N18 Reworking how "Blaze" and "On fire" work

JawRippa

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I was thinking about houseruling Blaze in Necromunda to be less of a binary mechanic. I heavily dislike that such a powerful trait effect is tied to a 50-50 die.
  • Each weapon with Blaze puts blaze tokens on a fighter if you land a successful hit.
  • Hand flamer puts 2 blaze tokens, normal flamer 3 and heavy flamer puts 5.
  • When a fighter with any blaze token activates, he suffers a hit with STR equal to a number of his blaze tokens , AP-1 D1. This does not pin standing fighters.
  • After resolving a hit, remove 1 blaze token from a fighter and test Cool with a penalty equal to remaining blaze tokens on fighter - if failed, a fighter wastes their activation standing up (if able) and running around on scatter like usual, otherwise they act normal. At the end of such activation an active fighter may go prone.
  • Pinned or Seriously injured fighter with blaze tokens removes D3 blaze tokens at the end of their activation.
What do you think?
 
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Kiro The Avenger

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By "May get pinned" I assume you mean "may voluntarily go prone", that makes clear that it's something you choose to do. Going prone is also more proper language if it's not a result of being hit by a ranged attack.
Also, there's no need to specify that the hit doesn't pin them; it's not a ranged attack so it doesn't pin anyway.
I assume if a fighter passes their cool check they can act normally? Would be worth just making that explicit.

Otherwise, I think that's a really cool mechanic. Perhaps a little clumsy with needing so many tokens. Is there any way to implement assistance from friendly fighters?
I think you should change the Blaze trait to be Blaze (X), with X being the number of tokens inflicted. There's stuff like Firestorm ammo and Pyrophoric chems which are also Blaze.
 

Thorgor

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'Prone' is the status that encompasses both Pinned and Seriously injured, it would be ambiguous. I'd say 'may voluntarily become Pinned' is the proper wording here.

I like it way better than the current rules. I few tweaks I'd do:
  • instead of having a fixed number of blaze tokens depending on the weapon, I'd have it scale with the weapon's strength (S-1 for instance). This makes the rule immediately usable with any Blaze weapon (and there are many, especially since any weapon can potentially gain the Blaze trait)
  • There could be some kind of cap to the number of blaze tokens a single fighter can have
  • instead of going Pinned and removing blaze token for free, I'd make it a Simple action (become Pinned, remove D3 tokens +1 for each nearby active friendly fighter) so that you get a choice between acting normally or putting the fire out
 
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Kiro The Avenger

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I just checked the wording of the "take cover" action, it says "This fighter moves up to half their movement characteristic and is then Prone and Pinned", so that's the wording to copy really.

The problem with making it tied to strength is that, firstly, it's possible to give S- weapons Blaze and it's not even that niche (there's an Escher chem to give Gas blaze). As a secondary concern it would make Combat Shotgun Firestorm rounds even better, which I find counter productive.

A token cap is a nice idea.

I like the Simple action idea as well.
 

JayTee

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This does make Blaze weapons more dangerous, you're now guaranteed to effectively hit them twice. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, generally these weapons are poorly priced and expensive, but does make some already good things extremely good for the cost. Firestorm ammo for example now does 2 S5 AP-1 wounds per shot, that's as good as an average Plasma gun minus the extra damage without needing a to-hit roll.
 

Thorgor

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The problem with making it tied to strength is that, firstly, it's possible to give S- weapons Blaze and it's not even that niche (there's an Escher chem to give Gas blaze). As a secondary concern it would make Combat Shotgun Firestorm rounds even better, which I find counter productive.
The first concern could be solved by adding a minimum to the number of blaze counters a weapon produce (say, 2). The second is more of an issue with general game balance (a lot of weapon are overpriced/underpriced) and shouldn't be a concern when reworking mechanisms (I assume anyone willing to rework mechanisms is also willing to reprice or restat any weapon that would need it)

I'll admit that using Strength doesn't work that well with melee weapons, as it often scales with the wielder's own strength which makes the whole thing kinda weird (hit harder -> burn hotter?)

Anyway, we do need an universal rule that can work with any weapon with Blaze. The alternative is to replace Blaze with Blaze (X) on every weapon with the trait (and any Blaze-granting effect) and arbitrarily define a value for X each time.
 
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Kiro The Avenger

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I'd prefer the Blaze X route.
I think it's reasonable to say as a general guide "X = S-1" and just refine from there. IMO Firestorm ammo could probably stand to be Blaze 2, similar to a handflamer. It's just laced shotgun pellets right, not actual spouts of promethium.
 
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JawRippa

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Just to clarify, the idea of this houserule came to me after playing against a cawdor buddy. He kept flaming 2 of my fighters for the whole game and failed to get a single blaze check. Not suprisingly he got smoked. While exceptionally bad luck is a thing, I feel that 50% chance for a blaze is way too swingy. I'd rather have a guaranteed but potentially weaker effect.

I assume if a fighter passes their cool check they can act normally? Would be worth just making that explicit.
Yes, that's the intent. I wanted to avoid getting too wordy in concept description.
I think you should change the Blaze trait to be Blaze (X), with X being the number of tokens inflicted. There's stuff like Firestorm ammo and Pyrophoric chems which are also Blaze.
Yeah, that's the intent. Handflamer, flamer and Heavy flamer are just examples. I think it is best to arbitrarily define Blaze (X) for each weapon. Incendiary ammo should be less effective than handflamers, so I'd give them Blaze (1). They still are great at finishing wounded targets or causing cowardly fighters to waste their activations running on fire (you still have to pass a Cool check, just without penalty if you have no blaze tokens left).

Is there any way to implement assistance from friendly fighters?
Out of many games I've played using SWA and Newmunda rules I've yet to see anyone assist burning fighters. They usually are way too close to the enemy to be helped. But I guess that if you are close to a friendly fighter, you can rerol D3 when extinguishing yourself? Or remove 1 more blaze token when extinguishing yourself?

  • There could be some kind of cap to the number of blaze tokens a single fighter can have
  • instead of going Pinned and removing blaze token for free, I'd make it a Simple action (become Pinned, remove D3 tokens +1 for each nearby active friendly fighter) so that you get a choice between acting normally or putting the fire out
1). Yes. Probably 5 blaze tokens.
2). Probably much better. My only concern is that it seems to really mess with melee fighters while ranged fighters still can stand up and shoot? I think it should be a double action, so everyone - melee and ranged - suffers equally. You can continue to fight while on fire (if you are brave enough), but it'll probably burn your face off.
 
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Kiro The Avenger

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I haven't assisted burning friendlies, but that's for two different reasons;
In N17, you put the fire out on a 2+ with or without help, so the help was redundant.
In N18+ the fighter runs around randomly, so the chance of them actually ending up next to a friendly is pretty low.

These rules would remove both issues and I think it is a nice mechanic to implement. Perhaps remove an extra Blaze token if you have assistance. Rolling 2d3 and picking the highest (mimicking serious injuries) is also an idea.
 

JezzaC

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I like the idea here about making it something more than just a 4+ roll, but I have a problem with letting a model act normally if he just makes a cool check. One of the key elements of Blaze is that it causes a player to lose the use of a ganger for a number of turns, and this works equally on all models of any quality. Just making the roll a Cool check means many models will be able to reliably ignore being on fire.

So perhaps the cool check could be modified by the number of blaze tokens. If that's too great a modifier, halve the number of tokens, maybe.
 

yordisluiter

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Feb 22, 2020
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So I found your rules as I was looking for a fix to the broken Blaze rules problem myself. I liked your idea and I tried to work it out in a way that fits my group's play style. Here's what i came up with. It should also still keep the new Cawdor HoF Incombustible Hauberk and Blazing Faith rules fairly effective.

Blaze Condition: After an attack with the Blaze trait has been resolved, the hit fighter becomes subject to the Blaze condition. The fighter does not become Pinned. Place a number of Blaze tokens on the fighter equal to the following:

  • 2 tokens for melee weapons with the Blaze trait in their base profile and weapons which have gained the Blaze trait but did not have it in their base profile.
  • 3 tokens for grenades, pistols and basic weapons with the Blaze trait in their base profile.
  • 4 tokens for special weapons with the Blaze trait in their base profile.
  • 5 tokens for heavy weapons with the Blaze Trait in their base profile.


When a fighter subject to the Blaze condition activates, they suffer an automatic -1AP D1 hit with a Strength equal to the number of Blaze tokens. After the hit is resolved, remove 1 Blaze token and follow these instructions:



- If Standing and Active or Prone and Pinned: If the fighter has any remaining Blaze tokens they must perform a Put the fire out (Simple) action. Roll a D6. If the roll is equal to or higher than the number of Blaze tokens, the fighter puts the fire out. Add 1 to the dice roll for each friendly fighter within 1” of the fighter subject to the Blaze condition. A roll of a 1 always fails. If the roll is successful, remove D3 Blaze tokens. If the roll failed or the fighter failed to put the fire out, they will move a number of inches equal to their M characteristic +D3” in a randomly determined direction. The fighter must then attempt a second Put the fire out (Simple) action and repeat these steps. Note that if the fighter is able to put the fire out with one action, they still have another action left to them.

- If Prone and Seriously Injured: As above, except it becomes a Put the fire out (Double) action.

- If Standing and Engaged: As above. In addition the enemy fighter may perform a reaction attack as if the fighter performed a Retreat (Basic) action.


Thoughts?
 
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JawRippa

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I like the idea but I'd nerf the blaze tokens number by 1 for all except for melee and heavy weapons. There is also a weird interraction that an autogun with fire bullets does not pin targets. Also there definitely needs to be a limit to how many blaze markers one can put on a target. Perhaps if you are setting a target who is lying down, reduce gained blaze markers by 1, so it is not too easy to stack?
 

Kiro The Avenger

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I think the Blaze Tokens are alright, if you have a Basic weapon and inflict 3 tokens, they suffer a S3 hit (that's standard), then have a 2/3 chance to immediately put it out (5/6 with help).
I can see an argument for wanting to reduce the strength of the hit though, Tokens-1 for the strength of the hit maybe? But I think it works as-is.
 

yordisluiter

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Feb 22, 2020
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I like the idea but I'd nerf the blaze tokens number by 1 for all except for melee and heavy weapons. There is also a weird interraction that an autogun with fire bullets does not pin targets. Also there definitely needs to be a limit to how many blaze markers one can put on a target. Perhaps if you are setting a target who is lying down, reduce gained blaze markers by 1, so it is not too easy to stack?
You have an excellent point on an Autogun not pinning. This could be solved by stating that only Template weapons do not pin their targets as they would simply set them on fire, causing them to either run around screaming or trying to put it out, or both.. Weapons without Template would still fire bullets which would be able to Pin a target.

I think the strength of the hits are okay. further along in the campaign many fighters have boosted toughness and I would still want a heavy flamer burn to cause them some discomfort ;) but I might need to see it in action a couple of times to know for sure. Keep in mind that in 99,9% of the cases the full strength hit is only on the first activation after being subjected to Blaze.

As for the stacking, I think it is very important to have the markers stack. Any fighter being hit multiple times by a flamer is in a very very nasty situation.

Also you don't want to make the true Blaze weapons too soft (flamers, heavy flamers). These alternative rules are mostly to make sure nobody abuses the current broken rules by throwing Blaze on eveything and then watching the opponent not getting to play their fighters all day long. This way the flaming fighters get a chance of doing something other than run around and be useless (at least in the old school Necromunda you could set other fighters ablaze), whilst the flamers are still potent weapons.
 

yordisluiter

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Feb 22, 2020
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The fighter does not become Pinned if the weapon used a Template.

&

- If Prone and Pinned: As above, except the fighter is rolling on the ground. If the roll failed or the fighter failed to put the fire out, they will move D3” in a randomly determined direction. In addition, the fighter automatically becomes pinned again after successfully or unsuccessfully putting the fire out.
 

cardyfreak

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Could weapons have a limit to how many tokens they can max a fighter out at? Like;
‘Melee weapons and special ammo cause a fighter to gain 2 blaze tokens, up to a maximum of 2.
A handflamer causes a fighter to gain 3 blaze tokens, up to a maximum of 3.
A flamer causes a fighter to gain 4 blaze tokens, up to a maximum of 4.
A heavy flamer causes a fighter to gain 5 blaze tokens, up to a maximum of 5.’

This bakes a hard limit into the amount of tokens a fighter can have into the weapon type, and limits it a 5 max. So no matter how much you spam a handflamer on a dude, he’ll only ever get three tokens max.
 

Thorgor

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I'd go for a single cap (there is a limit to how much on fire you can be). 6 seems good from a practical standpoint (as you can use a single D6 per burning fighter to materialize it)
Having it tied to the weapon type could create weird scenarios where being hit with a handflamer and then a heavy flamer wouldn't yield the same result as being hit with a heavy flamer and then a handflamer.
It's also simpler.