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Axly Suregrip 05-23-2020 09:15 PM

The Whip is just wrong
The whip has too much going for it. It needs to be fixed in the game, not handled by house rule.

First let's look at the whip. The whip has a lot going for it:
- can strike at 3 to 5 hex range
- intervening figures (friend or foe) do not block it
- has no range modifier since it is not a thrown or missile weapon
- can be used to target head and hands for for increased damage or effects (aimed shots) like a thrown dagger, but without the range modifier. (NOTE: range 3 only).
- Also better than the thrown dagger since you do not throw the weapon away thus disarming yourself.
- can be used like a lasso to choke or disable, but unlike the lasso without the loss of the whip if you miss. Like the lasso, the whip is tied up while continuing to choke,etc.

These are the issues I have with it:

1) Damage is too high. Historically 40 lashes was considered a death sentence. Thus a sentence of 39 lashes was considered the most allowed without it being a death sentence. The whip does 1-1 damage, thus averages 2.5 per hit, that would be 100 damage on average for 40 lashes. A damage of 1-5 (average is 1/6 of a point) seems closer to reality. If you want to give the benefit of doubt to the whip then 1-4 (average is 0.5 per hit, thus 40 lashes give 20 damage). If you are going for realism, then 1-5. If you want it to remain a viable weapon then 1-4 at the very most.

Another way to look at the damage is to compare a dagger attack to a whip attack in real life. A single stab from a knife can penetrate the heart or even the head, so it is considered a lethal attack. A single lash from a whip is never thought of as lethal, but painful. The whip should not be doing the same amount of damage as a dagger.

2) There is no range modifier for the whip. There are for thrown weapons. But the whip can strike at 5 hex range without a modifier and it can do so with intervening figures. At a 5 hex range a thrown weapon has a -5 DX. So the whip compared to the thrown dagger for a aimed shot at range 3 (aimed shots not allowed over 3 hexes range) produce the same results and the same damage when they hit, but the thrown dagger will be at a -3 DX to hit. We are saying that at 20 feet (5 hexes x 4 feet) a man with a whip is just as likely to hit his target as he is to hit a target with a bat next to him? Seems to me that the throw DX modifier would be appropriate.

3) Intervening foes should be a problem. Okay so your team mates know not to cause a problem when you are whipping over their heads at your foes. But why would the foes that are intervening wish to cooperate at you whipping their friends behind them? You should have to roll to miss foes and a failed miss in this case results in no damage to anyone.

4) Both the lasso and whip rules need to explicitly state that while the whip/lasso is doing continued chocking damage or disabling, the lasso holder or whip holder is using their attack action to keep it taunt. If they let go, then the foe no longer needs to do a 3vDX roll to get rid of the whip/lasso. This seems implied but is an omission that should be fixed in the rules.

If nothing else, the damage should be fixed. This alone corrects most of what is wrong with the whip.

A whip is a common item through out the ages. It should be in the game. It just should not be a very effective weapon, because it just is not. As it is, I have banned it because it is just used as a weird exploit.

larsdangly 05-24-2020 10:25 AM

Re: The Whip is just wrong
I feel like the whip is a weapon in the game because of Zorro and Indiana Jones. And that is good enough for me. It may be unrealistic, but I do not believe it is unbalanced - a character created as a 'whip fighter' would have as many weaknesses as strengths (as is true for most combat 'designs' in the game). And in practice I have yet to see someone clean up in a gladiatorial sort of game using a fighter with a whip.

Senturian 05-24-2020 10:46 AM

Re: The Whip is just wrong
From reading this thread and without experimenting, the whip may be the counter to a weak character using occult zaps.

hcobb 05-24-2020 11:57 AM

Re: The Whip is just wrong
As written the best target in the game to use a whip on is Tollenkar.

Dewshine, deaf Elf Heroine
ST 8, DX 12, IQ 12, MA 14
Common, Elvish, Running, Unarmed Combat III, Whip

Whip Tollenkar to knock him over then jump on him and pin him.

He's forced to drop his staff and is helpless.

I suspect that Greater Demons are smart enough to teleport behind Dewshine so she doesn't beat them up.

larsdangly 05-24-2020 04:13 PM

Re: The Whip is just wrong
I think this is another purely 'white room' problem. Does anyone here have a real, at-the-table, case where a whip fighter achieved some kind of unreasonable seeming advantage? I feel like I could easily come up with fighters and wizards who would nuke a fighter with a whip.

Axly Suregrip 05-24-2020 09:31 PM

Re: The Whip is just wrong
It makes a ST 8 fighter/thief/smartguy/wizard into an incredibly effective second row utility character. The whip guy does not do well fighting by himself, but allowing others to engage, he has unequal in his ability to disable. And while other weapons that disable don't often have the same damage capability, at ST 8.

It just has too much in favor of it that adds up. If you don't think so, create a whip fighter and give him a try. Like hcobb pointed out, it is the easier way for beginning character to take out Tollenkar.

Whip, Lasso, Bola and Net are all capable of disabling.

If you miss with throwing a Lasso, Bola or Net, you are done with that weapon until it may be retrieved. The Whip can just keep trying. Whip alone wins this comparison.

The Lasso, Bola and Net have range modifiers. The whip does not. Although, if you compared it to the Lasso you can say it just has too short of a range to get a modifier. So, Lasso and Whip win this one.

Whip and Lasso require ST8, while Net ST10 and Bola ST9. Whip and Lasso have it most favorable here.

Potential for doing damage: net on does 1-3 and no options for targeting body parts. Bola may target head at DX-4 to get 1+2 damage but keep in mind it also has the throw DX adjustment. Lasso may target head for 1+2 damage with NO DX modifier. Whip has the same deal as Lasso but also has an option for DX-6 to do 2-2 damage that bypasses armor. Winner Whip.

Intervening bodies a problem? Yes for every thrown and missile weapon. And yes even for jabbing polearms and pikes. Not so with the whip. Whip again wins.

Then compared to dagger aimed throw it does so without the DX adjustment for range or the loss of the weapon with the same resulting damage.

As it is, I don't see why every wizard does spend 2 IQ on Whip talent.

The damage should be reduced. Even by 1 point but should be more. And the intervening figures should affect it. Whipping at someone 5 hexes away with 4 figures intervening all fighting or dodging etc, and this is just a normal DX attack without modifiers for range or intervening folk. Intervening folks should at least be -1 DX per body in the way. Without these changes it is a weapon in the game that defies what is realistic to a distracting level.

Steve Plambeck 05-25-2020 01:59 AM

Re: The Whip is just wrong
Not to complicate things further, but whatever whip rules one adopts or lives by, they have to also work when scaled upwards for larger wielders. Imagine a giant whip in the hands of a Balrog, Greater Demon, or other multi-hex figures. (If you play any Middle-Earth scenarios, you can hardly avoid the Balrog.)

hcobb 05-25-2020 04:49 AM

Re: The Whip is just wrong
It would have been more balanced if the whip/lasso had been treated as a remote shield rush so it takes half a dozen elves working together to trip a giant.

JimmyPlenty 05-25-2020 04:58 AM

Re: The Whip is just wrong
The damage I do not have a problem with considering the abstract nature of it. The sting and psychological effects in combat would account for the "damage". (You can point a knife at a dog, but shoot a gun in the air and they run)

I do agree with the intervening figures though. Looking at people using them, I can see how it would even be worse for a whip with people in the way. The only difference is that when you roll to miss and fail, the attack just stops. A whip is inneffective unless the tip gets unfurled.

I do believe the unique weapons do not need any equality in the game though. They are what they are. More for flavor than balance. That is why it is not in Melee.

Shostak 05-25-2020 06:53 AM

Re: The Whip is just wrong

Originally Posted by larsdangly (Post 2325475)
I think this is another purely 'white room' problem. Does anyone here have a real, at-the-table, case where a whip fighter achieved some kind of unreasonable seeming advantage? I feel like I could easily come up with fighters and wizards who would nuke a fighter with a whip.

Yes, I have a whip-wielder in one of my current groups. She is able to strike at targets without fear of hitting her intervening companions, which nobody else can do. She has been able to disable and disarm foes with successful aimed shots, and even killed a wounded nasty with a standard whip hit. This all strikes me as totally unrealistic. But the players find it incredibly fun. Still, I think nerfing the damage and intervening figures rule is in order. I'm no expert on whips, but it might be worth thinking about also require wielders to need open space behind them in line with the direction of their attack, so that someone can't be up against a wall and whipping targets several hexes away.

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