Mixing damage saves with hitpoints ala Spycraft 2.0

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Dragonblade
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Mixing damage saves with hitpoints ala Spycraft 2.0

Postby Dragonblade » Thu Aug 11, 2005 5:52 pm

So, I'm not a big fan of complex hit point systems ala HERO. It makes running large combats a real chore. However, I must say that there is something truly satisfying about rolling a fistul of dice for damage. Maybe its that same primal instinct that always brings me back to good old kick in the door dungeon crawling when I get a little tired of running supers. But, anyway, I like rolling damage for my major villains and when I'm a player. Just not for mooks.

M&M 1e had a good solution with the Damage Save. Its fast and generally works ok. However, I also have always had reservations about the Damage Save system. I feel that it is brilliant for handling mooks and other minions, but it doesn't work as well for heroes. I have found it difficult to judge the difficulty of an encounter when most of the PCs are only a couple failed d20 rolls aways from being knocked out or disabled.

It also particularly frustrates me as a player. One of the advantages of a hitpoint system is that since the players know they can take X amount of damage, it encourages more heroic play than when they aren't sure if they will die with the next hit. Thats just human nature. And anything that encourages more heroic play is a good thing in a supers game.

Then along came Spycraft 2.0. A BRILLIANT work, I must say. I salute AEG and encourage everyone to pick it up.

Anyway, Spycraft 2.0 blends both systems. PCs and major NPCs or villains get vitality/wound points (basically hitpoints for those unfamiliar), but mooks just get a damage save with a DC of 10 +1/2 damage dealt to them when they get hit.

I think this is brilliant, and I kick myself for never thinking of it myself. Basically, I can use the M&M hit point system for PCs and supervillains, and use the Damage Save for mooks and minions. Has anyone else tried this sort of thing? How has it worked for you?

Another advantage of using this sort of system along with M&M 2e's better integration with d20 means that I could theoretically use Spycraft 2.0 gear, weapons, and mook stats with my M&M game. Some conversion may be needed, of course, but I think it would work well. It would be especially nice for Punisher-esque characters being able to use the d20 weapon stats from Spycraft's positively exhaustive list of firearms.

What does everyone else think?

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Postby Anthony » Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:28 pm

In our games, we changed the effects of spending a hero point to be 'knock damage down by one level'. Means you don't go down in one shot unless you're out of hero points or you really don't care.

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Postby HG » Sun Aug 14, 2005 1:51 am

I think D20 modern (and Spycraft a variant) both are great. I like the idea of massive damage, so that if you take damage over your Con, or over 20 or 10 or whatever you set it at, a weapon has a chance to put your character down making it more real. Ofcourse for superhero games well you don't need it to be more real.

Hit points were already heroic like. I have 99 hp, I leap off a 60 foot cliff. I take 6 d 6 (d6 per 10 feet). I can take up to 60 damage. But chances are I won't.

I leap off saying 'Yah!!!!! I Love Damage'. I land and take 39 damage'. I pop right back up. As long as I had 1 hp left i'm coolio.

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For a second

Postby Jerks » Sun Aug 14, 2005 7:45 pm

I don't use hit points in my game, but I have a pretty modified system for figure the damage save.

Basically I've done away with the 15+rank as damage save. Instead each attack does 1d6 damage per rank of attack. To keep things quick for high damage attack we just roll 2d6+3*remainder dice.

So an rank 8 energy blast has a DC = 2d6+18.

This gives some variability in the damage and tones down what I considered problematic feats. Power Attack can add up to +5 to this damage, but instead adding more than 50% to the power of a rank 8 attack, it adds a little less than 20% more damage.

The only other change you have to make to make this system work is to increase the bonus from Super-Constitution, Protection and Amazing Save:Damage by x2.

At the low end of the power scale, Damage saves are a bit easier, so attacks below rank 5 or so will be saved against more frequently. Above that you will see that it works out similar but with a bit more variability. So far, my players have loved it.

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Re: Mixing damage saves with hitpoints ala Spycraft 2.0

Postby tesuji » Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:46 pm

[/quote]

Dragonblade wrote:It also particularly frustrates me as a player. One of the advantages of a hitpoint system is that since the players know they can take X amount of damage, it encourages more heroic play than when they aren't sure if they will die with the next hit. Thats just human nature. And anything that encourages more heroic play is a good thing in a supers game.

I don't know about other's games but my straioght mnm game did not provoke this "sense of worry". A hero pt spent on a rerolled damage save means a minimum 10 and a minimum 10 means usually no worse than a hit against comparable or even somewhat tougher enemies.

So the "might go down on any hit" doesn't really appear in the supers games until AFTER you have been worn down a bit, which is when it starts appearing in hit pt systems.

Dragonblade wrote:Anyway, Spycraft 2.0 blends both systems. PCs and major NPCs or villains get vitality/wound points (basically hitpoints for those unfamiliar), but mooks just get a damage save with a DC of 10 +1/2 damage dealt to them when they get hit.

I took AEg stargate and converted it to damage save almost immediately and its run well for two years now.

IMO one of the few bad things about their system is the hit point system which really falls down, IMO, for handling guns. Guns seem very well suited for damage saves to me.
Dragonblade wrote:I think this is brilliant, and I kick myself for never thinking of it myself. Basically, I can use the M&M hit point system for PCs and supervillains, and use the Damage Save for mooks and minions. Has anyone else tried this sort of thing? How has it worked for you?

haven't tried it, but i have tried a damage save for AEG stargate which is like an early version of spycraft 2.0, somewhat.

I have used hit points before for supers and it was Ok but didn't do as well as the damage save, so, my experience would not lead me to go back to using hit points for supers.
Dragonblade wrote:Another advantage of using this sort of system along with M&M 2e's better integration with d20 means that I could theoretically use Spycraft 2.0 gear, weapons, and mook stats with my M&M game. Some conversion may be needed, of course, but I think it would work well. It would be especially nice for Punisher-esque characters being able to use the d20 weapon stats from Spycraft's positively exhaustive list of firearms.

For me, tons of detail on guns is fine for a spycraftor agent or cops game but not what i want to spend time on in a supers game. S supers game which focuses on the differences in detail and minutia of normal guns is not the way i would go about focusing my effort and attention.

Now, if you were talking about ray guns or blasters or fusion guns...
Dragonblade wrote:What does everyone else think?


If it works for you, thats cool, but i don't see, haven't seen a place where using DS instead of tracking hit points created a non-heroic problem. until you get worn down by hits, the one shot ko isn't a factor unless you are really really outclassed. (if the auto 10 isn't enough to avoid a KO, then its more the matchup, not the mechanic.)

but if it works for you.
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