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Author Topic: Great Game, Lame Rule?  (Read 3345 times)

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Offline Oniya

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Re: Great Game, Lame Rule?
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2008, 09:13:32 PM »
I think the point is that in standard D&D, given the exact same rolls and only varying the armor, at some specific point, a target goes from 'full damage' to 'no damage'.  In reality, the blow that bounces off plate would leave a nasty welt under chain, possibly a flesh wound through leather, and cleave off a limb protected by clothing only.  A more realistic rule would include a way to figure partial damage.

Offline Paradox

Re: Great Game, Lame Rule?
« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2008, 09:16:25 PM »
Partial damage would kill a character way too quickly; also, it would make for a much more cumbersome set of rules. A certain degree of suspension of disbelief is necessary for any role playing or war game.

Offline kongming

Re: Great Game, Lame Rule?
« Reply #27 on: September 24, 2008, 09:23:29 PM »
There is a rule for partial damage: it's called "rolling low". Try to remember that at a certain (low) level, characters are fighting chimerae, manticores and dragons. They are no longer human by any definition other than "two arms, two legs, can speak". At that point, you need to look at the Illiad or Homer for ideas on the kind of scale it is. This is not Middle Earth, THIS IS SPARTA!

As such, spears bounce off full plate and leather, and if there is even bruising underneath, they don't feel it. Using various "I have a good AC even though I'm mostly naked" rules, they either manage to dodge anything that isn't a hit, or arrows shatter against their rippling muscles and they pay it no heed. They are just as much creatures of legend as the monsters they stab in the face, and they can parry greataxes using their ego alone.

Putting it perspective like that, it's really no wonder that realism gets curb-stomped: they're not even trying to emulate the real world. Effectively, when people want realism - even realism on the level of "I want Lord of the Rings/Robin Hood", the sad truth is that they're playing the wrong game and need to find something else to emulate the genre they want.

And there's very little that annoys someone more than being told they're playing the wrong game. That's why so many people make so many house rules to try to twist a game to fit their vision: because just playing something else would be like admitting they're wrong.

Offline shadowheart

Re: Great Game, Lame Rule?
« Reply #28 on: September 24, 2008, 09:32:51 PM »
Indeed.  Though I freely admit it's not realism .. It's Dungeons and Dragons for Crissake!

If I want realistic combat in an RPG, I will go with GURPS.  That allows for partial damage, as armor does reduce the damage one takes.

And if you -do- get hit in an unarmored area, or for more than your armor can absorb, you feel it in a hurry!

Offline Canuckian

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Re: Great Game, Lame Rule?
« Reply #29 on: September 24, 2008, 10:26:00 PM »
Using various "I have a good AC even though I'm mostly naked" rules,

Isn't that how most women are played in RPGs...? :P

Offline kongming

Re: Great Game, Lame Rule?
« Reply #30 on: September 24, 2008, 10:30:31 PM »
Naturally. However there's also a large number of males who do things the same way: barbarians, swashbucklers (often barechested, but even their clothing isn't reinforced by armour), anything within months of 300 being shown etc.

Offline Canuckian

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Re: Great Game, Lame Rule?
« Reply #31 on: September 24, 2008, 10:36:07 PM »
anything within months of 300 being shown etc.

*snicker*

If nothing else, that movie made me feel so horribly out of shape that it inspired me to get to the gym :)

Offline Jeramiahh

Re: Great Game, Lame Rule?
« Reply #32 on: September 25, 2008, 12:19:03 AM »
To cover the AC as abstraction rule, there's a great variant rule I've used to wonderful success in a swashbuckling themed game; your base AC starts at 18, and goes down the heavier armor you wear... but you gain DR/- for wearing it. A combination of the Armor as DR variant, and the Defense Bonus variant. I really enjoyed the feel it gave, and the players liked it, too.

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/armorAsDamageReduction.htm
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/defenseBonus.htm

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Great Game, Lame Rule?
« Reply #33 on: September 26, 2008, 01:15:59 AM »
Well, the abstraction of the D&D system is based on combat not being a single blow per roll, but a series of blows.  In your example, the last one (plate) would be a "miss" in D&D terms.

And you know what?  It drives me mad.  It's BINARY, and it destroys my suspension of disbelief.  And sadly, no one wants to try MY variant of Armour as DR rule.  It's really simple and actually fixes some of the grapple issues.

First off, your Armour's Armour Class is turned into DR, easy.  Then it breaks down like this, and this is only using the Core books at the moment:

The Fighter Classes use the Rogue BAB as their Bonus, the Wizard and Clerical types use their own, and the Rogue gets the Fighter BAB as a Base Defense Bonus.

Touch attacks are no longer base 10+Dex, but making it harder for those monsters that Grapple to connect.  And the really cool thing is that this only really affects those that wear armour, things like Dragons and others get to keep their original stats cuz it's an innate skill thing.

At least, I like it.  No one wants to try it though.   :-\

Offline kongming

Re: Great Game, Lame Rule?
« Reply #34 on: September 26, 2008, 01:47:50 AM »
No-on ever thinks it through though - Armour as DR, as presented in Unearthed Arcana, is a terrible idea, and the sure sign of someone smoking excessive amounts of cocaine. Seriously, who wrote that shit?

*checks*

So, we have three chaps who wrote shit nobody cares about, and, wait for it, Andy "I smoke crack!" Collins!

That rule results in people getting hit in combat all the fucking time, and the damage getting reduced by such tiny amounts that it will never matter. Ever.

The method below looks a lot better - they have a scaling AC bonus that isn't connected to their armour, except this in turn means that attack bonuses of those who ignore armour are wonky. At this point, everyone needs to have the Fighter BAB and even then, some things will need a Str/Dex bonus in order to hit, because suddenly their attacks are made against people with Touch ACs much higher than they're meant to be*. Meanwhile, no-one cares about the DR they get.

For the DR to matter, it has to scale with level. Why? Because the damage you receive, and the HP pool it's taken from, both scale. And at the same time, you need to remember to scale everyone's attack rolls to this new "Touch attacks don't exist" thing. Oh, and Rogues are basically impossible to hit under your system, seeing as they add their level to their AC and wore minimal armour in the first place.

*This is also a problem with the whole "We have different BABs, and different ACs to attack" idea. That was dumb, and at least 4E did away with that shit. I'll give credit where it's due.

Offline Phaia

Re: Great Game, Lame Rule?
« Reply #35 on: September 30, 2008, 11:05:03 PM »
The lamest game I ever played in for rules had to be Shadowrun and all the d6s.... 10--12--16 d6 is just to many too roll.
I adored the world idea and story but got to the point of not playing cause I didnt want to lug around a huge bag full of d6!!

Offline Revolverman

Re: Great Game, Lame Rule?
« Reply #36 on: September 30, 2008, 11:35:30 PM »
The lamest game I ever played in for rules had to be Shadowrun and all the d6s.... 10--12--16 d6 is just to many too roll.
I adored the world idea and story but got to the point of not playing cause I didnt want to lug around a huge bag full of d6!!


Offline MadPanda

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Re: Great Game, Lame Rule?
« Reply #37 on: October 09, 2008, 11:21:55 AM »
Great game--anything using the GUMSHOE system by Pelgrane Press: Esoterrorists, Fear Itself, or Trail of Cthulhu*

Rules that suck--the gunfire rules, particularly the point-blank gun rules.

Granted, they're not Phoenix Command, but I have just enough real-world gun enthusiasts in my tabletop group to suffer through endless arguments over the deficiencies in the model...

Great game--anything by Chaosium

Rules That Suck--1) Hit point distribution.  Yikes!  2) Stats for Great Old Ones in Call of Cthulhu*.  Cool background, but if you stat it players will try to kill it...

Great game--Cthulhutech

Rules That Suck--it is possible to get a Critical Success AND a Critical Failure on the same roll.  Your chances of a crit fail also double when you increase your skill from level 1 to level 2.  Worse, according to the designers' comments on the game forums this is a feature of their system, not a bug.  (It evens out a little because you can spend your 'hero points' after the die is rolled to add more dice and get rid of the crit failure, and it costs twice as many to do this for a level 1 check, but still...grrrr...)


* Full disclosure, here: I was one of the beta playtesters of Trail of Cthulhu for Pelgrane Press.  The guy who owns my local gamestore used to work for Chaosium.  We've had some interesting discussions on the whole topic.  We like both games, by the way, but find that for some scenarios ToC runs more smoothly.  Fortunately there are conversions in ToC for using all those Chaosium books...  :)

Offline kongming

Re: Great Game, Lame Rule?
« Reply #38 on: October 10, 2008, 11:28:42 PM »
it is possible to get a Critical Success AND a Critical Failure on the same roll.

Now, I hate critical failure rolls in general (and wouldn't particularly miss critical successes either), but that is hilarious. The very idea of a roll being "Critical. Not critically good or bad, just generally critical."

Offline Oniya

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Re: Great Game, Lame Rule?
« Reply #39 on: October 11, 2008, 11:01:59 AM »
I had this image of the absolute perfect football throw - in the precisely wrong direction.

Offline Xillen

Re: Great Game, Lame Rule?
« Reply #40 on: October 23, 2008, 03:45:32 AM »
To cover the AC as abstraction rule, there's a great variant rule I've used to wonderful success in a swashbuckling themed game; your base AC starts at 18, and goes down the heavier armor you wear... but you gain DR/- for wearing it. A combination of the Armor as DR variant, and the Defense Bonus variant. I really enjoyed the feel it gave, and the players liked it, too.

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/armorAsDamageReduction.htm
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/defenseBonus.htm

A friend of mine used something similar, back in 2nd. It needed quite a bit of tweaking, though, since the DR didn't scale with damage, so in big impacts it was much less effective than lots of small impacts. On the other hand, I was playing a roguethief, and decided to go completely without armor. The base armor of 18 raised by a high dexterity with no armor reduction was almost unhittable.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Great Game, Lame Rule?
« Reply #41 on: October 23, 2008, 11:27:32 AM »
I hate the D&D is not realistic in combat debate that comes up when one talks about combat. The game originally was about combat and kind of evolved into role-playing that is combat was fairly secondary to finding ways around problems, influencing NPC's and the like. In combat a round is usually a minute under the more classic game rules in that you make one (maybe more) attacks that is one blow that lands.

You want realism try Rolemaster for combat when you roll to hit against a specific armor type like AT11 on a different chart bsed on the weapon and then roll for a possible critical on a chart based on the letter of the critical- arggghhhhhhhh!

One game a local military veteran did Second American Revolution had 26 calculated scores using four stats averaged together and those used for a long list of skills. It was cool it supposed the government became a yyranny and the States broke away in another American Revolution to bring back COnstitutional government. It had military and milita character backgrounds and civilian backgrounds and was uber-realistic just the mechanics were very ,um, too realistic.

Give me simple anytime roll to hit and caluclate damage with another die - then get onto the game.

Offline Xillen

Re: Great Game, Lame Rule?
« Reply #42 on: October 26, 2008, 06:40:52 AM »
I didn't have any problem with the D&D combat system, but you could use heavy armor for damage reduction and still keep it simple, but you need to use percentages and not static values, else it becomes useless when the damage goes up.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Great Game, Lame Rule?
« Reply #43 on: October 26, 2008, 10:03:24 AM »
No you don't you get a higher armor class based on the armor worn, and need to roll higher to hit said armor class. I do agree a feat in wearing armor for damage reduction might make sense but no use fixing what isn't broken.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Great Game, Lame Rule?
« Reply #44 on: October 27, 2008, 02:02:28 AM »
Not broken?

Can you make a Fighter into a swashbuckler type who fights with NO ARMOUR, in 3e, without Prestige Classes, without house rules, with nothing but the fighter class AND allow him to have the same defensive bonus as Full Plate +5?

I've tried using the core rules and I can't.

Offline kongming

Re: Great Game, Lame Rule?
« Reply #45 on: October 27, 2008, 02:39:51 AM »
That is very true, however none of the house rules I've seen, including Unearthed Arcana, actually fix this either. The best I've seen is the UA variant where everyone simply gets a scaling bonus by level when not wearing armour, and the only reason to wear armour is magical enhancements such as fortification.

If you do that and say "Yes, no-one is actually going to wear full plate for the normal protection, only choosing it for immunity to rogues" then it can work - everyone, armoured or not, can have a decent AC, and the classes that normally wear armour get the bigger boost (although multiclassing basically means "You're not an arcane caster? Cool, you use the good progression.") And everyone then spends that money on other stuff - either really pumping AC by buying items of Deflection or Natural Armour, or focusing on offence (and thus negating the boost to defence everyone got).

It can work just fine, as long as you don't care that it went from "everyone wears heavy armour" to "no-one wears heavy armour".

Also, I put it to you that the fighter is complete balls, so expecting to make an effective character out of one is a losing situation from the start.

Offline Lithos

Re: Great Game, Lame Rule?
« Reply #46 on: October 27, 2008, 07:43:25 AM »
I think that lamest thing are rules that make players:

1) SEEK combat instead of avoiding it
2) Not care about being wounded

I loved the system in second edition of L5R, where being badly wounded not only put you out of commission for months, but also lowered some of your stats permanently. Even the very simple adventures become interesting when game system actually promotes using your brain and social skills and trying to veer your way past battles that you can avoid.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Great Game, Lame Rule?
« Reply #47 on: October 27, 2008, 12:00:57 PM »
What about the Lord of the Rings movies and most fantasy genre heroes like Conan they go at it and never are usually mortally wounded and crippled. Heck in Sword and the Sorceror a fighter (General Talon) the hero pulled himself from a crucified position with nails in his hands and feet, fought his way to the bad guys, killed a sorceror and then his enemy all without really slowing down. This is epic fantasy with heroes that are heroes with the big H. It takes alot to take one down after a bit of advancement.

As for unarmored fighter true unlikely but I had a swashbuckler fighter/thief fighter he actively parried with one weapon and attacked with the other, had a high dex and used the terrain to his advantage. But in the game you sacrifice armor class advantage you need to think outside the box. When I ended up fighting an armored knight I used the alley in that case to climb up and use the roof, dirty tricks and lots of hit and run attacks to win. I don't care how much armor you have if your bolaed up and I can drive a dagger into the face eyeguard when your helpless I win!

True you stand there and hack it out you would lose in any case, you exploit your strong points you can win. But with the skills you need for the swashbuckler it kind of screams two classes to work. Nothing wriong with that and its easier in 3rd edition than earlier rules.

So they are not broken your just unrealsitic as to how they fight and your abilities to go after the knight in full plate and shield, you have to think hit and run. As in kind of a flashy romantic ninja sort of character.

As for fighters they are sound class they are to stand there and fight - sometimes from cover with a bow or in open combat but they are the ones that are the wall that protects lesser combatants.

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Re: Great Game, Lame Rule?
« Reply #48 on: October 29, 2008, 02:10:31 PM »
The criticals tables in the oooooooooold MERP. I recall one fight where a PC took a swing with a sword and severed his own leg, and another one took his own eye out with an arrow (hell of a ricochet there).

Offline MadPanda

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Re: Great Game, Lame Rule?
« Reply #49 on: October 29, 2008, 02:11:23 PM »
Oh, man!  RoleMaster crit fumbles...

(rolls into little ball of hysterically giggling Panda)