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Jesse Lowe

RKA Magnitude question

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I've a question regarding Energy Blasts and Ranged Killing Attacks, and the reasonable magnitude thereof. I'm converting a large number of blaster-type weapons from another system (Rifts). Most give damage in d6 increments, so for the sake of convenience, I'm just doing a direct translation of 1d6 MD to 1d6 RKA. (I'm reading SDC as Normal damage, MD as Killing damage. Easier that way.)

 

At low levels, this works out fairly well. A Hero Colt .45 is a 2d6-1 RKA; a Rifts C-18 laser pistol, which fills roughly the same niche, is 1 1/2d6 RKA according to my system. However... at higher levels, I've got things like fusion blocks (a kind of bomb; most powerful is a 40d6 KA) and particle beam rifles (7d6 RKA).

 

How many dice of killing attack are too many? Bear in mind that the average foot soldier in the setting wears 16 PD/ED Armor with full Damage Resistance.

 

I guess the real question I'm asking is: are RKAs of 4d6+ (Damage Class 12) too powerful to be commonly available?

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This will depend on the campaign setting. How lethal is combat intended to be? With an average 16 rDef, a 4d6 KA inflicts no BOD damage unless it rolls above the average of 14, and 7d6 will average about 8.5 (24.5 average roll). However, they have the potential to do a lot of STUN.

 

40d6 KA is pretty much "kills whoever it hits", since it will do 140 average BOD, and that 16 DEF won't shave much off. Practically, it's a nuke. It's a 1,200 point attack, which is probably the best measure of raw power.

 

Commonly, I see 60 point (12 DC) limits, and 75 point (15 DC) limits to avoid instant kill attacks, but it depends on the combat structure you're trying to create. If you want an "instant death" effect for unarmored targets, 6d6 or 7d6 RKA are about right.

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The real question is, what does it do in Rifts? If the bomb is a "kills whoever it hits" effect in rifts, a 40d6 KA works. Likewise, if the particle beam is supposed to flatten anything it hits and kill unarmored targets in one shot, 7d6 KA works. If it shouldn't be a likely KO for an armored target, tack on Reduced Stun Multiplier. If it shouldn't kill unarmored targets, but should injure armored ones, try a lower KA with penetrating.

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I like a lot of the Rifts conception but dislike the rules. There are too many inconsistencies between different sourcebooks.

 

I don't think that you can do a linear conversion of Rifts damage into Hero damage, especially with Rifts' SDC/MDC rules. Here's what I suggest as a starting point:

 

MDC laser pistol = 3d6 RKA

MDC laser rifle = 4d6 RKA

Man-portable rail gun = 4d6 RKA autofire

Vehicle-mounted rail gun = 6d6 RKA autofire

 

Mini-missile = 3d6 RKA

Short range missile = 4d6 RKA

Medium range missile = 7d6 RKA

Long range missile = 10d6 RKA

 

Disclaimer: My numbers might be completely off for the type of game you want to run. I tend to like the fact that Champions makes instant character deaths very rare. Rifts character deaths, IMO, are much more common.

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Originally posted by DoctorItron

Disclaimer: My numbers might be completely off for the type of game you want to run. I tend to like the fact that Champions makes instant character deaths very rare. Rifts character deaths, IMO, are much more common.

 

I can recall a time when my group played three games: Champions, AD&D and Call of Cthulhu. One player summed up success and lethality something like this:

 

Champions: Play well, and you have a good chance of succeeding at any adventure. Play poorly and the worst case is you'll be knocked out. Death is highly unlikely.

 

D & D: Play well, and you have a decent chance of succeeding at any adventure. Death is a possibility, but low if you play well. Play poorly, and death is likely.

 

C of C: Play extremely well, bordering on perfect, and you have even odds of surviving the adventure.

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Originally posted by DoctorItron

I don't think that you can do a linear conversion of Rifts damage into Hero damage, especially with Rifts' SDC/MDC rules.

 

It's generally hard to do any game on a straight conversion. I normally try to convert the feel of the system and characters more than the precise mechanics. If it's instant death for unarmored foes, 7d6 RKA probably does it.

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There was a lot of discussion on an earlier incarnation of the Hero boards of converting Rifts to HERO, including how to deal with mega-damage, balancing abilities, plus numerous writeups of character types, weapons and other tech. If you're interested you can read it via this link:

 

http://www.herogames.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4648&highlight=rifts+conversion

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Originally posted by Hugh Neilson

It's generally hard to do any game on a straight conversion. I normally try to convert the feel of the system and characters more than the precise mechanics.

Excellent point. And given a resistant def of 16 here is where some important break points lay.

 

5d6 KA = Will almost always cause at least 1 Body.

7d6 KA = Will almost always incapacitate a character (8-10 Body)

10d6 KA = Will kill many characters (20 Body)

15d6 KA = Will one shot kill most characters (36 Body)

 

Or you could also figure what the equivalent in real world damages are and translate that into hero. Here is a quick chart of what real world terms translate into Killing Attacks.

d6 KA Energy Muzzle velocity TNT Notes
1 125 J 100 ft-lbs 1/8 lbs
2 1 KJ 800 ft-lbs 1 lbs
3 8 KJ 6.4 K ft-lbs 8 lbs
4 64 KJ 50 K ft-lbs 64 lbs
5 500 KJ 400 K ft-lbs 500 lbs
6 4 MJ 3.2 M ft-lbs 4 Tn
7 32 MJ 25 M ft-lbs 32 Tn
8 250 MJ 200 M ft-lbs 250 Tn Minimum Yield Nuke
9 2 GJ 1.6 G ft-lbs 2 KTn
10 16 GJ 12.5 G ft-lbs 16 KTn Hiroshima/Nagasaki
11 125 GJ 100 G ft-lbs 125 KTn Median US Nuke
12 1 TJ 800 G ft-lbs 1 MTn
13 8 TJ 6.4 T ft-lbs 8 MTn Largest Current US Nuke
14 64 TJ 50 T ft-lbs 64 MTn Tsar Bomba (Largest Nuke)
15 500 TJ 400 T ft-lbs 500 MTn
16 4 PJ 3.2 P ft-lbs 4 GTn
17 32 PJ 25 P ft-lbs 32 GTn
18 250 PJ 200 P ft-lbs 250 GTn
19 2 EJ 1.6 E ft-lbs 2 PTn
20 16 EJ 12.5 E ft-lbs 16 PTn

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Originally posted by Captain Obvious

All hail Lord Liaden, Master of the Old Boards!

 

I don't know how you have time to actually play, man. It seems like you're always Johnny-on-the-spot whenever someone starts asking about old topics....

 

:-)

 

Just my innate gift for retaining vast amounts of generally-useless information. :D

 

It's actually not as hard to search the Old Forum boards for topics as it might seem without the Search function. If you can remember that a topic was covered and which forum it was in, you can quickly scroll down the thread titles until you find one that sounds like what you're looking for.

 

Just remember that multipage threads will have multiple listings of the same title, representing all the pages.

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Re: RKA Magnitude question

 

Originally posted by Jesse Lowe

I've a question regarding Energy Blasts and Ranged Killing Attacks, and the reasonable magnitude thereof. I'm converting a large number of blaster-type weapons from another system (Rifts). Most give damage in d6 increments, so for the sake of convenience, I'm just doing a direct translation of 1d6 MD to 1d6 RKA. (I'm reading SDC as Normal damage, MD as Killing damage. Easier that way.)

That was my initial interpretation as well on a casual appraisal when a friend asked me to help him convert RIFTS.

 

At low levels, this works out fairly well. A Hero Colt .45 is a 2d6-1 RKA; a Rifts C-18 laser pistol, which fills roughly the same niche, is 1 1/2d6 RKA according to my system. However... at higher levels, I've got things like fusion blocks (a kind of bomb; most powerful is a 40d6 KA) and particle beam rifles (7d6 RKA).

 

How many dice of killing attack are too many? Bear in mind that the average foot soldier in the setting wears 16 PD/ED Armor with full Damage Resistance.

 

I guess the real question I'm asking is: are RKAs of 4d6+ (Damage Class 12) too powerful to be commonly available?

It depends on the setting.

 

I played RIFTS briefly when it was first published, stopping right after the book that first detailed Vampires came out (I think it was the 3rd book published) -- I just couldnt take the brokeness of the rules anymore.

 

As I recall, MDC weapons were absurdly lethal, and MDC armor hard to come by if you werent a Glitterboy, Full Conversion Borg, or a Psychic or some sort with a Psychic shield ability (the Force Wall dome power that gave you like 30 MDC and could be stacked IIRC), and even then weapons had the definite advantage. Except vs vehicles IIRC -- I remember it being unreasonably difficult to take out MDC vehicles.

 

So, I would say that while 40d6 is a bit much (consider Penetrating or Armor Piercing instead), 7d6 KA seems reasonable for the setting, based upon my own decade and a half old fuzzy memories of RIFTS (so take it with a grain of salt ;))

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Heres a quick and dirty way to strip all the CRs out fast that I posted on another thread a while ago:

 

To get HTML tables to display correctly, remove all carriage returns from within the table.

 

To do this easily:

 

Open the HTML file with WORDPAD.

Save as RTF.

Close WORDPAD

Open RTF document with NOTEPAD

CTRL+H will bring up the Find and Replace dialog

Replace \par with nothing i.e. a blank

Replace \tab with nothing i.e. a blank

Save

Close NOTEPAD

Open RTF document in WORDPAD

Delete the 1st character if it is a "d"

 

To post the results to these forums

DELETE the file header up to and including the BODY tag from the top of the document

DELETE the closing BODY and closing HTML tags from the bottom of the document

CTRL+A CTRL+C to select and copy all

OPEN the Forum

POST REPLY in the Forum to open up a REPLY window

CTRL+V to paste content

SUBMIT REPLY

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Originally posted by Killer Shrike

UBB pushes all carriage returns in a table block to the top of the table. Take all the CRs out and youre good.

Sweetness. Thanks.

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Rifts-Hero damage table

 

This is largely based on Champsguy's 4th edition Hero notes for converting damage. He suggests finding the closest Hero weapon equivalent for the weapon you're trying to convert and adding 3 DC's to it to represent Megadamage. The table below is an attempt to work something faster out. It includes the most common damage numbers from Rifts and converts them to the equivalent in Hero 5th. There's a bit of rounding to keep the numbers (and dice) easy to deal with.

 

(I hope the table comes out okay)

 

Rough Damage Correspondence TableMegadamage Hero DC's Energy Blast KA Points Rifts Example1d4 2 2d6 1/2d6 10 Single rail gun round1d6 3 3d6 1d6 15 Light pistol2d4 4 4d6 1d6+1 20 Medium pistol2d6 5 5d6 1 1/2d6 25 Heavy pistol/light rifle3d6 6 6d6 2d6 30 Average rifle4d6 7 7d6 2d6+1 35 Heavy rifle5d6 8 8d6 2 1/2d6 40 6d6 9 9d6 3d6 45 Man-portable plasma cannon7d6/1d4x10 10 10d6 3d6+1 50 Rail gun burst8-9d6 11 11d6 3 1/2d6 55 10d6/1d6x10 12 12d6 4d6 60 Smallest fusion block17d6/2d4x10 13 13d6 4d6+1 65 Heavy rail gun burst20d6/2d6x10 14 14d6 4 1/2d6 70 Medium fusion block30d6/3d6x10 15 15d6 5d6 75 Boom gun40d6/4d6x10 16 16d6 5d6+1 80 Largest fusion block

 

Do these numbers look kosher?

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I would think that 1d4 of MegaDamage would be more than 1/2d6 RKA. Even Kevin Sembieda could have made a less clunky system if MegaDamage started that low.

 

BTW, your table didn't add 3 DCs like you mentioned earlier in the post. Did you mean to? 1 1/2d6 seems a lot more "right" than 1/2d6....

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Originally posted by Captain Obvious

BTW, your table didn't add 3 DCs like you mentioned earlier in the post. Did you mean to? 1 1/2d6 seems a lot more "right" than 1/2d6....

I would agree with this. 4d6 sounds about right for the Plasma Cannon. 3d6 seems about 3DCs too low.

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Here's a second attempt, more in line with Champsguy's method. There's a good bit of handwaving involved to make it "feel right."

 

Rough Damage Correspondence Table
Megadamage Hero DC's Points Highest KA Rifts Example Hero Example
1d4, 1d6 3-6 15-30 2d6 Light pistol Derringer, Luger
2d4, 2d6 7-8 35-40 2 1/2 d6 Medium pistol .357 magnum
3d6, 4d6 9-11 45-55 3 1/2 d6 Heavy pistol, medium rifle .44 Magnum, AK47
5d6, 6d6 12-15 60-75 5d6 Plasma cannon
1d4x10 - 1d6x10 16-18 80-90 6d6 Railgun burst, small fusion block Heavy machine gun
2d4x10, 2d6x10 19-21 95-105 7d6 Heavy railgun burst Light tank gun
3d6x10, 4d6x10 22-27 110-135 9d6 Glitter Boy Boom Gun Heavy tank gun

 

Looking at this, I'm pretty happy with most of it, but the damage on the lower and upper ends still seems a bit off. I'm pondering dropping the +3 DC for megadamage, since 2d6 RKA seems excessive for a light pistol. On the other hand, I do like the idea of lethal combat.

 

A note on the plasma cannon in question. In Rifts, it's pretty underpowered, IMO. There's a rifle that does more damage (1d4x10 as opposed to 6d6).

 

And here's a quick look at defenses. The average CS soldier wears 80 MDC body armor, which would translate to 9 rDEF by this table. He uses a 3d6 or 3 1/2d6 RKA weapon.

 

Body Armor Conversion Table
MDC Resistant Defense
30 4
40 5
50 6
60 7
70 8
80 9
90-100 10
110-120 11
130-160 12

 

(Edit: added armor table)

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That's why the damage seems excessive...your armor values are too low...

 

One point of megadamage is enough to red-mist any regular-type human, therefore, even 2d6RKA for a 1d4 megadamage attack is pretty low.

 

I'd say beef up that armor a little. Multiply all your armor values by about 1.5 and that should do it. Even at that, the lowest forms of armor won't fully protect against a strong guy with a regular old steel sword.

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Originally posted by Jesse Lowe

Here's a second attempt, more in line with Champsguy's method. There's a good bit of handwaving involved to make it "feel right."

 

...

 

Looking at this, I'm pretty happy with most of it, but the damage on the lower and upper ends still seems a bit off. I'm pondering dropping the +3 DC for megadamage, since 2d6 RKA seems excessive for a light pistol. On the other hand, I do like the idea of lethal combat.

Most of your "Hero Examples" are very much on the high side, like 1.5x to 2x, and are a better match to the "Rifts Examples" on the earlier post. (Note that I don't have FREd on hand, so I am using values from the 4th edition PDF.) A Derringer* is 2 DC, a Luger is 3 or 4 DC. The .357 Magnum is 5 DC, the .44 Magnum and AK47 are 6 DC. A .50 cal Machine Gun is 9 DC. A Light Antitank Weapon (LAW) or Recoilless Rifle is 4d6K AP (18 DC), and a TOW Wire-guided Missile is 6d6 K AP (27 DC). So your high end Hero Examples are about right.

 

* I think the canonical Derringer is underpowered at 1d6-1 K; after all, a holdout gun should have some stopping power, or why bother? In my game, it's 1d6+1 K, but Reduced by Range. So it is dangerous at close quarters but loses power and accuracy beyond 8 meters.

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Rifts was so wacky. It never mattered how tough you were, it was all about your armor or spells. As stated previously a single point of mega damage would kill anybody.

 

The result was that players go out of their way to get the best armor they could (according to availability) and to make sure their armor was in good condition all the time. I don't know of anybody that seriously kept track of their hp because hp just didn't matter.

 

Not really sure if that was supposed to be part of the feel of Rifts or not.

 

Maybe throw in +3-6 DC to all mega damage weapons Only vs Unarmored Targets.

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