Raises on Attack and Damage - Free for All

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Raises on Attack and Damage - Free for All

#1 Postby phloog » Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:23 am

I posted this in the Questions forum, but since only PEG can answer there I've been asked to place it here to see if some discussion could take place.

Currently any raises beyond the first on an attack give you no added benefit - you can just stop and move to damage.

Since I love the raises mechanic, and the fact that it makes the degree of success important, I am considering a house rule that gives the standard +1d6 to damage on the first raise, and an additional +1 for each extra raise...so if you got three raises on a strike, you'd add a single d6 to the roll, and an extra +2 to the damage for the extra raises.

My thought is this will make the players happy when they truly get a huge roll, but it doesn't seem like it would be unbalancing, since it's only an incremental add, can't ace, etc.

Thoughts?

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#2 Postby Noshrok Grimskull » Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:31 am

In the first printing of Savage Worlds every Raise on the attack roll got you a +2 bonus to the damage roll, so...
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#3 Postby phloog » Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:58 am

Noshrok Grimskull wrote:In the first printing of Savage Worlds every Raise on the attack roll got you a +2 bonus to the damage roll, so...


Okay...I'm assuming they didn't like some aspect of that, but even so...frankly as I think it through (which is obviously NOT the same as playtesting), the only real complaint I can see is that they aren't getting ENOUGH additional bang for their bucks.

The die for the first raise gives them an average of 3.5 WITHOUT considering acing, with it moving up to a little over 4 with acing (and of course the possibility (not probability) of an infinitely high number). Adding only one for each subsequent raise seems like a decent enough thing to do. Ignoring the die itself, the +1s only raise the damage/wound level on their own if you get FOUR raises, so most of the time it will only matter in terms of boosting a damage roll without raises to a single raise, or in just overcoming the threshold to harm at all.

I'm interesting in hearing Clint's answer, and perhaps why +2/raise was broken, but for now I think I'll try it (though I'm always leery of adding house rules before I've actually played the game 'vanilla'.

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#4 Postby Seeker Jon » Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:46 am

The +2/Raise wasn't broken, it was simply not FFF. Seeing if you got a Raise or not is very simple. Counting Raises is a bit more time consuming. Also, while the original rule sounds like it gives you more bonus damage, you need to get three Raises before that actually happens. Since that's not happening very often, the newer +1d6 damage with a Raise actually gives more bonus damage.

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#5 Postby Highwayman429 » Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:52 am

Has anyone play-tested something along the lines of a straight +4 to damage for a Raise? Gives you an automatic raise to your normal damage but it also can't ace. Just a thought.
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#6 Postby DerFinsterling » Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:10 am

Seeker of Truth wrote:The +2/Raise wasn't broken, it was simply not FFF.


There was also a problem with Called Shots: Why take a -4 to hit the head (barring to bypass armor or to account for any special weaknesses of a monster) to get +4 damage, while, if you don't make a called shot and still hit with a raise would get +2 and would roll normal damage if you hit with a raise?

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#7 Postby The GIT! » Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:40 am

I'm interested in the idea of an additional +1 for each raise above the first. It's an interesting idea and I don't see that it would stop people from using the various combat manouevres (such as called shot to head as DerFinsterling mentioned). Our last few sessions have raised the issue of not being rewarded for extremely high combat rolls and I'd be interested to hear what the PEGInc staff have to say. I realise we're only talking house-rules here but it is an interesting suggestion. I might try it at our next game session.

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#8 Postby Cutter XXIII » Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:52 am

Here's something else to consider:

Allowing raises on the attack roll to add to damage is all well and good, but it doesn't really achieve anything unless you also modify how the Vigor roll vs. Incapacitation works.

In the RAW, the maximum Wound penalty is -3. In effect, you'd just be increasing the number of instances in which it makes more sense to "take the shot" and roll vs. Incapacitation, rather than trying to soak the 7, 8, 9, etc. wounds dealt by raises.
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#9 Postby phloog » Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:02 am

Cutter XXIII wrote:In the RAW, the maximum Wound penalty is -3. In effect, you'd just be increasing the number of instances in which it makes more sense to "take the shot" and roll vs. Incapacitation, rather than trying to soak the 7, 8, 9, etc. wounds dealt by raises.


If it wasn't clear, I've never actually played before, so I may be way off on everything (disclaimer done).

Having said that...

1) every 4 points is a raise on damage (and other things), and

2) the only interaction between the bonus 1d6 on damage and this house rule would be if the bonus 1d6 (and aces) was just short of another raise...like if you rolled a 3 on the d6 and had an extra raise for +1

This means that the net impact of +1/extra raise is an additional wound for every FOUR +1s obtained...is that right?

Which would mean that ignoring it's impact on the bonus "raise die", it only adds a wound level every FOUR attack RAISES.

Wouldn't this mean that this house rule could add 1 wound level (bumping up the bonus 1d6), plus another wound level for every SIXTEEN by which the attack roll beats its target...right?

This is why I was frankly wondering if the +1 was actually worth it...but I don't think we'd be entering the realm of 7 or more wounds very often.

But it would be something, and might help get through armor, even if the max penalty of -3 is observed.

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#10 Postby Morgenstern72 » Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:06 am

I just want to say, that I am very interessted in this topic....maybe Shane could say what he is think about it?

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#11 Postby Cutter XXIII » Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:32 am

phloog wrote:Wouldn't this mean that this house rule could add 1 wound level (bumping up the bonus 1d6), plus another wound level for every SIXTEEN by which the attack roll beats its target...right?

This is why I was frankly wondering if the +1 was actually worth it...but I don't think we'd be entering the realm of 7 or more wounds very often.


You've got it right, but I think you'll find as you play that exploding dice happen more often than you expect them to. Maybe 7, 8, 9 wounds is an exaggeration, but 4, 5, 6 wounds are fairly common in my experience. And that's just with +1d6 damage for a single raise.

Also, if you implement this rule it's going to go both ways. Players may feel better getting more "bang for the buck," but what about when the GM rolls ludicrous damage? I guess they'd still get more bang, but not quite what they wanted, I'll wager. :wink:

Earlier comments regarding FFF and the value of Called Shots should not go unexamined. Those are great points.

I have a house rule where anyone who aces a roll three times gets a benny. That way we don't have to slow ourselves down counting endless raises and converting them into damage bonuses, but at the same time no great roll is wasted.
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#12 Postby phloog » Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:48 am

I wouldn't discount the impact on FFF at all...in my group we have a ton of math majors/I.S. dudes, so the math on raises would tend to go quick, but I can still see what you're saying.

Frankly, I would tend to restore a bit of the FFF by simply making the house rule only apply to Wild Cards. So even the luckiest mook will not require calculations beyond the first raise - - I prefer that anyway, as from a dramatic standpoint I hate the d20 system event where Unnamed Goblin School Marm #236 rolls a natural 20 and max damage, killing the PC....and it can get worse at times in True 20.

I should probably stop yammering until we get some official thoughts from people who know more than I do.

But I like the multiple aces rule, since I can't imagine a large number of raises arising (odd wording!) very often from anything but a multiple ace situation.

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#13 Postby Rambling Scribe » Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:40 pm

In another thread someone suggested making the first raise an extra d4 on damage instead of d6, and then increasing the die size by one per raise.

I presented it to my players, and they like it a lot better than the standard 1d6 and then no further benefit, so we tried it.

In all honesty, I don't think it makes a tremendous difference overall mathematically, but it makes a huge difference emotionally to my players. It does take a little extra time to calculate the raises, but here's the kicker... it only takes more time when the attack roll is really high, which creates a moment of dramatic tension (even if it is metagame tension).

"Let's see, I got a 28 and his parry is seven, so eleven, fifteen, nineteen, twenty-three, twenty-seven, that's five raises is d4, 6, 8, 10, d12 bonus damage!"

Sometimes fun and furious trump fast (in small doses).

Also, in general, my players (and myself, to a degree) really prefer any instance where the better you roll, the better your result. Even when my players know that there is no further benefit beyond the first raise, they always want to roll their crazy high acing dice. "I got a 48 to recover from being shaken!"
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#14 Postby phloog » Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:17 pm

That idea (increasing die) is interesting, but in terms of the expected value of the die I'm wondering how it will work out...I think you're right about the 'not much difference mathematically', since as you move from die to die you only gain about one point (even baking in the chance of aces, I think) of actual results.

I'm with you (and your players) on the value (which indeed must be balanced against FFF) in terms of Fun of the raises accumulating...but we come from games like Shadowrun, and we like lots of dice.

The thing that struck me the most about your post was the 28 from 7, 11.15,19,23, 27...it reminds me that the math does NOT seem to add a whole lot of time to it.

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#15 Postby Morgenstern72 » Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:25 pm

I discussed this topic with a friend and I think I have found a solution that honors a good fighting roll and but does not break the game.

1. Raise: +1d6
2. Raise: you can choose to not roll the smallest dice of your attack but instead take the maximum (a d4 =4)
3. Raise: like second raise, but with the second smallest dice
4. Raise: like second raise, but with the biggest dice

This way a fighter can, if he chooses, to trade luck with certainty when he attacks just perfect (=great roll). This also relatives the frustration of a player that rolls some raises on the attack roll, but than roll 1s and 2s on the damage roll - compared to the little goblin, that barely manages to hit with his club just to cause 30+ damager because of exploding dices.

And if the fighter fights a dragon and got 4 raises...maybe he will just take one dice for the maximum and the other ones he rolls, so he has a chance to overcome it's insane toughness ;)

I think this could be a good solution. There is no more damage than supposed, but more "sure" damage to reflect a great attack.

What do you think?
Last edited by Morgenstern72 on Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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#16 Postby Morgenstern72 » Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:28 pm

Rambling Scribe wrote:Also, in general, my players (and myself, to a degree) really prefer any instance where the better you roll, the better your result. Even when my players know that there is no further benefit beyond the first raise, they always want to roll their crazy high acing dice. "I got a 48 to recover from being shaken!"


Same in my group...they always look very angry if I try to stop them to put more "fast" in the game ;)

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#17 Postby Clint » Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:44 pm

I'm not sure what "official thoughts" could be added. Some people like the old way, but Pinnacle is never going back. Why? The game is supposed to be Fast, Furious, and Fun and adding damage per raise hurts the first two and typically hurts the last as well (not always, like any rule it works may not work for some but in general, it does).

1. Manuevers. One already mentioned is Called Shots. It devalues them. Period. Any version of unlimited damage bonuses per raise devalues Called Shots; it's unavoidable. It may be a question of how much, but it still happens. And one of the results of that is to remove a chance of uncertainty in the game and excitement.

Consider: A character with a d10 Shooting, Marksman, and Improved Trademark Weapon makes a shot at a foe at Short Range. They have a +4 bonus to hit. This is a perfect opportunity to make a Called Shot at -4 for +4 damage, where they return to the standard odds of missing the roll. But instead of doing that, the player knows that +4 bonus will always at least directly translate to +1 damage, and they are still guaranteed to hit on anything except a critical failure. Why take the chance of missing when the safe route still provides a benefit.

While acing an attack roll may be exciting, I think the possibility of failing an attack roll actually adds more drama and excitement, especially when the player has chosen to accept the chance for the potential reward.

Keep in mind, that's only one manuever. Think about Wild Attack as well. It's a bonus to attack and damage, only now the attack bonus provides a damage bonus as well past the first raise, making it more effective. Anything that modifies the attack roll will have an different effect; it may not be huge, but it's there.

2. It's easy to say the math can be handled, but the entire process can be a bit more complicated than that.

First, time is spent rolling and rerolling the dice (which can be great for the one person rolling, but isn't always as much fun for every other player waiting for their turn).

Then the first math as a total is generated including all modifiers to the attack roll, which must then be compared to either TN: 4 for ranged attacks or the specific Parry of the specific foe being attacked.

Now, in this case, it's not just figuring out total raises, but additional raises after the first. So that's either figuring every 4 points over the TN and subtracting 1 from the final result for the initial raise or adding 4 to the TN and then figuring every 4 points over that.

That then provides a variable number that is added to damage plus 1d6 for the initial raise. Now, here's the ironic part; the goal is to make it more exciting for rolling a really high attack roll and getting lots of raise, but how often will that really happen in game. A great majority of a PC's attacks will be against Extras. A really high attack roll against an Extra results in 2 standard damage dice usually plus one bonus dice plus a flat modifier from the additional raises. At that point, all the excitement from the attack roll may remove all the tension from the actual damage roll as it becomes unlikely or even impossible to fail to take out the foe.

i.e. "Yeah, I got 5 additional raises for +5 damage; that's 2d10+1d6+5, you ugly mook!" <picks up the dice to roll> "Um, Matt, he's already Shaken, and his Toughness is 7. Your minimum is 8, so he's out. Who's up next?" <Matt's dice hit the table and he cries in his raw milk and rum. Poor Matt.> ;)

It's an example; Matt will be fine. Anyway, the point is that the more raises on the attack roll, which the old system and this one rewards, actually undercuts the tension and excitement of the resolution of the action when damage is rolled.

That's a short (hah!) explanation of why the bonus for a raise is capped and the bonus itself is a die added to the roll. The addition of a die that is variable but can ace maintains the tension for both Extras and Wild Cards but also increases the odds of acing on damage where a high roll can have a great impact against a Wild Card.
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#18 Postby phloog » Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:06 pm

Actually, Clint...that's EXACTLY the kind of 'official words' that I think were needed for my own purposes.

There were examples here and there, but what I really wanted was the sort of 'house of cards' argument you put forth...NOT to suggest that the system is weak by saying 'house of cards', but I got a better understanding for someone who has not played before of just how many things could break when you make that seemingly innocuous change (called shots, mooks, etc.)....

The argument of 'too much math' or 'slows things down' really didn't resonate with me, but of course I've played and enjoyed Villains and Vigilantes and Twilight 2000. Knowing that it has a tangible impact on multiple aspects of a character immediately makes me drop the idea. Others had suggested some of these, but it was good to see many in one spot.

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#19 Postby 77IM » Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:16 pm

You could make it +1d6 per raise IF they spend a benny. If they don't spend the benny, it's only +1d6 for the first raise, as usual. This way, a really excellent roll against a BBEG can still generate a lot of damage, but a really excellent roll against a mook isn't worth wasting a benny and isn't worth tallying up the total past the first raise, either. It also provides a measure of protection for the PCs since the enemies don't (usually) have infinite bennies.

You could make this privilege require an Edge, but it seems like kind of a weak Edge. Maybe if the Edge provided some other benefit as well, or had some other limitation (like, instead of costing a benny, it works once per encounter).

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#20 Postby Lord Lance » Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:34 pm

phloog wrote:I prefer that anyway, as from a dramatic standpoint I hate the d20 system event where Unnamed Goblin School Marm #236 rolls a natural 20 and max damage, killing the PC....and it can get worse at times in True 20.

LOL! You will hate SW soon, if you don't like those situations!! :mrgreen:
Here it's the norm that three or four goblins can take down a hero, 'cause the damage is quite random, and often mortal, every time you don't expect to be! :twisted: :twisted:

Of course, the heroes here have bennies to save their regal asses, but bennies are not infinite! :twisted: And those goblins keep coming, and coming!!!


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