Number of Combat Maneuvers

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Redstone
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Number of Combat Maneuvers

Postby Redstone » Thu Apr 01, 2010 4:51 pm

I have a question about the philosophy behind combat maneuvers. If I achieve a success on an attack roll, and the defender fails on his parry, why wouldnt you have that be just a damage roll, and only 'earn' a maneuver if you beat the defender by two levels? As written, you either miss, or you always get atleast one combat maneuver. RQ combat is pretty deadly already, and this makes it more so.
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Postby Cowboy » Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:20 pm

You also hit (earning no CM's) if you and the defender both succeed (although if your weapon isn't bigger than your opponent's you inflict no damage).
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Re: Number of Combat Maneuvers

Postby Loz » Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:11 pm

Redstone wrote:I have a question about the philosophy behind combat maneuvers. If I achieve a success on an attack roll, and the defender fails on his parry, why wouldnt you have that be just a damage roll, and only 'earn' a maneuver if you beat the defender by two levels? As written, you either miss, or you always get atleast one combat maneuver. RQ combat is pretty deadly already, and this makes it more so.
Its based around level of success and the advantage this affords the victor of the exchange. If I fail to parry and you succeed in your attack, I've most likely left myself open and vulnerable to your advantage. This is how real-life combat works (and RQII's combat was designed by an expert in close combat with real weapons). This reflection of real combat has always been a feature of RQ combat and what distinguishes it from other roleplaying games.
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Re: Number of Combat Maneuvers

Postby Mongoose Pete » Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:17 pm

Redstone wrote:I have a question about the philosophy behind combat maneuvers. If I achieve a success on an attack roll, and the defender fails on his parry, why wouldnt you have that be just a damage roll, and only 'earn' a maneuver if you beat the defender by two levels? As written, you either miss, or you always get atleast one combat maneuver. RQ combat is pretty deadly already, and this makes it more so.
The design philosophy behind the high incidence of combat manoeuvres? There are a number of reasons.

Firstly, the statistical probability of only receiving a CM when you gain two or more levels difference, is dramatically smaller. It reduces to between 2.5% - 6%, which is a huge step. Too infrequent to be useful.

Secondly the objective was for fights to be intense, exciting and perhaps most important, short. Years of playing RQ, especially at high skill levels, had shown the tedium of fights which lasted dozens of rounds, before a conclusion. Not only is that somewhat unrealistic (Hollywood epics aside), but it eats up a lot of (precious) game time.

Thirdly I was trying to model real/historical fights between professionals. A warrior should render his foe harmless as quickly and efficiently as possible, by using ostensibly simple attacks or parries as the lead into performing incapacitating manoeuvres. Combats with experienced fighters are a constant series of attempted disarms, trips, changing engagement distance, pinning and so on.

Fourthly some CM's, such as trip or disarm, should be able to be applied without necessarily having to damage the opponent in the process.

Deadliness in RQ2 is dependent on how you GM. In real life an opponent who is incapacitated (whether by tactical situation or injury) will normally flee, surrender or offer a bargain to prevent the next step. Most victors normally accept this and don't butcher a helpless opponent, unless driven by very strong cultural or personal feelings. Defeated foes usually have greater value as negotiation leverage, sources of information, proof of innocence, scapegoats, or sources of ransom, slaves or sacrifices. Psychological effects aside, unnecessary killing tends to end up with social censure or trouble with the law.

Something I am constantly stressing, is that winning a fight in RQ2 does not equate to having to butcher or be butchered by the enemy. These new combat rules allow defeat without death; and a quick, brutal, realistic, and dare I hope fun, defeat at that. :wink:

(Edit - Oh, thanks Loz. You picked me at the post again! :) )
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Postby Jarec » Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:50 am

The frequency of CM's and their often visual impact is one of the joys of RQII combat. My players find that they remember combats graphically rather than as a series of dice rolls which makes the game much more of a story telling event.

For instance in our last session one of the party got knocked down the side of a ruined pyramid by one of the Gorillas they were fighting. Eventually stopping rolling almost 30m from the combat, bruised and with a broken leg.

That description is all as it came out of the combat results. I couldn't tell you what the rolls were now but we'll all remember that fight for years to come. Why I love RQ and combat wise this is the best one so far.
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Re: Number of Combat Maneuvers

Postby Philotomy » Tue May 31, 2011 9:34 am

Mongoose Pete wrote:Fourthly some CM's, such as trip or disarm, should be able to be applied without necessarily having to damage the opponent in the process.
Aha! I was wondering about this. From that "without necessarily having to," I take it that the character performing the CM can select whether or not to inflict damage, along with the trip or disarm or whatever?
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Re: Number of Combat Maneuvers

Postby Dan True » Tue May 31, 2011 10:05 am

Philotomy wrote:
Mongoose Pete wrote:Fourthly some CM's, such as trip or disarm, should be able to be applied without necessarily having to damage the opponent in the process.
Aha! I was wondering about this. From that "without necessarily having to," I take it that the character performing the CM can select whether or not to inflict damage, along with the trip or disarm or whatever?
Well, you could rule it so and I believe there is a rule somewhere allowing you to fight without dealing damage, at a penalty.

But, even though you deal damage with that hit (perhaps even breaking a leg or likewise) it still most of the time, won't kill. He will then trip, and have a bruised bodypart => more incentive to surrender.

The real one-killer moves are the ones where you take CMs to kill the opponent: impale for instace.. or when critting bypass armour and maximise damage... those two neatly end most fights.
But the thing is that you can choose your objective.. if you get a crit and he fails, you get the possibility to mangle him badly (by the above two CMs)... but perhaps you wish only to trip him and disarm him. By choosing those two CMs you won''t do anymore damage than with a normal hit.

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Re: Number of Combat Maneuvers

Postby RosenMcStern » Tue May 31, 2011 10:18 am

Mongoose Pete wrote:Something I am constantly stressing, is that winning a fight in RQ2 does not equate to having to butcher or be butchered by the enemy. These new combat rules allow defeat without death; and a quick, brutal, realistic, and dare I hope fun, defeat at that. :wink:
The fact that combat is aimed at killing, and that the rules encourage this (especially in systems where you can continue fighting at full ability when you are just one HP away from death, like OD&D) is, IMHO, one of the defects of most old school games, including the very early editions of RuneQuest. It can even spoil the general attitude of players, who often cannot think of any other means of defeating an enemy except slaughtering him, when a public humiliation could be more useful in some cases.

RQ II fixes this, but not by means of making you invincible/unkillable. It just gives you the correct options.

OTOH, when you are fighting broos, you will surely fight until they - or you - are dead...
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Postby Simulacrum » Tue May 31, 2011 10:43 am

The first time I ran with the new system my players found themselves with one (human) enemy bleeding out, two more wounded and surrendering, and the other two running for it. Their response was to finish the job, take the heads and hang them somewhere highly visible as a warning to others. I was...surprised, I guess. And it left me with more implications to think about than had the enemy just been killed in the fight. They were after all just henchmen of a leader who was unlikely to let the killing/execution go unavenged.

Decisive combat that leaves you with living defeated opponents can be messy. Do we want prisoners? Are they worth anything alive? If we let them go will we have to fight them again, and their friends? What do we do with them while we get on with the scenario?
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Postby Deleriad » Tue May 31, 2011 10:46 am

Simulacrum wrote:Decisive combat that leaves you with living defeated opponents can be messy. Do we want prisoners? Are they worth anything alive? If we let them go will we have to fight them again, and their friends? What do we do with them while we get on with the scenario?
Actually I think that is very important. In most combats I notice that the majority of defeated NPCs have either run away, surrendered or been KO'd by a serious wound. This means that the PCs have to do something. If that something is to butcher everyone still alive who can't defend themselves, that has consequences.

Of course it's perfectly possible to gloss over this. I'm sure many people just want to enjoy the thrill of combat rather than ethical dilemmas but at least the system gives you a chance to explore this.
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Postby Morgan d'Barganfore » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:08 am

This is a constant ethical dilemma in Deus Vult.
Ok, occult horrors or witches get put down permanently.
But it's the henchmen or helpers or, most difficult of all, bystanders that cause issues of judgement.
One session we had a good 10 mins of heated (in character) between 2 PCs as to whether to top an Inquisitor (important NPC), release him or (try and) recruit him.
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Postby Morgan d'Barganfore » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:09 am

OOPs left out "...heated in character confrontation..."
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Postby HalfOrc HalfBiscuit » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:16 am

Morgan d'Barganfore wrote:This is a constant ethical dilemma in Deus Vult.
Ok, occult horrors or witches get put down permanently.
But it's the henchmen or helpers or, most difficult of all, bystanders that cause issues of judgement.
One session we had a good 10 mins of heated (in character) between 2 PCs as to whether to top an Inquisitor (important NPC), release him or (try and) recruit him.
What was the decision?
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Postby Morgan d'Barganfore » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:39 pm

Recruit him. One of the party acted as his sonpsor and assumed resposibility.
Later on the Inquisitor died peacefully in his sleep. In game there was no evidence to suspect foul play. (But one player with high alchemy skill did have a big smirk.)
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Postby Morgan d'Barganfore » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:40 pm

typo: should have read "..sponsor.."
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Postby sdavies2720 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:01 pm

Morgan d'Barganfore wrote:typo: should have read "..sponsor.."
You know you can go back and edit your own posts, right?

Not a big deal, but it keeps things cleaner. I often have to go back a couple of times to fix typos and just poorly-worded posts.

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Postby Morgan d'Barganfore » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:07 pm

Hi Steve,
Actually, no I didn't know that. This is the only forum I've ever used, and that only for a couple of months. How would I edit my post, please?
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Postby PhilHibbs » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:12 pm

Click on the Image button in the top-right corner of your post.
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Postby Morgan d'Barganfore » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:14 pm

Doh!
Ok, thanks guys!

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