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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:43 am
  

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D-Bee

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Ironbane is a very powerful weapon found in the book, Siege on Tolkeen #1, page 45.

My GM allowed my Cyber-Knight character to have this sword. The other day when we were in session, I attacked a Brodkil with it and it went "clang!" and bounced harmlessly off the creature's skin.

I was NOT notified that the GM modified the weapon in any way, I was told it was exactly as the description, which partly reads:

Damage: How Ironbane inflicts damage is the real source of its power. When hitting a living being, be it a person, plant, animal, or supernatural creature, the sword inflicts 1D6x10 S.D.C., even against the undead.

This is a contradiction because there are no SDC supernatural creatures. I think what happened was that Kevin forgot to add "and M.D. to mega-damage creatures." But because the text says S.D.C. to living creatures, I get "clang!"

Now, I know the GM's words are law, and he's allowed to modify anything he wishes, but I was NOT told ahead of time, which I feel is unfair.

So in the above example, should Ironbane have damaged the Brodkil for 1D6x10 mega-damage?


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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:26 am
  

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Didn't know the Ironbane sword so I just read the description, and it seems to me that your GM has got it right. It only does S.D.C. damage against living creatures, but does loads of damage (S.D.C. damage or M.D.) against inanimate objects. I think that is supposed to be the power and limitation of the sword. It's no good against Brodkil, but awesome against armour or robots. It is certainly not a "modification" by your GM - he is playing it as written. A modification would be to assume that the author had missed off a bit about doing M.D. damage to living beings and add it as a house rule.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news - It is a shame the reply to your first post here on the boards is to disagree with you, but I'm pretty sure your GM is correct in this case. Welcome anyway! :)


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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:19 am
  

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Remember that there's non-megadamage worlds (which is likely where ironbane comes from) so on those worlds supernatural monsters would have SDC and be vulnerable to Ironbane. You're just.....not on one at the moment.

try not to lose it to the CS, it's valuable.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 11:26 am
  

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D-Bee

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Well, I see two problems with that. Are you familiar with the concepts letter of the law and spirit of the law? Letter of the law deals with exactly how the rule was written while spirit of the law has to do with how the rule was intended. I'm sure we've seen plenty of "rules lawyers" out there who abuse the specific wording of the rules to gain more power. Heh, heh, although I am shamelessly using "spirit of the law" to gain more power, lol! I don't expect to "win" this argument, but I'd like to make a point.

1. The text does NOT say, "but when attacking a supernatural mega-damage creature, unless that supernatural creature is an SDC creature, the weapon will bounce harmlessly off its skin." That's some very important information, and players are supposed to infer all of this?

2. It's also a contradiction because there are no SDC supernatural creatures with the possible exception of vampires. In Rifts Ultimate Edition on page 285 it reads:

Simply put, supernatural beings are NOT human. They are something else. Creatures that defy the laws of physics and draw upon arcane forces and energies (like magic) as part of their innate essence. Their supernatural aspect gives them Mega-Damage strength and endurance, and makes them natural M.D.C. creatures (i.e. flesh like Mega-Damage steel).

*The sword hurts supernatural creatures
*The sword does SDC damage to supernatural creatures
*There are no SDC supernatural creatures
*This is a contradiction

I saw the argument that the weapon may come from the Palladium Fantasy world where everything is SDC, but if that's true, then why would only some of its features convert to MDC and not others?

So what's the most likely intent? That a weapon is intentionally leaving out important information for the players to infer AND a glaring contradiction, or Kevin simply forgot to add "and M.D. to Mega-Damage creatures?"


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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:12 pm
  

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i see you're a little upset. but the rules are as written, it does mega-damage against non-living things because the magic was seemingly meant just for destroying armor (such as iron, hence the name) but it's normal SDC damage (which is nothing in MDC) to anything living. a sword meant for destroying you foe's armor instead of killing them seems a pretty good sword for a knight to me....

anyways, your GM was playing the rules straight. he was correct, and while it would be in his power to decide to pretend otherwise there's no point in arguing if that's his call. this IS how the spirit of the rule was intended. do chop up a robot. or the brodkil's bionics.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:58 am
  

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I am familiar with the concept of the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. In this case they are the same. I don't know whether there are any S.D.C. supernatural creatures out there in one of the many Rifts books, but I wouldn't be surprised to find there were. It doesn't matter anyway, because the point is that the sword does only S.D.C. damage to living creatures, which in the case of supernatural or other M.D.C. creatures is effectively no damage (unless you score a critical hit, in which case you might manage to inflict 1 M.D. especially if you have a high damage bonus). The book does not need to specifically state that the sword "bounces off" an M.D.C. creature, because it is one of the basic rules we all know that S.D.C. damage bounces off an M.D.C. creature. The information is all there. And the fluff text all supports the "robot-killer" concept for the sword. The clue is in the name! Also, I don't see the bit in the description where it says as you asserted "the sword hurts supernatural creatures".

It is really cool sword that does a whopping 2D6x10 Mega-Damage to armour, robots and such, provides some awesome bonuses, and has the added advantage that you can inflict "non-lethal" (or at least "non-instakill") damage against S.D.C. opponents! Seems like there's little to complain about here!


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:34 am
  

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Soldier of Od wrote:
Also, I don't see the bit in the description where it says as you asserted "the sword hurts supernatural creatures".

It is really cool sword that does a whopping 2D6x10 Mega-Damage to armour, robots and such, provides some awesome bonuses, and has the added advantage that you can inflict "non-lethal" (or at least "non-instakill") damage against S.D.C. opponents! Seems like there's little to complain about here!


It's not an assertion. As copied from the text, it reads: "When hitting a living being, be it a person, plant, animal, or supernatural creature, the sword inflicts 1D6x10 S.D.C., even against the undead.

And then in In Rifts Ultimate Edition on page 285 it reads:

Simply put, supernatural beings are NOT human. They are something else. Creatures that defy the laws of physics and draw upon arcane forces and energies (like magic) as part of their innate essence. Their supernatural aspect gives them Mega-Damage strength and endurance, and makes them natural M.D.C. creatures (i.e. flesh like Mega-Damage steel).

Contradiction. Do you think the writers intended this, or they simply forgot to add, "and M.D. to Mega-Damage creatures?"

But, I'm not going to make a fuss with my GM. Even only dealing devastating damage to borgs, bots, robots and power armor, it's still an awesome sword! To be honest, I just didn't like being humiliated in front of my group and not being warned ahead of time.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:41 am
  

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you can inflict S.D.C. damage against an M.D.C. target, it's one M.D.C. for every hundred points of S.D.C. inflicted. you can do it just fine. it just automatically rounds down to zero for any blow under a hundred so it's generally pointless. you've simply misunderstood the interaction between S.D.C. and M.D.C. a bit i think.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:15 pm
  

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Oh, Siege on Tolkeen... you hot mess, you...

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:30 pm
  

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Gradius123 wrote:
snip...
...there are no SDC supernatural creatures.
...snip

Since you posted this in the 'all things PBs' forum....you forgot something.

"...here are no SDC SN creatures in in the rifts setting.

If I was the GM I would of kept things within the spirit of the text. But maybe nerfing it a bit to 1d4x10 MD

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:54 pm
  

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Gradius123 wrote:
Soldier of Od wrote:
Also, I don't see the bit in the description where it says as you asserted "the sword hurts supernatural creatures".

It is really cool sword that does a whopping 2D6x10 Mega-Damage to armour, robots and such, provides some awesome bonuses, and has the added advantage that you can inflict "non-lethal" (or at least "non-instakill") damage against S.D.C. opponents! Seems like there's little to complain about here!

It's not an assertion. As copied from the text, it reads: "When hitting a living being, be it a person, plant, animal, or supernatural creature, the sword inflicts 1D6x10 S.D.C., even against the undead.

And then in In Rifts Ultimate Edition on page 285 it reads:

Simply put, supernatural beings are NOT human. They are something else. Creatures that defy the laws of physics and draw upon arcane forces and energies (like magic) as part of their innate essence. Their supernatural aspect gives them Mega-Damage strength and endurance, and makes them natural M.D.C. creatures (i.e. flesh like Mega-Damage steel).

Contradiction. Do you think the writers intended this, or they simply forgot to add, "and M.D. to Mega-Damage creatures?"

But, I'm not going to make a fuss with my GM. Even only dealing devastating damage to borgs, bots, robots and power armor, it's still an awesome sword! To be honest, I just didn't like being humiliated in front of my group and not being warned ahead of time.

The thing is, you stated that the book says it "hurts" supernatural creatures. The book doesn't say that. It says that it inflicts S.D.C. damage when used on supernatural creatures. Which doesn't "hurt" it at all (unless you manage to do more than 100 points of S.D.C. damage in one go, as mentioned earlier). It inflicts S.D.C. damage to supernatural creatures and therefore "bounces off", as per normal rules on inflicting S.D.C. damage against M.D.C. targets. No contradiction. No I don't think the writers forgot to add "and M.D. to Mega-Damage creatures".
But anyway, as you are happy to accept the GM's ruling now anyway I don't want to on dragging out the discussion! I guess the GM didn't warn you in advance because the meaning was clear in his mind and he wasn't to know that you had interpreted it a different way? Enjoy bashing robots with your sword, and activate your psi-sword next time you see a brodkil! :-D


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 4:24 pm
  

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Comment: They/Them
Welcome to the forums!

For what it's worth, this subforum is more about Palladium Books as a publisher than specific rule questions. That might not matter all too much, but any perceived snark in responses might take that into account.

As for the sword, after reading the Damage subheading I think the item is clearly meant for destroying inanimate objects without immediately killing any beings wearing them. I would say that while it wouldn't do damage to a Brodkil's flesh in a magical MDC setting, it would absolutely destroy any bionics which they commonly implant at the "non-living" damage rating. I'd also say the SDC damage rating that applies to undead would also apply to the HP damage taken by vampires.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 4:41 pm
  

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First off, welcome to the forums!

In my experience, it's better to be kind than to be right in a roleplaying game. The text is ambiguous; both interpretations have merit, but that's a minor issue. The major problem is your relationship with your GM.

Unless your cyber-knight just picked up this weapon and is trying it out to see what its capabilities are, it would be nonsensical for a professional warrior to use it in such an ineffective way. The fact that this situation arose at all is a little concerning.

A better relationship between you and the GM could have prevented this ahead of time. For your part, you probably should have gotten clarification from the GM when your character got the weapon. The GM should have recognized a disconnect in how you two interpret the text GM before the situation unfolded and clarified things for you.

Even without that prevention, a better relationship between you two would also have helped you move past that moment with grace. The GM could have taken a brief time-out to explain his interpretation or given you a mulligan rather than saying "clang," an approach that likely made you feel foolish and frustrated. For your part, you could have simply roleplayed it away as your character not understanding his weapon just as you yourself did not, laughed at yourself, and moved on with the game.

I sense some frustration in your original post, and that's understandable. Your GM told you to read an ambiguous supernatural weapon description, let you get yourself into a foolish position, and mocked you for it. I certainly understand wanting to take the issue to these boards to see if your interpretation is valid, but I don't think that's going to help you much moving forward.

What I suggest is having a quiet talk with your GM. Explain how his actions made you feel, and try to figure out some better signals and methods for preventing and resolving this kind of confusion. There are a lot of techniques for this. For example, when Kevin Siembieda comes across this sort of ambiguous issue, rolls a 20-sided and rules based on the result.

You may also find it therapeutic (though hopefully not instructive) to read some of the most hilariously dysfunctional player-GM relationships of all time, such as Old Man Henderson, That Guy Destroys Psionics, and The Elfslayer Chronicles.

I hope this helps.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:02 pm
  

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drewkitty ~..~ wrote:
Gradius123 wrote:
snip...
...there are no SDC supernatural creatures.
...snip

Since you posted this in the 'all things PBs' forum....you forgot something.

"...here are no SDC SN creatures in in the rifts setting.

If I was the GM I would of kept things within the spirit of the text. But maybe nerfing it a bit to 1d4x10 MD


Perhaps I have been inside too long, and am being overly pedantic, but there is at least one SDC SN being/creature in the 'Rifts' setting (if we are including Demons, and 'Rifts' includes dimension books).
Specifically the Phase Demon from Dimensional Outbreak (pg 116-118), which explicitly has no MDC, only SDC and HP.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:56 pm
  

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And that ether brakes or confirms the paradigm that all SN beings are MDC in rifts.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:17 pm
  

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I've already let it go. Hotrod was pretty-much right on the money.

After that failed attack, I used the weapon differently by destroying their weapons. Those Brodkil were packing rail-guns that dealt 1d6x10 M.D., but I put a stop to that.

Believe it or not, my character got it as a Christmas gift! Literally, a guy wearing a red Santa Claus suit flew above us in a hovercraft dropping parachuted boxes with our names on them, and flew off never to be seen again! My gift was the sword and 100,000 credits. I was told the weapon does exactly as described in the text.

I'm actually having a good time with the game. So far, this has been the first and only "BS" from my point of view. I've endured way worse over the years with "god mode" NPCs, rules that change on-the-fly without forewarning, campaigns with difficulty that's all over the place (easy one minute, nightmare the next), and GMs who like to play favorites. There's been NONE of that so far.


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Unread postPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 11:34 am
  

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Glad the incident hasn't spoiled your enjoyment of your game! Carry on having fun! :D


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Unread postPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 12:16 pm
  

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Comment: They/Them
The Phase Demon is a nice catch. Given how the book plays with the notion that, due to being at least initially non-supernatural beings subjected to a transdimensional mutation such that it may or may not transform them into supernatural beings of the Creature of Chaos variety, the matter is left intentionally somewhat ambiguous. First Stage Promethians, however, being a group with similar phase abilities, are explicitly listed as supernatural beings with SDC/HP. Whether or not their ability to halve SDC damage would apply to the Ironbane Sword is a crap shoot. (edit:typo)


Last edited by Curbludgeon on Fri May 01, 2020 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 3:31 pm
  

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Hotrod wrote:
...The text is ambiguous; both interpretations have merit, but that's a minor issue...


I don't see how anyone can make that claim. It is printed quite clearly in black & white that:
Quote:
When hitting a living being, be it a person, plant, animal, or supernatural creature, the sword inflicts 1d6*10 S.D.C., even against the undead.


Furthermore the very next paragraph clearly states that when used against non-living materials the damage is either MD or SD, depending on what the damage capacity of the material is. It also states that if the sword is used against a living creature made of stone, wood, metal, ect the damage is back to 1d6*10. Additionally the remaining fluff text seems to imply (at least to me) that the sword is essentially an anti-armor/anti-equipment weapon.

IMO, it seems that the OP just assumed that the damage was meant to be MD when the OP should have clarified with the GM what the damage actually was. Also I think the GM should have paused the game when the OP used the sword to attack the broadkill in order to clarify that the OP knew the damage would be SD against the broadkill and not MD, and then allowed the OP to alter his attack in some way (either changing what the OP was targeting with the strike, or changing weapons, or whatever).


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Unread postPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 11:29 pm
  

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The Beast wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
...The text is ambiguous; both interpretations have merit, but that's a minor issue...


I don't see how anyone can make that claim. It is printed quite clearly in black & white that:
Quote:
When hitting a living being, be it a person, plant, animal, or supernatural creature, the sword inflicts 1d6*10 S.D.C., even against the undead.


Furthermore the very next paragraph clearly states that when used against non-living materials the damage is either MD or SD, depending on what the damage capacity of the material is. It also states that if the sword is used against a living creature made of stone, wood, metal, ect the damage is back to 1d6*10. Additionally the remaining fluff text seems to imply (at least to me) that the sword is essentially an anti-armor/anti-equipment weapon.

IMO, it seems that the OP just assumed that the damage was meant to be MD when the OP should have clarified with the GM what the damage actually was. Also I think the GM should have paused the game when the OP used the sword to attack the broadkill in order to clarify that the OP knew the damage would be SD against the broadkill and not MD, and then allowed the OP to alter his attack in some way (either changing what the OP was targeting with the strike, or changing weapons, or whatever).


The matter of who was right seemed a lot less important than trying to help the OP deal with what was an awkward and embarrassing incident. It's kind of hard to help a person when the first thing they hear out of your mouth is something to the effect of "I don't see how anyone could have that opinion."

My personal interpretation would be similar to the GM's, treating it as an inversion of the "does MDC damage to supernatural but SDC damage to others" anti-supernatural weapons that seem to be more common than they used to be. That said, it's a unique weapon, and when you're used to seeing magic weapons behave a certain way (magic weapons in general harm the supernatural), it's not unreasonable to use that as a default unless the text is explicit, which the OP points out as not being the case.

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