[SFC] Energy Shields

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DoctorBoson
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[SFC] Energy Shields

#1 Postby DoctorBoson » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:01 pm

I know it's a little early to be homebrewing the new companion, but I had an idea regarding the personal energy shields. Effectively, they only provide a flat armor bonus against attacks, but this doesn't really mesh with the view that a lot of people have regarding energy shields. (Keep in mind that this is about infantry shields; vehicle, ship, and mech shielding is spot on the money!)

To emulate the feel of these other shields from games such as Halo, StarCraft, Mass Effect, Planetside 2, etc, I effectively make shields an "Extra" to soak damage for you.

I give energy shields a power rating: 4 if very weak, 6 at normal, 8 if it's very strong, and 10 if it's incredibly powerful. This counts as the shields Toughness value. Damage that would normally result in a Shaken (6-9 in the case of an average shield) will put shields "In the Red". They aren't down, but they are unreasonably low and can't stand much more punishment. A Raise over this shield's Toughness simply dissolves the shield and the hero takes damage normally (any excess damage from this wound applies to the wearer as usual... a simple little shield wouldn't normally stop a tank from barreling you down). AP values only affects shields if it was from a Heavy Weapon (like the aforementioned tank).

The biggest proponent to energy shields, though, is that most of them recharge! At the beginning of the wearer's next action, roll a d6. On a 5 or more, the shield recharges to "In the Red" (Shaken). On their next action, roll again, with a 5 or 6 denoting the shields back up to full strength (Unshaken). Energy Shields shouldn't break from normal damage, though a GM might make a ruling in special cases that they've malfunctioned, gone offline, or something similar.

The specifics can be tweaked per setting, but the gist is that Energy Shields are Extras that take damage before you do.

Any comments or critiques? Having tested this in a Halo conversion that I'm messing with, I personally like it a lot, but I'm not sure if I'm overlooking something or have extraneous steps thrown in.

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#2 Postby ValhallaGH » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:24 pm

It might get a bit dull, all that extra rolling, and tracking if shields are up, Red, or down. For a Halo example, when your team is fighting a squad (6+) of Elites, tracking all of those shield states would probably be a pain for the GM.
Plus, the target now has an extra 4/8, 6/10, 8/12, or 10/14 points of Toughness, as the shield absorbs damage. Getting run over by a tank is a lot less threatening when a soldier has Toughness 9 (4) with a Toughness 6 shield - effectively, the tank needs to deal 19 collision damage to deal one wound to a run-of-the-mill toughness (at 1d6 per 5" of pace, and 4.2 damage per d6, that's a Pace of 25+ to average 21.0 damage per collision; none of the Modern Fighting Vehicles, including the Abrams, have a Top Speed above 24).
So, with a full (standard) shield, even an Extra can expect to survive being run over by a main battle tank.

Gameplay: There are similar concepts floating around these forums (mostly in the Mass Effect conversion threads), and they all were observed to slow down combat (not in an unanticipated way, but it definitely felt like grinding away at foes).
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#3 Postby The One » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:49 pm

Free soak rolls, with a set strength is a fairly quick method, and you can vary shield strength by die type, and number of soak rolls it can attempt. To keep the game flowing, only allow one soak roll, regardless of the source.

E.g. a civilian shield might be d6 with 2 rolls allowed, whilst a military tank warrents a d12 with 8 rolls.
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#4 Postby Clint » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:50 pm

It kind of sounds like you want them to be ablative, so why not just make them that way.

A shield provides +X Armor. If the character suffers 1 or more wounds, the shield absorbs 1 wound (negating it) but shuts down. A shut down shield then reactivates on a 5-6 on a d6 at the beginning of the character's next round (and maybe a Benny can be spent to allow a roll at any time, great potential for tension there).

That way the "In The Red" situation would simply be whenever the character is Shaken by damage as a basic success would cause a wound and disable the shield.
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#5 Postby OSIAdept » Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:27 pm

Thats roughly how i did my EKF (Electro-Kinetic Fortification) idea for a shield enhanced armor.

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#6 Postby bigmac133 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:41 am

I took part in a post apocalyptic game for a single session run on savage words, a couple of the PC's had managed to get shields in it and shield stats had three things to keep track of.

Max rating = how strong it was initially (D4 to D12)
current rating = the current dice type it is on
recharge = the dice used to add "layers" back on the shield (D4 to D12_

if a shield rating = D8 and any damage was taken you would roll a D8, reduce the damage by that amount, then apply damage normally and then reduce the shields dice type

EG - JIMMY is hit for 12 damage by a AK-47 rolls a 5 on his D8 shield so only 7 damage is recieved.
jimmy then reduces the shields Dice type by 1 to a D6 shield

after the battle Jimmy then rolls the recharge dice and adds a dice type (up to the max rating) for each success and raise. the recharge dice can also be rolled as an action if no hit has been scored vs the character.


i know this is VERY overcomplicated but with some tweaks i think it could work...
I like how the shields are hard as hell to get through to start with but as soon as the begin failing you feel super squishy again
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#7 Postby Jounichi » Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:32 pm

I have no problem with personal shields as they're described in the SFC, but if you want something that can soak wounds and come back up, why not opt for a modded z-belt from NE?

The belt can soak a free wound for you as long as it's charged. If it takes a wound, it's down. If you can go x number of rounds without taking further shaken results or wounds, it's back up.
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#8 Postby ValhallaGH » Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:56 pm

Jounichi wrote:why not opt for a modded z-belt from NE?

That's pretty much exactly what Clint suggested earlier.
Clint wrote:A shield provides +X Armor. If the character suffers 1 or more wounds, the shield absorbs 1 wound (negating it) but shuts down. A shut down shield then reactivates on a 5-6 on a d6 at the beginning of the character's next round (and maybe a Benny can be spent to allow a roll at any time, great potential for tension there).
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#9 Postby DoctorBoson » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:00 pm

You and Clint nailed it (Clint's version also added a bit of Armor as well). I've been using it for all of my Energy Shield settings and it's going swimmingly.


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