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 > The Fantasy Trip

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-24-2020, 03:30 PM   #21
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Not quite getting the arquebus

My extensive set of house-ruled equipment (available through a google docs link somewhere on this site) includes a bunch more black powder guns, including some musket-like guns that can be fired without propping on a stick. The trade off is damage: 3d+3 really is a remarkable amount of damage, particularly for something that can deliver a high-probability hit at long range (or even a good aimed shot at longish range, if you use the optional rules for aimed shots). The highest damage any of my fast-readying long-guns do is 3d. I also add a small portable canon (the 'hand gunne') doing 5d with a 6 turn prep requiring 2 people or a ST of 14. That sandwiches the arquebus between the better designed, more manageable but lighter personal weapons and the larger battlefield guns that really aren't suitable for skirmish fighting.

I hate to do things that needlessly mess with RAW, but the more I think about it the more I like the notion that the original edition version was preferable, i.e., trading the tight constraints on movement when you keep the arquebus readied on its prop for a DX bonus on the attack roll. Perhaps a nice compromise would be to give the propped arquebus the +2 DX bonus for a braced weapon (Legacy Edition ITL page 116) and let you shoulder fire it without that bonus if you want to walk around.
larsdangly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2020, 05:21 PM   #22
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Not quite getting the arquebus

Lars's suggestion would be an easy way to get 3d+3 with no penalty aside from not getting a DX bonus (which isn't really a penalty).

The only reason I'm not quite buying Axly's requirement that it takes four turns after each time a person moves is that the same turn "readied" is used for the Blunderbuss and I assume that the Blunderbuss can be fired immediately when in hands, whether one moves or not. I'm not sure about that, of course.

Last edited by phiwum; 11-24-2020 at 05:24 PM.
phiwum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2020, 10:34 PM   #23
Axly Suregrip
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Default Re: Not quite getting the arquebus

Quote:
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
The only reason I'm not quite buying Axly's requirement that it takes four turns after each time a person moves is that the same turn "readied" is used for the Blunderbuss and I assume that the Blunderbuss can be fired immediately when in hands, whether one moves or not. I'm not sure about that, of course.

This is my reasoning for the Arquebus' 4 turn readying to be treated differently than the Blunderbuss' 1 turn ready (and for that matter crossbows too):

No other weapon makes the stipulation that it must be fired from a stand. And no other weapon requires 4 turns to ready.

ITL pg 124:
The arquebus is a large musket. It fires a single ball for
over 400 yards. It is considered a missile weapon, doing 3d+3
dice damage. It is very clumsy; it takes 4 turns to ready, and
12 turns to reload and ready after firing. It must be fired from
a stand.



Also, I do not give the braced crossbow +2 DX to the arquebus's stand. Muskets were notorious for not being accurate.

The stand/4 turns to ready makes it a rather inconvenient weapon other than used in set ambushes. The big upside to it in the game is someone with any ST may fire it at full DX. That is, there is no ST requirement. Even a crossbow with a cranequin still gives a DX penalty for not having the required ST. You can have a ST8 DX16 human with an arquebus and be greatly feared.

BTW, don't forget the 1/6 chance of misfire and also the chance of exploding on an 18. ITL pg 125.

Oh and it costs you $100 per shot fired. Sure you can kill most foes in a single shot, but will you earn enough treasure to off set this cost?
Axly Suregrip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2020, 07:33 AM   #24
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Not quite getting the arquebus

Yes, both you and I have decided that readying an arquebus doesn't mean the same thing as readying a blunderbuss.

But here's what I figger. Readying an arquebus probably includes moving it from belt (really, shoulder) to hands, same as other weapons. There are two pieces to move, so I've decided two turns for that part and two turns to set it on the stand.

Any time one moves, they have to set it on the stand again. If one carries an arquebus and stand in one hand while moving about, it would take three turns to prepare to fire.
phiwum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2020, 10:09 AM   #25
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Not quite getting the arquebus

I don't think there is an easy way to come up with a logic-based ruling because none of us is a seasoned arquebusier. Personally, I'm quite skeptical that someone who knew what they were doing would need 20 seconds to re-sort their gear after shuffling around 10 or 20 feet. It is a heavy rifle and a stick, not a giant jenga stack made of lit dynamite. To me, the only issues that can be resolved are 1) intent, if the author happens to drop by and comment; and 2) the best design as a game rule, when it comes to balance with respect to other weapons and rules. In that respect, I'm not a fan of using this as an opportunity to further degrade the value of the arquebus. It was a widespread and effective battlefield weapon in many nations for many years. Layering on limitations until it is worse than throwing a stick at someone feels like it would be simpler and more direct to just remove the weapon from your campaign world.
larsdangly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2020, 11:29 AM   #26
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Not quite getting the arquebus

I think Axly has the right of it. An arquebus is longer than a flintlock musket (a significantly later weapon) and so requires a stand.

Quibbling in comparison to the blunderbuss, the reason it doesn't need a stand is that you only need to point it in the general direction you want to blast. Taken to its logical conclusion, I'd say you could do that with an arquebus, but the chance to hit would be minimal: I'd have it hit on a 5 or less, and perhaps also apply a scatter effect to see which exact direction it goes.

If you want a flintlock musket instead, with no need for a stand, there's no reason you can't say the mechanicians in your area have figured out to produce such. (In fact, I did this in some parts of my original TFT campaign.) But I'd say it might be less accurate than an arquebus on a stand.

And yes, an arquebus needing 4 turns to ready after moving is not great as a mobile offensive weapon. It is still quite dangerous as a non-mobile weapon - you just need to arrange the circumstances where it'll be useful, like a lot of other specialized weapons such as a gas bomb or molotail or thrown spell, just different. e.g. Instead of opening the door and charging in, set up in a good position and have someone knock on the door, etc. In general, I feel that it's a feature that a 3d+3 ranged weapon has serious limitations on how quickly it can be set up to use, reliability, cost, etc.
Skarg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2020, 12:46 PM   #27
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Not quite getting the arquebus

Here's a fun image from 1470 showing the arquebus being used on the battlefield without a prop:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arqueb...nbach_1444.jpg
larsdangly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2020, 01:54 PM   #28
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Not quite getting the arquebus

Honestly, the two guys firing the arquebuses are by far the least interesting thing going on in that painting. That thing is awesome.

Still, probably good to give it a trigger warning.
phiwum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2020, 02:12 PM   #29
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Not quite getting the arquebus

Quote:
Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
I don't think there is an easy way to come up with a logic-based ruling because none of us is a seasoned arquebusier. Personally, I'm quite skeptical that someone who knew what they were doing would need 20 seconds to re-sort their gear after shuffling around 10 or 20 feet. It is a heavy rifle and a stick, not a giant jenga stack made of lit dynamite. To me, the only issues that can be resolved are 1) intent, if the author happens to drop by and comment; and 2) the best design as a game rule, when it comes to balance with respect to other weapons and rules. In that respect, I'm not a fan of using this as an opportunity to further degrade the value of the arquebus. It was a widespread and effective battlefield weapon in many nations for many years. Layering on limitations until it is worse than throwing a stick at someone feels like it would be simpler and more direct to just remove the weapon from your campaign world.

I guess, Lars, the question is whether this is nerfing the arquebus or not.

If we take "readying" the arquebus to mean the same thing as readying a dagger, then there are no serious restrictions on the arquebus in-game. In a labyrinth, say, characters are walking around with their primary weapon readied the whole time. An arquebusier could, then, get the first (and likely only) shot off just as fast as an archer.

That sounds like an awesome weapon. It's only one shot, but it does massive damage, with a greater than 50/50 chance of killing a ST 10 chainmail wearer in one shot. You only get one shot, but if it doesn't take time to prepare for that shot, it's a heck of a weapon. (Ammo is darned expensive, granted.)

On your reading, the only downside to readying an arquebus is if it doesn't start off in your hands.
phiwum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2020, 03:31 PM   #30
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Not quite getting the arquebus

I suggest we just focus on the game balance issue rather than historical versimilitude, since it is a game after all.

Arguably the simplest way to judge the relative merits of two weapons is to compare the expected value of damage doled out per turn by a typical 32 point character designed to use that weapon effectively. This isn't really the very best measure of usefulness because you also care about the match-up vs. armor types, probabilities of crossing certain damage thresholds and so forth, but it is really easy to compute and not a terrible basis for comparison.

I would say a pretty good model for a 32 point arquebusier might be ST 9 DX 14 IQ 9, Missile Weapons III this isn't the total min max monster because I've given him or her the option of also being able to fight with a rapier or comparable melee weapon, but its a pretty good take on the 'type'. This character will hit at moderate melee combat range (say, -2 range penalty) 95 % of the time, doing an average of 13.5 points of damage, with a 1 in 6 chance of a misfire. That's an expected value of 10.7 points of damage for ideal conditions an open shot at moderate range with full preparation.

So, the question is how much can this be diminished by limiting the rate of fire before it becomes uncompetitive as a character concept? We can compare with various other missile weapons used by appropriately crafted 32 point characters:

A ST 12, DX 11, IQ 9 crossbowman with MW III and a light crossbow will fire every turn (adj.DX 14) at a target at moderate range (-2 range penalty) hitting 74% of the time for an average of 7 points of damage an expected value of 5.18, or almost exactly half that of the arquebusier firing under nearly ideal conditions.

A ST 10, DX 13, IQ 9 archer with MW III and a horse bow will fire twice per turn (adj. DX 16) at a target at moderate range (-2 range penalty) hitting 91 % of the time and doing 3.5 points of damage per hit, for an overall expected value of 6.4 points of damage per turn. Slightly better, but also about half that of the arquebusier firing at ideal conditions (ready, propped and rearing to go).

We could go on, but the sense you get is that an arquebus is a balanced weapon (ignoring the campaign issue of where you get the money to pay for the gunpowder!), provided the impediments to firing reduce your fire rate compared to other missile weapons by about a factor of 2.

So, the question is, do we accomplish that by ruling that the arquebus becomes unready if you move? Perhaps. The answer is clearly a matter of circumstances. If everyone starts combat by walking into an arena with un-prepared weapons, then the 4 turns to prepare makes the arquebus basically untenable. If the run-up to combat provides more warning time, then the arquebus blows these other missile weapons off the field.
larsdangly is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

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 02:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.