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Ranged vs Melee BROKEN, bow vs powder BROKEN


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#1 willmanx

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:17 AM

RANGED VS MELEE

Range does damage equal to melee without any risk, and often compromise the challenge of any encounter by killing the baddies before they're engaged with the PCs. Equal Damage ? yes, usually it's one less damage but with pierce 1. See the trick ?

How to solve that in my game ? 1 misfortune dice at close range, 2 at medium, 3 at long. The few weapon able to shoot at extreme have their own 1 challenge dice penalty.What about YOUR GAMES ?

BOW VS POWDER

Compared to powder weapons or crossbows, Bows doesn't need to be reloaded per 1 maneuver (or take +1 challenge dice). In the other hand, powder weapons does 1 more damage, and require 1 less boon to do critical damage.

My players thinks that the absence of bow reload isn't counterbalanced by these powder advantage. What about you ? How to solve that in our games ? I don't really know.

PS : Magic vs blessing… priests doesn't miscasts and I think this is not fair. I liked 2nd Edition d10 table… In wfrp3, we've houseruled the priest can't use blessing for X rounds, X being the recharge number of the blessing action card played… The priest may suffer 1 or more stress to reduce that per 1 or more. What about you ?

 

 



#2 Yepesnopes

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:34 AM

I am going to post with a bit of ZEN, because when I think about the mechanics of wfrpg 3 I easely go on fire. Lets agree this is not the strongest point of the game.

Well, I mostly agree with you in all the points i.e. some house rules are needed if you want to balance these points you list.

-Regarding Ranged vs Melee: I agree is a bit broken. What I have done here is to increase the encumbrance of armours (see my house rules). In that way (good) archers who usually have a high Ag score (and are also excellent at skullduggery ) but not a high St score are limited to the lightest armours. Also, by doing so, it is more difficult that a character is able to carry a ranged weapon and arrows, a shield, a melee weapon, and on top an armour. This produces that most of my archers have to decide between an armour to have some soak, or a shield /melee weapon and therefore being able to use the block /parry action cards. All in all, my archers are pretty weak in close combat and they get a substantial amount of wounds every combat, specially since I typically rush the NPCs against them ignoring the heavy armoured melee fighters.

-Regarding the Bow vs Powder: I have the impression that some action cards for powder weapons, like the ones with the judgment trait (see final judgment or execution shot) balance the bow + rapid fire combo or the bow + disengage combo. I am not so sure about the crossbow, your players may be right.

-The Magic vs Blessing: It is not only the miscast, but also the possibility for priests of wearing armour without any penalty! I completely agree with you some house ruling is needed here, I would love to see a Wrath of God table /cards like in wfrpg 2. Again, increasing the encumbrance of armours helps a bit here.

 

Cheers,

Yepes

 


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#3 k7e9

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 07:30 AM

I allways throw in extra misfortune dice for shooting into a melee, at least two black dice are added and if the PCs that are engaged in close combat outnumber the enemy I'll throw in further misfortune dice to reflect that it's harder to get a clear shot at the enemy without risking to hit your friends.

This often means that the ranged character hits less.

Furthermore, fluff wise, longbows are quite rare in the empire, the normal shortbow is far more common, but a lot less effective. In the battles game the high and wood elves have longbows, but not the archers of the empire. This is also included in the description of the longbow. Disallowing rare weapons or exotic weapons at character creation makes ranged vs melee a lot less broken. I don't allow the players to purchase a longbow when creating their character. This gives the archer a shorter range and the shortbow doesn't have any pierce.

The black powder weapons get balanced by their cost and unreliability. Also, ball shots and powder cannot be used more than once, meaning that each shot costs the character 1 silver, which is quite expensive.

Furthermore, encounters can include someone attacking the archer(s) of the group. No (or almost no) enemy is stupid enough to let the archer(s) just stand at their leasure and fire away. Once in close combat the ranged characters have a far more difficult time. Preparing encounters on beforehand as a GM are key to make them balanced and interesting. It also gives you time to think on how (or if) the ranged characters should be handled that particular encounter. Depending on the environment and surroundings where the combat encounter takes place it can be quite hard to stay at a distance, shooting all combat long.


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#4 valvorik

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 04:20 AM

I agree ranged combat can be broken in that if not handled properly the ranged character inflicts injury at little risk.  This can be an issue for spellcasters too.

Much of this can be addressed in encounter design and using following:

- as noted, modifications for shooting into melee.  There is a specific action card for this that gives misfortune dice to attempt (can be reduced by preparing).  Doing it without the card should be even harder and I have house ruled that a Chaos Star on such an action means hitting ally (with regular hit not special damage etc.).

- terrain modifiers - I have had darkness, storms, wind, fog, trees all impose increasing penalties to ranged combat (though wood elves of course don't mind the dark and trees as much).

- range and foes coming from multiple directions  - I often design an encounter with the premise "you NEED to take out some foes with ranged fire while they close, if you don't you're in trouble" or "the foes appear around corners at Close Range to start, oh and more from behind, no safe location…" situations.

That said, I'm muling the Star Wars system's absolute range penalties.

The ranged attack that staples a target in place is the thing I most itch to houserule or just take out of game as it can really change an encounter way too much.



#5 valvorik

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 05:57 AM

Oh, and I should add in encounters, I have expressly set it up at times that "that band of ungors are meatshields for the wargor - you can't target the wargor at all (unless Trick Shock etc.) until they do down" or that "those besotted handmaids are willing to give their lives for the vampire, throwing themselves in front of arrows".

-- can you tell I have a wood elf uber-archer player?



#6 willmanx

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 07:20 PM

Thanks everyone for your inputs.

valvorik said:

Oh, and I should add in encounters, I have expressly set it up at times that "that band of ungors are meatshields for the wargor - you can't target the wargor at all (unless Trick Shock etc.) until they do down" or that "those besotted handmaids are willing to give their lives for the vampire, throwing themselves in front of arrows".

-- can you tell I have a wood elf uber-archer player?

 

ahah ! I also have a high elf magical uber-archer player :)



#7 k7e9

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 08:16 AM

Some more input from me.

One character in my group is called Agatha is highly focused on melee and have the careers: Zelot, Flagelant, Witch Hunter, Witch Hunter Captain. These are far from the "most optimal" careers in terms of damage output, but the character has several good action cards and a high weapon skill (3).

Another character, Mette, has a ranged focus and has taken the careers: Thief, Master Thief, Assassin, Crime Lord. And that character "only" has a Ballistic skill of 2 and has good action cards for ranged combat.

Agathas STR is 4 and Mettes AGI is 4, so there they are equal.

Out of these two Agatha deals far more damage and deals out far more critical hits. This seems largely to be depending on action cards available. Mette hits about as often (which is most of the time) and does a fair amount of damage and critical wounds, but Mette does not come near Agathas damage output.

While this might be the result of Mette being poorly optimized, or Agatha being very optimized to deal damage I don't think that's really the case. There are just so many melee action cards that have good boon, comet and success results that add a lot of damage/criticals. At least that's the feeling me and my gaming group get.



#8 valvorik

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:58 AM

I think you're generally right about melee cards having the most damage amplification etc., and sometimes the multiple critlcals.  That said, the two best damage dealers at my table are a priest of sigmar (melee) and a wood elf (ranged).  The Sigmarite tends to out-critical the Elf but the elf tends to do more damage but I think the Sigmarite isn't totally optimized for melee whereas the elf has been focusing on ranged combat.

I think ranged specialities are more pierce, number of targets, tricks etc.  Overall I think that may be to balance the "melee card has greater risk to use" assumption that likely holds at most tables.



#9 borithan

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:30 AM

valvorik said:

That said, I'm muling the Star Wars system's absolute range penalties.

That said, from what I remember, the negative dice in Star Wars are not as punishing as the ones in WFRP, and the positive dice are generally more powerful.



#10 Emirikol

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 04:55 AM

Well, if in WFRP the average success rate is 86% what has it moved up to in Star Warts???!?!?

 

jh



#11 borithan

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 12:30 AM

I think it has been slightly counterbalanced by the reduced number of positive dice, often opposed by a higher number of negative dice. Average stats are 2, rather than 3 (though the maximum is still 6, and PCs will have higher in their area of expertiese), and skills only change the dice you roll, not add extra dice (as far as I can tell, this shoud also make the small positive and negative dice more important than they were in WFRP). I don't know about the overall success rate. At least with opposed checks I would imagine it is reduced, as the negative dice are a fixed value based on the opponent's skill, not worked out on relative skill (which always resulted in the weird effect where a skilled PC will pass more commonly against an equal level NPC than a lesser skilled PC against a similarly lowered levelled NPC).



#12 Theros

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:09 PM

I would say that that add loading time as an action.

In the basic rules (if I remember correctly) you are able to shoot and load bow during the same round…and still get movement action.

To Downgrade ranged weapons.

Bows (short and long): Reload takes one action, shooting one. No movement during that round. So remaining stationary in one place allows to shoot and reload.

Crossbows: Reload takes 1 full round (no movement action allowed) and shooting at next round.

"Powder": Reload time is of course longer…maybe similar to crossbow.

I would say that wearing armor as a priest gives penalty (maybe some purple dices) when casting spells in metal armor.



#13 Immortus

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 04:12 AM

I can't say i have played much with the system but:

why not have monsters groups with their own ranged units to combat PC ranged players?
or small groups using stealth checks to get behind the archer / ranged characters?
Also can't Chaos stars be used to damage bows? that would encourage them getting a bit closer where the chance to hit is higher. then you know…. have monsters rush the poor bugger burla

as for priest vs wizards. Am i right in believeing gms can deny those characters piety if they haven't been the stricktest of discipels? so if they failed to vist a recent towns local temple deny them some points at a crucial moment?

 

guess the thing i enjoy about the system is that some of the balancing is in the roleplay, not just for the characters but the GM as well.

 

but then like i said i haven't played a large amount and i do like to be a punishing GM :P



#14 heptat

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 04:57 AM

Yepesnopes said:

I am going to post with a bit of ZEN, because when I think about the mechanics of wfrpg 3 I easely go on fire. Lets agree this is not the strongest point of the game.

Sort of thinking about getting back into WFRP3e and I agree with you that some rules seem…odd. Would love to hear what you think is broken and why…I found one of your earlier posts about action cards and I agree with that too. The token tracking system for limiting actions just doesn't play well on the table.

Anything else you think is broken and why?

Anything rules you think actually work?

Thanks :)



#15 TrueLancer

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:21 PM

You can't shoot if you're engaged without special actions. Also, preparing a weapon or putting a weapon away are both 'maneuvers'. If you get somebody into melee engaged with the shooters, they suddenly are "unequipped" for melee combat (easier to hit) and can't actually hit you without moving away, sucking up more maneuvers (or stress). Drawing a weapon could be done, but that's a whole maneuver and you'll find most people will want to sheathe their weapon to keep it safe (using up another maneuver), and being strict about not being able to fire/reload a gun/crossbow/bow with one hand will ensure that people have to make hard choices in combat or at least not be able to run roughshod over encounters.



#16 Mexorlon

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:09 PM

I have the following houserules regarding ranges wp.

Long range wp

close range add 1 White

medium -

long 1 Black dice

extreme 1purple 

also shooting into melee:

1 Black pr friend in combat (friends Roll the Black dice, it just might be you Who steps infront of the shot)

1 White pr enemy in combat (as long as you don't Care whom hit)

 

Also made max manuveres is agi-2  min 2.  Regarding movement.

finally made the prerequisit: 

if not specialized in Bow etc take 1 more manuver pr round  (ie bows  take 1, crossbow tages 2) to reload. It costs stress to force more manuveres regarding reload 

 



#17 Yepesnopes

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:24 PM

Mexorlon said:

 

Also made max manuveres is agi-2  min 2.  Regarding movement.

 

 

It is an interesting approach to limit the amount of movement manoeuvers. Yet, I will suggest to change Agi by St. The resason is double; first, if you look for realism, to move fast over a distance is not Agi what you need but Strength. Look for example at the 100m sprint athlets. You are right that Agi controls your coordination and the fast you can move your hands for example, but regarding plain overland speed, there is no doubt that Strength is what you need. Second, big monsters, like a Giant, should be able to cover longer distances during a round because his big size as compared to smaller i.e. human sized characters. Certainly big monsters, like Giants, Troll, and Dragons will have a huger St and a rather normal /low Agi, which using your rules means they will move abnormaly slow.

Just a thought.

As for the other house rules, I like them. They sound nice, especially the recharging house rule, I always have the feel that specializations feel flat in this game.

Cheers,

Yepes


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#18 thePREdiger

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:41 PM

TrueLancer said:

You can't shoot if you're engaged without special actions. 

wasnt aware of that rule - can you point me to it?



#19 Mexorlon

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 12:39 AM

Yepesnopes said:

 

I will suggest to change Agi by Str.

hmm I Can see your point, Think I will discuss it with the group…

Btw any luck on the wrath of god table? Would be awesome!!!!!

best 

Mex



#20 LordoftheMilk

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:10 PM

I like simple all-inclusive changes.

 

to adress the issue of balance here i did the following:

 

- I updated all the weapons and armor tables, and within the process, removed pierce 1 on the bow and added pierce 2 on the gunpowder weapons.

 

- Changed Reload to a variable amount (Reload "X"), which is the number of maneuvers necessary to recharge the weapon, and gave Reload +1 to all ranged weapons except repeater weapons.

 

Now, if you want to Rapid shot with your bow, you need to spend serious fatigue….

 

Works fine for me, and everyone is happy including the bounty hunter!






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