Overpentration (Dragonstar)

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Overpenetration is the phenomenon when a high-impact attack can go clean through a barrier without greatly harming that barrier.

In Dungeons and Dragons, walls have a very high number of hit points. This accurately represents the ability of walls to take great amounts of punishments from mallets, catapults and other attrition, but becomes unrealistic when dealing with modern weaponry. A modern weapon can often penetrate right through a barrier and strike whatever is beyond, without creating more than a small hole in the barrier itself.

Overpenetrating shots still do full normal damage to the barrier (reduced by Hardness as usual), but a large part of the force of the attack also passes through, to strike whatever is behind. In this way, people under cover can be shot straight through that cover. Depending on the thickness of the barrier, subtract a multiple of the substance's Hardness from the damage of the attack.

Less than one inch

1/2 * Hardness

1 inch to 1 foot

1 * Hardness

1 foot to 5 feet

2 * Hardness

5 feet to 25 feet

3 * Hardness

Each multiple of 5

+1 * Hardness

High-tech weaponry in this case includes all slugthrowers and energy weapons. It does not include dispersal weapons like scatterguns or flamethrowers, nor does it include area weapons such as grenades.


While this rule is certainly needed in a high tech setting, I think that the rule above can be simplified.

Up to 1 in

Hardness / 2

Up to 1 ft

Hardness * 1

Up to 5 ft

Hardness * 2

Up to 30 ft

Hardness * 3

I have used 30 ft since this is a standard distance the DD3E. I think wall thickness greater than 30 ft should count as impentrable for the purpose of Over Penetration. This is mostly for ease of play. Shooting through 100 ft of packed snow means the GM has to wing it anyway, since elevation, deflection and other factors makes it impossible to target individuals.

We should probably list common objects (interior walls, etc) and the protection they give targets behind them. We also need a term to descripe this type of damage reduction. Absorbtion Rating? Any suggestions?

Nitpicking: Starfox table format changed since there is overlap (i.e exactly one foot of wall thickness is both Hardness * 1 and * 2).


I've been thinking about it further, and I think an absorption of Hardness + feet of thickness x3 (+1 Hardness per 4 in or 10 cm) works even better and is even simpler. This gives thich walls made out of soft materials (like ice or dirt) some protection value - which is accurate enough.

And a term? Absorption? Or is this value so simple that it does not need any terms?

Some comparisons:


Urban's old rating

Steel Hardness 12 Stone Hardness 8 Ice Hardness 0
1 in

Hardness / 2

12 8
1 ft

Hardness * 1

24 20 12
5 ft

Hardness * 2

27 23 15
30 ft

Hardness * 3

102 98 90

-- Starfox

We definetely need a term to describe an object both in terms of structural integrity (Hardness, Hit Points) and protection it gives troops (Absorbtion). Example: A one foot thick stone wall has Hardness 8, 96 Hit Points (per section, or 'square'), and an Protection (Absorbtion) Rating of 11. The examples assumes

Object Protection Rating = Hardness + 1 per 10 cm of thickness (or +3 per feet of thickness).

As for the term, 'protection' is probably to generic, so 'absorbtion' might work better.

I think your table contains errors in the 1 ft row. Shouldn't the AR values should be steel (15), stone (11), snow (3)? Formula as such is ok, so I say we use it.


House Rules