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Old 04-16-2019, 09:56 AM   #1
martinl
 
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Default Holier Warriors And Thiefbucklers

In a different forum folks were discussing how DF clerics seem a bit lacking to many, mainly because they are more 1/2 combatants (at best) than the 3/4 combatants folks expect them to be.

I think the easiest way to make a competently combative "cleric" is to give a holy warrior access to the regular cleric template's advantages/skills, similarly to the "thiefbucker" approach to making thieves more fighty (by giving a swashbuckler access to the thief template). If you have the fight GURPS DF supplements there are even 50 pt lenses to make it easy to cover the essentials.

The main advantage to this approach is it makes folks who like the support classes but still want to be hardcore combatants mostly happy. (The points they spend on support stuff does make them weaker in combat, but not nearly as weak as the support template.)

The main disadvantage is they are not really up to the standard level of ... support ... the support class is expected to handle. This is ok if the GM is willing to scale these challenges back a little, but if not you are just a weaker version of the combatant class that is also capable of failing to meet support requirements.

What do you folks think?
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Old 04-16-2019, 11:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: Holier Warriors And Thiefbucklers

The problem is mostly that combining DX-based and IQ-based specialties doesn't work well in GURPS. Thieves suffer from having a mix of both; clerics are fine as long as you make them blaster builds, but trying to use them as physical combatants doesn't work well.
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Old 04-16-2019, 12:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Holier Warriors And Thiefbucklers

When you spread your capabilities out among several categories your going to be weaker than someone who specializes. Class games handle this balance by making them level up slower, GURPS is a get what you pay for system so that method doesnt work out.
If your abilities are focused on one attribute (like a Swashbuckler/Thief) its much easier than say a Cleric plus Warrior.
Best option there is go more towards a Knight with heavy armor and buffing spells.It doesnt take much to get a weapon skill of 14 which is pretty reliable at hitting. You wont be as good as the warrior type who goes fora higher skill to use Deceptive Attacks but you'll be able to stand in the front lines well enough.
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: Holier Warriors And Thiefbucklers

I feel like the big deficiency to clerics as fighters is in their survivability. Not enough hp or active defense makes them easier to take down.

This can be countered by good armor, to an extent. It’s expensive, but allowing Clerics to take wealth increases at character generation makes them much more durable when they buy some sort of plate and a large shield.
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: Holier Warriors And Thiefbucklers

I haven't run enough DF games to have a strong sense of this. We also tend to customize the challenge to whatever the players want. My first DF campaign last year didn't have any tanky types, so the cleric was often at the front lines along with the swashbuckler.

I'm currently playing a cleric (Zafir Abrashi) who is doing ok in combat. He'll be better once I get some fancier armor. I did just get Heroic Grace which should boost his flail skill to a level that permits better targeting of hit locations or deceptive attacks. I was torn between that and Combat Reflexes but decided to focus on offense since he can always boost defenses with his Armor and Shield spells.

In principle, I don't have a problem with Holier Warriors (and Thiefbucklers). One of my players wasn't happy with his pure thief. I wasn't sure if this was because he was legitimately underpowered or if the player just wasn't into the archetype (it was a pregen he picked up when he joined midway through).
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Old 04-16-2019, 03:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Holier Warriors And Thiefbucklers

The most survivable Cleric I've had in my games was a DX Cleric, he immediately bought DX up to 14 and dropped 10 spells to afford Combat Reflexes (which I allow). In game he bought up his HT to 14 (and was careful to survive till he did so)...

But even so he started with a Dodge of 11*, Block of 14 and Parry of 14 (with his +2 DB shield, so 10 and 12, 12, against enemies not in his front/shield arc which he took care to avoid having). Once his HT was at 14 he had a Dodge of 12* as well.

He then split his focus between spells, ST, and combat skills. He died, like all delvers do, but he did hang in a pretty long time for a Cleric.


* After his Encumbrance penalty. He worked hard to keep himself in light encumbrance, which in the end killed him (not enough DR for the pit + deadfall trap that did him in).
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Old 04-16-2019, 03:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: Holier Warriors And Thiefbucklers

Speaking of clerics in combat, if I cast Flaming Weapon on my morningstar and smack someone in the skull, does the +2 burning follow-up get multiplied by 4, just like the penetrating damage from the crushing attack?

Normally, I don't multiply follow-ups because they generally have a x1 multiplier. For example, a flaming sword does cutting (x1.5) to the torso, but I would not multiply the follow-up. In that case, the follow-up is burning rather than cutting and there is no multiplier for burning attacks to the torso. The skull, however, is unusual because it does have a multiplier for burning attacks.

If the damage does multiply, this makes me quite eager to boost my cleric's skill to the point where he can smack people's skulls regularly with his burning ball of swinging death. (A good roll with Heroic Grace will do the trick... might try this in tomorrow's game if we meet an enemy with a skull worth bashing.)
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Old 04-17-2019, 09:21 PM   #8
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Default Re: Holier Warriors And Thiefbucklers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
Speaking of clerics in combat, if I cast Flaming Weapon on my morningstar and smack someone in the skull, does the +2 burning follow-up get multiplied by 4, just like the penetrating damage from the crushing attack?
My understanding is: No. Those extra points of follow-up damage are always added at the end, after all multipliers.

(Corrections welcome!)
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Old 04-17-2019, 09:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Holier Warriors And Thiefbucklers

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone View Post
My understanding is: No. Those extra points of follow-up damage are always added at the end, after all multipliers.
They're damage, not injury; they ignore damage resistance but not effects that modify wounding.
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Old 04-17-2019, 10:09 PM   #10
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Default Re: Holier Warriors And Thiefbucklers

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone View Post
My understanding is: No. Those extra points of follow-up damage are always added at the end, after all multipliers.

(Corrections welcome!)
Nope

They are just after DR

Otherwise exploding bullets and so on would work very differently.
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