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Unbreakable Atavism ?

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  • Unbreakable Atavism ?

    So my group has apparently stalemated on an issue. Nothing will move forward without a writer, employee, or tester's "official" say. In the Atavism Unbreakable, under the rules for spending satiety, it states: "Attacks from melee weapons and firearms deal bashing damage for the rest of the scene. Unarmed attacks and other sources of bashing damage are negated entirely." Does using the term melee weapons mean that natural attacks are not affected by unbreakable's downgrading? Would the claws of a bear, teeth of a dog, or quills of a porcupine, all non mystical but natural and not specifically "melee" weapons, bypass this downgrading to bashing? In my opinion, because mechanically there is no difference between the lethal damage from a knife, or a fingernail (as in they both deal lethal damage, not that they do the same damage) that melee in this case is referring to being in the act of melee combat, not that specifically only guns and melee weapons are effected. Someone pull up a page i can toss out to end this stupid debate, please!


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  • #2
    Unfortunately, I don't think you're going to get anything official enough considering the developer of the book being who he is.

    Here's the best I can offer from just knowing the games well, a quote from the CofD core book:

    "Animals and some other creatures treat their teeth like weapons, dealing lethal damage to mortals." p. 89

    This sets a precedent that "natural weapons" like teeth and claws should be treated as "melee weapons" even though they're mechanically unarmed attacks. Otherwise, Unbreakable would make Beasts immune to claws and bites as they're unarmed attacks and would thus be negated entirely.

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    • #3
      In as close as I get to the position (as having written for it and being one of a few people who might dev books going forward), I saw this earlier on Facebook and have mulled over it.

      My technical take is dependent upon the character who benefits and if the scene is supposed to be triumphant or terrifying for the player. If this a scene where all other efforts of the players is not only supposed to manifest, but take the sum of experience and turn it into a win, then treat it like a weapon or firearm, but if it's supposed to represent a failure of knowledge or basically just that the foe is really fucking terrifying, negate it entirely.

      If I were to make a hardline, put-it-in-a-book answer, I'd default to the werewolf logic, which is "Would I deny a werewolf their damage in this circumstance?" which gets a unilateral "No" for coin flip answers, thusly it seems insane to say no to a wolf or a bear or other people with natural weapons. Obviously not cats or small dogs or obvious non-cases.


      Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
      The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
      Feminine pronouns, please.

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      • #4
        Honestly, I just interpret it as "Your defense is so strong, that it drops non-aggravated damage down a level. Lethal sources of damage do bashing, and things which would normally inflict bashing inflict no damage."

        A bear trying to maul you is usually lethal damage, so unbreakable would downgrade it to bashing at this level. Whereas some thug in a bar cracking you in the face as hard as possible with their fist is usually something that is bashing ergo you take no damage.

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        • #5
          That's definitely how we've been running it in my group, but it's RAI if not a house rule given the specific phrasing of the text. If you have a group that's looking for a ruling consistent with the game as written as closely as possible, what might be the most intuitive and/or sensible approach that doesn't worry about the text's specific wording isn't as useful.

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          • #6
            Unbreakable applies to non mystical teeth and claw. Arcane’s werewolf example isn’t a good one because werewolf bite is explicitly mystical. (Sorry Arcane.)


            Writer. Developer. World of Darkness | Chronicles of Darkness | The Trinity Continuum

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            • #7
              Thank you, Bunyip. You "officially" have enough weight to satisfy the one bringing issue.


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