Intricate Swordplay feat question

searian

Mongoose
I had a quick question for this feat , the feat states that u get to add the bonus of your Cha to your parry if you have a arming sword or broadsword in one hand. The question is are u allowed to have just the sword or can u have a shield equipped as well ?

The feat just says u have to have the right sword and all the other pre req.
 

René

Mongoose
searian said:
I had a quick question for this feat , the feat states that u get to add the bonus of your Cha to your parry if you have a arming sword or broadsword in one hand. The question is are u allowed to have just the sword or can u have a shield equipped as well ?

The feat just says u have to have the right sword and all the other pre req.

I'd say: no shield. I have no experience with real fencing, but I think fighting with a shield doesn't qualify for "intricate swordplay" - it's probably slower, more "practical" and little show, so there are few opportunities to use your Charisma. Look on the other hand at pirate movies: they make a show of their fencing and have no shields.
 

Sutek

Mongoose
Actually, the feat covers armor and sates that you only have to be armed with a broadsword or arming sword in one had, leavging whatever is in the other hand open. You are limited to Medium armor, for which a shield qualifies (because shields do not affect a character's speed, Max Dex bonus or Dodge Defense). Further, the only real caveat to the feat is 7 levels of Barbarian, beyond the weapon restrictions.

I don't see any reason why a character couldn't use Intricate Swordplay while armed with a shield or other weapon, but I might apply the shield's Armor Check penalty to his attacks if I were looking for some sort of drawback for some reason.

The ACP is there for when you are not proficient with the armor in question, but there's no mention of shields in any of the armor proficiency feats (light thru heavy). But really, well trained swordsmen, like Roman Legionaires, could use a sword and shield very well together and really only had thier code of conduct to prevent them from mocking opponents, although I'm sure it happened. Also, because ZIngara and, particularly, Aquilonia are mentioned as sources of training in that "flashy western style", it would seem fair to say that shield use might even be common.
 

searian

Mongoose
Thank you all for the posts here :) . Thankfully my GM also agreed that I can keep my shield. NOw my noble/soldier can keep on being the last man standing champion in my group. haha the gm has us keep a journal for little extra xp and its funny cause we have one player that always ends his fight with "and i got hit hard and the world fades to black :.
 

***BARON***

Mongoose
Look on the other hand at pirate movies: they make a show of their fencing and have no shields.

BINGO. right here is the judgement I'd make. They mention the flashy western styles of fencing in Conan's world... there's nothing flashy about a broadsword and a big clunky shield. Now a buckler? Maybe...
 
I'd rule the buckler would apply but not a full shield as well. Buckers were designed for the sort of flashy combat a swashbuckler would prefer, but a shield is little more than portable cover used to keep inexperienced warriors alive. 8)
 

***BARON***

Mongoose
I got to see a pretty rare thing on the history channel: two men extremely well versed in bastard swords sparring in the traditional styles of dark ages combat! It was great stuff as they were able to stay extremely agile using both hands to use every part of the sword as a weapon. yeah if you've ever seen two guys go at it with the sort of big clubbing swords in Conan, you'll notice that shields really limit what you can do in what's "flashy". Shields often demand you hide your face lol

intricate swordplay demands you be able to use your charisma. Zorro and the Three Musketeers and types like that use this feat... no way should you be able to use a shield bigger than a buckler. It just goes against the purpose of the feat.
 

argo

Mongoose
While it may indeed be more stylish that a character leave his free hand open, that is a player's decision of style.

The rules simply say that you must use a boadsword or arming sword in one hand and be wearing medium armor or less. No limitation is placed on what you may do with your off hand. Use it for a weapon, shield or whatever you want.

Certainly a character fighting with a maun gauche in his off hand fits the "swashbuckler style".

Mechanically the feat is balanced while allowing someone a shield or weapon. Besides spending several feats you are giving up heavy armor and two-handed fighting and the benefits of keeping a hand free. You are also suffering from MAD. I've had a player use this combo before and he was fine, not nearly as much trouble as the monster-strength Barbarian.

Later.
 

Sutek

Mongoose
Yeah, when the rules say "flashy swordsmanship" dont' go thinking of "fencing". That style didnt' come about until the development of the rapier after the Renaisence. I'm also not talking the rapier as is in the Conan:RPG, but more like the true foil (which is a non pointy version). A true rapier doesn't even have an edge and could only poke. Historical pirates didn't fence at all - that was Erol Flynn playing a pirate. Historical pirates used heavy cutlasses similar to a calvary saber to hack through foes, even often wilding axes for thier heavy, thick blades.

All this feat is trying to get accross is that the character is lighter and more fluid with his arming or broadsword than is normally encountered in the rest of Hyboria. Neat little flippy rotations and quick wrist movements rather than heavy chopping and thrusting are used to distract and move the sword to intercept blows a bit more effortlessly. It is only a +1 to +5 or so bonus in realistic terms, and then only to Parry. If one uses a shiled too, it's still swordsmanship, is it not?

The term "flashy" shold be taken as relative...
 

Bregales

Mongoose
Sutek said:
Yeah, when the rules say "flashy swordsmanship" dont' go thinking of "fencing". That style didnt' come about until the development of the rapier after the Renaisence. I'm also not talking the rapier as is in the Conan:RPG, but more like the true foil (which is a non pointy version). A true rapier doesn't even have an edge and could only poke. Historical pirates didn't fence at all - that was Erol Flynn playing a pirate. Historical pirates used heavy cutlasses similar to a calvary saber to hack through foes, even often wilding axes for thier heavy, thick blades.
That's not true, you're thinking of a smallsword, the weapon that replaced the rapier in the Seventeenth Century. DnD's game stats are for a smallsword, not a rapier, which was typically a 38"blade, a short handle with any variety of guards and quillons, and was primarily a cutting weapon about 3-6 pounds in weight. Note that the 'typical' rapier was 38" long and 3 pounds or so, but they could get up to 6 feet in blade length and be very weighty. Thrusting with a rapier didn't even begin until the latter part of the 16th Century, which led to the Transition Rapier and it's follower, the Smallsword. The earlier rapiers were hack-n-slash weapons.

As for historical pirates, yeah that's about right. Their reputation for ferocity and overpowering their victims lent them their power on the seas. They also tended to crowd their decks with more than enough of a crew, so they'd have enough swordarms to bring down a ship quickly, and simply toss the wounded overboard with the dead.
 
There's also the fact that the Hyborian world isn't excactly 'historicly accurate'. It's a made up world created by REH to focus some of his creative passions into. Thus you can anarchisms if you want- a 'modern' rapier, advanced ideas of commerce, government and diplomatic relationships or cultures from different periods of earth's history- real or mythical- side by side. So in my mind, put whatever whatever you think makes you dream world a better place to have fun in as opposed to what you think there has to be there.
 

Sutek

Mongoose
Right. The word "fencing" doesnt'mean the same style as with a foil, rapier or smallsword (whatever you want to call it). It just means not slamming the edge into anything that moves and instead parrying blows waiting for an opening. That's what "fencing" is anyway....
 

Oly

Mongoose
I've got some players who are just about to take this feat and it was discussed last night.

They think that they should be able to use another weapon in their off hand, this is something that they do regularly, and still get the bonus from Intricate Swordplay. I'm not so sure.

I see this as being a really powerful feat, with many PCs it can give a +3 or a +4 bonus to their parry defence. Compare that to most other feats that boost defence where you'll normally only see a +1 modifier.

So is the limit on what armour can be worn and that the weapon must be a broad or arming sword enough of a penalty to balance out that huge bonus? I'm really not so sure.

Has there been any "official" comment on this feat?

Oly
 

argo

Mongoose
Oly said:
I see this as being a really powerful feat, with many PCs it can give a +3 or a +4 bonus to their parry defence. Compare that to most other feats that boost defence where you'll normally only see a +1 modifier.
Only if they have a 16 or an 18 in Cha. MAD is a balancing factor.

So is the limit on what armour can be worn and that the weapon must be a broad or arming sword enough of a penalty to balance out that huge bonus? I'm really not so sure.
Limiting the character to medium armor is one. Actually spending the character resources to buy the feat is another. MAD I already mentioned. The fact it is a Parry bonus instead of the more versatile Dodge is a fourth. But the most important factor is that the player is limited to one-handed or TWF damage. That really cuts down on his ability to deal massive damage and/or penetrate heavy armor.

Has there been any "official" comment on this feat?
Well, they published it didn't they? :wink:

Later.
 

Oly

Mongoose
argo said:
Only if they have a 16 or an 18 in Cha. MAD is a balancing factor.

High attributes seem to be common, indeed encouraged, in the game due to to the suggested attribute generation rules and regular raises to all attributes during levelling. A 16 or higher Cha isn't at all uncommon.

MAD?

argo said:
But the most important factor is that the player is limited to one-handed or TWF damage. That really cuts down on his ability to deal massive damage and/or penetrate heavy armor.

Good point, so far most of my PCs opponents have been unarmoured so I've not really seen how well heavy armour works.

argo said:
Well, they published it didn't they?

Yes but with a wording that's somewhat ambiguous. Also given some of the typos in the game it being published really may not be worth that much ;)
 

***BARON***

Mongoose
I notice people tend to have good charismas in conan... players I mean... but I would hardly call the feat broken or even wonky... it's no more empowering than power attack.
 

argo

Mongoose
Oly said:
argo said:
Only if they have a 16 or an 18 in Cha. MAD is a balancing factor.

High attributes seem to be common, indeed encouraged, in the game due to to the suggested attribute generation rules and regular raises to all attributes during levelling. A 16 or higher Cha isn't at all uncommon.
Actually, IME once you get above level 6+ (and you won't be getting Intricate Swordplay much earlier than that because of the prereqs) the attributes in Conan aren't that much higher than attributes in other games. Characters in other systems have plenty of spells and magic items to buff their stats, Conan characters simply get natural abilities instead.

Multiple Attribute Dependency

Charisma is not an optimal stat for a combat build. If your character has a 16+ in Cha then he is either shortchanging his other combat stats, or else has a surplus of stats to begin with. Either way, the fact that he has to spread his character resources around to mantain multiple stats means that the law of diminishing returns will catch up with him eventually. A different character who focuses only on boosting his Str will gain a Parry bonus to DV but also a bonus to hit, AP and damage.

As I said, the player I had who took this feat was balanced against the other players. His DV was higher but his DR and damage output were both lower. Fine by me.

Later.
 

taylor

Mongoose
I think most of you blokes are a little mixed up about swords, fencing and swordsmanship. There is plenty of misinformation on the net about these subjects, but some good info too.

The premier European sword website on the web is www.myarmoury.com and www.swordforum.com's Historical European Swordsmanship forum is an absolute goldmine of information of historical styles of fence. If this subject interests you at all, you really should check these sites out.
 
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