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Author Topic: Throwing knives while in a swordfight  (Read 7747 times)
Stuart DJ Purdie
Member

Posts: 69


« on: May 20, 2003, 07:22:09 PM »

Devarre sighed inside.  He'd warned Theral that he aught not to get too friendly with that serving wench.  Forseeing what was about to occur, he drew his blade and dagger.  A few blows in, he caught sight of a third man closing on Theral.  Reversing the dagger in his off hand, he parried the overeager brother infront of him and ...

nothing more happens for quite a while, except much reading of the book, and head scratching.  Now, clearly Devarre is at a penelty for use of his off hand - that's a side point.

How is the interaction of the sword fighting mechanics and the missile weapon mechanics handled in this case?    What I'm thinking is that trying to do both at once makes both less effective than normal, but how to handle that mechanically.

In all honesty, it's more of a swashbuckling thing, than the default grittyness of TRoS, but it's also relevent with modern weapons, or superhero style blaster powers.

There are several methods of handling it, so I'm looking for some vaguely offical angle on it.  Or one from someone whose got some relevent experience, unlike me.

Stuey, thinking about TRoS supers stuff.
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Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2003, 07:37:19 PM »

That's a very good question.

You could argue that one should track MP seperate from CP in this case, with the Wit-per-round refresh etc. That would be a valid, if cludgy answer. I did it differently though:

When I was writing one of the entries for Of Beasts and Men, I came across this very question - how to do a creature who can whip his spiky scorpion-like tail about and fling some of the spikes toward an opponent while engaging others in melee (if you have not guessed already, it's a Manticore, for the Heraldic Creatures section of the book).

I thought about it for a while, and decided that tracking MP seperately was too much bookwork, so I ruled that the manticore can simply split some of its CP off to flick a spike at a non-melee opponent while it's engaged in melee (outside of melee it uses it's MP as usual). I would do humans flicking knives in the same manner.

This may seem like a huge advantage (not needing to refresh MP) but it's not really - those CP you are splitting off are CP that you wont be using for attacking or - more importantly - defending this round. Additionally, I would make the character make a terrain roll to draw the knife while engaged (failure means losing half CP for the round as usual) and probably require 1 CP activation cost to actually throw it.

So:
round one: terrain roll (variable CP cost) to draw the knife without being spitted (and you have to draw it while defending, not while attacking).
Round two: throw the knife with X CP/MP for a cost of X+1 CP.

How does that sound? Anyway, that's how the Manticore does it (except he doesn't have to "draw" his spikes before he can fling them).

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
Draigh
Member

Posts: 151


« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2003, 07:38:03 PM »

As an on the fly ruling, I would allow the PC to spend an activation cost (probably 1 cp),  and then use dice from his CP to throw the dagger.  Note: this would use at most their Aim in dice.

Note 2: I let pcs refresh their MP at 1.5 times their wit per round instead of just their wit in dice per round.  It speeds up missile combat enough to make it a little more effective vs determined opponents, while not making it ridiculously fast.
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Jake Norwood
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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2003, 07:52:16 PM »

I would give them the unused percentage of their current pool in the pool they wish to use.

Jake
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gmouser
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« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2003, 11:06:45 PM »

I would give him his MP minus the dice he has already spent. It's simple but really don't know if it could work. By the way also the sorcery pool could be treated in the same manner.

Grey Mouser
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Mayhem1979
Member

Posts: 81


« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2003, 12:03:52 AM »

Well, the two guys I play with most often love throwing knives, so this comes up alot.  If it happens in the middle of combat with someone we usually just treat it as a toss manuver... otherwise it happens while the person's in between his own fights and it's just a MP attack.

Anyway, just my 2 cents.
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Lance D. Allen
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Posts: 1962


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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2003, 07:21:32 AM »

I think I personally like gmouser's solution. It's simple, effective and rather elegant. Here's an example of how I see it working..

Tiberius is ambushed in his room, and manages to grab up his sword and crossbow before the enemy closes. He had been hoping to shoot his attacker across the bed, but the attacker got too close before he could level the crossbow. The attacker drops red, to Tiberius' White, and Tiberius spends 8 (of his 13) CP to defend. He has the initiative now and attacks, using the last 5 of his dice. The attacker evades, but leaves Tiberius with the initiative. Tiberius makes a terrain roll and dives across the bed, using 5 of his CP to do so. Once across, he points and shoots the crossbow (already loaded, because Tiberius is a paranoid sort). He gets the last 3 dice in his MP (total 8, minus the five spent from his CP for the terrain roll) to fire.

This is really rough, because again the books are in the car, as is Tiberius' character sheet. But it's a basic example of how I see it working.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Stuart DJ Purdie
Member

Posts: 69


« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2003, 07:36:02 AM »

Ok, some good answears there.  

To dot some i's, should probably cap the max MP dice at Wits, otherwise you can end up with more MP dice charged up in a second when in a swordfight, than when focusing on the throw alone - somewhat counterintuitive.

Jake, you didn't mention any particular penalty for trying two things at once - I'm guessing your thinking is standard multiple opponents rules, that the loss of CP in a sword fight is penalty enough?
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Lance D. Allen
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Posts: 1962


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« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2003, 07:38:49 AM »

Hey Stuart, the way I'd avoid MP dice being overblown is to remember the set-up for weapons.. You've got to draw the knife, cock back your arm... etc.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Stuart DJ Purdie
Member

Posts: 69


« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2003, 05:42:39 PM »

Hmm, looks like I garbled what I ment with that.

Normally, once preped, (already darwn and cocked), MP fills at the rate of Wit per second.  Just because your in a swordfight too is no reason that the MP should fill any faster than that.  I can't see how how drawing and cocking would address that issue.

With that proviso in place, I can't see any reason for not refreshing the MP from CP over a couple of exchanges.  You'd be a bit desperate to try it, and I'd rule that getting hit, or making an attack would empty it [0].  Still, it's one dramatic way to deal with your nemisis running away, and leaving henchmen to slow you down.

Stuey!

[0] Attack with the sword that is.  Clearly throwing the knife would also empty it.
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Prince of Thieves
Member

Posts: 47


« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2003, 11:28:47 PM »

Quote

Reversing the dagger in his off hand, he parried the overeager brother infront of him and ...


I think I would charge him 1 CP (or force a reflex roll to do it unsure which but I wouldn't do both) to reverse the dagger in his hand then like Brian suggested allow him to roll a missile attack with a further activation cost of 1 dice. I'd also increase the ATN of the dagger slightly, sounds like he is throwing his parrying dagger (it won't fly as well as a balanced throwing knife). Of course you could just give the cocky swordsman a break and not increase his ATN. Guy sounds pretty gonzo... gotta admire that. :)
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Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2003, 01:02:45 PM »

Quote from: Stuart DJ Purdie
Normally, once preped, (already darwn and cocked), MP fills at the rate of Wit per second.  Just because your in a swordfight too is no reason that the MP should fill any faster than that.  I can't see how how drawing and cocking would address that issue.


My problem with this is that the MP refresh over time (At a rate of Wits/Second) represents drawing a bead, getting careful aim, etc.

All not something you would be doing while you're trying not to get hit in melee.

So if you're going the MP way I would certainly suggest that MP should never get any higher than Wit while in melee (i.e. one Wit refresh only) and even there it seems to me to be too much of an advantage since it's not discounting your fighting ability at all.

Some have suggested subtracting the CP used this round from your MP, that's not a bad solution, but then will in many cases give you little or no dice to use for the throw (Wit usually being in the range 4-6, CP usually 12 or more, so by exchange 2 you have almost always used more dice than your base Wit meaning that you can only throw a knife in exchange one? That's silly). Also, it's STILL not making you fight any worse (CP remains the same) which doesn't make sense to me - while I'm splitting my attention away from my melee foe - just for a moment - to throw the knife, I should get penalised for that.

Overall, I still say that just taking dice out of CP for the toss is the easiest solution. Hell, just call it a modification of the Toss maneuver and charge an activation cost for it (as someone suggested above). I would even let a fighter toss his parrying dagger ot whatever at the foe he was fighting in melee. Nasty, but of course you've now lost your parrying dagger...

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
Stuart DJ Purdie
Member

Posts: 69


« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2003, 06:57:21 PM »

Quote
Overall, I still say that just taking dice out of CP for the toss is the easiest solution.


I fully agree.  However, what if somone's Missile pool for the knife is 12, and thier combat pool is 6?

Ecluding the fact that they're about to get poo'd upon from a great height in the sword fight, shouldn't the fact that they are significantly better at knife throwing than sword fighting have some effect.  This is were the percentage of a pool thing Jake mentioned comes in.

In this case, 3 dice from CP would put 6 dice in MP.

If the CP was 12 also, then to put 6 dice in MP would take 6 CP dice.

This is particuarly relevent if you cap the max dice moved to MP at Wits.

Consider two fighers, Alice and Bob.  Alice is an expert knife thrower, and a mediocre swordsman - MP 12, CP 8.  Bob is an excellent swordsman, but can barely throw a knife - MP 5, CP 15.  Both have wits of 5.

Once they have the knife in the position to throw from, they parry a blow, charge up thier MP to 5, and throw.  This takes 2 CP dice from Alice, and all of Bob's CP.

If you were to to with a straight die for die move from CP to MP, then it would take 5 CP from both of them.  This would mean than Alice's skill in knife throwing is actually redundant - not the most plausable method of reading the situation.

When I was talking about charging up MP, I was thinking that Bob could put 2 dice into his MP (costing 6 CP) in the first round, and (assuming that he's not hit, or otherwises loses his concentration on the knife throw), put 2 more in on the second round.  This costs him 6 CP each round - risky, but doable against an inferior opponent, to end up with 4 dice for the knife throw.  I suppose I ment that the MP does not charge for free, but only from CP.  In the case of not being in a sword fight, then there is no loss in filling the MP at the maximum rate.

A side effect of this is the question of what happens when your attacked when charging MP is answeared, as is options for continuing to focus on the shot.

I'll be the first to agree that this is more complex than just taking dice out of CP for the throw.  However, I think it addresses some concerns, such as effect of skill, that are important.  

Stuart
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Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2003, 07:30:20 PM »

I notice you conveniently picked easy CP:MP ratios. :-) What happens when it's 4:9 or 11:7, etc. Hard to work how many dice gives how many dice in that situation - too much hassle IMO, although I do understand your point.

Also, I think your math is a little off. If Alice has 12:8 MP:CP then 2CP gives her 3MP, not 5.

But as I say, I see your point. I just think it's overly complex. Letting them spend CP as I suggested might disadvantage the knife thrower, but if you're that focused on ranged combat then you *should* be disadvantaged in melee. The fact that you're not so good at melee is why you can't get it together enough to make a really decent knife throw - you're being distracted by trying to keep the other guy from intorducting you to your own intestines.

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
Stuart DJ Purdie
Member

Posts: 69


« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2003, 05:16:57 AM »

Quote from: Brian Leybourne
Also, I think your math is a little off. If Alice has 12:8 MP:CP then 2CP gives her 3MP, not 5.


You know, when you arrange numbers to make the aritmitic pathetically easy, it's really, uh, pathetic, when you then stuff it up.  *sigh*.

I should stick to matrices.

Stuart.
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