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Old 05-24-2010, 12:06 PM   #21
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Rationale for the progression of ST-based damage

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Originally Posted by CrimsonDawn View Post
Isn't the axe-guy doing things without human ST alone? Weapon Master?
Yes, he's using an advantage that a non-cinematic user of such a weapon will often have to make best use of his ST. And it's a huge deal; +2 per die in the swing range of 2d and 3d is enough to make mail and plate (respectively) irrelevant due to the +4 and +6 bonus you get on your weapon.

The guns users also have a realistic non-tech way to increase their damage: buy lots of skill. This allows shooting Chinks in Armor (difficult) or target the Head (-5; 20pts), Brain (-7; 28pts), or Vitals (-3; 12 pts). All of which are on the same order of magnitude of non-ST points spent to increase damage.

I didn't list TBaM since that explicitly IS cinematic, but Weapon Master is going to be allowed in most games as a realistic option, so I don't think it's out of line.

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I think a realistic ST 17 guy would not have Weapon Master, and be something like 600 lbs*.. he should dish out some serious damage with an an axe, but still is somewhat behind from 4d+4.

*If you follow the reasonable formula for living creature's weight from HP from Fantasy - very usable for realistic calculations, not so for usual PC's
I disagree with this; ST17 is well within human capabilities, and is likely seen on many professional athletes where ST is a requirement, like football players, today. These guys typically weigh 250-400lbs, not 600.

Still, I don't want to digress from the OP too much; my primary point was that the ST progression has issues other than how it goes from sw = 2x thrust to a very small difference with higher ST, and that an alternate progression has a lot to recommend it if you're playing with such things.

However, this runs into costing fairness issues that would require play and experiment to work out.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:13 PM   #22
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Default Re: Rationale for the progression of ST-based damage

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Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
I didn't list TBaM since that explicitly IS cinematic, but Weapon Master is going to be allowed in most games as a realistic option, so I don't think it's out of line.
Weapon Master specifically states that it is "best suited to a "cinematic" swashbuckling game. The GM may wish to forbid it in a realistic campaign." If you're going to make a comparisons like these, to me it feels you probably should be assuming the campaign is not cinematic enough for WM, or the numbers will seem wonky.

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I disagree with this; ST17 is well within human capabilities, and is likely seen on many professional athletes where ST is a requirement, like football players, today. These guys typically weigh 250-400lbs, not 600.
Yeah.. I wasn't saying ST 17 is outside human capability: that might be ST 17 with HP (and weight) bought down to 14 (or some combination of Unusual Training for Striking and/or Lifting ST, and some difference in ST and HP). Still, even with that ST they will not match 5d or 7d for penetration.


I think the ST progression works pretty nicely as far as you're talking about reasonable scores of ST.. and if you go too far over 20, we're probably talking a game where the realism isn't such a consideration anyway, and the comparison of an axe vs rifle gets a different tone.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:29 PM   #23
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Default Re: Rationale for the progression of ST-based damage

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Now, this is NOT about what works for you or me, or if i will ever use such ST in my games at all.

It is about the game system itself - call it a theroretical musing :)
Yeah, and I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you. It's just a comment of some of the consequences of doing it that way. Generally I'm all for realism, but style does have to be taken into consideration at times.

It's one thing for the progression to be like that up to 27, as you get higher, the proportional difference might stay the same, but the practical difference becomes greater.

It's the reverse of saying, wow, that town's population increased in 400% when it went from 1 to 5 people, 10 to 50 people and 1.000 to 5.000 people (+4, +40 and +400). The proportion is the same, but the implications are very different. +4 people might be easy to acomodate in the house of that hermit, but +4.000 people might overcome the cities ability to house them. Double the damage in the ST27 range is plenty, but won't make personal armor useless. On the hundred range, the difference becomes tremendous, between hardly scathing an armored tank and easily smashing it to bits just by switching from thrust to swing. If the difference is small, we'd still see things like supers using punches, instead of only having axe-wielding supermen.

I think your model is great, but it won't hurt to run a few ideas to see where this would lead us.

(mind you, it is a bit about what works for you and me, because if we have a theoretically good system that screws up things for everyone, it's no good... the game "itself" doesn't exist, the game system is a tool towards simulating something, if it's internally consistent, but fails as a game system, it's worthless)

The issue here is...

1. In the ST10-27 scale thr damage is half that of sw damage
2. This adequately simulates reality
3. The same proportion should be true for ST27+

I'm not sure 2 is right, and even if it was, I'm not sure 3 would be right. One could argue that the progression is linear, but at the low levels it hasn't picked up yet in order to achieve the stable "sw damage is +3d over thr damage" rule. I'm playing the devil's advocate here.

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Old 05-24-2010, 01:56 PM   #24
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Default Re: Rationale for the progression of ST-based damage

ST over 27 is usually either from large animals, or from cinematic heroes/fantastic creatures/supers. ST is very reasonably priced in the 10-27 range (My Dungeon Fantasy players are actually deciding to improve ST instead of DX, meaning that the price is good for the effect). The problem is, ST is overpriced in Supers games. 3rd ed solved this by giving ST decreasing costs, and trust me, it messed things bad. Real bad. Specially when you got to the +10 ST=5 points level (Remember, ST gave FP back then). I think that this was done to have reasonable prices for lifting capacity (it was linear with ST, in 3rd ed), and so, they had to reduce the damage per point of ST. 4th ed solved this by removing the decreasing prices, and making lifting capacity quadratic with ST, but didn't fix the damage table, leaving it as it was.

My personal experience says that if you leave the table as +8 ST->+1d thr/+2d sw, and allow all the force multipliers (imbuements, Weapon Master, Karate,...) ST becomes competitive with Innate Attacks and Firearms, in a Supers game. No need for the Super ST enhancement to striking ST.
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Old 05-24-2010, 02:54 PM   #25
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Default Re: Rationale for the progression of ST-based damage

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Originally Posted by Gudiomen View Post
I'm not sure 2 is right, and even if it was, I'm not sure 3 would be right. One could argue that the progression is linear, but at the low levels it hasn't picked up yet in order to achieve the stable "sw damage is +3d over thr damage" rule. I'm playing the devil's advocate here.
I am with you, here.

Because of that, i would like to see our physics experts to jump in.

To be honest, i do not care if how much physically correctly rules break the game - i just want to the rules to model reality as much as possible.

And having sw damage quite a bunch higher than thr damage *seems* to be right, for me.

If we later hear, that "sw = 10 * thr" (just to give an example) would be physically right, i can still go back and change that for my game (or just know, how far i can go with ST)- but at least, i get a feeling about what should be right.
I that was understandable :)
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Old 05-24-2010, 03:02 PM   #26
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Default Re: Rationale for the progression of ST-based damage

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Originally Posted by Kuroshima View Post
My personal experience says that if you leave the table as +8 ST->+1d thr/+2d sw, and allow all the force multipliers (imbuements, Weapon Master, Karate,...) ST becomes competitive with Innate Attacks and Firearms, in a Supers game. No need for the Super ST enhancement to striking ST.
Thanx for the analysis.

You post made me more sure in choosing such a damage table (hopefully, correctly done in that link above).

About the S-ST-E, i kind of disagee :)
As written here ( http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?p=987307 ), i would like to create Supers, that compente with Spaceships and possibly scale in the same way.

On Scale "M", such a Super could have ST 100000, DR 50000, an Innate Attack with 15000d and Injury Tolerance (Damage Reduction) of 10000.

I do not think, that such levels can be used in a game without some kind of logarithmic cost.

I will write more about that in that other topic.


But you are right for the more "normal" levels of high ST!
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Old 05-24-2010, 03:21 PM   #27
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Default Re: Rationale for the progression of ST-based damage

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Originally Posted by Kuroshima View Post
My personal experience says that if you leave the table as +8 ST->+1d thr/+2d sw, and allow all the force multipliers (imbuements, Weapon Master, Karate,...) ST becomes competitive with Innate Attacks and Firearms, in a Supers game. No need for the Super ST enhancement to striking ST.
Yes, if sufficiently overloaded, ST becomes competitive; you're basically charging 20 points per die, so if you can somehow manage a free (by which I mean "zero cost per die") +300% enhancement, the price is right.

That, however, is a terrible design philosophy, because it means that for normal use it's overpriced. ST should be priced to be a reasonable deal for its regular use, and then the various force multipliers should have their costs adjusted so they match the cost of simply adjusting your base damage.
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:24 PM   #28
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Default Re: Rationale for the progression of ST-based damage

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To be honest, i do not care if how much physically correctly rules break the game - i just want to the rules to model reality as much as possible.
I sympathize, I'm a bit of a simulationist myself. But GURPS as a role-playing system can't take this stance. It has to be able to simulate both reality and fiction, and that takes a little compromise.
From that perspective, historical settings won't see anything like ST100, so it's damage is irrelevant, as long as reasonable ST levels stay reasonable you're golden. And if supers turn each other into mush with a single landed blow, you screw up whole genres (just an example, not saying this is the effect of this rule here).
In a sense, if your playing anything realistic, you don't need to worry about unrealistic amounts of ST.
I mean, realistic things with enormous ST scale rather weirdly. They tend to be gargantuan monsters, very massive, like dinosaurs, but you won't see the same rapid sort of limb movement as you see in the human scale. Just like an elephant has lots of ST but can't kick very well. Inertia is a big thing for big things, if something like a brontosaurus whipped his neck, it'd probably break.
So as the ST (and mass) increases, the speed of the strikers decrease, in general. And you end up using ST for trampling, ramming, biting, slashing...

I mean, do we really have anything to go by in order to decide if it's realistic? A straight increase in the GURPS ST stat doesn't reflect all the variables of real-life ST increase. Something with ST 200 is made of arbitrary materials, if it's anything like a human-sized organic creature. Which leaves little base for comparison.
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:32 PM   #29
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Default Re: Rationale for the progression of ST-based damage

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Yes, if sufficiently overloaded, ST becomes competitive; you're basically charging 20 points per die, so if you can somehow manage a free (by which I mean "zero cost per die") +300% enhancement, the price is right.

That, however, is a terrible design philosophy, because it means that for normal use it's overpriced. ST should be priced to be a reasonable deal for its regular use, and then the various force multipliers should have their costs adjusted so they match the cost of simply adjusting your base damage.
The problem here is that ST has to be balanced across all genres. For Low TL/Realistic games, ST is good enough, without force multipliers. At high TL realistic games, it becomes overpriced when compared to modern weaponry, but that too is realistic and appropriate (What do you fear more?, Mike Tyson with nothing but his hands, or Joe average with a heavy machine gun and the skill to use it, from a defensive position?), Only when you go for cinematic gaming, where it's in genre for huge ST to compare to energy blasts and modern weaponry, you get problems. The solution IMHO isn't to break other genres, it's to provide force multipliers to make ST effective.
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Old 05-25-2010, 12:08 AM   #30
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Default Re: Rationale for the progression of ST-based damage

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The problem here is that ST has to be balanced across all genres.
You mean like how Innate Attack is balanced across all genres?
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