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GregPogor
One thing I loved in past Shadowrun editions rules was the relative quickness of combat rules, due to the fact that the target and the attacker both rolled once to figure out if the attack lands, and how much damage the victim would suffer. The new rules add another dice roll, now every combat attack is an opposed test: before you'd roll your attack, and the defender would roll the soak test. Now, before the soak, the defender rolls his evasive action too.

I'm considering using this "official" rule tweak:

QUOTE (Shadowrun 4 @ p. 69)
ē To cut down on dice rolling during combat, you could drop Damage Resistance Tests entirely, reducing combat to a single Opposed Test. In this case, Armor would deduct directly from the attack's DV..


But if I do that, Body is quite less useful. It only adds half its rating to the damage boxes, and that's all.

So, a solution I see is making the number of boxes in the Damage Monitor [Body]+5 instead of [Body /2]+8. Same for Stun Monitor ([Willpower]+5) and Matrix Monitor ([System]+5).

Waddaya think about it?
Lord Ben
I think I'd play a Troll (+1) with orthoskin (+3), an armored jacket (+cool.gif and a helmet (+1) for a total of 13 ballistic armor at char gen.

Now I'm immune to pistols, most melee weapons, and darn near ANYTHING else if ballistic directly subtracts from DV.
GregPogor
QUOTE (Lord Ben)
I think I'd play a Troll (+1) with orthoskin (+3), an armored jacket (+8 ) and a helmet (+1) for a total of 13 ballistic armor at char gen.

Now I'm immune to pistols, most melee weapons, and darn near ANYTHING else if ballistic directly subtracts from DV.

Don't forget your hits on the to hit roll adding to the DV. And I would use armor as in the rules, so ballistic substract from projectile, impact from blunt and melee and half ballistic from special damage like fire or acid.

And hell, if you're ready to spend 58 build points (40 (troll) + 18 (90.000 nuyen.gif orthoskin) ) just to be tough and hang around in armored jacket and helmet most of the time, then be invulnerable to bullets if that's your thing - you payed enough for that.

And you forget that, if you spend some more build points on your big bad troll's Body (say 65), you havea Body rating of 10, so with my house rule, you have 15 damage boxes on the top of that (instead of 13 in the old system). So yeah, if you spend 118 build points (more than a quarter of your starting stash), you won't mind bullets.

I have no problem with that. If I were to take a big bull, lace some kind of high-tech armor in its own skin, put a kevlar blanket on it, and then empty an entire uzi clip on him, I don't think it would mind. And a Troll is even bulkier than a bull, as I see it. No fall of logic here.

I don't see invulnerability to bullets as a gamebreaker either. After all, even with a Willpower rating of 6 (and that would cost you 65 more build points, if I'm not mistaken), that only gets you two hits average against a Mana Bolt - cast by a Magic 5, Sorcery 5 (combat spells +2) spellslinger, for example (four hits average). Without overcasting that gets you to cross 7 boxes on your Stun Damage Monitor. That means a -2 dice penalty on all your actions, and only 5 boxes left to cross for the next Mana Bolt.

Wow, I wrote a novel here. Thanks for pointing that out, but to me, that's not a problem. biggrin.gif
Lord Ben
Well, from my IC perspective any mage that mana bolts me is going to die in the next 2 seconds. Full auto from AR narrow burst gives me 15 dice after recoil comp, (5 successes), plus 17DV -3AP from the shot itself. I'd spend edge if I needed, to, but I doubt it.

The game is pretty well balanced. It doesn't take long at all to dodge/soak, etc. You just need to make sure your players can do addition.
GregPogor
QUOTE (Lord Ben)
Well, from my IC perspective any mage that mana bolts me is going to die in the next 2 seconds. Full auto from AR narrow burst gives me 15 dice after recoil comp, (5 successes), plus 17DV -3AP from the shot itself. I'd spend edge if I needed, to, but I doubt it.

The game is pretty well balanced. It doesn't take long at all to dodge/soak, etc. You just need to make sure your players can do addition.

Okay, your answer is "I'm happy with the rules as they are, and I don't find the extra roll to be a pain".

But the question was: "what are you thinking of using (Rating)+5 damage boxes instead of (rating/2)+8 if you're using the rule tweak on p. 69?"

Maybe I didn't make myself understood.

And again, it's not a matter of wether or not using this rule. I'm using it because I'd like to. I felt that Body (and Willpower) would be underused if I'd do so. I figured out a houserule that, IMHO, would fix that. I'm just asking if you think that would work.

Answering me "don't use this houserule" is missing the point a bit, isn't it?
Nkari
Body is useless until you need it.. then you wish you had more.. nyahnyah.gif
Same goes for willpower.. biggrin.gif
GregPogor
QUOTE (Nkari @ Oct 12 2005, 08:12 AM)
Body is useless until you need it.. then you wish you had more.. nyahnyah.gif
Same goes for willpower..  biggrin.gif

I'm not saying that Body (and Willpower) is useless in general. I feel it could be far less useful if I use the quoted rules.

Do you think Body and Willpower are less usefull if I skip damage soak and simply deduct armor rating from DV? If that's the case, do you think making the number of boxes [Body]+5 instead of [Body /2]+8 would help?
Lord Ben
I think that the houserule of subtracting armor from DV would disproportionally benefit Troll Street Sams, another houserule of changing body to be better would also benefit Troll's more than other races as well.

Also, what about bone density and titanium bone lacing? Their benefit is to increase body for purposes of resisting damage. Do those cyberwear peices just go away or do you introduce another houserule to change those?
GregPogor
QUOTE (Lord Ben)
I think that the houserule of subtracting armor from DV would disproportionally benefit Troll Street Sams, another houserule of changing body to be better would also benefit Troll's more than other races as well.


I heard that. I agree, but that's not a problem for me. As I said, your Body 10, Will 6, level 3 Orthoskin Troll costs you 118 build points and 1.5 essence. For me, that's expensive enough to be bulletproof.

And that's not a houserule. That's an official rule tweak, since it's in the book, done by the game designers. I'm not *that* anal, mind you, but I heard some here are. biggrin.gif

QUOTE (Lord Ben)
Also, what about bone density and titanium bone lacing?† Their benefit is to increase body for purposes of resisting damage.† Do those cyberwear peices just go away or do you introduce another houserule to change those?


Well, since the Body of the recipient is augmented, so are his number of physical damage boxes. And, since they have more damage boxes, they are more resilient to damage. QOD.

Exempli gratia: with the "normal" system, the aforementionned Troll with a Bone Density Augmentation 4 would roll 22 dice to soak (5,5 hits on average) and have 15 damage boxes. With the "no roll soak" tweak and the "5+body boxes" houserule, he would soak the same (his damage rating, fixed) but would have 19 damage boxes. In both case, he would cost 16 BP (80.000 nuyen.gif and 1,2 essence more, raising the BP cost to be that tough to 134 BP and 1,95 essence points.

That's just what I aim to fix: the fact that, if you use the rulestweak of p.69 regarding soak rolls, you lose a bit of Body effectiveness. By making damage boxes number more related to Body rating, it may be fixed.
Azralon
Body, using the RAW, has a quickly compound-scaling usefulness when it comes to character survivability.

1) Every 2 more points of Body gives you an extra "hit point" of physical damage capacity.

2) Every 3 more points of Body, on average, negates 1 DV of incoming physical damage per attack.

3) Every 1.5 more points of Body, on average, heals 1 "hit point" of physical damage per day and every 3 more points of Body heals an average 1 "hit point" of Stun per hour.

So loosely -- if you got hit only once per day -- every 6 points of Body typically negates 9 boxes (+3 physical boxes + 2 DV soaked + 4 boxes healed) of physical damage per day. Simplifying that ratio, you're looking at 2 Body getting rid of 3 physical boxes.

Ignoring the healing aspect of it, you're looking at 6 points of Body mitigating a total of 5 boxes of Physical damage if you get hit once, or 7 if you get hit twice, 9 if three times, et cetera. The formula comes to Body mitigating (Body/2) + ((Body/3)*incoming attacks) damage on average.

EDIT: Typos, typos!
blakkie
QUOTE (Lord Ben)
I think I'd play a Troll (+1) with orthoskin (+3), an armored jacket (+cool.gif and a helmet (+1) for a total of 13 ballistic armor at char gen.

Now I'm immune to pistols, most melee weapons, and darn near ANYTHING else if ballistic directly subtracts from DV.

You still also have to roll dice, and a bit better than average, to fully avoid Stun damage from even regular ammo Light Pistol that scored a single net success. That's 4+1=5DV. With 13 armour you'll average only a little more than 4 hits.

You certainly aren't immune to Stick-n-Shock in a holdout. smokin.gif

P.S. That weeping you hear is Baby Jesus. wink.gif
Lord Ben
That's just the armor rating, tack 13 body on top of that if you're using the normal rules. And my armor has rating 6 non-conductivity! cool.gif
Azralon
If you just don't like rolling to soak, divide all armor values by 3 and have those ratings subtract from the DV. Same for Body and Body modifiers if you want.

Ballistic 6 means -2 DV flat out, for instance. Impact 4 means -1 DV.

It decreases armor variation a bit, but the odds will work out the same. I'd advise keeping the Body rolls just so you can spend Edge on something in clutch situations. smile.gif
blakkie
QUOTE (Lord Ben @ Oct 12 2005, 08:53 AM)
That's just the armor rating, tack 13 body on top of that if you're using the normal rules.† And my armor has rating 6 non-conductivity!† cool.gif

Ah, right. I'm sooo looking forward to flamethrowers. At least forcing you to purchase enhancement too. Of course you do know you are just a begging for engulfing Fire/Water Elementals? Maybe you should invest in that fire resistance early? You don't have enough room on your armour to get a full 6 points? Aaaah too bad.

P.S. The Acid Wave casting magicians/Spirits of Man are waiting in the wings. wink.gif As are the Ares Squirt guns.
GregPogor
QUOTE (Azralon)
If you just don't like rolling to soak, divide all armor values by 3 and have those ratings subtract from the DV. Same for Body and Body modifiers if you want. (snip)

I thought of that too, but I find the other method (the tiny house rule I presented) simplier while keeping more or less the same results. The actual variations of result I noticed between the two methods don't bother me so far, but I'd like to see if the people roaming around the biggest SR forum can point me out if I didn't notice other odd results my houserule might produce.

Thanks for the imput, though. I'm gonna ponder that.

Oh, and if my grammar and synthax is a bit odd at times, that's normal. I'm Belgian. We make funny sentences here, in Belgium.
GregPogor
QUOTE (blakkie)
Ah, right. I'm sooo looking forward to flamethrowers. At least forcing you to purchase enhancement too. Of course you do know you are just a begging for engulfing Fire/Water Elementals? Maybe you should invest in that fire resistance early? You don't have enough room on your armour to get a full 6 points? Aaaah too bad.

The moral here is: you can get a tank if you want to - and if you pay for it - but there always be a punk out there with a antitank weapon.

And the GM don't have BP limits if he feels like it. smokin.gif
Lord Ben
Is there something that limits how much enhancements you can put on armor? I didn't think so. It has an avail, but not a +X avail. So you can stack all you want.

I'm not saying I'm invincible (actually I really play an Orc so knock 2 soak off that theoretical Troll), just that I can take a licking and keep on ticking.

But the point of the thread is the rule. I don't like it since it's a houserule to affect an optional rule. Then by the time you houserule bone density you're houseruling a crapload of stuff.

Taking total soak /3 is probably the best way of doing it. Just a fixed TN.
Fortune
QUOTE (GregPogor)
We make funny sentences here, in Belgium.

Waffles too! lick.gif
Fortune
The whole SR4 mechanic is no more time-consuming or complex than SR3's roll-to-hit/dodge/soak combination, except that it's a little more streamlined and elegant under SR4. I don't really seen the need to speed the game up even more by taking the random element out of armor, and making combat even more abstract.
GregPogor
QUOTE (Lord Ben @ Oct 12 2005, 10:27 AM)
But the point of the thread is the rule.  I don't like it since it's a houserule to affect an optional rule.  Then by the time you houserule bone density you're houseruling a crapload of stuff.

Just to make it clear: I'm not houseruling Bone Density. You keep saying that, but that's not making it true.

I'm just using the house rule here. Bone Density gives you more Body. Body adds to damage boxes. Since my houserule adds more extra damage box per Body points, you get more boxes for your buck instead of adding your extra Body points to the soaking (since you're not soaking).

So, ANYTHING THAT ADDS A POINT TO YOUR BODY RATING ADDS A BOX OF DAMAGE ON YOUR CONDITION MONITOR, because TO FIGURE OUT YOUR NUMBER OF DAMAGE BOXES WITH THIS ONE HOUSERULE, YOU ADD 5 TO YOUR BODY RATING. See? Maybe it's more clear in caps. There's no more rule than that. I'm not SPECIFICALY houseruling Bone Density. Bone Density is "houseruled" per se since it adds points to body rating, and the houserule modifies the Body rating / Extra damage box ratio.

So, if ONLY ONE houserule is "a crapload stuff", yes, you're right, I'm houseruling a crapload of stuff. But I don't think that's the case here, and despite your repeating of "this rule suxxors!" I still plan to do it.

But that's not even the question.

What's the question? I wrote it three or four times in this thread. Find it. Read it. Provide an answer.

EDIT: okay, you did it. I'm sorry for assuming you didn't. Okay, you don't want to houserule your game, but between the two rules, you prefer dividing the total soak by 3. Thanks.
Azralon
I agree with Fortune. The new system requires so little math on the fly (especially compared to SR3) that I don't see a reason to eliminate soak rolls. Soak rolls as they stand allow us to keep our "hit points" (aka "damage boxes") down to a low, easily-eyeballed count. Just using Body to add damage boxes will start inflating the box count scale to the point where you may as well actually call them hit points.

I mean, remove soaking if you really want to, but I don't have a need for it. smile.gif

The only thing I can see that could be sped up a little is that the defender has to make a Reaction (+Dodge, maybe) roll to see if he's hit at all, and if so then a separate Body+Armor roll. The attacker gets the luxury of tossing just one set of dice.

I suppose it could be simplified by just having two colors of dice thrown at once: one for the evasion and one for the soak.
GregPogor
QUOTE (Azralon)
I agree with Fortune. The new system requires so little math on the fly (especially compared to SR3) that I don't see a reason to eliminate soak rolls.

I'm not really doing it for the math. The goal here is reducing the number of dice rolls. My first experience with SR4 with me as a GM was that 3 rolls was too much for a gunshot*. Reducing the number of rolls to 2 seems small business, but it's a roll that happens everytime someone gets shot, and in my SR games, it happens a lot. biggrin.gif


*To be honnest, I've been shellshocked by the Deadlands combat rules and, since then, I've become very sensitive towards shitloads of dice rolling while playing a combat scene.

QUOTE (Fortune)
Waffles too! smile.gif


Woohoo! Waffles!
Azralon
QUOTE (GregPogor)
So, if ONLY ONE houserule is "a crapload stuff", yes, you're right, I'm houseruling a crapload of stuff. But I don't think that's the case here, and despite your repeating of "this rule suxxors!" I still plan to do it.

If all Body does is add to damage boxes, then tougher people will take longer to fully recover with natural healing. Magical healing will be less proportionately effective.

If you're comfortable with that, then cool.
Lord Ben
Yes, but you're wrong. Bone Density only increases body for damage resistance tests. And with your alternate rule there is no more damage resistance test. Thus no benefit other than physical damage.

Bone Density Augmentation: In a long and painful
process, the molecular matrix of the subjectís bones are altered
for density and strength. The procedure also strengthens
ligaments, but as a side effect increases the characterís
weight. Increase the recipientís Body by the bone density
rating for damage resistance tests. Characters with bone
density deal Physical damage in unarmed combat.
GregPogor
QUOTE (Lord Ben)
Yes, but you're wrong. Bone Density only increases body for damage resistance tests. And with your alternate rule there is no more damage resistance test. Thus no benefit other than physical damage.

YOU MEAN I'M HAVING THIS ARGUMENT BECAUSE OF MY MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE RULES??? IT CAN'T BE!

:shake fist:

I just re-read the rules and crap, you're right about that smile.gif So yeah, I must add that "every bonus die added by whatever mean, either temporarily or permanently, to any damage reduction test adds a relevant damage box instead". And you're right that two is begining to look like too many.

QUOTE (Azralon)
If all Body does is add to damage boxes, then tougher people will take longer to fully recover with natural healing. Magical healing will be less proportionately effective.


Well, Body's still rolled for healing tests. And it's already the case with the rules as written, since healing rules are basically a Hit/Damage box healed trade on a diceroll: the more damage boxes you have to heal, regardless of the maximum rating, the more success you need, IIRC.

So yeah, i'm cool with it.
blakkie
QUOTE (Lord Ben @ Oct 12 2005, 09:27 AM)
Is there something that limits how much enhancements you can put on armor?† I didn't think so.† It has an avail, but not a +X avail.† So you can stack all you want.

I thought someone had mentioned there was, but i don't recall a direct quote and don't see anything specific about limits about ratings vs. the armour you are adding it to (it might has just been an assumption based on SR3).

However you are adding to the armor value so i was thinking that encumberance would become an issue. *shrug* You did have room before because Ortho doesn't count towards encumberance, nor does (i believe) being a troll, nor the bone augmentation (either way, for or against). But if you keep adding enhancements you'll start slowing yourself down eventually.

EDIT: I haven't looked that hard into this as i thought there was a limit anyway, so i figured you'd normally hit the matching armor value limit before you ran into encumberance issues.
Fortune
No limitations of Armor Mods that I can find.
blakkie
I couldn't find anything either in a quick 10 minute search. What about encumberance though?
Fortune
Doesn't seem to even hint at anything in the way of a penalty for armor modifications. The only things that seem to limit mods are cost and availability, neither of which is truly a factor.
hahnsoo
If you are concerned about rolling too many times for each gunshot, consider making ranged combat a Threshold test rather than an opposed test (another "official" house rule on that same page). This keeps the importance of a high Body for damage resistance while dropping the "dodge bullets" Reaction roll. Something like:
Base Threshold of 0 at Short Range, No Cover
Range - Medium +1, Long +2, Extreme +3
Cover - Less than 50% +1, Greater than 50% +2, Full Cover +3

You can add to the threshold by Full Defense, using Dodge + Reaction as usual... the number of hits adds to the threshold, but each attack dodged reduces these Dodge hits by one until your next action. The Combat Sense Ability/Spell adds to this roll instead of the standard Reaction roll vs. Ranged attacks.

Melee combat remains the same, mostly because Melee tends to be an opposed test between the melee skill of the two combatants, and is generally more complicated anyway (dropping 1 roll won't make it any less complicated).

In our games, we have a hybrid system, where one can choose to "dodge" (by engaging in any movement) and make the standard roll or rely on their cover (stay stationary) and use the Threshold system above. So far it has worked fairly well.
TheNarrator
Actually, it's the same number of rolls in SR4 as in SR3.

SR3:
-Attacker rolls Combat Skill + Combat Pool.
-Defender rolls Combat Pool to dodge.
-If he doesn't dodge, defender rolls Body + Combat Pool.

SR4:
-Attacker rolls Atribute + Skill.
-Defender rolls Reaction.
-If he doesn't dodge, defender rolls Body + Armor.

It's not even more dice being rolled, when you take into account Combat Pool.

I've got to say, I wouldn't want to play the system originally proposed by GregPogor. Anyone with high Armor would be impervious to harm from any but the most powerful weapons (remember, in SR4 as it stands, you average 1 less DV per 3 armor points) while anyone with lower Armor would be certain to take damage every time they were shot at, period. And the shooter would be staging up the damage, while you couldn't stage it down.

If one wanted less rolls, you could just have players minus (Body + Armor)/3 from the power of all incoming attacks. That would have the same average result as the Damage Resistance Test, but you wouldn't have to roll it. Of course, it takes the luck factor out of things just a smidge, which can be disappointing when the average isn't enough to succeed at something but you're feeling lucky enough you think you could have rolled well. Actually, in SR4, you could game completely diceless by just taking 1/3 of what would have been the dicepool. biggrin.gif But it'll be a very predetermined game.... no chance to beat the odds.
hahnsoo
I don't think it was his proposition. It's a rule that's in the core rulebook, under that one-page list of "official house rules".
TheNarrator
Er, right. Sorry. I guess what I should have said is, "The rule that he proposed adopting."

But yeah, lots of the optional rules proposed in the book are interesting, but I don't particularly like that one. Armor is generally going to be a lot more than (Body + Armor)/3, so anyone with armor is going to be a lot harder to damage than they would be under regular SR4 rules, while anyone without will drop pretty fast, even if they're extra tough due to cyber, adept powers, or good stats.

Now, tripling the usefulness of Armor and reducing the usefulness of Body severely might actually fit the tone of someone's game pretty well (especially if they're trying to push the "guns are scary, wear armor" angle), they just need to be aware that it does change the game balance. They might want to up the price of armor (armor in SR is actually way cheaper than in RL... go figure) or find more uses for the Body stat (which doesn't link to many skills).
Omer Joel
I am thinking about simply removing the Reaction dodge roll from ranged combat, replacing it with a Threshold to hit, unless the defender uses Full Defence. This will reduce combat to two rolls, which will make things far simpler.

And why won't (Armor+Body)/3 as a reduction from DV suffice? Seems statistically fine, and a modifier could be added to the attack roll if adept powers/attributes other than Body have to be accounted for.

The real issue is with the lack of dodging making ranged combat even more deadly than it originally is. How can this be prevented?
Kremlin KOA
QUOTE (blakkie)
QUOTE (Lord Ben @ Oct 12 2005, 08:53 AM)
That's just the armor rating, tack 13 body on top of that if you're using the normal rules.  And my armor has rating 6 non-conductivity!  cool.gif

Ah, right. I'm sooo looking forward to flamethrowers. At least forcing you to purchase enhancement too. Of course you do know you are just a begging for engulfing Fire/Water Elementals? Maybe you should invest in that fire resistance early? You don't have enough room on your armour to get a full 6 points? Aaaah too bad.

P.S. The Acid Wave casting magicians/Spirits of Man are waiting in the wings. wink.gif As are the Ares Squirt guns.

Uh blakkie we are discussing the optionalk "Armor directly reduces damage, no damage resistance test" rule

which means that 13 ballisitc armor reduces 13DV so the light pistol is useless

not stick and shock? well he had non conductivity so you get 13/2 or 6 + 6 and get reduction of 12DV vs your gun

then go to flame with say fire retard 4? 10dv of flame gone he aint gonna be hurt by much

played a char like this in SR3 once... the party used to use him to hide behind
Azralon
Please keep in mind that eliminating defensive rolls will also eliminate the opportunity for the defender to spend Edge in survival situations.
Omer Joel
After re-reading the SR4 combat system, I think I'll use it as-is. The lower skill/attribute ratings of SR4 (in comparison to earlier editions) would simplify things enough, and 3 rolls in total (2 by the defender, 1 by the attacker) should be ok then.

I am also thinking about finding the way to speed up "secondary" (read: expendable) NPC defense - probably by pre-generating hits. A die roller rolling multiple sets of tests would also be handy.
GregPogor
QUOTE (Omer Joel)
After re-reading the SR4 combat system, I think I'll use it as-is. The lower skill/attribute ratings of SR4 (in comparison to earlier editions) would simplify things enough, and 3 rolls in total (2 by the defender, 1 by the attacker) should be ok then.

I am also thinking about finding the way to speed up "secondary" (read: expendable) NPC defense - probably by pre-generating hits. A die roller rolling multiple sets of tests would also be handy.

You know what? I think I nailed the problem here.

That's me having a problem with "too-much-rolls". As in: the GM. So I asked the players what they thought about it.

Two don't care, one thinks it's too much rolling and the other one thinks it's too much dice. So, we agreed to use the thingee to see how it turns out next game.

Now, I think the problem would be more accurately fixed if I'd go the "Buffy" way and roll only for "top runners" NPC. Other NPC would automaticaly score 1 hit every 3 dice rolled*.


Thanks you all for your imput.

*As I already stated in another thread, 1 hit for 4 dice seems a very harsh trade-off. In the same circumstances (no stress, no time limit), D20 allows to take 20. I'd still use the rule but a player can call on it any time, even in the middle of a firefight. If the situation is really without stress, danger or time limit, I'd give him one hit per three dice.
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