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Thread: Robin Hood

  1. #11
    You could reverse the Unencumbered bonus for Knights fighting without armor. Apply it as a penalty to wearing armor; that would make it -5 combat to those that are armored. In Paladin, its -5 for leather armor, and -10 for metal. That seems extreme to me though.

    SDLeary

  2. #12
    That's not a terrible idea, but it seems unnecessary to me. The primary things to consider with armor and combat is to make going lightly armored or unarmored not a death sentence like it would be in KAP, without going in the opposite direction and making it so that a person lucky enough to get good armor doesn't become an unkillable god.

    I think this is solved best by making it a choice between fighting with armor versus fighting with agility. Armor imposes enough of a dexterity penalty that it's practically impossible for anyone to use both methods effectively. Armor is slightly more reliable as a way to reduce damage than dodging, but between it's cost (which is reasonable for knights, but very expensive for outlaws), and the problems it causes for your dexterity, it creates a bit of a different dynamic for the Players. In many cases they'll have to fight opponents that are better armored than they are, but that also means they can pull of tricks, traps and ambushes that much more easily. Adding an encumbered penalty on top of that seems like it would be excessive though, since it could actually make their opponents significantly weaker as to not be a reasonable threat.

    Also a side benefit to all this is that these rules could conceivably be combined with the regular KAP rule systems to allow knights and outlaws to be run in the same party, since neither actually gimps the other's playstyle, it just encourages two different approaches that can be taken. That's not top priority obviously, but there are enough stories about fallen knights, and outlaw types fighting alongside knightly types (such as during some of Richard the Lionhearted's campaigns and crusades) that I thought it would be nice to allow the two to be able to play nice in the same rule set for a crossover type of game.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDLeary View Post
    I like this, but would probably give it a bit more, say +8. Quarterstaffs are stout.
    There is no way that a quarterstaff should be more protective than a full-on shield. If you increase the quarterstaff protection, you will have to add to the shield protection, too.

    I wouldn't go with less damage though. Just say the damage is Less Lethal. Causes a stun effect that can be shaken off in (damage) hours; and perhaps an opposed roll of damage vs CON to see if the opponent is knocked out. Major Wounds are real, and cause broken bones and are resolved normally.
    It is a balancing issue, to keep Swords useful. This way, quarterstaff loses out to Sword and Shield, but it is comparable to Sword (equal with an offensive grip, which gets rid of the damage penalty but also the armor bonus), and it has the major advantage over Sword and Shield in that it elicits no comment whatsoever from the guards. Like you point out, a shield would definitely raise suspicions, and sword might also cause some raised eyebrows.

    The Less Lethal damage is an option, of course, but it doesn't really address the balance, since you don't really care if that mook is out unconscious or dead, either way you have won. if quarterstaff = sword + shield, you would never carry anything else.

    As for why you wouldn't kit out with a sword and shield in all cases (Ravian's question), you already pointed out the social penalty of a shield. Furthermore, a shield is a royal pain in the buttocks to be carried around, if you don't actually expect to use it. Those suckers are easily 10lbs or even 15lbs, and that is not something you want to carry if you are all about running in the forest and shooting a bow.

    So in this methodology:

    Staff:
    - superior in stealth
    - beats a lone sword
    - defensive
    - versatile

    Sword:
    - easy to carry around
    - good damage
    - poor defense (except if you are a master swordsman and win all the time, or have high enough DEX that you don't need the extra armor)

    Sword + Shield:
    - poor stealth (i.e. gets you noticed)
    - good damage and defense: superior if you are actually planning to fight in a melee.

    So you can make a dexterous swordsman who does well with sword, or a strong quaterstaff wielder, or you can prefer having that sword and shield option for when you really have to go to melee. Or you can do what most outlaws probably end up doing: have both at 15 and then specialize.
    Last edited by Morien; 09-27-2018 at 10:02 PM.

  4. #14
    I think most of the combat revision details seem to be sorted out at this point. Moving into other areas now, primarily character creation.

    A lot of the elements from Paladin seem appropriate, with the shortened time span, it might be more appropriate to draw upon more direct relatives for replacement characters rather than heirs alone, which is certainly genre appropriate given some of the inter-related members of the Merry Men. (Will Scarlet is often depicted as a cousin or Nephew of Robin, and other stories in the "Robin meets his match" genre often involve discovering that the challenger is related to one of the merry men, such as Little John's relative Arthur a Bland.) Family characteristics and patron saints are also nice touches for characterization (And Robin has a few stories that specify that he holds the Virgin Mary in particular esteem)

    That brings us to the greater class distinctions. Yeomen is the most appropriate, but given that the players will end up as outlaws anyway, there's little harm in expanding the scale just a bit, with some higher class Villeins on the lower side of things, and some fallen knights and squires on the higher side (for the gentrified Robin experience, or Ivanhoe.), meanwhile the middle is filled out with the particularities of the Yeomen class, including some of the civil servant jobs, such as foresters, bailiffs, churchwardens, and such, along with the possibility of even having some Crown Yeomen (especially appropriate if you want the PCs to get involved with more of the politics of the realm.)

    Was thinking about whether skill additions or revisions might be appropriate, after all we are talking about skills more appropriate for Yeomen and Outlaws than Knights. Fortunately there are some skills, such as Swimming and Folklore that are certainly going to come in handy more often, while others aren't as relevant, such as battle and siege. Anything else that we could consider adding or cutting?

    Was thinking of revising a few terms to fit more for the Outlaw style. Rather than Glory, outlaws garner notoriety, which can actually function more as a double-edged sword, since it also garners attention. The ideals should also probably be revised, as they're more rooted in chivalry than the outlaw's heroism. So rather than Chivalric Knights, Pious Knights and Romantic Knights, we might have something like Daring Outlaws, Goodly Outlaws and Dashing Outlaws, for instance.

    That kind of leads into passions as well. Fortunately Paladin already condensed Loyalty, and Hospitality into Honor, since while an Outlaw may be honorable, they by definition can't really be loyal to their lord. Their king maybe, but that would probably be better suited towards a Love (Lionheart) passion. Also thinking about Prayer and such. There aren't really a whole lot of miracles that commonly occur in Robin Hood's ballads, and Robin Hood himself is often in a rather anti-clerical position (he's robbing corrupt monks and priests almost as often as he does the Sheriff after all.) But Robin Hood still seems to consider himself a godly man with his reverence for the Virgin Mary and his association with Friar Tuck. One thing that I noticed a lot was the fact that many of the corrupt priests that Robin captures he often has reciting mass for him and his men, so it might be a good idea to implement the whole Praying for others rather than yourself mechanic that Paladin uses, though stripped of it's more supernatural aspects. And of course all of Amore passions are perfectly in-genre, since where would Robin be without his love for Maid Marian?

    Attitudes are another element that would work well incorporated into Robin Hood, though possibly with the addition of more of an infamy track, which along with notoriety can help determine how much the various powers that be might be out for your head, versus how likely the common folk or other allies might be able to provide you with shelter and aid.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Morien View Post
    There is no way that a quarterstaff should be more protective than a full-on shield. If you increase the quarterstaff protection, you will have to add to the shield protection, too.
    True that. Though I will say that true European quarterstaves are no joke. Certainly not something that can be broken easily and can take quite the punishment. Of course, no good when the Sheriffs men bring out the crossbows.

    It is a balancing issue, to keep Swords useful. This way, quarterstaff loses out to Sword and Shield, but it is comparable to Sword (equal with an offensive grip, which gets rid of the damage penalty but also the armor bonus), and it has the major advantage over Sword and Shield in that it elicits no comment whatsoever from the guards. Like you point out, a shield would definitely raise suspicions, and sword might also cause some raised eyebrows.
    Fair enough. And yes, a sword would too if you were of the sword wielding classes.

    The Less Lethal damage is an option, of course, but it doesn't really address the balance, since you don't really care if that mook is out unconscious or dead, either way you have won. if quarterstaff = sword + shield, you would never carry anything else.
    For a one off, true. But you also want the PCs to be able to survive against one. A fine story would be if Jon had killed Robin on the bridge!

    As for why you wouldn't kit out with a sword and shield in all cases (Ravian's question), you already pointed out the social penalty of a shield. Furthermore, a shield is a royal pain in the buttocks to be carried around, if you don't actually expect to use it. Those suckers are easily 10lbs or even 15lbs, and that is not something you want to carry if you are all about running in the forest and shooting a bow.
    Another reason not to carry a shield! It encumbers you (-2 combat). 😉

    So in this methodology:

    Staff:
    - superior in stealth
    - beats a lone sword
    - defensive
    - versatile
    Yup...

    Sword:
    - easy to carry around
    - good damage
    - poor defense (except if you are a master swordsman and win all the time, or have high enough DEX that you don't need the extra armor)
    Yes physically, if you are of the right class. Otherwise garners as much attention as the Shield.

    Sword + Shield:
    - poor stealth (i.e. gets you noticed)
    - good damage and defense: superior if you are actually planning to fight in a melee.
    Looks good!

    So you can make a dexterous swordsman who does well with sword, or a strong quaterstaff wielder, or you can prefer having that sword and shield option for when you really have to go to melee. Or you can do what most outlaws probably end up doing: have both at 15 and then specialize.
    Feh! Feh I say! They have to start somewhere! Start them off like Much and Robin, caught as poachers! 😈

    SDLeary
    Last edited by SDLeary; 09-28-2018 at 01:02 AM.

  6. #16
    One element I've been considering using is two-weapon fighting, which has enough similarities to quarterstaff styles that they could share mechanics at the scale of KAP.

    Essentially (and from memory only) it would work like this: +3 shield and +3 damage @ -1 skill. So you have a partial shield benefit (overcome by axes) and an average die of damage, but are less likely to land a blow without superior skill.

    And it's the same for quarterstaves: they're awesome if you know how to use them in a coordinated fashion, but if not you're better off pretending you have a long, poky stick or club, and enjoying the fact no one looks thrice at your walking stick.

    --Khanwulf

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khanwulf View Post
    Essentially (and from memory only) it would work like this: +3 shield and +3 damage @ -1 skill. So you have a partial shield benefit (overcome by axes) and an average die of damage, but are less likely to land a blow without superior skill.
    I wouldn't increase the damage, but at the same time, I probably would allow 'shield' defense with the off-hand weapon, albeit at +3 Armor. And -1 to main skill seems OK. In short, duel-wielding is more about getting a bit of extra armor, rather than BETTER than what the Great weapons give currently (+1d6 damage = +3.5 damage). There is no way you can convince me that using two weapons at once allows you to hit harder than using an actual two-handed weapon.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDLeary View Post
    True that. Though I will say that true European quarterstaves are no joke. Certainly not something that can be broken easily and can take quite the punishment. Of course, no good when the Sheriffs men bring out the crossbows.
    The thing about swords breaking other weapons is a KAP convention, to give swords a special rule to make them more equal to axes and maces in mayhem. In reality, they'd never be able to break a quarterstaff with a swing of the sword, I agree.

    Given that weapon breakage is not a bit deal in most Robin Hood stuff, I'd be tempted to ignore that rule, and just treat axes and maces as 'swords' as far as damage is concerned. After all, shield and armor are not going to be that big of a deal, either.

    Another reason not to carry a shield! It encumbers you (-2 combat). ��
    Given that pretty much all cultures around the world adopted the shield for warfare, it must have worked really well. So no, I don't think it should penalize your fighting ability. (The reason that late medieval knights didn't use it was more due to the fact that the armor was already good enough.)

    Instead, I think it would be better to lean on the fact that it is amazingly annoying to carry around when you don't expect to need it. If you hang it from your back somehow, it likely swings around, clonks against things, and of course, the kite shield can even clip against your legs when you run. Giving people penalties for movement seems like a better idea, especially if they are running through the forest, that shield can hit/catch on something more easily.

    Or simply tell the players that their characters won't be carrying shields, unless they really, really expect to having to fight in hand to hand. After all, you can't use one while shooting a bow anyway, which would be the main way of using it.

    I do agree what you say about starting the PCs off as young, low-level poachers and letting them 'level up'.
    Last edited by Morien; 09-28-2018 at 03:54 PM.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Morien View Post
    I wouldn't increase the damage, but at the same time, I probably would allow 'shield' defense with the off-hand weapon, albeit at +3 Armor. And -1 to main skill seems OK. In short, duel-wielding is more about getting a bit of extra armor, rather than BETTER than what the Great weapons give currently (+1d6 damage = +3.5 damage). There is no way you can convince me that using two weapons at once allows you to hit harder than using an actual two-handed weapon.
    Having watched two-weapon fighting versus various opponents I can say that the main point is to create additional angles of attack while providing a flexible item to interpose on defense. (Same as using any off-hand item: cloak, chair, candlestick, etc.)

    Defense cannot match a shield--a big wooden wall is a wall, after all. But it can get in under another's defense more easily and score hits. Thus, +damage versus a -skill offset (-5% to hit at 20 skill, more at lower), with a nominal shield rating that can be overmatched by the heavy axe (which is, I think, still fair).

    That's the logic, anyway.

    --Khanwulf

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