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Do we need Soak/Hardness distinction?

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  • #31
    This is a really interesting conversation, I definitely found Hardness a really useful tool.

    The example of “Crash a giant enemy, launch decisive from base initiative” has come up three or four times in games I’ve been in, and it shows off how things can go when Hardness doesn’t exist. In fact, the Twilight power that generates Crash in Hardness has been called out as something that stops you from taking a double-hit from an enemy who Crashes you, or from getting hit by their mate.

    Someone pointed out that failing a 3i decisive attack is going to get you crashed, but I don’t really see it as a big deal: if they’re going to Crash you anyway, you might as well levy the extra penalties and get them to struggle further against you, especially if you have any abilities which force a Clash (3i Clashes are really difficult to deal with).

    The Lunar Stamina Charm that causes all additions to your dicepool as not counting against Hardness was actually pointed out as making the low-ish Hardness ages worth it in my group. It mean that builds like the Brawl and Sword “4i attacks with 8 damage” combos end up being wastes of motes.

    The main problem I see with Hardness is a little meta: people are always building their initiatives up in order to ignore Hardness, so they never feel the pain of having made that choice. But having seen parties launch barely-enough attacks to start this event penalties building up is a sure-fire way to put the heat on. Even if you can ignore wound penalties from an ability, being on half health levels makes you strongly consider fleeing.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
      I seldom get to play Exalted outside of the ST's chair, but when I do, the option of low-Initiative decisive attacks to put the enemy on bad footing for the rest of the fight, is absolutely something I consider doing, and the presence or absence of Hardness does factor into that decision (though whether other PCs are present to stop me from immediately getting crashed in turn is also a factor).

      ​(Heck, I do that as ST, too; I find that bloodying one with a low-Initiative decisive makes the stakes feel higher than if the PCs come out of the fight with all their health levels intact.)
      This is even better because iirc your character Knight Raiton is basically Batman, and this is such a bat tactic. Put them off their game if you can't beat them directly, and then beat them.

      Originally posted by MoroseMorgan View Post



      Access to something similar to Legendary Size would limit this, but I think the only way Solars can get Legendary Size is by using a Warstrider. I, for one, welcome our new Lunar Overlords.
      This forum really sleeps on the entire Ride charm tree. I gave an Abyssal a few charms to make him a memorable fight and that turned out to be so amazing its now his "thing". Ride lets you redirect damage to your mount, and absorb damage from your mount 3-for-1. A Ride-er on a Tyrant Lizard only needs to pop 3 merit points and 2-3 charms just become a Legendery Size death juggernaut. For giggle bring a few extra mounts and you've tripled your hp. Its honestly gross what Artifact Plate, Resistance, Ride, and Familiar can get you in survivability

      Side note: i wish multiquote was less clunky then Cut and Paste shenanigans


      ..."But I've bought a big bat, I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me"

      Message me for Japanese translations.

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      • #33
        Combo that ride with Deadly Predator Method and make it straight immune to decisive damage even! Use with extreme discretion.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
          Combo that ride with Deadly Predator Method and make it straight immune to decisive damage even! Use with extreme discretion.
          That's neat.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
            Combo that ride with Deadly Predator Method and make it straight immune to decisive damage even! Use with extreme discretion.
            Looping back to Hardness- DPM lets you make Decisives without resetting. Your familiar will lose very little initiative from attacks with it's insane armor boost (and it only bleeds 1i/round, easily manageable). That means Initiative 5-10 become a space where you don't have to worry about getting crashed (which ends dpm) because it's better to just spam out those 3-4 damage attacks on everyone in Instant Smash Radius. 3 damage is going to put people into the -2s, and a follow up 4 damage attack is enough to kill a any exalts that didn't buy ox-body. Even if it doesn't, 6 or 7 damage is a massive amount- Ahlat himself is sitting on 0x10, -1x10, -2x10. 3 or 4 damage is 10% of his hitpoints, per round, from 1 character. And he's one of the biggest badasses in the game. Octavian has a similiar amount of hp but his 0 level is only 5. The Dragon Bloods do not fare better- and this is just the damage from a single character.


            ..."But I've bought a big bat, I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me"

            Message me for Japanese translations.

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            • #36
              Another aspect of this, speaking from experience.
              A player character is probably going to be biased against exploiting wound penalties when killing their opponent in one blow is available unless they're going for something specific like allowing an NPC to surrender or conversely to demonstrate their character's total lack of mercy.


              Onyx Path Forum Moderator
              Please spare a thought for updating the Exalted wiki.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                The ones that do have [hardness] also have high soak though, which is good because it makes you have to engage with their big soak, you can't just get around it by adding a few damage to your decisive attack and never withering.
                This. The purpose of hardness is to complement soak, you can't just talk about it in isolation.

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                • #38
                  I suppose that leads to the question: what of they were just one stat? If we made Soak and Hardness the same dice reducing ability.

                  If Hardness reduced decisive damage then the only play would be get a massive pool and try to one shot people, because nothing under 10 dice matters but 20 dice is lethal.


                  ..."But I've bought a big bat, I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me"

                  Message me for Japanese translations.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Sorcerous Overlord View Post
                    I suppose that leads to the question: what of they were just one stat? If we made Soak and Hardness the same dice reducing ability.

                    If Hardness reduced decisive damage then the only play would be get a massive pool and try to one shot people, because nothing under 10 dice matters but 20 dice is lethal.
                    It can be cut for simplicity, Exalted: Essence might do just that, but there is some value in the complexity. Not all enemies are worthy of having much Hardness. In fact most aren't. If you're sitting at 7 initiative and you know that boar-tusk crocodile is just one or two health levels away from fleeing you can freely launch at it just fine. Dog of the Unbroken Earth has your friend by the throat and is about to tear her head off, but you've got 6i and a multi-attack that cuts your initiative in half but lets you attack 3 times, go for it. Even though they've got high soak and are tough to gather initiative from, they can be wounded by small attacks.

                    If you made Hardness act like Soak that wouldn't be possible, it'd change the way they play a whole lot. It might be better that way, but there is at least some reason to have it split.

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