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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

From my Brain to this Blog..

Over at an RPG forum the brand new Robotech Shadow Chronicles RPG is being discussed. The usual Mega Damage (MDC) thing came up.

In short, Mega Damage is super armor/damage that normal people and technology can't really hurt. Your average Player Character would be vaporized by a single MD point, since Structural Damage (SDC) is 1/100th an MD point and your average twinked PC has maybe 40 total SDC points.

This is a strange system, and leads to much abuse and confusion. Why an Armor Penetration/Armor Resistance ruleset wasn't used I don't think we will ever know. (Warhammer 40K's Strength vs Toughness is a massively abstract version of this. A Toughness 3 man is likely to be hurt by a Strength 3 Lasgun. A Toughness 8 Wraithlord mech is all but immune to his fire, and vehicles are an armor value starting at 10 and going up, beaten by rolling a D6 and adding the weapon's Strength. Meaning that Strength 3 Lasgun can't hurt even the lightest of tanks, but a Strength 9 Lascannon will all but vaporize the hapless man and turn light vehicles to scrap without little effort, and can penetrate up to 15 armor, though 14 is the known maximum.)

Well, one fellow was mentioning his more Robotech cartoon like house rules, which were pretty decent. Upping damage, lowering personal armor to fit in closer to the show and common sense, ect. (A guy in a non powered armored suit shouldn't have 1/3rd the MDC of a jet fighter.)

Now these were good ideas, but my idea is something I may use should my gamegroup play Robotech sometime soon: (Note I tweak one of the house rules the fellow used to fit my idea. His idea lead me to my idea!) 10% of the original armor's stats are base, and the rest is the character's SDC converted over to MDC with MD damage also being SD personal damage. (Cyclone armor would be on top of this and would split the damage 50/50.

So a dude who takes a 25 point MDC hit to his armor is losing 25 points to said armor, and is internally taking 25 points of SDC damage as well. If his original Hit Points was 10, and his SDC is 23 and he is wearing armor that originally as written provided 50 MDC, his armor's MDC is 28. 28 points of MDC will destroy the armor, leaving him with 5 Hit Points. You could also take the current Palladium armor rule where even 1 remaining MDC point has to be destroyed before the wearer is gonna take MD and die to its less munchkiny logical course. Sure, that 1 MDC point as written can take UNLIMITED damage and the wearer still lives until next turn as the armor is now NO MORE IT HAS CEASED TO BE, but that SDC damage could still kill him.

An example: Joe Shmuck is the fellow above with 10 HP, 23 SDC, and the 5 points MDC armor with his 23 SDC converted into MDC giving his armor an effective 28 points. He is hit for a whopping 40 MDC in damage. Maybe an Invid was lucky. Now his armor takes 28 points by my house rule, but AS WRITTEN IN CURRENT PALLADIUM RULEBOOKS that extra 12 MDC goes poof and does nothing. If we play it my way, the MDC doesn't blow in as usual. But the hapless wearer is STILL taking the 12 SDC of internal hits from the impact and whatnot. However Joe only has 33 total SDC points he can take meaning he is totally fragged and there probably isn't anything left of him or his armor that is recognizable.

Which makes sense considering 20-60 FOOT TALL ROBOT GUNS firing at a 2 meter tall human should usually leave that human dead regardless of whatever armor he is wearing. Joe's skill at evading hits (remember we aren't considering his SDC to be TRUE LIFE FORCE, more skill at not getting serious injury..) isn't enough to save him from the big nasty cannon designed to blow up BIG ROBOTS. Even in Warhammer 40K a big badass Space Marine can't take a hit from an anti tank weapon and live unless its more dumb luck and the weapon really misses him or just glances.

If it was a Cyclone, 20 points of MDC would go to the Cyclone armor which we shall leave as written, and only 20 would go to his personal armor the Cyclone fits on top of, meaning he would only be taking 20 SDC. He is in trouble and another hit of any sort is gonna turn him into a big smear on the pavement, but his transforming motorcycle and his combat experience merely grazed the bike, but his luck is running out!

Now if Joe had 31 SDC, he would have lived. 36 MDC for the armor and it still would have been shredded. (Again, ITS A BIG GUN DESIGNED TO DESTROY LARGE THINGS THAT WEIGH TONS NOT 200 POUND MAN.) However, with his Hit Points (And if I haven't mentioned, Hit Points are Palladium's actual "Life Force you are taking ACTUAL PAINFUL HURTS" thingie.) and SDC he now has 41 total points, leaving him with 1 total Hit Point left, no armor, and a big scary robot about to turn him into paste should he not run for cover, surrender, play dead, or hope his buddies can pull him out of the fire so he can go to the medics and take a 2 week nap. His skill in combat was as such he saw the BIG SHOT and jumped behind some light cover, ducked, or something that kept him from taking a direct hit which would be fatal to any normal human being. However, even a close miss or a light hit is enough to put him out of any meaningful action for quite some time.

You know, I like this rule. I am excited about it! I now want my copy of Robotech: Shadow Chronicles from Palladium to get here faster so I can run this.

I do like me some Cyclone Mospeada Ride Armor after all:
(If we use it in the examples above, the 40 point hit would have taken out one of the shoulderpads. A killing hit would be a dead center hit, which even the heavier bike armor isn't gonna block. A higher SDC pilot is gonna lose an engine or take a serious mechanical hit that ruins the bike and he comes crashing to the ground, no longer jumping about like Rand here is, meaning he is gonna feel that landing, and the Cyclone is effectively totalled.)

Its taking the generic D&D Hit Points as a measure of skill, luck, endurance, glancing hits, and karma as opposed to true damage absorbing life force. Your character's improving SDC for level ups affects the armor you wear. It makes so much sense I kind of wonder why Palladium hasn't used it. Its still the kludgy Palladium MDC shenanigans, but now it actually feels more realistic in the setting and rules provided.

Edit: The rulebook showed up today. A cursory evaluation says Hit Points go up per level. Well NARF. Ok, HP doesn't go up in level in my houserule then, SDC does. CRISIS AVERTED. Also, the actual armor seems to be 120 points for personal REF armor, so dudes would get 12 plus their SDC converted to MDC.

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