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Void Engineers (Rev.) - Aren't Voidcraft armaments a little anemic?

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  • Void Engineers (Rev.) - Aren't Voidcraft armaments a little anemic?

    Right to the point: the Voidcraft armaments presented in the book look soft as hell. Unless I'm missing something (akin to the system of notation for weapons from Aeon first edition, where vehicle-sized-weapons worked on an entirely different scale from anti-personnel weapons,) there's a vast incongruity between the weapons as describes, and their actual damage output.

    First off, the majority of these things are doing Lethal damage, which seems particularly inappropriate in the case of HEX missiles (because they are missiles--they explode), and particle beams (which fire focused plasma).

    Second, from a raw damage perspective, the particle beam weapons are the only weapons that feel military-grade. HEX missiles are more or less within the range of damage done by weapons and rockets as described in M20 (though even there, most missiles or rocket volleys do at least 15 damage). The KKV also feels a little under powered; at 9 lethal, it's doing less damage than .30 cal machine gun--a man-portable weapon almost 100-years-old that fires bullets that (even if the same size as the bolts fired from the KKV) are less heavy and dense than the KKV's tungsten rounds, and travel much more slowly. If we look at some like The Expanse (which, as I understand it, presents precisely these sorts of weapons in physics-accurate way,) these kinds of weapons should absolutely shred targets. I understand that you can't just affix a 120mm cannon to a Voidcraft because that could cause all kinds of problems when the thing kicks (at least that's my assumption), but they can't just fire a 120mm-sized round KKV style (i.e., a rail gun)? At 9 Lethal damage, you're taking the same base damage as you would from the weakest person swinging great sword.


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  • #2
    You can just mount normal guns on there. The Hardpoint Option. Personally I just went for Antimatter missiles.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Enginseer-42 View Post
      Personally I just went for Antimatter missiles.
      This makes a huge amount of sense given the typical engagement range for space combat in most hard sci fi settings.



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      • #4
        'Hard scifi' isn't a terribly well defined concept that has changed over the years (look at Atomic Rockets to see what was seen as 'hard' as little as 5-10 years ago, but has edged towards the softer end of the scale. Nevermind places like Orion's Arm.) There's way too many built in tech assumptions for any given logical or 'realism' paradigm to generalize and you can't guarantee it won't change because someone else doesn't envision it working differently. I mean people still argue over whether space fighters or stealth in space are possible, or whether lasers render literally every other weapon impractical (many think missiles will never compete with lasers as far as range or mass/vs delta-v or other stuff go. This is why initial tech assumptions matter.)

        And this is before we get into the fact that 'science' and 'realism' is largely a consensual matter in MtA.

        FWIW I think you have to judge these things relative to other stuff INSIDE the setting if you're going to judge it weak or not. It's not at all implausible for starships to pack weapons little more powerful than naval warships, aircraft, or ground vehicles (meaning megawatt to gigawatt.. that's the threshold for most 'realistic hard scifi' assumptions I've seen, and they usually assume only lasers and ignore any other weapon type if you're being strictly logical.) Add in a star-trek-esque ability to find 'workarounds' to bypass defenses or similar and brute force really matters less than finesse anyhow (see spirit nukes from week of nightmares, which were low yield neutron bombs as per Ascension.) Whether or not there are other enemy 'threats' that would cororborate or contradict will depend on digging into the source material.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mister_Dunpeal View Post
          It's not at all implausible for starships to pack weapons little more powerful than naval warships, aircraft, or ground vehicles (meaning megawatt to gigawatt.. that's the threshold for most 'realistic hard scifi' assumptions I've seen, and they usually assume only lasers and ignore any other weapon type if you're being strictly logical.)
          Well, that's sort of my point—why would I spend the effort to outfit a craft with special, Paradox-prone space weapons if it's 100% more effective to simply put hard points on the outside and mount the same hum drum shit that is used in regular naval surface warfare?


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          • #6
            "At 9 Lethal damage, you're taking the same base damage as you would from the weakest person swinging great sword."

            wouldn't 6 (1+5) be the weakest person with a great sword, or did you mean some other great sword? Secondly, as a simulationist enthusiast, I must protest to great swords doing 5 damage. I think 4 would be generous and perhaps appropriate for a stab, but perhaps not a cut depending on the specifics of the great sword. +5 damage would be reserved for monster hitters like a poleaxe or hammer.


            Ships need Dakka. Pew pew lasers have always been a vanity project. Use a gun, and if that don't work; use more gun.


            Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by p.95 Rev. VE Book
              These rules intentionally use lower values than you might expect for weapon damage and ship’s toughness, so that players’ characters can survive attacks, and perhaps get a few shots of their own in using personal Procedures.
              So.

              It seems that ther answer is: Yes.

              And M20 may not have taken in count these values to make their weapon table, for whatever reason. You may want to "upgrade" the values for either a different philosophy (fuck player's personal Procedures) or just to make the sci-fi weapons look better in M20 tables.

              ...

              Also there seems to be a heavy implication of normal weapons only working at "close range" when figthing between Voidships (even with Hardpoints). So maybe the idea was that the sci-fi weapons aren't stronger, just have more range. And that's why you want to have them. I don't think that makes a lot of sense, though, since all weapons are supposed to have Correspondence in order to work, it should be easy enough to add range. IDK
              Last edited by Aleph; 01-03-2020, 03:09 PM.

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              • #8
                But yeah. About the only one I bothered with was the Neutron Blaster. Or whatever the one was that was basically a radioactive shotgun beam. And even that was just something I mounted on a Geosynchronous stealth sat over the city we operated in as a convenient means of assassination. Though it had its limits. (Couldn't use in the bottom floor of a building for example, not without mass casualties on the upper floors.)

                But yeah. By and large the sample void weapons were terrible.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                  wouldn't 6 (1+5) be the weakest person with a great sword, or did you mean some other great sword? Secondly, as a simulationist enthusiast, I must protest to great swords doing 5 damage. I think 4 would be generous and perhaps appropriate for a stab, but perhaps not a cut depending on the specifics of the great sword. +5 damage would be reserved for monster hitters like a poleaxe or hammer.
                  I said 9 based on M20 rules—great sword is Str+6 damage, and requires minimum Strength 3 to use.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CaptOtter View Post
                    I said 9 based on M20 rules—great sword is Str+6 damage, and requires minimum Strength 3 to use.
                    Aren't the strength requirements more a difficulty penalty. IE at 1 strength you've got +2 difficulty to use the weapon, at 2 strength you've got +1...

                    +6 damage with 'you must be this strong to use' is rather absurd.


                    Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

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                    • #11
                      Because the void engineers are explorers like star trek and not a space navy like star wars.


                      You've been playing around the magic that is black
                      But all the powerful magical mysteries never gave a single thing back

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dwight View Post
                        Because the void engineers are explorers like star trek and not a space navy like star wars.
                        Not really. Not by Mrev standards anyway.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                          Aren't the strength requirements more a difficulty penalty. IE at 1 strength you've got +2 difficulty to use the weapon, at 2 strength you've got +1...

                          +6 damage with 'you must be this strong to use' is rather absurd.
                          Per page 451,"Two-handed weapon; very heavy — requires min. Strength 3 to employ." Do you mean absurd from gamist standpoint? Cause it makes some kind of sense to me that a thing that does a lot damage in part because it's big and heavy would necessarily require more strength than typical to weild. And the +6 seems in line with 20th anniversary, revised, and revised dark ages stats for this sort of weapon (give or take 1 depending on the book).

                          What I find absurd is that space missiles, and is what is essentially a rail gun, would do less damage than a regular ol' machine gun—but then again (as Aleph brought to our intention) the folks who wrote the book were conscious of the Voidcraft numbers skewing low and in fact did it on purpose, so clearly it wasn't just our weird hot take that these stats seemed a little off.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CaptOtter View Post
                            Per page 451,"Two-handed weapon; very heavy — requires min. Strength 3 to employ." Do you mean absurd from gamist standpoint? Cause it makes some kind of sense to me that a thing that does a lot damage in part because it's big and heavy would necessarily require more strength than typical to weild. And the +6 seems in line with 20th anniversary, revised, and revised dark ages stats for this sort of weapon (give or take 1 depending on the book).

                            What I find absurd is that space missiles, and is what is essentially a rail gun, would do less damage than a regular ol' machine gun—but then again (as Aleph brought to our intention) the folks who wrote the book were conscious of the Voidcraft numbers skewing low and in fact did it on purpose, so clearly it wasn't just our weird hot take that these stats seemed a little off.
                            Actually, there are series on youtube that show that you do not need greater strength to use 2 handed weapons like greatswords. Yes, they are heavy, but you use them with TWO hands, and they weight a few kilos anyway, no more. It should be polearms and such that deal the greatest damage.



                            As for general question, WoD can't get anything accurately, be it stats or equipment. So why would you expect something like that to be reasonable? Change given stats as needed.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Warpwind View Post
                              Actually, there are series on youtube that show that you do not need greater strength to use 2 handed weapons like greatswords.
                              What is this series? I searched for "great sword strength" on Youtube, and 99% of the videos I saw after scrolling for a while were about Dark Souls III. The handful of videos I saw that discussed great swords and/or "zweihanders" didn't speak to the level strength that would be required. Also, what is the actual claim being made in the video? Is the message that two-handed sword require a shockingly meager amount of strength to wield effectively, or is the claim moreso that using a two-handed sword requires less overall strength to use than is typically depicted in popular media, and/or requires less strength than most people might think? I don't think it's an extraordinary claim to say that many people probably have a misconception of how strong one needs to be to effectively use a two-handed swords, if only because the characters in movies and TV who use those sorts of weapons are usually hulking dudes--your Conans and such (with anime being the exception, as the general rule seems to be that anyone can use any size sword in anime).

                              Having said all that, my position here is that Strength 3 really isn't all that strong, and Strength 2 is incredibly weak. To explain my position, we need to ask "just how strong is Strength X"?

                              In Mage Revised, and all the 20th anniversary books--but particularly M20 (which is where the Min.-Strength-3 rule comes from)--Strength 2 represents being able to "lift" 100 lbs.; and Strength 3 represents being able to "lift" 250 lbs. Logically these numbers have to represent the uppermost limits for their respective ratings, because it wouldn't make sense to posit that the lifting strength for Strength 5 is the starting point for Strength 5 (since you wouldn't know where the limit is). Thus, if you can lift 101 lbs., per the system, you have Strength 3--which is a little absurd, but that's just what happens when you abstract the full range all possible human strength down to a hard 1-5 scale.

                              As for what it means to "lift", strictly speaking (i.e., a strict textual interpretation) means the most that you can dead lift--because no one squats, cleans, presses, snatches, or benches more than they can dead lift, and the book doesn’t qualify the word “lift” in any way. From a practical standpoint, dead lifting is also a pretty practical movement--when you help someone move a couch, you're very likely gripping the bottom with your fingers and dead lifting it up to between your mid-thigh and waist, and then moving. Having said that, not being able to dead lift more than 100 lbs. pretty weak. Even if we go to the next weaker lift, back squatting, not being able to squat more than 100 lbs. is still pretty weak.

                              Obviously this is horribly unrealistic, but I've never seen an RPG that got attributes right--there are different sorts of strength; it's absurd to conflate speed with flexibility, fine motor control, and hand-eye coordination; and (perhaps most baffling of all) it would not be unreasonable for an ultramarathoner to have a very high Stamina... but if you actually look at an ultramarathoner, it should be hard to claim with a straight face that that person would necessary be as good at taking punch as a championship boxer. For better or worse, the fact remains that lifting capacity is used as benchmark for overall strength.

                              Originally posted by Warpwind View Post
                              Yes, they are heavy, but you use them with TWO hands, and they weight a few kilos anyway, no more.
                              Okay, but just because you can lift the thing doesn't mean you can use it in combat. The rule doesn't say that you can't even pick the thing up without Strength 3 (it probably doesn't weigh more than 6-7 lbs.), it says you can't "employ" the weapon without Strength 3--that's a meaningful distinction. The baseline assumption here could be that that the weapon is literally too unwieldy for someone not strong to lift more than 100 lbs.

                              Originally posted by Warpwind View Post
                              It should be polearms and such that deal the greatest damage.
                              Polearms shouldn't categorically do more damage, because some pole arms are little more than a very long, pointed stick. Having said that, sometimes a pole arm is a halberd, a/k/a big axe on a stick.

                              Originally posted by Warpwind View Post
                              As for general question, WoD can't get anything accurately, be it stats or equipment. So why would you expect something like that to be reasonable?
                              Issuing a demerit to an RPG because it doesn’t accurately model the minutiae of actual fighting is a little baffling. Except for a handful of very fastidious or crunchy systems, the minutiae of combat are generally going to be lack a certain degree of depth. I agree that World of Darkness is an especially bad culprit because the numbers are so low—but they put that fact out on front street! You know going into this system (without even having to play it) that there’s a great deal of “abstracting” going on when a person who has taken a 1-hour firearms safety course has Firearms 1, but a Navy SEAL has 4 or maybe 5. That’s more or less to be expected when you model the full range of human potential for any attribute or ability on a 1-5 scale.

                              However, shitshow as it may be and I may forgive for the sake of simplicity, playability, and ease, I do expect some degree of internal consistency, and I typically get it. When you look at the military weapons in M20, and compare the difference in stats between the missiles and cannons (or whatever it happens to be), or if you look at the other weapon charts… yeah, it’s simplistic and not a terribly deep model, but at least most items on those lists make sense in reference to other items on the list. A sword does more damage than a knife; a hatchet does less damage than an axe; all the 9 mm do the same damage; etc. My gripe with the V.E. book is that it was seemingly inconsistent with M20 and Revised’s power scales for military- and artillery-level weapons in M20. And, like someone pointed out above, the book actually acknowledges the numbers are off and explains why. Obviously I’m adjusting everything the fuck up.

                              Originally posted by Warpwind View Post
                              Change given stats as needed.
                              Yeah, I mean, this is the Golden Rule, right? The thing is that when I post a comment or query like this, it’s precisely because I’m contemplating changing the rules, but want to first make sure that it’s not just me that feels that way, or that I’m not missing something (and this case, I was—though it only drove home the point further than the numbers need fixing).


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