Sword & Scoundrel 0.2.0 Feedback : Book IV : Tribulation

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Benedict
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Sword & Scoundrel 0.2.0 Feedback : Book IV : Tribulation

Post by Benedict » 15 Nov 2018, 11:50

You know the drill.
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel 0.2.0 Feedback : Book IV : Tribulation

Post by David Mogendo » 19 Nov 2018, 11:12

Mordhau's still feel underwhelming to me. At the most, you're doing two blunt damage (modified by brawn and MoS of course). I feel like using a murderstroke should give the "pommel/knob/queue" weapon either the crushing quality or the plate piercing quality.

Of course, this is just my opinion.
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel 0.2.0 Feedback : Book IV : Tribulation

Post by thirtythr33 » 19 Nov 2018, 18:00

If swords had 2b crushing or 3b, they would totally outclass a lot of mass weapons.
A standard mace does 1b crushing.

A murderstroke should be a backup use just in case you get stuck without a mace, not a primary method of killing people in plate.
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel 0.2.0 Feedback : Book IV : Tribulation

Post by Agamemnon » 20 Nov 2018, 02:52

thirtythr33 wrote:
19 Nov 2018, 18:00
If swords had 2b crushing or 3b, they would totally outclass a lot of mass weapons.
A standard mace does 1b crushing.

A murderstroke should be a backup use just in case you get stuck without a mace, not a primary method of killing people in plate.
This. A mace head is only 1b, crushing. A two-handed mace is 2b, crushing. At most, it's going to be 3b, crushing, and that's only if you take hefty and lose whatever usefulness you might've gotten from a top head.

A 2h pommel strike is going to do 1b standard. With Murder Stroke, it's 2b. Giving Murder Stroke Crushing makes a longsword more useful than a mace or a pollax against armored opponents.

Meanwhile, Murder Stroke is just fine as it is. Crushing only matters if you hit the damage cap in the first place. +2b vs a 4MR plate. To do that against a dude in a helmet you need to get an MoS3 just to do a level 1 wound. You'd need an MoS5 to hit the cap. You don't start "losing" damage from not having crushing unless you've already done an MoS6+ attack.

Meanwhile, the max wound level (3, blunt) to the crown is going to do impact 6, bump their BTN to 4, and force an r2 knockout roll. Assuming they stay conscious, they're down 6 dice and taking a TN bump.

You don't need murderstroke to kill the person. You just need it to swing the tide in your favor so you can do something more productive, like stick the point of your sword into their armpit.
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel 0.2.0 Feedback : Book IV : Tribulation

Post by Korbel » 24 Nov 2018, 10:21

So we had some duels. Me as a spearman and Landwalker with axe and shield. Spear's reach advantage was really a game changer in these bouts. One of the most interesting moments was when he defended my first tempo attack and we entered the second tempo, with him having initiative, but me having dice advantage 7v5. His plan was to Stomp me, to keep initiative without risking much, and this way starting the second Play with reach control. So we see, Stomp would be a pretty smart way of dealing with such situations. I guess you figured this out already, and I'm curious if you are going to restrict the Stomp to first tempo only? Do you feel like you need to? As there's one problem with this usage of Stomp, you might not have enough dice to declare a decent blow after saving 2 for Stomp. This way you risk getting attacked from defense, which is what actually happened in this bout.
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel 0.2.0 Feedback : Book IV : Tribulation

Post by Agamemnon » 25 Nov 2018, 14:15

Korbel wrote:
24 Nov 2018, 10:21
So we had some duels. Me as a spearman and Landwalker with axe and shield. Spear's reach advantage was really a game changer in these bouts. One of the most interesting moments was when he defended my first tempo attack and we entered the second tempo, with him having initiative, but me having dice advantage 7v5. His plan was to Stomp me, to keep initiative without risking much, and this way starting the second Play with reach control. So we see, Stomp would be a pretty smart way of dealing with such situations. I guess you figured this out already, and I'm curious if you are going to restrict the Stomp to first tempo only? Do you feel like you need to? As there's one problem with this usage of Stomp, you might not have enough dice to declare a decent blow after saving 2 for Stomp. This way you risk getting attacked from defense, which is what actually happened in this bout.
The original balance for Stomp is that it was limited in maneuvers you can use it with. This limitation helped the defender judge the likelihood of an attack being a stomp. If you were declaring maneuvers that can't be combined with a stomp, I can safely assume you aren't stomping.

The problem with this approach is that Stomp is also the main counter to someone doing an all-in Deflect & Strike. If stomp is limited to Swing or Thrust, then if you declare any maneuver in T1 that isn't a Swing or Thrust, then I can all-in Deflect & Strike without you being able to answer it. So that's borked. If we leave it that way, the aggressor can only swing or thrust in T1, which is boring.

The problem with changing this is that if you can stomp from any manuever, then the defender can never spend more than your declared dice+stomp AC. If you make a 6d thrust, I can't declare more than 8d (including AC) without you being able to stomp and come out ahead. This isn't so bad for T1 because we're both supposed to be cautious in T1 to set up for T2. But if you can stomp _at any time_ and _with any maneuver_ then I'm going to be screwed in T2 as the defender. Any time I arrive in T2 with more dice than you, all you need to do is declare a grab (restraining) for 2d. It's restraining, so I can't attack from defense and if I spend any actual dice on the thing, you can just stomp them away anyway. In T2, the defender is cheated out of being able to use their dice advantage.

This is twice as galling because it's asymmetrical. In T1, if the attacker over-invests, the defender can steal initiative. If the defender over-invests, the attacker can stomp. In T2, if the defender has a die advantage, the aggressor can stomp it out. If the aggressor arrives with a dice advantage, they get to use it because you can only steal initiative in T1.

Our design options are thus then:
  1. Allow Stealing Initiative and Stomp in either tempo, which becomes a huge mess on its own as neither side will be able to declare their whole pool in a play. In T2, if the attacker declares their whole attack pool, the defender just has to steal initiative and the attacker is boned. If the attacker holds back any of their dice, the defender is just going to get stomped anyway so they wind up always being better off trying to steal initiative.
  2. Ban Stomp in T2 (which is what I'm currently planning).
  3. Toss out compound maneuvers entirely, which is lame. To avoid the all-in-defender problem above, you'd have to remove any kind of defense that does damage, remove compound defenses, etc etc
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel 0.2.0 Feedback : Book IV : Tribulation

Post by Landwalker » 25 Nov 2018, 16:41

As a further thought on my whippings at the hands of Korbel's character, I found that having even a modest CP differential between characters was nearly insurmountable without enormous luck. When accounting for Korbel's Reach Control, our characters were 15 CP vs. 12 CP. It was practically impossible for the 12 CP to do anything. This in itself didn't seem to be a problem in first-tempo situations (of course the guy with the longer weapon and greater skill will control the terms of the fight), but even winning a T1 defense was essentially useless because Reach Control doesn't recalculate in the middle of a play. This meant that winning a defense in the first tempo gave me initiative for the second tempo, but didn't let me actually do anything with it because I was still at a CP disadvantage due to the "lagging" Reach Control calculation. I couldn't attack with any commitment, because at my dice disadvantage doing so was almost guaranteed to cede the initiative back to Korbel. I couldn't throw a weak attack + Stomp, because Korbel (as actually happened) was able to Attack From Defense and effectively ignore my attack.

I'm not asserting that CP-disadvantaged characters should not, in fact, be at a disadvantage. I'm not even sure there is an actual problem. However, it certainly felt like the situation—a minor difference in proficiency coupled with initial reach advantage—was effectively insurmountable without wildly improbable luck or enormous risk. My character had no plausible options to try to close the distance and maintain that spacing in the second tempo, and as a result was never really able to even participate in the fight at all.
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel 0.2.0 Feedback : Book IV : Tribulation

Post by thorgarth » 25 Nov 2018, 19:38

Landwalker wrote:
25 Nov 2018, 16:41

I'm not asserting that CP-disadvantaged characters should not, in fact, be at a disadvantage. I'm not even sure there is an actual problem. However, it certainly felt like the situation—a minor difference in proficiency coupled with initial reach advantage—was effectively insurmountable without wildly improbable luck or enormous risk. My character had no plausible options to try to close the distance and maintain that spacing in the second tempo, and as a result was never really able to even participate in the fight at all.
Was this felt in earlier versions (both S&S or BoB)?
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel 0.2.0 Feedback : Book IV : Tribulation

Post by Landwalker » 25 Nov 2018, 21:19

thorgarth wrote:
25 Nov 2018, 19:38
Landwalker wrote:
25 Nov 2018, 16:41

I'm not asserting that CP-disadvantaged characters should not, in fact, be at a disadvantage. I'm not even sure there is an actual problem. However, it certainly felt like the situation—a minor difference in proficiency coupled with initial reach advantage—was effectively insurmountable without wildly improbable luck or enormous risk. My character had no plausible options to try to close the distance and maintain that spacing in the second tempo, and as a result was never really able to even participate in the fight at all.
Was this felt in earlier versions (both S&S or BoB)?
I can't really comment on how it compares to previous iterations of the game, because I am not familiar with them. I've only recently gotten involved with / attentive to S&S.
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel 0.2.0 Feedback : Book IV : Tribulation

Post by Agamemnon » 26 Nov 2018, 15:10

Patch notes released. Stomp has been updated in its favor. It can now be used with any offensive maneuver and in either tempo. We're going to test it under the notion that if the aggressor abuses it they'll wind up screwing themselves on its activation cost later.
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel 0.2.0 Feedback : Book IV : Tribulation

Post by thorgarth » 11 Dec 2018, 17:35

"Stealing initiative is the the most risky and yet most potentially rewarding gamble you can make."

Yet this seems to be less riskier AND yes, more rewarding than Attacking from Defense, as introduced in page 201, because it gives you the chance to not only steal Initiative but actually strike first at your opponent though he started with the initiative.

In fact, the only limitation, and thus the only reason I see that anyone would choose Attacking from Defense is to try it in the second tempo, since Stealing Initiative can only be tried on the first tempo. Or am I missing something that indeed makes this more riskier than Attacking from Defense?
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel 0.2.0 Feedback : Book IV : Tribulation

Post by Agamemnon » 11 Dec 2018, 18:08

Generally speaking, you don't choose to attack from defense unless you are confident that you can ignore or absorb their attack. You wouldn't choose AfD if you thought the attack was going to murder you. Meanwhile, you generally only steal initiative when the attacker has over-invested, which generally means if they land first it's going to murder you.

The former is only done when you think you can do it safely, the latter is risking it because you can't.
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel 0.2.0 Feedback : Book IV : Tribulation

Post by thorgarth » 11 Dec 2018, 19:32

Agamemnon wrote:
11 Dec 2018, 18:08
Generally speaking, you don't choose to attack from defense unless you are confident that you can ignore or absorb their attack. You wouldn't choose AfD if you thought the attack was going to murder you. Meanwhile, you generally only steal initiative when the attacker has over-invested, which generally means if they land first it's going to murder you.

The former is only done when you think you can do it safely, the latter is risking it because you can't.
Yes, but why choose AfD in any case unless you are on the second tempo (and thus not be able to use Steal Initiative)? Because, in the worst case scenario the worse result you get is attacking after the character that had initiative at the beginning of said tempo, but that was guaranteed in AfD. On the other hand you have a chance to actually be able to beat the bastard if you won the Speed conflict. Actually, even if you managed to loose the speed test you may even manage to bait the adversary to use some CP dice to boost his Speed Test, so even this seems better than just resign to attacking in second place.

Like you said, you would use AfD if you think you could absorb the attack, But if you can actually jump the gun and get to the bastard first without any additional cost, and "risking" grabbing initiative, I don't see why not use this option.
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel 0.2.0 Feedback : Book IV : Tribulation

Post by Benedict » 12 Dec 2018, 03:16

thorgarth wrote:
11 Dec 2018, 19:32
Yes, but why choose AfD in any case unless you are on the second tempo (and thus not be able to use Steal Initiative)?
1st Tempo. He rolls Red I throw White. I am in plate full harness, visored helmet and all. He swings 3d with a knife at my head. Its better I let him have his attack and attack from defense with my full pool because :
  • He can't hurt me. At all.
  • He can't stop my attack in any way.
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel 0.2.0 Feedback : Book IV : Tribulation

Post by thorgarth » 12 Dec 2018, 07:18

Benedict wrote:
12 Dec 2018, 03:16
thorgarth wrote:
11 Dec 2018, 19:32
Yes, but why choose AfD in any case unless you are on the second tempo (and thus not be able to use Steal Initiative)?
1st Tempo. He rolls Red I throw White. I am in plate full harness, visored helmet and all. He swings 3d with a knife at my head. Its better I let him have his attack and attack from defense with my full pool because :
  • He can't hurt me. At all.
  • He can't stop my attack in any way.
I get that Benedict, but won't Steal Initiative offer that AND more, without any added penalty or adverse effect?

First of all that guy either is seriously drunk and/or his assailed by a defective cognitive function to attack someone in a full harness of plate with a knife with 3d. But that IS his problem not yours. :D

That being said the guy could just be a professional gambler with a death wish... meaning he could be the luckiest sod in the world that was tricking you into believing that attack wouldn't stand a chance to seriously harm you, but then he rolls 1 or 2 Sixes AND goes for "Scoundrel’s Luck", and then goes on rolling 3 or 4 more 6. And the bastard was a BIG bastard, with a large Brawn Score, bigger than yours by 2 or 3. I know its a HUGE leap, but.....

My point is, even in this apparently very positive context if you opted for Steal Initiative:

- He stands a very, VERY, low chance to hurt you;
- He cannot stop your attack in any way. The max he could achieve is attack you first, but that would be his prerogative in the first place, even if you chose AfD.
- You could beat him at the speed test (especially if the bastard was really drunk) and then Attack him before he lifts his small blade, or attack at the same time (in case of Tie).
- With Steal Initiative you could stand to win initiative, if you get more hits than your opponent (if you don't manage to "eliminate" the bastard in the first place), whereas with AfD you only get the initiative IF your attack brings your opponent to 0 CP in the second tempo (through Impact), or if the stupid bastard has spent all his large pool of 3 dice in the puny attack.

The thing is, IF I'm not missing anything (and there's always a chance of that, especially with me being so new to the game) Stealing Initiative, when the choice is an option (meaning 1st Tempo), is Always better than AfD, or should I say, its SAFER, in the off-chance that your attack doesn't finish your opponent and combat will continue on the next Tempo or Play.
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