Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Rifts House Rules - My Combat Cheet Sheet Part 2 - 2015 Edition

Page 2 of the Cheatsheet covers the ranged attack modifiers, size modifiers (something else Rifts really needed), then the Defense and Damage process and tables.  So someone shooting will mainly look at page 1 while someone being shot will mainly look at page 2 - the goal was to not have to flip back and forth a whole lot.

A lot of this is purely my own addition to the game, and it can look like a lot but it's really not bad once a player has been through the sequence one time. Plus it's a lot more organized compared to the by-the-book system. Additionally my players like to know where they hit that giant robot - cockpit, gun, arm, leg. I have also found that hit location sometimes helps a fairly lethal game - it's better to lose an arm than the whole character most of the time, and in a world of magic and super-tech replacing it isn't all that hard. 

I will say that looking at it now that the DR/armor piercing thing might be a little more detail than I would want if I started a new campaign tomorrow. It is cool, but it is one more step in resolving combat that might be better left out. I wanted vehicles and robots to have more to them than a big gun and a 500 MDC main body, so detail was what I was looking for at the time - it might not be everyone's cup of tea. 

There's also the system damage section it makes more sense with page 3 which has the crit charts. More on that tomorrow.

PDF link is here.

2015 Notes

By section:

  • Ranged Modifiers - these are from the d20 SRD
  • Size Modifiers - also from d20
  • Defenses - mostly from Rifts with some details added in
  • Damage - Rifts + an Armor Penetration system. These used to be a fairly common mod for Rifts but I don't see them as much anymore.  
  • Hit Locations - mostly Battletech
  • System Damage - mostly homebrew with elements of multiple space combat games as inspiration

The AP system does add a level of complication to the game but I wanted to give certain weapons a reason for being "better" than a comparable weapon that did the same or more damage. Now there is a reason why railguns and plasma cannons are so widely referred to as "heavy weapons" in the game. Also, it makes magic and psi  that much better than the standard game and in my experience they needed some help. 

The System Damage ... system came about in an effort to make combat more interesting than just blowing off chunks of MDC. That makes for a boring fight. it is more to keep track of and it can get hairy for the DM if he has multiple vehicles and bots in play but that's what tracking sheets are for! This lets opponents knock out weapons and sensors and propulsion systems the way things happen in modern sci-fi shows and movies where people need to "get things back online" in the middle of a fight. It makes all those system, engineering, and repair skills useful in combat. It forces interesting decisions - if the robot's big gun is knocked out do you a) stay back and concentrate on fixing it, b) retreat, or c) stop worrying about it and charge in with giant robot fists? That's much more fun than "there's another 75 MDC". 

Main sources here: d20 SRD, Battletech, various Traveller space combat systems, and Rifts Ultimate Edition.

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