Converting True 20 damage to d20...some roadblocks

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Converting True 20 damage to d20...some roadblocks

Postby gundark » Mon Sep 12, 2005 8:03 am

I have been following the conversion document in the back of the True 20 rules. I want to convert true 20 damage and recovery over to regular D&D. I have run into some problems.

1) dealing with natural armour. True 20 does not address natural armour. The obvious answer is to use Natural armour in the damage save. However natural armour and armour stack in regular d20. This makes for some crazy high damage saves.

2). Monks maybe in a bit of a pickle. Being a combat class they have really low damage saving throws (no armour). I am considering allowing the wisdom modifier to be allowed in the damage save. Comments?

3) Undead. No CON scores makes figuring out damage save a problem.

4) Regeneration. Not too sure how to bring it over.

5) one of my players has power attack. How would power attack look in True 20? (if the feat is there under a different name I have missed it).

any help would be appreciated.
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Postby Dork Elf » Mon Sep 12, 2005 10:00 am

Heya,

1) Maybe make stacked armor (natural and normal) have diminishing returns? Say maybe half the armor check penalty of the actual armor could modify the overall defense?

2) Hmm. With monks being so hard to hit (conceivably, with Canny Dodge or the equivalent) I think it's a little dangerous allowing them decent damage taking ability as well. If you made a seperate feat they could take to achive this, then perhaps. I would say playtest the trade-off before letting them have WIS bonuses to Toughness. Perhaps allow them their Wis bonus to recovery checks in addition to their Con? I dunno, this seems like a personal pref call. Sorry hehe.

3) Let undead use their WIS for Toughness, I'd say.

4) Regeneration: double or even triple the amount of recovery checks that can be made in the given times for Wounded and Disabled. Let Wounded beings make a recovery check every half hour or 20 minutes, and Disabled beings make a check every 8 or 12 hours. Maybe give them a bonus to Dying rolls as well, but that might be a bit much, I dunno.

5) Power Attack is a bit too.... erm... powerful with damage being so lethal and +damage modifiers being so rare in True20. Aggressive attack is probably the closest thing. Adds accuracy but lowers defense.
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Re: Converting True 20 damage to d20...some roadblocks

Postby skywalker » Mon Sep 12, 2005 12:26 pm

gundark wrote:1) dealing with natural armour. True 20 does not address natural armour. The obvious answer is to use Natural armour in the damage save. However natural armour and armour stack in regular d20. This makes for some crazy high damage saves.


I tend to allow half the natural armour bonus to Toughness.

gundark wrote:2). Monks maybe in a bit of a pickle. Being a combat class they have really low damage saving throws (no armour). I am considering allowing the wisdom modifier to be allowed in the damage save. Comments?


I don't see the need for change to the Monk. A Warrior is more "nerfed" than a Monk in terms of decreased Toughness IMO.

gundark wrote:3) Undead. No CON scores makes figuring out damage save a problem.


Wis seems a good option or a general approximation.


gundark wrote:4) Regeneration. Not too sure how to bring it over.


From Blue Rose:

"This ability works like fast healing, except regeneration can restore severed limbs and continues working even when the creature is dead, allowing it to make recovery checks to heal from death as if it were only disabled. Creatures with regeneration have certain damage types, like fire, from which they do not regenerate, and which do not regenerate, and which can kill them permanently."

gundark wrote:5) one of my players has power attack. How would power attack look in True 20? (if the feat is there under a different name I have missed it).


Use Aggressive Attack.
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Postby GoRocket » Tue Sep 13, 2005 7:44 am

In d20, Undead use their CHA modifier for things that normally use CON. Just thought I'd throw that out there for your consumption.
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Re: Converting True 20 damage to d20...some roadblocks

Postby timemrick » Tue Sep 13, 2005 8:18 am

gundark wrote:2). Monks maybe in a bit of a pickle. Being a combat class they have really low damage saving throws (no armour). I am considering allowing the wisdom modifier to be allowed in the damage save. Comments?

Monks are fairly combat-oriented, but are not the best class at "pure" fighting. They trade off armor use and attack bonus (and HD type) for their unusual class features, only some of which are combat-oriented. (Fighters get the best attack progression and HD, heaviest armor, and extra combat feats, but can do little well besides fight.) Monks rely on mobility, which Defense covers; their Wisdom bonus to AC translates directly to Canny Dodge. If you want a monk who can "take a hit", give him a good Con (and Great Toughness, though that requires a Warrior level or a background with that favored feat).

To build a True20 "monk" that most closely matches the d20 class, use Expert for the medium Combat progression, two good saves, and higher number of skills. Note that many monk class features have been translated into Expert feats (Deflect Arrows, Stunning Attack, etc.). To make a martial artist who is more focused on fighting, take some levels in Warrior for the better Combat progression and the access to Martial feats; however, you'll miss out on much of the monk's non-combat flavor.
gundark wrote:3) Undead. No CON scores makes figuring out damage save a problem.

Nonabilities give a +0 ability modifier. Therefore, undead have a +0 ability modifier to Toughness (and Fortitude).

Corporeal undead will frequently have Great Toughness and/or damage resistance. Incorporeal undead get the usual benefits of that state, but rarely have special defenses against attacks that can hit them in spite of it.
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Postby Warbringer » Tue Sep 13, 2005 10:15 am

1) I use an inflated TB modifier for size (G(12),C(9),(H(6),L(3)), then use Great Toughness(+1-+5)

2). Monks are in a pickle. They clearly need to take some adept levels for the supernatural powers, but need warrior levels for attack. Focus on defense, rather than Toughness.

3) Undead. I use Wis
4) Regeneration - Either Cure check more frequently, or I'd with a Tougness test every minute/hour or whatever the time period is. Roll under toughness and Cure the highest damage checked. (very powerful in this sustem)

5 A 1:1 exchange is too powerful in this system so power attack has been removed. Maybe just treat as a charge w/o the 10 foot move requirement
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Postby Bhikku » Wed Sep 14, 2005 3:22 pm

1) Apparently at ENworld one of the designers or developers stated that natural armor should become a Toughness bonus. However, my own experience convering shows that many monsters get remarkably high bonuses that way - anything that's intended to be too primative to wear armor but still fight against fighters in plate-mail is suddenly really tough. I think playtesting may be in order there - since afer all, the heroes are usually intended to have comperable armor anyway, it may balance out. Using half of a natural armor bonus seems like it might be reasonable; I'm also considering using an old trope from the ancient, hoary days of basic D&D, where natural armor does not stack with worn armor. That might not turn out to make any sense though.

One tweak I've been making to the minion rules, which may help balance the natural armor, is that minion-level creatures are considered to gain a hurt level every time they hit but pass the Toughness save. (And as usual, when they fail the save they are out of the fight.) I didn't much like the thugs being unfazed by hits until they croaked; it was like a throwback to hit points. This makes every hit a little more satisfying, and makes the non-minions a little more exciting by contrast.

2) Timemrick's analysis of the monk fits my observations, and I've learned to trust his eye for mechanics. It's almost eerie. So go with Expert role and feats. If the monk is adding Wis to his Defense, he shouldn't need much of a tough save. Where his companions are getting hit more often and shrugging off the blows, he'll be the "glass ninja" of proverb - 'one hundred orcs will miss today and then just one will blow him away.' That is, mathematically he should get badly injured about as often as anyone else, it's just that he won't also have a huge number of Hurt levels.

3) non-Con is +0, and feats to improve this abound. Might consider using Cha for a bonus, as the strength of personality grants an uncanny 'will to live.' Heck, Will to Live might make a good feat for the undead. I myself gave certain undead creatures an ability called Revenance, treated pretty much like Con but rating their connection to the reanimating power of negative energy. But that's for a setting where the undead are pretty central. Not recommended for most campaigns, and not for mook-type undead.

4) Just treating most damage as non-lethal makes a regenerating creature pretty oogly, especially if it has Conviction. But to buff it up a tad more, you might consider using the amount of damage the creature regenerates each turn as a Toughness bonus that doesn't kick in until it's already taken some damage, and doesn't apply against those attacks that it treats as lethal. That saves you the trouble of rolling extra recovery saves, but gives you the same overall effect: it takes a long time to take the thing down unless you have the right attacks.

5) I've got no insight on power attack. Looks like other folks have some good ideas, but like everything else here it may take some playtesting to find your own balance.

I have to say, for a few of these issues (like natural armor and regeneration) I would like to see feedback from the developers. A more or less official ruling, or some insight from their playtests, would be very welcome. (And when the final print version comes out, I'll hate to hear the inevitable chorus from rpg.net about how the product needed more playtesting or whatever else they'll find to complain about. Pardon the gripe.)
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Postby gundark » Thu Sep 15, 2005 7:41 am

Well I am still struggling to bring the true 20 damage and recovery to regular d20.

As far as natural armour goes I was condsidering of allowing a bonus to toughness equal to the DR of natural armour that is found in unearthed arcana variant (armour and Natural Armour as DR). So a natural armour of 7 would add 2 to toughness.

Undead...I am going to allow the full natural armour value to be aded to toughness. Since undead rarely wear armour this shouldn't cause too much of a problem as far as high toughness saves go.

Monks...I was talking about monks in d20 not true 20 :)

As far as regeneration I turned to the injury rules found in Unearthed Arcana. I think I'll use those

I have run in to a problem with CR in d20 using the true 20 damage system in d20 means that some creatures just aren't lving up their CR. I'm not sure how to work this.
Last edited by gundark on Thu Sep 15, 2005 1:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby timemrick » Thu Sep 15, 2005 9:32 am

Bhikku wrote:2) Timemrick's analysis of the monk fits my observations, and I've learned to trust his eye for mechanics. It's almost eerie.

Thanks! Being [detail-oriented/anal retentive] is how I got the Freeport revision gig. :yar:
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Postby Bhikku » Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:08 pm

gundark wrote:Monks...I was talking about monks in d20 not true 20 :)

Sorry, I'd misunderstood your request. So you want to use the Toughness save system in a D&D game, keeping D&D feats and magic and classes and pretty much everything else, yes? No problem, my previous comments still stand, as far as the "glass ninja" effect goes.

In standard D&D, the monk has a high AC (or Defense, to use the True 20 term) due to high wisdom, balancing with a lack of armor. He will generally be on par with party members who have some armor, though as they add more magic and can afford better armor, differences will arise. However, if you are using the Toughness save including the switch of armor to being a Toughness bonus, then you have no problem. Indeed, the monk's unique flavor is enhanced this way.

Under standard D&D rules, the mok is just like everyone else, in that he is frequently missed and occasionally harmed. Using the Toughness method, the monk stands out from the crowd, because he can have the best dodge bonus in the party, being constantly missed, while his companions endure blow after blow. Once he gets hit, his Toughness bonus will (without armor to help him) be lower than the party norm, so he's more likely to be seriously injured when he finally is hit. However, as I said before, he shoudl be able to survive as long as anyone else, dependong in ability scores - he'll just survive for different reasons.

(in fact, if you also include Conviction for your D&D game, the monk may have an advantage - other heroes will be spending Conviction to re-roll attacks, saves, checks and some of their Toughness saves. The monk won't be making very many Toughness saves, so he may be able to conserve Conviction longer - so that when he finally does make a save, if it turns out to be a bad one, he'll be more likely to have the reroll available.)

The Toughness system, along with True 20's use of Dex for attacks and the Parry Defense option, tends to encourage characters to invest in more ability scores rather than specializing in one or two - or else to make the specialty a considered investment strategy.

gundark wrote:I have run in to a problem with CR in d20 using the true 20 damage system in d20 means that some creatures just aren't lving up their CR. I'm not sure how to work this.


I've found this to be an issue when converting the other direction (using MM creatures for True 20 gaming) as well, though less so than you've probably got it. Standard CR accounts for HD (which dictates both attack potential and longevity, in the form of BAB and hit points) as well as unusual abilities (Ex, Sp, & Su, also including lots of extra attacks and combos). However, without hit points, a big factor in that equation drops out. Now let's jump from the theory to the fix:

If the monster's armor and natural armor is switching over to Toughness bonuses, but the creature's BAB isn't also translating to a Defense bonus (as it does under True 20), your monsters are being crippled. They are being hit far more frequently than under either rules set, and they're using a health/injury system that tends toward equalization across levels (meaning that those hits are a lot more significant, compared to gradually whittling down a heaping pill of hp). I would heartily recommend giving monsters a Combat bonus to defense equal to BAB - and it would probably be wise to do the same for your PCs as well.

You could go the other way - maximize all Toughness bonuses (so that they use full natural armor, rather than the reduced version you outlined above), but that means you'll be making a save for virtually every attack your PCs make. Lots of extra dice rolling, most of which will be unnecessary since the high bonuses will mean lots of saves succeed.

Improving the defense for Monsters makes them a worthy challenge; improving the defense for PCs keeps them on more even footing with their enemies, though going the other way could be appealing for a certain kind of campaign. Likewise, keeping the low defense is a way to somewhat nullify the CR mechanic, if anyone wanted to do that; a low-level party would be a bit more likely to cope with a high-CR monster - it woudl still be dangerous, since it will have high BAB and lots of effects and abilities to improve its lethality, but again, it might work for certain campaigns. Probably not yours, though, gundark.

Oh, and one more thing. If you're also bringing Conviction in, and you find a fight isn't quite living up to the monster's CR, you can always grant it a handful of Conviction - probably no more than its half what a PC of a level equal to its CR would have, so that its resources are still limited compared to the party, since it should only eat up about 20% of the party's resources (including conviction) to beat it, when level = CR.

Yeah, that probably wasn't very clear, but i hope you understand what I'm saying, since I'm just referring to CR theory as seen in the DMG.
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Postby memoriam » Tue Oct 04, 2005 3:10 pm

i'm converting Iron kingdoms over to True20. one problem i'm having at the moment is this,

how do you work out critical damage for D20 weapons?

thanks.
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Postby skywalker » Tue Oct 04, 2005 7:25 pm

memoriam wrote:i'm converting Iron kingdoms over to True20. one problem i'm having at the moment is this,

how do you work out critical damage for D20 weapons?


x2 is +3, x3 is +4 and x4 is +5.

BTW memoriam I have done a full Iron Kingdoms True 20 conversion. I can send you the pdf if you would like or check it out on these forums at http://www.greenronin.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=6290.
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Postby memoriam » Wed Oct 05, 2005 1:25 am

thanks. you sent me the IK pdf great work! (i'm known as steamdriven on that forum)
but i have another question :roll: , some weapons in Iron Kingdoms have a +/- modifier. i was thinking about only adding half the bonous for True20 damage.

if you apply all of the neative modifier a weapon with 2d4-2 it would have a true20 damage bonus of +0, if you only use half it's +1, and +2 if you don't use the damage bonus at all.

any ideas? i'm stumped!
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Postby skywalker » Wed Oct 05, 2005 11:28 am

The normal conversion in True 20 is half maximum damage - 1. This effectively means that you halve the minus or bonus as you suggest.

On that point when looking at IK weapons I tended to use the general conversion rule (half maximum damage - 1) for multiple dice damage as the existing rules actually overally penalise them.

For example, there is a weapon (blunderbuss) that does 4d4 damage. Its conversion is a +4 the same as a 1d8, which seems a little underpowered against the military rifle's 2d8 which is a +6. Using the general rule both guns would be +7 which is high but sits better in the scale of overall damage.
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Postby poltah » Sun Oct 09, 2005 11:07 am

How would you guys advice handling more attacks pr. round?
You don't get more attacks in True20, but if I want to use the damage save system in D&D, should I make it 1 attack pr. round too? (Except for 2weap. fighting?)
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Postby skywalker » Sun Oct 09, 2005 11:22 am

poltah wrote:How would you guys advice handling more attacks pr. round?
You don't get more attacks in True20, but if I want to use the damage save system in D&D, should I make it 1 attack pr. round too? (Except for 2weap. fighting?)


First, higher level PCs have more Conviction and Conviction can be spent to get extra attack actions.

Second, the extra attacks in D&D arise from the fact that HP increases with level. In True 20 this doesn't occur. Instead Attack and Defence increase. As a result extra attacks are unnecessary from a mechanical perspective.
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Postby poltah » Sun Oct 09, 2005 12:04 pm

Hmm okay.

What if you don't play with Conviction, what does taht do for the games?
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Postby skywalker » Sun Oct 09, 2005 2:27 pm

poltah wrote:Hmm okay.

What if you don't play with Conviction, what does taht do for the games?


Youch. That would have a remarkable impact on the game IMO.

1. The system would become very deadly and as such less heroic. Even the designers recognise that with the randomness of the d20, not being able to spend Conviction on Toughness will increase random death.

2. Recovery times would be increased leaving PCs out of the game for longer.

3. The Skill system would be much clunkier. The simple True 20 system focusses PCs on major skills whilst leaving trivial stuff to Conviction expenditure.

4. It would less heroic as PCs couldn't strain for that extra action using Conviction which often can be used for a great sense of drama.

Overall, I think dropping Conviction from True 20 is an extremely bad idea. YMMV
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Postby poltah » Sun Oct 09, 2005 2:35 pm

Well, I ment when you are implenting the Damage save system into D&D. That is what this topic is about :)
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Postby skywalker » Sun Oct 09, 2005 2:50 pm

poltah wrote:Well, I ment when you are implenting the Damage save system into D&D. That is what this topic is about :)


Oh, in that case, I would add Conviction into D&D along with the Damage Save. The Damage Save system in Unearthed Arcana which is based on the M&M has exactly the problem already mentioned. Steve kenson criticised this as misunderstanding the complementary use of Conviction points. With a d20 randomiser, a Damage Save system is both deadly and often too random. Conviction points reduce this randomness considerably. So essentially, I see the Conviction system as an integral part of the overall damage save approach.

Another, less superior, option is to use the Optional Toughness increase, whereby PCs get a bonus to Toughness equal to their BAB. This does make things less deadly but doesn't really address the randomness issue IMO.
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Postby reverend keith » Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:03 pm

poltah wrote:What if you don't play with Conviction, what does taht do for the games?

Then the "whoever gets injured first most likely falls prey to the death spiral effect" kicks into gear for most combats. Without Conviction to pull their fat out of the fire, a character's odds of surviving combat drops pretty significantly after suffering a wounded result. Losing your Dodge Bonus for a whole turn can be a very fatal state of affairs.
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Postby poltah » Wed Oct 12, 2005 4:00 am

How do you convert HP creatures into this system?

It says you use their con (okay) and their size. But what are the size modifier?
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Postby reverend keith » Wed Oct 12, 2005 8:38 am

poltah wrote:It says you use their con (okay) and their size. But what are the size modifier?

The chart on page 84 of the True20 PDF shows what the various toughness modifiers are for creatures of various sizes.
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Re: Converting True 20 damage to d20...some roadblocks

Postby memoriam » Thu Oct 13, 2005 1:17 am

gundark wrote:I have been following the conversion document in the back of the True 20 rules. I want to convert true 20 damage and recovery over to regular D&D. I have run into some problems.

1) dealing with natural armour. True 20 does not address natural armour. The obvious answer is to use Natural armour in the damage save. However natural armour and armour stack in regular d20. This makes for some crazy high damage saves.

any help would be appreciated.


in the blue rose rpg armour and natural armour stack when working out defence. as it is a true20 game i see no reason why you can't use the same method in other games using the basic true20 rules. hope this helps.
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