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Soak as a Damage Save

 
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Jukeboxer
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 3:02 pm    Post subject: Soak as a Damage Save Reply with quote

There are times when whittling down 100 hits can cause combat to drag, especially if there are plenty of hero/villain points available. I've been contemplating using Soak as a Damage Save and replacing the standard hits with hit levels.

Heros and Major Villains would have 3 Hit Levels
Major Henchmen and NPCs, 2 Hit Levels
Minions, 1 Hit Level

The Soak would simply work like this:

Whenever Damage exceeds Soak, a character takes a Hit Level. And when the Damage exceeds Soak by an amount of Brawn x 10, the character is also stunned.

The stun effect causes the character to lose panel(s) for 1 page and Defense rolls are made at half. The stun fades automatically after 1 page, unless the character suffered another stun while already stunned.

For cases of Pushing or a Villain's monologue bonus, just subtract or add 1 Hit Level instead.

We'll try it this weekend and I'll report back my thoughts.
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interpreting Soak as a Damage Save is an interesting idea. Highly agile characters will be the least impacted by this they are the best ones at avoiding a blow. Brawny characters, with higher-than-typical Soak scores will be the most resistant and thus most likely able to make the Damage Save. Brainy heroes, with lower average Soak than most, could be the most vulnerable. But really, this is true with both systems (whether BASH as written OR your Soak as a Damage Save idea). I'm just worried that combat might be a little too fast with this. Three good strikes and one of our heroes are down!

I could be wrong, however, so please do inform us as to how the experiment unfolds. Certainly, the number of Hit Levels could be modified to lengthen a combat; if such even proves necessary at all. [I definitely like the Minion with a Hit Level of 1.]
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Jukeboxer
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Mr. Jupiter, thanks for chiming in on this. You may be right. We'll see how it works out on the table. I'm trying it because I think nearly half of the Soak "Saves" will still be made by the major characters. So that means that six successful attacks would be needed to take down a major character. And then, when you add Hero Points to the mix, then you can probably shake off another attack or two. So now you are up to 8 successful attacks to take a Hero down. That's plenty.

Of course the characters that are high on defense won't be as tough on Soak Saves, but since they are much more difficult to hit in the first place it should balance fairly well.

In another thread about stun effects, BASHMAN proposed Stuns that are triggered by rolling doubles. I may try this as well. The way I have it written above, only big damage attacks are going to stun anybody and that's NOT how things often work in the supers genre. How many times have you seen a big supers brawl where heroes get knocked back and stunned, but yet they aren't REALLY hurt by it. [uh oh... rambling alert.... new idea incoming....]

Or.... how about this? Stuns are a side-effect of Knockback! Whenever knock back is caused, the target of the attack is also stunned for 1 page automatically, whether they suffer a Hit Level or not. (And the stun fades automatically after 1 page unless the character suffered another stun before it faded)

OOOoooooo.... I think I like this. What do you think?
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Baelor
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is an interesting idea Jukeboxer.

In my games I make use of a lot of 'Lesser' villains. They would technically be mooks under the rules because they have fewer than 100 hits, but they are built as villains, and work as villains in game, so I don't class them as mooks. I do this because, as you have found Jukeboxer, 100 hits can take a while to whittle down.

I think this works, but I have found true minion fighting to be less than awesome as written. Very often, a hero will overcome the soak, then do almost enough damage to finish off the minion. Then it sticks around for a turn and becomes an accounting issue, because I have to keep track of what the various wounded minions.

Anyway. I think I will try your Soak as Save for Minions [and possibly 'lesser' villains too] and rate minions by how many wounds they can take as you suggest.

It might even be worthwhile extending it to all NPCs as a way to simplify the accounting and make the heroes the stars of the show by making them different rules-wise from everyone else [they have actual hit points]. I have no problem with the idea that heroes work on a different scale that the NPCs. I never got into 4th Ed. D&D, but one of the things I did like was that NPCs were built and functioned differently in the rules, making them easier to build and run. There is no reason why the NPCs have to have HP just because the PCs do.
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Jukeboxer, I really like that Knock-Back and 1-Page Stun idea. That makes perfect sense and really emulates the comics and cartoons perfectly. The hero is never up and charging back in to the villain after getting knocked into a wall!

Also, Baelor: That's a great idea for using Hit Levels on NPC villains. One hit to drop a mook and less accounting all around is a definate asset at the game table.

These are great ideas!


Last edited by MrJupiter on Tue May 29, 2012 9:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jukeboxer
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, our latest session turned-out to be more talk than action, so the damage save house rule has yet to get a good test. However, based on my Savage Worlds experience, I feel that it will work nicely. I will follow-up on this after we run a big battle.
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Baelor
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok. I tried it out in my latest session of the Magical Britain game [still searching for an actual name for that one].

I wanted a quick but challenging combat between the heroes and some Fomorian marauders [think creatures from the black lagoon riding bigger quadrupedal creatures from the black lagoon]. I gave the riders 3 Wounds and a Soak of x3+3. The mounts had 3 Wounds and x3+10 Soak. I ran them as villlains rather than as minions.

I have to say it worked really well, It was easier to track than adding up individual hits, did not result in a minion running around with 2 Hit Points, and meant that they went down in a timely manner while still providing a real challenge.

The one thing that I would add is to make sure they have an actual amount of hit points in case a character deals out some big damage that should blow through more than one Wound. I assumed that they had Hit points equal to 10 x Wounds. When one of the heroes really dialed up the damage she blew through that warbeast in a single shot.

The whole combat lasted about 15 minutes and featured such things as the water elemental using hydrokinesis to hurl a rider into the side of the gorge about 80 feet up, then have it drop down to smack into the dirt. Another character took her flying mount up 10 squares, setting up a dive. Then she and mount drops like a 3000 lb. stone on the hapless marauder.

Next time I want to try it with 1 Wound minions to test the simplicity.
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds like it worked out perfectly! It sounds like an excellent session of combat that only lasted 15 minnutes as opposed to the couple of hours that some game systems would have needed.

I'm going to like this! Now, where's the Like button?
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Jukeboxer
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In our campaign finale last night, we had a battle royale featuring 6 supers in the 30pt range. This gave me a great opportunity to use this Wound Level concept and we agreed that it worked GREAT! It actually added to the tension of the battle. And we took it a step further by using fixed Defense and Soak values (x7). Any attack that exceeded the fixed Soak by Brawn x 10 caused two Wound Levels.

Fittingly, this turned out to be our best combat scene of the campaign. The scene still took about 90 minutes to resolve, but it was fairly intricate. Three supers were KO'd in the end.

Anyway, this is definitely an addition to my BASH house rules.
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jukeboxer wrote:
… And we took it a step further by using fixed Defense and Soak values (x7). Any attack that exceeded the fixed Soak by Brawn x 10 caused two Wound Levels.


Would this Brawn x10 rating come from the target? I’m assuming so as it makes sense as a big bruiser would be a lot harder to hurt than a puny little target. I just wanted to be sure that I had not misinterpreted it.

It definitely sounds like it added to the game! I’ve never ran a game using static values because I worried about everything feeling too predictable. Did any of the players or you feel this? It does sound like it makes the game move along faster.
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BASHMAN
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's another idea for a "Damage Save" type mechanic. This is actually the way the original damage system worked in the first playtests:

Instead of 100, everybody has 10 Hits. Much easier for most people.

When a target gets hit, if the damage is more than the Soak, they take damage (at least 1 point). But it can be more.

How many times does the Soak go into the Damage (discard all remainders)?. The answer is the number of hits lost.

So if you roll 33 damage and they get 12 Soak, they lose 2 Hits (33/12 = 2 R9, discarding remainder of 9 = 2). If you roll 33 damage and they roll 22 Soak, they lose 1 Hit. If you roll 33 damage and they roll 10 Soak, they lose 3 Hits.

That is pretty simple and quick (it will make battles shorter for sure).

The reason we switched from this method to the current system in early playtests was that I wanted every point of damage to count for something. Also, with the above method, you could have someone roll 33 damage vs. 32 Soak and do 1 point of damage every time. In the current system, that would be only 10 points of damage getting through, but using the above method, it would be a knockout.

So it really comes down to personal taste. I think this may go in Awesome Powers Vol. 2 as an Optional Rule.
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Jukeboxer
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Mr. Jupiter, yes, you've got it right. I know that may seem like double-emphasis on Brawn, but since Soak was static, it did convey some extra toughness for the brick-type.

BASHMAN,
Thank you for sharing that bit of insight into another Hit tracking method. Interesting stuff! Like many of the BASH faithful, I'm looking forward to Awesome Powers.
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