Criticals

Cubicle 7 // 2018
CapnZapp
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Thu May 30, 2019 2:29 pm

mormegil wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 8:26 am
Still Bleeding is the condition that you can stop faster, with just a bandage. Its not as overwhelming as it was before.

Cap, how many rounds a normal fight of equal numbers takes you?
Yepesnopes wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 9:29 am
I am really a fan of random crits that can kill our maim a PC or a NPC, I would not change this for only ocurring once you reach 0 wounds.
Not sure I see the point when armor completely negates any of it...

But I promised Orin to not go there, so that's all I'm gonna say in this thread ;)
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Yepesnopes
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Thu May 30, 2019 4:00 pm

I play with the quick armour optional rules. My players cannot negate that many critics without ruining their armours fully, so in my table critics happen a lot.

I can tell you quick armour rules solves the negate critics problem and speeds combats a big deal, since you only have to determine the location when a critic occurs.

I recommend anyone that finds critic negation an issue, to use quick armour rules before entering into heavy house ruling.
CapnZapp
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Fri May 31, 2019 1:38 am

Yepesnopes wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 4:00 pm
I play with the quick armour optional rules. My players cannot negate that many critics without ruining their armours fully, so in my table critics happen a lot.
This really needs a thread of its own, but why and how does Quick Armor solve anything (assuming you're talking about the option on page 301)?
I can tell you quick armour rules solves the negate critics problem and speeds combats a big deal, since you only have to determine the location when a critic occurs.

I recommend anyone that finds critic negation an issue, to use quick armour rules before entering into heavy house ruling.
Well, crit negation comes across as a very poorly conceived rule because of the "but, why?" effect - why then have all those crit rules when they don't come into effect until the enemy has hacked their way through the "eggshell"? As I see it, the only impact is that PCs and NPCs alike are forced into wearing armor.

It makes the game run very strangely indeed. In effect, a character's health is represented by a number of "strikes" before she keels over dead - first the strikes needed to remove the armor layers, then the strikes needed to reach her Toughness Bonus.

It makes for a very very un-Warhammerian feel. The rules may look like WFRP, but they sure don't play like WFRP. And the cost in increased book-keeping is heavy indeed.

I can't understand why anyone would try and mitigate the armor issues, when the bleedingly obvious solution is to make armor no longer negate crits, just like in every previous edition!
CapnZapp
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Fri May 31, 2019 2:27 am

Chuck wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 8:56 am
I guess I understand what the designers were attempting to do, but I imagine it just flat out doesn't work in play: too many modifiers, too many stacked effects, too many rolls -- one roll to strike, another to generate the crit effect, a third to determine hit location, UGH. Combat is already the worst part of the game for me as a GM, and this new system just looks like a tarpit.
I'm afraid you're spot on.

While most exchanges involve two rolls, one from the attacker and one from the defender, already there you have many moving parts
* determining the winner, applying modifiers from each combatant's weapon, even ammunition have Qualities with modifiers, the Combat Difficulty table, Talents and Monster Traits, earlier crits... Equipment can have general Qualities that affect combat. If the enemy isn't medium-sized, that not only adds modifiers per se, it also modifies your weapon on the fly!
* determining the SL of the winner using subtraction, which again might mean applying modifiers from Talents (some of which grant +SL if you succeed, which is not the same thing as winning)
* adding up the weapon's Damage rating, Characteristic Bonus, and SL, deducting APs and Toughness to arrive at Wound loss

But this is only the beginning. The combined probability of having to resolve at least one critical hit or fumble is 19% for each attack, so you can be sure this is very likely to happen each and every combat round more than once.

While armor negation does save you from having to resolve criticals, it does involve book-keeping to record armor damage (and later: administering the costs of repairing that armor).

Once you do look at a critical, whether from rolling a double or from going into negative Wounds, this is seldom just two more rolls (one for location, one to determine the actual crit) - many many crits trigger further die rolling. Not to speak of how almost every Condition requires an end-of-round die roll to see if you get rid of it! Add to this the book-keeping of recording Conditions and keeping track of the various modifiers each Condition gives.

Then add the Talents and Traits that grant you more attacks. I have had the misfortune of having two players take Dual Wielder (maybe it shows they're grizzled old WFRP1 veterans ;) ), nuff said.

So even armor negation aside, as soon as a combatant drops to 0 Wounds, you're easily looking at five die rolls every time someone successfully attacks that combatant: attack, parry, crit location, crit result, and end-of-round condition. That's a lot of math, table lookup, and modifiers for one single attack.

In my honest opinion, WFRP4 is overwhelmingly more detailed than either 1E or 2E. Each and every combat becomes so cluttered with details and modifiers from half a dozen different rules that we had to create a Combat Sheet to track it all.
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Yepesnopes
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Fri May 31, 2019 8:02 am

Indeed, I am talking about the optional rule in pg. 301.

The “problem” of crit deflection and normal armour rules is that you have 6 hit locations. Say you have mail armour everywhere, that is a potential negation of 18 critical wounds.

The same scenario with the rules of pg 301, since you don’t use hit locations, gives you only 3 crit negations. Plus your armour gets destroyed quicker and evey AP it is more expensive to repair.

Plus you only need to check for hit locations when a crit is scored, and you don’t need to check if that character has or has not armour in a particular location, speeding up combats greatly.

Embrace quick armour rules!
TheBigBadWolf
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Fri May 31, 2019 8:12 am

Yepesnopes wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 9:29 am
I am really a fan of random crits that can kill our maim a PC or a NPC, I would not change this for only ocurring once you reach 0 wounds.
e: And just realised to the last post on page one, and you've addressed this with the Quick Armour rules in your own game!

Aye I can understand that. A few not-deeply-considered thoughts from my side::

- This system brings it a bit closer to a 2e style of crits
- Characters don't have that many wounds in WFRP 4e
- Separating out crits to 'Spice' and 'Meaningful' can come alongside a change to how crits are negated with armour - such as removing negation entirely (and perhaps having AP spent to reduce the crit roll itself).

My point being, whilst the characters have Wounds>0 they probably also have spare AP to negate crits anyway, so you're not going to see many of those random maiming crits you're looking for.
CapnZapp
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Fri May 31, 2019 11:00 am

Yepesnopes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:02 am
Indeed, I am talking about the optional rule in pg. 301.

The “problem” of crit deflection and normal armour rules is that you have 6 hit locations. Say you have mail armour everywhere, that is a potential negation of 18 critical wounds.
Yes, that to me is an inexplicable rules flaw.
The same scenario with the rules of pg 301, since you don’t use hit locations, gives you only 3 crit negations. Plus your armour gets destroyed quicker and evey AP it is more expensive to repair.
Yowsers! Well, that's certainly one way to interpret the rules.

Myself, I have never considered this interpretation. Can't imagine any player accepting that armor falls off his arms just because he's hit in the leg.

Just so you know, the "All" in the Locations column is in all likelyhood meant as shorthand for "Head, Arms, Body, Legs". Not that these armours represents onesies :)

But I'm happy it works for you.
Plus you only need to check for hit locations when a crit is scored, and you don’t need to check if that character has or has not armour in a particular location, speeding up combats greatly.
Well, any system where you have uniform armor has that quality.
Embrace quick armour rules!
I prefer to drop armor damage and crit negation myself. You know, how WFRP used to work! :)
TheBigBadWolf wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:12 am
My point being, whilst the characters have Wounds>0 they probably also have spare AP to negate crits anyway, so you're not going to see many of those random maiming crits you're looking for.
Exactly.

And welcome to the forums!
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Yepesnopes
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Fri May 31, 2019 12:01 pm

Armour does not fall off your legs or arm when you are hit on you head or body. Simply, no hit locations (like in Warhammer 3d by the way), meaning attacks are narrated by players and GM. You hit the location you descrive you hit.

Everything is more abstract. I understand it may not be for everybody’s taste.
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totsuzenheni
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Fri May 31, 2019 12:38 pm

There were rules for damaging armour in WFRP first edition called 'armour has feelings too' by Graeme Davis. They were in the 'Warhammer Grimoire', and i seem to recall they were in a 'White Dwarf' too.
CapnZapp
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Fri May 31, 2019 1:03 pm

Yepesnopes wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 12:01 pm
Armour does not fall off your legs or arm when you are hit on you head or body. Simply, no hit locations (like in Warhammer 3d by the way), meaning attacks are narrated by players and GM. You hit the location you descrive you hit.

Everything is more abstract. I understand it may not be for everybody’s taste.
Sure thing.

I am merely pointing out that nothing about Quick Armor necessarily suggests that Hit Locations aren't used, or that the intention is to drastically increase armor upkeep costs.

Again, I am happy your interpretation works for you.
Glorthindel
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Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:35 am

The most important feature for me of any critical table adjustment/rewrite is to wipe out the additional location roll for critical hits. I get why they put it in (if you just determined hit location by the to-hit roll, then critical hits are going to strongly favour certain locations), but the additional roll feels like extra busywork.

If it was me, I would create a set of location-neutral critical charts, purely for use when a double is rolled, and save the location-specific charts of once you've been hammered down to 0 hit points. This would have the added bonus, that you could adjust the lethality of the two charts (perhaps reducing the lethality of the double-roll criticals to address some of Caps concerns), and ratchet up the lethality of the 0-hp criticals, so you aren't just fishing for the bleed results to finish an enemy off)
CapnZapp
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Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:45 am

Glorthindel wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:35 am
The most important feature for me of any critical table adjustment/rewrite is to wipe out the additional location roll for critical hits. I get why they put it in (if you just determined hit location by the to-hit roll, then critical hits are going to strongly favour certain locations), but the additional roll feels like extra busywork.
Believe me, the "one roll to rule them all" is a quixotic windmill. Many games have tried but it is not worth the mental gymnastics. (Case in point, the incredibly byzantine way Dual Wielding works, with the crowning insanity being how it attempts to save you a single extra roll by adding rule I simply can never remember)

Anyway, trust me when I say the critical hit location roll is far from the most pressing issue regarding criticals in 4E...

That said, if Chuck really wants to write up crit tables where mild and severe results are essentially jumbled together (which would indeed save us the extra roll), I will not stand in his way :P
TheBigBadWolf
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Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:34 am

Over on the Discord there's been talk on Crits for a while now.

BadJuJu created Crit Tables that aim to do just that mentioned above - combine milder effects with severe ones that gradually escalate as combat goes on.

Here's the link to the tables (he said it's fine to share).

I like them a lot, though my ideal world would be combining something like those with the Special Hits from CapnZapps table that adds that immediately resolvable without extra tracking 'spice'.
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Chuck
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Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:38 am

So I have split the criticals into 2 tables, a "minor critical hit" table for doubles (wounds above 0) and one for "earned" or "major" critical hits, when you've dropped your opponent's wounds below 0. I started out with minor critical hits, with the idea of keeping bookkeeping and math to a minimum (effects last only the next round, etc). I still thought it might be too much, and started a second minor crit table with effects that are immediately resolved, but I'm running into problems differentiating.

Here's what I have so far. Comments?
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Minor Criticals.pdf
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CapnZapp
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Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:26 am

Before I read your document I would be interested to learn your goals and preferences, Chuck.

What are you attempting to fix? (Any of the points I raised? Any other issues?) What is your desired end state?

I'm asking because I believe my feedback would be much more valuable if given through the lense of what YOU want rather than what I might want :)
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Chuck
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Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:35 am

My primary goal was to speed up the resolution of critical effects, and therefore speed up or at the very least not further slow down combat as a whole. I split the tables up between spice effects (rolled doubles when wounds are > 0) and major criticals (incurred when damage is taken and wounds are 0). I decided to tackle location-neutral minor crits first. When those are finished, I can move to location-specific, weapon-type-specific major criticals.

For the minor critical tables I had these goals in mind:
- Typically last 1 round
- Require no dice rolls beyond the initial 1d10
- Require no difficult calculations or bookkeeping
- Gain no conditions
- May leave bruises, scars, or cosmetic deformities

I mostly centered on things characters can do in combat: Action (dodge, parry, and attack), and Move, ie, taking some or all of these away and allowing others to remain. For the first table, I think I was mostly successful in all the above goals except the "require no difficult calculations or bookkeeping." Tracking whether an opponent could Dodge, Attack, Parry, or Move is simple for small combats but unwieldy for large ones. So I started a second table keeping in mind that the main "spice effect" was wound loss, and anything else would be a bonus on top of that.

These goals aren't fixed. I'd like to simplify 4e combat first and foremost, but I'd also like to make the 4e crit system better. And I'm open to suggestions on whatever that takes.
CapnZapp
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Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:18 am

Okay then :) (You have my existing posts; feel free to ask if there's anything else)
Glorthindel
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Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:51 am

This definitely feels the right sort of direction in my opinion:

- Less severe results of double-roll criticals, so the crit-negation of armour is less vital to character survival (and can probably be removed as a feature completely).

- Easier to remember effects. Straight "can do x, cant to y" results and one round duration if far easier to remember for a player than mountains of conditions which persist over multiple rounds. While I am ok in principle with the conditions system, it is incredibly fiddly, and easy to forget. For my game I bought ~200 plastic counters and a bunch of different coloured stickers, and colour-coded them to the different conditions, so players (and me, when you have 4-6 monsters with conditions applied it is a nightmare) could keep track of what conditions and how many stacks they had accrued. It worked, but on top of fortune and resolve points, and advantage, it feels like my players are drowning under a sea of counters, and felt more of a board-game thing than a rpg one.

- Less die rolling. While not always a primary goal (I agree with Cap that the dual-wielding rule as written is inane, and I straight away binned it and let the player roll seperately for the second attack), the original system of having to roll again for location when you score a critical is just unintuitive - it creates an exception to the normal rules that can potentially cause confusion for a learning player.

In all, I like the way you are going, but at the moment, my campaign hasn't gone far enough for me to judge all the implications. Will very definitely give it a test-run in my game though.
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Chuck
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Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:43 am

Ok, thank you. I'll put my head down and keep at it.
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Chuck
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Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:46 pm

So here's the first stab at the minor critical tables. As above, table #1 involves some bookkeeping that the GM or player keeps track of for 1 round. Table #2 has effects that require no bookkeeping past the current round, but in several instances grants an extra attack, which means another dice roll. That is offset, I think, by helping to speed combat along by wearing wounds down faster (hopefully).

If this looks ok, I'll go ahead and move on to major criticals by weapon type and hit location. But I would really appreciate some feedback from playtesting -- until I get some major crit tables done, I'd recommend using Cap's suggestion of adding +30 or so to any rolls on the official crit tables to simulate "major" critical hits (ie any crit suffered when Wounds = 0).
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