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Author Topic: Manuevers questions  (Read 15489 times)
Bankuei
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« on: May 09, 2002, 09:20:03 PM »

Clinton is starting his ROS campaign next week, and we were making characters today.  Since he's taking it full hilt as far as mechanics, I had some questions about the Manuevers in ROS.

1) Can you "pull punches"?  If so, how?  Does it cost extra CP, or not?
2) Just to make sure I understand: You spend 1 CP to activate a Feint, then basically a "2-CP-for-each-die-added" rule correct?  That is to say, you throw away 1 die for each extra die you add to your original attack, hence, 2 dice out of your pool for each one added to your attack.  

If this is the case, then it seems really inefficient to feint at all.  For example, assuming an ATN of 6(50% chance of a success with any die), every 2 dice should yield 1 success on average.  Geralt, in the example on page 61, has spent 7 CP to add 3 dice to his attack.  Which is about 1.5 successes(if he had an ATN 6, instead of 5), at the cost of 7 CP.  Wouldn't it make more sense if he just poured it all into his attack to begin with leading to an average of 3.5 successes at the same cost?

Certainly, an all out offense will likely lead to the opponent going for full evasion, but if you can afford to spill out 7 or more dice in a manuever, then you probably outclass them period.

I know this is nitpicky, but looking at the maneuvers, I see my character only using two or three of them, and I wanted to check on Feint, since it is a useful manuever in real life.

Thanks,

Chris
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Rattlehead
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2002, 09:34:06 PM »

I know that only Jake can give a conclusive answer to any question, but I might have some insight on the feint.

Lance (Wolfen) put the smackdown on my character with a feint in our last duel. I should have seen it coming, but I didn't. You're right that it does cost an extra die for each die added to the "real" attack, but your opponent is unable to add more dice to his defense. In our case, he made a weak upward slash to my groin with only 3 dice (which is why I should have been suspicious of the move), after I'd declared a defense with 5 dice, he dumped 4 more dice (at a cost of 8) into the real attack - a thrust to the face. So he ended up with a total of 7 dice behind his thrust while I was defending with only 5.  I got a short sword stuffed into my face...  not pretty... I think this is the real strength of the feint - it forces your opponent to defend with less dice than they normally would have.

It's possible that we were doing it wrong, but I think we had the rules straight on this (for a change). :-)

Hope this is useful!

Brandon
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Grooby!
Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2002, 09:39:01 PM »

Hey Chris,

I used this maneuver to good effect in my second duel with Brandon. I ran into a bit of misunderstanding about the cost which was only cleared up after I re-read the example, though. For one, I believe you only pay an activation cost if the specific proficiency says so (such as rapier and case of rapiers, whereas cut and thrust does not). As for the actual effectiveness, if used properly, I can see that, as it is currently done, it is very effective. The idea is to lull your opponent into saving his CP for the second exchange (which makes me think that feinting on the second exchange of blows is about worthless, because the opponent is likely to spend all points anyhow) then suddenly using more dice to try to take him down right NOW. It was my feint (very, very risky as it was, but it turned out) that got me the decisive strike which ended up with me winning that duel.

Here's a question: Have you ran any really experimental duels? What I mean is, duels where you used various maneuvers to see their effectiveness. Our first duel was much more cut and dried, (or thrust and dried, as it were) but our second involved a lot of rules checking, which I think left us both with a stronger sense of RoS battle tactics. If you've done this, then disregard this suggestion. If you have not, I recommend you do it. Go crazy, do risky things, repeatedly, just to see how they work out. If you die, start another duel. Do it all until you have a satisfactory grip on how effective various maneuvers are in various circumstances.

As for pulling punches, I'm interested in the answer as well. I think it a viable way for characters to "practice" against one another without having to worry about maiming each other. My own thought would be simply upping the TN by 1 for offense, and lowering it by one for defense if both combatants are agreeing to pull punches, but I'd like to know the official take on it.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Rattlehead
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2002, 10:01:33 PM »

Quote from: Wolfen
I ran into a bit of misunderstanding about the cost which was only cleared up after I re-read the example, though. For one, I believe you only pay an activation cost if the specific proficiency says so (such as rapier and case of rapiers, whereas cut and thrust does not).


I think what Lance is saying here is this: The activation cost for the feint maneuver is "variable" for Cut and Thrust, it's 1 for Case of Rapiers. When using Cut and Thrust, you spend dice from your CP on the false attack, your opponent declares his defense, then you add dice to the real attack (at a cost of 2 CP per each die added). Using Case of Rapiers, you would spend dice for the false attack, opponent declares defense, then you pay 1 CP for activation, then you add dice to the real attack as above. Lance can verify if this is what he means.

Quote from: Wolfen
Go crazy, do risky things, repeatedly, just to see how they work out. If you die, start another duel. Do it all until you have a satisfactory grip on how effective various maneuvers are in various circumstances.


I agree completely. At first I thought that the maneuvers were just "gravy". I've since learned that they mean the difference between boring (and short) combat and a great experience. I learned more in the one duel where we used maneuvers heavily than I've learned in the 9 or so other duels I've played combined.

Definately try everything at least once. It's great fun and you learn a lot.

Brandon
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Grooby!
Jaif
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Posts: 327


« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2002, 07:26:52 AM »

I agree with your interpretation of feints - the idea is to catch someone who's defending with too few dice.

The only manuevers I can't figure out an advantage to are stop short & beat.  I can't figure what situations these translate into a dice-advantage.

-Jeff
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Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2002, 07:39:25 AM »

Beat, from Jake's description of what it is IRL, and from my own limited knowledge of the technique, seems like it would be best used if unannounced, like feint is. That is to say, until after defense was declared. I believe it's basically a way to make your opponent waste dice, but this will not happen if they know that you are attempting a beat. If they do not defend, they only run the risk of losing the attacker's successes, which generally means that the attacker spent more than the defender will lose (unless all dice are effective). If the opponent defends, and still loses, they will lose their defense dice PLUS the dice from the beat. If they know the beat is coming, they're not likely to defend, unless they really want the initiative.

The Stop Short... ::mystified expression:: Your guess is at least as good as mine, if not better.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Jaif
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Posts: 327


« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2002, 07:47:06 AM »

The problem I have with beat is this:

I announce my beat (according to the rules) and spend 4 dice.  My opponent spends 4 in a parry.  Say I win by 1: that means next round I get an extra die.

Had we done the same sequence, but I had just attacked, that would be a level one wound (subject to str/armor etc...).  Why go through the trouble of beating?

-Jeff
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Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2002, 08:01:11 AM »

You don't get dice from a beat, your opponent loses dice. As for the merit of this, I will say that there are times that it is worthwhile to deplete your opponent's dicepool. For example, when trying to set up for a finishing blow on an already wounded opponent, or when simply trying to get into range of an opponent with longer range. I've done throw away light attacks (a die or two) to deplete their CP so I could attack successfully on the second round and close range. The reason I did not use a beat is that, as it currently stands, an opponent would be best-advised not to defend against a beat if they know it is coming. It's not a maneuver you'd use often or in most situations, but it does have it's uses when you think tactically.

For the record, when I run RoS, I will have the beat be announced as a different sort of attack, then revealed as a beat after defense is called, much the way a feint is declared. It keeps in line with the comment in the book "Surprise is of the utmost importance in a successful offensive beat". When I've had it used against me in the past, I did not know at the immediate moment that he was just attacking my shinai until after I had overreacted to defend. By this time, it was usually too late to realize, because I was rubbing my shin or ribs and cursing like a soldier.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Jake Norwood
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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2002, 08:18:32 AM »

Your resolution of the Beat problem seems very good to me. Go with that. I'm really enjoying this discussion on maneuvers, by the way. They're may absolute favorite part of the combat section, as each one was crafted after real techniques that are actually practiced. It's cool stuff, to be sure.

Jake
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"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -R.E. Howard The Tower of the Elephant
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Jaif
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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2002, 08:23:45 AM »

First of all, a beat is only declared at the beginning of a melee (or after a pause).  The situation you describe, of reducing a wounded opponent's pool, isn't really a factor.

Second, the rules were very specific that a beat was declared.  I still want to know what advantage it holds under that situation.

Third, a lvl 1 wound would result in more than one lost die in many circumstances.

Fourth, it finally occured to me at least one situation when a beat is useful.  If you're a light-fighter, facing a heavily armored foe who's already down a few dice for armor, helm, and shield, then a 1 margin of success is unlikely to do any damage, but their few dice are very meaningful and you may get some small benifit from attacking that pool instead.

Funny aside - I took a fencing class in college.  I remember being all dainty (hold the foil this way, stand that way) when my teacher taught us (=me) what a beat was.  I was half a foot taller, at least 50 pounds heavier, and she played the brute and smacked my weapon aside and then ran me through (ok, imagination on  the last part).  For the little bit I did, I remember a beat being a very nice move to keep your opponent honest - if they moved their weapon too far aside to do something fancy, you could always smack it away and stab long before they could recover.

-Jeff

P.S. She was a cool teacher.  Left-handed, too.  For once in my life, I actually put a lot of effort into stretching.
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Nick the Nevermet
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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2002, 08:42:25 AM »

I'm probaby devolving the rules by suggesting this, but its worth a discussion:  the body language skill.

Several attacks now seem to not be announced according to house rules that people are advancing (beat, feint, and by logical extension stop short).  This allows the defender to get drawn in, and spend dice, which is the point of these maneuvers.  Obviously, making them be officially announced as some other attack, their effectiveness will be improved.  As Valamir and almost everyone else has pointed out, why would someone bother trying to defend a stop short or a beat?  You'd just waste more dice.

I think this is a place for body language.  A successful roll of somekind could tip off a character that his opponent isn't REALLY doing a cut, but is actually beating or feinting or stopping short.  This has some intuition behind it, I think.  The down side is its yet another level of rules, and body language already seems to me to be a very powerful skill if used correctly.  Making it MORE powerful... well...
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Jaif
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Posts: 327


« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2002, 08:55:47 AM »

Just to make a point - stop short is nothing like beats (or feints, for that matter).  I'm going by memory, but once the attacker announces a stop short, the defender does nothing.  Instead:

The attacker rolls WP vs Opponent's Perception,
The defender rolls Reflex vs #of dice attacker spends,
Defender loses 1 die per attacker margin of success.

So, if we're all 4s, and the attacker uses 4 dice, then both parties roll 4 dice against a TN of 4.  Only if the attacker makes all his rolls and the defender misses all his can the attacker even recoup his dice.  In otherwords, stop short pretty much can't help if both parties are roughly equivalent.

Hopefully I misread it.

-Jeff
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Nick the Nevermet
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Posts: 352


« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2002, 09:10:30 AM »

I odn't have the book handy, but that sounds about right.

The sequence of combat is attacker declares then defender declares.  The defender gets to do SOME kind of defensive maneuver against pretty much any attack.  I can't see stopping short making that go away.  This causes a whole bunch of ugly combinations of reacting to a stop short, like grapple or counter.  sample for countering a stop short:

"I'm gonna look intimidating and back him back off!"
"You lunge in, stamping, and he sidesteps and chops your head off" (to paraphrase)

There are other things, but I shouldn't post on lists with 2 hours sleep.
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Jaif
Member

Posts: 327


« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2002, 09:20:35 AM »

Quote
The sequence of combat is attacker declares then defender declares. The defender gets to do SOME kind of defensive maneuver against pretty much any attack.


I'm almost positive that stop short made no mention whatsoever about defender's dice.  If it did, then it might explain the manuever.


-Jeff
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Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2002, 10:28:48 AM »

As I happen to have the book handy, I'll toss the rules out there. I still have no conception for what Stop Short would be useful for, by the rules, so if discussion brings it to light, we'll be benefiting all of us.

Ahem.

Quote
This maneuver consists of leaping or stomping at an opponent and then halting suddenly to throw your opponent off-guard.
The maneuver cost is variable. Roll a contest of the attackers WP against the defender's Reflex. The attacker's TN is equal to his opponent's Per. The defender's TN is equal to the number of dice that the attacker spent executing the maneuver. This counts as an attack. If the defender wins, then he may take initiative normally. If the attacker wins, then his opponent loses a number of dice from his CP equal to the attacker's margin of success.
If the defender wins by 5 successes, then he may attack you as if you had fumbled an attack.
This maneuver is available at proficiency level 3.


Okay, so there we have it.. The attacker spends dice to create the TN for his opponent's roll... So he'd better spend alot if he wants his opponent to fail. If the attacker fails, the opponent loses nothing. If the attacker wins, the defender loses less than the attacker spent on the maneuver, most likely. Only if the attacker rolls all successes, and the defender gets NO successes at all does the defender lose a significant amount of CP.. up to the attacker's WP rating.. When they likely spent considerably more to create a decently difficult TN for the defender to hit. So the upshot of it is.. The defender loses no dice if he wins, and gets initiative. The attacker expends a healthy amount of CP, and may get no return from it, if the defender happens to win, or minimal returns from it, even if the attacker wins.

I see absolutely no merit in the rules regarding this maneuver.. Whereas the actual, real-to-life maneuver is notably more useful.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
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