Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tough Calls

During the playtest, we ended up having to make a couple of tough calls.

The Ninja's SecondStrike feature states that any attack which "makes contact" can be followed by a SecondStrike.  What if someone is in Full Defensive Posture, and the stike hits but hits for zero hitpoints?  Since it wasn't a "Miss," it still made contact, so the SecondStrike is still effective.

The Mage had a spell which added a small amount of Heat Damage to any attack made by a single ally.  The Heat Damage is combined with the other Potential Damage before subtracting off resistances.  The Heat Damage is also considered Weapon Bonus (even if the Weapon is fists) so it increases the Potential damage of a Light Hit as well as a Heavy Hit.  Also, we contemplated what would happen if the Damage Types had differing defenses working against them, which they could have in this case (but didn't, as no armor was being worn.)  We set it aside, since it didn't apply in the situation, but I will take up that question here.

The damage types in this system are:  Physical Damage, Direct Damage, Mystical Damage, Heat Damage, Cold Damage, Electrical Damage, and Chemical Damage.  Each of these has something unique.  Physical Damage is reduced by armor worn and a person's own resilience before it affects HP.  Direct Damage bypasses the armor, and is only reduced by resilience.  Heat, Cold, and Electrical damage bypass Metal Armor only (because it serves as a conductor), and is reduced by other Armor and resilience.  Chemical damage is the opposite, only being reduced by Metal Armor and resilience, as it is strong enough to burn through cloth, leather, or wooden armor.

A situation with combined damage types is quite complicated, and I'm not sure under what scenario the combo that I'm about to describe would happen, but lets pretend there were two damages being inflicted in a single blow.  4 Points of Chemical Damage and 3 Points of Heat Damage:  If the target was wearing +2 Metal Armor, it would deflect 2 points of Chemical Damage, but it wouldn't work against the heat Damage, leaving us with 2 Points of Chem Damage + 3 Points of Heat Damage, or 5 points of making it through the armor to the Resilience.  If the Resilience was 3, then 2 points of total Damage would be taken.  But which 2 points?  What if I had an ability where every point of Heat damage I take is transmuted into a Magic Point?  That's a good question.  Before answering it, lets look at another scenario:

What if it was 4 points of Mystical Damage and 3 points of Chem Damage?  Mystical Damage is (generally) unaffected by armor OR resilience, so 4 points would pass through to MP.  If there were only 3 MP, it would absorb the 3 MP and leave 1 point of HP damage.  The other 3 points would have the possibility of being absorbed by armor and resilience, according to the normal rules.  It seems that in the case of Mystical Damage, it is always very clear how much of the Mystical Damage remains.

So we are left with the question of how to find out which type of damage is left after all the reduction has been taken into account.

First of all, Cold and Heat damage cannot happen simultaneously.  If they do, they cancel each other out and only the balance remains.  i.e., 4 Cold plus 3 Heat = 1 Cold.  Not a very effective battle strategy.  This canceling happens before the attack makes contact.

So I'm making a ruling that resilience reduces damage in the following order:

Physical Damage (Because it is the easiest to deflect.)

Heat or Cold Damage

Electrical Damage

Chemical Damage (Because it leaves residue which continues to burn for some time.)

Where to put Electrical Damage (before or after Heat/Cold) is kind of arbitrary, but I needed to decide something, so this is what it will be until I find out a reason why it should be otherwise.

This is also the same order that standard armor absorbs damage in, and the same order that armor absorbs damage in after its namesake is absorbed.  i.e., Heat Resistant armor would absorb as much Heat as it can first, then it would absorb things in the usual order as just given.

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