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-   -   is there a minimum damage? how... (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=161995)

Axly Suregrip 02-07-2019 09:30 AM

is there a minimum damage? how...
 
With different groups I have seen this done different ways. I wanted to see if there is a consensus for how the rules intended this to be done.

If you have a Saber (2-2) and roll 2, is the damage:
0: since 2 minus 2 is zero
1: since some believe their is a minimum damage (I cannot find it in the rules)
2: some believe each die has a minimum of 1 (ditto)

Similarly, I do see that missile spells now have a minimum of damage equal to the ST put into the spell. But is that per die or after summing it all up?

-kind regards
-Alan

TippetsTX 02-07-2019 09:50 AM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
I have ruled in other games that a successful hit always deals at least 1 point of damage even when there is a die-modifier that allows '0' as a possible result.

Skarg 02-07-2019 10:00 AM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
RAW there is no minimum damage unless specified (which at the moment I'm not thinking of anything that does).

(In GURPS there is - cutting and impaling type weapons hitting someone without armor will do a minimum of 1 in that game.)

hcobb 02-07-2019 10:10 AM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Axly Suregrip (Post 2241452)
Similarly, I do see that missile spells now have a minimum of damage equal to the ST put into the spell. But is that per die or after summing it all up?

Always been final sum to me. Magic Fist would be much more effective if per-die.

Axly Suregrip 02-07-2019 10:27 AM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Okay, now this makes sense. If you have a GURPS back ground you see 1 as the minimum and if you do not, you see 0 as the minimum.

I will go along with the GM. And then make the call when I am GM.

thank you all for your replies.
-Alan

flankspeed 02-19-2019 09:04 AM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Axly Suregrip (Post 2241463)
Okay, now this makes sense. If you have a GURPS back ground you see 1 as the minimum and if you do not, you see 0 as the minimum....

I hope this thread is not too old to reply to, and I apologize if it is. I just thought you might be interested in the ideas discussed when I raised this same topic back in August of last year. It's interesting how differently people can look at the same topic:

Damage Rolls with a Minus Modifier: Minimum 0 or 1?
http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=158885

Personally, I don't like penalizing weapons such as the dagger or cutlass to do zero damage, so I typically see the minimum damage as being one point no matter what the minus is. I mean, if the cutlass can occasionally strike with the flat of the blade to do no effective damage, so could any other sword.

However, to account for the fact that typical unarmed attacks should not be as instantly lethal as most weapon-based or magical attacks, I would rule that attacks without a weapon have a minimum damage of zero while attacks with weapons or magic have a minimum damage of one.

Best wishes to find whatever works for you and your gaming group!

hcobb 02-19-2019 09:24 AM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Minimum damage for weapons would make kids with thrown rocks killers.

Skarg 02-19-2019 10:38 AM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by flankspeed (Post 2244087)
Personally, I don't like penalizing weapons such as the dagger or cutlass to do zero damage, so I typically see the minimum damage as being one point no matter what the minus is. I mean, if the cutlass can occasionally strike with the flat of the blade to do no effective damage, so could any other sword.

I don't see having a weapon being able to roll zero damage as unduly penalizing a light weapon, as I think it is important to be able to distinguish not-very-damaging effects, and I don't see zero damage as necessarily meaning you weren't cut at all - it might just be a superficial cut that doesn't amount to a whole point of damage (which after all is about 10% of the way to unconsciousness or death for most people).

Also there would be a major balance shift for all the existing minor 1d-X damage effects, and a major added effect/incentive to wear Cloth or take Toughness to stop all the min-1 damage results (not that that part of it wouldn't make sense - it does work well in GURPS where it's part of the design, but the TFT damage values weren't written with min 1 in mind).

However I do agree that "all weapons should be capable of an ineffective hit" is a good point. In particular I don't tend to like to have a high minimum damage (like you get with magic or fine weapons unless you convert some of the + amount to dice). When I have made various house-rules to account for such, they have added such a chance of zero damage to more powerful weapons (e.g. add 1d-4 or 2d-7 to every weapon damage), instead of removing that chance from less powerful weapons. It's also perhaps easier and more appropriate to put such a chance in the to-hit roll, and/or deem that it's already in the to-hit roll.

hcobb 02-19-2019 11:23 AM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Skarg (Post 2244108)
I don't see zero damage as necessarily meaning you weren't cut at all - it might just be a superficial cut that doesn't amount to a whole point of damage (which after all is about 10% of the way to unconsciousness or death for most people).

And whataboutism poison?

JLV 02-19-2019 12:17 PM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
To me, if the weapon doesn't do any damage to the figure even though it hit, that just means that it wasn't a strong enough or direct enough hit to do anything important to the character -- it glanced off, or the victim flinched (and changed a potentially dangerous hit into a mere nick by sheer chance), or it penetrated clothing but maybe only put a thin cut on the person's arm, or whatever. Them's the breaks, and insisting that every hit cause harm is one sure way to kill lots and lots of characters in TFT.

So from both a reality standpoint (sometimes a person gets lucky) to a gaming standpoint (I don't like killing characters unnecessarily -- if you earn it, great, but just engaging in combat under the "minimum damage is always 1 rule" guarantees short careers and even shorter dungeon delves) in my games minimum damage is none, period.

Skarg 02-19-2019 03:00 PM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hcobb (Post 2244121)
And whataboutism poison?

I'd say that a 0-point injury probably isn't enough to enter the bloodstream enough to take effect (especially since we are probably talking about TFT poisons that can take people out immediately).

If the GM wants a poison that must not break your skin at all to take effect (or e.g. Contact Posion), then they could specify that even an exactly-zero damage result will let such poisons take effect.

JohnPaulB 02-19-2019 06:35 PM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TippetsTX (Post 2241455)
I have ruled in other games that a successful hit always deals at least 1 point of damage even when there is a die-modifier that allows '0' as a possible result.

I have always played it that Cutlass 2-2 that rolled "2" and became 0 meant that no damage was done.

The idea of giving minimum point of damage seems to me to be giving these types of weapons a bonus in the rare situations when it computes to 0 or below.

So if I were to use the 'minimum' damage, instead of 1 point of damage, I would make it 1 point of fatigue. Kind of like a bruise that is tender for a period of time and when you rest it out, it goes away.

flankspeed 02-20-2019 12:09 AM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
I think I am forced to admit that the original rules intended a minimum of zero damage, but I have read somewhere in the forums that spells like Magic Fist and Fireball now do at least one point of damage per ST-point used in the spell. If this was later revised before publication, I would be curious to know.

The Fantasy Trip is clearly not intended to have the same level of detail as GURPS, but I did create my own house rule to treat a character's ST attribute as giving an identical total of Hit Points (HP) and Fatigue Points (FP). This allows wizards to cast spells without committing suicide by normally only causing them to risk unconsciousness when FP=0 rather than death at HP=0.

This also allows unarmed brawling to normally inflict only non-lethal FP damage unless the intent to kill is clearly stated, for figures to strike to subdue and inflict only FP damage when desiring to capture someone, and for FPs to be used in exerting extraordinary effort while undertaking certain actions.

But as for playing by the rules as written, I now think the Keep-It-Simple-Steve principle requires most damage rolls to have a minimum of zero damage when the modifier is negative. If I want more detail, there's always GURPS!

JLV 02-20-2019 12:39 AM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Yep, I'd say you're right on, on both counts. TFT is supposed to be simple and fast playing; GURPS is supposed to be more complex and detail oriented (but still, actually, pretty fast playing compared to some other systems out there).

Skarg 02-20-2019 10:36 AM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Oh yeah, missile spells are the thing that now in the new rules do specify a minimum damage, explicitly listed under each spell.

As for wizards not killing themselves, your system is rather GURPS-like, and the side-effect for brawls is nice. It has been a very common house-rule for people to say that wizards don't die unless actual damage is enough, and just pass out when fatigue + damage is enough.

hcobb 02-20-2019 11:04 AM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Skarg (Post 2244326)
As for wizards not killing themselves, your system is rather GURPS-like, and the side-effect for brawls is nice. It has been a very common house-rule for people to say that wizards don't die unless actual damage is enough, and just pass out when fatigue + damage is enough.

Does the golden hour nap count as resting in peace?

ITL10: If an hour passes and the victim is not revived, he is deemed to have actually died.

ITL9: A figure recovers from fatigue by resting. To rest, you must sit or lie down quietly, doing nothing else. For every 15 minutes (game time) that a figure rests, he/she can regain one ST point, up to full ST.

So the ST -1 wizard is dead for an hour then yawns and sits up at ST 3, right?

ak_aramis 02-20-2019 12:43 PM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hcobb (Post 2244094)
Minimum damage for weapons would make kids with thrown rocks killers.

And how is this a problem?

Skarg 02-20-2019 01:33 PM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ak_aramis (Post 2244344)
And how is this a problem?

Because you lose the ability to have some things be not always going to materially injure unarmored targets, as well as blurring the difference between the dangerousness of different kinds of low-damage attacks. It would rather shift the balance of unarmed brawls and other fights between unarmored low-damage figures (e.g. goblins, halflings, children, small animals).

2-3 rocks thrown by children start to be as deadly as getting shot with a smallbow arrow.

Skarg 02-20-2019 01:36 PM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hcobb (Post 2244330)
Does the golden hour nap count as resting in peace?

ITL10: If an hour passes and the victim is not revived, he is deemed to have actually died.

ITL9: A figure recovers from fatigue by resting. To rest, you must sit or lie down quietly, doing nothing else. For every 15 minutes (game time) that a figure rests, he/she can regain one ST point, up to full ST.

So the ST -1 wizard is dead for an hour then yawns and sits up at ST 3, right?

I would think so, yes, except I'd say "nearly dead, not dead". Well, and I'd think he'd wake up at ST 1 after half an hour.

Helborn 02-21-2019 10:22 PM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hcobb (Post 2244330)
Does the golden hour nap count as resting in peace?

ITL10: If an hour passes and the victim is not revived, he is deemed to have actually died.

ITL9: A figure recovers from fatigue by resting. To rest, you must sit or lie down quietly, doing nothing else. For every 15 minutes (game time) that a figure rests, he/she can regain one ST point, up to full ST.

So the ST -1 wizard is dead for an hour then yawns and sits up at ST 3, right?

I have ruled in the past that a wizard with both fatigue and physical damage at -1 ST is unconscious (unless the last hit caused enough physical damage to go to -1 ST of physical, not physical plus fatigue, damage). However, if the opponents win the combat, then also assume that the wizard's throat was cut. Otherwise he will regain consciousness when he reaches 1 ST.

Only a few times did the characters keep an opposing wizard alive to garner his ransom. Usually any Wizard on the losing side who was unconscious wound up dead.

Chris Rice 02-23-2019 01:43 PM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
It never even occurred to me that anyone would think there was "minimum damage" so I don't know where this idea came from.

The rules are clear. 2d6-2 (for example) has a range from 0-10; you roll 2 dice and take 2 from the result. That's it. Simple.

With Wizardry, I can see the argument for minimum damage, as the Wizard has had to expend their own ST to cause the damage. It wasn't in the original rules, so I don't really care for it, but I can live with it if needs be. I may just ignore it.

JLV 02-23-2019 09:26 PM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
I fully concur with Chris on this -- the very idea of minimum damage is odd to me, and frankly, it's odd on the Wizardry side of things too. Sometimes you just blow your skill roll and waste the time and energy/effort you put into trying to do something. Spells are no different. You somehow muffed the casting and them's the breaks.

hcobb 02-23-2019 09:51 PM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
When does minimum damage take effect?

Goblin fires a fine arrow (+1 damage) that is poisoned and branded from a small bow (nominally 1d-1) and rolls a 1 on the damage die against cloth armor. Roll for poison damage or not?

Note that the arrow itself costs $10 (fine) + $60 (branded) + $200 (weapon poison) so use the highest DX archer.

Chris Rice 02-24-2019 02:56 AM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hcobb (Post 2244986)
When does minimum damage take effect?

Goblin fires a fine arrow (+1 damage) that is poisoned and branded from a small bow (nominally 1d-1) and rolls a 1 on the damage die against cloth armor. Roll for poison damage or not?

Note that the arrow itself costs $10 (fine) + $60 (branded) + $200 (weapon poison) so use the highest DX archer.

Not sure what you're talking about. All damage modifiers are added together at the same time. So (1d6 -1, +1) is just 1d6 as the modifiers cancel each other out. In the example you quoted the die roll is 1, the modifiers cancel each other out, so the damage stays at 1. Cloth armour stops 1 hit, so the armour fails to penetrate and the poison has no effect.

hcobb 02-24-2019 07:11 AM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Rice (Post 2245003)
Not sure what you're talking about. All damage modifiers are added together at the same time. So (1d6 -1, +1) is just 1d6 as the modifiers cancel each other out. In the example you quoted the die roll is 1, the modifiers cancel each other out, so the damage stays at 1. Cloth armour stops 1 hit, so the armour fails to penetrate and the poison has no effect.

The fire damage adds a point so the poison takes effect, right?

gpoehlein 02-24-2019 08:28 AM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hcobb (Post 2245017)
The fire damage adds a point so the poison takes effect, right?

As a GM, going strictly by the rules, I would rule that the arrow’s tip did not penetrate the target’s armor, so the character is not poisoned. The fire damage would take effect and cause the target one point of fire damage. With a system such as TFT, the GM has to apply a bit of logic to interpret things. It’s not just about “playing the numbers”.

guymc 02-24-2019 10:41 AM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by gpoehlein (Post 2245028)
As a GM, going strictly by the rules, I would rule that the arrow’s tip did not penetrate the target’s armor, so the character is not poisoned. The fire damage would take effect and cause the target one point of fire damage. With a system such as TFT, the GM has to apply a bit of logic to interpret things. It’s not just about “playing the numbers”.

I’m with Greg on this one. Further, I would rule that a fire arrow would burn off any poison in the first place.

Don’t minmax and play the numbers in my campaigns. I encourage clever play, but not clever rule tweaking. :-)

Chris Rice 02-24-2019 03:07 PM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hcobb (Post 2245017)
The fire damage adds a point so the poison takes effect, right?

Fire damage? Where did that come from? You said it was a "fine" arrow, not a "fire" arrow. Did you mean fire arrow.?

In any case, if you roll a 1 on d6 (which is what you said) you then take off 1 for the modifier and add 1 for the fine (or fire) arrow. That's a total of 1 which is stopped by the cloth, so the poison doesn't act.

If you meant that you derived 1 from 1d-1 (that means by rolling a 2 on the dice and modifying by -1), then the additional +1 from the special arrow gives a total of 2 damage which is enough to penetrate the cloth. Therefore the poison will take effect.

Which exactly did you mean?

hcobb 02-24-2019 03:18 PM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Working through all of the references here.

Note that the arrow itself costs $10 (fine) + $60 (branded) + $200 (weapon poison) so use the highest DX archer.

By ITL72: "Arrows may be enchanted or poisoned."

By ITL147: "Weapon Poison: May be used on any edged weapon"

Ergo arrows are edged weapons and so

ITL123: "A cutting weapon can also be made of such good metal that it does either 1 or 2 extra hits of damage."

Are edged weapons the same as cutting weapons? Assuming as much.

Therefore a +1 damage arrow is $10, unless it's also silver.

ITL158: "The Brand enchantment, cast on an arrow, creates a reliable flaming arrow which will remain burning for a minute after it is fired."

The damage from a branded arrow isn't given here so we apply:

ITL162: "A missile weapon may be enchanted so the arrows from it will flame. The flame adds 1 point to the damage from an ordinary bow, and 2 points to that done by a crossbow."

So for $270 have a poisoned fine arrowhead attached to a flaming shaft, right?

Of course Goblins would harvest natural poison (for "free" ITL125, only 1d damage) and would have a Goblin Sorceress who casts Brand (for "free"?), and her production rate should be about the same as the quiver of +1 damage arrows their Master Armourer makes each week. (as per ITL123)

Skarg 02-24-2019 06:23 PM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
I think gpoehlein and Guy gave great logical answers, which I'd much rather use than care about all the possible readings of the various rule entries.

If the literal reading of a rule doesn't make much sense, I'd rather use a sensible ruling.

JLV 02-26-2019 01:37 PM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
I agree with Greg, Guy and Skarg here. Reading every single nuance of every single rule and interpreting them across several domains is a sure way to end a campaign, as everyone sits around for several hours while the GM agonizes over a decision that logic (simply standing back and looking at the situation itself instead of debating variable clauses and the placement of the words "the" and "if" in the rules) would render self-evident in a matter of seconds.

I've never much enjoyed rules lawyerdom... ;-)

Anaraxes 02-26-2019 06:19 PM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
There's still a valid question as to whether the fire would count as what I'm going to call "base" damage instead of "followup" damage. (The invented jargon meaning followup is that damage which is applied only if the base penetrates armor, doing > 0 hits on its own.) Fire can damage lots of armor materials, so it's not a slam dunk that it would be part of followup rather than base damage, able to damage flesh but never any kind of armor (including creatures supposedly possessing "tough skin/hide", "fur", etc).

And so on for any other damage types you care to invent. Game life gets a lot more complicated by the time you completely resolve the implications of the new distinction.

Helborn 02-27-2019 02:18 PM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hcobb (Post 2245087)
Are edged weapons the same as cutting weapons? Assuming as much.

hcobb: That's where your logic fails. Arrows are edged but not cutting. They cannot be made fine because they are not metal. If you have metal arrows in your game then I suggest they are darts, a la D&D and you will have to create your own rules to cover range and damage. But they won't be fired from a bow, normally.

Yes, the tips are metal (maybe), but the arrow itself is wood and feathers.

Helborn 02-27-2019 02:33 PM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by guymc (Post 2245046)
Further, I would rule that a fire arrow would burn off any poison in the first place.

I like your rule

hcobb 02-27-2019 02:39 PM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Helborn (Post 2245602)
hcobb: That's where your logic fails. Arrows are edged but not cutting. They cannot be made fine because they are not metal. If you have metal arrows in your game then I suggest they are darts, a la D&D and you will have to create your own rules to cover range and damage. But they won't be fired from a bow, normally.

Yes, the tips are metal (maybe), but the arrow itself is wood and feathers.

How about spears and javelins or even axes?

Helborn 02-27-2019 03:08 PM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hcobb (Post 2245606)
How about spears and javelins or even axes?

ITL 123: "A person who has the Master Armourer talent can make a sword, polearm, hammer, mace, or ax (but no other weapon) so well that it does extra damage, or effectively increases its user’s DX, or both. ...

Good workmanship can give a weapon such good balance that its user gets +1 DX (never more than +1). A cutting weapon can also be made of such good metal that it does either 1 or 2 extra hits of damage. A dagger may do extra damage, but not increase DX."

SO, a polearm, hammer, or mace can do +1 but not +2. A sword, dagger or ax can do +1 or +2. All of the above can give a +1 DX except for a dagger.

Arrows cannot be made fine per above.

I have house ruled that Javelins cannot be used for a Polearm charge or be made fine - but that is not RAW. Spears are borderline imo but I have kept them in since they are the only 1handed Polearms (besides Javelins). I would have no problem if the rules were changed to only allow 2handed pole weapon charges (including spears). However, from my reading of history, that would not be historical. Imo, the historical usage would be to move Javelins into Thrown weapons, along with sling. But that's mo.

RVA_Grandpa 02-28-2019 09:43 AM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Axly Suregrip (Post 2241452)
With different groups I have seen this done different ways. I wanted to see if there is a consensus for how the rules intended this to be done.

If you have a Saber (2-2) and roll 2, is the damage:
0: since 2 minus 2 is zero
1: since some believe their is a minimum damage (I cannot find it in the rules)
2: some believe each die has a minimum of 1 (ditto)

The group I'm in plays it 2 - 2 = 0. The saber might have hit, but it was a glancing blow that did no damage. It is just incredible bad luck to roll snake eyes in that situation, but it happens.

TippetsTX 02-28-2019 11:02 AM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by RVA_Grandpa (Post 2245716)
The group I'm in plays it 2 - 2 = 0. The saber might have hit, but it was a glancing blow that did no damage. It is just incredible bad luck to roll snake eyes in that situation, but it happens.

This is exactly why I don't like 'zero' damage hits. A critical success roll should never result in no damage IMO.

Now that I'm thinking about it, though, I suppose I could accept some other effect besides damage on a critical hit. Maybe the weapon does no actual damage, but the blow knocks the opponent off-balance (DX penalty) or prone.

RVA_Grandpa 02-28-2019 08:49 PM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TippetsTX (Post 2245723)
This is exactly why I don't like 'zero' damage hits. A critical success roll should never result in no damage IMO.

Now that I'm thinking about it, though, I suppose I could accept some other effect besides damage on a critical hit. Maybe the weapon does no actual damage, but the blow knocks the opponent off-balance (DX penalty) or prone.

The original post didn't mention a critical hit. I agree that in the case of a critical hit there should be something, but I think it should be the GM's discretion to come up with a unique solution.

Bogus the barbarian, wielding his saber, rolls a 5 on three die, but then rolls 2 for hits (2-2=0 damage). His opponent, Thrag, takes no damage, but his belt is cut and his DX is reduced by one for the next turn as his pants fall around his ankle.

Skarg 03-01-2019 07:03 PM

Re: is there a minimum damage? how...
 
We used to roll double and triple damage results by multiplying the dice and adds, so it would be 4d-4 and very unlikely to do nothing.

You could make it an option to do such hits either way, so players can choose the swingier 2d-2 x 2 or 4d-4. (There are pros and cons to both in terms of possible risk/reward, though the averages are the same.)


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