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Blunderbuss and special ranged action that have a specific target?


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#1 Ceodryn

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 03:12 AM

Hi All,

I am curious how people rule the following issue:

  • A character with a blunderbuss is targeting an engagement of 3 enemies. Each enemy has a very different defense value. One has zero, one has 1, one has 2 defenses. 
  • The blunderbuss has the Blast quality: Blast: A weapon with the blast quality targets one engagement up to the weapon's range. Everyone in the targeted engagement is subject to the effects of the attack. Blast attacks cannot be parried or blocked, but targets may choose to dodge. Rather than the normal dodge effect, each dice an individual defender would normally contribute to the pool for dodging increases his soak value by 1 against the blast attack.
  • The ranged attack is made using a special action, for example Mechanical Precision. It succeeds with 3 boons (i.e. +1 crit, + 2 dmg)

So, here is where I am confused: Blast is meant to target an engagement, but the action card refers to a specific target. So, then what? Do everyone in the engagement is hit for +1 crit and +2 dmg? Or is the specific target hit by the special action effect, and other targets in the engagement suffer normal damage only?

I am curious on how people rule. I am inclined to simplify and say everyone is hit for the special action effect, but it will make the blunderbuss a migthy weapon in the hand of a skilled ranged figther/engineer, able to deal huge amount of damage and crits to wide groups. I am cool with that given blackpowder weapons should be dangerous.

Cheers

Ceodryn

 



#2 Yepesnopes

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 04:32 AM

No idea what to say, I believe that the effects of the action card are applied to everyone in the engagement (friend or foe), but…too many action cards, to many combinations… I would say that this is definitively a question for Daniel Clark.

If you ask him, let me know the official answer.

 

Cheers,

Yepes


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#3 Kartigan

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 12:24 PM

Being as I am the engineer in question I could most certainly be biased :).

It is my opinion based on the wording of the rules that all effects from any action card used by the Blunderbuss hit everyone in the engagment.  The reason is the wording of the "Blast" ability.  It reads "A weapon with the blast quality targets one engagment up to the weapon's range.  Everyone in the targeted engagement is subject to the effects of the attack." (emphasis mine)  

Action cards ask you to choose a "target", if you are using a blast weapon your "target" is 1 engagment, rather than 1 character (or group of henchmen).  Thus any attack from a weapon with Blast hits an entire engagment and all members of that engagment suffer the full effects of it.

Naturally whether that is "overpowered" is entirely up the GM :).  However I believe that it is pretty clear what the rules as written intend.

As far as the defense thing I have no idea.  I think Block and Parry were removed just for the express purpose of preventing such confusion, and since Soak is easier to calculate individually they changed Dodge to work that way.  It could stand to reason they meant it to ignore Defense so you wouldn't have to worry about it, but that could make a Blunderbuss very good indeed.  It is equally frustrating though when someone with a High defense is basically like a permanent "Guarded Posistion" for an entire engagment, even when they are MY ally!  What they mean for you to do with "natural" defense I don't know, probably a good question for FFG.

The "best" solution would of course be to roll the attack with 0 black dice, and then roll Defense for each target, however that seems cumbersome and unwieldy.  Maybe if no one hears back from FFG we could just house rule it somehow?  Like Defense adds .5 soak value to Blast attacks or something? 



#4 k7e9

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 07:16 PM

Of the top of my head a simple house rule could be to add defence as soak instead (as if the defence was given by dodge). That way, a character who knows how to get out of harms' way (i.e. have a high defence) take less damage. As defence is typically 1 or 2 for creatures (higher in extreme cases) it would not add a ton of soak, so I believe it could be balanced. But I have not had any player with a blunderbus ever, so I don't know.



#5 Kartigan

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 07:00 AM

So I submitted a question to FFG and Daniel was kind enough to answer.  The short version is, Blast attacks target engagements, not individuals.  Since engagements do not have a Defence score, no black dice are rolled for Defence regardless of who is in the engagement.

So in essence, Blast attacks ignore Defence.



#6 Ceodryn

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 07:22 AM

Ok i am lazy, so i'll post the reply i made to Kartigan on our WFRP3 virtual forum as I am curious to get opinions:

Oh great, I was going to ask Daniel, so I am glad you did.

I have to say that I am very surprised about this ruling. Comparing a Blunderbuss to an Hochland Rifle, the Blunderbuss will succeed more often in hitting a target than an Hochland Rifle.

Irregardless of the fact I am the GM of our campaign, do you and everyone else think there is a problem in FFG ruling?

At least, I would have expected that Defense then be converted to Soak, in which case a Blunderbuss doesn't become more powerful in term of damage than a Hochland Rifle.

My OWL character Gaston is using a Blunderbuss, so I have a vested interest in the rule too ;)

Let me know what you think. I would be up to go with that ruling, but convert Defense as Soak basically.

I know, as a GM I can change the rules, but I really want to follow FFG rules. I am just very very surprised by the ruling, and wonder whether Daniel thought about it long enough, especially in light of many action cards and in light of other blackpowder weapons.

Thoughts? :)

Cheers

Ceodryn



#7 Yepesnopes

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 09:22 AM

Ceodryn said:

I know, as a GM I can change the rules, but I really want to follow FFG rules. I am just very very surprised by the ruling, and wonder whether Daniel thought about it long enough, especially in light of many action cards and in light of other blackpowder weapons.

Thoughts? :)

In my opinion, NO. He did not think it enough. I am not surprise though, it is not the first time that he pulls out an answer without thinking about it too much (or this is my feeling). I had asked him many times about different action cards that in my opinion are totally bugged. Instead of coming with an official thoroughly thought errata, he comes with a lazy answer in order to avoid rewriting something of the game and update the FAQ or Errata file.

As I have stated before, this will only go worse with time if they keep publishing material. This game has way too many actions which gives rise to an insane amount of combinations, and more keep on comming every time a supplement is published. It is impossible with a small team of designers and /or play testers (if they have any) to release material that have been properly and solidly tested.

I know that many of you are in love with action cards, and pray for more and more, but I have realised now that I have played WFRPG 3 that this is not the way to follow in an rpg. The worse of the situation is that D&D already proved this to the industry of rpgs, sadly for me, I was not aware of it.

 

Cheers,

Yepes


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#8 Ceodryn

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 11:08 AM

Well, I don't want to get into a discussion about whether WFRP3 actions are a good mechanism or not, and I am certainly thanksful to Daniel and FFG to answer our direct questions :). WFRP3 is just a game after all.

However, we, players and GMs need to take a step back sometimes and wonder whether the answers are one that makes sense. It's a game and it needs to be somewhat balanced, or it stops being fun. It could be argued that adding "vs. highest def" is nerfing the Blunderbuss, but ignoring Def completely is making it too powerful, which is why using Def as Soak may be sufficient.

I guess a good way to think about it is: What if NPCs started to be equipped with Blunderbuss, and the Def of the PCs is ignored? 

Cheers

Ceodryn



#9 Zturm

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 12:09 PM

Hey ppl.

That reply actually made me make an account.. Ignoring defense on blast actions is redicuolous.. 

I'm quite sure I've read somewhere (possibly bright wizard spells) that you roll defense against the highest defense rating in the engagement when using AoE attacks.. Would make sense for several reasons other than balance aswell, eg. The highest defense rating is often a bigger NPC or a tank type PC that would aim to defend the group.. Maybe add a fatigue to the PC for him to be able to step in front or spend an agression dice from the NPC if you feel it requires some sort of action to step in front and "take the blunt of the attack"..

Regards, Kris



#10 Kartigan

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 12:17 PM

I made a much longer reply to Ceodryn over on the other board, but I'll offer the cliff notes here.

In my opinion the ability to ignore Defence is largely insignificant.  Defence is in general useless unless you are very lucky on the dice or in very specific situations.  Even with a whopping 3 Defence we are talking statistically 1 Challenge symbol which often times doesn't make any difference what so ever, and even when it does it is usually a difference of 1 or 2 damage.  

I also think it would make even less sense to have higher Defence members of an engagement somehow "protecting" lower Defence members of an engagement, even those of the other side!  If I was to use Ceodryn's example, suppose we were fighting some very tough monster (a "boss" if you will) and his blunderbuss wielding minions.  Why would it make any sense for us to "hug" the boss monster so that he could "protect" us from the blunderbusses of his minions (though it might make sense since we want him caught in the blast)?

Allowing any Defence dice to be rolled then also would bring up the question of why can't you Block a Blast attack (since Defence and the active Defences are basically the same thing)?

Converting Defence straight into Soak is too harsh of a nerf for Blast attacks IMHO (it would be much easier on them to just make them roll the highest defence).

I don't really see much of an issue with this ruling.  The only time where it might get weird is against some NPCs who have crazy high amounts of Defence (like 5+ or 6+).  In these instances, perhaps then you need to add a couple of Soak to the NPC against blast attacks.

In answer to Phillipe's question I don't really see a problem with an NPC with a blunderbuss attacking an Engagement of PCs and ignoring their Defence.  All the PCs who have high Defence will still be the most resistant to the blast (because they'll have high Soak to go along with it), and as I mentioned I don't think it makes sense for high Defence targets to "protect" the entire engagement by their mere presence.



#11 DurakBlackaxe

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 07:29 AM

I am currently playing a dwarven coachman with Blunderbuss.

When i am firing the weapon i picture a cone blast wave from my character to the engagement group i am targetting in close range.

 

2 npcs in front of me beside the horse, i try to aim so only hit the npcs, i roll a chaos star as well as hitting the targets. Chaos star = i hit the horse i tried to avoid. 

 

Defense = protection from landing a blow. You cannot have defense from the blast as everything in its range (short) will be hit if the ranged attack works.

 

Soak = reduces damage taken. Your armour protects you from this damage, and if have dodge can soak upsome of the damage of the shrapnel so it doesnt wound you as much.

 

Sounds pretty straight forward to me.

 

When these enemies counter attack, you wont be holding a melee weapon so lose alot of your active defences

 

A Hochland Rifle has a longer range and fires one bullet. so your target has a chance to defend from it so doesnt get hit.



#12 Ghazi

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 06:46 AM

The ruling strikes me as poorly considered.  I will be applying the more sensible standard others have established to convert Def to Soak. 

 

Anyone who has shot a blunderbuss realizes its not the uberkillmachine the ruling makes it.  Frankly, I think it's ridiculous that a blunderbuss blast could do max damage to all in an engagement.

 

The blunderbuss is screaming for a reasonability check.



#13 DurakBlackaxe

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 03:07 AM

I cannot see the problem with a Blunderbuss, it is meant to be a high damage weapon in close range. It acts exactly like the real world weapon. It is a very defensive weapon.

 

The problem I can think of is more to do with movement than anything. If your blunderbuss moves towards people to fire this weapon. And reloading it somehow faster than normal.

 

If the enemy crowds the pcs, that blunderbuss cannot tell friend from foe. Shoot at the wielder from longer range than he can shoot is another way. Make fatigue give more a hinderance to aiming, all types of ranged weapons.



#14 DurakBlackaxe

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 04:24 AM

If I used the Extreme Shot Action card, which has a recharge of zero. I can extend the range of a ranged weapon by one.

Would this mean I could Blunderbuss at medium range?

 

From my previous posts and rereading the whole thing. Seems I maybe misunderstanding the issue.

 

Heres the steps i see. Lets keep it simple ( The OP question, all are hit for same damage bonus).

Dwarf Ag 4 BS 1. Conservative Stance

Blunderbuss is fired at 3 people. Using Ranged Shot.

Rolls 4 green 1 yellow 1 purple. According to Kartigans' reply there is no defense from this blast, but if anyone places a Dodge Action card they increase their soak.

 

If the roll hits ( most likely outcome) everyone in the engagement gets hit for 5DR + 4Ag (Why would a thunder weapon give more damage due to wielders Agility? Makes sense for a bow, or str for weapons). So thats 9 damage. As long as dont get 3 successes or the two boons needed for a crit.

 

1 of the enemies is Full plate, Tower shield. Not encumbered has agilty 3 so can dodge. Has 3 Toughness. That gives him a soak of 5 + 1 + 1 + 3 = 10. So the Blunderbuss does no damage on normal damage. But has to take the minimum 1 damage.

 

Another enemy is wearing a robe, doesnt have agility 3 so cannot dodge. Has toughness 2. So Robes have no soak. defense = 2 So would take 7 damage

 

Am I working this out incorrectly? Because I am not seeming these big numbers people are speaking of. Unless its in combination of another action card.

 

In regards to the other basic active defense cards, Block and Parry

You cannot parry a hail of shrapnel flying towards you.  But you would think if had a tower shield you be able to block it, maybe they got round this by only having the 2 shields with soak, the ones it be feasible to block this blast.



#15 DurakBlackaxe

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 05:44 AM

Drat cant edit post.

 

Also I have a question waiting for an answer from FFG

 

Dodge with coordination trained = 2 to soak

Improved Dodge with coordination trained (Has to be to have the card) = 1 to soak

 

So Improved dodge seems to be worse than dodge.



#16 thePREdiger

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 04:28 AM

Dodge with coordination trained = 2 to soak

Improved Dodge with coordination trained (Has to be to have the card) = 1 to soak

 

So Improved dodge seems to be worse than dodge.

Why would Improved Dodge only add 1 soak? Improved Dodge replaces Dodge.

 

 

From the real-life to wfrp rule conversion: evading the blast is hard, but the junk that is loaded into a blunderbuss will not necessarily do much damage (hence the +soak).

 

Dunno the cards by heart - but I wouldnt allow any advanced Action Cards (pinning shot, ...) that do not clearly state it is useable by a blunderbuss.


Edited by thePREdiger, 11 July 2013 - 04:28 AM.


#17 Ambivalent Badger

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 05:26 AM



From the real-life to wfrp rule conversion: evading the blast is hard, but the junk that is loaded into a blunderbuss will not necessarily do much damage (hence the +soak).

 

 

Exactly - a blunderbuss is basically a primitive shotgun, firing a bunch of projectiles with poor penetrative power, making it easy to hit but rendering it useless against anything but soft targets. Thus, it would hardly make a dent on an armoured target with a high soak and defense value. That makes sense, right?

 

What might be done, though, is to make it so that each additional member of the engagement adds one misfortune die to the initial roll, since that would require more spread and therefore making it less likely to effectively wound each individual. Besides, people moving about in an engagement would act like meat shields for each other, standing in the line of fire and catching projectiles that might have otherwise impacted someone else.


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#18 r_b_bergstrom

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 09:03 AM

 

Dodge with coordination trained = 2 to soak

Improved Dodge with coordination trained (Has to be to have the card) = 1 to soak

 

So Improved dodge seems to be worse than dodge.

Why would Improved Dodge only add 1 soak? Improved Dodge replaces Dodge.

 

DurakBlackaxe was referring to this bit of text from the blast rule:

Blast: A weapon with the blast quality targets one engagement up to the weapon's range. Everyone in the targeted engagement is subject to the effects of the attack. Blast attacks cannot be parried or blocked, but targets may choose to dodge. Rather than the normal dodge effect, each dice an individual defender would normally contribute to the pool for dodging increases his soak value by 1 against the blast attack.

The rules boost soak per die, with no accounting for whether that die is black or purple. It's a little silly.

 

If you have Coordination trained, Dodge will add +2 soak (from +2 black dice) vs a blast, but Improved Dodge technically only adds +1 soak (from the +1 purple die it provides) vs a blast.

 

Which unfortunately means that Advanced Dodge (from Hero's Call) also only provides +1 soak vs a blast, despite it adding a purple die + a challenge symbol + a bane to normal attacks.



#19 Ghazi

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 12:07 PM

Ambivalent Badger's idea of adding an additional black die for every body in an engagement leapt to my mind initially, too.  The only problem there is it paints both those in an engagement who might be shielded by those closer to the muzzle of the blunderbuss.  In reality, those up front would bear the brunt of the damage and absorb damage that would have been taken by those behind them.  

 

The issue of range is critical with scatterguns, too.  Regardless of what Action Card and talent a shooter might have, it's not going to grant the shot more explosive charge needed to allow it penetrative power at an increased range.  Where a range bonus is appropriate for non-blast weapons because skill impacts accuracy and therefore range, a scatter gun's effective range is limited by explosive charge and by blast patterns outside of the shooter's control.



#20 Ambivalent Badger

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 03:25 PM

Ambivalent Badger's idea of adding an additional black die for every body in an engagement leapt to my mind initially, too.  The only problem there is it paints both those in an engagement who might be shielded by those closer to the muzzle of the blunderbuss.  In reality, those up front would bear the brunt of the damage and absorb damage that would have been taken by those behind them. 

 

I see that, but then again, wouldn't that happen anyway if the whole engagement is targeted?

 

One could perhaps acount for positioning by adding or reducing the damage output depending on how close to the shooter the engangement's various participants happen to be standing. However, I think that would not simply complicate things, but also work against the very workings of WFRP3's abstract measurement system, since it's only supposed to give you a basic idea of what's going on without being too specific and concrete. Being able to target a group of unspecified size doesn't make much sense anyway - I mean, what if that engagement is a crowd of a hundred people, or a handfull of giants? There's no way you'd be able to hit all of them in real life, but that is a consequence of the system's simplicity. If you add too much for the sake of realism, you might as well make rolls for each potential target, or just do away with the system altogether and use a grid.


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