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100+ in a combat skill


galafrone

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9 hours ago, Rob Darvall said:

Kill the Humakti.

Yeah. Somehow that notion isn't that popular with most players of Humakti characters. I wonder why?

9 hours ago, Rob Darvall said:

They are attempting to be avatars of death including their own. The greater their power the closer they should become to Apotheosis and becoming one with their god. So fewer practical methods of avoiding death should be acceptable. If they are not willing to get that close to their god they don't get the benefits. The death cult in "The Lies of the Locke Lamora" is a fine example. Worship of Humakt is to accept death in all its forms (bar the chaotic, that's not death it's dissolution) so careers should be brief and meteroric.

Few of the players deciding to play a Humakti think that way. They tend to like the OP assault of sword fetishism but may be already hard put to obey their geases without those being actively challenged.

9 hours ago, Rob Darvall said:

How many heros returned from Troy? Only the politicians. The ones who focused solely on killing got buried, even the Lesser Ajax.

There was Diomedes who sort of came back from it.

9 hours ago, jajagappa said:

And the more the Humakti invoke Death, the more it will impact their clan and its contacts with Life. It will become difficult to gain the blessings and bounty of the Earth, the crops wither, children die, whole villages massacred. Eventually heroes will be needed to Kill the Humakti and bring Death to the Deathwielders, separating them from Life.

Now that's an angle that might have to be woven into the annual catch-up mechanics - what did your player characters' actions in the last year add to what the omens brought up? How does it affect the influence of the ancestors or the wyter's personality?

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Yeah. Somehow that notion isn't that popular with most players of Humakti characters. I wonder why?

I also don't think Humakti are exactly the "Blood for the Blood God, Skulls for the Skull Throne!" and "Our blood too is welcome" types. You are under no responsibility not to fight off your death (as long as honor is preserved, naturally!).

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5 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

I also don't think Humakti are exactly the "Blood for the Blood God, Skulls for the Skull Throne!" and "Our blood too is welcome" types. You are under no responsibility not to fight off your death (as long as honor is preserved, naturally!).

No kidding for a real look at the possible variations in persnality type see the duel at Tourney Alter twixt Nameless and Allan in Biturian Varosh’s travels in CoP.

Edited by Bill the barbarian

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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On 12/26/2019 at 5:08 PM, lordabdul said:

Whether it's ludicrous or not is hard to tell because the percentage system is only deceptively linear -- in truth, a few things (like for example the >100% rules) make skills scale non-linearly, where someone with 200% is a lot better than 4 times better someone with 50%. So I don't know about that.

However, remember that attacks and parries are not behaving the same, and you don't get to subtract willy-nilly like this!  Assuming all 8 opponents have below 100% in their attack and defense skills, then:

  • When attacking, your Humakti can either:
    • Attack one of the 8 opponents at full skill (-85% to that opponent's defense)
    • Attack two of the 8 opponents at partial skill, with one attack above 100... like, say, one attack at 120% (-20% to the opponent's defense), and one at 65% (no penalty to the opponent)
    • Attack three of the 8 opponents at partial skill... say, 55%, 60%, 70% (no penalties to any opponents)
    • The Humakti can't attack more than 3 opponents because he can't go below 50% for any attack. And he might run out of SRs anyway.
  • When defending, your Humakti can either dodge or block or parry.
    • Assuming he has "normal" (below 100) skills in Dodge and Shield, doing that won't affect the opponents' attack rolls.
    • If the Humakti chooses to parry, remember that subsequent parries are at a -20% penalty. So if 8 opponents attack him:
      • First opponent gets -85%, most probably gets parried and even hurt (or his weapon broken).
      • Second opponent gets -65%.
      • Third opponent gets -45%. These guys are really just here for the attrition.
      • Fourth opponent gets -25%.
      • Fifth opponent gets -5%. He might get lucky.
      • Six, seven, and eighth opponents don't get any penalty, and the Humakti's parry dips below 100%, at 85%, 65%, and 45% respectively.

So yeah, it might take more than 5 or 6 warriors to take down a Humakti in a Sword Trance, assuming zero magical support in favour of the opponents. That doesn't seem too ludicrous to me narratively/cinematically speaking.

One of Jason’s answers in the core rules questions seems to say that the starting parry % will also be affected by the split attack rule. Not sure if that is an oversight?

 

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One possibe repair to the parades above 100% reducing the attackers' percentage might be to never drop it below the attacker's unmodified special chance, or a similar such threshold. While still a severe change in the attacker's chance to hit, it won't eliminate the attacker's skill completely.

I haven't had to deal with this high a percentage reduction in practical play yet (remember - I don't encourage Humakti), so I will probably use this as a house-rule when the situation comes up. An additional 100% difference may drop it to the chance of landing a critical (this way a Humakti boosted to a ludicrous 475% in Sword Trance still won't be unaffected if his opponent had piled up an even more ludicrous 575+%...).

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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20 hours ago, G.T said:

In my table I am considering that >100% helps only in attack, not in the parry. Parry gets already benefit of multiple parries, so high skill is still useful but would not prevent allosaurus to hit you.

That makes sense to me, actually. I'm considering it too :)   ...and when I compare with GURPS, which is my go-to "tactical crunchy combat system", this is also kinda how it works.

In other news, if people want to be mean to their Humakti players, there is also some potential argument to be made for Sword Trance to be nerfed some more. There's already a consensus that the rulebook text is missing the bit about what the "trance" means, which, in the Bestiary, is described as not being able to do anything else than fight with that specific weapon. But the Arrow Trance text has another interesting bit: "The user can use no other weapon and cannot parry nor use the bow as a club". (btw, can you parry with a bow? what skill do you use? Club?)

So if Arrow Trance doesn't let you parry, you could argue Sword Trance also either (1) doesn't let you parry ("you're a Humakti! you shouldn't fear death! let Death strike you, and if the Gods smile, Death won't take you!"), or (2) only gives you bonuses to attacks.

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15 minutes ago, Paid a bod yn dwp said:

One of Jason’s answers in the core rules questions seems to say that the starting parry % will also be affected by the split attack rule. Not sure if that is an oversight?

Interesting find, thanks! I'm not sure how that can work in practice though... say I have 150% in weapon skill, and I'm splitting that 80% (against opponent A) and 70% (against opponent B). Do we need to track this so that I have 80% parry against A and 70% parry against B? (dropping either one by -20% for when they come second) And if a 3rd opponent C attacks, which skill score should I use? I've got no idea what Jason means, there.

Edited by lordabdul
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1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

So if Arrow Trance doesn't let you parry, you could argue Sword Trance also either (1) doesn't let you parry ("you're a Humakti! you shouldn't fear death! let Death strike you, and if the Gods smile, Death won't take you!"), or (2) only gives you bonuses to attacks.

Sword Trance doesn't shouldn't let you parry with your shield even if that's your usual defence strategy, which means that you expose your fetish blade to all sorts of incoming damage.

What happens to the wielder when the weapon a character is entranced to snaps? The equivalent of a Befuddle?

Being disarmed (in the Skywalker sense) has the usual consequences, but the Humakti can pick up the weapon with the remaining hand and fight using his off-hand skill plus the magic.

Edited by Joerg
yeah, not RAW
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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

Interesting find, thanks! I'm not sure how that can work in practice though... say I have 150% in weapon skill, and I'm splitting that 80% (against opponent A) and 70% (against opponent B). Do we need to track this so that I have 80% parry against A and 70% parry against B? And if a 3rd opponent C attacks, which skill score should I use? I've got no idea what Jason means, there.

Yes agreed, after revisiting Jason’s reply it doesn’t seem to make much sense. The multiple parry rule already covers this. And as you say what would happen if a third person attacks, which parry would you use? 
i accepted it at the time but rereading what Jason wrote, it doesn’t seem to fit.  

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1 hour ago, Paid a bod yn dwp said:

Yes agreed, after revisiting Jason’s reply it doesn’t seem to make much sense. The multiple parry rule already covers this. And as you say what would happen if a third person attacks, which parry would you use? 
i accepted it at the time but rereading what Jason wrote, it doesn’t seem to fit.  

This is part of the reason I don't like having a weapon roll instead of an attack and a parry roll for each weapon. I also don't like the way roll above 100% are managed. But Sword trance (and other like spells) are not broken. They give the intended result of a death god servant cutting through a number of mooks.

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1 hour ago, Kloster said:

This is part of the reason I don't like having a weapon roll instead of an attack and a parry roll for each weapon. I also don't like the way roll above 100% are managed. But Sword trance (and other like spells) are not broken. They give the intended result of a death god servant cutting through a number of mooks.

Well, it dipends on the skill and the MP availability of the Death god servant, because the mooks we are talking to can be people with 300% in a combat skill, if the above mentioned servant has 50% skill but a lot of MP available… (like 10 matrices for 5 spirit each, 50 spirit points +500% skill combat...for a total of 550%, 250% more than the "mooks" that have 300... LOL)

Edited by galafrone
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well, i dont see why it should not apply to the parry to be honest.

The trance can be offensive but why not defensive, in the meaning of "staying alive the most time possible so to give plenty of Death around"

i see this runic as a super high speed flurry of blows and parries, counterstrikes, ripostes and lunges. Hard to tell what is a parry and what is an attack

no, definitely i wont nerf the parry at my table (also, as a remind to self, in HARNMASTER one of the options the defender had was "counterstrike", not only parry and dodge, that would be a nice fit to RQG expecially applied to SWORDTRANCE)

Edited by galafrone
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8 hours ago, Joerg said:

I haven't had to deal with this high a percentage reduction in practical play yet (remember - I don't encourage Humakti), so I will probably use this as a house-rule when the situation comes up. An additional 100% difference may drop it to the chance of landing a critical (this way a Humakti boosted to a ludicrous 475% in Sword Trance still won't be unaffected if his opponent had piled up an even more ludicrous 575+%...).

Interesting side note, the highest my characters (well my player’s character really) ever got in actual play was the Humakti that almost made initiate. Man what a different time.

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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I'd say the rationale is that Humakt is the god of death, not the god of staying alive!  He isn't a berserker type, so okay, you get to parry.   But should he also enhance your defense so highly? 

I'm not so clear about that.  If you see him as god of swords, dueling, and general lightsabering, then yes.  You go full on"use the force" and they just are that unstoppable short of missile, Rune magic, or dispels.  If you decide that you want them to be able to strike down the enemy with almost no recourse, then the attack covers the bill.....the extra parries is just flat better than it was in RQ2 due to the parry changes.

Either way it shakes down mechanically (for your Glorantha I mean), I find that the mechanical underpinnings of Runequest are a HUGE part of what makes the background appealing and "alive".  Heroquest guys can feel free to disagree with me, but I'm very much an old school "Ruric Runespear" kind of GM.  The players have always learned the rules system as a fundamental part of the game, and those who were clever with it excelled.  The yin and yang of the wild and outrageous fantasy setting mixed with the hard and crunchy -- and predictable -- rules is the major draw.  Players don't just gain levels and somehow become able to blow past opponents that halted them a few game sessions ago.  They have to actively learn and utilize the game to progress.  If a Humakt -- or Yanafal Tarnils is that empowered by Sword Trance, then so be it.  But it is definitely something that in-game individuals would be aware of, and take steps against.  Which logically will make any Humakt worshiper a big walking target, as well as scare off some of the weaker challengers, like outlawed bandits.   Basically anything intelligent will prefer a non-melee solution to that particular problem, which is sensible even if the Humakti doesn't cast that spell, but this version of RQ clearly establishes a no-melee zone where only the ill informed or overconfident go to die. 

And how do you combat a massed unit of Yanafal Tarnils worshiping initiates?  Combat, like the role play for that matter, has always been three dimensional in Glorantha.  Combating such a unit would be well nigh impossible for most any ordinary unit of melee soldiers, and Humakt is not worshiped in great enough numbers to counter with like forces. 

Reading this thread and thinking about it, I'm inclined to run with the original ruling, and let the world adjust as it makes sense.  That means more dispel magics, more lightnings, more poison arrows boosted by speedart, and many, many more befuddles and demoralizes.  Frankly my players have the art of keeping their berserk storm bull followers alive down to an science, so they wouldn't really see this as any different.  A Lhankor Mhy initiate may not be great shakes in a combat situation, but he can always judiciously keep the big guns going while waiting for the situation to once again need his painfully earned skills and wisdom.   Heck, buffing and debuffing have always been reasonable answers to the GM's question of what are you doing this round.  "I'm parrying the troll attacking me and casting a dispel 6 on THAT THING!" 

It all works either way so long as everyone understands the rules.  What is at stake is more the shared vision of how we see Glorantha combat working, given the changes to both Rune Magic and parry.

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1 minute ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Interesting side note, the highest my characters (well my player’s character really) ever got in actual play was the Humakti that almost made initiate.

My first campaign was a very long running RQ2 one that got well into Rune levels and beyond.  (Still waiting for those Heroquest rules guys!)  The Humakti made Rune Priest reasonably quickly, but was known mainly for having a gift of learning every skill that he didn't know to 40%.  Best thing anyone has ever done for a character in any of my long running campaigns, as that wound up catapulting him into a character that eventually knew every common skill well over 70%, thanks to aggressively going after every skill check possible.  He was in particular good at oration and fast talk, particularly for a death worshiper.  In combat he was mainly a fairly normal character of the time, who stabbed things with his broadsword, focused on Shield spell to stay alive, would cast Truesword against tough armor, and if something very large threatened the party, like a Giant, he would attempt a Sever Spirit on it.  Against obviously magical foes he would back the Sever Spirit with considerable power, like 8, to ensure that he punched through any magical protection.   Typically the role was 50/50 against the enemy champion/leader, but that's great odds right there.  If nothing else he got a divine intervention out of the way early. 

He did eventually die -- Lunars got him IIRC, and like all Humakti, that was the end of the character.    A strict enforcement of that one proviso makes being a Humakt follower a major tightrope walk for the player, and honestly, although sad, I think he was happy to not have to walk it after the characters death.  The player continued on happily for several years afterwards using mainly a shaman.  Having highly lethal combat was a key element to the tension that the player experienced, so obviously if the players roll up a serious death dealer of a character, they must be called on to undertake equally dangerous tasks. 

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On 12/29/2019 at 6:06 PM, lordabdul said:

Interesting find, thanks! I'm not sure how that can work in practice though... say I have 150% in weapon skill, and I'm splitting that 80% (against opponent A) and 70% (against opponent B). Do we need to track this so that I have 80% parry against A and 70% parry against B? (dropping either one by -20% for when they come second) And if a 3rd opponent C attacks, which skill score should I use? I've got no idea what Jason means, there.

It makes no sense, because of opponent C. You're right. Splitting attack can't affect your parry.

I just posted to the Q&A pointing out this problem.

Edited by PhilHibbs
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On 12/29/2019 at 9:58 AM, lordabdul said:

... So if Arrow Trance doesn't let you parry, you could argue Sword Trance also either (1) doesn't let you parry ("you're a Humakti! you shouldn't fear death! let Death strike you, and if the Gods smile, Death won't take you!"), or (2) only gives you bonuses to attacks.

I give Sword Trance parrying; it's part of Sword-ing (bow-parrying is NOT a part of archery, however!).

I think it's a mis-read of Arrow Trance to think that parrying is disallowed from all Trance-y spells, that's just a specific feature of archery.

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1 hour ago, g33k said:

I give Sword Trance parrying; it's part of Sword-ing (bow-parrying is NOT a part of archery, however!).

I think it's a mis-read of Arrow Trance to think that parrying is disallowed from all Trance-y spells, that's just a specific feature of archery.

+1

parrying with a sword could give you opportunity to attack better

parrying with a bow should give you only... a broken bow ?

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1 minute ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

parrying with a bow should give you only... a broken bow ?

I would think so, unless somehow Hollywood is correct and archers parry with their bows all the time. 

Now, to counter that, players will probably point out that Bows are given Hit Points, and a somewhat oddly worded paragraph on p.211 (Explanation of Headings: HP) states thus:

Quote

HP: An adventurer is not trained to parry with a projectile weapon as well as shoot with it (thrown weapons are another story). The chance of parry- ing using a missile weapon should be based on the basic chance with a quarterstaff.

So if players wish, I would grant them parrying with a bow (even in Arrow Trance, more on this below). I would, however, be evil, and impose an increased fumble chance when shooting after the bow takes damage; equal to 5% x MP damage the bow has taken. Fumble results in this case indicate a snapped bow. 

Now, as Arrow Trance is written, it disallows parrying. I would still allow it though. I would also allow the subject to use arrows to stab with. In this scenario the user is still focused on the bow, their arrows, and targets. Just gives the user a bit more flexibility in an encounter (and a more cinematic Legolas style fight).

Parrying in Arrow Trance would be as I have outlined it above, with one change. Under Arrow Trance, the bow is enchanted as well. While damage can accumulate, the penalty I proposed would not take effect until after the spell wore off. Thus, under Arrow Trance, I would allow parrying, but the bow would only break after its HP were exhausted. 

SDLeary 

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12 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

parrying with a bow should give you only... a broken bow ?

when desperate one might find sacrificing a rather pricey  bow to gain 7 additional HP of protection (if parrying succeeds) to be worth it. Three cottars and their families will be able to live on the price for a comp bow for a year (ouch).

Question to all the wise, What is the parry chance of an individua using a bow, surely not his attack chance and per usual with a weapon.Perhaps 5% plus manipulation bonus at which time forget parrying wth the bow, dodge! 

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... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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Just now, Bill the barbarian said:

Question to all the wise, What is the parry chance of an individua using a bow, surely not his attack chance and per usual with a weapon.Perhaps 5% plus manipulation bonus at which time forget parrying wth the bow, dodge! 

According to the book, base chance with a quarterstaff.

SDLeary

 

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