3 Things I dislike about my favorite game

Arkobla Conn

Mongoose
Mind you - I love this RPG - and so do my players...but here are three things I dislike

1. Combat Styles - Why are they so devilishly difficult to get? My players are only now starting to qualify for them...and believe me, they don't need em! These things are COOL...lets figure out a way to make them available earlier.

2. Sorcery - Yes, it HAS the feel I want, but it's so difficult to make a low level scholar have any value besides blowing himself up - that you have to fabricate situations where they are useful. My campaign now has no scholars.

3. Armor Piercing - OK, this is going to be contested...even with myself. I love this aspect and hate it. It just seems that I have a mental roadblock in this adn it slows down combat terribly. How can we USE this and not slow down combat??

Your thoughts?
 
1. Working on new ones for the game.
2. I think that is a positive aspect of the game. Then again, I discourage PC scholars except via multi-classing - otherwise the game might remind me of Steve Perry pastiche. I have also found that skills play a vital role in my games, and since a scholar has a lot of skills, I think that could transfer to the character playing a vital role. Failing that, give the guy a weapon. His BAB isn't that far behind the character classes.
3. Not sure what to do about that.
 
If you and your players are enjoying the game, why not examine the aspects you like and concentrate on them? There have been some aspects of the rules that I don't feel entirely comfortable with but surely it comes down to the way you enjoy playing. If you don't like something - ditch it or change it if it's hampering the enjoyment of the group.
I guess it's a matter of game philosophy, I take the rules as a set of tools to create the world I and my players want, if I don't need something I don't use it. I'm not overly keen on "rule playing", eg if a character has been played well in an adventure, the feel's right and everyone's enjoying things I won't let the rules interfere.
 

slaughterj

Mongoose
AP is one of those mechanics that I find in games to be nice at representing certain reasonable aspects, but end up just being extra trouble to worry with when just trying to play a game - the problem is, if you strip it out, you may have to re-balance the weapons. Plus, it's basically the strong warrior's version of "finesse," so it may have other re-balancing considerations.
 

Cannon

Mongoose
I agree with Vincent its to difficult to play just Scholar, you have to multiclass. Over all the Conan setting is about Fighting not magic. I like playing characters that use magic, however, my attempt to play a scholar was disasterous. The rules for Scholar magic are not cut and dry like D&D magic and I decided to switch to a Barbarian because I was not having fun and continuing that Scholar would cause disagreements with the GM and the other players due to the vague rules on the magic.

Please note, that I am currently have fun with the Barbarian that I am playing, but sometimes it is boring just hacking a slashing.
 

sbarrie

Mongoose
Arkobla Conn said:
1. Combat Styles - Why are they so devilishly difficult to get? My players are only now starting to qualify for them...and believe me, they don't need em! These things are COOL...lets figure out a way to make them available earlier.

Do you mean Combat Maneuvers, or is this something different?

3. Armor Piercing - OK, this is going to be contested...even with myself. I love this aspect and hate it. It just seems that I have a mental roadblock in this adn it slows down combat terribly. How can we USE this and not slow down combat??

I love Armor Piercing as presented in Conan. It takes a complex issue and makes it gamable. Maybe it would help to write what the DR of pierced armor is next to an NPC's DR? I.e. DR 7(3) indicates 7 points of armor, but only 3 if it's pierced.
 

The King

Cosmic Mongoose
Anyway, low-level magic-users were never the toughest guys in AD&D or in D&D. Even at high level, they are very powerful but have almost no worth if let alone.
The SP system is nice indeed, but perhaps one could have given them more points at low level because it's not the magical energy that augments with the levels as much as the mastery of casting magic.
 

Arkobla Conn

Mongoose
I'm glad to here Combat manuevers are being reviewed for lower levels - yea!

My point on scholars is that they do provide ambiance and MOST RPG's have a desire for magic. But the low level stuff is plain and boring...necessary and makes sense if you are building a 10th level scholar, but boring if you are looking for options to start as a scholar OR augment your character.

Pertaining to AP...Its required!! and we use it because to do otherwise would unbalance things. But it seems a bit unweildy. Perhaps the suggestion will help, but it seems like we have to relearn this rule every week whearas most d20 rules make intuitive sense.



Thanks all, for the insight!
 

argo

Mongoose
Arkobla Conn said:
Mind you - I love this RPG - and so do my players...but here are three things I dislike

1. Combat Styles - Why are they so devilishly difficult to get? My players are only now starting to qualify for them...and believe me, they don't need em! These things are COOL...lets figure out a way to make them available earlier.
Actually the Combat Manuvers strike me as something that is meant to help high-level characters stand out from low level ones. A nice extra perk for heroic warriors in a game system where HP are capped at 10HD and massive damage is an ever present threat. Still it is easy enough to add new manuvers for low level characters.


2. Sorcery - Yes, it HAS the feel I want, but it's so difficult to make a low level scholar have any value besides blowing himself up - that you have to fabricate situations where they are useful. My campaign now has no scholars.
Achelmical/herbal items. For scholars (espically low level ones) it should be all about the strange potions and powders. I added a lot of additional alchemical and herbal items to my game (and I eased up on the crafting restrictions a bit) to make sure my PC scholar always has plenty of little tricks up his sleve. Sure his damage with a vial of acid or flame-powder pales in comparison to the Nordhimer Barbarian but at least he always has something to do. Also I am friendly to my scholars "stretching" the limits of what a spell can do for versatility, if they can make a convincing argument to me and it will be cool in-game then I am likely to let it happen (though maybe with some penalties). For example: the Burst Barrier spell is kinda limited in its use (breaking down doors) but IMC I allow the Str check of the spell to be used for anything that a sudden, forcefull Str check could reasonably be expected to do, the restriction being that to use it on a creature requires a melee touch attack. Most notably this mean my scholars can now use that spell to make Bull Rush attempts to knock back anyone who gets too close to them. In my last game my PC scholar used it to throw a camel at a couple of goons who were trying to rush him! :shock: I was pleased enough that I let the camel pin them for a round while he fled to the saftey of the party meatshields :lol:

3. Armor Piercing - OK, this is going to be contested...even with myself. I love this aspect and hate it. It just seems that I have a mental roadblock in this adn it slows down combat terribly. How can we USE this and not slow down combat??
The way I do it is that I basically handle all the calculations myself. I have my cheat sheets behind the DM's screen where I have all the PC's important numbers, such as DV and AP, I also have their DR and 1/2 their DR written down and the same for the NPC's. Remember AP is a static number so I only have to get it once at the start of the session. When a PC attacks an enemy while he is totalling his to-hit roll I glance at his AP and see if it penetrates or not, it is a comparison of two numbers no math required. If he hits then I subtract the appropriate DR from the damage and adjust the HP and give the player a short description of the blow. Same thing for NPC's attacking PC's, I do all the math in my head and tell the player how many HP he looses after DR is taken into account (though I don't keep track of player HP myself, they do that and tell me when they drop). This saves time because there is no quetion an answer session with each attack roll where the player and DM have to exchange three or four different numbers.

But then again I am prety good with numbers in my head so this works for me, maybe not for others.

The other thing I am experimenting with is that when I send a horde of mooks after my players I don't even bother tracking their individual HP. I work up their stat-block before the session to get a feel for how tough they are (HP, DV, DR, Fort save, etc) then when a player attacks a mook I listen to what his damage was (did he roll high damage or low) and make a judgement call: maybe he takes the mook down in one hit or maybe he rolled low damage so I decide the mook will go down on the next hit (if it takes more than three hits to kill it is by definition not a mook :wink: ). That saves time on the big combats where I am throwing fifteen or twenty guys at my party.

Hope that helps.
 

madwill

Mongoose
i've started changing the DR/AP system a bit. i subtract the AP of the weapon from the DR ( down to half of the starting DR value ). i don't add str bonus to the AP.
 

Mayhem

Mongoose
I've had no problem at all with AP.

I know the characters DR - or if I don't. I pick i up by the 2nd round of combat.

When they get hit I tell them to take X damage Minus their armour, or X damage minus 1/2 their armour, as appropriate.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I think armour piercing is great it adds a little to the combat system, but I often wondered Why even have AP? After all what is really AP?
AP is the ability of the weapon to go through armour whether, scale, skin, hide or mail, but whay can't that just be reflected into a higher Damage rating for the weapon. Instead of having a weapon that does 1d10 of damage and an AP rating of 5, why not just have a weapon that does 6-16 worth of Damage.

If its going to slice through Chainmail, it will surely slice through flesh and bone.

Essentially by having AP, you are giving an inherent benefit to people who dont wear armor.
For Example:
1. you got a mook with no armor who gets attacked by a weapon, the weapon will do damage to the body.
2. same mook, with chain mail on, gets attacked by same weapon w/ equivalent damage and an AP = to the chain mail, the mook still gets hit for the same amount of damage.

or in the real world:
3. same mook, without chain mail, gets attacked by weapon that does AP+ Damage Dice; this guy gets really wounded, as opposed to being attacked just damage dice alone.

Essentially what I am trying to point out is, in the current system: without armor you get the benefits of higher dodge bonuse, speed, etc..., with armour if you go against an opponent with a weapon w/ an AP you essentially are carrying dead weight.

If my reading of the rules is skewed please tell me, I am not able to actually play or run a campaign, however I bought these books since I am much of a fan as conan as anybody.
Thanks
8)
 

Mayhem

Mongoose
2 points:

1) Armour is never dead weight, since a blow that has enough AP only reduces the armour value by 1/2.

2) There is a world of difference between armour penetration and raw damage capacity. A weapon designed to punch through armour will often do less actual tissue damage than one designed to traumatise flesh.

A the spike of a warhammer will cause less physical harm than a broadsword to an unprotected body, unless it hits somethign critical - but that same spike will punch through armour that a sword slash will barely dent.

If Armour Peircing simply caused more damage when hitting an unprotected body, there would be very little point in different weapons existing - everyone would just carry the big one. But historically, this is clearly not the case - as armour became more effective, the weapons evolved. A knight might well use his sword when hacking his way through peasant levies, but he knew full well that when fighting an opponent as well armoured as himself he should sheath his sword and use a flanged mace or warhammer.
 

argo

Mongoose
Its all about the massive damage threshold. If you look at the range of weapon damages what you see is that, given a reasonable Str and PA, it is very easy to hit an average of 10-12 points of damage per blow, reasonable to hit an average of 15-17, difficult to hit 20-22 and very difficult to hit 24-26 (again, thats for average damage). A person wearing armor gets to reduce that by his DR so he will have to make fewer massive damage saves than his unarmored friend who only makes a normal number of saves. IOW the armored character benefits from his armor while the unarmored character functions normally.

If you had weapons do additional damage to get over DR (instead of using AP) then you would get the opposite effect: people wearing armor make a normal number of massive damage saves while unarmored warriors make more saves than normal. In this case the armored character functions normally while the unarmored character is penalized for not wearing armor. Armor is supposed to be good in Conan, it saves your life and you should want it whenever you can manage to get it, but it shouldn't be required for survival. The lightly armed swashbuckler is too important to the genre and Conan has worked hard to make him a viable character choice (as opposed to DnD where a fighter without armor is a sub-optimal character choice).

There is also the twist that by having AP as a second stat you can have weapons with a high damage and low AP (broasword) and weapons with a low damage and high AP (warhammer) which encourages players to be dynamic, picking equipment to match the challenge they face. That is also part of the genre (again as opposed to DnD where you usually use whaever weapn has the best magic regardless of what it is).

Hope that helps.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I noticed your loaction was UCSB, my old alma Mater, class of 1995!
 

Voltumna

Mongoose
I like this game a lot, and dislike very few things, the main thing I don't like is that it is so new, there aren't many books out there yet! I never liked not seeing the Tlazitlan description either, but if we could see a Kezankian in Shadizar, I'm sure we'll see a Tlazitlan somewhere.

Things I don't like much:

1.- Barbarians' crimson mist restricted to succeding a save vs fear. While I don't necessarily mean barbarians should get a free choice as when to use it, I see other situations where it could also be triggered, and not precisely to the barbarian's advantage. What if a fool is taunting the barbarian, in a situation where he could get into bad trouble if he attacks that fool (let's say a jack ass noble with his personal guard) and he fails badly a will saving throw to resist his berating (he rolls one). I can see the barbarian exploding in a literal crimson mist and take a hack at the noble to decapitate him, while the bodyguards there. This happens in the God in The Bowl to Conan himself! Now if he was being outnumbered, and say he already has used his fighting madness in a long combat, you could rule he suddenly trembles, and call for a save vs fear, if he doesn't succedd, he is shaken. I think a barbarian should be free to call upon his rage to stand against overwhelming odds.

2.- More weapons should be able to be used as finesse weapons. If a broad sword wielded in two hands can be used as a finesse weapon, I think so should a scimitar and other blades. What about all those shemite thieves? What weapon options do they have if they choose to improve their dexterity over strenght? A spear is not a consealable weapon.

3.- I would like to see more thieves special abilities, as well as thieves combat maneuvers (pirates have theirs), and more feats to improve dodge dv. I am also glad to hear combat manuevers are being looked at.
 

SableWyvern

Mongoose
Voltumna said:
2.- More weapons should be able to be used as finesse weapons. If a broad sword wielded in two hands can be used as a finesse weapon, I think so should a scimitar and other blades. What about all those shemite thieves? What weapon options do they have if they choose to improve their dexterity over strenght? A spear is not a consealable weapon.

A broadsword being wielded as a finesse weapon is being used much like a spear, to prise between gaps in armour. You will note that most, if not all, finesseable weapons can be used in a thrusting fashion. A scimitar does not fit this discription, nor can it be wielded effectively in this fashion.

I think that, while some care was taken to balance the various weapon options, the game designers settled on actual implementation as being the deciding factor on how weapons were rated, rather than trying to make them all "equal".

Shemites can still make use of a range of other weapons to finesse (daggers, stilletos, knives, short swords). Note that a broadsword is not really concealeable, either.
 
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