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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 70 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Small questions  (Read 4976 times)
Jason Morningstar
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« Reply #30 on: October 14, 2005, 11:57:47 AM »

Second, with regards to combat, a great deal of effectiveness depends on a person's skill in scripting.  Assuming you're the guy with the rulebooks, and had time to read them over, you have a significant advantage over the players with dealing with scripting.  It's not like you have to make the NPCs stupid or anything, but you do have to give the players a chance to learn the system.

Agreed.  That's what we were trying to do last week - give everybody a heapin' helpin' of fighting, to try out different stuff against varied opponents.  Didn't work too well, but we tried. 

I'm having a hard time seeing the skill involved in scripting - obvious choices like beat and bind against polearms, but it really seems like a lot of it is random.  I guess it is "skillful" to script attacks on the second action in a volley?  Are their actual optimal patterns against different sorts of opponents?  Given the limited universe of possibility and identical characters, will a more "skillful" player always beat a less-skillful one?
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Bankuei
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« Reply #31 on: October 14, 2005, 01:34:57 PM »

Hi,

Things I have found work rather well in general-

Charge/Push- if you knock someone down, that's a world of extra problems they have to deal with in terms of being able to maneuver (not really) or fight back (with add Ob).  Then you hit them.

Counterstrike- Even if you only raise the Ob by 1, it makes a big helping, especially when you have armor and can afford to take little hits.  Plus you still get an attack off.

Throw- if you get inside, most weapons become terribly difficult to use, and you can still throw the foe (off things, into sharp, burning things, or other people).

Those 3 alone make a big difference.  Controlling the distance at which you fight and eating up as many of your opponent's actions as possible is the key to success.  If they have to spend an action getting up, that's one less action they can spend hitting you. 

If you Strike-Push-Strike, you are on a continous offensive, or you could even go Counterstrike-Push-Counterstrike for a defensive option.  You could Close & Push, and if you can make the Close, your opponent is at a big disadvantage to hit you.  You could Withdraw, knowing your opponent is going to script a Close, and Close at the same time with a Charge...

Just like a fighting videogame, if you don't know what you're doing (button-mashing), it seems pretty random.  If you know how to do the moves, the distance and the timing, it's not random at all.

Chris
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Luke
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« Reply #32 on: October 14, 2005, 08:18:43 PM »


Force/Illusionism in action, I guess. 


Thanks for the definition. But I don't see why accurately and adequately challenging your players is Force/Illusionism or negative in anyway. If you know a pack of exp 5 Bandits is too much for your players to handle, you've got to rethink the encounter or set up or whatever. It's your job as GM to challenge your players. It's one of your most important roles. This includes knowing the character BITs, but it also includes having a reasonable understanding of what is too much and what isn't enough.

In Burning Wheel, I give you a lot of very fine control in that regard. Any player can see what tests are needed to advance a skill or stat. As the GM, you can insert opportunities for those tests into the game. Any player can just whack away at something until it's dead. But as the GM, your job isn't to kill your players' characters, it's too challenge them. In that context, a single well-placed/well-timed Strike can be infinitely more potent that just crushing your opposition with a vulgar display of power.

-L
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Thor Olavsrud
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« Reply #33 on: October 15, 2005, 07:10:50 AM »

OK, that's pretty clear.  Weird, but clear.  "So you're all standing on the banks of the river, you gotta tell the Duke about those Chu bastards or it'll be disaster, and ... everybody make a swimming roll.  Anybody make it?  OK, one guy did, so the Duke knows.  The rest of you show up later - it doesn't matter any more how you got across."  Is that correct?

You're on the right track. Personally, I think the scope of the test that you're describing here is a bit too big. Think of DitV. Vincent suggests that rather than doing big conflicts, you do lots of little conflicts that lead to follow-up conflicts. It's much the same here.

If your overall goal is to reach the Duke and let him know about the disaster, then failure should create a complication to the goal. For instance, you, as the GM, might say, "Ok, you can try to cross the river. But the Duke is about ready to depart on his tax circuit...in the opposite direction! If you fail here, he's going to leave the capitol before you can get there! If you lose enough time, the enemy may cross the border into his lands before you can reach him"

Now crossing the river is about something, and it also neatly escalates the conflict that is brewing in the session. Also, it gives the players an understanding of the risks, and allows them to decide whether they're willing to risk it (maybe they'll look for another way if their swimming skill or boating skill is poor). It also helps them to decide whether this is a situation worth spending Artha on.

This is no really no different than stating an intent like, "I want to shut her up in front of the congregation. I'm going to use my Intimidation skill. I'm going to shove her down to the ground and say, "Stop your sinnin' ways, old woman! You know what the scripture says!" I'm FoRKing my Brawling and Suasion into the roll. Cool?"


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Well, let's explore that a little. I agree that you get to go all out in Dogs. But. You ALWAYS choose when.

You force tough choices, right, like "do you smack the grandmother to the ground?  Because that's what it'll take to shut her up in front of the congregation.  You will?  A grandmother? How about now?"  What's the parallel in BW?

My bandits own the road the PCs desperately need to travel.  They are widely feared.  The PCs are stopped and shaken down, they refuse to give over because, hell, they are the PCs.  Fight ensues, bandits have no reason to give any quarter.  So is this about arrogance, with the result that the PCs are cut down like wheat?  Or am I supposed to not have bandits in the first place, since arrogance isn't what my game is about?

The parallel in BW is: That's your Belief? What if you're faced with this situation, do you still believe it? How about his situation? And this one?

Think of it this way: Is it kosher to have some bandits in the road in DitV just because? No. They must be tied to the situation at hand. They're there for a reason. It's a conflict that the PCs must engage with, one that matters to them because of who they are.

It's no different in BW. Fights are dangerous in BW (I won't say deadly, because getting hurt enough to fail a Steel Check and beg for mercy or run away is a far more common result). The question is not whether the PCs will engage in the combat. Even the question of whether they live or die is not tremendously compelling. But if the question is, do they fight for what they believe in or decide the risk is too great? Then you're having a rocking session that will be remembered.

Now, if it's important to you as the GM to have an encounter with bandits because it establishes color that will cast light on a bang you plan to introduce later? Then it's a different story. Then it's worth having the encounter even without Beliefs involved (because you hope they will be later). In that case, I wouldn't even use the full Fight! mechanics. I'd just use a Bloody Versus Test.

If you've ever played HeroQuest: Bloody Versus Tests are to HeroQuest Simple Contests as Fight! is to HeroQuest Extended Contests.
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