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Killing Attacks: Possible House Rule

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Question which I might have missed, how does penetrating work on this new idea?  Or increased stun mod?


Mentioned above, penetrating doesn't need to change at all, it acts pretty much as is: the body you roll gets through unless defenses are impenetrable.  Makes it even more AVADish.  For normal attacks I think penetration is actually too expensive (should be +¼ like AP) but for killing it works at +½.


Increased stun multiple... that's a bit harder to figure.  I like the advantage a lot for certain concepts (like hammers in Fantasy Hero) but with this system it wouldn't really work.  In fact, hit location multiples might not be a good idea, either.  Maybe more dice to represent stun multiple, or an advantage that counts stun differently.  Adds the body done to stun?

Question which I might have missed, how does penetrating work on this new idea?  Or increased stun mod?

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With my thing, Stun multiplier works normally. You're just reading STUN off each DC die instead of rolling a separate one to multiply by, so adding or subtracting works as usual for the edition rule used. Distribution will be different, but that's built in to this variant anyway. For the example 8d6 result above, +1 STUN multiple would result in the same STUN as Normal damage (26) under the older 1d6-1 method and 23 STUN under the ½d6 version of 6e. Each additional +1 STUN multiple would add 8 STUN.


It's not really a multiplier anymore though, so I'd rename it "Increased Stun" and "Decreased Stun". Possibly you could allow it to apply to N-damage under the same rules (i.e. can't reduce the roll to zero, can't be taken more times once all rolls equal "1").


Under the current 6e rules each +1 STUN multiplier increases the average STUN caused by 50%, which is in line with my example. This variant does not address concerns about what happens when you pile on large numbers of STUN Multiple. That's a separate issue for the GM to decide on (going back to a limit of +1 in most cases not being a bad idea IMHO).


Hit Location is a good point. Since there is no common multiplier I'd probably just use the Normal Damage STUN multiplier column. I must admit to mainly coming from a Champions-hit-location-optional viewpoint, but even in Champs you occasionally find it useful, if only to pull up players who are careless with K-Damage. 


Penetrating can't simply be applied as written since you're rolling three times as many dice as a standard KA and resulting in Penetrating being almost the same as a NND KA. If you still want the Penetrating rule to apply to K-Damage as it is under standard rules, divide the effect dice rolled by 3. In my example the effect roll is 7, so Penetrating BODY would be 2.333, rounded down to 2, which is in the range you would expect to roll on 2½d6K, so that checks out. 

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I think in Supers games it always has been.  At least that's the way it always was in the Champions games I played in back to the early 80s.

In my games as well, but because the players treated the KA as largely inappropriate for targeting living beings, not because they did the math. Not so in all groups - the Deathstroke scenario noted that most of the villains would not routinely use their KA's , but if it was the only way to lay some STUN damage down, sure - clearly the author recognized the KA's superior ability to get STUN past defenses.


I noticed it with agents, when that Autofire 6DC attack was always a KA, since a Normal attack just bounced off, but a KA had a shot at getting serious damage past defenses.


Only when challenged on the Boards did I run the math and satisfy myself that yes, the KA was superior at getting STUN past defenses, and Stunning the target. 6e fixed it - good!


Now, pre-6e, I saw a lot more KAs in Supers games than AP attacks - at +1/2, AP was vastly overpriced (especially since high DEF characters tended to have Hardened more than low DEF characters). At +1/4, it's much more practical, and a good substitute for a KA for a clawed character, or similar, in a 4 colour game.

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In our campaigns, people got Killing Attacks because they thought that's what fit their special effects (Claws, bullets, high intensity focused energy beams, etc). The most mechanical it usually got was that a bit more body was useful against inanimate objects, automatons, entangles and such. 

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Or, right, roll damage as for normal dice but if your attack is built as a killing attack it ignores normal defences and resistant defences count double.  Killing attacks are not an advantage or limitation, they are just an attack that is defined as 'killing', and cost the same and work mechanically the same as 'normal' attacks except when they interact with defences.


So, you have an 10DC attack, this averages 10/35


Against (these should all cost the same):


1.  21 points of normal defence (i.e. 21 against normal and nothing against killing): 21/0

2. 14 points of resistant defence (i.e. 14 defence against normal and 28 defence against killing): 14/28

3. 12 points of normal defence and 6 points of resistant defence (i.e. 18 defence against normal and 12 against killing): 18/12

4. 6 points normal defence and 10 points resistant (i.e. 16 defence against normal and 20 against killing): 16/20


Normal attack:

1. No Body 14 Stun

2. No Body 21 Stun

3. No Body 17 Stun

4. No Body and 19 Stun


Killing attack:

1. 10 Body 35 Stun

2. No Body 7 Stun

3. No Body 23 Stun

4. No Body and 15 Stun


So against non-resistant targets it is much more effective, but against heavily armoured opponents it is much less effective.  Against moderately armoured opponents, results are similar.


Now, in theory, this benefits taking killing attacks, but how many opponents have no resistant defences?  It is the difference between theoretical and practical balance.  In practice, people are going to build characters that 


Could work, you know.

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I suppose we should also try 15 normal/4 resistant (19/8).  Same cost as before:


That would be:


Normal No Body 16 Stun

Killing 2 Body 27 Stun


You could also, right, buy Body Resistant defences which are the same price as normal defences but have no effect on Stun or Stun Resistant defences which are the same price as normal defences but have no effect on Body.  These are both Resistant defences (so double against killing attacks).


For tweakage.


The reason this could work is that it uses the same damage mechanic as for normal damage, so you do not need two systems: the difference comes in how you apply the damage, and you work out the defences against the appropriate attack at character creation.



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Or, right, change the cost of resistant defences to -1/2 rather than +1/2 but they do not double and only work on killing attacks, so for the 21 points we have been spending on defences in the above examples, you could have:


1. 21 normal defence

2. 19 normal/3 resistant

3. 17/6

4. 15/9

5. 13/12

6. 11/15

7. 9/18

8. 7/21


Normal attack damage

1. 14/0

2. 16/0

3. 18/0

4. 20/0

5. 22/0

6. 24/0

7. 26/1

8. 28/3


Killing attack damage:

1. 35/10

2. 32/7

3. 29/4

4. 26/1

5. 23/0

6. 20/0

7. 17/0

8. 14/0


Honestly, tweaking the way the damage is applied rather than the way it is calculated might have legs.  One of the big issues that a lot of people did not like about old style Killing Attacks was the Stun Lottery.  Even in New Hero it exists , although mitigated to an extent.  Personally I like the use of Body and Stun being extracted from a single roll, the very Hero-like mechanic. 


Anyway, see what you think.

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