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Tywyll

Is Sword Trance broken?

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@Kloster Sorry, my query was unclear. I thought you were saying that the extra MP spent wouldn’t count for dispelling. If they do, that’s going to be a heck of a spell to get rid of if someone dropped a rune point plus 10 or so MP on it. 

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11 minutes ago, RosenMcStern said:

Is a sword-trancer invincible ? Of course not, but he is virtually untouchable by unintelligent foes, no matter how powerful. It is up to you to determine if a 1-point rune spell should allow this in your campaign. Extension is not the problem, as casting it on demand when you face the right kind of opponents is possibly a more effective strategy

This I agree wholeheartedly. The addition of Sword Trance, the Attack/Parry skills fused together and the way RQG manages skills over 100% makes this deadly for non intelligent opponents.

Kloster

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2 minutes ago, Tupper said:

@Kloster Sorry, my query was unclear. I thought you were saying that the extra MP spent wouldn’t count for dispelling. If they do, that’s going to be a heck of a spell to get rid of if someone dropped a rune point plus 10 or so MP on it. 

And I hadn't understood what you meant. No problem here, but that means a more complete errata and an extension (no pun intended) to Rune Fixes is needed.

Kloster

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13 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Or every other character. That's pretty much the math behind any form of RQ, play long enough and eventually a bad die roll will take you out, if nothing else does. The story of Rurik and the Trollkin comes to mind. 

Other characters can get resurrected.

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1 hour ago, PhilHibbs said:

Other characters can get resurrected.

Not always, especially if they aren't at rune level.

The loss of resurrection is a trade off for being a Humakti. On the plus side, they don't get suckered into taking on threats over their head because of a lightbringers summons.

Frankly I'm not all that enamored with Sword Trance for Humakti. They probably already have a high sword skill and lots of bladesharp (they are Humakti) anyway, and would probably be better off saving the rune points for something else. I look at it like:

1) If the Humakti already overmatch their opponent than the spell is a waste.

2)If the Humakti are even with their opponent, the spell is useful, but probably a target for being blown down with countermagic.

3) If the Humakti are in over their heads, then the spell is a desperate measure to survive.

 

I don't really see keeping the spell up long term as a good option. It seems to me that eventually an enemy will become aware of it and plan for it, leaving the PC's in over their heads.

 

 

Edited by Atgxtg
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6 hours ago, RosenMcStern said:

... Unless the GM allows the unrealistic option of more than 5-6 opponents per round engaging the entranced humakti with 200% sword skill, each round will see one poor fella slaughtered by an unparriable attack, and the rest with their weapons damaged because they will miss their attacks while the humakti makes his parry. In the case of trollkin, after round two very few of them will still have their spear...

But this is the whole POINT of a horde of minor opponents -- to swamp the mighty defender with innumerable minor attacks.  Mythras makes it really explicit with the Action Point economy, but the same principle applies in most BRP's.

I would expect AT LEAST 6 Trollkin to mob the Trance'r.

If reasonably trained, a ring of 6 using short weapons or natural weapons, and an outer ring of 12 using spears to reach past the inner ring (just counting hexes on a hex-map).

I'm also wanting to go look at grappling rules -- if unarmed enlo are actually JUMPING on the Trance'r, it won;t take many to impair him...

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1 minute ago, g33k said:

I would expect AT LEAST 6 Trollkin to mob the Trance'r.

If reasonably trained, a ring of 6 using short weapons or natural weapons, and an outer ring of 12 using spears to reach past the inner ring (just counting hexes on a hex-map).

That would mean the 1st short sword armed trollkin would attack (after all the spear armed one) with the opponent suffering a -240% to Parry (and the last a -340%). Ouch!

Kloster

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8 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Hold the phone there Tywyll. I don't think there is a consensus that the spell is broken. You might have things about it that you don't like, at least in conjunction with some of the other rules in RQG, but that doesn't mean that everybody is up in arms over this. I'd say the reaction about this so far is mixed at best.If you feel the need to houserule this and want to post your houserule that's fine, but it's hasn't been show to be "clearly broken". At least not yet. Functionally it works, and seems to be fairly easy to understand an implement.  So I would say it isn't "broken" per say. You,(and others) might not like how it works, but it does work. 

So far, no one has pointed out any mechanical way in which it is balanced in RAW. No one has addressed the simple and cheap means of having an all season boost. No one has accounted for how it breaks the RQ2 rules. As such, I'm perfectly happy with saying its broken.

8 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Plus even if you implement your fix for this, what will you do if someone shows up with lots of bladesharp? You  got the same anti-parry "problem" in a easier to use format, that can be cast on others. And the +1d4 per point to damage is going to be far more broken than what you are trying to fix. That's a game changer.  Just three points of this (+3d4) would be like adding 16 points of Strength (+2d6)!

 

 

Getting 'lots' of Bladesharp is much harder to accomplish and is more an end game sort of deal. Even if they have it, it only lasts 2 minutes so it is hardly gamebreaking. Also, argueably it wouldn't trigger antiparry since the bonus isn't a skill bonus but an item/situational bonus (see the thread previously on this board on how and when Bladesharp is applied to a split attack). 

And yet the suggestion I'm putting forward has been in the game since at least RQ2 without breaking anything. The main problem with that bonus damage is when it connects. +100% skill guarantees that it will. +30% not so much. 

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8 hours ago, Zozotroll said:

The whole trance thing keeps it from being broken.  If you actually enforce that, nobody is going to extend it for a season.  You will die of dehydration if nothing else.  I do not at all see it as broken.  Lots of things can be unbalancing if the DM doesnt enforce the downsides with the upsides

If the Trance were part of RAW, I'd agree with you, but its not. 

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6 hours ago, Kloster said:

This I agree wholeheartedly. The addition of Sword Trance, the Attack/Parry skills fused together and the way RQG manages skills over 100% makes this deadly for non intelligent opponents.

Kloster

Not just nonintelligent opponents.

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11 minutes ago, Kloster said:

That would mean the 1st short sword armed trollkin would attack (after all the spear armed one) with the opponent suffering a -240% to Parry (and the last a -340%). Ouch!

Kloster

Assuming he were dumb enough to allow himself to be surrounded like that, didn't have his own allies, bothered with parrying (he might let his armor+protection spells take the hit), etc, etc.

Edited by Tywyll

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22 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

So far, no one has pointed out any mechanical way in which it is balanced in RAW.

Balanced with what? And why does it have to be balanced? IMO it's a pretty weak ability, and I gravtitate towards playing Humakti. Frankly I';d rather use something else.

One big problem wioth the "season long spell" is that people will eventually find out about it, and once a character is known for doing it, it will be factored into his tactics by his enemies. So it probably won't last the opening melee round.

22 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

No one has addressed the simple and cheap means of having an all season boost. No one has accounted for how it breaks the RQ2 rules. As such, I'm perfectly happy with saying its broken.

Again, why do they need to adress it. And you haven't showen that it "breaks" the RQ2 rules. 

22 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

Getting 'lots' of Bladesharp is much harder to accomplish and is more an end game sort of deal.

Not for a Humakti. 

22 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

Even if they have it, it only lasts 2 minutes so it is hardly gamebreaking.

See what a Bladesharp 10 can do in 2 minutes. Most fights are done in under 2 minutes, and the spell can always be recast.

22 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

Also, argueably it wouldn't trigger antiparry since the bonus isn't a skill bonus but an item/situational bonus (see the thread previously on this board on how and when Bladesharp is applied to a split attack). 

How abotu Fanatacism?

22 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

And yet the suggestion I'm putting forward has been in the game since at least RQ2 without breaking anything.

Thats' your claim. Just like the idea that Sword Trace breaks RQG. And you haven't proven either. 

I'm a big opponent of RQ2 category modifers, as large creatures get huge attack bonuses, but I never claimed they break the game. The game is still playable, it is just one flaw in RQ2, and more of an issue that Sword Trance is in RQG. For your claim to hold water someone would have to play a Humakti, have to use the spell exactly as you suggested, they would have to stay up and fighting, they would have to face foes who would engage them in melee, and then the  would have to reamain up and active all season long, without anybody every doing anything about it.  Frankly, I just don't see all that happening, or making enough of a difference that it would break the game. The Humakti own parry isn't all that great early on, so there is a really good chance that he could get killed in melee, especially against someone or something with a better SR; the spell is easy to knock down; and anybody with any brains would use missle weapons against the Humakti unless they had some sort of nice melee boost themselves, such as Fanatacism.

22 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

The main problem with that bonus damage is when it connects. +100% skill guarantees that it will. +30% not so much. 

Not really. A +3d4 that hit 30% of the time is more telling than +1d4 that hits all the time. 

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1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

Balanced with what? And why does it have to be balanced?

I think Greg's usual comment on the subject was "fuck game balance". And the Sandy Petersen school of game design tended towards the dramatic too, the only damage boost in his computer game Quake quadrupled the player's damage. He highlighted that decision in his frequent con seminars on game design - don't pussyfoot around, give the players big toys to play with.

Edited by PhilHibbs
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42 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

I think Greg's usual comment on the subject was "fuck game balance". And the Sandy Petersen school of game design tended towards the dramatic too, the only damage boost in his computer game Quake quadrupled the player's damage. He highlighted that decision in his frequent con seminars on game design - don't pussyfoot around, give the players big toys to play with.

Yeah. I can see the need not to continually throw players into impossible (or near impossible) situations, both to maintain interest and to promote some sort of sense of a campaign, but the modern belief that everything is a game has to be "balanced" with everything else is not only wrong, but not even actually possible. So much depends on the capabilities of the players that what one person might considered balanced another wouldn't, and vice versa.

I can see disagreeing with RAW at times, or thinking that something is too powerful, could disrupt a campaign, and taking steps to deal with it. But a lot of "broken" rules aren't. For instance, I'm not fond of high attack skills reducing the opponent's parry chance and consider that rule to be unnecessary, but I wouldn't call it broken. 

 

 

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Back in RQ3, when Humakti got Berserk instead of Sword Trance, my group played that it was essentially a "Death Song" spell, one that the Humakti would only cast when she or he thought their death was upon them; it was meant as a "go down swinging"/"make a heroic ending" spell, and Humakt would frown on those who used it casually… which is to say, those who cast it and then survived. 🙂

I might be tempted to do the same thing with Sword Trance, though I'd prefer to find a way to make the spell less bothersome in the first place so that Humakti can actually use it.

My complaint with the spell (and Axe Trance) is that you spend MP to boost it, and those come back overnight, meaning that you have a one-day cost for a spell that you can bump up to much longer durations. Other spells that follow a similar bonus pattern, such as Arouse Passion, are boosted using Rune Points, meaning that if you Extend them you can't recover your cost until the spell duration lapses. But with Extended Axe or Sword Trance, after one day you're effectively getting a potentially-huge benefit for free. This doesn't sit right with me.

Thinking out loud here: making Axe/Sword Trance unusable with Extension is an easy answer, but not a lot of fun. But what if you had to pay the MP cost again each day when the spell was Extended? That would at least provide some counterbalance: either you'd go with a lower MP boost, or you'd spend all your time with reduced MP, making you more vulnerable to magical attacks… no, wait, that's RQ3 thinking: in RQG you defend with POW, not MP, so that's not really much of a penalty either.

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Game balance has never figured prominently in other RPGs either, as anyone who has played a first level magic user can attest.

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4 hours ago, Tywyll said:

Not just nonintelligent opponents.

Intelligent opponents don't stay close to somebody that cuts through them. They use smart, magic, ranged weapons or flee.

Kloster

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46 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

Game balance has never figured prominently in other RPGs either, as anyone who has played a first level magic user can attest.

It did, but mostly as far as balancing the adventure tot he partly. specially the relationship between character level, dungeon level and monster hit dice. 

Balance between characters started to come about when thieves started to pass fighters on the combat matrix. 

 

It started to figure more prominently in D&D 3E in part as a tool to simplify the job of DMing. It got out of hand, though and Challenge Ratings were used in place of judgment.

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2 minutes ago, Kloster said:

Intelligent opponents don't stay close to somebody that cuts through them. They use smart, magic, ranged weapons or flee.

Kloster

True, but not all player characters count as intelligent opponents. 

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4 hours ago, Tywyll said:

No one has addressed the simple and cheap means of having an all season boost.

As I already explained, Dispel Magic 2 or Dismiss Magic 1.

4 hours ago, Tywyll said:

No one has accounted for how it breaks the RQ2 rules.

I don't care what breaks RQ2 rules: I don't play RQ2 anymore since I discovered RQIII in 1986. It solved most of what bothered me in RQ2.

Kloster

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2 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

True, but not all player characters count as intelligent opponents. 

Oh so true.

Kloster

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4 hours ago, Tywyll said:

Assuming he were dumb enough to allow himself to be surrounded like that, didn't have his own allies, bothered with parrying (he might let his armor+protection spells take the hit), etc, etc.

That is what ambushes are for.

Kloster

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1 minute ago, Kloster said:

I don't care what breaks RQ2 rules: I don't play RQ2 anymore since I discovered RQIII in 1986. It solved most of what bothered me in RQ2.

Sorry, but I kinda have to back up Tywyll here. Since RQG is based odd of and is partially backwards compatible with RQ2, then something that actually 'breaks' RQ2 rules would be of significance to those who play RQG.

The critical point here is "something that actually 'breaks' RQ2 rules", which I do not believe has been established.

I might just be the last RQ3holdout on these forums too, and even I can't justify claims of RQG being 'broken'. 

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4 hours ago, Tywyll said:

Getting 'lots' of Bladesharp is much harder to accomplish and is more an end game sort of deal. Even if they have it, it only lasts 2 minutes so it is hardly gamebreaking. Also, argueably it wouldn't trigger antiparry since the bonus isn't a skill bonus but an item/situational bonus (see the thread previously on this board on how and when Bladesharp is applied to a split attack). 

Both Bladesharp and Sword trance would trigger the'Antiparry' because the ability is boosted over 100% (RQG p144), but none of them would allow splitting, because none of them put the natural skill over 100% (RQG p202)(it it were not before, that is).

Kloster

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1 minute ago, Atgxtg said:

Sorry, but I kinda have to back up Tywyll here. Since RQG is based odd of and is partially backwards compatible with RQ2, then something that actually 'breaks' RQ2 rules would be of significance to those who play RQG.

Sword Trance does not exist in RQ2. And even if RQG is based heavily on RQ2, it is not fully compatible. I would be concerned if Sword Trance was breaking RQG.

1 minute ago, Atgxtg said:

The critical point here is "something that actually 'breaks' RQ2 rules", which I do not believe has been established.

Agreed.

1 minute ago, Atgxtg said:

I might just be the last RQ3holdout on these forums too, and even I can't justify claims of RQG being 'broken'. 

No, you're not alone, and I don't claim either. A lot of going back from RQIII to RQ2 are not pleasing me, but they are not broken.

Kloster

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