Cover

Voltumna

Mongoose
I was just reading the rules for cover and I have two questions:

1. Soft cover from enemies in melee

When making a melee attack against an adjascent target, your target has cover if any line from your square to the target's square goes through a wall (including a low wall).

Soft cover:

Creatures, even your enemies can provide you with cover againsst melee attacks, giving you a +4 to DV.

So, this means if you are completely or partially surrounded, enemies on the squares to your left, right, front, back will provide you soft cover against enemies attacking you from the corners?

2. Vrying degrees of cover:

In some cases cover may grant a greater bonus to DV and reflex saves (+8 and +4 respectively), and that this improved cover efectively grants improved evassion. What are the benefits of this improved evassion?
 

Mark Dunder

Mongoose
I don't have an answer for you. If you have several other rule books, you might compare the descriptions of these rules. Not all rule books are created equal, and some wording may not be clear. It would seem like a combatants at both of your "corners" would give only a +2 because they also will be able to "flank" you.

I will say that I think that an RPG should not be a miniatures game. I no longer use squares or hexes, except to facilitate drawing buildings or maps and to quickly judge distances. Having "edges" and "LOS" through a "square" just is not RPG but miniature play, with aspects of role-play to make it more fun. The original Chainmail by TSR, evolved into an RPG because people wanted to role-play their miniature characters. I think a true RPG would do away with this miniature aspect to the game. There are ways to do this, but these rules seem too well set in most d20 gamers minds.

I'm sure someone has a perfect little miniature rule that will fix you right up. Personally, if there are a bunch of combatants all around you. They are going to stand back as much as possible, until someone can get around your guard to strike you in the side or back. Only your dodging around and extremely good melee skills will keep them back. Your best bet is to charge the line and try to break through fast, hoping no one will strike you in the back or side as you attempt to manuever to a better position. No one is at your "corner" or "side," they are continually moving just as you are. You are not going to be able to count on any of the combatants to be a "soft" cover. They are not going to stand in place conveniently. Role-playing should not be about moving from square to square, role-playing should be about figuring out how to get out of a bad situation.

Here is an example: You are being attacked by two combatants, no one gets surprised. One attacks and you defend (parry). The other circles around in an attempt to get behind you. Given that you have plenty of room to maneuver, you are not going to let the other combatant get the best of you. You have several options, you can stand fast and try to bounce back and forth between the two attackers, or you can press your attack to force one of them back (bashing). You can leap to one side (dodge) and try to keep the attackers shifting their position constantly, while you keep attacking. Your main goal would be to kill or maim one of the attackers quickly, before you wear down and one of them gets an attack at your "flank." Or you can just rush past one of the attackers, risking a hit, and run away as fast as you can. The idea is to use abilities or skills to decide the outcome, not how well you can move from square to square, or if someone is in one of your corners. Only in small squared off buildings would this make any sort of sense.

That's my take on it. Might not work for you.
 

Voltumna

Mongoose
Regarding the grid, someone once said that so many rules are based on it, that it makes sense to use it. In our group we use it, and personaly, I rely on it a lot, I ask our GM to place opponets precisely in the grid, so as to avoid confusion who can you flank or not. I just discovered this rule of soft cover, and I thhink you could get soft cover fir attacks from the corner squares adjascent to yours.
 

ricardo440

Mongoose
I think if you are talking about say melee opponents attacking each other arounda corner

***
F**
WF*

* - empty
F - fighter
W- wall (say corner of a building)

Then both characters would get a -4 to their hits (or +4 defence whichever way you like it) because of the intervening cover.

However if it was like this

123
4D6
789

Then D and 9 would not gain cover from each other because of 8 or 6.
 

Voltumna

Mongoose
ricardo440 said:
I think if you are talking about say melee opponents attacking each other arounda corner

***
F**
WF*

* - empty
F - fighter
W- wall (say corner of a building)

Then both characters would get a -4 to their hits (or +4 defence whichever way you like it) because of the intervening cover.

However if it was like this

123
4D6
789

Then D and 9 would not gain cover from each other because of 8 or 6.

The later is the case. What do they mean then, when they say you get soft cover in melee, even from enemies?

In the former case, I think W would give F and F soft cover from each other as well.
 

Bregales

Mongoose
Hi there, I went to the SRD rules for cover, here's the link for cover (regarding 3.5 OGL rules for cover in combat & situations): http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/combatModifiers.htm

Just remember the rules of SRD: when something specifically written in a CONAN rpg book directly contradicts what's in the SRD, then CONAN takes precedence. But as CONAN rpg is based on the SRD, it's the base rules the Conan game comes from, so it helps in cases like this.

Just to respond to dunderm quickly: in heart I agree with you about miniatures use. I always preferred fast-storytelling method of GMing, directly inherited from the narrative voice, pace & context of the Conan stories by Howard. But when I got the CONAN rpg game rules book, guys were confused over the combat differences between it and D&D 3.5 (which had been released not long before the CONAN first core book, which was based mostly on 3.0, but that's another story). Anyways, I carefully read everything over, drew twisted city streets on a huge grid to simulate the Maul in Shadizar, had them put in fighter types of characters, and we ran a mock fight with 6 Zamorians and two hillmen fighters ---- and the party was wiped out. These guys were pros at grid combat and I was the amateur, but in carefully reading the rules I employed the crooked streets to employ cover, flanking, and surrounding the PCs, and it was radically different. Ever since they radically changed their tactics and it flowed over to the surviving games (D&D: they dumped the Conan campaign last month I'm sad to say).

But anyways, this game really does work differently when using the gaming tabletop panoramas instead of narrating the combat. The same fight would work two radically different ways (different outcomes) using either method. Anyways, I hope this helps.
 

ricardo440

Mongoose
Narration is ok if you are willing to put the effort in as GM. Problem I find is for melee based games it means that everything becomes the GMs call. So life and death at completely in the hands of how the GM interprets the situation, and the players get less say.

Grids are a useful tool in bigger fights as they allow the players to see what is going on and move their characters as they choose. Then it is entirely THEIR call and not up to GM interpretation. Players live or die on their decisions not the whim of the GM.
 

Mark Dunder

Mongoose
I agree that using the grid, particularly in tight situations, is probably the way to go. And I agree that not using the grid puts a burden on the GM. But only because that's how the rules are written. Players know this, and when you don't use the exact miniature rules, they naturally protest, and they are right. If you want to role-play on a different level, some major changes have to be made. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying using miniatures or strict miniature grid rules, totally invalidates your role-playing. It is fun playing with miniature rules with role-playing thrown in, I've done a lot of it. "The Fantasy Trip" had this developed quite nicely. Conan RPG has a better miniature rules set, IMO. So I think you can't go wrong there. But, and it's a quantitative but, moving to a flowing dynamic combat system that only uses miniatures for initial and final placement, is the way I believe role-playing needs to go. That's my opinion and feeling on the matter.

Let's take a look at the flanking aspect of miniature rules as I now understand it with Conan RPG. Only combatants, on opposite sides of the character, may get the flanking bonus. This may be figured from an eight-sided square as being from corner to opposite corner, from side to opposite side, from side to opposite corner and vise versa. Squares directly diagonal or adjoined to the side of the attacker are not considered squares that are opposite, naturally. Makes clear as to whom can flank. Also, flanking is only possible if your character is in melee also. Thus, this leaves out missile fire.

Dynamically, the flank of any combatant is his side or back (making a back "stab" is only possible in surprise attacks). This will change rapidly, a simple reflex can turn a character in fractions of a second (remember, one of the world's fastest men, can draw a pistol and shoot at a target in 1/3 of a second!). If you are attempting to make a flank attack, you will have to "Outflank" the opponent. This, of course, relies on you having the opponent distracted by another ally. This does not mean you will necessarily be on the exact "flank" of the opponent. Again, your character will be constantly moving, dodging, parrying, and what have you, just as explained in many of the early D&D treaties on combat. The attack you actually strike with is but one of many you attempted. But your overall objective is to get a blow to the unprotected side of the opponent, not just to beat down his guard and pierce him through. So you declare as an "Action" that you are attempting to "Outflank" your opponent. You must check your "movement" skill against the opponents "movement" skill, and if you succeed, you may then attempt to strike the opponent, but you get to add the flanking bonus. Consider this also, the "movement" skill of the opponent can be limited by terrain (includes walls) and other attackers. You will find that "skills" become very useful in the game. You will begin to make skill checks more often, and stop depending on your skill to move to the right square on a map. So how do you get into a "position" to Outflank a character? At the beginning of your "Positioning" you simply tell the GM that you are going to "Engage" the opponent, and this places your character next to the opponent. If you are using miniatures, simply touching bases works or placing the miniature in a square close to the opponent as you would normally do, works. Actually, "winning" the "position" becomes part of the initiative round. Depending on your surroundings, you might want to be first to get into position or last to engage.

I know this is radically different, and most likely not be of interest to many gamers. But I guarantee, once you and your players start using this regularly, you will find the flow of the game very fast. I have been testing this out on several RPGs, and it's going quite well so far. The only game that uses a system similar to this, and actually is where I "borrowed" the idea from, is Paranoia. Of course, with Paranoia, positioning as such, is totally arbitrary.

This is just an idea, and has not been tested by anyone else but me, that I know of. But I'm having fun with it, and just wanted to share my idea.
 

argo

Mongoose
Voltumna said:
I was just reading the rules for cover and I have two questions:

1. Soft cover from enemies in melee

When making a melee attack against an adjascent target, your target has cover if any line from your square to the target's square goes through a wall (including a low wall).

Soft cover:

Creatures, even your enemies can provide you with cover againsst melee attacks, giving you a +4 to DV.

So, this means if you are completely or partially surrounded, enemies on the squares to your left, right, front, back will provide you soft cover against enemies attacking you from the corners?
Yes, sometimes the attackers can get in each other's way.

2. Vrying degrees of cover:

In some cases cover may grant a greater bonus to DV and reflex saves (+8 and +4 respectively), and that this improved cover efectively grants improved evassion. What are the benefits of this improved evassion?

Ask and ye shall recieve
SRD said:
Improved evasion is like evasion, except that even on a failed saving throw the character takes only half damage.
So if you make the Ref save you take no damage and if you fail you still only take 1/2 damage.
 

Voltumna

Mongoose
The use of shield grant you a +1 dodge defense vs ranged attacks. I take it from some sort of cover they provide under the circumstances. If you curl up behind a shield and you fit there (depending on the size of the shield or yours) you could get cover and-or total cover?

Say a thief is trying to spring a trap with a reach weapon like a staf or spear, and he is also taking cover behind a shield. He could even have a shield made with holes to peek through, and to slip the weapon through.
 

argo

Mongoose
Voltumna said:
The use of shield grant you a +1 dodge defense vs ranged attacks. I take it from some sort of cover they provide under the circumstances. If you curl up behind a shield and you fit there (depending on the size of the shield or yours) you could get cover and-or total cover?

Say a thief is trying to spring a trap with a reach weapon like a staf or spear, and he is also taking cover behind a shield. He could even have a shield made with holes to peek through, and to slip the weapon through.
Point 1: shields grant their full sheild bonus to your dodge vs ranged attacks.

Point 2: the buckler and targe are too small to be used in the way you suggest. If you "curled up" behind them you would essentially be a stationary target huddling in fear behind your shield - I would rule you loose your Dex bonus.

Depending on how big you think the Large Sheild is you could make a House Rule that it can be used to grant total cover. If you did then I would suggest you adapt the rule for tower shields
SRD said:
In most situations, it provides the indicated shield bonus to your AC. However, you can instead use it as total cover, though you must give up your attacks to do so. The shield does not, however, provide cover against targeted spells; a spellcaster can cast a spell on you by targeting the shield you are holding.

Hope that helps
 
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