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  • #16
    Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post

    So, any yahoo with a Barrett Light Fifty (found in the core rules) can reliably kill a space ship if the Coulborne Shield is down, and it is a reasonable (2d10, AP 4, HW) weapon for killing space craft even if the Coulborne Shield is up (average 12.2 damage, AP 4, Heavy Weapon, versus Toughness 14 (10) forces an Out of Control roll with every hit).
    That's my concern if the rules are treated as written. It seems reasonable to assume that there is a "spacecraft" scale that is at least a magnitude greater than the normal scale of effect implied. If the ship had instead a base toughness of 40 and the Coulborne shield adds 100 points of armor then it takes a very lucky shot from the sniper rifle to have an effect. However stating ships and ship weaponry at the normal scale can lead to some weird results. For example, if we also multiply the damage x10 and what was a 3d6 missile rolls a 16, what would have resulted in a Shaken result against anToughness 14 instead causes 5 wounds if we convert the damage to 160 against a toughness of 140. I'm willing to believe that any spacecraft weapon would instakill any person directly hit.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post
      So, any yahoo with a Barrett Light Fifty (found in the core rules) can reliably kill a space ship if the Coulborne Shield is down...
      Sure he can! Assuming the GM allows the yahoo to get his hands on the M2 of course. Said M2 can also destroy space fighter ships from the Daring Tales of the Space Lanes series, or the Fighter- and even Scout-Ship-sized spaceships from the Savage Worlds Science-Fiction Companion. The Seven Worlds spaceship total Toughness+Armor are almost equivalent with the ship stats in those (or other) science-fiction settings.

      Now, from the list of weapons listed in the Seven Worlds Setting Guide (the weapons that will usually be available to characters in the campaign) only the Plastic Explosive is HW (and, full disclosure, that's a bug that is going to get fixed in the next iteration). So humans-destroying-ships-by-shooting-at-them-with-hand-weapons should not be an issue the way the game is written..

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      • #18
        Originally posted by wmarshal View Post
        On page 140 of the setting book there is an example of a neutron missile being used. In the example it is mentioned that the neutron missile has an AP value of 6. I cannot find the AP value for the neutron missile (or any other missile) described anywhere else in the book. Are some of the space ship weapon descriptions missing?
        The values for the Neutron, nuclear and NNEMP missiles (including AP) are listed under each ship in the Battleships section at the end of the book. The description for the Voyager on page 190 also shows that information.

        Having said that, those stats should be in a single place, and they were! The problem here is that the Starship Ammo Table on page 119 is missing the AP column (We missed this in layout, thanks for helping me catch this!). I'm going to talk to the layout artist so he can restore that column. While that is done and the PDF with all the consolidated errata comes out, here are all starship weapons with damage and AP:

        Kinetic Missile: 3d6 AP 8
        Nuclear Missile: 2d10 AP 12
        Neutron Missile: 3d6 AP 10
        NNEMP Missile: 3d6 AP 10
        Kinetic Coilgun Projectile: 3d10 AP 12
        Nuclear Coilgun Projectile: 4d10 AP 14
        Neutron Coilgun Projectile: 3d10 AP 12
        NNEMP Coilgun projectile: 4d8 AP 12
        Kinetic Cloud Projectile: 2d4 AP 8
        Nuclear Cloud Projectile: 3d4 AP 8
        Neutron Cloud Projectile: 2d4 AP 8
        NNEMP Cloud Projectile: 2d4 AP 8

        This takes us to the second problem: Two examples from page 140 are using a previous edition of the damage stats (from one of the playtests previous to the final one). While the examples hold, the stats have to be changed. The first example on page 140 should say "Suppose the McKenna were hit by a Neutron Missile (3d6 damage plus ten points of Armor Piercing). The GM rolls damage for the missile and gets a 5...." The second example should say "Suppose the McKenna were hit by an NNEMP Missile (3d6 damage plus ten points of Armor Piercing). The GM rolls damage for the missile and gets an 8..."

        Again, thanks for helping me catch these two I'll get them updated as well.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by luisto View Post
          Sure he can! Assuming the GM allows the yahoo to get his hands on the M2 of course.
          I was talking about the M82 series sniper rifles, since the M2 General Purpose Heavy Machine Gun isn't really usable as a personal weapon.
          But my point stands. If your Seven Worlds space craft end up fighting folks with The Great War technology, then the folks with the earliest examples of modern machine guns will devastate - or outright destroy - the high-end space craft.

          If they pull out anti-aircraft guns, such as the Flak 16, then the civilization that has barely achieved heavier-than-air flight will win the battle against the space-faring civilization.

          Said M2 can also destroy space fighter ships from the Daring Tales of the Space Lanes series, or the Fighter- and even Scout-Ship-sized spaceships from the Savage Worlds Science-Fiction Companion. The Seven Worlds spaceship total Toughness+Armor are almost equivalent with the ship stats in those (or other) science-fiction settings.
          While technically true (any Heavy Weapon can kill any Heavy Armor target in Savage Worlds thanks to Acing damage), this is a very misleading and inaccurate statement.
          The Science Fiction Companion Fighters have at least Toughness 20 (5) - and that's for an ultra-light model that doesn't have the optional +2 to +12 Armor plating or 60 hit point shield generators. And Toughness 20 (5) is a heck of a lot more durable than Toughness 14 (10).
          Returning to my M82 example, it has a 33.4% chance to deal at least 14 damage, inflicting one Wound and one Critical Hit (which could cause a Wrecked condition) to the Seven Worlds ship, but it only has a 11.8% chance to deal the 20 or more damage required to do the same thing to the Science Fiction Compaion fighter craft.
          This means that the Seven Worlds space craft is more than four times as likely to be seriously damaged by a 150 year old weapon system that has trouble killing Hind attack helicopters.

          I'm not saying this to attack you or your setting. I'm trying to point out why this particular design decision (very low numbers for space craft Toughness) causes problems of consistency and verisimilitude. Problems that would be easily solved by doubling the ship values. Seriously, Toughness 28 (20) is definitely reliant upon the Coulborne Shield but it has a 2.37% chance to be seriously hurt by an M82.
          Last edited by ValhallaGH; 12-18-2017, 07:04 PM.
          I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

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          • #20
            Thank you, ValhallaGH, for explaining all your reasoning. I appreciate it, and don't feel it like an attack at all, rather like a very-well-documented questioning of the design decisions behind the space battles model. And thanks for making me think again about (and reevaluate) all the decisions I made in the course of creating the game!

            During design I made two underlying, implicit assumptions which I should explain now to give some background:

            1. Regardless of what the Savage Worlds stats and numbers say, in Seven Worlds it is taken as a given that 19th- and 20th-century weapons are significantly inferior to their 23rd century counterparts. No attempt to balance or keep consistency between weapon stats of different eras is assumed, intended, or expected. Instead more focus was given to reskinning stats and adding special rules for weapons (in the Gear section) where appropriate. Additionally, "damage inflation" was something that had to be avoided altogether. In the context of the game it is obvious that there is no comparison between 23rd and 20th century weapons. So even if mechanically weapons can be compared (and what you say could happen) in the made-up reality of the game there is nothing to compare. In other words, if an M82 made its appearance in the game (something I never even considered as a possibility) its stats would be significantly inferior to what is listed. I won't even try to figure out what they should be since it's easier to assume it will not be significant against 23rd century tools.

            2. You may have noticed that I have written some adventures and modules for Triple Ace Games' Daring Tales of the Space Lanes. In those years of writing, playing and testing that I became familiar with the stats damage for starships in that game. The balance of ships in Seven Worlds follows very closely the overall top and bottom numbers for DTotSL's great Starships of the Galaxy supplement, which details dozens of starships configurations, including their Toughness and Armor. When designing Seven Worlds it made a lot of sense to me to follow a Toughness scale that I am familiar with and that I know from experience that works. In DTotSL about half of the ships listed in the supplement have Toughness+Armor of 24 or less. Coupled with point #1 (the only consistency I'm looking for is consistency with gear listed in Seven Worlds itself), then the internal balance of the game is there (HW/Heavy Armor is enough in this context) and the main tweaks needed were to the specific rules, the balance with shielding, and Heat.

            The two design decisions I made above lead to a system with stats as listed today. I agree there are other alternatives, but this is the model that Seven Worlds implemented. After all of my playtesting with friends and at conventions I can say that in my opinion the system seems to hold up very well. I'm sure player feedback and playtesting will help it become even better!

            Hope this background helps make sense of how those numbers came about, and how in the internal consistency of the game it should not be possible for ships to be killed by simple pistols, or for 20th century weapons to overpowered 23rd ones, numbers aside.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by luisto View Post

              Hadn't really considered it. If there's enough interest, though, I could work on making a sub-section of the Setting Guide, players-only, available
              Yes please. Some potted history and all the stuff they need to create characters would be nice.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by luisto View Post
                Thank you, ValhallaGH, for explaining all your reasoning. I appreciate it, and don't feel it like an attack at all, rather like a very-well-documented questioning of the design decisions behind the space battles model. And thanks for making me think again about (and reevaluate) all the decisions I made in the course of creating the game!
                Glad to be helpful. And thank you for sharing your assumptions.

                I feel the need to respond to them. I'm not entirely sure if this is a desire for continued positive and rational discourse, or a primal need to argue (I'm from one of those families). If it is the latter, my apologies for wasting time.

                1. There's a hidden assumption in this. Specifically, since these older weapons are "inferior technology" and have reduced stats, that they are somehow worse at killing humans than when they were created.
                This is a false assumption I used to run into a lot when it came to archery. I don't understand why people had trouble understanding that a 30" piece of wood through the torso was generally fatal, no matter the century. Similarly, 50 grams of metal moving through a human body at 800-900 meters / second is going to be generally fatal, no matter the century.
                Reducing the damage of older technology implies that human beings are harder to kill than they have been in past centuries. Sharp rocks all over the globe refute such an implication.

                2. This makes a lot of sense, and I totally respect starting from a point of comfort and familiarity.
                Heavy Weapon and Heavy Armor is, indeed, an elegant game mechanic to dictate which scales of threat a weapon is or a target needs to worry about. I've argued so several times (even for a Toughness 3 (1)).
                I like this and respect this, but I think the numbers should have a relation to established benchmarks. Ignoring those bechmarks takes us back to my issues with point 1, and I already covered that.
                I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

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                • #23
                  @ValhallaGH: I have no final say in the Seven Worlds final edit, but what do you think about the idea of keeping the numbers the same, but acknowledging (as a house rule) that stats for spaceships and their weapons operate on a different scale from normal/personal weapons? if an interaction between the two scales is necessary then the Stats and damage for spaceships and their weapons should be multiplied by 10?

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                  • ValhallaGH
                    ValhallaGH commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I've seen it before, and while it has some issues (it becomes impossible for people to survive hits from vehicular weapons, despite demonstrable evidence that people survive all kinds of stupidity), it's an effective rule of thumb.
                    As a Setting Rule it is workable, and sometimes fun.

                    ... I was going to say it goes too far in the other direction, but the weapons are described as nuclear mass acceleration warheads. The results may not be extreme enough.

                • #24
                  Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post

                  Glad to be helpful. And thank you for sharing your assumptions.

                  I feel the need to respond to them. I'm not entirely sure if this is a desire for continued positive and rational discourse, or a primal need to argue (I'm from one of those families). If it is the latter, my apologies for wasting time.
                  Not at all, extremely cool and thought-provoking conversation, enjoying it a lot

                  Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post
                  1. There's a hidden assumption in this. Specifically, since these older weapons are "inferior technology" and have reduced stats, that they are somehow worse at killing humans than when they were created.
                  This is a false assumption I used to run into a lot when it came to archery....

                  2. This makes a lot of sense, and I totally respect starting from a point of comfort and familiarity.
                  Heavy Weapon and Heavy Armor is, indeed, an elegant game mechanic to dictate which scales of threat a weapon is or a target needs to worry about...
                  I couldn't agree more with both your points, especially the incorrect idea about older weapons being "worse at killing" than futuristic ones. In fact, I make that point in a sidebar in the book, on page 114. That's why I think it's so tricky to try to talk about lethality and keep the stats/numbers mapping in SW while having the conversation.

                  In Seven Worlds most weapons are kinetic/ballistic, not "blasters", "disintegrators" or other traditional science-fiction stuff. In fact, the weapon the characters use looks a lot like the guns in the Battlestar Galactica reboot.

                  When conceiving what would future weapons do differently, the idea in Seven Worlds was to apply a scientific bent on it. For example, imagine the next level of intelligent bullets: The bullet enters the body and if it stays there, it does a quick analysis of the impact it's created in the target's system: hemorrhage? lowered heart pressure? Based on this, the bullet can release nanobots (another technology available in Seven Worlds) to do further damage, clot an artery, release poison, attack a specific body part, etc. Depending on its "death estimate" the bullet could even communicate with the gun that shot it and tell it to not bother shooting at this target anymore because death is imminent, thus giving the shooter valuable information on who to focus on next.

                  The net effect of these improvements is more lethality but not by having "damage die inflation" but by having the weapons independently help kill the enemy. There are no game mechanics for this, it is just assumed in the damage die lethality rate. But the "trapping" of smarter ballistic/kinetic weapons is there for the science-fiction flavor.

                  Does this mean that a 20th century weapon is "inferior at killing"? Yes in the sense that the 20th century weapon is "dumber", but not in the sense that damage is a dX instead of a dY, or that it is any less lethal per se...

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                  • #25
                    Originally posted by wmarshal View Post
                    @ValhallaGH: I have no final say in the Seven Worlds final edit, but what do you think about the idea of keeping the numbers the same, but acknowledging (as a house rule) that stats for spaceships and their weapons operate on a different scale from normal/personal weapons? if an interaction between the two scales is necessary then the Stats and damage for spaceships and their weapons should be multiplied by 10?
                    If I were running a Seven Worlds game and my players tried to attack a spaceship with shields using a hand weapon, I'd just say "nothing happens" (no roll needed) and move on... and if one of my players used a spaceship weapon to attack a character or a simple vehicle (e.g. a car), I'd just say "it is completely destroyed, the target dies" (no roll needed either) and move on as well... but that's just me, maybe I'm a tyrannical GM I'd love to see what house rules you and other players come out with, and how they work out! If it hangs together and works it'd make perfect sense to add it to the rules at some point in the future.

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                    • #26
                      Originally posted by luisto View Post
                      The net effect of these improvements is more lethality but not by having "damage die inflation" but by having the weapons independently help kill the enemy. There are no game mechanics for this, it is just assumed in the damage die lethality rate. But the "trapping" of smarter ballistic/kinetic weapons is there for the science-fiction flavor.
                      Huh. I think it's a shame you didn't decide on mechanics for smart bullets; I'd love to see them. But, considering the simplicity of Savage Worlds, it would probably work like a poison or disease.

                      Great call not increasing damage just to increase damage. That's one of the design approaches that Savage Worlds has been consistent about, and is really great. Bows and crossbows deal 2d6 damage, handguns usually deal 2d6 AP 1, hand lasers deal 2d6 AP 2, and so forth; advances are differentiated by small changes to weight, shots, range, armor penetration, and interactions with armor.
                      Having weapons be firearms that fire better bullets is a reasonable extrapolation of personal weapons technology.
                      Having those bullets augment the wound to get the desired lethality is an interesting idea, and should probably modify Aftermath and Incapacitation rolls (grant a bonus if set to Wound, inflict a penalty if set to Kill, or no effect if they're just monitoring efficiency). This is probably the easiest in game play.
                      The other mechanic that makes sense to me is some variation on, "you got Wounded, now make a Vigor roll against Fatigue to resist the bullet's nano-colony trying to make you bleed to death." Potentially taking a level of Fatigue with each Wound makes these weapons extremely dangerous, without ever having to change the damage.
                      I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

                      Comment


                      • #27
                        Originally posted by luisto View Post
                        If I were running a Seven Worlds game and my players tried to attack a spaceship with shields using a hand weapon, I'd just say "nothing happens" (no roll needed) and move on... and if one of my players used a spaceship weapon to attack a character or a simple vehicle (e.g. a car), I'd just say "it is completely destroyed, the target dies" (no roll needed either) and move on as well... but that's just me, maybe I'm a tyrannical GM I'd love to see what house rules you and other players come out with, and how they work out! If it hangs together and works it'd make perfect sense to add it to the rules at some point in the future.
                        When you take into account the shield is designed to stop meteorites, even at low power, stopping a bullet is not much different. Then take the fact that ship weapons are designed to over power said shields and I think your ruling makes sense and is not being tyrannical.

                        But maybe I am too much of a tyrant to see the problems.
                        I have way too much time but do not always edit myself properly. Please do not take offense.

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                        • #28
                          Why not just introduce "Ultra Armor" for starships, which would be the next level above Heavy Armor? Some weapons would be designated "Ultra Weapons" and all the handwaving you mentioned can remain in place: personal machine guns/sniper rifles would be useless against Ultra Armor, and tanks would be tin cans under the foot of Ultra Weapons.

                          Nothing really changes mechanically, and it more intuitively clarifies why certain Heavy Weapons can't harm the "Heavy" Armor of spacecrafts.

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                          • ValhallaGH
                            ValhallaGH commented
                            Editing a comment
                            It's an elegant solution. It implies some power-creep, force escalation issues, but it solves the issue I raised quite nicely.

                          • Deskepticon
                            Deskepticon commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Well, I can't claim ownership of the idea. It's just a repeat of something I've seen pop-up on the old forum occasionally. And of course Savage Rifts has something similar with Mega-damage.

                            I just think the progression of Armor/Heavy Armor/Super(Ultra) Armor (and cooresponding weapons) is a nice analog to past/present/future technology, without severely bloating the numbers. It also means that while a high-powered laser may burn through two-inch steel plate quite easily, the human that gets hit in the arm could still survive (but probably sans arm).
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