A philisophical question about Burst

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A philisophical question about Burst

#1 Postby Merlin_Sylver » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:44 pm

This may not be the appropriate place for this question, as it's not really a clarification on rules, but rather a question on a rule's philosophy...

Why does the Burst power deal d10's in damage? Bolt and Blast both deal d6's, so this seems to make Burst a power of choice. A further question is why is Burst a Novice power, as it has the capacity to deal so much more damage than Blast, and to about the same number of targets given some clever maneuvering on the part of the user?

Not that I am complaining, mind... My weird Scientist in a DLR campaign is the star for damage, even against the gunslinger and huckster of the party, all because I opted for the Burst power instead of Bolt when building the character.

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Re: A philisophical question about Burst

#2 Postby Clint » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:44 pm

Merlin_Sylver wrote:Why does the Burst power deal d10's in damage? Bolt and Blast both deal d6's, so this seems to make Burst a power of choice. A further question is why is Burst a Novice power, as it has the capacity to deal so much more damage than Blast, and to about the same number of targets given some clever maneuvering on the part of the user?


Bolt has a range of 12/24/48 and can get a bonus +1d6 on a raise for attack purposes.
Blast has a range of 24/48/96.
Burst has a range of the end of the template and has a built in roll to avoid the effect.
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Re: A philisophical question about Burst

#3 Postby Dylan S » Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:11 pm

Clint wrote:...and has a built in roll to avoid the effect.


I swore never to take Burst again after the GM sent my one-armed Alchemist against a gang of high-agility clown punks. I rarely connected with that darn spell.

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#4 Postby 77IM » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:10 pm

Wait, does blast have a roll to avoid? We've been giving it the standard Agility -2 dodge roll like a grenade or other "avoidable" area attack.

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#5 Postby Merlin_Sylver » Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:18 am

I've always read Blast to provide the standard area effect dodge... one of the reasons I'm surprised that it's a Novice level power. Though, come to think of it, I've been using the shorter range of 12/24/48 for Blast, so I've been short-changing it.

Another question about are effects: Why no Line attacks? I know there's some effort put into trying to make SW as little like other rule sets as possible, the the concept of a line attack is still viable. In fact, I generally allow my players that take the Burst power to narrow the effect to a line, but it doesn't get any longer for the trade-off, casting at -2 to tighten the burst.

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#6 Postby doswelk » Sat Oct 16, 2010 4:10 am

Merlin_Sylver wrote:I've always read Blast to provide the standard area effect dodge... one of the reasons I'm surprised that it's a Novice level power. Though, come to think of it, I've been using the shorter range of 12/24/48 for Blast, so I've been short-changing it.

Another question about are effects: Why no Line attacks? I know there's some effort put into trying to make SW as little like other rule sets as possible, the the concept of a line attack is still viable. In fact, I generally allow my players that take the Burst power to narrow the effect to a line, but it doesn't get any longer for the trade-off, casting at -2 to tighten the burst.


That's what the Jet power is for isn't it?

12" long bolt/stream 1" wide.

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#7 Postby Merlin_Sylver » Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:18 am

doswelk wrote:That's what the Jet power is for isn't it?

12" long bolt/stream 1" wide.

Found in the Fantasy Companion.


Ah, I've yet to get the Fantasy Companion... basically have just been dealing with the basic powers, and the smattering that comes with DLR. Must look into this...

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#8 Postby AFDia » Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:24 am

A 3d6 Blast average damage is 12,6
A 2d10 Burst average damage is 12,2

So the Blast does more damage.
I think Blast is much more powerful than Burst, because of the huge range, the missing chance to avoid damage and the higher average damage.

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#9 Postby elf23 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:36 am

I'm confused now as to whether blast does or does not allow the standard "diving for cover" reaction... I always assumed it did, but there's been some comments in this thread that make me doubt that now! :) I guess maybe it depends on the trappings to some degree? (With burst it's clear, as an avoidance roll is actually written into the power's description.)
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#10 Postby Merlin_Sylver » Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:47 am

AFDia wrote:A 3d6 Blast average damage is 12,6
A 2d10 Burst average damage is 12,2

So the Blast does more damage.
I think Blast is much more powerful than Burst, because of the huge range, the missing chance to avoid damage and the higher average damage.


Actually, both powers have an option to do 3 dice of damage. A standard Blast costs 2 points, and deals 2d6 damage to a Medium Template, while Burst also costs 2 points and deals 2d10 damage. They both have an option to spend an additional 2 points to get the third damage die, so PP for PP, Burst will deal out better damage. And they both are area effects, therefore they both can be avoided for less damage. The only things Blast have over Burst[/i] is the potential to spend 2 more points to make the area larger, and it's massive range. It is the range that finally convinced me that Blast IS indeed better than Burst, and thus deserving of the higher rank. [/i]

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#11 Postby islan » Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:49 am

Merlin_Sylver wrote:I've always read Blast to provide the standard area effect dodge... one of the reasons I'm surprised that it's a Novice level power.


Blast is a Seasoned level power, Burst is Novice.

The whole thing behind Roll to Dodge I've interpreted as whether or not you "see it coming."

When someone throws a grenade at you, it lands at your feet but still takes a few seconds to actually go off. Therefore, it gives you the chance to dive away. Whereas a Blast, it just instantly explodes.

As for Burst, I see it as the magical version of the flamethrower as far as mechanics are concerned, which lets people dive out of the way because they can see this gushing flame coming right at them, but isn't instantaneous (I don't know if that's how it actually works, I'm not familiar with flame throwers IRL). Personally, if the trapping for Burst was a bolt of lightning, I would not allow the dive for cover, but that's just a personal taste on trappings.

And as for appeasing the RAW-hounds out there, note what it says under Diving for Cover (SWEE2nd pg. 65): "Thrown weapons ... and most artillery allow ... Give targets who saw the danger coming ... "

So as an add-on, if it's not obvious then prepare to use those Notice checks!

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#12 Postby Merlin_Sylver » Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:52 am

elf23 wrote:I'm confused now as to whether blast does or does not allow the standard "diving for cover" reaction... I always assumed it did, but there's been some comments in this thread that make me doubt that now! :) I guess maybe it depends on the trappings to some degree? (With burst it's clear, as an avoidance roll is actually written into the power's description.)


The Power description doesn't mention anything about an avoidance roll, but the Area Effect rules pretty much indicate that any sort of Templated attack gives the 'diving for cover' roll. In NE, the Area Effect Ranged Attack power (which operates very much like Blast) explicityly DOES mention an avoidance roll.

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#13 Postby Merlin_Sylver » Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:58 am

islan wrote:
Merlin_Sylver wrote:I've always read Blast to provide the standard area effect dodge... one of the reasons I'm surprised that it's a Novice level power.


Blast is a Seasoned level power, Burst is Novice.

The whole thing behind Roll to Dodge I've interpreted as whether or not you "see it coming."

When someone throws a grenade at you, it lands at your feet but still takes a few seconds to actually go off. Therefore, it gives you the chance to dive away. Whereas a Blast, it just instantly explodes.

As for Burst, I see it as the magical version of the flamethrower as far as mechanics are concerned, which lets people dive out of the way because they can see this gushing flame coming right at them, but isn't instantaneous (I don't know if that's how it actually works, I'm not familiar with flame throwers IRL). Personally, if the trapping for Burst was a bolt of lightning, I would not allow the dive for cover, but that's just a personal taste on trappings.

And as for appeasing the RAW-hounds out there, note what it says under Diving for Cover (SWEE2nd pg. 65): "Thrown weapons ... and most artillery allow ... Give targets who saw the danger coming ... "

So as an add-on, if it's not obvious then prepare to use those Notice checks!


I know Blast is Seasoned, I referenced that in my original post on the matter... what I meant to, and failed spectacularly, convey with the post you referenced was that because they both got rolls to avoid, I was suprised that Burst is Novice, while Blast is Seasoned...

However, upon reading your rationale as to why thrown weapons get the area effect dodge effect, I begin to think I've short-changed Blast even more...

Still, in NE, the power decriptions DO allow for area effect dodges for Blast-like effects... what a quandary.

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#14 Postby islan » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:20 am

Merlin_Sylver wrote:The Power description doesn't mention anything about an avoidance roll, but the Area Effect rules pretty much indicate that any sort of Templated attack gives the 'diving for cover' roll. In NE, the Area Effect Ranged Attack power (which operates very much like Blast) explicityly DOES mention an avoidance roll.


Merlin_Sylver wrote:Still, in NE, the power decriptions DO allow for area effect dodges for Blast-like effects... what a quandary.


And that's a trapping for that particular setting. AoE attacks do not give Diving for Cover unless it specifically says so or the GM interprets the effect on a case-by-case basis. What it all comes down to is two things:

Can the character see it coming?

And do they have the time to dive out of the way?

If the answer to both is yes, then Dive for Cover! The reason I believe both thrown and artillery are pointed out as granting it is because (1) thrown weapons are relatively slow and obvious and (2) artillery usually makes that whistling sound that causes the platoon to dive for cover, like in all those WW2 movies. How they ever know the artillery is heading for them, I'll never know...
Last edited by islan on Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#15 Postby Merlin_Sylver » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:24 am

Ah, so the vast majority of my understanding of the Blast power is askew... it all makes sense now. I suppose I was still using the D20 rationale of "that's an area effect... make a Reflex save for half damage".

At any rate, my confusion on the matter is now sated. Thanks!

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#16 Postby islan » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:45 am

Merlin_Sylver wrote:Ah, so the vast majority of my understanding of the Blast power is askew... it all makes sense now. I suppose I was still using the D20 rationale of "that's an area effect... make a Reflex save for half damage".

At any rate, my confusion on the matter is now sated. Thanks!


And remember, if that's how you want Blast to work for a particular setting, by all means go with it. Though you might want to make it better in some other way, like a reduced PP cost.

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#17 Postby Merlin_Sylver » Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:23 am

islan wrote:And remember, if that's how you want Blast to work for a particular setting, by all means go with it. Though you might want to make it better in some other way, like a reduced PP cost.


No, in fact, this little exercise has shown me WHY Blast is better than Burst, and indeed it is. I've been struggling with this concept from when I first laid eyes on Savage Worlds about 3 years ago... I just made assumptions about Area Effects, but after your succinct explanations on the topic, and after re-reading the core rules regarding diving for cover, I realize I've been mis-handling the whole concept of Area Effects. Again, it's largely due to my D20 'taint'...

No, what I would rather do is reward a clever player that comes up with an interesting trapping for Burst by making it harder for those caught within to make their Agility rolls... like an invisible pummeling force that can't be seen. Most of my players want flashy effects for their powers, though, so I don't see that happening.

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#18 Postby elf23 » Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:53 am

Merlin_Sylver wrote:Ah, so the vast majority of my understanding of the Blast power is askew... it all makes sense now. I suppose I was still using the D20 rationale of "that's an area effect... make a Reflex save for half damage".

At any rate, my confusion on the matter is now sated. Thanks!

Me too I think! (The D&D / d20 "save for half damage" rationale.) That all makes sense now... Thanks for your explanations islan!
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#19 Postby islan » Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:24 am

You're welcome. :-D

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#20 Postby ValhallaGH » Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:49 am

islan wrote:The reason I believe both thrown and artillery are pointed out as granting it is because (1) thrown weapons are relatively slow and obvious and (2) artillery usually makes that whistling sound that causes the platoon to dive for cover, like in all those WW2 movies. How they ever know the artillery is heading for them, I'll never know...


Incoming sounds different from outgoing. And incoming headed for you sounds different from incoming headed elsewhere nearby (though incoming headed for your poss generally is a lot quieter than any other incoming, hence the "you never hear the one that gets you" line).
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