Combat styles and weapon types / categories

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Combat styles and weapon types / categories

Postby Antalon » Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:37 pm

First, please could you provide a list of combat styles and the corrosponding weapons applicable to that style.

For example, I have trouble knowing whether a Halberd should be treated as a 2-H Axe, Polearm or 2-H Spear.

Second, for weapons like Longsword or Battleaxe, which combat style would apply if using it two handed (I guess 2-H Sword and 2-H Axe!)? If I trained in 1-H Sword and Shield, for example, I would not expect to wield the Longsword two-handed if forced to drop my shield.

(I think the table in the equipment chapter has missed out this information, judging by the term 'category' in the description of the table that implies weapons will be labelled / organised by combat style. Instead, the table simply lists weapons, with no reference to category or combat style unless the text description calls out its use.)

Antalon.
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Postby Jarec » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:09 am

To add to that if I want to fight with 2 1H-swords is that 1H-sword style or do I need some for of 2 weapon fighting style?

And What about spear and sword, is that 1H-sword style plus spear style?
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Postby Deleriad » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:00 am

Going by the article in S&P by Pete Nash, a combat style is basically whatever you want it to be which means it can be as broad or as narrow as fits the genre. So for example you could have a Combat Style called City Militia which covers Short spear, shield, crossbow and shortsword all in the same skill. So I suppose weapon categories may no longer be relevant. Which is to say that a Combat Style is not necessarily a skill with a certain category of weapon or two categories.

This does mean that you could have a combat style called "longsword" which covers fighting either 1H or 2H with a longsword but doesn't cover fighting with a dagger.

Basically it seems to be that combat styles are more flexible than weapon categories. Most people probably have combat styles based on weapon categories "Sword & shield" covering any type of 1H sword or shield used together or separately.

I must admit that I didn't really grok this from reading the rules, it was the S&P article that helped me figure it out. The beauty of styles then is that you can add extras into them. E.g. you might have access to unusual Combat Manoeuvres while using a certain style or bonuses to perform them or even be incapable of performing some. This appeals to the tinkerer in me because I can imagine myself creating esoteric Combat Styles.

A Combat Style then is something like a Fighting School that teaches various weapons and techniques. It's quite a lot different to what I'm used to in RQ/BRP. I can see potential problems but it probably fits better into a game like MRQ where Improvement Rolls are fixed in number. In previous RQs, because experience was gained through use, having to use as large number of skills for a profession was relatively easy because you generated more experience rolls. In MRQ2, you probably have a max of 5 skills that you can realistically be expected to master so you need to make skills broader, hence combat styles. At least, that's my take on it.
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Postby Jarec » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:17 pm

Thanks, that makes things clearer. Will go dig out that S&P article.

Only thing I can see coming up is a character with sword and shield as one style and spear as another, who then decides they want to fight with spear and shield. If the original style %'s were different what do you use. My guess would maybe be the lower or maybe even the lower -10% until they use an improvement point to cement it as a new style and then default it at the lower value. I can see how this could work though.

Maybe Arms and Equipment will shed some more light on this.
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Postby Deleriad » Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:03 pm

Jarec wrote:Only thing I can see coming up is a character with sword and shield as one style and spear as another, who then decides they want to fight with spear and shield. If the original style %'s were different what do you use. My guess would maybe be the lower or maybe even the lower -10%
That's probably what I would do. E.g. someone knows spear & shield 70%, 1H Sword 60% and ends up holding a sword & shield. I would say that either you use the most relevant style for what you're doing (70% when parrying with a shield, 60% when attacking with a sword, for example) or say you have to use the lowest percentage because you can't figure out the right stance and so on.

Was also mulling over combat styles in general. It seems to me that you could have styles such as staff & sling (letting you quickly convert a staff sling into a quarterstaff), Dagger (that includes both close combat and thrown skills) and so on. I think I would also allow Sword (using a sword 1 or 2H as a solo weapon).

Possibly you could write a generic rule for types of combat styles.
Dual wield - any combat style featuring 2 weapons used at the same time.
2H - any style for a weapon that must be used 2-handed.
1H/2H - any style for a weapon that can be used in 1 or 2 hands.
1H/thrown - any style for a weapon that can be used in both close combat or ranged attacks.

Of course you could have all sorts of fun with four-armed demons.
E.g. "4 Scimitars" - to give two bonus CAs or some such.

I would also be tempted to give intelligent creatures with a sting (e.g. Scorpion Men) dual wielding skills "spear & sting" for example that gain it an extra CA.

The more I think about it, the more room for fun I see.
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Postby Mongoose Pete » Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:12 pm

Deleriad wrote:The more I think about it, the more room for fun I see.
Excellent! That's exactly what Loz and I were hoping for.
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Postby andyl » Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:07 pm

Deleriad wrote: Dual wield - any combat style featuring 2 weapons used at the same time.
I would go more fine-grained than this. Fighting with two blades (either florentine or niten ichi ryu) is pretty different to fighting with a trident and dagger (as retiarii often ended up doing).

But as you say plenty of fun can be had.
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Postby Deleriad » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:29 pm

andyl wrote:
Deleriad wrote: Dual wield - any combat style featuring 2 weapons used at the same time.
I would go more fine-grained than this. Fighting with two blades (either florentine or niten ichi ryu) is pretty different to fighting with a trident and dagger (as retiarii often ended up doing).
What I was meaning that any combat style which featured 2 weapons wielded at once (sword & dagger, axe & shield, florentine & eggs) is one which gains the bonus CA. As opposed to say a 1h/thrown (or properly a close/thrown) style where the same weapon can be wielded in close combat or thrown as part of the combat style. Examples of that might be staff & sling, dagger, or hatchet.

A combat style system lets you choose how fine grained to make it.
You could literally have just two styles (close combat, ranged) as I think Open Quest does or you could go right down to specific weapon combinations with associated combat manoeuvres or you could get all pulpy (as Pete Nash does in S&P) and come with things like swashbuckling style (cutlass, dagger & pistol). It works better than I gave it credit for in playtesting.
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Postby Mongoose Pete » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:22 pm

Deleriad wrote:A combat style system lets you choose how fine grained to make it... It works better than I gave it credit for in playtesting.
You'll notice the same concept in other parts of the system. The number of spells in a Grimoire, Divine magic available to a Cult, etc. Default values have been provided, but the underlying RQII chassis has been designed for flexibility according to setting or genre.
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Postby Jarec » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:25 pm

I as one of those suicidal types who has at one time or another been involved with reenactment groups I can attest to the fact that fighting with Sword and dagger is quite different from fighting with 2 axes and very different from fighting with a single sword.

As I think more about this it strikes me (no pun intended) that a possible option is to make the styles more specific but allow general similar usage possible with a slight skill impact.

example:

Sword and Dagger style 70% but the character is only using a sword or maybe 2 daggers, so you say fine you can use your Sword and Dagger style but at a -20%. But if they wanted to use 2 axes it would be -40%

Again as I suggested earlier spending an improvement point could be a way to spawn the new style at some appropriate level which would be better than the one where it was taking the hit as an untrained style
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Postby Ssendam » Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:02 am

Jarec wrote:I as one of those suicidal types who has at one time or another been involved with reenactment groups I can attest to the fact that fighting with Sword and dagger is quite different from fighting with 2 axes and very different from fighting with a single sword.
I have no such experience but I can see your logic. What about sword and shield to just a sword? Is there much difference there?
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Postby Jarec » Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:42 am

Not so much as even when using a sword and shield you have a tendancy to use the sword to parry some blows and attack with the shield at times. Without the shield your parry might not be as good but not a significant difference on the attack.

Problem with all this is how detailed do you want to get. I have fought with at least 3 different styles of axe in the past and they all have their subtle differences in style. Even picking up another persons sword can throw you off at first as the length is different, the balance will be off etc...

So I suppose you could almost say that the style should be "This" Sword and "This" Shield. But that would just be silly. But it does raise the question that if sword and shield is as good as sword why have sword.

My call would be see how your players play things, if they start to abuse the one style fits many approach reign them back with some -10% -20% type mods. Suddenly being hit with -20% in the middle of a battle because they suddenly grabbed a spear from a dead foe and claim it's the same as a staff will soon set a standard for your group.
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Postby RosenMcStern » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:20 am

Very interesting point. One of the playtest versions in fact had this -20% as the "official" rule for situations like those described above, so it is clear that the authors have spent some time reasoning about this. It could be interesting to learn the reasons why they finally chose to avoid codification of such penalties, as it is clear that individual GMs will nevertheless use them.
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Postby Deleriad » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:21 am

Jarec wrote:I as one of those suicidal types who has at one time or another been involved with reenactment groups I can attest to the fact that fighting with Sword and dagger is quite different from fighting with 2 axes and very different from fighting with a single sword.
I think we're talking cross-purposes here.

I was saying that sword & shield and axe & shield are, simply, two examples of dual wield styles. Personally I would require my players to learn those two styles separately.

I also said, however, depending on the genre of your game, you could make styles either broader or narrower. For example, playing in an Open Quest style game you could have a single style called "dual wield" that covers all combinations of two weapons used together. Alternately, if you like a lot of simulation, you could require that every style is specific to a single weapon or weapon combination.


Finally, as written there's no game advantage that I see in ever having a 1H weapon style. E.g. The combat style 1H sword is less useful in all respects than 1H Sword & shield. In some cases though you could argue that a style in a weapon that can be used 1- or 2-handed (e.g. longsword, battle axe) covers its use in both modes.

So for example:
The style (sword & shield) would cover using a Longsword 1-handed with or without a shield.

The style (sword) would cover the use of a sword 1H or 2H but NOT used with a shield.

Finally some styles that cover 1h weapons that can be thrown could be used to cover both close and ranged combat.

E.g. Axe & Shield would cover using a hatchet with or without a shield.
While the style (1H/TH Axe) would cover using a hatchet in close combat and throwing it.

So to summarise:
Style: Axe & shield - covers axe with or without shield
Style: Axe - covers axe used 1-handed or 2-handed
Style: 1H/TH Axe: covers axe used 1-handed in combat or thrown.

Obviously you could make it more detailed or make it broader depending on preference.
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Postby duncan_disorderly » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:14 am

I'm struggling with this concept too.

If I have "Sword+Shield 70%" then If I don't have my shield, I still attack and parry at 70%, but I lose 1 Combat action (because I only have 1 weapon), and obviously can only parry with my sword. It's not the same as having a separate parry skill with my Sword and my Shield, but its sort of modelling the same thing.

From a minimax point of view though, why would one ever take a combat style of "(1 handed) Sword" when "Sword and shield" without a shield is exactly the same, but allows you to use a shield if one is available.

But if you have a second weapon things become more complicated. Say I want to learn "1H Spear + Shield", and pick up some basic training to 30%. I'm now 40% worse off parrying with my shield if I'm holding spear rather than a sword - I'd could be better off dropping my spear and reverting to "Sword and shield"...

I'm always suspicious of rules that say you can default one style from another when you want to continue to develop both independantly. So if you say "1H Spear & Shield" starts at "Sword and Shield" - 20% (so I'd have "Sword & Shield 70%", "Spear & Shield 50%") but then in play I improve "Spear & Shield" by 5% and "Sword & Shield" by 10% - is my Spear & Shield now 55% (base + improvement), 60% (default to Sword & Shield - 20) or 65% (default to Sword+shield - 20, and add improvement). Does it matter what order I improve them in? What happens if I improve Spear & Shield so it is higher than Sword & Shield, especially if they can default in either direction...
(so you started with Sword & Shield 70%, which gave you a default Spear & Shield of 50%. You spent improvement roles to give you +50% Spear & Shield, which gives you Spear & shield 100%. Since you can default Sword & shield to Spear & Shield -20%, that makes your Sword & shield 80% - but your spear & Shield was based on your sword & shield so that should also increase.... ad infinitum)
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Postby Mongoose Pete » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:30 am

But it does raise the question that if sword and shield is as good as sword why have sword.
Not every period or setting has shields. For example, in a Napoleonic or Pirate campaign PCs will be learning just Sword.

Once again folks are looking at the rules from a metagaming level, not a cultural one. :roll: Its entirely possible that a Humakti cult forbids the use of shields for example, even in a world where they are commonly used by everyone else.
duncan_disorderly wrote:But if you have a second weapon things become more complicated. Say I want to learn "1H Spear + Shield", and pick up some basic training to 30%. I'm now 40% worse off parrying with my shield if I'm holding spear rather than a sword - I'd could be better off dropping my spear and reverting to "Sword and shield"...
Its perfectly realistic to have a lower chance to defend yourself with the shield if wielding a weapon in the combination that you are less comfortable with. If you lose the spear, then of course you can revert to using the higher sword and shield style; since you are no longer hindered by the awkwardness of the spear you are less used to.

If you still see this as a problem then have a Cultural Combat Style where your characters can use any weapon their culture uses - its normal to cross train in r/w societies. Or if you want a finer resolution, then break it all the way back down to one skill per individual weapon. Your choice. Do want you like best. That's why the flexibility was built in.
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Postby Jarec » Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:19 pm

I think as a GM you really have to tailor this to your players and the style of game you want to run. Certainly some styles cross over more seamlesly than others, often is surprising ways. As to modifiers use them as and when you need to to either control the players or propel the story along.

On the is 1H sword the same as Sword and Shield debate, definitely not. Fight with a sword and shield long enough and you will naturally adapt to sword attacks and shield parries. Take away the shield and the sword arm will still do the attacking and expect there to be a shield there to parry for you. Just the way the mind works, bit like the if you throw a ball to someone you naturally catch it with your dominant hand. I have actually seem someone parry a blow with an unprotected arm on one occasion because they expected there to be a shield there.
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Postby duncan_disorderly » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:37 am

Mongoose Pete wrote: Once again folks are looking at the rules from a metagaming level, not a cultural one. :roll: Its entirely possible that a Humakti cult forbids the use of shields for example, even in a world where they are commonly used by everyone else.
That's 'cos the rulebook is a generic one, rather than being tied to a setting/culture. The rules tell us that even if you can't currently use a shield, you might as well learn to use it since it costs the same, and you can use the same skill without having the shield to hand...
Mongoose Pete wrote:
duncan_disorderly wrote:But if you have a second weapon things become more complicated. Say I want to learn "1H Spear + Shield", and pick up some basic training to 30%. I'm now 40% worse off parrying with my shield if I'm holding spear rather than a sword - I'd could be better off dropping my spear and reverting to "Sword and shield"...
Its perfectly realistic to have a lower chance to defend yourself with the shield if wielding a weapon in the combination that you are less comfortable with. If you lose the spear, then of course you can revert to using the higher sword and shield style; since you are no longer hindered by the awkwardness of the spear you are less used to.
This is having your cake and eating it though. Your chance of parrying an attack using your "Sword & Shield" style without a shield is undiminished because even when using a shield you use your sword to parry some blows - This also doesn't affect our chance if you have the shield but not the sword. However if you have some other weapon it does?
Mongoose Pete wrote:If you still see this as a problem then have a Cultural Combat Style where your characters can use any weapon their culture uses - its normal to cross train in r/w societies.
but not, surely, normal for everyone to be equally proficent with every cultural weapon. If we were going to go this route, we might as well simplify the entire system down to 3:16's "Fighting ability" and "Non-Fighting Ability" and save space on the character sheet!
Mongoose Pete wrote: Or if you want a finer resolution, then break it all the way back down to one skill per individual weapon. Your choice. Do want you like best.
I don't really like this as an answer (I like it as a solution. - I prefer the traditional attack and parry skills with each weapon as it allows more variation and choice). While any game will inevitably attract house-rules, the more that are necessary, the less attractive the rules are, especially when they affect a major element of the game. If you have to tell potential new players to ignore every other section in the book, you might as well be playing a different game to start with!
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Postby Ssendam » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:43 am

Mongoose Pete wrote: Once again folks are looking at the rules from a metagaming level, not a cultural one. :roll: Its entirely possible that a Humakti cult forbids the use of shields for example, even in a world where they are commonly used by everyone else.
I think that's a little harsh Pete. A lot of people here will be GM's and with any new rules or revision you like to pull them apart a bit and see the options even if it's just to head off the min/max players at the pass.

I do agree though, it's all about a combat style appropriate to the characters background and development. That's something you have to make clear in the options you give new players which means you have to understand how combat styles will apply to your game. In a way not providing detailed rules for the styles does get the game developers off the hook but is probably the right way to go.

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Postby kintire » Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:46 pm

From a minimax point of view though, why would one ever take a combat style of "(1 handed) Sword"
No reason. Which is why no one ever did, outside highly stylised dueling or sport techniques. Going into battle with an entire hand not used is dippy. Even the so called 1h sword styles are actually dual wielded Sword and Grapple. I think I will be giving the extra CA to everyone who is not specifically using a 1h sword in a style that forbids grappling for some social reason.

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