Discussion about the 5 Kingdoms

 
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Wolfgod
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Sat Feb 03, 2007 10:44 am

We were talking about changing the crit range on Firearms to 15-20.

Natural 20 criticals would double the crit multiplier.
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Blayde
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Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:28 pm

I did some thinking about this on Saturday. I watched some Romero footage and digested a little. Here's what I came up with. We increase the crit range and also increase damage on the weapons. In Dawn of the Dead, a shot from most weapons was sufficient to drop a human. The one exception to this was when Stephen was hiding above the elevator, and the road warriors were shooting blindly. That one was a glancing shot but did quite a lot of damage. However, zombies hit by the same weapons (neverminding headshots) were simply knocked back a few paces and staggered. To this end, we give the zeds damage reduction/5 or something to balance it out. If we increase the damage I'd even go as far as DR/10 (headshots). Thoughts?
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Raedic
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Mon Feb 05, 2007 6:01 pm

Hmm...looks like a clear cut case of Pro-Zombieism.
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[ommminous hummmmm]
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Wolfgod
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Mon Feb 05, 2007 10:30 pm

A shot from most D20 weapons will drop a 'normal' human with a D6 HD and no CON bonus. A 5th lvl Tough Hero with an 18 Con, though, is going to take a few shells.

DR 5 is pretty serious. A .45 caliber handgun - which is a pretty hefty shell - only deals 2d6 damage. That's an average score of 7. DR 5 means that about 45% of your shots from a .45 will have *no* effect on a Zombie. I know they're the walking dead and all, but my Colts will blow big pieces off of people with each shell.

Go down to something like a .22 (2d4) and you're talking no real damage at all against DR5. Short of a crit, which conventional D&D zombies don't take.

What the expanded crit range does is this: 25% of all shots - and a higher percentage of all hits - deal 6d6 damage instead of 2d6 damage from the aforementioned Colt. That's an average of 21 points instead of 7. That should kill most 'normal' humans very dead - if they have 4 HP and go to -10, that's an instant-kill. That might be a tad high. Maybe 18-20? that's 15% of all bullet wounds pretty much immediately lethal.

It depends on a lot on the 'feel' you want for your game. If guns are meant to be effective versus people and zombies, then higher crit ranges would help that feeling - but getting shot will probably either kill or disable a PC ... much like getting shot in the real world. If you want 'hard to stop' zombies, just give them a big HD or high CON - that would make their massive damage threshold higher, FORT saves higher, and more HP in general.
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bitweever
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Mon Feb 05, 2007 10:38 pm

I like 18-20 better. 25% crit rate just sounded way too high, especially with an increased modifier.

The problem with DR 5/head shot is that there is no location-hit or facing in d20. Maybe a confirmed 20 crit is an auto-kill?

Is there some rules somewhere (maybe another monster) about losing HP as you lose body parts? It would be fun(ny) if a 50 HP zombie went down to a 40 HP zombie and a 10 HP arm when it comes into contact with a chainsaw. Just a thought, though.
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Blayde
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Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:53 am

As far as the DR thing, I was going into that assuming we're upping the damage on the weapons. Also, the more I think about the D6 Hit Dice across the board, the more I like it. It really simplifies things, and it's truer to real life, I would say. Also, with headshots, I was assuming just a called shot, with a -4 penalty to the attack roll. Is that viable? I also assumed a critical on a zombie would be an automatic headshot, and would immediately negate any DR.
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Wolfgod
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Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:08 am

I wouldn't do called shots. the D20 system doesn't really take things like that into a account except with the 'critical' system.

Criticals already kind of negate DR due to the sharply increased damage - but you're relying on criticals to stop Zombies, then.
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Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:15 am

Well, not exclusively. It is possible to destroy them simply by doing enough damage to their neural network (i.e. -10HP or something), but headshots would be the quickest.
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Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:20 pm

As a GM I strongly recommend not changing the damage done by weapons. I recommend just altering their HP and CON of the things we fight.

This way the extra work is on the GM and not on the players. As much as I am sure this is not what you want it will make the game much easier. This way we don't have to look in the books and make changes to all the numbers. All we have to keep track of is the changes to the crit range.
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Blayde
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Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:28 pm

Well, as an undisputed Zombie Master, I highly recommend that I do whatever I want. So there.

Still, I see your point.
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Blayde
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Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:38 pm

Altering the HP does seem to be pretty good idea. I'm not 100% confident with the idea of the massive damage threshold, however, so I do want to discuss that with you guys at some point.
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bitweever
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Tue Feb 06, 2007 2:27 pm

It's getting closer and closer to Cthulhu, with the 1d6 HD and the upped weapon damage. If you want to just use the Cthulhu rules, it would probably work OK. Check out the attached graphs to see if they jive and shimmy with what you're looking for.
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The thermal exhaust port of your Death Star™ plays a critical role in the dissipation of excess waste heat produced by the Death Star's energy reactors. Under no circumstances is the thermal exhaust port to be covered, obstructed or modified in any way.
 
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Blayde
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Tue Feb 06, 2007 2:30 pm

I'm really glad you posted this. I'd been considering perusing the Cthulhu sourcebook. I'll look over these, but I think I like it. I also think I like the blanket D6 HP thing, too. I'll ruminate when I get a moment at work.
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bitweever
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Tue Feb 06, 2007 4:26 pm

That's what bathroom breaks are for.
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Blayde
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Wed Feb 07, 2007 9:29 am

Cree-eepy . . .

I'm going to try to have a few more small focus groups playtest this thing, but then I think I should be ready for the official "breaking of the game and what remains of Chris's self-esteem." I'll keep you apprised.
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Wolfgod
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Wed Feb 07, 2007 9:56 am

Got to watch that eye-bleeding. Remember, eye before bleed except after velocities exceeding C.

Cthulhu gun damage is actually the same, or nearly the same, as D20M. The difference is that Cuthulhu people are fragile. Cthulhu Zombies aren't, which is why you end up dead in Cthulhu without the right weapons.
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bitweever
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Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:27 pm

You guys have never run away in any of my Cthluhu games. That'd probably be my first reaction.
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Wolfgod
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Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:30 pm

No, but sometimes I've held back from an encounter 'cause I knew I couldn't handle the Sanity loss.
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Blayde
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Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:32 pm

Greg, could you post a base template for the Cthulhu zombie?
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bitweever
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Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:04 pm

Sure, here you go. Remember, these may not look THAT nasty to a D&D character, but remember that Cthluhu characters are just 1d6 and little to no AC.
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Blayde
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Sat Feb 10, 2007 12:18 pm

A thought just struck me. I had pretty much decided to scrap the idea of multiple character templates and just go with an across the board 1D6+Con Hit Die character. It just occurred to me that I could go one step further and get rid of the class skill/cross-class skill idea and just have you allocate skills where you want them. Of course, I intend to get rid of a few skills and add some new ones (i.e. Profession will be useless, so it's out), but I wanted to get some feedback on that.
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Wolfgod
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Sat Feb 10, 2007 12:50 pm

Before taking on such a large engineering project- those are pretty major game balance changes - take a close look at the Cthulhu characters. They may well be exactly what you want.

As for Profession not being a useful skill ... I don't necessarily agree. In D20 (and I think in Cthulhu) your Profession ranks help your wealth. In addition, if I have Profession: Archeologist, that's a different skill than Knowledge: Archeology. One lets me know stuff about ancient objects, the other is actually the profession of digging 'em up. Different but related skill set.
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Blayde
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Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:20 am

My thinking on Profession was that it primarily deals with Wealth, which is going to be a defunct feature in the game. Seriously, if the world as we know it is ending, how much is cash really going to be worth? It's largely going to be a barter system as laid out in the D20 Apocalypse manual.
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Wolfgod
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Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:31 am

The cash might not be worth much, but if I started as a wealthy character I might own my own yacht, or aircraft, or collection of 19th century firearms. Besides, just because profession is useless after the game begins doesn't mean the characters should be given a free pass ... unless they've spent their lives as crazy survivalist types, they were doing *something* with their time working up to the crash.
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Blayde
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Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:46 am

I see your point. I had kind of assumed that would all be taken care of at character creation, with the GM approving or nixing personal effects. It would simplify things to give a cop a handgun and flak vest as opposed to a car mechanic having a working Bradley.
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