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Old 04-25-2017, 01:38 AM   #43
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Default Re: Balanced games for archers

Originally Posted by lordabdul View Post
Yes, sorry, I was talking about defense against melee attacks.

But it shows that it's a problem of my game that most NPCs have been melee fighters so far. I haven't yet thrown many NPCs with ranged weapons at them, so I need to do that more in the future.
Perhaps... but I was more concerned about PC archers versus NPCs. This ties into how the damage modifiers for torso versus limbs meant that (barring good torso armor), your archers could just go for torso shots and still have a good chance at incapacitating enemy combatants with an arrow or two, and that whole tactics discussion.

So if I unintentionally helped you realize something else, happy accident. ;)

Originally Posted by lordabdul View Post
Weapon scores for the PCs and NPCs are between 12 and 14 at this point. More than half of the PCs have Move 6 though, so that makes Dodge and Parry tied at 9, except for the odd character with a weapon skill at 14, which gives slightly better Parry at 10.
I'm actually still learning 4e myself, so a lot of what I am going to ask are mistakes I made with 4e, 3e, or both. I also have only the most superficial understanding of the setting, so let me know if I get that wrong... but despite these limitations, I think I have some more useful observations.

Encumbrance affects Dodge. I used to mess this up back in Third Edition, but I know that with the right characters, it can be a non-issue because players almost never get their character beyond "None" or "Light" Encumbrance, meaning a 0 or -1 penalty to Dodging (respectively). I am guessing you did remember it, but just in case, I mentioned it.

Does the setting (either by default or how you've chosen to run it) limit either DX scores or Combat/Weapon Skills? This could be another reason your mileage has varied, with respect to Active Defenses. Based on suggestions while experimenting with character building on this board, the primary Combat/Weapon Skill on a 150 CP character should be more like 12 to 18, with 12 being for someone who is practically a non-combatant while 18 is for someone who makes a living based chiefly on combat. Skill 16-18 allows one to use Deceptive Attack fairly well, and also means (before Weapon specific modifiers) a Parry of 11 or 12.

If firearms are rare, then you might consider introducing shields into this setting. I mean, unless materials to make even a crude one are hard to come by. Instead of speeding up your archers, this could slow down melee combat as your up close fighters have to batter away an enemy's shield... or wait for an assist so that two attacks are made against the same foe (who has only one Block).

Finally, something simple that I've heard for similar circumstances is to keep the archer feeling involved by emphasizing it is doing something on those turns it isn't rolling to attack.

Turn 1 "Draw Arrow!".
Turn 2 "Notching Arrow!".
Turn 3 "Aiming One.".
Turn 4 "Aiming Two.".
Turn 5 "Aiming Three.".
Turn 6 "Fire!".

Unless it goes against the goal of the setting, I would also be generous when it comes to a player wanting to spend earned CP to up those Combat/Weapon Skills.

Sorry this is kind of scatterbrained; I'm up a bit late for other reasons. ^^'
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