[Runequest] Acid and Dagger Damage

Nikk Effingham nikk.effingham at gmail.com
Tue Dec 14 19:38:55 EST 2010


> What is the rule of thumb for acid damage. I would not treat it as a
> poison with a POT, but rather as a kind of fire. My current take - for a
> strongish acid - is treat as large fire - 1D12 damage (large fire is 2D6 I
> think). I also have ruled that armour can reduce damage, but due to acids
> corrosive nature, if damage greater than AP of affected piece of armour,
> it will reduce AP - like the AP of a weapon being reduced.

I think the original rules just gave it a POT rating, and that rating
was immediately applied as extra damage that burnt through armour. We
found that a bit… deadly. At least, at low level. In my game acids
have two ratings: their potency and the number of rounds they remain
in effect. Here are some sample ratings:

Acid Level	             POT	Rounds
Weak Acid	1	2
Medium Acid	2	3
Strong Acid	4	3
Gorp	               8	1

Some acids last longer, but only rarely do they exceed 4 points of
POT. The Gorp is the exception, but they only inflict damage for a
single round. The POT of the acid is applied as damage to whatever it
strikes. For instance, if it hits an unarmoured location it inflicts
its POT in damage to that location. If a character is wearing armour,
then the acid inflicts its damage to the armour first, and then to the
location underneath.  Damage can be healed magically, but not by the
First Aid spell.

Acid in my game *does* burn away magical armour such as Protection
spells, Shield spells and the like! It burns away the magical armour
first. My players complained about this once saying it made no sense –
I told them that it was magic, and could work however we wanted it to
work. And if it didn’t burn away magic, acid would be useless at high
levels. So burn magic it does. If it burns away magical armour, it
burns away the magic cast on that location only. Recasting the spell
restores the armour. Taken internally, they inflict their POT in
damage directly to Chest hit points, with any excess damage being
taken to the abdomen. Usually this causes immense scarring. Healing of
a magical form is effective, whereas First Aid is not.

Acid burns for a number of rounds as indicated in its description,
inflicting the full damage every round. With that in mind, some
characters may wish to remove their armour whilst it is being attacked
by acid, or attempt to wipe it off. The length of time it takes to
remove armour is indicated in the Combat chapter. Trying to do it
faster, say by cutting straps, requires a DEXx2 and if successful
leaves that piece of armour useless until fixed. Trying to wipe acid
off requires something to wipe it with, or else just roll around on
the ground. If you are rolling then obviously you cannot defend
yourself. Either ways, it takes a full action. The chance of
succeeding is DEXx3 if you have something to wipe it off with, or
DEXx1 if you’re just rolling around in the bushes.


>How best can I match this information with the
>many reports I've heard of people being stabbed repeatedly, yet walking
>out of the hospital the next day with superficial wounds?

Break away from the RQ ethos where a single attack roll represents a
single blow. So rolling 5 damage might represent three smaller cuts to
the same location. And a roll of no damage that penetrates armour, or
a miss, might still represent a foe being cut a tiny bit that doesn’t
really debilitate them.

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