Monday, August 21, 2017

GURPS DFRPG changes to Slam damage

So the PDFs for the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game box dropped ahead of time, which is exciting.  My very, very superficial readthrough so far suggests it's mostly a consolidation of the Dungeon Fantasy line, with armor significantly tweaked, and the addition of a dedicated compendium for Spells, hand-picked and modified for DF usage.  I didn't see as much simplification from GURPS DF as I was (frankly) expecting.

It's early days yet, so the fans will be finding more changes, but one that jumps out is a new formula for Slam damage.  I've always found the base 4e formula unsatisfying due to its breakpoints, and some awkward phrasing that begged to be replaced by a little lookup table, so this is a very welcome change.  Let's see how the new formula adds up!

Old (B371): 
HP x Velocity = Damage
        01-25 = 1d-3
        26-50 = 1d-2
        51-99 = 1d-1
      100-149 = 1d
      150-249 = 2d
      250-349 = 3d, etc

New (DFRPG Exploits p.40):
thr-2, modified /per die/ by velocity off the Speed/Range table
     1 yard = -2 per die
     2 yards = flat
     3-4 yards = +1 per die
     5-6 yards = +2 per die
     7-9 yards = +3 per die, etc

All a bit abstract, you say?  Let's do some examples, and compare Old vs New.

ST 7 Goblin at 5 yards
   Old: 1d-2  /  New: 1d-3.  Pretty similar.

ST 7 Quickling at 15 yards
   Old: 1d  /  New: 1d.  OK, didn't expect those to equal out.

ST 10 Spearman at 5 yards
   Old: 1d-2  /  New: 1d-2.  No change.

ST 10 Wolf (B458) at 9 yards
   Old: 1d-1  /  New: 1d-1.  No change.

ST 12 Man At Arms at 4 yards
   Old: 1d-2  /  New: 1d-2.  Seriously?  Identical again?

ST 12 Super Speedster at 40 yards
   Old: 5d  /  New: 1d+4.  Wow, here's a big difference. Using the Speed/Range table means pure speed no longer multiplies your damage, because logarithms.

ST 15 Slow Brute at 3 yards
   Old: 1d-2  /  New: 1d.  Significant for DF purposes. A slow Slam by a big guy is more viable than before. 

ST 15 Fast Brute at 7 yards 
   Old: 1d  /  New: 1d+2.  Still holding true at faster speeds. Big, strong Slammers will have a stronger advantage than before, at fast or slow speeds.

ST 20 Minotaur at 6 yards
   Old: 1d  /  New: 2d+1.  Wow, average damage more than doubled.

ST 24 Heavy Warhorse (B460) at 8 yards (Medium encumbrance)
   Old: 2d  /  New: 2d+5.  Not as dramatic as the minotaur, but enough damage to reliably injure even a man in heavy plate. 

ST 45 Elephant (B460) at 8 yards
   Old: 4d  /  New: 5d+13.  Average damage more than doubles.

OK, the results are in, and Velocity is dethroned as the king of Slam damage under these rules.  Now, it's all about muscle.  I'm quite surprised how little damage itself changes for ST 7-12 at normal speeds, but the increase for high ST is dramatic.  I'm especially happy to get rid of the old breakpoint where a small difference turned a 1d Slam into a 2d Slam.  Go GURPS!