Wednesday, November 5, 2014

GM Wednesday! - Soaking Effects



I've heard Soaking effects described by several GMs as you get hit, damage is rolled, and if you Soak it then the damage never happened.

I've always hated that. It's a rewrite of what's happened that not only negates the damage but the hit as well. And if it really is undoing the fabric of space and time, then why is it based on a Vigor roll? Shouldn't a Tardis be involved somewhere?

To me, a successful Soak roll is a character's ability to keep going without feeling impaired by the wound they have just received (hence the Vigor roll). Here's an example of what I am talking about.

A Yeti hits Combat Carl with a brutal attack that scores a Raise! He deals 2 Wounds to Carl with his damage roll.

Combat Carl spends a Benny to Soak this horrible attack and rolls high enough to Soak both Wounds!

So the Yeti has raked it's claws across Combat Carl's back, ripping his shirt and skin. The bleeding look horrendous, but it looks worse than it is. Nothing vital has been punctured and Carl's adrenaline high lets him ignore the pain to keep on fighting.

Carl looks like he's been gored badly, but it's just a messy flesh wound.

If you want a cinematic example, look at the end of the original Die Hard. McClain is a mess of blood and bandaged feet but while he looks exhausted, he still seems to be operating at near peak performance. This is a man who has made a lot of Soak rolls. 

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