Curious what you all think about this:

Burst and Autofire special Momentum Spend: For 2 Momentum, a character can give a Burst or Automatic attack Spread 1. For 3 total Momentum, a character can give an Automatic attack Spread 2.

Not only does this seem to fit the general concept of Momentum well, it also creates interesting choices. This creates an incentive to spend Momentum to hit more often, but for less overall damage. So unless your enemy is heavily armored, 2 Momentum on Spread 1 and 1 Momentum on Penetration is probably quite worthwhile.

Importantly, it also makes it easier to make Dark Symmetry Icons interesting without resorting to special ammo or big guns. If a weapon already has spread, it's probably more efficient NOT to spend Momentum on getting yet more spread, so the choice is retained.

Thoughts? Particularly from Nathan, since he's the rules guy!

Burst and Autofire special Momentum Spend: For 2 Momentum, a character can give a Burst or Automatic attack Spread 1. For 3 total Momentum, a character can give an Automatic attack Spread 2.

Not only does this seem to fit the general concept of Momentum well, it also creates interesting choices. This creates an incentive to spend Momentum to hit more often, but for less overall damage. So unless your enemy is heavily armored, 2 Momentum on Spread 1 and 1 Momentum on Penetration is probably quite worthwhile.

Importantly, it also makes it easier to make Dark Symmetry Icons interesting without resorting to special ammo or big guns. If a weapon already has spread, it's probably more efficient NOT to spend Momentum on getting yet more spread, so the choice is retained.

Thoughts? Particularly from Nathan, since he's the rules guy!

-Apoc527

3 replies

It's a solid concept - we did initially consider Spread as the main benefit of spending Reloads, but that wasn't particularly satisfying compared to the flexibility.

The cost might need adjustment, as 2 Momentum is the cost of the Devastating Blow Momentum Spend, which does exactly the same as a Dark Symmetry Icon on a Spread 1 weapon (extra hit on a random location for half damage). Further, higher ratings of Spread are extremely valuable, as they can produce massive numbers of hits, and with a powerful weapon and/or against weaker foes, this can produce terrifying results. It's also worth remembering that multiple instances of the same quality, if it has a rating, stack - if your attack already has Spread 1, then something that gives it Spread 2 will produce Spread 3, so each of those Dark Symmetry Icons is giving you three extra hits. For that reason, I'd avoid the "Spread 2" option entirely.

Consider a Nimrod Autocannon (2+[DS]8 damage, Armour Piercing 1, Spread 2), using three Reloads and wielded by a character with Awareness 9 (for an extra +[DS]1). Twelve dice, so an average of 8 damage (including the static value), two points of Soak ignored, and four extra half-damage hits (4 each)... and that's without any Momentum spent. Level that against a mob of 5 Undead Legionnaires, and that's a dead mob. Per your suggestion, three Momentum on that could either be +3 damage (main hit goes to 11, extra hits go to 5 each: a net gain of 7 damage), or an extra Spread 2 (for Spread 4 in total, for 8 bonus hits: a net gain of 16 damage). Stacking up lots of Spread, particularly on weapons with Armour Piercing and/or Vicious is a good way to tear down cover as well.

You'd get similar, albeit smaller, results from something like a Panzerknacker rifle (which gains Armour Piercing 1 and Spread 1 whenever it spends one or more Reloads), an MG-40 (or any of a range of Bauhaus weapons), or any shotgun with a mode above Semi-Auto (the Mandible, SG7000, or Zhukov 4, just in the corebook).

The cost might need adjustment, as 2 Momentum is the cost of the Devastating Blow Momentum Spend, which does exactly the same as a Dark Symmetry Icon on a Spread 1 weapon (extra hit on a random location for half damage). Further, higher ratings of Spread are extremely valuable, as they can produce massive numbers of hits, and with a powerful weapon and/or against weaker foes, this can produce terrifying results. It's also worth remembering that multiple instances of the same quality, if it has a rating, stack - if your attack already has Spread 1, then something that gives it Spread 2 will produce Spread 3, so each of those Dark Symmetry Icons is giving you three extra hits. For that reason, I'd avoid the "Spread 2" option entirely.

Consider a Nimrod Autocannon (2+[DS]8 damage, Armour Piercing 1, Spread 2), using three Reloads and wielded by a character with Awareness 9 (for an extra +[DS]1). Twelve dice, so an average of 8 damage (including the static value), two points of Soak ignored, and four extra half-damage hits (4 each)... and that's without any Momentum spent. Level that against a mob of 5 Undead Legionnaires, and that's a dead mob. Per your suggestion, three Momentum on that could either be +3 damage (main hit goes to 11, extra hits go to 5 each: a net gain of 7 damage), or an extra Spread 2 (for Spread 4 in total, for 8 bonus hits: a net gain of 16 damage). Stacking up lots of Spread, particularly on weapons with Armour Piercing and/or Vicious is a good way to tear down cover as well.

You'd get similar, albeit smaller, results from something like a Panzerknacker rifle (which gains Armour Piercing 1 and Spread 1 whenever it spends one or more Reloads), an MG-40 (or any of a range of Bauhaus weapons), or any shotgun with a mode above Semi-Auto (the Mandible, SG7000, or Zhukov 4, just in the corebook).

Game Development - 2D20 System

System Design - Star Trek Adventures

Rules questions and playtest feedback to nathan@modiphius.com

System Design - Star Trek Adventures

Rules questions and playtest feedback to nathan@modiphius.com

Hmmm, very very true. This is why I am rapidly falling in love with 2d20 though, it's got so much meat to it!

What about 3 Momentum to activate Spread 1 on any Burst or Automatic attack and that's it?

In practice so far, I've seen the 1 Momentum re-roll as many dice as you want used a lot. I've also seen Called Shot used some. Once my players learn Swift Strike, they will use that a fair amount as well.

I'm actually considering making Devastating Blow "melee only" and boosting it to a second full-damage hit to a random location. Because you are right, Devastating Blow is just a guaranteed extra hit location and hardly worth doing when you can generate Spread.

But if Devastating Blow wasn't an option for ranged weapons (and at full damage, it's much more worthwhile), then I think my idea of adding Spread for Momentum on Burst and Autofire attacks isn't a bad one. Maybe I say "2 Momentum for Spread 1, 4 Momentum for Spread 2" and allow that?

I just like Spread and am trying to find ways to use the DSI more reliably for normalish weapons.

What about 3 Momentum to activate Spread 1 on any Burst or Automatic attack and that's it?

In practice so far, I've seen the 1 Momentum re-roll as many dice as you want used a lot. I've also seen Called Shot used some. Once my players learn Swift Strike, they will use that a fair amount as well.

I'm actually considering making Devastating Blow "melee only" and boosting it to a second full-damage hit to a random location. Because you are right, Devastating Blow is just a guaranteed extra hit location and hardly worth doing when you can generate Spread.

But if Devastating Blow wasn't an option for ranged weapons (and at full damage, it's much more worthwhile), then I think my idea of adding Spread for Momentum on Burst and Autofire attacks isn't a bad one. Maybe I say "2 Momentum for Spread 1, 4 Momentum for Spread 2" and allow that?

I just like Spread and am trying to find ways to use the DSI more reliably for normalish weapons.

[Last edited Apr 12, 2016 15:37:52]

-Apoc527

One last point (worthy of a new post rather than more editing): the Nimrod is probably an extreme example. I have *no* problem with the Nimrod being capable of mowing down vast numbers of Undead Legionnaires or devastating cover. I mean, it's a Nimrod autocannon!

The same mechanic with your typical Spread 1 LMG wouldn't be as impressive. An M606 is 1+6DS Spread 1, so an Awareness 9 character firing on Automatic will generate 1+10DS and with rerolls, we can assume 4-5 damage and at least 2 DSIs. So, let's say it's 6 total damage, 2 DSIs, means without Momentum, we're looking at 6 damage and then 2 locations at 3 damage each (12 total). If we generated 4 Momentum total, we can either spend it all on damage to get to 10+2x5 = 20 damage or 2 on Damage and 2 on Spread +1, resulting in 8 damage base plus 4 hit locations at 4 damage each or 24 total damage.

BUT if the target is tough and has Soak 3+, the 4 Momentum on damage results in (10-3)+2x(5-3)=13 wounds vs (8-3)+4x(4-3)=9 total damage.

So, I think it's situational.

The same mechanic with your typical Spread 1 LMG wouldn't be as impressive. An M606 is 1+6DS Spread 1, so an Awareness 9 character firing on Automatic will generate 1+10DS and with rerolls, we can assume 4-5 damage and at least 2 DSIs. So, let's say it's 6 total damage, 2 DSIs, means without Momentum, we're looking at 6 damage and then 2 locations at 3 damage each (12 total). If we generated 4 Momentum total, we can either spend it all on damage to get to 10+2x5 = 20 damage or 2 on Damage and 2 on Spread +1, resulting in 8 damage base plus 4 hit locations at 4 damage each or 24 total damage.

BUT if the target is tough and has Soak 3+, the 4 Momentum on damage results in (10-3)+2x(5-3)=13 wounds vs (8-3)+4x(4-3)=9 total damage.

So, I think it's situational.

-Apoc527