Massive to-hit rolls and player disappointment

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strongbif
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Massive to-hit rolls and player disappointment

#1 Postby strongbif » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:05 am

Savage Worlds handles damage very elegantly, and I enjoy the practice of adding 1d6 damage to an attack if any raises are rolled. However, I have run into the situation a couple of times where Aced dice led players to score astronomically high on their to-hit roll. Their glee fades quickly when they discover that, mechanics-wise, it amounts to the same thing as rolling a single raise. I have pointed out that the intent behind the rule is to let players quit rolling after one raise to speed things up, but I find that players love rerolling aces under any circumstances and don't mind delaying the game for it. They're going to keep rolling anyway, so I want sustained player glee when they roll 25 or something on Fighting or Shooting.

In those cases, instead of counting raises, I propose a houserule that if a player obviously rolls way, way above one raise, it should confer some special benefit above and beyond +1d6 to damage.

A few such possible benefits have crossed my mind, and I'd like to run them by you:

* Everyone gets a bennie
* Player gets a second immediate free attack at no penalty
* Target gains a fatigue level regardless of the damage roll results
* Player may spend bennies on the subsequent damage roll
* Player may treat the attack as a called shot, even if it wasn't
* Player may immediately make a Test of Wills against any target as a free action
* Some combination or choice among these options
* Other?

What do you think?
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#2 Postby islan » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:10 am

I'd say go with "Some combination or choice among these options," though I would specify that it is "your" (the GM's) choice. Feel free to reward players with varying prizes, I'm sure it would make it much more exciting.

I would say, though, to only give the bennie to player making the roll, rather than everyone. But really, just do whatever feels appropriate to any given situation.

PS

I really like that you went with a rewards system, rather than going with progressive damage bonus. It sounds like you really get the idea of Savage Worlds. :wink:

I think I will be, ahem, "borrowing" your ideas here. :-D

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#3 Postby Dewbakuk » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:31 am

I'd go with giving the player who rolled a benny and maybe throw in something that suits the situation.
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Re: Massive to-hit rolls and player disappointment

#4 Postby Clint » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:36 am

strongbif wrote:* Target gains a fatigue level regardless of the damage roll results
* Player may treat the attack as a called shot, even if it wasn't


I would not recommend either of these purely as listed. For one, Fatigue is more debilitating than causing a wound really and much worse than being Shaken. And on the other, there would be no point to make a Called Shot if you can still get the effect without the chance of missing entirely.

Personally, if the players are the kind that just have to roll the dice, then perhaps the best option I've ever seen is the Tiered Bonus Die.

1 Raise = +1d4
2 Raises = +1d6
3 Raises = +1d8
4 Raises = +1d10
5 Raises = +1d12

And that's it. It's not capped at one raise, but it is capped at 5 Raises. At that point, great, you've rolled 20+ over what you needed to hit, but it's time to move on to damage so the other players get a turn too. ;)

Still, they do get a bonus effect for up to 5 raises, it's a simple effect to remember as it follows the standard dice progression, and I think it has the least impact on the system overall of any options I've seen offered. I suppose it could even be less if it only applied to Wild Cards and Extras still got the flat bonus +1d6 for a single capped raise.

It's an option, though I will say some of the ideas posted above are very similar to thoughts on optional alternate effects of a raise on an attack roll that have been worked on. And I think Matt uses a house rule for getting a benny for a hitting an extremely high roll.
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#5 Postby screenmonkey » Tue Apr 20, 2010 9:45 am

The original way it was handled (i.e +2 damage per raise on the attack roll) always kept my players happy (they didn't even notice the Called Shots hiccup) and we played that way for years.

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#6 Postby Poor Wandering One » Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:43 am

I like the "Everybody gets a benny!" option for 3 reasons.

1. It's like the fight is heating up and now it is time to bring on more awesome.

2. Rolling that many aces is a pure random event so it should not reward one player more than another or even one side more than another. Giving everybody a bennie provides everyone more resources with out giving anyone an advantage.

3. I tend to play a bit over the top and more bennies means more crazy stunts.

Mind you I would only avtivate this rule if a roll got at least 4 aces on the same die.

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#7 Postby jpk » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:12 am

We've actually had great success in our group by giving out a bennie reward for people who don't just keep rolling to see how irrelevantly high they can get a number. I've honestly been amazed at how much it speeds combat up. Truly.

I also realize this will not be the most popular plan out there. Sigh, if only you'd all think like I do. Oh, wait...please, don't do that. Please!

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#8 Postby Talison » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:37 am

Players do love to keep rolling. I have one guy who keeps rolling aces so he can see that his total damage was 64 vs a human thug who is an extra. I'm like, "you rolled over 12, you are good."

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#9 Postby GranFalloon » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:58 am

I give everyone the No Mercy edge. It doesn't give any extra bonus to folks that make many many raises, but it does help prevent the ol', "Hit with three raises! Yes! And I do... four damage..."

That's happened to my group more than once, including a called shot to the head where the attack roll was astronomical, but just ended up shaking the fella. I think you'll find your players will spend bennies on damage rolls when they hit with a million raises, rather than with one, just because they want to do that amazing attack roll justice.

Perhaps that should be it, after a certain number of raises, you get a benny that you may only spend on that damage roll.

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#10 Postby TeknoMerk » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:04 pm

I've wondered about what to do for the case of multiple raises for attacks. I just tossed a bennie to the player, but I kind of like the tiered damage idea as well. I will try that in our next campaign game.
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#11 Postby islan » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:06 pm

GranFalloon wrote:Perhaps that should be it, after a certain number of raises, you get a benny that you may only spend on that damage roll.


Maybe one bennie for every Raise above the first, but all bennies must be used on that one damage roll? After the damage is dealt, all remaining bennies just disappear.

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#12 Postby 77IM » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:29 pm

Maybe, instead of +1d6 damage for one raise, say that for each raise, you may reroll damage once. So two raises, you are rolling damage 3 times and taking the best one (making it very likely to Ace on at least one of those). This sounds like it would slow the game down tremendously, but if most of your fights are between relatively few participants, it could work.

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#13 Postby AtomicTeaspoon » Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:18 pm

If people insist on adding dmg based on raises, I'd say +1 for each raise after the first. Of course this depends on the gamestyle, but I wouldnt be excited about adding anything else to bog down the gameplay. Considering impossible circumstances, like a character with high parry, dim lighting, etc. passing the threshhold is that much more effective with raises.

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#14 Postby 77IM » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:59 pm

You could try adding a "special effect" per raise, such as:
- Knocked prone
- Sent flying 1" per raise
- Pace -1 per raise, on their next action
- Victim must make a Strength check at -1 per raise, or else drop their weapon (a softer version of Disarm)
- Victim is at -1 per raise against any Trick/Test of Wills you perform against them on your next action

These mix-and-match so you have to "spend" your raises on them. For example, if you get 6 raises on the attack, you could deal +1d6 damage, send the victim flying 2", and impose a -3 penalty to their Pace. This would obviously slow the game down, but may lead to more crazy fun attack results.

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#15 Postby Takeda » Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:43 pm

I like what Clint's put forward but the GM of the Weird Wars game we're playing in has gone for +1d6 dmg for 1-2 raises, +2d6 for 3-4 raises and +3d6 for 5+ raises. It is a bit more generous but doesn't come into it too often. Although I did roll a 43 to hit recently ... on a d10. Bizarre to Ace that many times on a d10 ... we practically shook the house with our roars of shock, surprise and glee.

Any Wild Card can do this though ... not just the PCs so this could be nasty for us too. Non-Wild Cards use the Rules As Written.

Apparently I hit the guy in the exact eyelash I was aiming for at 7" away with a 9mm Luger. It was pretty cool!
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#16 Postby razorwise » Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:50 pm

jpk wrote:We've actually had great success in our group by giving out a bennie reward for people who don't just keep rolling to see how irrelevantly high they can get a number. I've honestly been amazed at how much it speeds combat up. Truly.

I also realize this will not be the most popular plan out there. Sigh, if only you'd all think like I do. Oh, wait...please, don't do that. Please!


This I like. Tremendously. I think I've found a new house rule after all these years. Oh joy!

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#17 Postby Takeda » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:27 am

Well, for GM's it's important 'during' rolling to say Hit and Raise as the numbers come up. If nobody knows the number they need to hit because of spells, powers, etc. of course the player will keep rolling.

I'm speaking of myself too so I'll be doing that from now on.
Dean: "Ya' know she could be faking."

Sam: "Yeah, what do you wanna do, poke her with a stick?"

[Dean nods]

Sam: "Dude, you're not gonna poke her with a stick?"

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#18 Postby chugosh » Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:17 pm

I tried that at my latest game, letting the players know what they were rolling for, and it worked pretty well. Sped things up nicely.

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#19 Postby strongbif » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:56 pm

Wow- a lot of great ideas. Thanks!

I'm undecided between giving the player No Mercy for the subsequent damage roll, Clint's stepped bonus die, and giving bennies to players who forego excess rolls. I must ruminate.
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#20 Postby Clint » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:25 pm

strongbif wrote:...and giving bennies to players who forego excess rolls.


I would just note like Joel said that if you can get your players into this habit, you may end up amazed how much faster combat runs. Plus, it's not like the mega-aced roll isn't still in the game; it's just limited to damage rolls where it does have an effect. We know it's fun; we're just promoting moderation. ;)
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