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  • Fighting Styles vs. Weapon Groups

    I have come to conclusion that Weapon Styles (which I think should be placed under the umbrella of Fighting Styles) make Weapon Groups redundant. Since Fighting Styles already have a group of weapons assigned to them, based on the inherent properties of the weapons themselves, it seems unnecessary to be proficient in a particular Weapon Group in order to learn that Style. Even in the purely fantastical settings that most of our games take place in, it doesn't make sense to me that a person would be trained in how to use a particular weapon, without also being trained in a particular style of using that weapon.

    Also, I think that Fighting Styles are a sorely underused resource for showcasing the differences between the various classes, specialties, races, countries, and regions in any fictional world. More so than any proficiency, or Focus, in a particular weapon, or Weapon Group, could hope to achieve.

    I've said before that I believe that the rules should always support roleplay, and Fighting Styles do that in spades. They are not only mechanical, but can also be both thematic in design, and intuitively narrative by nature. If I were to ask you to design a new weapon, or Weapon Group, it would probably turn out to be a reskin of an existing weapon with, perhaps, a single unique property. But if I were to ask you to try and design a Fighting Style for a particular race, subrace, or culture I bet you could go a long way before you started to reskin anything; and even those reskins would have their own unique flavor to them that mere weapons could never hope to achieve.

    As a matter of fact, let's put that to the test: Choose a race, or a culture (fictional, or historical) and try to create a Fighting Style that you think best represents it. Or, alternatively, pick a fighting style (historical, or fictional) and create an in game Fighting Style that you believe best captures its essence.

    Let the games begin...

  • #2
    Re: Fighting Styles vs. Weapon Groups

    D&D 3.5: Complete Warrior. ^_^

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    • #3
      Re: Fighting Styles vs. Weapon Groups

      Yeah there's a lot of good stuff in th-...oh, wait, wait...I'm sorry but the judges are telling me that the answer must come in the form of a Fantasy AGE Talent. I'm so sorry, you don't win anything this round. And that new car looked so shiny, too.

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      • #4
        Re: Fighting Styles vs. Weapon Groups

        100% about dropping weapon groups in favour of a weapon style talent governed mechanism. However, I think your fighting styles idea feels more like what specializations could/should/might be. Something your character learns during the adventure, heavy in role play elements, adds flavour on top of mechanics. Take the Berserker, Duellist, Assassin. Even go into the mage realm with Elementalist, Miracle Worker. Really I think using the phrase "fighting style" is superior to "specialization" in all aspects. It also shows how Arcane Scholar totally misses the mark of a fighting style.

        This leaves me with the question, what is the opposite of a fighting style? Can we come up "fighting styles" for non-combat conflict resolution? Like the stealth, leadership..., deception, persuasion. Give those very important RP elements some structure for flavour that is better than what we have for regular talents.
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        • #5
          Re: Fighting Styles vs. Weapon Groups

          Originally posted by mdlthree View Post
          100% about dropping weapon groups in favour of a weapon style talent governed mechanism. However, I think your fighting styles idea feels more like what specializations could/should/might be. Something your character learns during the adventure, heavy in role play elements, adds flavour on top of mechanics. Take the Berserker, Duellist, Assassin. Even go into the mage realm with Elementalist, Miracle Worker. Really I think using the phrase "fighting style" is superior to "specialization" in all aspects. It also shows how Arcane Scholar totally misses the mark of a fighting style.

          This leaves me with the question, what is the opposite of a fighting style? Can we come up "fighting styles" for non-combat conflict resolution? Like the stealth, leadership..., deception, persuasion. Give those very important RP elements some structure for flavour that is better than what we have for regular talents.
          This is a really solid point. The specializations can be considered Fighting Styles, or maybe even Advanced Fighting Styles; something that is narrower in focus, but that would allow you to take your basic training to the next level. Which opens up the possibility of basic, Mage focused, Fighting Styles. Something that class currently lacks.

          As for non-combat Fighting Styles, the only word that comes to mind that would describe those would be: Presence. So you could say that your character has a certain Commanding Presence (Leadership), or a Charming Presence (Persuasion), or perhaps a Shadowy Presence (Stealth), or a Shifty Presence (Deception). These could be coupled with additional Specializations similar to the Advanced Fighting Styles. This I think would meet the criteria of being mechanical, thematic, and intuitively narrative.

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          • #6
            Re: Fighting Styles vs. Weapon Groups

            You know, thinking about this I realize that since the 3 pillars of any rpg are Combat, Roleplay, and Exploration you could add a second non-combat Style: Aptitude. So you would have Fighting Style, Presence, and Aptitude that would cover the Combat, Roleplay, and Exploration pillars, respectively. With each Talent under their respective pillar tied to a specific Ability (Focus), and if you condensed the Weapon Group Focuses into Fighting Styles, and had at least one Talent for each Ability (Focus), you'd have at least 76 individual Talents to choose from to make your character. If you add Specializations, even if they required 2 or more Talents as prerequisites, you would have at least an additional 38 Specializations to fine tune your character. That would give a player at least 114 options, not including race, background, and class.

            I feel like taking this a step further, just for fun. Let's say that any Ability (Focus) that you do not have a Talent in would result in a -2 penalty to the respective Test. Having a Novice level in a Talent removes the -2 penalty, with either Journeyman, or Master, giving a +2 bonus to the roll. While this would slow down Advancement a little bit, it would still allow for character growth at each level, letting players expand their abilities without necessarily increasing in power. Just a random thought, but I think it might be interesting.

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            • #7
              Re: Fighting Styles vs. Weapon Groups

              OK,let me throw my hat into this....
              1)Fighting Style:Unarmed=you are so adept with your hands that you can do thing's that no one even thought possible to fo with them...
              Requirement:You must have the Brawling Weapon Group
              Novice:your damage with your hands have increased.add you Constitution Number to the Damage roll's of your unarmed strikes.
              Journeyman:your Instinct's have been honed to a razor's edge.When using this style,you gain a Bonus to your Perception roll equal to your Fighting number.
              Master:you gain the Journeyman ability of Dual Weapon Style,as long as your Unarmed.

              Notes on Number 1:I came up with this when i was trying to transfer my Favorite D&D PC(Knuckles the Half-Elf Reaping Mauler) over to Fantasy AGE and noticed they didn't seem to have anything like it...More will be on the way,i just need to sort through my notes first...T-T
              Originally posted by Bladewind
              Lightsabers don`t kill people. People wielding lightsabers kill people.

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              • #8
                Re: Fighting Styles vs. Weapon Groups

                Originally posted by MacynSnow View Post
                OK,let me throw my hat into this....
                1)Fighting Style:Unarmed=you are so adept with your hands that you can do thing's that no one even thought possible to fo with them...
                Requirement:You must have the Brawling Weapon Group
                Novice:your damage with your hands have increased.add you Constitution Number to the Damage roll's of your unarmed strikes.
                Journeyman:your Instinct's have been honed to a razor's edge.When using this style,you gain a Bonus to your Perception roll equal to your Fighting number.
                Master:you gain the Journeyman ability of Dual Weapon Style,as long as your Unarmed.

                Notes on Number 1:I came up with this when i was trying to transfer my Favorite D&D PC(Knuckles the Half-Elf Reaping Mauler) over to Fantasy AGE and noticed they didn't seem to have anything like it...More will be on the way,i just need to sort through my notes first...T-T
                Well they actually do have an Unarmed Style in the Core Book, but that's the beauty of replacing Weapon Groups with Fighting Styles; you can just invent a new one fits your concept and add the weapons that are best suited to it. In this case it could be Fist and Gauntlet. You could even add Kicks to the weapon list. Or you could create a Jackie Chan type character with an Unarmed Style, an Improvised Weapon Style, and a Parkour Aptitude; allowing you to fully utilize your environment to defeat your enemies.

                Looking at things this way really opens up the possibilities for all sorts of character expression at the table.

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                • #9
                  Re: Fighting Styles vs. Weapon Groups

                  Originally posted by Hagintora View Post
                  Well they actually do have an Unarmed Style in the Core Book, but that's the beauty of replacing Weapon Groups with Fighting Styles; you can just invent a new one fits your concept and add the weapons that are best suited to it. In this case it could be Fist and Gauntlet. You could even add Kicks to the weapon list. Or you could create a Jackie Chan type character with an Unarmed Style, an Improvised Weapon Style, and a Parkour Aptitude; allowing you to fully utilize your environment to defeat your enemies.

                  Looking at things this way really opens up the possibilities for all sorts of character expression at the table.
                  I took a look at the unarmed style and all it really gave you was that Unarmed damage increase....Anyway,here's my second one!
                  2)The "Thematic" Fighting Style:when you want to make that Favorite Movie Character into a PC...
                  Requirements:Must have both Fighting&Communication at 2 or higher
                  Novice:you always look your best when fighting.Add your Communication number to your attack.
                  Journeyman:Not only do you impress with looks,but you look Dangerous too!You may add your Fighting number to any one Communication roll.
                  Master:Even when it looks hopeless for you,you manage to find just what you need to possably win.Ounce per Combat Encounter,you may roll a TN14 test to "Test Your Luck" and,if Beaten,The GM must give you one item that can be used against your Foe and ONLY your "Series Villan".

                  Number 2 Notes:I made this one just to see if i could somehow get any of Gerald Butler's Character's into a FAGE game...
                  Originally posted by Bladewind
                  Lightsabers don`t kill people. People wielding lightsabers kill people.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Fighting Styles vs. Weapon Groups

                    Actually i disagree with this idea. While Weapons Groups are good for using weapons, not every Fighting Style is good for every character. Now, i think each class should be given an opportunity to learn new Weapons Groups, and thus have the potential to learn Fighting Styles. If a Mage can learn how to use a sword and gain the Single Weapon Style, they become less of a background character and can really get into the fight without having to stay back and support. BUT: if a character wishes not to learn a particular Style but gain proficiency in every Weapon Group, then they don;t have to worry about not being able to pick up a weapon they do not know how to use.

                    In my games, you can forgo an Ability Focus to gain a Weapons Group (This means i had to rework the Warrior Class Skills at certain levels, but hey...). So long as the Weapons Group falls under the Primary/Secondary Focus rules gained for that level. So a Level 2 Mage can learn an Accuracy Weapons Group like Bows and at level 4 gain the Focus to become even more bad-ass. Yes, it can slow progress with Focuses down, but it works for character concepts. If a Mage wishes to learn archery, but doesn't really want the Style they can use this set of rules to slowly get better with a Bow and he may want the Talent later on in his career.

                    To say that Weapon Groups are useless means any player can use any weapon without penalty and that is just simply unrealistic. try picking up a weapon in real life without any training and fight someone with training and see who wins (probably the one with training). a progression of Skill is my way of thinking, and my players all enjoy it, because it MAKES MORE SENSE. Trying to be rid of base rules can really disrupt a games flow and direction. If a Mage can pick up a Bastard Sword without any training and kill a Dragon because he caused so much damage ruins the flow. But, if the mage picked it up and has had time to learn how it works, then it makes more sense. Think about how skills work, in games and in real life; it takes time and effort to learn them, and with time they only get better. with my way, a Mage can get training like a Warrior without starting off that way and still remain a unique character.

                    Trying to replace the Weapons Groups is redundant. now, there are many more weapons to be had in Fantasy and so more can be made or even expand upon the base. i have, and many people see this as well. i'm not trying to sound like i think you're stupid, because i don't, i just think you are overthinking things a bit. sometimes, simpler is better.
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                    • #11
                      Re: Fighting Styles vs. Weapon Groups

                      Strangely, VladGenx, you and I are of the same opinion, we've just come to different conclusions. You believe it makes more sense, Skill Progression-wise, to learn how to use a weapon before you learn a Fighting Style; and I believe it makes more sense that learning a Fighting Style is what allows you to progress your skill with that weapon. Like you, I think that this progression should go in stages, but I have a different advancement model:

                      *-2 to attack, and half damage, if you don't know how to use the weapon (i.e. it isn't one of the weapons listed under your Fighting Style), or if you're trying to use it in an unfamiliar way (i.e. using it in a Fighting Style you haven't been trained in)
                      *Unmodified rolls for attack and damage at Novice level
                      *+2 to attack at Master Level

                      I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment that untrained characters will lose in a fight with trained characters, but would simply ask: What were they trained in? Something as generic as Heavy Blades? Or was it a specific method of using those Blades? A Fighting Style. See, I think that Weapon Groups are redundant because I think that it makes more sense to fold them into a Fighting Style. Much like Shields have been since you can't fully utilize a Shield unless you've taken the Weapon and Shield Style.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Fighting Styles vs. Weapon Groups

                        With a little bit of work, the Weapon Styles from Complete Warrior should fit in quite nicely, like so:

                        HIGH SWORD, LOW AXE [TALENT, WEAPON STYLE]
                        Requirement: Strength 1 or higher, Dexterity 1 or higher, Dual-Weapon Style (Novice), proficiency in Axes and Heavy Blades.

                        Novice: While fighting with a one-handed axe in one hand and a one-handed heavy blade in the other hand, you gain a +1 talent bonus to weapon attack rolls.

                        Journeyman: While fighting with a one-handed axe in one hand and a one-handed heavy blade in the other, and you hit with your heavy blade, you can use the Low Axe combat stunt for 3 SP. This stunt allows you to make a melee attack against the same target using the axe in your other hand. This second attack cannot generate stunts, and its damage roll cannot benefit from your Strength score. If you hit with this second attack, you can choose to render your target prone.

                        Master: You can now use the Low Axe combat stunt for 1 less SP than usual. In addition, when you render the target prone with your second attack from the Low Axe combat stunt, you can make one melee attack against the target with either your heavy blade or your axe. This third attack cannot generate stunts.




                        Edits:
                        1. Changed Basic to Novice. I'm just so used to my naming convention for talents (Basic, Advanced, Superior). I reserve the traditional degrees (Novice, Journeyman, Master) for specializations.
                        2. Indicated the Novice attack bonus as a talent bonus. This allows for managing the stacking of bonuses by applying the common D&D rule of disallowing bonuses of the same type to stack, should the GM wish to apply such a house-rule.
                        Last edited by TheGreyWulf; 24th March 2016, 12:58 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Fighting Styles vs. Weapon Groups

                          Originally posted by TheGreyWulf View Post
                          With a little bit of work, the Weapon Styles from Complete Warrior should fit in quite nicely, like so:

                          HIGH SWORD, LOW AXE [TALENT, WEAPON STYLE]
                          Requirement: Strength 1 or higher, Dexterity 1 or higher, Dual-Weapon Style (Basic), proficiency in Axes and Heavy Blades.

                          Novice: While fighting with a one-handed axe in one hand and a one-handed heavy blade in the other hand, you gain a +1 bonus to weapon attack rolls.

                          Journeyman: While fighting with a one-handed axe in one hand and a one-handed heavy blade in the other, and you hit with your heavy blade, you can use the Low Axe combat stunt for 3 SP. This stunt allows you to make a melee attack against the same target using the axe in your other hand. This second attack cannot generate stunts, and its damage roll cannot benefit from your Strength score. If you hit with this second attack, you can choose to render your target prone.

                          Master: You can now use the Low Axe combat stunt for 1 less SP than usual. In addition, when you render the target prone with your second attack from the Low Axe combat stunt, you can make one melee attack against the target with either your heavy blade or your axe. This third attack cannot generate stunts.
                          This one looks nasty. Well done. I think the only thing that I would change would be to set the Dual-Weapon requirement at Journeyman. Other than that, this looks ready to plug into a game.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Fighting Styles vs. Weapon Groups

                            Originally posted by Hagintora View Post
                            *-2 to attack, and half damage, if you don't know how to use the weapon (i.e. it isn't one of the weapons listed under your Fighting Style), or if you're trying to use it in an unfamiliar way (i.e. using it in a Fighting Style you haven't been trained in)
                            *Unmodified rolls for attack and damage at Novice level
                            *+2 to attack at Master Level
                            I like this interpretation. Anyone with a little background on martial arts, armed or unarmed, can attest that doing it and doing if effectively are two very different things. Usually the begginer thinks he can at least handle a sword in a fight, but that's it: He thinks that he can.

                            Of course I think that in this format one would gain another benefit at journeyman, right? I would go as far as changing it so Novice = No penalty, Journeyman = Gain focus, Master = Fancy stunt or stunt reduction. After all first you learn the basics, and only then the fancy techniques.
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                            • #15
                              Re: Fighting Styles vs. Weapon Groups

                              Originally posted by DiBastet View Post
                              I like this interpretation. Anyone with a little background on martial arts, armed or unarmed, can attest that doing it and doing if effectively are two very different things. Usually the begginer thinks he can at least handle a sword in a fight, but that's it: He thinks that he can.

                              Of course I think that in this format one would gain another benefit at journeyman, right? I would go as far as changing it so Novice = No penalty, Journeyman = Gain focus, Master = Fancy stunt or stunt reduction. After all first you learn the basics, and only then the fancy techniques.
                              I was thinking something similar:

                              Untrained: -2 Test Penalty
                              Novice: No Test Penalty plus a Special Ability
                              Journeyman: New Stunt, or a modification of an existing Stunt. Possible new Special Ability, or a modification of the Special Ability given at Novice Level
                              Master: +2 Test Bonus plus Stunt Point reduction. Possible new Special Ability or a modification of the Special Ability given at Novice, or Journeyman Level

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