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fulk

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fulk last won the day on October 4 2016

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About fulk

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  • RPG Biography
    Played RQ since the 1980s
  • Current games
    Pendragon, RQ6/Mythras/BRP, DnD5, Talislanta
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    Seattle
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    Castle fan

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  1. Your Pendragon May Vary. Play it how you want. I tend to agree that the PCs in an RPG are supposed to be successful overall as long as they don't do stupid things. However, different games are different. In RPGs like DnD or Palladium, PCs are supposed to be better than the average joe. They are heroes. In Pendragon, knights are, by design, better than everyone else because that is the genre. In Chaosium-BRP games, PCs are often much more realistically powered. If your group is perfectly happy having your PCs die all the time, that's fine. Might even be fun to change characters more frequently. As a corollary, I think one of the things that made Game of Thrones interesting was that major characters could die and often did. It add real risk to your PK and make 'winning' more satisfying. I also think that a good way of thinking about NPCs it to understand their place in the story and purpose in the game. In some cases, they're just mooks to let the group have a fight and win. If might be essential to the story that the PKs defeat a bunch of bandits and move onto some mystery uncovered while searching the bodies. In other cases the NPCs are major elements and are as powerful or more powerful than the PCs. I don't think that worrying about "fairness" really matters all the time. Other times, the PCs should lose...running away can be fun too. I mean half of the Lord of the Rings is the Fellowship running away from orcs. That said, after some though...if you want to make spears better, I might give the spearman's opponent a -5 modifier (or maybe -2). That gives the spearman an advantage of reach, but doesn't make a critical by the spearman more likely (at higher skills).
  2. So, I've been away from KAP for a while, but I tried to read through most of this thread as it interested me. A couple of thoughts/points. (1) KAP is a genre game so a lot of the design choices are based on the genre, not reality (Greg and I used to email a lot re Book of Castles and other topics, including weapons). In KAP, the Sword is the best weapon because it is emblematic of knights. The whole thing with it breaking maces etc, is meant to give it an Arthurian advantage. Greg said it was a conscious design choice (I was arguing at the time that I thought the whole sword-breaks-mace type rule was unrealistic). Obviously YPMV and you can easily ignore the sword-breaks-mace and similar rules, which are not really realistic. Nevertheless, knights in the sources fight either with lance on horseback or sword. Basic spears are for peasants...in the genre. (2) I think of KAP combat mechanics as quite simple. It isn't clear to me that the range advantage of a spear is worth modeling. However, if I did, I might just give a +2 to the attack roll or something like that. (3) In these various arguments, I think it is always worth recognizing the original poster's intent. I don't think more realistic combat rules are relevant for KAP, but if that is what you want, I can be interested in how to implement it. (4) Cost of armor and horses. The rising costs were also a specific design choice by Greg. In part, PKs have probably amassed some wealth by the later periods and the rising costs of horse and armor is supposed to mimic historical trends and stress the player finances a bit. If you want more complicated combat, I think it would be quite easy to use a Chaosium/BRP cousin. I've toyed with the idea.
  3. If one were to update the BGB, my main request would be to keep the format as black print on matte, white paper. I find all the glossy stuff or anything with a background hard to read, esp with glare etc. But, my eyes are old. Otherwise, I'm not sure what I would really change. The BGB is pretty...big. So adding stuff might be difficult. However, I could see adding Stunts and similar options form varius BRP pubs, and perhaps adding something like advantages and disadvantages. A non BGB option might be instead to produce a Compendium of these additional rules.
  4. I would be inclined to disagree. Clothing is just part of your annual budget. If you live at a Superlative level, you have Superlative clothing, which is replaced every year that you can maintain that level of spending. Display is important and clothing is a primary form of display. One could obviously limit this effect to degradable items. So an ermine-lined cloak is part of your Superlative clothing budget, but a gold ring, which would retain value, is not. Alternatively, a gold ring could be part of the Superlative budget but go out of style over time also losing value, even though it's gold. Depends on how much tracking of small stuff you want to do. We could argue about whether or not simple knights are allowed to wear superlative clothing. There were certainly various sumptuary laws and traditions about who could wear what. So perhaps your simple vassal knight isn't allow to wear an ermine-lined cloak. Then I suppose one could limit the value of clothing actually worn. I'm not a huge fan of minor book-keeping, so I prefer to let most that the small stuff just fall in the annual budget and assume that the knight has the same value of clothes each year that his spending is the same.
  5. True. But you can't have everything. Plus, I'm not sure if that is a quirk or a feature...
  6. This would be true of early RuneQuest-based games too. I'm not super fond of the separate shield (and maybe dodge) skills, but they do allow the character to port his/her defensive capabilities from one weapon to the next.
  7. I generally like the GURPS defaults. I don't worry about that aspect being too complicated because the issue probably doesn't come up that often. GURPS overall is a bit more complicated than I like. I can never figure out how many or what skills are appropriate for the setting. Skill trees aren't too bad either, for the same reason. Artesia, which is a Fuzion-based game, also uses skill trees -- Melee sKill and then specializing in something specific (sword) as the costs of increasing the base skill rise.
  8. As a related point, NPC skill levels are, I think, important for defining the world and your PKs place in it based on things like skills. If a farmer has basically no military training, but Mace 8, a knight should start higher. If you inflate NPC skills, PKs will need/want to do the same.
  9. Absolutely. There is a lot of wrestling (and half-swording) in the manuals that involve 'military' as opposed to 'civilian' fencing, especially in Fiore's work, which includes a whole section specifically on fighting in armor. One uses the sword more like a can opener than anything else. (My guess is that you're aware of this).
  10. Do you (anyone) have any game systems that handle this topic well, in your opinion? Just curious.
  11. So I've been fencing for a couple of years (classical fencing, Italian dueling saber). Hitting the maestro, if he doesn't want to get hit, is pretty hard, but he's not perfect. One thing he always asks is, "would you have tried that if we had sharp weapons?" The answer is usually no. You can hit any one if you're willing to be killed in the process, maybe.
  12. No problem. Same for my rebuttal. Already forgot it. Can't even remember it. In my experience, this issue comes up in KAP and RuneQuest related forums every so often. Every one agrees there are some similarities and some differences. Some people think the default should be big, others small. I'm for generally smaller defaults. Apart from historical reality, it is a game of course, I've found that something like -5 works well. Players are more likely to diversify weapon skills if they actually can be reasonably proficient with alternates. Going from sword 16 to mace 11 actually encourages some potential weapon switching, although your table may vary. Once you add in the vagaries of experience rolls, and cap the max skill from a default (for me at 15), you can get an array of weapon skills for more experience knights. It all depends how your group plays though. F
  13. I defer to your utterly superior knowledge and intelligence. You can argue about longsword* and poleaxe with Fiore dei Liberi (1409) who explicitly shows that the guards for a poleaxe are the same as the guards for sword (with two hands) and that one can also use the same guards with a spear. You can argue with Petro Monte (~1500 or so) about 1H vs 2H swords. He notes that the principles of the sword in two hands applies to the sword in one hand, although he does also list a differences too. Of course, these examples aren't specifically relevant to the early period in KAP. Nevertheless, all the details aside, no one is suggesting that things are exactly the same. Weapons have different weights, lengths, strengths and weaknesses. It is a matter of how big a penalty you think applies for shifting from a sword and shield to a mace and shield, or whatever. Clearly you like a bigger drop. I just don't think the penalty should be as large when shifting between weapons that are used similarly. Of course there are some differences between a sword and a mace, but dropping from Sword 20 to Mace 5 seems too much as it ignores all the experience about combat in general that the knight has gained moving from 10 at the start of chargen to 20 after years of experience. I would set the penalty based on similarity of use between the weapons. For example, I don't think being good with a lance would give you much aptitude with a dagger. Regardless, KAP is a simple game mechanically. You can chose a -5 or a -10 or base 5 pretty easily. YPMV. * (in modern English parlance, or hand and a half, or bastard, or spada in due mani, spadone, or sword in two hands, I agree contemporaries didn't use the terms longsword or bastard sword, mostly just 'sword' in translation)
  14. In the end, whatever works in your game. I'm for a higher default for several reasons. If you look at late medieval and early rinascimento fencing manuals (Fiore, Marozzo) one of the things they point out is that the principles defense (footwork etc) are the same. The guards, footwork, etc for a pole axe are the same as for a longsword, etc. Some like Pietro Monte point out that everybody knows that you can use a one-handed sword more or less the same way as a longsword/bastard sword, so he's not going to talk about 1-h swords. These manuals also show that fighters trained and were aware of a range of weapons. I assume, in a KAP environment, that knights are familiar with swords, maces, and axes, but prefer one. So dropping to 5 as a starting point, seems unrealistic. YPMV
  15. I think the takeaway is: weapons skills shouldn't start at zero and you should get some credit for being a good fighter in general...how you model that depends on your version of Pendragon.
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