Geekdaddyprime
Topic Author
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun 15 Dec 2019, 22:53

Blocking

Sat 11 Apr 2020, 02:27

Hey do you think items should break when using them to block strong creatures like the Xenomorphs? Not everything but i have a hard time imagining a pulse rifle standing up to a sustained alien assault. 
 
sathyr
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu 05 Dec 2019, 08:36

Re: Blocking

Sat 11 Apr 2020, 08:10

Consider that a block is not just a matter of using something like a shield, taking the full brunt of the attack... but a tool with which to knock the offending appendage off-course. Generally speaking you're redirecting an attack so that it misses or only causes superficial damage. With that in mind, using something like a rifle to block wouldn't necessarily damage it.

That said, if it suits the narrative... go for it. Having the weapon jam on it's next attack, or fail to operate entirely, could add some incredible flavor to a scene. Having a Xeno slice clean through it would be terrifying. Just don't be too eager to punish your players for leveraging combat rules in their favor!
 
Vindictus
Posts: 172
Joined: Sun 12 Apr 2020, 21:50

Re: Blocking

Sun 12 Apr 2020, 21:58

Weapons should break when its appropriate for them to break. Headbites can punch through steel so blocking a headbite can potentially break any weapon. I would say 50/50 chance the weapon breaks.

Although if a player blocks a headbite with a complex weapon like a pulse rifle and it breaks I would downgrade it to a blunt instrument. If a player blocks with a blunt instrument and it breaks it gets destroyed.

That helps avoid the situation where your players are totally unarmed against aliens that get to go twice in a turn.
 
sathyr
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu 05 Dec 2019, 08:36

Re: Blocking

Mon 13 Apr 2020, 01:54

Weapons should break when its appropriate for them to break. Headbites can punch through steel so blocking a headbite can potentially break any weapon. I would say 50/50 chance the weapon breaks.

Although if a player blocks a headbite with a complex weapon like a pulse rifle and it breaks I would downgrade it to a blunt instrument. If a player blocks with a blunt instrument and it breaks it gets destroyed.

That helps avoid the situation where your players are totally unarmed against aliens that get to go twice in a turn.
At the same time, that same player's block could be described as pushing the Xeno's head to the side with the weapon, causing the headbite to snap at empty air.

I don't think it's fair to just assume that the action plays out in the way that penalizes the players the most. Since the blocking rules don't specify item breakage, I think it's more reasonable to assume that every time a block succeeds, it's doing so in a way that makes sense: if we know a headbite can punch through steel, but a block succeeds... clearly, the player wasn't shoving his gun in the alien's mouth. He must have been blocking another way.
The danger you run into is being (unintentionally) arbitrary or inconsistent. If the players expect the rules to work the way the book says they work, and you change your mind in one instance but not the other, that can get pretty unfair. You should at least be clear well in advance that you intend to change or modify a rule, and the players should be clear on how that rule was changed or modified, so they don't feel cheated when the xeno bites through their shiny pulse rifle despite a successful blocking action.

That said, sometimes you need to bend things and surprise them to build a powerful scene. Just use discretion :)
 
Vindictus
Posts: 172
Joined: Sun 12 Apr 2020, 21:50

Re: Blocking

Tue 14 Apr 2020, 15:07

I don't think it's fair to just assume that the action plays out in the way that penalizes the players the most. Since the blocking rules don't specify item breakage, I think it's more reasonable to assume that every time a block succeeds, it's doing so in a way that makes sense: if we know a headbite can punch through steel, but a block succeeds... clearly, the player wasn't shoving his gun in the alien's mouth. He must have been blocking another way.

If you play by the rules as written though, then weapons NEVER break, because the rules make no provisions for weapon breakage. Its highly unrealistic for weapons to never break. I dont think giving weapons a chance to break when blocking xenomorph attacks is unreasonable.

And a weapon doesnt have to directly block a headbite to break. It makes perfect sense to smack an alien in the head, deflect its headbite, and still break your gun in the process. Whenever you use a rifle in a violent way its not meant to be used theres a chance of it breaking (especially vs xenomorphs). Alien carapaces are hard enough that you could easily damage a weapon by bashing them away. And id say the likelihood increases even more if the aliens were damaged previously and theres lingering acid. Their molecular acid wouldnt just dissolve armor but weapons too. But again the rules dont account for that. Invincible weapons are ridiculous.

Also the number of successes (or lack thereof) on a block could certainly factor into whether or not a weapon breaks as well. With more successes representing a more skillful block thats less likely to incur weapon breakage.

My point is the rules as written dont always make sense and I see them as more of a guideline than something you should always strictly follow. The GM can and should override them when its appropriate.
 
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Diego
Posts: 336
Joined: Sat 06 Jul 2019, 18:16

Re: Blocking

Tue 14 Apr 2020, 20:07

Like others have said, don't think of the block as literally 'blocking', but more like doing anything that prevents the incoming action. Could be dodging out the way, redirecting the blow, could even be taking advantage of happenstance (like something causes the attacker to slip or misstep, possibly put into place by the blocking character).
Alien: Wanderer
https://alienwanderer.obsidianportal.com/
Session 9+ now up
 
Vindictus
Posts: 172
Joined: Sun 12 Apr 2020, 21:50

Re: Blocking

Wed 15 Apr 2020, 03:00

And I agree, narratively you can describe blocking however you want. Whether its a full block, partial block, parry, deflection, dodge, etc...

But the bigger issue with the rules is that weapons should not be impervious to being broken. Especially not when fighting one of the strongest, most aggressive, and vicious creatures in existence.

Also the dodge talent should not require a weapon. Thats beyond weird.
 
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Diego
Posts: 336
Joined: Sat 06 Jul 2019, 18:16

Re: Blocking

Wed 15 Apr 2020, 14:18

Well you could make a whole load of complicated rules to try and address this, assigning hit points to weapons and applying the damage that was defended to the block to them, but frankly I think if you do that your missing the point of this sleek narrative driven rules-lite game.

My personal suggestion, if you must have this. Just have the weapon breaking on a block if the person panics. That way it's no different to blowing ammo.
Alien: Wanderer
https://alienwanderer.obsidianportal.com/
Session 9+ now up

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