Volencio vs. Sigurd

For setting up duels and other Arena discussion.

Postby Herowannabe » Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:19 pm

Thanks Mac, that would be great. :)

As for arena, how about Keep Venture's courtyard?
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Postby Kurkistan » Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:26 pm

Yes, thank you Mac.

Keep Venture's courtyard sounds fine. So, anything else left to discuss before we begin killing one-another?

A thought: since we've an impartial judge and the largest guidance the rulebook gives us for applying to fSteel self-damage is "eh", let's forgo hard-and-fast rules in favor of Mac calling it as he sees it?
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Postby Mac » Thu Jul 23, 2015 3:49 pm

My rule-of-thumb is going to be that in a melee attack, without compelling reason one way or the other, after the first two "bought Nudges" spent on damage, every two additional Nudges spent that way will cause one point of damage. You both seem pretty well-suited to ranged combat regardless, so this should likely not come up.

As for fSteel assisting gunfire... it strikes me as fairly odd, for the exact same reason as physique being the roll for attack. Both logic and the text (Marasi is a deadshot) indicate it should be wits, most especially because senses are now tied in with wits, but it seems popularly accepted that Physique is simply the "I attack you" part of combat, and Wits are reserved for declaration order. So, fSteel should be applied to gunplay because it makes exactly as much sense as Physique? That said, can anyone think of a reason feruchemical speed could possibly be used to cause more damage to the target of a bullet? Do you outpace the bullet, hit the guy several times, then retreat before it hits? Catch up and course-correct on the way? Grab your target and pull him along, shoving him into the path of the bullet several times so the same shot hits him many times?

You guys seem to have come to an atium/electrum accord on your own.
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Postby Kurkistan » Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:18 pm

If we're to try and justify fSteel helping to make bullets hurt more and/or more likely to hit... Sure, I'll give it a whack.

I'd phrase it as a matter of positioning and mental steadiness.

If we view the gunfight as a dynamic thing with a fair amount of motion in particular, the fSteel user could jump out of cover to flank an enemy, line up their shot, fire, and then jump back into some more cover more easily than a muggle (same with aPewter). If we're to assume that the physical act of aiming the gun is already fast enough that extra speed doesn't matter, then the benefits come from the before and after. Instead of taking 3 seconds to get into position to shoot and then another 2 to dive back into cover, you take maybe .5 seconds to do all of that and spend the rest of your time a) not being shot at yet and b) lining up your shot.

As a general positional rule, this expands to fSteel allowing you to expose yourself more/move more for optimal firing positions with the same or equal risk of harm, at least in terms of amount of time spent out of cover and vulnerable to enemy fire.

So far as damage goes, it's valuable to remember that any amount of damage an attack with basically any of these weapons does to someone is a matter of "that thing that could have killed you ends up just hurting you a bit instead because X". So the sword just scratches your arm, or the bullet grazes your cheek. Or you dive to the side to avoid either and end up with a nasty bruise from the landing. Any single coin or bullet hitting in the right place would easily kill a character, so gradations of damage demand that less than the full impact of the weapons actually hit anywhere vital. Each nudge you get just increases how vital the place hit is, due to luck, better aim, etc.

So a super-nudged gunshot would do more damage because you ran so fast your enemy's only option to avoid a face full of buckshot was jumping 20 feet down into a ditch and spraining his leg, for example.
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Postby Mac » Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:01 pm

I accept that feruchemical steel will be applied to "to hit" rolls, whether that makes sense or not.

Kurk's position seems to be that, similarly, logical or not, feruchemical steel charges can be spent up to their mechanical limit to cause additional damage. Hero, do you concur?

My concern with statements like that is, since there's no mechanical limit, where does it end? I'm trying to seduce the barmaid. I tap forty charges of steel to increase my Outcome by 4. Because I move so fast I can run home and change into my nicer shirt while she's blinking. Or, as Kurk said above, "just luck." And then there's nothing in the rules to say that he can't do it. Where's the line? What's the specific metric? How can we objectively decide when one thing is too ridiculous to work, but the other isn't? Is Steel just blanket effective in all Physical conflicts, but not Mental or Social?
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Postby Kurkistan » Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:31 pm

I'll note that the "just luck" comment was in the context of talking about nudges and damage in combat in general. None of that paragraph, on reflection, was about fSteel in particular.

The last sentence would probably be a better expression of how fSteel would yield additional damage in combat, versus simply a higher chance to hit. In the ditch-jumping scenario, that man was going to get hurt somehow. Without the nudges, maybe he'd duck behind a nearby crate and take a grazing shot to the leg. With the nudges, he hasn't that much time.

Of course the aim vs. damage distinction is itself odd because, as it turns out, with most deadly weapons how well you aim translates pretty well into how much damage it does, leaving nudges kind of questionable... :?

Regarding the overall power of fSteel (though we may be getting off-topic at this point), the general rule is "For each charge you tap, you gain 1 die with Physique rolls involving physical speed or response time"—Nudges aren't mentioned in the fSteel rules, but are instead covered in the general rules for Feruchemy—so that nixes anything non-Physique.

More "realistically" (though this might have to be ignored for balance reasons) I'd probably have cut out "Physique" from that sentence, since though the barmaid example is a bit far-fetched there are situations where moving quickly could help with non-Physique challenges.

Either way even with RAW for when fSteel can be used combat falls under a situation where "physical speed and response time" are pretty important, I would say.

Now that you mention it, though, I wouldn't be averse to real!Sigurd using his fSteel to impress the ladies or something...
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Postby Mac » Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:03 am

((Waiting to hear Bowen's thoughts on the matter...))
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Postby Herowannabe » Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:41 pm

Let me reread the gunplay rules. I haven't cracked open the Alloy of Law supplement in months, so I'm pretty rusty.

EDIT: Okay, after rereading things, I'm split on the matter. I can see how fSteel can benefit shots as Kurkistan pointed out, but the way they set up the rules in the Alloy of Law book imply that it's not meant to work that way. For example, if you can tap fSteel to get extra dice/nudges/outcomes, then it completely invalidates 2 of the 3 Steel feruchemical-shot stunts (pg 171). For example, why spend 4 AP and 10 charges to make use of the Steelrunner Draw stunt if you could just tap 2 charges to get +2D? Why spend 4 AP and 20 charges to shoot twice with the Steelrunner Shot stunt with half your dice if you could just tap 15 charges for 3 nudges, spend them to catch a beat, then tap 5 more dice to take two shots without any dice penalty at all?

I propose some sort of compromise. I think fSteel should be used to gain a lot of tangental benefits, such as the jump out, shoot, jump back behind cover scenario that Kurk outlined. That can easily be replicated by tapping charges to take free steps. Step out from cover, take your shot, step back behind cover. You get to shoot at your enemy with your full dice pool, he doesn't get to shoot back at all because you're behind cover.

Also, I would all on board with using fSteel to spend X number of nudges to replicate the Fast Aiming gunplay stunt (pg 137).

Anyway, those are my thoughts.
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Postby Kurkistan » Fri Jul 24, 2015 6:13 pm

That's a good point on Steelrunner Draw (personally I'd just written that Stunt away as entirely useless). Steelrunner shot is a bit more marginal, though, as you don't get the damage benefit of Nudges if you spend all of them to catch a beat: so if you just caught a beat then that first shot would be just base damage.

Regarding general gunplay... I can see where you're coming from with movement in the fight being modeled by actual Steps, but this is where things get odd, as "cover" isn't really a thing, mechanically, beyond Circumstances.

I (and Kadrok) had been interpreting this WoC as Crafty's blessing to use fSteel freely in combat, but on another reading it might be interpreted strictly as Alex saying that fSteel's combat applications were restricted entirely to those stunts.

EDIT: Though now that I think of it adding to defense dice is probably still all good.
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Postby Herowannabe » Sat Jul 25, 2015 1:10 am

Hmm, you're right, cover isn't ever expressly covered (pun intended) in the MAG. If it was me personally, I'd go with light cover being a circumstance, moderate cover being +1D (akin to a small shield), heavy cover giving +2D (large shield), and complete cover negating ranged attacks completely. I'll let Mac call it for this match though.

Re: the WoC- yeah, to me it sounds like he's referring primarily to the stunts, but it's not like I am bias-free either. However I can honestly say that if I was GMing a game or going with a steelrunner gunslinger, in the interest of Alex's Law ("What sounds most fun and least broken?"), I would rule that only the feruchemical stunts can be applied to gunslinging. But that's just me. Again I happily stand by whatever Mac decides. :)

Even with that limitation, however, fSteel is pretty awesome in a gunfight. You can still tap charges to guarantee you act/shoot first, you can still tap charges for free movement, which again is great for running into range, taking your shot, then running out of range or behind cover before the enemy can counter, and of course fSteel is absolutely legit for dodging bullets. There is no ability better suited for dodging projectiles than fSteel. :)

I would also be all on board with a guideline for tapping steel charges in order to get a positive circumstance on your shots, even if it was just 1 charge to gain a positive circumstance.
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