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akrippler

Combat luck and armor

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Friends and I are going to be starting a low power hero fantasy game. We play 5th ed.  Everyone wants to scoop a level of combat luck on account of how useful it is.  But I feel like theres a problem.  3rPD from combat luck, plus some armor, lets say we get 4 from it.

Thats 7 rPD, isnt this too much? Its impossible to do body damage with the average 1d6 weapon.  I understand there are ways to bump up the weapon damage (extra str, deadly blows, etc...) but the average person is going to be incapable of hurting you save from stun damage.  I wanted to see if anyone else has any experience, or thoughts on the subject. Ideas? Am I making a problem out of nothing?

 

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In my games (modern action adventure) all PCs have Combat Luck (can only buy 1 level) because it is just important for survivability. What we've found is that it does stack with armor, making armor hits by guns much less likely to do damage, but armor is also more limited in coverage (usually) in the game. Instead of changing cost and effect, I've just told players to buy their PD and ED 3 points lower than they would have, because what we've really noticed is that an 8PD guy, now effectively 11 PD prior to Armor... that 3 difference in amount of stun taken really ads up. So, instead that 8PD guy has a 5PD, 8 with combat luck, and we're all good.


For my games, the PCs need the extra resistant defenses, not to get easily scragged by autofire high velocity weapons and frag grenades, etc.

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In addition to this, no matter the genre armor is not always accepted.  Most social functions will require everyone to come in conventional (nonarmored) clothing.  Also unless the armor is extremely light it will extremely restrict their ability to rest, this includes modern armors.  While RAW may allow def to combine, in reality the def will not combine in the same manner.  You might want to house rule a more realistic (and complex) system where greater def yields less effect.  Eventually the effective def will equal zero but still add mass, making it more difficult for the char to move (if not impossible).  

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In Hero's Valdorian Age setting, Combat Luck only costs 5 points per level, but it doesn't work if you wear heavy armor (over 15kg worth). It was a -1/2 Limitation calculated into the cost of the other Advantages and Limitations already built into Combat Luck.

 

Instead of going by weight, I suppose you could also just set your limit at 3 or maybe 4 points of Armor before Combat Luck stops working.

 

You could also require this Limitation on buying points of DCV past a certain level, like 5 or 6 DCV, so heavy-armored characters can't get as high of a DCV as lighter-armored types.

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I've used a in-house armor stacking rule based on the Armor Chart being double weight per 2 rPD/rED.

 

If your existing armor is equal to or more than 1/2 of the existing armor rating then you get +1 rPD/rED.

 

EX:  Character has Combat Luck and wants to wear Heavy Leather Armor (3 rPD/rED, 7 kg).  Since the Heavy Leather Armor (3 rPD) is more than 1/2 of the rPD of Combat Luck the character gets to add 1 rPD/rED and gets a total of 4 rPD/rED.

 

We find this keeps armor stacking from getting out of control while not allowing silly stacking like 5 t-shirts plus Combat Luck = ultra-light plate armor.

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On 2/13/2019 at 9:33 AM, akrippler said:

Friends and I are going to be starting a low power hero fantasy game. We play 5th ed.  Everyone wants to scoop a level of combat luck on account of how useful it is.  But I feel like theres a problem.  3rPD from combat luck, plus some armor, lets say we get 4 from it.

Thats 7 rPD, isnt this too much? Its impossible to do body damage with the average 1d6 weapon.  I understand there are ways to bump up the weapon damage (extra str, deadly blows, etc...) but the average person is going to be incapable of hurting you save from stun damage.  I wanted to see if anyone else has any experience, or thoughts on the subject. Ideas? Am I making a problem out of nothing?

 

 

In 5e, I used limits on the # of levels characters could take for both Combat Luck and Deadly Blow.

 

I also formally defined how defenses stack.

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46 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

I can't say for 6, but when this Cobble first appeared in 5, wasn't it recommended specifically for characters with inadequate armor anyway?  Sort of a luck substitute for "whew; just missed me!"? 

 

When you peel it apart it does look like a cobble, but our group loves Combat Luck, even with armor, but because it fits the cinematic action. It lets them have a modicum of comfort when being blasted with automatic gunfire that one lucky shot won't completely take them out. It does make hits to armor (less common/less coverage in modern action than fantasy) much less likely to penetrate, but in a game where taking any Body damage is serious, it just allows them to have more confidence in combat.

 

As I've said elsewhere, if it was a more traditional Danger International (spies and private eyes, not action movies) I'd disallow or further nerf Combat Luck (like only damage resistance and doesn't stack). 

 

Edit: Combat Luck is something, in my experience, that looks like a horrible cobble/cludge on paper, but ACTUAL PLAY it works very simply and elegantly and affects play in a way that feels right. Ugly in construction, elegant in execution.

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The martial arts types in my Fantasy hero campaigns LOVE Combat Luck.  You can enter a fight in pajamas and not get absolutely annihilated by the first arrow or axe that hits.

 

Had an otherwise nearly invincible plate armor tank in our party take a short sword crit to the eyes (open helm) - 7 BOD doubled to 14 / 35 Stun - one shotted.  He would have loved some Combat Luck too.

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Keep in mind that Talents in general are nothing more than specific power constructs with some icing spread over them.

 

Talents aren’t actually a distinct game element
— you construct them using Skills and/or Powers.
(See the Appendix in 6E1 for a breakdown of how
each one described here was built.) Players and

GMs may design their own Talents the same way,
using the examples provided here as guidelines.
Similarly, the GM can expand the Talents list with
Skills and Powers which seem more appropriate as
Talents for a given campaign.

 

If you don't like Combat Luck or think a different build would be more appropriate, you are free to make up your own Talent(s) to either replace it or coexist alongside it.

 

For instance, in the HtbM campaign, various people wanted variations on the idea of Combat Luck (or akin to) and abilities such as the following were introduced.

 

Intense Resilience
Resistant Protection (8 PD), Hardened (+1/4) (15 Active Points); Restrainable (-1/2), Nonpersistent (-1/4)

Real Cost: 8 points

 

Only a Flesh Wound
Resistant Protection (8 PD/8 ED) (24 Active Points); Does not protect from first point of BODY (-1/2)
Real Cost: 16 points

 

Roll With It
Physical Damage Reduction, Resistant, 50% (30 Active Points); Requires A Roll (Skill roll, -1 per 20 Active Points modifier; Must be made each Phase/use; Breakfall; -3/4)
Real Cost: 17 points

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32 minutes ago, Toxxus said:

The martial arts types in my Fantasy hero campaigns LOVE Combat Luck.  You can enter a fight in pajamas and not get absolutely annihilated by the first arrow or axe that hits.

 

Had an otherwise nearly invincible plate armor tank in our party take a short sword crit to the eyes (open helm) - 7 BOD doubled to 14 / 35 Stun - one shotted.  He would have loved some Combat Luck too.

 

This is a good example of needing a judgment call on Combat Luck... 

1) Did the fighter player have the OPTION of taking Combat Luck and just chose not to?  Ok... death is on him.

2) Was Combat Luck not allowed (by house rule) if you wore combat... or the Talent changed to not apply when armor is worn? That could stick in a player's craw.

3) What does "Doesn't work with armor" entail? It doesn't stack on Hit Locations where armor is coveirng, but it DOES apply in hit locations where there is no armor? Or because any armor is worn, Combat Luck doesn't work, no matter hit location? (That would be a serious bummer for this PC.)

 

Not saying you can't do it, but if you have an extra rule of "Combat Luck doesn't work with Armor" then you need to be really clear about what that means. 

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Personally, I liked the first edition Fantasy Hero encumbrance rules.  They were pretty vicious and so there was a real combat penalty to wearing armour, you are good early on in the combat but you will get tired.  I thought it made the lightly armoured combatant a decent, effective decision.  You needed to stay out of range long enough to get that tank a bit tired, get him taking recoveries so you can begin slowly bleed him to death.

 

As far as combat luck goes, there should be that idea that you cannot rely on luck forever, and sometimes it will let you down at the first time of asking.  I quite like the idea of having luck dice for that armour.  You roll the dice and every six provides you with 1DEF, possibly with a cap on how much you can get from any one roll  You also reduce the pool when it saves you from damage.  I think I would have things that restored the pool during fights, some karma style righting wrongs or something, or when an opponents combat luck saves them damage it restores your pool.  But during an extended fight you are going to end up riding that luck.

 

Unless you are playing a cinematic fantasy game, I would not use combat luck RAW.

 

Doc

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On 2/13/2019 at 6:33 PM, akrippler said:

Friends and I are going to be starting a low power hero fantasy game. We play 5th ed.  Everyone wants to scoop a level of combat luck on account of how useful it is.  But I feel like theres a problem.  3rPD from combat luck, plus some armor, lets say we get 4 from it. 

Thats 7 rPD, isnt this too much? Its impossible to do body damage with the average 1d6 weapon.  I understand there are ways to bump up the weapon damage (extra str, deadly blows, etc...) but the average person is going to be incapable of hurting you save from stun damage.  I wanted to see if anyone else has any experience, or thoughts on the subject. Ideas? Am I making a problem out of nothing?

That is what the Campaign limits are there for. For them it does not mater if you got those Defenses from Armor, Combat Luck or "Spell of Protection".

Or if you got those DC from Weapons, STR or CSL (Maneuvers like Haymaker are often allowed to add beyond that).

Only that you reach a certain total maters. And that you should not reach that total.

 

3 hours ago, IndianaJoe3 said:

The last FH game I ran, I ruled that, "real armor," "luck-based," and, "magic" did not stack with each other.

"Do not stack" rules are usually the tool for game Systems that do not have an idea such as Caps.

They can be a nice "quick and dirty" rules, but usually we do have better tools in the Hero books.

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I feel like the +2 PD/ED for double-the-weight charts give us a good rule of thumb for stacking defenses.

 

Essentially the lesser defense has to be no more than 2 pts below the higher defense or it doesn't effectively add anything.

 

I do allow players to stack things like a chain shirt (5 PD/ED) with a steel breastplate (6 PD/ED) and for the low-low cost of the weight of both armors enjoy a total of 7 PD/ED in the double-covered areas.

 

By limiting the stacking to +1 pt it keeps things from getting out of control.  Plate Armor + 2 levels combat luck = 14 rPD/14 rED?  No thanks!

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