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andakitty
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Postby andakitty » Wed Jun 14, 2006 5:04 pm

Although I understand Finns are notorious knife-fighters, I have to disagree. A gladius has a longer, wider blade. Also, 'simple physics' dictates that greater mass=greater momentum=greater damage. Whatever, I can agree to disagree. I certainly don't ever want to find out for sure. 8)

Heh. Reminds me of the perennial .45 vs. 9mm debate. Which of those do you think is better? (You DO NOT have to take this bait...) :wink:
GbajiTheDeceiver
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Postby GbajiTheDeceiver » Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:10 pm

I think the thing with daggers is actually getting that full thrust behind it, which is considerably more difficult to do than with a spear, where you can take a good swing at a reasonable distance back. Otherwise, it normally ends up as random slashes and nicks. The damage values for all weapons probably represent an averaging out of a much wider scale.

Remember also that with even a dagger it's still possible to strike a serious blow in RQ. Get an impale in the guts from one, you're down on the ground pretty fast, and your food options will be severely limited for a good chunk of the future (assuming you live). In that respect a dagger won't be too far off a spear. It's only during regular wild melee that a spear is more likely to cause more damage.

I agree though that 1d4 + 2 is excessive: 1d6 would have been a better option.
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Postby Darran » Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:23 pm

The trouble is I always think of it in terms of skill. 8)

The knife fighter knows that he has to get in close, very close to be effective with is weapon. The spear user knows that he has to keep his enemy at a distance or even better get his enemy to run onto the pointy bit of his spear.

Who ever succeeds in his intent wins the fight. :?:
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homerjsinnott
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Postby homerjsinnott » Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:37 am

Adept wrote: Parhaps the +2 is the damage on a mounted charge. What else could it be? The logic of a larger horse giving more damage is flawed. Worry about a large man on a small, quick horse rather than a small man on a large horse. What matters in the lance charge is the speed (and the size/strength of the rider). Physics, pure and simple.

I disagree.
Which would you rather be hit by, a bus travelling at 15MPH or a pushbike?

Force of a lance=mass(Horse)*accelleration(sp?) (horse's speed).

How does the man have any thing to do with the damage of a lance? lances are held still, couched so that the horse does the damage.
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Postby andakitty » Thu Jun 15, 2006 1:55 am

Exactly so. And if the man thrusts with it, using his own strength, he has...a spear.
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Postby Cobra » Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:30 am

andakitty wrote:Exactly so. And if the man thrusts with it, using his own strength, he has...a spear.
Technically, you are correct. This from Wikipedia:

"The term lance has become a catchall for a variety of different pole weapons based on the spear. The name is derived from lancea, Roman auxiliaries' short javelin. The lance, under many names, was also heavily employed in the Asian steppe. In the strictest sense, the lance is a heavy, long thrusting spear used on horseback and couched under the arm on one hand. Often, any spear which is not thrown (e.g. a thrusting spear) is called a lance when used from horseback."

However, the site lists about 28 types of lance and over 100 spears, so I would venture that a lance is not just a lance and a spear not just a spear. A sharpened bamboo spear surely won't do the same damage as a finely honed bronze spear.

And in the same vein, a wooden cudgel won't do the same damage as a leaded shilaleigh (sp?), though they are both clubs. There are probably a thousand variations on the mace, from material (stone, bronze, iron, etc), to shape and protrusions, to weight, to length of handle. Same for every other weapon.

I'm thinking that discussions about how much damage a 'spear' does are, well, as pointless as a jousting lance - which would not make a useful spear to anybody who wasn't on a mount.

Personally, I trust that the playtesters have already evaluated weapon damages ad nauseum and probably have it right. And if they don't? Well, a couple of weapon damages are easy to adjust, aren't they.

Cobra
andakitty
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Postby andakitty » Thu Jun 15, 2006 4:31 am

Sure! But I like to discuss it. :)

And, 'technically corrrect' is all I'm aiming for. As someone pointed out earlier you can only get a general, vague idea as to what the mean would be with a general weapon type. My statement about spears was intended partly to point out that very fact. I'm not trying to be a know-it-all, I'm just fascinated with the subject.

I do know enough to be uneasy with most rpg weapon lists. Although I don't agree with everything on this, list if I run it I will probably not mess with it because I too am sure they have done research (SCA related in the case of the original RQ, and these are very close to BRP lists).

Probably the weapon stats I've seen for a rpg that look best balanced (to me) of any rpg I have read are the ones in GOO's Empire of the Petal Throne. Damage involves multiplying the margin of success times a weapon modifier. The modifiers range from x1 to x7, before modifications. Margin of success goes up to 12 or so. A heavy weapon tends to do heavier damage just because it, well, is designed to...so has a greater modifier. But a dagger with a modifier of x2 and a critical can do around 30, and there are ways to increase that. It is one of the few systems I've seen which models results that feel right without loads of complicated little fiddly rules. Skill is the most important factor in combat by far. The fiddly bits exist but are completely modular. I consider it a better set of rules than BRP, including RQ, and anyone who knows me knows that's saying something. :)
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Postby Adept » Thu Jun 15, 2006 7:29 am

andakitty wrote:Although I understand Finns are notorious knife-fighters, I have to disagree. A gladius has a longer, wider blade. Also, 'simple physics' dictates that greater mass=greater momentum=greater damage. Whatever, I can agree to disagree. I certainly don't ever want to find out for sure. 8)
:)

I'm serious though. The longer blade is not an issue, nor is the mass really. The dagger / swordwielders mass is behind the thrust, and the difference betweeen a one pound dagger and a two pound shortsword isn't really an issue in that. What is important is how slender the blade is and how good a thrusting point it has.

Take a chunk of meat (like a chunk of pig, with the skin intact) and try to thrust a knife through it. Try it with something with a rapidly widening point, and then something like a dagger. You'll see the latter one will go in much easier.

As for the "simply physics" bit I study european swordsmanship with these guys

http://www.swordschool.com/en/index.html

Blade geometry and thrusting / cutting capabilities are something I study and am interested in.
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Postby Adept » Thu Jun 15, 2006 7:37 am

Cobra wrote:
However, the site lists about 28 types of lance and over 100 spears, so I would venture that a lance is not just a lance and a spear not just a spear. A sharpened bamboo spear surely won't do the same damage as a finely honed bronze spear.
There is that, of course, but I'm sure the listed weapons are supposed to be from the same "tech level".

Now if the list would have stuff like

Bronze/Iron spear d8
Copper spear d6
firehardened wood spear d4+1

Or some such that would be fine.

As to the research and playtesting. Blech. I'm sure we are going to be seeing things like ringmail and bezainted armour again, even studded leather if we are really unlucky :(

Those things are from a terrible book on armour that some guy wrote after trying to puzzle out a medieval tapestry, and getting things horribly wrong.
There is _no_ such thing as ringmail, and definitely no such thing as studded leather. Those things are useless, as anybody can see from looking at the "reconstructions" for sale, or thinking about them for a bit.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ringmail

http://www.albion-swords.com/armor/merc ... ngjack.htm

Just think of wearing that thing and then getting a spear thrust at you. That armour is pretty much worthless, and nobody would ever have wasted metal on such a contraption.
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Postby homerjsinnott » Thu Jun 15, 2006 11:19 am

Adept wrote:
As to the research and playtesting. Blech. I'm sure we are going to be seeing things like ringmail and bezainted armour again, even studded leather if we are really unlucky :(
Thats not what I see when I think of ringmail at all, I see/remember it as a less dense chainmail with leather backing, much more substantial than this. And To be honest Wikipedia isn't the most reliable source in the world.

RQ never had studded leather.

What about bezainted?
Last edited by homerjsinnott on Thu Jun 15, 2006 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Adept » Thu Jun 15, 2006 11:34 am

homerjsinnott wrote:
Adept wrote:
As to the research and playtesting. Blech. I'm sure we are going to be seeing things like ringmail and bezainted armour again, even studded leather if we are really unlucky :(
Thats not what I see when I think of ringmail at all, I see/remember it as a less dense chainmail with leather backing, much more substantial than this. And To be honest Wikipedia isn't the most reliable source in the world.

RQ never had studded leather.

What about bezainted?
[/quote]

Wikipedia is good enough on this. It's not the only source, just the one I could fish out in five seconds :D

Bezainted has the same problem, and again is a set of armour one only encounters in RPG books, mainly the RQ ones.

Real armours are:

Cloth armour (10+ layers of hardened linen, surprisingly effective)

Thick leather (not a leather jacket)

Cuirboulle (hardened leather, good armour for it's weight)

Various sorts of scale and lamellar armour. An interesting variant is laquered leather scale mail. Bronze age armour from china.

Maille (chainmail) in various 4-1, 6-1, 8-1 configurations.

Hoplite panoply, the "platemail" of the ancient world.

***

Later there's plate&chain, brigandine (that got confused into studded leather) and full plate, but those are too modern for Glorantha.
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Postby Archer » Thu Jun 15, 2006 11:36 am

Adept wrote:Now if the list would have stuff like

Bronze/Iron spear d8
Copper spear d6
firehardened wood spear d4+1

Or some such that would be fine.
Actually, what the point of a spear is made from, has far less consequences than you show there. There would be virtually no difference between a copper, bronze or iron tipped spear, and the only penalty for a firehardened tip would be against metal armour.
If the spear is of the same length, and the same person uses it, it will transfer the same amount of force to the target.
At most, you would perhaps give the wooden tiped spear a -1 to damage, to show that it is not as good as penetrating armour as the other types of spear heads.

I have a friend that work with testing different configurations of ammunition. They utilize dead pigs, ballistics gel, etc. as targets. And from him I have learned that if you want to test melee weapons (or ranged weapons), a watermelon is a good representative of the human head. What it lacks in hardness (bone) it gains back somewhat due to its flexibility.
If you can stab, cut, or bash a watermelon, and make a mark that is at least 7 cm deep, you have a lethal injury.
And I can tell you, with all the speartips you have mentioned, you do that quite easily.

The reality is that we humans are quite easy to injure.
But then, RQ is a game, and we play it to have fun.
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Postby Adept » Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:18 pm

Your friend sure has very different experiences than me or the history buffs I know here.

Copper isn't good for edged weapons. It's way too soft and doesn't hold a good edge or point. The copper spear point would be fine for a few stabs against unarmoured humans (until you struck bone), but there is a reason bronze revolutionized warfare. Hammered bronze is hard and keeps a good edge/point.

I can't imagine that your friend really thinks that there isn't much difference between a good viking spearhead of damast-steel, and a fire hardened "pointy stick" spear. That pointy stick spear would have a hard time penetrating an ordinary leather jacket, where the steel spearhead can rend good chainmail and even pierce plate on a determined thrust.

Parhaps it's using a melon to represent human head :( that stuff just won't fly. A human skull is hard, and even the skin&muscles of the face offer significant resistance.
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Postby Archer » Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:48 pm

Adept wrote:Your friend sure has very different experiences than me or the history buffs I know here.
That I am quite sure of.
Adept wrote: Copper isn't good for edged weapons. It's way too soft and doesn't hold a good edge or point. The copper spear point would be fine for a few stabs against unarmoured humans (until you struck bone), but there is a reason bronze revolutionized warfare. Hammered bronze is hard and keeps a good edge/point.
Then you are talking about durability, not ability to inflict injury.
That is a different matter.
Adept wrote: I can't imagine that your friend really thinks that there isn't much difference between a good viking spearhead of damast-steel, and a fire hardened "pointy stick" spear. That pointy stick spear would have a hard time penetrating an ordinary leather jacket, where the steel spearhead can rend good chainmail and even pierce plate on a determined thrust.
Of course there is a difference, but the difference lies in how good they are to penetrate armour, not how good they are at penetrate human flesh, which in the end, is the real damage.
It could be argued that RPGs take a bit to a simplistic approach to the whole dealing damage thing. Since it really is about penetration of protection and target penetration. Two different but linked aspects of ballistics and even historical weapons.
The main function of armour is to reduce the amount of force that gets applied to the target. That is the simplest way to look at it.
After that, things become a bit more complicated. That is why different spear and arrow heads are good at different things (and why different bullet configurations are good at different things).

For example; a broad arrow head like this;
Image
will cause more trauma, more bleeding, and more tearing of the flesh. However it will not as easily penetrate armour as a narrow head (armor is always more resistent than human flesh).

In contrast, a narrow arrow head;
Image
Will much easier penetrate armour, but it causes less trauma.

In the end however, it matters little, since it requires very little damage if you hit the right spot, to actually seriously injure or kill.
Adept wrote: Parhaps it's using a melon to represent human head :( that stuff just won't fly. A human skull is hard, and even the skin&muscles of the face offer significant resistance.
Yes, a human is harder, and has a bit more resistence. That is why you use a deeper measurement to represent lethal damage, 7 cm instead of the normal 4.5 cm.
It is not a perfect match, but the closest thing a normal person can get hold of, if you want to try to see what damage something causes.
You do not need much penetration to the bone surrounding the brain, in order to cause a lethal hemorraging. (This discussion is turning positively morbid).
In fact you do not even have to penetrate the bone in order to cause a lethal hemorraging, you just have to apply enough force in a specific point.

I think that is enough discussion on the grisly details of dealing damage to humans, or how to test a weapons effect.

It will suffice to say that RPGs are a game, played to have fun.
And that it would be better to group weapons of similar size, weight, construction, and use in one damage group.
For example; Longspear 1d8.
We could then modify the HP of the weapon depending on material of its parts.
And we could add a Penetration value, to give those weapons that are good at armour a better chance to penetrate armour, and those that are not, a worse chance. The penetration value would be applied directly to the Armour value of the armor struck.

But then, we are perhaps simulating too much, and slowing down the game. And it all ends up not being worth bothering with penetration, or what the point of a spear is made of.
It would suffice to say; Longspear Damage 1d8.
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Armour values

Postby Adept » Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:12 pm

Looking at the weapon list I'm guessing the armour values are going back to the RQ2 numbers where the highest was hoplite panoply at 6 points.

The weapons list (especially the prices) suffers from trying to be too generic. Greatswords, wooden clubs and rapiers...

I wonder if the makers of the second age Glorantha setting book have been brave enough to include a tech level? Warhammers, rapiers and platemail don't really have a place on Glorantha, especially in the second age. It would be great to see references to normal equipment being leather armour, spears, bows and slings, at least for the common soldier & warrior.
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Postby Archer » Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:31 pm

If RQ is going to be a generic fantasy system, something akin to tech levels would have been a good idea. But then, most fantasy settings do not care much to diffrentiate between weapons and armor from different points in history. It is pretty much a hodgepodge of historical weapons and armor in one setting.
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Re: Armour values

Postby wartorn » Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:36 pm

Adept wrote:Looking at the weapon list I'm guessing the armour values are going back to the RQ2 numbers where the highest was hoplite panoply at 6 points..
I certainly hope not unless the list is confined to Bronze Age armour. Mail should have an AP of at least 7 points based on the damage of the broadsword; this would make it penetrable 12.5% of the time by a person of average size and strength (which is a little high I think). I'd be more comfortable seeing it around AP 10, given that there's a -40% 'precise strike' and that a character's damage bonus scales like RQ3.
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Re: Armour values

Postby Wulf Corbett » Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:54 pm

wartorn wrote:I certainly hope not unless the list is confined to Bronze Age armour. Mail should have an AP of at least 7 points based on the damage of the broadsword; this would make it penetrable 12.5% of the time by a person of average size and strength (which is a little high I think).
But you don't have to penetrate armour to hurt the wearer. A point or two of damage can represent bruising or crushing without piercing the armour. Plus, even with RQ locations, you have to consider the abstraction of incomplete armour coverage. A high damage roll could represent hitting bits NOT covered by armour.

Wulf
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Re: Armour values

Postby wartorn » Thu Jun 15, 2006 4:12 pm

Wulf Corbett wrote:
wartorn wrote:I certainly hope not unless the list is confined to Bronze Age armour. Mail should have an AP of at least 7 points based on the damage of the broadsword; this would make it penetrable 12.5% of the time by a person of average size and strength (which is a little high I think).
But you don't have to penetrate armour to hurt the wearer. A point or two of damage can represent bruising or crushing without piercing the armour. Plus, even with RQ locations, you have to consider the abstraction of incomplete armour coverage. A high damage roll could represent hitting bits NOT covered by armour.

Wulf
Fair points, but the Special (or Critical can't remember) Hit mechanic accomodates hitting vulnerable spots in the old edition and the Precise Strike accomodates that in the new version. I think HP damage is more substantive than light blunt trauma since it is taken away from the location (weakening it). To be fair, I realized I forgot to take into account the 2 point padding underneath which would bring traidional 7 AP Mail right up to par.
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Re: Armour values

Postby Wulf Corbett » Thu Jun 15, 2006 4:16 pm

wartorn wrote:To be fair, I realized I forgot to take into account the 2 point padding underneath which would bring traidional 7 AP Mail right up to par.
I've tried wearing mail with no padding... never again! Especially a coif. I do not want a wicker pattern skull...

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