New GM Questions Cornucopia

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Tias
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New GM Questions Cornucopia

Postby Tias » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:47 pm

Hey all! So we finally got around to playing in my homebrew fantasy Legend setting again, and a host of questions popped up about the combat system. I will probably have a lot more, so thinking this could be sort of a rule question megathread.

Allright, here goes:

Can you, if you have an arrow ready, shoot at someone you're in melee with?

What happens if you attack someone who'se out of combat actions? Automatic failure on their defense roll? Automatic succes on the attack? Something else?

If you fail your First Aid attempt, can you do it again? The rules say you can't apply first aid again after it has been "administered", but it is not clear if this means successful test, unsuccessful test, or both.

If someone attacks you, and you've lost your weapon, can you parry with Unarmed Attack skill? Does this injure the parrying character? Is there some other way to protect yourself against a melee attack if you're unarmed? In other systems, this would be a 'dodge', but it's clearly stated in the Evade skill that it only works for charges, ranged attacks and similar situations.

When you use magic, is it apparent to others? Is there verbal, gesticulating or other components to casting magic that 'telegraphs' to others that this is what you're doing?
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Re: New GM Questions Cornucopia

Postby strega » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:03 am

You could if you were particularly foolish opt not to defend and shoot an arrow at your melee opponent they would treat you as not making a defence or a parry and get a Special Effect for each level of success they get. See the table. Same for someone out of combat actions.

First Aid would probably be a GM ruling if you could try again or not. I'd say not - you didn't understand how the wound was affecting the victim for example and another roll won't help you. without say an assist or a change of circumstance.
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Re: New GM Questions Cornucopia

Postby Tias » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:07 am

That's not a problem, you can just shoot the arrow, and then use your next combat action to parry, right?
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Re: New GM Questions Cornucopia

Postby RangerDan » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:26 am

Wow, lots of questions! Here goes:

Can you, if you have an arrow ready, shoot at someone you're in melee with? Yes. Note however that you can swing a sword a lot faster, and a bow is an inadequate defensive weapon.

What happens if you attack someone who'se out of combat actions? Automatic failure on their defense roll? Automatic succes on the attack? Something else? Automatic failure of the defense.

If you fail your First Aid attempt, can you do it again? The rules say you can't apply first aid again after it has been "administered", but it is not clear if this means successful test, unsuccessful test, or both. I usually rule no, but as the rules are written it seems like yes.

If someone attacks you, and you've lost your weapon, can you parry with Unarmed Attack skill? Yes.

Does this injure the parrying character? Depends. For a normal human Unarmed is size Small. So you could parry a size Small weapon. Larger weapons would injure the parrying character, most likely on the parrying limb.

Is there some other way to protect yourself against a melee attack if you're unarmed? In other systems, this would be a 'dodge', but it's clearly stated in the Evade skill that it only works for charges, ranged attacks and similar situations. Actually you can use Evade for this, but this is less advantageous because (A) it is an opposed roll, not a differential roll and (B) you cannot attack on your next CA.

When you use magic, is it apparent to others? Is there verbal, gesticulating or other components to casting magic that 'telegraphs' to others that this is what you're doing? This will be somewhat setting dependant but generally yes. Page 156 on Common Magic might be a good guideline.
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Re: New GM Questions Cornucopia

Postby Tias » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:44 am

Well, allright. My fight just had kobolds attempting to parry large and huge melee weapons with their flimsy kobold hands, and the result, as I judged it, wasn't pretty.

I will probably add in some noticeable verbal and gesticulating components, the character in question is a priest, and Divine magic should be at least a bit 'flashy' as he puts it.

Where in the rules are the bits about evading melee attacks?
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Re: New GM Questions Cornucopia

Postby Old timer » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:00 am

Page 49 in the PDF, the explanation of the evade skill, and page 127 of the PDF which explains combat actions.
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Re: New GM Questions Cornucopia

Postby RangerDan » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:03 am

Page 136 on Evading also makes it clear it's an option against "normal" melee attacks.
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Re: New GM Questions Cornucopia

Postby Prime_Evil » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:06 pm

For some reason this conversation makes me think of the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail :lol:
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Re: New GM Questions Cornucopia

Postby strega » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:03 pm

Tias wrote:That's not a problem, you can just shoot the arrow, and then use your next combat action to parry, right?
You may well be badly injured. You shoot, your opponent parries, on their turn your opponent hits you or you parry with your bow, a small weapon. If he has a large weapon your bow doesn't stop any damage, a medium weapon does half damage.

Choosing not to defend is not a sensible option with Legend combat. Running out of CA's spells doom for the unfortunate person doing so.
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Re: New GM Questions Cornucopia

Postby Farikkr » Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:13 am

странное какое-то общение получается..

Greg Smith Hi.
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Re: New GM Questions Cornucopia

Postby Tias » Thu Nov 28, 2013 7:21 am

strega wrote:
Tias wrote:That's not a problem, you can just shoot the arrow, and then use your next combat action to parry, right?
You may well be badly injured. You shoot, your opponent parries, on their turn your opponent hits you or you parry with your bow, a small weapon. If he has a large weapon your bow doesn't stop any damage, a medium weapon does half damage.

Choosing not to defend is not a sensible option with Legend combat. Running out of CA's spells doom for the unfortunate person doing so.
I guess I can see that, in our case it just revealed that kobolds need to invent tower shields :p
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Re: New GM Questions Cornucopia

Postby strega » Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:44 am

No, kobolds need to invent traps and use flame throwers against stupid humans :-)
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Re: New GM Questions Cornucopia

Postby Tias » Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:28 pm

Oh, I had traps aplenty! It's just hard to proper mess up a bunch of mean tempered humans I guess :3

Okay, so how long does a combat phase last? I'm a bit confused at how combat actions and spells intersect..
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Re: New GM Questions Cornucopia

Postby alex_greene » Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:38 pm

Tias wrote:Okay, so how long does a combat phase last? I'm a bit confused at how combat actions and spells intersect..
A combat round lasts about five seconds. In that combat round, every combatant has however many CAs depending on their characteristics, and they move in order depending on their Initiative and Strike Rank, modified by their Armour Points.

If there are a lot of combatants, that can be a lot of numbers to keep track of for what amounts to a whole lot of five-second rounds.

If you have a Divine Magic spell, it takes 1 CA to trigger the miracle (think of them as kind of like Skyrim Dragon Shouts) so if your character has 1 CA in a combat round, he can cast that miracle right away, and that'd be it for your ultra-slow character.

Characters whose average DEX+INT works out as between 7 - 12 get 2 CAs per combat round (per Legend Core Rulebook, p. 10).

In that combat round, a guy with 2 CAs could:-

- Cast two spells each requiring 1 CA to cast (e.g. Madness, followed by Demoralise, or Berserk and Fanaticism);

- Cast one spell that requires 2 CAs to cast (e.g. Fireblade Magnitude 3 or 4).

A Sorcery spell can be cast with no factors manipulated. It has a maximum Range of Touch, Magnitude 1, Duration of POW minutes and affects 1 target. If the character wants to manipulate one factor, e.g. Magnitude, changing one factor adds 1 Magic Point and increases the casting time to 2 CAs.

If your character has above-average INT and DEX and an average that grants the character 3 CAs, your character cab cast up to 3 spells, or one 1 CA spell and a 2 CA spell, or a single spell up to 3 CAs (for instance a Sorcery spell where the character manipulates both Range and Magnitude).

Otherwise, for instance if your guy has a spell that needs more CAs to cast than he has CAs in a single combat round, he's going to have to be casting it across more than one CA.

So, for instance, your guy's got 2 CAs per combat round. He's just spent 1 CA in one round to defend himself from a muscly brute who tried to punch his lights out; now he has free time to cast a spell. He's going to manipulate the Magnitude and Range because he wants to Palsy that piece of orc midden that just attacked him, but the scumbag's now 5 metres away and running. That requires 3 Magic Points and CAs - so he's going to be ending this combat round and spending the entirety of the next combat round casting. At the end of the second combat round, the Palsy is ready to be sent. It launches, hits the guy's head and down goes Conehead the Barbarian.
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Re: New GM Questions Cornucopia

Postby Tias » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:24 pm

Thanks for all your awesome help <3

We will continue with some creative and planning questions instead of rules wrangling!

As some of you may have read in the other thread, my game is a medium-fantasy setting that I've brewed myself, and the players are currently servants of the lord of their realm. Thus far, they have been sent to the town of Hearthtree, to help the mayor retrieve a magic mask that could aid the war effort. They arrive, have a massively good time in Hearthtree (also known as the Warm City, thriving on the arts and entertainment), but are beaten to retrieving the mask by another party, also hired by the mayor.

A bit miffed, the characters are placated with an open bar tab as long as they stay, and another offer to help the town militia hunt kobolds in the nearby woods. They clear out some nests, and return to party on and claim their reward. That evening, they are tasked with bringing the magical mask to Nordkeep, the realm capital. They get the mask the next morning, from an ill-seeming mayor, and set out to do their job and get paid. Half a day out they're ambushed, and this is the cliffhanger last session ended with.

What the characters don't know, but will soon find out, is that the mask contained a lesser Archon (god-servant/demon) of Kharé, the god of tyrants and unjust law. I say contained because it now resides inside the mayor, leaving the mask inert. As soon as they rode out, he started closing the gates, raising taxes, confiscating magical weapons and conspicously murdering dissenters.

Now, the things is, I need them properly aware that something is wrong. It'd be a bit tiresome to have to go all the way to the capital, and there to learn that Hearthtree has gone to the dogs and they must go back and investigate. Someone here suggested the ambush was by loyalists who feared that the characters were in the employ of their suddenly evil lord, but it's been too short a time period for him to go bad and them to flee town. My own plan was that the ambush is consisting of hired murderers in the pay of the mayor/demon, but how will I convey that properly?

Also, any suggestions for the Hearthtree campaign are welcome. The characters are starting Legend, so the possessed mayor is probably a bit out of their league. I've sorted out some options:
- The priest of the party praying for a miracle to use against the archon, maybe a one-shot Exorcism spell or summoning of an archon of his own diety.
- Priests and loyal subjects getting in touch with the characters, helping them steal back weapons that can harm the Archon.
- Getting in touch with criminals who will assist them in getting at the Archon for a share of the loot.

..But I'd like more. Also, the players thief in the party has voiced concerns that she doesn't get to use her skillset (influence, mechanisms, climbing etc.) often enough, so situations that let her get in the game are also welcome.

Once again thanks for your help, and thanks in advance!
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Re: New GM Questions Cornucopia

Postby soltakss » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:03 am

I'd have the ambushers as being paid by the mayor to kill the PCs before they reach the capital - tying up loose ends.

If things go well for the party, have one or two ambushers throw down their weapons to surrender, then get them to spill the beans after a little persuasion by the thief - that's a chance to use Insight etc. Or, have the party find some documents on the thugs leading them to their base and there find more information linking them to the mayor.

If things go badly for the party, let them be captured and the leader of the ambushers can gloat about how good things will be for them now that the mayor has seen sense, how they will be able to run wild and terrorise people, raising taxes and so on. Then, have the party manage to escape before being killed.

Once they know the mayor is a bad'un, then they can decide what to do about it.

Legend is a great system for using non-combat skills. Want to sneak over the walls to get into the village? Climbing. Want to pick a lock? Mechanisms, Want to interrogate a prisoner? Insight. Want to see how much a cache of gems is worth? Evaluate.

I find that non-combat skills are used as often, if not more often, than combat skills.
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Re: New GM Questions Cornucopia

Postby Tias » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:38 am

Good one on the interrogation - she has the habit of interrogating anyone they take alive already, so that should go well!

Yeah, I had climbing the walls and breaking into the mayor's fortress down as options, she does evaluate everything already.

Thanks!
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Re: New GM Questions Cornucopia

Postby Prime_Evil » Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:19 am

soltakss wrote:Legend is a great system for using non-combat skills. Want to sneak over the walls to get into the village? Climbing. Want to pick a lock? Mechanisms, Want to interrogate a prisoner? Insight. Want to see how much a cache of gems is worth? Evaluate.

I find that non-combat skills are used as often, if not more often, than combat skills.
And this is one of my favourite features of the system :)

One thing I'd add is that you should use Opposed rolls as often as possible. In this case, I'd give the evil spirit imprisoned in the mask a few skills that can be used to "help" the mayor hide his treachery for as long as possible. For example, you might give the spirit a Persistence score and let the mayor use it's willpower to resist attempts to free him from its influence rather that his own.

Incidentally, if you want some ideas you could do worse than to read the short story "The Three Faced One" by Charles Saunders contained in the Griots anthology. Set in a mythic version of Africa, this story features a mask containing an evil spirit similar to the one you describe. It's also a decent introduction to Imaro, the classic black Swords & Sorcery hero created in the 1970's by Saunders. Here's a link to the e-book if you're interested...

http://www.amazon.com/Griots-Sword-Anth ... B005V555TA
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Re: New GM Questions Cornucopia

Postby Tias » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:35 am

Cool, thanks a lot!

And yeah, I imagine the Archon-in-mayor will have a lot of unpleasant tricks to use, including spells and unnatural strength and toughness. They will appear as needed, I think.
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Re: New GM Questions Cornucopia

Postby Tias » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:10 pm

Another session well ended, in which our heroes pretended to be a married couple and their priest, hiding under a roe-cart under the pretext of engaging in a fertility god quest, and entering the now cursed city of Hearthtree!

The rules for both combat and skill use are coming easier, though we learned today that the rules for regaining spells as a Divine user are.. harsh, to say the least. My current fix is that the initiate gains +40% to his regain spell tests as long as he's in good standing with his god, or he and his pact score of 15% would never gain any action :/

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