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Old 03-06-2010, 09:57 AM   #1
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Allowing Technique Mastery with Dual-Weapon Attack

I'm currently debating with a player in my campaign whether to allow the Technique Mastery perk (Martial Arts p. 52) to apply to the Dual-Weapon Attack technique. Dual-Weapon Attack, it seems to me, applies to a lot of attack rolls, and I'm worried that it would be unbalanced - it feels like giving +4 to skill for 5 points. What do people think? Should this be forbidden? Or do the drawbacks of Dual-Weapon Attack (no shields, no Rapid Strikes, no two-handed weapons) compensate for the bonus?
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: Allowing Technique Mastery with Dual-Weapon Attack

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Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
I'm currently debating with a player in my campaign whether to allow the Technique Mastery perk (Martial Arts p. 52) to apply to the Dual-Weapon Attack technique. Dual-Weapon Attack, it seems to me, applies to a lot of attack rolls, and I'm worried that it would be unbalanced - it feels like giving +4 to skill for 5 points. What do people think? Should this be forbidden? Or do the drawbacks of Dual-Weapon Attack (no shields, no Rapid Strikes, no two-handed weapons) compensate for the bonus?
If I feel a perk, technique, or advantage in Martial Arts is overpowered for its cost, I tell the player that in order to take it he has to take an appropriate style as a template and tack on disadvantages and extra costs to the style as part of the overall cost.
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:19 AM   #3
Icelander
 
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Default Re: Allowing Technique Mastery with Dual-Weapon Attack

In a realistic game, I'd forbid it because it hurts my suspension of disbelief that someone could be better when striking with two weapons at once than if he a were to strike with only one of them.

In a cinematic game, I'd probably forbid it because it's a point-crock. If I did not, it would be because while a +4 to almost all attacks is good, it was comparable to +1 to skill. For this to be true, Feints and resisting them would have to be important, Rapid Strikes would have to be possible for more than two attacks, etc.

Even so, I wouldn't have any good answers for why the skill of the character dropped by 10 points when he tried to make three attacks instead of two with his two weapons. So I'd probably forbid it as being silly.
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:57 AM   #4
Landwalker
 
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Default Re: Allowing Technique Mastery with Dual-Weapon Attack

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
I'm currently debating with a player in my campaign whether to allow the Technique Mastery perk (Martial Arts p. 52) to apply to the Dual-Weapon Attack technique. Dual-Weapon Attack, it seems to me, applies to a lot of attack rolls, and I'm worried that it would be unbalanced - it feels like giving +4 to skill for 5 points. What do people think? Should this be forbidden? Or do the drawbacks of Dual-Weapon Attack (no shields, no Rapid Strikes, no two-handed weapons) compensate for the bonus?
I have a lot of animosity towards the Technique Mastery perk, and towards its application to Dual-Weapon Fighting and Low Fighting in particular.

On the one hand, if you impose the "styles and style perks" accessibility rules, that will make it more difficult for the character to pick up Technique Mastery casually. On the other hand, he can still pick it up as a general combat perk (by spending 20 CP in combat skills and techniques, which isn't difficult to do).

My problem with TM is, as Icelander pointed out, it's a point crock. In fact, in a feint-relevant game, they become even worse, because any modifiers that apply to an attack roll also apply to a feint, but not to resisting a feint.

The result?

Someone can have DWA at Skill+4, Low Fighting at Skill+4, and Feint at Skill+4 (which doesn't require technique mastery). Now, let's say their base skill is 16. That means that if they feint, while crouching or kneeling, as part of a DWA, they will feint at Skill 30. Not only is it practically impossible to win that quick-contest if you're defending against the feint, but if you have equal base skill and Feint (16 and 20, respectively), you'll lose the contest, on average, by 10 points. Which means -10 to defending. And since your opponent will be making the second half of his dual-weapon attack at +8 (for DWA and LF), he pretty much has his pick of hit location without having to worry about you defending. He can attack your skull at effective skill 17, your arm at effective skill 22, etc., and since you're defending at something like 4, there's really nothing you can do about it.

From a "common sense" perspective, I still have problems with it, because as soon as that Dual-Weapon-Low-Fighting Feintmaster puts down one of his weapons and stands up, he suddenly becomes exponentially worse.

The solution that I've come up with, although I haven't put it into practice, is to change the way that combining techniques works. Instead of stacking technique skill modifiers in all situations, someone attempting two techniques (or more) simultaneously will be at either (1) skill penalty equal to the sum of the penalties of the techniques—so someone with DWA at Skill-1 and Low-Fighting at Skill-2 would make a LF-DWA at Skill-3, as normal—or (2) skill modifier equal to the worst individual modifier from the techniques they are attempting—so someone with DWA+3, LF+1, and Feint+4 would make a DWA-LF-Feint at Skill+1—whichever is worse.

Thus, with DWA-1, LF-4, and Feint+4, you would make that DWA-LF-Feint at Skill-4, because your Low-Fighting modifier (-4) is worse than the sum of your total modifiers (4-4-1 = -1).

With DWA-1, LF-4, and Feint+0, you would make the same maneuver at Skill-5, because the sum of your total modifiers (-5) is worse than the worst individual modifier (-4).

The result is that if someone wanted to make a DWA-LF-Feint at Skill+4, they would have to know all of those techniques at Skill+4, and it they would never be feinting at a level that defies someone's ability to resist it (since they can't ever feint at better than Skill+4—or SKill+6 with Technique Mastery in Feint—just like nobody can ever resist a feint at better than Skill+4 (or +6), either. Thus, balance/sanity is restored.


-------------------

As far as individual techniques are concerned, I don't have a problem with TM allowing you to get DWA+4 by itself. Sure, it's +4 attack for what ends up being a total of 10 points (5 points to buy up from -4 to +0, 1 point for TM, and 4 more points to buy from +0 to +4)—but some people can be that overspecialized. It doesn't really bother me much that someone who has trained exclusively in two-weapon fighting might be clumsier if they only had one weapon—they wouldn't know what to do with their other arm, or their muscle memory might have them automatically moving it in ways that are impractical for single-weapon fighting. And since it doesn't affect the character's ability to defend himself or to resist feints, it doesn't seem like it's that unbalancing, either. On the one hand, you can spend ten CP and get +4 to dual-weapon attacks (and dual-weapon feints), or you can spend 8 CP and get +2 to attack, +2 to feint, +1 to parry, +2 to resist feints, etc., and still have 2 CP left over to buy whatever strikes your fancy. Like Weapon Bond, perhaps. ;)

The same goes for Low-Fighting by itself, and so on. It's the combined techniques that really rub me the wrong way.

Edit PS: Technically, it'd be 11 CP, not 10 CP, because you also need to pick up the Off-Hand Weapon Training perk to get the full effect.

Last edited by Landwalker; 03-06-2010 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 03-06-2010, 01:58 PM   #5
cmdicely
 
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Default Re: Allowing Technique Mastery with Dual-Weapon Attack

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
I'm currently debating with a player in my campaign whether to allow the Technique Mastery perk (Martial Arts p. 52) to apply to the Dual-Weapon Attack technique. Dual-Weapon Attack, it seems to me, applies to a lot of attack rolls, and I'm worried that it would be unbalanced - it feels like giving +4 to skill for 5 points. What do people think? Should this be forbidden? Or do the drawbacks of Dual-Weapon Attack (no shields, no Rapid Strikes, no two-handed weapons) compensate for the bonus?
Personally, I'd say just don't allow it. It (like Low Fighting) doesn't seem to be the type of technique for which the perk is intended.
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Old 03-06-2010, 02:00 PM   #6
cmdicely
 
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Default Re: Allowing Technique Mastery with Dual-Weapon Attack

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Originally Posted by Landwalker View Post
On the one hand, if you impose the "styles and style perks" accessibility rules, that will make it more difficult for the character to pick up Technique Mastery casually. On the other hand, he can still pick it up as a general combat perk (by spending 20 CP in combat skills and techniques, which isn't difficult to do).
Since the text of the perk specifically requires the technique to which it is applied be "within your style", I would rule that it cannot be picked up as anything other than style-specific perk.
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Old 03-06-2010, 02:07 PM   #7
trooper6
 
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Default Re: Allowing Technique Mastery with Dual-Weapon Attack

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
I'm currently debating with a player in my campaign whether to allow the Technique Mastery perk (Martial Arts p. 52) to apply to the Dual-Weapon Attack technique. Dual-Weapon Attack, it seems to me, applies to a lot of attack rolls, and I'm worried that it would be unbalanced - it feels like giving +4 to skill for 5 points. What do people think? Should this be forbidden? Or do the drawbacks of Dual-Weapon Attack (no shields, no Rapid Strikes, no two-handed weapons) compensate for the bonus?
The DWA doesn't apply to resisting feints, disarms, etc. Using DWA means no shields, no rapid strikes, no two-handed weapons. If your opponent has a pole weapon, they can Dual Weapon Defense and negate both attacks with one defense. the +4 in Technique Mastery for DWA also does not apply to defense. In order to get it, you'd also have to spend a General Combat Perk to get TM...and I've found General Combat Perks to be very valuable...and this is in an Arena game where most players aren't even thinking about putting points in non-combat skills. In a full campaign with fully fleshed out characters, the general non-combat perks would be even more hard to comeby.

So it doesn't bother me. And this is coming from a person who was one-shotted by the TM: Low-Fighting, TM: DWA, Feintmaster uber powergaming killing machine. Now I know the fighter is built like that, I'm going to just have to adjust my tactics.
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Old 03-06-2010, 02:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: Allowing Technique Mastery with Dual-Weapon Attack

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Originally Posted by cmdicely View Post
Since the text of the perk specifically requires the technique to which it is applied be "within your style", I would rule that it cannot be picked up as anything other than style-specific perk.
That is not a good idea. Style perks come at 1 per 10pts. You want to keep it in the realm of General Combat Perks, which come at 1 per 20pts.

So, basically. You can't get TM: DWA unless:
1) You have a Style, and DWA is part of that Style. But also since DWA is a cinematic technique, you also have to have either Trained by a Master or Weapon Master.
2) You then have an open General Combat Perk (which costs 20pts of combat skills, not 10pts of Style skills) that you can use for TM:DWA.

It isn't as if picking up TM:DWA is trivial. And isn't even possible in games that aren't cinematic.
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Old 03-06-2010, 02:22 PM   #9
cmdicely
 
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Default Re: Allowing Technique Mastery with Dual-Weapon Attack

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Originally Posted by trooper6 View Post
That is not a good idea. Style perks come at 1 per 10pts. You want to keep it in the realm of General Combat Perks, which come at 1 per 20pts.
No, I want to keep it as a Style-only Perk. And then not have it as part of any style where I don't want it. Note that the other thing with Style Perks is that, where they require specialization, the specializations allowed can be part of the listing in the style.

Quote:
So, basically. You can't get TM: DWA unless:
1) You have a Style, and DWA is part of that Style. But also since DWA is a cinematic technique, you also have to have either Trained by a Master or Weapon Master.
2) You then have an open General Combat Perk (which costs 20pts of combat skills, not 10pts of Style skills) that you can use for TM:DWA.
If you don't allow it as a General Combat Perk, you can't get it unless:
  1. You have a style
  2. DWA is part of that style
  3. You have TBaM or WM
  4. TM:DWA is a style perk listed for the style
  5. You then have an open Style Perk that you can use for TM:DWA

Sure, it takes less points in skill (if they are all in the Style), but you can only get it where it is a perk of the style. Which, incidentally, I don't think it is for any listed styles in Martial Arts. And it won't be in any other styles in a game unless the GM thinks that it makes sense for the style. (This also easily contains abuse of crossover TMs, since presumably a GM just won't approve any style with abusable combinations of TMs on its list of Perks.)
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Old 03-06-2010, 03:10 PM   #10
trooper6
 
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Default Re: Allowing Technique Mastery with Dual-Weapon Attack

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Originally Posted by cmdicely View Post
Sure, it takes less points in skill (if they are all in the Style), but you can only get it where it is a perk of the style. Which, incidentally, I don't think it is for any listed styles in Martial Arts. And it won't be in any other styles in a game unless the GM thinks that it makes sense for the style. (This also easily contains abuse of crossover TMs, since presumably a GM just won't approve any style with abusable combinations of TMs on its list of Perks.)
There are some Styles that have TM as a style perk. Capoeira and Chin Na, for example.

I just think if a GM doesn't want TM to exist, it would be more up front just to say so.
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