Sword & Scoundrel v0.2.1 Feedback Thread.

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Re: Sword & Scoundrel v0.2.1 Feedback Thread.

Post by thorgarth »

Agamemnon wrote: 08 Dec 2018, 15:37 I've been half-following this argument, mostly to see what the two of you shake out of it. As near as I can tell, the entire thing boils down to "Skirmish-to-melee should be more clear in that it allows for you to go to simple conflict." followed by "I want an additional extended conflict system."

To the first, you can boil anything in the game down to a simple conflict if you want. That's the first rule written for the core mechanic. To that point, simple melee is a specific type of simple conflict. The first paragraph in melee explicitly states:

Anywhere you can choose to use one, you can choose to use the other. Skirmish points towards specifics of full melee because the specifics being discussed only apply to full melee. If you're using simple melee, you don't need to worry about the number of plays involved in single action. You make the roll and move on, the way you would any other melee. That's the point of simple melee.

Moving to the extended conflict: clocks already allow you to track progress over time to a goal too large to be resolved with a single roll. I've also been considering a more formalized application for things like chase scenes and so on where a bit more adjudication could be useful. The one place I don't really see it being that useful is the one you've been using as an example: extended conflict for simple melee.

I'm not sure what is gained from that. The whole point of simple combat is that you can resolve the thing and move on. Insofar as I can tell, the sole effect would be allowing you to drag out a simple melee over multiple skirmish actions, but that seems somewhat misguided given that many full melee bouts can be resolved inside of the three plays of a skirmish action. Most fights are pretty well decided in that time, short of two very skilled opponents and/or a lot of heavy armor. And if you really want to spend more game-time and attention on combat, you can always switch to full melee and have the blow-by-blow fight.

That said, if you really want to prolong the thing for whatever reason, you have tools available to you. Throw a clock on it for either side and do a series of opposed rolls, filling in the clocks for each party as they lose. You've effectively recreated D&D combat and the two sides can kick each other's shins until someone falls down. Enjoy.
I just thought that the text under Skirmish could be misleading to someone new to the game, giving the impression that in skirmish full melee was the default, or the mechanics most adequate to solve combat (incidentally so did Korbel). I see that you share Benedict´s opinion that there is no such issue with the text. Let's leave it at that then.

Regarding Simple vs Full melee and how I see Extended conflicts. I actually think Extended Conflictsd can be applied to more than simple melee, hence the example I gave, related to Social Conflict. The reason is simple, I think a single die roll to solve a relevant and dramatic situation feels a bit anti-climax. I'm not saying EVERY social conflict or simple melee should be an extended contest, dragging out over godless amounts of rounds (Btw I haven't picked up a D&D book since I GMastered a longstanding campaign using AD&D 2nd edition somewhere around 93 or some such, though I played in couple adventures using 3.5. Not for me though). What I'm saying is that sometimes some conflicts are important enough that they can (should) be played out over 3 or 4 "rounds" (lato sensu). In case of melee, this choice over Full melee could have a number of reasons, namely players not liking or not yet having the knowledge of the rules that they feel comfortable using all those mechanics without bogging the game down.

And I don't think that stretching a simple melee over 3 or 4 rounds, meaning 3 or 4 rolls per side for an entire combat can be compared to, or stating that you effectively recreate a D&D combat or any other attrition based system, especially those with huge pools of life resource (though even this is a dangerous generalization on my part, since several systems with large pools can actually be solved in a rather lethal and fast way if your skilled and or lucky enough, as my players can attest in Rolemaster, for instance). In full combat, even if most melees are solved inside of a three plays of a skirmish action, that would entail, if I'm not mistaken, at least the double of the rolls done for a 3round extended simple melee, and that is not counting other rolls such as Positioning Rolls or multiple rolls for chained maneuvers. And that is all and good for when and IF the players are comfortable doing it that way (personally I much prefer this more complex approach), but in some cases I simply would prefer to extend the contest over multiple rolls (in a not overly exaggerated way as to make things drag along, obviously).

But I concede a point here. If most fights in full melee are usually finished by the end of the round (three plays) ( and I will have to take your word on this - though by your own admission you seem to suck at duals. But hey, I blame the player not the game 😂) it wouldn't made much sense in terms of mechanical coherence for simple melee combats to stretch over a longer period unless you take into consideration factores like multiple opponents on each side, special context parameters that could slow combat, etc.

But I respect your opinion. Different views of the same matter.

But what I would ask, because I think its very important to all, is that you could actually give your input regarding the two examples (Exhibit 2 and 3) given by Benedict. Are they just the application of the basic principle given under "Shot Clocks", and thus individual conflict rolls done consecutively (Pin) or with the frequency stated by the rules (Recovery rolls), OR like Benedict says, all the Recovery Rolls and "Pin" Rolls are just elements of a Single Conflict, which is resolved at the end?


PS: will make some characters tomorrow to start messing around and play some full melee bouts.
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel v0.2.1 Feedback Thread.

Post by eggdropsoap »

Myself being new to the game, Skirmish did make me believe that Full Melee was required.

It may say elsewhere that any melee can be resolved with Simple Melee instead, but being new to the game means it’s hard to remember every interacting rule that might alter what I’m reading at the moment.

For example, under One Dramatic Thing, it puts crossing swords at the complex end. (The example it uses is obviously the most complex both mechanically and fictionally, but it’s not clear that equally complex fictionally but simpler mechanically is an unspoken legitimate option.) It left me the impression that Full Melee was to be used in Skirmish.

This impression was cemented by the Melee section (p. 183) saying that Melee is resolved as a bout, organised into plays, and is a scene-within-a-scene. It then says you use this option when you want to initiate the complex rules that follow later. It’s quiet forcefully ingraining the idea in the new learner that Full Melee is necessary for Skirmish.

Reflecting on my experience as a reader: At that point it never occurred to me to flip back to find and re-read the section on Simple Melee to see if maybe it contradicting this unambiguous statement of fact. The game was all but telling me to anticipate instead that (for reasons to be revealed) Full Melee is integral to Skirmish. So instead I flipped forward to Full Melee for a preview before I continued reading Skirmish, to better understand how these mini-scenes of “bouts” and “plays” look within a Skirmish.

The possibility in Skirmish that the GM can call for a Simple Melee is obvious once pointed out to me by reading this thread, but the current text as a teaching tool works against that quite strongly. I would not have realised that on my first read-through, and probably not second or third. It might not ever on my own, without some presumptuous neglect of this section’s clear message, and then striking out on my own to puzzle out and attempt to reconcile the Simple Melee section’s statements with this one’s.

It would help those who are reading the game for the first time to call out Simple Melee even briefly. Possibly just adding “When using Full Melee, the bout is…” in the third sentence of Melee (p. 183).
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel v0.2.1 Feedback Thread.

Post by Agamemnon »

Thanks for the feedback! It's one of a few sections that have been marked for a revision in the next release.
Sword and Scoundrel: On Role-Playing and Fantasy Obscura

Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife — chopping off what’s incomplete and saying: "Now it’s complete because it’s ended here."
Collected Sayings of Muad’Dib, the Princess Irulan
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