Update #32 - The Skills & Learn By Using

But first let's take a look at how the Pit is shaping up:





Combat skills

Weapon skills – increase your to-hit chance by 10% per rank.
Evasion – reduces the enemy’s to-hit chance with guns by 5% per rank, with melee by 10% per rank.
Armor – reduces armor penalties by 10% per rank.
Critical Strike – increases your chance to score a critical hit by 5% per rank

Our goal here is to raise skills you’re using the most, ideally reinforcing your gameplay style, while eliminating all possible exploits to raise skill fast. Here is the design overview:

XP – experience points that go toward increasing your character level and gaining feats
LP - learning points that go toward increasing your skill level

  • Eeach attack that does X points of damage gives you X learning points multiplied by the enemy-specific modifier; the points go to the skill matching the weapon used. So if you hit an enemy for 8 points of damage and the modifier reflecting the enemy’s type is 1.5, you get 12 learning points.
  • Each critical strike gives the character who scored it 10+[critical damage] lp, so if you critically hits enemy for 17 points of damage, he gains 27lp. Certain weapon and attack types increase your CS chance and/or CS damage multiplier, so to put things in perspective, if you play a Riddick like character your CS skill will be much higher than if you play a Conan like character.
  • Evasion & Armor. This is where it gets a bit tricky as we have to limit exploits (the obvious one would be rotating your characters while letting the last remaining enemy to attack them to milk every last drop of LP). Each enemy will have a pool of learning points (i.e. what you can learn about defensive skills while fighting this enemy). Once the pool is depleted, the lesson is over. The points can go to one character or split evenly, based on how you fight. The frontliners will get the highest share while your sniper will learn very little or nothing at all.
  • Evasion: When the enemy targets your character and misses, that character gains 5 lp x the modifier until the above mentioned LP pool is depleted.
  • Armor: When the enemy hits your party member, that character gains learning points equal to damage resisted by the armor until the pool is depleted, so the heavier the armor the faster you’d develop the skill. Keep in mind that the pool is the same for both Evasion and Armor, so which skills gain learning points depends on which characters will be targeted first and whether the enemies hit or miss.
  • Each fight gives your party Y xp that's divided between the party members, so if you have 4 guys and you got 100 xp after a fight, each gets 25xp; if you have 2 guys, each gets 50xp. You’d gain most XP from solving quests though.


Science skills:
 
Medical:

  • Heal yourself and you crew after fights (i.e. how many hit points you gain after a fight). Very handy when you have to fight several battles in a row.
  • Extract implants from corpses after fights and in scripted events
  • Governs the use of combat stimulants


Mechanics & Electronics:

  • Repair broken devices and mechanisms
  • salvage parts for repair and upgrade


The ship is falling apart so if you want to explore it, meaning get past various obstacles, you won’t get far without these two skills. The best example from AoD would be the broken generator in the Library ruins. You need to fix it to gain access to an optional area but you can’t fix it without parts. In Colony Ship you’d have to salvage parts as you explore and then use them to repair various devices to gain access to optional areas.

Plus if you like restoring old things such as a murderous anti-riot droids, you should use every opportunity to practice these skills.

Stealth skills:

  • Lockpicking– open mechanical and electronic locks, meaning locked doors and containers. At level 10 you can even beat retinal scanners, so if you firmly believe in redistribution of wealth, this skill is for you.
  • Hacking – gain access to various computer systems, from intrusion detection and countermeasures to multi-purpose terminals scattered throughout the Ship.  These terminals were designed to get the future colony up and running, so they can be easily hooked to various machines.
  • Sneaking – infiltrate restricted areas and live to tell the tale. The higher the skill the longer you can remain undetected, meaning you can take your time cleaning up a place or get into high-security places with faster detection.


Obviously, you’ll need all 3 skills to do any serious breaking and entering, but lockpicking and hacking will be very useful for explorers as well. 

You’ll gain LPs every time you pick a lock, hack a terminal, or infiltrate a place. Needless to say each lock and terminal pays LPs only once and sneaking is a special event, kind of like decking in the new Shadowrun games – you can’t do it at will but only during quests and special encounters while exploring.

Speech skills:

  • Persuasion – convince people to do something through reasoning or argument, the art of debate
  • Streetwise – manipulate and deceive the gullible, the art of urban survival. 
  • Impersonate – pretend to be someone else, the art of acting.


You gain 10lp every time you pick a tagged line (the points go to the skill matching the tag) plus 100 bonus points if you solve a quest with diplomacy. This way a pure talker would have much higher dialogue skills than a chatty killer (a man who clicks on all dialogue options first to gain all LP, then kills everyone anyway).

Update #31 - The Interface

We’re implementing the interface right now so let me show what we have and get some feedback. Let’s start with the standard features:

  • Two weapon slots showing equipped weapons and selected attack’s stats (damage, AP, ammo)
  • An optional textbox giving you detailed blow-by-blow info during combat
  • A combat queue we used in Dungeon Rats to show who gets to act when
  • 4 belt bags so you can throw grenades or use items in combat without moving them to the weapon slots





The combat interface is familiar, but instead of selecting attacks via a drop-down list, which was a bit messy and not very intuitive, you’ll use icons that appear when you click on a weapon slot:



The icons are grouped in 3 different categories:

  • Basic attacks (fast, regular, power for melee; snap shot and regular shot for ranged; there are no power attacks with guns)
  • Aimed attacks (self-explanatory; you get an extra bullseye shot with ranged)
  • Special attacks (double shot, short burst, long burst, double strike, flurry (3 strikes), and swing (hits 3 tiles).



Your feedback here would be much appreciated.

Next is the dialogue window:


^ we don't have Mercy's portrait yet so we're using a placeholder portrait.  As for the design:

  • The dialogue window won’t take the entire screen, as in AoD since it added nothing but extra work (the camera had to be manually positioned)
  • The checks will now display the skill or stat level required to avoid playing a guessing game; if there is no value listed (see the first response), the stat acts as a modifier (strengthening or weakening the reaction) not a check. Strength can be used as a modifier too if you’re trying to intimidate, for example, so it’s not Charisma only.
  • Since we’ve decided to show the check values, might as well show your skill levels so that you don’t have to rely on memory alone. Green means your skill level is equal to or higher than the check value. Yellow means it’s lower but you can still make an attempt. Red means no go (what used to be hidden options in AoD). Before you start freaking out, remember that the check system was changed and it’s no longer a binary ‘succeed or fail’ setup, so green lines won’t always be the best and yellow lines won’t always lead to failure and death, so we aren’t highlighting the best and worst options for you here.
  • The tags can be turned on and off in the options, so if you don’t like them, turn them off.


Thoughts?

Update #30 - There Be Monsters

First things first: we had to change the name so now the game is called Colony Ship. While it's not the most original name, it's the most straightforward one.



Now that we got that out of the way, let's talk about what RPGs are really all about - monsters. As a wise man once said:

“As one would expect, the game shines the most during the fights against humans. This is true because of all the reasons that made AoD combat great – humans are the most tactically diverse in terms of abilities, weaponry, armour, etc, which makes almost every fight against them unique to some extent.

But then you have the monsters, which are more or less the anti-thesis to everything that makes AoD combat good. Sure, the first time a new monster type appears, you might be surprised by what it can do, and act accordingly to counter it. However, monsters don’t really go beyond 2 types (and even that is usually limited to “small scorpion”, “big scorpion”), and don’t present any tactical flexibility. They are simply one-trick ponies that stop being interesting dangerously fast. Scolopendras rush forward and hit you and poison you, and that’s it. Same goes for scorpions and ants. You’ve been to one of these fights, and you’ve been to them all…”


It’s a valid and helpful point, so naturally, we want to do better. In AoD/DR most critters were melee ‘fighters’, half of them poisonous, with high DEX (to close the distance fast) and two attack types. Predictably, this design didn’t bring anything new to the table and what little it did bring got old fast.  

So when it comes to creatures our goals are:

  • Tactical flexibility
  • Unique abilities that humans don’t have
  • Focus on various effects rather than direct damage (i.e. no 'fighters')
  • Different enemies working together or taking advantage of other critters’ abilities
  • Effective counters of ranged parties


Of course, having lofty goals is one thing, achieving them is another, so we’d like to run some ideas by our core audience and see what you guys think. Nothing is set in stone yet as we won’t start implementing the creatures until 2019, so we can easily make change at this point. We’re planning to have 6 creatures, mostly found in the Hydroponics and Wasteland. Let’s start with the creatures’ origin:

The Ship is en route to Proxima B, an Earth-like planet orbiting Proxima Centauri. Ninety percent of its surface is covered with water, but the planet is slightly bigger than Earth, providing approximately half of Earth’s landmass.

Losing Terran plants and crops to local pests and fungus would be catastrophic, so the Hydroponics Division was tasked with adapting the plants to the anticipated environment of Proxima B and developing biological forms of pest control (introducing predators from old Earth to change the native ecosystem and eliminate all local threats was the most cost-effective way to ensure that the colony would survive and grow).

Extensive gene-editing was employed to develop resistance to alien fungi and pests, and accelerated adaptation hacked into the plants' genetic code. Like many other critical systems, Hydroponics was abandoned during the Mutiny. The carefully cultivated flora and fauna was left on its own in harsh environs designed to propagate rapid and brutal evolutionary cycles.

When human beings finally decided to reclaim Hydroponics, they discovered an environment as wild and hostile as any Earth jungle...

So today we’ll show you 3 predators from old Earth:



Frogs are already used in agriculture as a form of biological pest control as they have a healthy appetite for insects and are highly resistant to insecticide. Plus they have a wide range of natural abilities: jumping, toxic venom, hallucinogen, even retractable spikes (the wolverine frog), which would make them a top choice when it comes to cost-effective terraforming.

The frog is a 'hard to hit, easy to kill' critter (high evasion due to the small size and mobility, low hit points and no damage resistance). They will attack in packs and come in 3 varieties: fighter, poison spitter, and 'mind flayer'. It's a low level critter that prefers easy prey (i.e. low level, poorly equipped parties). They aren't very aggressive and won't attack unless threatened. When you run into them for the first time, they'll be busy feasting on a corpse. If you want to go through that corpse's pockets, you'll have to kill the frogs first.



An avid predator and an opportunistic feeder, the starfish is one of the keystone species which makes it an excellent addition to any terraforming arsenal. It can regenerate damaged parts, swallow its prey whole, and it even comes with its own body armor (hardened plates and spines).

The mutated version will shoot its stomach (yeah, it's actually a thing) to drag the victim within the attack range. It will also release a spore cloud, greatly reducing the visibility and your THC with ranged weapons. During its turn, the starfish will envelop you and drain your HP, regenerating some of the damage it sustains during the fight.

Unlike the frog, the starfish is easy to hit (with melee weapons) but hard to kill due to DR and accelerated regeneration. One starfish isn’t a serious threat but 2-3 would be able to ruin your day pretty quick.



It’s a mutated jellyfish originally adapted from the Portuguese man o'war and designed to hover over crops and zap insects, while turning away larger animals. Things got a bit out of hand during the Mutiny when the mutation cycles ran wild and now the few remaining floaters haunt the ruins of the Mission Control Center.

Upon detecting oversized insects, the floater will slowly move to intercept them. Bullets have no effect on it but energy weapons would bring it down in no time. In the absence of such weapons or cells to power them up, you can hack it to pieces, which isn’t an ideal solution because the floater will zap every enemy next to it (crowd control), dealing energy damage. On top of it, the floater is equipped with a primitive version of brainwave disruptor, so the closer you get, the higher the chance to forget what you were doing and just stand there, drooling like an idiot (aka skip turn).

In short, the floater is easy to kill if you have energy cells to spare or hard to kill with melee weapons if you don’t. Certain implants and helmet will increase mental resistance.  Other creatures and rival parties might (surely will) attack while you’re busy fighting the floaters.

Anyway, if you like these creatures, you'll definitely like the other three, including Old Beelzebub. If not, let's discuss.

Update #29 - On C&C and Storytelling

As you probably know by now, Choices & Consequences are more than just a feature for us. It’s the foundation on which the game is built and a concept we’ll continue exploring and evolving as long as we stay in business. The reason it’s so important to us –and hopefully to you – is that the players need a steady stream of choices to craft their own tales and it is the consequences that give meaning to those choices and alter the tale. 

AoD was our first attempt at C&C and I’d rate this attempt at 6/10. We did many things right and – predictably - we did many things wrong. We also learned quite a lot in the process and we hope that The New World will take C&C to the next level, offering a less restrictive and more engaging experience. 

Essentially, there are 3 types of choices:

  • Multiple quest solutions to let you handle quests in a manner fitting your character. Keep in mind that you will not be able to handle every situation (aka side quest) with brute force or clever words, so some exceptions will apply, but you will be able to beat the game with combat, stealth, or diplomacy.

  • Taking sides in various conflicts, big and small, thus leaving your mark on the gameworld and defining your character through actions (aka role-playing). These decisions aren't based on skills but on your opinions, allegiances, beliefs, past decisions, etc. It works best when there’re plenty of double- and triple-crossing opportunities, like going to kill Lorenza in one of the assassins quest in Maadoran and letting her talk you into killing Darista and Gaelius instead, which affects your options with Hamza when you run into him in Ganezzar.

  • Big Decisions that alter the story (i.e. branching), affect the gameworld, and have far reaching consequences.


Since Big Decisions are appropriately rare (you can’t alter the storyline every 5 min) and multiple quests solutions are often determined by your build, the meat of the game is taking sides in conflicts, which is a lot more complex than pointing at some ruins and saying ‘there be monsters’.  

First and foremost, the player has to give a damn. Obviously, it’s a very subjective criterion and a major risk factor, especially in a non-fantasy game. Fantasy, ancient mysteries, sword & sorcery hold a certain, deeply engrained appeal. The sci-fi does not, unless it’s reskinned fantasy. However, since we can’t do much about it, we’ll put these concerns aside for a moment and focus on things that are actually within our control:

  • The conflict should be properly designed, meaning it should have a past and a future. The player should see how the conflict came to be, all the factors that led to it, and how the events might unfold after the player’s interference. 

  • Since the player will take sides, both sides should have strong positions and offer compelling arguments. The player should feel that he/she is doing the right thing. Whoever the player sides with are the good guys fighting the good fight, the other side automatically becomes the evil that must be stopped (i.e. good and evil shifts with perspective). 

  • Since the player will take sides, both sides should have strong positions and offer compelling arguments. Unlike in a traditional or reskinned fantasy setting, there is no "good" or "evil" faction; every faction presents the upsides to its strategy, and players will be able to see the downsides as well. Once you pick a side, other factions' beliefs become obstacles that amplify the downsides to your faction. As Mark Yohalem said it, “in a world where you can only make an omelet by cracking eggs, they keep trying to knock eggs out of your hand on the floor, mess with the heat on the stove, or slosh the pan.”  Players shouldn't feel like paladins, but they should feel that they’re doing the right thing under the circumstances.

  • Handling the conflicts in different ways must have different consequences, ideally ripple-effect style. The player should see the short-term consequences (hooray, we won!) but not the long term effects as the player wouldn’t have all the info (especially on the first playthrough) to consider all the angles. Well, Luther could hardly imagine that his fiery proclamations would eventually result in a bitter divide and a 30-year war…


Now back to the above-mentioned concerns: 

We don’t expect everyone to like the conflicts and the themes we offer to explore, but we hope that our core audience would enjoy and appreciate the attention to details. Unfortunately, hope is not a very reliable tool, so we have to seek feedback to make sure we stay on the right track. 

Since I talk to Mark Yohalem (the developer of Primordia who’s currently working on Fallen Gods, one of my most anticipated RPGs) quite often, I casually dump my files on him every chance I get. Now, I know what you’re thinking. I praise him, he praises me, everyone’s happy. It’s not like that at all. While I do praise his work and think that his Fallen Gods updates are really awesome, he is merciless, relentless, and tenacious in his criticism. You guys should see him tearing into my work like a fucking chainsaw. It’s a sight to behold. 

Recently I did manage to score some positive points and I’d like to share them with you:

* * *


A few weeks ago, I had the painful pleasure of reviewing a small dialogue from The New World.  I say “painful” because I adored The Age of Decadence and had managed, despite its very public development, to go in without knowing much about its story or setting.  Every time I learn more about TNW, I’m taking a usurious payday advance against when I finally get to play it in a few years.  Sure, it’s fun to have a little something now, but I’ll be destitute when the release roles around.

And now I get to offer the same bitter pill to you, dear reader, because Vince asked me to share my analysis of the dialogue for this update.  This is doubly brilliant, since it not only lets Vince put up a long-winded pretentious discussion about narrative themes while maintaining his own laconic reputation, but also will make his future posts seem even more practical and modest in contrast to this one.  Given that Vince is basically a real-life Miltiades, I’m not sure why I keep following him into these alleys…

The dialogue at issue is a quest and mirror-quest where the player meets Lord’s Mercy, a gunslinging lady at the head of a gang of toughs.  Mercy is currently in the employ of one Jonas Redford, the owner of a brothel and the de facto boss of the Pit.  A powerful outsider gang, called the Regulators, was recently brought into the Pit to help keep out another faction, The Brotherhood of Liberty.  But now the Regulators are themselves trying to take over the Pit, and their leader Jeremiah Braxton (erstwhile Faithful Gunner of the Church of the Elect) is hoping to take down Jonas.  (Anyone familiar with the television show Deadwood should have an immediate sense for Jonas and the interlopers trying to give him the boot.)  The player winds up on one side or the other of this conflict and needs to either make sure Mercy stays loyal to Jonas, or flip her to Braxton’s side.

At the outset of my conversation with Vince about the mechanics of the dialogue, I gave him my thoughts on what I understood the dialogue’s themes to be.  (That’s because Lajos Egri’s The Art of Dramatic Writing persuaded me that when the writer knows what thematic significance a dialogue has, it helps him keep the dialogue lean and focused.)  Now, with a little bit of editing, I share my thematic assessment with you.

  • The struggle over the Pit is, like in Deadwood, basically a story about frontier independence being swept away by powerful forces from back in “civilization.”  Also, as with the overrunning of Greece by Rome (or any other of a hundred historical examples), it's about how the shortsightedness of internal factions in inviting outside powers leads to all the insiders losing their stature.

  • This struggle is taking place against the backdrop of a failing colony ship, so there’s also an undercurrent that as the world breaks down, power can perversely become consolidated into a few factions’ hands because the middle-class prosperity and law-and-order that maintain individual freedom are lost.

  • Jonas is a stalwart of the frontier/insider old guard: a rough and ugly man, but ultimately an exemplar of rugged/ruthless independence.  Braxton represents the more sophisticated, more cultured, more connected, more powerful, more modern outside/civilized strength.

  • Being a Badass Lady, Mercy already starts halfway off third base in terms of player sympathy.  She values her Word, her God, and her Gun, which is to say, she's an All-American Hero.  Given that she's an All-American Hero, she's naturally on the side of rugged independence, which is where we find her.  

  • The effort to flip Mercy to Braxton is thus about the prostitution of Lady Liberty to wealth and power, no?  It's Arthur Miller’s Death of a Gunswoman in one short act.  (Ironic that her prostitution should entail abandoning a pimp in favor of a churchman, but life is rich with such little ironies.)

  • Conversely, the mirror interaction with Mercy is a matter of saving her from such prostitution.

  • Because a huge part of AOD's appeal, and I think TNW's appeal, is the squalid bargaining the player is tricked(? enticed? invited?) into carrying out, it's excellent that the interloping powerful faction should be in many ways more appealing than the local independence faction because that lets the player think, for a while, that he's doing the Right Thing when helping Braxton and the Wrong Thing in helping Jonas.  And in neither case does he come off clean, since it's not like Jonas is George Washington and of course Braxton is a straight-up warlord.

  • So, with this set-up in mind, helping Braxton to subvert Mercy’s loyalty to Jonas should be about humiliating Mercy and/or undermining the values that are important to her.  It’s about getting her to trade her code of ethics for blood money, cheap status, or personal safety.  Logically, helping Jonas to keep her loyal should be about the flipside, but in order to make it work within the bleak message of AOD/TNW, Braxton’s men should have an opportunity to point out what kind of scum Jonas is.  Ultimately, the proviso to “fight for the American dream” given by The New World is “on behalf of an aging pimp who beats his whores and slits kids’ throats.”  The game is set at a point where the gangrene has gone too far—mutilation, death, or mutilation followed by death are the three options for the colony ship.  There’s neither a Flood nor a Redeemer coming.

  • If I'm right on these themes, I think the dialogue could use just a little bit more length (probably one more node's worth) so that you have more room for Mercy to waver and falter.  And rather than having her persuaded in a way that makes her decision seem increasingly reasonable and confident, I would do it in a way that makes her seem increasingly weak and fearful, or at least compromised.  My suggestion would be that the two roleplaying paths you’re offering the player (other than just fighting Mercy) are: 

    (1) You establish an awful Et tu, Mercy? in which you show that even the steely-eyed, gang-leading, gun-slinging, hand-over-the-quickdraw-holster, views-the-scripture-like-Sam-Jackson-in-Pulp-Fiction-before-he-goes-soft lady can be bent and broken by the shabby corruptions of the world.

    (2) You carry out the grim work of convincing a good woman to lend her gun to a petty pimp so that he can keep the Pit as his fief, which is really another way of saying that we are doomed to have at best the devil we know.  And, of course, having bumped off the Protectors and having lost a good swath of his own gunmen in the process, Jonas has simply exposed the Pit to domination by some other outside faction down the road.

    (3) You might also offer a “player is also naive” path in which he persuades Mercy to side with Braxton because he’s a Good and Noble Man in contrast to Jonas, leading to the inevitable discovery that actually Braxton is simply a better class of bully bastard.

    Ultimately, I think this early quest will pull of the neat trick of simultaneously establishing that the player is a free agent capable of tilting the balances of power in a world of deadlocked factional struggles and establishing that there isn’t really room in this setting for a “good guy with a gun” to drive out the bad guys.  After all, Mercy is the good guy with a gun, and at the end of the day, she’s just a trigger lady for one or another of the bad guys.

 

* * *


You can convince Mercy to join your cause, whatever this cause might be. If you aren't much of a talker, you can kill her (either in a more or less fair fight or via stealth assassination) to weaken your enemies. Alternatively, let Mercy convince you to side with her when she makes her own play for power (she will help Jonas defeat Braxton, then you'll help her take out Jonas). Thus, the outcomes are:

  • The meddling carpetbaggers are defeated, the Pit remains independent ... but virtually defenseless. Now that the Regulators are gone, the Brotherhood might will surely come knocking on their door again.

  • The Regulators take over, bringing much needed law & order. Being a realist, Braxton knows that he must make an alliance with a major faction. The question is which one but we can leave it up to you. It will be relatively easy to make a deal with the Protectors of the Mission, the hardest with the Church as you'd have to convince Braxton to make amends and do some groveling for the greater good. 

  • Lord's Mercy takes over. Maybe now is a good time to tell you she's an Old Testament kinda woman. Her God is a vengeful God and said so Himself in the Good Book. He's all fire and brimstone to His enemies, never thinking twice when it came to righteous retribution. If that’s what her name means, Mercy does her best to live up to it. 

Hopefully, this update will give you an idea of what to expect in terms of quests, conflicts, and themes. Your comments, questions, and complaints are always welcome.

Update #28 - Power Armor

There isn't much to report at the moment (we're making good progress, the combat AI is now taking the first steps and attacking the player with extreme prejudice; the starting town is looking better and better; Joao is working non-stop on the assets which helps us tremendously, Mazin is working on randomizing portraits*, Ivan is making armor models, etc), so let's talk about the power armor and armor in general.

I dislike linear progressions in all forms, which is why we went with damage resistance vs chance to dodge (the heavier the armor, the harder to dodge attacks) in AoD, instead of generic Armor Class, whatever that is. Still, two key stats would only take you so far, which is why we added different types of damage: melee, ballistic, energy. Now you can have great ballistic armor, for example, but if you let some bersekers get into your personal space, you'll find yourself at a major disadvantage. 

Anyway, the problem with power armor is it has to be awesome, which isn't bad in itself, but this awesomeness tends to make all the other armor obsolete (not to mention that *traditional* power armor should be pretty good against all types of damage, which would make the different types of damage pointless the moment you get your hands on such armor). 

So we decided to explore a different direction. The power armor isn't really 'armor'. It's a device that creates a defensive field around you. As such it doesn't have any damage resistance whatsoever.

Medium armor, rough sketch

 

There are 3 basic types: light, medium, heavy. You wear it like a vest. You can't wear other vests, so it's a trade off: damage resistance vs shield vs deflector. More on that in a moment. You can wear a jacket or a trenchcoat with it, so you will have some DR, just not as much as with a tactical vest. 

At the moment the armor comes in two varieties: 

- an energy shield that absorbs all damage until depleted (no DR). Essentially it grants you immunity for the first couple of turns, then you're on your own. If you can't use this immunity wisely and kill a couple of enemies fast, the armor isn't for you. The other energy shield (the gadget one) is weaker and doesn't absorb all damage (i.e. has DR), and can't be moved (i.e. you 'cast' it on a tile). Light, medium, heavy - 20, 40, 60 HP.

- a deflector that turns a critical into a regular strike, a regular into a graze, a graze into a miss. The deflector will lose power with every turn, so we'll need to count turns and reduce %. For example, a heavy model will start with 90% chance to deflect at turn 1, 80% at turn 2, 70% at turn 3, 60% at turn 4, and so on until the deflector is out of juice (0%). Medium will go with 90, 75, 60, 45, 30, 15, 0. Light - 90, 70, 50, 30, 10, 0

Since it's non-linear we can easily expand it and add more properties and different defensive abilities. While we're at it, here is the targeting mockup that gives you the full picture without listing all the different THC individually:

5% chance to score a critical, 45% THC, extra 10% chance to graze, 40% chance to miss


   

The Dalton brothers The Dalton brothers The Dalton brothers

 

“The Dalton brothers,” says the Chief Magistrate, shaking his head as he reviews the data. “Showing a poverty of imagination matching their actual poverty, they decided to strike out and plunder the riches of the Wasteland. By all accounts they were lucky to survive, but unlucky to return empty-handed. This is after running up a substantial debt to finance their venture, said debt causing our business community undue hardship and financial burden. Which of course must be rectified.”

“Anything else I should know?”

“Yes, there’s a note appended to the file: the Daltons petitioned the Court to provide them with means to defend themselves, on account of losing most of their belongings during their unsuccessful enterprise. They were issued an axe and two knives, so my guess is they’ll come at you hard and fast. A shotgun would be handy in this situation. “

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