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Wolfpack Six

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About Wolfpack Six

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  • RPG Biography
    AD&D1, RQ3, WFRP1, Fantasy Wargaming, Darklands,
  • Current games
    Homebrew/mash-up rules based on KAP system, set in a Medieval-to-Renaissance European world

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  1. ...Where does one find the rules for the Prince Valiant story-telling game?
  2. Just as an aside, aside from Greg Stafford's desire to just use the sword breaking other weapons mechanic as his way of giving them their own distinct advantage, it seems predicated on the notion that only swords were all-metal and, therefore, not prone to breakage and "harder" on other weapons. The thing is that there were all-metal maces (probably even more devastating to other weapons if they clashed); and even weapons with wooden handles would have metal strips along their length to protect them from breakage. So, to me breakage is, to use a video game term, "OP" (overpowered). I like weapon quality rules in principle, but in practice they do seem to go towards the extreme end of complexity. Still, I enjoy the creative process that goes into coming up with ideas even if I don't use them; so feel free to post your rules. I for one would read them. RQ6 has weapon reach rules. They seem pretty simple and appear to be analogous to using the Evade tactic, in KAP5.x, as you suggested. Well, I'm not too concerned about shifting the balance of power towards the spear, again in principle, if it makes sense (to me). Also, I think the balance of power is only temporary -- i.e., only as long as the spearman keeps the swordsman at bay. Once the swordsman is within spear-length, that balance shifts in the other direction because the length is no longer an advantage. Been thinking about this for a while. As I mentioned above, it seems like a viable option. I like it because it's a rule you can adapt and apply to a different situation and not have to make up something from scratch. The other thing I've been thinking about in the whole spear reach advantage thing is that its only an advantage as long as the foe is intimidated/concerned about the damage a spearpoint could do. Against a fully armored knight with a shield, I don't know that a lone spearman would provide that kind of intimidation factor. The knight might be just as inclined to try to accept the possibility of damage (esp. being soaked up by/mitigated by his armor) and just charge in. Which is why I thought maybe the boar spear mechanic could be adaptable. Or maybe an Impale rule, like in RQ3. Knight decides he's not going to evade the spearpoint but just charge. If he takes a certain amount of/too much damage, he gets stuck on the end of a spear. I mean, that ought to be the result of a failed charge past a spearpoint, and charging past the spearpoint ought to be an option, even if it might be a foolish one, depending on the situation. Well, the +10 bonus to the swordsman definitely improves his odds. But then he's not trying to hit his opponent, but get past his opponents spear so he can hit his opponent in the next attack. That's why I suggested it. Using a spear against a foe who is worried about getting impaled buys time. If a swordsman has to spend a round deflecting the spearpoint -- even with a +10 that the spearman doesnt get -- I don't know that, that's such a bad thing. Yeah, the more I think about it, the more I kind of like it. Need to think about it a little more. Well, Great Spears ("pikes") were way longer than ordinary spears. So, I can see someone making the argument that the same sort of dynamic should apply in that kind of situation. I know. The effect I'm going for is to give a spearman a temporary/initial advantage against an opponent armed with a significantly shorter weapon. How to do that is the question... Again, the more I think about it, the more I think that there will probably be more than a few knights who just say the hell with it and just charge, spearpoints be damned. So, another aspect is to make the spearpoint an effective deterrent: something that all but the best armed, best armored, most highly-trained and experienced knights would hesitate to challenge without hesitation.
  3. I get that. And I get that breaking an opponent's weapon is really the signature "power" of the sword, RAW; but, honestly, it seems unrealistic to me... and even in this case, I mean even in the context of Arthurian fiction. I haven't re-read the source material in quite some time, but I just don't remember swords breaking other weapons as much of a "thing" at all. Like I said, I'll address it separately, probably in a different thread. This one has gone totally off the rails as it is! Maybe not. But even if the spearman doesn't do much, if any, damage against a more heavily armed swordsman, he will at least have fended him off for another round. This would possibly allow for another opponent to engage the swordsman, too. Sure. That could happen. Depending on the situation, it might be a reasonable risk to take. I'm not trying to dictate specific tactics. I'm more interested in modeling the weapons with perhaps a bit more realism. I think if you do that, the tactics will flow as a logical consequence. What I'm trying to say is, say you have two opponents, A and B. A is armed with a sword (Sw) and B is armed with a spear (Sp). They are both fighting on foot and I am trying to come up with a simple scheme to reflect the reach advantage a spearman would have, initially. B (Sp), exploiting his reach, is trying to keep his opponent at bay. Maybe B (Sp) is just trying to keep poking A (Sw) and take him out of the fight before A can close and hit B with his sword. Maybe B is trying to keep A at bay so a comrade can engage him as well. Maybe there's another reason. In game terms, I envision B is attacking normally (not fighting defensively). A, being kept at spear's length, needs to get past the spear point before he can strike B with his sword. So, in game terms I'm saying maybe A fights defensively, with a success meaning that the spear is deflected out of the way and, next turn, A can actually try to hit B with his sword (attack normally); failure meaning that the spear is still keeping A at length, and A has to keep fighting defensively until he succeeds. So, in order for the combatant A to close, he must fight defensively first, win one round, at which point he can actually close and do damage to B. Perhaps it should be optional if the swordsman is concerned about taking so much damage that he wouldn't be able to hit his opponent. In other words, don't force the defensive fighting: if the swordsman is willing to accept the risk of damage, then that's okay, too. Still, even if a swordsman were willing to accept the risk, he could end up impaled anyhow and unable to damage his opponent. The second one (Spears trump DEX in order of damage) is intriguing. The point I am trying to make about the reach advantage of spears is that, using that advantage, the spearman could theoretically neutralize a sword-wielding opponent before that opponent got within range to do damage. It's similar, on a much smaller scale, to how missile troops can damage shock (hand-to-hand/melee) troops before they can do damage. And I understand the genre favors the sword-wielding knights. That, to me, is not an over-riding concern at this point. The thought just occurred to me: the kind of thing I'm talking about is the potential for a sword-armed combatant to be impaled/stopped at the end of a spear. There's already a mechanic in place for this sort of thing: the Boar Spear mechanic. So maybe you have a scenario where: A (Sw) attacks B (Sp). To get past the spearpoint he can either (1) fight defensively and try to knock the spear aside, or (2) accept the risk of damage and try to close regardless. If (1) is successful, A attacks normally next turn. If (1) is unsuccessful, A has the same options. If (2) is successful, A strikes and does damage normally. If (2) is unsuccessful, A could potentially be impaled like a boar on a boar spear.
  4. I would like to address breakage separately, but okay for the sake or argument. Well, the key point here is to model, simply, the effect of the spear's reach versus someone wielding a significantly shorter weapon. As in the Lindbeige videos you offered as an example previously. I am thinking that by forcing a sword-armed knight to fight defensively againt a spear armed opponent, the effect is that even if the knight wins the round, he cannot yet do damage. While if the spearman wins, he can. Even if the spearman has less of a chance of succes, if he hits, he really hits. If the swordsman "hits", he has to win again next round in order to do damage. Conceptually, I'm okay if the swordsman actually had a better chance in this instance, because he is holding back, calculating, waiting for the oportunity to deflect the spearhead and then rush in for the kill. Fighting defensively, in this case, is a temporary defensive technique with an overall offensive purpose. The swordsman is still trying to close, he's just trying to avoid running himself through in the process. Sure, that could happen. If the berserk is willing to risk the damage, I don't see an issue at face value. I'm not familiar with that rule, but I have to say that I like it in principle. Realise that I'm not suggesting that the spearman should be fighting defensively in this scenario: he's still trying his best to hit normally. Just the swordsman till he wins a round.
  5. I can see the logic behind this idea: it is a bonus consistent with the bonus afforded a Great Spear. What this solution doesnt address is dismounted combat between an opponent with, say, a sword and one with a spear. This is why I suggested fighting defensively vs. a spearman until you win a round, then close in with the sword.
  6. Yes, it is your opinion. You refuse to acknowledge that fact, but it remains a fact. The authors of RPGs decide what RPGs are, according to their own tastes. There is no objective definition of an RPG other than perhaps to say that they are games in which you play the role of fictitious characters. Your arrogance and condescension are only outmatched by your stubborn adherence to what you think is true. "A GM should..." According to whom? You? Not that I disagree with the notion that games should be enjoyable, but dude, get over yourself. And again, I don't think I've ever said that the GM is or should be competing with the players. The NPCs? Yes. The GM? No. Again, in your opinion. RPGs are indeed focused on the players: they are the real actors on the stage. But biased towards them? Assuming that you are talking about the rules, no the rules shouldn't be biased towards the players. Or the NPCs, for that matter. They should be fair to both sides. And again, that is my opinion. Games are contests: there is no misconception there. Will my character die if he attacks this dragon? Will he be successful in wooing the damsel? Those are contests. There are even contests within the games themselves. Jousts, tournaments, etc. It is ludicrous to assert that games are not contests. Go back to Page 1. My goal was simply to determine whether or not there was a difference between great maces and morningstars. Then the conversation shifted towards spears, and I gave my opinion on how the rules for them could be changed to make them more realistic in terms of reach. Yes, I do think that things that are tougher on the characters will, generally speaking, make for a more satisfying game... should the characters win/survive/thrive. I think that it isn't too hard to grasp that something earned has more value than something simply given, or earned more easily. I could point out plenty, but it would serve no purpose. Your incessant condescension aside, you've demonstrated that you are determined to hold your opinion regardless. Moreover, I'm not really trying to convince you of anything. Was I supposed to be trying? If so, I was not aware. I've simply made my point; you don't agree; end of story. I most wholeheartedly agree that condescension is uncalled for. So, start with yourself. You've been repeatedly going on and on about being careful about changing rules, as if the thought hadn't crossed the minds of anyone else reading this thread... while at the same time you're neck-deep in a thread that you started about changing the rules for bows and crossbows. You know, you really should consider the impact of the changes you're considering when tinkering with bow and crossbow rules. Please be sure that you don't cause any unintended consequences. Or ripple effects. Et cetera. Ad nauseam infinitum. Let me try this again: I am not trying to convince you of anything. (Well, other than the fact that I'm not trying to convince you of anything, which I am going to stop doing after this response.) Your entire objection to giving spears a reach advantage, or any advantage at all, apparently boils down to, "But that will make it harder on the player knights." I don't care. Maybe it will, maybe it won't. I guess I'll find out when I playtest the change. And here's the best part: you don't have to use anything I've suggested. I think I only made the one suggestion -- i.e., to have a combatant fighting a spear-wielding opponent fight defensively until he wins a round, then fight normally. You don't have to understand the logic behind it, agree with it, like it, use it, or even pay any attention to it. Well, from what I can ascertain of your own core gaming beliefs, I at least find them to be unsound, though I'm sure you think they're justified from your own point of view. Well, maybe in the games you play, everyone gets a participation trophy along with the juice box. In the games I play, the players earn their successes... and failures.
  7. Yes, it is your opinion. And you seem to think that everyone should share it. Look, you're free to believe what you want about the purpose of RPGs. And if some, perhaps many, people agree with you, that's fine. It's your opinion. I'm good with that. But you are insisting upon one view of what you think RPGs are or ought to be, and then you seem to be trying to pass off your personal view as "the core foundation". That is a load of nonsense. All this broo-ha-hah over a possible tweak in spears that you don't have to use if you choose not to. You seem terribly afraid of something in this world of make-believe. So, if it gets your nose so out of joint, just keep things as they are. Dont tweak anything. Put your knights in a plastic bubble and give them juice boxes and coloring books. Me, I'll probably keep tinkering. Cheers!
  8. That is your opinion. For me and those with whom I play, an RPG is also a contest, and the story emerges from the actions and interactions of the players while they're engaged in it. Sure you can. You, as the player, try again. Sure, you can look at it that way if you choose. It depends on how you write the adventure, but I'd say in general they are. That is a story element that I think anyone with a reasonable amount of intelligence and appreciation of Arthuriana can accept. But you know, that raises some interesting possibilities. Maybe the characters, for some reason, can draw the sword from the stone? Could they also be sons of Uther? Maybe the PCs bum-rush Arthur right after he draws the sword and make off with it? Could some other mysterious force be at work? What if Arthur had to fight not only to establish his realm, but to claim Excalibur from someone else? With a little imagination, that could be a lot of fun to see play out. NPCs are, or can be, more than just obstacles, though of course they also serve that function. And, of course some NPCs exist to contest the PCs. That should be self-evident. The characters arent real, either. At the end of the day, this is all make-believe. Maybe you dont have NPCs suffer consequences. That to me seems far less interesting than giving a reasonable boost to spears. Right! That is your opinion. In your opinion. In mine, a GM simply needs to implement the rules fairly, across the board.
  9. Why strike a fair balance between PCs and NPCs? You strike a fair balance so that there is a sense of realism and risk. The door swings both ways. If I can hit an NPC with my Great Axe and have it do a certain amount of damage to him, I should expect the same potential result if he hits me. If I can mitigate potential damage done to me by using the best armor I can afford, I should expect the NPCs I face to try to do the same thing. If an NPC charges at me on horseback and I use a spear to brace against the charge, I should expect the same tactic to be used against me if I try the same thing. Without that sense of realism, that sense of risk, the game will come across as obviously rigged in favor of the players. While you seem concerned about players losing interest playing in a more potentially lethal environment, I would be more concerned about them getting bored because they never really face the same consequences that "the other side" faces. Of course the game is a competition. It might not be a competition between the PCs and all NPCs, but it is definitely a competition between PCs and some NPCs. Whether or not you decide to make it fair is your call. My own philosophy is that the players benefit most by presenting them with a challenging, rewarding experience. Not everyone survives; not everyone is a winner. If you fail, back to the drawing board. Try again. Keep trying until, when you do win, you'll know you beat the odds and earned it. I'm not taking about what you give NPCs. I'm talking about the effects of the game's mechanics being applied equally to both the PCs and the NPCs. Well, that certainly is a leap of logic. Not once did I suggest that the game is a contest between the GM and the PCs. It is, however, a contest between the PCs and some of the NPCs they'll encounter. Sure, the GM controls the NPCs, but that's where the fairness kicks in and becomes important. If a consequence applies to the PCs, especially a negative one, then it should apply to the NPCs. Otherwise, there's really no game: it's just a foregone conclusion and the PCs don't really exercise any agency: they're just actors in a story that you've already written. In which case, you might as well go read a book. IMHO.
  10. Yep. I totally get that it's a genre game, and I understand the design intent to give swords the "spotlight", so to speak. I don't have any issue with that. If you (the rhetorical "you") want to play the game "pure" — that is, without changing any of the rules in order to preserve the genre as Greg Stafford modeled it, not that it should matter to anyone, but I'm fine with it. For my part, I like to tinker and work towards modeling more realism in the game, in fact in most games I play. I know we're talking about a game with wizards and faeries and dragons, but I do think that a bit more realism is achievable. And I don't think that it will necessarily wreck the game or its genre, but of course it would depend on what is changed, how drastically, and on a lot of other things. In this thread, I don't think I was suggesting that knights necessarily must fight with spears, though I also recognize that of the weapons skills clearly listed as "Knightly", "Spear" is one of them, along with "Dagger", "Lance", and "Sword". In fact, no other weapons skills are. If the game is supposed to be modeling the Arthurian genre, and "Spear" is a knightly skill, well you can do the math. Anyhow, if a knight choses to fight with a spear, both historically and in the context of the game, I wouldn't see anything wrong with it. YPMV. (As an aside, since I am tinkering, I do think swords breaking other weapons as often as they do, RAW, makes little sense and I do intend to change it. And obviously I think spears deserve some kind of reach advantage. Morien had some good ideas. (Prost, Morien!) Gonna have to go back and re-read this whole thing again...) Well, I definitely agree that the KAP combat mechanics are simple. The simplicity of the system is, I think, one of its key strengths. Well, what I started out doing was trying to find out why Great Maces as weapons modeled in the game would be an attractive option, and also see if there is an official summary of the weapons published anywhere. And then, one thing led to another and here we are! Not necessarily more complicated. Just perhaps a bit more nuanced and realistic.
  11. I think this question should be addressed... When I say that something should be implemented across the board, what I mean is that if a PC can use a weapon and all its advantages or disadvantages, then NPCs should have those same advantages or disadvantages. It's not necessarily a rich vs. poor thing. So, I do see one aspect of GMing as striking a fair balance between the PCs and the NPCs.
  12. Well, I think it is, again as long as it doesnt slow things down by making things too complex. I haven't had any issue with players showing up for the next game session, at least not because of rules being too realistic. If half the PCs get killed off for doing something that gets them killed when they should've known better, then we'll just spend more time on character generation. I get the impression that you think that I don't actually think about the effects of rule changes. Not that I'm trying to convince you that I do, but of course I do. That is the whole point to changing rules: the effects that they will or could potentially have. Well, that might be your goal, and the goal of many players, and perhaps even the goal of Greg Stafford and anyone else who had a hand in creating Pendragon. However, if it's an either-or proposition, then that is not my goal. My goal is to play in an Arthurian world that has perhaps a bit more realism added to it. I think human beings in general weigh the pros and cons of actions they're about to take. Okay, so that's like the third time you've said this in this particular response. And I havent gotten through all of it yet... You can look at it that way if you choose. I choose to look at it as possibly modeling one weapon more realistically. Okay, well I think changing spears is an improvement. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/verisimilitude https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/verisimilar Your Arthurian fiction might not be. Mine is. That is a possibility. If he does it right, he'll defeat the bloody peasant. If he does it wrong, he'll wind up wounded or dead. I appreciate your concern, but I think "the greater the risk, the greater the reward". Games, and really life in general, is a whole lot more rewarding when you actually earn what you've gained. If you win victories because of unrealistic rules stacked in your favor, somehow I think those victories will not be as meaningful as the ones where you struggle against greater odds. Knights are expected to bring honor and glory to their liege lords. A great way of doing that is by winning battles and not squandering their lord's soldiery, noble or otherwise. Yes, it would appear that 99% of liege lords were/are (in the game) tactically idiotic. I don't have an issue admitting that. I've looked at medieval battles extensively throughout my life as a student, as a professional, and as a hobby and I do come away with the impression that the military art was not particularly sophisticated during the era depicted by Arthurian fiction, at least of the romantic sort. It's not like it is a huge secret or anything. Charging well-armed, disciplined spearmen was a great way to thin the herd of aristocrats and aristocratic wanna-be's. I highly doubt that a knight who gave his lord reasonable tactical advice would be considered insubordinate, cowardly, or treasonous. I mean, some lords might look at it that way. So, they can lead the charge into those thickets of spears and thereby earn glorious deaths for themselves and their valiant bands of intrepid warriors. Or! You can just keep spears as they are, wade through a sea of spear-wielding tackling dummies and hack them to pieces. All hail the conquering heroes! Chivalry was not based on blind obedience, and it was not predicated upon the notion that "if only you believe hard enough", you'll win. Chivalry was a code of behavior for the military aristocracy; and the military aristocracy would've gone extinct within a generation or two if it fought stupidly. As far as the French go, they drew the wrong conclusion from Crecy and Agincourt. The English "fought smarter"... and won. BREAK Okay, I can keep on going, but I think I've said enough to make my point, and it is getting tedious responding point by point over and over again. The bottom line is that I understand where you're coming from (KAP, RAW, is not meant to be realistic), and I accept the point you're trying to make about being careful when implementing changes. I don't think giving spears a realistic advantage in reach (for instance) is going to break the game, ruin player morale, or make it any less Arthurian. If you do, then I guess just don't change spears in your game.
  13. Another tangent! Good question, @BioKeith. I don't remember seeing prices for the arms & armor available later in the game. Maybe someone with all the supplements knows...
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