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Dramatic Damage I - Soak Values

by: Belladonna A Legacy Article from Sanguinus Curae

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I don't know about the rest of you Storytellers, but I have found that the dramatic impact of a scene is often slowed or stopped entirely when I have to pause and try to decide what kind of an effect the character can have on their environment, or vice versa.
This happens with everything from a fight in a bar to a Kindred throwing a temper tantrum to a missed attack striking something else. While White Wolf has provided some detail when it comes to the resistance values of armor for protecting characters - what about a character using a car door as cover during a fire fight? We've all seen movies where bullets bounce off the door, and that's easy to assume for the average - but what about those high-powered handguns at close range, or a sniper rifle with armor-piercing bullets? What then?

To answer these and many questions like them, I have devised two tables to guide me through these dramatic moments. By using these tables, I have had scenes where a Kindred dramatically kicks a door off its hinges to reach their prey, or slowly pounds the door to splinters while the intended mortal prey screams in terror - wondering if the next blow will crack their last defense. It all may seem terribly technical and dry just looking at the numbers, but when applied properly to the moving narrative, it can make for very interesting scenes. CAN the character rip the engine out of the Corvette while their prey is frantically trying to shift into reverse? CAN the character miss their target with a punch and drive their fist through the brick wall behind their opponent? These first two tables should answer those questions.

This first table is a breakdown of useful ever day items, objects, and structures - showing the relative damage soak for each type.

Modern House Interior Door 3
Screen Door 3
Exterior Door 4
Metal Door 5
Window 2
Interior Wall 3
Exterior Wall - Siding 5
Exterior Wall - Wood 6
Exterior Wall - Brick 7
Basement Wall 7
Floor 6
Vintage House Interior Door 4
Exterior Door 5
Window 1
Interior Wall 4
Exterior Wall - Brick 8
Exterior Wall - Wood 7
Floor 7
Basement Wall 8
Commercial Building Interior Door 3
Fire Door 5
Glass Door 3
Window 4
Interior Wall 3
Exterior Wall 7
Floor 9
Vehicle Side Window 3
Front or Back Window 4
Body Panel 6
Roof or Hood 5
Door 7
Tire 4
Engine Mountings 5
Firewall 6
Trunk Wall 4
Objects Table (break) 4
Chair (break) 2
Dumpster (penetrate) 6
Lamp post (break) 7
Telephone pole (break) 7
Sign Pole (break) 4
Tree - 3 inch (break) 4
Tree - 6 inch (break) 7
Tree - 12 inch (break) 10
Tree - 18 inch (break) 15
Tree - 24 inch (break) 20
Special Armored Building Window 10
Armored Vehicle Window 8
Civillian Armored Vehicle 10
Military Vehicle 8
Military Armored Vehicle 12

This second table is a rough rule of thumb for general materials - the soak values are based on an average quarter to half inch thickness. These values should be used sparingly, as several other factors will affect the overall Soak Rating of a given material.

Superlight Plastics 1
Paper 1
Plasterboard 1
Cardboard 1
Balsa wood 1
FX Glass 1
Light Plastics 2
Cork 2
Chipboard 2
Plywood 2
Veneer 2
Particleboard 2
Ice 2
Cloth 2
Bone 2
Plaster 2
Ceramic Tile 2
Mid-range Plastics 2
Concrete 2
Brick 2
Glass 2
Horn/Chitin 2
Soft Leather 2
Canvas 2
Wood 3
Reinforced Concrete 3
Stone 3
Heavy Plastics 3
Hard Leather 3
Low-Grade Pure Metal (i.e.: Aluminum, Tin) 3
Hi-density Plastics 3
Rubber 3
Silk 3
Nylon 3
Mylar 3
Pure Metals 3
Plexiglass 3
Low-grade Alloys (i.e.: Bronze) 3
Armored Glass 3
Marble 4
Granite 4
Low-grade composites/Ceramics 4
Industrial Silk 4
Advanced Plastics/Fibres 4
Structural Nylon 4
Mid-grade Composites 5
Teflon 5
Mid-grade Alloys/Ceramics 5
Construction-grade Steels 5
Kevlar 5
Lexan-Polycarbonate 5
Carbon-Composites 6
Mid-grade Crystals 6
Aluminum Alloys 6
Special Plastics 6
Laminated/Resinated Kevlar 6
Spectra 6
Mid-grade Steels 6
High-grade Ceramics 6
Corundum 6
High-grade Alloys/Crystals 7
Advanced Alloys/Composites 7
High-grade Steels 8
Special Ceramics/Composites/Fibres 8
Advanced Alloys 9
Advanced Steels 9
Advanced Crystals 10
Titanium 10
Special Alloys 11
Diamnond 11
Special Steels 12
Fibre-reinforced-Special-Ceramics 12
Titanium Alloys 13
Special Crystals 14
Tungsten 15
Fibre-reinforced Special Crystals 16
Tungsten-carbide 17

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