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Old 10-20-2020, 12:12 AM   #41
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: thrown weapons and facing

The old Fantasy Master's Screen has some interesting post-Steve-Jackson rules extensions (such as more ST categories for Effects Of Injury) that are not in the books (or only in the Codex), and some plain errors. I would count facing modifiers it shows for thrown weapons among the errors, or at least changes.

I'm pretty sure the original screen was not consulted when making the new screen, doubtless because it post-dates Steve's work on TFT, so they don't have the rights to it.
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Old 10-25-2020, 03:47 PM   #42
RobW
 
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Default Re: thrown weapons and facing

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Yeah, there is no definition of Side Hex or Rear Hex other than the adjacent hexes. And there would need to be a definition and/or diagram to even know which more distant attacking hexes are at the side or rear of a target. Without that, even if the intent were to give a +2 or +4, there would be nothing telling you which to apply in the hexes where it isn't obvious. The closest is the diagram for the forward 180 degree arc of hexes, but that is only for purposes of what you can see to make ranged attacks against.
As others have said, facing is relevant for all ranged attacks. Ranged attacks coming through the front hex have their damage reduced by shields. Ranged attacks coming through the rear hex have their damage reduced by a slung shield.

That is, it is part of the core mechanics that you need to determine the hex through which a ranged attack is coming. This is usually perfectly easy, but unfortunately we weren't given details on what to do about this when it comes through a spine.

Last edited by RobW; 10-25-2020 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 10-25-2020, 03:57 PM   #43
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Default Re: thrown weapons and facing

FWIW which is not much, and outside the context of game rules, I think facing matters greatly when targeting enemies with thrown weapons. I make this claim based on my immense experience in snowball fights and bottlerocket battles :) where it is completely obvious that thrown weapons are subject to the passive defences of the target. If John has his back turned to me while he is throwing a bottlerocket at Jeff, this is, most definitely, a glorious opportunity for me. OTOH if John can see me while he is throwing his bottlerocket at Jeff, he is harder for me to hit. On this point I am sure. :)

Likewise, I used to be OK at baseball. Let's consider a baseball as a thrown weapon. If I am facing the thrower (and at least 30 feet away), I have complete confidence that I will be able to catch or else let the ball move past me, even if I am not "dodging", eg tying my shoe or something. If my back is turned to the thrower, that's different, I'm definitely easier to hit.

In contrast, if you're talking about a crossbow instead of a thrown weapon, then facing considerations do seem irrelevant.

In no particular order, my other feelings about thrown weapons in TFT. (A) I think applying facing bonus for thrown weapons is reasonable. (B) We are unlikely to ever know whether SJ deliberately or mistakenly excluded thrown weapons from the rule about missile weapons and facing. (C) The only game context I have experienced in which figures threw weapons in anger were in the bad old days of the murderous ninja sniper hobbits. These guys were so game breaking there was no way they would EVER get a facing bonus.
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Old 10-25-2020, 04:33 PM   #44
phiwum
 
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Default Re: thrown weapons and facing

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As others have said, facing is relevant for all ranged attacks. Ranged attacks coming through the front hex have their damage reduced by shields. Ranged attacks coming through the rear hex have their damage reduced by a slung shield.

That is, it is part of the core mechanics that you need to determine the hex through which a ranged attack is coming. This is usually perfectly easy, but unfortunately we weren't given details on what to do about this when it comes through a spine.
That's a pretty good point. Thrown weapons coming through the spine are fairly common, though much less so for a spine of the rear hex.
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Old 10-26-2020, 01:20 PM   #45
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Default Re: thrown weapons and facing

ok, once the main discussion turned to which modify to apply when weapons come from a hexspine, I'll toss here my opinion too.

As ASL (Advanced Squad Leader) player I feel the need to give always the best protection to the target. So when a shel... ehm sorry a knife :-) comes from a hexpine I would assign the worst modify to the attacker. In ASL it's a frontal hit when it comes from a front/side hexpine, and a side one when it comes from a side/rear hexpine. A little advantage to the defender. A common criterion in the wargaming world fully applicable here.
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Old 10-26-2020, 02:06 PM   #46
RobW
 
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Default Re: thrown weapons and facing

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As ASL (Advanced Squad Leader) player I feel the need to give always the best protection to the target. So when a shel... ehm sorry a knife :-) comes from a hexpine I would assign the worst modify to the attacker. In ASL it's a frontal hit when it comes from a front/side hexpine, and a side one when it comes from a side/rear hexpine. A little advantage to the defender. A common criterion in the wargaming world fully applicable here.
This makes good sense. On a hexgrid, when a target has its "back to the wall", that is, nestled in one of the concavities along the arena wall, it would have its side and rear protected from melee attacks and equally well from ranged attacks
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Old 10-28-2020, 09:19 PM   #47
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Default Re: thrown weapons and facing

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Thrown weapons benefit from facing modifiers while missile weapons do not, though I really can't explain the the designer's rationale behind that feature, especially considering that thrown spells do not get this benefit.
My feeling about Thrown Spells in this is that their name is really a misnomer, at least compared with Missile Weapons and Thrown Weapons. Thrown Spells do not "sail through the air." You cannot hit the wrong foe by mistake with a Thrown Spell - it either works on your intended target, or it fizzles and you lose just the one point of ST. Your foe's facing has no bearing on it, and neither can he dodge it.
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Old 10-29-2020, 03:00 AM   #48
Steve Plambeck
 
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Default Re: thrown weapons and facing

Another way I recently thought to describe it for someone: a Thrown Spell is something you form in the air over the target's head, and if it's successful it falls/descends on them. I'd call them "Dropped Spells", but that would surely confuse people into thinking that meant a failed spell, so no. I recall another closely related system liked to call them "Direct Spells". But referring to spells as "thrown" has such a long literary tradition, I just can't see changing it.

Perhaps instead, change the name of "Thrown Weapons" to "Throwable Weapons". That's still a bit awkward though.
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Old 10-29-2020, 01:04 PM   #49
Skarg
 
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Default Re: thrown weapons and facing

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My feeling about Thrown Spells in this is that their name is really a misnomer, at least compared with Missile Weapons and Thrown Weapons. Thrown Spells do not "sail through the air." You cannot hit the wrong foe by mistake with a Thrown Spell - it either works on your intended target, or it fizzles and you lose just the one point of ST. Your foe's facing has no bearing on it, and neither can he dodge it.
Absolutely. Notice for instance that the penalty to cast on an unmoving subject not in combat at all, or on yourself, gets no bonus at all.

Range and visibility (q.v. Blur) affect Thrown spell success, but facing certainly doesn't.
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Old 11-02-2020, 04:59 AM   #50
Nils_Lindeberg
 
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Default Re: thrown weapons and facing

When it comes to shooting along a spine I would go with shooter's/thrower's choice. If you can shoot along a wall and not hit the wall, that means that is a precedent for this kind of thing.

And when it comes to putting you back to a wall, often that wall is supposed to be straight, but with hexes, every other hex against the wall gives you protection from both the rear and the sides, while every other hex give you no side protection. And at other times you are standing with your back to a wall and you get the rear and one side hex protected, no matter where along the wall you stand depending on the hex "grain". Which is a little bit strange. And it is hard to get around this in a logical way.
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