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Suggestion Discard the Damage Rating System

Wes

Founder & Admin
Staff Member
FM of Yamatai
Game Master
This suggestion is to entirely discard the current damage rating system. Why?
  • It constantly causes arguments in the Setting Submissions forum
    • Inconsistent enforcement has created an enviroment that frequently allowed exceptions
    • Seeing these, submitters all want an exception too
    • People get pissy and falsely accuse me of "personal bias" when I enforce the rules as written
    • People sneak in workarounds like giving DR to ammunition
  • It is not granular enough (in theory all handguns are the same damage rating for example, as are all rifles)
  • It confuses new members for example @hyralt tonight got frustrated trying to simply pick a weapon
  • It creates work for wiki staff
  • It's awkwardly jamming number values into a text-based RP system
  • Put simply they don't make the site more fun, they make it less fun and stress people out
I'm just sick of it. Is any GM actually using this in their RPs? I almost never do.

I propose entirely trashing the DR system and just start using good old textual descriptions of damage effects. It will facilitate better RP to have text descriptions, allow more more unique damage types, and significantly cut down drama in the Setting Submissions forum, which is the primary source of drama on the site.
 

Andrew

SARP WikiGuru and Staff
Staff Member
Site Supporter
Submissions Reviewer
Game Master
I can honestly say I do not use the DR system in my roleplay outside of a rough framework of how powerful something is. I've never been a fan, for me, it has always been about creativity, the story written. SARP in my opinion is not a game played with a calculator, it's about the story. The story always wins.
 

Charmaylarg Dufrain

FM of Nepleslia
Game Master
Seeing as i was the straw that broke the camels back on this one ill give my ten cents.

Wes is right about number crunching on text-based RP being pretty stupid rn. Especially since the old DR system was arguably made for PvP reasons which never happen anymore and its all more or less decided by the player or GM.

So I'll vote yes but with some reservation. Like how damage tiers should go away but other stuff in the damage system like ship size requirements but instead for ship classes (cause some ships end up bigger than their counterparts in higher tiers and some higher tiers ones seem awfully too small or large) and types of damage to certain materials should remain (the materials one mostly because it makes sense and is good to reference for people who want a quick and dirty reference).

How we make that work with the MBL (Cause not every ship should be a primus) is up to better and smarter minds than mine.

A simple guideline and not a hard rule that pretty much outlines to leave the discretion of damage up to the GM when in roleplay and if its OP or not up to the NTSE is what we should have.

After all if a GM wants a plumeria's shield to tank a blow in RP they will make it do so (or not and the ship takes damage for RP reasons). And a weapon should be considered OP not by an arbitrary number but by whats written on the article and decided on by the NTSE.
 

hyralt

Site Supporter
I will explain my experience, but first I want to say: maybe don't generalize from how I reacted. Full disclosure: I think there might be something wrong with my brain in that I have an extremely difficult time making arbitrary decisions.[1][2] I would really like to hear how other newcomers feel.

I did indeed get frustrated trying to pick a weapon. I wanted my character to pick up a weapon, discovered lots of options, didn't really understand the trade-offs involved, tried to compare them by DR, and got told that I should just compare them based on flavour instead.

[1]: I also got frustrated with figuring out what a musician character would do. I only really resolved that by going back through old RP and seeing what clerks did, which I figured were close enough to musicians as far as the army is concerned. As far as I can tell, the default action for every character regardless of occupation is to suit up and fight, unless they're actively commanding/operating a starship. Once I had this context, it was easy to see that my musician would want to go with the flow and suit up too. This sort of inability to make arbitrary decisions is exactly why y'all should take my opinion with a grain of salt.

[2]: In the before times, at the grocery store, if I was presented with several different options I would often sit on the floor and google things for a long time until I understood the trade-offs.
 
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Soban

Convention Veteran
I don't really use DR either, except as a scale type thing. I think when we have people doing PvP combat RP like rolling dice and such it might have been useful. Providing an objective base for what weapons do. If someone wants to do a PvP rp, then I suggest they just convert what they want to use into the system that they like. Ex. Sacre has a Fate Character sheet. I don't know anyone who has ever actually done any sort of DR damage calculation with it. I think that if we replace it, we should probably just say something like 'A weapon's submission must make clear what it is intended to be effective against'.

I feel that the MBL is also a factional PvP thing, and we aren't doing that currently. We should get rid of it with the understanding that overall, we want fleet sizes to be smaller rather than larger to help with focusing on the characters.

If not having a system doesn't work for us, we can implement DRv4 with more thought put into both potential MBL and Tiers.
 

demibear

Staff Member
Game Master
Character Forum Mod
I agree with a more thought out DR system. Players just need to know something that is designed for killing unarmored people is not going to work well against something that is armored and 2.3 meters tall. But perhaps just speaking for myself, knowing what tier of armor something is will help me figure out when to reward said player with a round doing the trick if they decide to go Rambo anyway.
 

Arbitrated

The Smollest Smol
FM of Elysia
So I'll vote yes but with some reservation. Like how damage tiers should go away but other stuff in the damage system like ship size requirements but instead for ship classes (cause some ships end up bigger than their counterparts in higher tiers and some higher tiers ones seem awfully too small or large) and types of damage to certain materials should remain (the materials one mostly because it makes sense and is good to reference for people who want a quick and dirty reference).

A simple guideline and not a hard rule that pretty much outlines to leave the discretion of damage up to the GM when in roleplay and if its OP or not up to the NTSE is what we should have.

After all if a GM wants a plumeria's shield to tank a blow in RP they will make it do so (or not and the ship takes damage for RP reasons). And a weapon should be considered OP not by an arbitrary number but by whats written on the article and decided on by the NTSE.

I very much agree with this. Keeping the way ships are armed with weapons in SARP (how many weapons, how powerful, etc.) somewhat consistent would be helpful to avoid "dick-measuring contests" between people, where they just try and make the biggest super-warship-battlecities with enough weapons to destroy a frickin' star in order to defend their pride, maintain their ego, or just because they've convinced themselves that the only way to contribute is to make something bigger.

...I think, as well, that we should have something akin to an "at a glance" damage system. Maybe instead of going into 15 tiers, it can be 5 (anti-personnel, anti-armor, anti-vehicle, anti-starship, and anti-capital-ship); this isn't so much as to balance something, as it is to still let someone get a vague idea without sifting through a paragraph or more about damage. To give an example of this being confusing:


-I have a handheld plasma-discharging rifle. The damage description says that it condenses a bolt of superheated gas into a largeprojectile, which is ejected from the barrel when I fire the gun and will melt/burn anything it impacts.
-I have a vehicle-mounted cannon that rapidly fires many small bolts of plasma per second while operational, melting through anything in front of it very quickly.


Which of these two weapons is more powerful? Logically, it would be the vehicle-mounted plasma cannon, given that it is a larger and more complicated piece of equipment. But the truth is, bolth of these weapons were meant to be about as equally powerful - the rifle can punch into an armored target with a single hit, but the vehicle cannon can tear into it with a couple of smaller hits with a much higher rate of fire.

This example can diverge in several different directions if you wanted to talk about situational effectiveness, but that's something that you're supposed to play with in RP, not on the wiki itself! But in either case, the intended use of bolth of these weapons would be to combat Armored targets - tier 2.

(Oh, also, this would stop people from freaking out about rapid-fire weapons, which are by technicality extremely powerful in DRv3 lol)
 

raz

SAINT Director
Site Supporter
Game Master
People get pissy and falsely accuse me of "personal bias" when I enforce the rules as written
This is really the only issue with it. I think it's great for initial balancing even though the system is rarely used in RP, since it prevents people from going overboard and provides a number next to an RP-style descriptor of damage for ease of understanding. But if we can't engender a culture wherein people accept reviewer alternatives in stride rather than say their whole submission is ruined because of a one point DR difference then yeah. Get rid of it. There's no teaching the stubborn.
 

Arbitrated

The Smollest Smol
FM of Elysia
An afterthought, that I don't quite feel like editing into my previous post: I think the problem with the current granularity of DRv3 is that it is simultaneously too granular (to the point where people often complain about similarly-flavored guns/ammunition types having different ratings), and not granular enough (in Wes's post, he mentions several weapons sharing the same amount of damage). I chose to make the system less granular, because this will produce the desired effect of approximating the strength of a weapon or the defenses of a target, without getting into many semantics and arguments on if you should be able to deal x damage or y damage to your target with the weapon.

Most pistols and rifles are meant to fight regular infantry. Heavier guns that are still hand-portable can take out a piece of power armor. Heavier machine guns and rocket launchers are supposed to destroy or disable vehicles. Large cannons can adequately threaten a starship. Arrays of cannons or primary weapons can threaten the largest ships or entire fleets.


Trying to argue that "oh this one says it should deal a bit more damage than normal" is just a level of detail that doesn't really fit into RP.
 

Alex Hart

Site Supporter
FM of NDC
I feel that the MBL is also a factional PvP thing, and we aren't doing that currently. We should get rid of it with the understanding that overall, we want fleet sizes to be smaller rather than larger to help with focusing on the characters.
Unfortunately, people (or at least those with influence) seem to be in favor of larger fleets and larger scale conflicts, not smaller ones.

My take on the DR situation is that a lot of DRv3 is very useful, such as the way it allows us to figure out how many guns a ship ought to have, or how large a capital ship should be, differentiating between light/medium/heavy examples of a category, etc. and I think we'd be throwing out the baby with the bathwater if we got rid of the whole thing.

That said, it's clear (And has been clear for a while) that per-shot DR doesn't really work quite as well as we thought it would a few years ago, and so the solution I would propose is that per-shot damage be reworked into narrative damage, AKA "What is this gun designed to do".

Weapons have traditionally been submitted with a role (For example, the Desert Wind autocannon is listed as anti-aircraft/anti-power-armor). Instead of having weapons interact with their targets based on a tier number, they would instead interact based on whether or not they are being used against their intended target, being more effective against their intended targets and less effective against other targets. What that means would largely be up to GMs.

TL: DR, I propose keeping a lot of the DRv3's framework and reworking it to be more narrative in terms of how weapons and damage are handled.
 

Whisper

Staff Member
Submissions Reviewer
FM of NDC
Game Master
As a GM and player, I've never thought twice about DR. As someone contributing to the setting or reviewing submissions, I think about it a lot. Feels like that should mean something.

I'm okay with getting rid of some of the current DR system. I actually like it a lot, but I don't think we're consistent with it and we don't use it. The proposals to change it instead to be more narrative, and perhaps more condensed, are ones that I can get onboard with.

I especially like the idea that things that are meant to be good at a certain thing are (potentially) worse at others is nice. Speccing out a bomber or RPG in the current system is weird!

So - let's do away with the system in general but keep in some way to describe what a weapon is supposed to be good at and call it a day.

I do still want to see a 'super capital' category, but am fine with consolidating down to Arb's suggestions otherwise. (ie, personnel, armor, vehicle, starship, capital-ship, super capital ship)

Loving the suggestions area.
 

Ametheliana

Moderator
Staff Member
Submissions Reviewer
Game Master
Character Forum Mod
My knee jerk was that I don't use it, but the last time someone made a dumb decision to get their character killed, I went back and forth between DR of the weapon and the suit, realizing they were done for. If there wasn't a very obvious "the weapon was two ratings above them" the decision would have been more difficult to kill them and the player could have contested it. There are many such cases in my past as a GM. Gonna vote to keep it, despite the headache the ntse brings, because it is useful in RP.
 

The KrimsonWulf

FM of Nepleslia
I am in agreement with charmay,raz and Alex as well as arbitrated. I don't think it's necessary to remove it. Though we have amazing writers it makes more sense to keep it to ensure a level playing field. Imo despite not being pvp. It is used more as a re reference at this current point in time, what should be utilized is the damage system at a glance. but again this also ensures in the event that we do want to go to smaller fleet sizes, that it ensures that there is a requirement to do so. not necessarily causing overall issues or stating that there is a proverbial measuring contest. But what we are dealing with what we are having to deal with is a lack of communication in regards to the actual system itself. what it was originally utilized for was for PVP yes, however now it should be moved more towards in at a glance frame of reference. I believe at that point in regards to weapons it will help wtiters to understand the strength of said weaponry. Whilst the MBL is utilized to ensure fleet sizes if we want to go the smaller route of fleets of having smaller fleets then having a requirement stating every faction can only have X amount of capital ships at one time can only have X amount of heavy battleships at one time etc. Keeping more references for writers with a guide for doing do. I am in favor of an overhaul
 

SirSkully

FM of Neshaten
Game Master
I personally like the DR system a lot and would prefer if it stayed, while GMs will always put their own spin on how powerful weapons and armour should be I feel like it's good to still have a guide like this that gives a baseline idea of what damage something can deal/withstand instead of having one weapon/armour be interpreted in wildly different ways depending on the person writing.

Story always comes first but having an approved tier on a weapon's wiki greatly lessens arguments based on "I know x so I think this weapon should do y damage." With the counter argument being "Yeah well I know x so I think it should do z damage" when something can be quickly linked and pointed at to prove roughly what its potential damage output is.

Maybe it needs to be changed somewhat to better suit the narrative focused nature of SARP but I definitely feel like it needs to stay in one form or another.
 

Yandere

Well-Known Member
Personally I find the DR stuff helpful to me in giving guidance as to what I can and can't do or perhaps should or shouldn't be able to do as a new player. I don't really have many in depth thoughts on it just that when looking over a myriad of weapons I found it useful. Though as some others have pointed out, an intended use descriptor (ex anti-mecha) would probably also be sufficient for me.
 

Charmaylarg Dufrain

FM of Nepleslia
Game Master
With all these new suggestions and templates and the like have we reached a consensus on this topic? Because it would affect some of those if we alterered or got rid of the damage rating system altogether. And someone will have to change the templates and the DRv3 page if it is to be changed or discarded.
 

Wes

Founder & Admin
Staff Member
FM of Yamatai
Game Master
I think the simplest way to start this would be to just stop requiring DR in submissions and leave it out of the template. But we don't have to go hunting it down in every old item.

If a GM wants to use the system he can just make up the missing ratings on the spot as "house rules" for his plot but it wouldn't apply sitewide.
 
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