Comic 127 - Page 127

29th Nov 2015, 8:00 AM in Zabuza Arc
Page 127
Average Rating: 5 (1 votes)
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RandomRex6 29th Nov 2015, 8:00 AM edit delete
Story Time! Tell a story about when you figured out a strategy that you knew wouldn't actually work.

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Otaku 29th Nov 2015, 10:38 AM edit delete reply
Hmm... don't think I can contribute much to the story time today. It was just too common an occurrence and I've already been posting "reruns" (stories I've told too many times). XD

What I would like to discuss is types of damage. I'm the GURPS fanboy that reads this strip, and for better or worse that system has a lot of different damage types. Even though it is my preferred system I didn't like how they added more going from 3e to 4e. but... I can't figure out how to do it better and the above strip helps illustrate why because it used one of the new (to GURPS 4e at least) damage types: small piercing (pi-).

So I am curious, as I'm so out of touch and no longer have source books for other systems I played, how common is such a fine distinction?
Raxon 29th Nov 2015, 2:32 PM edit delete reply
Having played games like transcendence and other rpgs with damage distinctions, yeah. Even d&d has piercing/slashing/crushing damage.
Otaku 29th Nov 2015, 2:47 PM edit delete reply
Gah! Realized when I was typing out that last common I deleted an important line... listing the different kinds of damage. Kind of changes the whole meaning of my question, though I still wasn't sure about D&D having more than one or two kinds (with the second kind being for subduing). ^^'

Thanks Raxon!

Edit: Probably helps to actually list what GURPS has, since it isn't clear by what I said that (for example) "piercing" and "impaling" are two different things there.

I'll give the damage multipliers for torso hits, which for basic combat are all that are used (Advanced Combat has different multipliers on human targets for different locations). The multipliers are for the damage that gets past Damage Resistance (DR subtracts from damage done). Actually a few other aspects, but this is already more than I figure people will read. ^^'

1) Burning (burn): No damage multiplier. Represents flame/heat damage, some energy beams, etc. Can ignite flammables.

2) Corrosion (cor): No damage multiplier. For attacks using acid, disintegration, etc. Every five points of this kind of damage lowers DR by 1 in addition to the usual HP damage.

3) Crushing (cr): No damage multiplier. Represents damage from things like bludgeoning weapons or explosive blasts. Can cause blunt trauma and knockback.

4) Cutting (cut): Damage multiplied by 1.5. Represents damage from edged weapons like an axe.

5) Fatigue (fat): No damage multiplier, but damage counts against FP (Fatigue Points) rather than HP (Hit Points). This could be something exotic like a "mind blast" or something mundane like a low amperage electric shock or the effects of hypothermia or starvation.

6) Impaling (imp): Damage is multiplied by 2. Represents stabbing wounds, such as from a knife or spear.

7) Toxic (tox): No damage multiplier. Used for diseases, poisons or radiation.

8) Piercing: This is the "new" one: basically stuff that should be crushing or impaling but aren't: fast but blunt damage (such as from bullets), sharp but quite small attacks (like from darts), and a few other exceptions. They replace more complex rules that I never figured out a better alternative to using. Skipping them entirely gives illogical results that I find jarring, while the old rules were ultimately more complex by adding exceptions to the older damage types. Has four subclasses -

A) Small Piercing (pi-): Damage multiplier of 0.5. This is for things like blowgun darts, certain stingers that can't penetrate too deeply or alternatively, things that penetrate so well but leave a relatively small, clean wound channel (armor piercing bullets, narrow beam energy attacks, etc.).
B) Piercing (pi): No damage multiplier. Good for normal pistol or rifle ammunition, and makes more sense being singled out from Crushing if I dwell on "crunchier" bits of the game.
C) Large Piercing (pi+): Multiply damage by 1.5. Used for large caliber solid bullets, hollow point rounds or other things that behave like piercing attacks but while creating a larger would channel than is typical.
D) Huge Piercing (pi++): Multiply damage by two. I don't know if I even have any good examples for this one, but in short its pretty nasty.
Raxon 29th Nov 2015, 4:49 PM edit delete reply
I have an example of huge piercing for you. Howitzers, ballistas, any antistructure piercing weapon is going to be massive. Also, shotguns. In GURPS, if I recall correctly, shotguns are the weapons of assholes. You have to roll several dice to determine the number of hits, hit body areas, vital organ damage, etc.

Or maybe I'm thinking of a different game. Point is, I got called an asshole for choosing a shotgun and loading it with birdshot. I was pretty unhappy, too, when the rules said I had to roll for every single pellet.
Jarimor 30th Nov 2015, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
who took Raxon's mask and made him go serious?
(looks around like a person trying not to kack himself)
Otaku 30th Nov 2015, 12:41 PM edit delete reply
I know Raxon is just having some fun but for the record:

GURPS doesn't handle shotguns like that and their damage (with normal shot at least) is pi-. The "trick" in GURPS is how they handle rate of fire but... I'm already pretty deep into excessive detail. If someone really wants to know, I'll get into it.

Did find some huge piercing weapons: ye olde handgonne, matchlock musket and flintlock mustket!
Raxon 30th Nov 2015, 9:13 PM edit delete reply
I don't remember the system, but I do remember that the core basically said one D20 to determine if the projectile hits, and a D100 to determine where. So every shot I took of birdshot(2-3mm wide bbs) had over eighty rolls. It was insanely broken with a stealth character, though. At less than ten feet, I easily got twenty vital organ hits, because accuracy didn't drop until 15 feet. This is realistic, yeah, but it's a massive gamebreaker.

At least a third of the pellets hitting vital organs, almost no misses, means that the guy I shot, as long as he's unarmored, is instantly dead. Even a big behemoth of an enemy would bleed out in a few turns, so I could blast them in the back, then run like hell.

The only catch was body armor. Anything below full body fallout level power armor would leave them staggered, too. I died when I used it on what was essentially a stormtrooper. Very few pelets made it through, and he gunned me down before I could get a second shot off.
Otaku 1st Dec 2015, 2:04 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, definitely not GURPS: it uses 3d6 for everything but damage and perhaps a few odd charts (which are still d6 based). Congrats Raxon; you found a system that managed to out "GURPS" GURPS!

Well, the sometimes mindnumbing crunch aspect, anyway. ;)
Raxon 1st Dec 2015, 1:44 PM edit delete reply
Lots of rolling, but if I had had an armor piercing shotgun, I would have completely wrecked everything.

I don't think it used an hp system. I think it used a bloodloss/organ destruction system. Shotgun is the king of blood loss weapons.

Then again, that session was kind of a blur, since I was stoned on cough syrup.
Darkening 30th Nov 2015, 9:05 AM edit delete reply
If I remember right, impaling does 4x damage now, but you have to use a second action to pull the weapon back out after you use it, doing fairly mild damage on the way out. High damage, crap action efficiency. I'm rather fond of gurps' damage system, even if it's rather complex. I can't speak to many other systems, but dnd has bludgeoning, slashing, piercing, fire, acid, and cold. And nonlethal I suppose, which makes nonlethal takedowns soooo much easier than in gurps. They don't really have different effects in combat under most circumstances, though different creatures resist certain kinds. When attacking inanimate objects it gets a lot closer to the gurps damage system, with piercing, cold and I think bludgeoning having varying degrees of weakened damage for it, among other stuff. Hell, all inanimate objects have certain levels of hardness, which is a lot closer to gurps dr than the dnd armor system.
Otaku 30th Nov 2015, 1:37 PM edit delete reply
Darkening, you bring up some interesting points. There are also some bits I don't quite understand or think you may have wrong.

1) In GURPS (4e) impaling damage to the torso is doubled. 3e was the same, though I can't speak for 2e or earlier. It is quadrupled if you penetrate the skull, tripled it you can target the vitals (heart, lungs, kidney, etc.).

2) Swung impaling weapons (like a war hammer) may get stuck. Doesn't apply to typical thrusting ones like a sword or spear. Swing damage is higher than thrusting damage, so that is the trade off... note that when an impaling weapon does get stuck, it does half damage when you pull it out.

3) Nonlethal takedowns brings us to the fact that GURPS handles injury in detail. Short version is that yeah, D&D makes it easy but GURPS has quite a few options; instead of doing a "special" form of damage it mostly boils down to what works in the real world; knowing where and how to hit them and the fact that most folks aren't going to fight to the death because most of the time, we aren't dealing with murder hobos. ;)
Luminous Lead 1st Dec 2015, 5:54 PM edit delete reply
DND and Pathfinder don't have special damage multipliers based on the damage type (that's the purview of weapon type or feats/special abilities).

Here's a quick unasked-for Crash-course for Pathfinder:

Physical Damage:
The names for these are pretty self-explanatory, and attack a character's armor class (or AC, basically the target's sum total ability to evade your damage)
-Piercing: Like spears, or arrows. Doesn't take penalties for being used underwater. Not great at breaking things down. Bypasses certain damage reductions: DR/Piercing
-Slashing: Like most swords/axes. Can be used to cut items like ropes or strings. Some special weapon properties like Vorpal (auto-decapitate on a Nat-20) can only be put on a slashing weapon. Bypasses certain damage reductions: DR/Slashing (Zombies have this Damage reduction).
-Bludgeoning: Like hammers, maces, or punches. Decent for breaking items, and bypasses certain damage reductions: DR/Bludgeoning (Skeletons have this damage reduction).

Other Damage Reductions:
Aside from using Piercing, Slashing, and Bludgeoning to bypass certain damage reductions, some physical damage reductions might be only overcome by certain effect:
-DR/Magic: Magic weapons bypass it. This includes weapons that are inherantly magical (like a permanently enchanted weapon), or weapons that are temporarily enhanced, or have some other kind of specific effect (like a Monk's supernaturally enhanced fists) A weapon enhanced to +1 can bypass this damage reduction.
-DR/Silver: The bane of werewolves and some undead creatures, silver weapons allow the wielder to bypass some of the supernaturally tough enemies. Alternatively, a weapon enhanced to +3 can bypass this damage reduction, as well as magic damage reduction.
-DR/Cold-Iron: The bane of fey creatures, cold-iron weapons bypass some of the supernaturally tough enemies. Alternatively, a weapon enhanced to +3 can bypass this damage reduction, as well as magic damage reduction.
-DR/Adamantium: Some constructed creatures tend to be a lot harder than most things, so having a sword that's even harder than THEM is an asset. Alternatively, a weapon enhanced to +4 can bypass this damage reduction, as well as the previous 2.
-DR/Good-Evil: Some supernatural creatures, such as Angels or Demons, can resist attacks particularly well. Having a weapon enchanted with supernatural good or evil can overcome this damage reduction. Alternatively, a weapon enhanced to +5 can bypass this damage reduction, as well as Magic/Cold-Iron/Adamantine
-DR/Epic: Rarely seen, a +6 weapon (not available under standard games, can bypass this)
-DR/-: No physical damage can bypass this.
Luminous Lead 1st Dec 2015, 5:55 PM edit delete reply
Energy Attacks:
Some attacks aren't just your standard swords or shields. Some attacks are deemed energy attacks. These attacks only have to physically touch you to work, and therefore attack a creature's Touch AC (or basically, your ability to avoid being hit if you discount the bonuses from your armor, shield, and natural armor) A suit full or plate mail, for example, isn't going to make it harder for a wizard to hit you with a bolt of lightning from his fingers, for example.

Energy Damage Types:
There are various types of energy damage, though the most common ones are:
-Fire: Burns people. Sometimes sets things (or people) on fire for constant damage. A favourite of player characters due to its availability and sheer effectiveness.
-Cold: Counterpoint to fire. Not as often used, (torches don't usually burn cold, for example) but still effective. Used by elementals or wizards.
-Elec: Electricity damage. Not common, usually used by elementals or wizards.
-Acid: Dissolves things and people. Gelatinous Cubes (Slimes) love to use this. Getting eaten sometimes deals acid damage.
-Sonic: Damage made by sound effects, deals extra damage to crystalline creatures.

Most energy types can be blocked by an Energy Resistance or Energy Immunity effect (provided through Class, Race, or a spell), which reduce or cancel the damage from one or more types. There are, however, a couple of energy types that are not typically covered this reduction:

-Negative Energy: The very antithesis of life, this applies directly to the creature's life force. Sometimes makes them harder to ressurect if they die. Undead creatures are powered by negative energy, so using negative spells on them will actually *heal* them.
-Positive Energy: Life energy. Heals most living creatures, so it's typically not a damage dealer, but it cancels out the negative energy that sustains Undead creatures, making them less "un" and more "dead".
-Force: Rarely seen (outside of the infamous "Magic Missile"), but usually effective, this is the magical equivalent of kinetic energy. Much rarer than the other types, but very effective, Force damage combines the touch-attacks of the energy attacks with the ability to avoid energy resistance. Effects from Force extend from the material plane all the way to the Ethereal, also has the special quality of being to damage both Incorporeal and Ethereal creatures with no special miss chance. (Incorporeal creatures are otherwise missed by attacks 50% of the time if the user is using a magic weapon/effect, or 100% of the time if the attack is nonmagical. Creatures on the Ethereal plane, the place of ghosts and dreams, can normally only be attacked by other creatures on the ethereal plane.)
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