Harm and Going into Battle

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Harm and Going into Battle
« on: March 06, 2014, 11:17:33 AM »
I still haven't playtested it, but I feel the harm / armor ranges are a little limited, and may limit combat, even though I see the intention to keep the exchange simple, but I have an alternative to suggest:
Extend the harm range of weapons, using closer values to AW, like daggers and short swords deal 2 harm, swords and axes deal 3 harm, and 2 handed weapons deal 4 harm, and also extend the range of armors: hide or partial chainmail / plate armor have 1 armor, and heavier sets have 2 armor. Shield and helmets give a different kind of bonus, if you have a shield you hold 1 more when you hit with an odd number, and helmets give you 1 more hold when you hit with an even number. And finally you can give the piercing tag to some weapons, making them more efficient against armored opponents, but letting them ignore just 1 point of the target's armor. Using the examples from before, daggers and short swords both deal 2 harm, but the short sword is also piercing due to its greater length.

As soon as I get to playtest it, I'll update the topic.

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Joao

  • 12
Re: Harm and Going into Battle
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2014, 12:30:49 PM »
Just for presenting a different view, one of the things I liked a lot when reading the text was the way damage and armor were presented. I like how limited they apparently are. I can´t wait to play test it as it is. This opinion subject to play test, as all.

I liked specially  that most weapons do more or less the same damage (4), as it makes the choice of weaponry more into the player's fictional head-space and not the meta-gaming (I thought maybe a great sword could do a little more (5) - at the expense of precluding shields being used, I don´t know). After all, a piece of steel buried in your flesh is a piece of steel buried in your flesh.

I don't fully understand  how to use the long bow "tag" at range, and which move applies to dealing damage - I can see some instances where you are holding steady to launch that arrow, other situations seem more a special case of going into battle. Other cases I really don't know. Maybe this should need to be addressed down the road.

As written, I liked the way damage is dealt and absorbed in this game. I like how smart the base armor caps at 3 and base damage is commonly 4. And how this interacts with go into battle and other specially moves.

A fully armored knight in horseback will always trump an unarmored serf, as it should be.

And  battles between armored knights could drawn long, as it should fit the fiction, and when you are bored you can always use the non-harm options from the go into battle move. Even so, I can see that even a 3-armoured warrior is not invencible, specially in a 6- result, as long as most weapons do 4 damage (I believe in a 6- move the MC can turn their move around on them, inflicting possibily terrible harm (+1) on the acting player, and use other options on top (notably disarm and drive your enemy decisively back.

I really feel, from what I read, that when Going into Battle the choices are simple and easy to incorporate into the narrative, without disrupting the flow of narration from a character's point of view (i.e. I envision that will be easy to narrate personal combat maintaining a lot of actor's stance - preserving that elusive thing called immersion - this is a major buy in for most of my players).

Only when the character reaches hard +5, the there could possibly be a design problem, regarding convergence with mechanics and possible fictional outcomes (as a 6- result becomes impossible - looking at you War-herald, Outlaw Heir, possibly Champion of Sword). 

What I don't know is if that's by design choice.  If not intended, there are ways around it. I trust Vincent design skills more than anyone else's. I know he will know how to achieve his vision based on feedback given.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 03:28:09 PM by Joao »

Re: Harm and Going into Battle
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2014, 01:03:15 PM »
I don't fully understand  how to use the long bow "tag" at range, and which move applies to dealing damage - I can see some instances where you are holding steady to launch that arrow, other situations seem more a special case of going into battle. Other cases I really don't know. Maybe this should need to be addressed down the road.

My take on it, in all AW games, is that moves don't do harm. Weapons do harm, when they're used on someone. If, when you shoot someone, you're holding steady, you roll to hold steady. If, when you shoot someone, you're going into battle, you roll to go into battle. If you're doing both, you roll for both, hold steady first. If you're doing neither, you just do the harm. What ranged does is establish situations where you can do harm to someone, and they can't do harm to you. I remember really being confused by these ideas when I first came to AW and thought that to do harm you had to make one and only one move. Is that what your confusion's about, or am I really misinterpreting you?

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lumpley

  • 1293
Re: Harm and Going into Battle
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2014, 01:09:43 PM »
Oh, yes, thanks for reminding me, I need to note this in the text. When you go into battle at range, using your bows for instance, and your enemy cannot return fire, having no bows of their own, their harm as established is zip.

If they'll let you, you should hang out at range and shoot arrows at them all the rest of the day.

-Vincent

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Joao

  • 12
Re: Harm and Going into Battle
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2014, 01:31:09 PM »
Thanks Adam and Vincent, for your replies.

First, consider I have no real experience with AW other than reading.

I think I understand moves don't do harm. weapons and stuff do them as established in the fiction.

Sometimes, not always, moves can help adjudicate how much harm is being dealt or exchanged in any given situation.

Is that correct?

In order to better clarify my doubts I will put into consideration 4 situations:

Our Outlaw Heir's (lets call him Rossyll Crow) weapon of choice is the Long Bow (does 4-harm, at distance):

a) He is pulling his bow at some men-at-arms (with only melee weapons) charging at him from 50 yards, across the bridge. They are but seconds away. How many arrows will land true before they arrive?

b) He is pulling his bow at some men-at-arms trying to kill him, but they are crossing a ford from the other side, that will probably take a few minutes from them to cross to this side.

c) He is pulling his bow at a some men-at-arms coming to arrest him, but our hero can shoot safely from a tall tower window, which iron locked door is not readily accessible  to his foes. They have a choice to try to force the entrance, which can take a long time, or run to the forest cover, which is half a mile away. It was a trap!

d) he is pulling his bow against a few men-at-arms which are already engaging him in melee. Our friend's Rossyll´s Fate isn't looking all that bright. I hope he still have more to do before he dies. 

How do we adjudicate those? Which moves apply, if any?

Edit:
Quote
If they'll let you, you should hang out at range and shoot arrows at them all the rest of the day.

Yes that seems fair enough, but how to determine the damage, or even if they hit at all? It's still going into battle with no harm as established from the NPC?
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 01:43:22 PM by Joao »

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lumpley

  • 1293
Re: Harm and Going into Battle
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2014, 01:44:54 PM »
Going into battle is a fine choice for all of those, sure.

-Vincent

Re: Harm and Going into Battle
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2014, 02:16:40 PM »
I'll take a shot at how I would handle these. This is, of course, based on my own rules interpretation, so may be wrong. In all cases, I'm going to assume that Rossyl does not have any weapon but the bow.

a) He is pulling his bow at some men-at-arms (with only melee weapons) charging at him from 50 yards, across the bridge. They are but seconds away. How many arrows will land true before they arrive?

Hold Steady to do anything when being charged at by men-at-arms. (a miss doesn't mean you run, it just means you flinch, and the MC can have that mean something worse). After that, Go Into Battle, Rossyl does 4-harm, men-at-arms do 0. If they make it to Rossyl, another Go Into Battle, Rossyl does maybe 1 harm for his fists, men-at-arms do 4 with their swords.

b) He is pulling his bow at some men-at-arms trying to kill him, but they are crossing a ford from the other side, that will probably take a few minutes from them to cross to this side.
Go Into Battle, Rossyl does 4-harm, men-at-arms do 0. If they make it to Rossyl, another Go Into Battle, Rossyl 1, men-at-arms 4.

c) He is pulling his bow at a some men-at-arms coming to arrest him, but our hero can shoot safely from a tall tower window, which iron locked door is not readily accessible  to his foes. They have a choice to try to force the entrance, which can take a long time, or run to the forest cover, which is half a mile away. It was a trap!

I would just have him do his harm. In AW, I might have him Go Aggro. Vincent says this is Go Into Battle, so probably Go Into Battle, Rossyll 4, men-at-arms 0.

If the men-at-arms were unaware of Rosyll, I would definitely have him just do harm. Murder isn't battle.

d) he is pulling his bow against a few men-at-arms which are already engaging him in melee. Our friend's Rossyll´s Fate isn't looking all that bright. I hope he still have more to do before he dies. 

In my game, he wouldn't be able to use a bow like that, so Go Into Battle, Rossyl 1, Men-at-Arms 4 . In a game inspired by Legolas in the Lord of the Rings movies, Rossyl 4, Men-at-Arms 4.

In all of these, subtract armor from harm.

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lumpley

  • 1293
Re: Harm and Going into Battle
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2014, 02:21:01 PM »
Yep.

Case C is good news for our hero whether you call for him to go into battle or just go ahead and inflict the harm. We should all be so lucky!

-Vincent

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Joao

  • 12
Re: Harm and Going into Battle
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2014, 02:47:29 PM »

Superb replies. I got it better now.

Thank you Adams and Vincent.

Re: Harm and Going into Battle
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2014, 05:06:19 PM »
Ok, I have to say that I am quite lost in the use of the groups in battle, and of the PC in the groups.

If I have a WarHerald that attack with its warband should I roll go to battle for all the group? But I lose the focus on what happen to the PC, right? Otherwise if I follow the PC there is no point in tracking the harm and the fate of the group, I would say

Re: Harm and Going into Battle
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2014, 05:15:12 PM »
If the War-Herald is with, leading, his group I'd have him roll go to battle and use the group harm rules. Only if someone or something gets close to harming him, then I'd play that out.

If the War-Herald is sending his band off by itself, handle it according to ie. principles and so on.
I can expand on that, later, if you need.

- Alex

Re: Harm and Going into Battle
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2014, 05:17:25 PM »
thanks, I think it is quite clear :)