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JediMasterMaya
19 October 2002, 11:41 PM
Hi,

I skimmed both editions of the CRB from front cover to back cover at least 20 times, and haven't been able to find rules (even loose ones) on these subjects. :rolleyes:

I was wondering if anybody had seen anything anywhere, had home rules or just had an idea on how to handle these (yes, they all came up in the game Friday!) I mean, I made something up, among the complaining about it not being easy enough, or high enough, or whatever, of my players. I told them that is what it would be this time until I found if there was a better way to handle it.

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how does one knock out an opponent in 1 blow instead of having to pound them on the head 100 times before they drop? (I mean, if they're not resisiting, or if you're surprising them for example). One player said there was such a way to do it in other games, and it was called "hit to subdue". I happened once before and I had ruled then that if the character beat the enemy's def by 5 or more (in melee, unarmed or with a bludgeoning weapon), as long as he had declared ahead of time he was trying to knock him out, he could do it.
Strike with an object?? I found striking an object in the book, but not the other way around. How much damage would an object do? (i.e. if you take a flower pot and try to smack someone with it...). I did find some stuff about falling objects, but it's not quite the same thing is it?
What if a character used a ranged weapon as a melee weapon? I mean, takes the blaster when it's out of ammunitions and uses it to wack the enemy on the head for example...
Would you let a player use a vibroblade (which he doesn't have the feat for) as anything else but what its intended to be used for? I sorta did. Say, a player grabs the vibroblade, but decides not to turn it on (to avoid the penalty). Instead, he wants to use it as a club or something. What kind of damage would that have? I figured it would be a little more than unarmed still (it is a weapon), but I didn't think I should give him the full damage of a club either. Maybe I should have. He asked for 1d6, I gave him 1d4+1. Could he have used it a regular sword without turning it on, and get a regular sword damage? It seems to me that it would be too easy.
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I tell you, the things a GM has to go through! :raised:
:D

Krad-edis
20 October 2002, 12:43 AM
1. This is your call, but I don't see how someone can expect to just knock someone out with being unarmed or with a blugeoning weapon. All sorts of things can happen with this. Knocking someone out with one blow is not something easily done, even if you catch someone off guard. You may cause someone to fall over in serious pain, but then if they are bigger and meaner, they will get up and turn around and then it could get really bad. The movies make it look simple, but it is not. You can also easily kill someone by cracking their skull open causing serious head trauma....or knock them out, all depending on 1) what angle you are hitting them at, 2) with what you are hitting them, 3) and the density of their skull (especially if they are an alien) and just overall toughness. I would suggest drugging someone or if you really don't care, choking or bleeding them out. Hitting someone with a punch or bat, or brick is not the nicest or best way of rendering them unconscious without massive trauma, not is there usually enough finesse to get the right effect on the first try. This means serious possibility of backfire. I remember one time we tried doing this to a guard and when my friend swung, the guard ducked. It was like watching Inspector Gadget.

WIth the odds of either killing someone, causing brain damage, knocking them out, or really pissing them off, I would suggest stunning (non-lethal), drugging (non-lethal), slitting their throat (lethal), or choking them out (depends on if you really know what you are doing, still kind of risky). These ways are actually pretty quiet also.

2. Improvised weapons, such as taking a vase or flower pot, or pie (like in The Three Stooges) and chucking it at someone, once again, depends on you. The last time that I got hit in the face with a soccer ball (which was kicked), it felt like a pretty stiff punch, so I would say 1d3 damage, plus strength of the thrower of objects which are reasonably light. Hitting someone with a brick, a lead paperweight, or something with some pounds and density behind it can really "mollywop" the hell out of someone, so feel free to add extra damage if the person really winds up and puts some stank and spin on the object thrown.

3. You mean "pistol whipping"? Depends on how heavy the blaster is, but if you butt stoke someone with a rifle or cold cock them with pistol, it is pretty much like hitting someone with a club. 1d6 pistol, 1d8 rifle, IMHO.

4. In my opinion, a vibroblade which is not turned on, is really just an expensive knife or sword, and not a club. I would deal damage like a standard weapon of that fashion. If it is off, it has a cutting blade and point to do damage with still, as opposed to a club. When it is on, it does over kill damage because it tuning fork which is very sharp.

I hope this helps you out. Remember that there is no guarantee in that you will render a target unconscious with a surprise melee attack. The attack may glance off, or sometimes people get hit and turn around and smile because they are on crack or are just super tough. Go for chems, the stun, or garrote. Those seem to work well the first time.

Evik_Blastrider
20 October 2002, 05:24 AM
Originally posted by JediMasterMaya

1. how does one knock out an opponent in 1 blow instead of having to pound them on the head 100 times before they drop? (I mean, if they're not resisiting, or if you're surprising them for example). One player said there was such a way to do it in other games, and it was called "hit to subdue". I happened once before and I had ruled then that if the character beat the enemy's def by 5 or more (in melee, unarmed or with a bludgeoning weapon), as long as he had declared ahead of time he was trying to knock him out, he could do it.


I agree that this is not as easy as it sounds. There are rules for using a sap to knock out an opponent. I think they are in the D&D "Song and Silence" Book. Anyone who wants to have a reasonable chance of doing this needs to be able to do some sneak attack damage.

You might want to allow some ability for everyone to do this against a first level thug. But I think your mechanic doesn't work very well for D20. The result of a knockout is entirely encumbent on the success of the character attacking. I would suggest this mechanic:

- Attacker must make a called shot to the head (or other vulnerable area), resulting in a -4 penalty to the attack. The opponent must be unaware of the attacker. If the attack is successful, the opponent must make a Fortitude save of 5 + Damage Dealt or fall unconsious for 1d10 minutes.

You could also create a Knockout Blow feat with some martial arts prerequisites. If you have the feat, the save DC is 10 + Damage Dealt (and of course martial artists deal more damage).



2. Strike with an object?? I found striking an object in the book, but not the other way around. How much damage would an object do? (i.e. if you take a flower pot and try to smack someone with it...). I did find some stuff about falling objects, but it's not quite the same thing is it?


Objects deal damage according to their weight. I think the rules are in the Move Object skill entry. If a character is physically (not telekenetically) throwing an object not meant to be a weapon, they take a -4 on the attack for using an improvised weapon. This usually makes them think twice since most players I know like to hit more than they like to look cool.



3. What if a character used a ranged weapon as a melee weapon? I mean, takes the blaster when it's out of ammunitions and uses it to wack the enemy on the head for example...


This is another case of an improvised weapon. They should also take a -4 to attack because this is not the weapon's intended use. You might make an exception if the weapon is designed for this use and the player has the simple weapons group (it ain't a blaster anymore). Pistols should do the same damage as brass knucles and rifle should do the same damage as a club.



4. Would you let a player use a vibroblade (which he doesn't have the feat for) as anything else but what its intended to be used for? I sorta did. Say, a player grabs the vibroblade, but decides not to turn it on (to avoid the penalty). Instead, he wants to use it as a club or something. What kind of damage would that have? I figured it would be a little more than unarmed still (it is a weapon), but I didn't think I should give him the full damage of a club either. Maybe I should have. He asked for 1d6, I gave him 1d4+1. Could he have used it a regular sword without turning it on, and get a regular sword damage? It seems to me that it would be too easy.


Again, the -4 penalty for using an improved weapon applies. Since the blade itself isn't as heavy as a club, I think dropping the damage a full die (as you did) is in order.

Ardent
20 October 2002, 08:38 AM
1 - Like Evik said, there are mechanics for using a sap in Song and Silence (I love my Bard!).

2 - There's a pretty simple answer for this that requires some really complicated math. Instead, just randomly assign a value. A two-by-four could do 1d6 damage, while a vase might do 1d3 damage, for instance. If it's something your characters will be doing a lot of (if you have the Improvised Weaponry feat on your House Rules list, for instance), make a list.

3 - <g> My players do this a lot (they always forget something and it's usually spare power packs). I ruled blaster rifles do 1d6 damage when used to blugeon, while pistols do 1d4 damage. Strength modifies this value, of course, and if they have the simple weapons group, they only suffer a -2 penalty to use their blaster this way.

4 - First of all, using a weapon in a way it's not intended to be used is just asking for it to break. Make a Sunder check against the weapon every attack made with it improperly. From there, assume that it does half its normal damage if it's a powered weapon, and inflict at least a -2 penalty to its use.

Oh, and you can't use the FA's Force Weapon ability in conjunction with any improvised weapon per our House Rules, otherwise FAs would be pretty darn powerful.

ironwolf56
20 October 2002, 11:17 AM
Okay here's something that might work for knockout. Knockout is basically stun (only more painful). So you declare you're going to knockout, make a melee attack roll, do your base unarmed damage, and they have to Fort save at DC 15 base (modifiers could include your Strength mod, maybe a +1 or 2 for each Martial arts feat possessed, and maybe another +2 if you catch them flat-footed since they wouldn't be expecting the blow). A critical on your attack roll (which of course could only be accomplished if you had some M.A. feats) could mean instant knockout or up the DC of the Fort save. I think normal stun time would be good, but the difference is, on an unsuccessful unarmed stun, they don't suffer a one round stun. What does everyone think?

JediMasterMaya
20 October 2002, 11:34 AM
Originally posted by ironwolf56
Okay here's something that might work for knockout. Knockout is basically stun (only more painful). So you declare you're going to knockout, make a melee attack roll, do your base unarmed damage, and they have to Fort save at DC 15 base (modifiers could include your Strength mod, maybe a +1 or 2 for each Martial arts feat possessed, and maybe another +2 if you catch them flat-footed since they wouldn't be expecting the blow). A critical on your attack roll (which of course could only be accomplished if you had some M.A. feats) could mean instant knockout or up the DC of the Fort save. I think normal stun time would be good, but the difference is, on an unsuccessful unarmed stun, they don't suffer a one round stun. What does everyone think?

Sounds good, but I'm a little confused as to whether only a martial artist could do a knockout like this... (since you mention that only a crit unarmed could mean intant knockout). Oh wait! A crit would not get a Fort, is that it? But anybody else would set the save. Did I get it right?

ironwolf56
20 October 2002, 11:41 AM
Yes. It's much easier for a trained unarmed fighter to knock someone out, but even amateurs have a decent chance of doing it.

LiquidSaber
20 October 2002, 12:17 PM
Originally posted by JediMasterMaya

1. How does one knock out an opponent in 1 blow instead of having to pound them on the head 100 times before they drop? (I mean, if they're not resisiting, or if you're surprising them for example). One player said there was such a way to do it in other games, and it was called "hit to subdue". I happened once before and I had ruled then that if the character beat the enemy's def by 5 or more (in melee, unarmed or with a bludgeoning weapon), as long as he had declared ahead of time he was trying to knock him out, he could do it.
2. Strike with an object?? I found striking an object in the book, but not the other way around. How much damage would an object do? (i.e. if you take a flower pot and try to smack someone with it...). I did find some stuff about falling objects, but it's not quite the same thing is it?
3. What if a character used a ranged weapon as a melee weapon? I mean, takes the blaster when it's out of ammunitions and uses it to wack the enemy on the head for example...
4. Would you let a player use a vibroblade (which he doesn't have the feat for) as anything else but what its intended to be used for? I sorta did. Say, a player grabs the vibroblade, but decides not to turn it on (to avoid the penalty). Instead, he wants to use it as a club or something. What kind of damage would that have? I figured it would be a little more than unarmed still (it is a weapon), but I didn't think I should give him the full damage of a club either. Maybe I should have. He asked for 1d6, I gave him 1d4+1. Could he have used it a regular sword without turning it on, and get a regular sword damage? It seems to me that it would be too easy.

#1). You're being way too easy on them JediMasterMaya Ask your players this first: "Do they really want a mechanic running around in the game that could potentially knock them out with one blow?" Hehe. The mechanic should work both ways. Check out the rules for helpless defenders pg 163-164 RCR, a modified "Coup de grace" could be a simple "Coup de stun" :p option with the DC 10 + dmg inflicted for the Fort save or be knocked out. Explanations under helpless defender describes all the circumstances surrounding a helpless defender. Remind your players that loose interpretations for helpless defenders is again....two-sided.

#2). Improvised thrown weapons pg. 153 RCR applies here.

#3). Sames as #2. Improvised (-4 penalty) and dmg adjudicated by GM. Sounds like you're doing alright so far JediMasterMaya! ;)As it appears you've already done this essentially. Good job!

#4). If the PC wants to use a vibroblade turned off then it is essentially a regular sword! An exotic weapon proficiency is needed to use it w/o the -4 penalty (this is Star Wars afterall!) 1d8 dmg in the equipment section. Not to worry about it being too easy as they still have the penalty to hit with the darn thing ;)

Sorry, sounds like your players would be better off sticking to normal weapons to me *cough* blasters *cough* hehe. If they're unhappy about improvised stuff tell them to bring better equipment...oy. *shakes head* :D goodluck and hope all of our replies help you out!

LiquidSaber
20 October 2002, 12:22 PM
Incidentally for a martial artist stun attack there's a mechanic running around that uses the Defensive Martial Arts Feat as a prerequisite and esentially does the same as the coup de stun I mentioned but can do this attack on any opponent. No need for them to be helpless. Very close to what Ironwolf56 has already suggested.

JediMasterMaya
20 October 2002, 01:13 PM
Thanks guys, I've been taking notes.

I just told one player about the -4 penalty for using the vibroblade as another weapon and he asked why? Why on earth would he be getting a -4 penalty for using a plain old regular sword? Are all swords considered exotic (I saw in the book that the longsword is). Just wondering about that... I guess he's thinking more like in AD&D where swords are more natural stuff to use. What he fails to see is that in SW people are more used to blasters, and swords are special weapons that most people would not know how to use. I don't know...

LiquidSaber
20 October 2002, 01:32 PM
Exactly Maya! You have right! You may even want to print off some of these reponses on the Holonet so that the player can better understand (i.e. if they can't accept your word on the matter AND the book in black and white, hehe)

Slap that player and tell them to get out of their stuffy mundane universe or even worse their D&D world! *smack* :p This is Star Wars! Unless they're playing a fringer from a world that uses swords then their character has likely never even SEEN a sword before (beyond a vibrosword)!

To be perfectly honest with you Maya as a GM myself I wouldn't take much more gump from this player. They either don't understand (in that case we're wasting our breath) or are just being irritable because they get a penalty. Either way best to just lay down the law for them and tell them that you get it, other GM's get it and that they're in the minority! *chuckle* players will be players...

Have confidence your instinct have served you well so far, but they could be made to serve the Emperor err the players...

Evik_Blastrider
20 October 2002, 03:03 PM
Maya, you may want to remind your player that in D&D all swords are martial, not simple, weapons. So even in D&D, most characters are not automatically proficient with swords. In a modern or futuristic setting, all martial weapons in D&D become exotic because they are rare and they are no easier to use than they were in days of yore.

Dr_Worm
20 October 2002, 06:34 PM
Maya:

Let me tell you how Spycraft handles Knockout.
Subdual damage, tracked seperately than normal damage, is what is used to knock someone out. When a person looses subdual damage equal to the VP then the person is dazed. Then if a person were to loose more Subdual damage equal oto the WP then they are unconcious. This mechanic works well agianst thugs and such as they do not have VP. However I remember in another thread you stated that you do not use thugs, so this may not be what you are looking for.

Another mechanic would be:
(can only be done on a Surprised opponent) A Knockout Blow would be harder than a normal hit by say...4...then the opponent would make a Fort save DC12 to resist. This DC would be adjusted by the relative difference in level between the characters. So say a level 6 scout attempts to knock out a surprised level 2 thug. There is a +4 difference in level; between attacker and target so the DC for the Fort save would be 16. On the other hand if a level 1 Soldier attempts to knockout a surprised level 5 thug the Fort DC would be 8 (12-4=8). I've had a few beers so I hope that make sense.

True it is not realistic that an opponent can be knocked out in one blow, but this game is based on a cinematic model, and it happens all that time in the movies.

JediMasterMaya
21 October 2002, 01:08 AM
Well, that player is actually my husband, and he was roleplaying before I even knew what RPG was. He was in his college club and all. Tells me that it's nothing personal... :rolleyes: but that they always argued all the rules with their GMs in his old days. Says some can't think out of the box! That rules are never set in stone and that they are meant to be broken, bent, warped or whatever. But I'm not scared of him :p I like to go by the rules as much as I can... It gives me a sense of right, a landmark, a reference to use. I do have a hard time extrapolating when things don't go the way the rules say they should, but what can I say, I like limits. :D

I'm in the process of writing a list of objects that could be used as improvised weapons and I'm going to determine how much damage they would do (based on size and how heavy they are). If there are objects I haven't thought of, I'll just look at the list, figure out how heavy or how big the new object is and just use that damage for it. No more arguying. They either take the damage listed, or they don't use the object as a weapon. Period! I might not look like it, but I can be tough.

I'm going to start a folder with all our house rules... I used to have them on tiny scraps of paper and they'd get lost... Now, whenever I make up a new rule, I'll just write it in the notebook or folder and pull it out when I need it. We're likely to have some more arguying before I fill out the folder, but that's ok with me... If they spend too much time complaining, the bad guys won't stand there waiting for them to act... They'll just take their turn. :D

You know, my dear husband is planning to GM a game for us, alternatley with out SW sessions, (I kinda like that because that way I'll get to play instead of lead) and for all the ranting I do about them, I'll probably do the same too as a player. I remember when he tried to run a Champions campaign with some friend... We were always asking why this, why that, why isn't that possible. But we still had fun anyway. ;)