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  • Arms and Armor Draft

    Ok, the deal is as such that I am a bit tired of seeing all weapons be almost useless besides swords and thus I decided to see if I couldn't just write up some alternative rules to both make other one-handed weapons useful as well as hopefully make them work more like they did in reality. As well as make armor more useful, in addition to a rule that I would imagine could make big guys like Gregor Clegane or people with large and heavy weapons even more fearsome.

    I do not claim in any way to be an expert one the matter and as a first draft I am of the mind that it will be drastically re-written and re-made before a final form is found for it. I am hoping for some good input from the esteemed minds of this forum.

    Anyway, here it is!

    Weapon Stats

    Battleaxe
    Damage: Athletics+1
    Qualities: Adaptable, Shattering 2, Slow

    Hand Axe
    Damage: Athletics
    Qualities: Shattering 1

    Crowbill
    Damage: Athletics -1
    Qualities: Pierciing 3

    Mace
    Damage: Athletics
    Qualities: Staggering, Piercing 1, Powerful

    Morningstar
    Damage: Athletics
    Qualities: Staggering, Piercing 2, Powerful

    Warhammer
    Two sides, one that works as a mace and one that works as crowbill, lesser action to switch between the two

    Long and Bastard Sword - lose the +1 to damage

    Spears loses the "two-handed" Quality, to make the combo of spear and shield useful

    To all crossbows add +1 Piercing

    All non-sentinent creatures, essentially animals, without the Lightening Reflexes Quality (home-made) have their Combat Defense halved after initial calculation (the main purpose to this is to change the fact that its often harder to hit a horse than it is to hit its rider which makes the tactic of attacking the mount about as stupid as it gets)

    Armor Rating (I may have gone to an extreme but I though that having armor should really be a really, really, really good thing, not something to essentially make you more easily killed)

    Ring: 5
    Mail + Breastplate 7
    Scale 8
    Splint 9
    Brigandine 11
    Half Plate 13
    Full Plate 15

    Sources used

    The Medieval Warrior - Martin Dougherty
    Vapnens Historia - Olle Cederlöf (Translated: "History of Weapons")
    Last edited by Gurkhal; 09-26-2014, 05:13 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Arms and Armor Draft

    Originally posted by Gurkhal View Post
    Ok, the deal is as such that I am a bit tired of seeing all weapons be almost useless besides swords
    Hmmm...I have to say I disagree with you right there. Swords are certainly good, but the most of the "...Fighter" qualities are balanced well enough that such that a variety of builds can be playable, and I mean fun-playable. I've run a whole bunch of mock one-on-one combats with various builds (probably 10-20), and to be frank, a decked out bludgeon-master is the one I would put money on in most cases, not a sword master. Running down the various builds:

    Axes: decent weapon choices, neither good nor bad. Axe mastery 1 is really nice if you have to face heavily armored opponents.

    Bludgeon: Great weapon choices, with the only 1-H Powerful weapon in the game, an Ath+3 damage 2-Hander than isn't Vicious (which, in my mind, is an advantage; I like not being forced to kill my opponent), and a 'stealth' weapon that you can carry without looking like you're a combat monster, the quarterstaff. B. Fighter III is probably the best '...Fighter' quality in the game. Knockdown, wounding, AND heavily armored opponents can't even use a greater action to get up.

    Braavosi: weapons are defensively good, and the Br. Fighter I quality makes them excellent (+5 CD for standard kit!). For a combat-focused PC, Agility is a slightly better stat to raise than athletics because it adds to initiative, lets you get up from knock down easily, and lets you double as a more damaging marksman. Br. Fighter III plus the high CD you probably have may mean you attack twice as much as your opponent. Overall its okay. You'll be hard to hit, but may be in trouble when you are hit.

    Brawler: not really comparable. But it probably shouldn't be. Hey, at least you're immune to disarm and you can carry your weapons anywhere.

    Long Blade: Longsword is the best 1-H damage dealer in the game (except for Ball and Chain + specialties in Strength...but with longsword, you don't need to spend specialties to get there). The other weapons aren't bad either. LBF3, like BF3, can be a one-on-one combat-ender. But I'd say the nicest thing about the long blades is that you don't need the '...Fighter' qualities to make good use of them.

    Pole-Arm: I frankly think Pole-axe is one of the best 2-handers in the game, because it gives you Powerful, Reach, and doesn't give you Vicious. The downside of all the weapons is their size - there are going to be many normal rpg scenes where you just wouldn't carry one around. PAF I is spectacular for a level 1 'Fighter' quality. A kitted-out pole arm combat expert could easily take down 3-6 mooks per round (because Reach, remember?). I wouldn't bother with the other two qualities.

    Short Blade: cheap decent weapons that you can carry pretty much anywhere. A short blade expert with SBF1-3 and 4-5 specialty dice in it is an offensive force to be truly feared, and because these are Agility weapons, they're going to hit you before you hit them. There's two reasons I don't put these guys above Bludgeon fighters in terms of combat: since they only do damage (no other special effects), if you can take a wound every round to absorb their damage and still hit them back, you may win. Secondly, because of thematics your assassin-type PCs and NPCs will probably be wearing lighter armor and may be a bit of a glass cannon.

    Spears: mediocre melee weapons and mediocre qualities. Probably the best build you can make out of them is if you're trying to be a tourney knight, since then you have a second reason to be good with them. In that case, I suggest Massive, specialties in strength, 1-H wielding a boar spear, and ignore the '...Fighter' qualities in favor of Berserker or Expertise.

    So... a very long-winded way of saying I think you are trying to fix a non-problem.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Arms and Armor Draft

      Thank you for your reply.

      I do not doubt for one that you are experienced with the rules and that you know what you're doing. The big thing that I see is that all of the examples that you give seems to be about very powerful and built-up characters going and for me its a given that if you put enough XP into a build you can make pretty much anything strong and powerful. What I am mostly concerned about isn't that specialized characters can make hurt, I totally agree that they can and I should perhaps have formulated myself differently. What I am concerned about is that the normal guys who are not experienced PCs or Primary NPCs are unable to make much damage to each other. I would like to make combats fast and more deadly also between lower tier fighters. And not just have them wave in the air around each other for round after round.

      But I recognize that not every one may wish the same kind of combats in their games.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Arms and Armor Draft

        So essentially you nerf the long blades down a level and boost everything else up to the level they just were at?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Arms and Armor Draft

          Originally posted by Zorbeltuss View Post
          So essentially you nerf the long blades down a level and boost everything else up to the level they just were at?
          With a degree of reservation you could possibly say that, yes. It has worked well for me so far.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Arms and Armor Draft

            Originally posted by Gurkhal View Post
            What I am mostly concerned about isn't that specialized characters can make hurt, I totally agree that they can and I should perhaps have formulated myself differently. What I am concerned about is that the normal guys who are not experienced PCs or Primary NPCs are unable to make much damage to each other.
            By normal, I'm going to assume you mean 3's and 4's in relevant combat Abilities, maybe 2 specialty dice in combat abilities, and 0-1 combat-related qualities. Let's run the numbers assuming two equal combatants with 4 athletics and fighting, 3 in agility and awareness, a Breastplate and regular shield, +2B in their weapon, and finally no qualities. So, CD for each is (4+3+3-2+2=) 10. Let's see how they do with various weapons against each other.

            Longsword: ave roll 17, averages 5x2-5 damage.

            Stiletto (with Agi and Ath switched): ave roll 16, averages 4x2-3=5 damage

            Battleaxe, Mace, Morning star, Spear, Trident: ave roll 17, averages 4x2-5=3 damage (BTW, spears are already 1-H)

            Ball and Chain, Braavosi Blade (with Agi and Ath switched), Arakh: ave roll 16, averages 4x2-5=3 damage. The morning star and ball and chain average damage will slowly increase as they lower their opponent's CD. Also note the Braavosi-wielder will likely have a CD 1 higher.

            The longsword is definitely a good 1-H weapon, but your statement about people not being able to damage each other is not really correct. As you can see above, most of the 1-H weapons, from every category, will do damage on an average hit to a a reasonably armed, armored, and trained combatant. If your "average combatant" has a 3 stamina, then the sword and stiletto will defeat such a person in two hits, while the others will defeat them in 3. For 4 stamina, it's 3 and 4 hits instead.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Arms and Armor Draft

              First I'll assume that you mean "Endurance" and not "Stamina".

              You make some good points and I do not at all claim to be maths person, I'm more interested in the story rather than the mechanical calculations. The statement that they won't be able to damage each other was clearly incorrect so I shall take it back. However the core of my concern remain untouched.

              I realize that I should have used a more cautious or more "detailed" expression but we are getting forward bit for bit. For two minor NPCs to kill each other they would need 3-4 rounds of whacking which tends to make combats take A LOT of time before they are over, if there are any more than half a dozen combatants in the battle. I got no problems with extended combats between major NPCs and PCs, but not every time and most certainly not spend lots of time with mooks taking 3-4 turns to take each other down. If you've got say, 3 PCs and 8 Tertiary NPCs vs 12 Tertiary NPC badguys and a major NPC badguy, you can see that it will take lots of RL-time to resolute this combat, almost regardless of the outcome, as the mooks will need around 3-4 rounds to finish their opponents. Not to mentiono exentsive book keeping by the GM.

              So essentially I guess that you could also say that I am concerned that with the current weapon stats combats takes to much RL time as I got mooks wacking at each other, instead of a fairly quick and decisive resolution that lets the story move on. If you have another idea to make combats go faster without making the weapons do more damage I am all ears for it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Arms and Armor Draft

                Originally posted by Gurkhal View Post
                For two minor NPCs to kill each other they would need 3-4 rounds of whacking which tends to make combats take A LOT of time before they are over, if there are any more than half a dozen combatants in the battle.
                As a GM I would probably not roll-out many minor-NPC-on-minor-NPC combats. Most of the time I'd either just decide or roll a single die to decide who wins. For your example, each round I would resolve the PC's actions and their opponents actions first, then with the remaining NPCs I might roll one die for each pair: odd, the PC-side npc takes base damage, even, the non-PC takes base damage.

                But you bring up a problem that ASOIAF shares with many RPGs: if combat is not extremely deadly, it's slow. But if it's fast, that often means PCs can die easily.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Arms and Armor Draft

                  Originally posted by Gurkhal View Post
                  First I'll assume that you mean "Endurance" and not "Stamina".

                  You make some good points and I do not at all claim to be maths person, I'm more interested in the story rather than the mechanical calculations. The statement that they won't be able to damage each other was clearly incorrect so I shall take it back. However the core of my concern remain untouched.

                  I realize that I should have used a more cautious or more "detailed" expression but we are getting forward bit for bit. For two minor NPCs to kill each other they would need 3-4 rounds of whacking which tends to make combats take A LOT of time before they are over, if there are any more than half a dozen combatants in the battle. I got no problems with extended combats between major NPCs and PCs, but not every time and most certainly not spend lots of time with mooks taking 3-4 turns to take each other down. If you've got say, 3 PCs and 8 Tertiary NPCs vs 12 Tertiary NPC badguys and a major NPC badguy, you can see that it will take lots of RL-time to resolute this combat, almost regardless of the outcome, as the mooks will need around 3-4 rounds to finish their opponents. Not to mentiono exentsive book keeping by the GM.

                  So essentially I guess that you could also say that I am concerned that with the current weapon stats combats takes to much RL time as I got mooks wacking at each other, instead of a fairly quick and decisive resolution that lets the story move on. If you have another idea to make combats go faster without making the weapons do more damage I am all ears for it.
                  Well, first off, increasing the efficacy of armor is not going to do anything to speed up your fights. Yes, it is more accurate, but that's a double edged sword. So, if speed is your main concern, ditch that.

                  Also, that battle you've described is huge. That sounds like giant climactic battle that should take half the session because of it's narrative weight. Any time people bring that much to bear it means something important is happening. No one is going into a fight like that without something really important on the line.

                  However, if you want to make it quicker here are some options.

                  -Adopt the 4e minion rules. If it's a tertiary NPC it takes 1 hit that deals damage and dies.

                  -Don't allow secondary NPC's to take injuries or Primary NPC's to take wounds.

                  -Don't use the reach rules.

                  -Have everyone precalculate the damage they do on each degree of success. For each opponent have each degree of success target number written. Have your PC's write down what the Degree of Success target number is for them. This will make applying damage alot faster.

                  -Have minor NPCs break and run or surrender if things are going poorly. Very few people really want to fight to the death. If 2 of my buddies have already died and it doesn't look like we are about to win there's a good chance I'm gonna stop fighting if I think that means I can survive.

                  -Use the critical rules

                  Some things I haven't tried but might work

                  -Have everyone declare their actions in reverse initiative order but everyone resolves all actions at once. Instead of having to figure out who's turn it is and have the person re-perform tactical analysis each time some one acts, everyone thinks at once, than resolves at once. Should cut out close to 5-10 seconds per turn at least. Possibly up to a minute per turn.

                  -Allow called strikes to defeat armor. Take a penalty die. If you succeed you automatically bypass 4 points of armor(I'm using the value of a passive die, instead of trying to actually figure out what the math should be) If it makes it too deadly scale back. Not deadly enough scale up.

                  -Resolve NPC on NPC action as Warfare tests.

                  -Don't roll for NPC's. Take the average(3.5 per die) or the Passive ability(4per die) and use that for every action an NPC takes. You may only want to use this on NPC on NPC actions.

                  -Screw the dice just use GM fiat for NPC on NPC violence. If the PC's are doing well, their NPC's are doing well. If they are doing poorly, their NPC's are doing poorly. OR reverse it for more drama. If the PC's are doing well, their NPC's are dying, quick do something to save them. If the PC's are sucking, an NPC comes and helps them, making them grateful. Give him a name and personality, they are now attached to him. Makes it all the better when he dies.



                  You've run into a classic RPG problem, though I disagree with easl about what it is. FATE for example is pretty fast in combat(if you know what you're doing) and is incredibly not deadly. There are some very crunchy simulationist systems where it's incredibly easy to die, but combat takes almost as long as D&D. No, the problem isn't speed vs lethality, it's speed vs accuracy. If you want to accurately model what happens in a fight, either in real life or in a narrative, there are thousands of complications and variables. The closer you want your model to represent it, the more complex and cumbersome the model becomes. Want to speed things up? Than you need to drop accuracy. Song of Ice and Fire has a decent balance but is overall more towards the side of accurate model than speedy mechanic when compared to RPG's as a whole. If that's not what you want, realistically you need to monkey with the whole system, not just add a few +'s here and there.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Arms and Armor Draft

                    Originally posted by easl View Post
                    As a GM I would probably not roll-out many minor-NPC-on-minor-NPC combats. Most of the time I'd either just decide or roll a single die to decide who wins. For your example, each round I would resolve the PC's actions and their opponents actions first, then with the remaining NPCs I might roll one die for each pair: odd, the PC-side npc takes base damage, even, the non-PC takes base damage.

                    But you bring up a problem that ASOIAF shares with many RPGs: if combat is not extremely deadly, it's slow. But if it's fast, that often means PCs can die easily.
                    You are right in that one could reduce the amount of people present in a fight but due to the nature of the game, playing nobles and stuff with resources to throw around in a martial society, I would find that I would have to railroad my players to prevent them from jumping their enemies without a dozen men-at-arms or so as a backup, and have lengthy discussions to explain why an NPC can so foolish as to not use the resurces he has. And so on.

                    Originally posted by Addicted2aa View Post
                    Well, first off, increasing the efficacy of armor is not going to do anything to speed up your fights. Yes, it is more accurate, but that's a double edged sword. So, if speed is your main concern, ditch that.
                    I partially agree, but then again I have also made many weapons much stronger when targeting armor to overcome this. My main goal is to so that using armor is a huge benefit towards not having armor and against people without weapons designed to combat armor.

                    Originally posted by Addicted2aa View Post
                    Also, that battle you've described is huge. That sounds like giant climactic battle that should take half the session because of it's narrative weight. Any time people bring that much to bear it means something important is happening. No one is going into a fight like that without something really important on the line.
                    While its a large one it isn't that unrealistic for my group. I'll give an example.

                    An intrusion by a neighboring lord who taxes villages on the PC House's lands. The Tax Master has some dozen men with him and the PCs set out with a unite of cavalry to teach him a bloody lesson. If there's a battle, lots of PCs will be lots of NPCs, and there's not going to be easy to logically explain why the tax master wouldn't bring several people with him or prevent my players from gathering between one and two dozen men to confront the enemy with.

                    I could have them walz around hunting down lone people and they do, but whenever they come into conflict with a threat that can actually threaten their House in some way, if it comes to battle there are usually lots of people being involved. But not always for me to drag out the Warfare Rules.

                    Originally posted by Addicted2aa View Post
                    However, if you want to make it quicker here are some options.

                    -Adopt the 4e minion rules. If it's a tertiary NPC it takes 1 hit that deals damage and dies.

                    -Don't allow secondary NPC's to take injuries or Primary NPC's to take wounds.

                    -Don't use the reach rules.

                    -Have everyone precalculate the damage they do on each degree of success. For each opponent have each degree of success target number written. Have your PC's write down what the Degree of Success target number is for them. This will make applying damage alot faster.

                    -Have minor NPCs break and run or surrender if things are going poorly. Very few people really want to fight to the death. If 2 of my buddies have already died and it doesn't look like we are about to win there's a good chance I'm gonna stop fighting if I think that means I can survive.

                    -Use the critical rules
                    We'll, I've already got people breaking and running for it when it looks bad, but even so there will be a lot of battle and die rolling before we reach that point.

                    Otherwise you have some good ideas that I will look closer at.

                    Originally posted by Addicted2aa View Post
                    Some things I haven't tried but might work

                    -Have everyone declare their actions in reverse initiative order but everyone resolves all actions at once. Instead of having to figure out who's turn it is and have the person re-perform tactical analysis each time some one acts, everyone thinks at once, than resolves at once. Should cut out close to 5-10 seconds per turn at least. Possibly up to a minute per turn.

                    -Allow called strikes to defeat armor. Take a penalty die. If you succeed you automatically bypass 4 points of armor(I'm using the value of a passive die, instead of trying to actually figure out what the math should be) If it makes it too deadly scale back. Not deadly enough scale up.

                    -Resolve NPC on NPC action as Warfare tests.

                    -Don't roll for NPC's. Take the average(3.5 per die) or the Passive ability(4per die) and use that for every action an NPC takes. You may only want to use this on NPC on NPC actions.

                    -Screw the dice just use GM fiat for NPC on NPC violence. If the PC's are doing well, their NPC's are doing well. If they are doing poorly, their NPC's are doing poorly. OR reverse it for more drama. If the PC's are doing well, their NPC's are dying, quick do something to save them. If the PC's are sucking, an NPC comes and helps them, making them grateful. Give him a name and personality, they are now attached to him. Makes it all the better when he dies.
                    Many good ideas that I shall look closer on. The only thing I'm against is the fiat. I think that combats should be fairly chaotic so that the players can't be sure if its going to be a walk in the park or a struggle, although they will be able to make educated guesses.

                    Originally posted by Addicted2aa View Post
                    You've run into a classic RPG problem, though I disagree with easl about what it is. FATE for example is pretty fast in combat(if you know what you're doing) and is incredibly not deadly. There are some very crunchy simulationist systems where it's incredibly easy to die, but combat takes almost as long as D&D. No, the problem isn't speed vs lethality, it's speed vs accuracy. If you want to accurately model what happens in a fight, either in real life or in a narrative, there are thousands of complications and variables. The closer you want your model to represent it, the more complex and cumbersome the model becomes. Want to speed things up? Than you need to drop accuracy. Song of Ice and Fire has a decent balance but is overall more towards the side of accurate model than speedy mechanic when compared to RPG's as a whole. If that's not what you want, realistically you need to monkey with the whole system, not just add a few +'s here and there.
                    Well, I'm not an absolutist so while I want a fairly realistic system I don't want to get bogged down in a million rules. I want to tell a story, not check up rules, when I GM. And I agree that the system overall is really good and my group likes it. I want to simply nudge it in a couple of places where I'm not really satisfied and see if I can't get it a bit sharper.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Arms and Armor Draft

                      Originally posted by Addicted2aa View Post
                      You've run into a classic RPG problem, though I disagree with easl about what it is.
                      I'm fine with your version of the problem.

                      Originally posted by Gurkhal
                      You are right in that one could reduce the amount of people present in a fight but due to the nature of the game, playing nobles and stuff with resources to throw around in a martial society, I would find that I would have to railroad my players to prevent them from jumping their enemies without a dozen men-at-arms or so as a backup,
                      I take it you or your players are opposed to the Warfare rules for some reason? Because once you get to ten people on a side, you could in principle use those instead. Once you hit 20 on 20, I would highly recommend it.

                      One suggestion Addicted didn't mention is group play; once the players are done resolving their actions, have them take the roles of the NPCs and roll them out for that turn. That way you've got three to five (or whatever number) people resolving the turn's NPC-on-NPC conflicts, rather than just you.
                      Last edited by easl; 09-29-2014, 05:28 PM. Reason: clarification

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Arms and Armor Draft

                        If you want to introduce players to the deadlyness of SIFRP, suggest to the player you trust the most to make two characters, first one ought to be fairly hollow, slate him as a badass, give enough facade to make the other players think that it's a proper PC.

                        Then kill him.

                        After that, he can come in with his "backup PC".

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Arms and Armor Draft

                          Originally posted by easl View Post
                          I'm fine with your version of the problem.

                          I take it you or your players are opposed to the Warfare rules for some reason? Because once you get to ten people on a side, you could in principle use those instead. Once you hit 20 on 20, I would highly recommend it.

                          One suggestion Addicted didn't mention is group play; once the players are done resolving their actions, have them take the roles of the NPCs and roll them out for that turn. That way you've got three to five (or whatever number) people resolving the turn's NPC-on-NPC conflicts, rather than just you.
                          I tried once with the warfare rules but it good bogged down to book keeping so I made a whole session into the players looking at me with raised eye-brows and then it involved to much book keeping. But don't worry. I have an idea of simplified rules that I'm gonna try out and perhaps post on the forum for others who don't like the main rules.

                          Originally posted by Zorbeltuss View Post
                          If you want to introduce players to the deadlyness of SIFRP, suggest to the player you trust the most to make two characters, first one ought to be fairly hollow, slate him as a badass, give enough facade to make the other players think that it's a proper PC.

                          Then kill him.

                          After that, he can come in with his "backup PC".
                          Good idea, although I can't really think of a proper candidate in my group.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Arms and Armor Draft

                            Originally posted by Gurkhal View Post

                            While its a large one it isn't that unrealistic for my group. I'll give an example.

                            An intrusion by a neighboring lord who taxes villages on the PC House's lands. The Tax Master has some dozen men with him and the PCs set out with a unite of cavalry to teach him a bloody lesson. If there's a battle, lots of PCs will be lots of NPCs, and there's not going to be easy to logically explain why the tax master wouldn't bring several people with him or prevent my players from gathering between one and two dozen men to confront the enemy with.

                            I could have them walz around hunting down lone people and they do, but whenever they come into conflict with a threat that can actually threaten their House in some way, if it comes to battle there are usually lots of people being involved. But not always for me to drag out the Warfare Rules.
                            So there really shouldn't be any combat in that situation if people have any form of self interest.

                            Let's look a bit closer at this. The tax man knows he's at risk, because he's breaking the law, so he's going to bring protection. However since he's not trying to start all out war with the next house he can only bring a few men. So lets say he has that dozen. This is not a dozen Calvary, just a dozen regular toughs. Your players respond by sending a unit of professional warriors. They choose Calvary, I personally would use infantry because out numbering by 10 to 1 is better than 5 to 3, but still works. The Tax man is now out numbered, out classed(even green calvary should still be far better than the terriary NPC's the tax man has, as they use their horses stats) and on enemy territory where the local populace will likely turn against him. In short he has no real power. He may try to act indignant, threaten and bluster, but he will back down unless he's Joffery level stupid and entitled. Very unlikely.

                            Realistically this should be an intrigue, with huge situational benefits to your players.

                            Even if he decides to fight or your players or they decide to bring it to physical confrontation for some reason, there is no reason to bring it to dice. I know you said you don't like GM Fiat, but there is no reason to bother in this situation. We know what is going to happen, the tax man will be slaughtered. His men will likely not even bother to fight for him, cause they aren't going to be both blindly loyal and stupid. They'll all throw down arms instead of dying for a lost cause. Even if they were automatons anyway, the battle is still uninteresting from a story perspective. What's interesting is how his master reacts when he finds out he's been killed, not tracking the couple of injuries or possible wound one PC will take. Not tracking if they happened to lose some Calvary. In a situation like that the right GM move is to just say, your Calvary slaughter them to a man. It's gruesome bloody work. Make a will test to sit by and watch it.


                            Now you might try and paint a subtly different picture where things might be slightly more even, but for some reason the warfare rules don't apply. The point stands though, most people aren't going to fight in those circumstances. 90% of the time, some one backs down. Your players men aren't going to keep following them if they continually get placed in these small squad combat altercations constantly.

                            There are also plenty of other reasons it doesn't make sense. Do they take a squad of guards with them every time they leave the keep? Why? are they paranoid? They will certainly get the reputation of being so if they keep doing that. When in a city do they walk around surrounded by guards? If so, no one will ever start shit with them, they'll just murder them in their sleep or poison them. Basically that type of combat really shouldn't happen often. It doesn't happen often in the books and it didn't happen often in real life. In general it tends to be small fights with a few people or actual battles. Your game should match this.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Arms and Armor Draft

                              Originally posted by Addicted2aa View Post
                              The Tax man is now out numbered, out classed(even green calvary should still be far better than the terriary NPC's the tax man has, as they use their horses stats) and on enemy territory where the local populace will likely turn against him. In short he has no real power. He may try to act indignant, threaten and bluster, but he will back down unless he's Joffery level stupid and entitled. Very unlikely.

                              Realistically this should be an intrigue, with huge situational benefits to your players.

                              Even if he decides to fight or your players or they decide to bring it to physical confrontation for some reason, there is no reason to bring it to dice. I know you said you don't like GM Fiat, but there is no reason to bother in this situation. We know what is going to happen, the tax man will be slaughtered. His men will likely not even bother to fight for him, cause they aren't going to be both blindly loyal and stupid. They'll all throw down arms instead of dying for a lost cause.
                              I agree with this. I would just add that if the situation were more evenly matched and both sides wanted to fight, I still wouldn't roll everything out. Even if your PCs are facing a powerful villain, you can probably just focus on the PC/Villain fight and have the minor NPCs respond as appropriate - when the PCs are defeated, the good mooks run or surrender. If the Villain is defeated or runs, the bad mooks run or surrender. Everyone plays RPGs differently, but I tend to want to spend game time with the players in the spotlight. Spending 20 minutes or heck even 10 minutes rolling out NPC-on-NPC interactions just isn't what I (or typically my players) want in a game. But YMMV.

                              Basically that type of combat really shouldn't happen often. It doesn't happen often in the books and it didn't happen often in real life. In geeral it tends to be small fights with a few people or actual battles. Your game should match this.
                              Well...depends on how you define 'few.' I suspect that there was no age in which 'unsanctioned' conflicts were chivalrous. Doesn't matter if it's 800 AD, 1800 AD, or 2018 AD, if you want to ambush your enemy in an alley and you think he's going to be with 2 friends, you bring 4. If you think he's going to bring 4, you bring 8. If he's Jaime Lannister, you bring 18. If you were the one gunning for a fight and you made it fair, you're doing it wrong. Of course, this principle should work against the PCs as often as it works for them: if the encroaching Lord in the scenario above *expected* the defending Lord to respond by bringing a cavalry unit, he should've sent three extra units of archers to hide in the woods, wait until the cavalry were engaged with the for-hire mooks, and then just slaughter the whole bunch, leaving no survivors. Dead men tell no tales. Then when king asks, its "attack? What attack? Lord Defendy is making base accusations, m'lord, with not one whit of proof! His men were likely killed by some ragtag bandits and he seeks to blame it on me to salvage his pride." (For the PC's, this situation is ripe for intrigue and plot. Maybe they are the only ones to escape, and now getting to court and *being believed* by the court when Lord Encroacher is looking to slander and undermine their credibility becomes a big story goal. Or maybe this puts them in the enemy dungeon. So many story possibilities!)

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