Deadliness compared to TROS?

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Stempest
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Deadliness compared to TROS?

Post by Stempest » 18 Dec 2017, 17:29

I'd be curious to hear opinions from those who have played both S&S and TROS, whether the systems are equally deadly in melee.

A criticism I see of TROS is that it's an interesting melee system you hope to never need to use in anger, because you're very likely to lose a character. Is B&B the same, or is this mitigated by some of the things you can spend your passion points on?

(I admit it, I'm also just drumming up some conversation)
taelor
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Re: Deadliness compared to TROS?

Post by taelor » 18 Dec 2017, 18:19

Have never played TROS, and have only run two test combat in the old BoB draft. The first was an unarmored due thatl ended on the second tempo of the first play with one of the combat with one of the combatants disemboweling the other with a longsword. The second was 2 unarmored assassins vs. one armored man-at-arms. That one lasted slightly longer, but ended with the man-at-arms taking a rondel dagger to the face. Haven't tried any straight up armored combat, though.
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higgins
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Re: Deadliness compared to TROS?

Post by higgins » 19 Dec 2017, 17:16

Compared to TROS we have made conscious choices to make the lower end wounds not as crippling. There is no need to keep track of every single scratch for weeks, until they heal. Level 1 wounds aren't even recorded to the sheet. Wounds of the same level also don't stack, so, only the highest wound is taken account for in the terms of penalties to the wounded character.

That said, the upper end of the scale is quite similar and people's skulls can be split quite happily, provided that the successes are present to back such carnage up. The game still encourages investing more to defense over offense to keep the character safe.

However, one needs to keep in mind that most test fights to try out the combat system tend to take place in situations void of firing drives (aka bonus dice), which is as fool's errand to take part of in a normal gaming environment.

Also, metal armor caps the upper levels of wounds, mostly so that wounds higher than level 3 cannot be delivered to an armored combatant unless the opponent has a specialized anti-armor weapon.

Hope that answers most of your questions.
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Benedict
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Re: Deadliness compared to TROS?

Post by Benedict » 20 Dec 2017, 07:11

higgins wrote:However, one needs to keep in mind that most test fights to try out the combat system tend to take place in situations void of firing drives (aka bonus dice), which is as fool's errand to take part of in a normal gaming environment.
This.


And a note.

On a 1vs1 bout things are rather "simple", in the sense that the one with a dice edge who makes decent tactical choices will win 90% of the times virtually unscathed.

During a skirmish, with missiles flying around, potential ambushes, and 1vsMany possibilities, things can get out of hand no matter dice pool sizes.

BoB did a great job at making the whole TRoS idea of a gritty, brutal, and detailed combat system into a more streamlined and fast version without turning it into a pillow fight.

S+S took this even further, by penalizing more any bad tactical options and less any bad dice rolls.

Is it deadly? Hell yes. Is it more or less deadly than TRoS? I'd say just about the same. It's only the variables that determine deadliness that are different -- and better. In my opinion that is.
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dra
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Re: Deadliness compared to TROS?

Post by dra » 20 Dec 2017, 17:26

Stempest wrote:I'd be curious to hear opinions from those who have played both S&S and TROS, whether the systems are equally deadly in melee.

A criticism I see of TROS is that it's an interesting melee system you hope to never need to use in anger, because you're very likely to lose a character. Is B&B the same, or is this mitigated by some of the things you can spend your passion points on?

(I admit it, I'm also just drumming up some conversation)

Overall, it is simillar.
Armor is stronger in Bob but you can overcome it with relatively cheap and easily availible weapons.
AFAIR, freshly created combat pools in Bob are higher than they were in TROS. More dice = potential higher damage.
Also, in TROS, if you had strong Will Power and large pools, you could really take a serious beating and still kept fighting. In bob wounds increased flatly TNs. Advantage of higher pools is not so substantial any more. Also, no component of Will Power decreasing severity of wounds.
In TROS vanilla style, you could have up to 25 Spirituals firing at the same time. In bob this mechanic was dwarfed. As I said before, more dice = potential higher damage.

Bottom line, answer should be based on case by case basis. In few scenarios BoB had potential to be more lethal. In other, TROS was bloodier.
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Re: Deadliness compared to TROS?

Post by Agamemnon » 04 Jan 2018, 15:54

Higgins hit most of the points.

The lower end damage is more forgiving. Higher-end is about the same. Dice pools are about on part in Sword & Scoundrel as they were in TROS. Weapon damage is about the same, but doesn't get quite as crazy on the high end. On the other hand, armor in S&S is way better to the point that it significantly changes the way you engage an opponent. So if we're weighing the raw combat systems against one another, they are about on par but slightly more forgiving.

On the other hand, this is only half the discussion because the game is very much built around the drives with an eye towards emulating fiction. Characters fight harder when the conflict is important. The corollary here is that you tend not to want to get into fights where they aren't important to your character -- you're risking your life, after all. Dice from drives tip the odds pretty nicely in your favor if you're evenly matched with your opponent, and they can give a middling swordsman decent odds against a superior fighter. Failing that, you need to fight in ways that give you an edge over your opponent, whether that's an ambush or terrain, having better gear, whatever. The very last thing you want is to be in a completely fair fight -- not unless you're just absolutely confident in your abilities as a player to engage with the subsystem.

That said, even beyond the bonus dice aspect, drives have a lot of narrative weight. They can be burnt to make an injury less crippling, allowing you slightly better odds in the heat of the moment. You can flat out declare that you will survive a fight with Not Quite Dead Yet, burning a point of drive to guarantee that you'll survive an injury or a fight. For a PC, the question is never really "will I survive?" but "at what cost?"

Death is not a threat to loom over the player. That's kind of boring. It's an abrupt end to the story. Death is, instead, a ripcord the player can pull when the character has lost too much.
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