member, 894 posts
 Fate, WoD
 and Indie RPGs
Sat 12 Aug 2017
at 04:24
Advice about Elemental Damage Weapons in Borderlands
Situation is that I'm currently running a Borderlands game using Fate Core system, but I am familiar with many other systems, so I'll take advice in whatever system you feel comfortable with. Afterwards I expect I'll be able to translate them into my version of Fate. For story reasons I need to implement elemental damage weapons, which are intricate part of Borderlands setting anyway, and I need advise on following issues:

1) How to make difference between different elemental weapons?

2) Should elemental damage weapons be more effective against unarmored humans than those without elemental damage?
(This question can go either way, but I'm interested in what community thinks.)

Elements are (in order revealed in Wildlife Preservation mission):

This one increases damage from any other source

Fire (Incendiary)
This one is effective against living beings

Electricity (Shock)
This one drain shields real quickly

Acid (Corrosive)
This one is effective against vehicles and robots

Cold (Cryo)
This one comes up in Pre-Sequel, so we can skip it for the time being (although ideas are always welcome)

And the last one, I cannot remember, but if we do something meaningful with previous ones, I'll probably be able to deal this one as soon as I remember it.

And in case you are still reading this post, I plan to recreate Wildlife Preservation mission (with Loader Bot as the victim instead of Bloodwing). My players haven't played the games, so I can pretty much carbon copy the content from the game. For those who haven't played the games, Handsome Jack (main villain) has kidnapped Loader Bot (friend of the PCs) and reprogrammed it to fight vault hunters (player characters). He is organizing a slag derby in Lynchwood to commemorate completion of City of Opportunity and the main event will be fight between vault hunters and Loader Bot. Fight will take place inside an arena whose floor is covered with slag (hence the name slag derby) and during the fight, in four rounds, I plan to demonstrate the elements. And who knows, by the time it's over, maybe I remember the final one.
 member, 540 posts
Sat 12 Aug 2017
at 04:51
Advice about Elemental Damage Weapons in Borderlands
Funny, Jack forgot the last one, too.


1) You're operating in Fate Core, so my recommendation is pretty straightforward. Anytime you want an element in play, slap it on whatever is appropriate as a Stunt.

Slag: In addition to damage, this attack applies a Slagged Boost which can only be invoked when the target is attacked with another elemental. This doesn't replace the boost you'd get by succeeding with style and reducing the shifts of effect by 1, either. Slag just doesn't do much on its own.

Fire: When you succeed with style when attacking an unarmored, unshielded opponent, you may forego a boost to place an On Fire aspect on the target with one free invoke.

Electricity: When you succeed with style when attacking a shielded opponent, you may forego the boost to place an Unshielded aspect on them with one free invoke. While it is active, they have no shields.

Acid: When you succeed with style when attacking an armored opponent, you may forego the boost to reduce their Armor rating by 1. This isn't an aspect or anything, their armor just sucks now. Until they repair or replace it. Yes, this stacks.

Cryo: When you succeed with style on an attack, if you take the boost it can be placed as a situation aspect in that zone, hindering movement until it goes away (whether through being used or your next action going by).


E-Tech: Oh, there's these too. Uh... I got nothin' except E-Tech weapons are frickin' dope. They kill people, I guess?

2) I wouldn't make elemental weapons work any differently than they'd have to. They're already making pretty colors and giving cool perks against certain types of targets. And Fire already hurts unarmored humans more by setting them On Fire.

How does all that sound?
 member, 895 posts
 Fate, WoD
 and Indie RPGs
Sat 12 Aug 2017
at 07:25
Advice about Elemental Damage Weapons in Borderlands

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I'm getting in character. In about 26 hours I'll be playing both Handsome Jack and Timothy Lawrence.

Nintaku, your comments look nearly spot on, both in terms of what I was thinking and timing. Nevertheless I'm gonna keep the thread open in case someone else gets even a better idea in said 26 hours.

Slag: Either exactly how you said or forgo getting a Boost to create a temporary aspect Slagged with either 3 free invokes or as many free invokes as there are players. The temporary aspect lasts equal number of turns, but these particular free invokes can be used only one at the time. Point is I wanna leave space to players to spend their Eridium Points (Fate points) in addition to free invokes. Also if anyone has actually used Slagged weapons effectively, I would love to hear your opinion on the subject.

For Fire, Electricity and Acid, my main issue is splash damage especially compared to Explosive weapons.

Fire: I know it's a silly question, but how best to handle On Fire temporary aspect?

Electricity: I'm thinking about doing some kind of shield drain on ordinary hit, rather than on success with style.
Additional complication is that my game doesn't uses Energy Shields ATM, but I'll think of something.

Most of the rest are nitpicks. And I don't need to worry about E-Tech weapons right now, so I'm gonna sit back and listen to suggestions and write rules at a later date.

2) Should Acid do more damage to unarmored living beings (strictly on the ground of common sense) and should Lightning do less damage to unarmored living opponents (used for stunning or something)?

3) I'm gonna need eventually some rules for Energy Shields. I was thinking a skill on its own (in addition to Physique), kind of like Resources.

This message was last edited by a moderator, as it was against the forum rules, at 09:29, Sat 12 Aug 2017.