Change in Charge Skill Disruption


Archived topics from the different rule forums.

Moderator: Admin

User avatar

Town Member
Town Member

Posts: 465

Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:53 am

Location: NPC Camp

Post Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:03 am

So, I suppose the time has come for me to put in my two cents.

It seems that we have two different grievances being aired in this conversation. The first grievance is on the part of the game masters who are taking issue with players using in game skills in an unrealistic manner. The second grievance appears to be players who feel that their ingenuity, creativity and problem-solving skills are irrelevant because any victory perceived as being too easy will be prevented by the GM's through the on-the-fly modification of tactics. Let's try to deal with these one at a time.

First, we'll talk about using skills in an unrealistic matter. Since most of the conversation centered on the use of defensive matrix I'll focus my commentary there as well. It is true that a fourth level warrior who was facing off against a large number of zero level warriors could make himself nigh invulnerable by putting his back against the wall and activating defensive matrix. If the fourth level warrior were holding a doorway it would be almost impossible for those zero level individuals to get past it. That does not appear to be very realistic, does it?

Here, though, we've already made several errors in our perception. First, we're dealing with a highly improbable situation in game. I cannot remember any time in the five years I've been playing this game when I saw a situation such as that unfold. Perhaps more importantly, we're not talking about nameless fighters with numerical levels. By the descriptions given in the system and the allocation of skills were talking about someone who has mastered the art of being a warrior fighting against a bunch of rookies while the master has favorable ground. Could that warrior hold? Cinematic interpretations aside, how long did the Spartans hold Thermopylae? What does that historical example tell us? If you put a highly skilled warrior against warriors of truly inferior skill in a situation where the terrain favors the highly skilled warrior, there's a good chance the highly skilled warrior will cut through the newbies like wheat. Toss in the fact that this is fantasy and I don't think it's that huge a leap to say the skill is not that "broken".

That said, laying down while using defensive matrix is about as cheap as it gets. It certainly seems to violate the spirit of the rule - and maybe that's the problem: the spirit of the rule and the wording of the rule don't quite line up. I would think that a minor tweak to the description of defensive matrix would be easier than attempting to adjust the rule to be impervious to all situations involving improbable odds and gratuitous cheesedicking. If, by some chance, a warrior were to be attacked by a large number of zero level warriors; and if that warrior were to put his back against the wall; than for that one brief, improbable encounter he's beaten the system. So what? The warrior gets to feel like a hero for a little while and some NPC baddie loses a bunch of stupid henchmen. Why is this a problem? It's not like that warrior is going to be blazing across the battlefield flaunting his invulnerability while decapitating NPCs en masse - he's using his advanced skill to beat down a bunch of pansies. If a warrior can't do that, what can he do?

The second grievance is a little more complicated. Some people get their enjoyment out of the story, some people get it out the social interaction, and some people get it out of the game itself: the raw mechanics. Most people prefer some combination of these elements, and each has its own set of do’s and don'ts as far as the GM's are concerned. In the past I have been notorious for being biased towards a good story - but you can't take the game out of gaming. Enjoying the danger and thrill of a good challenge requires that you believe you're actually being challenged, not just subjected to a predetermined level of hardship. If the players know that they're always going to get the last hint just in time to solve the puzzle and that the last baddie will fall right on cue it kills the game, and that's easy to see. What's harder to see is that it works both ways: you wouldn't change the solution to a puzzle or riddle just because the players were smart enough to figure it out quickly, and you shouldn't crank up the difficulty in a combat setting just because the players are fighting effectively. Easier victories are often the only reward for the use of strategy, cooperation and tactics. Take those away and there is no impetus to do anything but machine gun damage at one another.

I guess my advice to the GM's is this: you will always have another chance to challenge the PCs. They will never have another chance to enjoy a specific encounter. Salus populi suprema lex – let the good of the people be the supreme law.
GM-Taki - Final Haven GM, Winter Haven GM, Editor of the Rulebook Project.
User avatar

Town Member
Town Member

Posts: 2369

Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 9:32 am

Location: Michigan

Post Tue Feb 19, 2008 9:10 am

Just for note, a warrior using defensive matrix (against a wall or otherwise) will not cut through the 0 level warriors like wheat. In actuality, he'll stand there till they get bored and leave seeing as he can't deal any damage to them.

In the future, they'll have 3 guy surround him, hold ground, and let him rot till the 4th gets their buddy with critical strike (0 level rogue).
My posts in no way reflect that of anyone else nor are they in any way official.
User avatar

Town Member
Town Member

Posts: 465

Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:53 am

Location: NPC Camp

Post Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:11 pm

dier_cire wrote:Just for note, a warrior using defensive matrix (against a wall or otherwise) will not cut through the 0 level warriors like wheat. In actuality, he'll stand there till they get bored and leave seeing as he can't deal any damage to them.

In the future, they'll have 3 guy surround him, hold ground, and let him rot till the 4th gets their buddy with critical strike (0 level rogue).


:D The wheat reference was part of the anecdote, not necessarily a reference to the rules. You're right though, there's no offensive benefit to just backing into a wall unless you've got a way to do extra damage.
GM-Taki - Final Haven GM, Winter Haven GM, Editor of the Rulebook Project.
User avatar

GM

Posts: 557

Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 11:36 am

Location: Lowell, MI

Post Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:50 pm

I can attest to one thing in this thread, that the feeling of being a hero taking on a whole lot of baddies while blocking a doorway felt great.

I do admit that if a character enters defensive matrix while laying down is bunk, but backing against a wall i dont find to be that big of an issue as with others were saying, the lowbies keep him occupied to make time for the heavy hitters to make their way up.

I would still love it when i would go in against a group of npc's with defensive matrix up to gage their skill and then adjust accordingly, and to be honest, most of the time i would use d.matrix was in cave battles when their were tons of pc's right behind me so the fear of shots to the back we nearly nill
Serith Darkheart

"I dont make Threats....Only Promises"

Town Member
Town Member

Posts: 191

Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:27 pm

Post Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:08 am

THE ALL ENCOMPASSING SOLUTION

Have encounters AWAY from areas with walls. You are kinda in the woods...
GLOMP!
User avatar

Town Member
Town Member

Posts: 390

Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:32 pm

Location: Where help is needed.

Post Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:40 am

This could take the form of better tactics, skill variety, or just swinging for more damage with more hit points. I have NPC'd many times, and in my opinion there has been slightly excessive concern about giving the PCs more than they can handle. I think the time is right to have this happen, to reflect the harsher condiitions of Caledonia.


The problem I see is that it would make encounters much more deadly for Empaths and Healers, and even sages, depending on what their armor is. I'm pretty new to LARPing, but that's how I see it. Even playing Durgan the Rogue I've had a tough time doing enough in fights to make myself worthwhile.

Or if anything, to make Caladonia more harsh, howabout some more quests that can't be solved by pure stick-jockeying? I really got tired of people not wanting Durgan to be on a quest because they wanted more heavy-hitters. Give us some mobs that CAN'T be fought without heavy losses but can be dealt with verbally, so we are forced to be better roleplayers.
User avatar

Town Member
Town Member

Posts: 730

Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:08 am

Post Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:51 am

I agree with CJ.

Don't get me wrong I like a good fight once in awhile with the rest of the crew but I also think it would be great of some situations could be negotiated minus the fighting...you know where the role-playing comes in.
Aurora Darksbane

Mage Hunter of the Old Code
Caldonian Genderman

GM

Posts: 4491

Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 11:14 pm

Post Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:04 am

Excuse me while I laugh my ass off. I don't even know how to respond to this, to be honest, because EVERY event there are plots that can be solved verbally, that in fact would go better for the town if it was solved verbally. Almost without fail, it comes to blows, initiated by what the PCs do or say.

The most recent example of what you are talking about CJ when we did give huge odds that could have resulted in huge casualties (and did) was on the Herb/Sasha rescue mission. After the initial fight that was inevitable, the rest of the plot could have been solved without a weapon of any kind. We gave you THREE separate chances to solve the plot that way after PCs did something to initiate fighting. Each time, the big baddie stopped the fight with her words, giving you yet one more opportunity to negotiate and you guys simply would not take it.

Now, that is on the grand scale. There are countless examples of smaller plots on smaller scales that the same type of thing happened. Heck, there was a streak where players, for whatever reason, would kill every good guy we brought in and help every bad guy. Really, this was the running joke for the past year because we knew without fail who you would help and who you would kill.

This has been longer than I intended but I'm not done yet because I have to say that we DO NOT write many plots that can be solved in only one way. We do not in fact very often write a solution at all. The obvious exceptions is the clearing out of a cave of random mindless monsters (which we throw in for those people who really enjoy those types of plots--which is a lot of you). We don't write solutions often so that we can reward creative problem solving when we see it, so that we don't get stuck thinking only one thing will work. Sometimes, solutions are necessary but even when we do write those, we try to be open to other ideas, which I think we are pretty good at.

Nothing would please me more than to see the players attempt to negotiate their way out of something, but here's my advice. Be patient. It will not always work with the first couple of words that you say. Remember that you are trying to sway an opponent into a different course of action than he had originally planned. If negotiation seems impossible after repeated attempts, don't assume that there is no reason for it, that we are just intent on killing all of you. AGAIN, WE NEVER WANT TO DO THAT! Instead, you should think to yourself that there must be something bigger going on here, some reason that these one dimensional characters have popped up in an otherwise three dimensional game...There must be a plot here!

On a side but related note, because I do not think I can drive this point home enough, if you are ever at an event that ends with the destruction of the town by another player (as if that would ever happen), I understand that the initial feeling is to cry foul, that things were not done fairly, that the NPCs must have wanted the other group to win. IF you are one of these people who thinks in this way, I hope time has helped you see the truth, that we threw everything we could think of at those trying to kill everybody in the hopes of stopping it (while still being fair to them) and we gave the other side every opportunity, wrote plots even to help even the score. If you still have doubts, try to rise to power yourself, and you will begin to feel the scrutiny. When you do feel the scrutiny, ask not why Vince never got this much attention but rather finally understand the amount of attention that he received.

And that is all I got. Enjoy the rest of your day :lol:
User avatar

Town Member
Town Member

Posts: 1004

Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 6:25 am

Post Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:14 am

The biggest problem I have seen with PC's in general is nobody works in teams. People just run off and try to fight the monster by themselves or as uncoridnated groups. Let just swarm the NPC's because we out number them and just smack them down. I rarely see people using simple tatics to fight monsters. Even just 2 people working together side by side.

With some tatic's, healers, sages, emapth's can be very helpful and deadly in combat. This game is meant to be played in teams. Last event, the NPC's used some tatic's against the PC's and it was hard and made PC's think above lets just swing damage at said creature.

I personal want to see more NPC's using tatic's to make the battle more fun, and I would love to see PC's working in team's to take said monsters out. I have played a sage, rouge, empath, and now a warrior. I was always was in the middle of the battle. I built my characters for battle, and used tatic's with other people to be very effective. So, it is not the path's, it about character builds, and if you use tatic's in battle.

I would be gald to show people how to work in groups and use their skills as a team.
User avatar

GM

Posts: 7553

Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 1:43 pm

Post Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:03 am

I would love to use tactics but odds tend to be bad. We will work on the creativity though.

The sasha plot was funny to me since all it was going to take was for you guys to grovel a little. Wow the pride was thick that day!
Chris
I be one of the gamemasters so e-mail me questions if you have them
User avatar

Town Member
Town Member

Posts: 3094

Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 3:42 pm

Post Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:08 am

I'm with Mike.

Actually heard this once.

"When did we stop just killing every NPC?"


Arg.
Mike writes the thickest most complex character backgrounds just to watch them go down in flames.

The PCs choose to fight. MOST of the time.
Travis Cole
User avatar

Town Member
Town Member

Posts: 2369

Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 9:32 am

Location: Michigan

Post Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:29 am

Numbers only matter in open areas and PCs follow NPCs into restricted places all the time. This year should be fun.

As for the Sasha plot, I'm sure it was cool for those on it, but personally I hated that plot. I was off minding my own business at the Keep and she comes up out of the ground looking for someone. We tried to figure what she wanted but never found out as she started attacking us. Of course she was apparently immune to damage too, so our only choice was to hide and/or die. It was dumb enough for me to walk away from the whole deal. We tried to help her, and had no intention of battle, yet she brought it to us and practically killed us for it (in fact some of us were in negatives).

Obviously, this is an isolated incident, but it was also one of my more bitter tasting moments of FH. Now if I was on the plot and chose not to grovel, I wouldn't have cared. But the fact that we weren't on the plot, never got any info as to what we were supposed to do and were forced to fight an invunerable monster swinging high damage was a bad call.
My posts in no way reflect that of anyone else nor are they in any way official.
User avatar

Town Member
Town Member

Posts: 730

Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:08 am

Post Tue Feb 26, 2008 11:39 am

*Sigh*

I know Mike, I know. I just felt like every plot I was on ended up being hack and slash. I remeber when I used to want to negotiate but you know the powers that be thought I was silly.

I remember trying to negoate my way into my sword so we wouldn't have to do hack and slash. Sure it was the round-about way to do things but in certain situations the last thing a pirate wants to do is fight. If they can talk they way they do.

I would love to see tactics more and the pcs working together more but *shrugs* I don't know if it's going to be possible.
Aurora Darksbane

Mage Hunter of the Old Code
Caldonian Genderman
User avatar

Town Member
Town Member

Posts: 1004

Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 6:25 am

Post Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:08 pm

Why do you think it is not posible for PC's to work together? It is easy.

Break into teams of 2-3 people. I person calls the shots. The other 2 follow orders. Enimies die, the groups don't. It means no one is a hero, but the group are victorious. People don't need to train together for this to work. People just need to stick together and follow the point person. simple and effective. been doing that for years!
User avatar

Town Member
Town Member

Posts: 730

Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:08 am

Post Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:11 pm

that's the problem we break formation but who knows new season new possibilities.

OMG I'm starting to sound like my new pc with being all optimistic.
Aurora Darksbane

Mage Hunter of the Old Code
Caldonian Genderman
PreviousNext

Return to Rule Forum Archives

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group

Designed by ST Software for PTF.