Two on one combat

Anything related to personal combat and archaic weapons
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thirtythr33
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Re: Two on one combat

Postby thirtythr33 » 15 Sep 2016, 05:49

taelor wrote:The GM presumably knows what the player's CPs are. Is the GM expected to disregard this knowledge? Or is the imbalance simply an intended part of the game?


I don't see how this is different from any other player or NPC statistic. Noone expects to know the dragon's HP in DND, but obviously the GM knows the players. It gives the GM some room to make stuff up on the fly and not have to write out entire character sheets for every encounter. It also adds some mystery for the players. If all the information were above the table, it can become too easy for some industrious players to powergame encounters.

Entire books could be written about how much a GM should or should not meta-game encounters or tactics according to their player's characters. Who should the the bandit with poison arrows target, the elf wizard or the dwarven fighter? Does the answer change if one of them is already at 10% hp? If there is no rogue in the party, should the GM compensate and put less traps in the game, or keep it the same? What about if there is a rogue, but he put all his skill points into stabbing things and none into trap finding? It can be a tricky job for the GM to juggle a realistic environment and NPCs, his omniscience and omnipotence, and building challenging but beatable encounters.
"O happy dagger!
This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die."

- Juliet Capulet
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Benedict
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Re: Two on one combat

Postby Benedict » 15 Sep 2016, 06:34

thirtythr33 wrote:
taelor wrote:The GM presumably knows what the player's CPs are. Is the GM expected to disregard this knowledge? Or is the imbalance simply an intended part of the game?


I don't see how this is different from any other player or NPC statistic. Noone expects to know the dragon's HP in DND, but obviously the GM knows the players. It gives the GM some room to make stuff up on the fly and not have to write out entire character sheets for every encounter. It also adds some mystery for the players. If all the information were above the table, it can become too easy for some industrious players to powergame encounters.

Entire books could be written about how much a GM should or should not meta-game encounters or tactics according to their player's characters. Who should the the bandit with poison arrows target, the elf wizard or the dwarven fighter? Does the answer change if one of them is already at 10% hp? If there is no rogue in the party, should the GM compensate and put less traps in the game, or keep it the same? What about if there is a rogue, but he put all his skill points into stabbing things and none into trap finding? It can be a tricky job for the GM to juggle a realistic environment and NPCs, his omniscience and omnipotence, and building challenging but beatable encounters.


Comparing to other games (other rulesets) is not really constructive. Especially DnD is the worst comparison I'd ever do with 'Bastards because these two games are really out of synch meta-wise. First sessions of a DnD campaign for green players? They might be scared of daggers when they are still lv1-2. When they get lv5? They'd laugh at the 1d4 damage inflicted by the afforementioned daggers.

Even if we go into other d10 systems (WoD and 7th Seas come into mind) there are also big differences.

In WoD (and Exalted) you play high powered supernaturals instead of mortals who would probably laugh at the equivalent of a Lv3 slash to the neck and could easily get rid of Lv4 wounds in a single scene.

In 7th Seas damage is handled abstractly. PCs are heroes usually fighting goons and grunts. Goons and grunts die with a single hit that connects, PCs when damaged pass out, probably ending up naked in a dungeon.

The way combat is fleshed in 'Bastards, I'd say its 50% role-play and 50% strategy as a game. And PCs are equal with NPCs. Don't get me wrong, not equal in terms of raw stats, but in terms of rules and meta. What can kill a NPC it can just as easily kill a PC. What a PC can do so can any NPC do.

So, a question.

Is there a thought for a rule that enables PCs to gauge their opponent strength?
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."
― Touchstone
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thirtythr33
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Re: Two on one combat

Postby thirtythr33 » 15 Sep 2016, 07:42

My point was that the GM / Player information discrepancy is not isolated to BoB and the Combat Pool. It is a problem that is inherent in 99% of TTRPGs. The questions I was asking could easily be generalized to "Since the GM invariably will have more information than the players, when should the GM use that hidden information to achieve a specific goal?"

Actually, NPCs and PCs in BoB are not exactly equal. Only PCs get Story Aspects, which gives bonus dice and can be burnt for combat effects ("Not quite dead yet" being the most impactful). Also, the social skills are not symmetric depending on interpretation.

As far as gauging strength goes, what is wrong with roleplaying and player mastery? Ask what the guy is wearing and whether it is worn or shiny and new. Ask if his face is battle scarred or if he's so young be barely has whiskers on his cheeks. Is he shaking or sure-footed? Does he have a reputation? If he used 8 dice on his first attack, and the GM described it as "a wild powerful blow", what does that mean?

Maybe I'm an old grognard, but I enjoy watching players experimenting with new things to figure out how they work instead of just telling them.
"O happy dagger!
This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die."

- Juliet Capulet
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hector
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Re: Two on one combat

Postby hector » 21 Sep 2016, 19:37

Personally, I'm of the opinion that the GM should role play the NPCs fairly. That includes only acting on what the NPC knows, rather than on what they as referee know.

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