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> Trolls and Dwarves, concealability and getting shot
Rory Blackhand
post Sep 11 2004, 08:08 PM
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I had another idea/question.

Shouldn't it be harder to conceal something if you are a dwarf? And easier to conceal something if you are a troll? But on the other hand shouldn't it be easier to hit a target that makes a silhuette 9' x 5' vs one that makes 4' x 2'?

Here is what I mean about concealability. Take the average staff type weapon. I am assuming they are 6' or 7' long to give a reach of 2. For a normal size human a piece of wood that long is not very concealable. It is as tall as you are basically. Maybe if you had a full length cloak on and were on the tall side you could stand there with a staff hidden from view with one end resting on the ground and the other end resting on your cheek, for example. With a hood on it would be hard to spot, but no walking around with it. If you could telescope it down to half it's size you could then hide it much easier. A back sheath would keep you upright and stiff backed, in the sleeve of the arm would be possible, but you couldn't bend your arm. Leg, same thing. Hanging from an arm pit sheath under a duster would work, but sitting down would be tricky.

All in all the rules reflect this well, giving telescoping staffs two conceal ratings which I am completely happy with. The problem is a troll has a much bigger mass and by the description much longer arms than are symetrical. The same telescoped reach 2 staff could prbably fit in a sheath strapped to a troll's forearm and not stick out past his elbow, meaning he could move his arm naturally with no problems. Doesn't it make sense a troll could hide a weapon like that easier? And if you are saying a troll moddified weapon is also longer instead of just a bit thicker to fit a troll hand better why is there no reach 3? A 6' polearm to a human would be a 9' polearm to a troll if you are going that route. But to a dwarf or gnome it would be just the opposite.

What would be a fair adjustment if there was one? Or am I not interpretting the rules correctly on troll/dwarf sizing of melee weapons, for example? Also on this same line, if you notice a knife does like a light damage in general, a sword does a medium damage in general, and a two handed sword does serious damage in general, if you are saying a troll's weapons have to be super sized so to speak, would a troll's two handed sword do deadly? Could a human even try to swing a 9' troll sized claymore? Shouldn't dwarf sized weapons do less damage?

I was thinking of giving trolls a 50% bonus since they are 50% bigger? Kind of like getting the long coat bonus for free. Dwarves would get a 50% penalty since they are 50% smaller. I can see a troll hiding an M60 machine gun under a duster. It would be alot of work, but I would like to see an official ruling or an expanded equiptment list with concealments adjusted for the races.

As far as the target size and hitting I do think it would be easier to hit a troll at the other end of an ally than a dwarf. Does a simple -1/+1 sound right to the target numbers for ranged combat?

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Edward
post Sep 11 2004, 08:27 PM
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Dwarves are not that much smaller in the torso witch is what maters when your shooting canter mass or head shot. All they loose is leg length and a little torso length. No harder to hit where it matters.

Trolls are a lot bigger. Perhaps they should be easier to hit. How much easier is it to hit a car? Probably about half of that modifier if you wanted to do something.

Conceal ability is a different point. For big items like weapons it might make sense but then I would say you need a long coat to hide many weapons (unless you put it in a bag but that will hide anything) for smaller items like pistols it would not make a difference. You can hide it completely from sight. There is no telling the difference between a hold out pistol and a torch that is in somebodies pocket but it pulls on the fabric so it is obvious they have something. Being bigger would not make it any easier to do this.

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Austere Emancipa...
post Sep 11 2004, 08:30 PM
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How much damage troll-sized and other melee weapons do is simply abstracted into the fact that you do (STR+#)DL damage. A troll has a huge strength, so it does a lot of damage. Even though the DL is the same with a "troll-modified" sword and an unmodified human sword, the TN penalties with the unmodified sword indirectly balance that out well enough. Dwarves are usually considered so strong that they could wield weapons just as large (or often larger in fantasy settings...) as humans.

I wouldn't use any TN modifiers for hitting different sized humanoids in SR. Trolls can't handle that much more punishment, and dwarves are already quite powerful enough, so game balance might go all wonky. If this really concerns you, try this: decide that dwarves are actually about 1.4-1.5 meters tall and much wider than humans, and trolls are around 2.1-2.3 meters tall. No rules-wise effects, and suddenly all kinds of other stuff starts making sense as well (like just how the hell can trolls get anywhere, or why they aren't near-invulnerable tanks).
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Cain
post Sep 11 2004, 08:59 PM
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Re: Concealability: No, trolls shouldn't get a bonus, since all their gear has to be troll-sized. Assuming it's proportionate, the net result would even out. Also, remember that the Conceal number also applies to mechanical detectors: MAD's, chemsniffers, and the like.
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Rory Blackhand
post Sep 11 2004, 09:16 PM
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I hadn't considered the mechanical aspect of spotting weaponry. I assumed conceal was just a normal figure doing a perception test to spot a character.

But how do you troll size a staff? Are you making it larger and longer? I assumed you were making the wood thicker to fit the trolls grip and nothing more. It says trolls can use two handed weapons with one hand. That leads me to believe that the length would be left the same. In the description for firearms it just says the grips are made bigger, not that the barrel length or bore is made bigger.

Not every troll is a strength 10 monster either. There are strength 5 trolls out there too. I fail to see why a nodachi would do any more damage than a katana if a troll sized two handed sword does the same damage as a normal sized two handed sword? I get the abstract nature of weapon damages, the whole game is abstract. Obviously the game does add damage for the bigger blades intentionaly to represent the extra mass and damage potential. It only makes sense to continue the damage progression with monstrous sized weapons that normal humans can't even wield. But that leads to reach modifiers being left at no more than 2.
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TheScamp
post Sep 12 2004, 03:25 AM
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QUOTE
I fail to see why a nodachi would do any more damage than a katana if a troll sized two handed sword does the same damage as a normal sized two handed sword?

A troll sized two handed sword would be like 8-10 feet long. Troll-modified no-dachi simply have bigger grips. A sword twice the size would certainly have a bigger damage code.
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Rory Blackhand
post Sep 12 2004, 05:05 AM
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If you follow along with the damage codes listed logically it sure would. That is the point I am trying to make. It would be nice to have a complete list of melee weapons for trolls and dwarves. There must be a 9' polearm with a chopping blade as heavy as a guilatine's out there somewhere? Too bad the standard height of an average indoor room is only 8'. Have fun using it inside. Nobody said it would be easy being a troll. What would the reach be?

I don't get to play much, maybe 4 times in the past two years? The GM is a rules lawyer. He doesn't like any house rules at all. Not that we don't have a few. Lucky for me he has fought with two long swords so I did not have to get physical with him to allow me to have two katanas. Point I am trying to make is that convincing him of something that makes sense is more than just spelling it out in black and white for him to where it makes sense. I thought if I could come here and state a case as clearly as possible it will help me to see if I missed something or not in the way I lay it out.

I think it should be easier to conceal weapons on a troll from visual detection. The mechanical means of detecting weapons might need to be dealt with in a different way, but if you are trying to hide something it is always better to have a bigger area to hide it in. I have also fired thousands of rounds at various targets. It is easier to hit a larger target, no doubt. I also think that a monstrous sized weapon should have a higher damage code and a better reach advantage.
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Austere Emancipa...
post Sep 12 2004, 05:07 AM
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QUOTE (Rory Blackhand)
Not every troll is a strength 10 monster either. There are strength 5 trolls out there too.

A STR 5 troll is no stronger than a rather strong human. He wouldn't be capable of wielding an 8-foot sword -- apart from grip size, he'd be stuck with human-sized weapons.

QUOTE (Rory Blackhand)
Obviously the game does add damage for the bigger blades intentionaly to represent the extra mass and damage potential.

I do not completely agree. Often the higher Damage Level can be attributed simply to weapon design and how they are wielded (ie 1-hand weapons vs 2-hand, small quick stabby knives vs larger slower swinging swords, wood vs metal, etc). This is my explanation for why a No-Dachi has a higher DC than a Katana.

Also, I think that there is not that much of logic going on behind certain different weapon types and their Damage Codes. They seem to be there partly to have examples of all kinds of Reach - DC - Weapon Class combinations. Because the numbers are weird, you can easily draw all sorts of conclusions from them -- including that bigger and heavier weapons do more damage, but also that axes are much less damaging than swords and don't penetrate armor nearly as well, etc.

Thus to say that a larger weapon should have a higher DC I don't agree with. They could, but I'm sticking with my original reasoning for why it's not a great idea.

QUOTE (Rory Blackhand)
It only makes sense to continue the damage progression with monstrous sized weapons that normal humans can't even wield.

Keep in mind that, Strength-attr-wise, trolls aren't that much stronger than humans. A human shadowrunner can easily attain an average troll STR, or even a high troll STR. You might run into problems with characters of smaller races wanting some of those 10-foot swords.

If you go around this by simply stating that only trolls can use these, then you're in trouble. If trolls aren't that strong, why is it that they can wield the monstrous weapons while humans can't? With certain types of weapons, like staves, it does make sense. But with others, like 1-hand swords, there's no reason a STR 7 troll could wield one much larger than what a STR 10 human can.

This post has been edited by Austere Emancipator: Sep 12 2004, 05:13 AM
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Rory Blackhand
post Sep 12 2004, 05:39 AM
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I see some of the point you are making, but I disagree with you. Look at the damage code for knives. They are all light damage weapons. One handed swords are all moderate damage weapons. And finally the two handed swords are serious damage weapons. The weapons do get larger, it does not make sense that a 9' blade would only do serious. If you follow the progression logically it would do deadly.

Also saying that a troll, regardless of strength, whose shoulder is 8' off the ground would not be able to swing a 9' sword any better than a human whose shoulder is 5' off the ground does not make sense. The strength has less to do with it than body physiology. True there is a strength minimum for using a claymore of a 4, so it could be that a monstrous sized claymore could have a strength minimum of a 6 or 7, even 8?

The nodachi is easier to use though. It only needs a strength of 3 to use, so it is quite feasible to say that a strength of 5 or 6 is all that would be needed to use one. A 6 would be double the strength requirement of it's human sized counterpart.

And as far as using these monstrous weapons by short folks goes, on page 99 of Cannon Companion there is a weapon holding modifiers table. It would just need to be expanded to include monstrous weapons. I didn't mean to say that a human couldn't use one at all ever, I meant it would not be worth the penalty to want to use it.
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snowRaven
post Sep 12 2004, 06:33 AM
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As for the concealability rules - yes, trolls should have an easier time, and dwarves should hae a harder time with really large objects. The easiest way to acheive this is to houserule that anything normal sized a Troll hides on his person gets a +2 to Concealability for visual spotting. For dwarves, anything of concealability three or lower reduces their concealability by 1.
(Both of these are before modification for long coats)

As for size and TN to hit, use the Manual Gunnery Table on pg.153 of the BBB.
"Small critter (smaller than 1/3 the size of a human) +1"
"Large critter (larger than 3x the size of a human) -1"

Most Trolls would fit into the second category (accounting not only for height, but for width as well) and at least gnomes (built like children) will fit into the first. Most dwarves would be too big to get the TN penalty, but remember that they often have an easier time finding good cover.

Since the TNs apply for manual gunnery, it is sensible to apply them to all manual ranged combat (especially since the table includes 'firing an unmounted weapon' from a vehicle, which - unless I'm reading the rules wrong - doesn't even use the Gunnery skill).
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Kagetenshi
post Sep 12 2004, 01:49 PM
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Given that melee weapons of any size have been mostly superseded for pretty much all of the non-Shadowrunning/ganger population, I see no reason why people would be making nine-foot sharpened chunks of steel.

~J
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TheScamp
post Sep 12 2004, 02:07 PM
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QUOTE
Given that melee weapons of any size have been mostly superseded for pretty much all of the non-Shadowrunning/ganger population, I see no reason why people would be making nine-foot sharpened chunks of steel.

Well, then there shouldn't be any reason for people to be making 3 foot sharpened chunks of steel. Yet they do.
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Botch
post Sep 15 2004, 11:16 AM
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QUOTE (Austere Emancipator)
If this really concerns you, try this: decide that dwarves are actually about 1.4-1.5 meters tall and much wider than humans, and trolls are around 2.1-2.3 meters tall.

Sorry, 2.1m to 2.3m tall isn't a troll. I'm not going to rant, I'll just go away and fume silently.
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Austere Emancipa...
post Sep 15 2004, 11:29 AM
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QUOTE (Botch)
Sorry, 2.1m to 2.3m tall isn't a troll.

Yes it is, in my game. The gigantic-yet-dangerously thin canon troll (with about the same proportions as a 170cm, 50kg human) just doesn't fit into my game world.

I'd actually rather you ranted, so I had a clue what you're objecting to. Now it just seems like you think changing the average length of races in an RPG is heresy.
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Apathy
post Sep 15 2004, 12:32 PM
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I agree with the logic that if troll-sizing a weapon just means making the grip bigger that trolls should get a concealibility bonus for the purposes of visual concealment.

I agree that if we say that troll-sizing a weapon means proportionally increasing everything about the weapon then the bigger weapons should get an additional reach point and a bonus to weapon power and/or damage code.

These rules are currently abstracted for simplicity. But if we want to be truly 'realistic' (a silly word to use when refering to trolls, dragons, magic, etc.), and provide bonuses inherant to the troll's larger size, we'd also need to provide penalties for size when appropriate, too.
  • they should get TN penalties for sneaking.
  • others should have reduced TNs for hitting them (-1 probably)
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Botch
post Sep 15 2004, 12:50 PM
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Ok, mini-rant

Trolls are scary, big, looming, and generally a bit dumb. Almost all fantasy portrays them this way. I'll say it again, big and scary. They make even large adult men look small. They're big, big, big. Its the whole point of trolls.

SR made a bit of a mistake with the weights, so why do you suggest reducing the height? I mean trolls have to pay 25% more for just about everything, they even need special seating. This obviously means they are BIG and HEAVY.

At 2.1m to 2.3m tall you get taller basketball players.

I'm not massive, I don't standout much in a crowd, I'm 6'4". I am currently 110kgs (not obese) when I played Am. football and rugby I was 19 stone.

When I'm in my local pub (cap. 350) there are taller men. Quite frankly someone who is 4" to 6" taller is not a BIG, SCARY troll, orc maybe, but not a troll.

If you have a problem with their weight, DO NOT REDUCE THE HEIGHT, increase the weight. Trolls are supposed to penalised because of their size, do not make them the same size as a basketball player.

Anyway,

In SR trolls cannot exist without a mana field, a higher mana field than elves and dwarves, this can account for a weight that maybe a bit less than the 1,000lb that would be expected for a troll that is 2.7m-2.8m tall if it is too heavy. Athritis? Well that cripples massive humans, mana field again. Why else did they disappear in the 5th world?
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Botch
post Sep 15 2004, 12:53 PM
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QUOTE (Apathy)
I agree that if we say that troll-sizing a weapon means proportionally increasing everything about the weapon then the bigger weapons should get an additional reach point and a bonus to weapon power and/or damage code.

And additional damage soaking. Currently a nymph can take as much damage as a troll.

Think about a moose or bear, trolls would have to something like reduce damage by 33%/-1lvl. So a 9M pistol would only affect a troll as 6L.

Personally, leave it alone.
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mfb
post Sep 15 2004, 01:06 PM
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trolls already get a +5 bonus to the power of all melee attacks. i'm not sure why people think they need more.
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Botch
post Sep 15 2004, 01:09 PM
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Yeah, but their initiative and combat pool are generally poorer. What good is strength alone.
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mfb
post Sep 15 2004, 01:14 PM
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yes, see, that's called "balance". they get super-high Str and Bod, but are slower, not as smart, and not as pretty as humans.
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Botch
post Sep 15 2004, 01:20 PM
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So they don't have an advantage then?
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Austere Emancipa...
post Sep 15 2004, 01:28 PM
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So a 2.2 meter, 225kg extremely muscular, bone plated creature with prominent horns and tusks and proportions closer to those of a gorilla than a human wouldn't scare you in the least? I find that a bit hard to believe...

If you look at the numbers, they aren't that tough. Sure they're strong, but not nearly as strong as a 2.8 humanoid would have to be, let alone a 2.8 muscular, gorilla-like critter. Sure they've got good BOD-ratings, but they can't handle nearly as much punishment as a 2.8 meter bone-plated monstrosity absolutely should. Yes, they've got a Reach bonus, but that +1 doesn't hold a candle to how a 2.8 meter troll would dominate any unarmed combat with a human being. You can't kill 'em with Hould-Out Pistols, but a Heavy Pistol with Hollow Point ammunition will kill an unarmored troll dead without failure -- it would only serve to make a 2.8 meter bone-plated monster angry.

2.8 meters is immense, so big you'd have to be really careful driving with your armored HMMWV not to wreck your car on one. NRA would be wanting ATGMs as self-defense weapons, police patrols in troll-neighborhoods would be packing HMGs and automatic GLs. Who needs troll-sized doors when these guys could hammer down concrete walls?

I find that a 2.2 meter, 225kg troll explains all that. It's still huge, scary, ugly and dumb, but it also makes some sort of sense and is a more viable character. That size explains the current rules concerning trolls wonderfully, allows it to fit into most buildings, and is much closer to all the SR troll artwork as well -- most trolls in SR art are just over 2 meters tall, and look like they might weigh about 225kg.
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Botch
post Sep 16 2004, 11:11 AM
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I supose we have to disagree. Personally I like trolls not being able to function in human sized areas, keeps that ghetto mentality going.

As to having to heavily amour/arm police in troll areas, no, just employ trolls.

And as I not a shadowrunner in RL, yes your troll would scare the drek out of me in a pub fight. I didn't say I wouldn't be scared, quite frankly an angry ork would scare me as well. Thinking about it, anybody coming at me who is my size would worry me.
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Botch
post Sep 16 2004, 11:15 AM
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QUOTE (mfb)
trolls already get a +5 bonus to the power of all melee attacks. i'm not sure why people think they need more.

Most trolls are poor and tend to be dumb, most cyberware is expensive and available magic of a lower grade.

So trying to increase you combat effective by carrying a bigger/heavier hunk of steel would be exactly what the majority of trolls would try.
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Austere Emancipa...
post Sep 16 2004, 11:29 AM
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QUOTE (Botch)
As to having to heavily amour/arm police in troll areas, no, just employ trolls.

And never give them firearms, because they aren't going to need them? Troll SWAT: a group of trolls with clubs charging straight in. Well, like I said, Not In My Game.

QUOTE (Botch)
Thinking about it, anybody coming at me who is my size would worry me.

That's definitely not your size though. That's over 10" taller than you, with far longer arms, he's bone plated, and weighs more than twice as much, all of that weight being either muscle or supporting structure. For the record, the heaviest weightlifter in the history of modern olympics weighed 166kg. 225kg @ 2.2m is one big motherfucker.

Most importantly, though, a 2.2m, 225kg troll would look exactly as scary as it's in-game attributes make it.

In my medieval fantasy SR game there are Giants who average 3m in height and almost 400kg in weight. They count as Large, which means all damage sustained by them is at -1 DL, 3/4ths Power, and any damage they inflict to normal-sized creatures is at +1 DL, + Power. Even then, they have an average BOD and STR of 7. They are easier to hit in ranged combat (-1 TN to hit them), and they have a harder time sneaking around, etc.
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