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Old 03-19-2018, 10:41 AM   #1
Beriogelir
 
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Default [DF] Integrating bits of G4e into the DFRPG

My gaming group have been playing GURPS since G4e came out, but we only relatively recently started playing a DF game. We all got excited when the Kickstarter was announced, and pooled our resources to get the whole package, but once we got all the old PDFs, we couldn't wait any longer and jumped right in. We converted our characters to the new DFRPG rules once we got those.

One of my players joined the group after we switched over to the DFRPG rules, so that's all she knows.

It's a lot of fun, and the streamlined, focused rules make the game more dynamic for everyone.

However, some of my more experienced players keep wanting to use rules that aren't in the DFRPG. I have one guy who's still upset that his swashbuckler was "nerfed" because he can't use Flurry of Blows, Heroic Charge, Dual-Weapon Attack, Parry Missile Weapons, or Targeted Attack (Rapier Thrust/Eye) any more. (Yeah, I know. The horror.)

I also have a druid who really misses her Shapeshifting (Bear), Shapeshifting (Falcon), and Shuriken Leaf spells.

Thus far, I have only let a couple of rules seep in from G4e: I kept Telegraphic Attack. I customized a Scholar profession for my dwarf scholar-wizard and let him remain a multi-profession character. Some of my monsters still have traits that aren't in DF.

I'm sorely tempted to bring back Beats (MA, pp. 100-101), Pummeling (MA, p. 111), Shoves with Weapons (MA, p. 112), and Long Weapons in Close Combat (MA, p. 117), though. I've considered inserting the Aerobatics, Aquabatics, Area Knowledge, Flight, History, and Teamster skills. I'm also thinking of giving my munchkin swashbuckler his Parry Missile Weapons back (although none of that other stuff) and restoring my druid's spells.

Have any other GMs or players had experience with this? Will I bog down the combat too much if I bring in the extra rules? Am I missing some approximation of the skills that I listed? Is there are a reason beyond space in the books that Shapeshifting was removed (i.e., does it "break" the system in any way)? Is this going to lead to a slippery slope where all the old rules are restored?

What are your thoughts on integrating bits of G4e into the DFRPG? And should I be posting this in the DFRPG forums, or will it "scare off those new to the game"?
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:17 AM   #2
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Default Re: [DF] Integrating bits of G4e into the DFRPG

Our group is running a DFRPG game, but we use lots of stuff from G4e. It doesn't break DFRPG, but it does make it more complicated. SJGames didn't want a complicated DFRPG, but they won't send the Gaming Police after you if you decide you want a more complicated DFRPG.

Almost all the stuff that was removed was removed because it was complicated, not because it was abusive. You can add that stuff back in if you want the complications.
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Old 03-19-2018, 12:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: [DF] Integrating bits of G4e into the DFRPG

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Almost all the stuff that was removed was removed because it was complicated, not because it was abusive. You can add that stuff back in if you want the complications.
The munchkin swashbuckler PC was pretty darn abusive.

He used Off-Hand Weapon Training (Rapier) and Dual-Weapon Attack in order to not have to buy Ambidexterity and still be able to dual-wield a pair of edged rapiers.

He used Heroic Charge to Move and Attack at his Move 8 without any skill penalties and Flurry of Blows to accurately attack repeatedly without having to buy Extra Attack.

Then he used Targeted Attack (Rapier Thrust/Eye) to circumvent an opponent's armor and quadruple his damage.

Add in his Parry Missile Weapons and his ridiculously high Rapier Parry, and he was nearly untouchable. He would leap into combat, poking enemies in the eyes and hemorrhaging FP, one-hit-killing two or three enemies per turn, and leave nothing for anyone else to do. It might've worked in a wuxia game or something, but in a Dungeon Fantasy game where he was the only one with these kinds of abilities, it absolutely broke the game for everyone else. The rest of the PCs were more-or-less his support staff. That's the kind of thing I am afraid of if I allow too many G4e rules to creep back in.
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Old 03-19-2018, 12:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: [DF] Integrating bits of G4e into the DFRPG

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Originally Posted by Beriogelir View Post
The munchkin swashbuckler PC was pretty darn abusive.

He used Off-Hand Weapon Training (Rapier) and Dual-Weapon Attack in order to not have to buy Ambidexterity and still be able to dual-wield a pair of edged rapiers.

He used Heroic Charge to Move and Attack at his Move 8 without any skill penalties and Flurry of Blows to accurately attack repeatedly without having to buy Extra Attack.

Then he used Targeted Attack (Rapier Thrust/Eye) to circumvent an opponent's armor and quadruple his damage.

Add in his Parry Missile Weapons and his ridiculously high Rapier Parry, and he was nearly untouchable. He would leap into combat, poking enemies in the eyes and hemorrhaging FP, one-hit-killing two or three enemies per turn, and leave nothing for anyone else to do. It might've worked in a wuxia game or something, but in a Dungeon Fantasy game where he was the only one with these kinds of abilities, it absolutely broke the game for everyone else. The rest of the PCs were more-or-less his support staff. That's the kind of thing I am afraid of if I allow too many G4e rules to creep back in.
Heroic Charge + Flurry of blows for two to three enemies? Did you let him do more than 2 attacks with Rapid Strike? If so, did you make him pay the FP for that? Heroic Charge (1 FP) + Flurry of Blows (1 FP per attack, p. B357) for two attacks costs 3 FP...he should be down to half move/dodge in about two or three turns.

Yeah, I wouldn't allow the Eye stabbing technique personally but YMMV. IMO, you need to send enemies that don't have eyes or eye vitals: Slimes, Oozes, Ghosts, Worms, Electric Jellies, Zombies, Skeletons, etc. are your friends. Give enemies Nicitating Membrane (DR on the eyes).

Take a look at the parrying large weapon rules p. B376. His rapiers are going to snap if he tries to parry an ogre's club, any type of polearm, or other large object (thrown boulders perhaps?).
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Old 03-19-2018, 01:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: [DF] Integrating bits of G4e into the DFRPG

What did he do after the did the Heroic Charge, stabbed two guys in the eyeballs, and then was attacked by a couple of crossbowmen with meteoric iron bolts? Can't parry at that point. You were also letting him break the rules twice: You can't Flurry on a Heroic Charge (MA 131) or make multiple attacks on a Move and Attack (Basic 370).

The difference between Ambidexterity and Off-Hand Weapons Training is 4 CP, or one level of Rapier. I don't think those 4 CP were breaking the game. Dual-Weapon Attack is an optional rule in the base game, and other than the ability to improve it, is not much better than a WM's rapid strikes anyway. And the ability to improve it is yet another optional rule.

Targeted Attack (Rapier Thrust/Eye) sounds like it was the biggest offender, and it's a pretty big offender: essentially +5 to hit a valuable target for 6 CP. DF is certainly a game where you can easily justify sending waves of foes that don't have eyes (or brains) at the swashbuckler, but not having it in the rules is also a good solution. Alternately, limit the amount of penalty you can buy off to -3 or the normal limit - poking eyeballs at -6 is less appealing.

I personally don't like Heroic Charge, and don't use it in my games. But I don't think bring OFWT or even the DWA technique into your game is necessarily going to break it.

But you have some experience as a GM, and you have a feeling for what is working in your game and what isn't. My point remains, you can add stuff from G4e back into DFRPG as you feel appropriate without really breaking DFRPG, and almost all of the stuff removed from DFRPG was removed on the basis of complexity, not abuse*.

* Case in point: edged rapiers are the most abusive weapon for swashbucklers, and they weren't removed. If swashbucklers had to run around with sabers to have a cutting weapon, they'd just be... well, still abusive, the first swashbuckler in my first DF game used dual sabers and he was a total cuisinart.
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Old 03-19-2018, 02:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: [DF] Integrating bits of G4e into the DFRPG

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Heroic Charge + Flurry of blows for two to three enemies? Did you let him do more than 2 attacks with Rapid Strike? If so, did you make him pay the FP for that? Heroic Charge (1 FP) + Flurry of Blows (1 FP per attack, p. B357) for two attacks costs 3 FP...he should be down to half move/dodge in about two or three turns.

Yeah, I wouldn't allow the Eye stabbing technique personally but YMMV. IMO, you need to send enemies that don't have eyes or eye vitals: Slimes, Oozes, Ghosts, Worms, Electric Jellies, Zombies, Skeletons, etc. are your friends. Give enemies Nicitating Membrane (DR on the eyes).

Take a look at the parrying large weapon rules p. B376. His rapiers are going to snap if he tries to parry an ogre's club, any type of polearm, or other large object (thrown boulders perhaps?).
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What did he do after the did the Heroic Charge, stabbed two guys in the eyeballs, and then was attacked by a couple of crossbowmen with meteoric iron bolts? Can't parry at that point. You were also letting him break the rules twice: You can't Flurry on a Heroic Charge (MA 131) or make multiple attacks on a Move and Attack (Basic 370) . . . .Targeted Attack (Rapier Thrust/Eye) sounds like it was the biggest offender, and it's a pretty big offender: essentially +5 to hit a valuable target for 6 CP. DF is certainly a game where you can easily justify sending waves of foes that don't have eyes (or brains) at the swashbuckler, but not having it in the rules is also a good solution. Alternately, limit the amount of penalty you can buy off to -3 or the normal limit - poking eyeballs at -6 is less appealing.

I personally don't like Heroic Charge, and don't use it in my games. But I don't think bring OFWT or even the DWA technique into your game is necessarily going to break it.
I didn't let him use Heroic Charge and Flurry of Blows on the same turn or more than two attacks with Rapid Strike, and I made him pay the full FP. Usually, he'd open up combat with a Heroic Charge (1 FP). Once he was in, he would use Flurry of Blows (2 FP) when he felt it was necessary, and mix in Rapid Strikes and All-Out Attack (Double) as appropriate. He burned through FP, but that's what the cleric with Lend Energy was there for (from his perspective).

I allowed TA (Rapier Thrust/Eye) without really considering the repercussions. "I mean, how much of a difference could that really make," I thought to myself.

If he encountered something Big and Nasty, he generally stabbed it in the eye (if it had eyes) and then ran away and let the knight take all the damage.

Once I wouldn't let him do that stuff any more, he took Ambidexterity and Trademark Move (Attack with a rapier thrust to the eye) and bought Rapier-26. (Why 26 and not 24, given his Trademark Move? I don't know.) So he's back to his obnoxious eye-stabbing ways, but at least he can't parry arrows and it takes him a little longer to get into the fight. Some of my other players have actually been able to kill some monsters, which is nice.

I have considered making it so that anyone who sees him use the Trademark Move twice in the same battle gets +1 to defend against his third and later uses - basically the same as with Targeted Attacks (MA, p. 68), except that it would affect anyone who saw him do it, not just the foes he used it on. (Those foes are probably dead anyway.) I feel like it would be pretty obvious that the swashbuckler is repeatedly stabbing people in the eyes.

But that shows what I am worried about, I think - essentially, he was using out-of-genre stuff in order to ruin the fun for others. I am also worried about overwhelming the new player by introducing the G4e rules, especially the Martial Arts rules, wholesale. She has never played any paper-and-dice RPG before, so the DFRPG seemed like a good way to ease her in.

If I reintroduced Techniques, I would probably reintroduce them as Advantages, not Techniques (e.g., the Two-Weapon Fighting Advantage in DF11, p. 13). Techniques kind of clutter things up. Targeted Attack would not be one of the Techniques I reintroduced in any form beyond Trademark Move.

My biggest fear is infringing on the rapid, dynamic nature of the combat. I don't want to bog things down with too many options or spend time flipping through books to find the right rule. It becomes a balancing act: introducing the rules that will be helpful without slowing things down vs. overburdening the system.

I feel a lot more comfortable with bringing in Shapeshifting; it's already eluded to with the Beast Flight Druidic Ability in Adventurers, so I don't think it is likely to break the game.
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Old 03-19-2018, 04:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: [DF] Integrating bits of G4e into the DFRPG

I wouldn't bring all that stuff in. Yes, I left out a lot of things for the reason that they were complex, not because they were easy to abuse . . . but in actual play, the line between the two is fine indeed. The more complex the rules, the greater the chance they have a loophole. Combinations of rules admit corner cases that are even easier to abuse, because quite often, even we designers aren't aware of the full repercussions of something written by other creators.

I think just about everything in GURPS Martial Arts gets iffy when you mix its flavor of cinematic with the Dungeon Fantasy RPG's flavor of fantastic. Not at the "broken" level, but certainly at the "a lot of GM judgment and page-flipping is required" level. If I were you, I'd pick one simple thing to allow and omit all the rest. Personally, I'd probably pick extra effort in combat, because it implicates only one trait, one that everybody has: FP.

I'm not saying that techniques are bad, but they are fussy and each one is a new thing to buy, even if it's hidden in a pseudo-advantage. Plus they privilege those who have them, whereas spending FP for better combat results is an option for all. It's also relatively self-limiting in big fights.

I should add that while gamers will compare GURPS to the DFRPG, they are different games. The latter is based on the former, but it just isn't true that anybody's character got "nerfed." The correct word is "converted," and if people don't like how their PC looks in a new system, well, a new system is an excellent excuse to start a new character.
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Old 03-19-2018, 04:28 PM   #8
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Default Re: [DF] Integrating bits of G4e into the DFRPG

I've never been a fan of the hit location technique. It's far better than the 3e version (which let you buy the penalty right off, as I recall), but it's still asking for trouble, IMO - it's a large penalty offset for something you'll be wanting to do often (both because hitting specific hit locations is tactically useful and because you paid for the technique) for a fairly low price. Thus I've never allowed it. You want to hit someone reliably in the eyes? Fine. Buy lots of skill then (or use aimed shots with a laser rifle...).
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Old 03-19-2018, 04:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: [DF] Integrating bits of G4e into the DFRPG

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I wouldn't bring all that stuff in. Yes, I left out a lot of things for the reason that they were complex, not because they were easy to abuse . . . but in actual play, the line between the two is fine indeed. The more complex the rules, the greater the chance they have a loophole. Combinations of rules admit corner cases that are even easier to abuse, because quite often, even we designers aren't aware of the full repercussions of something written by other creators.

I think just about everything in GURPS Martial Arts gets iffy when you mix its flavor of cinematic with the Dungeon Fantasy RPG's flavor of fantastic. Not at the "broken" level, but certainly at the "a lot of GM judgment and page-flipping is required" level. If I were you, I'd pick one simple thing to allow and omit all the rest. Personally, I'd probably pick extra effort in combat, because it implicates only one trait, one that everybody has: FP.

I'm not saying that techniques are bad, but they are fussy and each one is a new thing to buy, even if it's hidden in a pseudo-advantage. Plus they privilege those who have them, whereas spending FP for better combat results is an option for all. It's also relatively self-limiting in big fights.

I should add that while gamers will compare GURPS to the DFRPG, they are different games. The latter is based on the former, but it just isn't true that anybody's character got "nerfed." The correct word is "converted," and if people don't like how their PC looks in a new system, well, a new system is an excellent excuse to start a new character.
Mind if I quote your last two sentences the next time he complains?

Also, do you feel that allowing Telegraphic Attack was a mistake on my part, then? I don't think my players will mutiny if I don't allow it any more.

If you are running a DFRPG session, and a player wants to shove someone away with their shield, use their broadsword in close combat, knock away an opponent's shield, punch their foe with the pommel of their rapier, etc., do you use your knowledge of the applicable GURPS rules and apply them, or do you make a conscious effort to just wing it?

When you say you "wouldn't bring all that stuff in," are you referring just to the GURPS Martial Arts stuff, or things like the Shapeshifting spells or the History skill, too?
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Old 03-19-2018, 04:42 PM   #10
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Default Re: [DF] Integrating bits of G4e into the DFRPG

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Mind if I quote your last two sentences the next time he complains?
Not at all. Everything I write on these forums is yours to quote (though most of it isn't quote-worthy).

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Also, do you feel that allowing Telegraphic Attack was a mistake on my part, then?
It's actually hidden in the DFPRG already – reread the rules for backstabbing (Exploits, pp. 57-58). I don't think it's a terrible thing to allow. I do think that against the majority of monsters that don't All-Out Attack all the time, it's self-nerfing, as +2 to enemy defenses and being exclusive with Deceptive Attack means it won't be all that useful. So it's self-limiting in its own way.

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If you are running a DFRPG session, and a player wants to shove someone away with their shield, use their broadsword in close combat, knock away an opponent's shield, punch their foe with the pommel of their rapier, etc., do you use your knowledge of the applicable GURPS rules and apply them, or do you make a conscious effort to just wing it?
I tend to use those rules reflexively . . . but at the risk of sounding egotistical, I speak world-class GURPS. If you can't use a GURPS rule without a lookup, you should probably just wing it. If you can use a rule that way, go ahead! As I said, such rules were omitted to lower complexity, and you're not making the game more complex if the players can't tell the difference between "I'm winging it!" and "I'm using secret knowledge!"

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When you say you "wouldn't bring all that stuff in," are you referring just to the GURPS Martial Arts stuff, or things like the Shapeshifting spells or the History skill, too?
To be clear: GURPS Martial Arts rules in combat. Combat is a complicated process to which you don't want to add yet more complexity. Shapeshifting is complex only in the sense that it requires point costs for stuff the DFRPG prefers to describe with "Only monsters have this!"; that's front-loaded character-creation complexity, though, and doesn't impinge on game play. Ditto skills that show up only out of combat.
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