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SAME Crossbows.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 9:26 pm    Post subject: SAME Crossbows. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

RC wrote:
How do you plan on handling non-muscle powered weapons, like firearms or crossbows? Is strength still going to determine damage, or are you going to use another stat?


Right now, the default SAME system world is set in early iron age. The only non-muscle powered weapons are things like Catapults, which are treated as attackers in their own rights (albeit attackers that have no Moxie or Elan).

A quick and dirty conversion is to have guns do a fixed damage but have a strength minimum, such that using the biggest hand cannon you can wield is equivalent to throwing around a top tier weapon with your normal added strength bonus. This would be appropriate for things like Crossbows and even early rifles.

Modern weapons exist in a separate setup entirely. One in which people expect to be able to destroy your whole house if they are willing to throw enough money at the problem. It's really inappropriate for FAEs to be meaningfully limited by your strength, so they aren't going to be. Instead, they are going to be limited just like they are in real life - by a vast network of well-armed legal authorities that take an extreme dislike to you using them. That is, in a modern setting you find yourself engaging in unarmed combat way more than you do in an ancient setting, because taking a weapon of any kind around is considered taboo. Thus, strength retains importance as a combat stat, depsite the fact that there is an entire set of combat devices that essentially bypass that entirely.

In fact, a modern setting doesn't even really need Elan-based attacks to be readily available. Strength and Elan can already be balanced by the fact that sometimes combat essentially entirely bypasses your strength (thus making the fact that you got anything at all for trading it in a good deal), and sometimes combat entirely is won or lost on the basis of your strength (making the fact that you bought it a good deal). Splitting combat into fisticuffs and handguns actually allows for a balanced (if weird) SAME setup even without psionics or sorcery available at all.

-Frank
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RandomCasualty
Prince


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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 9:39 pm    Post subject: Re: SAME Crossbows. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The strength minimum seems like it'd be pretty workable for crossbows and primitive guns.

For modern games though, I'm not quite certain the solution of having authorities is going to help much. The problem is going to be that handguns will still use agility, so that in a modern setting, you can generally have the best of both worlds by maxing your agility. That way when it comes down to melee combat, you're still equal to the other strength guy because S and A are equal (the system is set up that way after all). However at ranged combat the strength guy is just pretty much getting screwed, since he's really not getting anything offensively out of his str. So I'm not sure quite how you plan on balancing that out for modern settings.

So I'm not sure it ever comes down to a situation where strength is going to be the primary determining factor. In a gun fight, the agility guy has a definite edge, since he's harder to hit and has a bonus to hit, where the strength guy is just tougher to kill, but doesn't actually get a damage bonus out of the deal.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 9:41 pm    Post subject: Re: SAME Crossbows. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm not sure how to keep perceptive and agile guys from dominating detective games. Cause let's face it, they do dominate that field of endeavor.

-Frank
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RandomCasualty
Prince


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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 10:16 pm    Post subject: Re: SAME Crossbows. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah modern and futuristic games are really difficult to balance well. About all you could do I'd think was to price agility to be twice as much as strength.

Since the following are theoretically equal
+1 to hit
+1 to soak damage
+1 to damage
+1 to AC

Then agility is granting two of those and str is only granting one. So you should be ok if agility were twice as valuable as strength. Though your level up algorithm would have to be pretty weird then to prevent the system from becoming divergent but somehow maintaining the unequal value of the attributes. Though this of course would end up making strength overpowered in fist fights, but if your campaign was mostly guns it should be balanced enough for gun fights.

I don't know though, the more I look at it, the more it seems the SAME system may be best left strictly with the fantasy genre, since strength becomes increasingly less important in modern and futuristic settings.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 11:44 pm    Post subject: Re: SAME Crossbows. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Altering the costs of stats is, in general, a bad idea. If you can make stats equal, that's a much better solution.

Example Rule:

You fvcking can't dodge bullets!

When you use a firearm, your opponent's Agility is generally not added to your to-hit DC. That's because firearms shoot bullets which are too fvcking fast for you to do a god damned thing about.

---

In this manner, when exposed to firearm combat, your Strength adds to defense only slightly (because generally your soak roll means precisely dick when you get a burst from an auto-shotgun. Agility adds to attack because it adds in to your ability to hit, and again only slightly (because a fvcking monkey can hit you with a bullet - it's point and click and the bullet goes at over 500 KPH).

-Frank
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RandomCasualty
Prince


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 4:23 am    Post subject: Re: SAME Crossbows. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hmm... that would produce a very deadly modern combat game indeed. The problem is that it would also produce a divergent system on both ends, where agility is uncontested to hit (and almost always does) and strength is uncontested to soak (though is up against a formidable base DC).

Now some people you want to be immune to bullets. If you wanted to represent Superman or Juggernaut in this system, he better be able to shrug off gun attacks.

However, becoming unable to dodge bullets is rather problematic, because it means that at some point, characters become so accurate that the system is pretty much going to fall apart. Unless you plan on representing cover with something more than a bonus to AC,and instead something like a concealment modifier, pretty much all the sorts of modifiers people deal with are going to disappear fast in modern games.

Though I guess the problem comes from the fact that firearms aren't especially well balanced in reality, so it's very difficult to balance them in an RPG.
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User3
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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 4:36 am    Post subject: Re: SAME Crossbows. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Agility is probably still helping people sneak around (and avoid getting shot), bulletproof vests (relatively) reduce the damage DC (with increased resistances) so that strength actually is meaningful, and Agility also adds to damage DC slightly, helping it scale against Str and armor.

But the untimate effect of making gun combat so deadly is to convice players that they want to keep it at the hand-to-hand level, which is where SAME shines anyway.
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RandomCasualty
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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 8:37 am    Post subject: Re: SAME Crossbows. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Guest (Unregistered) wrote:

But the untimate effect of making gun combat so deadly is to convice players that they want to keep it at the hand-to-hand level, which is where SAME shines anyway.


Well, making a type of combat deadly actually encourages PCs to use it more. Just because you aren't using guns doesn't mean your opponents will be honorable and do the same. If anything if guns are that much more effective, people are going to use them more often, not less.

The right way to discourage guns is probably doing what Frank said in that you have the authorities take a dislike to you, since that's the only thing that discourages gun use in the real world.

However, even if you do that, you still need to come up with some method of hopefully balancing gun combat so that it's both fun and mechanically balanced. Generally in a gun fight I think you probably want to put the emphasis on using cover and stealth. Yet you still need some kind of chance if you do manage to get in melee with a guy with a gun.

Having guns that always hit (or almost always hit) is pretty problematic from a fun standpoint.
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User3
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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 9:25 am    Post subject: Re: SAME Crossbows. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

RandomCasualty wrote:

Having guns that always hit (or almost always hit) is pretty problematic from a fun standpoint.


ROFL

No kidding. Death or serious injury can really take the fun out of being shot at. Wink
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RandomCasualty
Prince


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 10:19 pm    Post subject: Re: SAME Crossbows. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Well, most people want cinematic gun battles, the kind that is an exchange of a bunch of shots. At the very least, the hero shouldn't be getting hit much, otherwise running something like a James Bond campaign would be nearly impossible. In some cases, you want the villain to be a badass who is tough to hit too. Of course it seems logical to me that you'd just use the same mechanic to represent both.

Having undodgeable bullets makes this nearly impossible to achieve however, since the only way you miss with a gun is when you're totally incompetent. Which works to a degree for minor goons, but it's hard when you want two skilled characters to engage in a gun battle.
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Murtak
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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 11:28 pm    Post subject: Re: SAME Crossbows. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List


I can't actually think of a James Bond movie where Bond shoots it out with someone skilled. And usually when someone does get hit it's game over. So in that regard the system does what it should.

Your point still stands for other genres though.

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fbmf
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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 11:36 pm    Post subject: Re: SAME Crossbows. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

In The Man With The Golden Gun, Roger Moore does pistols at ten paces with Sauruman/Count Chocula that turns into a full scale one-on-one shootout.

Game On,
fbmf
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RandomCasualty
Prince


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 1:55 am    Post subject: Re: SAME Crossbows. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There are lots of other gun battles between skilled people where heroes and villains miss alot. The Terminator, Dirty Harry, Star Wars, Die Hard, and just about any action movie involving guns.

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Lago_AM3P
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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 6:15 am    Post subject: Re: SAME Crossbows. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm calling BS on Die Hard.

I haven't seen Die Hard 2, but Bruce Willis was extremely accurate with his guns. He was hardcore enough to shoot the clip of an energized line so that it would fall into helicopter blades.

Since he was always in close quarters and limited by his bullets, he had to pick his shots very carefully.

Your point still stands, though.
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Murtak
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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 6:49 am    Post subject: Re: SAME Crossbows. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

fbmf wrote:
In The Man With The Golden Gun, Roger Moore does pistols at ten paces with Sauruman/Count Chocula that turns into a full scale one-on-one shootout.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I remember that scene as Bond turning and the bad guy having disappeared to play hide and seek. And the first time one of the two shoots the game is over.

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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 2:47 pm    Post subject: Re: SAME Crossbows. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

In especially cartoony settings, such as G.I.Joe, guns just do strength-based damage. Stronger characters do more damage in those settings with sirearms with no explanation at all (go back and check, this is true).

In slightly less over-the-top settings, the main characters can get shot at a lot without getting hit and mooks can't. This is because main characters have abilities that can prevent them from getting hit. This is not because the guns themselves don't usually hit even in the hands of mooks. (Ex.: in Diehard, Bruce Willis demonstrates the ability to dive for cover, where he can make an athletics skill check to have a gun attack that would hit him hit a nearby inanimate object instead; Edward Elric on the other hand, can create blocks of steel or stone that deflect incoming gun attacks).

In even less over-the-top settings, even main characters simply draw a gun and fire. Without extenuating circumstances, gun fights go to the character with the higher initiative score. (ex.: any character in any Western)

In every modern setting, standing behind cover makes you ludicrously difficult to hit. I suggest that in most settings, cover acts as D&D Cover and Cocealment. It provides both an arbitrary increase in the TN of hitting you in the first place, but also has an arbitrary chance of deflecting the bullets anyhow. This is how you generate those frustratingly long sequences where characters stand on opposite ends of the hallway unloading clips into the corners the other is hiding behind. As long as both characters have cover, the chance of either being hit is very small, but the first character to walk into the open gets a lead salad.

-Frank
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RandomCasualty
Prince


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 1:28 am    Post subject: Re: SAME Crossbows. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Those seem like pretty good guidelines to me Frank. Really, so long as you can make cover a main feature in more realistic gun combats, I think the system will work pretty well.

Having the option of using strength for gun damage works out fairly well for a Final Fantasy style game too, where you've got a lot of mooks with guns who really shouldn't be too deadly.
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dbb
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 7:08 pm    Post subject: Re: SAME Crossbows. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
In especially cartoony settings, such as G.I.Joe, guns just do strength-based damage. Stronger characters do more damage in those settings with sirearms with no explanation at all (go back and check, this is true).


I am reminded of the guy who created the character of Finndo (one of the ostensibly dead elder brothers) in the long-running online Amber game I play.

Finndo (as envisioned by this player) was a giant of a man, a total badass in terms of physical strength and skill with weapons -- for those who know the Amber system, he was very highly ranked in both Warfare and Strength. One of the trademark props of the character was his gun, a huge, ugly thing that in those respects resembled its owner.

Apparently, frustrated with the generally unreliable killing power of regular firearms against Amberites, he had taken the trouble to search out a pistol that employed such a large and powerful cartridge most people of lesser physical strength just couldn't fire it without seriously injuring themselves. At one point one of his granddaughters did use it to shoot at a couple of people who had invaded Finndo's home, bracing herself against a wall to do so -- firing the thing broke her back and she spent a couple of months in traction.

--d.
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RandomCasualty
Prince


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2005 7:28 pm    Post subject: Re: SAME Crossbows. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Here's another question. How are you going to handle area effects? a SAME rocket or grenade launcher for instance.

And on a completely unrelated SAME question.

Is it ok to have abilities which minorly cross the SA/ME line. For instance something like...

Confuse Opponent: Whenever you succeed on an agility based attack roll against an opponent, in addition to dealing damage normally, you may roll an opposed Moxy check against DC 11+opponent's Moxy. If you succeed opponent gets status condition X for 1 round, where X is some minor disability, like entangled, blinded, flat-footed or whatever.

Would something like that be ok? Or is that going to screw the system in the long run.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2005 8:47 pm    Post subject: Re: SAME Crossbows. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Actually, abilities that are simultaneous attacks across the Strength/Elan line are just fine. You can have a linked magic/physical attack and it's perfectly A-OK. More than just OK, in fact, Elan/Strength split characters get somewhat screwed unless they have easy access to Elan and Strength attacks to switch between.

What's not OK is if you have the power to use your Elan to protect yourself from strength attacks.

So Mana Shield is broken, Knife to Soul is good for the game.

-Frank
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RandomCasualty
Prince


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2005 9:58 pm    Post subject: Re: SAME Crossbows. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So basically as long as all the abilities oppose each other, you can pretty much do whatever kinds of things you want?

What about something weird like, use moxy vs. moxy for attack roll and agility vs. agility for a damage roll.

or

Roll Agility vs. Agility for attack and damage, or to apply a status effect. (could be one roll or two)


I ask this stuff because I've done a little work on a primitive SAME based system, and I find I'm rapidly running out of good ideas for abilities.
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User3
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2005 10:42 pm    Post subject: Re: SAME Crossbows. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

RandomCasualty wrote:

Roll Agility vs. Agility for attack and damage, or to apply a status effect. (could be one roll or two)


As soon as you do this, you create a situation where the only stat a character need ever increase is Agility. Which basically destroys the balance of the whole system.
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RandomCasualty
Prince


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2005 11:50 pm    Post subject: Re: SAME Crossbows. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Guest (Unregistered) wrote:


As soon as you do this, you create a situation where the only stat a character need ever increase is Agility. Which basically destroys the balance of the whole system.


Yeah, I figured that one would probably be out. But I asked just for completeness.

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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 12:53 am    Post subject: Re: SAME Crossbows. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

ou actually can have a straight Agility vs. Agility or Elan vs. Elan challenge, so long as you are generating a binary condition that isn't going to make you win by itself.

So it's OK for a character to spend a round making an agility vs. agility test to take someone's weapon away or a strength vs. strength test to push someone over. You can't have an agility vs. agility test to cause someone damage, or to in any other way do something that could accumulate into taking an opponent actually out of the combat.

Relatively minor abilities that allow you to gain an advantage because you have more Elan than they do is fine, it's only when a character is in a position that they can win simply by riding around on their giant Strength score alone, or whatever, that the game falls apart.

-Frank
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RandomCasualty
Prince


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 3:10 am    Post subject: Re: SAME Crossbows. Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

How about this one:

Mystical Transformation: As a standard action, you can swap your Elan with your Agility and your Moxy with your strength. Thus, your strength becomes your moxy and your moxy becomes your strength. This lasts until you dismiss the effect.

It's not exactly a mana shield but it seems pretty close.
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