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Author Topic: Some Review, Some Questions  (Read 6150 times)
Bill Cook
Member

Posts: 501


« on: September 15, 2004, 05:27:17 PM »

Hello. Things are starting to come together for me in understanding BW. I'm mostly focused on the combat at this point. This is my second read-through of book one, with some reference to book two. The first time, I made myself continue without stopping. This time, I read to the end of a section and then read it again, to wrestle it in.

So I can go from scripting actions to weapon skill tests, for Strike and Block, to shield dice to armor protection dice to IMS to wound penalties. (Whew.) I'm working my way through incantations now.

I wanted to share some review-style comments. Some are critical and reflect my personal aesthetic:
    [*]I think BW commits the same error as TROS of pricing missile fire right out of the market.
    [*]A good portion of the script can be aggregated. Also, in terms of presentation, actions not commonly performed like Lift Object or Get Up crowd out more primary actions like Strike and Avoid; I would appendix non-essentials or, as a lesser change, list them by category, from broad to narrow in application.
    [*]I think scripts should be presented as templates that meet a certain objective. One way to do this would be to have a working example of a knight character creating a set of scripts: most aggressive; mixed; strongest defense; martial trickery; anti-shield; dealing with spears.
    [*]Movement does not work for me. So far, I don't get it. I know some of the parts (e.g. Distance is measured in paces; speed determines PMpV/E; you can walk, dash or jog; movement is tandem to actions across the volley; legal combat space for melee is outside, striking and inside, with its various obstacle modifiers; movement types above walking carry obstacle modifiers), but I have no idea how it comes together.

    If I read correctly, Luke was saying resolve competing directions for striking distance by contests of Sp. That, I get; although, scripting movement to come inside striking distance is redundant to the Get Inside action. Here's my thing, I guess: abstract combat distance to striking, only; begin combat at striking. Why would you script movement? How do you know what to script?
    [*]I love the armor rules. The locations are simple and sensible. The called strike rules are just right; they're optional, raise the obstacle and payoff by exploiting unarmored locations.
    [*]I love the shield rules. The implementation of add dice to Blocks/Strikes is perfect. Parrying Blades are expressed handily.
    [*]Armor/shield failure really invests. I though it would pay to suck, but I was surprised at how it thrills, much like the damage tables in TROS.
    [/list:u]

    And now for a few quetions:

    Q: Do wound penalties cause attributes to be re-factored?

    Q: At what point do wound penalties lower actions per exhange (BW, p. 68) and paces moved per volley/exchange? (BW, pp.70-1)

    Q: Using a Counterstrike, can you budget zero skill dice to either Block or Strike?

    Q: What happens with Counterstrike vs. Counterstrike?

    Thx.
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    Luke
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    « Reply #1 on: September 15, 2004, 06:33:18 PM »

    Quote

    A - Q: Do wound penalties cause attributes to be re-factored?

    B - Q: At what point do wound penalties lower actions per exhange (BW, p. 68) and paces moved per volley/exchange? (BW, pp.70-1)

    C - Q: Using a Counterstrike, can you budget zero skill dice to either Block or Strike?

    D - Q: What happens with Counterstrike vs. Counterstrike?


    A: Not except Reflexes. Not Health, MW, or Steel.

    B: Wound penalties reduce Reflexes at the end of the exchange. It's too complicated to do it in the middle of the exchange.

    C: You must divide your dice. You cannot legitimately divide by zero, can you?  At least one die must be allocated to each portion of the action.

    D: This is stated pretty clearly at the end of the Martial Actions section: in Block vs Block or Counterstrike vs Counterstrike situations, both characters glare at each other over raised fists. No dice are rolled, the script continues.

    hope that helps,
    -L
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    drozdal
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    « Reply #2 on: September 15, 2004, 06:42:54 PM »

    Hey Bill

    Quote
    Q: At what point do wound penalties lower actions per exhange (BW, p. 68) and paces moved per volley/exchange? (BW, pp.70-1)


    BW page 114:  "-1, -2, -4D is the number of dice that these wounds substract from all tests for stats, skills and attributes"

    Quote
    Q: Using a Counterstrike, can you budget zero skill dice to either Block or Strike?


    No you have to put at least one die in strike or counterstrike in this action.

    Quote
    Q: What happens with Counterstrike vs. Counterstrike?


    Nothing happens, characters are just circling around each other waiting for an upcoming strike to counter it.

    Hope that helps.

    Radek
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    Thor Olavsrud
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    « Reply #3 on: September 15, 2004, 06:59:11 PM »

    Quote from: bcook1971
    And now for a few quetions:

    Q: Do wound penalties cause attributes to be re-factored?


    Reflexes yes, no on the rest. Recalculating Mortal Wound each time you take a wound would really be piling on the death spiral! As would recalculating Health. It makes me want to cry just thinking about it.

    Luke can correct me if I'm wrong, but I THINK you apply the penalty directly to the Reflexes attribute, and don't refactor per se. Otherwise, you apply the same penalty twice. Could be wrong though. I don't think I've seen actually do this in play.

    Quote
    Q: At what point do wound penalties lower actions per exhange (BW, p. 68) and paces moved per volley/exchange? (BW, pp.70-1)


    I imagine you would do it at the end of the current exchange, although I suppose you could have them forfeit actions from the end of their scripts if you wanted to.

    Also, don't forget about incapacitation rules, which take effect when you have wound penalties in dice equal to your lowest stat. For instance, if you have a Perception B3, and you take 3 Midi wounds (-1D each), you are incapacitated. The general rule of thumb is, if you are incapacitated because of a mental stat (Perception or Will), you fall into a stupor or unconciousness because of shock. If it is a physical stat, you are rolling around on the ground in pain.

    However, I strongly recommend that you go to theBurning Wheel site, and download the Variant Wound Penalties PDF from the Rules Expansions and Variants section of the Downloads section. They're a nice improvement on the version in the book. While you're there, pick up the Variant Artha Rules too.

    Quote
    Q: Using a Counterstrike, can you budget zero skill dice to either Block or Strike?


    At least 1D in each.

    Quote
    Q: What happens with Counterstrike vs. Counterstrike?


    Nothing at all. You both circle for a while.

    While you're at the download section, swing by the Burning Wheel Info PDF area and grab the Alternate Script Sheet.  I think it will really illuminate the whole scripting process for you. My groups laminate them and mark them with a grease pencil when we script. It works really well.
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    Bill Cook
    Member

    Posts: 501


    « Reply #4 on: September 16, 2004, 10:45:28 AM »

    Cool. Thx for the answers.

    Quote from: Thor Olavsrud
    .. I THINK you apply the penalty directly to the Reflexes attribute, and don't refactor per se. Otherwise, you apply the same penalty twice.


    That makes sense to me.

    The alternate wound tolerances are interesting. I had the feeling during playtesting that I'd much rather have a -1 D than a +3 DN. I'm not sure which version I like better.

    The alternate script sheet speaks to my points, above. I can only imagine how much feedback gets repeated:)

    ** ** **

    Finished re-reading Incantations. I love Tax. It's the relevant downside that TROS magic is missing. I always felt that D&D Dispell Magic should be fundamental to the Magic User class; that, and scroll writing. So, bravo!

    I also like the economy for sustained spells. Sounds like it will be fun to use.

    I haven't gotten into the spell listings too much yet. I'm starting with humans.

    More questions:

    Q: Regarding Life Paths, can you take the same path multiple times? (e.g. A character who was born in the city, apprenticed to a blacksmith, took over the business and has been working there ever since, lo, these 20+ years, now.)

    Q: How do you script preventing access to another character?

    e.g. #1: A Sorcerer needs 2 exchanges and some change to get off an ass-kicking spell. His acolytes defend him with daggers.

    e.g. #2: Your buddy needs just over 4 exchanges to reload his crossbow and fire. You fend off assailants.
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    Thor Olavsrud
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    « Reply #5 on: September 16, 2004, 10:57:27 AM »

    Quote from: bcook1971
    Finished re-reading Incantations. I love Tax. It's the relevant downside that TROS magic is missing. I always felt that D&D Dispell Magic should be fundamental to the Magic User class; that, and scroll writing. So, bravo!

    I also like the economy for sustained spells. Sounds like it will be fun to use.

    I haven't gotten into the spell listings too much yet. I'm starting with humans.


    If you like that stuff, make sure to check out the sample chapters from the (forthcoming...eventually) Magic Burner. Some very cool additions to Sorcery. You might also like the items. Sustainer matrices are very cool.

    Quote
    Q: Regarding Life Paths, can you take the same path multiple times? (e.g. A character who was born in the city, apprenticed to a blacksmith, took over the business and has been working there ever since, lo, these 20+ years, now.)


    Check out p. 39 of the Character Burner. You may take the same lifepath as many times as you like...with a catch. The first two times you take the lifepath, you receive all the benefits of it. The third time, you only receive half the skill points, and none of the other benefits. It gets worse from there.

    Quote
    Q: How do you script preventing access to another character?

    e.g. #1: A Sorcerer needs 2 exchanges and some change to get off an ass-kicking spell. His acolytes defend him with daggers.

    e.g. #2: Your buddy needs just over 4 exchanges to reload his crossbow and fire. You fend off assailants.


    I haven't seen this come up in play. However, as long as you are in Striking Distance of both the assailant and the assailed, I see no reason why you couldn't script a block to prevent a blow against your ally, rather than yourself. Of course, if someone attacks you at the same time, you'll just have to suck it up...
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    Thor Olavsrud
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    « Reply #6 on: September 16, 2004, 11:02:11 AM »

    One more thing, it's a bit difficult for spellcasters sometimes, but as for archers and crossbow guys, remember that they attack at range. If someone gets close enough to get in a melee attack on them, they really should either run or drop their bows and go for the melee weapons.

    Bows and crossbows are incredibly deadly in this game...from a distance (especially from the top of a tower!). But sticking to them once melee is joined is just asking to be cut down.

    I can't overstate the joy of a successful ambush or distance shot with a bow, though. The combination of a Long Bow and the Keen Sight (Eagle Eye) trait is a joy to behold. And a Hunting Bow and the Chow Yun Fat trait is just brutal.
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    Ron Edwards
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    « Reply #7 on: September 16, 2004, 11:12:26 AM »

    Hello,

    I like the various missile weapon rules. In our first session, an elven archer character nocked her arrow, aimed at her target, and shot it as it swooped at her to chomp her. (It was a bat-like humanoid with a very nasty bite.)

    By the rules, and calling upon her Poised trait throughout, it landed on her just before her shot went off - but did not successfully harm her. Her shot was then released, at point-blank range. Part of the reason I permitted her to complete the action was that she'd aced her previous Steel test.

    The arrowshot succeeded, but sadly, she rolled only a 1 on the DOF, which was still enough to hurt the thing badly enough to raise its DN; I ruled that the arrow entered its mouth and exited just past the jaw hinge, as opposed to puncturing its brain through the roof of its mouth (5-6 on the DOF would have done that).

    Very dramatic. Very nasty.

    Best,
    Ron
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    Thor Olavsrud
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    « Reply #8 on: September 16, 2004, 11:40:37 AM »

    Very cool Ron. Sounds like a wonderfully tense, dramatic moment.

    I'm a big fan of bows and other missile weapons in Burning Wheel too! Even a thrown rock at the right time can turn the tide of a battle!

    My duellist character from a recently completed witch hunter campaign also got some serious mileage out of pistols. Unloading a couple of pistols and then dropping them and wading into the melee with a sword was incredibly effective, if a bit nerve-racking since you never know when they'll explode in your hands.
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    drozdal
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    « Reply #9 on: September 16, 2004, 12:55:36 PM »

    Hey Bill

    Quote
    Q: How do you script preventing access to another character?


    I think that's more a house rule that we are using in our game - I couldn't find it anywhere in the books

    You can set up "conditional action" as we call them. Which means you are setting up condition and your response to it, and of course your character is waiting for that condition to arise.

    Examples of preventing access to certain characters

    - Conditional strike - I strike anyone who try to get close to that character.

    - Conditional charge - I charge anyone approaching this character.

    - Conditional push - I push back those who want to interfere with wizard wizardly matters :)

    Radek
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    Bill Cook
    Member

    Posts: 501


    « Reply #10 on: September 16, 2004, 12:56:59 PM »

    Quote from: Thor Olavsrud
    .. as long as you are in Striking Distance of both the assailant and the assailed, I see no reason why you couldn't script a block to prevent a blow against your ally, rather than yourself.


    That makes sense. So it'd be a Block, targeting your protectorate's targeter. That assumes position. And a Block spent defending another cannot double, obviously. I totally see that.

    Your point about distance in paces and switching out gives context. I'm starting to see location and resultant pace counts as foundational, beyond outside striking distance. I'm pretty sure that's the BW paradigm. Which .. I guess it's a matter of taste whether to use markers on a grid, update estimates on a marker board or just visualize everything.

    Ron:

    I'm greatly enjoying your Actual Play threads.
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    Thor Olavsrud
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    « Reply #11 on: September 16, 2004, 01:55:38 PM »

    Quote from: bcook1971
    That makes sense. So it'd be a Block, targeting your protectorate's targeter. That assumes position. And a Block spent defending another cannot double, obviously. I totally see that.


    Yes. Although I'll add that Dro's use of the Conditional Action makes a great deal of sense too. It ends up being pretty much the same thing, for the most part.

    Quote
    Your point about distance in paces and switching out gives context. I'm starting to see location and resultant pace counts as foundational, beyond outside striking distance. I'm pretty sure that's the BW paradigm. Which .. I guess it's a matter of taste whether to use markers on a grid, update estimates on a marker board or just visualize everything.


    Personally, I've never seen markers and a grid used in BW. When I've played with Abzu or Taepoong, we've always just visualized. I think Paces lend themselves to that well, because everyone has a pretty good sense of what a pace is. That said, I think it could work rather well with markers and a grid if you like to do things that way.

    Generally, I don't think you need to get too hung up on paces, except in a few circumstances.

    First, paces are important when missile weapons come into play, both for range purposes and to get an idea of how many actions it would take for a target to reach the archer/crossbowman/musketeer. For instance, assuming a target has a very good Speed stat of B5 and he's 72 paces away (Medium range for a Hunting Bow), it will take him 4 Exchanges (a guy with B5 Speed moves at 17.5 paces if he sprints for an entire Exchange) to reach the archer. If the Archer has Reflexes B5 (5 Actions per Exchange), he can fire 3 arrows at the aggressor (15 Actions), and still have 5 Actions left over. Those 5 Actions could be used for Aiming (to lower the Obstacle to his the sprinting assailant), and to draw a weapon and assume a stance. Chances are the assailant will be dead or seriously wonded before he reaches the Archer.

    If, by chance, the Archer has the Chow Yun Fat trait, he would get off one arrow every Exchange. That's nasty!

    Second, the paces really come into play if one of the combatants is wielding a weapon with reach. As the illustrations show, a guy wielding a sword is going to have a very scary time facing a guy with a spear.
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