Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Stellar Quest: Thoughts on Weapon Damage...

Good Evening, All:

I've been considering various weapon statistics for Stellar Quest, I started with the following basic assumptions: First, keep it simple. Second, keep it consistent if you can. Third, keep it within the context of an OD&D experience. The following rules reflect what I currently think I'm going to go with.

Melee Weapons
I think I'm going to follow the basic concept of tying weapon damage to weapon size.

Weapon SizeDamageExample
Diminutive1d3Under-sized dagger
Small1d6Short sword
Medium1d8Long sword
Large2d6Great sword
Huge2d8Over-sized great sword

I use the following chart for determining what weapons a particular race may use.

One-handed, light weapon, concealableDiminutiveTinySmall
One-handed, light weaponTinySmallMedium

At the moment, I don't have a large race, but I want the information available just in case. The Tellarite race will use the Small category, while Humans, Vulcans and Andorians will use the Man-sized category.

Ranged Weapons
Ranged weapons follow the same basic pattern. Muscle powered weapons such as bows do the same damage as a melee weapon of equivalent size. Gunpowder weapons do double dice damage for their size. Energy weapons inflict triple damage. The following chart captures this data in a tabular format.

Weapon SizeDamageExample
Tiny, Muscle-Powered1d4Throwing dagger, shuriken
Small, Muscle-Powered1d6Short bow, light crossbow
Medium, Muscle-Powered1d8Long bow, heavy crossbow
Tiny, Gunpowder2d4Hold-out pistol
Small, Gunpowder2d6Pistol, revolver
Medium, Gunpowder2d8Rifle
Tiny, Energy3d4Hold-out phaser
Small, Energy3d6Phaser pistol
Medium, Energy3d8Phaser rifle

In regards to phasers, setting such a weapon to Stun means that it will inflict subdual damage (half real, half temporary) instead of normal damage.

At any rate, these are my current thoughts on weapon damage for Stellar Quest. What do you think?

With Regards,


adventurematerials said...

That sounds like a good, reasonable way to assign damage--but why would a character choose to use a melee weapon when phasers are so readily available (and so very deadly to level 1 characters)?

I mean, I have no problem with characters being blown to bits or phasers being inherently better (they WOULD be, just as getting hit with a bullet is nearly always worse that getting hit with a sword, despite what movies may say), but how will someone balance an adventure against any kind of intelligent alien where a single ranged shot means instant death?

Flynn said...

Good point, adventurematerials.

There are a number of ways to address that:

1. Drop energy weapon damage down a die. Keeps it nasty but survivable. Alternately, drop it to a single die and add a bonus to damage (+1 for gunpowder and +
for energy weapons, perhaps.)

2. Start characters with more than one hit die. This could mean starting at a higher level, or start with more hit dice at first level. Red shirts with only one hit die would be the expendable guys that they are in the series, and PCs would be the exception that survives.

3. Instead of adding more dice, I could just move up one die step, much like I do for melee weapons by size, when I look at ranged weapon damage. For example, a short bow does 1d6, while a gunpowder pistol does 1d8 and a phaser does 2d6.

4. Some combination of the above could work well.

In regards to melee weapons, there were a number of episodes in TOS where the crew were forced to fight with melee weapons, from the gladiatorial arena to Spock's rite of Pon Farr to the sword fights onboard the Enterprise. For that reason, I want to make sure that's still available as an option.

Hope This Helps,