What is a death ray?

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SnowflakeBlue
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What is a death ray?

Post Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:22 pm

I have been trying to read the core rules (release 75). I have not been able to read the whole thing because there is too much there too read all at once so I scrolled through most of it.

There is a term called a death ray or save vs death ray or poison vs death ray. I could not figure out what it was, even when I looked for it in the index. So I looked online and I found this.
http://initiativeone.blogspot.com/2009/ ... h-ray.html

Can someone please give me a good definition of a death ray or show me where to find one. I am sure the definition of death ray for BFRPG must be at least somewhat different than the one in the link I gave.
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Steveman
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Re: What is a death ray?

Post Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:44 pm

The retro saving throw classification system is kind of arcane, seemingly just for the sake of being arcane. In the context of dungeon adventuring I see Death Ray as any form of attack that would cause grievous harm, such as death or high damage that is handled as a saving throw and not an attack roll - but isn't specifically a spell (Spells), the effect of a magic item (Magic Wands) or caused by a blast of some sort (Dragon Breath).
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Dimirag
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Re: What is a death ray?

Post Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:50 pm

Death Ray is a type of Saving Throw and ST are a defensive mechanism that characters have so they can avoid or lessen some special effect.
Death Ray and Poison deals with attacks that kills a character instantly, deals high amounts of damage coming from relatively small sources or impose a status like fatigued.
For example: When bitten by a Giant Centipede the character must save vs poison or instantly die (regardless of his HP)
Giant Beetles allows a ST of Death Ray to only suffer half damage from its toxic blast.
You can roll Death Ray + Dex to avoid fall off a pit and die.
You roll Death Ray + Con to avoid become "fatigued"
You roll DR + Wis to avoid becoming "lost"

Here is an old post relating to ST's
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=362&st=0&sk=t&sd=a& ... ving+throw
Last edited by Dimirag on Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
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MedievalMan
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Re: What is a death ray?

Post Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:59 pm

Speaking about my personal preferences I always liked the Fortitude/Reflex/Will change made in 3E. I even once made the conversion for BFRPG but I never ended up using it.
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Dimirag
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Re: What is a death ray?

Post Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:06 pm

I use a Saving Throw system that combines Base Hit Points and Base Attack Bonus + Ability mod.
It sound weird but OD&D has a relationship between HD, attack progress and saving throws, so I basically ditch the categories altogether..
I prefer C&C take on ST's, 3.X are just to plain for me, but I like the improving ST's values rather than have always the same flat value.
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
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Joe the Rat
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Re: What is a death ray?

Post Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:52 pm

Most importantly, you need a bank of large etheric cathodes to act as capacitors to build up enough red orgone to produce the a lethal protein disruption stream. Obviously, power management is a critical issue. :ugeek:

The question is, what motivated the Elders to put Death Ray into the early rule sets? It's really handy for dealing with Ming the Merciless and the Zombies of the Stratosphere, but it's an odd term for less... serial media.

Death Ray: Directed energy attacks that deal damage to critical systems (much as Poisons do chemically), rather than achieving effect through tissue damage (Breath Weapon and Spells), or through full body alteration (Paralysis & Petrification). beyond certain spells that include "Death" and "Ray", directed, single target effects that bypass hit points to achieve their effect (including stunning and weakening) would cover the same ground. I think there are a few gaze attacks that qualify.
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Steveman
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Re: What is a death ray?

Post Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:38 pm

My dabblings with the white box-era adventures showed me that Death Rays were a thing, just trait up magical beams that came out of traps to save or die. My memory is not exceptionally great on this, however, I am sure that the 1st Beholders eye rays used Death Ray saving throws as well.
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SmootRK
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Re: What is a death ray?

Post Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:00 am

Bear in mind that any of the Saves are for what you want them to be, regardless of the name. They are numbers listed in a column. They have archaic names only because they come from the roots of the game, and because of the name have a suggested related 'effect' to work against... but it need not seem to be set in stone.

If I want a particular trap to be Save vs. Poison, so be it. If I want it to be Dragon Breath, then so be it. If I want it to be especially effective against Fighters, then it might be described as a Save vs. spells.

Remember the rules are simply a tool-box for the Game Master and Players. Use them as such.
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MedievalMan
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Re: What is a death ray?

Post Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:35 pm

Yeah exactly. I try to avoid situations involving saves. Just because its something I am not good at, interpreting them and all that.
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Solomoriah
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Re: What is a death ray?

Post Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:05 pm

The classic "Death Ray" (or the older "Death Magic") is simply a generic catch-all save. It's used when a spell should be easier to resist than a save vs. Spells, particularly one that can, in theory, be dodged. It's also used to avoid "easy" traps, deadfalls and pits and the like.
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