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Old 12-12-2021, 10:28 AM   #21
Nils_Lindeberg
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Default Re: Main-gauche vs. Dagger

There is a certain rock-paper-scissors logic to absorbing armor.

Light weapons with high DX fighters win against heavy weapon fighters with low DX.

Armored opponents win against light weapon wielders.

Heavily armed fighters win against heavily armored opponents.

And fighters in the middle with a little of all do better overall, especially if they manage to hit the sweet spot of 1 more adjDX than their opponent.
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Old 12-13-2021, 08:51 AM   #22
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Main-gauche vs. Dagger

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nils_Lindeberg View Post
There is a certain rock-paper-scissors logic to absorbing armor.

Light weapons with high DX fighters win against heavy weapon fighters with low DX.

Armored opponents win against light weapon wielders.

Heavily armed fighters win against heavily armored opponents.

And fighters in the middle with a little of all do better overall, especially if they manage to hit the sweet spot of 1 more adjDX than their opponent.
That's right; one of the surprising strengths of the system is how well it represents the arms race between various armor and weapon matchups, given how few rules specific to that idea it contains. The 'rock/paper/scissors' aspect emerges from just a couple of rules. I would add, though, that the relative value of various armors and weapons changes a lot when you consider tactical situations other than 1 on 1 melee fights. If you have to stand under massed missile weapon fire for any time at all you absolutely have to have armor or you are cooked.
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Old 01-07-2022, 07:42 AM   #23
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Main-gauche vs. Dagger

Gobber, Goblin, age 20
ST 6, DX 15, IQ 11, MA 10
Talents include: Climbing, Dagger Expertise, Shield Expertise, Tactics, Thrown Weapons
Language: Goblin
Weapon: 4* very fine daggers (1d+2)
Attacks and Damage: Punch (1d-4)
Armor: Small shield stops 2 hits, -2 DX to be hit for expertise

Against an IQ 8 fighter in fine plate and tower shield Gobber has a 50% hit chance with the head toss at 1-hex and a hit has a 83.33% chance of a knock over, for a combined 42% chance of a one-shot.


What really kills armored types is the encumbrance rules:
Short sword 4 pounds
Chain mail 30 pounds
large shield 20 pounds
misc stuff 16 pounds
70 pounds / ST 11 = 6.3x load, another -1 DX
ST 11, DX 13 (8), IQ 8, MA 6, etc.
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Last edited by hcobb; 01-07-2022 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 01-07-2022, 10:26 AM   #24
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Boston area
Default Re: Main-gauche vs. Dagger

I'm not sure why you averaged the two percentages for a "combined one-shot" attempt.

My characters have never seen a guy in full plate. Most of the guys they see have an adjDX of 9 or better. Those who are supposed to be competitive have adjDX of 10 or 11 or more. Let's calculate the odds of a shield rush knocking an adjDX 10 and ST >= 6 character.

P(knockdown) = P(to-hit) * P(~save)
= 0.95 * 0.75
= 71%

Still quite respectable. Once the adjDX goes up to 12, the odds become less than 50/50.

As far as the dagger to the head shot goes, first you're from one hex away, so you damned well better make the shot. If you miss, he counterattacks with a -1 penalty to hit (your dagger expertise doesn't matter because you're not holding a dagger), so if his adjDX is 9, then his odds to hit (with the -1 penalty) are 26%, not great but that's a low adjDX. You, meanwhile, are unarmed. Next turn, you can choose to draw a dagger, shield-rush or draw and throw a dagger. The first option gives you that -1 modifier to be hit, but the others don't.

In pointing out the problems with heavy armor, you added a full 16lbs of miscellaneous stuff being carried, just so he'd have an additional -1DX. (12lbs would have sufficed.) A labyrinth kit is only 6lbs. Why is he carrying so damned much?

If we apply the same attention to encumbrance rules to your character, he's got a 10lb shield and the daggers weigh a bit less than a pound. I guess he's also carrying 16lbs of miscellaneous stuff, because people just do that or something, so at about 27lbs, he's carrying over 4 times his weight. His MA is 8, not 10, but his DX is unaffected.

ETA: If we apply the armor weight reductions for shields, then he's only carrying 23.8lbs, barely avoiding the MA reduction thanks to the featherweight daggers. I plumb forgot about that in my calculations.

Or is it only non-goblins who carry around needlessly extra weight?

Let's consider your odds against the following figure, with no expertise, but you spent $200 each on four daggers, so let's give him a very fine spear at the same cost. He's spent $960 on equipment, so unless he stuffs his pockets with rocks, he won't be carrying 16lbs of extra stuff.

ST 11, DX 13 (11), IQ 8, MA 8
Weapons: Very fine spear (1d+2), Short sword (2d-1), Dagger (1d-1)
Armor: Leather (2 hits), Small shield (1 hit)

You can shield rush him, but he'll get first hit with an adjDX of 11 (+2 bonus for receiving a charge against the -2 penalty to hit you), doing 2d+2 damage if he hits, for an average result of 4.375 hits after armor.

You can throw a dagger at him. If you do it from one hex away, he gets that same charge reaction. From two hexes, you have an adjDX of 9 to make the head shot, so he'd jab first or dodge. If you throw without aiming at the head, you'll attack first, doing an average of 2.25pts of damage after armor (and ignoring double or triple damage odds). His response will do an average of 1.75pts of damage (-1 modifier to hit because of Shield Expertise). That's a bit less than a third of your ST. Two of those hits and you're in trouble.

If you throw from farther away, your odds of hitting go down and you allow him the possibility of a charge if he moves second, though of course you can defend. Because of your very high DX, he's not keen to shield rush you.

In general, I agree that a starting character with chain mail can be bested by a goblin like you've drawn up, but that goblin isn't his average foe in a roleplaying setting. No one is too concerned about dagger throws to the head with a 50/50 chance of hitting down in the labyrinth. A shield rush attack can be an issue, of course, though as GM I haven't used those much. Perhaps I should. But a heavily armored figure is a tank. He should defend against shield rush, not attack after the fact.

In sum, no, I don't think that chainmail for a starting character is plumb stupid. It would have to be a character built for that purpose. It would help if he isn't filling his pockets with 16lbs of rocks. He'd have a role to play, but it has certain disadvantages.

Last edited by phiwum; 01-07-2022 at 01:11 PM. Reason: Correction to the goblin's weight.
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Old 01-07-2022, 11:49 PM   #25
Steve Plambeck
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Default Re: Main-gauche vs. Dagger

Me and my friends characters never carried extra gear except in packs or bags that could be dropped on a moments notice, melee turn #1. A pouch of coins or jewels would be all we retained besides our weapons. We never fought with any encumbrance other than the base rate for armor worn. Who would fight otherwise? If the fight went badly and you were forced to run, that satchel of gold bars was expendable. Food and camping gear was even more expendable.

(Exception: our parties might carry everything plus the kitchen sink on long outdoor adventures, but on pack animals or in a cart, not on our persons.)
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Old 01-08-2022, 09:15 AM   #26
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Main-gauche vs. Dagger

This version of the goblin specialist is fine, like most of the others. The point that gets obscured in these threads is that they are not qualitatively better or worse than countless other characters with very different traits. And all these matchups get totally scrambled as soon as you change the tactical situation or advance everyone in XP and wealth. The designs are all fun and interesting but the optimization/superiority arguments are nonsense.
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Old 01-17-2022, 07:33 AM   #27
David Bofinger
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default Re: Main-gauche vs. Dagger

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nils_Lindeberg View Post
fighters in the middle with a little of all do better overall
I'm not sure that's true in the case of armour. One point of armour has only a modest impact on a character's survivability, whereas five points of armour might well have more than five times as much effect. The result is that the intermediate characters - low but not zero armour characters - are often less efficient designs than either extreme.

Quote:
There is a certain rock-paper-scissors logic to absorbing armor.
If we have a tank (low damage, high armour), a dragon slayer (high damage, no armour) and an archer (low damage, no armour, more attack opportunities) then it may be the case that the archer can beat the dragon slayer, the dragon slayer can beat the tank, and the tank can beat the archer.
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Old 01-17-2022, 07:40 AM   #28
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Main-gauche vs. Dagger

One point of armor (or better yet two) is golden when swarmed by wasps.
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Old 03-18-2022, 04:13 PM   #29
Nils_Lindeberg
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Default Re: Main-gauche vs. Dagger

Don't underestimate one or two points of armor. Against a battleaxe user, it won't do much, but against a rapier attacker, it makes a huge difference. And in the Monte Carlo simulations we did, we matched different characters against all other characters, and armor wasn't a bad choice.

What mattered was DX, you wanted an adjDX of one more than your opponent, and no more. If you had more than that, it seemed like the build would do better with more armor or higher ST and a heavier weapon.

What the simulations didn't take into account was two major things:
Armor is great when you have to go through several consecutive fights, with or without a Physicker in between, like a dungeon. Winning a fight is still important, but the simulation didn't give any "bonus" points for winning while taking zero hits yourself, which is a great advantage in a dungeon.

The other huge difference is the many against one situation where armor is great if you are on the "one" side, and a big weapon is great if you are on the "many" side.

But armor has a sweet spot the higher you go compared to the opponents' average damage. Chain+tower shield is almost an auto-win against a rapier-wielding opponent if your base DX is higher than 10. But that is where HtH or aimed attacks against the head and such come in. But overall, people tend to overestimate the use for a high adjDX. The simulations didn't support this, and real play supports survivability and that means more armor and ST (for more wounds). In the end it was way more balanced than I thought it would be.

And the 11/13, 12/12, and 13/11 builds did well as expected. But 9/15 and 15/9 were not so far behind as expected. And even 9/12/11 javelin expertise builds were somewhat competitive. With a 10/14 build, you can still do well, the differences were small.

One shouldn't underestimate the advantage of one or two points of armor when it comes to knockdown (8 damage), stun (5 damage), and going down to weak status (at 1-3ST).
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Old 03-18-2022, 05:06 PM   #30
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Main-gauche vs. Dagger

The 9/12 fighter ought to beat the one DX point advantage of the 9/15 fighter most of the time.
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