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Strike Ranks in RQ2 and RQ3

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On 30/01/2017 at 7:43 PM, Jusmak said:

Hmm, yes good point to remember gamebalance in everything. If arrows should let fly in every SR, why not melee stabs with dagger or minor spell like disruption in every SR...

I don't know why people go overboard about this multiple shots possibility because even If I like playing RuneLords, heroes and Bushi games, I rarely use 10 shots per round, only against hords of Ghoulims or to quickly kill groups of soldiers. But still don't forget ....

  1. First, Arrows shooting is like spell casting : an "active action" where you are fully concentrated in what you do. Any side/surprise attack will automatically succeed or have at least a +40% bonus to hit the shooter.
  2. Second, 5 disruption per round or 10 arrows shots per round need DEX 21+, a lot of preparation and being out of range of any enemies (60m at least -1 round movement for a human at full speed). This won't happen often unless you prepare an ambush.
  3. Third, Even if a master I allow preparing 10 arrows in advance, at 3SR per arrow, you still need at least 3 full round. It's still the rules but with some open mindism. You don't need house rules everywhere.

In RuneQuest, Strike ranks are need for player and master no going overboard with tons of actions in one round; And SR should stay like this !

RuneLord Mode ON !

More than 3 strikes/actions per round mean you are not a simple man or an acolyte; Such multiples attacks abilities is more RuneLord and Heroes "brand". Pentallion said that "Start tweaking that for whatever excuses and the game falls apart."  but I don't agree "you may choose to use it at your own risk" but It won't be a standard runequest play.

-For multiples attacks, I personally use the Ki Rules in Land of Ninja with minimum modifications because the rq3 french translation sucks a lot (using only 1 temp. point of POW to activate an Ki effect and MPs to augments the effect). After some times I choose to had a lot of ki effects after finding that Ki rules really rocks without making the game fall apart mainly because I made the Ki skills evolving slowly (1/5 normal skill).

  • Melee KI uses : in Perfection (all success become a Critical), in Reflexion (redo a throw, stackable), in Power (Double Damage), Solidity (Double armor point), Dextrous (+1d6 strikes, stackable), Speed (3 SR bonus, stackable).
  • Distance KI uses : in Perfection (all success become a Critical), in Ricochet (redo a throw, stackable), in Power (Double Damage), Clarity (Ignore one protection, stackable), Dextrous (+1d3 strikes, stackable), Speed (3 SR bonus, stackable).
Edited by MJ Sadique
some punctuation and nonsense XD

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In some ways the Pendragon method of doing things is closer to how a fight works than the alternating turns method used RQ (and most other RPGs). 

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In Briefe, Pendragon wraps everything up into one roll (well two).  The combatants don't take turns. Each round both fighters roll at the same time, and there is no initiative.

Pendragon uses d20s and skills will be something like 'Sword 16'. Like RQ, armor reduces damage. 

If you roll higher than your opponent, but under your weapon skill, you Win and score a Success and roll damage against your opponent. 

If you roll your weapon skill or less, but lower than your successful opponent, you lose but score a Partial Success, which allows you to add your shield armor points to your total armor points (Shield Bonus).

If you roll over your weapon skill you fail.  If your opponent was successful, he/she hits and you do not get your Shield Bonus. 

NT

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I totally favor a revision of the Strike Rank system.  It is perhaps the only notably bad part of the RQ combat rules.

Things the re-write should factor in... 

Dex and Size to represent speed and reach.  These were not the problem with the original SR system.

Weapon length and range.  Longer weapons should have the ability to fend off shorter ones, but be increasingly useless when the opponent gets under their guard.  For example, the old rules regarding the use of pikes were flagrantly ridiculous.  Pikes did huge damage and had a high strike rank which means they hit first and hit hard...even out of a pike formation.  A solitary pike man was still a force to be reckoned with.  IRL, not so much.

Weapon Skill.  Obviously weapon skill is a factor in determining who goes first.

Terrain.  Bad footing puts a person at a disadvantage for swift movement, long weapons fare badly in terrain with obstacles like trees or many boulders.  Fighting uphill is always bad.

Movement.  This should definitely be a stat derived from other stats and it should have pertinence to initiative.  

Missile Combat.   Range is important as it will calculate how many shots the archer gets to fell their opponent before their opponent closes on them. Reload speed should have a hard limit, but it should also be affected by weapon skill.

Preparing weapons.  Drawing your weapon and shield should definitely be affected by weapon skill while also having a hard limit.

Hard limit.  This is the notion that an action must always take some time, even if it isn't very much for a highly skilled person when compared to an individual with less aptitude.

Trading down speed for more skill and conversely skill for more speed should both be possible tactical choices.

 

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I don't mind the SR systems from both RQ2 and RQ3, but I would also favour a system like Pendragon just as much (possibly more so). If the stat block remains compatible with RQ2 then I don't mind if the Pendragon model is considered.

However I suspect the SR system for the next RQ will be very similar to the RQ2 SR system, and if so then I'll be fine with that.

Edited by Mankcam

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I think the SR system works fairly fine for characters locked in melee. But it also has to work as a time-keeping mechanism for actions taken by characters present in the same situation but not locked in melee. Which means that the rules need to present a framework for (a) not only allowing but helping the GM to adjudicate when things happen in a combat situation when there's a lot of parallel action sequences going on, and (b) helping the players plan and strategize their actions.

Best,

Mikael

 

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8 hours ago, Darius West said:

I totally favor a revision of the Strike Rank system.  It is perhaps the only notably bad part of the RQ combat rules.

Things the re-write should factor in... 

Dex and Size to represent speed and reach.  These were not the problem with the original SR system.

Weapon length and range.  Longer weapons should have the ability to fend off shorter ones, but be increasingly useless when the opponent gets under their guard.  For example, the old rules regarding the use of pikes were flagrantly ridiculous.  Pikes did huge damage and had a high strike rank which means they hit first and hit hard...even out of a pike formation.  A solitary pike man was still a force to be reckoned with.  IRL, not so much.

Weapon Skill.  Obviously weapon skill is a factor in determining who goes first.

Terrain.  Bad footing puts a person at a disadvantage for swift movement, long weapons fare badly in terrain with obstacles like trees or many boulders.  Fighting uphill is always bad.

Movement.  This should definitely be a stat derived from other stats and it should have pertinence to initiative.  

Missile Combat.   Range is important as it will calculate how many shots the archer gets to fell their opponent before their opponent closes on them. Reload speed should have a hard limit, but it should also be affected by weapon skill.

Preparing weapons.  Drawing your weapon and shield should definitely be affected by weapon skill while also having a hard limit.

Hard limit.  This is the notion that an action must always take some time, even if it isn't very much for a highly skilled person when compared to an individual with less aptitude.

Trading down speed for more skill and conversely skill for more speed should both be possible tactical choices.

 

While all of these are relevant, this verges on being too fine-grained (for my taste).

The core d20 system from D&D3.x/PF has tons of granularity of this kind, and it's FAR TOO MUCH (imho/ymmv).  RQ has always managed to be much simpler and more-elegant in its methods, yet produce "better" (more visceral and "realistic") combat.

At most, I'd look at a producing a bullet-pointed list of "these are some possible factors affecting movement and/or initiative/SR and/or skills (%parry and %hit; and don't forget non-combat impacts on other skills!); there are certainly other factors too (such as that keg of ale last night, and the breakfast-meat served this morning by your Morokanth host...).  The GM (and the table in general) are encouraged to consider how much (if any) of this they wish to take into account." 

I do agree, however, that missile-combat was perhaps not quite as expertly-designed as the melee-combat system, and could do with a re-visit.

I'd like to suggest one revision, however, to the "long weapons" and SR advantage:  model it on "ranged combat"!  Nobody expects to engage with sword or dagger when you're at bowshot range, you have to close to melee first!  So if a swordsman is trying to close with a pike/longspear/etc, just say that the sword-wielder cannot attack the "long weapon" wielder until the action AFTER they successfully get past the long weapon (and conversely, then the long-weapon person has to roll a succesful "increase the range" attack, or face some other penalty (half-skill on attack/parry, & half-damage?).

 

 

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17 hours ago, g33k said:

While all of these are relevant, this verges on being too fine-grained (for my taste).

I don't disagree.  The problem has always been how to take a list with many variables and produce an elegant game mechanic that incorporates them all in a simple form that doesn't detract from game play.  If it were easy, it would have been done already.

17 hours ago, g33k said:

The core d20 system from D&D3.x/PF has tons of granularity of this kind, and it's FAR TOO MUCH (imho/ymmv).  RQ has always managed to be much simpler and more-elegant in its methods, yet produce "better" (more visceral and "realistic") combat.

Agreed.  Fair criticism.

17 hours ago, g33k said:

At most, I'd look at a producing a bullet-pointed list of "these are some possible factors affecting movement and/or initiative/SR and/or skills (%parry and %hit; and don't forget non-combat impacts on other skills!); there are certainly other factors too (such as that keg of ale last night, and the breakfast-meat served this morning by your Morokanth host...).  The GM (and the table in general) are encouraged to consider how much (if any) of this they wish to take into account." 

A point well illustrated and with humor.  More scared of the morokanth breakfast than last night's ale.

18 hours ago, g33k said:

I do agree, however, that missile-combat was perhaps not quite as expertly-designed as the melee-combat system, and could do with a re-visit.

Glad you agree.  I think missile combat is a bit neglected in RQ (but only "a bit" neglected) and definitely in Pendragon (don't get me started on HQ).    It certainly seems like a good idea to make some improvements.  

SRs were only ever a way of keeping track of time in combat; they are pretty abstract.

18 hours ago, g33k said:

I'd like to suggest one revision, however, to the "long weapons" and SR advantage:  model it on "ranged combat"!  Nobody expects to engage with sword or dagger when you're at bow shot range, you have to close to melee first!  So if a swordsman is trying to close with a pike/long spear/etc, just say that the sword-wielder cannot attack the "long weapon" wielder until the action AFTER they successfully get past the long weapon (and conversely, then the long-weapon person has to roll a successful "increase the range" attack, or face some other penalty (half-skill on attack/parry, & half-damage?).

I understand your concern.  The point would be that a skilled swordsman may simply and easily outmaneuver a pike man.  Pikes are long, 14-18 foot or more, and they are really cumbersome and have a lot of momentum that is hard to check, and that means you can easily defeat a pikeman using nothing but fancy footwork, not even a genuine dodge.  Pikes simply aren't much good as individual weapons, but they are brilliant in formation.  Spear however are quite adequate in both roles.  I would sincerely argue for taking Pikes off the normal weapon table, and including them as a formation fighting weapon only.

The maneuver you are describing is normally called "fending" g33k.  The fact is that a spearman can also "fall back" to re-establish a fending range, assuming that his movement is not restricted.  This does force the spearman into a somewhat defensive position, as the individual with the shorter weapon has the greater urgency of attack in order to close the distance, but being defensive is not the same as being in the weaker position.  I think this should be one of the things the initiative system handles, but the longer weapon should gain some potential advantage.

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On 2/2/2017 at 3:44 AM, Mankcam said:

I don't mind the SR systems from both RQ2 and RQ3, but I would also favour a system like Pendragon just as much (possibly more so). If the stat block remains compatible with RQ2 then I don't mind if the Pendragon model is considered.

However I suspect the SR system for the next RQ will be very similar to the RQ2 SR system, and if so then I'll be fine with that.

FWIW - and I'm not suggesting this for RQ, but offering it for people who want to houserule such a system - the Harnmaster combat system is exactly like this.

Defender chooses a style of defense (block, dodge, counter, or ignore), both roll against skill.  Results are cross-referenced in a neat matrix of possibilities.

http://www.columbiagames.com/resources/4001/harnmaster-combattables.pdf

MUCH more granular but (critically) since it's all on tables, it's not more work; in fact, it's much easier to sort out in some cases than RQ (ok when I critically hit does that mean it ignores a successful shield parry?).  Note some neat features like the attacker, instead of being presented with only "hit generally" or "called shot", has to pick hitting high/med/low, with different hit tables depending on that.  Note some other neat features, like a NORMAL successful hit to the enemy leg compels them to take at least a minor stumble roll.

I've always really liked this system and it lends itself so fundamentally simple to implement in RQ...the *only* problem I've had perennialy that's stopped me is that it's great for 2 humanoids, but there are a LOT of bizarre hit-location tables in RQ....more than I've ever felt motivated to try and port over.

 

FWIW the other part I like about this is they dispense with hit points.  You take damage, it means a roll of some sort vs your CON IIRC.  Small minor wounds are trivial and functionally impossible to fail, but as you accumulate damage the rolls get harder and harder.  This prevents entirely the "he hits you with a disrupt in the head" "No big, I have 4hp and he can only do 1-3" (which is, in variation, one of the main reasons I came to RQ from D&D)...again, nicely modeled for humanoids, but you'd so MANY special rules for all the bizarro creatures in Glorantha....

 

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57 minutes ago, Jeff said:

I'm disinclined to change Strike Ranks much from as presented in RQ2.

Which is quite alright. I would just like to see that they are framed in a way that gives the reader an understanding of how to tweak and modify SRs for different situations. And perhaps a sidebar on possible mods to the SR system. 

EDIT: Having reread the RQ2 rules, I am rather satisfied with just moving the SR system forward basically verbatim. The framing, while sparse, is just enough for my tastes. 

Edited by mikkling
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36 minutes ago, Jeff said:

I'm disinclined to change Strike Ranks much from as presented in RQ2.

Well... it's already an excellent system, so there's that!  :D

Are you saying "gently" (in saying "disinclined to change ... much") that there will be no changes?  Or that minor tweaks (only) are up for consideration?

It just seems like -- new edition coming, and all -- that the chance to make such tweaks is a really good one, and while the system is MOSTLY good (among the best, IMHO) that doesn't mean that it can't be subtly adjusted in ways that improve it...  :ph34r:

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2 hours ago, Jeff said:

I'm disinclined to change Strike Ranks much from as presented in RQ2.

Good. The SR system is a good method for doing things. Its just that we are all very familiar with it and can pick apart it's weaknesses. That said, it could probably do with some minor tweaking here and there. 

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21 hours ago, g33k said:

Well... it's already an excellent system, so there's that!  :D

Are you saying "gently" (in saying "disinclined to change ... much") that there will be no changes?  Or that minor tweaks (only) are up for consideration?

It just seems like -- new edition coming, and all -- that the chance to make such tweaks is a really good one, and while the system is MOSTLY good (among the best, IMHO) that doesn't mean that it can't be subtly adjusted in ways that improve it...  :ph34r:

Nothing should be sacrosanct, but any substantial change to the mechanisms of RQ would likely take it one step away from still being RQ....how many steps actually cross that line will vary from person to person certainly, but I think Jeff's rule of thumb to change no more than 10% leaving at least 90% is reasonably safe.

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On ‎31‎.‎01‎.‎2017 at 10:36 PM, mikkling said:

If seen as individual actions, I agree that SRs makes little sense: you swing at SR 5, your opponent at SR 8; before and after, you do not act.

Instead, I always rationalised strike ranks as a measure of how fast you can create or exploit an opening for a proper attack in an ongoing exchange of blows or a jockeying for position. This also motivates random hit locations -- you exploit the opening you get. Of course, it gets a bit clunky since SRs serves at least two functions: both as initiative and as a time-keeping device. But it kinda works. Since the exploitation of openings is also a matter of skill, I also house-rule the conversion of skill percentages to SRs, to the tune of -20% for -1 SR and +1 SR for +10%. A +1 SR delay could alternatively net you a ±2 mod to the hit location roll. If your opponent is unaware of you, you get your opening as soon as you reach him.

A similar rationalisation goes for missile weapons, where I use DEX SR + 3 SR for readying and aiming a single shot. Getting good shots at human-sized opponents moving about, especially if they are aware of you, is far from automatic. And if you want to fire into melee and avoid friendly fire, you get +d4 SR to your shot, for moving to a better angle or waiting for an opportunity. 

Best,

Mikael

So you treat it in a more abstract way that in a combat round each combatant does indeed several attacks and parries (which would all count as successfully done) but only the results of those ones that really made a difference are those to be be rolled for?

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1 hour ago, Arnold-C said:

So you treat it in a more abstract way that in a combat round each combatant does indeed several attacks and parries (which would all count as successfully done) but only the results of those ones that really made a difference are those to be be rolled for?

Exactly. Otherwise, the system makes little sense. 

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Ok - So I've been looking through RQ2 and RQ3 again in light of the release of the new fabulous RQG quick-start. Looking at strike ranks in both RQ2 and RQ3 I'm amazed by how confused the description of SR become in RQ3. Apart from the much dryer presentation of RQ3 (feels a bit like working through a school exercise book), there is one example of play that just doesn't quite make sense. Here it is:

 

"Cormac and his new friend Signy Freyasdotter are sitting in a tavern drinking. Six city guards rush in, point at Signy and charge light maces ready.

Cormac's spear is leaning against the wall too far away. He stands and reaches for the hatchet at his belt.

The games master rules that these two actions take a total of 3 melee strike ranks to perform. Cormac's Dex Strike rank is 4. To Parry requires no melee round strike ranks, so he will be able to defend on melee round strike rank 7. ( He could attack with the hatchet on melee round strike rank 9.)

The guardsmen each have Dex strike ranks of 4. The weapons strike rank modifier for the light mace is 2, and they must cross six meters of floor - requiring the elapse of 2 more melee round strike ranks. They therefore, attack on melee round strike rank 8. 

Thus Cormac has his hatchet ready. He successfully parries one of the blows. Unfortunately, all three men swing at him and Cormac falls, minus one hit point in the head.

The guardsmen haul away Cormac and Signy (who had been unarmed) , first giving Signy a chance to help her friend with a healing spell (see spirit magic in the Magic Book.) “

 

First point of confusion,  Cormac's DEX strike rank of 4 is incorrect. If you’re following the examples previously Cormac had trained up his low DEX characteristic to 11, which should mean that his new DEX SR for this example is now 3. Putting that aside:

  • Why is only the DEX SR taken into consideration, why not SIZ SR too? After all this is a melee combat?
  • What is the SR of 2 that is added to get Cormac’s actual attack SR? its not mentioned specifically. Is it the 1 handed weapon SR of 2, or is it his SIZ SR of 2?

The break down of SR in this example is likely wrong ( feel free to correct), but also needlessly complicated. Why not just the single attack SR ( combo of SIZ/DEX/ Weapon SR) added to the 3 SR it takes to stand and unsheathe the weapon? My head hurts

 

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This example is really badly worded. Its potential to create confusion is huge. I remember it made us really puzzled when we first read the rules thirty years ago (Summer 1987, it is exactly 30 years, ick). However, it is not wrong, just badly exposed. Here is why.

9 minutes ago, Paid a bod yn dwp said:

First point of confusion,  Cormac's DEX strike rank of 4 is incorrect. If you’re following the examples previously Cormac had trained up his low DEX characteristic to 11, which should mean that his new DEX SR for this example is now 3.

Who said that Cormac's DEX has already been trained? That episode might occur in the future.

Quote

Putting that aside:

  • Why is only the DEX SR taken into consideration, why not SIZ SR too? After all this is a melee combat?
  • What is the SR of 2 that is added to get Cormac’s actual attack SR? its not mentioned specifically. Is it the 1 handed weapon SR of 2, or is it his SIZ SR of 2?

The break down of SR in this example is likely wrong ( feel free to correct), but also needlessly complicated. Why not just the single attack SR ( combo of SIZ/DEX/ Weapon SR) added to the 3 SR it takes to stand and unsheathe the weapon? My head hurts

Here both the guards and Cormac use the "Attack on the Run"/"Opportunity Attack" variant that are among the most complicated rules of RQ3. Essentially, the rule here is that when you move and attack, or attack someone who is moving, SIZ SR does not count. Thus, Cormac can attack at his DEX (4) plus Weapon (2) plus 3 SR delay for grabbing the hatchet. His SIZ is not relevant.

Similarly, the guards attack at their DEX (4) plus Weapon (2) plus 2 SR delay for moving six metres. Here there is in fact a slight imprecision because they should slow down to 2 m/SR to attack on the move.

Anyway, this scene is definitely not a good example of how to explain the SR system to a newbie.

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Thanks!

i don't think I ever would have made that connection to "attack on the run". Having said that it does seem odd that Cormac should follow those rules as he's not strictly speaking attacking on the run?

one other question, why does Cormac parry on his dex SR? Why not dex SR plus the weapon SR, as it is with attack? 

41 minutes ago, RosenMcStern said:

Who said that Cormac's DEX has already been trained? That episode might occur in the future.

Although I find it odd that there is a narrative to cormacs saga, but that this example is out of the narrative order.

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2 hours ago, Paid a bod yn dwp said:

one other question, why does Cormac parry on his dex SR? Why not dex SR plus the weapon SR, as it is with attack? 

 

It says his standing/drawing takes 3, plus his Dex SR of 4, meaning he can parry any attack that occurs SR7 or later.  So they did add in DEX SR.

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40 minutes ago, styopa said:

So they did add in DEX SR.

Yes but not weapon SR.

I guess that makes sense - Weapon SR only comes into consideration for attacks not reactive parries. 

So in effect performing any action in a melee round is done after DEX SR (and any circumstantial modifiers ). If making attacks you also figure in SIZ SR and Weapon SR. Though SIZ SR can be discounted in situations when there is movement like "attacking on the run" or "opportunity melee.

I think I had crossed wires with the notion of Strike rank modifier (SIZ, DEX, Weapon SR) for attacks, and the action of simply getting a weapon to hand ready for parry. Coupled with the bizarr Cormac example which uses rules from "attacking on the run", that appear a good few pages later. Always thought examples should really illustrate something near to the example :) 

i still find the notion of "attacking on the run" a bit odd in that example -yes they're moving and closing in on Cormac, but the combat is then static. Much like the start of most combat encounters. In my mind "attacking on the run" would nesessitate a continual movement through the combat.

 

 

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In comparing strike ranks of RQ2 to RQ3. Rq2 is far simpler to follow, with less complications. To compound this, RQ 3 really misses the simple strike rank modifier table of RQ2. With the new circumstantial modifiers complicating RQ3 strike ranks, a simple chart to illustrate modifiers is even more necessary but there isn't one in the RQ3 rule book - a very surprising omission. 

Edited by Paid a bod yn dwp

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Ok - so the "movement within the melee round" rule of RQ3 is the reason for Cormac in the example above having his parry ready after his DEX SR. - any movment must start on the DEX SR. So that's the soonest he can pick up his weapon.

Makes me question whether his attack should also incorporate a second DEX SR penalty, as is standard with making any attack? Should'nt the DEX SR for "movement within the melee" round be in addition to the attack SR ( in this case the combination of DEX SR and Weapon SR )

This Cormac example keeps throwing up questions. I guess you could rule that Cormac is combining the movement with drawing his weapon, but still the example is so lacking in reasonable explanation.

The additional SR rules in RQ3 particularly "movement within melee", and "attacking on the run" to my mind only serve to over complicate what should be a straight forward process. There are too many thing to remember for a newbie. It's screaming out for a SR chart to summarise the modifiers. Coupled with that horrendous Cormac example, give me RQ2 any day! 

Edited by Paid a bod yn dwp

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1 hour ago, Paid a bod yn dwp said:

Ok - so the "movement within the melee round" rule of RQ3 is the reason for Cormac in the example above having his parry ready after his DEX SR. - any movment must start on the DEX SR. So that's the soonest he can pick up his weapon.

Makes me question whether his attack should also incorporate a second DEX SR penalty, as is standard with making any attack? Should'nt the DEX SR for "movement within the melee" round be in addition to the attack SR? 

This Cormac example keeps throwing up questions. 

No. And this question kept us occupied for one summer, before starting to actually play the game, so I can understand why you are asking it ;)

The key factor is that, with melee, the strike rank of the attacks does not represent "time spent to do an action" but a true "initiative" score. It is just a "who goes first", not a "how long it takes" affair, because a melee attack takes the entirety of the melee round, or, if you want to be precise, it takes all the Strike Ranks from the one you attack on to the end of the round. Strike Ranks for movement, readying etc., thus, are modifiers to the overall initiative numbers, and not the representation of an independent action, as all actions done in the MR are cobbled together in the overall value for the Attack SR. Saying that Cormac can attack on his DEX SR plus three for readying the weapon is correct, as the game system should handle also the possibility that a quick assailant undercuts the time it takes for a target to draw his weapon, but this introducion of a milestone event during the mielee round  does not mean that you should handle two different chains of events, each of which should start with the application of the DEX SR modifier.

All this, in melee.

Now, the part that often confuses newbies is that indeed, when you fire missiles or cast spells Strike Rank actually represents "how long it takes" and you can and should handle more than one chain of events, some of which need the re-application of DEX.

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