[SR] Mass Battles

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Kaandorian
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[SR] Mass Battles

#1 Postby Kaandorian » Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:54 pm

According to the SW core rules, characters can intervene in mass battles to get a better outcome, but the damage they suffer if they don't score a high result seems quite trivial for a Rifts battle.
Any rules to adjust it?

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Re: [SR] Mass Battles

#2 Postby ValhallaGH » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:48 pm

Relevant thread in official answers: http://www.pegforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=355021#p355021
Not a solution, so much as a guideline for a solution. But the proposal would go a long way.
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Re: [SR] Mass Battles

#3 Postby Freemage » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:55 pm

It still means that Power Armor/Robo Armor characters, and Combat Cyborgs, can go all day long in Mass Battles (anyone with always-on MDC is pretty much in the clear). For that matter, I'd also suggest that if the battle is near a Ley Line, that Masters of Magic with the armor power should have no trouble maintaining their MDC effects indefinitely (especially LLWs, of course).

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Re: [SR] Mass Battles

#4 Postby ValhallaGH » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:11 pm

I'm pretty sure that "Mass Battle damage is Heavy Damage and bypasses all Armor" will make Power Armor troops, Robot Armor Pilots, and most Combat Cyborgs cry.
Last edited by ValhallaGH on Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: [SR] Mass Battles

#5 Postby Freemage » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:15 pm

ValhallaGH wrote:I'm pretty sure that "Mass Battle damage is Heavy Damage and bypasses all Armor" will make Power Armor troops, Robot Armor Pilots, and most Combat Cyborgs cry.


Hrm... that seems a tad redundant, though--if it is meant to bypass Heavy Armor, then there's no point in calling it out as Heavy Damage.

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Re: [SR] Mass Battles

#6 Postby Kaandorian » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:12 pm

Freemage wrote:
ValhallaGH wrote:I'm pretty sure that "Mass Battle damage is Heavy Damage and bypasses all Armor" will make Power Armor troops, Robot Armor Pilots, and most Combat Cyborgs cry.


Hrm... that seems a tad redundant, though--if it is meant to bypass Heavy Armor, then there's no point in calling it out as Heavy Damage.


I assume that bypassing armor should not also bypass the toughness bonus given by almost every body or power armor. If not, there would be no point in going to battle with anything heavier than a pair of trousers and a t-shirt... :lol:
Either way, there's no point in activating defensive powers like Armor (and its mega version).
I'm not complaining about that, but I'm sure that one of my players is gonna do it... a lot... and for a very long time :o

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Re: [SR] Mass Battles

#7 Postby ValhallaGH » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:38 pm

Defensive and supporting powers have always been assumed into the single roll a Wild Card makes when participating in a Mass Battle. That's true for armor, deflection, boost/lower Trait, healing, and even environmental protection.
Each of those rolls represents the contributions of the character during some nebulous amount of time. It could be seconds, minutes, hours, or even days depending upon the scope and pace of the battle.

Also, any player that complains about not benefiting from a power that measures duration in seconds, during a conflict measured in minutes, is getting a stern look from me. As GM or fellow player.
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Re: [SR] Mass Battles

#8 Postby Kaandorian » Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:27 am

ValhallaGH wrote:Also, any player that complains about not benefiting from a power that measures duration in seconds, during a conflict measured in minutes, is getting a stern look from me. As GM or fellow player.


Ultimately true... Seems I have to explain it exactly this way...

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Re: [SR] Mass Battles

#9 Postby Freemage » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:04 pm

ValhallaGH wrote:Defensive and supporting powers have always been assumed into the single roll a Wild Card makes when participating in a Mass Battle. That's true for armor, deflection, boost/lower Trait, healing, and even environmental protection.
Each of those rolls represents the contributions of the character during some nebulous amount of time. It could be seconds, minutes, hours, or even days depending upon the scope and pace of the battle.

Also, any player that complains about not benefiting from a power that measures duration in seconds, during a conflict measured in minutes, is getting a stern look from me. As GM or fellow player.


Normally, I would agree. I noted a very specific exception to that case--a master of magic on a Ley Line has a functionally infinite power point reserve (particularly in the case of the 'I tap that thing for free, every round, if I wanna' Ley Line Walker). At that point, having the power is pretty much equivalent to having a suit of TW body-armor that is charged when on a Ley Line. I see no reason to ignore one of the key IF abilities simply because I don't want to spend all night making attack rolls for hundreds of GMC units on each side of a fight.

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Re: [SR] Mass Battles

#10 Postby ValhallaGH » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:27 pm

Freemage wrote:I noted a very specific exception to that case--a master of magic on a Ley Line has a functionally infinite power point reserve (particularly in the case of the 'I tap that thing for free, every round, if I wanna' Ley Line Walker). At that point, having the power is pretty much equivalent to having a suit of TW body-armor that is charged when on a Ley Line.

Note that anyone with a magical AB can draw from a ley line, not just a Master of Magic. :?
So each phase of the Battle, when determining how many PPE got used up (2d6), let them reduce that by some amount.
You could roll for it, but it's probably faster to let any magic type reduce the loss by half their Arcane Skill die, and anyone with Ley Line Magic Mastery (LLW, Shifters, etc.) to reduce the loss by their entire Arcane Skill die. Because absorbing PPE from a Ley Line is cool, but absorbing it as a free action is cooler.
Thus a mage with d12 Spellcasting, on a ley line, cannot lose more than 6 PPE in a phase of the battle. A Ley Line Walker with d12 Spellcasting cannot lose any PPE in a phase of the battle.
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Re: [SR] Mass Battles

#11 Postby Freemage » Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:01 pm

ValhallaGH wrote:
Freemage wrote:I noted a very specific exception to that case--a master of magic on a Ley Line has a functionally infinite power point reserve (particularly in the case of the 'I tap that thing for free, every round, if I wanna' Ley Line Walker). At that point, having the power is pretty much equivalent to having a suit of TW body-armor that is charged when on a Ley Line.

Note that anyone with a magical AB can draw from a ley line, not just a Master of Magic. :?
So each phase of the Battle, when determining how many PPE got used up (2d6), let them reduce that by some amount.
You could roll for it, but it's probably faster to let any magic type reduce the loss by half their Arcane Skill die, and anyone with Ley Line Magic Mastery (LLW, Shifters, etc.) to reduce the loss by their entire Arcane Skill die. Because absorbing PPE from a Ley Line is cool, but absorbing it as a free action is cooler.
Thus a mage with d12 Spellcasting, on a ley line, cannot lose more than 6 PPE in a phase of the battle. A Ley Line Walker with d12 Spellcasting cannot lose any PPE in a phase of the battle.


Yes, any can tap the line, however, it requires an MoM to get MDC protection out of the armor spell (remember, this is in the context of treating Mass Battle Damage as Heavy/Mega-Damage; if you're opting to have the MB damage ignore ALL armor, even MDC armor, then this is a moot point, of course).

The endless supply of PPE means more than just ending with a full kettle, though. It means you never have to let a maintained spell drop at all, if it makes sense to keep it up and running. A spellcaster who is on a Ley Line during a Mass Battle and not maintaining their armor spell is probably not using their full Smarts die, is what I'm saying. :wink:

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Re: [SR] Mass Battles

#12 Postby ValhallaGH » Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:08 pm

Freemage wrote:The endless supply of PPE means more than just ending with a full kettle, though. It means you never have to let a maintained spell drop at all, if it makes sense to keep it up and running.

Not always a choice. Powers can get disrupted if you get Shaken or worse, and the TN to keep it up is the Damage total (core rules, page 103, Disruption). Once you get to Toughness 25+, that's a freaking hard roll. :wink:
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Re: [SR] Mass Battles

#13 Postby pkitty » Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:01 pm

Freemage wrote:
ValhallaGH wrote:I'm pretty sure that "Mass Battle damage is Heavy Damage and bypasses all Armor" will make Power Armor troops, Robot Armor Pilots, and most Combat Cyborgs cry.


Hrm... that seems a tad redundant, though--if it is meant to bypass Heavy Armor, then there's no point in calling it out as Heavy Damage.


Not really. If they hadn't called it HW damage, you'd have players arguing, "Well, sure, it bypasses armor, but by definition non-HW damage can't even scratch Heavy Armor, so I'm immune." So it's a bit redundant maybe, but necessarily so IMO.
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Re: [SR] Mass Battles

#14 Postby dentris » Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:19 pm

I don't have my books with me, so I'm doing this from memory. I might be wrong.

Most of the PCs abilities are not considered directly during mass battles. Instead, you just roll a relevant skill and add a flat bonus depending on your rank to represent experience. As such, Edges and IF abilities have no influence on the actual roll. I agree that a Leyline Walker holding his ground on a leyline is a major point. It would be reasonable, I think, to give a +2 bonus to the leyline walker for his roll. It would allow him to have a greater influence on the battle and should also reduce the damage he receives (he has a higher chance of success and raise)

If you allow this, you should consider giving other IF bonuses depending on where the battle is fought. For example, let's say you have a mass battle inside a volcano (now I have the urge to create a scenario centered around that idea), a burster would have a similar bonus.

You can also go the other way. Since he is a walking (or floating) powerhouse, the Leyline walker is going to be the center of attention and the target of more than his fair share of attacks. As such, his ability to wreck havoc against the enemy will be impaired by his constant need to protect himself, and it could be argued this is a fair tradeoff and as such, the roll is made as normal, without any modifiers. The Knowledge (Battle) roll of the commander should be modified to take into consideration favorable terrain, though. A Coalition army facing spellcasters on a leyline will be at a disadvantage.
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Re: [SR] Mass Battles

#15 Postby Freemage » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:15 pm

The more I think about it, the more I'm deciding that, whether I was right or wrong about Clint's intent in the linked post, I agree with the idea that the damage from a low "participation" roll is basically Damage Over Armor, and thus only actual Toughness should be factored in. I do like Dentris' suggestions for modifying the rolls for a MB on a convenient Ley Line.

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Re: [SR] Mass Battles

#16 Postby Alrik_vas » Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:49 pm

There is a game that covered this that I like very much. Legend of the Five Rings has a mass battle structure similar to this, but they also have battle opportunities that you can mix in for crucial points of the fight.

Like getting a clear shot at the enemy general.
Getting revenge for a friend who dies right in front of you.
Rallying the back line.
Charging the back line.
Taking the enemy banner.
There are many, many more.

In SR you can take some of these things directly over, some you'd have to change. They often substitute for "you take X damage this battle round, you guys are winning." And since many of these opportunities are direct confrontations during the battle, you get a 1-5 round quick skirmish out of it. And successfully completing these gets your side morale bonuses, or gives your general a bonus as you've given him something to take advantage of.

So instead of a random damage amount from the abstract narrative, you can actually get shot at by a rocket launcher while another soldier is trying to force your own rifle into your mouth in a grapple.


Or you could just say, "you rolled bad, here comes the pain!" and give the damage AP: 6 as well as the +1d6. Then describe it as a rocket or a graze from some errant boom gun slugs.

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Re: [SR] Mass Battles

#17 Postby Kaandorian » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:39 am

By the way, how would you handle a mass battle in which the enemies take half damage from the troops leaded by the players?

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Re: [SR] Mass Battles

#18 Postby ValhallaGH » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:52 am

Kaandorian wrote:By the way, how would you handle a mass battle in which the enemies take half damage from the troops leaded by the players?

Something like "Half damage from non magical attacks" fighting C.S. troops? That's a huge tactical advantage, kind of like Heavy Air Support or Heavy Fortifications. So either a -3 to the Knowledge (Battle) of the disadvantaged side or a +3 to the advantaged side. Which I'd use depends upon how much I want the players to be aware of the issue.
Also, I'd probably give the half-immune side a +1 on the Aftermath rolls.
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Re: [SR] Mass Battles

#19 Postby Kaandorian » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:15 am

Ok, this is the scenario:
The Legionnaires are leading the defense of Paragould (I've changed a lot in that 1 sheet adventure, now the town host a populace of a couple of thousand citizens). Paragould's citizens are under attack by a swarm of lesser demons, and they are armed with basic ranged weapons (no MD weapons).
The townsfolk have a terrain advantage: they know very well the "battlefield" and can ambush the demons in Paragould narrow streets, and can use makeshift barricades.
The Legionnaires (1 juicer, 1 cyber-knight and 1 techno-wizard with Knowledge-Battle) will obviously make heroic acts during the battle... but... when they defeated Kaazak Garr a ley-line storm occurred, so they are hampered in their use of magic.
Another advantage is that the demons don't have a leader, so nobody can roll Knowledge-Battle effectively on their side.

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Re: [SR] Mass Battles

#20 Postby ValhallaGH » Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:16 am

Should be pretty easy for the heroes, then.
It's an Opposed roll, and the opposition doesn't roll; that's effectively a 0, so any result of 1 or higher means the town wins that round of Mass Battle, kicking some demon butt with no serious losses. Every full 4 means they get rid of another batch of demons, making it likely that the rest will flee.
Even with a -3 for "insignificant damage", the commander should be crushing foes.
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