Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Combination Attacks: Reverse Engineering, and Applying Fast Bow.

Either get Heroic Archer, or
buy this bow. (Source)
Use The Deadly Spring to stat
it out though. {=^)
So, to start, I asked this question in this thread about how one might use a combination attack to speed up ready maneuvers. Though a ready is not an attack, these guys did point me to some pseudo-precedence for just such a power-up in the name of the Heroic Archer advantage in Dungeon Fantasy 1: Adventurers. This post, though short, I think can be a gateway to several useful techniques. Let's take a look.

Dissecting Quick-Shooting

Really, this book is practically
fundamental in any game
that uses weapons in
any primary capacity.
Quick-Shooting is a concept singularly available to bows, and is introduced on p.119 of Martial Arts. In the application of the Heroic Archer advantage and Weapon Master advantage, it discusses a precedent for quickly readying a bow and then firing a bow without having to spend extra turns. The size of the penalty, and the discounts for having Heroic Archer and/or Weapon Master make it seem like it plays out like a Combination Attack technique, which is described on p.80 of Martial Arts.

Dissecting Heroic Archer

Heroic Archer is a 20 point advantage, explained in detail on p. 14 of Dungeon Fantasy 1  and p.45 of Martial Arts. One of its big boons (but not the only important one) is the ability to roll skill at a penalty to be able to reload fast enough, that potentially with Fast-Draw (Arrow), one may fire an arrow each turn. The penalty for the roll is -3, and partially mitigated by having Weapon Master (Bow). This is very similar to Combination Attack from Martial Arts a special type of technique explained on p.80. Putting these components together, I estimate that the portion of Heroic Archer dedicated to this technique comes from the following:
  • 6 Points invested in a combination attack technique, this is converted to a "pseudo advantage," so that we can apply a cosmic "rule breaking modifier"
  • 3 points in the form of a +50% Cosmic Modifier: There is no required called hit location, 
  • This Guy!
  • 3 Point in the form of another +50% Cosmic Modifier: The ready counts as an attack, even though, there is no precedent for a ready being part of a combo.
This lines up well with the bonus provided to Heroic Archer by Trained By A Master/Weapon Master as well. Though... from a gamist perspective, the other benefits of Heroic Archer seem much more valuable than the remaining 8 points would seem, but ah well, maybe it is just a special bargain in the vein of Combat Reflexes where you are getting more than you paid for.

Dissecting the Quick-Shot Power-up

That Guy!
This power-up is in Dungeon Fantasy 11: Power-ups on p. 33. Now, oddly, it requires a few more points than I would expect. To get this technique to a perfect level, using our previous extrapolation requires 15 points for non-experts, and 13 for experts. On the other hand, the power-up costs more than we expect from these numbers. But remember, we are thinking of this thing as a pseudo-advantage rather than a technique, and one with +100% in modifiers attached. In this case, the cost of Quick-Shot for both cases - with or without Weapon Master (Bow) is either one point too cheap or one point too expensive. So, in the end, I feel like it adds up to an acceptable level.

Worked Examples

  • Swing Pick/Vitals, Retrieve Pick in the same turn:
    • 14 points, or 9 points for a character with Weapon Master (Axe/Mace). This requires one 50% improvement for allowing a ready technique, but not two, because we specified the targeted location. Weapon type should be specified though, for example, the nominal pick is a type of Axe/Mace. A quick look at precedent might say that you would need to roll Axe/Mace before the ST roll to retrieve the weapon though.
  • Fast Long Whip (Whip/*, Ready, Ready)
    • 32 Points, or 20 points for a character with Weapon Master (Whip). This requires both the cosmic modifier for any hit location and the cosmic modifier to allow readies to count as an attack. This would require three rolls against Whip and allow it to be ready to use at the beginning of the next turn even if it is super long.
  • Frantic Reload* (Ready, Ready, Ready)
    • 24 Points, or 15 points for a character with weapon master (Type of firearm that requires huge reloading times.) this only requires one +50% cosmic modifier to enable readies to be used as an attack in a combo attack, but would require three rolls against a specified weapon skill. Note, there are perks that do the same for much less points, but as pointed out in a later comment, though expensive, there is some benefit to this.

Other Thoughts and Closing

Like I said, there are perks that can reload a gun much faster and cheaper than my illustration, so maybe it might be fair to say a perk works in other similar cases? Speaking from a gamist perspective, the whip illustration seems less valuable and more expensive than the pick example. The whip one costs almost double and makes a problematic weapon marginally useful; the pick one makes a good weapon ridiculously good. I haven't said it yet on my blog, but, by the way, Dungeon Fantasy 11 has some pretty good ideas for advantages and techniques to spend character points on.

In some discussion after posting this, it was said that maybe the cosmic 50% modifier for allowing readies in a combination might not be needed in a Cinematic campaign, if we borrow more from the concepts in Martial Arts. This would make the costs of these abilities along the lines of:
9|6 for the first example, 24|15 for the second, and 16|10 for third example.
If we go off this route, then going on the assumptions earlier stated for decomposing the Quick-Shot power-up and Heroic Archer advantage, it hits the point value exactly for a nominal character, but makes it slightly more expensive for a character with Weapon Master. Overall, both approaches (that is, with or without the 50% cosmic modifer) are off by about the same amount. Maybe it would be better to split the difference and call it something like a 25% modifier?


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! It mostly started when working on one of my big whip hangups. I totally understand it isn't realistic, but why can't I have a Belmont like character that can whip the cr*p out of everyone? Now I can with cinematic whip improvements from Low-Tech Companion 2, and Combination Readies!


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