Fourth Edition House Rules

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
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etherial
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Re: Fourth Edition House Rules

Postby etherial » Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:29 am

freid78 wrote:I've been looking into weapons, historically, practically and in game terms and i would strongly suggest that for the crossbows, at minimum, shouldn't be able to use Second Shot. It's been said that a trained archer fire twice as fast as a trained (or untrained) crossbowmen. That a good archer could fire a 4th shot before the first one lands!


It depends on the Crossbow. Come to SCA archery practice and you will see some amazingly fast Crossbowmen.

freid78
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Re: Fourth Edition House Rules

Postby freid78 » Sun Jun 21, 2015 2:07 pm

etherial wrote:
freid78 wrote:I've been looking into weapons, historically, practically and in game terms and i would strongly suggest that for the crossbows, at minimum, shouldn't be able to use Second Shot. It's been said that a trained archer fire twice as fast as a trained (or untrained) crossbowmen. That a good archer could fire a 4th shot before the first one lands!


It depends on the Crossbow. Come to SCA archery practice and you will see some amazingly fast Crossbowmen.


With today's technology, i'm sure they are... but Earthdawn is far from that.

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etherial
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Re: Fourth Edition House Rules

Postby etherial » Sun Jun 21, 2015 2:21 pm

freid78 wrote:
etherial wrote:
freid78 wrote:I've been looking into weapons, historically, practically and in game terms and i would strongly suggest that for the crossbows, at minimum, shouldn't be able to use Second Shot. It's been said that a trained archer fire twice as fast as a trained (or untrained) crossbowmen. That a good archer could fire a 4th shot before the first one lands!


It depends on the Crossbow. Come to SCA archery practice and you will see some amazingly fast Crossbowmen.


With today's technology, i'm sure they are... but Earthdawn is far from that.


The SCA is a medieval recreation group. There's some modern technology involved, but mostly in in the bowstrings.

Baravakar
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Re: Fourth Edition House Rules

Postby Baravakar » Sun Jun 21, 2015 6:44 pm

Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA)

Telarus_KSC
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Re: Fourth Edition House Rules

Postby Telarus_KSC » Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:22 am

It does depend on the crossbow and the draw weight. The Earthdawn rules assume a crossbow draw weight tuned to the Strength Step of the wielder, which is why you just add your Strength Step like any other weapon. I assume this type of crossbow to be hand pulled with one or two foot loops on the front (light/med crossbows). Early Chinese through early European designs. Here's an interesting speed comparison: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HagCuGXJgUs

Here are some of my other favorite crossbow videos from Lindybeige:
Crossbow mechanisms: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-z3RfHNq1Hc
Heavy vs Light Crossbow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8J3qMzQlITI

That 2nd video is what I base the light/medium design in my Barsaive on, so the crossbows in the book are "hand spanned" bows. Heavy cranked-crossbows and ballistae/scorpions are war engines and military things of static high Step Damage (got other plans for those, but have to align the Firecannon damage scale to the person-to-person damage scale).

I've decided that any Crossbow Archer Adepts in my Barsaive have developed mechanism as "guild secrets", starting with the belt-hook to assist in drawing the bow (very fast comparatively), then the goats-foot. it's a fantasy game, I'd allow Second Shot if the character knew that type of Secret. Maybe make them burn half their possible Move for the round if they do it, so bowmen can have the mobile niche.

As Lindybeige said, mechanical spanners allowed really large draw weights, so that'll fall under the heavy crossbow categories. Here's a good page on spanning techniques with reference links: http://www.benjaminrose.com/post/fast-a ... -crossbow/

Later on, the top tier dwarfs Archer Adepts will have advanced further, maybe even "hand" crossbows with built in draw levers, drool: http://www.todsstuff.co.uk/crossbows/la ... ssbows.htm). Or this sweet vertically mounted crossbow (but made from more basic design/materials, with a shorter stock for bolts instead of full sized arrows): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuRBpApmfx0

Now, how to make crossbows mechanically distinct from other bows is interesting... I'll think about that.
Last edited by Telarus_KSC on Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Baravakar
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Re: Fourth Edition House Rules

Postby Baravakar » Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:53 am

Telarus_KSC:
have developed mechanism as "guild secrets", starting with the belt-hook to assist in drawing the bow (very fast comparatively)...
It's a fantasy game...
I'd allow Second Shot if the character knew that type of Secret.

This makes sense to me for the issue of Second Shot as a skill but....
    While all talents are magical, some talents are more blatantly magical than others. Some talents allow an adept to perform feats that non-magically gifted folk can only dream of.

Archer Adepts get second shot as a talent. What they can do with a mundane crossbow defies mechanical physics.

freid78
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Re: Fourth Edition House Rules

Postby freid78 » Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:19 am

Thanks Telarus,

great video and site to check. I've already seen some of them, and i must say, i was impressed with the modern crossbow. I think there's 2 two things involved with this issue.

#1 You can find ways to explain why crossbow would shot as rapidely as a bow, just like Baravakar, and even go lenght into mysticisim about what magic can or cannot do, but this goes against the intuition and background history of it. If they invented 10 ways to cock a crossbow, it's probably because it was some kind of issue down the road. And since Barsaive is not 100% adepts, how can you explain the non-adept Bowmen fire at the same speed as non-adept crossbowmen ? Even if you make it a trade secret of Throal, you still have plenty of factions that can use the crossbow. You want to make a trade secret for the Therans and Iopiens too ? Well now... how secret is it, if all faction have it?

#2 And it's the more important for me, if you make the crossbow and the bow the same, you should probably just call it "missile weapon step 4" and let the players fluff their equipement with imagination.

Boils down to what Telarus said :
Telarus_KSC wrote:Now, how to make crossbows mechanically distinct from other bows is interesting... I'll think about that.

Baravakar
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Re: Fourth Edition House Rules

Postby Baravakar » Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:47 am

Freid78:
#2 And it's the more important for me, if you make the crossbow and the bow the same, you should probably just call it "missile weapon step 4" and let the players fluff their equipment with imagination.

This is a common problem with all games. The games mechanics do not allow for the variety of weaponry that exist in our world to have separate distinctions. It's hard for any game writer to design a system which would allow for mundane weapons to have separate abilities without creating 100 pages of rules to define them.

What is the difference in Earthdawn between a Short Sword and a Dwarf Sword?
    Short Sword costs 10 silver more, weighs 1lb more, and requires less STR to use.
If you go with pure game stats as the determining factor for weapon choice, you could create a list of the most effective items in the game. Personally, I don't think this would be helpful. For me the weapon rules could all follow your "missile weapon step 4" idea. But again, what does it matter? It only comes down to the story which is created with the game.

freid78
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Re: Fourth Edition House Rules

Postby freid78 » Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:59 am

Savage World was pretty easy in that matter. Making it "melee weapon step 5" or "missile weapon step 4" is fast and you let players design their own fluff, story, etc. The mechanic is the same, just need to skin it for flavor. That's something leaning toward the story, and avoid min-maxing of players.

That being said, SW was a bit too easy for some of my players. Some of them like the crunch! So making weapon and armor something more specific, more... heavy rule, i've designed something pretty cool I think that enable to have a better look why someone would prefer a Dwarf Sword instead of a Short Sword. Something that explain why Elven warbow is better than a longbow and finally, a system that allow players to find easy numbers (like SW type of players) or more deep stuff (like heavy rule type of players). I'll post it and hope for comments!

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=1557&p=15531#p15531

The right info starts at reply #5. The first ones were... brainstorming i guess.

varrow
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Re: Fourth Edition House Rules

Postby varrow » Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:30 am

Hi everyone,

While I really like the most of core changes made in Earthdawn 4th Edition, such as the new free talent, talent options, and extra success options with most abilities and spells. I feel there are many areas of the rules that negatively suffer from the way these new rules have been interwoven with the old. Many of the chapters appear to me to be a bit of a mess of new content shoved into cut and pasted text and rules from previous editions. Due to the lack of some of the removed text and the odd mixture of 1st, 3rd and 4th edition versions of rules, I find some interpretations difficult and may potentially create serious unbalancing loopholes and unworkable scenarios.

As a blanket rule in any given situation where there is contradiction or difficulty interpreting the system, I will go with the interpretation which I feel results in a fairer, more balanced and generally richer game world.

Below are some clarifications I have identified and will be running as GM for my games.

Movement:

Movement is generally defined as when a creature expends a least one point of their movement rate to travel from one location to another.

A flying creature may choose to expend zero points of their movement rate to hover.

A swimming creature may choose to expend zero points of their movement rate to tread water

A flying creature hovering or a swimming creature treading water is considered moving while they hover or tread water, even though they expend zero points of their movement rate.

If a flying or swimming creature is not continuously performing movement to fly/swim they will fall/sink.

When a character moves and takes another action during a combat round, his movement must take place all at once, either before or after his actions. No part of the movement can continue during the action unless the splitting movement rule is used.

A flying or swimming creature must use the splitting movement rule to perform actions while flying/swimming without falling/sinking

Forging Weapons/Armor: 3rd Edition restrictions and time frame to forge will apply. Max forge limit on weapons and time to forge (days) will be equal to weapon’s size. Time to forge armor is equal to armor’s total armor rating (physical + mystic) days, max forging is equal to half base armor rating rounded up.

Helmets: 3rd Edition description of the use and benefits/penalties of helmets will apply (slightly modified for 4th edition compatibility).
All armors listed come with helmets. Helmets are made of the same material as the armor if possible, or of a similarly protective material if not possible (some living armors do not allow helmets to be formed or to be implanted in the head). The character is free to wear the helmet or not. While he wears the helmet, he gains a Deflection Bonus to the number of successes required sunder his armor (see Crack the shell combat maneuver), just as for shields, as he has covered a vulnerable area. However, he also receives a -1 penalty to Perception Tests, except for visual perception in his direct field of vision. In contrast to the Deflection Bonus from a shield, the Deflection Bonus from a helmet cannot usually be denied. The Deflection bonus applies only to an Armor Rating the armor has, a helmet for a suit that does not have a Mystic Armor Rating does not offer a Deflection Bonus to attacks against the wearer’s Spell Defense. the gamemaster may apply the –1 penalty to other tests where the helmet might be in the way, such as tests where the adept’s face must be seen for an ability to work.

Going Inside a shield combat option missing from 4th Edition list.

Going Inside a Shield combat option. The character declares his intent to bypass his opponent’s shield during the Declare Actions phase of the combat round, subtracting the shield’s Physical or Mystic defense, as appropriate, from his Initiative Test result. If the character retains a higher Initiative Test result than his opponent, he has successfully maneuvered to a position where he has gotten inside the target’s shield, and his opponent loses the protective benefit of the shield. If the character’s modified Initiative Test result is equal to or lower than his opponent, the defender managed to bring the shield into position to block the attack before the character could complete his action. The character may still attack his opponent normally this round, but suffers a –2 penalty to his Attack Test for failing to get past the shield. The loss of shield bonus is only against the character Going Inside a Shield, and only during the round in which the combat option is used.

The following combat maneuvres will generally be available to any character/creature against all opponents:

The Called Shot combat option may be used to specify a special maneuver. On a successful attack, the character gains an additional success from the called shot, which must be applied to the special maneuver. Any further additional successes applied to the same special maneuver are counted twice.

Common Maneuvers
Clip the Wing: The attacker may spend two additional successes from an Attack test to remove the creature’s ability to fly until the end of the next round. If the attack causes a Wound, the creature cannot fly until the Wound is healed. If the creature is in flight, it falls and suffers falling damage for half the distance fallen.

Crack the Shell: The attacker may spend extra successes from physical attacks (not spells) to reduce the creature’s Physical Armor by 1 per success spent. This reduction takes place after damage is assessed, and lasts until the end of combat. Creatures receiving Deflection Bonuses from Helmets or Shields require 2 successes per point of physical armor reduced. The bonus from a Shield can be negated by using the Going inside a Shield combat option. The bonus from a helmet cannot be negated while the creature continues to wear the helmet. The bonuses from using both a helmet and shield does not stack.

Defang: The opponent may spend additional successes to affect the creature’s ability to use its poison. Each success spent reduces the Poison’s Step by 2. If the attack causes a Wound, the creature cannot use its Poison power at all until the Wound is healed.

Enrage: An opponent may spend additional successes from an Attack test to give a -1 penalty to the creature’s Attack tests and Physical Defense until the end of the next round. Multiple successes may be spent for a cumulative effect.

Hamstring: The creature may spend an additional success from an Attack test to halve the opponent’s Movement until the end of the next round. If the attack causes a Wound, the penalty lasts until the Wound is healed.

Provoke: The attacker may spend two additional successes from an Attack test to enrage the creature and guarantee he will be the sole target of the creature’s next set of attacks. Only the most recent application of this maneuver has any effect.

Pry Loose: The attacker may spend additional successes from an Attack test to allow a grappled ally to immediately make an escape attempt with a +2 bonus per success spent on this maneuver.
Last edited by varrow on Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.


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