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We recently had a new player join our group, and he brought a new perspective to something our group was taking for granted. We have always said that you can effect your damage in melee combat in the following way: every two net successes can stage the damage code up one, once the damage reaches deadly every two extra successes increase the power by one point. First off I should say that we do use the deadly over damage rules. The new player wanted to use his net successes and increase the damage code, and with those left after raising it to D he did not want to raise his power, but to do leave successes for them to have to soak, and if not soaked then do extra boxes past D. That is how we work ranged combat, but have never used melee that way. He pointed out in the book that it says a player "can" raise his power with extra successes, not that they have to do it. I was wondering how everyone else stages up melee in thsi situation?
Zeel De Mort
I think by the rules you're meant to stage up melee as +1 power for every two sucesses once you reach deadly, but we've been running it the same way as ranged for many months now and it's working out just fine. I'd definately say I prefer it that way, and my character has been on the receiving end at least as often as doling it out!

The way things are in the books, it means that a boosted-to-the max ubertroll with a dikoted claymore can leap out and beat a hapless pedestrian (all stats 3, no combat skills) by 20 sucesses or whatever, doing some 20-odd deadly damage. BUT the pedestrian just happens to have a trauma damper! So, *assuming* he doesn't stage that down, he's actually on 9 boxes of physical and one of stun. What the hell!!

Admittedly that kind of thing doesn't/shouldn't come up too often, and in any case the troll can just swing at the pedestrian a second time as he attempts to flee or cower.

But what does happen a lot is two fairly buff guys facing off, with one or both having a trauma damper and/or platelet factories. In that scenario it's still literally impossible to kill someone with a single blow. It just can never happen.

Doing melee staging like ranged is working out just fine for us, as I say. It does mean there are some things you can't do that you conceivably could before, like hurting tough spirits, penetrating hardened armour, etc. But hey you can't have everything!
Nothing in the rules that says extra success over D can be use the way he is proposing. However, it's optional to raise the power, but extra successes don't "hang-out".

SR3:124 (2nd Column near the top).
@ Brazila

Works perfectly as he tried to suggest:

1. Net successes left after reaching D-level may be used to increase power. It's not a must
2. The deadlier overdamge rules (if applicable *power requirement for the attack*) allow to use 2 net successes after reaching D level to create 1 extra box.

It's even possible to mix both effects. Let's say that you have a STR 8 dwarf who scores 6 net successes against a bod 6 human after staging to D level (thus a total of 10 net successes for an otherwise unarmed dwarf!) ... He then uses 4 of his successes to raise his power to 10 (thus being above 1.5*bod of the target as per deadlier-overdamage rules) and then uses the last 2 successes to inflict an extra box of damage ... The victim now has to get 8 successes on his resistance test in order to lower D down to nothing and 2 extra successes to avoid the extra damage ...
The only unreferences part is, how to actually stage down in such a situation: Do successes during the resistance test first remove the extra boxes or do they come after the normal damage level have been staged to nothing?

@ Grinder: It's the other way round: Nowhere do the rules deny the use of extra successes in said manner. The deadlier overdamage rule do not restrict that rule to be used with ranged and the power increase within the melee rules is not a "must".
I must of mis-read the original poster.

Each 2 successes beyond D can optionally add +1 to the power yes? I got the impression he was asking to have the target "buy-down" the extra successes instead of apply them to the damage immediately. That's what my objection was to.
I figured there would be some misunderstanding on what I posted, due to the posts length. From what I gather by cannon, and if the deadlier over damage rules apply, you can use 2 net successes after staging up to D to raise the power, or you can use 2 net successes to add an extra box of damage, which the target must soak before soaking up the deadly damage, similar to ranged combat.
Well i agree with that, that's how we do it.

My apologies.
In my home game, we handled damage from Melee Combat using the Ranged Combat rules for a year. We used it for all Melee Combat, and found no problem with doing it that way. We have since gone back to doing it by-the-book, so that when we play with other people we are accustomed to standard rules. Since 6 of us all GM for other people, it's important that we're all familiar with standard rules.

That said, I wouldn't let a player pick which way he wanted to handle the damage. That's too munchkin.
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