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Not sure about how the BGB handles things spear related, Lloyd, but Mythras is designed to handle spear combat as demonstrated by Lindybiege very well, out of the box. All the following combat elements from Mythras feature in the Lindybiege video:

  • Combat Style (Spear & Shield) + Formation Fighting or Shield Wall trait
  • Weapon Size
  • Weapon Reach (and the Opening/Closing Range rules)
  • Sweep Attacks
  • Passive Blocking
  • Ward Location

Used together, they model spear fighting techniques to a reasonable degree of depth. And the Combat Training Module, 'Breaking the Habit', offers a practical walkthrough of most of the above techniques.

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Hey Lawrence!

Thanks for your answer....

To nitpick about the combat style trait... while it's a very good valid point, it annoys me because it introduce a combat that is manoeuvre that you have to learn (fair enough) but... having just 1 such is impractical... Though, now come to think about it.. maybe I should take a second (or more like 5th ^_^ ) look at the Mythras combat style after all hey...

As for the rest, yes I can see what you say...
- there are some weapon reach rule in the BGB too! but not as stringent than in Mythras... but I guess since I ask... Maybe I should be inspired again by Mythras hey?
- Passive Blocking and Ward Location is problematic since I decided to go general HP, but they good concept indeed...

I guess I have to think about it some more... but I do think you did gave some good idea and food for thoughts... 

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Suggestions for spear stuff:

1. Use Strike Ranks to give combat a rythm.

2. Use Hit Locations and give shields a coverage bonus for the shield wall. Allow them to cover everything but legs and head i guess.

3. The above-mentioned Mythras also has a Shield Walls and Ships supplement that I believe is free. You can skerp ideas from there.

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To nitpick about the combat style trait... while it's a very good valid point, it annoys me because it introduce a combat that is manoeuvre that you have to learn (fair enough) but... having just 1 such is impractical...

I don't understand what you mean Lloyd. Combat Styles come with one (or more, if the GM wishes) traits that enhance how you fight with your chosen weapons. These aren't skills or manoeuvres that you have to learn or improve through training; they're useful talents that are an inherent part of the way you fight.The Shield Wall trait for example, confers advantages on 3 or more warriors overlap their shields that enhance passive blocking, increase defence against knockback, bash attacks, and a few other things. Not really a lot to nit-pick!

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The above-mentioned Mythras also has a Shield Walls and Ships supplement that I believe is free. You can skerp ideas from there.

It's not free, but very modestly priced. However, Ships & Shield Walls isn't going to help with what Lloyd's after, as it deals with massed combat in quite an abstract fashion, whereas Lloyd's after modelling quite detailed spear tactics.

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5 minutes ago, lawrence.whitaker said:

I don't understand what you mean Lloyd. Combat Styles come with one (or more, if the GM wishes) traits that enhance how you fight with your chosen weapons. These aren't skills or manoeuvres that you have to learn or improve through training; they're useful talents that are an inherent part of the way you fight.The Shield Wall trait for example, confers advantages on 3 or more warriors overlap their shields that enhance passive blocking, increase defence against knockback, bash attacks, and a few other things. Not really a lot to nit-pick!

Just to explain as I thought.. (thought when I reflect some more, I might have thought wrong)... if you don't have this combat style you can't use the shield wall.. and I was assuming without that style being part of you starting package.. if one would start using spear, one one would develop a skill% for spear without the ability...
But I guess the better way to look at it is.. it is how you fight with spear! Learning spear is learning the style / ability associated with it! ^_^

My problem here, all my other RPG player friend are D&D addict... And they are ok to mg GM another game.. but they are not really wholly adopting it so... I might go the wrong way sometimes ^_^

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Just to explain as I thought.. (thought when I reflect some more, I might have thought wrong)... if you don't have this combat style you can't use the shield wall.. and I was assuming without that style being part of you starting package.. if one would start using spear, one one would develop a skill% for spear without the ability...
But I guess the better way to look at it is.. it is how you fight with spear! Learning spear is learning the style / ability associated with it! 

Correct - it's part of the package; something you train with naturally. And you can also decide what traits are associated with which combat styles, so that you create unique variations. Some might train in Spear & Shield + Formation Fighting; some with Shield Wall; some with Defensive Minded; you can truly create unique styles that differentiate warriors from each other. It's deliberately designed to be flexible according to your needs.

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I keep wondering to myself...
Could I model all of that with BRP? To how much depth?

Yes you can. To what depth depends upon your prefernces and how much more detail you want to add to combat.

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Care to share your personal approach of tactical combat?

I watched Lindybeige's video on Spear vs. Sword and wondered how to model it in Pendragon (a variant of BRP), and figured out that applying the +5/-5 reflexive modifier (or even a +10/-10, and Pendragon uses D20s not D100s) , combined with another modifier for a shield wall, would come pretty close and still remain simple. In the end I didn't implement the idea because, although it may be more realistic, it isn't more Arthurian, and would lessen the importance of knights.  If I were running in a different setting, I might have done it.

I've also allowed long weapons to attack from the second rank, leading to situations where someone can get double or triple teamed yet only attack one of those people.

Most of that could port over to BRP fairly painlessly. In fact, RQ2/3 had Phalanx rules that could help as far as the overlapping shield coverage and attacking from the back ranks goes.

 

 

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4 hours ago, jackleg2010 said:

When I think of cinematic spear fighting, I think of the fight between Achilles and Hector in the movie Troy.

Funnily enough, when I look at a game (RuneQuest, Magic World, KAP, GURPS), I think about how the combat system can model that fight...

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11 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

Funnily enough, when I look at a game (RuneQuest, Magic World, KAP, GURPS), I think about how the combat system can model that fight...

Nothing funny about that. The idea of a RPG is that it lets us play in the sorts of stories we enjoy, and models the setting of those stories. If someone wants to play in a cinematic setting of a particular movie, then they will want rules that help to model that setting.

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12 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Nothing funny about that. The idea of a RPG is that it lets us play in the sorts of stories we enjoy, and models the setting of those stories. If someone wants to play in a cinematic setting of a particular movie, then they will want rules that help to model that setting.

Agreed. There are so many movies with good fights in them but I am not sure why this one specifically stuck with me. Do you have an "iconic" fight (for lack of a better term) that you like modelling with rpg rules?

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7 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

Agreed. There are so many movies with good fight in them but I am not sure why this one specifically stuck with me. Do you have an "iconic" (for lack of a better term) that you like modelling with rpg rules?

No, not really. It sort of depends on the game I'm running and can vary from campaign to campaign. For instance in Pendragon I noted the advantages spears should get, but ignored them to keep the game focused around knights. Otherwise units of warbowmen screened by pikemen would dominate the battlefield within a decade. When running the James Bond RPG, I try to model the reality of the books and films, especially the early films, something that the game rules are already designed to do. If running Superworld I'd probably try for the feel of four color comics. 

But it all comes down to what I want for a given campaign. What might work for one campaign, might not work in another, even if both are set in the same time and place. A modern day military campaign, modern day horror campaign, and modern day superhero campaign could all be set in the same time and place, but play very differently and have different themes and tone.

Of course a GM can use thing in multiple ways, too. For instance a good way to make a horror campaign more scary is to start off running it like it's not a horror game, but some other type of game. That way the horror stuff has more impact. And vice versa. One of the biggest "out of left field" moments in a Call of Cthulhu campaign I played in was when the Keeper ran was was essentially a Gangster adventure. He we were looking for Mythos nasties, evil cultist, etc. and we were completely blided by (and unprepared for) a simple group of mobsters. 

 

 

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In my house rules a special gives a choice of special attacks rather than just a damage bonus.

So, for example a 2H spear user specialing can choose to have  a follow-up attack (which takes place in the same MR), attempt a Knockback, inflict Maximum damage, or attempt a Trip attack. 

Other weapons offer different choices. 

I’ve also tweaked SRs so there a bigger difference between spears and other 1 or 2H weapons, and if an attacker misses and the defender has a successful parry, they can then choose to make a follow up attack. 

Basically any combat system should make spears a clear choice for primary weapon as that’s what they were in real life. 
 

 

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