Query on monsters blocking / dodging

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jay dickens
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Query on monsters blocking / dodging

Postby jay dickens » Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:02 pm

Hi,

I'm new to Rune Quest and working through the rules (really like the sample combats I've been running through) but I've got a question on monsters blocking / evade.

For monsters with formidable natural weapons I understand that they will be able to block with their claws etc (as if using a weapon), for other monsters without this do they evade/dodge in which case that's a dive out of the way and they can't then attack. Or are they assumed to just stand there mindlessly attacking and taking any damage being given out. I can understand this for a zombie where for example it would attack brainlessly but animals would try to dodge etc.
can anyone help us out on this? I was thinking of just giving all intelligent animals formidable natural weapons or evade/dodge without the pentalty on not being able to attack.
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Re: Query on monsters blocking / dodging

Postby Mongoose Pete » Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:48 pm

jay dickens wrote:For monsters with formidable natural weapons I understand that they will be able to block with their claws etc (as if using a weapon), for other monsters without this do they evade/dodge in which case that's a dive out of the way and they can't then attack. Or are they assumed to just stand there mindlessly attacking and taking any damage being given out.
Non-sapient monster combatants are basically modelled on real life animal fights. Most animals when faced with a fight either...

1) bull it out, due to it being a mating ritual (walrus buffeting or elephant tusk wrestling) or because the attacking animal has latched onto a part of the target's anatomy from where it cannot easily be counter-attacked (lion biting the neck of a zebra, or a crocodile biting a human leg and then dragging them into water for instance)

2) attack as a pack, effectively allowing single strikes/feints from multiple individual animals to soak up the target's Combat Actions, so that they cannot counter-attack (a pack of wolves for example)

3) run away

What animals don't normally do is parry attacks with intelligent techniques. They either hope their hides are thick enough to take the blow - which for most large beasts is perfectly reasonable, or they dodge away and keep out of engagement range until something changes in their favour, usually the exhaustion of the target.

Sadly, most animals are easy kills for armed humans. That's the advantage of sapience, weapons and armour.

So instead of seeing this as a possible flaw, think about using your dumb monster/animals in clever ways.

1) Coordinated pack attacks (to burn up CAs)
2) Charging attacks (to carry the beast out of engagement range so it can't be flanked or counter-attacked)
3) Ambushes (where beasts attack with surprise to inflict a significant first injury/combat manoeuvre)
4) Herd stampedes
5) Engages in long term hit and run attacks (to tire the target)
6) Waits until environment is in its favour (attacks at night, when in the water)
7) Uses missile attacks (monkeys pelting with hard fruits, urine sprays, droppings from flying creatures etc)

Always remember too, that monsters/animals aren't (in general) mindless psychopaths. They will flee or back off when injured or facing superior numbers.

Hope this helps!
Nice to get a reminder that these rules were written assuming a quite different sort of campaign from the munchkin "It's in the rules so you have to let me do it, look at me buffing my character I'm going to go kill now arrgrgrgrh" approach. -dbhoward
jay dickens
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Postby jay dickens » Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:36 am

Hi that's great thanks and gives some good ideas on different flavoured encounters with animals.

I was starting with the PC's hunting a rogue bear that has been killing the sheep in the PC's village and they are sent out to test their manhood / prove themselves, before being given more responsible tasks and sent on patrols / raids.
I'll throw in an encounter with wolves on the return to the village (if they are in good shape) or on one of their early patrols to give a contrast between one foe and many quicker foes - it will make them think (as from a AD&D background) - should not be deadly but a slow wearing down process that they will pass if keeping alert and acting together.

thanks

Jay
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Vagni
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Postby Vagni » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:28 am

Sending them on a boar hunt can also be a fun idea. Maybe the local lord has heard tales of an albino boar and wants it's hide for his longhall, so he sends the PC's to hunt it down before his rival in the next village. Trouble is, he's sent a party to hunt it down at the same time... :wink:

...one the way back one of the PC's falls in to an old tomb full of Rubble Runners or a pack of large spiders...
Last edited by Vagni on Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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ThatGuy
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Postby ThatGuy » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:32 am

I will also say this (I saw Deleraid give a good run down of this animal parry explination which I liked a lot and have since adopted to my GMing):

An animal parry doesn't have to be an actual weapon-like parry.

The animal's parry can be the wolf snapping viciously at the attacking weapon hand that throws the attack off course and causes it to miss. Or the bear swatting at the attacker's weapon, forcing the attacker to give ground and miss time their blow. The CM's are probably going to be limited- but a few can apply if you think about it- bash, trip, disarm. These are things that a real life animal encounter- and battle- can lead to. The disarm could be as simple as the bear attacking a sword it perceives to be a claw, or natural extension of the arm.

Just saying, there are other ways to look at a parry besides a parry. In the case of the bear, it could even be a roar. A really loud, stunning roar.
Let's say, just for argument's sake, you're right...
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Re: Query on monsters blocking / dodging

Postby JohnLokiBeard » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:53 am

Mongoose Pete wrote:

7) Uses missile attacks (monkeys pelting with hard fruits, urine sprays, droppings from flying creatures etc)
I've long thought that King Kong should have used the "crap in your hand and throw it" manouevre against the planes. :shock:
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Postby PhilHibbs » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:11 pm

ThatGuy wrote:The animal's parry can be the wolf snapping viciously at the attacking weapon hand that throws the attack off course and causes it to miss. Or the bear swatting at the attacker's weapon, forcing the attacker to give ground and miss time their blow...
Just saying, there are other ways to look at a parry besides a parry. In the case of the bear, it could even be a roar. A really loud, stunning roar.
So what would the Weapon Size be for those examples?
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ThatGuy
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Postby ThatGuy » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:58 pm

Whatever the weapon size (and skill) of the mouth or paw being used to parry. It's just a cinematic way of interpreting the parry vrs. a litteral one.
Let's say, just for argument's sake, you're right...
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Re: Query on monsters blocking / dodging

Postby troy812 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:21 pm

JohnLokiBeard wrote:
Mongoose Pete wrote:

7) Uses missile attacks (monkeys pelting with hard fruits, urine sprays, droppings from flying creatures etc)
I've long thought that King Kong should have used the "crap in your hand and throw it" manouevre against the planes. :shock:
Nice!
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Loz
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Postby Loz » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:36 pm

Brings new meaning to the term '**** hitting the fan'...
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