Chewing on proficiencies, maneuvers and combat.

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Benedict
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Re: Chewing on proficiencies, maneuvers and combat.

Post by Benedict » 07 May 2017, 06:26

Agamemnon wrote:That's not me shooting down the idea. That's my brain in debug mode.

Ok, have been doing some testing.

Having a CP Expenditure Cap = Proficiency score is bad juju. Seriously.

It creates the following paradox. A character with Priority 1 Proficiencies gets zero points. Meaning he can spend 0CP per Tempo. :shock: Dreadful.

Solutions:

1. Swap it around. Make Expend Cap/Tempo=Ref. Still bad. Because it enforces specific Atr builds for combat characters.

2. Make it Prof+2. Still bad, because zero Prof characters get 2CP/Tempo. Not viable.

Apart from each individual failings, all these share another bad effect. By making the cap non-constant but variable per individual, and adding momentum+drives on top, you have to deal with many numbers in combat. How many dice can you roll out of your CP? How many dice can you add on top of that? Awkward. Makes combat slower and less dynamic.

And then it struck me. :idea:

3. Make it 10/Tempo (plus Maneuver Activation). In essence it's thirtythr33's original idea reverse engineered. Seems the better solution of them all. Which means:

Agamemnon wrote:How will this impact lower-proficiency characters? If I have a prof 4 -- someone who's a skilled thug more than a swordsman, or a student still learning to handle himself -- but I have good reflexes, I might have 10CP and be okay overall. With this setup, I'm going to be forced to spend my CP in specific ways - either two tempos of 4 and one at 2, or I pick two tempos of 4 spending 2AC along the way. The place this gets weirder is if I'm fighting someone who has my stats in reverse -- 10CP, but with reflex 4, prof 6. If that guy throws 6 dice in the first exchange, I'm prevented from answering it in kind. Is this desireable? Will this cause problems? I'm not sure.

Both can roll 10v10 once. Or any combination thereof.

Agamemnon wrote:How does this effect things like counter or other maneuvers that can be used to get you more dice in the process? Does this decrease their value, given that you can only ever use as many dice as your proficiency? Let's assume the same guy is fighting a more skilled opponent for a moment. 10 vs 12, prof 6, ref 6. You make for an even split and attack me with 6 dice. I spend 2 in activation and counter for my maximum of 4. Miraculously, I win, 4 to 3. I now have 7 dice in my pool for this next attack -- but I can still only spend 4. I make a 4 die attack, you throw in 4 for a deflect & strike and pay the AC. You win this one, I eat a sword to the face, and stare sadly at the 2dice I really would have liked to have used.

First Tempo Swing6 vs Counter4. He gets 3 you get 4. Second Tempo he has 6, you have 4+3=7.

Another, similar, scenario. Nearly equal opponents, he has 18 you have 16. He Swings 10, you Counter 10+2. He scores 9, you score 10 (highly unlikely, I know). Next tempo he has 8, you have 11. You can attack with 10 and he defends with 8, then get a third tempo with 1. Or any other combination. Like he defending with 7 to save 1 for third tempo.

Agamemnon wrote:Per the above scenario, does this effectively hamstring less skilled fighters from taking on stronger opponents? That same match might take place again with the underdog's SA firing at 5 dice. He now has 15 dice to his opponent's 12. On paper, this should look like his match, but he can only ever throw 4 dice at a time. We could argue that the opponent will run out of dice faster, in theory, but that's only true if said opponent never lands a wounding blow as the impact would could easily clean out the difference in dice.

Likewise the above scenario with underdogs' Drive firing for 5. He Swings6 vs your Counter6+2. He gets 3 you get 4. Next Tempo he defends with 6 and you have 10 (2+counter3+drive5) to split as you see fit. Example? You Beat6 he Parries6. You score 3 he scores 2. Next tempo you have 4CP attack he has zero. :twisted:

Agamemnon wrote:In theory, you can have an infinite number of tempi within one phrase, but in practice would anyone play along with that? If you're defending and the attacker declares only a 3 die attack, will you always conservatively match him, or will you assume that must be bait for a feint (under the currently released rules) and invest 6 in something like a bind & strike? I have a suspicion that even without the formal two-tempo structure, most people will wind up investing half of their pool at a time just to be safe. I could be wrong, on this account though.

With a max 10CP+AC (max12)/Tempo no matter the combatants' proficiency and attributes it opens some interesting combinations. Especially with maneuvers that give back dice (beat, counter, grab&throw, mastercut, reverse), where 1-2 dice could add a 3rd tempo. Free AC costs due to Emphasis start to have a bigger impact as well for the same reason. Advantage on certain maneuvers also has the same effect, as you can throw less dice with better probabilities to succeed.

Another effect, that is both a pro and a con in my eyes, is that it goes beyond TRoS, without losing the charm.

A final effect is that by keeping opposed rolls to a cap of 10v10 you deal a severe, if not mortal, blow to freak rolls.

I am not saying that this should be followed. Game is fine as it is anyway. But it definitely works that way, keeps combat dynamic, and opens up new possibilities.
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Re: Chewing on proficiencies, maneuvers and combat.

Post by myanbar » 07 May 2017, 15:37

Do not make more than two tempos. Having two is perfect for the Riddle of Steel gameplay style. Everyone learning the system can understand it easily. Song of Swords once experimented with having 3 to 5 tempos instead of 2, while having CPs in the 10 to 20 range. It came to be known as "blitzfechten." It was terrible; the cool name was the only good thing to come of it. If you deviate from the two tempo format, you may solve whatever probability issue you're having now, but you're going to make the game worse.
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Re: Chewing on proficiencies, maneuvers and combat.

Post by Agamemnon » 09 May 2017, 10:33

myanbar wrote:Do not make more than two tempos. Having two is perfect for the Riddle of Steel gameplay style. Everyone learning the system can understand it easily. Song of Swords once experimented with having 3 to 5 tempos instead of 2, while having CPs in the 10 to 20 range. It came to be known as "blitzfechten." It was terrible; the cool name was the only good thing to come of it. If you deviate from the two tempo format, you may solve whatever probability issue you're having now, but you're going to make the game worse.


Unless idle forum chatter leads to something revolutionary, I don't plan on changing the core concepts of combat. They are a part of the game that already does what we want it to do.
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Re: Chewing on proficiencies, maneuvers and combat.

Post by Korbel » 24 May 2017, 12:16

Will grappling (especially with wrestling emphasis) be so much lethal under Sword & Scoundrel still, or are you going to tone it down?
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Re: Chewing on proficiencies, maneuvers and combat.

Post by Agamemnon » 24 May 2017, 13:25

Korbel wrote:Will grappling (especially with wrestling emphasis) be so much lethal under Sword & Scoundrel still, or are you going to tone it down?

The only real changes to grappling thus far have been looking for alternate ways to handle strangle to bring it more in-line with how other maneuvers work, and a potential adjustment to the wrestling emphasis. "All grappling maneuvers are free" borders on "way too good." We'll see what we want to do with that.

For this coming release, we're temporarily removing emphases from the system. We want people to play with the new maneuver spread and adjusted combat rules and make sure everything works out of the box before we add back in the extra layer of complication from emphases. Given that each proficiency will now have multiple emphases to choose from, we'll probably open a thread later for suggestions for both styles to emulate and mechanical implementations of said styles.
Sword and Scoundrel: On Role-Playing and Fantasy Obscura

Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife — chopping off what’s incomplete and saying: "Now it’s complete because it’s ended here."
Collected Sayings of Muad’Dib, the Princess Irulan
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Re: Chewing on proficiencies, maneuvers and combat.

Post by myanbar » 24 May 2017, 21:26

When can we expect this release? I have players eager to try it but they've been waiting a long time.
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