NPC/Mooks Unable to Damage PC?

I'll be honest, it's been over a year since I ran it, but I ran the FS intro scenario, Baptism of Fire, for a group, and an NPC combatant threw a shuriken (I think) at one of the PC's, who had a Toughness or some stat that effectively negated the attack - even though it was a solid hit with either maximum or good middle-high amount of damage, so in a nutshell, that NPC would be unable to hit that PC, ever. Would that be possible or correct, if just playing by the FS RaW?

I'm going to run BoF again for a group in a short time and I was wondering about this, and maybe some other things, if I could get stuff cleared up before I run, so I won't be caught off-guard during play.

Thanks in advance. =)

It's not uncommon for a character to be unable to damage another by ordinary means unless there's a really good roll, but I wondering if you've read the damage rules quite right as there is no 'maximum' damage; it's completely open-ended.

Outcome + Weapon Damage - Toughness

is the formula, and the open rolls in combat mean there is no upper limit on the Outcome portion.

Bear in mind that mooks are just there to make the PCs look good, so having their attack be almost always ineffective is intentional. If named characters struggle to hurt the party, you can use stunts to get around it- setting them on fire instead of an ordinary attack, called shots to by-pass armour, pushing them out of a window for falling damage etc.

Thank you for your response! What I was referring to with "max" damage was misleading, I basically meant like an outcome that gave me an "explode" on damage and then a 5 or so on the next (basically the typical "maximum" I expect to be likely in most cases for mooks). The PC really had a high Toughness, can't recall what it was but I remember thinking at the time, holy crap, without a truly outstanding roll, there's not even any point in trying! I've read some people use a minimum of 1 damage on things that get negated, maybe just thrown weapons, not sure - but that seems kinda cheap, as the character succeeded in defending, I don't know.

Hi there,

This kind of reminds me of those scenes in the movies when somebody gets a chair smashed off their back, then just turns around to growl at the person who did it.

Check out the first episode of Italian Spiderman for a slapstick version of this…

Come to think of it the trailer for the new Sherlock Homes movie has a bit much like that but with a thrown hammer… (trailer 2 methinks)

Just goes to show situations like this can easily some cool descriptions to a fight.

It’s a little harder to describe how a bullet or sword failed to do any damage though. I suppose with the shrunken you could describe how they imbed in the PC’s skin, nothing more than an annoyance. Good for scaring the guy throwing them though.

With being hit by a sword, the PC could go with the description of how his character uses his arms/fists/forehead to block the flat sides of the sword. Getting hit, but taking no damage.

Bullets, erm...... :slight_smile:


For bullets, there's always the 'it grazed me' thing. A torn shirt, a red line across the upper arm, but nothing lasting.

If we're talking Baptism of Fire, it's a good bet you had starting PCs, and it sounds like you guys had a Big Bruiser (Tgh 12) or high-Body Supernatural Creature or Abomination (Tgh 10) or a suitably high-Body archetype of the kind that gives you six points to spend freely among attributes, to which I can just say...yeah. These guys are built to take serious punishment and give it right back, and something like a ninja star thrown by a mook isn't even going to give these guys pause.

So you basically got a 6 on your attack roll and then a 5 on the reroll with a mook AV of 7, which minus any result on the negative die (which would subtract anything from 1 to 5 from the later results I will give) gives us an action result of 18. Subtract that from the Big Bruiser's AV of 12 and that gives us an Outcome of 6. Add the base damage of a shuriken (5), and you get a damage of 11, which would have been enough to do damage to a regular secret warrior, but which is completely soaked by the big guy's toughness. Picture I get is the ninja star flying straight and true and hitting that bruiser dead in the chest, but not doing much besides pissing him off as he jerks the annoying little piece of metal out of him and sends it spinning right back into the mook's face (which is what I would do if I was in his situation). If that mook had used a gun, like those .38s the Thorns like to use (which deal out 9 base damage), or even a machete or a sword (which do Strength +3 or Strength +4 damage), he actually might have put a bit of hurt on this guy.

An actual named Ninja (AV 14) with that result you rolled for the mook, on the other hand, would probably have done some nasty damage in the tens range.

Thanks to everyone, those are some great things to consider. I agree I just wasn't in the Director mindset like I should have been, I was just disappointed I guess, I was scared a bit, because my first good roll still did no damage - I was worried all the combats would go like this for everybody. It was indeed a Big Bruiser in BoF. I guess I could always have made/can make (if/when I get to run for new group) a mook suddenly a Named Character if it looks like I need to, but I know the point of the adventure for that fight is just to get the PCs involved.

I ran BoF again last night for my regular gaming group, and they all liked it a lot, my friend Rob said "Hey I can use this for Star Wars!" so I think it was a good success. A couple things I feel went wrong.

Auto weapons that fire bursts, like ones that list 3/shot, that's not 3 separate rolls or one roll tripled in damage, but just means for each 3 burst attack, you get +1 damage but -1 to AV for further bursts? The player agreed to just play it as a normal one shot weapon, which means even if the above is true, that just means I only cheated him out of a few bonus damage?

At some point, the last time I ran this, I apparently got it into my head you could "use up" all your Shots in one go if you wanted, making like 3 individual attacks, using up a total of 9 Shots, meaning he wouldn't act again til 9 Shots later - but I can't find anywhere in the book that mentions this being an option, and people are just supposed to make their one attack and maybe a dodge or two, and wait til their next available shot to act. I wonder how I came up with that.

When attacking more than one foe at once with an attack, is the -2 etc penalty applied starting at the second guy, or is he -1, or what, in the way most people play (I know the book says -2 at second guy in a 2-hit attack) but I'd read some people don't apply penalties until three, or at least make the second guy -1 instead? Does it even matter?

Active Dodges must be declared before an attack roll is made right? You can't see its going to just exactly hit you, then declare an active dodge?

I have been running mooks a little differently than in the book, because even with 3 pc's, one min number of mooks in a scenario examples is 3xPC's+1 so 10, for just a joke/nuisance fight. For every 5 pts Outcome exceeded 5, I had the PC take out an additional mook even if that wasn't his original intent (ie a roll of 15 would take out 3 mooks).

I've been toying with the idea of merging all mooks into an amorphous, indefinite swarm of foes with a single Threat Level (courtesy of Wushu) and thinking of giving them a certain number of attacks and chances to hit, instead of rolling for 15 guys every few Shots. But I'm not sure quite how to go about it. One idea I had was to actually give fewer attacks to mooks, but make them have more chance to hit (raise AV to 7 or 8 or something), but this is a basic abstract way to reflect a number of successful mooky attacks. Alternately I thought about rolling a D3 for each PC to see how many attack rolls the mooks get on each?

Anyway, those were some ideas I had - any advice, replies or comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Nearly right. You get two bursts for free, and every third one gets an AV penalty. So, you can fire 6 rounds for +2 damage with no AV penalty- that's almost always the best thing to do with an autofire weapon. The next 'island' of usefulness is 15 rounds, +5 damage, -1 AV.

For multiple targets, all targets get the same penalty, equal to the number of targets. So, going for 2 is a single roll, taking off -2. Keeps it easy when they all have the same Dodge value. That's by the book, but you can tone the difficulty of mooks up and down to taste.

Yes, no. Active dodges are intended to be used against big ticket attacks, for that dramatic edge. Even if they don't dtop you getting hit, they still take 3 off the damage.

You might want to pick up Glimpse of the Abyss, as it has a schtick which is very good for letting mooks attack as one group, which can speed things up immensely. I did some statistical analysis based on taking out mooks, and some house rules are on my website. One thing you can do is have some small token to represent mooks (like jelly babies). You put them in front of the player they're currently attacking, to make it easier to keep track of how many mooks are currently going for each player. Then, when the player whacks a mook, they get to eat it. (I think a similar idea is in one of the books, or on a website, but AFAIK using it to track who the mooks are attacking is a fresh idea). If you want a rolling battle with 'some' mooks, just make as many attacks as you can be bothered to do. Make sure that characters who make an effort to get out of the main firing line get fewer, though, to reward their effort.

Short answer.

Some weapons and powers (like »signature weapon«) are only really useful against named characters.

Some weapons are only useful against mooks. Shuriken is one of those weapons.

It's in the spirit of the wuxia movies. You don't take out the main bad/good good with a simple shuriken.