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I'm setting up an online campaign using the Star Trek RPG by Last Unicorn Games. While going over the rules, I came across the following "Phaser Damage" table, and several things immediately stood out.

  • The damage doesn't progress very well, especially in comparison to the energy expenditure. The difference between power levels 4 and 5 is only 2 points of damage, but it costs 3 extra energy. The same goes for levels 7-8 (+5 power for only +2 damage).
  • There's a glaring error in the dice expressions. Power level 13 uses 18d6, but everything else from 11 up only uses 12d6. I'm 90% certain that's just a typo. (A typo that made it across two different rulebooks and a GM screen, but still a typo.)
  • The "Notes" section doesn't quite pan out. By the rules, a level 1 Stun shot will stun an average Human for 10 minutes. A level 3 Stun will knock out a Human for 30 minutes.
  • The difference between "Kill a humanoid" and "Vaporize a humanoid" is only 2 points of damage. (Incidentally, the level 7 setting will only wound a Klingon, and the level 8 setting will just incapacitate one. An average Klingon, never mind a tough one.)

Here's the chart, so you can see it for yourself. I already have some changes in mind, but I'd like to hear some suggestions first.

The question is, what changes would you suggest?

Setting             Damage   Chg  Notes
1 Light Stun        (2+2d6)   1   Stun a Human for 5 minutes
2 Medium Stun       (4+2d6)   2   Stun a Human for 15 minutes, or a Klingon for 5
3 Heavy Stun        (6+4d6)   3   Stun a Human for 1 hour, or a Klingon for 15 minutes
4 Light Thermal      8+2d6    5   Cut a 1m hole in 10cm of wood in 3 minutes
5 Heavy Thermal     10+2d6    8   Cut a 1m hole in 10cm of steel in 3 minutes
6 Light Disrupt A   12+3d6   12   Cut a 1m hole in 10cm of steel or rock in 30 seconds
7 Light Disrupt B   14+4d6   15   Kill a humanoid; cut a 1m hole in a duranium bulkead in 10 minutes
8 Light Disrupt C   16+4d6   20   Vaporize a humanoid
9 Light Disrupt D   24+5d6   30   Vaporize resilient alloys (beam ricochets possible)
10 Heavy Disrupt A  30+9d6   40   Vaporize any substance (beam ricochets likely)
11 Heavy Disrupt B  40+12d6  50   Explode 10 cubic meters of rock into rubble
12 Heavy Disrupt C  60+12d6  60   Explode 50 cubic meters of rock into rubble
13 Heavy Disrupt D  80+18d6  70   Explode 100 cubic meters of rock into rubble
14 Heavy Disrupt E 100+12d6  80   Explode 160 cubic meters of rock into rubble
15 Heavy Disrupt F 120+12d6  90   Explode 400 cubic meters of rock into rubble
16 Heavy Disrupt G 160+12d6  100  Explode 600 cubic meters of rock into rubble

To put the numbers above in perspective:

  • An average Human has 2 points of Resistance (which reduces all damage taken), and seven "Wound Levels" of 2 points each. An average Klingon has 5 Resistance, and nine Wound Levels of 5 points each. Thus, a Human has a total of 14 points of damage they can take before dying; Klingons can take 45.
  • The first three settings only do Stun damage. If someone takes enough Stun damage to 'fill' their first Wound Level, they are knocked out for 5 minutes, with an additional 5 minutes for each Wound Level filled. (Therefore, it takes a minimum of 4 points of damage to stun a Human, and 10 to stun a Klingon.)
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hey, so what is the actual question here? Remember our Q&A format, "give me suggestions" isn't on topic, you should ask a clear question that can have a best answer. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Apr 13 '15 at 11:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ All this sounds like it accurately reflects the source material, so I suspect the problem is more related to mismatched reader expectations. Why do you think these things are errors or unintended? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Apr 13 '15 at 15:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ I added an explicit question just before the table, and fixed the error that @Dronz pointed out. \$\endgroup\$ – Christopher Mathieu Apr 14 '15 at 3:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ChristopherMathieu Please check our types of questions we avoid. Asking us what changes we'd make indicates you're looking for a discussion of where to go from here with the feature, which would be quite natural, but should be asked on a forum or in chat or etc. Discussions are a point where our Q&A system breaks down, since it doesn't handle open-ended situations where every answer is equally valid, which is what this would be. It has its niche, and it operates extremely poorly outside that niche, which is OK since there's other sites too. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Apr 14 '15 at 5:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ChristopherMathieu Discussion of why this is closed and a suggestion in comments of how you could reword this to get it opened (maybe) are here: meta.rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/5520/… Or, you might just try forum.trek-rpg.net. \$\endgroup\$ – Dronz Apr 14 '15 at 21:33