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Everything that's wrong with BRP:s historic medieval weapons and shields


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4 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

IMO, shield should probably have lower AP scores, but should be easy to parry with. 

Completely agree. Another solution would be to have the shield have AP (how much damage they block) and HP (how much damage they can sustain). In that case, both are lowered by 1 point (to follow RQ3 rule) each time the AP are overcome. You can then have a wooden shield with 12 AP, but only 8 HP, for example.

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6 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

More like there are more gaps to find with plate.

Have you seen a bronze cuirass worn by greek hoplites and some roman centurions. Not any gaps on torso, and it protect the abdomen quite correctly.

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11 hours ago, RosenMcStern said:

This is a nice rule if exploited well, and I used it a lot, especially in my all-troll games, but it was not in the core RQ3 books. It was in the errata (and in the gdw edition). As you can see from the reply below yours, most people still regard it as a sort of houserule.

If it's in the errata, I view it as official. However, not everything in the errata constitutes an improvement. For example, the armour overlap rule in the errata generates a terriffic exploit in that it lets you get away with just doubling the weight of the lesser armour instead of tripling it. Now you can layer bezainted under ringmail and get better and cheaper protection than plate. Also, why should the outer layer have to be heavier? Can't you put a cuirboilli vambrace over mail for example? 

11 hours ago, RosenMcStern said:

The truth is that while RQ2 and RQG provide different mechanics for damage enhancement to slashing, piercing and crushing weapons, RQ3 and the BGB only have damage increases for impaling wepons. This sometimes leads to unrealistic combat techniques.

This was one of the big weaknesses of RQ3 in my opinion, and I always houserule it (I've been using the BGB specials instead). In BGB it is at least somewhat balanced IMO. A slashing special only has to get through armour to create serious bleeding issues, and the crush special can break stuff and stun. And remember, in both versions the impaling weapon is likely to get stuck, so if you have any opponents left after impaling someone you might be in trouble. This is exactly what happened in my current RQ3/BGB campaign, where the long spear guy heroically impaled the orc leader but got his spear stuck, and failing to yank it out (and lacking a good backup weapon) was eventually cut down by the other orcs.

12 hours ago, RosenMcStern said:

Why don't you just try the game at the table instead of just reading it? A lot of people have tried that combat system, and now prefer it over the classic BRP implementation. Others do not, but most of them can now motivate their dislike with experience rather than feeling. As D. Vincent Baker said, "You cannot really know how a game plays out until you have tried it in practice".

I've tried out some battle scenarios on my own and the action points give me a headache, so it's more than a 'feeling'. But if I can do away with them, as in Imperative, I might try it out if I get a chance. Right now I'm stuck with my RQ3/BGB iteration.

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I've tried out some battle scenarios on my own and the action points give me a headache, so it's more than a 'feeling'. But if I can do away with them, as in Imperative, I might try it out if I get a chance. Right now I'm stuck with my RQ3/BGB iteration.

It's not difficult to redact Action Points. Simply fix them at 2 per combatant, giving all participants the choice of attack & defend, attack x2 or defend x2. If you feel multiple defences are the way to go, have each additional defence be at an additional grade of difficulty (Hard/Formidable/Herculean). It certainly won't break anything in the Mythras combat system, and you may find the approach suits the gaming style you want.

We also have two (third on the way) Combat Training Modules available (and which can easily be used with BRP or RQ[insert favoured version here]) which look in depth at different combat types, tactics to use, alternative outcomes, and how to get the most from the system. They're worth taking a look at.

The Design Mechanism: Publishers of Mythras

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1 hour ago, Kloster said:
5 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

IMO, shield should probably have lower AP scores, but should be easy to parry with. 

Completely agree. Another solution would be to have the shield have AP (how much damage they block) and HP (how much damage they can sustain). In that case, both are lowered by 1 point (to follow RQ3 rule) each time the AP are overcome. You can then have a wooden shield with 12 AP, but only 8 HP, for example.

Which system are you talking about in this case? In RQ3, the shield APs seem about right to me. In BGB, both shield and weapon AP are way too high, but then again, like I said in the OP they ruined the parrying system by making a parry deflect all damage. No difference between parrying a dagger or a greataxe.

The problem with reducing APs for weapons and shields is that adventurers wind up with deteriorating equipment while their NPC opponents always have just gotten their off the shelf, which seems a bit unfair.

I really like the shield breakage system from the Swedish BRP game Drakar och Demoner Expert (I'm Swedish), where every point of damage that exceeds a shield's AP gives 1 on a d20 to break it. So exceed it by 5, it breaks if you roll 5 or under on a d20. Simple and brilliant.

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5 minutes ago, lawrence.whitaker said:

It's not difficult to redact Action Points. Simply fix them at 2 per combatant, giving all participants the choice of attack & defend, attack x2 or defend x2. If you feel multiple defences are the way to go, have each additional defence be at an additional grade of difficulty (Hard/Formidable/Herculean). It certainly won't break anything in the Mythras combat system, and you may find the approach suits the gaming style you want.

We also have two (third on the way) Combat Training Modules available (and which can easily be used with BRP or RQ[insert favoured version here]) which look in depth at different combat types, tactics to use, alternative outcomes, and how to get the most from the system. They're worth taking a look at.

Thanks, I'll take a look! One thought I toyed with is to only allow one attack per round regardless of action points, while any extra action points can be used to parry against several opponents, or possibly do other non offensive things as well. How do you think that might work? Should extra parries be penalised in this case, in your opinion?

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13 hours ago, RosenMcStern said:

This is a nice rule if exploited well, and I used it a lot, especially in my all-troll games, but it was not in the core RQ3 books. It was in the errata (and in the gdw edition). As you can see from the reply below yours, most people still regard it as a sort of houserule.

Actually it was in the latest RQ3 core book in the appendix "Official Errata".

13 hours ago, RosenMcStern said:

The truth is that while RQ2 and RQG provide different mechanics for damage enhancement to slashing, piercing and crushing weapons, RQ3 and the BGB only have damage increases for impaling wepons. This sometimes leads to unrealistic combat techniques.

BGB has effects for bleeding, crushing, impaling, etc on page 194 and it does include damage increases of various sorts along with other effects (like potential stun on a crushing special). The lack on these in RQ3 was rather annoying but we have used the BGB effects in RQ3 with good results.

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8 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Does damage come off the hit point shields before damaging the ship or both at the same time? If you ship above got hit for 25 points would that do 20 points to the shield, 20 points to the ship, or both?

Yeah the shield AP and HP is damaged first. Without any other bonus, i.e. your armor doesn't improve the shield AP.
Once the HP of the shield is brought to 0 the shield is knocked off... and normal AP and HP applies.

It slightly different for spaceship I think. Where shield HP regenerate fast and damage reduction always applies, I believe, as long as the shield generator has not be destroyed. But it's close enough. And mechanic seems good too.

Also.. in MoO.. there is like 2 tech that simply bypass shield (in a large tech tree).

 

FYI: in MoO Armor work slightly differently too, like an HP layer over the structur, no damage reduction. But big ship do more damage, maybe only ablative damage hey? So it's kind o f the same thing on you use ablation / AP reduction! ^_^
And also, some weapon can by pass armor and directly affect structure. Again its either expensive mods (in cost and weapon space/enc) or a few tech in a large tree.

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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6 hours ago, Kloster said:

Have you seen a bronze cuirass worn by greek hoplites and some roman centurions. Not any gaps on torso, and it protect the abdomen quite correctly.

Sure there are. Arm pits; depending on the direction of the thrust it could end up in the arm or the chest. Neck; thrust could end up in the chest or in the head. They tend to not cover all of the abdomen, so still a chance of that hit.

Keep in mind as well that not all "hoplites" were adorned in muscle cuirass. Many were in a "thorax" which seems to have completely different design. Look at the armor of Philip II of Macedon

SDLeary

 

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5 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

I really like the shield breakage system from the Swedish BRP game Drakar och Demoner Expert (I'm Swedish), where every point of damage that exceeds a shield's AP gives 1 on a d20 to break it. So exceed it by 5, it breaks if you roll 5 or under on a d20. Simple and brilliant.

Woo! I like this. I would only apply it to axes though. 

SDLeary

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23 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

So... you suggest that forcefield be an all or nothing damage stopper with a resistance roll?.. I never considered such an idea, interesting...

Yes, but the greater the damage value, the more likely the shield is to not stop that particular blow and lets all the damage through. Also, as it "counts" as armor, you could also factor in knockback. Or, if using as ships shields, say the shield doing its job might cause other small issues around the ship; think Star Trek when shields are bing heavily hit, and all the fireworks that happen on the bridge.

SDLeary

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17 minutes ago, SDLeary said:

Yes, but the greater the damage value, the more likely the shield is to not stop that particular blow and lets all the damage through. Also, as it "counts" as armor, you could also factor in knockback. Or, if using as ships shields, say the shield doing its job might cause other small issues around the ship; think Star Trek when shields are bing heavily hit, and all the fireworks that happen on the bridge.

SDLeary

quintuple post!

oops that was you...

I think I will go with my idea outlined just before your multiposts.....

However.. there are plenty of device with various tech level... And I think I can make another device like you suggested when one get the reflector field technology.. 🙂

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8 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

Actually it was in the latest RQ3 core book in the appendix "Official Errata".

BGB has effects for bleeding, crushing, impaling, etc on page 194 and it does include damage increases of various sorts along with other effects (like potential stun on a crushing special). The lack on these in RQ3 was rather annoying but we have used the BGB effects in RQ3 with good results.

My brother from another mother!

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9 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

Which system are you talking about in this case? In RQ3, the shield APs seem about right to me. In BGB, both shield and weapon AP are way too high, but then again, like I said in the OP they ruined the parrying system by making a parry deflect all damage. No difference between parrying a dagger or a greataxe.

I am not speaking of a specific system; I just proposed a house rule to Atgxtg to solve his problem.

9 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

I really like the shield breakage system from the Swedish BRP game Drakar och Demoner Expert (I'm Swedish), where every point of damage that exceeds a shield's AP gives 1 on a d20 to break it. So exceed it by 5, it breaks if you roll 5 or under on a d20. Simple and brilliant.

This I like. It have to test.

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10 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

Thanks, I'll take a look! One thought I toyed with is to only allow one attack per round regardless of action points, while any extra action points can be used to parry against several opponents, or possibly do other non offensive things as well. How do you think that might work? Should extra parries be penalised in this case, in your opinion?

Well, Loz is certainly more qualified to answer for Mythras, but there is one thing I can certainly add, after spending hundreds if not thousands of hours playing almost all variations of BRP (RQ3, BGB, Legend, Mythras, Revolution, probably others): the closer you go to a "one attack per round" combat model, the longer your combats will take in terms of both game and real-world time.

So the point is: can you houserule Legend or Mythras so that it resembles RQ3/G a little bit more? I would say yes, you can. And it will not break the game: your players will still beat the bad guys if their characters are competent and they make wise tactical decisions. But it will take a significantly higher number of combat rounds (and combat rolls) to do so. And not because more "exciting events" will take place. It will just be a higher number of misses or parries.

So in the end it is entirely up to you and the features you want in your game: fewer "events" per round, and more rounds per combat, or more "events" per round with the associate necessity of some "during-the-round" bookkeeping? The answer is, of course, subjective.

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59 minutes ago, RosenMcStern said:

So the point is: can you houserule Legend or Mythras so that it resembles RQ3/G a little bit more? I would say yes, you can. And it will not break the game: your players will still beat the bad guys if their characters are competent and they make wise tactical decisions. But it will take a significantly higher number of combat rounds (and combat rolls) to do so. And not because more "exciting events" will take place. It will just be a higher number of misses or parries.

I think what Rosen mean here.. is with action points, often players have the upper hands (since combat oriented character will hopefully be more min maxed that random goon). Meaning they will often starve the enemy of action point and have free unchallenged attacks.

Personally I disliked that and prefer the way BRP handles it. However, obviously some people like differently. While I don't like action point too much, I have to agree it's nice way that RevolutionD100 and Mythras (relatively) smoothly handle more or less fast character or weapon in the game.

For example with BRP I am at loss on how to make an hyperfast deadly combat robot, yet give it 1 attack per second if I treat it like any other character... (sure I could give it multiple weapon and just having it fire all of them at once, but I am specifically thinking how war machine should be faster)
Toying with various idea, thinking for DEX over 15 (and every other multiple) give 1 extra action or reaction with malus....

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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Thanks, I'll take a look! One thought I toyed with is to only allow one attack per round regardless of action points, while any extra action points can be used to parry against several opponents, or possibly do other non offensive things as well. How do you think that might work? Should extra parries be penalised in this case, in your opinion?

Try it with fixed Action Points (either 2 or 3, it doesn't matter), but leave the intent of the Action Points as per RAW just to get used to the AP economy. As Rosen McStern rightly says, a one-attack-per-round model will lengthen the overall combat. Mythras combat isn't really about weapon damage and Hit Point attrition; it's about managing Action Points and generating Special Effects; these are the key to winning a fight.

For example, Warrior A and Warrior B both have 2 Action Points. They are mortal enemies and one needs to kill the other. Warrior A goes first and hits. Warrior B tries to parry and misses. Both have used an Action Point. Warrior A inflicts only 3 points of damage which is absorbed by B's armour. But Warrior A also has a Special Effect; he chooses Trip and succeeds. Warrior B is flat on his back and Warrior A standing over him...

Both have an AP left, but if you limit the number of attacks to just 1 per round, Warrior A really doesn't have many options. He can't act defensively as there's nothing to defend against. He doesn't need to use any skills as he has his opponent at a disadvantage. So at this point, it's stalemate. He can't do very much. He could opt to delay his action or do nothing, but Warrior B still has an Action Point he can use while prone, including Attack (because he hasn't attacked yet). Let's say Warrior A opts to delay to see what Warrior B does. B lashes out with a foot using Unarmed. He's at a penalty, but manages to land a lucky blow. Warrior A rolls to defend and fails. Warrior B now has a Special Effect and also chooses Trip. Both combatants are now on the ground. Warrior B also lands 3 points of damage to one of Warrior A's legs. The fight goes on into another round.

Point is, if Warrior A had had the freedom to attack twice, he may well have finished off Warrior B in two quick and decisive moves - which is sometimes what you want. Instead, the one-attack-per-round rule severely limited his tactical options, resulting in a squandered advantage and a radical turning of the tables.

So try the RAW first. How things read in the rules isn't necessarily how they translate in play, and it's worth trying the rules as presented because you may be pleasantly surprised.

Edited by lawrence.whitaker
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The Design Mechanism: Publishers of Mythras

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15 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

Thanks, I'll take a look! One thought I toyed with is to only allow one attack per round regardless of action points, while any extra action points can be used to parry against several opponents, or possibly do other non offensive things as well. How do you think that might work? Should extra parries be penalised in this case, in your opinion?

I think 2 AP's with choice of Attk+Parr / 2XAtt / 2XParr nicely and fluidly simulates the idea of someone fighting "normally" vs "all-out attack" vs "all-out defense".

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2 hours ago, lawrence.whitaker said:

Try it with fixed Action Points ...

...

So try the RAW first. How things read in the rules isn't necessarily how they translate in play, and it's worth trying the rules as presented because you may be pleasantly surprised.

@Barak Shathur -- Some things to be aware of:

(1)  The original RQ engine -- the core mechanics driving BRP -- was made by RPG gamers heavily-informed by SCA combat (SCA = "Society for Creative Anachronism") as far back as the 1960's.  These were guys who got into armor as authentically medieval as they could get, and weapons as authentically medieval as they could get (with various safety-mod's as needed to not murder/maim one another) and went out every weekend for 1:1 duels, 2:2 fights, 10:10 skirmishes, etc (and other folk worked on authentic clothing, authentic foodstuffs, etc etc etc; the SCA was a foundational group for modern "historical reentactment").  RQ was built by guys who knew D&D combat, and real armed combat, and built their game to be a helluva lot closer to "real" combat than they got with the D&D engine.

(2)  The Mythras engine is a refinement of BRP heavily influenced by HEMA fighting.  These folk were kinda-SCA-ish but dropped the noncombat & reenactment stuff, and added hearty doses of scholarship & research into the old "fechtbucher" and other medieval/renaissance fighting-manuals, studio/dojo work, and "experimental archaeology" (i.e. taking archeological research and trying to recreate old items & techniques as accurately as possible); all of which was then wedded to decades of collective RQ&BRP experiences.

(3)  The BRP engine driving RQ, CoC, Mythras, &c has been playtested & tweaked & modified & stretched & stress-tested for longer than any other game-engine that I know of (even D&D (though older, as a "brand") has had more version-to-version disconnects that have reset the core game-engine to something new).  Pretty much every little tweak or mod you can imagine has already been done, and demonstrated to not break the system.

Tweak to your heart's content, in confidence that you aren't going to "break" anything, but that your final result, that "feels right," is likely to be specific to your game-table and not necessarily any more "realistic" or closer to "authentic results" than several of the existing, published rulesets; also that any given set of rules-tweaks may more-accurately represent one period of technology, but a different set of tweaks might be needed to represent a different period.

***

In the end, I feel most gamers should be happier with good(fun) game-play at the table, as a worthier goal than historic accuracy!

Edited by g33k
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On 5/22/2021 at 6:00 PM, g33k said:

(1)  The original RQ engine -- the core mechanics driving BRP -- was made by RPG gamers heavily-informed by SCA combat (SCA = "Society for Creative Anachronism") as far back as the 1960's.  These were guys who got into armor as authentically medieval as they could get, and weapons as authentically medieval as they could get (with various safety-mod's as needed to not murder/maim one another) and went out every weekend for 1:1 duels, 2:2 fights, 10:10 skirmishes, etc (and other folk worked on authentic clothing, authentic foodstuffs, etc etc etc; the SCA was a foundational group for modern "historical reentactment").  RQ was built by guys who knew D&D combat, and real armed combat, and built their game to be a helluva lot closer to "real" combat than they got with the D&D engine.

(2)  The Mythras engine is a refinement of BRP heavily influenced by HEMA fighting.  These folk were kinda-SCA-ish but dropped the noncombat & reenactment stuff, and added hearty doses of scholarship & research into the old "fechtbucher" and other medieval/renaissance fighting-manuals, studio/dojo work, and "experimental archaeology" (i.e. taking archeological research and trying to recreate old items & techniques as accurately as possible); all of which was then wedded to decades of collective RQ&BRP experiences.

I'm a (more or less) retired SCAdian (started in 1989 and went off and on for the next 25+ years), and in recent years I've tried out HEMA a bit. I wasn't aware of the HEMA connection to Mythras, that's a fun fact. Thanks.

 

On 5/22/2021 at 6:00 PM, g33k said:

In the end, I feel most gamers should be happier with good(fun) game-play at the table, as a worthier goal than historic accuracy!

For a player like me, who loves history and has done a fair amount of so called "experimental archeology" through my SCA activities, historical accuracy is part of the fun!

Now I'm going to give Harnmaster a try. I like their tactical advantage function, it adds the quality of pressing an advantage, but available to everyone, not just certain characters all the time.

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On 5/21/2021 at 5:58 PM, Kloster said:

Have you seen a bronze cuirass worn by greek hoplites and some roman centurions. Not any gaps on torso, and it protect the abdomen quite correctly.

Yes I have, there used to be an armory in the city where I lived. As far as the bronze curiass goes -no protection to the armpits. A mail hauberk provided much better coverage and protection.

You don't need to hunt for gaps in the armor when there are unprotected areas to strike instead. 

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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On 5/22/2021 at 5:45 AM, RosenMcStern said:

 the closer you go to a "one attack per round" combat model, the longer your combats will take in terms of both game and real-world time.

But is that a bad thing? 

I mean you could easily speed up combat with a  one roll,  winner take all model a la HeroQuest, but most RPGs don't because that usually isn't what we want.

 

If someone wants the fastest method of resolving a conflict in a BRP based game, go with the opposed method from Pendragon. It's fast, brutal, and most opponents don't last for two rounds.

 

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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