Sunday, November 15, 2015

Dust Adventures: Sample Combat

This is a mock combat I setup while reading the newly released  
'Dust Adventures', the RPG for the alternative WW2 'Dust' and 'Dust:Tactics' line.

And yes I should have been doing something productive... But here we are...
With no more delay, here is our 'protagonist' , a physical giant of a man, albeit
not the brightest:

Micky O’Mally Background: Urban (Brooklyn)
Branch: Ranger/Commando/War Hero

Mobility: 2    Physique: 4    Mind: 1               Presence: 2
Movement: 6    Initiative: 3    Capacity: 6    Armour 0

Athletics 2,Attack:Firearms 3(Shotgun 3), Attack:Melee 3(Knives:3),Awareness 2, Black Ops 1 (Stealth 1, Disguise 1), Interaction 1, Medic 1(First Aid 1), Pilot 1, Special Ability 1, Survival 2 (Navigate 1)

Special Ability:
First Strike 1

Combat Knife (Damage 2)
Shotgun (Range 5 Damage 3 Ammo 4)
, Radio, map, survival kit, codebook, radio kit

It should be noted that in terms of scale, a '1' in a stat is considered human normal. Physique of 4 is monstrous, but even with that he can still be taken out with a lucky burst or shotgun blast.

This is a LETHAL and fast system.

They were certainly following him, Micky had no doubt. Being Irish by way of Brooklyn with a giant guitar case strapped to his back made him stand out a bit in Miami. The five soldiers following him were typical Sino-Soviet Union conscripts from Cuba, not to be underestimated given they had just taken part of Florida from the Allies this past year.
Micky wasn’t the brains of his commando unit, but he was pretty sure the Boss was right that their contact down here was playing both sides. The SSU was obviously alerted to the fact that an Allied sniper was in town looking to hit a VIP.
Micky wasn’t that sniper, but he certainly looked out of place enough. 

 (Rolling his disguise, he gets two dice for Presence, one for Black Ops and One for Disguise. He rolls one ‘Target’ or 5-6  which is shy of the two he needed.)

He slowed his walk to allow them to gain ground, careful to keep his hands away from the guitar case, but rather in his duster… Another fashion accessory that did not help him here, unlike his combat armor which was back at the safe house.
The SSU goons were confident, they had numbers and they were used to having the run of the streets here in Miami,so they weren’t even unslinging their rifles as they got close to Micky...

(All involved roll 5 dice for initiative, and add their successes to their initiative rating, in Micky’s case he gets an additional +1 for his ‘First Strike’ special ability. Micky rolls 2 successes + 3 for initiative + 1 for ‘First Strike’= 6)

Here is what our SSU Conscripts look like:

Characteristics: (1 is ‘Average’)
Mobility: 2    Physique: 1    Mind: 1               Presence: 1
Movement: 3    Initiative: 2    Capacity: 2    Armour 0

Athletics 1,Attack:Firearms 1, Attack:Melee 1,Awareness 2, Black Ops 1, Interaction 1, Medic 1, Survival 2

Combat Knife (Damage 2)
AK-45 (Rng 15 Dam 2/1 Rapid Fire,Ammo 5)

Unsurprisingly the conscripts lose initiative to Micky who turns revealing his shotgun that he had concealed under his coat and fires at the lead conscript.

(Micky rolls Mobility + Firearms + Shotgun Specialty, 8 dice and gets 4 Targets. Two is the default difficult, so those extra targets are added to the base damage of 3 the shotgun does to yield 5 points of damage, and nobody here has any armor.)

The lead conscript’s body is almost torn in half by the shotgun blast. Micky smiles and uses his second action to duck into a dark building.

The conscripts use their ONE action (mooks have only one) to run into the building and find Micky waiting for them with his knife drawn.

For inadequately explored plot reasons all involved decide to settle this the honorable way: four men with knives vs one... well three vs one, one of the conscripts is not dropping his rifle.

Micky uses his turn to make obscene gestures and then the conscripts rush in.

Melee is a bit different in that it can be a roll versus a static defence, or the target can actively (and freely) defend, with the defender potentially doing damage if he wins the roll.

Conscript 1 foolishly rushes at the lone knife wielding giant in front of him. 

(rolls 2 dice, 1 for his Physique and 1 for his Attack:Melee skill and gets one target. Micky however rolls 5 dice for Physique, 3 dice for Attack:Melee and 3 more for his Knife specialty for a total of 11 dice, for 3 targets. This gives the base damage of 2 for the knife, plus 2 for the margin of success to the Conscript.)

Micky easily ducks the amateur lunge and casually plants his blade in the conscript’s back, dropping him to the floor.

Conscripts 2 and 3 meet very similar fates as Micky can LITERALLY do this all day.

The last conscript realizes this machismo is getting nowhere and unloads his AK on Micky.

(Typically ‘All in One’ can only be used by those with 2 actions, but in this case fearing for his life after seeing three of his comrades gutted in under 6 seconds we will make an exception.
‘All in One’ burns your magazine, but adds three dice to your shooting pool, which for the conscript means he goes from 3 dice to 6, and in this case gets 2 targets, just enough to do the weapon’s base damage of 2.)

Micky staggers under the volley and then hurls his knife into the conscript, his empty AK hitting the floor shortly before the conscript does.

Micky is still alive, albeit bloody and this gunfire is going to draw SSU troops like Axis troops to a book burning…

The Boss did say to make a good distraction… He wondered briefly who the lucky VIP is (or was) that the rest of the team is going to take care of shortly.

Overall looks to be  a fun, if brutal system as this example didnt touch on healing, action points or a slew of other features (insanity, zombies, combat walkers...).

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Savage Worlds: Wounding and Shaking... Oh My!

One of the things that is always a challenge for me with Savage Worlds after stepping away from it for awhile is the damage model.

Characters can be:

1. Healthy
2. One Wound
3. Two Wounds
4. Three Wounds
5. Worm food
1-4 of the above plus being 'Shaken'

What is Shaken?
Shaken is a catch-all state that can simulate having the wind knocked out of you, a terrible insult
about your ancestry hitting home or a moment of absolute terror.

Example: Gandalf  is facing a Balrog. Balrogs are creatures of primordial terror, but with severe self confidence issues.
Gandalf yells "You Shall Not Pass!" at the Balrog and makes a successful Taunt roll as he understands the Balrog's deep seated psychological issues and intentionally avoids including a trigger warning when he shouts at it.
The Balrog, its self confidence thrown into a downward spiral of self doubt due to Gandalf's stating that the Balrgo was incapable of performing its basic function of passing through and killing all kinds of things is now Shaken.

What is Wounded?
Wounds represent material damage, and starts a 'death spiral' as every skill check you make now has a penalty equal to the number of wounds.
Example: Gandalf wins the initiative draw for the next round, and with deft maneuver, lands a called shot to the Balrog's lad-bits. Even with the called shot, the damage he rolls is only equal  to the Balrog's Toughness which would normally Shake him, however since the Balrog is experiencing an existential crisis and is already Shaken, it becomes wounded. 

What is Soaking?
Important characters, known as Wildcards (players, special enemies) can spend a 'Benny' to attempt to 'soak' damage by rolling their Vigor and removing one wound gained on that attack for every success and raise. (A success is a 4, a raise is every 4 after that.) Wound penalties from previous attacks impact the soak roll as well, so if Gandalf had hit the Balrog in the balls once before, and done damage, that would penalize the Balrog's attempt to shake off this damage.
IF you soak all of your damage, and have no wounds remaining , and if your 'Shaken' condition was caused by this attack, you can lose that for free as well.

Example: The GM spends a Benny to allow the Balrog to save his naughty bits and the Balrog rolls its Vigor of d12 plus a d6 because it is a Wildcard. It rolls a 1 on the d12, but an 8 on the d6 after it 'explodes', Soaking the wound entirely.
The Balrog now has 0 Wounds, but is still Shaken as that wasn't the result of Gandalf fighting dirty... (They didn't call him the Grey for nothin' folks...)

Recovering from Shaken:
On the Shaken character's turn, you make a Spirit roll, if you get a success (4) you are no longer shaken. If you are a Wildcard, or the GM wants to spend a Benny, you can also pay one of those to recover automatically.

Example: The Balrog rolls a d6 for its Spirit, and a d6 for being a Wildcard, and gets a 4 on the Spirit dice. The brief pain experienced was enough to snap its focus back to the annoying Wizard and readied its giant flaming whip to end the irksome thing.
"Balls..." muttered Gandalf.

Also you will have to forgive me if I was a little bit off on how the fight between Gandalf and the Balrog was presented in the fiction. It has been awhile since I read Tolkein, but I'm pretty sure this is what he was shooting for.