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The rulebook battle system. Some questions


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After a few big battles, I wanted to check on a few things to make sure I understood them right. To be clear, this is for the rulebook system in 5.2. 

* When fighting in each battle round, we are generally just fighting one round of personal combat, so does it actually matter what the knights roll on their damage dice? It seems the only thing that's important is if you succeeded or failed (for Glory purposes) and if you got hurt, outside of a special melee.

* After each round, does your unit start disengaged? In other words, we make the Unit Battle Roll each battle round right?

* The section on Assist a Unit is unclear to me. It says the enemy unit is forced to divide its combat rolls, but I am not altogether clear on what that means since as far as I can tell, the enemy units don't ever roll for anything? Does this mean that in the melee that round, each player knight is fighting alongside another soldier against one opponent? 

* The glory modifiers mention if the characters UNIT (emphasis mine) was outnumbered or outnumbered the enemy. How does this work practically? As far as I can tell, you never determine the size of an enemy unit anywhere and its not mentioned on the battle enemy tables.

* When playing the GPC, the way battles goes is scripted. How do you guys handle things like a battalion routing when its not supposed to? 

 

Cheers

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No need for PKs to roll damage.

Yes, unless they are in the back, having retreated to get first aid and deliver prisoners.

Enemy units roll opposed weapon skill. If they are outnumbered they need to divide the skill between PKs. Easiest to let PKs double up their attacks i.e one enemy rolling vs. two PKs.

There used to be a unit size roll in 4e. It is likely a relic. Adding an event of PKs being outnumbered would help. I do it all the time with footmen.

I ignore the events table and use the scripted events instead. Speeds up the game too. Non scripted battles I recommend prerolling and scripting in advance by yourself.

 

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8 hours ago, weasel fierce said:

I've seen it mentioned that in Book of Battle, a passion roll is said to be one round. Is that stated anywhere in the main book? Do people use that? 

It is a change from the main book, where (5.2, p. 92) it is stated: "This Inspiration lasts for the length of the task at hand, but never for more than one full day."

It is a reasonable assumption that if you are getting Inspired to 'Defeat the Saxons in this Battle', it would last for the whole battle since it is less than a day. However, this is very broken, especially with the +10 Inspired Bonus. It will turn every Battle into a series of criticals from the PKs, as we found out in our first playthrough during the Boy King Period. Which is why, I believe, that Greg changed it in BoB to last just one battle round.

We use the one battle round or an extended melee rule nowadays in our campaign.

Edited by Morien
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I think it matters for two reasons, one if you are fighting with spears on the charge, your lance can break on odd damage. Also if you run into a named NPC such as a Saxon, Pict thane or Chief or a enemy knight damage is important for ransom reasons.

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There’s this bit (5.2, p.238)

Gamemasters should keep the final number for the opposing side secret from the players; this allows for some uncertainty to keep them guessing about whether to withdraw due to wounds, to use inspiration in a given round, and so on. 

It’s not 100% (as it could be addressing using Inspiration for Lance on the First Charge vs. Sword in later rounds, or Battle, or Horsemanship).  But the wording does make it sound as if the assumption is that Inspiration is for a single round, and that bit got lost in the shuffle at some point and was never made clear.

It makes a certain amount of sense - after all, a battle round of melee is an abstraction of several different fights (different “tasks at hand”), and it’s not obviously the case that one should conceive of a whole battle as a single “task at hand.”  So, RAW, I can imagine a GM ruling that Inspiration is just for this one roll anyway.

Where I think the BoB rules make an undeniable significant change is that you can’t reuse a Passion in a battle.  I’m wondering how people feel about that in the context of 6e’s more modest +5 bonus (but also lowered penalties for failing the roll)?  

It’s one of those things that I can completely see should be there from a balance perspective, but it bothers me, because it’s so antithetical to the source material, in which a single extraordinary knight can be extraordinary all day long in battles (=keep making the Passion rolls), and it just feels odd to me to treat a character’s Hate Saxons (etc.) as a Hero Point that they use up and that they should metagame strategically as a limited resource.

I can see that removing Shock (if 6e is doing that - we only have the Quickstart to go on, obviously) would make a difference here.

 

Edited by Voord 99
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1 hour ago, Voord 99 said:

There’s this bit (5.2, p.238)

Gamemasters should keep the final number for the opposing side secret from the players; this allows for some uncertainty to keep them guessing about whether to withdraw due to wounds, to use inspiration in a given round, and so on. 

The same text is already in 5.0, which predates BoB. I took that to mean whether to use your Inspiration to boost your Lance or your Sword skill. But it is possible that the idea of limiting Passions to a single round was already in Greg's mind back then. I know that I was very much stricter with the Inspirations after the PKs criticalled their merry way through all the Boy King Battles. Just pop the Loyalty (King Arthur) at the start and then cut your way through the enemies with Sword 30+... And of course, at the time we used 4e, with its follower's bonus, so that was usually another +6...

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With the 6e preview seeming to indicate that each passion is usable once per day, and mostly removing penalties for lower rated passions, that may also have effects here. 
If the roll is indeed for one round / melee, nobody is going to be risking that "Hate Saxons 8" at the end of the day, but with the new rules maybe they would?

I will say that rolling once and then claiming the bonus for the entire battle "felt" wrong last time we played a battle (Lindsey), though less wrong at +5 than +10. I'll definitely be musing on this.

Edited by weasel fierce
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