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Old 03-04-2021, 03:49 PM   #1
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Brawling once again

I don't know how I've overlooked this so long, but I realized that Brawling is even more powerful than I thought. I've long thought (like Skarg has repeatedly pointed out) that Brawling is one point shy of using a dagger.

But in HTH it's worse than that. Brawling gives +2 damage to bare hand damage. In HTH, bare hands do +1 over ST damage already, so a ST 9 fighter in HTH does 1d damage if he has brawling. This is exactly as much as an ST 9 fighter does with a dagger in HTH.

Thus, Brawling removes the most pressing need for the Knife talent, without the need to draw a dagger when your opponent initiates HTH.

Am I missing something here? Are there limits to Brawling I don't see? (The text mentions bar fighting -- maybe you get the bonus only in locations where you can buy a drink?)

I've seen people argue against the +1 bonus in HTH or even that "fighter" means the bonus only applies to non-wizards or something. In general, I'm okay with HTH being deadly, but a one point skill that makes drawing a dagger irrelevant is bugging me.

I've also seen Skarg argue for dropping the dirty fighting clause, if I understand correctly. I'd consider dropping it from HTH so that a dagger is still better than unarmed, I suppose.
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Old 03-04-2021, 06:42 PM   #2
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Brawling once again

It's a good talent, that's for sure. Note that at least one person on earth (me!) doesn't award the extra point of damage in HTH to 'fighters', both because I hate the idea of such a distinction unconnected to talents or stats, and because it is one more thing I get to ignore. But doing so also has the benefit of preventing low-ST brawlers from being as well off unarmed as armed.
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Old 03-04-2021, 07:48 PM   #3
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Brawling once again

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Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
It's a good talent, that's for sure. Note that at least one person on earth (me!) doesn't award the extra point of damage in HTH to 'fighters', both because I hate the idea of such a distinction unconnected to talents or stats, and because it is one more thing I get to ignore. But doing so also has the benefit of preventing low-ST brawlers from being as well off unarmed as armed.
You're probably the reason I mentioned that some dislike the +1 bonus in HTH. I reckon I've seen you say something like that before.

The +1 bonus to "fighters" makes HTH more deadly and I'm okay with that. Certainly, it makes sense that a dagger is worse in HTH than in regular combat. It does seem odd that unarmed HTH is deadlier than a dagger in regular combat for anyone with ST 13 or higher, but that's a pretty high ST.

I'm only reconsidering that +1 thing now because the notion that a brawler is just fine without a dagger is bugging me. Getting trapped into a donnybrook without a dagger seems like it should cause a person some concern, but someone with brawling talent needn't worry at all. (There's still some minor advantage to pulling out your dagger for the fight -- you might want that dagger in hand after the fight's over and you stand up.)
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Old 03-04-2021, 08:05 PM   #4
phiwum
 
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Default Re: Brawling once again

I wonder if the +1 damage in HTH for "fighters" should have been replaced when Brawling made it into the talents list.
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Old 03-04-2021, 08:13 PM   #5
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Brawling once again

You can buy a very fine dagger, but not a very fine fist. Combine with Dagger Mastery to dish out dice of damage in HTH.
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Old 03-05-2021, 01:16 AM   #6
phiwum
 
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Default Re: Brawling once again

Hcobb, this isn't really on point. I'm not asking whether there's some buttloads of money and IQ points that would lead to daggers kicking brawlers' butts. I'm asking whether brawling is too good for beginning characters.

Last edited by phiwum; 03-05-2021 at 08:25 AM. Reason: Missing apostrophe. Gah.
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Old 03-05-2021, 06:20 AM   #7
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Brawling once again

Daggers and clubs are always better than brawling, plus you only lose your weapon on a fumble rather than killing yourself.

Unless you start with a gargoyle wizard. In that case it is worth giving up two spells for the 2d+2 attack.
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Old 03-05-2021, 06:50 AM   #8
Shostak
 
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Default Re: Brawling once again

Brawling is especially valuable in situations in which weapons, even super-extra-silver-enchanted ones, are not an option, like when you've been relieved of your weapons upon entering the den of some guild or crime (is there always a distinction?) boss, or when you've been rudely awakened by a succubus and your weapons are out of reach.
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Old 03-05-2021, 08:24 AM   #9
phiwum
 
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Default Re: Brawling once again

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
Daggers and clubs are always better than brawling, plus you only lose your weapon on a fumble rather than killing yourself.

Unless you start with a gargoyle wizard. In that case it is worth giving up two spells for the 2d+2 attack.
I would've thought that daggers are better than brawling, but I don't see it in the rules.

In HTH, unarmed fighters get a +1 bonus over his ST damage (ITL 122). Brawling adds +2 to that (dirty fighting).

In HTH, a dagger gives +3 bonus over ST. That's all. There's even an example in the text that confirms that the dagger doesn't get that +1 bonus that unarmed (or bare-handed) bonus.

The damage is thus the same, per RAW.

Now, it's possible that the +1 bonus for bare-handed HTH isn't meant to stack with the brawling bonus, so that brawling gives no bonus at all if fighting clean in HTH. I find it hard to read it that way, however. The rules strongly suggest that he gets a bonus of +1 or +2 (clean or dirty) over what he'd otherwise get in HTH.
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Old 03-09-2021, 05:45 PM   #10
Jack O'All Trades
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Default Re: Brawling once again

I've seen a lot of people say to only allow the dirty fighting bonus in cases where everyone is (mostly) fighting 'fair' in the first place, perhaps defined by only going for fatigue damage? In which case using dirty fighting may have social consequences. Note I'd still let dirty fighting count only towards fatigue damage. In such a context, the second someone draws a knife (or tries to?) you lose your +2 and revert to +1 (although this still comes out to +2 in HTH).

Another result of this is that in a non-fair fight (i.e. in combat) it comes out as just being a cheap and non-upgradable Unmanned Combat I. I think that nicely reflects the less martial focus of Brawling and the overall aspirations of martial arts.
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