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Old 07-15-2018, 07:36 AM   #11
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: Main-Gauche

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Originally Posted by RobW View Post
I agree main-gauche is not a good tactical choice, but it arguably had a niche in the original rules.

But is main-gauche really worth the trouble of introducing a new and unique defensive mechanic for equipment (ie makes you harder to hit but doesn't stop damage)? And if that mechanic were to be introduced, it does sound a lot like what a real-life shield would do.

So as others have raised, why have this kind of quirky dagger do things that the entire range of shields cannot.
Agreed. In my 40 ish years of playing TFT I can’t remember anyone taking a main-gauche. And the rule is awfully fiddly for a 1d-1 weapon.

I propose a simpler solution if you must have them. Make Main Gauche a one point talent that requires Knife (or sword). Let characters use it as a small shield (against hand weapons only) or as a dagger each turn (at no DX adjustment).

Last edited by tbeard1999; 07-15-2018 at 09:48 PM. Reason: Added “against hand weapons” clarification.
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Old 07-15-2018, 09:22 AM   #12
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: Main-Gauche

Main-Gauche is not a rational choice in the full rules, but I feel like it might have been the only way you could do two melee attacks in the same turn before ITL was published (though I haven't dug into the archives to confirm).

The revision is a good idea; it uses a new mechanic for defensive value, but that mechanic is also introduced in the draft rules for expert weapon skills so it seems to be a more general innovation steve is deliberating. If so, it introduces to TFT something akin to the PD scores in GURPS, which I approve of. Let's see if he has the moxie to use the same idea for shields - a change I would heartily endorse!
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Old 07-15-2018, 11:25 AM   #13
JLV
 
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Default Re: Main-Gauche

Plus, let's face it, any swashbuckler worthy of the name should take this skill -- otherwise Alexandra Dumas will never write "The Three Wizardly Musketeers" on Cidri... ;-)
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Old 07-15-2018, 11:59 AM   #14
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Main-Gauche

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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
Why would anyone ever take it instead of a shield?
Because you can't bring a shield to dinner theater?

:-)


More seriously, the main-gauche isn't a battlefield weapon the way a shield is, and if it works out that medium/large shields are THE choice when in battle or adventuring, that's all to the good, supported by rather a lot of history.

The smaller stuff is there for portability, though I've been consistently AMAZED at how much area denial a 12-18" buckler can provide. I'll stop there, only to add that the comment about how actively heater shields were used is bang-on, and the extent to which the shield is the primary weapon, not just an ancillary part of the defense (or, "in DnD, it just sits there giving +1/+2 to AC; in GURPS, it just sits there giving Defense Bonus until it's time to stop an arrow"), was a real eye opener to me as I started studying fighting that was modeled on the manuals and lethal intent.
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Last edited by DouglasCole; 07-15-2018 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:31 PM   #15
Steve Jackson
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Default Re: Main-Gauche

I needed to add a smiley or else be MORE pedantic. The word as I was taught it is 'block' with a shield, 'parry' with a dagger. Tomato, tomotto.

Whether you call it a block or a parry, the EDGE of the shield is what does the work, and you want to move the shield the minimum possible unless you think you can pull off a shield disarm, which is NOT something I want to try to represent in the rules.

I totally believe that a buckler would be a good defense against a greatsword. You use the edge to knock the sword offline, rather than trying to hold the shield where it will STOP the blow, right?

I fear that it is far too late for any "shields now subtract from foe's DX" rule - that would strike at the underpinnings of the system and character design as now exists. For instance, if you are striking with an adjDX of 10 now, and the foe's shield reduces your DX by 2, you are now striking at adjDX 8 - you have fallen off the wrong side of the bell curve. Of course, if you yourself had a shield, it is no longer reducing your DX. But that removes the penalty to carry a large vs. small shield, and as a small fighter, I can tell you that the difference is real.
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Old 07-15-2018, 05:22 PM   #16
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Main-Gauche

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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
I fear that it is far too late for any "shields now subtract from foe's DX" rule - that would strike at the underpinnings of the system and character design as now exists. For instance, if you are striking with an adjDX of 10 now, and the foe's shield reduces your DX by 2, you are now striking at adjDX 8 - you have fallen off the wrong side of the bell curve.
It would change things quite a bit, though the part I would've tended to mention that would feel wrong would be if someone had say DX 15, and being reduced to 13 by a shield wouldn't feel like much, especially compared to the reduction from 10 to 8. That mechanic feels off to me, though I might prefer it to the existing one where e.g. a missile that does more damage than a shield stops can never be blocked by a shield, nor can it miss the shield and hit someone for full damage. But I don't have a great simple mechanic to represent that...

[HOWITZER] the best I have is the normalized DX mechanic combined with a minus to-hit replacing the damage reduction (the normalization mitigates the weirdness of the curve effects) I'm still loving the way that works, but it seems regarded as too different to be more than an optional/house rule.[/HOWITZER]


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
Of course, if you yourself had a shield, it is no longer reducing your DX. But that removes the penalty to carry a large vs. small shield, and as a small fighter, I can tell you that the difference is real.
I don't follow. Why would you remove the DX penalty from the wearer of the shield?
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Old 07-15-2018, 05:32 PM   #17
ak_aramis
 
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Default Re: Main-Gauche

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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
I needed to add a smiley or else be MORE pedantic. The word as I was taught it is 'block' with a shield, 'parry' with a dagger. Tomato, tomotto.

Whether you call it a block or a parry, the EDGE of the shield is what does the work, and you want to move the shield the minimum possible unless you think you can pull off a shield disarm, which is NOT something I want to try to represent in the rules.

I totally believe that a buckler would be a good defense against a greatsword. You use the edge to knock the sword offline, rather than trying to hold the shield where it will STOP the blow, right?
Exactly.

The use of a center-handle buckler, against a thrusting blade, you push it forward to create a "cone of defense" ... and you keep it positioned such that their blade has to be pushed past their arm length to hit you.

Larger shields, really meaning strapped to the forearm types, have several defensive techniques.
  • pop the shield out in the direction of the incoming blow - this is the classic "block"... the push out is to allow room to soak the energy.
  • Move the outside edge back so that the wrap doesn't hit your back nor thighs.
  • angle the shield so the blow skips along the shield face and over you. This is done mostly with smaller shields.
  • pop an edge so that the blade runs the edge around you.
  • use a corner to sling the blade aside with a shield rotation. Only reliably done on square, kite, and heater types.

larger Shield offensive techniques include...
  • The shield slam ram the shield face into the target to push them
  • The edge hook use your on-hand side to hook their shield and throw it outward
  • The arm slam slap their shield arm with the shield.
  • The punch hit them in the chest with the inner edge of the shield. Especially effective with a diamond shield (a rotated square or a parallelogram - use that pointed corner)

Shields are not a good passive defense... if you passively hang it, it'll just be used to break your arm and/or teeth...
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Old 07-15-2018, 05:48 PM   #18
JLV
 
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Default Re: Main-Gauche

Honestly, I think that level of change to the rules might need to be postponed until The Fantasy Trip II: Fantasy Boogaloo hits the market. Right now people (including me) are having a hard-enough time wrapping their heads around a few new talents and the new XP/Attribute Caps ideas! ;-)
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Old 07-15-2018, 05:56 PM   #19
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Main-Gauche

It's fine; if the treatment of shields in TFT were a real problem people never would have fallen in love with the game. GURPS treats them better (I would say much better). And in a way that could be translated to TFT without complicating the game (not all differences are complications). But, in the end its a matter of taste and several different approaches could result in similarly good games. The saving grace here, I would say, is that TFT is a very 'gamey' game - it has a certain level of versimilitude, but really it is a chess-like game and not a simulation. So long as shields work within the broader system, and are a sensible part of the 'trade space' of character abilities, then its good.
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:01 PM   #20
JLV
 
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Default Re: Main-Gauche

Well said.
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