Re: Feats as Simple Contests in the middle of Extended Contests

From: William Faulkner <wfaulkner_at_...>
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 00:12:18 -0700

Now, I agree that magic that is being directly used in an extended combat should fall within the overal context of the extended contest, but I really don't know what I should be doing with each different type of magical feat.

This leads directly to my biggest complaint about HW, there aren't enough rules to guide GM's and players. Now I'm sure many people like that, and that's fine. Many GM's have better imaginations than I do, and can weave a fine story without any rules. I, however, like rules, they provide structure for me to hang my adventure on. For all the pages that the HW rules take up, there is precious little in terms of real rules. Hey, they can be summarized in 4-8 pages. And while there are some examples, they are mostly mundane examples. I do get tired of the response, sometimes, of well, whatever works for your story. I do that for any game system, but I want rules to adjudicate critical parts of the story, and I am having problems with the free form nature of HW.

Not that free form is bad, heck I remember the few privileged times I was able to play with M.A.R. Barker (Of EPT fame). His idea of a game system and rules were D100. Roll low good things happen to you, roll high, bad things happen. Very much like HW, but even more free form. He ran a great session, but I don't have that kind of GM'ing talent.

OK, enough of a rant, on with the conversation.

> However, an issue that has arisen in the game I play in (Hello
> Benedict!) is the game mechanical one of judging the rating levels of
> opponents so as to give the characters a good hard but not impossible
> extended contest.

I agree, this is important to many games, critical to HW. In response to an earlier post, someone stated that the HW rules suggested that if one has one full mastery level up on a foe, he could go against 3-5 as an even combat. Well I did that, a champion with an skill of 20W, versus 4 skilled opponents (skill of 20). Ignoring, edges, augmentation, and the like. It was no contest. The champion who started the combat at 40 AP, ended with almost 100.

OK, so go for 6 adversaries you say, so I did. This time the hero lost a few rolls, but in the end, the champion ended up with about 120 points (heck, you have 3 foes left, your AP total is 86, why not bid 20 and knock out an opponent every round).

I even tried to play fairly. Heck, with 20W vs 20 (x however many opponents) the champion probably should go for a big opening blow against a single opponent, since he is almost guaranteed, not only a win, but a transfer. So why not bid 39 on your first attack, you roll 18, the first defender rolls 3. Both successes, but the champion's gets bumped to a critical by the difference in mastery level. BAM! one opponent down, and the champion now has 79 AP. Anybody can tell how this story is going to end, right now, baring some miracle die rolling.

Quite frankly, I think that a person with a full mastery level can know out a virtually unlimited number of opponents, if one rules (as HW suggests) that only 6 opponents may attack in a turn. I personally have a problem with that.

It seems to me the only way to have a close contest is that if all masteries cancel out (or if the total difference is less than about 6 if the masteries don't cancel, e.g. 2W vs 18).

Now if the opponents can use a skill that requires a different resistance roll than what the champion wants, say the 20W was a sword skill, one could have the bad guys attack with magical blasts versus a defense of 14. Now that would be entirely different.

Thanks for listening.
Bill Faulkner

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