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[Crazy Ass Design House Rules] Armor vs. Weapon damage and limiting Momentum spend

posted Apr 15, 2016 15:53:51 by JakeBernstein
This is a CrazyIdea (TM) thread arising from a combination of thoughts in the shower and thoughts in the car while sitting in traffic.

It arises from the discussion Nathan and I were having in the other House Rule thread about Burst and Automatic fire allowing Spread as a Momentum spend.

The initial thought is "wow, armor sure seems minimal compared to gun damage, especially when you add in Momentum spends." I understand this is intentional and indeed, do not want to overly change the balance. What I am interested in though is creating a bit more differentiation between small and large guns. To that end, I present the following simple rule:

When spending Momentum to add directly to damage, you may not spend more Momentum than a weapon's static damage modifier plus half its dice of damage (round down). You may spend excess Momentum on OTHER momentum spends, just not pure damage. For purposes of this limit, include any Strength-based damage bonuses, but do NOT add Awareness-based damage bonuses for ranged weapons.

Example: A Piranha handgun deals 1+3DS. 1+(3/2, round down)=2. So a character shooting a Piranha can deal no more than 2 bonus damage directly with Momentum (nothing would stop a character from using Devastating Blow, however). On the other hand, a Mephisto sniper rifle deals 2+5DS damage, allowing up to 4 Momentum to be used to directly add to damage.

This idea arose from actual play. When you add in a Group Momentum pool, it becomes easy to generate A LOT of Momentum and eek 13 damage or so from a Piranha (which happened--poor Castigator). I realized that didn't feel quite right, especially because the heaviest personal armor is only 5 Soak. A character with no Awareness bonus to damage and a Piranha will deal an average of maybe 4 damage. That seems fair.

-Apoc527
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7 replies
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Marcin.Skupnik said Apr 17, 2016 02:41:43
I'm going to steal this rule for my games. There is nothing worse than having tough characters killed with popguns because the PC got lucky with dice.

PS: The MC3 forum looks more and more like the showerthoughts reddit.
PPS: We need a sticky house rules thread to gather all those ideas that heave been popping up lately.
PPPS: I'm not going to make one.
[Last edited Apr 17, 2016 03:28:47]
MC3 homebrewer. Check the thread!
CA-138 Deathlockdrum - when you want to put a grenade launcher on a grenade launcher, so you can launch grenades when launching grenades.
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SteveHanson said Apr 17, 2016 03:04:08
We have one. You've posted to it. Or do you mean something else?
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To his friend a man
a friend shall prove,
To him and the friend of his friend;
But never a man
shall friendship make
With one of his foeman's friends.
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Marcin.Skupnik said Apr 17, 2016 03:31:13
I see a difference between homebrew and house rules. With homebrew I'm not modifying the game, I'm adding to it. House rules however change how the game is played. To me it's an important distinction.
MC3 homebrewer. Check the thread!
CA-138 Deathlockdrum - when you want to put a grenade launcher on a grenade launcher, so you can launch grenades when launching grenades.
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JakeBernstein said Apr 17, 2016 03:52:47
Agreed, I'd be happy to make the House Rule thread. I've got links to my house rule docs I can add. Like this one: House Rules file
-Apoc527
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Citizen-171 said Apr 18, 2016 15:29:15
I'm on board with wanting to moderating the damage output. While it's certainly great for the players to one-shot a big baddy, having this happen regularly undermines the game. Also, it kind of trivialises the GM's effort in establishing a challenge, making the GM unhappy, and when the GM is unhappy no-one is happy.

Also, spending Momentum on bonus damage is kind of a no-brainer. You can't really go wrong with it, so the rest of the options available may simply fall into disuse. So, a cap on momentum spend is fair.

However, since this is the Internet, everyone has an opinon, and here's mine. :)

Instead of limiting bonus damage based on weapon damage, why not simply limit Momentum spend on the Bonus Damage category to up to half the total Momentum spent (rounding up). This way the cap doesn't change from weapon to weapon, and there's an incentive to spend more Momentum.

Also, I'd consider making the "open-ended" momentum spends (i.e. Bonus Damage, Called Shot, Knockout and Penetration) mutually exclusive.

-C171
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JakeBernstein said Apr 18, 2016 15:58:02
Another idea that I had, wrote rules for, and then discarded (but now may resurrect) is the idea of pre-roll Momentum spending that simply increases the difficulty. Originally, I used this for Called Shot and Penetration, rationalizing that actually aiming for a specific location is harder. For Penetration, I only gave the 2-for-1 advantage to pre-spent Momentum and if you decided to do it on the fly, I made it 1-for-1.

There are a few other reasons to consider going to this model too. One major potential issue (and sort of realized in actual play) is the time spent on getting that right mix of Momentum spends during combat. There are enough choices that it's not trivial and has two effects: if you have a player who wants to optimize that Momentum, it takes a lot longer for that player to resolve an action, but if you have the opposite player who gets bored after 2 seconds of thinking during game night, you end up with someone who just dumps it all into bonus damage and ignores the other cool stuff you can do.

So, maybe there's a place for "pre-spent Momentum" and the normal rules, but I'm still working out the best combination.

If I decide to use the pre-spent Momentum rule, I'd start with Called Shot and Penetration for sure and go from there.
-Apoc527
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SteveHanson said Apr 18, 2016 20:13:34
I added a sticky post for house rules as you requested. We already have one for Homebrew materials.
Forum Moderator

To his friend a man
a friend shall prove,
To him and the friend of his friend;
But never a man
shall friendship make
With one of his foeman's friends.
--Havamal
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