[Houserule Discussion]Making 1h Styles Better?

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Re: [Houserule Discussion]Making 1h Styles Better?

Postby Redcrow » Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:36 am

Combat Styles in Legend are meant to reflect training in weapons specific to a culture or profession and are typically grouped accordingly.

If you are bothered by this I would suggest that for your game you might wish to narrow or even eliminate Combat Styles and just require training by individual weapon and perhaps even dependant upon handedness.

Wouldn't that alleviate your concerns in regards to a perceived imbalance?
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Re: [Houserule Discussion]Making 1h Styles Better?

Postby Darkholme » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:19 am

@Redcrow: Thats #3 on my list. its certainly a potential solution, yes.

Really the big thing that bothers me is that the 2wpn style includes the 1wpn style and more. the guy with sword and board is just as good at fighting without the shield as the guy who has focused on fighting without a shield; when you'd think the guy with the shield would be used to a different stance, posture, and set of moves, and wouldn't be nearly as good at fighting without something in his off hand to deflect attacks; whereas the 1 wpn guy has been training specifically to accomodate those restraints. he knows to turn his body sideways to minimize the target more, and he's better at doing it. He's used to fighting at a much sharper angle than the guy with something in both hands, and should be better at doing it for that reason. The guy used to having a shield is going to be off-his game, and at a disadvantage.

The shield guy probably wouldnt be as good of a swordsman, but he's got the shield as well, and the skill to block with the shield when its there.

Should Sword Only be as good as Sword + Shield? Likely not. No.
Should someone who trains to use Only a Sword be better at using Only a Sword than someone who Trains to use a Sword and Shield? Pretty sure yes.

That could be accomplished this way, with separate skills, though it might be too harsh and you might be too crappy with sword and shield together in game.
It could also be accomplished via the penalty when using only one item in a combat style. A Penalty the one-sword guy wouldn't have.

@Rust: I suppose you can take the approach of "tough ****, you learn what's available." I'm going to go with the assumption of 'lets say theyre already successful mercenaries, or belong to a mercenary guild where they can afford to pay for training and equipment for whatever fighting styles they might want.'

And regardless of what styles are available, if one style includes all the techniques of another style AND its own techniques, shouldnt that style take more effort to learn?

@Halforc: You make a decent argument for your first point. you are better off with a shield (or an off-hand weapon) thats very true; just like you're better off in boxing if you have two arms. That makes me not sure about the idea of making them separate skills. That may be too harsh on the sword+shield guys, and too easy on the 1 sword guys.

But your second point seems to be missing my argument and going back to "weapons used" instead of "weapons trained in use". Why would the guy who is used to having the shield be just as good at fighting without it as the guy who has trained to fight without it?

---
I think maybe this rules out the "give them an extra CA for evading."

So now I could use some help deciding between these two:
1. Price "Sword" Cheaper (double the points for the same cost) since its effectively half a combat style, so the people who train in it are better with swords than the guys who split their focus. Bonuses: Only tampers with how 1h styles work, and they'll be happy it makes things easier for them. Its easier to start with really high scores this way though.
2. Price them the same, but when your fighting style is partly missing (sword and shield guy fighting without a shied) you take a dice penalty.
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Re: [Houserule Discussion]Making 1h Styles Better?

Postby rust » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:51 am

Darkholme wrote:
Really the big thing that bothers me is that the 2wpn style includes the 1wpn style and more ...
In the case of weapon and shield it has to be that way, because a shield
very often was only a temporary thing which had to be discarded once it
had protected against the ranged attacks and a number of melee attacks.
There were many ranged weapons which, like the Roman pilum, were de-
signed to make a shield useless. Shields did also not take melee combat
well, some medieval duelling rules even mention the number of shields a
fighter is allowed to use during the duel. In other words, a fighter trained
in weapon plus shield who seriously expected that he would still have his
shield at the end of the fight would have been a very badly trained fighter.
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Re: [Houserule Discussion]Making 1h Styles Better?

Postby Loz » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:49 pm

If single weapon fighting styles should be compensated for by making them cheaper in terms of skill points, or improvement, or additional free CMs, how do you then handle styles that have three or four weapons? A barbarian combat style might include sword, spear, shield and sling - weapons common to that culture that every young man is taught to use. A gladiatorial style might include half a dozen. Should single weapon styles cost a quarter, improve at four times the rate, or have even more free CMs to create some kind of mechanical balance/advantage?

Combat Styles are not intended to be game balanced. They're intended to reflect different fighting styles, cultures and professions. Some cultures and professions may only train their students in one weapon. Others wil train them in several. The rules are designed to reflect this by allowing for a single skill group to cover multiple weapons if that's the way a particular culture or profession trains it - or only one weapon.

This isn't to prevent you from introducing balancing factors if you so wish. Its your game. Find what works best for you. But the Combat Styles are written and presented as they are for a reason, and those reasons have been articulated at length in this, and the other discussion.
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Re: [Houserule Discussion]Making 1h Styles Better?

Postby danskmacabre » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:57 pm

A quick question regarding this Loz. if you have a say a combat style of "hunter" which includes Bow, knife and 2H spear.
Would you use separate stat bonuses for the bow vs Spear?
so record them separately , but when increasing them with advancement points, increase them simultaneously?
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Re: [Houserule Discussion]Making 1h Styles Better?

Postby Dan True » Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:16 pm

Darkholme wrote:I guess what it comes down to for me, is that I see we have "250 points" and I figure 10 points should roughly equal 10 points. Sometimes a skill just doesn't come up. That happens. It cant be perfect, but you may as well try. So when it comes to "to train with a single weapon is the same difficulty/cost as to train in two weapons" it makes me think: Clearly that means nobody learns to fight that way. They're working just as hard for roughly half the payoff. They can learn how to use a shield. Learn how to use a sword. Learn how to do both together. All for the same amount of effort it takes to just learn how to use a sword. That makes me think: "Since I've been only focusing on the sword, I must have either learned some tricks he can't do, or I'm quite a bit better with a sword than he is." The game though (by default) doesn't do that. I just got less out of my hard work. He's just as good with a sword as I am, even though he also learned to do something else too.
Well, in reality there are plenty of circumstances where two groups of people train the same amount but don't achieve the same, simply from choosing a poor tool. Just because you spend the same amount as me training with a better weapon, doesn't mean we should have equal chances.
Darkholme wrote:I
I get that you don't see the current rules as being problematic, but having explained my position, and why I think they ARE problematic, can you give me a hand in mitigating the situation?

Which would approach would you suggest would work best? Do you have any other ideas that could help me resolve the situation (focusing on the rewards of training, and not the rewards of using one combination at a given time)?
Well, in that case I would probably go for either:

1) Penalising fighting without the second weapon.. All the rest is simply too cumbersome and rule-heavy.
2) Splitting combat styles into singular weapons... but I find this much more unrealistic - it is not twice as hard to learn sword + shield as simply sword. I find it harder actually...
3) Grouping them togehter as Loz and Pete suggested in their S&P article.. 4-6 weapons in each grouped style.

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Re: [Houserule Discussion]Making 1h Styles Better?

Postby duncan_disorderly » Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:45 am

Darkholme wrote:As Simulacrum pointed out, the question most of the people have been answering is not the question I asked. I'm not at all interested in the social context or reasons why it may not be suitable to USE your weapon, but why you would bother to TRAIN for a single weapon, when training for multiple weapons has the same cost and better benefits...
You can only train in what their are tutors available for. If the prevailing cultural bias is that "Gentlemen" do not use shields, then probably the only way to learn sword and shield is to get pressed into service in an armed band, which will seriously impact on (a) your social standing and (b) your time available to 'go adventuring'
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Re: [Houserule Discussion]Making 1h Styles Better?

Postby RangerDan » Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:27 pm

Darkholme wrote:1. Price "Sword" Cheaper (double the points for the same cost) since its effectively half a combat style, so the people who train in it are better with swords than the guys who split their focus. Bonuses: Only tampers with how 1h styles work, and they'll be happy it makes things easier for them. Its easier to start with really high scores this way though.
2. Price them the same, but when your fighting style is partly missing (sword and shield guy fighting without a shied) you take a dice penalty.
Just my 2c:

Option 1: It's certainly doable, but there are a number of "traps" you might have to work out before hand.
* Some weapon Combat Styles are difficult to classify. If I want to be an expert in the Long Sword, which can be used 1H or 2H, do I get the Combat Style at half cost or full cost?
* Depending on how your other Combat Style rules are, it might actually be better to take two individual instances of "Sword" and "Shield" Combat Styles at half cost each rather than "Sword and Shield" at full cost. In particular, if I have "Dagger" (for example) at a high skill due to low cost, can I dual-wield Daggers at that high %?

Option 2: This would be my preferred solution of the two. Just rule that using a two-weapon Combat Style without both weapons available incurs a penalty of 20% or 30%. Easy to implement and easy to explain the real-world logic behind it (as many have above).
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Re: [Houserule Discussion]Making 1h Styles Better?

Postby strega » Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:27 pm

I had given up on this thread but recently saw a post at rpg.net discussing an almost identical situation in WFRP. It was suggested that every PC in WFRP gets a dagger or shield to go with a single handed weapon as it wasn't sensible/optimal to do otherwise.

Now WFRP is more of a Renaissance/Age of Enlightenment period game than the era agnostic Legend so it probably matters less that you need to have a parrying device in your off-hand as the era makes it virtually a given.

No relatively simple RPG is going to avoid this issue without an excess of rules cluttering up the combat mechanisms.

It's going to be down to flavour whether setting or character flavour matters little except to minimax players.
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Re: [Houserule Discussion]Making 1h Styles Better?

Postby HalfOrc HalfBiscuit » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:36 am

Darkholme wrote:So now I could use some help deciding between these two:
1. Price "Sword" Cheaper (double the points for the same cost) since its effectively half a combat style, so the people who train in it are better with swords than the guys who split their focus. Bonuses: Only tampers with how 1h styles work, and they'll be happy it makes things easier for them. Its easier to start with really high scores this way though.
2. Price them the same, but when your fighting style is partly missing (sword and shield guy fighting without a shied) you take a dice penalty.
If you really want to do something, then I would say No.2 is the way to go. In effect you are defining weapon styles very narrowly, so they have to consist of exactly the weapons named in the style or there is a penalty. There's nothing inherently wrong with that - the point of weapon styles is that the GM is left free to define them as broadly or as narrowly as they see fit.
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Re: [Houserule Discussion]Making 1h Styles Better?

Postby superc0ntra » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:48 am

I think there is a reason that almost every culture where melee combat has been dominant with the notable exception of the samurai has been using shields in warfare.
Not only in Europe but Africa, North America, Asia and Oceania as well.

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