[Runequest] Is weapon damage too high?

Bjørn Are Stølen stolenbjorn at hotmail.com
Sun Dec 12 09:20:04 EST 2010

I like simple and playable rules, I might try this ruleset next time I GM RQ3

Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2010 20:30:05 +0800
From: viletraveller at gmail.com
To: runequest at rpgreview.net
Subject: Re: [Runequest] Is weapon damage too high?

On 11 December 2010 09:00, Bjørn Are Stølen wrote:

IMO the damage-issue in RQ(3) suffers from not introducing armor-piercing-rules. In my setting, I tried to introduse slashing, piercing and blunt-damage values, and having the armor allso having different AP vs. theese different attack-types, a chainmail for instance would protect some 10 ap against slashing, 1 ap against bashing and perhaps 5 ap against thrusts.

I have tackled this problem (armour penetration vs. damage transfer) in firearms (where the issue is much worse than for melee or primitive missile weaponry) by introducing an armour penetration bonus (pen.). Basically, some weapons ignore a certain amount of armour before their damage is reduced.

For example, a bullet might have a pen. of 5 and a damage of 1D4. It strikes a target wearing 6-point armour and the damage roll is 3. The bullet ignores the first 5 armour points, then loses 1 point of damage to the remaining armour point, doing 2 points of damage to the target. If the target had been unarmoured, he or she would still only have suffered 3 points of damage. Without the pen. value, if weapon damage had been, e.g. 1D10, an unarmoured target would clearly be affected to a much greater degree, which is unrealistic in this case because much of the kinetic energy would have simply "blown through".

This is by no means intended to be a perfect simulation. But it has worked flawlessly over many years of gaming in introducing a much greater variety of weapons without making everything past a certain point into a "one-shot-overkill" weapon.

This rule could be extended to primitive weapons, e.g. stiletto: pen. 2, damage 1D4.

You can see this rule applied in more detail in my Traveller/RuneQuest weapons tables uploaded to the Basic Roleplaying Central website: http://basicroleplaying.com/downloads.php?do=file&id=109
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