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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:38 am 
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Just skimming Pendragon and it revived thoughts. I think its all great to think someone who is agile might react first, quick and easy. But then again, what about combat resolution where someone with a spear faces off against someone with a dagger? I might not be a fan of wfrp 1ed but but it did have a system to resolve the order of battle which I think is great. Doesn't seem to take into account boxing with dwarves mind you but it is a better system when it comes to spears, lances, and pikes.

Would anyone like to share their actual knowledge of historical hand to hand fights and this topic? I used to resolve missile fire first, always giving them initiative if they choose to fire first. Probably means the shooter is left with no hand to hand weapon and supposedly at a disadvantage which is not covered in the rules. Wouldn't it be nice to expand on game mechanics?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:39 pm 
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But then again, what about combat resolution where someone with a spear faces off against someone with a dagger?


This came up recently in my game, when a character with a halberd was facing a character with a sword. Initiative didn't come in to it so this is a slight tangent, but he argued that, as he was fighting with a polearm he should be allowed more than the standard 2.5m and attack as he had a longer reach. In the end I allowed him 3m and attack because of the halberd. Has this ever com up for anyone else?

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Probably means the shooter is left with no hand to hand weapon and supposedly at a disadvantage which is not covered in the rules.


I think a character with a melee weapon fights with full DEFENCE, a character with no weapon (do armoured gauntlets count as a weapon, with regards to defence?) avoids attacks with their EVASION, and a character holding a missile weapon fights with either half DEFENCE (jabbing the bow in the face as a distraction?) or at a penalty to EVASION (missile weapons are bulky in close quarters). None of thus would apply to slings due to their size.

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Would anyone like to share their actual knowledge of historical hand to hand fights and this topic?


I think long vs short could potentially be an initiative bonus, but maybe a bonus to DEFENCE is more applicable, as, in centre guard, for instance (sword held out in front of the body), a longsword fighter would have a moderately easy job of keeping a fighter with a shorter weapon away, even if they were slightly more skilled, as most people don't want to risk getting within easy reach of a weapon like that if they can get out again - fast! (A REFLEXES check of some kind?)

Hope this sparks some debate :D


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:24 pm 
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Starwars d6 has something where the person who made the best roll, in terms of high figures gets to go first. I suppose if a Knight with an ATTACK of 22 rolls a 10 vs a peasant with an ATTACK of 11 who rolls a 10, I'd say the Knight hits first since his 'success' is by a higher margin. Lets assume they're both at 0 defence, because their non sword arm is tied behind their backs and their feet are glued to the floor.

Weapon ranges, yeah, haven't seen pikes in this game, guess they'd go by spear rules but no reason a guy can't poke someone in a pit with his spear without any retaliation. I suppose terrain rules are a bit much to recall and implement, but some common sense would apply, even if not covered in detail in game mechanics.

I'm also thinking of some guidelines for cavalry attacks. What say 0 DEFENCE but a bonus to ATTACK, armour bypass rolls and damage? Maybe an exchange on cavalry gives the attacker the default strength 16+ damage and armour bypass damage... and more so for a guy who has strength 16? It would be a brief exchange of blows and no defence applied for the cavalry.

Wouldn't it be nice to have some kind of knock down, possibly tramply rules?

Oh and what about charge attacks? Since the knights and barbarians are under powered, how about some guidelines for charging (0 DEFENCE) and cavalry charging?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:59 pm 
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Lets assume they're both at 0 defence, because their non sword arm is tied behind their backs and their feet are glued to the floor.


Would they not get at least half DEFENCE for their sword arm, as DEFENCE represents parrying?

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Wouldn't it be nice to have some kind of knock down, possibly tramply rules?


Trample (suggested rule):

Based off the weight of the creature (or human - this isn't quite a trample but I once had a scenario where a PC tried to kill a (downed) guy by stomping his throat), trampling does 1d6+3HP damage (plus damage constant determined by creature weight (speed), etc.). Any armour subtracts 2HP damage from the roll, with magical armour adding its magic bonus to this.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:59 pm 
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Has this ever com up for anyone else?

It all depends how complicated you want the game to get. DW uses a very simple 'initiative' system where the person with the highest Reflexes goes first. I have played around with this a little, introducing what I call 'Combat Initiative' but I have deliberately kept the modifiers to a minimum (to avoid excessive complexity).

For example, a Battleaxe will give a -1 to Combat Initiative (effectively a -1 to Reflexes just to see who goes first). A battleaxe is a big, heavy weapon with a lot of impact damage - but it is slow.
A greatspear (really closer to a pike) will give +4 to Combat Initiative but only until the wielder is struck by his opponent.* After this point, the distance has been closed and the spear loses its initiative advantage.
(A shorter spear only gives +2 to Combat Initiative - again until the opponent has landed a blow.)
* Irrespective of success on ABP roll.

I have avoided giving initiative modifiers to other weapons just to keep things simple (some weapons have other combat modifiers anyway).

The problem of 'reach' is one that is often not well represented in role-playing games. In reality, a long stabbing weapon can hold an opponent at bay and has a distinct advantage... at first. As soon as the opponent comes inside the reach of that weapon, the long weapon is at a real disadvantage (and we should really be considering a penalty). This is why the Macedonian phalanx was so effective - an attacker had to get past up to 5 rows of spearheads before being able to close with the front rank! Scottish schiltrons were similarly highly effective at keeping opponents at bay... But quite vulnerable once the opponents were up close and able to use short weapons.*
* Highly vulnerable to missile fire too. Tightly packed bodies of men make easy targets... Especially once canon appear.**
** Or, in DW games, Firestorms...


Which raises another question: if a man with a short bladed weapon (shortsword, gladius, dagger) gets in close, realistically anyone using a bigger weapon would have to step back to be able to continue fighting effectively. If they can't, then not only would their "attack" be impeded but (if they haven't got a parrying weapon or a shield) they are likely to find their "defence" reduced too. (Historically, this is one of the big advantages Republican Roman armies had against Gaulish and Germanic enemies.) Such a consideration, however, would mean keeping careful track of where everyone is, how 'tight' the combat is, if there is room and time to move, &c.

It really is a matter of how many rules you want. After all, it might not be just about reach - does the situation allow a particular weapon to be used at all? (Can a long spear be used in a winding corridor? Does the heavy undergrowth and low branches impede the swing of an axe or greatsword? &c...) For me, the draw if DW is that it is a simple game, yet it still works - this is why I've been very careful about adding extra combat rules...

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Trample (suggested rule)

Hmm. Why not simply use the damage listed for a horse? It says 'kick' (d10, 6), but that could also be the trample damage...


Last edited by Starkad on Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:16 am 
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Hmm. Why not simply use the damage listed for a horse? It says 'kick' (d10, 6), but that could also be the trample damage...


I missed that - good idea.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:00 pm 
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I think game mechanics could be expanded upon. What if you're riding an elephant and you just charge into some cavalry? Could be effective for multiple attacks. I also think that cavalry exchange could be applied under other circumstances, like a swooping wyvern or manticore. Doubt they'd just stand around to get surrounded when they can swoop in and grab or claw at a player. What about an Assassin swinging by on a rope?

And what about two riders running in parallel? Should be a major disadvantage if you come up from one side as opposed to the other.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:20 pm 
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I think game mechanics could be expanded upon.

Absolutely. I have expanded on quite a few of the basic game mechanics. I find the challenge is less what can be expanded upon, and more what doesn't need to be expanded upon.

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What if you're riding an elephant...

I will freely admit I have no rules for combat vs. elephants. Should my players find themselves likely to encounter one, I may start to consider this.

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...like a swooping wyvern or manticore. Doubt they'd just stand around to get surrounded when they can swoop in and grab or claw at a player.

I tend to treat this as a 'fly-by' attack. The creature swoops in and, if not impeded, swoops out. Characters with long weapons (spears, pole-arms) have a better chance at striking the creature than characters with short weapons.

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What about an Assassin swinging by on a rope?

Outside of Hollywood, this would be pretty much unheard of due to its extreme impracticality and ineffectiveness. With nothing to 'ground' the strike, the Assassin would find himself seriously off-balance, perhaps even swung round, if he tried to strike while swinging on a rope - and the strike would have little chance of penetrating to any depth (or through armour). Even for an Assassin, combining a strike with a good landing might be a tall order...
(Swinging in on a rope is a way to get into the action quickly - but I think an Assassin would land then launch his attack.)

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And what about two riders running in parallel? Should be a major disadvantage if you come up from one side as opposed to the other.

Very likely. Knights fighting in a conrois are fearsome foes and very difficult to stop. You might find this article of interest: https://www.traditioninaction.org/religious/h107_Order.htm

The mounted combat rules are one area I have messed around with in Dragon Warriors. I note that Lee 'Cobwebbed Dragon' Barklam has also. It's not too difficult to improve on the virtually non-existent rules in that respect. I will admit that I've also toyed with 'reach' weapons in combat but I've generally found that this is one area where the gain in realism is outweighed by the awkwardness of such rules.* Each GM has different preferences, of course; the important thing is that players and GM can enjoy the game...
* Which is why I've limited it to a few modifiers to Combat Initiative and a few combat bonuses for weapons to set them apart from each other.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:21 am 
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tside of Hollywood, this would be pretty much unheard of due to its extreme impracticality and ineffectiveness. With nothing to 'ground' the strike, the Assassin would find himself seriously off-balance, perhaps even swung round, if he tried to strike while swinging on a rope - and the strike would have little chance of penetrating to any depth (or through armour). Even for an Assassin, combining a strike with a good landing might be a tall order...
(Swinging in on a rope is a way to get into the action quickly - but I think an Assassin would land then launch his attack.)


I think the only example where this would work would be trying to knock someone or something over/away from something - an unarmed strike (full body, knees or feet) maybe with a damage bonus (a STRENGTH check to stay upright?).


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:54 am 
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I think the only example where this would work would be trying to knock someone or something over/away from something - an unarmed strike (full body, knees or feet) maybe with a damage bonus (a STRENGTH check to stay upright?).

Basically just charging in rugby/American Football style and trying to knock somebody over... But doing it while swinging in on a rope? Yes... Why not?

You could have a basic ATT v DEF to see if there's a hit at all. Then, as you say, some kind of STR check to avoid being knocked over?
(If you're using 'fumbles' in your game, you could have it that an Attack roll of 20 results in the attacker not only missing, but falling & injuring themselves in the process? Swinging in on a rope is difficult, after all...)

I don't know if anyone has thought of DW 'house' rules for such a charge/bull rush type of attack?


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