Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-01-2014, 10:53 PM   #41
Novembermike
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Default Re: DF: Still can't challenge the Swashbuckler

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMason View Post
my rules are that if you create a new character it starts at the prior character's starting value + half of the CP gained on the prior character
Found the problem. I wouldn't allow a character to lag by more than 10-20 points in a game like this. The characters are too similar to make it interesting.
Novembermike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2014, 11:09 PM   #42
Railstar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Default Re: DF: Still can't challenge the Swashbuckler

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMason View Post
The SB bought up his ST by quite a bit (3 or 4 levels) as he's earned CP. The Knight is much lower for a few reasons: He is a replacement character (my rules are that if you create a new character it starts at the prior character's starting value + half of the CP gained on the prior character), that player's job often keeps him out, so he has missed more session than the other characters.

High defense monsters tend to neutralize most of the group, not just the SB. The Knight uses an axe, so he's out. The Cleric likes to get into the action when done buffing, so he MIGHT throw a sunbolt, but is just as likely to draw his morning star. That leaves it up to the wizard who again, is a missile spell guy. So this leads to very slow combats that the players get tired of.

Still, maybe a few more "slogs" is what it will take to get them to see that maybe diversity is a good thing (since my repeated telling them hasn't worked out so well).
For high-defence monsters, it does not have to have all defences high. In this case, a few monsters with a high Parry but a lower dodge or block will cause the wizard – missile spell guy – to shine. And this is not a bad thing. A few encounters like this might make the cleric notice that sometimes a sunbolt is a better option than drawing his morning star. You could even make the high-Parry monster be an enemy swashbuckler…

Another encounter to try is arrows + terrain features. Have foes shoot down at the party from a high ledge, or the other side of a pit, or even through the bars of a gate – the gate could be battered down, but while the fighters are doing that they are being shot at from the other side. Several archers at once cannot be parried and if his Retreat + Dodge is 14 that means his Dodge is 11 vs being shot. Plus, if the Swashbuckler has limited DR (common for Swashbucklers) then arrows will hurt him. Hopefully this will be an area where the heavily armoured Knight’s ability to shrug off arrows and the missile-spell Wizard’s ability to return fire will get better results (and possibly the Cleric’s ability to heal them).

Have intelligent monsters: have a few observers in the background spy on the party during the first fight in a dungeon, and report back that the Swashbuckler is the greatest threat and thus a priority target. Unless the knight is really good at aggressively tanking, the Swashbuckler can be in trouble, and if the knight is really good at aggressively tanking, then it means the Knight shines. Either way, it is a win.

Even if your monsters don't know that the Swashbuckler is a walking blender, does it have the inclination to get close enough to find out? Also, even really weak monsters like goblins could make this work.
Railstar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2014, 11:17 PM   #43
sir_pudding
Wielder of Smart Pants
 
sir_pudding's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ventura CA
Default Re: DF: Still can't challenge the Swashbuckler

The Sword Spirit from DFM1 is fairly well designed to be a foil for a Swashbuckler, throw some lenses on it (Pyscho Killer is a good start).
sir_pudding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2014, 04:38 AM   #44
Mailanka
 
Mailanka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Default Re: DF: Still can't challenge the Swashbuckler

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMason View Post
He has Extra Attack (not DWA), he's turning one of them into a rapid strike. I've never seen anything that implies this isn't allowed.

Yes, he only rolls one deceptive attack per turn, but that is usually enough. With his high skill he often makes this an called shot to the leg or other area to take the monster out even if it isn't killed outright.



The SB bought up his ST by quite a bit (3 or 4 levels) as he's earned CP. The Knight is much lower for a few reasons: He is a replacement character (my rules are that if you create a new character it starts at the prior character's starting value + half of the CP gained on the prior character), that player's job often keeps him out, so he has missed more session than the other characters.

High defense monsters tend to neutralize most of the group, not just the SB. The Knight uses an axe, so he's out. The Cleric likes to get into the action when done buffing, so he MIGHT throw a sunbolt, but is just as likely to draw his morning star. That leaves it up to the wizard who again, is a missile spell guy. So this leads to very slow combats that the players get tired of.

Still, maybe a few more "slogs" is what it will take to get them to see that maybe diversity is a good thing (since my repeated telling them hasn't worked out so well).




I've said this to my group, I've posted lists of useful spells, I've all but forbidden missile spells, but it hasn't gotten through.


Again, thanks for the advice everyone. I've got this thread open in one window and am working on my next dungeon in the other!
After reading all of this, I had a rather extensive post, but I think I'll just say this:

The problem is not that the Swashbuckler is too powerful. I've seen far worse (and easily challenged far worse) in my CBR campaign. In fact, I doubt he'd really do all that well in CBR. The problem is that the party is playing chicken with you, intentionally or not. Since the Swashbuckler is the most powerful member of the party, and since by your own admission you discourage most of the magey attack options, then the casters only really have the option to buff/debuff the SB, and the Knight is basically useless, then anything that the SB cannot defeat by definition destroys the party. So you have a binary situation: Either you make it weak enough for the SB to kill, or you get a TPK.

That's the problem.

You need to encourage diversity, but I'm going to leave it to you to figure out how to do that, since I largely disagree with so many of the choices that you've laid out that I'm not sure how to suggest any changes without sounding like I'm ripping up your entire style and throwing it out the window, which is seldom helpful.
__________________
My Blog: Mailanka's Musing. Currently Playing: Psi-Wars, a step-by-step exploration of building your own Space Opera setting, inspired by Star Wars.
If you want to support me, check out my Patreon!
Mailanka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2014, 05:18 AM   #45
scc
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default Re: DF: Still can't challenge the Swashbuckler

He limited missile spells in an attempt to get the caster using other spells
scc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2014, 06:15 AM   #46
weby
 
weby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Default Re: DF: Still can't challenge the Swashbuckler

Things that make the swashbuckler type cry:
Flails
Weapons too heavy to parry
Will based attacks

Things that make a swashbuckler type less effective
Ranged attacks
Injury tolerance Homogenous/diffuse enemies
Attacks that cannot be parried, but can be blocked/dodged
Attacks that do fairly small damage but hit too well(as the swashbuckler cannot be in too heavy armor or his weapon skill will go down, so will likely be damaged on hits that heavier armors will just bounce off most likely)
enemies with high parry/low dodge.
weby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2014, 07:09 AM   #47
Mailanka
 
Mailanka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Default Re: DF: Still can't challenge the Swashbuckler

It occurs to me as I'm chewing over ways to explain to JMason what I'm talking about that I don't actually know what JMason wants.

OP, when you're discussing "boring" combat, what do you find exciting? What sort of combat are you looking for? How would you picture the ideal DF adventuring going? The ideal DF combat?

I think one of my problems with this thread is that I don't know the parameters. You seem to be balking at stuff I see as not a problem, and not at all bothered things that irritate the crap out of me. I can better serve you if I know what your end goal looks like. We know where you are. Once we know where you want to go, we can figure out the best path to get you there.
__________________
My Blog: Mailanka's Musing. Currently Playing: Psi-Wars, a step-by-step exploration of building your own Space Opera setting, inspired by Star Wars.
If you want to support me, check out my Patreon!
Mailanka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2014, 09:56 AM   #48
JMason
 
JMason's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Cockeysville, MD
Default Re: DF: Still can't challenge the Swashbuckler

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mailanka View Post
[...] by your own admission you discourage most of the magey attack options, then the casters only really have the option to buff/debuff the SB
Wasn't sure what you were talking about here, then saw that I quoted SCC after misreading. I tell my group that wizards should focus on missile spells, not attack spells. They take longer, require high level in a DX based Innate Attack, and cause other problems. I've encouraged area spells, direct target spells, and creative use of other spells.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mailanka View Post
It occurs to me as I'm chewing over ways to explain to JMason what I'm talking about that I don't actually know what JMason wants.

OP, when you're discussing "boring" combat, what do you find exciting? What sort of combat are you looking for? How would you picture the ideal DF adventuring going? The ideal DF combat?

I think one of my problems with this thread is that I don't know the parameters. You seem to be balking at stuff I see as not a problem, and not at all bothered things that irritate the crap out of me. I can better serve you if I know what your end goal looks like. We know where you are. Once we know where you want to go, we can figure out the best path to get you there.
Combat is boring when there is no risk to it. Then it is just a bunch of time that feels "wasted" as success is assured. Adding more enemies tend to create more rolling (which can be slow), but not up the tension (for the SB).

Like I've said, this thread has been very helpful, and I've feel that the next game may prove to be a challenge to the group... up to them even needing to retreat and rethink tactics. I'd give more details, but can't assume that my players aren't reading this.
JMason is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2014, 10:10 AM   #49
Nereidalbel
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Default Re: DF: Still can't challenge the Swashbuckler

Quote:
Originally Posted by scc View Post
He limited missile spells in an attempt to get the caster using other spells
Which also means that as long as the party keeps just selling magical weapons, he can't really throw in anything that can only be killed by magic without the players rightfully complaining about an impossible monster. A mage without at LEAST Lightning Bolt and Explosive Fireball in DF isn't going to help at all when anything Diffuse shows up, or the guy with 15DR plate walks in the room.
Nereidalbel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2014, 12:18 PM   #50
Kromm
GURPS Line Editor
 
Kromm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Montréal, Québec
Default Re: DF: Still can't challenge the Swashbuckler

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post

Which also means that as long as the party keeps just selling magical weapons, he can't really throw in anything that can only be killed by magic without the players rightfully complaining about an impossible monster.
They could rightfully complain if the GM denied them magical weapons. The GM has given these out, though, so the GM has done his part. If the players complain about an "impossible monster" after the GM who included the monster handed them the countermeasure on a plate – because, like twits, they sold said countermeasures for cash – then tough bananas. The moment they took gold from the merchant, they lost the right to rightfully complain. DF is a game of resource management as much as anything else, and part of resource management is knowing what to sell and what to keep, and estimating the relative value of cash to items in light of probable future foes and hazards. You can't spend gold if you're dead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mailanka View Post

The problem is that the party is playing chicken with you, intentionally or not [...] Either you make [a monster] weak enough for the SB to kill, or you get a TPK.
I have to agree. A DF campaign should from Day One involve – among other things – attacks too dangerous to parry (massive, disintegrating, rusting, etc.), rains of missiles, unavoidable area-effect attacks (like vast clouds of fire or poison), spells and curses resisted by IQ or Will (especially mind control that turns good fighters with low Will against their allies!), foes that allow no defense (stealthy, invisible, teleporting, etc.), insubstantial spirits that need cleverness and rituals to defeat, and things that just plain call for bigger damage or damage with an origin other than "metal sword." The monsters available for DF illustrate all of these possibilities. But in an environment where the only threats are those that can be met in a sword duel, the players will evolve tactics that throw all their weight behind the best swordsman. If that continues for too many sessions and earned points, you'll eventually reach a place where the group can't easily back out of that decision.

A good recovery option might be to set up the next dungeon as being really scary, full of ghosts and mind control and other things that can't be fought with steel. Spread rumors about the place eating the best warriors – make it clear that these warriors weren't just "50-point guy who impressed the village" but rather "500-point superhero who could slaughter all the PCs in a fight." So much the better if you've already established some arch-rival (having him die out there is a good use of an NPC). Then have elders or guild masters or other influential types hire the PCs to go on this adventure and offer them training to prepare . . . training at spells and esoteric skills and rituals, not swordsmanship. To ensure player engagement, have the rewards be fantastic: free training up front and a big bounty on return and tales of major loot in the dungeon (which should be true).
__________________
Sean "Dr. Kromm" Punch <kromm@sjgames.com>
GURPS Line Editor, Steve Jackson Games
My LiveJournal [Just GURPS News][Just The Company]
Kromm is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
dungeon fantasy

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:08 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.