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I'm confused about the "Battle " skill, as presented in the RQG book.

The RQG book says it "measures how the adventurers do during an engagement", a battle  "large or small". In the case of "small", isn't this what combat decides? Is the purpose of the skill to determine the Experience from the Battle Results table after  a combat? It is not explained in the Combat section of the book.

The example of the use of the Battle skill  in the Skills section  of RQG describes a scenario a lot like   "Defending Apple Lane", but it doesn't elaborate as to whether combat or the "battle" roll determined what occurred, although it does suggest that experience rolls  can be determined later. This sounds too important to only appear in writing in the skills section only.

What am I missing?

 

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My understanding, and how I use it is anytime we dont play out a combat, we use the battle skill.  Quick and painless.   Anything we actually play out, use the results of that

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I've used Battle once in my game back in December, basically for the reasons @Zozotroll mentions. The adventurers had just finished defending a village from raiding trolls (got caught up in a feud between two clans) and were invited to go along on the counter-raid. This was going to be our last session for a couple weeks since I was traveling for the upcoming holidays. So I had the adventurers who chose to go each roll Battle for their personal outcome so that we could move on to the next adventure when we started play again.

The highlight for me was that the party's herdsman was an accidental war hero. His brother, a Zorak Zoran Warrior with troll friends, was going, so he augmented with Love (family) and reluctantly went along as well. He rolled a crit Battle and it's been a defining character moment since.

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The way I perceive it, Battle skill has several uses:

  • Tactical or Strategic perception of a situation, or a building (How to defend or to attack this building?).
  • What is the outcome of a non played fight?
  • What is the quality of command of a commanding character?
  • What are the extra results for a character that takes part to a big fight and only a small part is played.
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I used the skill when I GMed "Defending Apple Lane": my players came up with a number of traps to gain advantages over the raiding Tusk Riders. I let them describe what and how they set their traps and we rolled under the Battle skill. 

Edited by jps
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I agree with what is written above but I also use it for other things.  Example include:

 

Using it to augment a missile attack when ambushing foes as Battle helps the adventurer pick the optimal place to ambush from.

Controlling positions in melee such as:

  • Manoeuvring an enemy that you are in melee with so that they are in a position where a knockback can push them off a ledge, into a pool etc
  • While remaining in combat moving closer to a location
  • While in melee keeping your opponent between you and another opponent

 

Running though an existing combat without becoming engaged.

Any situation where the SR system breaks down, such as shooting arrows at two people in melee where one of those two is trying to flee..  The player gets to roll against Battle and a success allows the player interpret the situation in a way to benefit their character.  

 

I see it as a measure of how much the adventurer understands the chaos of combat, and how effectively they can direct it.  In martial arts tournaments I have often seen people who are "better" in that they are faster, fitter and have better technique, but lose because their opponent has mastery of the ring and controls the bout.  This is especially noticeable in "two on one" sparring. 

 

 

Edited by Mechashef
Fix typos
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7 hours ago, Sid Vicarious said:

The RQG book says it "measures how the adventurers do during an engagement", a battle  "large or small". In the case of "small", isn't this what combat decides? Is the purpose of the skill to determine the Experience from the Battle Results table after  a combat? It is not explained in the Combat section of the book.

It's an abstract system for engagements larger than the normal RQ skirmish. It's IMO clearly descended from the Battle skill in King Arthur Pendragon (KAP) .

Quote

The example of the use of the Battle skill  in the Skills section  of RQG describes a scenario a lot like   "Defending Apple Lane", but it doesn't elaborate as to whether combat or the "battle" roll determined what occurred, although it does suggest that experience rolls  can be determined later. This sounds too important to only appear in writing in the skills section only.

As such it's a lead in to an un-yet expanded write up as per KAP. KAP has a whole section on Battle skill (and a whole book devoted to it...), this the skill description:

Quote

 

The Battle Skill measures an individual’s knowledge and use of individual tactics in skirmishes and battles. A high Battle Skill value means that the character knows how to stick with his unit, how to examine a battlefield to recognize what is dangerous or advantageous, and how to take advantage of what he sees.

In general, the Battle Skill has two applications. The first allows leaders to command their group of combatants, and is used in both large battles and skirmishes. The second dictates tactical decisions that take place when individuals are separated from their larger unit; this use of the Skill applies only in large battles.

Quote

What am I missing?

The idea is that in large engagements, the battle skill dictates what's going on around the players rather than focusing on the 100s of others overall. Within the player "bubble" normal combat happens with the potential of in-battle events. That way you don't have play out blow by blow every part of the battles that are yet to come in the Hero Wars. However you can be in the battles doing your own bit. The previous history tables reflect this in a small way. Battle is a system for avoiding combat overwhelming the group

If you have access to KAP look it up, you will see the future for RQG.

For RQG I'm happy GMing combat up maybe 20 individuals, beyond that battle would break it down into parts for ease of play.

Defending Apple Lane is a tiny skirmish (although KAP defines a skirmish up to 200 warriors)

3 hours ago, jps said:

I used the skill when I GMed "Defending Apple Lane": my players came up with a number of traps to gain advantages over the raiding Tusk Riders. I let them describe what and how they set their traps and we rolled under the Battle skill.

I did the same, using the KAP definition.

Edited by David Scott
Defined KAP
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16 minutes ago, David Scott said:

It's an abstract system for engagements larger than the normal RQ skirmish. It's IMO clearly descended from the Battle skill in KAP.

As such it's a lead in to an un-yet expanded write up as per KAP. KAP has a whole section on Battle skill (and a whole book devoted to it...), this the skill description:

The idea is that in large engagements, the battle skill dictates what's going on around the players rather than focusing on the 100s of others overall. Within the player "bubble" normal combat happens with the potential of in-battle events. That way you don't have play out blow by blow every part of the battles that are yet to come in the Hero Wars. However you can be in the battles doing your own bit. The previous history tables reflect this in a small way. Battle is a system for avoiding combat overwhelming the group

If you have access to KAP look it up, you will see the future for RQG.

For RQG I'm happy GMing combat up maybe 20 individuals, beyond that battle would break it down into parts for ease of play.

Defending Apple Lane is a tiny skirmish (although KAP defines a skirmish up to 200 warriors)

I did the same, using the KAP definition. 

 

KAP?

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There is specific text in Defending Apple Lane that references a use of the Battle skill. I don't have my materials on me right now, but I remember it being there.

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No there is not. It came to me when the players wanted to lay some hindrances and traps to have the higher ground, that the Battle skill would be appropriate. I agree that the skill was mostly designed to simulate larger conflicts but it can do much more than this and Mechshef provided us with a couple of extra examples.

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I would only use it to determine what happened in large-scale battle/war. 

Letting players determine strategies and traps themselves is much more fun and rewarding. 

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I will use it any place a question of tactical or strategic judgement comes up...

Where are likely ambushes, whether setting one or facing one?

Is it better to defend the ford, or take high ground on the hill?

Etc.

All sorts of combat-centric knowledge and such, if not clearly specific to a given weapon-skill.

I could imaging using "Battle" as an Augment (in one way or another) many of the times a combat isn't modeled as 1:1 duels.

 

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4 hours ago, klecser said:

There is specific text in Defending Apple Lane that references a use of the Battle skill. I don't have my materials on me right now, but I remember it being there.

Adventure Book p78

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10 hours ago, David Scott said:

 

If you have access to KAP look it up, you will see the future for RQG.

 

I hadn't planned to get KAP,  but I'm toying with the  idea of  getting the Paladin core book and scenario book. I've no previous experience with that system.

Thanks all for the input. It has helped clarify things. 

 

 

Edited by Sid Vicarious
Eating peanuts while typing on a tablet.

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9 hours ago, Sid Vicarious said:

I hadn't planned to get KAP,  but I'm toying with the  idea of  getting the Paladin core book and scenario book. I've no previous experience with that system.

Apart from three (?) tiny rules changes (and the setting) KAP and Paladin rules are identical.

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I've used Battle or similar skills in large melees to determine the most important melee a character finds himself in. 

So the characters are at Pennel Ford, say. Have them roll Battle:

Crit Success: PCs who crit manage to flank the enemy lines and ends up in personal combat with a Standard Bearer. Capturing the Standard is the Very Biggest of Deals.

Special Success: PCs who get a special success flank the Lunar lines and end up in personal combat with a Enemy Officer or Magician. Killing the Officer is a Very Big Deal and could help turn the tide of battle.

Normal Success: PCs who make a normal success end up fighting a slightly inferior clump of enemy soldiers and have a slight terrain advantage or surprise.

Failure: PCs who fail end up fighting superior enemy soldiers who have surprised them or who have terrain advantage.

Fumble: PCs who fumble are caught by surprise when Graymane changes sides, end up in close combat with Graymane and his retinue, and need to GTFO or die.

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Battle skill seems to be a mechanic for off-table battles.

Were I to use it at the table, Battle would be used for those players who don't have practical experience in tactics to get ideas on positioning [high ground = good, high ground with concealment = better, high ground with cover = best].

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8 hours ago, svensson said:

Battle skill seems to be a mechanic for off-table battles.

I used it in-game and worked quite well.  I noted this in another thread, but this is how I ran the Battle of the Queens:

  • Asked them to identify what roll the PC was taking in the battle: Warrior and fighter; Missile caster; Magical support; Healer and medic; or Recorder of deeds/messenger
  • Indicated that those who wished to augment their subsequent rolls with Inspiration, should identify whether they are inspired by a Rune or a Passion, and make those rolls
  • Then had everyone make a Battle roll (considered adding a Penalty for Prince Kallyr's bad omens, but didn't end up doing so) for the opening scene of the battle
  • Somewhat like a Group Simple contest in HQG, I narrated the flow of this stage of the battle based on the sequence of their results 
  • Missile casters and riders generally acted first, fighters fought in the melee, messenger was sent by Queen Leika to Prince Kallyr and had to add in a Ride roll through the battlefield (in time to see Kallyr fall & die)
  • Queen Leika made a rousing speech (i.e. succeeded in her Battle roll which gave everyone in her group a +20% bonus for next scene of the battle)
  • Previous Inspirations carried forward; those who failed prior Inspirations could attempt Inspiration via a more limited set of options:  a Rune or Passion associated with Queen Leika, the Colymar (or a Colymar clan), Orlanth, Air, Movement, or Truth
  • Then had everyone make a Battle Roll for the second scene of the battle
  • Again narrated results based on the series of results (this time the messenger got to ride to rally the Cinsina and got to see Queen Ivartha fall)
  • Number of battle successes indicated that the Colymar had driven the Lunars back into the Creek (and were busy warning folks not to get too much blood in the Creek itself lest they feed the Delecti's undead downstream)

At the conclusion, depending on Battle results, they either took wounds or gained experience checks. Could have elaborated pieces further (or divided the battle into more scenes with added bonuses or penalties based on the results of the army leaders), or added in some set encounters (e.g. a fight with some named Lunar NPC), but seemed to work well for what I wanted and the players appeared to enjoy the overall flow.

 

On 4/26/2019 at 8:03 AM, Mechashef said:

Using it to augment a missile attack when ambushing foes as Battle helps the adventurer pick the optimal place to ambush from.

Controlling positions in melee such as:

  • Manoeuvring an enemy that you are in melee with so that they are in a position where a knockback can push them off a ledge, into a pool etc
  • While remaining in combat moving closer to a location
  • While in melee keeping your opponent between you and another opponent

All good ideas that I can see using in the future.

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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

I used it in-game and worked quite well.  I noted this in another thread, but this is how I ran the Battle of the Queens:

  • Asked them to identify what roll the PC was taking in the battle: Warrior and fighter; Missile caster; Magical support; Healer and medic; or Recorder of deeds/messenger
  • Indicated that those who wished to augment their subsequent rolls with Inspiration, should identify whether they are inspired by a Rune or a Passion, and make those rolls
  • Then had everyone make a Battle roll (considered adding a Penalty for Prince Kallyr's bad omens, but didn't end up doing so) for the opening scene of the battle
  • Somewhat like a Group Simple contest in HQG, I narrated the flow of this stage of the battle based on the sequence of their results 
  • Missile casters and riders generally acted first, fighters fought in the melee, messenger was sent by Queen Leika to Prince Kallyr and had to add in a Ride roll through the battlefield (in time to see Kallyr fall & die)
  • Queen Leika made a rousing speech (i.e. succeeded in her Battle roll which gave everyone in her group a +20% bonus for next scene of the battle)
  • Previous Inspirations carried forward; those who failed prior Inspirations could attempt Inspiration via a more limited set of options:  a Rune or Passion associated with Queen Leika, the Colymar (or a Colymar clan), Orlanth, Air, Movement, or Truth
  • Then had everyone make a Battle Roll for the second scene of the battle
  • Again narrated results based on the series of results (this time the messenger got to ride to rally the Cinsina and got to see Queen Ivartha fall)
  • Number of battle successes indicated that the Colymar had driven the Lunars back into the Creek (and were busy warning folks not to get too much blood in the Creek itself lest they feed the Delecti's undead downstream)

At the conclusion, depending on Battle results, they either took wounds or gained experience checks. Could have elaborated pieces further (or divided the battle into more scenes with added bonuses or penalties based on the results of the army leaders), or added in some set encounters (e.g. a fight with some named Lunar NPC), but seemed to work well for what I wanted and the players appeared to enjoy the overall flow.

 

All good ideas that I can see using in the future.

Playing a few pages in the PbF game, I can see where that works well.

At a table, where you're managing personalities and RL experiences, Battle skill can also allow a neophyte tactician to run an experienced Gloranthan warrior type. Which is WAY different from running a DnD '5 foot shift' fighter type.

You want the real truth... it's actually harder for all us SCA-types or ex-infantry types to not chime in when we're playing, say, an Issaries trader or Odayla hunter [who by rights ought to know diddly /squat about running a real battle]. Battle skill is a good mechanic to allow the novice tactician to set up the battle [presuming he has the time and the initiative] to consult with the table brain trust.

[note: I call out the SCA types and ex-grunts cuz I R wun... I know very well what we're like]

Edited by svensson
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