Author Topic: Weapon Lengths  (Read 3550 times)

Ludanto

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Weapon Lengths
« on: May 14, 2011, 11:04:43 PM »
Maybe I'm just overthinking it, but I'm not sure how best to use weapons' "range" tags.

Like, if you've got a dagger and that guy's got a sword, is it probably "Defy Danger" to get on the inside?  Is it Defying Danger to for him backpedal, or push me and my dagger back to close range?

If I do get my dagger in close, it's "tricky" for him to fight me, but what does that mean?  And what if he had a spear, instead?  Could he just use it like a staff ("tricky" up close)?

I'm trying to lead with the fiction here, but I'm not sure exactly how best to apply the rules to that fiction.

agony

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Re: Weapon Lengths
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2011, 05:20:37 PM »
I think you have the right idea - lead with the fiction.  Apply the rules to the fiction as you'd like, what I mean if you don't want to slow play down and worry about weapon lengths then don't.  If you're in a heated combat and you decide your goblin wants to push his way to the inside then bring weapon lengths into play to change up the tactics.

I think the confusion here is that Apocalypse World weapon lengths make a bit more sense since ranged fighting is easier to abstract (range fighting be 90% of fighting in AW of course).  In DW, with primarily melee, it gets a bit trickier because the range differences are a couple feet. 

I personally would use the ranges sparingly to add drama to the fight as I stated above. 

sage

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Re: Weapon Lengths
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2011, 07:13:19 AM »
"Tricky" means, fictionally, that's not an easy thing to do. If the player says they do it like it's nothing, get more information.

It's hard to say, without a fictional context, what's Defying Danger and what's not. How about some examples?

Example: "You look down on the guards below you. They've both got spears that they're just kind of leaning on, they don't expect much of a fight." "I drop from the ceiling and slit the throat of one of them." "He's not ready for it, roll your damage... he's dead. The other one starts to whirl around and try to get you at spearpoint." "Who gives castle guards longspears? I'm inside his range, I gut him while with my dagger while putting one hand over his mouth." "Hack and Slash?" "Yup..."

Example: "Okay, time to show the princess who's the real prince charming around here. I parry his sword with mine, step towards him, and bring my knife to his throat. Not in his throat, just close enough to show who's winning this duel." "He's only got that sword, but he's very carefully trying to keep you at arm's length. You're defying danger to get close, the danger being that he'll counter your attack and show you up."

Example: "A flaming whip cracks past you, leaving little sparks in the air. Looks like the demon summoning completed, since there's now a scaly red horned demon letting out a blood-curdling yell. What do you do?" "Screw this, I ain't afraid of no demon. I charge him." "When you take a step towards it, the whip comes out again, smacking you in the chest and knocking you back a step to where you started. The demon looks at you with a satisfied smirk. 'Puny mortal, you're not worthy of my presence.'" "Woah, he's that good with the whip? Maybe if the ranger and I charged him at once... or maybe I wait here and defend the cleric while he works up a banishing?"

Example: "How'd that goblin get behind me? I told you the fighter should have been watching my back. I'll just whack him with the blunt end of my spear." "You bash him about the head a few times, but it's just leaving some dings in his metal cap. 'Humanses making me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry!' He breaks a tiny bottle of some kind of vile green ooze over his dagger, coating it and bring the dagger over his head, aiming for your foot. What do you do?" "The blunt end of a spear isn't so great as a weapon, but maybe I can shove him away. I plant it in his chest and push him back as hard as I can..."

The big difference here is the fictional strength of the fighters. Some common guards, caught unawares, are so easy to close with it doesn't count as danger. A skilled duelist giving you her full attention is a challenge to close with. A scion of hell with an enchanted whip can keep you right where he wants you, but you might be able to keep him busy while the rogue sneaks around back, or the cleric banishes him back to the dank dimension.

Michael Loy

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Re: Weapon Lengths
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2011, 06:41:00 AM »
I want to revive this for just a bit.  Most the discussion above is about how it works when the PC has the reach disadvantage.  I'm playing a fighter with a spear, and I'm having trouble figuring out how it looks, mechanically, when I use my reach to advantage.

So, a few cases are pretty clear.  To recap:

• I have reach and I'm fighting a guard with a polearm, or an ogre with long, ropey arms.  If I were running around with a sword, I'd probably have to look hard at how I'm getting in there to attack, but I've got a spear!  We're fairly matched in reach and it's fine.

• I have reach and I'm fighting a thief with a dagger, or an irate dire badger, and he's inside my reach.  Well, crap.  But this is addressed above.

• I have reach, fighting the thief or badger, and he's coming at me while we're at my optimum range.  Here, I guess, is where "If the player says they do it like it's nothing, get more information" cuts both ways.  I can ask how he's coming, and act to ward him off, keeping him from slipping inside my reach.  And maybe that's defying danger, just like it'd be defying danger to dodge a direct attack, right?

But this case, I'm having trouble working out in my head:

• I have reach, fighting the thief/badger, I'm at my optimum range, and I'm attacking.  The other guy is ready for me, so I don't get free damage, but he's not very well placed to retaliate.  How might this shake out?

If I hack and slash, barring a 10+, I'm opening myself to immediate attack, right?  Even if he's way over there with a dagger, or his stubby clawed limbs.  It seems odd that succeeding at my roll would give him free license to close within my reach and attack.  Of course, the thief might step back and throw something at me, say, but the badger probably won't.

But I'm also seeing this line in the detailed Hack and Slash rules: "The enemy’s counter-attack can be any GM move made directly with that creature." That might suggest that I hack and slash, and the other guy's "attack" could actually be something that's not an attack at all, like closing up distance.

Or am I defying danger, or even volleying or something?  What's the intent?

A concrete example: I'm moving along a narrow trench with my party when the bones scattered about begin to rise as skeletons!  I destroy the nearest, pinning it down with my spear before it can get up, then stomping the crap out of it (hack and slash, I took a little dab of damage).  Then I decide to head for higher ground, where I can take advantage of my reach.  I defy danger to scale up the walls to the top of the trench, then I turn and thrust downward, trying to spear one of the skeletons below.

At that point, I rolled hack and slash, hit a 10+, and chose not to give the skeleton an attack, so no problem.  But it set me to thinking if hack and slash was the right move for that kind of situation.

Ludanto

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Re: Weapon Lengths
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2011, 02:17:48 PM »
This stuff all gets very fuzzy, but I feel like maybe, if you've got the thief at the other end of your spear with nothing but a dagger, then it's not Hack and Slash or necessarily any other move at all.  You just stab him and he eats it, because he's not in a position to fight back.

Now, at some point, there's the danger that the thief might decide to make a directed effort to get around that spear and "on the inside", but I imagine you'd just have to try to Defy that Danger (by backpedaling g and stabbing and the like).

That's my take on it anyway.

sage

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Re: Weapon Lengths
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2011, 03:19:49 PM »
(Relevant note: I'm not sure how broadly we pushed this out, but we made a small re-wording to Hack and Slash that makes a big difference. On a 7-9 the enemy now gets "an attack" against you, instead of dealing damage. This opens up the fictional options of what happens, and also addresses this problem. So, I'll be referring to that wording in this post.)

Everything comes from the fiction, right? So maybe these examples will show a benefit:

The skeletons are climbing towards you, so you stab down at them with your dagger. That's hack and slash, so you roll and get a 7. Since you're basically in the same range as the skeleton, the skeleton's counter-attack can be to do damage, or otherwise mess with you directly.

The skeletons are climbing towards you, so you stab down at them with your spear. That's hack and slash, so you roll and get a 7. The skeleton can't even touch you from the range it's at, so it's counter-attack has to be something else. Maybe it's counter-attack is to get in closer to you.

Basically: the counter-attack must be based in fiction, so having a shorter-reach enemy at a distance limits their counter-attack options.


Overall, reach isn't strictly an advantage. It's just another fictional aspect of your weapon, one that will come into play at times and maybe not at others.

Michael Loy

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Re: Weapon Lengths
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2011, 03:51:21 PM »
Quote
The skeletons are climbing towards you, so you stab down at them with your spear. That's hack and slash, so you roll and get a 7. The skeleton can't even touch you from the range it's at, so it's counter-attack has to be something else. Maybe it's counter-attack is to get in closer to you.

Basically: the counter-attack must be based in fiction, so having a shorter-reach enemy at a distance limits their counter-attack options.

Ok.  That's what I was thinking, since I did see the bit where the monster makes an attack/move rather than simply dealing damage.  I just wasn't sure if the "attack" actually had to be an attack move, or if it could be any kind of counter-move.

Guvna

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Re: Weapon Lengths
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2011, 11:18:57 PM »
What sage said of course, but as a player, I'd be going for Defend.

Defend (Con)
When you stand in defense of a person, item, or location, roll+Con. On a 10+, Hold 3. 7-9, Hold 1. So long as you stand in defense, you may spend the hold, 1 for 1, when you or the thing you defend is attacked, on these:
?Redirect an attack against the thing you defend to
you
?Half the attack (half damage or effect)
?Open up the attacker to an ally, giving that ally +1
forward against the attacker
?Deal damage to the attacker equal to your level


You're defending your ground.
"May the Gods always stand between you and harm in all the empty places you must walk." - Ancient Egyptian Blessing

sage

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Re: Weapon Lengths
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2011, 03:23:04 AM »
Guvna: Yeah, sure, depends on the fictional action of course. Defend or Hack and Slash might apply depending on what the player does. As far as what the player wants to do? That probably depends too.