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 Post subject: Glancing Blows
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 7:10 pm 
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Hi there,

Another newbie question...

It seems to me that, in TRoS, a blow that actually hits another person is a serious hit and is, by definition, not a "glancing blow". My reasoning is that given typical stats, even the poorest strike to an unarmoured location does a significant amount of damage.

Example: say two guards (from OBAM page 16) are fighting with short swords. With a minimal number of successes that result in a hit (1), the damage the guard will do with a stab to an unarmoured area is successes + ST - TO = 1 + 5 -4 = 2. That's not an insignificant wound. It is not possible for the guard to actually do less than a level 2 wound to an unarmoured location using a stab.

It means someone like Conan, with a huge strength, pretty much incapacitates anyone he hits in an unarmed location no matter how "well" he hits them.

Other systems I have used seem to have a concept of a glancing blow even if a hit lands. But it feels to me that in TRoS, if a blow lands, it is a significant hit and not just a nick or scratch.

Is this right?

Please note that I am not questioning he game design (I am not trying to start a flame war here). I just want to make sure I am understanding the rules (and their design guidelines) correctly.

Thank,
Shawn

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 Post subject: Re: Glancing Blows
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:06 pm 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
swdevlin wrote:
It seems to me that, in TRoS, a blow that actually hits another person is a serious hit and is, by definition, not a "glancing blow". My reasoning is that given typical stats, even the poorest strike to an unarmoured location does a significant amount of damage.


Ah, the glancing blow. I remember Chivalry and Sorcery where you'd nail the enemy and then roll d20 -- half the numbers gave a location on the body, half gave nothing -- a glancing blow, no damage. The resulting combat was a bit slapstick.

Anyway, the answer to your question isn't simple.

In TRoS, once you have actually hit someone -- penetrated their armour and TO absorption -- then they will be damaged. End of story.

However, that's not really your question. Is there a glancing blow in TRoS? There is -- the TO absorption represents the glancing blow. So your attack is successful (more successes on the offensive manoeuvre than on the defensive manoeuvre), your (remaining successes + weapon ST factor) drives through the defender's armour (more successes than are absorbed by the defender's armour), but is stopped by TO (not enough successes to get through TO absorption) -- that is a "glancing blow" as other systems define it.

Then again, that's not the end of the story. A PC cannot die if it has a point of Luck available. A Level 5 wound is reduced to Level 3 by expending a point of Luck. So there are ways to reduce the effect of wounds through the use of Luck/Drama -- which is perhaps more about the intent of "glancing blow" mechanics.

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: Glancing Blows
PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:47 am 
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Thank Ian.

That is what I figured was going on, I just wanted to be sure. The players are a bit wary of this. The whole "combat is really lethal" thing is starting to set in. Which should help with characters surviving.

So far I like the system; lots of potential. Sad that it seems orphaned. I am glad that I found this forum.

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 Post subject: Re: Glancing Blows
PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 7:31 am 
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swdevlin wrote:
That is what I figured was going on, I just wanted to be sure. The players are a bit wary of this. The whole "combat is really lethal" thing is starting to set in. Which should help with characters surviving.


TRoS advertises itself as having a combat system that is most like real melee combat. Many players are initially attracted by this. In the end though having a solid combat model puts a lot of responsibility on the player. The character sheet matters far less in TRoS than it does in other systems. In TRoS, manoeuvre selection matters. Resource management -- CP, Luck/Drama -- matters. If the player makes poor tactical decisions then the character won't survive for long -- even if the numbers on the character sheet look awesome.

That doesn't appeal to everybody.

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: Glancing Blows
PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:02 pm 
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swdevlin wrote:
Example: say two guards (from OBAM page 16) are fighting with short swords.
The problem is that OBAM is notoriously broken in the terms of the attribute values. Take the dragon (wyrm) for example. If two dragons were fighting, it would be impossible for one dragon to get hit and survive. Even the OBAM humans are too badass for most games. The knight has pretty insane stats, etc.

That being said, one point of difference isn't something really uncommon in TROS, but when it comes to determining the wound levels, that one point of advantage in the ST/TO difference is huge. So, yes, the attributes not being equal, it's not actually be possible do deliver glancing blows at all times. If you'd fight with characters whose ST/TO are equal, you might get level 1 wounds, which are mostly "pretty glancing".

A few house rules to fix the imbalance in attribute values:

"Naked Dwarf" Syndrome (High toughness indistinguishable from armour mechanically). Solution: Toughness cannot reduce a weapon strike below a first level wound.

"Dragon Tap" Syndrome (High strength guarantees amputations and instant-death from glancing blows). Solution: The final wound level can never be more than double the margin of success.

Another good option is to use half ST/TO values for the purposes of determining wound levels. It basically minimises the naked dwarf syndrome and... dragon tap... well, that was mostly meant just for the broken OBAM stats anyway.

I used to be in favour of the "naked dragon" rules combination, but lately I've been converted to the half ST/TO clan. It's very easy to work in if you write weapon damage on the sheet not as ST+1, but the actual value that it makes up. That way you only need to divide the ST once and you don't have to keep track of the MoS, etc, like in case of dragon tap.

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