Solution to Choose Location

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Jujitsudave
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Solution to Choose Location

Postby Jujitsudave » Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:29 pm

There has recently been a lot of discussion regarding problems with Choose Location.
One school of thought is that it is too powerful. Characters repeatedly strike only the weakest single spot on an opponent and never bother to use any other CMs. Even the 10% penalty doesn't stop it.
The other is that if you make the Choose Location CM crit only, then you are taking yet another option away from players that they can't use on a regular basis.

I feel that both make valid points and I have a solution.
Choose location is a rather powerful and overused CM. To reflect this, I believe it should be more generalized. Using this CM now gives the players the option to roll 1d10, 1d10+5 or 1d10+10 for their area rolls to strike Low, Medium or High, respectively. A CM Pinpoint Location would enable the attacker to strike directly on an area on a critical only.
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Postby Mixster » Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:34 pm

I still rarely use choose location. I'm a shapechanger sorcerer, my damage modifier is usually high enough to wreak whatever I hit, so I don't care much for choose locations when I could instead just wrack a random location and trip or disarm my opponent so he can't strike back.

Consider making it opposed like trip or disarm, so your opponent opposes your choose location manoeuvre with evade?
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Postby taxboy » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:45 pm

Our most recent session we changed choose location to crtic only - caused a lot of pauses as the players trying to decide what else to choose - but started using others...

I would like to see a much expanded CM table??
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Postby Vortigern » Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:19 pm

I think the problem with 'Choose Location' isn't so much that it is always the 'best' option, but rather that it is a quick and easy choice that is usually 'good'. And therefore it gets over-used. I don't think it is overpowered at all when compared to say Bleed, Impale, or Stun Location.

The real problem is just getting people more familiar with their various options and to pick and choose from them and be more tactical etc. JMHO obviously. :wink:

I'm considering putting a MRQII game together myself and one of the ideas I have had already is to make handouts for the players that have the CMs ( and a few other quick-reference items ) listed on them. Hoping that it will make CM selection faster/easier. And keep them away from selecting the same ones over and over.
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Postby Mixster » Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:37 pm

Vortigern wrote:I think the problem with 'Choose Location' isn't so much that it is always the 'best' option, but rather that it is a quick and easy choice that is usually 'good'. And therefore it gets over-used. I don't think it is overpowered at all when compared to say Bleed, Impale, or Stun Location.

The real problem is just getting people more familiar with their various options and to pick and choose from them and be more tactical etc. JMHO obviously. :wink:

I'm considering putting a MRQII game together myself and one of the ideas I have had already is to make handouts for the players that have the CMs ( and a few other quick-reference items ) listed on them. Hoping that it will make CM selection faster/easier. And keep them away from selecting the same ones over and over.
I agree on both points, our DM have given us hand-outs with the CMs making it much faster to choose one, I stopped using mine after the second session, but it was a decent tool for learning the CMs anyway.

Also, Choose location always "seems" good. If you can hit somebody in the head it might a wonderful thing to do. Even if it might not be systematically better. Especially if enemies are wearing the same armour everywhere and using that standardised HP system.

It all depends on what you want from your CMs though. If you want to take your opponent down fast, Impale, Stun Location and Choose Location are all good options. If you want to put your opponent out of combat for a few rounds, Trip, Blind, Pin and Disarm are all useful. If you want to win by dragging out the combat, Sunder and Bleed are useful manoeuvres.

Personally, I much prefer Disarming my opponent, and then winning by not necessarily having to kill all of them. If they decide to keep fighting, they will have to spend a few CAs to get back their weapon. These CAs I can use to both change to an appropriate range and hack on them with my weapon. Making their lives miserable. Same thing with Tripping, fighting tripped is pretty bad (-20% to yourself and +20% to your enemy is a good deal of a de-buff).
Off course if the roll I make is not one that is good for an opposed test, (IE I roll low, but not a crit), I prefer Choose Location or Impale over things that rely on my attack roll. Since it would be easily resisted. If my combat skill is wickedly high (as in over 100%) I prefer choosing manoeuvres that requires them to resist so I can make their attempts worse.

All in all, I have never seen a system as good as Runequest II/Legend were all options in a combat have their niche. Sure it exists in other systems to a degree, but I never feel like I'm out of options when fighting in this system, and that to me is what makes it pretty awesome.
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Postby DamonJynx » Sun Jul 10, 2011 5:39 am

My players are a bloodthirsty lot and like to end fights by killing their enemies. Doesn't help when three of six are Deathbringer Cultists! I just let them do whatever now, it's funny how they don't like it when their enemies use similar tactics...
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Postby DamonJynx » Sun Jul 10, 2011 5:42 am

Vortigern wrote: I'm considering putting a MRQII game together myself and one of the ideas I have had already is to make handouts for the players that have the CMs ( and a few other quick-reference items ) listed on them. Hoping that it will make CM selection faster/easier. And keep them away from selecting the same ones over and over.
There is one already available for download, try the wiki. I have a copy and the CM's are colour coded. You still need to refer to the book at first as the actual text is abbreviated a bit and some salient points are missing.
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Postby RosenMcStern » Sun Jul 10, 2011 5:57 am

Again, there is no "Choose Location" problem that needs a solution. The manoeuvers that are too powerful have been singled out during playtest and nerfed (the playtest rules had no crit-only manoeuvers).

We were absolutely aware that Choose Location was the most frequently used manoeuver, and it was ok for all playtesters. It is just realistic: when you land a good blow, you usually choose where.
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Postby taxboy » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:37 am

RosenMcStern wrote:Again, there is no "Choose Location" problem that needs a solution. The manoeuvers that are too powerful have been singled out during playtest and nerfed (the playtest rules had no crit-only manoeuvers).

We were absolutely aware that Choose Location was the most frequently used manoeuver, and it was ok for all playtesters. It is just realistic: when you land a good blow, you usually choose where.
I beg to differ - if some or any players find it a problem then it IS a problem...playtesting smooths rules , it is not an absolute solution to any further problems...or a refutation that in this case, Choose Location is not a problem...

and i still struggle with the location is chosen because of a good hit, when i have fought I have aimed for face or groin or leg , not swung wildly , connected then decided where it would hit...

..the suggestion above about able to aim for general areas actually makes sense...
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Postby RosenMcStern » Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:28 am

taxboy wrote:I beg to differ - if some or any players find it a problem then it IS a problem...playtesting smooths rules , it is not an absolute solution to any further problems...or a refutation that in this case, Choose Location is not a problem...
Oh. Then D&D has the Big Problem of Armour Class, since I, as a player, really really dislike it. And there is a poll on RPG.net that says that many more do not like it.

Seriously, the fact that one - or more - posters said that they find it overpowered does not make it "a problem". It just means that it does not suit the taste of the OP, and he should change it in his game, which is absolutely good and desirable. Something is "a problem" when the majority of the players actually houserule it away, which is what happened with armour skill penalty and physical runes in the previous edition. Which in turn led to these rules being eliminated in the current edition.
and i still struggle with the location is chosen because of a good hit, when i have fought I have aimed for face or groin or leg , not swung wildly , connected then decided where it would hit...

..the suggestion above about able to aim for general areas actually makes sense...
I cannot follow your reasoning. You say that your fighting experience points out that you actually pick your location as accurately as going for the groin (not even the abdomen, the crotch itself), then you say that one should not be allowed to call his shot in the game?
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Postby DamonJynx » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:05 pm

The whole issue with threads like these, my previous whinging about my PC's choosing the head all the time in another post included, is that we forget we are trying to simulate real world activities by rolling some die. I have played D&D 2nd Ed, 3.x and 4E, also WHFRP and Savage Worlds, all of these games have their good points and bad. These rules are by far the best IMO for fantasy roleplaying, particularly if you enjoy a gritty Swords and Sorcery feel (I haven't really delved into the high fantasy core magic systems so no comment on them at this time).

I've come to realise that the CM's are there to enhance the fun and provide tactical options for GM's and players that would otherwise be missing. It makes perfect sense in the game I run for the players to choose the weakest locations as the main melee combatants are all Deathbringer Cultists.

As for the comments about making a random swing and then deciding where you hit... I think you're looking at the mechanics a little skewed. The attack/parry roll does not simulate a random swing or halfhearted parry, rather it determines how well you hit or parry. If your success is better than your opponents you receive a tactical benefit and can choose to do a number of things including aiming your blow, or if you're good enough, bypassing your opponents armour or hitting with such force that you maximise your damage, or disarm or over extend your opponent... you get the idea. For the players and GM the die roll and then choosing a CM if appropriate are 2 separate things - for your characters on the field of battle it is all one smooth action and what they were intending from the start. Remember this is role-playing not roll-playing!
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Postby Jujitsudave » Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:57 pm

I just found it overused and a tad more powerful than the rest of the CMs with the exception of Impale. That is why I wanted not to simply eliminate it, but to tone it down in a reasonable way.
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Postby Mixster » Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:58 pm

DamonJynx wrote:I've come to realise that the CM's are there to enhance the fun and provide tactical options for GM's and players that would otherwise be missing. It makes perfect sense in the game I run for the players to choose the weakest locations as the main melee combatants are all Deathbringer Cultists.
My nice and gentle shapechanging sorcerer who killed 2 enemies since they wouldn't stop attacking him last session seems like a pussy compared to your players.

All in all, I rarely use choose location, since I get much more from tripping and disarming my enemies. If I manage to not kill them I can pressure them for information afterwards or just send them on their way. This is also realistic to me, somebody who just wanted to kill anyone that opposed him would hit them in their head and not care for what wounds they sustained. Someone who wanted to spare his opponents would trip or disarm them without killing them, to make them see he was a better fighter than them.
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Postby Aneirin » Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:21 pm

I've been playing a game of dus vult, and just noticed the balll and chain (the special one that can be loaded with nasty gasses) If you use CM entangle and get the head chest or stomach, that is minues 20%, you can then make a trip attempt, leaving them at another 20%, and they can't attack next round if they want to get up, and you can load the ball and chain with a gas that gives them ANOTHER 20% penalty.

So I am really wanting to use the entangle combat manouvre, it looks deadly, reducing someones actions to minues 60% (and if you entangle legs or arms, you can stop them attacking anyway) And if they are on the ground, you get a plus 20% to hit them (so nice to have a dirk in your off hand for parrying and stabbing, hell, you can impale them for another minues 10%. In one round you could reduce someones actions by 70%, no matter what you are, that is going to really screw you over.

Depending on how you handle getting up in combat, they probably wont be able to stand up due to evade being so reduced. only the strongest most deadliest of bad guys will be able to do anything once entangled and tripped...and you can have your friends finish him off as he will still be screwed over.
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Postby Mixster » Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:58 pm

Aneirin wrote:I've been playing a game of dus vult, and just noticed the balll and chain (the special one that can be loaded with nasty gasses) If you use CM entangle and get the head chest or stomach, that is minues 20%, you can then make a trip attempt, leaving them at another 20%, and they can't attack next round if they want to get up, and you can load the ball and chain with a gas that gives them ANOTHER 20% penalty.

So I am really wanting to use the entangle combat manouvre, it looks deadly, reducing someones actions to minues 60% (and if you entangle legs or arms, you can stop them attacking anyway) And if they are on the ground, you get a plus 20% to hit them (so nice to have a dirk in your off hand for parrying and stabbing, hell, you can impale them for another minues 10%. In one round you could reduce someones actions by 70%, no matter what you are, that is going to really screw you over.

Depending on how you handle getting up in combat, they probably wont be able to stand up due to evade being so reduced. only the strongest most deadliest of bad guys will be able to do anything once entangled and tripped...and you can have your friends finish him off as he will still be screwed over.
Smart! I thought of doing this with a halberd, since the superior reach would put me and the opponent on the mercy of opposed evade. As he gets -20% All I would have to do to be fairly more effective was to constantly entangle, trip and constantly keep my distance with my Halberd. I'd be out of harms way while he'd be suffering quite a hefty deal of damage from a possible impale from my halberd. Imagine lying down, entagled and impaled by a halberd. That's -90% to tests if I'm not mistaken. With the possibility of suffering halberd damage without armour if you were going to try anything, I think that will deter even the most hardy criminal from fighting you.
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Postby sdavies2720 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 5:07 pm

Hmm. My guys are also bloodthirsty, so choose location is one of the popular CMs. But it's not much good if the opponent succeeded with the parry (no damage gets through), and if the opponent is unwounded it's often better to hit a random location and get a different CM.

So it's pretty much working for us.

Steve
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Postby DamonJynx » Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:35 pm

Mixster wrote:My nice and gentle shapechanging sorcerer who killed 2 enemies since they wouldn't stop attacking him last session seems like a pussy compared to your players.
I wouldn't go that far. They just have different motivations. Most of the time, if they want information from someone they torture them first, then kill them! The actual fights are generally conclusions to events.
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Postby DamonJynx » Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:39 pm

sdavies2720 wrote:Hmm. My guys are also bloodthirsty, so choose location is one of the popular CMs. But it's not much good if the opponent succeeded with the parry (no damage gets through), and if the opponent is unwounded it's often better to hit a random location and get a different CM.

So it's pretty much working for us.

Steve
True, but rare in my experience. Most of our CM's are generated from a success/fail or critical/fail rather than a critical/success which is what you describe above. Indeed in that circumstance, bypass parry or trip would be much better as all the rest are fairly useless.
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Postby taxboy » Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:55 pm

RosenMcStern wrote:
taxboy wrote:I beg to differ - if some or any players find it a problem then it IS a problem...playtesting smooths rules , it is not an absolute solution to any further problems...or a refutation that in this case, Choose Location is not a problem...
Oh. Then D&D has the Big Problem of Armour Class, since I, as a player, really really dislike it. And there is a poll on RPG.net that says that many more do not like it.

Seriously, the fact that one - or more - posters said that they find it overpowered does not make it "a problem". It just means that it does not suit the taste of the OP, and he should change it in his game, which is absolutely good and desirable. Something is "a problem" when the majority of the players actually houserule it away, which is what happened with armour skill penalty and physical runes in the previous edition. Which in turn led to these rules being eliminated in the current edition.
and i still struggle with the location is chosen because of a good hit, when i have fought I have aimed for face or groin or leg , not swung wildly , connected then decided where it would hit...

..the suggestion above about able to aim for general areas actually makes sense...
I cannot follow your reasoning. You say that your fighting experience points out that you actually pick your location as accurately as going for the groin (not even the abdomen, the crotch itself), then you say that one should not be allowed to call his shot in the game?
No, you can choose location, but before i hit - i.e. aim for a groin - i found most people protect it well - but it was it affected how hard it was to hit not choose location afterwards!
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Postby RosenMcStern » Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:31 am

taxboy wrote:No, you can choose location, but before i hit - i.e. aim for a groin - i found most people protect it well - but it was it affected how hard it was to hit not choose location afterwards!
I see. There is a point that is not clear to you, here.

Leaving all tactical decision except what skill to roll to _after_ you have rolled is a design technique. It is known as "fortune in the middle" among rpg theoreticians. It means that you describe the result of your action as a function of how well you roll (possibly using Hero Points to re-roll), instead of modifying the success chances according to the tactics you choose.

Believe it or not, this design technique is more realistic and greatly speeds up combat. If the alternative (calling a shot affects your chances to hit) sounds more sensible to you, it is just because most other games use it.

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