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Adding some concepts from Pathfinder to BRP


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A few weeks ago, I had a dilemna about low damage-dealing weapons vs high armor and people offered alot of really good suggestions(most of which can be found in the rules btw). However alot of it went against my creed of simplier and faster. I really wanted to have it where every turn, some dynamic of combat changed, did not like the situation of hitting the same thing and not scoring some damage for alot of turns. So I asked my question to my players, after some dicussion we've thought to add power attack and deadly aim from Pathfinder. The idea is that any attack can sacrifice accuracy for damage, every 5% of accuracy can be sacrificed to add 1 extra point of damage. This allows combat to flow pretty quickly, while keeping the advantages of wearing plate mail since you have to stack more damage to reliably penetrate it.

 

What do you guys think of it?

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A few weeks ago, I had a dilemna about low damage-dealing weapons vs high armor and people offered alot of really good suggestions(most of which can be found in the rules btw). However alot of it went against my creed of simplier and faster. I really wanted to have it where every turn, some dynamic of combat changed, did not like the situation of hitting the same thing and not scoring some damage for alot of turns. So I asked my question to my players, after some dicussion we've thought to add power attack and deadly aim from Pathfinder. The idea is that any attack can sacrifice accuracy for damage, every 5% of accuracy can be sacrificed to add 1 extra point of damage. This allows combat to flow pretty quickly, while keeping the advantages of wearing plate mail since you have to stack more damage to reliably penetrate it.

 

What do you guys think of it?

So Power Attack?

 

It could work.

I've been toying with the idea of changing weapons myself. I've been toying with the idea of RQ6 style flat armor (but without hit locations) and more importantly, removing damage rolls. My thought was that for every 5% you succeeded by, you add damage to your attack, depending on your weapon, and all weapons do 1+amount based on the attack roll. So if someone rolls well enough, they can kill a man in plate armor with a punch. Currently my idea involves a table, so that a greatsword will do more damage, faster. It's hardly a fleshed out idea, and you would have to Iron out the kinks/refine it, but you might be able to do something with it.

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It's interesting, fairly simple... I think it could work. It would make for some deadly fights, but that seems to be your intention.

A few weeks ago, I had a dilemna about low damage-dealing weapons vs high armor and people offered alot of really good suggestions(most of which can be found in the rules btw). However alot of it went against my creed of simplier and faster. I really wanted to have it where every turn, some dynamic of combat changed, did not like the situation of hitting the same thing and not scoring some damage for alot of turns. So I asked my question to my players, after some dicussion we've thought to add power attack and deadly aim from Pathfinder. The idea is that any attack can sacrifice accuracy for damage, every 5% of accuracy can be sacrificed to add 1 extra point of damage. This allows combat to flow pretty quickly, while keeping the advantages of wearing plate mail since you have to stack more damage to reliably penetrate it.

What do you guys think of it?

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I think it will probably kill off your campaign- or at least your PCs! 

 

One fundamental difference between BRP and D&D/Pathfinder is with the way hit points  and armor work. In D20 systems, hit points increase as the characters gain experience and go up in levels. In BRP, hit points are basically fixe. In D20 systems characters take damage from every hit, with the reduction of hit points representing parries, fatigue and minor scratches-while in BRP , parries and armor are used to prevent damage, and any hit point loss represents a serious injury.In D20  5 or 10 points of damage isn't that much of a threat to a character of moderate level. In BRP 5 or 10 points through the armor will kill, incapacitate and/or maim most characters.  Dead characters tend to stay that way in BPR, too. 

 

If you let players trade of 5% of skill for +1 damage, I think you will end up with a lot of dead PCs. It won't take much of a penalty to get the damage up to the autokill level.

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I think it will probably kill off your campaign- or at least your PCs! 

 

One fundamental difference between BRP and D&D/Pathfinder is with the way hit points  and armor work. In D20 systems, hit points increase as the characters gain experience and go up in levels. In BRP, hit points are basically fixe. In D20 systems characters take damage from every hit, with the reduction of hit points representing parries, fatigue and minor scratches-while in BRP , parries and armor are used to prevent damage, and any hit point loss represents a serious injury.In D20  5 or 10 points of damage isn't that much of a threat to a character of moderate level. In BRP 5 or 10 points through the armor will kill, incapacitate and/or maim most characters.  Dead characters tend to stay that way in BPR, too. 

 

If you let players trade of 5% of skill for +1 damage, I think you will end up with a lot of dead PCs. It won't take much of a penalty to get the damage up to the autokill level.

Well, I really love lethal combat, makes it alot more tense for my players. A solution would probably be to use Heroic HP values or limit the amount of bonus damage to maybe +5/+10 damage?

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Well, I really love lethal combat, makes it alot more tense for my players. A solution would probably be to use Heroic HP values or limit the amount of bonus damage to maybe +5/+10 damage?

If you want to limit the amount of bonus damage I'd suggest you go the route Elric!/ Magic World goes with their weapon enhancing spells.  Rather than having the power attack damage stack onto the weapons and db damage, it instead adds to the weapon damage but no more than the damage die of the weapon.  So for example if someone were doing a 20% power attack with a sword that does 1D8 damage, the sword would do between 5-8 damage per hit.  I think that's a decent way of introducing a cap on damage, and still making it lethal. 

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I agree that due to the small HP range in BRP then these Pathfinder rules may not port over cleanly, it will may lead to too much auto-kill and take the random aspect out of combat.

Modelling the level cap from the Stormbringer magic is probably a sensible way to go.

 

Perhaps another option is to allow for an attack roll  to be made as a Difficult roll (halve skill roll), and grant some options - obviously one option is Aimed Blow, but another perhaps could be a Damage Bonus ( maybe increase current damage bonus by one dice level perhaps?)

 

Actually I'm not sure if these options are already available...well, the Aimed Blow is, but I'm unsure about the Damage Bonus... I have read it somewhere....RQ6 perhaps?...

 

(I need to check my RQ6 and BGB Spot Rules tonight!)

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I agree that due to the small HP range in BRP then these Pathfinder rules may not port over cleanly, it will may lead to too much auto-kill and take the random aspect out of combat.

Modelling the level cap from the Stormbringer magic is probably a sensible way to go.

 

Perhaps another option is to allow for an attack roll  to be made as a Difficult roll (halve skill roll), and grant some options - obviously one option is Aimed Blow, but another perhaps could be a Damage Bonus ( maybe increase current damage bonus by one dice level perhaps?)

 

Actually I'm not sure if these options are already available...well, the Aimed Blow is, but I'm unsure about the Damage Bonus... I have read it somewhere....RQ6 perhaps?...

 

(I need to check my RQ6 and BGB Spot Rules tonight!)

How about instead of extra damage, it allows for armor penetration? 1 point of AP for every 5% of accuracy?

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Well, I really love lethal combat, makes it alot more tense for my players. A solution would probably be to use Heroic HP values or limit the amount of bonus damage to maybe +5/+10 damage?

Are you familiar with BRP? +5 or +10 to damage is pretty much an autokill., disabled location or major wound. 

 

You're the first person I've ever heard complain that BRP wasn't lethal enough. Usually I hear the opposite -especially from D20 players. 

 

Maybe you should just use the old impale rules (max damage plus rolled)? That would bring a dagger impale up to 1D4+8 damage (plus db), which would certainly get past plate. And a 12 point critical would be nothing to sneeze at.

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Makes sense.

A standard knife attack would be a slash, but an attack that scores a Special Success would probably indicate a deep stabbing action, so perhaps using the Impale rules as an option sounds logical

Thats a reasonable way to run the rules if you want to go down this path; you would be using a pre-existing rule creatively, rather than making up a brand new mechanic or importing a rule from another system.

I would be interested in seeing how this goes in play

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How about instead of extra damage, it allows for armor penetration? 1 point of AP for every 5% of accuracy?

Better. i believe MRQ1 had an option where you could bypass armor completely for a -75% penalty. 5% might be a bit cheap, though. Ultimately I think what will happen is that people will just stop wearing armor as the cons will outweigh the pros. Oh, and I would think that someone probably could bypass magical AP, such as a Protection spell, since it would provide full body coverage (no weakspots). 

 

Realistically, nobody actually penetrates plate armor with a dagger, they aim at the neck. elbows, armpits, back of the legs, and other gaps.

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Oddly enough, there is a thread this week on rpg.net that discusses medieval combat (late medieval) and assumes that once plate armour becomes common on the battlefield, a sword becomes a secondary weapon, useful for slaughtering peasants but ineffective against men at arms. BRP models this well, making spears and polearms the only weapons really effective against a heavily armoured foe as it was on real medieval battlefields.

 

What you are proposing here is to erase one realistic characteristic of BRP to replace it with one characteristic from D20/Pathfinder that has absolutely no ground in reality. This is completely legit in your game, but it removes a core concept of BRP: no matter your skill, using an unsuitable weapon against an armoured foe will result in no effect. And removing a core concept from a game is seldom a good idea.

 

Do you want a combat model where you have no chance of doing zero damage against an armoured foe? Well, instead of making up your realism-stripped variant of BRP, try 13th Age! In that game, you deal damage even if you miss, modeling the "keep it dynamic" type of combat you seem to be interested in.

 

Or:

I really wanted to have it where every turn, some dynamic of combat changed, did not like the situation of hitting the same thing and not scoring some damage for alot of turns.


Try RuneQuest. In RuneQuest, if you hit your opponent something happens, no matter if you hit hard enough to penetrate armour. Most likely, you will use your successful attacks to un-armour one specific location or toss your opponent to the ground and increase your chance of criticalling him on the next combat action.
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Oddly enough, there is a thread this week on rpg.net that discusses medieval combat (late medieval) and assumes that once plate armour becomes common on the battlefield, a sword becomes a secondary weapon, useful for slaughtering peasants but ineffective against men at arms. 

 

That is a pretty wild assumption, and I think history would disprove it. Although plate is very effective, the sword still remained a main weapon of knights (although it was a hand& a half sword).  I think the special success and crtical hit rules (especially the RQ versions) help to keep the weapons dangerous enough. 

 

One thing worth keeping in mind though was that for the most part people didn't want to kill opponents who were in plate, since they were of high status and worth taking prisoner for ransom. That was really where knights could make their money. 

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That is a pretty wild assumption, and I think history would disprove it. Although plate is very effective, the sword still remained a main weapon of knights (although it was a hand& a half sword).

 

"Secondary" does not mean it was not widely used. All knights would carry one, exactly as any modern officer will carry a pistol - even though a pistol is way less effective than a rifle in a real combat.

 

Exactly. Have a look at rpg.net, this subject is treated in detail in that thread.

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That is a pretty wild assumption, and I think history would disprove it. Although plate is very effective, the sword still remained a main weapon of knights (although it was a hand& a half sword).  I think the special success and crtical hit rules (especially the RQ versions) help to keep the weapons dangerous enough. 

 

One thing worth keeping in mind though was that for the most part people didn't want to kill opponents who were in plate, since they were of high status and worth taking prisoner for ransom. That was really where knights could make their money. 

 

 

 

That's pretty much the purpose of a sword. Longswords (the so called bastard and hand and half sword), change from maybe being a main battlefield weapon, during the period that horses and mail armor was predominately used by men-at-arms, to being a side arm in battle and dueling and a personal defense weapon when not fully armored. While it would be inaccurate to say that no-one used their sword against other folk in plate armor as there are enough techniques in the treatises covering this that are intended to fight against someone so stupid as to use brute force and percussive blows with a sword in a lethal fight, it is also the suboptimal way to use swords in and against armor. And there are much better weapons, like spears and pollaxes.

BRP as a default really isn't the game for people who want to full attack with daggers and other small weapons against folk in heavy armor. If you have players who want to stubbornly use suboptimal weapons then they should be punished within the game using the rules of the game, or fight smarter not harder. Daggers are excellent weapons, and they were used by folks in plate armor against other folks in plate armor, but they were also a backup to the backup weapon.

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You could keep tinkering with BRP BGB, or, like RosenMcStern says, just try RQ6. The combat system is a great variant of the BRP combat system, with plenty of combat options and special weapon effects. In a combat orientated game, RQ6 is a work of art. It may save you alot of prep time if you cross over to it; it could be what you are after if you want dynamic combat. Unsure if it sorts out your concerns regarding low damage vs high armour though.

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According to wikipedia, it seems the best weapon combo in a melee between heavily armored knights would have been made of a mace/hammer (or polearm; but were polearms usable in close combat?) and a dagger with a triangular or diamond shaped blade (such as a misericorde, rondel dagger or stiletto) to finish a wounded enemy stabbing them through chainmail or the openings of plate armor.

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According to wikipedia, it seems the best weapon combo in a melee between heavily armored knights would have been made of a mace/hammer (or polearm; but were polearms usable in close combat?) and a dagger with a triangular or diamond shaped blade (such as a misericorde, rondel dagger or stiletto) to finish a wounded enemy stabbing them through chainmail or the openings of plate armor.

 

When fighting against a foe in full plate armor, assuming this is somewhere in Europe sometime between the 15th and 16th centuries and that you aren't in a mass combat situation, the common method of using a spear or a pollaxe was to fight gripping it in thirds, which gives of reach and a certain amount of striking force in the case of an impact weapon but allows you to fight closer and with more control.

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According to wikipedia, it seems the best weapon combo in a melee between heavily armored knights would have been made of a mace/hammer (or polearm; but were polearms usable in close combat?) and a dagger with a triangular or diamond shaped blade (such as a misericorde, rondel dagger or stiletto) to finish a wounded enemy stabbing them through chainmail or the openings of plate armor.

Blunt weapons were pretty devastating against plate armor.  You could beat a opponent's armor into their flesh, to the point where they would bleed out when the armor was removed. 

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You got a source for this?

Honestly I'm not sure where I heard this, but it made sense to me.  If you nailed someone with a mace in the right spot you could damage/ drive their armor into them.  On the other hand a person wearing plate is typically wearing layers of armor aren't they?  If they don't have chainmail underneath at the very least they will have padded armor on.

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Blunt weapons were pretty devastating against plate armor.  You could beat a opponent's armor into their flesh, to the point where they would bleed out when the armor was removed. 

 

Not so much beat it into their flesh, at least with most battles, but more cause repetitive concussive effects to down them. Then you could get into position and slip a blade thru the gaps or weak spots in the harness, or threaten to do so to compel them to surrender.

 

SDLeary

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