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    Default Fundamental damage, armor, and weapon types

    This is a post I've thought about making for a while. More or less, I thought it would be interesting to go over some of the basic and universal (i.e. setting-independent) damage types, different armor types and how they interact with the different damage types, and the different weapon types and what kind of damage they might deal. As a bonus, I'll also be speculating about the best ways to divvy up weapon skills. The point of all of this is that I feel like this could be useful info for anyone looking to create their own system, as it will help them understand how these concepts might best be incorporated into their game. Also, these can equally be applied to video games as to tabletop games.

    In a way, I'm merely writing this for my own reference, to use later when I'm working on a tabletop or video game project. I do hope that someone else is able to glean something useful from this, however, and I'd certainly like to hear any feedback that might help me improve on the ideas presented here.

    1. Damage Types
    In this discussion on damage types, I will not only divide damage into different types, but also discuss what sorts of injuries each type would be likely to inflict. This can be helpful for those using an injury or wound system instead of a straight health or hit points system, or who want to combine a "debuff" effect with hit point damage.

    Physical Damage
    Probably the largest and most complex category of damage types, made more difficult by the fact that sometimes there isn't a clear distinction between one damage type and another, and the same weapon or attack might be capable of dealing one type or another or something in between. For example, a warhammer or sling could be treated as either a bludgeoning or piercing weapon, as these weapons share properties of both damage types. While in execution things might be a bit murky, dividing up physical damage into idealized types helps us understand what sorts of injuries we would expect and how to defend against them.

    In many RPGs, the standard damage types are blunt/bludgeoning/crushing, piercing, and slashing. The ones I've listed here are similar, but expand on those basic concepts. It is, of course, up to you to decide which ones might be the most important for including in your game.

    Force (Bludgeoning)
    Not an isolated damage type, but rather an entire family of damage types. In most cases, when dealing with humans or other living creatures, it may suffice to compress this into a single "bludgeoning" damage type, however the differences between the different subtypes can become important especially when dealing with object, such as buildings or constructs. For example, concrete has great compression strength, but poor tensile strength. Force damage typically tends to do very well against all armor types.

    Compression is the force of pushing things together. It is probably the most common force type you will encounter, but not all types of compression are the same. We can further subdivide compression into bludgeoning (quick impacts, like falling, or hitting something with a club), crushing (e.g. being slowly crushed in a giant's hand, or by a constrictor snake), and sonic (pressure waves of alternating compression and decompression).

    Tension is the force of pulling things apart, so the opposite of compression. If your orc barbarian ever tries to rip off an enemy's limbs, this would be the damage type to use for that. Sonic damage could also be modeled as alternating compression and tension damage.

    Shearing is a sort of sliding force. While compression pushes inward, and tension pulls outward, shearing slides sideways. Shearing is perhaps best demonstrated with a somewhat gruesome example: Imagine you are in an elevator moving upward, and you stick your arm out of the open elevator door. Your arm becomes trapped against the floor of the elevator and the ceiling of the room below. As the elevator tries to continue moving upward, the elevator floor pushes up on your arm, while the ceiling of the room below is pushing down. Shearing damage is unlikely to be important as a separate damage type, unless dealing with buildings, and could be treated as a type of crushing damage.

    Bending is more or less what it sounds like. If you apply one force to an object, it's probably compression damage. Two forces going in opposite directions is probably shearing. But three forces, where the two outside forces are in the same or similar directions and the central force is in the opposite direction, would be bending. Breaking a limb or snapping a neck would likely fall under bending damage. In most cases with living creatures, bending could be treated as some sort of compression damage. For objects, bending damage could case it to deform (bend) or to break, depending on the material.

    Torsion is a twisting force. In a way, this is similar to shearing, except instead of pushing in straight lines in opposite directions, your are rotating in opposite directions.

    Injuries
    Force damage typically doesn't cause external wounds or bleeding, unless a body part is severed. Bludgeoning and sonic damage can penetrate deep into a living creature (as we are mostly made of water, which transmits waves very well) to cause organ disruption that can stun or even kill a target. For all force types, broken bones are also common, as is internal bleeding.

    Piercing
    A force focused onto a single point, typically a sharp one. Despite the name, piercing attacks are generally much better at penetrating flesh than they are at penetrating armor. Arrows, and even bullets, have so little mass that even cloth armor (Kevlar is a type of cloth armor) can stop them, or at least reduce them to less than lethal damage. A heavier weapon like a spear or javelin might fair better, but most piercing weapons would rather go around the armor and find a gap.

    Injuries
    Piercing typically causes small but deep wounds with little bleeding or external damage. It has the potential to damage organs, which can severely impair a target until they can heal, and can even kill depending on the organ that is damaged. If a bone is struck, the bone can also be broken. Otherwise, piercing has little effect on muscle tissue, so it's generally best to target the head or torso where you're more likely to hit a vital organ.

    Slashing
    Shallow but long cuts across the body. As such, even simple cloth armor can be greatly effective in turning away slashing damage, but against unarmored targets slashing can be highly effective. One feature to note about slashing damage is that the sharpness of the edge tends to contribute more to the damage inflicted than the weight of the weapon or force applied.

    Injuries
    Typically heavy on bleeding. While usually shallow, with more force these attacks can cut deeper, potentially cutting off limbs, heads, or even bisecting the target. These generally require an extremely sharp edge and a fairly strong wielder, though.

    Chopping
    This usually gets folded into slashing, but I thought I'd give it separate consideration here. Chopping combines the effects of the previous three physical damage types. Like force (especially bludgeoning) damage, it is greatly influences by the amount of force applies (i.e. the weight of the weapon and strength of the wielder). Like piercing, it pushes into the target and penetrates deeply. Like slashing, it utilizes a sharp edge. The main difference between chopping and slashing are that slashes are drawn across the target, while chops are pushed into the target. As such, chopping weapons tend to be very high damage and are effective against a wide variety of armor types, albeit less so than another weapon designed specifically to counter that type of armor.

    Injuries
    Chopping weapons share many of the characteristics of weapons that deal each of the above damage types, albeit to a lesser degree. Like bludgeoning weapons, they can disrupt organs, but are usually lighter and therefore have less force. Like piercing weapons, they can penetrate deep to destroy an organ, but have more resistance due to the less concentrated area of impact. Like slashing weapons, they can cause lots of bleeding, but cut deeper rather than longer. The one area where chopping weapons excel over other types would be in dismemberment and decapitation.

    Hammer-and-Anvil Effect
    One of the peculiarities of physical damage types is that often part of the force of an attack is lost because the attack itself moves the target. When you hit something with a stick, it doesn't just stand rigidly still, it first gets pushed by the stick, then bounces back (or not) to its original position. If a solid object, like a wall, is behind the target of the attack, it has nowhere to go, and so the full force of the blow can be delivered to the target. This acts like a hammer and anvil; the hammer strikes the blow, while the anvil holds the target in place. Common types of "anvils" would be if a target is up against a wall (as previously mentioned), the ground when the target is prone, or if the target is being grappled by an ally.

    Different types of physical damage interact with the hammer-and-anvil (H&A) effect in different ways. For example, in a D&D-esque system, we might use the following damage modifiers for attacks made with a hammer-and-anvil bonus:
    • Bludgeoning - H&A is particularly effective for bludgeoning. Double the weapon's damage dice.
    • Crushing - Crushing by it's nature requires an H&A effect already in place, and as such is not affected.
    • Sonic - H&A more easily conducts sound waves into the target, inflicting +1 sonic damage.
    • Tension/Shearing/Bending/Torsion - H&A helps root the target in place while pulling on it. The attack deals one additional die of damage, but one step lower than normal.
    • Piercing - Piercing attacks by nature don't lose much force during impact, so H&A is limited in effect. The attack deals +1 damage.
    • Slashing - Slashing involves cutting laterally to the target rather than pushing into it. H&A has no effect.
    • Chopping - H&A greatly affects chopping, but less than it does blunt attacks. The attack deals one additional die of damage, but one step lower than normal.


    Chemical Damage
    Not much here for now. Feel free to suggest ways this could be expanded upon.

    Burning
    A broad category of chemical damage that includes fire and heat, acid and corrosion, ice and frostbite, as well as electrical burns. Burning damage can also include things like vampires touching a cross or running water, or a werewolf touching silver, or a fae touching cold iron. Burning could also include something like a disintegration ray or radiation, if you didn't want to make those separate effects.

    Injuries
    Burning typically causes shallow but extremely painful injuries. As such, actual damage values might be low, but the burned creature might have difficulty acting due to the intense pain. Deeper burns will actually damage the pain receptors, and as such not be painful, but indicate more permanent damage that, even when healed, will have lasting effects such as scarring and limited sensation at the burned area. Enough burning damage will eventually deconstruct the target, destroying them.

    Entropy
    A bit of an odd one, but the damage that results of aging. This can happen naturally over time, or artificially whether through magic or technology. Not sure this belongs under "chemical damage", but here it is.

    Injuries
    Things tend to break down as they age. Metal rusts, wood rots, and living things wither. This damage is probably permanent unless magic or advanced technology allows you to reverse the effect.

    Biological Damage
    As living creatures, there are a number of ways to interfere with our life functions, which can result in impairment or even death.

    Toxic
    Venoms and poisons differ only in the method in which they are administered (many venoms are only dangerous if injected, and would be reasonably safe if eaten). In a way, toxic damage is a type of chemical damage that applies specifically to living creatures, as toxins are chemicals that act like a spanner in the works of the biological machines that keep us alive. Toxic damage is a bit different in that different creatures would be generally be resistant or susceptible to specific toxins rather than toxic damage as a whole. Obviously, non-biological entities like robots will tend to resist toxins entirely, and the same may be true of supernatural entities like undead.

    Injuries
    The effect of a toxin is going to depend on the specific toxin used. In many cases, a toxin will be a debilitating effect rather than straight damage. Some toxins can be purged from the body, leaving no lasting effects, while others might cause permanent harm.

    Disease
    Similar to toxic damage, but instead of being chemical in nature, disease damage is the result of an invasion of another organism into your body. As such, it is truly "biological", both in the sense of the source of damage and the target of the damage. As with toxins, different creatures may be resistant or susceptible to specific diseases, rather than disease as a whole. It may be possible for a creature to develop a resistance to a specific disease after being exposed to it, but many diseases mutate quickly, rendering such a defense ineffective.

    Injuries
    Again, similar to toxins, the effects will depend on the specific disease.

    Toxic vs. Disease
    One might wonder what the purpose of dividing up these two damage types is, and indeed, many systems use a unified "poison" type to indicate any form of biological damage. I'm no biologist, but I thought it might be important to distinguish between the two. For example, a creature that is able graft limbs from other creatures onto their body might have a weaker immune system, otherwise their immune system would attack their new limbs. This could then manifest as a vulnerability to disease, but with no effect on toxic damage.

    Electric
    While a lightning strike can cause burns (and a number of other horrific effects), on living creatures (or robots) it also interferes with our nervous system. Creatures without a nervous system (or, at least, one based on electrical impulses) will generally not be affected by electrical damage (though they may take burning damage from the same attack).

    Injuries
    The effect can depend on how intense the current is, and, to a degree, luck. There might be no effect, or it may stun the target, cause spasms or seizures, knock the target unconscious, cause permanent brain or nervous system damage, or kill the target.

    Survival
    I wasn't sure what to call this one exactly, but I thought it important to mention things like suffocation, dehydration, starvation, and extreme temperatures (not extreme enough to cause burns, but enough to change your body temperature).

    Injuries
    Not quite "injuries", per se, but survival damage is more akin to resource deprivation. Usually, one can go for quite some time without food, or even drink, and a minute or two without air won't have any noticeable effect (beyond the panic it might induce), but enough deprivation will gradually lead to a general weakness until the target becomes incapacitated, and eventually dies.

    Supernatural Damage
    Highly subjective and dependent on the specific setting being used. Still, there's a few useful generalizations we can make here.

    Psychic
    Damage directly to the mind. This one could actually see use in a "mundane" setting with no supernatural entities or effects, as it is certainly possible to cause psychological damage to people even in real life. The assumption, of course, is that this damage is resulting from supernatural effects like psychic powers or magic, but this need not be the case.

    Injuries
    Hard to quantify, but psychic damage could result in a change in personality, the development of mental illness, or even insanity. These effects might be temporary or permanent, depending on the source and intensity.

    Magic
    A nice catch-all for supernatural effects, it's difficult to go into further detail without knowing the specifics of the setting in which it is employed. Spells might do generic magic damage, or they might do some other type of damage (a fireball might do simple burning damage, the same as a mundane fire). It's not really possible to speculate on what sort of injuries these might incur on a target. Depending on the setting, magic might be further divided into several subtypes, possibly dependent on the source of the magic.

    Holy
    Similar to above, but with a more divine rather than arcane focus. Some settings might treat holy and magic damage as the same, while others will give them specifically separate treatment. As above, it's not possible to speculate on possible injuries. Holy damage might have an "evil" version, such as separate "light" and "dark" damage types. Holy damage could also be divided up so that there's one type for each deity or pantheon within the setting.

    Spiritual
    Similar to psychic damage, except targeting the soul or spirit of the target, rather than the mind. As with all supernatural damage types, it is impossible to say what the effects of such damage might be.

    Untyped Damage
    It is certainly possible for an attack to simply do straight damage, with no damage type attached. This typically means that such damage can't be resisted, but it also can't exploit a weakness. One could also deal damage that falls under a category, but none of the specific subtypes. For example, you could have untyped physical damage, or untyped compression damage. Survival damage could be expressed simply as untyped biological damage.

    I'm not saying anyone needs to use the damage types I've listed here, just that it's worth considering if it's worth distinguishing between the ones presented here or not. In most cases, it won't be worth distinguishing between different types of force damage, for example, unless your system specifically deals with a lot of constructs (perhaps a Humongous Mecha game).
    Last edited by Greywander; 2019-04-08 at 04:49 AM.

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    Default Re: Fundamental damage, armor, and weapon types

    2. Armor Types
    When it comes to damage, armor is often your first line of defense against an attack. Shields, of course, can block an attack entirely before it even reaches your body, and should probably be dealt with separately. I'll gloss over shields for now and focus on actual body armor.

    While armor in D&D merely decreases the chance of a successful hit, it may be more realistic for armor to offer damage reduction instead, with a particularly exception hit being able to slip through a gap and do full damage. This would be especially true when attacking an enemy in full plate that has been knocked prone or grappled. Not all armor offers fully body protection, but most armor covers at least the torso and is worn with a helmet, leaving at most the limbs and neck exposed.

    Another mechanic that might be employed could be to convert damage to bludgeoning if a weapon doesn't manage to penetrate armor, but still hits with some force. Alternatively, this could be achieved by giving weapons an either/or damage type (e.g. 1d8 chopping or 1d6 bludgeoning), and whichever would deal more damage is what gets used.

    Unarmored
    The first option is to not wear armor at all. Or clothing, for that matter. The image of the naked barbarian is actually surprisingly viable, and it comes down to fatigue management. By carrying less weight (and armor can be heavy), they'll tire themselves out more slowly. By exposing their skin, they will be able to sweat to get rid of excess heat. However, even an unarmored character is likely to want a shield and a helmet, which are possibly the most important pieces of armor. If you're not a naked barbarian, but, say, a bookish wizard, then you're better off upgrading to the next category up, if you can afford to.

    Fighting unarmored would offer no reduction in damage, nor would it offer any appreciable increase in your evasiveness (hence why a shield and helmet is still a good idea), but it would greatly extend the time that you could spend fighting without tiring out. Thus, if you lack the constitution to outlast your opponent, you're better off wearing armor anyway and trying to finish the fight as quickly as you can.

    The reason why you would want a helmet rather than any other piece of armor (like a breastplate) is that a shield can do a pretty good job of protecting the body, but you often need to leave your head vulnerable so you can actually see your opponent.

    Padded Armor
    All rise for the anthem of the gambeson, the most underrated armor in medieval fantasy and the most overrated armor among HEMA enthusiasts. The most common forms of padded armor were simple cloth armor, usually with many layers, as with the gambeson. Soft leather seems to have been less common, though see examples like the buff coat. Thinner gambesons were often worn under other types of armor, like mail and plate.

    Incidentally, padded armor still exists today in the form of ballistic vests. Kevlar is just a type of synthetic cloth and is able to stop even low caliber bullets. Padded armor like the gambeson will tend to be the most commonly used armor, as it was generally both cheap and easy to make, as well as being easy to maintain. It was also more comfortable than other types of armor, and thus less fatiguing to wear all day. It could get quite warm, however, so in hot climates it might induce a stricter fatigue penalty, while in cold climates it might not have one at all. However, this is true of most armor.

    Damage Resistance
    Bludgeoning - Good
    Piercing - Fair
    Slashing - Good
    Chopping - Good
    Burning - Excellent

    Mail Armor
    The type of mail that is familiar to most people is probably chain mail; armor composed of many, many interlocking loops of metal. Other types of mail armor, such as scale mail, laminar armor, or lamellar armor begin to blur the lines between mail and plate. Chain mail is a very old armor, requiring very little technology to create, but far more labor than, say, full plate armor. Thus, chain mail might be more common in areas that lack the facilities to create plate armor cheaply, but will tend to be less common in areas with better facilities available, where plate actually becomes cheaper than mail.

    A hauberk is a full chain shirt, usually knee-length and with long sleeves. The haubergeon is smaller, often waste-length with short sleeves. Mail coifs could also be worn under a helmet to protect the neck. Mail was usually worn over a gambeson, and was sometimes worn under plate armor. Later, this would evolve into a special gambeson with bits of mail sewn in the joints (especially the armpits) to protect the gaps in plate armor, which offered similar levels of protection for much less cost and weight.

    Damage Resistance
    Bludgeoning - Good
    Piercing - Fair
    Slashing - Excellent
    Chopping - Fair
    Burning - Fair, then Bad, mail offers little protection against heat (or cold) to begin with, but as it heats up it starts you burn you

    Plate Armor
    The big kahuna, plate armor turns you into a medieval tank. Full plate, in particular, made the wearer almost invulnerable, which is why grappling was often effective against them, as it made it easier to stab into one of the gaps, even an eye-slit. Contrary to popular belief, plate armor was surprisingly flexible and light, as knights were capable of performing acrobatics in their armor. Jousting armor is a bit of a different story, as it was never intended for the battlefield and was meant to protect the knight during what was essentially a sporting event.

    While full plate might be what most think of, there are a few other common types. The cuirass consisted of both a breast and back plate to offer protection to most of the torso for considerably less weight and cost. The brigandine consisted of a series of plates sewn or riveted to a front of cloth or leather, and is likely the source of "studded leather" seen so commonly in fantasy. Plate armor could also be made from materials other than metal. Wood was sometimes used in locations poor in armor-grade metals (with most high quality metals being used in weapons, instead). Hardened leather plates could also be used as a substitute for metal plates, and indeed, the word "cuirass" comes from the French word for leather, "cuir". In modern ballistic armor, ceramic plates are often placed into pockets in the armor, usually to protect specific vulnerable organs like the heart, as while a Kevlar vest can stop a bullet from penetrating through, it still feels like you're being hit by a hammer. Such ceramic plates are designed to shatter on impact, further dispersing the force.

    Helmets were almost always designed as "plate" armor, that is, they were a single or fused piece of metal or other rigid material. Padded and mail coifs did exist, but they would be worn under a metal helmet, not instead of one. Regardless of whatever other armor you might be wearing, a good metal helm would usually be high on the list. Shields, likewise, are a sort of "plate" armor as well, though often made of wood rather than metal (as shields are quite big and metal is pretty heavy!).

    Damage Resistance
    Bludgeoning - Good
    Other Force types - Good, the rigid plates act as an exoskeleton and absorb much of the force
    Piercing - Excellent
    Slashing - Excellent
    Chopping - Excellent
    Burning - Excellent, then Bad (heat, electric), as your armor heats up, it can turn into an oven from which you can't escape, worse, electricity will heat it up very fast
    Electric - Bad, metal armor, even full plate, is not designed to act as a Faraday cage

    Note that those last two wouldn't apply to wood or leather armor, albeit such armors would also have lower defensive values overall.

    Natural Armor
    Generally speaking, you can treat creatures with natural armor as if they were wearing armor. Thick fur or tough skin would correspond to padded armor. A shell or exoskeleton would be plate. Scales could be any of the three, depending on how large and tough they were. That said, these are likely to provide less protection against burning damage, due to actually be a part of the creature's body (also, fur can be quite flammable, but can protect against the cold, so YMMV).

    Solid/Rigid Body
    And now we get into the "not quite an armor type, but close enough that we can treat it like one" section.

    Some fantasy creatures have bodies composed of a solid or rigid material, such as wood, stone, or metal (treants and stone golems in particular come to mind). This naturally makes them highly resilient to damage, but we can garner some clues about what sorts of weapons would be effect against such creatures by looking at what we use in the real world to break such materials apart. This generally leads us to chopping weapons, such as axes and pickaxes. Of course, the details would depend on the material the creature was composed of, as solid metal would be impervious to almost any physical attack, while stone could be more susceptible to bludgeoning than wood would be.

    Damage Resistance
    Generally, Excellent for all physical damage types, except as noted:

    Metal
    Burning - Weakness, while it does little damage, heating it up reduces the damage reduction to physical damage.

    Stone
    Bludgeoning - Good, still not very effective, but moreso than other types of attacks
    Chopping - Fair, more effective, but still resilient
    Burning - Excellent

    Wood
    Slashing - Good, still not very effective, but moreso than other types of attacks
    Chopping - Fair, more effective, but still resilient
    Burning - Good, surprisingly, green, living plants are very hard to burn

    However, there's a bit more to the idea of solid body creatures. Generally, in the case of stone golems and the like, one assume that the creature is composed of solid stone, with no organs that could be damaged. However, another example of a solid body creature could be a construct, like a robot, which relies on delicate electronics in much the same way that an organic creature would use organs. A robot still has no soft tissue, and would qualify as a solid body, but the inclusion of delicate parts changes the equation slightly.

    Damage Resistance
    Bludgeoning - Fair, rigid components allows vibrations to travel mostly unimpeded to delicate parts
    Sonic - Fair, same as above
    Other Force types - Good, the rigid body acts like plate armor
    Piercing - Excellent
    Slashing - Excellent
    Chopping - Good
    Burning - Excellent, though prolonged exposure could increase body temperature to the point it damages delicate parts

    Fluid Body
    On the opposite end of the spectrum is the fluid body, as seen with creatures like oozes. These creatures have a body composed of an amorphous, gelatinous substance that generally can't be damaged by most weapons. If, as in the above example, the fluid body has vital organs floating within, those could possibly be targeted for damage. Oftentimes, creatures like oozes are presented as an enemy that is invulnerable to weapons but weak to magic.

    Damage Resistance
    Sonic - Bad, turns out creatures made of jello are even more susceptible to vibration-based attacks than we are
    Piercing - Good to Invulnerable, the former if there are vital organs to hit
    All other Physical types - Excellent to Invulnerable, as above
    Burning - Bad, if you can find something that dissolves the ooze, but it might require a specific kind of burning damage (fire, ice, acid, etc.)
    Electric - Bad to Invulnerable, some oozes may handle electricity better than others

    Lithe Body
    This only exists because of this video. Lithe bodies includes things like hanging vines, octopus tentacles, and creatures like snakes. These are objects or creatures that are (a) fairly light, so an applied force tends to push them away with little damage, (b) flexible, either lacking bones entirely (like a tentacle) or with a highly segmented skeleton (endo- or exo-, like a snake or centipede). Thus, an attack typically just causes the target to bend and conform to the shape of the weapon rather than suffer any appreciable damage.

    Generally, lithe body creatures (or creature parts) lose their lithe body status when in a hammer-and-anvil position. This is important, as it is one of the most effective ways to deal with them. Fortunately, many lithe bodies tend to opt to constrict their targets, which inadvertently places themselves in such a hammer-and-anvil position (although you may risk damaging yourself if you are the anvil). Yeah, I realize I just said the optimal strategy was to let it grab you, then hack at it. We'll say it's a solid plan B, plan A involves not getting grabbed.

    Damage Resistance
    Force (all types) - Excellent to Invulnerable
    Piercing - Excellent
    Slashing - None, remember, slashing cuts without pushing and thus excels against such creatures
    Chopping - Excellent
    Last edited by Greywander; 2019-04-08 at 04:40 AM.

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    Default Re: Fundamental damage, armor, and weapon types

    Reserved for weapons.

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    Default Re: Fundamental damage, armor, and weapon types

    Okay, so I have to run and only managed to type of the damage types. I'll do weapons and armor when I get back, but I thought it might be helpful to go ahead and allow discussion on damage types. I'm curious to hear what anyone has to say, and if there's something I might have forgotten about. Hopefully someone finds this useful.

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    Default Re: Fundamental damage, armor, and weapon types

    Added a new section under Physical Damage discussing the "hammer-and-anvil" effect in more depth, where you attack a target that is held in place to deliver the full force of your blow.
    Added a short paragraph talking about the differences between toxic and disease damage. Not sure about this, any biologists are welcome to chime in and correct me.
    Added Survival Damage (starvation, suffocation, etc.) under Biological Damage.
    Added a section on untyped damage.
    I feel like I was going to add a type of Chemical damage, but I forgot what it was by the time I got home.

    Added the section on armor types, including creatures with bodies composed of strange materials, like stone golems and oozes.

    Weapons will have to wait, as I need to sleep. I may or may not get to it in the next few days, as I have some things I need to do. Do feel free to discuss what I've already posted so far, though.

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    Default Re: Fundamental damage, armor, and weapon types

    You left out 'cold' and 'acid' from the damage types. Also, while thunder damage might seem like bludgeoning on the surface, it can more readily have internal effects as the shockwaves pass through a creature's body.
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    Default Re: Fundamental damage, armor, and weapon types

    Cold and acid are accounted for under burning damage. Maybe someone with more knowledge on the subject will come along and correct me, but as far as I'm aware, there isn't necessarily a huge difference between being burned by fire, or acid, or getting frostbite. It's true that some things will react differently to cold vs. heat or to acid vs. fire.

    As for thunder damage, it would fall under sonic (I agree that "thunder" sounds better for a fantasy setting, but wanted to keep this setting-agnostic), but initially I was going to file it under bludgeoning since it was "close enough". I'm glad I didn't, though, since armor would provide almost no protection to it (although, I neglected to note this under plate armor).

    I guess at some point we have to figure out what exactly are the criteria we're using to differentiate damage into different categories, since there are any number of ways we could do so. I think I was mainly focused on weapons, armor, and injuries initially, which is why the physical damage section is as expansive as it is. Consolidating acid, fire, and cold under a single "burning" damage type made sense since the injuries that would result would be mostly similar, and a layer of thick clothing would provide an effective defense against all three. But of course there will be creatures that are immune to the cold but vulnerable to fire, so why not differentiate between them?

    Part of the reason for posting this in the first place was to get feedback and discussion. I'm not sure if people are actually interested, though...

  8. - Top - End - #8
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    Crisis21's Avatar

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    Default Re: Fundamental damage, armor, and weapon types

    The amount of detail you've gone into is extremely interesting, but to be completely honest it's also horrendously complex. There are far too many things to keep track of to make a decent tabletop damage system.
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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Fundamental damage, armor, and weapon types

    Pain as an aspect separate from damage or injuries could be a neat nuance. In Riddle of Steel, when you get hit -- which has a really complicated table, depending on where you got hit, what type of damage, and how severe -- you get an injury. This causes damage, but it also causes an amount of Pain. Usually the Pain goes together with the bloodloss and deliberating effects of the damage, but sometimes the damage is relatively low but the pain high. Pain gives you a penalty to your next round.

    That said, I don't think adding more complexity to this model would be good -- though it could work in a video game where all of it handled is behind-the-scenes.

    If you can find a copy, you might enjoy reading the combat section and the damage tables of Riddle of Steel.
    EDIT: it also has some some weapons can do at least two different types of damage, and your dice differ depending on whether you try to slash or pierce, for example. I find its granularity a bit too complicated, but it seems well-made.
    Last edited by JeenLeen; 2019-04-12 at 09:19 AM.

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    Default Re: Fundamental damage, armor, and weapon types

    Putting aside the question of whether there are fundamental damage types that don't care about setting - some of this is just incorrect. The idea that bludgeoning damage usually doesn't lead to external bleeding is ludicrous. Toxic and disease are tied in a little more closely than portrayed (a lot of bacteria are dangerous precisely because they produce toxins), where tying heat and chemical burns together is all sorts of dubious.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

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