I will make an admission here. I hate bookkeeping. I hate numbers-crunching in an RPG, especially during combat scenes. It’s tedious and can take away from the excitement of a combat. Pretty hard to think of smashing an enemy when you have to stop and add up die rolls or hit point damage. Thus I try to minimize it wherever possible.
Absorption is one of those powers its difficult to avoid the number-crunch trap. Especially when it comes to simple damage. Adding in the appropriate numbers is irritating enough, but when you have to then keep track of the totals and reduce them in every round of combat; it’s TEDIOUS!
…which I hate, as noted earlier.
So, please allow me to offer this variant on the Absorption power in Victorious. It’s not yet playtested, so I’d appreciate any feedback on it from folks who’ve tried it in play. Perhaps I’ll post some further thoughts as I try it in play. Glut will soon be the winner/victim to give it a try!
Absorption variant in play:
First, decide how many ranks in Absorption the character has. Then, decide what attribute(s) each rank of the Absorption is attached to. For those unsure of how this should interact, a brief comparison is below:
- Strength: Kinetic damage
- Intelligence: Confusion, Disorientation
- Wisdom: Psychic influence, a loss of Awareness
- Constitution: Poison or health damage
- Dexterity: Reduces a victim’s ability to avoid damage by evasion.
- Charisma: Variants of Magickal influence not specific to a power
When struck by the attack that is absorbed, each rank acts as a Might die, with Rank 1 as 1d4, Rank 2 as 1d6, and so on. Each absorption impact that does damage increases the die type appropriately. The die is then applied to whatever result is needed for the attribute, as follows:
- Strength: die increases to physical damage
- Intelligence: Die increases to attribute check/save
- Wisdom: Die increases to Senses check as well as checks/saves for the attribute.
- Constitution: Die added to checks and saves.
- Dexterity: Die added to missile attacks as well as to AC.
- Charisma: Die added to Charisma attribute checks/saves
Then the die is added for one round per die type. Every round, the die type is reduced (Rank 2 gives the character a d6 on Strength damage due to his Absorption of Kinetics. Round 2, barring another Kinetic strike to absorb, means the die type reduces to 1d4. Round 3 would see the die type disappear unless more Kinetic damage is absorbed.
All well and good you say, but how is damage determined in the first place? Especially if the target hit has both a defense (Invulnerability) as well as Absorption? This is viewed not as dice rolled or hit points of damage but as simple Rank. A Rank of Invulnerability immediately negates one Rank of the attack, period. Here’s an example:
The Glut, hero of Chicago, is fighting Turquoise Woman. The Navajo warrior woman drives her fist into Glut’s…er…gut. Turquoise Woman has a Strength of 25 and 3 Ranks of Might (D10). For this circumstance, she has a total of 4 Ranks striking Glut; that is 3 ranks of Might and a 25 Strength (+7 over Human maximum, thus counted as 1 Rank with every 5 points as a Rank, rounded down).
Glut has a Rank of Invulnerability (vs. Temporal damage) and 2 Ranks of Absorption. Thus being hit results in Glut absorbing 2 Ranks of damage, transferred to his Strength. One Rank is blocked by the Invulnerability and the other 2 are Absorbed, leaving 1 Rank of damage rolled directly to Glut’s hit point total. That die roll then has Turquoise Woman adding her Strength attribute modifier to the damage.
If the above system seems too lacking in excitement, allow for any attack that rolls a natural “20” on a D20 to give the attacker an extra Rank of damage, while a roll of a “1” causes the attacker to lose a Rank in the attack.
Finally, at the Genteel Magistrate’s whim, the above absorptions might even provide temporary powers. Strength could give Might as noted above, but Intelligence might provide a temporary Knack or Rank improvement in skills. Wisdom could grant Keen Senses, Constitution either Invulnerability or Healing as appropriate, Dexterity could grant Lightning Speed, and Charisma could grant either Mesmeric abilities or Knacks to Charisma checks/saves.
Give it a try! Despite a long explanation, I believe the bookkeeping is a lot less; which makes any game more fun!