I’ve heard this from other people, but it hasn’t been my experience. A crippling injury may cause stun and knockdown, but won’t kill. It takes an average of 10 points (full hit points) to require a roll for loss of consciousness, and double that to require a death check. And in the fight I just ran, a rolled skull hit did 5 points, of which armor stopped 1 point, the skull itself stopped 2 more, and the remaining 2 x4 was 8 points, which wasn’t enough for loss of consciousness (though it definitely caused stun and knockdown).
Am I reading the damage mechanics wrong in some way? Or are you using exceptionally lethal attacks?
In a slightly longer version: damage comes not single spies but in battalions.
If you are losing hit points, you are probably taking shock penalties (unless you have High Pain Threshold); you may well be losing functionality as bits stop working due to crippling wounds; you’re less able to evade incoming blows and do damage in return.
Similarly if you lose hit points while trying to disarm a trap you’re now at shock penalties to try to do it again, unless things are moving slowly and you can take time to recover.
That first hit can very quickly kick off a death spiral if more hits follow, in a way that Pathfinder/D&D doesn’t offer because it doesn’t have those shock penalties and crippling injuries (it just gives you more hit points in the first place). Being a “tank” in video game terminology, the guy who attracts and soaks up enemy attacks to let the more fragile party members survive, is much less viable as a role in GURPS.
This is one of the elements I find intriguing about EABA, a game I am forever fascinated by and perpetually incapable of running: damage does less actual damage after a point. It’s quite easy to put someone out of the fight with EABA but beating them to death requires some commitment.
All of that was happening to the elven adversaries: shock penalties, crippled hands that made them drop their weapons, crippled legs that left them unable to stand, and cumulative wounds that left them unable to function. But Bengta, Sangmu, and Thorn didn’t go on to kill them; they turned to fighting other elves who were still threats. And then Sangmu and Bengta both made Intimidation rolls that got the elves in their part of the combat to back off . . .
Of course, when they were in that bad shape, the elves didn’t immediately go on trying to fight; they collapsed and let their companions carry on the fight. And the PCs weren’t trying to make sure they were dead; when they reached the point of being able to negotiate a surrender, they went for it.
Yes, falling unconscious is the way to stay alive if your side can prevail in the fight, or as in this case if the other side doesn’t want you dead.
The (mostly) lack of a death spiral in D&D is one of the big differences and something I find a bit challenging to run as GM. The whole “yes, I’ve lost 90% of my hit points but that basically means I’m a bit tired”.
On the other hand, it does have quite a lot of ways to model impairing damage through things like ability score damage. The fiddly thing there, though, is that you then have to recalculate a bunch of things on the fly. I say this as GM for a PC who deals Dexterity damage… once she gets into combat, I have to remember the different penalties to defences, attacks and skill rolls for potentially several creatures at a time.
Just finished the last game before Christmas of our ongoing Roll 20 D&D sessions. I finished up DMing Curse of Strahd about 2 months ago and so for the time since then I have been playing in Rime of the Frostmaiden. And I’m really enjoying myself. The most difficult thing is to not be ‘directing’ all the time and I am very consciously doing that (I hope).
I also miss DMing … (!) but there is limited time and I want to ensure the new DM has the spotlight, so it may be a while …
Hell’s Rebels - Pathfinder 1e - Rebelling against devil-worshiping facists.
Mercy of the Icons - Coriolis: Third Horizon - Players are about to get off a derelict spaceship drifting into a nearby star
Out of Time - Tales from the Loop - Players are currently investigating a curious case of tens of missing pets.
Necropolitans - Pathfinder 1e - Undead PCs
Das Terminus - Call of Cthulhu 7e - A documentary film crew gets sucked into a 500 year plot where witches attempted to sacrifice a changeling for absolute power. Involves time loops to by time to research and gather allies.
Stalingrad from the other side - Call of Cthulhu 7e - 1942 and the world is at war. The German 6th army already faces annihilation at the hands of the red army and the cold yet there is something stalking in the dark.
Adventures in Halycon High - Masks - Playing the superhero teenage son of a supervillain who is trying to balance wanting to impress his father while not allowing him to invade the city.
The Return - Kids on Bikes - The mayor’s daughter, a conspiracy theorist, a loner and a scout try to figure out what is the conspiracy at the abandoned mine and who is buried underneath it.
Strange Aeons - Pathfinder 1e - Lovecraft in Pathfinder
Rebel Crown - Rebel Crown - Basically Fleance’s story in Macbeth.
A lot - See spreadsheet - Campaign Ideas - Google Tabellen
This level of activity puts me to shame. I can carve out two sessions a week of two hours each. And that seems a lot!
It’s changed quite a bit since I last posted. At the moment:
- unnamed Traveller campaign for Whartson Hall
Tears of the Moon, a GURPS dungeon fantasy for the Wednesday group.
Planning to run:
- more Stroboscope for one-offs
- something urban-fantasy-ish in GURPS
Lions, Tigers & Dragons, a parallel campaign with my WWII-plus-magic game set in India, run by @JGD
- Werewolf run by @DrBob
I am currently running 1 (one) Star Trek Adventures campaign with 4 players. We use Discord for meeting/camera use.
The group includes a Changling security officer (“Greg”), a Betazoid/Denobulan scientist (“Velesa”), a Ferengi engineer (“Moshi”), and a Vulcan medical officer that was raised by Bajorans (“T’Norrun”).
Highlights of the campaign thus far: The Ferengi playing trombone to try and calm a group of feral humanoids and then reciting a famous nursery rhyme “Baby’s First Profit.”
Running: Werewolf the Apocalypse (but using nWoD system not oWoD system). With @RogerBW and @MichaelCule and Dave.
Playing: WH40K: Dark Heresy. I’m the medic and unsanctioned psyker.
In theory I’m also playing in a weekly Tales from the Loop game, but we haven’t had a session since November.
Planning to run: a one-off Aliens scenario for @RogerBW and @MichaelCule and others.
Playing Curse of Strahd weekly when I am not tied up with theatre.
Running the last bits of 5e Dolmenwood when I can find a gap from theatre.
Hoping to play one-offs of Trail of Cthulhu, Mausritter.
Currently GMing two Warhammer campaigns for separate groups.
The first is going through the Enemy in Shadows campaign and the 2nd is about halfway through the Starter Set. With the latter, they kind of want to do the Enemy In Shadows campaign too and Im trying to convince them to do some other adventures!!
Yay, I’ll join in!
- a WHFRP 4th editioncl campaign set in Ubersreik (the GM has very sensibly not said if it’s homebrew or bought one, or one player might cheat and look at it!)
- About to start an Achtung Cthulhu game, session zero incoming!
- My main aim for the first half of this year is to become much wellerer in the mental department as possible, and get some financial stability after being dismissed from my job late last year. Soooo, I probably won’t do more than just dabble.
- That said . . . . I do have a Mythras Fantasy Gaming adventure with pre-gens waiting to go, if there’s a gap due to GM unavailability. And I’m fairly advanced in a similar one-shot of Mythras Luther Arkwright for later.
- My long-term goal of a GURPS Traveller campaign is still ongoing, but there’s a lot to do in my (somewhat very) alternative version of the Traveller Universe. And I was distracted last year by buying loads of GURPS 4th ed books (I much prefer the dead-tree versions)!
Tonight — in ten hours — I will conduct the party-and-character generation session for a new Flat Black campaign that I am going to run by way of Discord, with and old gaming chum and two new recruits from the AUS RPG discord server. The pitch was as follows:
Campaign : It Belongs In A Museum
System : ForeSight
Setting : Flat Black
Genres : low-concept SF; planetary adventure; thrillers, hard-boiled mysteries, capers
Inspiration : Mission Impossible , Burn Notice , SF works of Jack Vance
Platform : Discord voice and chat
Schedule : Saturday nights 20:00–23:30 AET
Commencement : late January 2022
Players : 3–4
The PCs comprise a small team of versatile and highly competent “effectives” who perform secret operations for an interstellar NGO on the “planet of the month”.
Human Heritage is an interstellar non-government organisation that is dedicated to recording and conserving cultural treasures, and protecting artists and their freedom of expression. Human Heritage has supporters and members on most planets. But these are seldom skilled enough to do anything difficult, resolute enough to do anything strenuous or dangerous, or bold enough to confront opposition. HH therefore employs skilled and daring “effectives” as undercover and clandestine operators. Rarely of a military character, their missions usually involve finding missing artists, rescuing captives, finding and recovering stolen art, interdicting the trade in stolen art, and preventing major acts of vandalism—by whatever means necessary. But if you get caught, the Conservator will deny any knowledge of your mission.
Flat Black is a setting for adventures in which more-or-less cosmopolitan PCs come with an objective to an exotic planet with a bizarre culture and society. The peculiarities of the planet are an obstacle while they are not understood, but PCs can figure out how to adapt to, circumvent, and even take advantage of them.
I’m using first edition ForeSight with only the essential minimum of simplifications to character generation, for the sake of having something definite that the players can rely upon.
Played D&D last Friday night with another 4 and had a blast! I am not very convinced with D&D rules for combat, but I was not very focused on that. We had a good time on the Sword Coast travelling with a convoy from Neverwinter to Phandalin, and looks like we will have another session on Friday smashing goblins.
I did not remember how much I missed RPGs, it had been way over a decade since I played last, Vampire the Masquerade 2nd Ed likely.
Are you doing the starter set?
I believe so, with pre-made characters.