Critical injuries with little impact

I have played the game for a while and one thing that has always annoyed me and my players it the Critical injury chart. Really it is just a couple of the results which are not really combat injuries.

46-50 Head ringer and 51-55 Fearsome wound - These are almost worthless critical injuries since player are rarely going to use these stats in combat. It may impact Jedi more often due to techniques but overall these are free critical injuries.

Have you felt that these should be changed to something else which may have more of an effect in Combat? If so do you have any thoughts of good substitutes for them?

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Personally, I don’t feel a need to change them. Critical injuries don’t just happen in combat. They could also happen in a crash, for example, which could be followed by a social encounter rather than a combat encounter. And critical injuries can be a great touchstone for role playing. In my group, they heavily affect it. We are not always in a position to immediately heal our critical injuries.

I remember one scene I had following getting a Fearsome Wound where my scoundrel character was now on the run, seeking to avoid being caught but also needing convince people to help him. The Fearsome Wound had come from a vibroknife, so we described it as a really nasty cut down the neck that both undercut his self-confidence and made people a little leery of him. Taking a hit on Charm and Vigilance rolls was really tough in those circumstances.

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I would certainly be willing to bend the rules on these two crits (as well as 56-60 Agonizing Wound) and have their effects last until the crits are healed.
In fact, this is exactly what the Genesys crit table lists for those three crits, as I suspect the developers thought exactly what you did.


(Above picture taken from Drainsmith’s Genesys GM Screen)

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There is Gruesome injury for that, it is permanent until healed.

Perhaps, but the scoundrel taking a hit to cunning/presence is a big deal, especially for low xp characters.
Of course, if you are all combat monkeys with little to no sidebranching social or support skills, sure it doesn’t hurt much. But the game is not just about combat. If you only consider Brawn, Agility and the 5 combat skills, you seriously miss out on large portion of the game.

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Well, the lightsaber form talents use all of those characteristics, so they would be affected. If all your combat encounters are everybody standing in a circle shooting at each other, then yeah, those aren’t going to be that significant, but throw in alternative goals that don’t include just killing everyone, and then those injuries have more impact. What happens when the technician suffers a head ringer during a firefight while they’re trying to desperately get the engines functional on your ship so you can escape the angry Hutt enforcers?

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The Genesys difference was a good find! I went through the Genesys crit table and found out that all of the “until the end of the encounter” effects in crits have been changed to “until healed”.

For me, it makes much more sense. Now Easy crits are temporary, lasting usually one turn. Almost all Average crits have the “until healed” duration giving increases to difficulties at low levels and assigning status effects on higher levels.

“Until end of the encounter” has always felt a bit weird as encounters can vary greatly in length (from 1 turn to dozen or more), so the same critical result could have it’s effect automatically removed even before it has had chance to affect anything (receive crit during last round of combat after your initiative slot).

Critical Injury table has always felt a bit too mild. Now it makes more sense as I ended up changing all entries in my critical injury refsheet to use Genesys criticals.

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The change that I most noticed was “At the Brink”. SW had it cost 1 strain per action, but Genesys switched it to 2 strain. The first time I suffered that crit after our conversion I was nearly floored. Strain can add up fast!

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I had same concern and house-rule them to “until the target gets a full 8hr rest”. Narratively it seems to be more appropriate too. Only thing that you might want to narratively change is Fearsome Wound to “until target receives a Medicine check with a medpack” to indicate receiving enough bandages to cover the nasty-looking wound.

I think extending “until healed” increases the impact of the Average crits too long; that’s for Hard crits.

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You could be right. Although our groups playstyle is quite low combat and characters (and opposition as well) are often quite low powered in combat stuff, so crits are not that abundant either. But this it definitely something I will consider more.

Our group talked about the crits last session and how many of the critical results have very little impact on enemies (except Minions). It might just be unlucky rolls on our part, but criticals definitly feels like they’re made with the PCs in mind, more than the NPCs.

It’s just a feeling tough, but criticals in other games we played have more of an effect both on PCs and NPCs.

We had a PC with Precision Strike choose the Easy crit Stunned to stagger a nemesis, then everyone piled on for a round and got 2 more crits, both Crippled legs. He couldn’t move very quickly at all so was easily eliminated. Yeah, so it can work against NPCs to. Hamstrung is deadly to rivals because they can’t take strain to do an “extra” maneuver. But yeah, Discouraging Wound when there are already plenty of light side points is disappointing to the PCs.

It’s always GM option to reject a crit if not narratively right and pick an adjacent or ask for a reroll. Like Winded on a rival.

Just remember, the crit table applies both ways, so if you want it more deadly, it will be more deadly to the PCs too.

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Actually you can. I was educated not long ago about this :smiley:

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To clarify, the Strain they suffer becomes Wounds.

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For a heavily houseruled version (really more of a complete overhaul) of FFG’s system, I rewrote the crit table and calibrated it to a d20. A lot of these were overhauled, so the same name doesn’t necessarily mean the same effect.
I’m also not suggesting you adopt this, as it was built for a WT-less system where every hit is a crit.
But I thought some of you might be interested to see it and maybe glean some inspiration.
1-2: Graze
3-4: Off Balance
5-6: Slowed Down
7-8: Stinger
9-10: Bowled Over
11: Stunned
12: Dazed
13: Agonizing Wound
14: Hamstrung
15-16: At the Brink
17: Crippled
18: Blinded
19: Gruesome Injury
20-24: Knocked Senseless
25-29: Bleeding Out
30+: Dead

  • Graze: The target suffers 1 Strain
    Difficulty: Easy.
  • Off-Balance: Add a Setback to the target’s next skill check.
    Difficulty: Easy.
  • Slowed Down: The target cannot perform a free Maneuver during his next turn.
    Difficulty: Easy.
  • Stinger: Increase the difficulty of the target’s next skill check once.
    Difficulty: Easy.
  • Bowled Over: The target is knocked prone and suffers 1 Strain.
    Difficulty: Average.
  • Stunned: The target is Staggered until the end of his next turn.
    Difficulty: Average.
  • Dazed: The target is Disoriented.
    Difficulty: Average.
    Recovery: The effect lasts until the end of the encounter.
  • Agonizing Wound: The target increases the difficulty of all skill checks once.
    Difficulty: Average.
    Recovery: The effect lasts until the end of the encounter.
  • Hamstrung: The target loses his free maneuver.
    Difficulty: Average.
    Recovery: The effect lasts until the end of the encounter.
  • At the Brink: The target suffers 1 Strain each time he performs an Action.
    Difficulty: Hard.
    Recovery: The effect lasts until the end of the encounter.
  • Crippled: One of the target’s limbs (selected by the GM) is crippled. The target cannot perform actions that require the use of that limb.
    Difficulty: Hard, upgraded once.
    Recovery: The effect lasts until the Critical Injury is healed. If the check generates a Despair, the effect is permanent until the limb is replaced.
  • Blinded: The target can no longer see. Upgrade the difficulty of all General skill checks twice. Upgrade the difficulty of Awareness (Perception/Vigilance combined in one skill) and Combat skill checks thrice. At GM discretion, either effect applies to Knowledge skills as well.
    Difficulty: Hard, upgraded once.
    Recovery: The effect lasts until the Critical Injury is healed. If the check generates a Despair, the effect is permanent until the eyes are replaced.
  • Gruesome Injury: Roll 1d8 to determine which of the target’s characteristics is affected: 1-3 for Brawn, 4-6 for Agility, 7 for Intellect, and 8 for Presence (yes, I condensed the Characteristics). That characteristic is reduced by 1.
    Difficulty: Daunting, upgraded once.
    Recovery: The effect lasts until the Critical Injury is healed. If the check generates a Despair, the effect is permanent.
  • Knocked Senseless: The target is incapacitated.
    Difficulty: Daunting.
    Recovery: The effect lasts until the end of the encounter.
  • Bleeding Out: Every round, the target suffers 1 Strain at the beginning of his turn. When he passes his Strain Threshold, he suffers a Critical Injury (ignoring Soak) each round at the beginning of his turn (if he suffers this result a second time due to this, roll again).
    Difficulty: Daunting
    Recovery: The effect lasts until the Critical Injury is healed.
  • Dead: Complete, obliterated death.
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Thanks for that clarification. I had a rival near his wound threshold who would have dropped if he did that, so it’s still deadly to them. At least, it makes it easier for the PCs to drop them.

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If I want the crit table to be more deadly it is for the PC not the NPC. Correct me if I’m wrong but crits is short for critical, isn’t it ? Then it must be serious enough to have lasting effect more than a few rounds. Or it should be renamed scrapes & bruises rather than critical.
I believe that each time PCs enter a fight their life is at stakes and the system should reflect that. For SWRPG it means making the crits table more deadly.

That’s certainly up to you as DM, @WolfRider45. And as long as your players are OK with it.

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That’s fine in some games (I love it in WRFP), but it hardly fits for most Star Wars adventures. In Star Wars, major protagonists rarely fall in battle (and even more rarely to accidents)–even major antagonists tend to be very resistant to being killed. I fully agree that the critical hit tables in this game are not that great. I’d fully support harder-hitting, more meaningful critical injuries if they were also less common/harder to land. Of course, this game prefers to go with lots of little things over a few more meaningful things (consider the talent bloat on a “typical” 600XP PC vs the few-but-effective talents & abilities on powerful Nemesis NPCs). It’s not a direction that I prefer, but maybe the next edition will do it better.

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I pondered over this, then went over the Genesys crit table and I’m stuck here! I have to admit, it makes so much more sense! Thanks for the tip!