Has anybody tried ... limiting aceing

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thwill
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Has anybody tried ... limiting aceing

#1 Postby thwill » Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:35 am

Hi folks,

My group have been playing SW for 6 months now and one of the problems I have is that I often find the die rolls to be too open ended. Especially damage rolls (lots of dice) where the dice seem to ace more frequently than probabilities would suggest resulting in random (and meaningless) character death or villains "getting their's" prematurely.

Has anybody tried limiting each dice to ace only once and do they have any feedback?

e.g.

Corporal Jones fires his plasma rifle at an Alien for 2d8 damage and get's 8, 8 he then rolls 8, 4 for a total damage of 8+8+8+4=28. He doesn't roll the 3rd 8 again.

Yours truly,

Tom

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Re: Has anybody tried ... limiting aceing

#2 Postby Nuadha » Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:26 am

thwill wrote:Hi folks,

My group have been playing SW for 6 months now and one of the problems I have is that I often find the die rolls to be too open ended. Especially damage rolls (lots of dice) where the dice seem to ace more frequently than probabilities would suggest resulting in random (and meaningless) character death or villains "getting their's" prematurely.

Has anybody tried limiting each dice to ace only once and do they have any feedback?

e.g.

Corporal Jones fires his plasma rifle at an Alien for 2d8 damage and get's 8, 8 he then rolls 8, 4 for a total damage of 8+8+8+4=28. He doesn't roll the 3rd 8 again.

Yours truly,

Tom


I like the open-ended damage because it adds that element of danger to every combat. However, if you want less instant deaths, then this idea may be for you.
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#3 Postby HaraldKlak » Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:58 am

One little problem I seen in limiting each die to only one ace, is that it might favor multiple dice over larger ones. Thus shotguns gets even deadlier than now (compared to other weapons) and raises are even more important.
I haven't done the math, so correct me if I am way off.

To avoid the instant-kills we used a cap of max. 1 wound per hit. It helped avoid the one-shotting both PCs and WC NPCs. The downside is that it is nerf to heavy-hitters, both PC and NPC. I fairly liked it, since it kept us from dying at inapropriate times, and we usually got at fight out of the bosses instead of killing them outright.

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#4 Postby 77IM » Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:52 am

I don't think it will fix the problem. In your own example the guy is doing 28 damage which is enough to one-shot most foes anyway.

A similar fix, is that an attack can't do better than max damage. So if a 2d8 guy rolls 8, 3 then rerolls and gets a 7, that would be 18 damage but it is capped at 16 because that is the max on 2d8. In most games 16 damage is pretty serious but won't one-shot most Wild Cards. Now if you hit with a raise for +1d6, the max damage becomes 22 which is still really good; it won't take out someone in a tactical vest, but an unarmored human can still be one-shotted. A 3d6 bolt that hits on a raise has a max damage of 24 which is again going to drop anyone without substantial armor.

So I don't think you can really fix the issue on the Damage end and would recommend you find some way to soften the blow on the Toughness/Soak/Wounds end of things.

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#5 Postby fanchergw » Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:38 am

As HaraldKlak suggested, limiting the number of Wounds done by an attack is fairly common. My group limits attacks to a max of 4 Wounds, which is still very dangerous, but makes Soak rolls still reasonably possible. Trying to Soak for survival against 4 Wounds (at -4, and only needing a success to survive with 3 Wounds) is significantly easier than against 6 or 7 Wounds (at -6 or -7 and needing to get multiple raises to bring it down to 3 Wounds), for example.

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#6 Postby Bill » Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:05 pm

fanchergw wrote:As HaraldKlak suggested, limiting the number of Wounds done by an attack is fairly common. My group limits attacks to a max of 4 Wounds, which is still very dangerous, but makes Soak rolls still reasonably possible. Trying to Soak for survival against 4 Wounds (at -4, and only needing a success to survive with 3 Wounds) is significantly easier than against 6 or 7 Wounds (at -6 or -7 and needing to get multiple raises to bring it down to 3 Wounds), for example.

Gordon


Maybe it was how I was reading this but penalties to soak rolls are only from the damage (including fatigue) a character has already suffered. Thus if he is fresh and hit with 7 potential wounds and attempts to soak he needs to soak 4 of these (a roll of 16+) or he will be incapacitated. He does not have a -7 on his soak roll. At incapacitated any penalties to rolls to survive are maxed at -3 (the total wound modifiers) (I don't remember if fatigue counts against this roll though. It may).

To keep fights going longer, capping the final damage result at one wound after any soak attempts, makes sense. You can let the acing of damage go on as that will make it harder to soak to less than one wound. This will make for a more cinematic game and make it less likely any hero will be forced out of the fight on one hit so they will hang around longer.
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#7 Postby Cable Hogue » Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:07 pm

fanchergw wrote:Trying to Soak for survival against 4 Wounds (at -4, and only needing a success to survive with 3 Wounds) is significantly easier than against 6 or 7 Wounds (at -6 or -7 and needing to get multiple raises to bring it down to 3 Wounds), for example.
You only get -3 due to wounds, regardless of how many wounds an incapacitating blow might have caused.

A character who gets 4 wounds rolls his Vigor roll at -3 just the same as a character who gets 14 wounds in his knock-out blow. His wound levels are capped at 3 wounds = -3 wound penalties. - You NEVER roll at -6 or -7 or -14!


And you soak WITHOUT applying the wound modifiers from the wounds you just try to avoid.

A healthy character gets hit for 1 wound, which he doesn't soak. Another hit is for 3 wounds, which would lead to Incapacitation. Now he spends a Bennie and makes his Soak roll at -1 (due to the previously received and not soaked wound). - On a success, he soakes 1 of the 3 wounds, is now on 3 wounds total and at -3 to all trait rolls. A further hit causing 2 Wounds will now be soaked at -3 for the already received and not soaked 1 + 2 = 3 wounds.

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#8 Postby inlife9 » Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:28 pm

I advice against it...strongly. I try to keep restrictions, as much as possible, away from my games. As a gm I love seeing my players ace (and the more times the more fun it is) Players need those kick butt experiences, or the game will feel dry, and expected.
A bit of advice: dont sweat your game so much. Let things be. My meaning is; if the players destroy a villian "prematurely" That is a means for them to celebrate. That also means they celebrate YOUR game.
Let them have it. There is always more games. Besides what about that villian's side kick (who just got promoted) or his wife/ son who now hates the group? You can always place a new enemy. What you can NOT do is make Priceless gaming moments. They just happen. A good gm tells a good story, a great gm lets the story tell its self, with all it's unseen challenges.
On the other side of the screen: I may, at times, fudge my own "gm aces" if it goes nuts in a fluff encounter. Thats not saying they dont hurt them but I try not to one hit/ kill on fluffies. (fluffies in E's book of rpg words= minor events that weaken or strengthen a group before the main battle) Sometimes the story/game will have a certain feel to it and you know when to give the players help or hell. It is all still very random, because I, myself, never know what the game will "tell" me to do.
In any case, they will never ever know. Dont forget thats also what bennies are for. Spend wisely.
Last edited by inlife9 on Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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#9 Postby Magnus » Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:46 pm

Try looking at Triple Ace Games "Tales of the Space Lanes" pulp-space rules. In those Mooks cannot ace (so a mook with a 2d6 gun can do a maximum of 12 points of damage).

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#10 Postby Rohan » Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:58 pm

In my humble opinion, limiting acing takes away some of the flare of the game. I'm not just saying that because I've rolled 45 damage with a desert eagle or because I've hit someone for 23 points of damage by booting them through a second story window. It's dangerous to adventure!

I've also been subject to those 30 point hits and they suck, but it teaches you to keep your head down, I think. Besides, sometimes you just get lucky, right?

We keep those dice acing, and quite frankly, some of our NPCs that are along for the ride end up doing better than the PCs thanks to Dave B's magical, ever-acing d6.
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#11 Postby Clint » Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:23 pm

Instead of limiting damage, it would probably work better to limit wounds to 4 for something really heroic. As noted, if a character does actually get hit for 16+ points over Toughness then all they need is a simple success on a Soak roll to avoid Incapacitation.

Alternatively though, instead of changing wounds or damage, look at a rule for the Incapacitation roll. That way even if all their Bennies have been blown, their chances are still increased when they make that automatic roll. Check this post for some options...

http://www.peginc.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=25190
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#12 Postby fanchergw » Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:26 pm

Sorry for the errors in my earlier post, I was posting too quickly from work and didn't think it through. Still, even without the additional penalties, the basic concept still applies. (See Clint's post, above.)

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#13 Postby TommyBrownell » Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:55 pm

inlife9 wrote:I advice against it...strongly. I try to keep restrictions, as much as possible, away from my games. As a gm I love seeing my players ace (and the more times the more fun it is) Players need those kick butt experiences, or the game will feel dry, and expected.
A bit of advice: dont sweat your game so much. Let things be. My meaning is; if the players destroy a villian "prematurely" That is a means for them to celebrate. That also means they celebrate YOUR game.
Let them have it. There is always more games. Besides what about that villian's side kick (who just got promoted) or his wife/ son who now hates the group? You can always place a new enemy. What you can NOT do is make Priceless gaming moments. They just happen. A good gm tells a good story, a great gm lets the story tell its self, with all it's unseen challenges.
On the other side of the screen: I may, at times, fudge my own "gm aces" if it goes nuts in a fluff encounter. Thats not saying they dont hurt them but I try not to one hit/ kill on fluffies. (fluffies in E's book of rpg words= minor events that weaken or strengthen a group before the main battle) Sometimes the story/game will have a certain feel to it and you know when to give the players help or hell. It is all still very random, because I, myself, never know what the game will "tell" me to do.
In any case, they will never ever know. Dont forget thats also what bennies are for. Spend wisely.


Yeah...no matter how awesome your NPC is, or how great your story might be, the PCs are way more important...if a major NPC gets dropped? So what? Wasn't their story anyway. Marvel SAGA had a handy list just for this, though it mostly applied directly to supervillains:

Rule 1: The Body Is Never Found

Rule 2: If The Body Is Found, It's Never The Villain's Body

Rule 3: If The Body Is Found And Its The Villain's Body, It Is Never The Villain's Mind

Rule 4: If The Body Is Found And Its The Villain's Body and Mind, Someone Else Will Become The Villain

Rule 5: If The Body Is Found And Its The Villain's Body And Mind And No One Else Becomes The Villain, It Wasn't A Good Enough Villain Anyway.
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#14 Postby inlife9 » Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:42 pm

Yup, I just used rule 1. last session, myself. :)

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#15 Postby Dylan S » Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:07 pm

Instead of limiting the entire system, try inventing an edge for important bosses who you don't want to be dropped. Maybe they can only take one wound per hit, or they get a bonus to soaking, or critical hits don't effect them, or acing doesn't effect them. Each of those could be a separate edge, and combined to deadly effect.

Don't know if this was already mentioned.

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#16 Postby marshal kt » Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:21 am

Maybe they just sneak away while the minions are covering for him.
It is the villiany way of course. You know, lead from the rear.
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#17 Postby Magnus » Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:48 am

TommyBrownell wrote:Yeah...no matter how awesome your NPC is, or how great your story might be, the PCs are way more important...if a major NPC gets dropped? So what? Wasn't their story anyway. Marvel SAGA had a handy list just for this, though it mostly applied directly to supervillains:

Rule 1: The Body Is Never Found

Rule 2: If The Body Is Found, It's Never The Villain's Body

Rule 3: If The Body Is Found And Its The Villain's Body, It Is Never The Villain's Mind

Rule 4: If The Body Is Found And Its The Villain's Body and Mind, Someone Else Will Become The Villain

Rule 5: If The Body Is Found And Its The Villain's Body And Mind And No One Else Becomes The Villain, It Wasn't A Good Enough Villain Anyway.


Nice :)

My players tried to get around my use of the "Harder to Kill" edge by simply capturing every villain instead of killing them.
At one point they held five enemy generals, two master spies and a mad king captive. :)

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#18 Postby Atomic Scotsman » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:41 am

Rohan wrote:In my humble opinion, limiting acing takes away some of the flare of the game. I'm not just saying that because I've rolled 45 damage with a desert eagle or because I've hit someone for 23 points of damage by booting them through a second story window. It's dangerous to adventure!

I've also been subject to those 30 point hits and they suck, but it teaches you to keep your head down, I think. Besides, sometimes you just get lucky, right?

We keep those dice acing, and quite frankly, some of our NPCs that are along for the ride end up doing better than the PCs thanks to Dave B's magical, ever-acing d6.


Yeah, I love the crazy acing.

The scientists/medic in the group I run is the least combat-oriented of all the PCs, yet at least once per adventure he gets some insane damage roll with his 9mm that just destroys the stricken NPC. It's become a running gag that it's actually always the same NPC reincarnated into this new body that the PC keeps killing over and over, and some day this NPC is going to come back and take its revenge on him.

Work on integrating the exploding dice into your GMing style. Should a short sword or a .38 revolver pack enough punch to take out a hulking Ogre? Well, maybe -if you shoot/stab him through the eye and into the brain. But maybe there's a steam pipe behind the Ogre, the shot hits it, the pipe explodes dramatically, and its the steam and shrapnel that kill him.

Stuff like that.

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#19 Postby marshal kt » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:55 am

Magnus wrote:
TommyBrownell wrote:Yeah...no matter how awesome your NPC is, or how great your story might be, the PCs are way more important...if a major NPC gets dropped? So what? Wasn't their story anyway. Marvel SAGA had a handy list just for this, though it mostly applied directly to supervillains:

Rule 1: The Body Is Never Found

Rule 2: If The Body Is Found, It's Never The Villain's Body

Rule 3: If The Body Is Found And Its The Villain's Body, It Is Never The Villain's Mind

Rule 4: If The Body Is Found And Its The Villain's Body and Mind, Someone Else Will Become The Villain

Rule 5: If The Body Is Found And Its The Villain's Body And Mind And No One Else Becomes The Villain, It Wasn't A Good Enough Villain Anyway.


Nice :)

My players tried to get around my use of the "Harder to Kill" edge by simply capturing every villain instead of killing them.
At one point they held five enemy generals, two master spies and a mad king captive. :)


sounds like time for the villains to break out and ambush the heroes.
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#20 Postby marshal kt » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:56 am

Atomic Scotsman wrote:
Rohan wrote:In my humble opinion, limiting acing takes away some of the flare of the game. I'm not just saying that because I've rolled 45 damage with a desert eagle or because I've hit someone for 23 points of damage by booting them through a second story window. It's dangerous to adventure!

I've also been subject to those 30 point hits and they suck, but it teaches you to keep your head down, I think. Besides, sometimes you just get lucky, right?

We keep those dice acing, and quite frankly, some of our NPCs that are along for the ride end up doing better than the PCs thanks to Dave B's magical, ever-acing d6.


Yeah, I love the crazy acing.

The scientists/medic in the group I run is the least combat-oriented of all the PCs, yet at least once per adventure he gets some insane damage roll with his 9mm that just destroys the stricken NPC. It's become a running gag that it's actually always the same NPC reincarnated into this new body that the PC keeps killing over and over, and some day this NPC is going to come back and take its revenge on him.

Work on integrating the exploding dice into your GMing style. Should a short sword or a .38 revolver pack enough punch to take out a hulking Ogre? Well, maybe -if you shoot/stab him through the eye and into the brain. But maybe there's a steam pipe behind the Ogre, the shot hits it, the pipe explodes dramatically, and its the steam and shrapnel that kill him.

Stuff like that.


You should name him.. and then everytime, they can find the dog tags, ID card, name badge et c. and see it's a relative.
We did that in the old Star Trek rpg.. all were named Bag..or Sack.
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