Collateral Damage (with Hostages)

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ican
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Collateral Damage (with Hostages)

Postby ican » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:00 pm

How would you handle collateral damage in situations where it could be used to create a dilemma for the hero(s)?

In one case I'm thinking about the villain using a hostage as a shield. The hero could attack but they risk hitting the hostage. The hero can either risk attacking or he has to find an alternative way of resolving the situation. How can this setup be created with the game mechanics? I'm leaning toward using degrees of failure.


Also in a similar case. The hero is fighting a villain in an underground parking garage. Of course the villain placed explosives all around the garage. If too many missed attacks trigger explosions the building will take too much damage and collapse. The mechanics would probably work similar to the above situation, but with some added feints to lure to hero (or villain) into the explosives, hurting them.

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Re: Collateral Damage (with Hostages)

Postby Monolith » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:13 pm

I'd treat the hostage shield as partial cover. Give the -2 partial cover penalty. If the attacker misses by 1-2, the cover amount, he hits the hostage. Missing by more then 2 misses everyone. This would give the characters with the precise advantage an opportunity.

As for the explosives, degrees of failure can work. Missing by 1 degree triggers an explosion. I might just assign a random value: missing by 3 triggers the explosion.

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Re: Collateral Damage (with Hostages)

Postby JDRook » Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:14 pm

+1 to Monolith

Depending on your villain, your heroes, and the overall tone of the setting, I don't think there's anything wrong with allowing -5 total cover for a good hostage shield, particularly if you want the villain to get away (or alternatively really want your Precise PC to save the day).

You could combine combat with a Challenge: every miss greater than one degree hits some explosives and weakens the foundation, and those excess degrees accumulate. When they reach an arbitrary number (say 10) the building collapses. Not strictly realistic, but it does tie the PCs' rolls and skill directly to how bad this could turn out, and amps up the suspense. It can also give the opportunity for a PC to try and limit or contain the damage, or provide more support or whatever they come up with, as a way to lower those degrees. Eventually the choice between getting the bad guy and saving the building is going to be close.
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ican
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Re: Collateral Damage (with Hostages)

Postby ican » Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:20 pm

Monolith, using the cover difference to hit the hostage is brilliant, plus its simple! And JDRooks suggestion to include total cover adds a little more flexibility. Though I'm not sure how to work with the precise advantage, it can allow someone to ignore the cover bonus but doesn't guarantee hits. Do you think if a character with precise can safely attack even if they miss, or maybe that Monoliths same partial cover rule would apply after a degree of failure (basically if the attack misses the villain by 6-7 the hostage gets hit)?

Also accumulating the degrees of failure with the explosives is a great idea and works perfectly for what I had in mind. If need be I could always roll toughness for the building to account for varying explosive sizes. Also I could include that all ranged attacks that miss the villain (as well as area attacks) also contribute to the destruction of the building to further ratchet up the tension.

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Re: Collateral Damage (with Hostages)

Postby saint_matthew » Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:31 pm

ican wrote:Monolith, using the cover difference to hit the hostage is brilliant, plus its simple!


If you think thats great, give your villain the redirect advantage & it becomes brutal. :twisted:
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