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Using Conan-Like Combat Dice in Infinity

Hi, guys. Does anyone here converted Infinity weapons to Conan combat dice? (5 and 6 are effects AND hits) I’m finding the standard range of damage and effects to be wildly swinging. Is this intentional? Thanks!

There was a recommendation for the conversion elsewhere on this topic, I believe - are you applying that?

The suggestion was to …

  1. Reduce fixed weapon damage by 1.
  2. Convert remaining fixed damage to Combat Dice.
  3. Reduce Vicious quality, if present, by 1 (and remove if reduced to 0).

Thus a weapon previously doing 1+4CD will convert to 4CD, while a weapon doing 2+6CD would convert to 7CD.

However, as you’ve noticed, removing the fixed damage and replacing it with a random result will naturally result in a much wider range of damage results (and introduce the possibility of a hit doing no damage at all, obviously). The higher probability of rolling some damage on a Conan dice (66% rather than 33%) will obviously counteract this slightly, but it’ll still result in a wider range of outcomes.

4+4CD (Infinity style) gives a range of damage (without rolling any effects) between 4 and 12, depending on the dice results.
7CD (Conan style, following conversion) would give a damage range of 0 to 14, depending on the results.

Or, for a more direct comparison …
1+6CD (Infinity) results, on average, in 4 damage and one Effect.
6CD (Conan conversion) results, on average, in 5 damage and two Effects (which would obviously have an impact as well).

In other words, yes, as you’ve noticed, using dice for all damage rather than just a part of the damage will result in a greater variation in results, and it also means that the weapons can do more damage than with standard INFINITY damage. This may, of course, also shift the balance of other elements of the game.

This may be intentional, as Conan is a more pulpy setting, which suits the wider ranges and swinginess, while INFINITY, to me, being more of a sort-of-hard SF, suits the more predictable damage of the INFINITY Combat Dice.

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Just talking about the range isn’t all of the story though.

The curve in the Conan dice tends a lot more towards the median result than Infinity (which skews lower).

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You can have it simple or accurate, not both. And I think the proposed conversion guide is “good enough”.

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The change to Conan damage dice where an Effect also causes 1 damage could impact Psywar social combat even more than the physical combat.

Psywar attacks cause 1+4[CD] damage plus the Psywar damage bonus. But as Psywar damage usually does not have any qualities associated with (only the basic attack does, all others don’t), and as Infinity damage dice only have a single Effect symbol which does not do any damage (if there is no Vicious x quality involved), Psywar damage dice look like this: 1, 2, 0, 0, 0, 0. - That is about 0.5 points of damage per die.

If you introduce Conan-like damage dice, Psywar damage would look like: 1, 2, 0, 0, 1, 1. - That is about 0.83 points of damage per die.

Without any Psywar bonus, the Infinity damage code of 1+4[CD] would cause on average 3 points of damage.
Looking at a very competent character with Personality 12, giving a +3 Psywar bonus and the Relentless Talent at rank 2, giving another +2 Psywar damage dice, this would give a damage code of 1+9[CD] for a Psywar attack with an average of 5.5 point of damage.

Using the Conan damage dice the attack without any Psywar bonus would cause 4[CD] damage, on average 3.3 points of damage.
The very competent character would now roll 9[CD] in the Conan-style, which gives on average 7.5 points of damage.

That makes Psywar attacks using Conan damage dice more powerful, makes it easier to generate Resolve loss, and to cause Metanoia effects.

If this is acceptable, then, of course, you can introduce it into your Infinity campaign.

In my experience, Psywar is very powerful, and can cause much more versatile results as Metanoia effects than physical combat produces. I would be reluctant in raising the Psywar damage as many NPC types don’t have a high defense against this type of attack and will be easily influenced - more easily than already.

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A similar effect might be caused for Infowar attacks, depending on the actual programs used.

For an example, having a hacker charakter with Intelligence 12, Infowar damage bonus of +3, using the CLAW-3 Total Control program.

The Infinity damage code is: 1+2[CD]+3[CD] (damage bonus) with Vicious 3 quality and a special Breach Effect for Momentum spend. That would cause on average 1 + 5x(1/6x1 + 1/6x2 + 3/6x0 + 1/6x3) = 6 points of damage (plus the special Breach Effect).

Using the Conan damage code this would change to: 2[CD]+3[CD] (damage bonus) with Vicious 2 quality and the special Breach Effect. That would cause on average 5x(1/6x1 + 1/6x2 + 2/6x0 + 2/6x3) = 7.5 points of damage (plus the special Breach Effect).

Looking at another program, the often-used SWORD-1 Slasher, employed by the same Hacker (Int 12, Infowar bonus +3).
Infinity damage code is 2+5[CD] +3[CD] (damage bonus) with Vicious 2 quality. That would cause on average 2+8x(1/6x1 + 1/6x2 + 3/6x0 + 1/6x2) = 8.7 points of damage.

Using the Conan damage code that changes to 6[CD] +3[CD] (damage bonus) with Vicious 1 quality. That would cause on average 9x(1/6x1 + 1/6x2 + 2/6x0 + 2/6x2) = 10.5 points of damage.

I think it is worth looking at the repercussions the change in the damage dice and the damage code will have.

Another case would be the effect on vehicle damage, especially the ramming/collision damage, which comes up in my games quite often.

And of course diseases and drugs will need to be looked at, too.

The same as acquisitions, as the “financial damage”, the cost, uses the typical x+y[CD] damage code and Tariff as a kind of Vicious quality. Having a higher chance of Effects on the die would mean more impact of Tariffs on purchasing.

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Oh, to clarify, I wasn’t disparaging the conversion method for people who want to use Conan dice for INFINITY, just doing some analysis on the ‘swinginess’ stated in the OP, and noting that it could cause further unintended consequences with regard to game balance, as further outlined by @inane.imp and @FrankF.

I concur, you can introduce the more recent type of damage dice (like in Conan), but if you do, especially in Infinity there are more fields where damage dice are applied than in Conan or other 2d20 games. So a bit more work is to be expected to check for repercussions caused by the damage dice conversion.

In general, though, I prefer the way Mutant Chronicles and Infinity handles the damage code as x+y[CD] with fewer Effect symbols.

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Guys, thanks for all the anwsers! In fact, I didn’t even try it, it was just that I’ve played Conan before, and thought that more effects would translate in more interesting combats, but you’re right, it chances MANY things! I should try it as it is before. Thanks all!