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 Post subject: Helms?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 4:00 am 
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Saw something on Wodenkraits Cadawhasisname draconis cover art that inspired me to mention this. In Dragwars, helms don't do anything. I think book 4 mentioned that it protects against acid spit if I recall correctly, something that we can transplant into the 'adventuring' section of a future release of dragwars.

We also have the mirrored helm in book 1 which works great against stoning by women with hair infestations....

Apart from that I don't recall much more about the value of this. I'd imagine Knights ... hey wait, I think book 4 might have something about lowered perception with a helm on?

...I'd imagine its a big thing with Knights being able to disguise disfigured individuals, and you could probably disguise sorcerors and orcs/wadwos with a good helm.

Is it possible that we can revise these rules further? I think Adnd had a simple rule of natural 1's being a head hit... Like horses, its something that knights and barbarians might take an interest in investing in.

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 Post subject: Re: Helms?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:30 am 
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I'd say that if a fighter refused to wear a helm he'd find his enemies aiming at his unprotected head a lot more. The GM could work out how this goes but I'd say they'd suffer a small Attack penalty but if they hit it would be against zero AF.

Not sure if a heavy and cumbersome helmet would be my first choice for merely disguising myself though...

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 Post subject: Re: Helms?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:26 pm 
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Wadwos do it. Until you take one of those pork faced idiots with the Scottish accents down you wouldn't know better that they were the result of farmer/livestock atrocities....

No rules on helms and perception. But a very important piece of hardware for knights and barbarians. Wonder if you can implement something subtle and easy without throwing off game balance. How about a d3,3 'improvised weapon'/headbutt attack? I think you could do that with gauntlets too.... Maybe nullify any natural 1 hits?

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 Post subject: Re: Helms?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 3:02 pm 
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In the description for the Grey Hood in the Bestiary, it states that damage to the head is doubled. However, it does not suggest how to deliberately aim for the head. There are, however, plenty of examples of making called shots to other small targets from which one could extrapolate.

For example, the description of the Winged Snake suggests that spitting at a person's eyes incurs a +4 penalty to hit (although that might simply be for the winged snake, which is practised at doing). The description of the Demonologist's Phylactery spell in the Players' Guide suggests that a small target like a ring would incur a -8 penalty to hit. I'll ignore the Golem's called shot mechanic which basically requires a difficult Reflexes check, as I don't think we need two mechanics for the same thing and the penalty to hit seems like the 'right' way to do it (it means more skilled characters have more chance of landing an accurate hit).

I actually feel that -4 to hit to strike the eyes is too low a penalty, I think to strike the head should be -4. Eyes, being a small protected target should be -8, like a ring. A head strike would have to bypass head armour, which would be a useful way for a dagger (or other low armour bypass weapon) to bypass most armour (I would rule that only plate would routinely come with a helmet - unless that character specifically adds a mail coif to their mail coat, they wouldn't be wearing head armour with anything less than plate), but a strike to the eyes would automatically bypass even a plate helmet (everyone has to see). As per the Grey Hood description, any strike to the head/eyes does double-damage.

So doesn't this overlap with a critical hit? Yes, it does. Being able to bypass armour with a called shot does reduce the effectiveness of a critical hit (which is harder than a called shot), especially if the called shot does double damage, too, which a critical hit does not. This is another example of where Dragon Warriors is a hotchpotch of rules that grew organically as more books were released, so you have to just pick an approach (both with how you mechanically judge a called shot - either with a penalty to hit or a difficult Reflexes check - and how the called shot rules you like sit with the critical hit rule). It's a shame these rules were not harmonised during the recent re-release, but it's simple enough to introduce as a house rule. You could even go so far as to say that some weapons are easier to do called shots with because they are lighter and more manoeuvrable (maybe the cup-hilted rapier and dagger would fall in this category?)

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 Post subject: Re: Helms?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:36 am 
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I'm thinking, maybe a full helm will offer some form of protection but nullify the 'listening intently' since the guy will spend most of his time hearing himself breath. Not such an issue for barbarian helms. Suppose the barbarian will have to specify whether his helm covers his face.

Maybe in combat a natural 1 or 2 can be considered some kind of head it with 1 more damage. Or maybe a natural 1 adds 2 damage? That would be easy to implement if a bit random and unaffected by hand to hand skills.

One other thing. I think the mystic skill DAZZLE and flash pellets shouldn't have such an effect on those with full helms. When you're peering through some thin eyeslits, how are you going to get that in your peripheral vision? Maybe a reduced PERCEPTION is a good thing.

I did mention in another thread about how maybe more skills of the almighty should be related to leadership roles, battle tactics. In the same way, the helm does play a part in being recognized from a distance. Guess we don't do much in the way of mass combat in dragwars but perhaps some subtle effects can be introduced. I'd imagine investing in a helm can make up for appearances, give one some degree of authority, especially a well crafted helm.

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 Post subject: Re: Helms?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:38 am 
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Kharille wrote:
I'd imagine investing in a helm can make up for appearances, give one some degree of authority, especially a well crafted helm.

A Looks modifier for wearing a helmet? Interesting idea.

You could give a helmet a 'quality' and move a characters Looks score in the direction of that 'quality' by 2 (plus or minus). A character with a low Looks score might benefit from hiding their visage behind even a poor quality helmet, but someone with exceptionally high Looks might prefer to go helmet-less and let his natural radiance shine (and take the risk of additional damage and automatic armour bypass for a head hit). All sounds very complicated for Dragon Warriors, when could easily just be incorporated into the narrative. It feels to me like it would be a rule for the sake of having a rule, and one that only benefits players that use Looks as a dump stat looking for options to mitigate the impact of their low Looks score in the game.

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 Post subject: Re: Helms?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:48 am 
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Cobwebbed Dragon wrote:
In the description for the Grey Hood in the Bestiary, it states that damage to the head is doubled. However, it does not suggest how to deliberately aim for the head. There are, however, plenty of examples of making called shots to other small targets from which one could extrapolate.

For example, the description of the Winged Snake suggests that spitting at a person's eyes incurs a +4 penalty to hit (although that might simply be for the winged snake, which is practised at doing). The description of the Demonologist's Phylactery spell in the Players' Guide suggests that a small target like a ring would incur a -8 penalty to hit. I'll ignore the Golem's called shot mechanic which basically requires a difficult Reflexes check, as I don't think we need two mechanics for the same thing and the penalty to hit seems like the 'right' way to do it (it means more skilled characters have more chance of landing an accurate hit).

I actually feel that -4 to hit to strike the eyes is too low a penalty, I think to strike the head should be -4.


I like my advanced archery rules (obviously!) which give rational rules for working this out. Here's a recap of the small target modifiers (as applied to the roll) as I see them:

Human: 0
Dwarf: +1
Goblin:+2
Cat:+3
Ferret:+4
Pigeon:+5
Apple:+6
Coin:+10
Housefly:+13

I'd put a hit to an eye at approximately the same as hitting a coin, +10. Like a spitting cobra, I'd say the winged snake is just extremely skilled at that one specific form of attack. This is a bit harsher than the penalty given in Phylactery, but to me it feels right.

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 Post subject: Re: Helms?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:12 am 
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WodenKrait wrote:
I'd put a hit to an eye at approximately the same as hitting a coin, +10. Like a spitting cobra, I'd say the winged snake is just extremely skilled at that one specific form of attack. This is a bit harsher than the penalty given in Phylactery, but to me it feels right.

I'm not sure I'd allow my players to deliberately aim for an eye - an injury to the eye would result in a permanent disability, which I reserve for major wounds (http://cobwebbedforest.co.uk/library/Do ... Wounds.pdf) and would only happen in the narrative of the attack, not just by rolling dice (i.e., the attack would have to cause a Major Wound before an attack could strike somewhere like an eye). Imagine how a player would feel if their character permanently lost an eye because an NPC got a lucky roll.

A 5th rank knight firing a bow at close range has an Attack score of 17, which means he will take out an eye 35% (7 or less on a d20) of the time (assuming no other modifiers). With those kind of odds, the PCs aren't going to have many eyes left - consider a band of bandits (attack stats equal to 1st rank barbarians) on one side of a chasm and only a narrow bridge between them. Half a dozen bandits doing eye shots at the people crossing are going to take out a couple of eyes before the PCs have crossed the chasm and engaged them in melee.

I think these sorts of things work in cinematic/high-fantasy campaigns, where such injuries are also easy to heal/regenerate, but you have to almost put a bit of bubble-wrap around more dangerous combat mechanics, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Helms?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:38 pm 
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Cobwebbed Dragon wrote:
WodenKrait wrote:
I'd put a hit to an eye at approximately the same as hitting a coin, +10. Like a spitting cobra, I'd say the winged snake is just extremely skilled at that one specific form of attack. This is a bit harsher than the penalty given in Phylactery, but to me it feels right.

I'm not sure I'd allow my players to deliberately aim for an eye - an injury to the eye would result in a permanent disability, which I reserve for major wounds (http://cobwebbedforest.co.uk/library/Do ... Wounds.pdf) and would only happen in the narrative of the attack, not just by rolling dice (i.e., the attack would have to cause a Major Wound before an attack could strike somewhere like an eye). Imagine how a player would feel if their character permanently lost an eye because an NPC got a lucky roll.


Life, death, and cool eye patches are only a dice roll away!

More seriously, I don't know if the NPC scenario is entirely realistic. Firstly, I don't think many people will stand still while somebody is lobbing arrows at their face, so I'd at least apply the penalty for moving slowly (if not quickly) when firing on a non-stationary target. That would reduce the chance from 35% to 25% for the Knight. The players would be insane to attempt to cross the bridge single file to reach the bandits too; if they pursue that approach they'll probably be shot to death whatever they do. Anyway what do the bandits need to roll to hit the eye?

Most enemies are not going to be shooting at their enemies' faces because they know they probably won't hit; they'll do what generally really happens in this kind of situation (and happened throughout the long history of human conflict) and aim approximately for the centre of the body. Only a significant NPC will attempt the King Harold manouevre and then I would expect the GM would have a specific story reason in mind - if not, he's a peevish jerk. If a player lost an eye in this context they may be annoyed, but players get annoyed about everything anyway. Its the stakes that make the game fun, and now the player has a vendetta to pursue, and perhaps they'll need to spend some of their time tracking down a sorcerer who will restore their eye with Miracle Cure. Sounds like a promising side-quest.

Anyway, we know you can chop the ring off somebody's finger with a mere -8 modifier (you cannot tell me you can destroy a ring on somebody's hand without taking out at least a couple of fingers), so Pandora's box is already open. Do we truly think that since the Player's Guide was published NPCs have been turning all our cherished adventuring parties into hordes of Ser Davoses? :P

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-Kyle


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 Post subject: Re: Helms?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:33 pm 
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WodenKrait wrote:
Anyway, we know you can chop the ring off somebody's finger with a mere -8 modifier (you cannot tell me you can destroy a ring on somebody's hand without taking out at least a couple of fingers), so Pandora's box is already open. Do we truly think that since the Player's Guide was published NPCs have been turning all our cherished adventuring parties into hordes of Ser Davoses? :P

That's my point. It should prohibitively difficult, mechanically, if not impossible, to perform such feats. Even a critical hit, which can happen 5% of the time, should not allow for permanent injury, just the loss of a few HP.

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