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Has any RPG system ever used…

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.

Both Spire: The City Must Fall and Heart: The City Beneath have a system that kind of works like this.

In each game, the PCs have 5 different types of Resistances, which are essentially the kind of damage they can take. So your Blood Resistance is a measure of how much physical harm you can withstand, with similar Resistances for Mind, Silver, Supplies, and the like.

When a PC takes damage, they accrue Stress to one or more of these Resistances. Every time they take Stress, the GM rolls to see if they suffer Fallout; he rolls 1d0 and if he gets under their current total Stress, they suffer Fallout. That's where the narrative Stress becomes some kind of concrete effect; they get shot in the gut and are bleeding, or they break a limb, or they're stunned, or their primary weapon breaks.

It's not an exact match, but functions similarly mechanically. Having played Spire a bit, I can say it's engaging and creates the sense of mounting danger, and the idea that at any point, something can go wrong for the PC.
 

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MGibster

Legend
Do you know a good place to find Battletech games online? I've always wanted to find a group but nobody I knows plays :(
I'm afraid not. The last time I played BattleTech was in December 2019 and that was the first time I had played since the late 1990s. There are some computer games out there that provide a decent experience though. Battletech is a turn based strategy similar to the board game and you can find it on Steam for $20 I think. There's also Mechwarrior 5 which puts you in the pilot's seat in real time and it's also on Steam.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
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.

So, any "death spiral" mechanic has characters lose capabilities, in that their rolls get crappy and things don't work. It is just stochastic, rather than deterministic.
 

payn

Hero
I'm afraid not. The last time I played BattleTech was in December 2019 and that was the first time I had played since the late 1990s. There are some computer games out there that provide a decent experience though. Battletech is a turn based strategy similar to the board game and you can find it on Steam for $20 I think. There's also Mechwarrior 5 which puts you in the pilot's seat in real time and it's also on Steam.
I got the vids and they are some of the best. I've always wanted to run a game on the (virtual)table but never found a group.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
What I was thinking was that system itself would be point based, like HERO, GURPS, etc. The boxes on the sheet would be based on a ratio (like, 1 box per 10 points in the power), and loss of functionality would be gradual, based on the same ratio (lose 10% of the boxes, lose 10% of the power).

Unlike some death spiral mechanics, this would allow for targeting of areas already damaged.

Armor would be ablative, but there would also be DR defenses…as well as attacks that disabled DR.

There would be a variety of ways to repair damage, in and out of combat.

My gut tells me a system like this would work better for Modern/Sci-Fi/Supers game, not so much for high fantasy.
 

dbm

Adventurer
PDQ is a light-weight system where your character has ratings measured in numbers of d6 and your opponents can attack those capabilities. The canonical example is that a bad guy can punch Spiderman in his 2d6 Aunt May score.

In the Cypher system characters have three pools of points (might, speed and intellect) that serve as both ‘hits’ and ‘power points’.

Both those systems have an element of damage eroding capability in a more specific way.
 


Argyle King

Legend
If you're looking for ablative armor, 1 point per point of damage stopped, that massively reduces things...

@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).

I'm away from books at the moment, but I believe that what you describe is how ablative is defined in GURPS. There's also "semi-ablative" which subtracts DR after either 5 or 10 (I can't remember offhand) points of damage rather than 1 damage.
 

I'm away from books at the moment, but I believe that what you describe is how ablative is defined in GURPS. There's also "semi-ablative" which subtracts DR after either 5 or 10 (I can't remember offhand) points of damage rather than 1 damage.
I haven't looked at full fourth; The only place I've seen ablative armor in GURPS 1/2/3/3r was in G:Autoduel. I've essentially abandoned all interest since about 2000 or so in GURPS other than as a system I (very rarely) recommend to others because it meets their expressed needs.
 

Argyle King

Legend
I haven't looked at full fourth; The only place I've seen ablative armor in GURPS 1/2/3/3r was in G:Autoduel. I've essentially abandoned all interest since about 2000 or so in GURPS other than as a system I (very rarely) recommend to others because it meets their expressed needs.

You're likely more familiar with the older products than I am.

4th is the edition I currently have. (I have some of the third edition books on topics I had more interest in.)

Basic Set of 4th contains Ablative and Semi-Ablative as possible modifiers.

To construct an entire game around the concept would take some work. However, to answer the OP: I think there are systems available which have pieces that could be used to build what's described.

A few years back, I used small amounts of Semi-Ablative for a game based on pro wrestling. I wanted fights to last a little longer and allow some back-and-forth without immediately getting to broken bones and such.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
HERO can do a mix of non-ablative and ablative DR, plus other defenses no problem.

The trick is PCs actually losing capabilities as they take damage, and only from those damaged locations. I could do THAT with HERO, too, but it would require a lot of power/character or campaign specific limitations & disadvantages- Focus being #1 on that list. (And option losses due to interfering with a Focus tend to be all or nothing.) So, for the most part, HERO PCs tend to retain all of their options intact until they actually drop.
 

Mustrum_Ridcully

Adventurer
I think I played such a system at some point. But I could be misremembering it, and it has been over 10 years by now. I think it was Space Gothic. It was from a German RPG company and I don't think it's around anymore, at least not actively so.
... Just looked it up, it's available for download for free: Space Gothic - kostenfreier Download - Regel- und Modulbücher für einen echten Rollenspielklassiker aus der Vergangenheit
The character sheet seems to confirm my memory. It seems that you have a base hit point value, and then each body location has a hit point value modifed by 0-3 points down from your base hit points.
Armor is variable damage reduction (for example 1d6+3 for some kind of bulletproof vest or something.)
 

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