Monday, July 20, 2009

The Deflection of Exception

A goal of the Revised Edition is to remove any unnecessary permutations of the basic way things work. OVA is already a simple game, but these little speedbumps, rules that, due to their uniqueness, force reference to the book for this chart or that quick note, rarely add something that can't be handled another way.

Armor is one of these. Before, this Ability would subtract a value from all Damage taken. On the surface this makes sense, but in practice it adds another step to combat. Nowhere else does anything add or subtract from Damage, and the Armor chart itself is not similar to any other Ability's progression.

So how is this fixed? Instead of subtracting from the final Damage dealt, Armor now subtracts from the attacker's Damage Multiplier by an amount equal to Armor's Level. If the attack has a DM of 4, and Armor is Level 2, then the attacker's DM is 2. It's very simple, very quick, and doesn't involve subtracting numbers from an ever changing amount of Damage.

The major effect of this change is that Armor is now a little stronger at low Levels and arguably weaker at high Levels. But considering Level 1 Armor used to subtract a pointless 2 Damage, it's not a bad change.

But what happens when the DM is reduced below 1? You may remember the Weak Weakness and the Unnatural Resistance Ability gave rules for fractional Damage Multipliers, with such nonsense as "one Damage for every three dealt." All that is gone. Instead, if your DM is ever reduced below one for any reason, treat it as 1/2. Or, if you find it simpler, treat it as normal and then half the final Damage. No complicated fractions, and your Damage output is still satisfyingly weakened.

Shadowman here is easily the most heavily armored character in OVA. His ebon shell is not only his protection and his source of power, but also the very thing that keeps him alive.


  1. I like this change though I wonder how you will change armor piercing perk or if you'll remove it.

  2. Like before, Armor Piercing will reduce Armor by one Level each time it is taken. Effect is a little different, but the rule is the same. :)

  3. That actually sounds like a much more elegant method, both in damage reduction and armor piercing. Kudos on that one!

  4. If armor piercing is unchanged, is there any changes to extra damage. With the current rules a level of extra damage will have the same effect as a level of armor piercing.

  5. That's something I've realized as well, and I have not fully decided how I'll handle it. Most likely, I'll make each level of Armor Piercing reduce Armor by TWO levels. That, or I'll increase the cost of the Extra Damage perk, but I don't think that's a good solution.

  6. I like this, a good puts armor more on par with damage without it either being a useless ability or too strong;

    With debate between extra damage and armor piercing - maybe instead of multiple levels of armor piercing have just one (or two) that either halve or totally negate armor. That seems easier to me to keep track. If you have several levels of AP you could buy, I would have to subtract armor from the DM and then subtract armor piercing from armor before subtracting from DM - over the halve/nothing option where I just halve armor effects or ignore them entirely. Then you can assign the appropriate cost (if still endurance or other?) to armor piercing. I'd make full negation much more expensive.

    Armor piercing is situational (to be useful the target must have armor) over extra damage (useful in any situation). I believe AP should be strong in the situations it can be used over extra damage which has overall usefulness.

  7. Seems fine to me that Armour Piercing reduces Armour on a 1:1 basis and that Extra Damage increases DM. AP is more situation specific and should have a lower purchase cost, and you could mix and match the two as necessary to create the effect you want.

  8. While 1:1 is certainly the most elegant solution, the problem lies in that Extra Damage only costs +5 Endurance. There is no amount less than this, and increasing the cost to +10 upsets the basic balance the Perk/Flaw system is based on. I'll keep crunching the numbers, but something closer to Erinak's suggestion is most likely. Though I'm not keen on the "half" idea simply because it brings up the whole "round up or round down?" question no one can quite seem to agree on.

    We'll see. :)

  9. What if Extra Damage, instead of increasing your DM, increased the success of your hit by 1 step. For instance if you had 1 rank of Extra damage and you beat their defenseive roll by 2, you would treat it as though you beat it by 3 instead. That might warrent a higher cost.

    That should give you a higher, more consistant low end damage (making Extra Damage a more noticable trait) while keeping extreme success from being as explosive as increasing the DM.

  10. While sound, this idea would sort of go against the grain of OVA. There is no addition ANYWHERE in the game except for adding to the number of dice you roll. No total anywhere is ever added to by anything for any reason.

    It's certainly not a bad solution, but it is sort of the exact opposite of what I'm trying to do with the new game, which is streamline it wherever possible.

    Thanks though. :)