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Old 11-12-2018, 06:12 AM   #21
RobW
 
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Default Re: Return of the MNSH (Murderous Ninja Sniper Halfling)

MNSHs are a disgusting abomination. THey need to be stopped. I agree a 40-pt one is unlikely to "make it", but still, a 32-pt MNSH looks like: ST4 DX15 IQ13 for the mastery version, or ST4 DX20 IQ8 if you houserule against sha-ken mastery. These early career MNSHs are awful as well. e.g. even the latter can deliver about 19 damage to an unarmored figure against the far wall, by running halfway across the arena and unleashing their barrage. Oh that figure against the far wall is dodging? THat's just 13 damage then. [Edit: damages are wrong]

On reflection, I think the real problem is not mastery or shrewd throws, but the idea of throwing 12 sha-ken in one attack. Coupled with the 1d-2 damage for a weapon that can be used by a ST4 figure. Twelve? This is just insane. I think fighting with two battleaxes is also kind of crazy, but I can at least visualise it. But throwing 12 sha-ken just seems a physical impossibility. Yet this impossibility is the root reason both the original and improved Shrewd MNSH are so awful.

I would suggest as MNSH-killing houserule:
You can (ready and) throw 1, 2, or 3 sha-ken, with DX penalty of 0, 2, 4.

Another houserule might be to disallow expertise/mastery of peculiar weapons. It might be better to assume the peculiar talent already reflects special advantages and a form of mastery. This would be a houserule, but since I dislike the peculiar weapons in general, it's appealing.

I definitely would allow shrewd attacks with thrown weapons, as I think this is plausible RAW, generally inoffensive, fun, and cinematic. A dwarf master shrewdly throwing his axe to take out the final opponent, that's too sweet a situation to disallow.

Last edited by RobW; 11-12-2018 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 11-12-2018, 07:04 AM   #22
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Return of the MNSH (Murderous Ninja Sniper Halfling)

House ruling that each Sha-Ken can only inflict one point after penetrating armor, multiplied for doubling and tripling and that no more than ST Sha-Ken can be tossed at a single time.
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Old 11-12-2018, 09:49 AM   #23
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Default Re: Return of the MNSH (Murderous Ninja Sniper Halfling)

I think throwing 12 at once is not wrong as a possible thing, if you mean a handful of little sharp metal things. But what is definitely wrong is the effect! It's wrong to give each of 12 little sharp things 1d-2 (only one less point damage than a single thrown dagger), as is adding +1 or +2 to that for any reason, as is the general problem of dumping points and other additions onto DX to overpower the DX penalty for doing so.

A 1-point final injury cap per hit for sha-ken barrages mostly fixes that weapon's abuse as a super-powerful weapon. It also helps to not allow them to ready 12 per turn, and to decide that since Thrown Weapons is a pre-req, it does not add another +2 to adjDX with sha-ken.

The larger issue I see though is with the ability to pile up enormous adjDX relatively easily. You were slightly mistaken in that starting Halflings are 30 points not 32 points, but the RAW XP cost for attributes implies Halflings get to buy their first FOUR (not two) extra attributes for only 100 XP, so they'll soon catch up (IF they somehow manage not to die with ST 4 - another part of the problem is being able to play safely to raise XP, and then apply that XP towards munchkin combat skills).

I think that points to a general problem with the XP costs for attributes being based on humans but applied to other races, as well as a broader issue with basing those XP costs on total points, encouraging stat dumping to get very high other stats. But that's a much broader issue.

Meanwhile, here's a 35-point MNSH killer:
ST 12
DX 14 (11)(14 crossbow)
IQ 9
MA 10(6)
light crossbow 2d
chainmail - stops 4 (incl. +1 from toughness) -3DX
war ax 2d
Crossbow, Missile-Weapons III, Quick-Draw: Crossbow, Ax/Mace, Toughness
Geas: Immediately shoot to kill halflings on sight.
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Old 11-12-2018, 10:52 AM   #24
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: Return of the MNSH (Murderous Ninja Sniper Halfling)

Shrewd attacks are clearly permitted by the rules for thrown weapons (but not missile weapons - an egregious omission in my opinion). At issue here is the idea that you can combine that with the fistfull of sha ken option. There is no official ruling on this, but it is explicitly stated that you can't make an aimed shot with more than one sha ken at a time. A shrewd attack can be reasonably described as a sort of aimed attack, so I would say the most rational ruling is that you can only do one shrewd sha ken attack at a time.

Re. the 32 point MNSH described above, I'm at a loss as to why folks think this is a winning strategy. Say you take DX 20, adjusted to 22 for thrown weapons talent, and then throw 12 sha ken, taking adjDX to 14. If someone is just trying to avoid letting you get close, it is hard to imagine how you would close to closer than ~5 hexes on the melee map on the same turn you deliver an attack - it is just too easy to run away from a single figure that has not engaged you. And, naturally, they will dodge on the turn of your attack. 12 attacks at adjDX 9 or so vs a dodging foe has an expected yield of 1.2 hits, for an expected damage value of 1.8 points. And now you are a disarmed munchkin with ST 4.

You might reasonably argue that no one can win a fight by running away all day. So here's a reasonable offensive response: A combatant with running, ST 9 DX15, cloth armor and a javelin. Just juke around, keeping your distance and dodging, until you have initiative are are within 5 hexes, then charge attack. You will get to resolve your attack first (as a pole weapon charge) because that's how the rules work, and will have a 91 % chance of landing a 2d-1 damage blow (you can't defend with a fistful of sha ken, so the adjDX 14 attack is resolved on 3d).
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Old 11-12-2018, 11:03 AM   #25
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Default Re: Return of the MNSH (Murderous Ninja Sniper Halfling)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
House ruling that each Sha-Ken can only inflict one point after penetrating armor, multiplied for doubling and tripling and that no more than ST Sha-Ken can be tossed at a single time.
That's fine if you like, but I don't think it is necessary. All the arguments in favor of this being a murderous strategy have been based on arithmetical errors and/or rulings that strike me as contrary to the letter and spirit of the rules. A sha ken throwing hobbit is a fun character concept that will definitely be fun to play and occasionally have his or her moment to shine. But there is nothing particularly dangerous about such a character in a flat out one on one fight.
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Old 11-12-2018, 11:04 AM   #26
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Default Re: Return of the MNSH (Murderous Ninja Sniper Halfling)

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Originally Posted by RobW View Post
Hobbits lost their bonus damage with thrown weapons, but I am including +2 for weapon mastery.
Why? That isn't part of the rules. These sorts of white room exercises are fun ways to explore how the game works, but they don't really work when we each have our own rules!
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Old 11-12-2018, 03:30 PM   #27
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Default Re: Return of the MNSH (Murderous Ninja Sniper Halfling)

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Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
Why? That isn't part of the rules. These sorts of white room exercises are fun ways to explore how the game works, but they don't really work when we each have our own rules!
Well, I disagree that RAW are so clear on this whole topic of Shrewd Sha-Ken. There have been several ideas explored, I'll go through my responses below. But first, just to emphasise, I would be very happy to play in a game that ruled against me on all of these points. Well maybe one possible exception below.

First, it isn't clear to me that expertise/mastery does not apply to sha-ken. I see the argument, and I do agree a sha-ken isn't a perfect fit for the idea of a "hand weapon". But for me the context here is saying these skills don't apply to missile weapons, eg it says, see the Missile Weapons skill (and doesn't mention the Thrown Weapons skill as another exception). For me then, this is a houserule, one I like because it would also apply to boomerangs, whips, and bolas which I am worried might also generate shrewdness problems. But still houserule rather than clear RAW.

Does the fact that aimed shots are explicitly limited to 1 sha-ken mean that shrewd sha-ken attacks are limited to 1 sha-ken? I would say clearly not. There's nothing in the rules linking aimed and shrewd attacks in this way. As you say, a transitive law of sane rulings might suggest this, but that's not the same as being contrary to the rules. Would I happy to play in your game if this was your ruling? Absolutely.

I am not at all convinced that shrewd "blows" does not apply to shrewd "throws" (eg a master axeman throwing his axe). In fact, I'd be disappointed if official guidance goes this way. For normal weapons, there doesn't seem much potential for abuse here, and there can be lots of risk-reward fun.

The idea that you can throw but can't ready multiple sha-ken. It's clever, but to me this feels like a loophole rather than intent in the rules. For example, on page 107 there is a list of the allowed ready weapons, and 12 sha-ken is not listed. In this list, the most you can ready is two 1-handed weapons. So does this mean SJ's intent is that you could throw 12 sha-ken if only you could ready them, but too bad because you can't? No, it is not stated but implicit in the rules that you can ready 12 sha-ken. But if I can ready 12 sha-ken in advance of the attack, can I ready 13, 14, 25? 100? Then throw them 12 at a time? There's nothing inthe rules about the maximum number of ready sha-ken. All in all, for me, the simplest thing is to say the rules intend that 12 sha-ken counts as a ready weapon. A house rule that said you can't ready (or throw!) 12 sha-ken sounds appealing to me, but again not so clear to me this is what the rules say.

My feeling -- and I freely admit it is nothing more than a feeling -- is that otherwise, it is such a subtle and easy to miss point that SJ would include a spiffy sentence about how you can throw 12 but then get ready to spend 12 turns reloading. And then maybe he would have included a rule for high DX helping you reload sha-ken faster, like for bows and crossbows. Anyway, do I agree that readying 12 sha-ken in a turn seems impossible and leads to awful outcomes? Yes! I just think this is unlikely to be against RAW.

I think that's all the proposals. So for me, shrewd MNSH are clearly plausible within RAW. There's a lot of good ways to houserule them out of existence, and the only one I would regret is disallowing shrewd throws altogether.

OMG I can't believe I spent such an amount of effort on this topic. Lost, I am lost....!
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Old 11-12-2018, 03:55 PM   #28
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Default Re: Return of the MNSH (Murderous Ninja Sniper Halfling)

Quote:
Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
If someone is just trying to avoid letting you get close, it is hard to imagine how you would close to closer than ~5 hexes on the melee map on the same turn you deliver an attack.
I'm very sad to say, I have been doing a lot of gaming battles out with different MNSHs. I don't actually roll the attacks and damage, just the manoeuvring before the attacks. For simplicity give the non-shrewd 32pt MNSH and Javelin the same MA=12 and put them at opposite ends of the Melee map. (I assert) with best choice play, the javelin will have to suffer one barrage from a range of 2 hexes while dodging. This was surprising, for me.

The turn after J can do his charge attack. I'm sure you're right that if J is wearing cloth he is a big favorite against non-shrewd 32pt MNSH. If J is unarmoured it will be close, as unarmoured J quite likely to be down to 3 ST or less before he attacks.

But to add, for me the point is not that a non-shrewd 32pt MNSH can be defeated by figures who can attack before the MNSH can. It is that these MNSHs are capable of generating damage that is completely out of proportion. If you want to stick with non-shrewd MNSHs then the out of proportion damage is indeed limited to unarmoured figures. If you allow Shrewd MNSHs then there is another kind of abomination, again out of all proportion. And to be extra clear, to rule these out of existence makes the world a little better, but for me as I argue above, it is houseruling out of existence (not that that matters much).

Last edited by RobW; 11-12-2018 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 11-12-2018, 04:16 PM   #29
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: Return of the MNSH (Murderous Ninja Sniper Halfling)

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobW View Post
Well, I disagree that RAW are so clear on this whole topic of Shrewd Sha-Ken. There have been several ideas explored, I'll go through my responses below. But first, just to emphasise, I would be very happy to play in a game that ruled against me on all of these points. Well maybe one possible exception below.

First, it isn't clear to me that expertise/mastery does not apply to sha-ken. I see the argument, and I do agree a sha-ken isn't a perfect fit for the idea of a "hand weapon". But for me the context here is saying these skills don't apply to missile weapons, eg it says, see the Missile Weapons skill (and doesn't mention the Thrown Weapons skill as another exception). For me then, this is a houserule, one I like because it would also apply to boomerangs, whips, and bolas which I am worried might also generate shrewdness problems. But still houserule rather than clear RAW.

Does the fact that aimed shots are explicitly limited to 1 sha-ken mean that shrewd sha-ken attacks are limited to 1 sha-ken? I would say clearly not. There's nothing in the rules linking aimed and shrewd attacks in this way. As you say, a transitive law of sane rulings might suggest this, but that's not the same as being contrary to the rules. Would I happy to play in your game if this was your ruling? Absolutely.

I am not at all convinced that shrewd "blows" does not apply to shrewd "throws" (eg a master axeman throwing his axe). In fact, I'd be disappointed if official guidance goes this way. For normal weapons, there doesn't seem much potential for abuse here, and there can be lots of risk-reward fun.

The idea that you can throw but can't ready multiple sha-ken. It's clever, but to me this feels like a loophole rather than intent in the rules. For example, on page 107 there is a list of the allowed ready weapons, and 12 sha-ken is not listed. In this list, the most you can ready is two 1-handed weapons. So does this mean SJ's intent is that you could throw 12 sha-ken if only you could ready them, but too bad because you can't? No, it is not stated but implicit in the rules that you can ready 12 sha-ken. But if I can ready 12 sha-ken in advance of the attack, can I ready 13, 14, 25? 100? Then throw them 12 at a time? There's nothing inthe rules about the maximum number of ready sha-ken. All in all, for me, the simplest thing is to say the rules intend that 12 sha-ken counts as a ready weapon. A house rule that said you can't ready (or throw!) 12 sha-ken sounds appealing to me, but again not so clear to me this is what the rules say.

My feeling -- and I freely admit it is nothing more than a feeling -- is that otherwise, it is such a subtle and easy to miss point that SJ would include a spiffy sentence about how you can throw 12 but then get ready to spend 12 turns reloading. And then maybe he would have included a rule for high DX helping you reload sha-ken faster, like for bows and crossbows. Anyway, do I agree that readying 12 sha-ken in a turn seems impossible and leads to awful outcomes? Yes! I just think this is unlikely to be against RAW.

I think that's all the proposals. So for me, shrewd MNSH are clearly plausible within RAW. There's a lot of good ways to houserule them out of existence, and the only one I would regret is disallowing shrewd throws altogether.

OMG I can't believe I spent such an amount of effort on this topic. Lost, I am lost....!
Perhaps my comment wasn't clear; what I meant was that the +2 damage for Thrown Weapons talent is a non-canon house rule. I agree with you that weapon mastery for sha ken should be permitted (or at least is within the range of what could be read as RAW).
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Old 11-12-2018, 04:19 PM   #30
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Default Re: Return of the MNSH (Murderous Ninja Sniper Halfling)

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobW View Post
I'm very sad to say, I have been doing a lot of gaming battles out with different MNSHs. I don't actually roll the attacks and damage, just the manoeuvring before the attacks. For simplicity give the non-shrewd 32pt MNSH and Javelin the same MA=12 and put them at opposite ends of the Melee map. (I assert) with best choice play, the javelin will have to suffer one barrage from a range of 2 hexes while dodging. This was surprising, for me.

The turn after J can do his charge attack. I'm sure you're right that if J is wearing cloth he is a big favorite against non-shrewd 32pt MNSH. If J is unarmoured it will be close, as unarmoured J quite likely to be down to 3 ST or less before he attacks.

But to add, for me the point is not that a non-shrewd 32pt MNSH can be defeated by figures who can attack before the MNSH can. It is that these MNSHs are capable of generating damage that is completely out of proportion. If you want to stick with non-shrewd MNSHs then the out of proportion damage is indeed limited to unarmoured figures. If you allow Shrewd MNSHs then there is another kind of abomination, again out of all proportion. And to be extra clear, to rule these out of existence makes the world a little better, but for me as I argue above, it is houseruling out of existence (not that that matters much).
I don't understand how this can be since you can't throw a weapon after moving more than 2 on that same turn. So if we start disengaged, I either get initiative and move some large distance from you or I reach you with my pole weapon charge, and if you get initiative you either move a little closer to me and prepare to throw or move some large distance and don't. It seems inevitable that if you don't elect to engage me I can always move more than 2 hexes from you. Actually the really hard thing will be for you to avoid being engaged by a charge, at which point it is too late for you (as a charging pole weapon strikes before all other actions, as per RAW)
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