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1st edition combat

 
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Shane Devries
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:36 am    Post subject: 1st edition combat  Reply with quote

Hi guys,

So who here runs 1st edition games and remains true the 1st editions combat system? I would love to find out what your experiences are?
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taustin
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We tried 2nd edition when it first came out, and while it was OK, we ended up going back to 1st. I still prefer it, and am working on a new compaign right now.

The most notable feature is the 1-in-6 chance of a bash being "stunned for a ful lturn." It's a real equalizer for low level characters, and the toughest fights are against a monster that's too big to bash.
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Shane Devries
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ahh, now that is interesting. I own the 1st edition but did not know that rule. I play 2nd edition. I may have to re-read the 1st edition to see what is different.

That is what I like about C&S, I have seen countless times, a 1st level character beat up or kill a much higher level foe simply due to massive, and sometimes lucky hits which smash a more fancied opponent. It is indeed an level equaliser I have noticed.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a certain degree of realism to the idea that a really big guy has certain advantages over small, but highly skilled, opponents. The bash is the one thing that made C&S unique in those days, and few games since have included useful rules on it.

IIRC, 2nd edition had the possibility of a stunned-for-a-full-turn result, at least with some weapons, but it was a lot less likely. The reasons nasty 1st edition fights often revolved around bashes is that it's possible to "game" the mechanics to up the odds of getting one (or any other bash), especially for a large character. While a weapon bash can only happen if the attack hits, the same is not true of body bashes (which can happen from the TAC matrix or a dodge) or shield bashes (which just cost a blow), and shield bashes with large shields are always H bashes. And since magick shields reduce chances of being bashed, they were especially valuable.

IIRC, the crits were generally more likely to be more than just extra damage in 1st, compared to 2nd, too, and were more additional damage (straight +50%, unless you were in full armor).

The biggest flaw in 1st was that PCF was based in part on on carry capacity, which made superhumans obscenely powerful. A really big character with a really high secondary strength roll could start with a PCF of 25+ at 1st level, and 30+ wasn't impossible.

Our least favorite part of 2nd edition combat was the armor damage absorption rules, especially the "armor/shield takes damage" part. We characters who traveled with mule trains of spare shields, which lasted only 1-2 blows before being destroyed.
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Shane Devries
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, that gives me a clearer idea of 1st editions combat system.

The bash rules in 2nd edition worked on a 2D6 roll that was modified by weight differences between the two foes, and defender AC etc.

The higher you rolled the worse the bask became with a limit of a loss of "two blows" in a single turn to the bashed foe. We love this part of the system because it really made combat a struggle between two combatants. A highly skilled warrior could be bashed by a huge but less skilled opponent and find himself in a dangerous situation.

With the armour/damage absorption rules I find it interesting you did not like them. Having to throw your shields away after one or two blows is not something we have experienced in our games ever. I am wondering if you guys used the mechanics for this correctly? Our group absolutely loves them. We found them easy to employ, quick to work out and it had the added bonus for the GM to force players to maintain the upkeep of their characters armour. Armour cannot last for ever thus this system to us is very realistic.

As for the need for shield pack mules etc we did not find this a problem at all. Even those who used their shields often a typical shield would last a lot longer than one or two combats. The MDAC of a typical shield is around 30-50 points and even if the MAC dropped to "zero" the shield would still hold its shape and ability to defend because it would only drop "one" AC per extra 10 points of damage absorption it took. Obviously it is deteriorating rapidly for every -10 points is drops below zero MDAC but it is only considered useless once the "AC" drops to zero.

It is fascinating how different groups playing different versions of C&S feel about certain rules mechanics. Our group personally could not play C&S without the MDAC damage rules. It is in our blood now and a huge and significantly important part of our gaming experience and has been for over 25 years now.

and a hit from a weapon would absorb part of the damage into the shield and armour
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been a long, long time since I've played 2nd edition, and my memory is pretty sketchy. The damage absorption as a game mechanic, however, is (at least one) additional step for each blow, which didn't appeal to us.

I could have sworn there was a "stunned for a turn" result somewhere on the 2nd edition bash tables, but certainly not the 1 in 6 that 1st edition had. That, and lucky crits, could really save your butt.

Another thing I always liked was the "longer weapon goes first" mechanic, which save low level characters with spears more often than anything else. One of the most epic battles we ever had was between a bunch of very low level characters and a pack of ghouls. Came down to one character left standing, and one ghoul, and both would go down on the next hit. And the PC had a thrusting spear, Len 9, vs MLC 6 claws. Since all the other characters were unconscious rather than dead, it was one of the few times that there were a bunch of people who weren't currently doing anything, but nobody was bored.
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Shane Devries
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Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aye, the damage absorption mechanic did not appeal to us at first either. There was enough to do in a C&S combat turn already. We did not even introduce the blows system until later. We fed each game mechanic in one at a time over a period of years so that we became at ease and comfortable with the previous mechanic first. So when it came time to add in armour absorption it was easy.

As for the blow system the worst you can suffer is a knock to the ground and loss of two blows. The stunning blow is part of the "Critical Hit" rules for strikes to the head. If you get a solid hit to the head you can suffer differing effects of stunning. From a mild headache to being knocked unconscious completely. In between there is a mild concussion (-2 in combat) and severe concussion (-5 in combat) which drops your ability to hit. We introduced another negative of an equal amount to your chance to score a critical or bash back on your foe if you suffered this kind of hit. Makes combat very scary. It shows the character is getting weakened by the impact of the blow.

With 2nd edition there is a weapon length and speed factor. The longer weapons strike first in the initial round and will continue to strike first in all subsequent rounds unless the foes weapon is faster. But saying that, I think 1st edition's system being less bogged down in detail must provide a fast free-flowing combat experience?
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shane Devries wrote:
Aye, the damage absorption mechanic did not appeal to us at first either. There was enough to do in a C&S combat turn already. We did not even introduce the blows system until later. We fed each game mechanic in one at a time over a period of years so that we became at ease and comfortable with the previous mechanic first. So when it came time to add in armour absorption it was easy.


We were all old hands at complicted gaming mechanics by then, or we probably wouldn't have tried C&S at all.

Shane Devries wrote:
As for the blow system the worst you can suffer is a knock to the ground and loss of two blows. The stunning blow is part of the "Critical Hit" rules for strikes to the head. If you get a solid hit to the head you can suffer differing effects of stunning. From a mild headache to being knocked unconscious completely. In between there is a mild concussion (-2 in combat) and severe concussion (-5 in combat) which drops your ability to hit. We introduced another negative of an equal amount to your chance to score a critical or bash back on your foe if you suffered this kind of hit. Makes combat very scary. It shows the character is getting weakened by the impact of the blow.


Special effects from 1st edition head crits were more like "instant death." I believe there's an option for blindness, too. (And with a 10% chance any hit would be to the head if you weren't wearing a helmet, and 75% chance of instant death with a heavy weapon, yeah, combat was pretty scary.)

Shane Devries wrote:
With 2nd edition there is a weapon length and speed factor. The longer weapons strike first in the initial round and will continue to strike first in all subsequent rounds unless the foes weapon is faster. But saying that, I think 1st edition's system being less bogged down in detail must provide a fast free-flowing combat experience?


And ultimately, that was why we went back to 1st edition. Back In The Day, when we were still a gaming club as Cal State Fullerton, it wasn't unusual to have 8 or 10 people in a game, and it wasn't unknown to have a dozen or more. Even after those days were over, and we were gaming at The Fortress Of Ultimate Dampness, it was unusual to have fewer than 6. Anything that slows down combat is bad with that many players.
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Shane Devries
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Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahh cool.

Even with the added rules for combat in 2nd edition we have had the table filled by excess of 10 players at a time and sometimes up to 13. This was a while back, the average now it only about 5-6 but I do remember those hectic nights.  Rolling Eyes

Did you guys fit in the Saurian rules into your 1st edition games or even Land of the Rising Sun? These supplements are superb and add so much to C&S I think.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We played around with Saurians a little bit, but the only thing we consistently used as the expaned language rules.

Land of the Rising Sun I have a copy of somewhere, but we've never played it. (We did play Bushido a bit.)
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Don Holt



Joined: 12 May 2009
Posts: 148


Location: NC, USA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Saurians just appear with the group I am now running, though my kids have seen them before. They are Arden allies, live in the northern deserts, and were sent by by the 13th tribe(the lost tribe) of Arden to get help against the Thoriens.

SwordPlay! has introduced the concept of aiming point. You have 5 choices now, none, high, middle, low, and weapon. The weapon aiming point is a tactic to balance the advantage of longer weapons. A player recently used it as he attacked an Archeon soldier that had reach on him as he closed. The steel weapon of the Ardon player meet the weaker Archeon weapon shattering it to pieces.
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Shane Devries
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice Don,

I really enjoy these supplements and both fit into my own game set in the Harnworld system. Playing C&S rules with the backdrop of Harn is a perfect fit. I only had to do cosmetic adaptations to get things running back in the 90's when I turned off the lights to my own world.

Your combat adaptations also sound very good for what you are doing. You play 1st edition also right?
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Don Holt



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At this point, I would not say that it is either 1st or 2nd edition. It is SwordPlay! It is detailed like C&S, but has a number of differences.

    The To Hit table is PCF vs PCF based. But is still modified by defensive tactic.

    Your offensive tactics determine weapon speed, which effects the weapon momentum. Your defensive tactics may also effect the momentum of a strike as well as reducing the chance of a strike occurring.

    Hitting and damaging are separate. A hit will only do minor fatigue (and very minor body damage for blunt weapons) loss.

    A Hit that penetrates armor gets the Damage multiplier. Penetrating the armor depends on four things: momentum of the weapon, type of weapon, the protective value of the armor, and the angle of strike (a defensive roll). Momentum depends on the total speed of the weapon relative to the the target.  The damage multiplier is determined by how much you exceed the armor value.


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