[DL:Classic] Pistols in Melee, and other questions

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NinjaMonkey
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[DL:Classic] Pistols in Melee, and other questions

#1 Postby NinjaMonkey » Fri May 20, 2011 12:44 pm

I just finished running a major combat using the classic rules for the first time, and these questions came up.

First, guns in melee seemed to be an issue. We couldn't find anything in the core rules that governed their use, other than the +2 to the hit location table. So what ended up happening was we had one guy surrounded by creatures in melee range 2 fisting Colts and only needing a TN: 5 (7 after the two-fisted penalties) and dealing 3d6 damage with each gun. And then we had a martial artist having to deal with the base TN: 5 + the creatures Fighting level (3). What this led to was the range guy in melee performing better then the melee guy in melee with less penalties. Is that how its supposed to work? Do yall normally just house rule this?

Another thing that came up was Test of Wills versus creatures with no aptitudes to defend against them. Can the default roll the creature makes fall below 0? We had a situation where a player was just raking in the fate chips once he realized the creature had no ridicule and only a d4 -4 default role to defend against it. How do yall normally handle situations like that? Other then just giving all creatures ridicule and guts.

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#2 Postby WahookaTG » Fri May 20, 2011 1:50 pm

I ran into the guns-in-melee issue as well. Personally I feel that in melee combat, players should be punchin' kickin' and bitin' at their enemy, not shoot a bullet through them at TN 5. So as a house rule I do the following:
    - when toe-to-toe with an enemy, add his defense rating (usually fightin' skill) to the shootin' TN, same as if you were making a melee attack. This represents the difficulty of aiming in melee combat.
    - if someone used a firearm on his/her last action, they're too busy shooting to actively defend themselves. And therefore can not use their defense rating


As for the test of wills, I've never had this problem. When you say "creatures" do you mean monsters? Because on a lot of occasions, you could rule that they are immune to ridicule and maybe even other ToWs.
When the rules get abused anyway, you might call a maximum of 1 test-of-wills-fate-chip per enemy of even per combat.

Hope this helps!

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#3 Postby newForumNewName » Fri May 20, 2011 2:04 pm

I think that Reloaded handles pistols in combat much more gracefully, but since you are playing Classic, that doesn't really help much.

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#4 Postby NinjaMonkey » Fri May 20, 2011 2:26 pm

Making the shooter have to hit beat the creature's (and yes I mean monster's) fighting is probably the best way to go. At least that's how its done in Reloaded. I would be a bit hesitant to remove the shooter's defense bonus though, since I wouldn't do the same for the martial artist if he used a sword.

For test of wills and monsters, I am really loath to just limit the players options in combat, so I would hate to just say you can't do that because its a monster. I could see disallowing edges such as "The Voice" if there's no possibility of the monster understanding the player's language.

To be fair to the player in question, he is by no means a min-maxer. His character isn't even a combat monkey. The fight was just really nasty, and everyone was already completely out of chips. For the most part he averaged like 1action a turn so it wasn't that bad and it helped keep some characters who would have fallen otherwise still up and running.

I just wanna make sure it doesn't actually become an issue in future fights against canned monsters from the different source books. Maybe I could just give all canned creatures at least a single die in relevant skills to give them some chance to defend against TOWs.

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#5 Postby WahookaTG » Fri May 20, 2011 3:15 pm

NinjaMonkey wrote:I would be a bit hesitant to remove the shooter's defense bonus though, since I wouldn't do the same for the martial artist if he used a sword.


The main reason I do this is because shooting a 4d8+2 Winchester still trumps most regular melee attacks. The 'penalty' is an effort to balance it out a bit. But if someone else has another / better way to handle this, please do tell.

For test of wills and monsters, I am really loath to just limit the players options in combat, so I would hate to just say you can't do that because its a monster. I could see disallowing edges such as "The Voice" if there's no possibility of the monster understanding the player's language.


IMHO, trying to Ridicule something like a Zombie or a Mohave Rattler (usually) doesn't make a lot of sense. But my posse doesn't use test of wills a lot, so I can't speak out of experience. My players are more of the "first shoot then talk" kind.

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#6 Postby WilyQuixote » Fri May 20, 2011 4:33 pm

I'm at work and don't have my books to verify what I'm about to say but I'm fairly certain its accurate. Taking guns into melee is something of a mixed blessing. The shooter uses his shootin' skill but his TN is 5 plus the target's fightin' or shootin', whichever is higher. The target also gets to include any defensive bonuses as well if any. Anyone using a rifle in melee is always considered to be shootin' from the hip and therefore suffers a -2 in addition to any other penalties unless they are using the rifle as a club.

This next part I'm a little less sure of but Test of Wills can only be done on things that can understand the PC's intention. A harrowed, vampire, or similar undead might be affected (they probably have their own relevant skill however) but most typical undead would not be affected. The vast majority of other monsters found in the books should be outright immune to such tactics. You'll just have to use your own judgement on this.

Ridicule is one of the biggest loop hole offenders in the classic rules. It only has one defense against it and not many people have that defense. Its cheesy but legal.

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#7 Postby NinjaMonkey » Fri May 20, 2011 8:30 pm

WahookaTG wrote:
NinjaMonkey wrote:I would be a bit hesitant to remove the shooter's defense bonus though, since I wouldn't do the same for the martial artist if he used a sword.


The main reason I do this is because shooting a 4d8+2 Winchester still trumps most regular melee attacks. The 'penalty' is an effort to balance it out a bit. But if someone else has another / better way to handle this, please do tell.

For test of wills and monsters, I am really loath to just limit the players options in combat, so I would hate to just say you can't do that because its a monster. I could see disallowing edges such as "The Voice" if there's no possibility of the monster understanding the player's language.


IMHO, trying to Ridicule something like a Zombie or a Mohave Rattler (usually) doesn't make a lot of sense. But my posse doesn't use test of wills a lot, so I can't speak out of experience. My players are more of the "first shoot then talk" kind.


Now rifles I can understand removing their defense bonus. I just got done combing through Waste Warriors. I know its HOE but it actually has some expanded rules for firearms in melee combat. First, only pistols or other small arms can be used which would prevent the rifles completely. Second the shooter uses Fightin:brawlin instead of their shootin. I think that along with your suggestion to use the creatures Fightin:brawlin defense should work nicely. We'll have to see how it works in the next inevitable battle.

You bring up some really good points about test of wills versus certain monsters. One thing I always hated about D&D was how the Rogue was effectively neutered in adventures involving mostly undead because he couldn't backstab them. If I have a player who's main focus in a fight is a support role with things like leadership and ridicule I don't want him to spend most fights just twiddling his thumbs being ineffective if the adventure happens to be pretty monster heavy. As long as that player makes the effort to actually describe how he's ridiculing I'm ok with him doing it. Adds some flavor to the combats.

I do want to avoid the cheese situation though from my few power games who will take advantage of the free bounty. I'm thinking the best way would simply be to give the creature a base defense equal to the governing trait.

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re

#8 Postby Fists-of-Dorn » Sun May 22, 2011 9:03 am

P.83 of Waste Warriors indicates that while using firearms in melee:

*A gunman can defend himself only with fightin' brawlin', or martial arts, unless he has another melee weapon out.
That is to say that the character is not constantly whirling his pistols from the position ready to shoot, to the position ready to buffalo his attacker...
At least not without makin' some Aptitude or Trait rolls to pull it off. Though a cowpoke with one pistol for shootin', 'til it runs empty, and a spare loaded pistol ready to clobber any varmint that gets too close would be fine with regards to this rule.


*Further it states that for a gunman to hit in melee, he uses his fightin' rather than his shootin' to make his attacks.
If the shooter wishes to disengage from his foe to use his shootin', he must win a contest of fightin' with the defender (and have the pace to back up a couple of yards). If the gunman wins he backs up without further issue. If the gunman loses, the defender hits him (roll the hit location normally and the weapon is determined by whatever fightin' he contested the gunman with) and if the gunman survives he backs up and may continue his action.


A house-rule that I have used for some time is that the shooter continues to use his shootin' aptitude, but his Nimbleness trait for the dice. His TN is the defender's usual TN to be hit in melee (So a cultist with Fightin': Knife at level 3 would be a TN-9).

I'm usually inclined to not allow longarms to be used in close quarters, though I have in the past when the situation allowed (bullpup configurations, soldiers with the appropriate skills, etc.).

The defense bonus for a longarm is derived from swinging it about as a long club, and really shouldn't be available to anyone using it to shoot someone eight inches away from him...again not without some fancy trick-shootin' rolls involved.


Character's really shouldn't be succeeding on tests o' will against monsters that aren't capable of responding to him. However in these situations you may want to let your players use the same aptitudes in a similar fashion that can still net chips for them by inspiring or otherwise alleviating some fear from the situation.
Let the smart-mouth insult the efforts of the rattler chasing his steam-wagon; Ridicule vs. the Monster's Spirit, Fightin', Overawe- whichever feels right for that monster and for the situation.

Most of the monsters lack the skills required to resist these tests o' will because they are not supposed to be used against them; rather the insults should be hurled at the crazy mad scientist trying to tame the monstrous desert worms instead of the creatures themselves. I can appreciate you wanting to allow your players more avenues of action rather than just thwackin' it with a sword or breakin' his wrist fannin' his Colt at it; some characters just aren't cut out for combat, or certain kinds of combat- swordsman against flying monkeys raining flaming poo is a worse match-up than if the swordsman were a pistolier with a penchant for shootin' the wings off of flies midflight.


Anyway I hope all of that helps out,


Fists.

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#9 Postby ProdYgI » Tue May 24, 2011 2:36 pm

Yes, they are right, if firing in melee combat, the defender adds their DB and Fighting level to the TN. The shooter adds either his Brawling, Martial Arts, or possibly Fighting: Rifle, if you allow them to take that.

Also for Ridicule, the Player's Guide specifically states that if the defender does not possess Ridicule, then they default to their base Smarts stat. So a 4d4 Smarts baddie with no Ridicule is not just going to be chip farmed, he has a fighting chance to resist. (Albeit not a good one...)

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#10 Postby NinjaMonkey » Wed May 25, 2011 12:32 pm

ProdYgI wrote:Yes, they are right, if firing in melee combat, the defender adds their DB and Fighting level to the TN. The shooter adds either his Brawling, Martial Arts, or possibly Fighting: Rifle, if you allow them to take that.

Also for Ridicule, the Player's Guide specifically states that if the defender does not possess Ridicule, then they default to their base Smarts stat. So a 4d4 Smarts baddie with no Ridicule is not just going to be chip farmed, he has a fighting chance to resist. (Albeit not a good one...)


I read that last part about ridicule in the player's guide as well. But it was my understanding that it meant they still got a default roll of their smarts. Default rolls are a single die -4.

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#11 Postby ProdYgI » Wed May 25, 2011 9:37 pm

To Ninja Monkey:

As far as I know, that is an unskilled check, I always read it as using a Smarts roll. Otherwise Ridicule is totally overpowered, since Ridicule tends to be an under used skill. However for the other ToW, the defensive skills (Guts, and Scrutinize) are quite a bit more necessary and are used for multiple defenses, which is why those do not default.

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#12 Postby WahookaTG » Thu May 26, 2011 2:12 pm

I'm with NinjaMonkey on this.
The Player's Guide only states "If the target doesn’t have ridicule, she’ll have to default to her Smarts.". It doesn't say anywhere that this is an exception to the unskilled-roll-rule. I agree this makes it a tad overpowered. But otherwise, someone with 4dX smarts and a ridicule level of 1 would be giving himself a serious disadvantage, wouldn't he?

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#13 Postby CLKoenig » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:36 pm

I can't see using a ridicule against anything that doesn't have the capability to understand he is being made fun of. I generally rule that if they don't understand the taunter, there is a -4 penalty. They may get the tone and action even if they don't understand the words. But something that doesn't have the sense to be embarrased...zombies, horses, worms...et al...then it is still just babbling noises. Further, I cannot see a horse with the ridcule aptitude for the same reason a creeping hand wouldn't have it. Not strictly rules, but just my understanding of what the skill is doing.

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#14 Postby iskandar » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:15 pm

.....where did you find the bayou vermillion "thead zombie" juice?

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#15 Postby ValhallaGH » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:46 pm

iskandar wrote:.....where did you find the bayou vermillion "thead zombie" juice?

It's in the "New Forum Member Gift Basket". Didn't you use yours? :wink: :razz:
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#16 Postby CLKoenig » Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:39 am

That's about it! I was looking for a specific topic...didn't realize till after I read it all and posted...how far gone this actually was!


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