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Closed Expanding on the DR system to improve options

These suggestions have been dropped by the suggestor or rejected by staff.


Retired Staff
Hello all!

Before I get this discussion going, I'd like to make a request. The intention of this thread is not to bash on any particular faction, faction's articles, etc, etc. If you give an example to support/criticize an idea, please do so in as neutral a fashion as possible towards that faction and the example's creator/s. This is a potentially touchy topic and we'll all be well served by staying focused on the goal.

Moving on!


There's been an ongoing discussion on Discord about how to differentiate the Daisy from the Mindy. One of the differentiatiors that was discussed was the Daisy's relative toughness to the Mindy's.

However, the DR system does not have a graceful way to handle this.

One solution that was proposed was to scale up the next Daisy model into the next Tier. This would give it additional damage resistance, weapon capacity, etc. Not everyone likes this approach for different reasons.

I've come across some similar challenges when working on my own articles. What if I don't want to give something the maximum allotment of weapons? What if I'd like to trade those weapons out for something else? What if I want even bigger guns?


My suggestion is an extension of the DR system. The Weapon Limitations guide makes it clear how to handle the available weaponry for a given Tier. The Damage Rating system makes it clear how a weapon of a given Tier interacts with things that exist within another Tier. In general, this system is pretty elegant and supports RP well. If I need to know 'Can this weapon hurt this thing?" then I have a place to check. (Of course, the real answer is/should be "Whatever is best for the RP", but it's great to have guidelines so that we're not going off the rails.)

Given that we already have a pretty decent way of handling 'Offense' and 'Defense' (via the Weapon Limitations and DR v3 guides), I'd suggest we add another category, Utility, and then give designers a way to tweak the balance.

Utility would represent all the things our ships, PAs, etc, can do that isn't strictly blowing things up or avoiding getting blown up. Got some sweet gravity manipulation tech? Maybe you can teleport 100 km pretty frequently? These are excellent differentiators, but currently don't have an associated 'cost' like Offense and Defense do.

Just adding a category may not be sufficient, however. What if I want stronger defenses or more utility? Here's some options...

Option 1

This option separates Offense, Defense, and Utility into separate categories. Offense functions as it always has. Defense is largely unchanged. Utility now works the same as Offense - We determine some amount of 'On-Tier Utilities' that seems appropriate and then go from there. You can go up or down in the same exact fashion.

Utility would encompass things like stealth, teleportation, flight, cargo capacity, hangar bays, and all of the other "non weapon/armor" things. We don't have to drop everything we're doing and go make articles for cargo and hangar bays, however. For most baseline things, simply saying it's 'On Tier' would be appropriate. For things that are more advanced or tricky, we might ask for a technology submission. This is more or less how things are already done - all that's missing is a Tier assignment in the various supporting articles.

Now that we've established Utilities as a category and the base rules, we can begin to play around with how we 'balance' our submission. I mentioned before that we should be able to support extra defenses, utility, etc. My last recommendation for Option 1 is that if you want to increase one category by a tier, you have to lower one other category by a tier. I'm thinking this can only be done once.

In other words, a Tier 4 PA could have Tier 4 Weapons, Tier 5 Damage Resistance, and Tier 3 Utility.

A fancy chart of it would look like this:

Now it's clear, before I've even gone through an article, what this PA's strengths and weaknesses are. It's tough, has a normal weapons load-out, and reduced utility options.

Conveniently, going down a Tier in Offense or Utility is the same as halving that category.

Option 2

Option 2 attempts to solve the same problem as 1, but without reinventing the wheel quite so much.

In this approach, we unify Offense, Defense, and Utility under the same umbrella. We can specify that some things (such as an increased Defense tier) costs a certain amount of On-Tier Weapons. Following the 'halving' example from before, I'd say sacrificing 4 On-Tier weapons would be enough to increase your Defense from T4 to T5.

Utility, now not its own category, follows a similar pattern. If a Utility is a significant differentiator, it could cost On-Tier weapons. The same upscale/downscale considerations could be made. For example - if "a Hangar Bay for 6 Fighters" was considered the same as an On-Tier T12 Weapon, then a T10 would need to 'spend' 4 On-Tier Weapons to make space for the higher tier Hangar Bay.

Considering the Options

Both options have pros and cons. Option 2 is simpler and requires less 'corrections', while Option 1 more clearly defines the areas of strength and weakness for a submission.

In both options, the addition of 'Utility' as a category and the ability to upscale/downscale the important Utilities improves how we approach balancing our submissions.

In both options, the ability to trade part of one category (or 'weapon-equivalent defense/utility') for another further improves how well we can balance and gives us ways to reflect the trade-offs we make to set our submissions apart.

There is also option 3 - we make no changes. Things aren't broken. There's just a few places where the current system doesn't quite stretch enough to solve all of the things we want it to do.

But what about Power Armor?

This all started because of the Daisy, so I want to make sure all the points get covered. PA (and Infantry) complicate things somewhat.

In order for a change like this to be successful, we have to be willing to have power armors follow the Weapon Limitations guide. Otherwise the various trade-offs don't really matter.

Given that we start with 8 On-Tier Weapons and 2 Tier-Equivalent Weapon Groups, there's a lot of potential for PA weaponry.

The first thing I'd recommend here is that we consider each appendage that can hold a weapon as one 'On-Tier Weapon'. If you want to dual wield pistols, go for it. You're covered. Want a rifle with a little more kick? You can go up one Tier and grab a rifle.

Hardpoints and other in-built weapons would function the same. The potential to have a weapon in that slot means that you need to spend the appropriate 'On-Tier Weapon's to 'pay' for it. If we wanted to have hardpoints for six On-Tier Weapons, then we're in a good spot. We even have 2 Tier-Equivalent Weapon Groups remaining.

But this doesn't always work. What about the really big guns? There's at least one weapon that is four tiers above the PA that wields it. If we use Option 1 and trade off one of our other categories (e.g., weaker defenses or utilities), then you could upscale your 'held' weapons to accommodate the four tier difference. At that point, you'd only have your Tier-Equivalent Weapon Groups remaining, but it seems like a pretty fair trade off.

Plus, you'd still have your utility options.

Wrapping it Up

Thanks for reading this far. It's a lot of text, I know, and for some people it's a heated topic. There are likely other options beyond the ones I suggested here, but I've done my best to stay as close to the current system and its mechanics as possible while introducing some additional variance to the creation process.

My hope with putting this up is that we can have a good discussion and potentially align around a solution that we're all sufficiently happy with, even if that's maintaining the status quo. I do think the suggestions are worth considering, otherwise I wouldn't have typed all this up. :)

I'll ask again that we try to avoid bashing on things and focus on how we can improve (or not!) the current system. Examples are fine, just keep it friendly. :)

Thanks again!

- Whisper
This suggestion has been closed. Votes are no longer accepted.
Something else worth noting that came to me as we sit in self-quarantine.

The DR system is a grand system that can be used in RP, but its real use is in submissions. I don't know if that substantially changes the discussions here, but feels worth pointing out.

Also, immense kudos to @Whisper for guiding this discussion and doing so with kindness and balance and decorum. Brings a smile to this old timer.
Thanks, Doshii! And thanks to everyone else for keeping it civil, as well. :) While we're on the topic, I also want to give a call out to everyone on the NTSE who put in the time and energy to keep the setting healthy.

Submissions are my main focus with this discussion. I think we have a challenge with things that don't fit into the system as-is. We could move into a direction that's more crunchy, so that we do a better job encompassing the other things that our submissions do. We could move into a less crunchy direction, so that we avoid representing some aspects of SARP's tech and not others. We can stay where we're at and accept that there's going to be some gaps.

I'm good with whatever we decide on, but I like to push for balance and options when I get the chance. :)
Just so we have a resolution on this, I've made it votable for a week.
Oh man, I've come full circle on this since the first submission. I'd rather see a simplified DR system at this point. I still think this idea is cool if we wanted to lean into DR more, but I don't think it's necessary now.
Well, I can close the topic if you prefer.