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Author Topic: More blundering around from me: Fight!  (Read 1951 times)
Robert Ahrens
Member

Posts: 27


« on: July 18, 2005, 06:39:02 AM »

So I spent most of the weekend reading the BWR books.  Last night, I burned up a couple of characters and tried out the Fight!  mechanics.

I'd like to post some observations and questions that came up during that process in this thread.  Apologies if some of this stuff has already been answered on these boards.

1) Character burning

Character burning was pretty smooth.  I definitely enjoy the way the different lifepaths interact and the choices you get to take.  It's super fun.  That said, I did have a couple of questions:

Question 1 Harrek, my Dwarf Graybeard, has a Forte of G4.  Does this mean that his Superficial Wound is:
 a) B3 (exponent/2, rounded up, +1 = 3)
 b) B4 ( (exponent + 2 for the Gray Shade) / 2, rounded up, +1 = 4)
 c) G3 (exponent/2, rounded up, +1 = 3 but the Shade carries over.

(c) seems nonsensical and (a) seems a little harsh, so I'm guessing (b) -- but I guess I wanted confirmation.

Question 2 What's up with Shield and weapon compatibilities?
In the Weapons Appendix it seems that neither Spears nor Hammers can ever be compatible with Shields.  This is suprising to me, both due to my geek expectations and because of the Lifepaths.  The "geek expectation" stuff is that, while I am not a historian, I do have a clear picture in my mind of pictish warriors, native Americans, Roman soldiers, etc, all armed with shields and spears.  I had wanted this combo for my Orc Ravager and then I realized that, by the book, I couldn't have it.  Bah.

Secondly, it did strike me as wierd that both the Orc Black Legion and the Dwarven Host lifepaths offer Shield Training but don't appear to offer training with any weapon that is compatible with shields.  Harrek was able to pick up Shield Training and Hammer in his Footsoldier path but didn't get a chance to choose Axe (there is a Light Axe which is useable 1-handed).  Gurutz, in the Legion paths, didn't even get that choice.  Both characters had to use their General Skill points to pick up one-handed weapon skills.

I found this a little confusing and frustrating.  Is it an intended feature, a result of my misreading, or what?

Question 3 The Rites.
According to the footnote text for The Rites in the Great & Black Lifepath, Born Great Orcs may only take it as their 2nd Lifepath and Born Chattel Orcs may only take it as their 3rd.  What is confusing me is that I don't see any way for Chattel Orcs to get to the Great & Black setting in 2 lifepaths.  What am I missing?

Okay.  That's it for character burning.  I'll leave the actual Fight! questions for a separate post.

Thanks in advance for any help I get with this stuff.  I really am very impressed with the core of BWR and don't mean to appear to criticize or niggle.

 - Scorpio just tryin' to understand.
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Robert Ahrens
Member

Posts: 27


« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2005, 07:21:26 AM »

2) Fight! Questions

Having made them, I got Harrek and Gurutz to Fight!

I'd like to briefly talk through my experience of running this, and then ask the questions.

Since there was just me, I had a hard time treating the scripting mechanics fairly.  What I did was to take turns in scripting one of the characters first and then to give the other character a mix of what I thought were "good guesses" and what I thought were bad ones in their script.  Really, I just wanted to see how the maneuvers interacted.

Some relevant character stats:

Harrek Dwarven Graybeard.
Wi B8 Pe B4 Po B6 Fo G4 Ag B4 Sp B3
Ref B3 MW B11 Steel 7
Axe B4 (+ 1D FoRK from Hammer) - RotM weapon
Dwarven Shield G3 + Dwarf-made Chainmail armour.

Gurutz Orc Ravager.
Wi B4 Pe B3 Po B4 Fo B4 Ag B6 Sp B6
Ref B5 MW B10 Steel B5
Spear B3 ( + 1D FoRK from Sword) - RotM weapon
poor Quality Plated Leather armour.

The first big issue was positioning:  Gurutz has Sp B6 + 1D for having the higher Ref + 1D for a higher Speed multiplier + 1D for having the longer weapon = 9D for the test.  Harrek has B3.

This single fact set the tone for the entire fight.  Gurutz can basically win all the Positioning tests and keep Harrek at his optimal range, where Harrek can't even Strike.  This left Harrek with only the option to Charge (using his B6 Power + 1D Charge bonus) in an attempt to Close.  But even then he was rolling 7D against Gurutz's "free" Natural Defenses of 9D.  More often than not, Harrek ended up off-balance himself and losing actions while Gurutz wailed on him.

Not that it mattered much.  The poor, frustrated Orc only dealt B3 damage on an 'I' hit, not even enough to give the Dwarf a Superficial Wound.  With only 4D in his Spear pool, Gurutz was unable to land many 'M' hits and on the few occasions when he did they were easily soaked up by the Dwarf's 5D chainmail.

For four exchanges the pattern repeated:  Harrek scripted a bunch of Charges and the occasional Strike or Avoid.  Gurutz started off with Avoid and Strike.  After a while, when it became apparent that Harrek was unlikely to Close even if Gurutz didn't Avoid, the frustrated Orc shifted to Set & Great Strike combos; but he had some poor rolls and even that didn't help him get through the armour.

After 4 rounds, I gave up.  It was late, and I could see that eventually either Harrek would get lucky and get the two Charge successes he needed to knock Gurutz over, allowing him to Close and bring his Axe into play (the Dwarf didn't get to roll one Strike in four exchanges) or Gurutz would get lucky and actually deliver his B9 'M' damage through Harreks' armour.  So I called it.

Okay.  Now the questions:

Question 4 Did my characters suck?
One thought that I had was that perhaps I'd made the characters poorly.  Somehow they both managed to be very ineffective against the other.  Harrek was completely at the Orc's mercy with regard to positioning.  He couldn't even have fled if he'd wanted to.  On the other hand, Gurutz watched five or six blows, including two Great Strikes, slide harmlessly of the Dwarf's mail, or else penetrate only to give the Dwarf an inconsequential bruise.

So did I just build them poorly?  I figured B3 Speed was reasonable for a Dwarf, particularly one whom I'd envisaged as kind of porky and slow.  And even if he'd had a B5, Harrek would've still been at a 3D disadvantage to positioning.  OTOH, I'd pictured Gurutz as more of a scout than a warrior.  In fact, I'd expected the Dwarf to make mincemeat of him.  Instead there was just this odd standoff. 

It could just be that what I'm looking at is reasonable; that a tank vs a spearman is going to play out like this.  But if you think I messed up the characters I'd love to get any "burning advice" you may have.

Question 5  I'm not clear on combat ranges.
A spear is a Longest weapon.  An axe is a Long weapon.  By my reading, that means that when Gurutz was at Optimal striking distance Harrek was Out of Reach and could not Strike at all.  My confusion came when the Dwarf successfully Closed, moving from Out of Reach to Lunging Distance. 

By my reading of the weapon length rules, the spear will still be considered in Optimal striking distance right up until the Dwarf closed to Inside distance (which he had little intention of doing).  But Gurutz wanted to retreat so that the Dwarf could not Strike at him.  What I wanted was for Gurutz to Withdraw to Longest distance so that he would still be Optimal but that the Dwarf would be back Out of Reach.  But the rules seemed to indicate that Gurutz, being at Optimal distance, would have to Withdraw to his own Lunging distance - at, what, "longer-than-longest"?

I guess my question is whether two fighters are really considered to be at one of the Weapon Length distances (Longest, Longer ...) or at one of the Fighting Range distances (Out of Reach, Lunging ...).  Was there a way that Gurutz could Withdraw without changing his Fighting Range distance (from Optimal to Lunging) but changing his Weapon Length distance from Longer to Longest (and thus the Dwarf's Fighting Range distance from Lunging to Out of Reach)?

Whew.  Sorry if that's confusing.

Question 6 Block & Strike.
Apparently characters with Shield Training gain access to this maneuver.  What I don't understand is how it is in any way different from Counterstrike?  The only difference I can see is that it is classed as an Aggressive rather than a Defensive maneuver.  Is there some other difference?

Okay.  That's all my questions.  Thanks again for any consideration/help I receive.

 - Scorpio wishing he were more succinct.
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Thor Olavsrud
Member

Posts: 349


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« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2005, 07:24:41 AM »

Hi scorpio,

Character Burning Questions

Question 1: I am fairly certain that your guy with the Forte G4 starts with a B3 superficial. He gets scrapes and scratches like everyone else. However, that high Forte comes into play when figuring your Mortal Wound. I'm guessing your character has a B4 Power?

If your Forte was Mundane shade, i.e., you had Forte B4 and Power B4, you would average those (for a result of 4), add 6, end up with a Mortal Wound of B10. However, because your Forte is Gray shade, you would add +2 to your Forte and then average (for a result of 5), add 6, and end up with a Mortal Wound of B11.

Why is that a big deal? Aside from the fact that you will survive blows that might otherwise kill you, it also shifts the higher-end wound tolerances up by one. Here's what I mean:

Without a Gray shade Forte: Sup B3, Li B5, Mi B7, Se B8, Tr B9, Mw B10

With a Gray shade Forte: Sup B3, Li B5, Mi B7, Se B9, Tr B10, Mw B11

And, of course, it also means that your Forte counts as 2 levels higher when factoring your Health attribute as well. And you'll roll your Forte at Gray shade when Forte rolls are called for (though that isn't too often in Burning Wheel).

So you're probably asking now: aside from the last thing Thor mentioned (which he says isn't that common anyway), I could get all of those benefits just by taking a Forte B6, and saving 3 Physical Stat points to use elsewhere. Why would I shade shift a Stat in character burning?

And there are a couple of good answers to that. First, sometimes, you are forced to shade shift. Let's say we have an exponent cap of 6 in our game. It is not uncommon for elves and dwarves to come up with 13 points for Mental Stats. That would mean that either Will or Perception would have to be B7. Nope. Shade-shift it.

Now, to me, it makes a lot more sense to shade shift (in character creation) just about every stat EXCEPT Forte and maybe Power. Perception is often rolled on its own, and so would benefit from the lower target number. In addition, many skills root off Perception, and they would all be Gray as well. Will is rolled less often than Perception, but all social skills root off it. A Gray Will character will be a powerhouse with Gray social skills. All martial skills root off Agility. nuff said. Speed may be the most commonly rolled stat now with the new Positioning system, or at least approaches Perception.

The reason you might want to shade-shift Forte and Power, as well as the other stats?  A lighter shade is more about heroic potential than anything else. Consider, if you have to lift a heavy barrel and have B6 Power, the most successes you can get are 6. If you have a G4 Power, the most you can get are 4. However, let's say it's a B6 Power in a tug-of-war with a G6 Power?  The guy with G6 Power, statistically, will get more successes than the guy with B6 Power. As the exponent increases, the guy with the Gray shade Power will pull further and further ahead. At Power G8, it is fairly likely that your guy will be able to pull out 5 on a routine basis.

Question 2: Luke wants the game to be about the choices you make as to when and why to use your weapons, rather than choosing from an exhaustive list of weapons, so the list was kept pretty minimal. For one-handed hammers, just use the mace stats. One handed axes include the light axe and the hatchet. I'll create a short spear for you right here: Power 1 Add 2 WpnSpd Fast, VA -, Longer. And a Roman Pilum: Power 2 Add 2, WpnSpd Fast, VA 1, Longer.

Question 3: I think you've run into a genuine error. We'll have to wait for Luke to give you an idea of what it should be.
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Thor Olavsrud
Member

Posts: 349


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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2005, 08:04:34 AM »

Quote
Question 4 Did my characters suck?
One thought that I had was that perhaps I'd made the characters poorly.  Somehow they both managed to be very ineffective against the other.  Harrek was completely at the Orc's mercy with regard to positioning.  He couldn't even have fled if he'd wanted to.  On the other hand, Gurutz watched five or six blows, including two Great Strikes, slide harmlessly of the Dwarf's mail, or else penetrate only to give the Dwarf an inconsequential bruise.

So did I just build them poorly?  I figured B3 Speed was reasonable for a Dwarf, particularly one whom I'd envisaged as kind of porky and slow.  And even if he'd had a B5, Harrek would've still been at a 3D disadvantage to positioning.  OTOH, I'd pictured Gurutz as more of a scout than a warrior.  In fact, I'd expected the Dwarf to make mincemeat of him.  Instead there was just this odd standoff. 

It could just be that what I'm looking at is reasonable; that a tank vs a spearman is going to play out like this.  But if you think I messed up the characters I'd love to get any "burning advice" you may have.

In this situation, the Dwarf should have destroyed the Orc. The only thing keeping the orc alive was his footwork. Which seems reasonable. I think a Speed B3 is pretty miserable for any character that expects to get into combat at all frequently. That said, the orc's chances of getting through the chainmail with his spear are atrocious. Chainmail is designed to handle that sort of thing. What could the dwarf have done? He could have taken Aggressive Stance and chosen to use his +2D for Positioning per the "Stance and Position" rules on page 163. Then he Charges. He rolls 9D just like the orc (Power B6, +2D Aggressive Stance, +1D Charge). He immediately reverts to Neutral Stance upon charging, as per the rules on page 163.

Failing that, he should bring a crossbow or throwing hatchet to the combat. Ranged weapons are great equalizers when it comes to positioning. One successful strike from the dwarf would pretty much ruin the orc's day.

Quote
Question 5  I'm not clear on combat ranges.
A spear is a Longest weapon.  An axe is a Long weapon.  By my reading, that means that when Gurutz was at Optimal striking distance Harrek was Out of Reach and could not Strike at all.  My confusion came when the Dwarf successfully Closed, moving from Out of Reach to Lunging Distance. 

By my reading of the weapon length rules, the spear will still be considered in Optimal striking distance right up until the Dwarf closed to Inside distance (which he had little intention of doing).  But Gurutz wanted to retreat so that the Dwarf could not Strike at him.  What I wanted was for Gurutz to Withdraw to Longest distance so that he would still be Optimal but that the Dwarf would be back Out of Reach.  But the rules seemed to indicate that Gurutz, being at Optimal distance, would have to Withdraw to his own Lunging distance - at, what, "longer-than-longest"?

I guess my question is whether two fighters are really considered to be at one of the Weapon Length distances (Longest, Longer ...) or at one of the Fighting Range distances (Out of Reach, Lunging ...).  Was there a way that Gurutz could Withdraw without changing his Fighting Range distance (from Optimal to Lunging) but changing his Weapon Length distance from Longer to Longest (and thus the Dwarf's Fighting Range distance from Lunging to Out of Reach)?

Your confusion is a result of trying to use the weapon lengths as the range categories. Your range categories in Fight! are Outside Striking Distance, Lunging Distance, Optimal Striking Distance, and Inside. If the orc moves into Lunging Distance with his spear, we know the Spear is Longest and the Hammer is only Long. So the spear is in Lunging Distance and the Hammer is Outside Striking Distance. In fact, even if the orc moves into Optimal Striking Distance, the Hammer remains Outside Striking Distance because it is 2 weapon lengths shorter than the spear. However, if the dwarf wins the positioning and successfully closes to Optimal Striking Distance, the spear also remains in Optimal Striking Distance. Range in Fight! The very first sentence on page 150 says it all: "The important detail to note is that winners position themselves in the best place for their weapon. For your orc, the best place for his spear at optimal range places the dwarf Outside Striking Distance. Does  that make sense? If not, go back and review "Determining Relative Distance" on page 150.

Quote
Question 6 Block & Strike.
Apparently characters with Shield Training gain access to this maneuver.  What I don't understand is how it is in any way different from Counterstrike?  The only difference I can see is that it is classed as an Aggressive rather than a Defensive maneuver.  Is there some other difference?

The difference is that a Block and Strike from Shield Training is a Strike for all intents and purposes. It cannot be Feinted as a Counterstrike can. In addition, because the core of your blocking dice come from your Shield, you can put ALL of your skill dice into the Strike portion of the Block and Strike if you so choose. In a Counterstrike, you MUST put at least one die in the Block portion and at least one die in the Strike portion.
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taepoong
Member

Posts: 120


« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2005, 09:23:11 AM »


Question 1 Harrek, my Dwarf Graybeard, has a Forte of G4.  Does this mean that his Superficial Wound is:
 a) B3 (exponent/2, rounded up, +1 = 3)
 b) B4 ( (exponent + 2 for the Gray Shade) / 2, rounded up, +1 = 4)
 c) G3 (exponent/2, rounded up, +1 = 3 but the Shade carries over.

Oh, I would definitely say "b" was the correct choice. We've always played it that Gray adds a +2 to any equation which combines a Gray and a Black. Therefore, it makes sense that Gray equals +2 to all equations that don't take shade into account, like where to place the Superficial.

Quote
Question 2 What's up with Shield and weapon compatibilities?

Huh. I never realized there were compatability rules. We've always allowed spears and shields together in our campaigns. Hammers, too. Just look a Dunif from the 1st edition! Even if it did officially change in the Revision, I probably would still allow such combinations.
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taepoong
Member

Posts: 120


« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2005, 09:33:30 AM »

Also, the Beat and Bind maneuver is helpful to temporarily negate the weapon advantage die.
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Robert Ahrens
Member

Posts: 27


« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2005, 10:23:48 AM »

Thor, Taepoong, thanks so much for those answers.

In particular, I'd like to say thanks for Thor's really thoughtful and helpful answers.  That clears up almost everything for me.

The one thing that I'm still a little confused about is the positioning stuff.  I know that Close & Withdraw refer to the wielder's own weapon.  So in the following situation:

1) Fight starts at Optimal range for the Spear.  Axe is Out Of Reach.
2) Dwarf Closes to Lunging Distance for the Axe, Spear is still at optimal.
3) Orc wants to Withdraw so the Dwarf can't Strike...

If the Orc Withdraws successfully does he have to go back to his own lunging distance?  Or can he go back to the state he was at in #1: where the Spear was in Optimal reach but the Axe was still Out of Reach?

That's what's confusing me.  Sorry I made it so complex before.

Thanks again.

 - Scorpio very happy to get such coherent, clear responses.
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taepoong
Member

Posts: 120


« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2005, 10:32:48 AM »

The winner - in this case, the Orc - gets his intent fulfilled. So after C, it would go back to how it was in A.
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