Ideas for increasing combat lethality...

Discuss our dark fantasy adventure tabletop roleplaying game based on BioWare's computer game, Dragon Age Origins.

Ideas for increasing combat lethality...

Postby Zoreo » Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:18 am

Having just read through the pdf, I must say I enjoy almost everything about the system except, seeing as it is dark fantasy, I'm hoping to make combat a bit more grim. I like the idea (from the video game) of injuries that apply penalties to your stats. They also would add some flavor to combat which I think, when combined with the stunts, would make for some really dynamic and fun battles. I was thinking something along the lines of every certain amount of hp gone, you suffer some kind of injury...or something. As you can see, I'm not the greatest at house ruling but having seen some of the ideas you guys have came up with, I'd be interested in some of your guy's ideas to make combat more lethal. Thanks in advance. Great job on another good game Green Ronin.
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Postby Drew D Scott » Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:38 am

Set damage at its maximum value. A longsword does 12 + Str, a greatsord 18 + Str. This effectively halves everyones health points, so it's pretty brutal.

A somewhat softer option would be to set damage at 4 or 5 points per die.
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Postby don tzu » Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:49 am

Try taking the concept of injuries effecting abilities, like in the game. Assign one injury for each ability score (Crushed Skull for Cunning, for example) and apply a -2 persistent modifier on the ability until someone with healing uses an injury kit (TN 15, Perhaps? with an option for auto success if you are not pressed for time?) -2 should be enough, it applies enough of a penalty to make the injury seem real, debilitating checks and canceling the bonuses for a focus, while not seeming like you're out to get your players. Also like the Video Game, allow injuries to stack if not treated.

That should add to the level of danger in your game, and make your players think twice before jumping into dangerous situations headlong.
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Postby Dr. Halflight » Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:51 am

1) Lower starting HP. So 15+Con+1D6 for Warriors for example.

2) Lower HP's gained per Level. 1 or 2 points per level. Add Con or don't. Or just Con per level.

3) Add a D6 to all weapon/spells.

4) Add a -1 penalty to all Abilities at 1/2 HP's. Add another -1 (-2 total) at 1/4 Hp's.

5) Mix & match all of these or any other freely.
Chuck Norris can divide by zero.
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Postby Brokensoul » Thu Dec 10, 2009 9:24 am

Quick and easy, one die for all damage tests (use the dragon die) can always explode. Exploding dice mean that if it rolls a 6 pick it up and roll it again, keep doing so until you don't roll a 6.

Makes any hit into the possible kill shot.

EDIT: added whats below

Take a page out of another wonderful Green Ronin game and introduce the option of a player taking an injury and wound. This rule is nice because it puts the choice in the players hand.

When you take damage you can choose to reduce the damage by 6 + con points of damage, this gives you an injury.

An injury gives you a -1 penalty to all dice tests. This can be healed outside of combat with an injury kit or heal spell TN 13, the check to be healed can only be done once per day.

When you take damage you can choose to reduce the damage by 12 + con(x2) points of damage, this gives you a wound.

A wound gives you a -2 penalty to all dice tests. This can be healed outside of combat with an injury kit or heal spell TN 15, the check to be healed can only be done once per week.

You may only have 3 injuries or wounds at any time.

Detail the injury or wound to fit the situation or make a random chart.
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Postby Vildar » Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:00 am

The first idea is truly easy adn effective, but i have an easier way for injuries: you can make a Stunt (maybe for 2 points) that deals an injury. You can also do a more aggressive stuff: if your attack is a stunt, the target gets an injury. easy ^^
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Postby Zoreo » Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:34 am

Pshh you're all just so brilliant. What I think imma go with is a little combination. I'll incorporate the exploding die, and any time a die "explodes" a injury is suffered. Just keep a d8 on hand and it decides which attribute suffered the injury. What you guys think?
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Postby Radioactive Ape Colin » Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:10 am

I think the problem adding an extra dice (which isn't the d6 as used exclusively in the game) slows things a bit by adding an extra roll factor. Plus, having the game be d6 exclusively, and then using a d8 just doesn't work for me aesthetically, but that's cuz I'm odd. ;)

I'd go with either:

1) Reducing starting Health (and limiting the amount gained each level).
or
2) Have weapons do their maximum damage on a hit (which also has the benefit of speeding things slightly because it takes the roll out of the equation).

Either approach is far quicker and easier to implement and use than most others, and that also feels more in-keeping with the ruleset.

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Postby Brokensoul » Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:12 am

I'll incorporate the exploding die, and any time a die "explodes" a injury is suffered. Just keep a d8 on hand and it decides which attribute suffered the injury. What you guys think?


The only issue I see with it is that the players get hit alot and 1 in 6 of those being an injury will add up fast I think. If you use this maybe give them a Con check to avoid the injury?
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Postby LogosInvictus » Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:09 pm

Another option might be to take a page from the ASOIAF RPG. Any time a character would drop to 0 Health, they can opt to take an Injury instead, which penalizes one of their stats by -1 until they get medical assistance. Taking an injury leaves them at 1 Health, and if they end up with more injuries than, say, 1/4th of their Health, they die anyway. This lets you have grim, gritty combat with lots of broken bones, crushed skulls and general maiming without making the game so lethal that your players have to keep a couple of extra PCs around just in case.
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Postby jc_madden » Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:59 pm

1) Do not increase HP beyond starting.

2) At half hit points you gain the "Injured" condition, you are -2 to all tests. This condition cannot be removed until a heal brings you above 1/2 your hitpoints. This condition does not stack, but you can get it again after being healed.

3) New Stunt: Bleeding Wound! 4 SP You inflict a bleeding wound on your opponent, he gains the "Bleeding" condition and loses 1 HP every round at the end of his turn. A TN 15 Heal check removes this condition. Multiple bleeds do not stack.

Use one or a combination of all to increase the brutality/lethality of the game. Though I'd say look for even cooler ways to do such things in future sets of rules!
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Postby discuit » Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:02 am

Combat is already pretty lethal you know, expecially with some of the stunts taken into account. Not that it is bad to want your game to be more lethal, but i really would suggest playing it RAW before making any sweeping changes.

I agree that from reading it and seeing the HP values it looks like it won't be, but for us it felt just about perfect in play. In every fight we had a few players get very close to going down.
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Postby Zapp » Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:03 am

I suspect things like these might be added in upcoming box sets.

I'm sure there's a lot of things not added to Set 1 because these are the rules the beginner sees first; keeping them as simple as possible was probably considered to be more important than catering to us experienced role-players... :)
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