Problem with "tank" PC

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ValhallaGH
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Re: Problem with "tank" PC

#21 Postby ValhallaGH » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:21 am

Nets work however the GM says nets work. They aren't in the core rules, so the GM has to make them up.
Try not to make them as good as the entangle power. I'd probably have it work as a Grapple with Reach (and ignore the One-Arm penalty, because nets are designed for that), with escape rolls at -2 or -4 (Raise).

A character can use a two-handed weapon in one hand, they just take a -4 to the attacks (per the One-Arm hindrance)*. When you point this out, expect the players to try and change to rapiers.
*Clint has said this repeatedly, but my searching is really slow this morning, so no links.
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Re: Problem with "tank" PC

#22 Postby DMbobby » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:27 am

Freemage wrote:So, Trick + Wild Attack + Called Shot to the Head + Gang-Up Bonus means that they now need to hit a Parry of 8, possibly against an already Shaken opponent, which will do +4 damage.


Small note, Wild Attack + Called Shot to the Head is +6 damage. Don't forget that Wild Attacks alone do +2 damage. Also I'm assuming that full plate has a helmet, but do remember that armor covers specific body parts and unless that helmet is enclosed any time there's a head shot it's a 50% chance the helmet does anything. Also make sure if that helmet locks on, a rather quick and nimble foe might snatch it off their head if they aren't careful then granting a nice weak spot until they can steal it back and put it back on.
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Re: Problem with "tank" PC

#23 Postby Matchstickman » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:45 am

Panzerkraft wrote:How does nets work ? Are they opposed roll of Agility that gives penalties ?

I don't think there are any official rules on nets, but my take would be to assign a Strength Die to the net itself based on its construction and then have it function like a grapple attack.
Have an NPC roll opposed Fighting to throw it on the target and then let the net itself contain the PC with no roll and no action required from the NPC to maintain it, leaving them free to jab the PCs with spears or whathaveyou. The PC can attempt to break out as per grapple rules by rolling an opposed roll against the Net's strength or suffer the grapple penalty as per usual.
I would not have the Net roll to try and inflict damage each round, unless it was one of those really nasty razorwire nets, like in Predator 2.

EDIT: Damn second page wasn't here when I started typing!
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Re: Problem with "tank" PC

#24 Postby ZenFox42 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:47 am

If you want to go simple, nets could be treated like the Entangle power, with the spellcaster's AB skill roll being replaced by the attacker's Throwing skill.

Something else no one has mentioned in and of itself is Grappling - since it's an opposed Fighting roll, and continued by either opposed Strength or Agility rolls, you might be able to take the PC's down for a round or two. And if you wish, you can declare that while they're grappled they have the Unarmed Defender condition, giving an attacker outside the grapple a +2 to their Fighting roll. Also, since the grappler's attack is an opposed Strength or Agility roll, you're bypassing the PC's Parry (but unfortunately, not their Toughness).

I'm curious - what Rank are these PC's? Vigor d12, Fighting d12, Brawny/Obesity, Blocking, Dodging - they don't sound like Novice PC's. Perhaps if you had started them at Novice, they'd be less untouchable, and as they slowly grow more tank-like, you'd have more time to experiment with how to harm them.

EDIT - Double damn! Three posts in the time it took to type this out!
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Re: Problem with "tank" PC

#25 Postby Jounichi » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:43 pm

Water hazards could be fun if you adopt the rules from 50 Fathoms. There, your highest armor value comes off of swimming rolls to move about or resist drowning.

Or have them fight in the rain. A lightning strike is...I want to say 3d10 damage that ignores armor. Speaking of ignoring armor, heavy and/or falling objects inflict 1d6+1 damage for every 10 feet (2" on a mat).

You could contrive a fight on horseback. A charging lance or bull's horns do a lot of damage, and a poor riding skill means a poor fighting roll. And arguably a lower parry, depending on how you rule it.

Or just send them up against a gargantuan dragon with heavy armor for scales.
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Re: Problem with "tank" PC

#26 Postby JackMann » Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:20 am

Attack them. A lot. Have most enemies prioritize them when choosing who to attack. When attacks don't hurt them, they'll feel rewarded for their build choices and the resources they sank into it.

However, rolls can ace. They're not going to get lucky every time. Sometimes, enemies are going to get through. That's the price they pay for being tanks.

I mean, yeah, sometimes they're going to face problems that'll hit their weak points (low smarts, agility, whatever), but their strategy is also going to hurt sometimes. Let 'em take their knocks. You'll get through eventually, and it'll feel even more dramatic because of their high defenses.

Their strategy is very passive. If you bypass it all the time, they're going to feel like their characters aren't contributing anything, which is an awful way to feel. When enemies attack them instead of their friends, they'll feel like they're helping the team. Reward them for being team players by letting them be team players.

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Re: Problem with "tank" PC

#27 Postby ValhallaGH » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:23 am

JackMann wrote:Attack them. A lot. Have most enemies prioritize them when choosing who to attack. When attacks don't hurt them, they'll feel rewarded for their build choices and the resources they sank into it.

However, rolls can ace. They're not going to get lucky every time. Sometimes, enemies are going to get through. That's the price they pay for being tanks.

I mean, yeah, sometimes they're going to face problems that'll hit their weak points (low smarts, agility, whatever), but their strategy is also going to hurt sometimes. Let 'em take their knocks. You'll get through eventually, and it'll feel even more dramatic because of their high defenses.

Their strategy is very passive. If you bypass it all the time, they're going to feel like their characters aren't contributing anything, which is an awful way to feel. When enemies attack them instead of their friends, they'll feel like they're helping the team. Reward them for being team players by letting them be team players.

Excellent points all around.

@Panzerkraft
Put another 20 combat Extras (experienced soldiers, under Allies in the core rules) into most battle, have them devoted just to stabbing the "meat wall". They'll get lucky, and statistically you can expect that at least twice a battle with those 20 guys. Factor in the rest of the encounter and the tanks will start feeling pain. Which will please the players because their strategy is working!
Just ... don't get too hooked on any single attack. Dice are fickle, and every roll is a new chance for them to screw someone (your or other players). If you find yourself tempted to fudge a die result then you need to take a step back - you've gotten too invested in the attacks and need to reconsider some things.

Good luck!
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Re: Problem with "tank" PC

#28 Postby Lord Lance » Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:25 am

Panzerkraft wrote:I've always played SW in settings where firearms are common. So my experience with melee combat is pretty limited.
Last time we made a classical fantasy campaign and decided to use SW as ruleset, instead of D&D.
But we got a problem: two players made tanky PCs. They both have Vigor D12, Browny/Obesity and complete plate armor, which result in a Toughness of 12.
They also have Fighting D12, Blocking and spear and shield, so Parry is 12 too.
They fought 10 strong mercenaries, with Strength D8/D10 and fighting D10/D12. The mercenaries couldn't scratch them.
They needed to gang up 5 vs 1 to have a decent chance to hit, but even then they needed an 8 to hit.
Medium damage of 2D10 is 11, so even the strongest of them had an hard time wounding the PCs.
Going for the head means losing the gang up bonus, so they need to make 12 to hit.
Basically we had several rounds of strong people attacking the PCs without effect. That was not fast, not furious and especially not fun.
Using ranged weapons makes easier to hit, but even then you need to go for the head. They also have Dodging, so it would be a 9 to hit.
So I'm doing something wrong ? How could they be threatened by something other than an army of elite musketeers ?


Well, you already got some advice from the community.
However, I'd like to check some math with you. How epic are those characters? Probably they are a lot experienced, so, if their players loved to create a "tank" character, they should have a cool, tough character! Nothing wrong in that.

However, are you sure about your math?
Let's say they are Human. They started** with all Stats at d6, and a free edge, let's say they got Brawny.
They can bump up their Stats only once at each Rank, so they need to become at least Veteran to bump Vigor d6 to Vigor d12. Also, during all those "levels", ie. for every Advancement, they were "forced" to play with a Agi d6, Str d6, Int d6, Spi d6 character. With Str d6, they simply cannot equip a weapon, a shield AND a full plate armor (and, probably, additional equip... double check the encumbrance rules, they should be over 70 encumbrance...).

Let's say they managed to survive... Probably they "wasted" a lot of starting skill point to buy Fighting at d12. If we want to be precise, they spent 2 skill points for Fighting d6, then they "wasted" 2 skill points for every increase, 'cause they went over the linked Stat (Agi, at d6), so other 6 skill point! Total: 8 skill points to get that Fighting. They probably had almost no other skills... or they had them at very low rank (d4?). How they managed to survive, with d4 Persuasion, d4 Climbing, d4 survival etc. during their adventures???

Let's say they brought d8 Str and d8 Agi, during their adventures... This means that they are now at least Legendary Characters! At least 80 XP. So now they have Agi d8, Str d8, Int d6, Spi d6, Vig d12.
Let's say they found a weapon that they can wield single handed, AND that gave them +1 Parry (some sort of "magical" short spear :D). Let's say they wield a shield AND just a chest plate ('cause they probably still cannot wield a full plate with other equip).

They should manage 8 or 10 "common" enemies. And, they probably should have at least 2 or 3 combats like that in a single adventure. Probably, they still will be wounded during those combats, maybe risking their lives too: it's not uncommon to see at least a damage in 20 - 25 range, thanks to the acing dice.
Still, you are plenty of options if you want to scare your players with "common" enemies. Tricks, Tests of Will (they probably have Int and Spi very low...). An enemy could do a Grappling (you bypass Parry with that!), so the hero cannot use his weapon/shield anymore. One of the enemy could kicks the hero to the ground (check Push action: you bypass Parry - you go on Str vs. Str): with the hero on the ground, all other attacks have +2 to hit. Wild attacks (PS: it's too powerful, imho. We houseruled to +2 attack and -2 Parry, OR +2 damage and -2 Parry / it's pretty common). At least a WildCard "Commander" with Improved Trademark Weapon and Improved Frenzy (or two handed).
Finally: area attacks, powers (Puppet vs. a Tank... Always funny!).
And then, the grand finale: if you want to beat Legendary characters... Damn, you need legendary enemies!

Edit: NOTE **: They could have started "balanced"...
Last edited by Lord Lance on Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Problem with "tank" PC

#29 Postby DMbobby » Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:52 am

Lord Lance wrote: However, are you sure about your math?
Let's say they are Human. They started with all Stats at d6, and a free edge, let's say they got Brawny.
They can bump up their Stats only once at each Rank, so they need to become at least Veteran to bump Vigor d6 to Vigor d12. Also, during all those "levels", ie. for every Advancement, they were "forced" to play with a Agi d6, Str d6, Int d6, Spi d6 character. With Str d6, they simply cannot equip a weapon, a shield AND a full plate armor (and, probably, additional equip... double check the encumbrance rules, they should be over 70 encumbrance...).


There's a few bits of weirdness here. While I agree I wish we could see what route the players took to get where they are as well as the current number of advances assuming players going in with the express idea to go full "tank" taking a d6 in all attributes as well as not taking hindrances throws everything off. A character that wanted to maximize a gimmick could easily have a D6 Agility, D4 Smarts, D4 Spirit, D10 Strength, D10 Vigor plus still getting that Brawny edge for free. This is also just one route (the one that maximizes Toughness and starting gear selection), but someone who doesn't want to be taxed as hard for skills could instead prioritize Agility to a d10 (or even d12 if they are playing starting at a higher rank and know how to maximize the system of advances knowing those rougher earlier advances don't have to be played).

Like I said, I get where you are going with the train of thought but flat out ignoring hindrance points throws all that math off hard and the assumption of a character starting balanced while not as rough of a shift is still a large assumption without seeing the character's actual stats.
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Re: Problem with "tank" PC

#30 Postby ValhallaGH » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:32 am

If the GM lets you start with plate armor, a large shield, then a 0 experience Novice can have Toughness 12 and Parry 11.
Vigor d12, Strength d6, Branwy. 5 Attribute points, human Edge, can use a Spear (Str+d6), load limit 48 pounds. Toughness 9. Add plate corslet, get Toughness 12 (3).
Fighting d12, large shield, weapon with +1 Parry. 9 Skill points at Agility d4, Parry 11. If the character can grab Block (Seasoned) or Acrobat (Novice, Agility d8) then that's a Parry 12.

So, with some leeway about starting gear, a starting human can have Parry 11 and Toughness 12 (3). As a zero experience Novice.

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Re: Problem with "tank" PC

#31 Postby Lord Lance » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:03 am

DMbobby wrote:A character that wanted to maximize a gimmick could easily have a D6 Agility, D4 Smarts, D4 Spirit, D10 Strength, D10 Vigor plus still getting that Brawny edge for free.

Yup, of course I did an example, trying to keep the hindrances out of the calculation. Of course, you can use the 4 point gained from hindrances to push your stats up, still I see it as a "waste". Many prefer to invest those points in Background/Combat edges instead (yeah, I'm still attached to the old rule "Background edges are precious, you buy them at the start, or you leave them behind - forever").
And, I tried to stay "neutral", keeping the Stats at d6. With d4 Smart and Spirit, I can bet they probably couldn't have survived in a tough, well-rounded campaign. At least, not in a campaign where I'm the GM :lol:
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Re: Problem with "tank" PC

#32 Postby Lord Lance » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:11 am

ValhallaGH wrote:can use a Spear

Not paired with a large shield.

Of course, with the magic of Trappings, you can take the Rapier, and rename it "Short spear". So you could have a "short spear" that does Str+d4 and has Parry +1.

And, the Plate Corslet is good, but (of course) easily bypassed by an aimed shot. Still, a good starting Tank character. Of curse, pretty unbalanced, but feasible.
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Re: Problem with "tank" PC

#33 Postby Freemage » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:40 am

Given that it's a fantasy campaign, I'm betting these aren't humans, but one of the brute races with a boosted Vigor and/or Strength (maybe even Brawny to-boot?); that will drastically modify the builds above, and if the drawbacks of the race don't undercut the numbers (hooray for racial behavioral Hindrances!), then you end up with a much easier time getting to absurd numbers before Legendary.

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Re: Problem with "tank" PC

#34 Postby Lord Lance » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:56 am

True, but in this case the characters are (probably) even more unbalanced, if possible :? .
A (not-human) fantasy race has no free edge to start with, and if has Str, Vig and or Brawny-like ability, it will have a ton of downsides. Sum those downsides to the hindrances needed to boost the stats even more, then probably you'll have "freak" characters going around the campaign.
Of course, this is not wrong a priori, there are players that love that way of min-maxing.
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Re: Problem with "tank" PC

#35 Postby ValhallaGH » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:19 am

Lord Lance wrote:
ValhallaGH wrote:can use a Spear

Not paired with a large shield.

Sure you can. You just take a -4 penalty for using a 2-handed weapon with one arm.
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Re: Problem with "tank" PC

#36 Postby Lord Lance » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:30 am

ValhallaGH wrote:Sure you can. You just take a -4 penalty for using a 2-handed weapon with one arm.

:D ok, ok. Indeed, they are minmaxed d12 Fighting unbalanced heroes... what's a few negative modifiers here or there? :lol: 8)
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Re: Problem with "tank" PC

#37 Postby Freemage » Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:14 pm

Lord Lance wrote:True, but in this case the characters are (probably) even more unbalanced, if possible :? .
A (not-human) fantasy race has no free edge to start with, and if has Str, Vig and or Brawny-like ability, it will have a ton of downsides. Sum those downsides to the hindrances needed to boost the stats even more, then probably you'll have "freak" characters going around the campaign.
Of course, this is not wrong a priori, there are players that love that way of min-maxing.


Using the SWD rules for new races:

Half-Ogre:
Big & Strong: Strength & Vigor start at d8, Brawny Edge (+8 points)
Dumb as a Brick: Smarts can never advance beyond d6 (-3 points)
Mean and Ugly: Half-Ogres are notoriously surly, and have a face that even Mother couldn't love, giving them a -4 Charisma penalty. (-2 points)
Lumbering: Pace 5 (-1 point)

There you go--a perfectly legit +2 Race, with the only issue being that they need to hire a bard to do their talking to the townsfolk.

Assuming full Hindrances, you end up with the following at Novice:

Agil d8; Smts d4; Spir d4; Strg d12; Vigr d12 (used one Hindrance bump on Attributes)
Acrobat, Brawny (+1 Parry, +1 Toughness) (bought Acrobat with second Hindrance bump)
Fighting d12 (7 skill points); Notice d8 (5 skill points); Throwing d4 (1 Skill point); Climb d4 (1 Skill point); Shooting d4 (1 Skill point)
(The d4 skills are for easy advancement later in the character's career; alternately, ditch two of them and get Notice at d10.)
Corslet, rapier and kite shield.
Pace 5; Charisma -4; Toughness 12 (3); Parry 12

And this is at Novice 0. Seasoned, Vigor d12+2 and Block get Toughness and Parry to 13 each. Veteran gives you Improved Block (Parry 14), and by then you should also have Improved Dodge. By Heroic, you've got Strength d12+2, giving you enough carrying capacity, I believe, to round out that plate mail. Build up to Improved Sweep and Improved Nerves of Steel as you have the opportunity to do so.

And THAT is how you min-max the Tank--and all of this assumes that, at no point in your fantasy campaign, have you acquired magical armor or weapons that would increase any of this.

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Re: Problem with "tank" PC

#38 Postby DMbobby » Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:35 pm

Every time I think of mid/maxed tank I think of the shenanigans one of my players tried in Shiantar Legends Arise with a just massive Ogre. It taught me the hard way of be fully aware of the increased power of some settings and the synergy power of racial bonuses.
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Re: Problem with "tank" PC

#39 Postby Ndreare » Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:34 pm

DMbobby wrote:Every time I think of mid/maxed tank I think of the shenanigans one of my players tried in Shiantar Legends Arise with a just massive Ogre. It taught me the hard way of be fully aware of the increased power of some settings and the synergy power of racial bonuses.

I just built a Ogre ex-slave type character for Shaintar using the build in the book, but moved points from Spirit to Vigor.
The character is huge, but I imagine the GM in the one shot we are playing in with have him fall victim Agility and Smarts tricks. Then once stunned he only has a 62.5% chance of recovery, which means he should not be too obnoxious for the GM. But that is the life of a rookie.

Now the same character template, but drop strength to d8 and raise agility to d8 could make the GM want to slap you as doing Smarts tricks repeatedly is fun for no one.

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Re: Problem with "tank" PC

#40 Postby Ilina_Young » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:37 pm

spear and shield is specifically a setting rule for settings taking place in Greece, Rome or Persia during the Era of BC. where the weight of some rather massive spears was supported by the strength of the Phalanx working together. the reason the Spear was popular in Phalanx fighting was because it provided reach, which is a huge asset in Phalanx Combat, where you warriors were lined up in rows of people armed with spears and shields. but if you are playing in a Setting where Phalanx is the common military style, there really shouldn't be full plate armor and well, the parry bonuses of the spear shouldn't stack with the parry bonuses of the shield. but i usually rule that encumbrance penalties affect Parry and sometimes Pace. for example, if you have a -1 from your load, that reduces your parry by 1.


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