Parry and defensive TNs

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Agamemnon
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Parry and defensive TNs

Post by Agamemnon » 15 Aug 2017, 19:43

Siggi wrote:Have to admit, I still can't get over the concept that all weapons are equally effective at parrying. The weapons in TRoS seemed so cute and somehow alive because of their sets of characteristics, this combination of damage and cutting/thrusting/defense TNs. It turned out eventually that these stats weren't so accurate after all, but they felt cool nonetheless. And while I agree that, as a matter of game design, supplying every single weapon with a list of TNs is probably not a good idea. But I still expect that weapons' defensive properties would be incorporated into the system somehow. Because one thing is facing an enemy with a balanced hilted sword in your hand, and quite another is facing the same enemy with only a mace (or a long dagger) and no shield.
From a historical perspective, the difference between various weapon handling in the attack isn't nearly what games tend to make it. While one can argue that an axe handles differently than a rapier, one could also argue that compensating for these differences is what proficiencies are all about. From a game-design perspective, you wind up having to explain why someone with 6 points in Mass Weapons is worse with their weapon than someone with 6 points in Swords. We also noticed that every time you introduce any meaningful degree of handling differences, people just stop using the "worse" weapons.

Further complicating the matter, if we really wanted to model these kind of handling differences it's actually way more complicated than just adding a defense stat. You can argue that a battle axe is worse at parrying than a sword because of its top-heavy nature, but what if it's being used two-handed? A common deflection involves choking up on the weapon and catching a blow with your haft. The top-heavy nature becomes irrelevant. Does the defense get better? The same logic will apply to one-handed vs two-handed uses of a spear, or rear-grip vs. mid-grip uses of any polearm. Daggers are one of your examples, but they have been used as civilian parrying weapons and are perfectly suited to the task. So to make any kind of realistic claim, we'd need to have separate numbers for their effectiveness against swords and daggers vs. their effectiveness against heavy weapons. For that matter, one-handed weapons as a whole can have difficulty parrying against heavier weapons. Trying to stop a halberd with an arming sword is going to be significantly more difficult than it would be with a zweihander.

It's one of those things where we can either try abstract the whole thing, or we have to get a great deal more granular in a way that I'm not sure adds enough to be worth the hassle and in the process.
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Siggi
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Re: Historical Weapons stats

Post by Siggi » 15 Aug 2017, 20:04

Agamemnon wrote:From a historical perspective, the difference between various weapon handling in the attack isn't nearly what games tend to make it. While one can argue that an axe handles differently than a rapier, one could also argue that compensating for these differences is what proficiencies are all about. From a game-design perspective, you wind up having to explain why someone with 6 points in Mass Weapons is worse with their weapon than someone with 6 points in Swords. We also noticed that every time you introduce any meaningful degree of handling differences, people just stop using the "worse" weapons.
I totally agree with you on this point!
Agamemnon wrote:Further complicating the matter, if we really wanted to model these kind of handling differences it's actually way more complicated than just adding a defense stat. You can argue that a battle axe is worse at parrying than a sword because of its top-heavy nature, but what if it's being used two-handed? A common deflection involves choking up on the weapon and catching a blow with your haft. The top-heavy nature becomes irrelevant. Does the defense get better? The same logic will apply to one-handed vs two-handed uses of a spear, or rear-grip vs. mid-grip uses of any polearm. Daggers are one of your examples, but they have been used as civilian parrying weapons and are perfectly suited to the task. So to make any kind of realistic claim, we'd need to have separate numbers for their effectiveness against swords and daggers vs. their effectiveness against heavy weapons. For that matter, one-handed weapons as a whole can have difficulty parrying against heavier weapons. Trying to stop a halberd with an arming sword is going to be significantly more difficult than it would be with a zweihander.

It's one of those things where we can either try abstract the whole thing, or we have to get a great deal more granular in a way that I'm not sure adds enough to be worth the hassle and in the process.
Yeah, I can see what you're driving at. AND YET...


youtu.be/cPhZ2aMy1vQ

PS I'll try doing it by giving parrying activation costs where I see fit. I swear I'll do! And then we'll see...
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Re: Historical Weapons stats

Post by Agamemnon » 15 Aug 2017, 20:52

Siggi wrote:PS I'll try doing it by giving parrying activation costs where I see fit. I swear I'll do! And then we'll see...
We actually considered this at one point, but wound up scrapping it.

TROS originally had different ACs per maneuver per proficiency. We thought it was a pretty good step forward when we steamlined that. Then we wound up kind of retroactively undoing this a bit by making certain emphases make exceptions (sabers free Draw Cut, for instance), and then we wound up giving certain maneuvers the ability to modify the cost of other maneuvers (it was the only application of Half-Swording that really made sense). If we start further adjusting activation costs by weapon on top of that, it rapidly approaches "too many moving parts" territory. We'd actually then be better off going back to the TROS way and baking the costs into the proficiency: e.g., Mass Weapons has Parry with an AC1 instead of AC0.

Don't let that stop you from tinkering, however. Maybe you'll come up with some really handy way to do it and can share it with us.
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Re: Historical Weapons stats

Post by EinBein » 15 Aug 2017, 23:40

Siggi wrote:Sauron's Mace
3b/0b Extended Crushing 2h r4 (Mace, Hefty)

The last one's not really historical... On the other hand, we've seen it in action! )
And I had one of the originals in me own hands and a very careful swing around (in order to not hit my fellow tour members, the guide or other relics of films gone by). It was indeed quite top-heavy and felt surprisingly crunchy in order to make acting more natural...

I also got a grip on Thorin Oakenshield's oakenshield... which was in fact as unwieldy as it looked like in the films.
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Re: Historical Weapons stats

Post by higgins » 16 Aug 2017, 03:59

Siggi wrote:Have to admit, I still can't get over the concept that all weapons are equally effective at parrying. The weapons in TRoS seemed so cute and somehow alive because of their sets of characteristics, this combination of damage and cutting/thrusting/defense TNs.
One upon a time in a galaxy far, far away...
Jake Norwood wrote:
higgins wrote:Maybe we could persuade Jake to re-evaluate the stats he gave for the weapons for more granular approach? In my opinion, that's really the only way we fanboys would stop arguing what the real TNs would be like. :)
Maybe you could. I know a lot more about weapons now than I did then.

...which means even more of them would be 6/6 now, lol.

Jake
Not to use Jake as a rubber stamp here, but when Agamemnon pushed our engine to use Reqs for difficulty, instead of the the TNs, I somehow thought of that post. The rest is history :twisted:
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Re: Parry and defensive TNs

Post by thirtythr33 » 16 Aug 2017, 04:51

I split this topic off from the weapon stats one.

In my mind, it would be easier to make the defense penalty a part of Parry itself instead of listing it on each weapon. For example:

Parry | Def | Basic | AC0
Deflect an incoming blow with a weapon.
Roll vs Base TN.
Parry with disadvantage if defending with a Brawling weapon without a Basket hilt or a Mass Weapon held in 1 hand.
"O happy dagger!
This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die."

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Re: Parry and defensive TNs

Post by Siggi » 16 Aug 2017, 08:25

thirtythr33 wrote:Parry with disadvantage if defending with a Brawling weapon without a Basket hilt or a Mass Weapon held in 1 hand.
We've been there already, back when we were discussing BoB. Higgins explained back then that they wanted to add "Unwieldy" weapon quality that caused the weapon to defend with disadvantage. But disadvantage mechanic was already used for rolls made by a prone character, and disadvantage doesn't stack, and so they just dropped it.

Yes, all of it has already been discussed here, and the reason why I'm distracting our respected authors from their work is because, as I've said, I still can't get over it, and now they're doing a new, better edition of the game with many improvements, and so I thought: "Maybe..."


youtu.be/xorWgC8vf3I
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Re: Parry and defensive TNs

Post by thirtythr33 » 16 Aug 2017, 08:55

Siggi wrote:Higgins explained back then that they wanted to add "Unwieldy" weapon quality that caused the weapon to defend with disadvantage. But disadvantage mechanic was already used for rolls made by a prone character, and disadvantage doesn't stack, and so they just dropped it.
I think the rarity of how often someone is prone, while holding a 1h mass weapon, without a shield and needs to defend an attack is low enough for that to be a total non-issue. They are so fucked anyway, you can just let them parry without further penalty.

In combat (in BOB), disadvantage was only used for Prone, Slip & Strike and Parrying while using Reverse Grip. You don't have to worry about it stacking with Slip & Strike because that's an illegal combination of maneuvers. And you would incorporate the reverse grip penalty with the new rules. (While using reverse grip, you weapon is unwieldy).

What's the big fear of having any potential source of disadvantage not stacking?
"O happy dagger!
This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die."

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Re: Parry and defensive TNs

Post by Agamemnon » 16 Aug 2017, 11:51

thirtythr33 wrote:I split this topic off from the weapon stats one.

In my mind, it would be easier to make the defense penalty a part of Parry itself instead of listing it on each weapon. For example:

Parry | Def | Basic | AC0
Deflect an incoming blow with a weapon.
Roll vs Base TN.
Parry with disadvantage if defending with a Brawling weapon without a Basket hilt or a Mass Weapon held in 1 hand.
Sadly, even this isn't a particularly clean line. A lot of early "left hand daggers" had little more than a broad set of quillons and occasionally a small ring off to one side of the hand.

Image
Image

A particularly litigious player might also start questioning why his lightweight little tomahawk is as hard to parry with as a horseman's axe, particularly when the guy with the big choppy conyer's-style falchion can parry without penalty.
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Re: Parry and defensive TNs

Post by thirtythr33 » 16 Aug 2017, 12:23

That's like saying if you can't get it 100% right, why even bother at all?

Surely 80% accuracy is better than 40%.

Edit: Also, that might not be the best rule to attach to parry. There's probably other ways to do it that are even better.
Or do something like "Weapons with the Unwieldy property parry at disadvantage."
In the weapon codex, you gain or buy off "Unwieldy" like other properties like a basket hilt.
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Re: Parry and defensive TNs

Post by Benedict » 16 Aug 2017, 12:42

Correct me if wrong. Weapons have Bulk. A Folding Knife has less bulk than a Rapier than a Battle Axe, correct? Bulk is reduced by your Brawn Tap Value, not Brawn Rank. There's the unwieldy penalty built-in. Why stretch it even further?
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Re: Parry and defensive TNs

Post by Agamemnon » 16 Aug 2017, 13:07

As it stands, it's a non-issue because we're not modeling it. If we decide to model it, then we have to accomplish two things:
1. It needs to accomplish its stated goal.
2. The benefit needs to be greater than the complexity added.

If the goal here is "make weapons handle more realistically in the defense" then we need to fine-tune our parameters. My point in the above was that it casts too wide a net to actually be more realistic.
thirtythr33 wrote:That's like saying if you can't get it 100% right, why even bother at all?

Surely 80% accuracy is better than 40%.
Our options are not limited to "accept the thing as it stands" or "reject it entirely." We have a third option, which is "continue fine-tuning the idea." We do a lot of that, on these boards and the process of doing so requires pointing out the existing flaws.
Benedict wrote:Correct me if wrong. Weapons have Bulk. A Folding Knife has less bulk than a Rapier than a Battle Axe, correct? Bulk is reduced by your Brawn Tap Value, not Brawn Rank. There's the unwieldy penalty built-in. Why stretch it even further?
Bulk from non-armor gear is reduced by your total brawn -- which for most people still isn't a huge amount. Most combatants will have a 4. As it stands, though, bulk is pretty simple in calculation. Almost everything is either insignificant (0 bulk - a folding knife, most stuff you can fit in your pocket or a belt pouch), significant (1 bulk - all one-handed weapons, a sheaf of arrows, a bag of insignificant items), or cumbersome (2 bulk. Anything heavy or awkward. Most ranged weapons or any weapon of extended reach or that requires two hands to use. Most shields).
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Re: Parry and defensive TNs

Post by Benedict » 16 Aug 2017, 13:14

Agamemnon wrote:
Benedict wrote:Correct me if wrong. Weapons have Bulk. A Folding Knife has less bulk than a Rapier than a Battle Axe, correct? Bulk is reduced by your Brawn Tap Value, not Brawn Rank. There's the unwieldy penalty built-in. Why stretch it even further?
Bulk from non-armor gear is reduced by your total brawn -- which for most people still isn't a huge amount. Most combatants will have a 4. As it stands, though, bulk is pretty simple in calculation. Almost everything is either insignificant (0 bulk - a folding knife, most stuff you can fit in your pocket or a belt pouch), significant (1 bulk - all one-handed weapons, a sheaf of arrows, a bag of insignificant items), or cumbersome (2 bulk. Anything heavy or awkward. Most ranged weapons or any weapon of extended reach or that requires two hands to use. Most shields).
So it's Brawn, not BTV? In my defense the record sheet says BTV for Bulk and GTV for Armor. ;)

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Re: Parry and defensive TNs

Post by Agamemnon » 16 Aug 2017, 13:30

Image
Very first post in the character sheet bug thread. Amusingly, you've actually commented in that thread and missed it.
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Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife — chopping off what’s incomplete and saying: "Now it’s complete because it’s ended here."
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Re: Parry and defensive TNs

Post by Benedict » 16 Aug 2017, 15:38

Indeed! :lol:

Guess still on vacation mood. :)
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