[Runequest] Is weapon damage too high?

Vile viletraveller at gmail.com
Sun Dec 12 16:24:05 EST 2010

On 11 December 2010 04:30, Vile wrote:

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:


*On 12 December 2010 15:00, Robert Hoffmann wrote:*


*Do you handle STR bonuses any differently with this ruleset?*


No, but then it was designed for a human-centric setting (when you say
STR bonuse you are talking about damage bonuses, right?). I can see
that damage bonuses for fantasy settings may need to be looked at in
combination with the "pen." rule, as they quickly escalate out of
control in RQ3 I think. I quite like the more granular approach in
MRQ2, but the use of lots of different dice seems a little inelegant
to me. At the same time, I am not so happy with the straight damage
adds of the RQ4 draft.
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