the target's favour.

For high STR characters, the odds are definitely in their favour. However, as per standard rules, all stun results persist, so you just need to be a little bit lucky to get those stuns stacking (or use a riot gun!).

Inspired by the rules for ionization, I'm also tempted to say that armor has no effect when evaluating stun damage, unless specifically stated otherwise. For example twi'lek antistun armor does apply; certain stun weapons specifically allow armor, etc.

Comments and suggestions welcome.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've tossed this around before.

I'm inclined to consider the following: Any character who attacks a stunned (knocked out character) get's a DSP (especially if they kill that character while knocked out [force sensitive or not]). Fail the DSP roll, lose your character.

Now, if the players are just dominating combat using the stun setting, my personal solution is to require a much higher damage result using the same damage chart.

I might rule that a result of incapacitated results in a stun result (which accumulates as normal), while a result of killed immediately knocks the target unconscious for whatever amount of time.

If the damage roll is wounded or less, then the stun has no effect.


Last edited by Naaman on Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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Raven Redstar
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another way to handle this is to make it operate similar to ion weapons.

Stunned - 1 Stun
Wounded - 2 Stuns
Incapacitated - 3 Stuns
Mortally Wounded - 4 Stuns
Killed - Guaranteed Knockout

Each stun stacks a cumulative -1D Penalty. As per the rules: if you suffer as many stuns as your Die code in your Strength Attribute the character falls unconscious.

This can tone back the "instant knockout" effect, if that's what you're hoping for.
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Snapshot
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raven Redstar wrote:
Another way to handle this is to make it operate similar to ion weapons.

Stunned - 1 Stun
Wounded - 2 Stuns
Incapacitated - 3 Stuns
Mortally Wounded - 4 Stuns
Killed - Guaranteed Knockout

Each stun stacks a cumulative -1D Penalty. As per the rules: if you suffer as many stuns as your Die code in your Strength Attribute the character falls unconscious.

This can tone back the "instant knockout" effect, if that's what you're hoping for.


That's a great alternative. I thought about going that route, but got sidetracked thinking about armor. Since stun damage must be causing some sort of bioelectric overload of the target's system (or electric in the case of a droid), rather than physical damage, I convinced myself that regular armor shouldn't assist resistance (plus it makes stun weapons and armor more interesting).

On that basis, if you are only resisting with your raw STR, I thought the regular progression table was a wee bit harsh (for the target), hence the proposal to base the number of stuns on a multiple of the STR roll.

Either way, lower STR targets can get knocked out pretty easy, and higher STR ones need to roll badly on their resistance to suffer a one-shot knock-out. This is roughly the result I want.

I'm not sure one way is any better, but following the ionization damage results definitely has merit.

PS. I did hunt around for historical discussions about stun, but I couldn't find any the resolved to a set of mechanics I liked.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:42 am    Post subject: Re: Stun Reply with quote

Snapshot wrote:
I'm obviously not the first to observe that setting your weapon to "stun" is a very effective way to take enemies down. While it requires a wound result or better, the 2D minutes unconsciousness seems overpowered.

(Note this refers to REUP rules - not sure about earlier versions).

I'm looking for a mechanic that makes stun useful, but not so useful it becomes the go-to method for dealing with enemies.


IMO the easiest is to restrict stun to ONLY short range. Another is to limit it to only certain weapons.. not all weapons should have the capacity for stun.. Heck, if we just go off of screen time, only the imps rifles had that capacity. SO maybe it could get limited to only being used on those rifles..

Naaman wrote:
I'm inclined to consider the following: Any character who attacks a stunned (knocked out character) get's a DSP (especially if the kill that character while knocked out (force sensitive or not). Fail the DSP roll, lose your character.


I've often ran with that as is. Attack someone defenseless, get a DSP.

Naaman wrote:
I might rule that a result of incapacitated results in a stun result (which accumulates as normal), while a result of killed immediately knocks the target unconscious for whatever amount of time.


I honestly feel that SHOULD have been what it was, not just 'a wound'..

Raven Redstar wrote:
Another way to handle this is to make it operate similar to ion weapons.

Stunned - 1 Stun
Wounded - 2 Stuns
Incapacitated - 3 Stuns
Mortally Wounded - 4 Stuns
Killed - Guaranteed Knockout

Each stun stacks a cumulative -1D Penalty. As per the rules: if you suffer as many stuns as your Die code in your Strength Attribute the character falls unconscious.

This can tone back the "instant knockout" effect, if that's what you're hoping for.


I like this method. Easy to implement.

Snapshot wrote:
That's a great alternative. I thought about going that route, but got sidetracked thinking about armor. Since stun damage must be causing some sort of bioelectric overload of the target's system (or electric in the case of a droid), rather than physical damage, I convinced myself that regular armor shouldn't assist resistance (plus it makes stun weapons and armor more interesting).


But wouldn't that make stun easier to use on targets, cause stun ignores armor, but kill shots, don't?
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Snapshot
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:49 am    Post subject: Re: Stun Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:


Snapshot wrote:
That's a great alternative. I thought about going that route, but got sidetracked thinking about armor. Since stun damage must be causing some sort of bioelectric overload of the target's system (or electric in the case of a droid), rather than physical damage, I convinced myself that regular armor shouldn't assist resistance (plus it makes stun weapons and armor more interesting).


But wouldn't that make stun easier to use on targets, cause stun ignores armor, but kill shots, don't?


Yes and no. The first stun effect is easier - stun damage only needs to be >= STR, not STR + armor. Getting stun-2 means stun damage has to be >= 2xSTR, which is generally harder than STR + armor.

So quickly stunning a target to unconsciousness is only easier if multiple attackers focus a single target to stack lots of stun-1 effects.

Raven's suggestion to deliver more stuns for higher damage is definitely appealing. I might try both in play and see which works best.

I also felt that limiting stun range made sense, but I'm a bit wary of changing the core too much. Initially, I'd thought stun setting should halve range bands. But that's probably too much math...
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally, wouldn't ignore armor, just to keep things as close to established game understanding as you can when you do little fiddly bits and house rules here an there. The more exceptions you put into the game, the more complicated it gets for your players. Complexity is okay, but you're more likely to get push-back or outright rejection if the system or house rule you're introducing is too complicated, or not close enough to another established rule as a guideline. That's not to say that throwing something out that doesn't work for your story or group isn't doable... but, it's a easier pill to swallow if you just explain to your group that stun blasts work like ion weapons on people.

I wouldn't worry about the extra 1-2D in soak from armor, because you still are only competing with the target's Strength Attribute for Stun threshold. Armor will already be slightly diminished, as a weapon set on stun (more often, than not) will be rolling against a target's energy soak, which with almost all suits of armor, is less than the physical, so they're already being penalized.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Stun Reply with quote

Yeah we've talked about it here before. In 1e, a wounded result on stun damage equaled a stun, and above that was unconscious. That made sense. Then in 2e they made it wounded or higher equals unconscious. In Star Wars the goal of most firefights is immediate: to stop the enemy from taking you out of the fight. Incapacitating or knocking your enemy unconscious is usually good enough for now, so making sure they never get up later is not usually necessary. 2e RAW makes stun tactically superior to normal damage, but that does not accurately reflect the films. You never see stun being used unless the goal is specifically to not harm the target. So normal blaster setting should still be at least slightly tactically superior. In the film you never see stun being used unless the goal is specifically to not harm the target. 1e reflected that better than 2e.

RR, that's a sensible response. Naaman, while your suggestion does address the issue, I feel it skews too much in the other direction and makes stun too weak. A simple way to handle it is to go back to the 1e relationships between normal damage and stun damage. Just make stunned = no effect, wounded = stunned, and incapacitated or more = unconscious. You can still use the 2e chart for this.

Here are my tweaks to the damage/wound system which implement this basic concept: http://www.rancorpit.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=161842#161842
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair enough.

I figure if someone is using stun there are basically one of two reasons for it:

1: the target is otherwise a negligible threat (unarmed, untrained, common miscreant type--a nuisance criminal but otherwise more or less harmless) and has not done anything worthy of escalation to lethal force.

2: the target is otherwise so valuable alive as to justify the risk of attempting live capture despite any threat they may pose.

In all other cases, using stun is tactical suicide. It just does not end fights reliably enough (some folks just tough it out and/or are not fazed at all by it).

In the case of Leia, she fits both 1 and 2, at least from the perspective of a storm trooper backed up by Darth Vader.

In other words, in real life, if the threat is lethal (or reasonably potentially lethal), lethal force is used if available. If the threat is non-lethal, then the "stun setting" (i.e. tasers, pepper spray, bean bags etc) are put to use.

If realism is desired (not saying it is), then I'd consider making stun much less likely to work so that it's use would be reserved only for scenarios wherein live capture is an absolute necessity (or the goodness of the character prevents the use of lethal force, because they can't justify it under the circumstances, so they accept the inherent risk of using stun instead).

Bottom line: I see "stun" as a tactical option reserved for specific scenarios as opposed to a utilitarian alternative to deadly force.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:
Fair enough.

I figure if someone is using stun there are basically one of two reasons for it:

1: the target is otherwise a negligible threat (unarmed, untrained, common miscreant type--a nuisance criminal but otherwise more or less harmless) and has not done anything worthy of escalation to lethal force.

2: the target is otherwise so valuable alive as to justify the risk of attempting live capture despite any threat they may pose.

In all other cases, using stun is tactical suicide. It just does not end fights reliably enough (some folks just tough it out and/or are not fazed at all by it).

In the case of Leia, she fits both 1 and 2, at least from the perspective of a storm trooper backed up by Darth Vader.

In other words, in real life, if the threat is lethal (or reasonably potentially lethal), lethal force is used if available. If the threat is non-lethal, then the "stun setting" (i.e. tasers, pepper spray, bean bags etc) are put to use.

If realism is desired (not saying it is), then I'd consider making stun much less likely to work so that it's use would be reserved only for scenarios wherein live capture is an absolute necessity (or the goodness of the character prevents the use of lethal force, because they can't justify it under the circumstances, so they accept the inherent risk of using stun instead).

Bottom line: I see "stun" as a tactical option reserved for specific scenarios as opposed to a utilitarian alternative to deadly force.


My thought as well.

In my game stun setting has a few disadvantages. The target gets extra dice to resist the stun damage.
You also have to get a lot of stun damage to completely incapacitate a target.
Weapons with a stun setting are restricted to a single shot per round.

So no one uses stun in my game unless there is a valid reason (see Naaman's points above.) Which jives with what is seen onscreen.

(I think it's only Leia in ANH and Dameron in TLJ who are stunned on screen isn't it?)
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If we really want to get detailed, we could make "high damage" stun weapons that compensate for the relative ineffectiveness but carry a risk of inflicting lethal damage.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple of interesting points here.

You could say that any standard weapon that is switched to Stun does so at a -1D to its damage rating, if you feel like Stun is being abused too much in your games.

I've found that stun is sparingly used in my games. Most players I've played with over the years enjoy kill-shots. In fact, my most recent game, the character's kill count in near 100 and he's stunned 3 targets. And the rules I used above worked perfectly. For an person with average Strength (2D), you still just have to score wound to render the target unconscious.

A typical PC (3D) needs an incapacitated level to render unconscious, and there's no chance of accidentally killing the target, except if they are located in a dangerous area, like dangling over a pit of lava or above a high drop.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naaman wrote:

If realism is desired (not saying it is), then I'd consider making stun much less likely to work so that it's use would be reserved only for scenarios wherein live capture is an absolute necessity (or the goodness of the character prevents the use of lethal force, because they can't justify it under the circumstances, so they accept the inherent risk of using stun instead).

Bottom line: I see "stun" as a tactical option reserved for specific scenarios as opposed to a utilitarian alternative to deadly force.


So as i suggested earlier, reduce its range to short, restrict it to specific weapons only, and that gives you the lessening of its effectiveness right there, without fiddling with damage rules..

Dredwulf60 wrote:
(I think it's only Leia in ANH and Dameron in TLJ who are stunned on screen isn't it?)


IIRC he was TK'ed by Ren, then a trooper just smacked him in the head.. No stun shot..
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Dredwulf60 wrote:
I think it's only Leia in ANH and Dameron in TLJ who are stunned on screen isn't it?

IIRC he was TK'ed by Ren, then a trooper just smacked him in the head.. No stun shot..


Nah, Leia definitely shot him with a stunner.

While I agree that your "Short range only and only certain weapons" matches what we see in ANH and TLJ, it does not match what we see in CW, where Clone Troopers are shooting at Asokha to stun at fairly good distances.

Overall, I think dropping the damage by 1D is a good solution... with 2e's "less than means no effect", it means that fewer shots will be effective, especially if the person has armor. I might even have stun check against the better armor... so trying to stun someone in Stormtrooper armor, even with a blaster rifle, is usually pointless... not only are you rolling fewer dice, but they're getting their +2D armor bonus.

Of course, I also think we should see a lot more stunners available... weapons without a lethal setting at all. It seems like the sort of thing the Empire would encourage... after all, you can still kill someone who's been stunned unconscious, but it means that whoever wins the engagement is more likely to have his troops intact. It also lets you increase the legality code of the lethal weapons.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Naaman wrote:

If realism is desired (not saying it is), then I'd consider making stun much less likely to work so that it's use would be reserved only for scenarios wherein live capture is an absolute necessity (or the goodness of the character prevents the use of lethal force, because they can't justify it under the circumstances, so they accept the inherent risk of using stun instead).

Bottom line: I see "stun" as a tactical option reserved for specific scenarios as opposed to a utilitarian alternative to deadly force.


So as i suggested earlier, reduce its range to short, restrict it to specific weapons only, and that gives you the lessening of its effectiveness right there, without fiddling with damage rules..

Quote:
(I think it's only Leia in ANH and Dameron in TLJ who are stunned on screen isn't it?)


IIRC he was TK'ed by Ren, then a trooper just smacked him in the head.. No stun shot..


If that solves the problem in your games, thats cool. I just have never seen range really matter much in RAW. Every encounter I've been in was up close and personal, unless you count the space battles.
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