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A few Questions

posted Jul 26, 2016 17:52:44 by KevinHorwitz
Just started running an MC campaign and my group has a few questions:

1. What's the benefit of Knock Down? While getting knocked down shouldn't be an absolute killer of a combat state, since Stand Up and Movement are Free and Restricted respectively, it seems like there really isn't a substantial benefit to knocking an opponent down.

2. Can you go through a combat mechanic description of what happens if I use a Rank 3 Through and Through on a Horde of 6 creatures (assuming I have points to spend). Since they count as a single target, technically speaking I can't go after them as a secondary target, right? Mechnically, it seems so, though logically it seems... odd... anyway, please feel free to correct my stance!

3. Dread seems awfully easy to purge through Momentum. Why wait for a night's sleep when you can simply cure it through a couple of Momentum??? Am I reading this wrong?
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3 replies
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Marc_Langworthy said Jul 29, 2016 17:34:51
Hey Kevin,

Sorry for the delayed response:

1. I'd personally rule that Knock Down provides the same condition as Fall Prone for the affected individual, which means that they wouldn't be able to stand up on the same turn that they suffer Knock Down.

2. You select one target in a Horde. If you deal enough damage to drop it, then you select another target and apply the remaining damage and so on. Let's say that each Trooper in the Horde has 3 Wounds and the character with Through and Through (3) deals 6 damage, in addition to generating three Momentum. 6 damage is enough to drop 2 of the Troopers due to the damage roll over effect. Secondary Target halves the damage dealt, so the three Momentum would therefore allow the character to down 3 more Troopers. It's suddenly looking very bad for the sole remaining Trooper.

3. Suffering Dread can seriously impinge upon a chracter's actions, so it would seem unfair to hinder the heroes of the story for prolonged periods. Momentum provides for the flush of a superior accomplishment to induce feelings of euphoria, amongst other things. Also, being the heroes of the action that they are, they should be able to brush away hindrances that would paralyse us mere mortals. You could always add the requirement for the character to succeed at a Willpower test to the Steel Nerves Momentum spend, perhaps at a difficulty equal to the current amount of Dread they are suffering. Personally, I'd just hit them with Dread more often, just so that their sanity is always borderline, but that's just my own cruel GM perversity kicking in :)

Hope that helps!
Writer for Modiphius. Line Manager for Mutant Chronicles.
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Citizen-171 said Jul 30, 2016 14:12:02
1. Marc's suggestion seems in line with the rules: Treating a "knocked prone" result as a forced "fall prone" precludes the character from getting on his feet in the same turn. This will normally only be a disadvantage to NPCs since these characters take their actions AFTER the PCs. A PC that is knocked prone will usually be taking their next action in a following turn, and so can get back up with little consequence.

It could make for an interesting mechanic where the players may include weapons with Knockdown in the hope of "stun-locking" enemies. I see the potential for this undermining the "seriousness" of the game if the players can reliably negate all significant threats. But then again, how reliable is Knockdown anyway? One-in-six damage dice will score a T, each T means +0 damage for that dice (barring other qualities like Vicious). Passing a D1 through D3 Athletics test should be within the realm of possibility for most enemies the players would wish to shut down.

I don't see any explicit limits to a character's actions while prone, except being limited to moving at a crawl. Reasonably, there should be some penalty to tests that require balance and freedom of movement, e.g. close combat attacks, parries and dodge.

2. With regards to Hordes & Squads, I think you should treat each group as separate targets. It's counter-intuitive, but hear me out: When resolving a normal attack against a group you are already benefitting from a similar effect to what the Secondary Target momentum spend seems intended for. The amount of damage rolled translates into hitting multiple targets (with the benefit of Soak only applying once). The Secondary Target spend also translates into hitting multiple targets (at half damage, and Soak applies again).

In the interest of keeping Horde & Squads as viable enemies rather than just meat-piƱatas, I suggest sticking to one "multiple targets" mechanic, i.e. the one built into the Hordes & Squads rules.

3. I haven't gotten a great handle on the Dread mechanic. It seems like you need to keep constant pressure on the PCs to make it significant. I guess a point can be made of selling Dread as the counter-point of Momentum (like Damage is the counter-point of the character's Wounds total). With that mind-set, perhaps EVERY encounter should start with the characters suffering a few points of Dread? Treat Dread to represent stress, tension and anxiety instead of pure fear?

It means lowering the threshold for imposing Dread, making it more or less an automatic thing to be expected as the plot advances.
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KevinHorwitz said Aug 01, 2016 14:01:33
#1: I ended up house-ruling it to this: Knocked Down is a condition that causes you to go Prone and changes the Stand Up action to a Standard Action. This way a Knock Down really does cause a significant penalty, especially for mobile units.

#2: Third session yesterday and once again had hordes. This time the confusion was with Blast and Spread with Hordes as well as the interaction between all of that and soak/armor. Really slowed the game down trying to resolve it.
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