Re: Mastery; Arkat; missile combat; etc.

From: David Dunham <dunham_at_...>
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 09:26:30 -0700

Norbert wrote:

> Suppose you have these three characters:
> Joe1 Close Combat 17 (17 AP)
> Joe2 Close Combat 2w (22 AP)
> Joe3 Close Combat 17w2 (57 AP)
> If Joe1 squares off against Joe3 without any further modifiers, he is most
> likely to roll a Success vs. Joe3's Critical Success.
> However, if Joe2 squares off against Joe3, he has a target number of only
> 2, and will most likely keep rolling Failures vs. Criticals. He has only a
> 10% chance of a Success, even though he has one level of Mastery already.
> This means that a character with NO masteries has a better chance against a
> guy with 2 Masteries than somebody with 1 Mastery has against the same
> opponent.

According to my skill calculator, Joe3 has a 100% chance of winning either an extended or simple contest against Joe1 (remember, he has 2 bumps and thus cannot fail). Joe2 has slightly better odds (Joe1 only wins 99% of the time in an extended contest, and 93% of the time in a simple contest).

Remember, when Joe2 fights Joe3, Joe3's rolls of 18 and 19 are only bumped to success, not critical, and 20 to failure. The bumps are important. I don't see any non-linearity in the results at all. Higher skills are always better, according to my deterministic calculator.

> Suppose Alfred has Sword & Shield Fighting 5w3 (that's 65 AP) and fights
> against Bob who has Sword & Shield w3 (60 AP). Does Bob have a target number
> of 0, a target number of 1, or what?

This is a trick question. There's no such thing as a "naked mastery." If Bob is to have 60 AP, he is 20w2 (which obviously makes it clear that his target number is 20).


> As for Arkat ... reading the Glorantha book suggested that
> he was not a particularly effective heroquester - just a persistant one. If
> Harmast hadn't bailed him out he'd still be in the underworld.

The Glorantha book doesn't go into a lot of detail about Arkat -- he's pretty much the guy who invented experimental heroquesting, and in fact is probably the best heroquester Glorantha has ever seen.

> I'm leaning to the view that Arkat started as a sorceror, stayed as a
> sorceror, and just took the Otherworld and advancement penalties on the
> chin.

This could be, but given he had himself transformed into a troll, I suspect he managed to transform himself into an actual Humakti as well.

> what would the default ranged weapon value be?

Ranged Combat at 6, I'd say.


> I don't know if this has been discussed before, but wouldn't it be
> logical to force a bump down on the other guy when a bump up on your
> side is no longer possible ?

I don't think this was ever playtested, and I think it's a bad idea. I can't imagine everyone who tries to attack Harrek fumbling (they die soon enough anyway). It's likely that certain Chaotic monsters have this ability, however.


> If in character creation I decide I can fire lightning bolts from my finger
> tips, and you opt for a pea-shooter, and we both give it the maximum 5w,
> then my lightning bolts are only as powerful as your pea-shooter.

Neither character should be able to win contests any more easily than the other, all things being equal. So one does it in a loud, flashy way while the other has the uncanny ability to propel peas through someone's helmet slits, through their eyesocket and into their brain.

Things aren't usually equal -- I imagine the lightning bolt ability is far easier to improvise useful effects from.


> I'm sure there'll be hot competition, but I nominate the 'Target
> Number 20' makeworkery on p.116. Really, why?

Presumably because of the "20 always fumbles" rule on the same page.

This makes the difference between a target number of 19 and 20 greater (indeed, meaningful in an simple contest).

> > I've compiled a list of all affinities from the Hero Wars rules at
> > <>.
> Nice list. Shame about 'Combat' (or rather "the 'Combat's"), though

I think we've gone over this before, but I don't see anything wrong with a Combat affinity. It's magic that lets you fold, spindle, or mutilate people. Why not give all such magic the same name?

David Dunham <mailto:dunham_at_...>
Glorantha/HW/RQ page: <> Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein

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