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[SWADE] Is Feint weak?

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  • [SWADE] Is Feint weak?

    The Feint Edge allows a warrior to make a Fighting Test, then choose whether the opponent resists with Agility (normal) or Smarts.

    Thing is, in most games the mooks are going to be "d6 across the board", so the Edge won't make a lot of difference. There is some attraction there for low-Smarts chararacters, allowing them to make "Smarts-based" Tests without heavily investing in actual Smarts-based skills... but the Test is still only effective against low-Smarts targets.

    It seems like a niche Edge, and I'm certainly not advocating for it's removal, but I think it needs something to give it a broader appeal. I just don't know what that can be without treading on other Edges and such.

    Does anybody agree with me or think I'm wrong? I'd like to get some other opinions here, and possibly some suggestions.

    Cheers folks!

  • #2
    Yeah, based on Brute, I'd say the "replace one attribute with another for one type of roll" bonus is only worth half an edge. Maybe adding something as simple as a +1 to Fighting Tests or even linking Fighting to Smarts for the PC as well might round the edge out for the "clever" fighters.

    Comment


    • Almagest
      Almagest commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah, I'm using this house rule in my games. You get a +1 to the Test against Smarts

  • #3
    Originally posted by Deskepticon View Post
    Does anybody agree with me or think I'm wrong? I'd like to get some other opinions here, and possibly some suggestions.
    Feint reads like a weak Edge. That doesn't mean it is weak, just that it reads that way.

    If the foe has Agility d8+ and Smarts d6 then Feint is pretty useful. And unlike Taunt (Smarts) or Intimidation (Spirit), investing in Fighting is something you were already doing.
    ...
    Still, it's pretty niche. If it mitigated the MAP for a Fighting Test and Fighting attack then it would be great. This is one of those situations where reducing the -2 by 1 would still be fantastic. Feint to Vulnerable, then attack at net +1.
    I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

    Comment


    • #4
      Yeah, the skill buy-in is where I spent a good deal of thought on. The requirement for Feint is Fighting d8, meaning your average character (d6 everything) would be just as well off putting points into Taunt, etc. than boosting Fighting to d8 and buying the Edge.

      Feint becomes a better option the higher your Agility and/or the lower your Smarts, as that of course affects skill cost. Assuming a character is going to have at least a d6 Fighting anyway, the skill-point savings of a d8 Agility, d4 Smarts warrior is 2 points:
      Build option 1) Advance Fighting to d8 and buy Feint (3 points)
      Build option 2) Advance a Smarts-based skill to d8 (5 points)


      But as mentioned, that benefit shrinks the higher your Smarts or lower your Agility. This is the trouble I had thinking about "balancing" the Edge... adding something like MAP negation (even -1) would make it much more attractive to your average "d6" character, but would make it monstrously helpful to the concept build, who is already getting 2 points in value before even factoring in the long term savings.

      In the end, I think I'm ultimately fine with the Edge's niche standing. It's just that on the surface it looks underwhelming. Maybe there's room for an Improved Feint Edge, that tips the scales the other direction? Hmm... I'll think on that.

      Comment


      • #5
        I also think Feint is quite week. Maybe something like this:

        Trickster
        Requirement: Smarts d8
        Describe why a Tests initiated by you must be defended by a specific Attribute.

        Wiseacre
        Requirement: Smarts d8
        Describe why you are able to defend against a Tests using a specific Attribute.

        And if anyone wonders what happens if someone with Trickster goes against someone with Wiseacre, then the answer is of course the same as the answer to http://google.com/search?q=unstoppab...movable+object

        Comment


        • ValhallaGH
          ValhallaGH commented
          Editing a comment
          Endless and fun-destroying arguments?

      • #6
        Originally posted by lomanjax View Post
        I also think Feint is quite week. Maybe something like this:

        Trickster
        Requirement: Smarts d8
        Describe why a Tests initiated by you must be defended by a specific Attribute.

        Wiseacre
        Requirement: Smarts d8
        Describe why you are able to defend against a Tests using a specific Attribute.

        And if anyone wonders what happens if someone with Trickster goes against someone with Wiseacre, then the answer is of course the same as the answer to http://google.com/search?q=unstoppab...movable+object
        I'm unsure if this is meant to be a joke or not.
        If yes, then it's pretty funny.
        If not...

        The issue with these Edges, as I see them, is their open-endedness. If the Edges had you choose one skill and one attribute to link to it, it'd probably be okay (essentially doing what Feint does, but with more variety). As I noted above, it'd be very attractive for any character with staggered attribute values.

        As an aside, Wiseacre is similar to the Not Today modifier from the SPC2.

        Comment


        • #7
          Well I meant to be funny but it's not a joke. I believe test should be much more accessible. I am not keeping track but I think in the last 20 games I have only experienced 2 Test. And one of them I initiated.

          I think Test should not be that "Rulesy". It should be more like:
          • Attacker describes what they are doing and what they want to achieve
          • Defender describes how they are opposing/avoiding that goal
          • GM rules what they roll

          Comment


          • #8
            Originally posted by lomanjax View Post
            I think Test should not be that "Rulesy". It should be more like:
            • Attacker describes what they are doing and what they want to achieve
            • Defender describes how they are opposing/avoiding that goal
            • GM rules what they roll
            ...
            The way it works now:
            • Attacker describes what they are doing and what they want to achieve.
            • GM declares the Skill being used, which dictates the Attribute used to defend.
            • They roll.
            That's pretty rules light. Even lighter than your proposal.

            The issue is that, despite how cool and effective Tests can be, they're slightly more complex than a conventional attack (needing to describe the Test) and slightly less effective than just causing Incapacitation.
            I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

            Comment


            • #9
              I am not of the opinion that “rules light” is a good thing at all. Especially where the “lightyness” comes from restricting the story and removing opportunities to play an interesting scene. In my experience when rules go down the “rules light” path, it is because some executive has decided they need to reach a larger audience that presumably only can handle dumbed-down rules.

              With less “Rulesy” I mean less constrictive. Let me state my point of view very precisely:

              “the attribute it’s linked to” is to constrictive.

              ValhallaGH I see you like rules with the word “dictates” in them. I don’t think we need to discuss this point. Let’s just agree that we see things differently.
              Last edited by lomanjax; 08-06-2019, 10:51 PM.

              Comment


              • #10
                Originally posted by lomanjax View Post
                Well I meant to be funny but it's not a joke. I believe test should be much more accessible. I am not keeping track but I think in the last 20 games I have only experienced 2 Test. And one of them I initiated.

                I think Test should not be that "Rulesy". It should be more like:
                • Attacker describes what they are doing and what they want to achieve
                • Defender describes how they are opposing/avoiding that goal
                • GM rules what they roll
                I'm sorry to hear the Test mechanic was used so few times. Sounds like a lot of missed opportunities for your players to change the course of battle, especially if it was particularly tough for them.

                But I'm also sorry to say that your proposed rules change wouldn't help. In fact, it'd likely make players choose to perform Tests even less. Under your rule, a character would declare a Test and the opponent would think of any excuse he could to resist with his highest attribute. Commence fun-killing argument.

                The reason Tests are resisted by a linked attribute is so players have a clear rule that allows them to exploit an opponent's weak points. Having trouble harming the big dumb brute? Perform a Smarts-based Test to make him Vulnerable for a round. The mechanics provide an expectation of success. Your proposed rule change removes any surety of that happening to the point that it wouldn't be worth it to even attempt a Test. The ogre resists the Taunt with Strength because, "GRRRWWRRR!!"

                I'm not opposed to the idea of a "quid pro quo" Edge similar to Feint; I'm just wary of it being too broad.

                Comment


                • #11
                  No. The "GM rules what they roll" takes care of the "any excuse" part.

                  Unless you have a GM that can't distinguish between what, given a specific setting, is possible in a scene and what is an excuse. And if they can't do that then your problem runs much deeper than a week Edge.

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Back to the OP, I have a character that has Feint and it has worked well. I don't feel bad about dropping the Edge to get it. We are playing 50F so it has been a boon when fighting Grael. Not sure if the GM is tweaking the stats for most of the soldiers we fight but a good portion have a lower Smarts than Agility, which aligns with the basic Solider stat block in SWADE. Combined with Creative Combat, it has opened a few exciting options.

                    It may not be the most optimized Edge or the best Edge, but it work and has its place. I wouldn't take it every setting, but I think it has its place.

                    Comment


                    • Deskepticon
                      Deskepticon commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Ohh, the Edge is excellent for a warrior build that will probably work toward a high Fighting anyway, especially if he also has a low Smarts. The long-term investment would pay for the Edge five times over, assuming the character takes Professional and Expert for Fighting.

                      The Edge isn't even terrible for a more rounded character either, because of encounters like you mentioned. Ultimately, I've come to the conclusion that Feint doesn't need a houserule or anything; it's fine just the way it is. It does serve a niche role, but it shines in that role.

                  • #13
                    Originally posted by lomanjax View Post
                    No. The "GM rules what they roll" takes care of the "any excuse" part.
                    Maybe, but that isn't what you presented. You wrote "defender describes how they are opposing". I'm not trying to start a fight here, I'm just addressing what you wrote. If a clever player says they're resisting with *strongest attribute*, providing a convincing argument, and the GM says no, you see how that can lead to a disagreement? It's not always about the GM making a bad call, it's about the rules allowing for too much variation.

                    The current rules already allow for a pretty good deal of interpretation...
                    You describe what your Test looks like, and the GM tells you what skill to roll. That decision necessarily includes which attribute the opponent would logically resist with. Consider:
                    1) I do a sword flourish in an attempt to Distract the foe.
                    2) I use the flat of blade to bat away my opponent's shield.

                    Both involve using a sword, but would they both use Fighting? That's answered by asking, Which one should be opposed by Agility? Or better yet, Which attribute would these Tests be opposed by?

                    For 1, the character is attempting to draw away attention with fancy moves. That's likely a Performance Test opposed by Spirit. Example 2 is clearly relying on martial prowess, and would be a Fighting Test opposed by Agility.

                    But like I said, it's also about setting expections. Players could skip the GM-arbitration process by saying exactly what they are doing and what they want to achieve. Want to outsmart a dummy? Use a Smarts-based skill.

                    Remember, one of Savage Worlds' philosophies is Fast, Furious, Fun! The less time spent deciding how a Test is resisted, the better.

                    Unless you have a GM that can't distinguish between what, given a specific setting, is possible in a scene and what is an excuse. And if they can't do that then your problem runs much deeper than a week Edge.
                    I agree with this statement.

                    I've also reasoned myself away from thinking of Feint as a "weak" Edge. It can be weak for a build not optimized for it, but it is immensely useful for any build that is optimized to play to its strengths.

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      I agree I could have been more precise, but I don’t see how you could have thought that. If I meant that the two participants choose the rolls involved just by making a statement why would I at all have written the third bullet? What else is there to rule on?

                      The Test rules are ok for most standard situations. But the “the attribute it’s linked to” part sets some “expectations” at the cost of restricting creativity. I don’t see why one would prefer that above “use your imagination”.

                      And yes the “Fast, Furious, Fun” argument can always be used to oppose a statement of the type “these rules are too simple and need to be elaborated on”. But more often than not it is used to trump a point of view. And in this case I don’t see what is “Fun” about “I see what you are trying to do but we can’t do that because it is not in the rules”.

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        Originally posted by lomanjax View Post
                        I agree I could have been more precise, but I don’t see how you could have thought that. If I meant that the two participants choose the rolls involved just by making a statement why would I at all have written the third bullet? What else is there to rule on?
                        Is this a serious question, or are you just throwin shade?

                        I saw it the way I did because, in my experience, if you allow a player to choose how their character reacts to something, and that 'something' is tied to game statistic, then the player will most likely choose to act in their best interest. Specifically, they would attempt to justify how their best Trait can be used, simply because you are allowing them to choose it.

                        The Test rules are ok for most standard situations. But the “the attribute it’s linked to” part sets some “expectations” at the cost of restricting creativity. I don’t see why one would prefer that above “use your imagination”.
                        Sure. And an Edge similar to Feint can be used to fill in that creative gap. I've said as much. The Test rules aren't perfect, but that was never my claim. However, it's preferable because of the expectations. When a player announces a particular Test, they are likely expecting it to target an opponent's weak spot. If the opponent can simply decide to resist in some other way (and why wouldn't they?), the player isn't likely to follow through with the Test.

                        And yes the “Fast, Furious, Fun” argument can always be used to oppose a statement of the type “these rules are too simple and need to be elaborated on”. But more often than not it is used to trump a point of view.
                        That's probably true, but I didn't use it to trump your point of view. I used it to support to way Tests currently work.

                        And in this case I don’t see what is “Fun” about “I see what you are trying to do but we can’t do that because it is not in the rules”.
                        So make a houserule and play Tests the way you think they should be. I'd actually be interested in hearing the results. But I'm curious how with so few examples to pull from (2), you determined the rule isn't Fun?

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