Combat styles and weapon types / categories

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Mongoose Pete
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Postby Mongoose Pete » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:15 pm

duncan_disorderly wrote: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...
People were asking why the single option was there. I simply gave an example of when and why it would be applicable.

I apologise if anyone took offense at my answer, none was by any means intended. But just because a rule has a little leeway in it, it doesn't necessarily mean you should always manipulate it to maximum technical effect. It is there for a specific reason, usually that of setting adaptability.
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?
Historically people learned a combination of techniques all together. With sword and shield not only do you learn how to use the s&s as a cohesive style, but you also learn what to do if your shield gets hacked off your arm, or your sword is knocked from your hand, or one of your arms is incapacitated.

This is because fighting is not a sport where where you can say, okay Fred, you got my arm, lets reset and try again. In a real fight you don't get a second chance, so you also train in all the contingencies of what might go wrong.

In RQII the default model is that the warrior learns this style as a cohesive whole. He doesn't just train with the sword and shield in combination, but he also practices for those other situations where things have gone wrong. Of course he is still at a tactical disadvantage when he loses a weapon (shields don't inflict much damage, whereas swords don't parry as much damage), but we don't reduce his skill since he would have trained for this circumstance.

It may sound odd to be allowed to switch to the best two weapon combination style when you are reduced to a single weapon which is common to both, but it is in my experience realistic.

Now we could break down the model into individual skills for sword and shield. But then we're back to the metagame issues of requiring two separate skills for one fighting style, placing it Improvement Rolls-wise at a disadvantage, which Styles were introduced to fix. :)
Mongoose Pete wrote: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!
Oh I agree, its probably not normal for every weapon skill to be equal. Just like I'd never expect Climbing, Jumping and Throwing to be exactly the same either. Yet these are clustered under one skill for ease of use, and saving of Improvement Rolls.

However I can say that in general, an athlete can outperform me in those particular skills, just as a professional soldier is better at rifle shooting, knife fighting, wrestling and grenade throwing than most bankers. So a group skill can still be differentiated between professions or individuals.

If the GM want's to focus more on non-combat skills then he's at liberty to condense the weapon skills as he wants. Just like the GM can set the number of spells catered for under the Grimoire skill too.
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!
Umm (assuming I haven't misinterpreted you), Combat Styles are a designed flexibility within the core rule set, not a house rule. Whether you apply them inclusively or exclusively they still work. :)
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Postby Cowboy » Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:50 pm

Even if for some reason your culture hasn't invented shields (although it's hard to imagine such a culture that's still able to make swords) or forbids shields (although it's hard to see why they wouldn't stick to two-handed weapons, then), you'd still be a sucker to learn just "1h sword" since you'd get all the same benefits and more with, say, "sword and dagger" with no drawbacks.
Of course, the GM could make up some weird culture that creates only size M weapons which you can't use together. (Although you can use a Longsword with a War Sword by the RAW, you can't use two War Swords).

I'd suggest either making a defined list of thematic combat styles in the next printing (Barbarian Combat, Knight Combat, Duelling, Archery) and list each with the weapons and shields usable with that style, ditching combat styles altogether for the individual weapon skills of the previous editions (that didn't raise weird questions like this), or just reducing the number of combat styles to three: Armed, Unarmed and Ranged.
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Postby Loz » Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:34 pm

Although you can use a Longsword with a War Sword by the RAW, you can't use two War Swords
Are you sure? Offhand weapons must be one Size category smaller than the main weapon. Both Longsword and War Sword are category M when used single handedly (Longsword becomes Large when wielded with two hands) so you can't use the two together in a dual weapon style.
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Postby Cowboy » Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:52 pm

Loz wrote:
Although you can use a Longsword with a War Sword by the RAW, you can't use two War Swords
Are you sure? Offhand weapons must be one Size category smaller than the main weapon. Both Longsword and War Sword are category M when used single handedly (Longsword becomes Large when wielded with two hands) so you can't use the two together in a dual weapon style.
Awright, yeah, I missed that it changed size category too.
Of course, this just means that the rule should probably just be phrased "The off-hand weapon must be size S" since without the Longsword there are no size L one-handed weapons and if there were, it would make no sense that you could use a size M weapon in your off hand with a size L weapon in your main hand but not with another size M weapon in your main hand.
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Postby Loz » Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:57 pm

Of course, this just means that the rule should probably just be phrased "The off-hand weapon must be size S" since without the Longsword there are no size L one-handed weapons and if there were, it would make no sense that you could use a size M weapon in your off hand with a size L weapon in your main hand but not with another size M weapon in your main hand.
Its worded that way because you will get players playing trolls or larger than human creatures that can wield size L weapons single-handedly in a two-weapon style. Its a way of countering most eventualities!
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Postby Cowboy » Sun Feb 07, 2010 6:16 pm

Loz wrote:Its worded that way because you will get players playing trolls or larger than human creatures that can wield size L weapons single-handedly in a two-weapon style. Its a way of countering most eventualities!
But what sense does it make that a troll can wield a Great Axe and a War Sword but not two War Swords? How does picking up a bigger weapon with your main hand enable you to pick up a heavier weapon with your off hand too? You should think wielding two Medium size weapons would be easier than wielding one Large and a Medium.
It may be meant to cover all eventualities but it doesn't. It just creates the kind of weird scenario described above. Especially since the weapons lists don't give any suggestions to how high a STR you'd need to wield a two-handed weapon one-handedly in the first place.
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Postby Mikko Leho » Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:24 pm

Cowboy wrote:But what sense does it make that a troll can wield a Great Axe and a War Sword but not two War Swords? How does picking up a bigger weapon with your main hand enable you to pick up a heavier weapon with your off hand too? You should think wielding two Medium size weapons would be easier than wielding one Large and a Medium.
I think trolls should treat Medium weapons as Small. This way they could wield two war swords at once. The only thing missing is a creature Size vs weapon Size comparison chart, maybe there is one in the Arms & Equipment book?
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Postby Mongoose Pete » Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:27 pm

Cowboy wrote:But what sense does it make that a troll can wield a Great Axe and a War Sword but not two War Swords? How does picking up a bigger weapon with your main hand enable you to pick up a heavier weapon with your off hand too? You should think wielding two Medium size weapons would be easier than wielding one Large and a Medium.
Well for something like a cave troll a war sword might be considered from its perspective to be a small weapon so I wouldn't have any problem letting it dual wield two of them. :D
It may be meant to cover all eventualities but it doesn't. It just creates the kind of weird scenario described above. Especially since the weapons lists don't give any suggestions to how high a STR you'd need to wield a two-handed weapon one-handedly in the first place.
I think if you re-read what Loz wrote, he said most eventualities, not all of them. Its a guideline, one which is designed for human-centric characters.

We didn't extend the rules to cover every eventuality. If we had the book would be twice the size and it would have lost a lot of the simple elegance we tried to achieve. As always you need to use common sense. :wink:
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Postby Mongoose Pete » Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:00 pm

Cowboy wrote:Even if for some reason your culture hasn't invented shields (although it's hard to imagine such a culture that's still able to make swords) or forbids shields (although it's hard to see why they wouldn't stick to two-handed weapons, then), you'd still be a sucker to learn just "1h sword" since you'd get all the same benefits and more with, say, "sword and dagger" with no drawbacks.
You shouldn't dismiss the quirks of human culture and tradition. There are plenty of real world examples of such things happen. In those societies its not a question of being a sucker, its more a sign of respect for tradition, displaying competence, proving one's manliness or just idiotic conformity to the latest fashion!

People don't always take the most efficient style or biggest handgun. :)
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Postby Ssendam » Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:05 am

Mongoose Pete wrote: People don't always take the most efficient style or biggest handgun. :)
Oh Please ... Have you ever watched "Dirty Harry" ? :)
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Postby kintire » Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:23 am

You shouldn't dismiss the quirks of human culture and tradition. There are plenty of real world examples of such things happen. In those societies its not a question of being a sucker, its more a sign of respect for tradition, displaying competence, proving one's manliness or just idiotic conformity to the latest fashion!
To be fair, there's also the question of why you are learning the style. Carrying a shield does have a cost: its heavy and the larger ones are awkward. If your sword style is a backup to your main weapon, or you are learning it for civilian personal defence the shield may not be worth it. After all, a rifle or a shotgun are both much more effective weapons than pistols, but pistols still seem to be on sale!

You'd still do SOMETHING with your other hand though!
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Postby Malakor » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:28 pm

That would be Sword and Pimp Slap Style :lol:
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Postby soltakss » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:11 pm

Mongoose Pete wrote:As always you need to use common sense. :wink:
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Postby Leofwyn » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:40 am

I am probably going to be called a few choice names for this but I have a question on the weapon styles.

Cultural weapon civilised - sword and shield.
Now my profession Noble - 1h sword???

Ok, how does it work now??

Two seperate skills 1 sword and 1 for shield?
Bonus to both?

I understand that this is not nailed down to make it more open for different game worlds (I for one know nothing of Glorantha) but that doesn't mean suggestions for how to run styles, create styles, etc. as a default with a generous sprinkling of YMMV would make the whole thing seem less - nebulous. Is the arms and equipment guide going to give any advise?
Last edited by Leofwyn on Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Loz » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:59 am

Consider them separate styles, in this case.

As a warrior a civilised noble would train with sword and shield. But as a noble, he might also learn fencing, hence the 1H style. Duelling techniques are markedly different to war techniques, so both are valid styles and applications - but are certainly distinct styles.
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Postby Denalor » Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:24 am

This discussion about styles is all very interesting, but am I right in observing that the equipment lists state that each weapon has a category (1H Sword, 1H Axe, 1H Hammer, 2H versions of these, Polearm, Bows...)... but that the tables actually misses this information ? Or is it somewhere else ?
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Postby Leofwyn » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:39 am

Loz wrote:Consider them separate styles, in this case.

As a warrior a civilised noble would train with sword and shield. But as a noble, he might also learn fencing, hence the 1H style. Duelling techniques are markedly different to war techniques, so both are valid styles and applications - but are certainly distinct styles.
Granted and understood that they are two seperate "styles" of combat. But - under the r.a.w. - if you have sword and shield style and go into combat w/o the shield you still know how to fight with just a sword. You just loose the extra action and use of shield against ranged attacks - your skill in sword still remains the same. A very reasonable outcome. But if trained in both styles . . . the noble from above, suddenly you are handicapped if you haven't been throwing advances into both syles?

Take another step. I have my character with sword and shield. I decide at some point to deversify a bit and want to add an axe into the mix. Do I loose my parry ability with the shield just because I am fighting with axe and shield rather than sword and shield? During advances how does it advance? style 1h axe or axe and shield and if axe and shield - where does all that knowledge of shield use go that was learned with sword and shield?
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Postby Antalon » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:16 pm

Denalor wrote:This discussion about styles is all very interesting, but am I right in observing that the equipment lists state that each weapon has a category (1H Sword, 1H Axe, 1H Hammer, 2H versions of these, Polearm, Bows...)... but that the tables actually misses this information ? Or is it somewhere else ?
I have the same question - hence my original confusion: the char gen refers to 1H-Sword etc. I accept that this is my game and I can change it how I want....but, what do these terms used in char gen actually mean in the context of the core rule book (regardless of what styles I may choose to develop).

Essentially - the categories of different weapons are missing that lists each weapon against those combat style labels used in the char gen chapter.

To have an 'official' view on these would be immensly helpful, even if I want to change combat styles entirely I would at least have a common reference point.

Thanks

Antalon.
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Postby Jarec » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:20 pm

I for one still feel that a weapon and shield style should not allow you to fight with just the weapon at the same level of skill. Both myself and two of my gaming friends are all re-enacters and we all agree that fighting with a weapon and shield is distinct in that you assume you have a shield. Suddenly dropping the shield would not cause you to use the sword to parry with equal efficiency, so in this case you should at the very least get a modifier when parrying. In the same way just because you have 1H weapon skill doesn't mean you can fight equaly well with two weapons.

In our games we will be allowing the use of "near" styles but with a negative modifier. These are purely our choice but are based on our own personal first hand experiences.
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Postby Leofwyn » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:27 pm

I won't fight you on that except to say r.a.w. say you can. :)

They do not, however, give any guidance on how one hand styles interact with the weapon and shield styles. It seems it would be easier just to make a ruling on what is not written than to change what already is written into the rules. :wink:
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