Changing from 3.5 to SW - What should player and GM know?

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#41 Postby shadd4d » Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:00 pm

I'm going to caveat this with the intro that I 1) don't own any 3 or 3,5 books and have never played d20.

While he is partially correct in that attack, taunt/intimidate (test of wills) and trick are all there, he doesn't provide examples of what he's looking for, nor has he included other options, such as grapple, called shots. On the one hand, yes, the system does seem quite sparse when you look at it reductively.

Yet note that from the base attack, you have options like called shots, grappling, wild attacks, disarms and other options.

Also note that he's also seeing things through the lens of character classes; unlike 3.5, SW doesn't have them, so there are professional edges which partially but not fully mimic those "option packages".

In terms of a one-sheet that highlights extras and combat tactics, I'm a bit at askance. I can offer a few situations: 1) leading a hunting band to stalk game, 2) convincing the village warrior to accompany you to the bandit's camp, 3) being the bandits and taking down a merchant caravan, 4) accompanying the merchant caravan. And while it's not a 1 sheet, check out Shadow of Darkness.

To involve them in using extras, you need to give them a reason to have them. Maybe there are 25 bandits and only 5 PCs. Extras are needed and this would also highlight the importance of command edges.

To highlight tactics, the best way is unfortunately to use them against the players; PCs tend to pick up on the hint and start to use them back against you. As bad as it sounds, my Rippers players are mores used to using tricks and doing certain combat options because my NPCs did them to the PCs first.

Could you provide an example of possible combat or ideas on what you want to involve?

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#42 Postby Clint » Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:00 pm

sjkellyfetti wrote:
Ultimately I would like to see more inherent options in combat. As far as we've seen we can either attack, taunt/intimidate or agility/smarts trick. Let me know if there are other things we can do that we haven't used yet. Relying on edges to do something that everyone should conceivably be able to do (Charge as an example) seems too limiting. I guess that's why I like 3.5 so much, you can do a lot of different things without needing specific feats/edges, the feats just make you that much better at it.

Overall, I guess I'm just not impressed with SWs; big surprise I know. I want options on what I can do. Without options it just feels like the same thing over and over, regardless of the flavor text added to it.

His reference to a Charge edge is the one from the Shaintar book, which someone else brought up as a source of edges we might consider for the upcoming homebrew campaign I am going to run... I gave everyone a copy of the Combat Survival Guide sheet to use. Can anyone help enlighten me on how to enlighten him? I am brand new to the system too, and honestly don't know all the options.

Charge is just combining a run with an attack; anyone can do that and as far as I recall the Edge just removed the penalty exactly like he says he has in 3.5.

Honestly, Charging in d20 is more limited. A character gets to move double... in a straight line only... as long as nothing blocks the way at all... as long as the terrain isn't difficult... only has the option to attack... and is limited to a single attack... for which he gets +2 to hit in exchange for -2 AC.

In SW, "charging" is basically running. The player rolls a die to see how much extra distance he gets which can be used over any terrain in any direction around any obstacles. He can perform any other action with this run at a -2 MAP penalty, attack, spellcasting, anything. If he has multiple attacks (like Frenzy or two weapons), he still gets to use them. If he wants the bonus to hit, then the "charge" is actually running combined with a Wild Attack for +2 to hit (negating the run penalty) and +2 to damage for a -2 to Parry. Course, in SW they don't have to be combined and as noted could be combined with other actions or maneuevers providing more options.

Most of the other options are there as well.

Disarm and Grappling are in the maneuver section specifically.

Sunder is just a Called Shot against a weapon using the rules for Breaking Things (page 65).

Feint is a Taunt only instead of only affecting attacks on the next turn it provides a bonus to the next action against the target whatever it may be and whenever it is taken (not to mention potentially causing a Shaken as well making him easier to damage and possible loss of an action).

Aid Another is handled by Trick only instead of providing a bonus to one ally it reduces the foe's Parry making him easier to hit by all allies and can also cause a Shaken as above. It also provides the option to use Smarts, a typically non-combat attribute.

Overrun and Trip are basically the same thing; opposed rolls that can make the target prone, meaning the target has drawbacks but also gains the advantage of being harder to hit at range. Not to mention on a failure of either attempt, the user can end up the one who is prone. In SW, a successful Agility Trick can provide the bonus to hit the target in melee without the penalty to hit him at range and again, possible Shaken, with the benefit that failure doesn't give the target effectively a free Agility Trick in return.

And Bull Rush. There have been different discussions on pushing foes (and tripping if the above doesn't float the boat), but really it boils down to just moving a foe. In SW, that could be done as simply as a successful Grapple, move, and release.

Now, I'm not trying to be contradictory to the view; I'm just saying the systems come at the same goal from different directions. SW doesn't delineate each and every specific manuever; it provides the parts and allows the players to define and combine them however they wish. It can take a real shift in thought process to switch from one to the other.
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#43 Postby sjkellyfetti » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:46 am

Don, Clint has nailed most of the options my player will be looking for - the base combat maneuvers he knows and loves.

As for scenarios, the first encounter in the new game is going to involve the settlement they inhabit and all of its residents (maybe 30 or so for 6 players) being attacked. Before that I'd like to run a session for them involving them running extras or at least read through a couple if they exist as written out adventures to get an idea for how it should go. The ideas you list are all great, but perhaps what I should be asking for instead are tips and tricks for players using extras.

Clint - Awesome, thank you so much! This is just what I need to help him. Hopefuly the fact that these maneuvers are more modular in SW and can be combined as he sees fit will make him happier.

I had the same exact thought about how charge (and other maneuvers) would work, in that anyone can try with the MAP, but edges could reduce or eliminate the penalties.

I didn't realize you could drag/move in a grapple (the bullrush equivalent)... I imagine you would have to have won the grapple check for the round to do that?

Sadly, if things aren't all explicitly defined, rather than imagining what can be, some folks see themselves with no options instead. I will continue to try to draw him out of that mindset. :-)

Thanks again,

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