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Is Sword Trance broken?

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1 hour ago, Kloster said:

Not really, because this is the Ability over 100% that counts, not the skill. That means that if the ability is reduced because of splitting, it is (or at least can be) below 100%. In that case, it is less a problem because the attacker's ability is either not reduced or much less reduced. I think the rule can be understood both ways.

Except the character has no good reason to split his ability.

At 150% skill he can confidently strike one troll per round, and only have a 5% chance of being hit, unless he splits.

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1 hour ago, Thyrwyn said:

so a defender with a 200% weapon skill does not reduce the chance of every attacker by 100% - only the first attacker against which they declare a Parry. If the defender does not declare a Parry, then the attacker’s skill is not affected.

the reduction effects everyone in the contest. So everyone who attacks gets their skill reduced if the defender chooses to parry with the high skill.

Example Harry the Humakti with 150% sword and 95% shield is attacked by 3 Broo. If Harry decides to Parry all three with the sword then all involved will have their Skills reduced, His own attack at 100% with the target suffering a -50 on their Parry. Harrys 2nd and third Parry at -20 and -40, dropping his Skill down to 130 & 110 thereby lessening the negative mod on the Broo attacks. If he parries with his Shield then only the Broo he's attacking will suffer a -50 on its parry. 

With other non-combat tests, such as Listen v Move Quietly, everyone is reduced.

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1 hour ago, Anunnaki said:

Example: Our (Weapon) Trance user has a natural weapon skill score of 120%, but throws 10 MP into her rune spell for another 100% boost. She is facing off against three dark trolls with 50% maul each. Because her natural skill (only) is 20% higher than that of the trolls, they drop to 30% each. She can attack one troll at 200% (100% natural + 100% spell). If she had decided to split her skill during the intent phase to accommodate multiple attacks (let's say 70% and 50%), then the trolls stay at 50% because neither is greater-than-100%, but she would add the trance spell +100% modification to each for two attacks of 170% and 150% respectively.

I don't think that the boosted skill would not count for the anti-parry mechanic.

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Another thought on successive parries (it's another non-RAW option however).

The -20% per parry-after-1st evidently seems (in many folks estimation (to judge from comments here) )  inadequate.  Frankly, the split-in-half seems a bit like TOO much nerf'ing, to me.

How about making successive parries' penalty double each time, rather than increment?

  • RAW:  1st full / 2nd -20% / 3rd -40% / 4th -60% / 5th -80% / 6th -100% / 7th -120% / etc / etc / etc ...
  • idea:  1st full / 2nd -10% / 3rd -20% / 4th -40% / 5th -80% / 6th -160% / 7th -320% / etc / etc / etc ...

There is little difference for the first few parries (it's a bit MORE generous at first, but I don't see 10% & 20% differences as substantive in a 200%-scale).  But after that, it quickly becomes prohibitive.  Ordinary groups still fall like wheat before a scythe, but great mobs that can make a half-dozen or more melee attacks in a round become more threatening again...

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2 hours ago, Thyrwyn said:

...so a defender with a 200% weapon skill does not reduce the chance of every attacker by 100% - only the first attacker against which they declare a Parry. If the defender does not declare a Parry, then the attacker’s skill is not affected. 

Interesting. So the first parry, which is reduced to 100 in order to reduce the attack by the same amount, sets the chance for the second parry to 80. Hmmm. I'll have to think about that.

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1 hour ago, Psullie said:

the reduction effects everyone in the contest. So everyone who attacks gets their skill reduced if the defender chooses to parry with the high skill.

My point is that the defender has to declare a Parry against each attack individually, as it happens and before any dice for that attack are rolled. This means that for each subsequent Parry that round - regardless of weapon - will be at a -20%. But if they choose not to Parry a particular attack, that attacker’s skill will not be affected by the defender’s skill at all. 

22 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

Interesting. So the first parry, which is reduced to 100 in order to reduce the attack by the same amount, sets the chance for the second parry to 80. Hmmm. I'll have to think about that.

That’s not my understanding. Any reduction due to an opponent’s skill in an opposed roll applies only to that opposed roll, not the skil. But, for combat specifically, the defender must declare the Parry. My point was that weapon skill does not passively reduce an attacker’s weapon skill, the defender must declare the Parry. Some people seemed to be under the impression that the defender did not need to actually Parry: that just having the high skill was enough to provide effective immunity. 

I don’t have a problem with the over 100% combat skill mechanic at all - as a GM or as a player. It appropriately conveys a world (and system) in which skill level is relational, not comparative. The difference (mechanically) between an opponent with a 100% skill and one with a 50% skill is literally the same as that between one with 150% and one with 100%. A 50 point difference is always a 50 point difference - regardless of the skill levels involved.

 I like that consistency, since that is the way that the Resistance Table has always worked. 

*********************

I have issues with the (Melee Weapon) Trance spells not because of their effect, per se, but rather because that effect requires very little cost or effort to attain or use, AND that it impacts both offense and defense. 

Berserk costs 2 RP and it has serious repercussions and drawbacks to using it, and is often fatal to the target. 

Earth Shield is not nearly as effective, is only defensive, and costs 3 RP. 

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39 minutes ago, Thyrwyn said:

My point is that the defender has to declare a Parry against each attack individually, as it happens and before any dice for that attack are rolled. This means that for each subsequent Parry that round - regardless of weapon - will be at a -20%. But if they choose not to Parry a particular attack, that attacker’s skill will not be affected by the defender’s skill at all.

I think we are saying the same thing then.

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7 hours ago, g33k said:

Another thought on successive parries (it's another non-RAW option however).

The -20% per parry-after-1st evidently seems (in many folks estimation (to judge from comments here) )  inadequate.  Frankly, the split-in-half seems a bit like TOO much nerf'ing, to me.

Yet that's the way it always was. Up until now the odds tended to go with he numbers. Two or three opponents vs. a Rune Lord in RQ2 was pretty much an even fight, until you factored in for iron and magic, and then it was still a risky proposition, and one of the main reasons why Rune Lords had retinues-so they could fight opponents one on one, where they would have an advantage. Now, it looks like a foregone conclusion.

Now I'm not stating that the rule is wrong or broken or anything like that, but I think we can all agree that it is a game changer, and one of the biggest changes in the rules for quite some time.

Quote

How about making successive parries' penalty double each time, rather than increment?

  • RAW:  1st full / 2nd -20% / 3rd -40% / 4th -60% / 5th -80% / 6th -100% / 7th -120% / etc / etc / etc ...
  • idea:  1st full / 2nd -10% / 3rd -20% / 4th -40% / 5th -80% / 6th -160% / 7th -320% / etc / etc / etc ...

There is little difference for the first few parries (it's a bit MORE generous at first, but I don't see 10% & 20% differences as substantive in a 200%-scale).  But after that, it quickly becomes prohibitive.  Ordinary groups still fall like wheat before a scythe, but great mobs that can make a half-dozen or more melee attacks in a round become more threatening again...

I don't really see someone fighting more than four or maybe five people at a time, unless he's attacking a spearwall or gets shot at by archers or something. So functionally, your idea would probably just make things worse, by reducing the penalty.

BTW, how exactly is the reduction worded? Does it specifically state a reduction to the opponent's attack? his skill? and when the reduction is determined (i.e. during declarations, at the time of the attack,, etc.).I just wondering if I'nm not interpreting it correctly.

I also think part of the difficulty lies in the fact that RQG has both skill splitting and the -20% for cumulative parry rule. Stormbringer didn't have skill splitting but instead had a riposte rule. 

 

Edited by Atgxtg

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4 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Now I'm not stating that the rule is wrong or broken or anything like that, but I think we can all agree that it is a game changer

I completely agree here. Nothing broken, not liked by everyone (but it is a matter of tastes, not of being wrong), and a big changer in the mood, the approach to the game, the way the GM prepares opponents, ... .

4 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

and one of the biggest changes in the rules for quite some time.

I think Rune Points is the biggest effect rule change (and I think it is a change that goes in the right direction).

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16 hours ago, Thyrwyn said:

That’s not my understanding. Any reduction due to an opponent’s skill in an opposed roll applies only to that opposed roll, not the skil. But, for combat specifically, the defender must declare the Parry. My point was that weapon skill does not passively reduce an attacker’s weapon skill, the defender must declare the Parry.

Yes, I see, and I agree. There's little incentive not to declare parries against all attacks, unless you think that some are going to miss and you want to reduce the number of -20 penalties. Against high skill opponents, always parry (or dodge).

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Does the raw say that the opponent's skill is reduced by a skill over 100% of ability? I'm curious as to the actual wording, as it might clear a lot of this up. 

Depending on how it is worded, something like bladesharp might factor in before or after the reduction. And that could possibly get an opponent back up from the minimum.

 

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3 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Does the raw say that the opponent's skill is reduced by a skill over 100% of ability? I'm curious as to the actual wording, as it might clear a lot of this up. 

Depending on how it is worded, something like bladesharp might factor in before or after the reduction. And that could possibly get an opponent back up from the minimum.

RQG p144: If the highest rated participant in an opposed roll has an ability rating above 100%, the difference between 100 and their ability rating is subtracted from the ability of everyone in the contest (including themselves).

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20 minutes ago, Kloster said:

RQG p144: If the highest rated participant in an opposed roll has an ability rating above 100%, the difference between 100 and their ability rating is subtracted from the ability of everyone in the contest (including themselves).

So anti parry happens if ability is over 100, Bladesharp affects attack chance, Sword Trance affects skill. Is there a distinction here, or are they alll the same thing? Does the Sword Trance increase affect anti-parry, but Bladesharp not? I don't think there is meant to be a difference, I think anti-parry happens after all modifiers.

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52 minutes ago, Kloster said:

RQG p144: If the highest rated participant in an opposed roll has an ability rating above 100%, the difference between 100 and their ability rating is subtracted from the ability of everyone in the contest (including themselves).

You see, my reading of that is that it affects everyone you are fighting with. 

So, if I attack 2 people then it affects them both. If I parry 4 people, then, yes, it could affect them.

However, I would definitely houserule as follows:

The "Over 100%" rule applies to final skill, not raw ability, so someone with 110% and Bladesharp 4 gets 130%, so I'd use 130%

Multiple Parries reduce the effective skill, thus reducing the amount over 100%, so someone with 130% parrying twice effective parries at 130% and 110%, so one opponent gets the 130% and the other gets 110%

Alternatively, if we have  the 100%+20% for Bladesharp character fighting two people with 70% skills, all the skills are reduced by 30, so you have one skill at 100% opposing 2 skills at 40%, so the PC could parry at 100% and 80%, with the opponents attacking at 40% and 40%.

In RQ2, we applied the Ant-Parry against one opponent, as that was the person being attacked, using the same logic, you would have the PC with a 100% skill, one NPC with a 40% skill and one with a 70% skill.

 

So, my gut feeling would be:

PC uses skill at 130%, this reduces PC to 100% and NPCs to 40%, PC can attack at 100% and can parry at 100% and 70%, NPCs can attack and parry at 40%

 

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32 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

So anti parry happens if ability is over 100, Bladesharp affects attack chance, Sword Trance affects skill. Is there a distinction here, or are they alll the same thing? Does the Sword Trance increase affect anti-parry, but Bladesharp not? I don't think there is meant to be a difference, I think anti-parry happens after all modifiers.

In my lexicon:

Skill = % chance of success without category modifier

Ability = % chance of success with skill and category modifier

Chance to hit/attack chance = % chance of success after all modifiers have been taken into account.

So an Orlanth Adventurous starting character with a +10 Manipulation category modifier who's chosen "Broadsword" as one of their major (25%) personal interest skills would have a Skill of (10 base plus 15 Cultural plus 10 Cult = ) 60%, an Ability of 70%, and a chance to hit of 90% if they cast Bladesharp-4. If they Sword Trance (traded spell, say) by 50%, they get a Skill of 110, Ability 120. If, instead of Sword Trance, they are affected by Morale or Fanaticism, their Chance to hit (sans Bladesharp) goes to 105% but this does not affect the skill level of the character, so they still would not be able to split their attacks. I would always apply multipliers before adders, but to the relevant 'component' of their aggregate "Chance to hit". I don't think there are other spells which say they affect Skill.

But then, I'd agree that anti-parry happens after all modifiers, so I'd change 'Ability' in Kloster's quote to "Chance to hit".

 

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59 minutes ago, soltakss said:

 

However, I would definitely houserule as follows:

The "Over 100%" rule applies to final skill, not raw ability, so someone with 110% and Bladesharp 4 gets 130%, so I'd use 130%

But doesn';t bladesharp only add to attack? And if so wouldn't that mean it would bump down the opponent's parry, but not the opponent's attack?

 

 

Quote

So, my gut feeling would be:

PC uses skill at 130%, this reduces PC to 100% and NPCs to 40%, PC can attack at 100% and can parry at 100% and 70%, NPCs can attack and parry at 40%

 

My gut feeling would be either force the character to assign his "anti-parry" among his opponents, or to get rid of splitting and bring in a version of Stormbringer's riposte rules, that originally went with the cumulative parry. Something like if a character parries he can riposte on the next SR at -20%. To me that would seem to go with the spirit and intent of the cumulative parry, and you wouldn't need an anti-parry rule as the back and forth of sequential attacks at -20% would accomplish that. 

Edited by Atgxtg

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1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

But doesn';t bladesharp only add to attack? And if so wouldn't that mean it would bump down the opponent's parry, but not the opponent's attack?

And that is why the rules, as they are, can be confusing.

Maybe that's why Chaosium say it must be the original Ability not the final chance.

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Now that this has been pointed out to me, I don't find it confusing.

Looking at it now, it seems clear that one uses the value of the characters weapon Ability (skill plus  category modifier) when attempting to parry, or driving down an opponent's attack if you have over 100% if he attacks you.

But "increases the chance to hit by +5%" (per the Bladesharp spell) doesn't increase ability, simply increases the odds you you'll land a cut that does damage. Thus, you are not better at parrying.

But Sword Trance is about manifesting Humakt's gift in the flesh and the world. You skill goes up because you are handing the instrument of death so well. Thus, you hit better and you defend better.

But I'm glad I'm following this thread. Because I'm not sure if I would have noticed the distinction for several sessions of play! (It is, as often is the case in the RQG text, somewhat buried, and requiring interpolation of two or more passages to sort out.)

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54 minutes ago, creativehum said:

But I'm glad I'm following this thread. Because I'm not sure if I would have noticed the distinction for several sessions of play! (It is, as often is the case in the RQG text, somewhat buried, and requiring interpolation of two or more passages to sort out.)

Note also that we may be drawing false distinctions unintended by the game's authors, who may be using skill and ability interchangeably, and the two of them interchangably with Chance to Hit (or Succeed) in places.

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4 hours ago, womble said:

Skill = % chance of success without category modifier

Ability = % chance of success with skill and category modifier

Chance to hit/attack chance = % chance of success after all modifiers have been taken into account.

I've just checked, and this is what I understand:

Skill is skill score, including category modifier.

Natural Ability is any score (skill, char, rune, passion, ...).

Ability is any natural ability + situational modifiers.

Chance to hit/attack chance = % chance of success after all modifiers have been taken into account.

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3 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

But doesn';t bladesharp only add to attack? And if so wouldn't that mean it would bump down the opponent's parry, but not the opponent's attack?

Yes, of course.

1 hour ago, creativehum said:

But "increases the chance to hit by +5%" (per the Bladesharp spell) doesn't increase ability, simply increases the odds you you'll land a cut that does damage. Thus, you are not better at parrying.

Right.

 

1 hour ago, creativehum said:

But Sword Trance is about manifesting Humakt's gift in the flesh and the world. You skill goes up because you are handing the instrument of death so well. Thus, you hit better and you defend better.

Right again.

 

1 hour ago, creativehum said:

Looking at it now, it seems clear that one uses the value of the characters weapon Ability (skill plus  category modifier) when attempting to parry, or driving down an opponent's attack if you have over 100% if he attacks you.

Yes again, even if I don't agree with your definitions of skills and abilities.

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Just thinking a bit more about the anti-parry rule, I asked my brother what he thought and his instinctive reaction was "of course you use the reduced skill to figure the chance of the next parry". Since clearly some people might come to this conclusion, I think it's worth enumerating the reasons why it's a bad rule.

  1. Anti-parry is just for resolving a single interaction, and should have no further consequences for subsequent die rolls - trying (possibly successfully) to sneak past a super-observant guard should not turn you into a klutz for further sneak rolls.
  2. If you did carry on from the reduced figure, then increasing your skill over 100 would have no improving effect whatsoever on any parry after the first.
  3. A 100% ability parrying two opponents of different skill levels would be very different experiences depending on the order of attacks. If the lower skill attacks first, you get to parry both, whereas if the higher skill attacks first then you might have no chance of parrying the low skill (if the high skilled attack, say 180 vs 100, has driven down your parry chance to 20 or less).

 

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17 hours ago, creativehum said:

But "increases the chance to hit by +5%" (per the Bladesharp spell) doesn't increase ability, simply increases the odds you you'll land a cut that does damage. Thus, you are not better at parrying. 

I'm not trying to sow confusion, but this is very debatable. A successful parry is a 'hit' to the attacking weapon, otherwise you miss your parry. I would read this as being a bonus to all attempts to hit with the weapon. Otherwise are you saying that the spell can discriminate between hitting a person and hitting a weapon?

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1 hour ago, Sumath said:

I'm not trying to sow confusion, but this is very debatable. A successful parry is a 'hit' to the attacking weapon, otherwise you miss your parry. I would read this as being a bonus to all attempts to hit with the weapon. Otherwise are you saying that the spell can discriminate between hitting a person and hitting a weapon?

I am saying: 

1. The Spell is called "Bladesharp" and my guess is, based only on the name and how the spell is described, it is a spell that makes a bladed weapon more effective at cutting an opponent's armor and doing damage.

2.The second Spell of the paragraph, which allows a blade to do damage to magical creatures otherwise unharmed by normal weapons, suggests again that the spell is about making weapons bettering at effectively sticking and doing damage.

3. The text describing the spell bothers to use the phrase "chance to hit" is increased by 5% rather than "skill is increased" which is often the case in Spells. (Sword Trance, for example.) The later would increase the odds of hitting and parrying. I assume a different phrasing was used to make a distinction.

4. Within the tradition of the RPG hobby, and in any RPG I have ever read, "to hit" always refers to the active action or making a roll to strike at an opponent in some way, and is nevertheless about defending or parrying (and those rolls are usually referred to as "defending" or "parrying" in the rules).

5. i just did a search of the phrase "to hit" in the PDF of the RQG core rule and every case I read (a quick scan, I admit) referred to the action of the PC striking at an opponent or the Player making an attack roll. Never, that I could find, did the phrase refer to the action of defending or parrying.

6. I have seen several times someone on the board say something like, "We could read this phrase in the rules book like this..." and the rest of the thread build on that rather idiosyncratic reading of a phrasing or word... only to have someone from Chaosium say, "No, that's not what we meant." I understand the impulse! The text of RQG often does not define words or phrases clearly, and for some reason does not use the same word or phrase when speaking of identical mechanical effects within the game. So we are often left to figure out what the meaning is this time. And that can become a habit. But in this case, with the points made above, I feel confident that in this case "chance to hit" refers specifically to the attack roll to hit a target and do damage in the order of operations of combat -- and not in reference to hitting an opponent's weapon when parrying. 

All in all I a very confident of this particular reading in this case.

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Fair enough, I appreciate the points you've made (although I disagree that the name of the spell is indicative of its effects, as a sharper blade does not equal a more accurate one).

The more I stop to think about how the spell would actually work the less sense it makes (as it's essentially involving footwork, timing and coordination with a bladed weapon), so probably best not to overthink it.

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