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Lethality in RPG's, which one do you prefer?

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by S0rcererV1ct0r, Jan 9, 2021.

?

Your preference for lethality

Poll closed Feb 9, 2021.
  1. Close to IRL. Eg - GURPS or A3

    22.6%
  2. Very high - Eg - Baldur's Gate

    34.0%
  3. High - Pathfinder Kingmaker, PF1e/D&D3e and most ARPG's like Souls series and Gothic 1/2

    42.5%
  4. Medium - Skyrim for eg

    0.9%
  5. Low - WoW for eg and the 16856168518618 clones of wow

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Extremely low - Eg - Oblivion on higher level/high difficulty

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. DeepOcean Arcane

    DeepOcean
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    After Wasteland 3, let's say I'm not so confident about developers ideas about lethal combat, if you die in a single turn to both a Scorpitron and a random raider no matter what you do, what is the point?
     
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  2. Meredoth Arcane

    Meredoth
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    Amazing post. I only wanna complement one thing

    I HATE the system "potions/stimpacks/wathever" insta work and insta teleport to inside your body.

    The best system is from Gothic 2 - RETURNING on hard difficulty. You press a button to drink a potion? The character has a actual drinking animation which takes time and after the potion is inside your belly, it slowly regen about 1% of your health/mana per second. The exception is the insta potion which only requires the animation but is extremely expensive, available in small amount per merchant and the recipes to make then not only require expensive reagents but also are behind the most terrifying optional bosses and fully mastery over alchemy.

    Avoid being hit.
    On D&D, drinking potions takes an action and is subjected to attack of opportunity. Which is great but instead of healing d10, it should heal d4 per round for few rounds.

    Actually, you can have cooperation even with high lethality. For eg, the wizard can cast a area of darkness to make things easy for a rogue with nightvision to sneak into enemies, while a barbarian charges and so on.

    You don't have a party vs a enemy. Even if your necromancer can OHK the enemy boss with a finger of death, the boss is not always alone.
     
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  3. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    Yeah many low lethality systems are further made boring by adding insta-heal items that can be consumed within one second.
    Diablo and all its clones? Chugging health potions all the time is an intended part of the gameplay.
    Anything Bethesda makes? Once you go into the inventory, the game pauses, and you can use healing items at no time cost. You can eat 10 cheeses, 20 meats, and 50 cabbages within 1 second to heal yourself.

    And even if using healing items does take time, usually they're so cheap and plentiful that by the end of the game, you have 100 of them in your inventory and attrition (which is the point of low lethality systems... if you have a lot of HP the point is that you won't die in one encounter, but damage accumulates across several encounters until you run out of resources; old Wizardries play like that, for example) becomes a complete non-issue.
     
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  4. lukaszek the determinator Patron

    lukaszek
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    deterministic system > RNG
     
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  5. CabbageHead Literate

    CabbageHead
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    I guess this will be my first post here.

    As someone who like realistic or close to realistic setting like low fantasy, near future, hard sci-fi and post-apocalypse i do prefer close to IRL lethality in my game, RPG or otherwise. A gunshot should hurt a lot and even a .22 should be lethal if it hit the right place. I would love to see a RPG game were every character including the player have a limb status/condition and a blood meter instead of health bar, so if one of your arm get blown off you can still fight depending on your stat like strength+willpower or something but this limb loss is permanent and it trigger a count down until you pass out and die from blood loss, health item become a myriad of medical tools and item like bandage, pain killer, blood clotting agent and many other.

    Kenshi but more lethal and with guns come to mind, or a more lethal less janky boiling point with no miracle cure painkiller and donuts.
     
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  6. Bohrain Liturgist Patron

    Bohrain
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    If a non-boss unit takes more than 3 hits to down in turn-based combat, the fight usually devolves into a slog.
     
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  7. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    DraQ
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    So you're making a more elaborate version of Russian Roulette?
     
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  8. Ocelot Learned

    Ocelot
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    High lethality is more interesting because it forces you to think about your decisions instead of hugging enemies knowing both you and them are walking tanks.
     
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  9. Generic-Giant-Spider Arcane

    Generic-Giant-Spider
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    On a more serious note, I prefer it when only certain monsters can effectively "one shot kill" you and usually because you were ill-equipped. A dragon flying up and breathing fire on your party that has no resistance to it should result in them becoming ash. A jobber goblin shooting an arrow with such eagle eye precision that it perfectly hits and kills your tank in a single blow? Fuck that.

    That's why I'm more a fan of monsters that fuck with you. Poison, petrification, mind control, level drain, etc. If a kobold can kill you as easily as a dragon then why fear the dragon at all?
     
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  10. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    Ah, I only played TB. Never played RT, got to give it a spin some time. TB does make some shit more dangerous, like Poppers and Brainsuckers.

    Big F.

    Indeed, we might finally play Apocalypse as Gollop intended it. Would't that be marvelous?
     
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  11. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    About HP Bloating: BAD, BAD. Personally I think fixed HP is the way to go. There should be ways to get some extra HP buffer, but at the end of the day, playing an Implacable Man that's tough like a terminator should be possible, like playing some frail wimp who will so much as die if someone sticks a dull butter knife into his arm. People in the early game area shouldn't all be wimps who die from a poke, while randos in the late game area should't be able to shrugg off a battle rifle slug just because.

    This also makes it more meaningful when you are fighting that's clearly not just a dude - like a cyborg, supersoldier, dragon, giant robot, Evil Overlord, etc. This is the time when HP bloat is kind of allowed, because you are clearly not fighting "just dudes".

    Personally, I prefer fantasy/futuristic settings, so I like when a game allows me to armor up to "I can survive a rocket to the face level". But not when I can survive a rocket unarmored because MORE HP. That's lame.

    I also hate "armor as AC". Fuck no. Armor is ARMOR. Armor does not allow you to dodge more.

    About high lethality: I think one big problem is that in most games, Life/Death is a boolean. You are either alive and jumping around like Stallone, or you are dead. 1 HP? You can literally dance jigs. 0 HP? DEAD FOREVER. That's not how it works. Its funny - humans seem puny at first, and then there are moments when humans prove surprisingly hard to kill.

    I like when games allow the player to go into "minus HP", fall down and start bleeding to death gradually. This is good mechanics.
     
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  12. moon knight Matt7895's alt

    moon knight
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    It depends on the game.
     
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  13. Meredoth Arcane

    Meredoth
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    Nope because it would be extremely unlikely. That a goblin bow can hit exactly in the eye spot of a powerful knight for eg. Would be something like wining in the lottery twice in a row.

    But armor doesn't allow you to dodge more. Armor "DEFLECT" blows or make it non lethal.

    It applies earlier roman armor to the modern infantry armor. An kevlar vest doesn't make you dodge a 9mm round. You still get hit, just don't have the bullet inside you.

    GURPS has your damages severely impacting your char. And had modular damage. Same for fallout 1/2/nv(I don't consider bugthesda's ones as true fallout)

    But for death. IMO should be stages.

    Average human = 1d4 hp
    0 hp = Unconscious
    -1 to -4(1d4) = Unconscious
    -5 to -20 = Dead
    -21- = Erradicated, the corpse is destroyed.

    Might & Magic series actually implemented something similar.
     
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  14. JackOfOwls Prophet

    JackOfOwls
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    I think I was killed by a chicken once in a cRPG... and not a man-sized, man-eating chicken either. Just a regular chicken. That just ain't right.

    Show Spoiler
    When I was a kid, I used to watch a local Boston TV show for kids called Major Mudd every day before school. One day, Major Mudd said, "Kids, stay tuned! Because at the end of the show we're going to show you an actual live man-eating chicken in the studio with us!" Excited beyond measure, I stayed until the end, knowing I would suffer grave consequences from my teacher for being late for school. But it just had to be worth it! I mean, a fucking man-eating chicken!!! Sure enough, there it was, at the end of the show - a man eating chicken... from a bucket, I believe... KFC, I think.
     
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  15. Tavernking Don't believe his lies Patron Shitposter Developer

    Tavernking
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    Shameless self promotion but since this thread was on my mind, I'm going to advertise my extremely high lethality game here. Click on the link in my signature and try the combat demo I just released today.
     
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  16. Crispy Don't get old. Undisputed Queen of Faggotry

    Crispy
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    "Lethality" can also be linked to a game's metaknowledge (rather, yours of it) or lack thereof.

    For example, the very first time many people play ToEE, they're shocked at how quickly their fledgling party is overwhelmed and defeated by the giant frogs outside the moathouse, and often ragequit right there and then. If not then, then certainly once they reach Lareth and his cronies.

    The most fun I can get out of an RPG is going in fresh, no metaknowledge, and attempting my best to live with the consequences of my choices both in and out of combat. That's not always possible, but for me it's the most honest way to play.
     
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  17. Mr. Magniloquent Arcane Patron

    Mr. Magniloquent
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    When I was young and playing Baldur's Gate, my 2 HP elf Evoker got killed by a house cat in Candlekeep. It wasn't even a critical hit. I had used my two spells already, and after stomping the rats I thought about smashing that XP bag that looked like a cat. Turns out this cat was made of tougher stuff than my wizard was. Very funny.
     
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  18. Arulan Arbiter

    Arulan
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    At least a High lethality is what I prefer, but how much higher really depends.

    I like a lot of what Kenshi does here. It can be pretty lethal, but it has some good range between threats. A lot of what makes Beak Things and Blood Spiders so terrifying is that they'll tear right through you, rip your limbs off, and eat you alive. A very high lethality where most enemies can kill with a good shot risks becoming stagnant. I also think that Kenshi's consequences for losing, rather than having to reload makes the high lethality more enjoyable. You may lose a fight and get robbed, taken into slavery, dragged to a cannibal camp, or lose a limb, but it's not over just yet. Your story can still continue.
     
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  19. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    One important fact we need to keep in mind here

    Realistic =/= gameplay's fun

    If you do realistic, it's highly possible your players would get ragequit after a few "circumstances". Because everybody know antimateriel sniper rifle can oneshot you behind cover from 500 m away. or a rocket launcher can say fuck you to a room full of entrenched shooters from, say, 100 m away. Ditto with a heavy machinegun like M60 or M2 Browning. Bulletproof vest or not~
     
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  20. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    Sure, sometimes it happens, but most RPGs treat AC like evasion or some bizarre equivalent of armor taking the attack. Neither make sense.

    I remember FOnline Ashes of Phoenix did something interesting with AC - Armor Class and Dodge were different things. Dodge is dodge, while Armor Class is the capability of the armor to protect against an aimed attack. AC would, depending on the roll, send the aimed attack to another, less dangerous body part, or even turn the attack into a normal non-aimed attack.

    The problem is that AC is, again, a boolean thing. You either get hit or you don't (or don't feel the effects). But that's not how armor works. Energy transfer is a thing. Even with kevlar, getting shot by a shotgun is like being hit by a car going at 30km. Yeah, 30km ins't that much and likely not lethal, but it will still hurt you considerably.

    True, but death is a boolean in them. And Fallout has no bleeding.

    Also, both lack fatigue as a stat. Which btw is something that needs to be talked more about - people don't tire in most games. Which, btw, is ridiculous.

    No true RPG connoseur considers Bethesda Fallouts as real Fallouts, of course. :obviously:

    I prefer tying death stages to innate HP, but I prefer fixed HPs, so it would be a simple matter of scalling death stage to the fixed one. But yeah, that's the kind of thing I'm talking about.
     
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  21. Maxwell's Demon Arcane

    Maxwell's Demon
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    This is your DM being shit, not a problem with the mechanics. In such a realistic scenario, the DM should introduce the threat of a one-hit kill weapon before unleashing it directly on the party to give them a chance to develop a countermeasure. Ideally the DM would show the AM-rifle/bazooka blowing away several things in view of the PCs in a manner that frustrates and indirectly threatens them, while building up tension for the final encounter and showing that the stakes are high. If the players aren't very familiar with the rules, they should also be made aware that the PCs will not survive a single hit from a weapon that can destroy an armored vehicle within the game system, and that they will have to devise some other method besides a head-on confrontation.
     
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  22. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

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    Jagged Alliance 2. :obviously:

    A true RPG connoisseur calls Bethesda's shit Oblivion With Guns.
     
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  23. Meredoth Arcane

    Meredoth
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    For dealing damage in heavy armor, maces are much better than swords and on BG2, plate armor has better AC vs slash than vs blunt.

    But your analogy with firearms, you are assuming that every firearm, every "shotgun round" and every armor is the same and spoiler. Aren't. A slugs armor piercing round probably can get trough kevlar. A birdshot in other hands, will probably not pierce. There are some body armor rated to stop even .30-06 armor piercing, it makes you immune to "rifle rounds"? well, a rifle can be chambered in .22 LR or 14.5x114mm which no body armor can even get close to stop, it will go trough most armored vehicles, except few heavy ones. People tend to underestimate shotguns due video games... Where shotguns lacks the same versatility and range that has IRL.



    ArmA 3 disagrees.

    On GURPS technomancer, spells that can create FOG are one of the best counters to snipers...
     
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  24. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

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    Armor AC modifiers vs. weapon dmg type is an AD&D 2nd Edition rule which first appeared in Baldur's Gate.

    Also, have you played Jagged Alliance 2 and Silent Storm? You'd probably like them.
     
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  25. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

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    In JA2, can employ gases to hinder rival riflemen vision, too.
     
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