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Aberrant RPG - How damage works


dcrod
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Can someone explain this to me? The Core Rules say that even if your soak is higher than the possible damage that your enemy can do he still must roll one dice. That means that if I have a soak of 20 and the other has a damage of 12 he still can hurt me? Isn't this a little ridiculous?

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Even if your soak is higher than the opponent's attack dice, if they successfully hit you, there is a small chance that some damage will bleed through, hence the one die. It's a bulwark against super-soak characters just being invincible, since the rules are largely slanted towards defense. Mind you, the one die still must be rolled, and still must come up 7 or higher to count as a successful hit. This matters less when you consider that many novas have additional health levels. Also, powers like Force Field that are external protection don't allow even for the one die, provided your shields soak up all the damage.

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And if I declare my Armor is an always on Force Field effect, what then?

The down side of the one-die rule is that fifty policemen kill Geryon. Lets say he dodges five and another five actually miss. That's still 40 dice, with each having a 40% of success. That's 16 health levels of damage. Good night.

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The damage vs. attack in Aberrant is flawed beyond compare.

It's White Wolf what do you expect?

CC is right. Regardless of what power is active or what extras you tack on, you always get at least a single 'ping' die for damage, this is canon and in a words of Singularity it is not to be contested.

But Sing is a rules lawyer.

That said, I changed the rules for our TT game a bit. In our game we do not stop at 5 successes as being all you can carry over for damage. In our TT game if you roll 13 succ on an attack you can carry all 13 over to the damage.

1. It makes even defense themed novas think twice before picking a fight.

2. It makes damage a bit more random. You may get blasted for ([Q-Bolt Damage]+1) or ([Q-Bolt Damage]+15), you never know.

3. 'Ping' die is only in effect against novas fighting novas. Most humans (unless using AP ammo) never get a 'ping' die. No matter how 'Invulnerable' your character is, the more you get hammered around by quantum blasts, and thrown into buildings, eventually you get tired, or dead.

No exceptions.

Your PC is not Pre-Crisis Super-Douche.

Deal.

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I think anything that adds to your soak, is soak.

I'm not so sure about Rev's house rule on unlimited successes. After all, Protective powers are pretty static. Even your FF, once activated gives a set amount of soak every turn.

IMO, that cheapens the effectiveness of Defense-Oriented characters. As it stands now, attacks already have varied damage levels.

As a house rule, if the base damage of an attack is less than half the total soak, then you didn't get a ping dice. Its stopped tons of tiny ping attacks from killing characters based on being Invulnerable.

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Quote:
Originally posted by Neil Preston:
As a house rule, if the base damage of an attack is less than half the total soak, then you didn't get a ping dice. Its stopped tons of tiny ping attacks from killing characters based on being Invulnerable.
That is, without a doubt, the house rule I have seen most often and in fact, I cannot recall a TT game that did not have that rule.
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I review my materials last night and found what had been confusing me. One of the Telekinetic power from Adventure! explicitly states that it will completly negate the attack if it's soak is greater than the attack. Think of the bullets stopping in mid air at the end of the matrix and you get a pretty good idea of what I mean.

I must have uncosiously incorporated that ruling into all force field at some point for myself ... my bad

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Quote:
Originally posted by Neil Preston:
As a house rule, if the base damage of an attack is less than half the total soak, then you didn't get a ping dice. Its stopped tons of tiny ping attacks from killing characters based on being Invulnerable.
My TT group uses the same rule. It makes a certain amount of sense: overwhelming defense is overwhelming defense. Firing lots 7.62mm rifles at a tank isn't going to damage the machine from 'ping' effects no matter how well you aim.

The one exception we make is for Aggravated damage. That needs to be less than one-quarter of the target's soak total in order to be ignored completely, even if the target has Impermeable defenses. It just makes sense to us that Aggs are a little nastier.
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[[[[[All right. We interrupt your normal posting for an announcement.]]]]]

When I called Sing a rules lawyer I was joking. I forgot to use an emote because I was using the quick reply form.

I'm sorry Sing.

I'm still using the quick reply feature, so you'll see no emotes here either.

That is all.

[[[[[We now return you to you regularly scheduled posting.]]]]]

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DBUSS at the White Wolf forums says this:

,,
Quote:
"The optional Puny Human rule (from the core book) says that if you have more than twice the soak of an attack then they don't get to roll that die.

I think there is a rule in A! (which would thus be optional for AB) which says that if you have more soak than the attack then you only take Bashing from ping dice."

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Hi, sorry to butt in, I've never been one to just horn in on stuff like this but, but this whole dice thingy actually killed a game I ran.

The issue came up in due to a PC's Nove and his inability to take damage (Read; he was denser than diorite!).

So I requested advice from the co-workers in my office (most of whom were gamers by chance and all of them WW players, some of which knew the game developers). Their answer was to use this 1 die always gets through rule.

Their reasoning was, in part, logical in that they brought up entropy. Their example was in regards to solders in WW1 & 2 taking pop-shots at brass statues in Europe over decades and how this eventually whittled them down!

This was their interpretation of why White Wolf established the rule.

It was sound I told them, but just not in Aberrant, do to the nature of the beast.

I felt that rule could be way to easily abused w/o much difficulty, at all.

They told me that "Do to your Limited understanding of physics you would say that!" (funny as I practically worship science, but they didn't know that, so I just raised an eyebrow and laughed inside instead of getting offended).

The points are (as I stated) as followed;

1) The player was by all means abusing my good nature towards the game BUT, he had not broken any rules in character creation, so I felt no reason to pull this on him for "Fairness" sake.

2) The statues took time and lotsa rnd.s of ammo too ultimately be taken down to the sorry state they ended up in. The player, however, was faced with immediate gun fire in the scenario I had originally provided my co-workers.

3)This rule was not reasonable as to the fact that the Nova/Player was Much harder than merely brass or bronze and Was, in fact, harder & denser than diorite!

My point.........

The BIG problem with the rule is that it implies/nay, enforces that to a Nova who's immune to all but nukes at ground Zero, And has 20 total health, that a man with a sword, a boy throwing marbles, a solder firing an M-16, a rnd from a tank, etc, all end up doing the same damage with each attack!

They WILL all kill the Nove in the same time, assuming they each rolled over 7, 20% of the time.

So In short, you get one pointed to death by lil Suzie with a gum ball who now does the SAME damage as a round from an M1 Abrams tank, a guy with an AK-47 and a house wife with a spatula!

20. #2 Pencils shouldn't be able to kill "Dimmond man"!

AND, guess who agrees, White Wolf!!!

If you read through the Abbi main book (I forget the exact page no#) near around the sections dealing with damage, you may be able to find a small little side bar regarding this, in which the authors openly advocate disregarding the whole rule (especially in regards to Noves & the like) do to them being far and above WW's common World of Darkness cast!

They argue that the 1 die rule was intended for lower powered games and did not take into account the potential for Novas/Aberrant (as the game was, at the time new to WOD).

This is an open advocation by the authors that it was about time that the rule should be applied with a healthy dose of common sense.

Again, sorry for the chime in, and Nether I nor the game developers feel the rule should go completely out the door, just be reasonable when using it as some Novas may just be truly "INVINCIBLE".

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Quote:
Erin 'Stellar' Donovan:
Quote:
Neil Preston: As a house rule, if the base damage of an attack is less than half the total soak, then you didn't get a ping dice. Its stopped tons of tiny ping attacks from killing characters based on being Invulnerable.
That is, without a doubt, the house rule I have seen most often and in fact, I cannot recall a TT game that did not have that rule.
This isn't a house rule, this is an optional rule (see also “Puny Human” box in the Core book). A really good option BTW.

Quote:
My point.........
The BIG problem with the rule is that it implies/nay, enforces that to a Nova who's immune to all but nukes at ground Zero, And has 20 total health, that a man with a sword, a boy throwing marbles, a solder firing an M-16, a rnd from a tank, etc, all end up doing the same damage with each attack!

They WILL all kill the Nove in the same time, assuming they each rolled over 7, 20% of the time.
The “Puny Human” option is a good one. For the truly high soak brick, there comes a point when a bullet equals a water pistol… however it’s pretty darn difficult to get to that point for things like tank rounds.

It has been my experience that the true soak machine is a strong, but not invincible concept and in a TT environment doesn’t dominate. That is less true in this environment where people can grant themselves insane levels of experience but that’s a different problem.

When I was running a strength brick, the first time I ran into an army I just ignored the soldiers and concentrated on the tanks. I think they shot me with things that might actually hurt about 5 times and I took about 2 levels of damage. The guy with the storm technique dealt with the soldiers, if I’d had to do it I would have run out of juice.

The next time I ran into an army they were prepared for me and a much larger percentage of the soldiers had things that could do ping damage. I also didn't have the guy with the storm tech along, so I had to run or be pinged to death.

Getting enough soak to “ping” the higher level attacks, call them tanks or novas, is extremely hard.
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  • 5 months later...

The basic reality of soak in Aberrant is this: you can get it, and get lots of it, but it's exceedingly expensive to actually buy enough soak to completely ignore things like tank shells. Going with the 30mm cannon (usually found on armored fighting vehicles and old, light tanks), you'd need a total of 34 soak (13x2, plus an extra 4x2 for successes rolled by skilled attackers) to negate the ping die under the "Puny Human" rule. Sure, possible, but you're going to need either Q6 and the Mastery Extra or multiple forms of soak boosters at mid to high levels to manage it; Mega Stamina plus Force Field plus a couple of dots each in Armor and Invulnerability leaps to mind as the quickest and least expensive combo. It gets worse, and signifigantly more expensive, if you want to ignore things like artillery shells: you'd need a total of 70 lethal soak to negate the ping die on an artillery shell, which is definitely going to require a year or three's worth of XP just to make the down payment on.

An additional point worth mentioning is that the fastest way to meet those soak targets on the cheap, from an XP perspective, is Mega-Stamina dice on a Force Field roll. Now, setting aside how lucky your dice are (one bad rolling day for an 'invulnerable' character who leans on forcefield can be very, very painful), something worth sweating is the quantum cost of keeping Forcefield up. It may not matter in most normal nova-on-nova fights, which tend to end quickly and lethally, but in a sustained fight against large numbers of heavily armed troops it can start to add up in a very serious hurry. How many tank platoons can you wreck in the few minutes before your quantum pool runs dry? Better hurry, the clock's running....

A lenient ST, or one who likes to flavor novas as virtual demi-gods, will naturally go easier on the quantum restrictions. But if you run your game that way, you really should expect a nova who focuses on soak to laugh at the mortal fools who think to harm her.

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Not sure where you are getting your damage multipliers at for heavy weapons Wargear the damage I am looking at is a range of 5 (no succcesses just autodamage) to 18 (all successes + autodamage + the 5 success damage from skill). It can of course be argued that since the description says it uses AP ammo that successes on the hit shears off soak dice as per the extra but it never comes out and says that is the system to use.

I am not really sure where you are getting these x2 multipliers but if you can quote the source please do. The way I see it that means a 30mm cannon can annihilate a main battle tank (which barely has half the soak as the damage your system implies from that weapon)

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The damage multiplier's coming from the "Puny Human" optional rule, which states that if you have soak equal to double the total damage of the attack you do not suffer a ping die. Thus, x2. In the case of the 30mm Cannon, that means 8d10L+[5], for a total of 13 damage (see pg 276, Aberrant core book), which doubled is 26; add 4 extra damage from successes on the attack role, also doubled, to get the number I gave above as the soak you'd need to have to negate the ping die.

Since a main battle tank has soak 6 [12], a 30mm cannon would inflict enough damage to bypass its soak add and, but probably (unless used by a truly expert crew)wouldn't do more than a ping die of damage. For better results, a 105mm gun would dish out 15d10L+[10], or 25 dice of damage, enough to blow through the tank's total soak of 18 with 7 to spare.

If a nova, on the other hand, happened to have double that 25 damage in soak (in this case, 50 plus a little more to cover damage added from successes), they wouldn't suffer a ping die of damage from the attack and could laugh at however many tanks chose to shoot at them.

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I really don't see the issue. Yes, a single guy with a 5 strength and a sword is *theoretically* capable of killing a 16 lethal soak nova, eventually, but in any actual combat, he *might* get one level of damage in before the nova tears him in half.

And against large groups, keep in mind the difficulty of coordinating large numbers of troops. If you had, say, 50 cops attack Geryon, in practice he'd only be attacked by a certain percentage of them at any time ( either the cops are in each others ways, or they are farther away and eating range penalties ).

Oh, and all those estimates earlier were based on Base Damage + Maximum Accuracy sux. Remember, against baseline opponents, your usually not going to be facing maximum accuracy sux even against undodged attacks. So while you need 24 lethal soak to totally ignore any and all attacks with an M-16, you only need 18 to ignore a typical 1-2 sux hit.

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*nods* I was deliberately going for the worst case scenario in my math, since the stated goal was to totally ignore the attack. Realistically, once your soak gets up above twenty, you're going to be able to shrug off all but the most severe attacks (very powerful novas and direct shots from a tank) with relative ease.

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  • 1 month later...

Somebody quoted the rule from Adventure! (which is that lethal damage, if lower than the defender's soak, is changed to Bashing ping). I have modified this somewhat, and incorporated it into my Trans-D game on the Eon forums after a vote. The only player not in favor wanted to eliminate ping damage completely.

If Aggravated damage is reduced to ping (thanks to Hardbody, Invuln, or Impervious) then it does Lethal ping damage.

If Lethal damage is reduced to ping, then it does Bashing ping damage.

If Bashing damage is reducecd to ping, then it only inflicts damage on a roll of 10.

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