utsukushi wrote:I think a lot of that is supposed to be modeled by the lack of Shock. When you hit a zombie anywhere it isn't vulnerable, it just doesn't care, so either you get the brain or you do enough material damage to just physically disable it even if its jaws are still snapping, both of which are represented by causing a Wound.
I get that and I like it for the default core rule, it's simple and abstract, but my issue is that there isn't much difference between the huge variety of undead in the game right now and I want to do a house rule to change that. I specifically didn't run the Delphi Mission in Aysle because of the zombies...it just bored me since I knew they'd be facing lots of gospog.
As a player, if I was given a T-rex that I could only hurt with a called shot to the head, I would pretty immediately point out that a T-rex head is a whole lot bigger than a human head. Less maneuverable, too! So those called shots should be a lot easier. And once I started thinking about it like that, the reasoning doesn't just apply to undead T-rexes.
And the bonus to hit from the Large size helps them hit that big head, so I don't think that's an issue.
I think the hard part about making different damage types affect them differently is just that TorgE doesn't differentiate the damage types, so that gets into a lot of house ruling on the fly. Which is not a bad thing for an individual game, especially with a smart and experienced GM - it's just very hard to start quantifying past that. My immediate thoughts for how to model it would be either a higher Dodge value against piercing type attacks, or just say that attacks that come directly at them always work as if `shooting into a melee', with each skeleton having an "empty space" slot in the mix. So if you shoot at a Skeleton you have a chance of either hitting them, or of `hitting' that area where you'd normally expect flesh to be. If you shoot at a skeleton wrestling your friend, you have three possible outcomes, even if you hit*: your friend, the skeleton, or going right between two ribs.
Overall, I do like the idea, but for the system, I think it probably needs a different approach. Skeletons could have a Dodge bonus (harder to hit them in a significant way, but if you do, they're more brittle and easier to damage), while Gospog get a bonus to Toughness (not so hard to hit, but much harder to make them care), and Zombies perhaps are more the baseline. (Or require head shots, which is nicely thematic for zombies, but that's mechanically identical to +4 to Dodge, so it doesn't really help make them different. And it's a case where I really feel more of what Deanna said recently, about how high damage rolls should describe those kinds of attacks better.)
This could work and I have a similar idea below. And I get the appeal of things staying abstract, and the utility of reskinning, but if we're just reskinning one undead to another, do we really need that other type of undead? Part of me says yes for story, but I"m also a big fan of mechanics backing up the narrative if possible and not having something different just for the sake of appearances. I want it to feel different taking on a horde of Aysle zombies than a horde of jianshi, and I want that to feel different than a horde of gospog, not just in the way I describe them.
...as one last thought, you could reverse the Undead mechanic for Skeletons: give them Shock, but no Wounds. I actually like that enough I kind of wish it had been my first thought. You have to actually break them into bits through aggregated damage to stop them - otherwise, nothing really works. Smash in their skull? Sure, they weren't using it anyway. Lodge an explosive bullet right in the spine and blow up the whole torso? Nicely done! Still have to stomp on those arms that are clawing their way towards you, though. Noting that attacks that would have caused Wounds are still going to do more Shock, they still describe the more effective damage - just, it still has to add up to enough to not leave anything left that can hurt you, because unlike Zombies and Gospog, Skeletons don't make any sense, and they're cool with that.
*--Well, if you get that odd number and trigger the shooting-into-a-melee question, of course.
Letting them be affected by Shock and not Wounds is kind of a cool idea. It's counter-intuitive, but it does make them fall down after getting chipped down though. I sort of like it for all sorts of undead, but it doesn't solve my problem of how to diversify them.
What I'm trying to model in as elegant a way as possible, and without creating new mechanics but still recognizing that it may have to be in special abilities for each creature, is that the Elven archer's arrows and that Amazon's spear isn't going to do as much against a skeleton's body that is mostly empty space and has no organs, while a big club that literally breaks bones is going to work better.
What I'm thinking is that I am going to do for now is give them a special type of armor bonus.
I'd leave gospogs alone, but skeletons would have something like:
Toughness 12 (4)
Skeletal armor: Skeletons are mostly empty space and gain a +4 armor bonus against piercing attacks such as from arrows, bullets, and spears (GM's call). Slashing or smashing weapons, explosions, or area effects bypass this armor completely.
Zombies would be handled in a similar way:
Toughness 12 (4)
Aim for the head!!!: Zombies have no vital organs except for the head, so their Toughness against most attacks gain a +4 armor bonus. Called shots to the head or area effects bypass this armor completely.
This buffs non-gospog undead, but that's ok. Gospog have higher plantings I can pull out. And since I've avoided skeletons and zombies, etc IMC I'm in a good spot to make these changes at my table. Haven't used jiangshi much yet, but I'm going to look at them too. Infection from cards is probably enough already to differentiate them though.