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Old 04-18-2019, 08:58 AM   #1
hcobb
 
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Default Slaughtering Fencers with crossbows

I setup a scenario where a fencer is supposed to be a big challenge and the players took care of the the problem with one figure defending while the others poured in crossbow fire.

I've modified the fencer by giving him Shield Expertise, but this doesn't help much.

How do you keep big bad fencers or martial artists from getting slaughtered by missile weapons the first turn they're engaged by a defend-only anchor and so have to drop their dodge?

Note that I just want solutions under the rules as written rather than a house rule.
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:01 AM   #2
Chris Rice
 
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Default Re: Slaughtering Fencers with crossbows

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
I setup a scenario where a fencer is supposed to be a big challenge and the players took care of the the problem with one figure defending while the others poured in crossbow fire.

I've modified the fencer by giving him Shield Expertise, but this doesn't help much.

How do you keep big bad fencers or martial artists from getting slaughtered by missile weapons the first turn they're engaged by a defend-only anchor and so have to drop their dodge?
Terrain. Allies. The usual.
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:30 AM   #3
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: Slaughtering Fencers with crossbows

It is hard to say without knowing a little more about the constraints of the scenario you have set up. Is the idea that the fencer is alone and fighting two or more foes, one of whom has a crossbow, in an open arena?
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:52 AM   #4
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Slaughtering Fencers with crossbows

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Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
It is hard to say without knowing a little more about the constraints of the scenario you have set up. Is the idea that the fencer is alone and fighting two or more foes, one of whom has a crossbow, in an open arena?
Yes, here is the fencer so far. He is a loner up against a party of scholars.

Goblin Wight(ITL 84) Hero Gadzukk Age:31+53 ST:9 DX:14 IQ:13 MA:10
Rapier(1d+1 for fencer), Small Shield(1+1 for expertise) Punch(1d-2/1d-1), Drain Strength touch, immunity to normal weapons
Climbing, Fencer, Goblinish, Knife, Literacy, Naturalist, Shield, Shield Expertise, Sword, Tracking, Unarmed Combat I
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:26 AM   #5
HeatDeath
 
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Default Re: Slaughtering Fencers with crossbows

I believe the historical solution to that problem [soldiers with missile weapons slaughtering soldiers without missile weapons] was ultimately inventing tanks. [The historical response to that, of course, was better artillery and strike aircraft.]

Last edited by HeatDeath; 04-18-2019 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:43 AM   #6
Michele
 
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Default Re: Slaughtering Fencers with crossbows

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Yes, here is the fencer so far. He is a loner up against a party of scholars.
Frankly you can't expect him to survive against many crossbowmen. It's the realistic result.

A lucky fencer having to deal with one melee opponent and one or at most two crossbowmen who are firstly scholars (and therefore not that good with those crossbows) might make it. He'd keep the melee opponent between himself and the crossbowmen, and try to force the latter to fire their one bolt hurriedly. There is even a possibility that they hit their ally in the back, or at least that they miss.
Once the crossbows are useless, the fencer will despatch the melee fighter, and then in short order the two others as they desperately try to reload.
But he'd need to be lucky with two crossbows. Three is already too many.
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Old 04-18-2019, 11:40 AM   #7
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: Slaughtering Fencers with crossbows

I wasn't expecting that! I'll have to say, you get full marks on creativity. As for the outcome of your fights, all I can say is that unarmored combatants aren't really safe in open fights against gangs of well armed people. Perhaps you can get away with that sort of thing in D+D, but in TFT it's a non starter. Maybe give your goblin weight fencer Running talent or a flight spell for a quick get away?
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Old 04-20-2019, 03:54 PM   #8
ak_aramis
 
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Default Re: Slaughtering Fencers with crossbows

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Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
I setup a scenario where a fencer is supposed to be a big challenge and the players took care of the the problem with one figure defending while the others poured in crossbow fire.

I've modified the fencer by giving him Shield Expertise, but this doesn't help much.

How do you keep big bad fencers or martial artists from getting slaughtered by missile weapons the first turn they're engaged by a defend-only anchor and so have to drop their dodge?

Note that I just want solutions under the rules as written rather than a house rule.
For fencers, by putting them in proper contexts - town streets, where a crossbow means you're either on the guard, or about to be killed by guardsmen with crossbows, muskets, and/or magic anyway if you've got it out and loaded. And often, don't have a lot of range, are liable for collateral damage, and face the possibility of being charged with attempted murder and/or insurrection for use of weapons of war inside the city.

Fencing, historically, was a townsman thing. The techniques for martial swords are rather different (tho' Cut-n-Thrust era was cross-influential). By the time fencing was a popular element, wheel-locks were becoming reliable enough to be threatening, body armor was becoming ceremonial or reduced to mere center-of-mass protection, cavalry was largely transitioning to dragoons (horse-mobile infantry) and musket-cavalry (who largely fired a round or two, then switched to the saber).

Alternately, set it as a genre element that ranged attacks simply do not get made on targets engaged with allies.
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Old 04-21-2019, 09:41 PM   #9
FireHorse
 
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Default Re: Slaughtering Fencers with crossbows

Thanks a lot, ak_aramis. Now I have to go watch 1973 version of The Three Musketeers (with Michael York as D'Artagnan), and probably also its 1974 sequel The Four Musketeers: Milady's Revenge, for approximately the hundred and forty-fourth time.

Which reminds me… why does the U in "four" disappear for "forty"?
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Old 04-22-2019, 04:33 AM   #10
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Slaughtering Fencers with crossbows

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Which reminds me… why does the U in "four" disappear for "forty"?
English spelling evolved amid chaos and despair, no doubt due to the influence of the Evil Wizard Lord as a means to oppress the human population.

Before 1600, the OED cities a number of spellings: feuortig, feortiȝ, fuwerti, vourty (they really used a "u" for the "v"), fourty, fourthi, and fourtie. The actual pronunciation probably involved a dipthong, and maybe some regional vowel shifts, on top of the "eh, close enough" attitude toward spelling. But one speculation for the ascendance of "forty" is the King James Version of the Bible, from 1611. It uniformly spells the word "forty" (158 times, zero other spellings).
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