View Full Version : Why don't we always stun?

2 June 2002, 04:52 PM
I was looking at the rules for stunning and it doesn't really make much sense.... If you roll normal damage but it is stun damage then all you have to do to put an opponent "out for the count" is beat their strength roll by 4, that takes them down for 2D minutes. From there you can easily kill them with just about anything. So where as as blaster set to kill you would have to beat their roll by 9 to incapacitate, where as with a 4 you could drop them if you put it on stun. So what is the advantage to firing without stun on?

evan hansen
2 June 2002, 05:20 PM
i preface this by saying that im not one for lots of game mechanics, so i dont remember the stun rules.

but i'd guess there are several reasons. one to consider that might be the most important is a fight with more than one person. if you're fighting three people, you might need to kill someone right away. If player A is fighting players x, y, and z, and A stuns X, Y and Z could still kill him, so he has to focus his energies there. If player X gets back up, all his efforts are wasted.

so, in short, need depends on the situation!

2 June 2002, 05:50 PM
If you read the rules on riot guns, the stun energy is released as an area affect in a cone shape, distance reducing damage. This is mainly for crowd control efferts. If you watch Ep. IV when Lea is stunned, a blue 'ring' shaped energy is released, so i assumed blasters set for stun work the same way. Dengar (i think its him anyway, maybe zuckass, ill have to look) uses a modified riot gun that fires a stun bolt, just like a regular blaster, so he gets full damage at maximum range. I have used this as the basses for stun weapons in my games so players dont run around stunning people at extreme ranges. It also makes 'live capture' harder for bounty hunters.

2 June 2002, 08:20 PM
The fact that blasters set on stun are more effective than blasters set to kill is a fact that has eluded my players for a long time. They're bloodthirsty or something...they like to shoot to kill.

I tend to think that the stun rules, as written, are in need of a tweak here or there. Although I don't play the d20 rules, I am (by necessity) pretty familiar with them. The d20 Star Wars RPG has a pretty neat way of dealing with weapons set to stun.

To sum it up, weapons are assigned a difficulty number which is resisted by the person who is affected by the stunning effect of the blaster (or force pike or whatever). This system could easily be adapted to D6, and the difficulty numbers could be ported right over.

The other thing d20 does is to limit the ranges of weapons set to stun. In the first rulebook, it was limited to one "range increment" (for a blaster pistol, this is about 10 meters), but in the revised rulebook this was taken down to 4 meters for ALL blasters set to stun. This limits the effectiveness of the stun setting, since you have to get pretty close in order to utilize it.


2 June 2002, 09:40 PM
The best reason I can think of not to stun them and then kill them is because if you start killing a lot of helpless people, your GM is likely to start handing you out Dark Side points. It's different killing them when they're trying to kill you. Why not stun them and then disarm them and tie them up and lock them in a storage closet? If there are Jedi in the party this is especially true.

3 June 2002, 12:52 AM
My brother's Jedi character has his blaster more or less permanently set on stun -- he did the same thing to his security droid. I think he's just playing in character though -- he's trying not to kill if he can help it. Now that he can finally use his lightsaber without chopping his own leg off he hardly ever uses his blaster anymore, and he usually leaves the security droid guarding his ship. Most of his enemies now end up wishing he'd have kept using his blaster...

I did notice how he and his security droid usually dropped more enemies in a firefight than their companions did, but I don't know if any of my players noticed it or not. Probably not since they didn't take to setting their weapons on stun.

3 June 2002, 01:56 PM
Thanks for the imput! We were playing and it almost seemed overpowering, that they could drop someone with such a small margin of sucess on the damage roll. I think what I'm going to do to change the ruling is tho say that for each range increment the D for damage is halved (rounded up). So for a blaster pistol....

1-2 meters - 4D
3-10 meters - 2D
11-30 meters - 1D
31-120 meters - +2

That makes it pretty hard to stun people on such large distances.

Ash DuQuennes
3 June 2002, 04:57 PM
A little off-topic, perhaps material for a debate in another thread:

Has anyone considered that the game mechanic may have been deliberately designed that way to encourage young players to seek non-violent alternatives to conflict resolution?

I'm not accusing WEG of being pacifist, politically-correct wimps.

On the contrary,IF they did deliberately design the game mechanic in a manner I have posited, they may have simply been acting out of simple corporate self-interest.

I don't know how old all of you are, but I'm sure some remember the really bad rap D&D had in its early years, with accusations of Satanism (that one was easy enough to laugh off), and more broad-based accusations that D&D and other RPG's promoted violence.

I know there were some lawsuits against various games, although I'm not sure about the scope, nature, or resolution of the different cases.

If there was even one favorable judgement against a game company, a certain legal precedent has been set (IIRC, TSR was once successfully sued after one kid went insane and lost his life from playing D&D).

Thoughts? Comments? Am I anally extrapolating? Seeing ulterior motives that aren't necessarily present?

Or is it just a goof in the game mechanic?

3 June 2002, 05:39 PM
I don't think it is a blunder. I think it has more to do with the nature of Star Wars than with whatever social agenda WEG might have. One of the main themes of Star Wars has always been good vs evil. The heroes are supposed to fight for all their worth against impossible odds, but do so fairly, and in the end come out on top with their ideals unscathed. The bad guys are supposed to fight dirty, gang up, and in the end get their collective cans kicked. In the end, mind you. Along the way the good guys might lose a battle or two.

People may ask "What about Han?" And point out that he isn't exactly a squeaky clean character, but bear in mind that even before Greedo was edited to take the first shot, Greedo was there to kill Han and we all knew it. Even though Han was a smuggler, he also opposed the Empire. And when it comes down to it, he came back to save Luke even though he thought the odds were impossible to beat. Han was a good guy at heart, even if he tried to hide it.

If the mechanics are designed to force you to play like a hero, then the mechanics are designed with the Star Wars spirit in mind.

3 June 2002, 07:23 PM
I think it falls more in to the 'coolness' factor. Whats more exciting and attension getting:

1: Going in to a room filled with storm troopers and blazing your way out, narrowly cheating death?


2: Stunning the entire room, breaking out ten to twenty sets of binders, letting them all live, just so you can fight the same soldiers on another battle field?

Lets face it, blasters are just plain cooler.

The Admiral
5 June 2002, 10:54 AM
Oh, I dunno about cooler.

My party always have at least one resident combat veteran NPC just to remind them that under most circumstances, the Alliance favour 'zero-body count' operations. Since the Alliance cannot hope to defeat the enemy by simply killing off their troops, the public relations benefit of succeeding in a mission whilst leaving the enemy perfectly intact outweighs the advantage of killing off a few troops.

My boys are almost always reminded that a stunned trooper is just as neutralised as a live one. Stunned troops always (in my game anyway) stay down long enough for combat to last. Add to that, they frequently have the GIB putting a few extra stun bolts into each downed trooper as they move along. Works a treat.

We had one encounter where one of the boys, (Zognogar IIRC) dropped one of the last troopers with a kill bolt, and was promptly stunned by the sargeant accompanying them for disobeying orders.

Engaging the enemy with a zero body count policy has it's own set of challenges. So you have to take down an AT-AT. You have a concussion missile launcher. OK. Easy. You can't kill anyone on board? Now THAT's interesting.

Ash DuQuennes
5 June 2002, 02:31 PM
Admiral: do your stunned prisoners get put on a prison planet somewhere? What impact does this have on the Rebel's Logistics system in your game?

On the plus side, your system does allow the Rebels to gather up all of that intact equipment for their own use.

The Admiral
6 June 2002, 01:04 AM
Actually they mostly get left behind.

Prisoners are, as you sorta point out, even more trouble than bodies, so they just get left to wake up, and realise they have to explain why their spangly gadget or whatnot has been destroyed whilst they all survived.