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Hit Points.
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Gylthinel
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:57 pm    Post subject: Hit Points. Reply with quote

I'm sure this has been done/redone 1000 times, but here's an idea I have that I'd like opinions on. First I'll lay out the idea, then I'll lay out the reasons.

Heroes get 10 hit points. When hit, roll damage as usual, and reduce damage by the character's armor rating. A character may further reduce damage by rolling soak. Each time he rolls soak, he must:
* Become Shaken
* Take a wound
* spend a bennie
In no case can any combination of powers, armor, nor soak ever reduce the damage of an attack to less than 1.

WHY?
I love the dice rolling and overall streamline mechanics of Savage Worlds. However, I do NOT thing the game is Fast. I find that 95% of all battles take ages as character hack away at eachother, trying to roll good enough to beat both defense and toughness. This is where veteran savage worlds players rise to the bait and state that tricks, tests of will, and teamwork can overcome these obstacles. To this I say: not when you have a solo character, which has been most of my SW experience. And if a lone hero cannot gun his way through a hoard of mooks in an FFF style, then it's a rickety game anyway. So, I'm hoping this rule will bring combats to resolution without making the game TOO gritty.

Thoughts?
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Kythkyn
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you running it correctly? You know that not everyone gets the three levels of health? Non-Wild Cards go down the instant they take anything past shaken.
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Zadmar
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The lack of hit points in Savage Worlds was actually one of the main selling points for me, it was a huge relief no longer needing to track the hit points of each individual NPC in combat.

However I have considered trying out this optional rule: Death of a Thousand Cuts
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Enno
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a good idea (tm) as wounds work differently in SW and have modifiers included.

Wild Cards have 3 wound levels, while Extras are out on getting just one good wound.

If a damage roll exceeds the opponents toughness he is shaken, for every raise (step of 4) he gets a "potential wound" which may be soaked.

Beyond 3 wound one becomes incapacitated, with potential secondary effects - even permanent death - rolled on the incap table.

Because of the parry/hit, damage/toughness, bennie/soak, and bennie/reroll core mechanisms Wild cards are hard to kill then in most other RPGs, at least with one shot.

The wound modifiers on agility and strength based traits give the system rather short death spiral until one becomes unconcious and an easy victim for any kind of harmful attack.

That's the way Savage Worlds works. Very Happy

Main advantages:
- Only minor bookkeeping (shaken, wounds, other effects)
- You can handle hundreds of combatants with ease
- The system is FAST

SW balances only on the character level. Encounters ain't usually balanced, even if there a few CR-like rules of thumb out there.

SW isn't Barbarians of Lemuria where you wade through your victims with a good enough hit. A group of 3-4 extras is a good enough match for any hero regardless of rank. Few more and it becomes harder (ganging up etc), less it becomes much easier.

Rank isn't a function of power in SW, but of "available options". Here even a powerful veteran archwizard has to look out for the single extra, who might wound him severely with a good enough hit and exploding dice.

The combat rules of SW doesn't base on powerful heroes, but on TEAMWORK. Some mechanics like Tricks and Tests of Will show their true potential, if you use them in a group. The Combat Survival Guide may be of assistance here...

SW is already the game you are looking for, if you take all tactical options into consideration and play it RAW. Wink

Just my 2 ct.
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tigerguy786
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Enno wrote:
Not a good idea (tm) as wounds work differently in SW and have modifiers included.

Wild Cards have 3 wound levels, while Extras are out on getting just one good wound.

If a damage roll exceeds the opponents toughness he is shaken, for every raise (step of 4) he gets a "potential wound" which may be soaked.

Beyond 3 wound one becomes incapacitated, with potential secondary effects - even permanent death - rolled on the incap table.

Because of the parry/hit, damage/toughness, bennie/soak, and bennie/reroll core mechanisms Wild cards are hard to kill then in most other RPGs, at least with one shot.

The wound modifiers on agility and strength based traits give the system rather short death spiral until one becomes unconcious and an easy victim for any kind of harmful attack.

That's the way Savage Worlds works. Very Happy

Main advantages:
- Only minor bookkeeping (shaken, wounds, other effects)
- You can handle hundreds of combatants with ease
- The system is FAST

SW balances only on the character level. Encounters ain't usually balanced, even if there a few CR-like rules of thumb out there.

SW isn't Barbarians of Lemuria where you wade through your victims with a good enough hit. A group of 3-4 extras is a good enough match for any hero regardless of rank. Few more and it becomes harder (ganging up etc), less it becomes much easier.

Rank isn't a function of power in SW, but of "available options". Here even a powerful veteran archwizard has to look out for the single extra, who might wound him severely with a good enough hit and exploding dice.

The combat rules of SW doesn't base on powerful heroes, but on TEAMWORK. Some mechanics like Tricks and Tests of Will show their true potential, if you use them in a group. The Combat Survival Guide may be of assistance here...

SW is already the game you are looking for, if you take all tactical options into consideration and play it RAW. Wink

Just my 2 ct.


This, though I must point out that the penalties are to ALL tests, not just Agility and Strength
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Dylan S
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why don't you encourage your solo player to take Nerves of Steel, Luck, and/or Hard to Kill? Those edges would bump up his survivability, anyway. You could give out more bennies at the beginning of the session, if you'd prefer. They can work as HP.

Or simply use the "Born a Hero" and "Heroes Never Die" optional rules, SWD p.94. You could also eliminate the 'Shaken' status from extras so that they go down faster.

I think that introducing HP into SW will be a game of 'round peg, square hole'. Probably more trouble than they're worth.
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Enno
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tigerguy786 wrote:
This, though I must point out that the penalties are to ALL tests, not just Agility and Strength


My mistake! Thanks for correcting me...

Long gaming night. Need some shut eye. Smile
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Crumbs
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So you're solution to making combat shorter is to increase the amount of wounds heros have?

The mechanics you've presented also make combat even more deadly as you're practically going to die after ten hits with the always take at least one wound thing.
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tigerguy786
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One more thing:

Totems of the dead has rules for running a solo hero:

-Start them with more xp than normal
-Give them an extra benny
-Allow them to roll for healing at the end of every battle (failure heals 1, success 2 and a raise 3)
-Halve the gang-up bonus against him

That should make it more survivable on his end and also, Wild Cards are exclusively Bosses. Don't send multiple Wild Cards into combat unless you want it to be REALLY HARD (Like Dark Souls level hard). The VAST majority of enemies any given Savage Worlds group faces should be Extras and therefore go down with only 1 wound.
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Zadmar
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tigerguy786 wrote:
Totems of the dead has rules for running a solo hero:

-Start them with more xp than normal
-Give them an extra benny
-Allow them to roll for healing at the end of every battle (failure heals 1, success 2 and a raise 3)
-Halve the gang-up bonus against him

Those are some great suggestions, but one of the things Savage Worlds handles really well is giving the player their own group of Extras to control. Even if the story focuses on a single hero, he could still have some sidekicks or even just temporary companions.
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Gylthinel
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crumbs wrote:
So you're solution to making combat shorter is to increase the amount of wounds heros have?

The mechanics you've presented also make combat even more deadly as you're practically going to die after ten hits with the always take at least one wound thing.

I'm confused by this reply. It appears you both did and did not read/understand my idea. Maybe I wasn't clear. Wounds remain the same as SW RAW: heroes take 3 while extras take 0. You are correct that fights would be "more" deadly because nobody could take more than 10 hits. Which is basically the point. Because I don't find SW combat to be deadly at all. I cannot tell you how many times my heroes get shot before they go down. Suffice to say, better bring a few extra clips to this gunfight.

That said, I appreciate your reply. The rest of you are trying to talk me out of my idea. Maybe it is a bad idea but my thread isn't really about the need for the rule, it's about the functionality of the rule. So please refrain from replying with reasons not to try the rule, and instead think about and talk about why the rule would/wouldn't work.
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Kythkyn
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a feeling you are doing something wrong. Or maybe explaining yourself wrong. You want to speed up combat by slowing it down and adding more because you cannot kill you players with a single bullet? Can you run us through an actual game scenario, so we can better understand the context please?
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Gylthinel
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zadmar wrote:
The lack of hit points in Savage Worlds was actually one of the main selling points for me, it was a huge relief no longer needing to track the hit points of each individual NPC in combat.

However I have considered trying out this optional rule: Death of a Thousand Cuts

Btw thanks for this thread post. Love the idea, could be what I'm looking for. Cheers!
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Gylthinel
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kythkyn wrote:
I have a feeling you are doing something wrong. Or maybe explaining yourself wrong. You want to speed up combat by slowing it down and adding more because you cannot kill you players with a single bullet? Can you run us through an actual game scenario, so we can better understand the context please?


Certainly!

2 samurai face off. Neither is wearing armor as this is a duel. One is slightly tougher than the other (d8 vs d6) while the other is slightly more skilled. They proceed to hack away for about 20 rounds. Sometimes they miss, sometimes they hit and do no damage (despite the handy 2 bonus from the katana), and often hit for a shaken result that is soon shrugged off. The players even try things like tests of wills, tricks (allowing the bonus to bleed through long enough to be worth it), called shots, disarms, stunts... And when none of it works, the players eyes drooping in boredom and hands blistered from throwing dice... One of the fighters scores a few aces on his damage roll and kills the other. Not a 1 hit kill to be sure, but only 1 hit mattered.

I'm sure this sounds extreme, but it seems to happen any time we fight a foe who isn't a naked untrained peasant extra.
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Zadmar
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gylthinel wrote:
Maybe it is a bad idea but my thread isn't really about the need for the rule, it's about the functionality of the rule. So please refrain from replying with reasons not to try the rule, and instead think about and talk about why the rule would/wouldn't work.

Well I was trying to avoid sounding critical, but my concerns with your proposal (as I understood it) are as follows:

1) Tracking hit points means more bookkeeping, which slows down combat.

2) Toughness is now obsolete, and this will have a massive impact on other parts of the system.

3) Soak has been massively nerfed for Wild Cards, while Extras can no longer Soak at all.

4) Extras can no longer be Shaken by damage, and have enough hit points to survive an average pistol bullet.

You said that "if a lone hero cannot gun his way through a hoard of mooks in an FFF style, then it's a rickety game anyway". In fact the lone hero can gun his way through a hoard of mooks, if he has the right edges and plays tactically. But your proposal significantly reduces his chances of survival.
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tigerguy786
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gylthinel wrote:
Kythkyn wrote:
I have a feeling you are doing something wrong. Or maybe explaining yourself wrong. You want to speed up combat by slowing it down and adding more because you cannot kill you players with a single bullet? Can you run us through an actual game scenario, so we can better understand the context please?


Certainly!

2 samurai face off. Neither is wearing armor as this is a duel. One is slightly tougher than the other (d8 vs d6) while the other is slightly more skilled. They proceed to hack away for about 20 rounds. Sometimes they miss, sometimes they hit and do no damage (despite the handy 2 bonus from the katana), and often hit for a shaken result that is soon shrugged off. The players even try things like tests of wills, tricks (allowing the bonus to bleed through long enough to be worth it), called shots, disarms, stunts... And when none of it works, the players eyes drooping in boredom and hands blistered from throwing dice... One of the fighters scores a few aces on his damage roll and kills the other. Not a 1 hit kill to be sure, but only 1 hit mattered.

I'm sure this sounds extreme, but it seems to happen any time we fight a foe who isn't a naked untrained peasant extra.


What I'm getting here is that it's a matter of not doing enough damage? If they have STR of d6 or d8, I'm having a really hard time understanding how they can't do enough damage. It's been my experience that anything with toughness 5 dies very quickly. In the example you gave even with only strength d6 and a katana that's 2d6+2 damage which should average 9. That's enough to wound the lower toughness guy and shake the d8 vigor guy.

How are you handling the unshaking part? The roll to unshake is a spirit roll, and anything less than a raise means they can't act (at least with the rules as written).

You know about Acing dice right? (You roll the highest number on a given die, you then roll that die again)

Note: I'm just trying to understand how things are going so badly for you, when my experience with the system is that even Wild Cards can die very quickly, hell, the last session of Deadlands my character went down on the very first round of combat to a guy with a 2d6 pistol.
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Kythkyn
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gylthinel wrote:
Kythkyn wrote:
I have a feeling you are doing something wrong. Or maybe explaining yourself wrong. You want to speed up combat by slowing it down and adding more because you cannot kill you players with a single bullet? Can you run us through an actual game scenario, so we can better understand the context please?


Certainly!

2 samurai face off. Neither is wearing armor as this is a duel. One is slightly tougher than the other (d8 vs d6) while the other is slightly more skilled. They proceed to hack away for about 20 rounds. Sometimes they miss, sometimes they hit and do no damage (despite the handy 2 bonus from the katana), and often hit for a shaken result that is soon shrugged off. The players even try things like tests of wills, tricks (allowing the bonus to bleed through long enough to be worth it), called shots, disarms, stunts... And when none of it works, the players eyes drooping in boredom and hands blistered from throwing dice... One of the fighters scores a few aces on his damage roll and kills the other. Not a 1 hit kill to be sure, but only 1 hit mattered.

I'm sure this sounds extreme, but it seems to happen any time we fight a foe who isn't a naked untrained peasant extra.

That's more a hypothetical situation. I mean an actual step by step, roll by roll discourse on a combat scenario. Your example is actually no help at all, I am afraid to say, because you are summing up your issues with the system, and not the actual issues that need to be addressed.
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VonDan
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if you add hit points then you have to have the argument over how many does stone have, cause we all ways found ways to kill the "gods" in D&D as soon as the listed hit points
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Other Mike
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kythkyn wrote:
That's more a hypothetical situation. I mean an actual step by step, roll by roll discourse on a combat scenario. Your example is actually no help at all, I am afraid to say, because you are summing up your issues with the system, and not the actual issues that need to be addressed.


Yes, I have to agree. That example is not a lot of help.

I have never had a Savage World combat go 20 rounds. One of the things I like about Savage Worlds is just how fast combat does go by. I usually see averages of 3-6 rounds ... though solo Wildcard vs. solo Wildcard may take a little longer, due to bennies.

And as someone already pointed out ... on average, one of those characters will take a Wound per hit, while the other will at least be Shaken. Assuming 3 bennies each, I have trouble seeing combat lasting 20 rounds ... unless both have trouble hitting the other.

If you really want brutal combat, where characters die quickly, use the Brutal damage rules. No soaking wounds with bennies for anyone.

I also can't quite get my head around 10 hit points and 3 wound levels combined. If I take as little as one hit point, and soak it, I take a wound level? I know what happens when you get to 4 wound levels, but what happens when you get to 0 hit points?
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ValhallaGH
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Other Mike wrote:
And as someone already pointed out ... on average, one of those characters will take a Wound per hit, while the other will at least be Shaken.

With Wild Attack, it's even worse than that.

Assume d10 / d12 Fighting for the 6 / 5 toughnesses, and d6 strength with katanas. Parry 7 and Toughness 6 versus Parry 8 and Toughness 5.
Wild attack means that they are at d10+2 versus Parry 6 and d12+2 versus Parry 5, hitting for 2d6+4 damage (+d6 for a raise).
As wild cards, they'll hit 85% (d10) and 94.4% (d12), for 2d6+4 (minimum 6, average 12 - that's a minimum Shaken and average one wound per hit on both sides). That fight should be over in three rounds, even with soaking.
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