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Author Topic: Things for the Flower of Battle  (Read 20418 times)
Ace
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Posts: 204


« on: May 19, 2002, 08:03:59 PM »

I know I am jumping the gun a little on this (game isn't really out yeet, 2 supps in the pipe line before it) but I still would like to weigh in on my suggestions for the Flower of Battle

What We need

Complete and concise armor diagrams. I would like a diagram showing exactly what each piece of armor covers.
A helmets cover xxxx
A hauberk covers xxxx   and so on.

A bit of new armor. I would love to see scale/lammelar armor.

a complete list of armor pieces worn seperately  FREX chainmail  might list

vest
costs xxxx
covers xxxx
weighs xxxx


Also a list of different quality ratings and costs for armor would be cool.


A few new weapons, the current list is excellent however I would like to see a few thrown weapons (Fransica and Hurlbats and thrown maces oh my).  Also a bit more detail on knives would be neat, stilelto, clip point <the vikings used these> long knife <those 18'' number like the scramasax> and so on.

A few new weapons styles. Really there aren't that many different styles of fighting but there may be enough differences between the Weyerth rapier schools to merit a note.

JMO I thing an Arnis/Esrima style would be preety neat even if it might not be period

Asian MA coverage: HMM Now there is a tough one, there are Asian analogs on Weyerth for most of the cultures including India but can TFOB do them justice?

Unarmed styles are easy, at the granulinity level of TROS there is no difference between Karate forms so no worys, 1 generic from each culture would work well enough for this book but when it comes to armed. Ahh Now there is the rub....

I can off the top of my head name many weird oriental weapons that were used in martial arts and combat, delights such as the urumi <Indian razor whip> chakram, shuriken, pata <gauntlet sword> and tons more.

The problem is I don't think there is enough room in the book for them.

IMO They should either go into the appropriate Weyerth splatt book (ala White Wolf) or better into an Asian Combat supplement (The Art of War maybe)

If they can't cover the mass of weapons I would suggest just sticking to European ones and a smattering of Asian instead.

Other than that notes on the military life and costs creation of armies, integration of sorcerery in battle and lots and lots of castle, siege and war stuff would be keen .
Oh and if you aren't completely out of room a discussion of cinematic versus realisitc combat.  All those rapiers makes folks think Errol Flynn when they should be thinking George Silver) and firearms Handgonne to Flintlock

Whew

Anybody else have suggestions to torment Jake with?
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Jake Norwood
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2002, 08:36:36 PM »

By all means...keep 'em coming. I confess that TFOB is a daunting task to me, and the main reason it's third in the pipe (and not first) is that it has a certain level of quality that really comes down to a ton of research (both in the library, in practice, and in interviews with practicioners when I can't get my hands on the right equipment or training...which is going to be most of TFOB).

SO what I'm saying is, input from you all is GOOD.

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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Atomic Requiem
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Posts: 21


« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2002, 09:00:28 PM »

I know "I agree posts" aren't the most useful thing in the world, but I'd like to chime in basically in concurrence with Ace.

Specifically, I'd love to see more about armour - what zones a suit covers, and what its component pieces are (and what zone they cover).
That'd make my TROS day. More armours, perhaps instead of merely Plate with a variable AV, break it into the different kinds that I've been hearing about.

What to do on the large scale is something that always seems to come up in practice in most of our RPG games. Some army (or group of 50 soldiers) or another runs rampant and the PCs need to interact with it. There are various ways to handle it: a nifty TROS way wouldn't be out of line.

A section on the different between swordslinging life and army life would be good; it's been touched on a few times especially in regards to the rapier, but expounding on that would be good. What makes weapons get used in large battles, even when they wouldn't in duels or vice versa.

You've applied the realism brush to adventuring combat well, applying it to general military life and combat would be edifying, if possible.

Just some thoughts.

*AR*
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Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2002, 10:39:39 PM »

Another issue, besides content, is how much? How much book are we willing to pay for? All of the suggestions are totally valid and very much interesting.. But how many pages is it going to take just to cover the basics? How much to add every suggestion that Jake hasn't already counted on? I'd say that it wouldn't be unrealistic to believe that the book might, just might be as large as the main book with all of the suggestions we're making.

I would pay for it. I'd love the book to be that thick (though preferably not a hardbound) but Jake has to consider what will sell, because what doesn't sell is a cost Driftwood will eat. How many of us would buy a sourcebook that large? One of TRoS's selling points is that all the rules are in the one book with no need to buy a GM's Guide and Player's Guide.. With a book this big, some might consider it a cop out.

My theory on this is that most of us who already LIKE TRoS will buy it, no matter how meaty it is.. Most of us will like it all the more the bigger it is. But those who get into TRoS somewhere down the road may get intimidated by this 260 page book and 260 (or so) page sourcebook..

...............................

But, other than that... I like everything suggested so far, with little else to add as far as content. Most of what I've seen suggested is something I've asked for in the past.
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~Lance Allen
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Julian Kelsey
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2002, 11:05:20 PM »

I'm writing here without having seen TROS but being intrigued by peoples reviews and comments.

So writing as one interested in Medieval and Renaisance European fighting styles (sufficiently so as to avoid most games that try to simulate them) how does TROS measure up and how does it get there?

Ace, you've mentioned a few technical things that raise in me the hope of a game that would let me integrate some serious simulation of fighting with solid character driven narrative.

Below I discuss some matters historical with the general question: Are these details intergral to TROS, or can these elements of game play be ignored, and would the system be made neater by ignoring them?

Quote from: Ace
Unarmed styles are easy, at the granulinity level of TROS there is no difference between Karate forms so no worrys, 1 generic from each culture would work well enough for this book but when it comes to armed. Ahh Now there is the rub....


One of the important things about different schools of martial arts, East and West, is what order things were taught in. Complete systems in real life tend to share a lot of characteristics but get there by very different routes.

Very generally the tendancy is that intermediate scholars will display the characteristics of particular schools strongly, while novices and experts tend towards seeming more general. Some schools try to equip the scholar at all stages with a fair defence, others don't expect competence until all the techniques are understood. Does this type of effect show itself in TROS character generation and play?

Also most non-sporting weapons system including grappling and other techniques, generally very distinctive subsets, is TROS is tuned to this level of distinction.

Issues like the suitability of a type of weapon, with a school of fight, for the circumstances of a given fight (mismatched styles, half learned styles, unsuitable terrain, unfamiliar weapons) should matter.

Quote from: Ace
Other than that notes on the military life and costs creation of armies, integration of sorcerery in battle and lots and lots of castle, siege and war stuff would be keen.


A game that could make this type of stuff intergrally relevant to an unfolding narrative would be great. To my mind individual characters (reflected in what skills they've aquired and how they can apply them) should effect the outcome of conflicts like this for it to matter in the game system, otherwise it's colour with a lot of potential to be flawed and exploitable, what is the case with TROS?

Battle magic: does it parallel gun powder in it's destructive capacity? If it does, then it's effect on military architecture deserves consideration, particularly as gun powder undermined high walls, so a land that always had that destructive capacity would possibly never have bothered with high walled fortifications.
 
Quote from: Ace
Oh and if you aren't completely out of room a discussion of cinematic versus realisitc combat.  All those rapiers makes folks think Errol Flynn when they should be thinking George Silver) and firearms Handgonne to Flintlock.


Point taken, but it's worth noting that Silver is distinctive as being strongly opposed to the use of rapiers, he advocates the short sword over the rapier and presents techniques that work in defense and a variety of circumstances but perhaps aren't tuned to stand so strong in the duel, which is okay because he's strongly against dueling. For Rapier Saviolo and De Grassi and many others

Silvers "Brief Instructions..." is a fabulous example of variety in styles of fighting in Renaissance Europe. He prestents something quite different from what's current in Germany and Italy at the time.

Silver's interested in "true" and "false" types of fights and weapons (understanding circumstances of unbalanced fights to your advantage), he's strongly defensive in the techniques he presents (keep yourself alive, wait for the openning, don't lose your temper), he presents a unity of techniques across a range of weapons (cross training for the gentleman learning to defend himself).

Comparing his long sword to Ringeck is an education: the English style he presents has fewer techniques, advocates avoiding certain complications, and to compensate talks a lot about making use of distance and timing, emphasises a strong defense. Ringeck presents a much more aggressive style, complications comparible to schools dedicated to rapier play, lots of grappling. Italian long sword is something else again, (so I'm told...).

Which is all back ground to my question about the TROS, as a potential purchaser, how much does schooling combined with circumstance and character effect play? Occasionally the unspoken dialogue that is a fight reveals character more than any banter could, is this what TROS delivers?

Thanks,
Julian Kelsey.
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contracycle
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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2002, 05:01:04 AM »

From FoB, I would be looking for stuff like "how to fight in a shield wall" sorta stuff.  I often find that duel-based games suffer when in a mass-combatant environment.
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Valamir
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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2002, 06:03:40 AM »

Couple things.  First CC is right on.  Brace of Rapiers is great for a duelist.  I want it clear how putting those practitioners on the battle field will result in a very messy death.  There has to be rules that simulate the effects of battle from an individual perspective (we don't need a RoS minatures war game...at least not yet).  I'd look to Pendragon's battle system for inspiration.

But here is something that is of especial importance to me, so I'll bold it so it won't be missed.  IMO...NO ASIAN STUFF AT ALL.

Why
1) There is enough material on Western warfare to fill two supplements.  Trying to cram eastern warfare into the book will just cause both to suffer.  If info on the east must be done, keep it for a dedicated book for later in the pipeline.

2) In the real world east and west didn't mix until well after the period covered in Wyerth.  The only knowledge the west should have of the east is fifth hand information passed along trade routes and maybe some quasi mythical marco polo style expedition.  If the vast majority of people should know little about the eastern cultures, then including them is just so much wasted space.

3) The debate between "whose a better swordsman, a samurai or a fencer" has been raging for years between real practitioners.  I for one have no desire to see the dispute played out in RoS with all of the attendent arguement over which style got sold short that's bound to entail.

4) The weakest arguement because its purely my own personal taste...asian stuff interests me zero.  Knights and swashbuckers yes.  Japanese Samurai and Chinese Kung Fu, no.  Asian ethics and philosophies filtered down to western minds who have no real understanding of them and no real desire to know more than "which style lets me kick the most ass"...definitely no.
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Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2002, 11:51:29 AM »

Only problem with your argument Valamir is that a player can choose to play an eastern character. Admittedly most things seem to be focused in the West, but the East (asia) and the South (africa et al) are viable options for player characters.

To totally disinclude any eastern stuff would be unfair to those players. I don't feel that it should be the focus of the book, but a mention, in the form of an unarmed proficiency that makes an effort to be more than brawling or wrestling, and a few eastern martial arts weapons, would hardly be a bad thing.
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~Lance Allen
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Valamir
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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2002, 01:29:00 PM »

Quote from: Wolfen
Only problem with your argument Valamir is that a player can choose to play an eastern character. Admittedly most things seem to be focused in the West, but the East (asia) and the South (africa et al) are viable options for player characters.

To totally disinclude any eastern stuff would be unfair to those players. I don't feel that it should be the focus of the book, but a mention, in the form of an unarmed proficiency that makes an effort to be more than brawling or wrestling, and a few eastern martial arts weapons, would hardly be a bad thing.


Bah :-)

No GM I'd be interested in playing with would allow a mixed nationality group that extreme (chances are it would devolve into the Kewl move of the month club), and those that would like to set their campaign entirely in one of those areas can make do or wait for a dedicated eastern book to come out (as does anyone whose favorite splat hasn't been released yet).  When I bought Way of the Lion, I didn't expect it to be filled with Way of the Crane stuff just to be fair to the Cranes.
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The_Fey
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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2002, 01:57:09 PM »

The combat rules as presented in TROS book are specifically geared towards small scale (only a few combatants) battles.  I'd like to see TFOB expand the combat rules to give specific mechanics to large scale battles and wars.  Weyrth is a very dangerous place, and I can't imagine that it would go too long (more than a century or so) without at least one major war happening somewhere.
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Ace
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Posts: 204


« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2002, 04:39:18 PM »

I must disagree on the inclusion of Asian style Martial arts. while everyone is afraid that the game would degenerate into Kewl Powerz I disagree there.

Also unlike on our earth the Asian style cultures have more than a little contact with the west on Weyerth.

A particular example, Yone has extensive trade with fauth which has extensive ties with the seat of the Xanarian Empire and Gelure both.

Weyerth is not really Europe and it doesn't exist in the cutlral vacumn that Europe seemed to.

Not wanting Bladeslingers to be replaced with Samurai I can understand but Asian combat ought to be covered sooner or later.
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Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2002, 10:59:22 PM »

Quote
When I bought Way of the Lion, I didn't expect it to be filled with Way of the Crane stuff just to be fair to the Cranes.


True enough, but TFoB isn't going to be a Mainlund Splatbook. It's going to be the "comprehensive" (don't let the word scare ya Jake. ::grins::) book on combat. I wouldn't expect a bunch of stuff on eastern or southern combat arts if this were to be "TFoB:Mainlund (Volume 1 of 3)", but unless plans change, it's not going to be that. If it's to cover, even slightly, the various ways of combat, then there will have to be a nod toward the east and south.

This wouldn't have to be a really big deal, either. All I, personally, expect is a few eastern weapon stats, MAYBE a separate proficiency if a particular weapon style was vastly different from the existing styles, and a hand-to-hand style. That's it. The styles in the main book cover most eastern weapons (the katana, etc.) neatly.
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~Lance Allen
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Bankuei
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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2002, 08:42:19 AM »

Although I don't see a need for asian martial arts, I can definitely see a use for a broad mention of the different war tactics used by the various countries.  Especially with the holy war of the religions starting to break out as a major clash...

And as little as I want to see a "kewl" mixed group thing, I was definitely impressed that both India and Africa got a spot in the game world and I would hate to see them only get token mention.

Chris
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Jake Norwood
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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2002, 09:08:17 AM »

I feel like ranting a bit...or maybe rambling, I'm not sure, but hell, it's my forum and I can if I want (right?).

The "asian" issue in TROS does present quite the conundrum (that's a word, right?). Especially within me. I am a practicioner of western martial arts and have learned first-hand the non-superiority of asian styles. Yes, many asian styles are very good. Yes, there are lots of fine martial artists in the asian sphere. But I also know that our european ancestors (of course I don't mean to imply that all of us have european ancestors...) were martial artists beyond--IMO--our capability today...guys who trained to kill from age 7. Based on the sheer brutality and directness of the western forms, I'd even set them up as "superior," but only according to my own criteria (and not neccessarily to yours).

So here's the problem...I love samurai movies. I love Yojimbo, Sanjuro, and anything else Kurosawa and/or Mifune has done. The swordsmanship in those films is excellent by movie standards (oh man, let's not even talk about the horrible bastardization of european martial arts and swords in film...). When I was writing TROS I read Hagakure, Musashi, Yamomoto, Sun Tzu, and all the asian guys right along side Silver, Talhoffer, Ringeck, and Caeser...much of the idea of "riddle seeking" is from asian mysticism (as opposed to western science).

No, asian styles in TROS will not be "Kewl Powerz." The whole idea makes me shake violently and want to wretch. An asian combat book, "The art of War," would be pretty cool, but isn't currently realistic (then again, neither was selling out in 3 months, and it looks like we're going to do that). So what about FoB?

I think we're going to have katana and other more "standard" oriental weapons...stuff that I can research and make educated mechanics for. I'm staying away from any wierness or "kewl"ness. I want a little section on Samurai and warrior monks, perhaps, but only a little one, with instructions on keeping them separate from the west if you want a true TROS feel.

That's what I'm thinking (and what I've been thinking). Thoughts?

Jake
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Shadow
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Posts: 19


« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2002, 09:09:55 AM »

First I echo agreement with increased detail on armor.  I would like to see at least open helmets vulnerable to thrusts to the face.  Additional rules on wrestling would be good, for pulling off helms, stabbing pinned folks with daggers (in armpit or face), etc.  Rules for weapon breakage (including shearing of spearshafts by dopplehanders).  More offensive options with shields perhaps?  More on mounted combat and maybe missile combat (add Roman pilum to the request for Francisca, if they don't use it in Weyrith now, perhaps the Empire once did?...)  More on combat "in battle" rather than only "in duel", as asked for by others, would interest me as well.  

I would love to see a realisitic battle system for TROS, on a level similar to Pentragon perhaps but also a miniatures-style system (with realism closer to, say, Chivalry & Sorcery's 2nd edition battles system, rather than D&D battlesystem).  If this is beyond the scope of Flower of Battle (a perfect title to include such, though...), perhaps as a separate project/book?

On the Asian weapons/martial arts topics, I don't mind seeing such included as long as:
1) no more detail is given to them as is to WMA (including unarmed arts, WMA included unarmed combat afterall);
2) the Asian weapons/systems are not unrealistically turned into "superweapons", but realistic advantages & disadvantages are included;
3) they don't take away from all the other stuff I'd like to see ;)

Enough from me for now on all this, though I might think of more later...
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