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Crazy Aido

Don't shoot: I'm playing a swordmaster.

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Playing in Fenderstat's online game and I've decided on a pointy eared,blade swinging, killing machine.

 

However.

 

I don't think I'm playing to min/max character idea. I actually really like the stuff I've put together for the Elf in question and it's only getting more fun as we get further into the game. Myself and the zealot are highly likely to wind up killing each other in the near future, looking forward to seeing how that resolves itself. The Commoner is being roleplayed really well and the bright-wizard has a good deal of non-standard character traits that make him nice and individual. In short, I like my character and I like our group and I defenitely don't think we're power gaming.

 

I don't know where we're going as a group, (literally, we just finished our first adventure and we're stuck in the middle of nowhere) but given that I'm one of two characters with a fellowship that isn't two, I'm giving some serious thought to moving into Envoy when I eventually switch careers, seeing as I want bump my intelligence as well.

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Ok, swordmaster..you're asking for it.

 

First things first:

  1. What do you want on your Tombstone?
  2. What region of Ulthuahuauahan are you from? .n   Avelorn (High elves that still live in the woods; Everqueen’s province)
    Caledor (mountains, fortresses and dragons)
    Chrace & Cothique (at perpetual war with the Dark Elves land and sea)
    Eataine (contains Lothern, the greatest city and port in the known world; seat of Phoenix king)
    Ellyrion (horselands)
    Saphery (land of wizardry, Tower of Hoeth)
    Tiranoc (perpetual rebuilding from war)
    Yvresse (land of mist and deep coniferous forest)
  3. Which organization are you affiliated with?: Noble house, Lothern Sea guard, Ellyrian Reavers, Dragon Princes of Caledor, Swordmasters of Hoeth, Shadow Warriors, Phoenix Guard, White Lions of Chrace?
     
  4. You're beginning as a swordmaster, what did you do before that?
  5. How much experience do you ACTUALLY have fighting dark elves?
  6. Are you paranoida bout other elves?
  7. Why are you on the mainland?  Is it because you are fulfilling "real world experience" as required by many elven houses?
  8. Does your character have an actual personality or is he a bunch of statistics maxed out to do maximum damage.
  9. Enemies, allies, who's your master?  Do you have an apprentice or are you a preceptor to anyone?

 

OUr last swordmaster was devoid of personality and we had him liquidated!

 

jh

 

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Pfaaaaaah! I knew you'd take the bait!!!

 

*Guts Emrikol and sticks him on a spit*

 

I'd love to tell you everything, but I can't suffice to say there's just a few little bits I'd like to keep mum about. I'll tell you later about those.

 

Aneirra is, in essence, a really bad student. The elf keeps putting back assesments, sitting in it's hands... You'd swear the pointy earred git was procrastinating or some such. It seemed all that really concerned the budding sword afficianado was staying around the tower and finding a nice red wine to go with their appertif. Oh sure, when the family visits, then it's all demonstrations and fancy swings but in the mean time there seems to be a focused effort on getting the bare minimum requirements to keep pulling gaurd duty over the goat shed.

 

So when Aneirra gets the Elven equivelent of "see me" written on a peice of paper by one of the trainers, the jig is up. It's time to start showing improvement or else it's back to mammy and daddy and their pleasent little house by the sea and that crushing obligation to... Well, can't tell you everything.

 

So sitting there in the big boss' study and your desperately trying to pull something out of your ass and you need to not get sent home and it's all very tense when suddenly there it is, sitting over the bookshelf...

 

"What's that?" Asks the Elf, fearfully.

 

"A blade from the human lands."

 

Gears tick, wheels clank then BAM.

 

"I would like to perform an extended pilgrimage to the human lands to learn their arts of bladecraft..." And other assorted bull.

 

'Course what Anierra doesn't cop is that teachers would be only too delighted to send a fool into the middle of nowhere and get their grade average back up.

So when Anierra is standing on the boat waving, and the teachers are waving back, the only thing going through everyones' mind is...

 

Sucker.

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cd8dman said:

blademaster hmph.  Who needs a sword when you got a nice strong broom or hoe to beat your enemies down with. 

 

gui%C3%B1o.gif

Yeah? And what exactly are you going to do when Rutgar asks for his stuff back? Eh?

Because I sure hope your not gonna ask me for a loan of Bondbreaker.

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Not sure if this is the best place to ask this or not, but here goes:

 

I've just started running a game of WFRP 3e. There aren't any Swordmaster's in my group atm, but a number of players have been looking into them with interest. Are they really that broken? I haven't had a chance to take a look yet (I've been focused on just keeping up with the stuff that is immediately required for my game).

 

As a follow-up question, are there other careers that have a similar reputation/have things I should watch out for?

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They are inherently desinged to be min-maxed.  If you have a player who isn't an outstandingly trustworthy person on not "breaking the game", I would simply shelve them.  Make them an advanced career. I'd do the same with the wardancer and ironbreaker.  There's no reason why characters couldn't "earn" these careers (give them a 3rd talent slot).

They're just so combat-minded that they tend to take good roleplaying games, and turns them back into D&D. 

 

jh

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Wow, thanks for the quick reply!

 

I guess the armour restriction on Troll Slayers keeps them from falling into this category as well?

 

Also, what about their action cards? By RAW most of the actions are available to anybody who is (for instance) wielding a greatsword. Is it a good idea to limit the Wardances and Swordmaster actions to those careers (I don't remember if Ironbreakers have their own actions or not).

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Way of the sword is actually probably the most open to anyone. It just suits the swordmaster and his conservative stance best of all. Ritual dances are...applicable to other careers, if you have enough background behind them, though they simply do not suit a character weighted to any one stance. Ironbreakers make best use of ancestor cards, which, I feel, are suitably flavoured that they're difficult to explain being used by a non-dwarf.

 

Jay, is also, unfortunately, right about the background of swordmaster, you play an aloof, stuck-up pointy earred git that arrives in the Empire with the express purpose of learning how to kill stuff better. It's VERY easy to give yourself an appaling fellowship score and explain it away as being your elfy nature, lashing your strength up to 5 and murdering EVERYTHING. As an advanced career is does have a lot more potential, since the Greatsword of Howth is might be something better earned than given.

 

On the other hand, playing a sword master as a wandering snooty, pointy earred academic, out to learn stuff besides killing people, makes this an interesting first career, where you get really into roleplaying an alien traveller in a strange land. Where did these monkeys learn how to fight? Why is there always this one that wants to burn everything? WHY CAN'T I GET A DECENT GLASS OF WINE ANYWHERE??? Playing to ideals of an alien outlook on life and giving your sword as much background as you give your character(custom made for you as it is) these are the things that make it ok at first rank. In order to make this sort of thing happen though, you need the speak toy your PC, and make sure he or she isn't going to be a complete prat about it.

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 I take the view of that it is not the careers that are broken, merely the player.  The objective of roleplaying games (in my opinion) is to tell a story.  If a player builds a character to maximise stats then it's not the inanimate career and talent sheets fault it's exploitive it's the person making the concious decision to do it in the first place.  Yes a Swordsmaster is over powered why?  Not because of their inherit starting gear and available action cards but because they a the freakin swordmasters of freakin Hoeth!  Defenders of the tower of Hoeth and some of the most powerful wizards in the world.  Same deal with an iron breaker.

 

Where the problem lies is the people you play with not the career itself, there is no winning these games and the only thing which triumphs over all is good roleplaying.  When Aido suggested his character to me he had already had a clear goal in mind for a roleplaying perspective and thats an automatic sell, convince me your not playing for numbers (and therefore Pokemon) and playing for story and I'll let you do just about anything.  Aido had a reason for the elf to head abroad and it was convincing enough for me to agree.

 

Statistics don't play Roleplaying games people do. 

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I agree that a Swordmaster career is very legit, and it's not the career that's broken, but perhaps the player.  More likely, it's not even the player, but the GM or scenario writer.  If you are running a game where combat is constant and essential, it's difficult to fault a player for building a collection of stats to contend with what the GM/writer is throwing at them.

If, however, you are creating a rich, intense world where interaction is the key, there's nothing to fear in a Swordmaster character.  Create an environment where the challenges are not simply found on the battlefield or where snicker-snack doesn't solve everything and the min/max problem goes away.

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Ghazi said:

I agree that a Swordmaster career is very legit, and it's not the career that's broken, but perhaps the player.  More likely, it's not even the player, but the GM or scenario writer.  If you are running a game where combat is constant and essential, it's difficult to fault a player for building a collection of stats to contend with what the GM/writer is throwing at them.

If, however, you are creating a rich, intense world where interaction is the key, there's nothing to fear in a Swordmaster character.  Create an environment where the challenges are not simply found on the battlefield or where snicker-snack doesn't solve everything and the min/max problem goes away.

 

Wow... That response kind of hits it out of the park for me. Enough for me to use an analogy for a sport I don't play and have no understanding of. That's goooood.

 

WFRP does have the benefit of being able to punish you pretty hard for not being sociable. Play either stops or you have to do things the painful, annoying way. Something we all hope will be assisted when LoP eventually reaches those of us who have been slavering over it like rabid dogs.

 

Fortunately, I gave my swordmaster a reasonable(3 is a reasonable fellowship score, I've decided) fellowship and am suitably picqued by my own background to move into envoy as my next career, if I ever reach it.(Addendum: With enough limbs to swing my great sword, added after my groups troll slayer got a hand hacked off.)

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 If being a Swordmaster was max/maxing then it would be a problem, but if the player is sacrificing something (int, will, fel, etc) then that gets my GM-sense tingling with opportunities to make the game as difficult for that player as it is for other players.  The first rule of being a good GM is that every character should get to feel like the main character at some point and save the day and every character should get the chance to overcome great challenges at some point.

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Ghazi said:

I agree that a Swordmaster career is very legit, and it's not the career that's broken, but perhaps the player.  More likely, it's not even the player, but the GM or scenario writer.  If you are running a game where combat is constant and essential, it's difficult to fault a player for building a collection of stats to contend with what the GM/writer is throwing at them.

If, however, you are creating a rich, intense world where interaction is the key, there's nothing to fear in a Swordmaster character.  Create an environment where the challenges are not simply found on the battlefield or where snicker-snack doesn't solve everything and the min/max problem goes away.

Well said. 

I have found that games whose challenge is summed up by "can the PCs beat up that group?" have frequent issues with characters being too powerful (or not enough). If you instead run games whose challenge is summed up by "should the PCs beat up that group?" then statistics will never be an issue.

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I'm with you guys on the whole "Its the Player not the Career who does the min/maxing" mode of thought. I also heartily agree that good Narrators and Scenario writers will create enough varied obstacles that the Min's of a Min/Maxed character should be challenged often enough to add some semblance of balance to the game.

Jay is spot on when he suggests house ruling the "Broken" Basic Careers into Advanced Careers and this approach just makes sense when you take into consideration that the Sword Masters, Iron Breakers, Wardancer's and Troll Slayers are all Special troop choices in the table top battles game of Warhammer Fantasy. This option creates incentive to explore other avenues before being able to call yourself Sword Master or Iron Breaker as these careers are steeped in history and legend. Players should earn the right to be accepted into these highly specialized careers, A Sword Master should be encouraged to increase his WP and Int as these characteristics are essential for the day to day duties of a Defender of the Tower. It also requires high levels of Discipline so I feel that a GM is totally within his rights to deny a character to chance to join the ranks of the Sword Masters if they exhibit undesirable qualities to the Masters of the White Tower.

I do whatever I can to encourage players to play to the strengths of the story not to the strengths of a bInary system of problem resolution.

Math is Boring

 

Here's to the the ROLE players not the ROLL players

¬LC

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There's enough here to actually strongly support moving both swordmaster and ironbreaker to advanced careers. (I have a much greater fear of ironbreaker) But then... Sometimes someone might have that really amazing story... Or at least a story and they reaaaaaally want to play the character.

 

I just see it as being an interesting first career if you put the thought into the background. I say some of the stuff Emrikol was having to put up with and, well, that's a good reason for the GM ban hammer right there.

 

It's curious that this is turning into a conversation about min/maxing characters because that didn't seem to be happening as I was building mine. With twenty points I could have boosted strength to five. But I don't think that's worthwhile when that fifth dice is gonna be a blue for the forseeable future. Even still, base stats for swordmaster, before spending anything are st:2, T:3, Ag:4, Int:3, Wil:2, Fel:2. Looking at that my first thoughts would be to boost both my will and toughness, because I find stress and fatigue are the kind of thing that will sneak up and bite you right on your pointy earred ass.

 

In line with this I always practically order my players to have a T:3 stat and advise them on the benefits of T:4. It's just good sense.

 

Where am I going with this? Stress and fatigue are fantastic levellers. You'll always find at least one creature able to cause either, and then the previously invulnerable fighter is knocked out after taking an insanity that causes him to take stress every time he thinks of a word with the letter "e" in it.

 

Better stop now. Rambling much.

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pendergast4 said:

What I real want to know is why are there no spellcasting options for Elves, just humans and dwarves?

 

An interesting question and one many people have addressed by simply allowing Elves access to wizard careers. It could be a balancing issue. Both due to the increases in wil and int that both races allow and possibly more important, the increased corruption capacity. Maybe they will address it in a dreamed of Elf supplement we all hope for.

 

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As for Elves and Magic I started allowing Elf players at my table to spend advancements to learn the Cantrip spell to reflect the races inherent magical ability. I'm still trying to work out how I could create Elf wizards but its tricky not to create something overpowered and broken.

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