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Has any RPG system ever used…

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
…a system like Star Fleet Battles or Battletech/Crimson Skies to track character damage and incapacity?

The question popped into my head on my way home from a game store today. I’m familiar with over 100 different systems- mostly the big names- but cannot recall any taking this approach.
 

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MGibster

Legend
Can you describe the system? I'm curious!
In BattleTech, you use a battlemech record shoot to keep track of the damage you take during the game. You have a certain amount of armor in each location and once someone gets through your armor you start taking hit to your internal systems. Getting hit in your insides is bad because you take critical system damage and if it happens to hit an ammo spot you might blow up sky high.

BTEch.JPG
 


billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
Cyberpunk 2013 kept track of wounds on specific locations. That version of their Friday Night Firefight got replaced fairly quickly with CP2020 where they tracked overall wound points.
 

…a system like Star Fleet Battles or Battletech/Crimson Skies to track character damage and incapacity?

The question popped into my head on my way home from a game store today. I’m familiar with over 100 different systems- mostly the big names- but cannot recall any taking this approach.
CORPS has separate tracks per location, with boxes.
THe number marked is the largest, plus one for each additional. The penalty is the number of boxes for the used locations (Head and chest are for almost all. Head for all.)

Mekton uses a system of boxes to track damage, as well, again by location... but in this case, the boxes are not the penalty. Other interlock games don't.

RuneQuest doesn't have tracks of boxes, but many people's homebrew sheets do. Same for many other BRP games. This is due to tracking HP to each location as well as to the overall HP.

The GDW House Engine (T2K 2.x, Dark Conspiracy, Traveller: The New Era, Cadilacs & Dinosaurs) has damage by hit location for PCs, but doesn't use the boxes, but again, some people's custom sheets do.

There are many more....

My sheets for Alien use boxes on the edges for HP, air, water, power, and food.... use a paperclip.
 


Argyle King

Legend
In BattleTech, you use a battlemech record shoot to keep track of the damage you take during the game. You have a certain amount of armor in each location and once someone gets through your armor you start taking hit to your internal systems. Getting hit in your insides is bad because you take critical system damage and if it happens to hit an ammo spot you might blow up sky high.

View attachment 144628

If I'm understanding this correctly...

It's armor as DR and Hit Locations?

GURPS has optional rules for doing what I think you're illustrating. The rules options you'd want to use would depend on how much detail you want.
 

If I'm understanding this correctly...

It's armor as DR and Hit Locations?

GURPS has optional rules for doing what I think you're illustrating. The rules options you'd want to use would depend on how much detail you want.
Battletech armor is ablative... as are SFB Armor and Shields...

but I think what he's asking about is boxes to mark damage by location, as opposed to simply tracking damage by location.

And GURPS does neither of those, nor is GURPS armor ablative.
 

Argyle King

Legend
Battletech armor is ablative... as are SFB Armor and Shields...

but I think what he's asking about is boxes to mark damage by location, as opposed to simply tracking damage by location.

And GURPS does neither of those, nor is GURPS armor ablative.

Oh ok, I see.

Sidenote: Ablative Armor is a modifier that's able to be added to GURPS armor.

Some of the optional rules for damage by location can be used with vehicles (or for crippling limbs,) but I suppose that's not the same thing (?)

I'm not entirely grasping the difference between writing down numbers or marking damage on a drawn a picture.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Sorry, been too busy to get back to this!

As some have mentioned already, in the aforementioned games, armor is ablative. Once it gets breached, the internal systems can be damaged, 1 point of damage per box/circle. When a system has all of its boxes/circles filled in, it’s destroyed. (Basically.)

The thought was that a system like this could be used to have a system in which PCs & major NPCs would actually lose capabilities as they get injured.

How many internal points? That would depend on the capabilities in question. The more power, the more boxes.

“Mooks” would have armor just like major characters, but FAR fewer internal boxes. IOW, glass cannons.
 

Argyle King

Legend
Sorry, been too busy to get back to this!

As some have mentioned already, in the aforementioned games, armor is ablative. Once it gets breached, the internal systems can be damaged, 1 point of damage per box/circle. When a system has all of its boxes/circles filled in, it’s destroyed. (Basically.)

The thought was that a system like this could be used to have a system in which PCs & major NPCs would actually lose capabilities as they get injured.

How many internal points? That would depend on the capabilities in question. The more power, the more boxes.

“Mooks” would have armor just like major characters, but FAR fewer internal boxes. IOW, glass cannons.

For an individual person, how are you imagining that?

Physical injuries (like broken bones)?
Loss of abilities?

I think there are games which have similar concepts, but the mechanics of how they work vary.
 

Sorry, been too busy to get back to this!

As some have mentioned already, in the aforementioned games, armor is ablative. Once it gets breached, the internal systems can be damaged, 1 point of damage per box/circle. When a system has all of its boxes/circles filled in, it’s destroyed. (Basically.)
If you're looking for ablative armor, 1 point per point of damage stopped, that massively reduces things. The only one coming to mind immediatelt is Palladium, but it doesn't have hit locations, doesn't have detailed wounding rules, and has high enough SDC totals that boxes become a bit cumbersome. THe way it works in Palladium: to hit in combat is 5+; any to hit roll under the armor's AR does damage to the Armor's SDC, if it has any left. Then, any left after the armor, or any to-hit above the AR but not a Nat 20, goes to personal SDC; Crits go straight to Hit Points, and (if using the intended but optional rule) any HP damage also does a lasting effect of some kind.

Oh, wait... Car Wars (from original Deluxe box on, at least) is functional as an RPG using the continuing characters rules (and noting that the skills list includes some non-combat skills from that point on until the relatively recent Car Wars Classic boxed set, but Compendium retains them.)

I've seen a lot of semi-ablative armor mechanics. Twilight: 2000 4E, 1 in 6 chance that armor ablates a point when damage breaches it. Several small press games have armor ablate one point per penetration, as do a few more from major publishers.

Edit: I just remembered a couple more: Epiphany 1E, and the Vapire Larp both have provisions for damage to armor when hit... cancelling the armor trait's positive benefits...

@Argyle King - GURPS Ablative isn't the same as, say, Car Wars ablative, at least not the last time I looked ijn the rules. In GURPS, last I checked, Ablative only lost points if damage dice were 5 or 6. In Battletech, each point of armor stops 1, and only 1, point of damage, before needing to be repaired/replaced. So with 15 armor, and a 5 point hit is stopped, there's now 10 armor left. Very common in detailed consim board games (SFB, Starfire, Battletech, Car Wars, Battlecars, FASA ST III SCS (albeit via counters on sheet, rather than marking boxes off).
 

dbm

Adventurer
GURPS Ablative isn't the same as, say, Car Wars ablative, at least not the last time I looked ijn the rules. In GURPS, last I checked, Ablative only lost points if damage dice were 5 or 6. In Battletech, each point of armor stops 1, and only 1, point of damage, before needing to be repaired/replaced.
GURPS Ablative DR works this way in 4e; each point is consumed as it stops damage then it heals like hit points do.
 

MGibster

Legend
If I'm understanding this correctly...

It's armor as DR and Hit Locations?
Well, I suppose you could reframe it that way. But damage resistance really doesn't apply in BattleTech. (At least it didn't when I played.) If your weapon hits it's going to do damage which will be subtracted from the armor value of the hit location. i.e. If I shoot a medium laser and hit the left left of a Locust mech it will subtract 5 points from its armor at that location. Now if that location has zero armor left, then any remaining damage will be applied to the internal structure possibly damaging critical components. In the case of a leg, it could be jump jets or actuators which may lessen the mobility of the mech.
 

payn

Hero
In BattleTech, you use a battlemech record shoot to keep track of the damage you take during the game. You have a certain amount of armor in each location and once someone gets through your armor you start taking hit to your internal systems. Getting hit in your insides is bad because you take critical system damage and if it happens to hit an ammo spot you might blow up sky high.

View attachment 144628
Do you know a good place to find Battletech games online? I've always wanted to find a group but nobody I knows plays :(
 


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