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Author Topic: Tying Tests Together  (Read 7949 times)
Bill Cook
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« on: October 27, 2004, 12:52:08 AM »

A knight and squire, travelling on horseback, pass through the woods of a baron's vassal. They ride late into the night, intent on delivering a message from their lord. Up ahead, they see a light. A man, holding a lantern, standing along their path, hails them.

"Sir knight, dismount and surrender your purse or the devil take your soul!" There is a rustle in the trees. Several figures appear, with drawn bows.

"I'm for damnation and the Lake of Fire!" the knight says, and charges into the lantern bearer. His terrified squire desperately pursues.

==========
Knight (Charge (2) / Avoid / Avoid)
Squire (Avoid / Avoid / Avoid)

Bandit Leader (Avoid (2) /  Nock / - )
Bandits (Acquire, Release / Nock / - )
==========

"Charger  tests Power .. vs opponent's Speed or Power." (BW, p. 84) (The bandit leader will opt for Speed, obviously.) The horse rolls three successes against one success for the bandit leader. The Charge succeeds.

"[Avoid] is a versus test pitting the defender's Speed against the attacker's skill." (BW, p. 82) The bandit leader's Speed roll produces two successes against the knight's Mounted Combat roll for one success. The Avoid succeeds.

** ** **

Accepting simultaneity, which result prevails? Is it right to process these actions separately, or should the Avoid be expressed as vs. Speed in the Charge test? Should a Charge be checked if no resistance is scripted?
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Luke
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« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2004, 06:51:28 AM »

Assuming that during the first volley, the Knight has Charge as his action and the Bandit has Avoid:

Knight tests his horse's Power*. The Bandit gets the benefit of his Natural Defenses (Speed) plus his Speed dice from his Avoid action. Essentially, because the Bandit predicted the Knight's maneuver, he gets a double defense. (Charge is easy to get away from if you see it coming.)

If the Knight player smartly turned about and Charged into the Bowmen, we test the horse's Power vs the Bowman's Natural Defenses (in this case, Speed).

As always, the action with the highest successes  prevails.


*Knight tests his Horse's Power + Dice for momentum/charging. In this post, I reccommend that the Charging action add +1D to Power regardless of momentum.

hope that helps,
-L
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Bill Cook
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« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2004, 07:57:35 AM »

Innnteresting. Once again, the chaos of scripted combat is expressed. I'm seeing that as the impetus for vs. Natural Defense; you can't know whether your opponent will predict so as to oppose.

I take it as a principle, then, that, where action is targeted, checks are overlayed with opposition as additive to the target's vs. obstacle. Or, to stagger checks, you could use the Block mechanic. (".. make a versus skill test against the attacker's [action]. Each [opposition] success knocks off one [action] success." (BW, p. 83).

So if the knight has six dice to Charge (Po five plus one die for momentum) and the bandit leader has a Natural Defense (Sp) of four, where Charge and Avoid fall on the same action:
    [*]Using the aggregate procedure, roll Charge dice vs. Natural Defense plus Avoid dice.
    [*]Or, using staggered checks, (1) roll Charge dice vs. Natural Defense; (2) Roll Avoid dice to knock off the margin.
    [/list:u]
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    Luke
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    « Reply #3 on: October 27, 2004, 09:21:40 AM »

    We follow the second model, but with Charge vs Avoid (action vs action), then ND to knock  away anything remaining. Action vs ND only comes when absolutely necessary.

    But as far as I can tell, it's the same math all around. It's X dice vs Y dice, highest number of successes wins.

    -L
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    rafial
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    « Reply #4 on: October 27, 2004, 05:21:27 PM »

    Quote from: abzu

    Knight tests his horse's Power*. The Bandit gets the benefit of his Natural Defenses (Speed) plus his Speed dice from his Avoid action. Essentially, because the Bandit predicted the Knight's maneuver, he gets a double defense. (Charge is easy to get away from if you see it coming.)


    OMG.  This is a definite item that needs to be clarified in Revised.  I never had the slightest clue it worked that way.  I just assumed Avoid only helped against weapon strikes, and that was it.
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    Luke
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    « Reply #5 on: October 27, 2004, 05:31:43 PM »

    Quote from: rafial
    OMG.  This is a definite item that needs to be clarified in Revised.  I never had the slightest clue it worked that way.  I just assumed Avoid only helped against weapon strikes, and that was it.


    done and done.
    -L
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    Thor Olavsrud
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    « Reply #6 on: October 28, 2004, 07:47:26 AM »

    Quote from: rafial
    OMG.  This is a definite item that needs to be clarified in Revised.  I never had the slightest clue it worked that way.  I just assumed Avoid only helped against weapon strikes, and that was it.


    It helps when the horse tries  to bite the guy's face off too. :)
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    Bill Cook
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    « Reply #7 on: October 28, 2004, 10:02:59 PM »

    More knightly adventures ..

    [First volley, first action]
    The knight rolls a Charge of six for three successes. The bandit leader rolls an Avoid of four for two successes .. and ND of four yields one, knocking off the remainder.

    The bandits acquire.

    [First volley, second action]
    Charge vs. Avoid yields no margin.

    "Characters must be sprinting for the volley they have the Charge action scripted." (BW, p. 84) "Shooting at a sprinting beastie is obstacle equal to its Speed exponent." (BW, p. 169) It's a riding horse, so its Sp is seven. So the bandits' obstacle to hit with a Bow of two is .. seven? No point in rolling that.

    [Second volley]
    At this point, they're just trying to ride past. (In fact, as I think of it, should they have scripted Physical Act - Ride On?) I'm unclear how to resolve their escape. My first guess is a vs. test of Speed. Or if the bandits scripted parting shots (in lieu of pursuit), you'd calculate pace counts until they rode out of range, I guess. But when you look at the dice, it's impossible for them to hit, anyway, so it seems pointless to bother ..

    ** ** **

    I can see the point of capturing impossible tests for the purpose of advancement, but otherwise, doesn't this smack of brokenness? Also, I would appreciate some feedback as to whether my guesses at resolving the chase/parting shot(s) reflect intent.
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    Kaare Berg
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    « Reply #8 on: October 29, 2004, 01:38:45 AM »

    Avoid stipulates that you must move at least one pace, so the barging past the bandit move worked and the two rides should be in the clear.

    Scripting futher for these two would be avoid (using their horsmanship to make the horses weave). This will require a reduction in speed to dash, since sprint stipulates it is just that, a mad dsprint in a single direction.

    For the bandits, well they miss the first shot. Run out on the path and shoot at the parting riders, who then because they are not moving perpendicular to the archers no longer add half speed to the archers ob. (can't remember the exact ob penalty, think it is +1).

    in addition the miffed archers might aim for the horses, which I would award at least some ob reduction for (large target), can't remember of this is mentined in the rules.

    Quote
    I can see the point of capturing impossible tests for the purpose of advancement,


    If you have artha to add dice and open-end impossible test suddenly do not become so impossible anymore. For the avrage joe it is just that impossibel.

    Quote
    but otherwise, doesn't this smack of brokenness?

    Bow of two isn't much of a skill. Hitting a horse that blurs past you in two seconds requiers skill. It isn't as much brokeness as unrealistic expectations of said bandits.

    You might want to check out this thread at the BW forum where an alternate approach to movement is being discusse.
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    -K
    Luke
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    « Reply #9 on: October 29, 2004, 06:15:08 AM »

    Quote
    "Characters must be sprinting for the volley they have the Charge action scripted." (BW, p. 84) "Shooting at a sprinting beastie is obstacle equal to its Speed exponent." (BW, p. 169) It's a riding horse, so its Sp is seven. So the bandits' obstacle to hit with a Bow of two is .. seven? No point in rolling that.


    Using the He's Coming Right For Us! rule, the Ob penalty is only +1 or +2. Not that it matters too much, it could be Ob 3 or Ob 7. With a Bow of B2, neither is a possible hit. The incompetent bandits deserve what they get.

    Were I the riders, as soon as the leve of incompetence of these bandits was made clear -- no road block, no aimed shots fired from cover, and an overall Bow skill of B2 -- I would turn my horse about. I would put my character into Aggressive stance, urge the horse to CHARGE one of them and Strike at another adjacent bandit as I flew past. Even with a Sword skill of B4, I'd have eight dice to roll for such a Strike. I'm certain I'd make short work of my opponents. My horse, with a modest B6 Power, would roll seven dice (don't forget the momentum bonus). Good luck dodging out of of the way of that. The bowman would be forced to scatter -- they either have to reload (highly unlikely) or draw steel while I barrel through.


    The point of my example above is that you are not playing to the strengths of the characters in play and you're overcomplicating your comprehension of what's going on.

    So either remove the horses from your example and start over -- because on a Charge a mounted character uses his animal's Power -- or be realistic about the amount of dice being thrown. A B2 is "just enough dice to get you in trouble." Not enough dice to fell an armored, mounted knight in a single shot. Or try using the "He's Coming Right For Us" rule with B4 Bow skills -- an Ob 2 or 3 shot to hit the knight.

    hope that helps,
    -L
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    Bill Cook
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    « Reply #10 on: October 29, 2004, 04:39:40 PM »

    Negilent:


    Thx for the link. I only had time to briefly scan .. will read more thoroughly, later. But it looks like things are moving in a more intuitive direction. I guess I made my position on pace counts clear in previous threads, but I'll restate: combat space subsuming pace counts into abstraction is my strong preference. And a vs. test of Speed is, I feel, the natural choice for resolution.

    Thx to you and abzu for the He's Coming Right at Us! reminder.


    abzu:

    Ah, yes. Aiming ..

    ** ** **

    Well, cool. I'm better aware of tactical options and application of relevant combat modifiers for the bandits. I would like to clarify: my choice to have the knight Charge the leader and escape reflects the priority of delivering his lord's message. Most of the tactical advice I've received suggests the intent of felling the bandits.

    I'm seeing better how Shooting at Moving Beasties (BW, p. 169) is a mod of Movement Penalties. (BW, p. 147) So that's cool.

    Another thing: I'm not so hip to fudging up the Bow skill. The whole impossible obstacle is like one too many bran muffins: it doesn't sit well.

    (Incidentally, I hope I didn't raise any hackles using the B-word. And please don't misintepret my unblinking eye; I look for limitations as an exercise of internalizing the system, which improves my ability to mentor my group, which makes for smoother play.)

    Here's my thought: why not say, for standard tests, regardless of the obstacle, a roll of successes equal to your pool passes. This would mainly impact tests of lower exponents, occuring less and less as the character advanced.

    P.S. Still interested in suggestions about scripting and resolving the knight and squire's attempt to flee vs. bandit pursuit / parting shots.
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    Kaare Berg
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    « Reply #11 on: October 31, 2004, 11:34:35 PM »

    Quote from: Bill
    Here's my thought: why not say, for standard tests, regardless of the obstacle, a roll of successes equal to your pool passes. This would mainly impact tests of lower exponents, occuring less and less as the character advanced.


    It raises the question: why then bother to increase your skills?

    BW puts a professional skill level at B4, but with this suggestion an apprentice just starting (B2) has a greater chance of making that ob 5 sword than his teacher has, at a shorter time. (his teacher having to work carefully and dilligently to creat such a sword).

    It took a while for me to get my brain around this, but my suggestion is get a copy of the Monster Burner and read the chapters detailing the different exponent levels of BW. It gives a totally different insight into the system.

    Actually Luke, I would consider adding these chapters to the revised edition because thsey are extremely helpfull.
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    -K
    Luke
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    « Reply #12 on: November 01, 2004, 08:39:58 AM »

    Quote
    Another thing: I'm not so hip to fudging up the Bow skill. The whole impossible obstacle is like one too many bran muffins: it doesn't sit well.


    Hi Bill,

    It's not fudging. You have simply presented two bandit characters who are incompetent with the bow. Their hands are unsteady and their aim is shaky. With two dice, they miss a target dummy at 20 paces one out four times. They are barely skilled characters in Burning Wheel. Asking them to shoot down a horseman, riding away from them at speed at night is asking too much from them. They can not bullseye their target under those conditions.

    If you had created a bandit character with a B2 Bow skill, but you wanted him to focus on the bow as part of his character history and your vision for the character in play, as GM I'd tell you to devote more skill points to the skill in Character Burning. A B3 or B4 would be more appropriate for a character reasonably skilled in the bow. It's not fudging. It's just creating your character with your play priorities in mind.

    To get back to your original query. In the current incarnation of the rules, the horsemen may simply leave the scene by urging their mounts to gallop. The horses, in one sprinted volley, will move about 15 paces. The bandits might get a few shots off at them, but with a skill of B2, there's little danger of the horsemen being hit.

    If the lead bandit wanted to stop his quarry's exit, he could attempt to Intimidate the horses, Lock the horses (unlikely), pull a ride off (dangerous to do alone), or try to kill one of the horses with his sword (unlikely but possible).

    hope that helps,
    -L
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    Bill Cook
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    « Reply #13 on: November 01, 2004, 06:50:35 PM »

    Thought more about my mod suggestion; it's not the fix I want. Probably aiming is the right remedy. And they would just forfeit to rescript.

    I am interested in purchasing the Monster Burner -- for insight into game mechanics, not so much the monsters. I also need a couple Character Burners and a BW PDF. But I already blew my discretionary income on other books:) Give me a month ..

    Anyway, I've been looking more into movement and its obstacles. I've got a snazzy little table worked out for quick application of unit types: foot soldier, archer, cavalry and mounted bowman. PM your e-mail if you want a copy.

    These are some thoughts I've had from playtesting:
      [*]Pace counts exercise movement and weapon range modifiers.

      I find I have to kick myself to let combat islands breathe with generous paces inbetween. Essentially, you have to trap the modifiers with pace counts. To me, the most useful markers are paces moved ratings (BW, p. 70) and weapon ranges. (BW, p. 196)

      [*]Access is resolved by a combination of direction, with respect to the target, and paces moved.

       e.g. A duel turns ill for character A. He scripts Avoid (Sprint), which implies "away from this knife-wielding maniac." Character B scripts Strike (Stand Ground) or even, just a dash, for the movement, which implies "set to move by the type that will maintain access."

      Here, I believe, the principle is that movement applies at any point along the volley; so naturally, B will interpret his Strike to occur before loss of valid combat distance.* However, barring incapacitation, Getting Inside or a similiar loss of function or movement-restriction effect, where A's paces moved exceeds B's, A will escape access.

      (Coming from the other direction, where one or more seek to gain access, the same principle can be applied to establish combat distance, where the pace count falls to zero or less. Matching weapon lengths begin at striking distance, and mismatches begin at outside striking distance.)

      [*]The choice of movement type (i.e. Walk, Jog, Sprint) is a tradeoff between controlling access to striking distance and leveraging an exponent against movement obstacle penalties.

      So if you're Madmartigan, you should be running about.

      Something I've been struggling with: aside from leveraging superior skill (as a game mechanics advantage), once you've gained access, what tactic does movement express? I now have two answers: strafing and crowd wading.

      Last night, I scripted strafing runs by a cavalry charge (five knights in field plate), riding in, under a hail of arrow fire (20 archers in a line). The knights emerged from the woods at 200p from the archers and met the line in five volleys. Their macro-script was Strike (Sprint - close); Avoid (Sprint - gain); Turn around (2) (Sprint - turn).

      To me, that's a fascinating example of something BW movement can capture that D&D can only give lip service to.

      Oh, and crowd wading would be Striking character A, then B, then C, all the while, running about. Very possible when you don't have to script your targets.

      [*]Access to striking distance is the domain of movement; distinctions of striking distance (i.e. outside striking, striking, inside) are the domain of martial action.
      [/list:u]

      P.S. It looks like in the space of three posts, I've reversed my position on pace counts. Oh, well:)

      P.P.S. Luke: thx for tactical advice. I think I was trying to ask, "how is escape resolved?" I think the answer is, "barring challenge to their passage, once they ride out of range, they've escaped." Higher paces moved preventing access was the missing puzzle piece for me.
      ------------------------------------------------------

      *I assume B takes +4 Ob for Sprinting and another 1/2 B's Sp for a Sprinting target.
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      Luke
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      « Reply #14 on: November 01, 2004, 07:06:46 PM »

      bill,

      i have a confession to make. your posts were the straw that broke this camel's back. i have to try to explain these concepts over and over to kids at cons, and reading your struggle with the paces/movement system has driven me to distraction. Not through any fault of your own, but because my system is falling down and tripping over itself.

      but that's not the confession. The admission: i'm working right now to strip counting paces out of the game altogether. Not movement, just paces.

      -L
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