Fourth Edition Errata, Clarifications, and FAQs

Discussion on the Earthdawn game line, errata, and feedback not related to playing or GMing.
ChrisDDickey
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Re: Fourth Edition Errata, Clarifications, and FAQs

Post by ChrisDDickey » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:31 am

Players Guide pg 395 in the section "Mount Training" has the following line.
some abilities such as Dominate Beast or Tame Mount allow a rider to control them quickly
What the heck is "Tame Mount"? Should that read "Animal Bond"?

ChrisDDickey
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Re: Fourth Edition Errata, Clarifications, and FAQs

Post by ChrisDDickey » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:39 pm

I don't really understand the errata
Shield Bash, Page 166
Clarification: Shields are always held in the off-hand, thus this talent is not compatible with Second Weapon.
That does not make any sense to me. Second Weapon specifically says it uses a one-handed melee weapon held in the off-hand. Shield Bash specifically says it causes a shield (which, as you say, is in the characters off-hand) to count as a melee weapon.

I am not saying that the errata can not say that for play balance reasons Second Weapon is incompatible with Shield Bash. But saying it is incompatible because shields are held in the off-hand makes no sense. Second Weapons must be in the off-hand.

Am I missing something, or does the errata need to be errata'ed?

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Mataxes
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Re: Fourth Edition Errata, Clarifications, and FAQs

Post by Mataxes » Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:21 am

I'm not sure? I don't recall talking about that, so I'll look into it.
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The Undying
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Re: Fourth Edition Errata, Clarifications, and FAQs

Post by The Undying » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:47 am

My readings:

Shield Bash does not cause a shield to count as a melee weapon. Shield Bash uses the shield as a weapon. These are very different things, and the errata highlights that.

Shield Bash: if you have a shield in your off-hand, you can make an attack using Shield Bash and that shield as though the shield were a weapon.

Second Weapon: if you have a weapon in your off-hand, you can make an attack using Second Weapon and that weapon in your off-hand.

A shield is not a weapon. Shield Bash allows you to use a shield as though it were a weapon when using that Talent, but it does not turn it into a weapon (i.e., you can't Forge Weapon it), especially when not used for Shield Bash. Since a shield is not a weapon, it cannot be used for Second Weapon.

If you want think about this more as "why does this matter," look back through the archives where the developers (maybe even Mataxes) talk about why certain "attack" Talents are what they are, and why certain bonuses for weapons are what they are. Using a shield has a plus - increased defense - and minus - only one-handed weapons and your off-hand is in use. Shield Bash is basically a middle ground between "you only have one weapon" and "you have two weapons". Two weapons is strictly better for offense because you can forge both weapons, but (Blade Juggling aside) it is strictly worse for defense than one weapon plus one shield. Shield bash allows you to get some extra licks in with that shield, which is helpful, but is not meant to give you all the bonuses of two weapon fighting AND having a shield. Asking for a shield to count as a weapon basically makes one-handed fighting with a shield off-hand strictly better than pretty much any other option.

Further proof can be found in the text of Shield Bash.
The adept bashes an opponent by making an attack in melee combat using his shield as a weapon.
This is the only place that use of a shield for attack is ever mentioned (unless I'm mistaken), and it is within the context of active use of the Talent. Thus, if you are not actively using Shield Bash, a shield is not a weapon; only when you are using Shield Bash, the shield acts as a weapon. Simply knowing Shield Bash does not make a shield always count as a weapon, nor does the existence of Shield Bash imply that a shield can act as a weapon outside the confines of Shield Bash.

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The Undying
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Re: Fourth Edition Errata, Clarifications, and FAQs

Post by The Undying » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:08 am

I rambled and then realized I was completely off-topic.

Yeah, I agree that the errata could be re-worded. I guess the question is "what was the intent of the errata." My guess: minimally, it probably meant "you cannot use Shield Bash and Second Weapon in the same round because the two requirements (shield in off-hand, weapon in off-hand) are incompatible." It could be made more explicit by saying something like "(except during the use of Shield Bash, a shield does not count as a weapon and so cannot be used for Second Weapon, and use of a weapon in the off-hand precludes the use of a shield)." The first statement is 100% true, as I rambled above. The second statement is something I'm totally down with but is never concretely established in the rules, you have to cobble parts together:

Second Weapon: "The adept wields a one-handed melee weapon in his off-hand to attack an opponent in the same round as his primary melee weapon."

Using Shields (pg 412): "A character using a shield is restricted to using one-handed weapons only."

So, it's not unreasonable to assume you can't have a weapon in your off-hand while using a shield, but it's never actually stated. Plus, Simple Actions (pg 375) are really loose-y goose-y, implying that it's okay to do shield/weapon toggling on your turn of the initiative (I'm using my shield, my turn comes around, I stop using my shield [Simple Action] so I can shank someone with Second Weapon [potentially using a Simple Action to unsheathe], I start using my shield again [Simple Action, potentially with another Simple Action to sheathe], my turn is over).

ChrisDDickey
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Re: Fourth Edition Errata, Clarifications, and FAQs

Post by ChrisDDickey » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:27 am

I think undying's second answer rambled a bit as well. I was not talking about holding a second weapon in the same hand as a shield. I was talking about using the shield as a 2nd weapon to do a shield bash.
The Undying wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:47 am
Shield Bash does not cause a shield to count as a melee weapon. Shield Bash uses the shield as a weapon. These are very different things, and the errata highlights that.
Again, agreeing that there might be very valid play balance reasons why this combination is not allowed, and putting to one side the slippery slope of whether munchkins will argue that obviously a shield used to shield bash can be forged. Again, Putting all that to one side, I don't really see the above quote as being true.

Shield Bash: The adept may use his shield as a melee weapon.
Second Weapon: The adept wields a one-handed melee weapon in his off-hand to attack an opponent in the same round as his primary melee weapon.

That seems fairly clear. The adept may use his shield as a melee weapon, and an adept wielding a one-handed melee weapon in his off-hand may make an additional attack.

If you want to forbid this combo, I think that rather than talking about off-hands or the differences between being a melee weapon and being used as a melee weapon, shield bash should just have a simple statement such as "This talent can not be used in concert with Second Weapon". Simple, straightforward, too the point.

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The Undying
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Re: Fourth Edition Errata, Clarifications, and FAQs

Post by The Undying » Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:52 am

I have to admit, the more I read this Talent, the less I understand it.

It looks like Shield Bash is a Damage Replacement. "If the adept makes a successful close combat Attack test." So, SOMETHINGG ELSE (Melee Weapon, Unarmed Combat, Momentum Attack, Second Attack, ...) is what determines the success. Then, as a damage replacement, Shield Bash is rolled.

That is ... super murky. I'm trying to size up how this actually works. Seems like you have to declare that you'll be using Shield Bash before you make the Attack test because there's no good reason that I can think of where you should get an Attack bonus from a Thread Item weapon if it isn't the one involved in the attack. Is the thematic sense of this that the Adept feints with the weapon and then bashes with the Shield? In that case, it's kind of weird to call the Shield the weapon. If you have no Melee Weapon and don't know Unarmed Combat, can you still do Melee Weapon because the shield is counting as the weapon, even though it doesn't come in until Damage Replacement, but only if you commit to using Shield Bash?

Yeah, re-reading it, I can totally see where ChrisDDickey is coming from.

ChrisDDickey
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Re: Fourth Edition Errata, Clarifications, and FAQs

Post by ChrisDDickey » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:11 am

To discuss this further we probably ought to start another thread just for this. But as I understand it, this is how it works.
Shield Bash is damage replacement.
Assume an adept has a sword and a shield and the appropriate talents.
  • He can make a normal Melee weapon attack with his sword. As normal.
  • He can use his Melee Weapon talent to make an attack to knockdown, as per the combat option. The target takes no damage, but must make a knockdown test.
  • He can use his Melee Weapon talent to do a shield bash with his shield. He hits his opponent with his shield (not the sword in his other hand). The target will take damage equal to the Shield Bash test (reduced by armor), but probably less damage than he would if hit by a well forged sword. The target will ALSO be forced to make a knockdown test, as if the attack was also an attack to knock down.
As far as I can tell, the shield bash does not require a feints with another weapon, so could be done even if the adept's main hand was empty (or missing) for some reason, or was otherwise occupied. The adept still gets all the bonuses for having a shield.

A swords attributes also don't come into play until damage is rolled, so Shield Bash in no different in that response. It is simply saying that your shield is also a weapon, and does damage equal to your STR plus Shield Bash rank, just as a sword has attributes that determine it's damage.

Telarus
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Re: Fourth Edition Errata, Clarifications, and FAQs

Post by Telarus » Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:50 pm

Yeah, you have to burn an available attack in order to use Shield Bash. I guess the question is
"can I use Second Weapon for that?"

Personally, after having studied shield combat a bit, and watching a lot of videos from Roland Warzecha (Dimicator on FB/Patreon), I would allow it in my games. Shields offer a huge advantage in "controlling the center", and someone trained can easily bind your weapon with theirs, shield bash you to control your structure, then launch a weapon attack from the main hand, in 6 seconds. Example: https://youtu.be/hf5VUajPye0?t=8m20s

I plan to offer Talent Knacks for Melee/Second Weapon that allows a Defense Bonus based on weapon size to balance this (1/2 size rounded up). Yes, you can "hide behind a polearm". But the Body Shield will provide the most 1-handed defense bonus (+3), and a trained fighter with the knack, a body-shield, broadsword, and Defensive Stance would have +7 Phys Defense, +2 Mystic Defense (unless blindsided - where you cannot use either the shield or weapon defense bonus, and cannot apply the stance bonus as you cannot see that attack coming).

We'll see how this survives playtesting.

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Re: Fourth Edition Errata, Clarifications, and FAQs

Post by Lys » Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:37 am

About the Fireblood clarification: As i said in another thread, if Fireblood and healing aids are mutually exclusive, then Fireblood is the strictly inferior option. Fireblood heals Toughness + Fireblood Ranks, while Healing Potion heals Toughness + 8 and immediately cures a wound, and both require a Standard Action. So until Fireblood reaches Rank 8, you are getting less healing every time you use it, and no wound recovery. Given that Rank 8 takes quite some time to reach, this means that most of the time the only reason to use Fireblood is that you do not have healing potion. The disparity gets worse if the character has any access to other healing aids such as spells or blood charms. It raises the question of why precisely would one bother spending LP on it.

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