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Cassu

So, tell me about Pathfinder

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The thing is, if you're competent at all, you don't drop your weapon except by the action of your opponent (and that's handled by a different mechanic). I've fought SCA heavy, SCA light, a little quarterstaff, and all sorts of boffer, and you just don't drop your weapon by yourself. Not even newbs drop their weapons.

 

Stumble? Sure. Fall down? Occasionally. When you're being chased over rocky ground, falling down is a realistic problem. But I've seen perhaps as many as two people drop weapons in a couple of decades of combat, and then it was because they were trying to be cute (switching hands while fighting, for instance -- dumb stuff).

 

 

(Lose an attack is a reasonable and easy to handle mechanic, though.)

I have seen enough fencing matches - including Olympic matches, where, yes, somebody does 'drop his sword' - take a look on Google, I am pretty sure that the exact match that I am thinking of is recorded for posterity somewhere on YouTube.... (I'd look it up myself, but my Google Fu is weak from hunger at the moment... a snack and then early bed is on the ticket for tonight.) The poor bugger's foil went end over end, with his opponent's sword nowhere near. (Then the opponent got a quick touch, since the fellow no longer had a sword for defense....)

 

It does happen - but if it makes you feel better, picture the sword getting knocked out of the attacker's hand by a deft movement - the mechanics of how you lose your sword does not matter - it is the fact that your sword just went spinning away into the darkness. If you want to picture the fumble making you vulnerable to a disarm, then go right ahead.

 

Also, again using the Critical Fumbles Deck as my example, fumbles have a lot more variety than just 'lose your weapon'. 'Over extend' opens you up to an attack of opportunity, 'Out of Position' means that you cannot attack with that weapon again this round (nasty if you have iterative attacks), 'Off Balance' -4 to all attacks for the rest of the round, 'Wide Open' leaves you flatfooted for the rest of the round (losing Dex bonus to AC, and opening you up to Sneak Attack by roguish sorts), etc., etc., etc.. Losing your sword is only one of many embarrassments that a combatant may face. ::P: Pulled muscles, bitten tongues, going prone....

 

I am not sure what it says about my Pathfinder players, but they are actually happier with the Critical Fumbles deck than the Critical Hit deck. :wow:

 

The Auld Grump

 

*EDIT* So many typos.....

 

 

I wasn't trying to respond to every possible example of a critical fumble system. As I noted, it's possible to make them sane, but there's a cost. (I don't think the cost is worth the benefit, but opinions vary.) For the "drop a weapon" system, which is both pretty common and at least not too badly unbalanced, the numbers don't work at all.

 

To address the fencing example: In the average match, you'll get something like (at a guess) 60 attacks. In how many matches would you expect to see a dropped (not disarmed) weapon? I'd expect fewer than 1 per tournament (but I could be off by a bit). And that's with a weapon held lightly with the fingers, not an axe gripped with the whole hand (or two hands).

 

As I've said, if fumbles make your game more fun for your group, great. You should use them, because that's what we're after. For me, they're extra work, increase the chance of an ignominious end to a character's career, and they tend to disrupt the verisimilitude (i.e. unfun), so I don't use them.

 

Actually, no - in D&D and Pathfinder the one roll for an attack represents any number of attacks, parries, and feints - and has since Chainmail. Just like not every strike in a fencing match is not intended to be a hit, but are to prepare a position for a later strike, so too does it play in this venerable system. (Thankfully it is no longer wedded to a sixty second melee round....) Gygax likened D&D combat to an Errol Flynn or Douglas Fairbanks Jr. movie - that the 'kill' is sudden, and most of the battle is merely setting up that one strike. (In short - movie swashbuckling, not real world combat - Gygax was not a fencer.)

 

In a one minute bout of fencing, described using the 3.X/3.P rules... you are likely seeing between ten and twenty exchanges, not sixty.

 

And again if it makes you feel better to picture a fumble as opening yourself up for an easy disarm then picture it that way - the problem was you were speaking as though people not dropping their weapons was an absolute - and it really, really is not.

 

I have done fencing - I am pants at it, but I can do it. (I had a Drama coach that required students to take some fencing. Given that his last name was MacBeth and the Scottish Play was a regular feature of his classes.... Knowing how not to kill yourself with a sword was something that he thought worthwhile. He also began the play with 'Writ by an English playwright, to please the English Crown, the story that we weave is a lie.')

 

I also have lots of friends that fight Heavy List in the SCA - and, trust me, I hear a lot about real world fumbles. (Someone got 'killed' at Pennsic this year when the head of a mace came off, sailed over the user's shoulder, and bonked somebody deeper in the ranks of his own side.... Had it been steel, not a roll of toilet paper covered with tape....)

 

I know several people that practice Kendo - and they also have tales to tell.

 

Crit happens, fumble happens.

 

Mathematically both Criticals and Fumbles favor the monsters - there are more of them, and they last less time. The PCs are around a lot longer, and are limited in number. The rule that PCs can only fumble once per combat helps mitigate, but does not prevent, this factor.

 

For the record, our local Shire is Malagentia.

 

The Auld Grump

Edited by TheAuldGrump
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I understand the abstraction of Pathfinder/D&D combat. I was counting 1-3 attacks per point (since we were talking Olympic fencing) and first to 15 points for a match. And even a single-elimination tournament would have (assuming 16 combatants) 15 matches.

 

Speaking of abstraction, I consider all of the sorts of minor bumbling to be rolled into the attack roll rather than requiring a second fumble/crit roll. Which goes back to the issue that I don't think the extra effort is worth the prize.

 

When I was playing, it was in Caer Galen, then a shire, now a barony.

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Not liking fumbles is fine - I was arguing with your justification, not arguing that you should employ fumbles.

 

And your argument ran against my own experience. I have seen the King slip in the mud during a Grand Melee - and he was experienced. (Gods above and below... I no longer remember the King's name... thirty years will do that to you.)

 

And if an Olympic fencer can lose his grip... yeah, fumble happens.

 

It was your trying to claim that it doesn't that bothered me.

 

As for probability - most battles using the Pathfinder system pass with no fumbles. So it is not as common as you seem to think.

 

It is like hearing somebody complain that no one should miss a shot with a pistol at fifty feet. (In reality most gun fights happen at less than 25 feet, and most shots miss.) When somebody's argument fails in the light of personal experience... you notice.

 

But not liking fumbles? Go ahead and not like them, just do not try to justify an opinion as being anything other than opinion.

 

I am not saying 'Whoo! Fumbles, anybody don't like 'em, he's a fool!'

 

Just 'Uhm... that isn't true....'

 

Heck, the system is completely optional - it is up to the GM and the players whether or not any given game uses them, or even continues to use them.

 

It is a game, if fumbles interfere with your enjoyment, then don't use them.

 

Just do not expect all others to agree with you, or try to argue a point that just does not bear scrutiny.

 

The Auld Grump - I actually do not much care about fumbles either way; I like the game equally with and without.

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On topic I have the Pathfinder rulebooks coming this week and will be testing them out soon. I will tell you what I think of Pathfinder soonish.

 

Off-topic:

I have the Critical Fumble and Critical Hit decks, man they are fun. Nothing like the suspense when the player draws a card. If it is too devasting I don't stick with it, and tweak it.

 

Once we had a critical on a spell and the effect said "Target is charmed" I was like what the hell, how does a fire spell do that? Anyway I thought it would be fun so we stuck with it and roleplayed it out, it totally ruined my fight which should have lasted a minimum of 20 minutes (4ed D&D).

 

The enemy that was charmed was a gargoyle, which can take a while to defeat due to them flying off and stone form to heal. The party had to start feeding the gargoyle their gems to keep it happy (it ate rocks and gems), they didn't have many gems at all maybe 1-3 each and were hard to get. My wife held off on giving up her gems for a long time. Anyway the gargoyle is now a friend of the group and has been a valuable asset in their adventures.

Edited by spencerjohn
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Had a blast last night running an ad-libbed session. Same campaign but with a party of red shirts. That way they can die over and over and never get butt hurt. it was tremendous fun!

 

PS - Entire cast of characers was REAPER! I used all of my hero quest furniture too which they absolutely loved. I can't wait for the Bones furniture to come out next year.

Edited by Girot
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Had a blast last night running an ad-libbed session. Same campaign but with a party of red shirts. That way they can die over and over and never get butt hurt. it was tremendous fun!

 

PS - Entire cast of characters was REAPER! I used all of my hero quest furniture too which they absolutely loved. I can't wait for the Bones furniture to come out next year.

Of topic, but....

 

Is there any word if the anniversary edition of Hero Quest is going to include furniture?

 

The Auld Grump

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Well got the rule books this weekend, and got to flip through them. I already like the Bestiary book (monsters), I was impressed just by starting to read about the spell system. Decided to help my daughter convert her 4e wizard over to Pathfinder. So we started by looking at the race descriptions, we were both like, why is everyone in their underwear? I was fine with it, just something different. That was as far as we got before we had to babysit the boy wonder.

 

So far just from what I could browse, I like it. The goal is to convert her character and my main NPC and do a Pathfinder game this weekend, slowly testing out combat.

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I started the kids off with the Pathfinder beginner box and they loved it. I can't recommend it highly enough. Has a map that can be used for the included beginner adventure and the other side is blank for repeated use. It also comes with lots of pawns (monster and character) and bases, pregenerated characters, dice and you can download a ton of free mini adventures that are designed to be used with the box. It's worth it for the map, pawns, pawn bases and dice alone. Best box set I've ever seen and I started with all the original D&D box sets.

I have the core rulebook, Bestiary, Rise of the Runelords Anniversary book, Dragons Demand, both the Bestiary & Rise of the Runelords pawn sets, card packs and various other Pathfinder maps and gear. I've played a ton of other systems and Pathfinder is about as good as it gets by modern standards. The Beginner Box is definitely the way to start out if you're starting from nothing.

Edited by CorallineAlgae
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Well got the rule books this weekend, and got to flip through them. I already like the Bestiary book (monsters), I was impressed just by starting to read about the spell system. Decided to help my daughter convert her 4e wizard over to Pathfinder. So we started by looking at the race descriptions, we were both like, why is everyone in their underwear? I was fine with it, just something different. That was as far as we got before we had to babysit the boy wonder.

 

So far just from what I could browse, I like it. The goal is to convert her character and my main NPC and do a Pathfinder game this weekend, slowly testing out combat.

I think they might have put the races in their underwear so you don't have a preconceived notion about which class is appropriate. I remember first edition D&D had the elf with a wand, the dwarf with an axe, the human in chainmail and the half-orc looking like an assassin. This way a new player is free to use their imagination. That, or the designers asked for some cheesecake. One or the other. Or both.

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I think they are all in their skivies so that the gamer can get a better idea about just how these races look, so in their minds eye, when the DM is describing a NPC they get a solid mental picture.

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Maybe they were a party that had all their possessions stolen by goblins and are returning to town in shame. That half-orc did look a little grumpy. I had a DM that started off an adventure in the very same... unsettling way. We ended up finding a skeleton (not undead) and dividing up the bones for makeshift weapons. Needless to say my barbarian didn't have much clothes stolen to begin with so he didn't understand all the complaining.

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Well got the rule books this weekend, and got to flip through them. I already like the Bestiary book (monsters), I was impressed just by starting to read about the spell system. Decided to help my daughter convert her 4e wizard over to Pathfinder. So we started by looking at the race descriptions, we were both like, why is everyone in their underwear? I was fine with it, just something different. That was as far as we got before we had to babysit the boy wonder.

 

So far just from what I could browse, I like it. The goal is to convert her character and my main NPC and do a Pathfinder game this weekend, slowly testing out combat.

What level? If you havent messed around with 3.x before, the spell section can take a bit to wrap around.

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I don't recall the race descriptions in Pathfinder, but I remember they had a side by side comparison in D&D 3.X where everyone was wearing skivvies. I didn't find it "cheescake" enticing, it just seemed like a nifty way to show the differences between different peoples.

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