View Full Version : Stupid *&@^$-ing grenades

29 July 2002, 10:29 AM
I'm a brand new GM, running a D20 campaign just before A New Hope. The party is composed of 3-5 2nd level characters. I thought a few grenades would be a good idea. Somebody starts getting beat on too badly, they can toss a frag grenade and run.

Well, unfortunately, all good things have a tendency to get abused. I should have figured it out when they wiped out an ambush of 6 battle droids and a captain out with two well places grenades.

Then I had a team of 6 4-th level stormies and a 4th level heroic NPC that got killed by 3 grenades to the back (except for the heroic character). I've decided to stop giving them grenades, but they just keep pillaging the bodies of the stormies they've already killed!

How do I put some balance back in the game? They're killing stormies a lot easier than they should be able to with 2nd level characters!

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

The Anarchisto

Moff Neomen
29 July 2002, 10:42 AM
Easy: say that the stormtroopers don't carry grenades.

If they try to buy them, say that they aren't available to civilians, by rule of the planetary governer. Use the same rule to get them in trouble with the grenades they have / find.

29 July 2002, 10:47 AM
The first thing you can do is remember to allow the reflex saving throw to halve damage (see page 165 of the RCRB ). This makes grenades much less lethal. Have the targets of grenades split up, or take cover. Have enemies close to short range, where grenades will hurt the attacker. You could rule that fishing a grenade out of a pouch and pulling the pin provokes an attack of opportunity.

When using stormtroopers, have them take cover behind objects, and call in for backup when needed. They have the might of the Empire behind them, and nothing will scare PCs worse than a flight of TIE Bombers with proton bombs. :)

Hope this helps!

29 July 2002, 11:36 AM
You can just say that the blast from the granade detonated (:D) or destroyed the granades the trooper carries.

Or you can have the granades detonate the next time the character tries to use them, or simply not detonate at all.

Lord Diggori
29 July 2002, 12:47 PM
I agree with the Moff's advice. Stop giving them the option to pillage grenades and let their current supply dwindle. The in-story reasons Neoman are very credible.

Having them suddenly malfunction or explode at a touch are a bit to blunt IMHO. The players might resent you for it.

Vanger Chevane
29 July 2002, 02:15 PM
Let them throw a few duds...

"I lob the grenade."
"Ya bounce it off a Stormtrooper's helmet, it hits the ground, an rolls into a corner."
"that's it."
8o "That's it?!
"Well, besides the Stormie with the Concussion Grenade Launcher, another with a blaster rifle, and several of his buddies developing a sudden interest in taking you out, that's it."

:D Nothing attracts unwanted fire like heavy weapons that malfunction..."Hey, he's got one of those." "Kill him before he gets it working!"

.mil grenades are rated a 5sec, but they can range from 3-8 sec...if they throw one check to see if it'll blow up halfway, letting any exposed enemies and PC's share the pain.

If they lob one expecting a short fuse...check to see if the detonator will give the Bad Guys enough time to throw it back.

29 July 2002, 05:55 PM
One of main pieces of advice I could offer is this: Don't be afraid to use the player's tactics against them. Next time they start chucking grenades at Stormtroopers, have a couple two or three come back from the stormie's position. Those grenades on the stormtroopers belts are NOT for decoration. Also, as someone sort of pointed out, don't be afraid to use the "might of the Empire". So a couple of grenades bowled down 8 stormtroopers. One of those guys may have lived long enough to radio for the other three squads of stormtroopers to come a running. While your players are looting the bodies of the first batch, another squad shows up and starts taking long range shots...or throws grenades of their own at the players. While you're players are fighting against the first batch of reinforcements, the second and third batch show up. There won't be enough grenades to go around.

Also, and I know that star wars doesn't really deal a lot with this: factor in weight and bulk. How many grenades are they running around with? Well, that'll slow them down, or make noise, and just tire them out quicker than normal.

Another possibility is to have combat occur in places where the PCs running around toting a gob of grenades would be a no-no. Put them in a city where weapons are illegal and anyone caught with one will be severely punished. They can't take their grenades with them, and while they are in that city, the Empire shows up (and obviously the Empire is exempt from the rule). Basically, this puts your players in the position of having to fight without all of their "luxuries", such as grenades.

Fred Getce
29 July 2002, 06:24 PM
Once you pull the pin. Mr. Grenade is no longer your friend. ;)

Infact Mr. Grenade has just turned into a pms'ing sister. 8o

Nova Spice
29 July 2002, 06:43 PM
Another solution is to fudge the die roll and have the grenade miss the intended targets. Roll a random direction die and have it bounce off something and roll back into the PCs. That always gets an interesting reaction. :D :p

A word of advice though, never try to solve the problem by bringing in bigger baddies with bigger weapons unless you are one hundred percent sure they will escape. Its never a good thing when you bring in the concussion grenade launcher to show the grenade-lobbing PCs whose boss and then the NPC with the grenade launcher gets whacked. Now you have grenade-lobbing NPCs with a grenade launcher....you see where I'm going right? :D

Tony J Case, Super Genius
29 July 2002, 09:05 PM
Letsee -

Pin comes loose while grenade is on belt. That'll make for a fun time, to be sure.

A short fuse blows up the deivce before it leaves their hand.

The grenade simply comes to a dead stop and hangs in the air in front of their faces. You gotta love Jedi.

I'm sure that a little sideways thinking will produce results. . . .

30 July 2002, 06:49 AM
another word of advice-

it is not up to the gm to suggest how characters should play or what is available. it is up to players to research the rulebook or ask questions of the gm. I'm of the gm camp that "volunteers nothing". If they ask to find grenades, considering they are black market items, i severely limit the quantity (usually 1 or 2 available). Your initial problem was that you as a GM thought it would be a good idea for your characters to acquire grenades. Let them think about what is good.

in other words; take a cue from the Judeo Christian God of our world. Free Will often produces creative actions and is preferable to interference from above (ie, the GM in the game universe).

Wedge in Red2
30 July 2002, 10:27 PM

It sounds like you're playing D20 (as you mentioned characters levels). Now, I don't have my RCR with me, so I'm quoting this stuff from memory, please forgive me if I get stuff wrong. :)

I've found grenades in D20 aren't that good. The first time a bad guy used one, it took out one battle droid - period. My PC's went unscathed, the grenade landed well away from them and only got one of the battle droids standing next to an NPC (the NPC soldier took a bit of damage too, but not enough to hurt him much).

First, check out their range increment. I think it's like 4 meters or something. Stormtroopers have blaster rifles, which they can fire up to 30 meters away without range penalty. Have the stormtroopers stand back and lay down some supressive fire. If the characters want to move 10m and throw a grenade, it's still like at -10 range penalty for 20m (4 range increments), and when it misses it scatters.

Plus, the blast radius really isn't that impressive (again, I think it's 4m - 2 squares). Have your stormies stand further appart, so even if a grenade lands nearby it's only going to harm a couple of them. Despite what we see in the movies, stormies aren't that dumb, they've had combat training and know not to stand close together for precisely that reason.

Also, there is a maximum distance that grenades can be thrown...five times its range increment. Get your stormtroopers to stand back 55 meters...they're at -2 with their blaster rifles, but there's no way the characters are lobbing grenades that far.

Admittedly, if the bad guys are packed together and near by, a grenade can be pretty damn devastating. So don't let them get into that situation. If your characters build up a rep for that sort of tactic, it's entirely possible their reputation works against them - they are recognised, and their opponents work out tactics expecting a grenade attack.

Anyway, that's just my first thoughts. Hope they help, and I'll go home and check my RCR, make sure the rules I'm talking about are right...



31 July 2002, 04:50 AM
I've got the RCR in front of me right now. Thrown weapons are restricted to a max range of 5 range increments. Projectile weapons (includes blasters) have a max range of 10 range increments.

So with grenades having a range increment of 4m, the max range of a thrown grenade is in fact 20m.

The Admiral
31 July 2002, 05:40 AM
They use Stormtrooper grenades?


My boys tried that once.

Stormy grenades have four buttons on them. They're unmarked.

You hit the buttons in the wrong order? It just goes off.

Need to equip your stormies with these where they're previously had only the simple versions? Well, fortunately the sector they're in just got resupplied with 120,000 mark 2 Secure Ordnance Devices.

I've never had a player make the same mistake again.

Sherman Shipyards
3 August 2002, 10:13 PM
The Admiral is right and I bow to his wisdom.

Another thing to remember is that each Stormy has a thermal. That would be the little cylindor on back. (bet you have been wonding what that is. Like the grenades, it has blank buttons, but is even harder to crack.

(Note: there are 9 stormtroopers to a squad. Use them) Another good tactic is have 7 stromies to shooting at the heros. Have other 2 around behind heros and throw their grenades or thermals. Have the player perform a spot check with a +3 to the DC be cause of the battle noise. If they don't hear it they can't move out of the way. If they move out of the way they loss the cover.

5 August 2002, 06:07 AM
Doh! Posted in wrong place.

8 August 2002, 09:14 AM
Yep the others are right. Check out http://www.starwars.com/databank/technology/thermaldetonator/eu.html
Stormtroopers carry a low yeild thermodetenator with a blast radius of 5m, that's coded so to be useless in the hands of their enemies. It's not unreasonable to make the other grenades they carry coded as well. And depending on where they are fighting these stormtroopers, perhaps they are only armed with Stun grenades, so to not harm the local populace, and to take prisoners for interigation.