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Jason Farlander
Recently, some of my role-playing friends have been bugging me about running a D&D game. It had been several months since I had run said game, and I figured that a little change would be a good thing. So I got together a little one-shot mid-level game with some prospects for continuance into a campaign if things went well...

To make a long story short, a number of things (most notably the repeated failure of the 8th-level monk to *hit* the hill giant...) reminded me all over again why I really dislike the d20 system... hit points, armor class, levels, class-based progression and other aspects all annoy me. After the session ended, I mentioned to the group that these things were all reasons I preferred SR... and they for the most part agreed. However, one particular comment struck me.

"Yeah I like the shadowrun system better, but I cant play the same sorts of characters that I can play in D&D... and sometimes the type of game played is more important than the game mechanics. I just dont want to play a shadowrun sort of game all the time."

This got me to thinking... would a medieval-setting shadowrun (ignoring, of course, cannon timelines and the existence of earthdawn, which I find to have many of the same problems as d20) work? How badly would the elimination of vehicle combat, guns, gadgets, cyberware, bioware, the matrix, and a huge swath of skills cripple the game? How much modification to the rules would be necessary to pull it off? Would a game where basically everyone plays either a mage or an adept really be all that fun?

Preliminarily, I decided that the skill list would need a major overhaul, that I would need to provide a wider variety magic item types and creation rules for them, that chargen rules would need a substantial (?) amount of tinkering, and that I would have to provide some more incentive to play a non-magical character.

...And so I come here, to ask if anyone else has tried this with what they would consider to be success, and, if such is the case, to find out how they went about it.



Tanka
Actually, not too much would be hit... You'd just have to lower the power base of the weaponry, lower the armor standards, and houserule that mundanes could use magical items ("Ogres? I've got an Ogre Slaying Knife that has a +9 against Ogres!").

All in all, it could be done.

And, personally, I'd like it better because of the main fact that you aren't limited by your class. I absolutely despise a class-based system.
GunnerJ
Remember that if you're playing Medieval Fantasy, guns will probably be rare or nonexistant, while melee combet is the order of the day. So, just like SR2 Firearms became SR3 Pistols, Aslt. Rifles. Shotguns, etc., it may be a good idea to split Edged Weapons in Swords, Knives, and Axes.

I'm working on a SR Medieval fantasy game based off of a novel a friend of mine wrote. The plot of the novel is based around politics and culture clashes between some very inventive fantasy races (read: not elves and dwarves and orks, completely original), so the biggest part is translating their strengths and weaknesses into racial modifiers.

Something to try: an absence of cyberware can be made up for by talismans and things which are inserted into the body to grant special powers, but degrade the soul (i.e., cyberware becomes magical doodads). Maybe a type of magicican exists which can integrate the body parts of monsters into a character's body (magic bioware)?
Tanka
That's where special rings and such come into play. I'm going to basically make up random stuff here, but, eh.

Cloth of Secrecy: +2D6 Stealth
Ring of Quickness: +2 Quickness or +1D6 Initiative
Bastard Sword of Slaying: Hey, look, a L4 Weapon Focus! grinbig.gif

Besides; he's talking about translating D&D into SR stats, not sending SR back in time (Like good ol' Harlequin did in one of his adventures).
Kagetenshi
Cloth of Secrecy adds +2d6? Ick, how useless!

(Remember that in SR terminology, #d6 usually means that the rule of 6 doesn't apply)

~J
Tanka
You know what I mean. *Glare of Doom™*
GunnerJ
QUOTE
Besides; he's talking about translating D&D into SR stats, not sending SR back in time (Like good ol' Harlequin did in one of his adventures).


Umm... I wasn't talking about sending SR back in time either...
Tanka
QUOTE (GunnerJ)
Something to try: an absence of cyberware can be made up for by talismans and things which are inserted into the body to grant special powers, but degrade the soul (i.e., cyberware becomes magical doodads). Maybe a type of magicican exists which can integrate the body parts of monsters into a character's body (magic bioware)?

Doesn't seem that way.

I think he literally wants to port D&D to SR standards. So, yes, no cyberware, no guns, less quality blades and armor... But instead of cyber you have magical items that a mundane could use (Which is what D&D does anyways).
Fortune
QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ Dec 27 2003, 03:03 PM)
Remember that in SR terminology, #d6 usually means that the rule of 6 doesn't apply

The Rule of Six applies to anything considered (or termed) a 'test' in Shadowrun.
Austere Emancipator
Nice coincidence. I'm just in the middle of porting the Forgotten Realms into Shadowrun. This thread show some of the things I've done so far.

Just last night I got the final versions of all Forgotten Realms PC-capable races (everything that can reasonably be used with a CharGen system) done, as well as weaponry, armor and commodity prices (based loosely on estimated prices in Byzantine, I think in the 10th through 12th century). I'll have to gather up all the rules that I've got into one file before I can give you a more definitive list of changes I've made.

QUOTE (tanka)
QUOTE (GunnerJ)
Something to try: an absence of cyberware can be made up for by talismans and things which are inserted into the body to grant special powers, but degrade the soul (i.e., cyberware becomes magical doodads). Maybe a type of magicican exists which can integrate the body parts of monsters into a character's body (magic bioware)?

Doesn't seem that way.

I think he literally wants to port D&D to SR standards. So, yes, no cyberware, no guns, less quality blades and armor... But instead of cyber you have magical items that a mundane could use (Which is what D&D does anyways).

It just so happens that D&D does have a precedent for Bioware-like stuff: Flesh Grafts. They can be found at least in the Fiend Folio sourcebook. Just make loads more of them, and not only limited to the "bad guys", and they can replace some of the Cyber-/Bioware goodness of the 2060s SR. Include side-effects like Bio-index, loss of Essence/Magic, and consider the psychological impact of actually cutting someone open and putting something alien inside in a medieval campaign (surgery isn't exactly commonplace, most people won't be very enthusiastic about being cut up).

I myself will start the characters with the BeCKS system and rather little karma, and will use a stepped Awakening system, so that they can "buy" magical abilities as they get more karma. I am quite certain that all characters will be some sort of Awakened already at chargen, but I don't mind that: I think I'll just consider most, if not all, adventurers Awakened of some sort, with Adepts being most common. This means I won't have to bother about mundanes and magical items. On the other hand, there will be a huge load of unique magical items, and many of those won't require an Awakened user.
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Fortune)
QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ Dec 27 2003, 03:03 PM)
Remember that in SR terminology, #d6 usually means that the rule of 6 doesn't apply

The Rule of Six applies to anything considered (or termed) a 'test' in Shadowrun.

Magic loss tests. 'Nuff said.

~J
Jason Farlander
QUOTE (Austere Emancipator)
Nice coincidence. I'm just in the middle of porting the Forgotten Realms into Shadowrun. This thread show some of the things I've done so far.

Just last night I got the final versions of all Forgotten Realms PC-capable races (everything that can reasonably be used with a CharGen system) done, as well as weaponry, armor and commodity prices (based loosely on estimated prices in Byzantine, I think in the 10th through 12th century). I'll have to gather up all the rules that I've got into one file before I can give you a more definitive list of changes I've made.

Cool.

I read through the thread you linked (For some reason it rarely occurs to me to use the search function... perhaps because its failure to ever work for me on the old board has conditioned me against it) and my first impression is that I don't want to make quite so many changes. Certainly changes in number of skills (splitting up "edged weapons" and probably also "athletics" for a start), and some modifications to melee combat (including counterattacks, shields, and so on) would be necessary, and adding a third bracket to armor ratings to differentiate between edged and blunt weapons wouldnt overly complicate things.

The grafts thing is interesting, but it seems to me that few characters (beyond those that, in SR terms, would be considered "corrupt" or "twisted") would use them (I dont know about you, but I wouldnt want a practicing demonologist to cut me open while im unconscious). In regards to cyber, I was considering a sort of "dark" magical item type that powers itself off of souls trapped within it. The advantage of these items is that they woudnt require the user to be awakened (as they derive their power from the souls) Many of these items would permanently bond with their wearer, and would cause "essence loss" through through a sort of soul corruption. Someone with too many of such items would become something of a zombie. Oh... and most people wouldn't know that the items were powered on souls, just that it was dangerous to try to use too many of them.

Let me know when you finish that file you mentioned....
Tanka
On armor and such: Make note of what kind of armor it is and look up what it's actually weak against.

Chain Mail is weak vs piercing but strong vs slashing
Plate Mail is weak vs crushing but strong vs piercing

So on and so forth.

Not much armor stacking was known either... If you tried to put on full plate mail over chain mail, you'd end up having the links being imbedded into your skin by the weight of the plate mail. Not very fun.

Change the weights on things to be heavier, but people were also stronger, so it mainly evened out. The only places it won't is with things like carrying small items like herbs and foodstuffs. A sword would probably be two to three times heavier, depending on what kind and who made it. Increase breakage as well. Enough full powered blows on the thing would snap the strongest of swords back then.

One thing you'll have to remember: If somebody uses a sword with a "bloodgroove" (The middle of the blade "cut out" to allow blood flow or somesuch bulldrek), the reason it was used is much akin to a piece of steel called a I-Beam. It was lighter and didn't lose any of it's stability in structure. Not because you could rip it out of somebody's chest easier. (Source).
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (Jason Farlander)
[...] my first impression is that I don't want to make quite so many changes.

That'll work fine. I wish to try, at least at first, more descriptive rules, but you can keep them simple if you want to. For example, John Campbell's suggestion for shield use (asymmetrical TN modifiers, usually +0/+1 or +1/+2, depending on shield size) makes using shields much simpler and a lot more sensible than the way SR normally does it.

A lot of changes I've mentioned there can simply be skipped completely: Melee combat skills can be kept un-pooled, if you don't mind the "Joe Average Can Counter-Attack 4 Times" syndrome or the fact that melee always ends up with exactly one "hit", never zero and never two. The amount of intercepts doesn't have to be limited either, and long-reach weapons can be ignored.

For a medieval fantasy game, I do suggest you change the armor system, particularly with respect to the limits of and modifiers from armor. Limiting armor rating by Quickness WILL lead to Elves with heavy suits of full plate mail and leather underneath, and there won't be any HMGs with APDS ammo to deal with them. Also, full plate probably shouldn't be more than 4 (or sometimes up to 5) points of armor, so most fighter-types would never get any negative modifiers from armor.

Changing it so that armor is limited by and modifiers are counted from Weight vs Body (or Strength) makes infinitely more sense, and maintains game balance better too. I can give you my full lists of armor and (melee) weapons with (relative) prices, weights, damages, types and penetration figures if you wish.

QUOTE
The grafts thing is interesting, but it seems to me that few characters (beyond those that, in SR terms, would be considered "corrupt" or "twisted") would use them (I dont know about you, but I wouldnt want a practicing demonologist to cut me open while im unconscious).

It's true that "good guys" probably wouldn't do that a lot. But you don't have to make all grafts demonic -- there can be purely human grafts, too, or animal/beast/nature grafts (for those back-to-the-nature rangers, maybe druid-types too). It presents a lot of potential. I was actually considering "angelic" grafts as well, because my view of Lawful Good (let alone Lawful Neutral) doesn't exactly correspond to the official D&D view. wink.gif

Also, a lot of them could be not-extremely-painful, or at least sub-excruciating, and they aren't all invasive either. Consider an Angelic Wings-graft for example. And some of the good guys might give out Devas' Arms to chosen soldiers of a faith who've lost an arm in battle against the church's enemies (never mind that the guy actually chopped his arm off with an axe last night behind his barn...).

QUOTE (tanka)
On armor and such: Make note of what kind of armor it is and look up what it's actually weak against.
Chain Mail is weak vs piercing but strong vs slashing
Plate Mail is weak vs crushing but strong vs piercing

Done. All my armor types are rated separately against bludgeoning, piercing and slashing weapons, as mentioned in the earlier thread. The difference aren't that huge (generally 1 point one way or the other, like the 2/2/3 B/P/S chainmail), but sometimes 1 point makes all the difference.

And armor-stacking is heavily discouraged by the fact that the lightest full suit of armor, padded armor, weighs in at 12kg, while the average weight for most decent suits of armor (splint, banded, chain, scale, plate) is around 20kg. Even without special rules to make stacking armor hard, 35kg of stuff is a bit much -- considering the Str x 5 limit.

Oh, forgot to mention that I got Edges and Flaws done, too. I think the most difficult jobs in porting Forgotten Realms will be metamagic and melee combat maneuvers... I'll probably ignore most of the innumerable ways in which D&D uses magic, absorbing as much as I can into the existing metamagics and create a few new ones (max 10, probably), and make the rest very rare: "To learn Circle Magic, you'd have to be tutored by the Red Wizards of Thay for 10 years -- you want to go plead to one of the Zulkirs?". Same with maneuvers.
last_of_the_great_mikeys
I played in a game where we actually tried this. There were a few changes made and I'll describe the important ones. Keep in mind we used the point build system from the Shadowrun Compendium and we allowed all the cool metavariants.

Melee combat: It was still an opposed test, but only the attacker could do any damage. The defender getting more successes just meant he didn't take any damage.

Character generation: You had to buy your starting magic attribute just like any other attribute. This was to keep wizards from ruling the game, since the cool cyber/biowear was not available. You still paid for magic/adept abilities normally.

Equipment: Armour was given different names. An armour vest with plates: Breastplate. Security armour? Full plate.

Magic Items: Magic arms and armour were given the Dikote modification. There were also weapon foci. A really powerfull magic weapon was a foci with Dikote. Potions and wands and such were simply anchored spells. I'm sure you get the idea.

We started with 100 build points. It worked out pretty good. Most players took at least a couple of points in Magic attribute and some adept powers (Usually increased reflexes). Initiation was cheap at the lower levels (We used the initial magic rating as the calculation base instead of 6) but the players were not allowed to form their own initiatory group...or it woulda been too easy.

Wealth: If a lot was put into resources (I think at least 15 points), you had the option of declaring yourself a noble. If you put 30 points into resources, you could claim royalty (A brother's friend's cousin's former room mate is related to you making a direct blood relation to the king). You didn't have to worry about money up to a certain level based on how much you spent on resources...you just would decide if you wanted a basic item and you had it, subject to a customized availability chart (It takes a while to have full plate armour made during game play). Took away a fair bit of bookkeeping, which was nice.

So, it can be done...but it does take some adjustment because the Shadowrun system of character generation was designed with the setting in mind, not generically. Good luck and have fun! smile.gif
Austere Emancipator
As for skills... Behold, the Interim Medieval Fantasy Skill List v0.05A
CODE
COMBAT               Linked
Bow                     Q
Crossbow                Q
Throwing weapons        Q
Unarmed combat          S
Hafted weapons (A)      S
Edged weapons (A)       S
Polearms (A)            S
Whips                   Q
Shield                  S
Siege weapons           I
Combat Tactics          I

MAGICAL  
Aura Reading            I
Sorcery                 W
Conjuring               W
Enchanting              W
Centering               W
Divining                W

PHYSICAL  
Athletics (B)*          B
Climbing (B)*           Q
Swimming (B)*           Q
Escape artist           Q
Stealth                 Q
Riding                  R

SOCIAL  
Etiquette               C
Instruction             C
Interrogation (C)       C
Intimidation (C)        C
Acting                  C
Negotiation             C
Leadership              C

TECHNICAL  
Healing                 I
Engineering             I
Armosmithing (D)        I
Blacksmithing (D)       I
Bookbinding             I
Bowmaking/Fletching     I
Carpentry               I
Chemistry               I
Gemcutting              I
Leatherworking          I
Lockpicking             I
Shipmaking              I
Stonemasonry            I
Trapmaking              I
Weaponsmithing (D)      I

MISC  
Animal handling         I
Navigation              I
Scrounge                I
Survival                I
Tracking                I

Skills with the same (Letter) after them can be Defaulted with. Athletics, Climbing and Swimming can be defaulted between with only a +1 TN -- some like to split them, some like to keep them together, I took the middle ground.

Hafted Weapons includes clubs, maces, hammers and axes, whether they are wielded in one hand or two. Edged includes knives, daggers and swords of all sizes. Polearms includes any Reach 2 weapons and a few others, e.g. staves, true polearms (poleaxes, halberds, guisarmes, partisans, etc) and spears. I am aware that some like other separations of the skills more, but this is the one I happen to like most. Some weapons are so near the border between these weapons that I'd allow them to be defaulted with just +1, or indeed without defaulting -- short poleaxes, long two-hand swords, etc.

Healing is basically Biotech -- although situational modifiers will make many tests almost impossible (not many sterile places in medieval times, nor medical supplies).

I don't know where SR normally places the Survival skill (I think it's an active in one of the sourcebooks?), so I just put it in with the rest of the misc skills.

All feedback is welcome.

Version history
0.05A:
-Added the Shield Combat skill, linked to Strength. Referred to in the rules, but I somehow forgot to put it onto the skill list.

0.04A:
-The linked attribute of Riding is now Reaction.

0.03A:
-Added Combat Tactics Combat skill. Rules-wise equal to Small Unit Tactics.

0.02A:
-Improved Excel/Notepad/Mozilla/Forum Interface.

[Edit]I must say, that's probably the best example of a quick-and-dirty SR-medieval conversion I've seen so far, LotGM. Too simple for me, but especially the Magic Attribute bit is good.[/Edit]
Fortune
QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
QUOTE (Fortune @ Dec 26 2003, 11:46 PM)

The Rule of Six applies to anything considered (or termed) a 'test' in Shadowrun.

Magic loss tests. 'Nuff said.

The roll for Magic Loss is not termed a 'test'. SR3 specifically describes it as a 'check for Magic Loss'. Nuff said. smile.gif
Daishi
We tried it, but it didn't work so well. Simply put: The Shadowrun Melee system is not deep enough to be the primary combat system. The system collapsed when a pair of giants were surrounded by elves. The giants could never develop the successes neccessary to hit the elves, and the elves could never inflict wounds on the giants. They weren't strong enough for the attack power to be high enough for the giants to not soak it all. Eventually, the giant surrendered and the elves hacked him apart in about 10 combat turns. (I wasn't there at the time so details may deviate from how it went down, but you can see how this might happen.)

To keep magic from ruling the day without cyberware, we added two quirks: 1) Drain tests were not halved to start with. Full power drain. Ouch. 2) Adepts could only have half their powers active at any given time, requiring a free action to switch them around. This seemed to have the appropriate balance.

We just used AD&D tables for gear, divide nuyen by 50 to get gold pieces. Simplified things.

Also, one note regarding armor. Keep armor penaltied tied to quickness and only quickness. Other wise, fast characters have no edge over strong characters. This won't affect melee grunts, since melee skills are strength based and not quickness based. They lose combat pool, but that keeps things balanced nicely. You can either dodge well, or suck it up well. Plus, it makes a lot of sense that a troll in plate mail will not move just as quietly as an elf in leather...


Our group is currently playing an abused D&D that seems to be more liveable. +2 skill points for everybody, and no class skills. Allows for a much deeper game. But it still has many flaws. I just picked up the Decipher LotR corebook. The system is painfully revision 1, but it has potential for the right depth. I'm currently abusing it into being playable by importing D&D 3.5, SR and MW3 mechanics.
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (Daishi)
The giants could never develop the successes neccessary to hit the elves, and the elves could never inflict wounds on the giants.

I can't see anything wrong with that. A giant would have serious trouble hitting something as small and fast as an elf -- although he should hit at some point, with a bit of luck.

If an elf doesn't have sufficient strength or a big enough weapon to harm a giant, then that's just too damn bad. If you get the Power of an attack up to 6, the soaker is in serious trouble -- even a whopping body of 24 will only average 4 successes, so a sword blow with 2 net successes will cause a Light wound. If not... well, give a 5-year-old a kitchen knife and make him attack you with it. See how long it takes for you to die.

Big-ass monsters are supposed to be TOUGH. A 30-meter "western dragon" will have ~50+ Body and perhaps 6, or maybe the 8 points of armor it's given in SR3. If my group has a problem with that, I'll give them those kitchen knives and make them hunt a full-grown african crocodile for me.

QUOTE
1) Drain tests were not halved to start with. Full power drain. Ouch.

I will do the same thing. That ought to balance things up a little.

QUOTE
We just used AD&D tables for gear, divide nuyen by 50 to get gold pieces. Simplified things.

Will be no need for people to do that once I get my Ultimate Medieval Shadowrun Gear List done. smile.gif

QUOTE
You can either dodge well, or suck it up well. Plus, it makes a lot of sense that a troll in plate mail will not move just as quietly as an elf in leather...

Ehh? If you keep armor ratings limited by Quickness, you'll end up with chars who can dodge well AND suck it up well (the nimble little elves with magical adamantium full plate armor) and people who can't do either (the towering ogres and trolls who are slow and can't wear any armor either or they can't move at all).

And it's not a question of Troll + Plate vs Elf + Leather. If you tie armor to Quickness an elf in plate mail isn't slowed down at all, while a troll will be crippled if he wears as much as a suit of leather armor. That's just ridiculous.

A troll in plate mail will still be a lot slower than an elf in leather even if you limit armor by weight against Body or Strength. With my system, every (Body/2, rounded up OR 3, whichever is higher)kg, or part thereof, of armor above Body x 2 causes +1 on all Quickness-linked skill tests & Quickness tests, drops Q by one for movement and removes one CP -- pretty much the same modifiers as canon SR. A suit of plate mail for a troll will weigh about twice as much as one for a human: ~40kg.

A troll isn't going to have a Body higher than 11, so that's 22kg of free armor. Up to 28kg, +1; <34kg +2; <40kg +3. The troll will thus lose 3 CP dice, have +3 on all Q-linked skill tests and Q tests, and will move as though had a Q 3 points lower. The fastest natural unmod troll would thus move at 2, running at 6, and won't have a CP higher than 4 (racial modified limit attributes: Q5, I4, W6, 7CP standard, -3 from armor).

An elf has -1 Body in my games, and only +1 Q, so let's go with B5, Q7. A suit of cuirbouilli (hardened leather) weighs 15kg. The armor mod limits are 10kg/0, 13kg/+1, 16kg/+2, so the elf gets +2 from armor. S/he'll have +2 to all Q-linked skill tests and Q tests, moves at 5 (run 15), might have up to 7 CP (Q7 I6 W6, CP9, -2 from armor).

It works out great, and it's insignificantly more complicated to use than the standard system.
Daishi
QUOTE (Austere Emancipator)
I can't see anything wrong with that. A giant would have serious trouble hitting something as small and fast as an elf -- although he should hit at some point, with a bit of luck.


It does make sense. I'm not arguing with that. All I'm saying is that it led to a very frustrating game. The melee system of shadowrun has two trends: a drawn-out battle with almost no progress made because of a high-body, favourable combat mismatch. Like the giant/elf example. The flip side is in a match between two equal opponents, the match will rapidly cascade in favour of the one who draws first blood due to wound modifiers and the critical value of TNs in melee. Both of these make logical sense, but are frustrating in terms of gameplay.

As for armour, I guess I didn't explain myself well. The way we use it, quickness penalties for armor don't apply to movement. So the troll moves just as slow regardless of what he wears. So that removes one problem. The other issue that came up was one of balance and style. The giants who could wear plate mail without any penalty dominated far too much. By leaving armor tied to quickness the following streams of mele characters came up:
1) A high-body, high-strength character (ie troll or giant) could wear heavy armor and brutally dominate in melee combat. Being largely impervious to most physical damage. As a penalty, they were diminished in capacity for stealth and ranged combat. (I believe we tied all ranged combat to quickness save throwing weaponsl.)
2) A high-body, high-strength character could wear much lighter amour and gain a greater deal of flexibilty in terms of ranged combat and stealth, but still be a dominant force on the field.
3) A smaller character with more average strength and body, but with a higher quickness (ie. human or elf) could wear heavier armor with fewer penalties to other activities. But with the higher armour, they'd have a chance in melee against type 2 characters.

I don't think I'm really explaining this much better, but I did try. The end of it was that in our experience, keeping quickness as the key to armor made for a more diverse group of capable characters and made for a better game. However, your system is substantially more involved with regard to all the various attributes than what we were using, so it may work out much better for you than in our experience.

When you get it all done, I'd love to see what you've got. We've been trying to find an adequate system for a grittier fantasy for our group, but haven't succeeded yet.
Austere Emancipator
You are certainly correct that this might end up favoring the really big guys rather more than it's supposed to. But, you've got to keep in mind that I actually started a thread in the old forums the main purpose of which was to let me rant about how useless the big monsters are in most RPGs. If giants and dragons eat adventuring parties for lunch, I won't mind at all. That kind of threats aren't supposed to be dealt with by engaging in good ole melee.

The biggest PC-characters, like trolls and ogres, with plate armor could still be a problem. Still, I do enforce the movement speed penalties for heavy armor, so the plate armored troll is really damn slow (walking at a whopping 2.4km/h, sprinting 7.2km/h) and can't carry around much more than his armor (40kg of armor alone...). He can't get into any small spaces since he can't crouch well in the armor and won't fit through human doorways. The suit of plate armor for a troll will cost about 350 times as much as the leather suit for the elf, and the troll will still be just as dead when he runs into the first guy with a heavy crossbow and a good skill.

And getting that suit is a lot harder than getting 350 suits of leather armor: Trolls, ogres, minotaurs, bugbears and similar huge monstrous humanoids are universally shunned and often hated. They are definitely a niche market, so the suit will have to be custom made in any case, by very skilled armorers who also happen to be very open minded.

The fact remains that in pure melee combat, not considering any other factors nor how the stats and gear were gotten in the first place, a troll in heavy armor will most likely rule over the elves and humans and dwarves and orcs. It comes down to the fact that I, personally, do not feel that that is a severe problem. The troll suffers so horribly in other areas that giving him supreme reign in that single, rather limited are won't break down my game.

I still need to do projectile weapons, the shield are only half done, the list of combat rule changes is about half done and the rest of the house rules are still scattered in notes all over. This'll take a while...

Edit: Minor changes to armor prices, changed leather vs plate price relation respectively.

Update:
Ranged weapons and shields are done. Minor changes here 'n there (browsed some medieval arms & armor catalogues). Got all the combat rule changes together and made respective Melee & Ranged Combat Modifiers tables. Next up: Common item prices & weights. Local time: 0716AM.

If someone wants the file, it's in Excel 2002 format (currently 67kb). I won't bother posting the complete Armor, Weapon and Common Items tables in at least some 20 hours.
GunnerJ
Eh, since someone mentioned the over-simplicity of the SR melee rules, I guess now's as good as any time to discuss the crazy advanced melee rules I wrote.

Notes:
1) "Vigor (VIG)," "Agility (AGL)" and "Reason (RSN)" are SR's "Strength," "Quickness," and "Intelligence" attributes.
2)"Techniques" are like the martial arts techniques in CC.
3) This is very much a work in progress.

=====================================================

-Reach and Friends in Melee: If an attacker's reach exceeds his/her opponent's, the difference in reach is subtracted from the attacker's TN. If the defender's reach exceeds the attacker's, the difference is added to the attacker's TN. Reach does not directly help or hinder the defender.

If a defender's friends in melee exceed his/her opponent's, the difference is subtracted from the defender's TN. If the attacker's friends in melee exceed the defender's, the difference is added to the defender's TN. Friends in melee do not directly help or hinder the attacker.

-Success comparison: in the standard SR3 melee rules, if the attacker and defender have the same number of successes, the attacker wins. This does not apply, instead, in the event of a tie, no damage is done, nor any advantage confered.

-Counter attacks: a defender has the opportunity to counter attack when he/she has net successes in the melee attack test. However, net successes cannot be used to stage the damage up. The attacker must still negate the defender's net successes to stage the damage down, but counter attacks do the weapon's base damage. This reflects the fact that most of a defender's concentration is on stopping the attack, not doing damage.

-Two-Weapon Fighting and Using One-Handed Weapons with Both Hands: Melee weapons are defined as being usable with either one hand, two hands, or either one-handed or two-handed.

Fighting with a weapon in each hand imposes a TN modifier. If both weapons are one-handed only weapons, the modifier is +2. If one of the weapons can be held in either one or two hands, the modifier is +3. If both weapons can be held in either one or two hands, the modifier is +4. Under no circumstances can two-handed only weapons be used ambidexterously. If the attack is successful, targets must resist damage from both weapons. Successes can be split between weapons for the purposes of staging down. (None of this applies to Weaponbearer wrist blades.)

If a weapon is designed to be used with only one hand, using it with both hands increases your effective Vigor 50% for the purposes of deteriming the weapon's Power, but such use of the weapon has a +4 modifier. Weapons that can either be held one handed or two handed get no modifier if held two handed, but only get a +1 to power.

-Shield Use: Shields are a hybrid of armor and weapon. Their descriptions as items reflect this, in that they have a damage code and reach, but also armor ratings and a special cover rating.

A shield can be used offensively with the Shield Bash skill, linked to Vigor and with Clubs and Unarmed Combat as its only defaults. A shield typically does blunt stun damage with zero reach, but exceptions exist.

Used defensively, a shield can provide versitle protection for any fighter. Shields have a special armor rating, listed as follows: x, +y (armor type), where x is the shield's actual armor rating, y is the armor bonus, and (armor type) is the type of armor; slashing, blunt, or pierce. If the power of an attacker's weapons does not exceed the actual armor rating, then the shield provides partial cover as described in the next paragraph. If the power of an attacker's weapon is greater than the actual armor rating, and the attack succeeds, than the defender's armor is increased by the armor bonus. So, a wooden shield with an 8, +2 pirece armor rating and a 4, +1 blunt armor rating would cause anyone attacking the shield's user with a pierce weapon with a power less than 9 to take a partial cover modifier. However, anyone successfully attacking the shield user with a blunt weapon with a power greater than 4 would take no modifier, and the defender would only get one additional point of blunt armor to defend them.

Cover is an attribute specific to shields. As described above, a shield can provide partial cover in certain situations. To determine the modifier, double the shield's cover. So a shield with a cover of 1 (such as a small round shield) provides quarter partial cover, a +2 modifier for attackers, and a shield with a cover of 4 (basically a mobile personal siege wall) provides full cover, a +8 modifier. Note that fighters carrying shileds can attack if they use a one-handed weapon in the non-shield hand. This does not take an ambidexterity modifier, but the cover rating of a shield is added to attacks with this weapon, (this is called the shield use awkwardness modifier).

-Basic Attack Forms: the melee skill test is no longer a simple opposed skill test which takes a complex action; instead there are different types of actions that can be taken with a melee attack skill (and these can act as specializations).

Swipe (Simple Action): The basic melee attack. No modifiers.

Thrust (Simple Action): Thrusting focuses all the force of an attack into a small point, making it more effective against armor; however, it is also easier to dodge. A thrusting attack subtracts two from the relevant armor rating, but the defender gets a -1 TN modifier.

Probe (Simple action): Probing means testing an enemy's defenses for weaknesses. It works like a normal skill test, except that no damage is done, and neither reach nor friends in melee modifiers apply to this test. Instead, if the attacker has net successes, he/she gets a -1 TN modifier to his next attack (and every two net successes beyond the first grants an additional -1), but if the defender has net successes, the attacker gets a +1 TN modifier to his/her next attack (and every two further net successes for the defender increase this by one). These modifiers do not apply to, nor are they "used up" by, Probe or Feint tests.

Feint (Simple Action): Feinting means faking an enemy out with an attack designed soley to misdierct. It requires an opposed roll of the attacker's melee skill against the defender's Reason, and the defender's melee skill agaisnt the attacker's Charisma. Neither reach nor friends in melee modifiers apply to this test. If the atacker wins, the defender is put off balance and gets a +1 TN modifier to his/her next action in melee (increased by one for every two further net successes). If the defender wins, then he/she has seen through the attacker's ruse and is in a better position, getting a -1 TN modifier to his/her next action in melee (with every additional two net succeses granting an additional -1). These modifiers do not apply to, nor are they "used up" by, Probe or Feint tests.

Disengage (Simple Action): In order to break off from melee combat, a character muct make a successful Disengage test. This test works like a normal Swipe attack, except that each net success for the "attacker" (the character disengaging) allows him/her to move a half meter away from his/her opponent instead of doing damage. A Disengage test must be made when trying to pass by a hostile person without attacking.

Disarm(Simple Action): Disarming allows the attacker to target an opponent's weapon rather than the opponent. It is a precise task which has a +2 TN modifier, and requires a roll of the attacker's melee skill agaisnt the defender's Agility, and the defender's melee skill against the attacker's Vigor. If the defender wins, he/she retains his/her weapon and can even counter attack, but if the attacker wins, then the target weapon is removed from the defender's hand. Disarm can only be used on weapons held by the defender, and only one weapon can be disarmed per simple action. Requires knowledge of the Disarm technique.

Sweep (Simple action): See Knockdown rules (below). Modification: test for unsuccessful defenders is Agility vs attacker's (AGL + VIG)/2. Being moved a half meter for each net success can be interprested as being thrown while being swept. Requires knowledge of the Sweep technique.

Grapple (Complex Action): Grappling is like an unarmed counterpart to Disarm. Instead of attacking a weapon an opponent is holding, grappling allows the attacker to try to hold an opponent, preventing him/her from attacking. The same test, conditions, and +2 TN modifier (increased to +4 if the attacker only has one arm free, or +8 if no arms are free) applies as in a Disarm attack. If an opponent is successfully grappled, he/she can make an opposed Vigor test agaisnt the attacker to break free on his/her actions. A grappled person takes a +2 modifier to defend against any attack. Requires knowledge of the Grappling technique.

Coup de Gras (Complex Action): The coup de gras is a wild and stylish attack that goes by many names and takes many forms. A character must have learned the Coup de Gras technique to use it. The coup de gras increases the power of a melee attack by three and the damage level by one. It also gives the attacker a +4 TN modifier.

Parry (Complex Action): Character uses his/her entire action to prepare defenses. Roll the appropriate melee skill agaisnt a base target number of four, every success adds one die to a special parry pool (which can be added to any melee skill test) until his/her next action. A parrying character can opt to take a -1 TN modifier on all melee actions in this interval with the cost of not being able to counter attack.

Knockdown (Complex Action): Knockdown works like a normal unarmed attack, except that if the attacker wins, the defender must negate the attacker's successes on a Body test against a TN equal to the average of the attacker's Vigor and Body to avoid being knocked prone. Each final net success moves the defender away from the attacker by a half meter. The GM may require victims of a Knockdown attack to resist medium blunt stun damage with a power equal to the victim's own Body plus one for each half meter thrown.

Evade (Special): Not really a melee action, a defending character can simply use combat pool to get out of the way of an attack like a normal dodge test.

Targeted attack (Special): A targeted attack is either a swipe or a thrust that hits a specific part of the defender's body. The effects vary, but there is usually a positive TN modifier to making a targeted attack, and if it fails, the attacker is vulnerable and takes a +1 TN modifier to his next action in melee. (NOTE: This is a called shot)

Charge attack (Special): Charging allows you to close distance wth an opponent in the same action as an attack. It increases the power of an attack by one for each meter between the attacker and his/her target, but incurs a +2 TN modifier. A character can charge attack any opponent within (AGL/2) meters with a thrust or a swipe, or (AGL) meters with a Coup de Gras or Knockdown attack. An attacker may not charge a defender if the distance in meters is less than or equal to either the attacker's or the defender's reach.
Austere Emancipator
And they said my rules were complex! wink.gif

You have a very different approach to many things than me. You give very radical modifiers for many things, while most of my rules only change the TNs, dice amounts, etc by a very small number. This is especially apparent in two-weapon fighting, your handling of two-handed weapons, and shield use.

I don't plan on using different "styles" of attacks (swipe/thrust), and there aren't many special maneuvers available for everyone. I might use some of those attack forms as maneuvers for my game, though...

Here are my combat rules for comparison:

Melee Skill Pooling
All melee combat skills are pooled for offense and defense, much like Sorcery is for Spellcasting and Spell Defense. CP can be used for either up to the # of skill dice in that pool. Offense works just like attacking works in canon. A char's melee combat skill pools only refresh in the beginning of his/her action. A defense pool die can only be used to defend against one attack before the char's next action, or against any number ofattacks with a +1 TN per attack beyond the first (this modifies the TN of all the Defence tests). If a defending character gets net successes, he/she does not automatically counterattack and do damage, unless using a Counterattack power/maneuver.

Offhand Weapons
Offhand weapons add half the respective skill (e.g. Offhand Longsword, unless ambidextrous in which case just Longsword), rounded up, to be used for off or def pools. They only add dice to either, an offhand weapon does not increase damage (Longsword 4 + Offhand Dagger 4 just as effective as Longsword 4 + Offhand Longsword 4, unless you lose your main weapon or some other special situation).
A shield is a special type of offhand weapon, which has a defense base TN of 3 and offense base TN of 5. Otherwise it follows all the rules of offhand weapons.

Reach
Net reach increases the offense TN of the character with reach disadvantage. (Not any other TNs.) You can attempt to negate reach by going Up Close and Personal. This allows an Intercept to the enemy, but if UCPer gets net successes, reach is negated and both get a flat +1 TN to offense tests, and +2 TN to shield use. To regain reach, must Break Off Melee.

Breaking Off Melee
Breaking Off Melee allows the enemy an Intercept. If tie or BOMer gets net successes, melee breaks up with distance = longer reach +1 meters.

Intercepts
Amount of Intercepts = 1/Pass + the standard attack (so if you Intercept twice in the first pass, you can no longer do a normal attack in the 1st pass). Intercept uses the same, full, offensive pool as the standard attack.

Defense
All defense dice against an attack (def pool from all weapons, CP for defending with weapons, dodging) must be declared at the same time.

1 One-Hander
With only 1 one-handed weapon, Dodge TN -1 (Base 3).

Armor limits
For every (Body/2 rounding up OR 3, whichever is higher) kg, or part thereof, of armor over Body x 2, +1 to Quickness-linked tests, Athletics, -1 Quickness for movement, -1 Combat Pool.

Shield Breaking
If Penetration of an attack is higher than the Barrier rating of a shield, the shield takes 1 point of damage. If the Power is twice as high as the Barrier rating, the shield takes 2 points, etc. Once the damage taken exceeds the shield's Hardness it is broken.

Attacking an Object
When attacking an object in the possession of a combatant, resolve the attack as a normal offense test, except that the target object cannot be used to defend against the attack (if e.g. shield or weapon). Every net success increases the Power of the attack by 2.

Disarming
Special case of attacking an object. Target must be a disarmable weapon. The wielder of the weapon must succeed in a weapon skill test with a TN of 4 and a treshold of (net successes in the disarming attack) or drop the weapon.

Mounted Combat
Controlling a mount in combat is a Riding/Mounted Combat test with a TN of 4, 2 or more successes makes it a Free Action, 1 success makes it a Simple Action. +2 TN for an untrained mount (TN 4 just to stay in control).
Enemies get +1 TN to attack a character on a mount. Mounted combatant gets +1 TN if mount runs. +2 Power and +1 Damage Level for lance attacks from a running mount.
As a Free Action, Riding/Mounted Combat can be substituted for a Dodge test for the mount.

Update:
Animals & Related Gear done (did you know the average donkey weighs about 140kg?), Clothing done. Local time: 0908 AM.
GunnerJ
QUOTE
And they said my rules were complex!


Heh. Well, I actually didn't think that a lot of what I did was more complex than the optional martial arts rules in CC, they just make more sense (to me at least). I think the complexity of my rules is justified by the importance of melee combat in a medieval setting.

QUOTE
You have a very different approach to many things than me. You give very radical modifiers for many things,


This is mostly done to avoid creating new skills to cover modifications on existing ones. Instead, I apply modifiers to special actions and have a system of paraskills in place to lower those modifiers. For example, you seem to have mounted combat as a skill. I would simply apply a +4 modifer to combat actions while mounted, and create a paraskill called "Mounted Combat" that has four levels, each of which reduces the mounted combat modifier by one. Paraskills are kind of like edges, and are bought in the same way (a set number of build points/kara), but have requirements (for example, Ambidexterity requires that a character's Agility be at least equal to the level of Ambidexerity being learned, Mounted Combat would require that a character's Riding skill be at least equal to the level being learned, etc.).

BTW, there's no modifier inherent in using a two-handed wepaon, modifiers only come into play when trying to use a very small one handed weapon with both hands to get extra power (try effectively using a knife while holding it in both hands. Clumsy.)

Examples of paraskills: Shield Handling (lowers shield use awkwardness modifier), Two-Hander (reduces the modifier for using a small, one-handed only weapon with two hands), Ambidexterity (which CAN be learned), Repriasal Training (allows counterattacks to stage up: "Each level allows parrying characters to stage up counter-attack damage by one level. Every two levels allows normal counter-attack damage to stage up once."), Style Mastery (lowers TN for Coup de Gras attacks), Ground Fighting (reduces penalty for fighting prone, later levels give an advantage for fighting prone).

My inspiration for this system was the deep, abiding hatred I have for the off-hand weapon skill system for handling ambidexterous melee attacks.

QUOTE
I don't plan on using different "styles" of attacks (swipe/thrust), and there aren't many special maneuvers available for everyone.


Well, players really don't have to do anything but Swipe attacks, which follow the normal rules for melee combat. Things like Feinting, Probing and Parrying can help even the odds against reach and friends in melee penalties. Thrust can be used to help get an advantage over heavily armored opponents. These are the basic options that I think most players will take advantage of; other attacks have limited applications, and because they must be learned as Techniques (mostly), chances are a player won't give their character one unless they intend to use it as part of the character's fighting style.

Also, I like your idea about giving an advantage to dodging when keeping one hand free.
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (GunnerJ)
My inspiration for this system was the deep, abiding hatred I have for the off-hand weapon skill system for handling ambidexterous melee attacks.

Well, I don't share that hatred and so had the advantage of being able to use most of the stuff already present in the system... Also, it seems you don't exactly embrace the idea of abstract melee -- your rules seem to make one "Swipe" exactly that, while my rules still stick with the abstract idea of 1 melee "Attack" being the equivalent of possibly several feints, swings, thrusts, parries and ripostes.

Thing is, when I set out to create the rules, my main purpose was to allow for more variation in combat styles without causing any severe bonuses or penalties, to keep things as balanced as possible. To test this out, I did some extensive math with the TN modifiers, dice amounts, etc, for melee combat with different amounts of differently skilled opponents. And the end results were almost exactly what I was looking for, so I stuck with the rules.

For example, for almost any skill level, Sword+Shield char vs Sword+Sword char: The guy with the shield will average 0.5-1 more successes for defense and has a distinct advantage vs bowmen, but is more limited in his offensive options. The guy with 2 swords can effectively use 2-3 more dice for offense than the shield guy at common skill levels (3-6), thus being capable of getting up to 1.5 more offense successes on average.

The guy with 1 2-h weapon is the only one who stands a decent chance of severely injuring a heavily armored opponent (Str 5 longsword vs chain mail -> DamRes TN 2) at common Strength ratings. While the guy with 1 1-h weapon is at a disadvantage with low skills and stats, he can be just as effective as a guy with a sword+shield when the stats are very good (high Combat Pool + Dodge TN 3 makes for easy defending, especially in duels -- combat skills ~4 and CPs around 7 make the single 1-h guy as effective as the sword+shield guy).

Doing similar calculations with your numbers seems, at first, slightly more difficult, because there's so much stuff you can do. With my rules, it is obvious that guys with similar skill levels and stats are very closely matched no matter how they are armed, so they really have no incentive to use any special maneuvers, and the most likely result is just straight-out melee with a nice rhythm of offense-defense-offense-defense.

Your rules might change this a lot, since many of the optional techniques might give a very significant advantage in certain situations. This brings to my mind the optional Dueling rules from the AD&D 2nd Ed Combat&Tactics sourcebook -- in that, the combatants secretly decided what kind of attack, defense and movement they were doing that round, and you tried to guessed what the enemy was doing. In those, too, it was a lot harder to predict what was going to happen, and the guy who took the time to consider all the possibilities (ie did all the math involved, counting all the possible modifiers to give him the advantage) was often the winner over numerically superior foes (that is, better AC, THACO, etc).

It probably balances out by the fact that, on average, you will be at a disadvantage because of the techniques being used about as often as you will be at an advantage. In that respect, it works almost as though one "Combat Turn" with your system were 0.3 seconds, and one CT in mine 3 seconds. How much has this system been tested? Has it been used in actual games, and how did it turn out?

I'm sure your rules are great for those who want to have extremely detailed and descriptive melee combat. However, I have already done that a few times with self-created systems, and am going to do things much simpler this time around. Your approach gives birth to innumerable potentially effective offensive and defensive tactics and allows for great variation between individual fights, at the cost of more complexity. My approach keeps the amount of possible tactics quite low and makes individual fights look relatively more similar, while keeping things simpler.

Nothing more to say about that...

QUOTE
For example, you seem to have mounted combat as a skill.

Actually, it's a Specialization of Riding. This makes it possible for a good rider but inexperienced mounted combatant to effectively engage in mounted combat (assuming his mount can manage it), while allowing average or even weak riders to be effective mounted combatants rather easily (Riding 2/Mounted Combat 4 only costs 7 Karma).

The Paraskills-idea is certainly intriguing, but I am likely to stick with the way I was going to port Feats in the first place -- mostly maneuvers, some adept powers.
GoldenAri
Here I go throwing my 2 nuyen in. No math or testing has been done, but at least I've read through both threads presented.

Skills
*I'm with everyone on dividing up the the edge weapons skills like Firearms got divided in 3rd ed. I'd only move only off-hand melee, and projectile weapon skills to quickness.

*I would include the small unit tactics (my group always calls it combat tactics, and tend to only use it for themselve) skill, split it into mounted combat and ground combat with their self evident uses.

* Combat maneuvers seem to cover a pretty wide amount of ground, there might be some that could be added but that's not critical. They shouldn't be requirements of increasing a skill, and should be bought individually per skill. Throw out kip-up, or maybe turn it into an adept power(0.25 cost).

Armor
*[edit]Austere Emancipator has the right idea for armor penalties. It scales well, and is consistent with what one would expect.[/edit]

*[edit]Cut down on armor ratings so that a 4 represented heavy armor. I would change ballistic to piercing (for use against ranged and some melee weapons) and impact (for use against everything else). Piercing rating should rarely be above 2.[/edit]

*Shields should proved asymetric TN penalties as per the standard cover rules. Basically they are pieces of cover that comes with you. Drop the other rules for shields.

Weapons
*I think you've got a decent selection of generic types of weapons in the CC. I might call the Ranger-X a long bow and the standard a short bow. Obviously drop the tech based weapons.

*Change the STR mins on the crossbows to 1,3, and 5 respectively.

*I could see reclassifying things as 1, 1 1/2, and 2 handed weapons. With hand and a half weapons being able to take advantage of a +1 to power when used 2 handed.

*Apply Dikote modifiers as "masterworks", using the best materials and best smiths around.

*If you cut down on armor ratings then you should reduce weapon power.

Magic
*Have the world have a universal background count of 7 (this isn't an actual background count as it is more of a representation how accesible magic is). This means that starting mages have an effective magic rating of 2, and adepts can only use 2 power points worth of powers at any one time. Remove the astral projection damage(or have it take effect only when you project so perception is safe), and reduce the TN penalty for magical skills to +3 or +4. Thus only with great effort will they be able to wield incredible magic, while at the same time they wont be totally incapable of doing nifty things.

*Adepts should not be able to purchase improve attribute, only attribute boost. Thus subjecting them to the same penalties other mages have.

*Anchored magic items should not impose the drain penalties due to background count when use. This will encourage mages to make magic items (why do you think so many are floating about). This will hinder mages from using karma to become unbalancing. Add the metamagic "Drain Battery", or whatever you want to call it, where the mage spends additional karma to give the magic item the ablitiy to resist the drain for him. The drain resistance test is made first, any injury modifiers the item takes (drain is always physically damaging to the item) are applied to the casting test. This allows for ancient relics and so forth that function even though the maker is dead.
Austere Emancipator
I've been undecided on Small Unit Tactics, but renaming it something like just plain Tactics makes it more sensible. Adding that into the above skill list next...

Limiting armor rating by (Str + Qui)/2 will cause far more severe problems with game balance than my system of limiting armor weight by Body. The maxed-out starting unmod troll could have an Armor Load attribute of 7, allowing it to carry "Medium Security Armor + Helmet" without any modifiers whatsoever, in addition to having a huge body. Aside from the fact that getting an Armor rating of 7 would take a magical adamantium full plate mail in my games, my rules don't allow the big character races to wear even close to that much armor without penalties.

When you think about Armor ratings, weapon Ranges and Damage Codes, you've got to keep in mind that the Shadowrun weapons are 2060s technology. In medieval times, something like the Ranger-X bow would have been hailed as an artifact from the gods, and it would certainly have been by far superior to any longbows of the time. The average sword in the 2060s is certainly not what the average sword was like in the 1300s. This is why the average longsword in my games will do (Str + 1)M with +1 Penetration (ie it doesn't penetrate well). Most conventional bows do (Str + 1)L.

For armor, modern materials are even more superior than the Ranger-X bow is. IRL, now in 2003, you could make a body armor suit of kevlar that weighs half as much as a suit of plate armor and protects several times better. The average ceramic rifle protection plate will stop any melee weapon cold with insignificant deformation and minimal harm to the target. A suit of Security Armor has got to be at least 4 times as strong as a suit of plate mail. That doesn't mean that a plate armor suit shouldn't protect more than 2 points -- but plate armor certainly shouldn't protect 7 either. In my games it's 3 against all attacks, which balances out nicely against all the other armor and weapons.

If you really want to keep the conversion extremely simple, and keep all the gear and weapons that already exist in canon and simply renaming them, I can understand that. But keep in mind that that approach has a number of problems in the Making Sense Department.

Because I want melee weapons to be rather survivable in general, I haven't given any melee weapon a Serious damage code, and none of the standard melee weapons has a Power greater than (Str + 2). Because of this, I cannot give any bonuses for wielding 1-handed weapons in 2 hands. I do not differentiate between a one-hand sword and a hand-and-a-half sword, at least not numerically -- a function of both the rather small differences between different weapons and tactics in general, and my attempt to keep things as simple as possible.

QUOTE
Have the world have a universal background count of 7 [...] Remove the astral projection damage(or have it take effect only when you project so perception is safe), and reduce the TN penalty for magical skills to +3 or +4.

Ick. Starting mage Treating (Force 1) Seriously wounded team-mate: TN 7, Drain 3D. Manabolting (Force 5, M) an orc (W3): TN 6, Drain 5S Physical. Well, that will certainly significantly limit the power of mages... But I think the no-halfing-Force-for-Drain-rule is enough to stop them from tossing high-Force spells left and right, and applying lots of local rating 1 and sometimes 2 Background Counts (my game world is Forgotten Realms after all -- there's a dead god for almost every square mile of wilderness smile.gif) will further stop them from being the superkillers they are in canon SR.

But to each their own. If you really wish mages to be rather useless until they hit the high Initiation levels, that will work great towards that end. I only wish to make them balanced with adepts and incapable of slaughtering massive hordes and huge monsters. If they actually manage to blow up a few orcs, it won't ruin my day. smile.gif
Tanka
I wish I had seen your previous thread about this, AE. I had a comment to Stonecougar about his making bow-objects linked to Quickness.

Why? You have to pull back/crank the damn thing!
Austere Emancipator
You'll notice that I linked Bows, Crossbows and Throwing Weapons to Quickness, too, in the skill list earlier in this thread... My own reasoning being that Strength is already considered in how powerful a bow you can use, and that aiming and accurately firing bows is more a question of manual dexterity than of pure muscle power. Another possible reason, and perhaps even more important to me, is that otherwise trolls would be the master bowmen instead of the elves. nyahnyah.gif
Tanka
Exactly why Trolls use hulking arrows with barbs in them, huh?

Racist. sarcastic.gif

I can see the aiming bit, but otherwise it's all Strength. Pulling the arrow back, keeping it in place, then being able to reload in such a fashion...

Hate to really complicate things, but the skill could be linked to Qui and you could only fire so many arrows per initiative roll due to Str.

Like I said. More complicated, but it just makes sense that a Troll with Str 7 could ready a bow faster (no aiming) than an Elf with Str 3.
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (tanka)
[...] it just makes sense that a Troll with Str 7 could ready a bow faster (no aiming) than an Elf with Str 3.

To me, it makes sense that a Troll with Str 7 and a Str 7 bow would be exactly as fast in readying as en Elf with Str 3 and a Str 3 bow. And because I don't allow people to fire any more than the canon amount of arrows (1 per Simple Action, 1 Simple Action to ready, repeat), the readying time of a conventional bow or RoF of bows aren't an issue for me.
GunnerJ
Austere: the rules I've made are a complete work in progress, so I haven't had a chance to test them. I don't mind if you wouldn't want to use them, I wasn't asking you to, so don't worry about it. I'm glad to have some feedback on it, that was my main intent. Right now, most of what I'm doing is purely conceptual. I don't know if I'd have the patiece to do probabalistic calculations on anything I've written...
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (GunnerJ)
I don't mind if you wouldn't want to use them, I wasn't asking you to, so don't worry about it.

I don't know why, but it seems that even when I'm trying to say "Your rules are good in these respects, my rules are good in these respects, people should in general use whatever use they happen to like most" I come out sounding something totally different. In other words, I'm not worrying. smile.gif

My rules are a work-in-progress too. I keep fiddling with it all the time, changing wordings, adding rules, getting rid of old ones. Part of why it's taking so darn long to get this Common Items list done... It doesn't help any that I keep Googling for facts on the items to get the weights and other things right, I stop and spend about a minute on each item to think about the price of it from a historical and an economical perspective. dead.gif

[Edit]W00t! Unlimited Gold Cheat in D&D 3rd Edition:
Buy Pot, Iron at 5 Silver Pieces. Sell Pot, Iron as 10lbs of scrap iron for 10 Silver Pieces. Buy 2 Pots, Iron at 5 Silver Pieces...

No cast iron cauldrons for the average farmers, mmkay? 10 days' wages for an average artesan just to manage one iron pot...[/Edit]

[Edit #2]Ooh! Ooh! Got another one! Buy Rope, Silk for 10 Gold Pieces. Spin it apart and into a cloth. Sell for 100 Gold Pieces for 5 lbs/10 sq yards of Silk.

Okay, so no silk ropes for anyone except the adventuring princes, either...[/Edit #2]
Sigfried McWild
Sword Forum International

AE check this link for facts about swords.

From what I've gathered the best swords from the middle ages are pretty good even for today standards, the difference being that today we can mass produce swords of almost the same quality. Okay, that didn't make sense. What I meant is that a good sword from the middle ages, such a damascus steel blade is exceptional even today, but the average weapon level is much higher today.

Btw, plate armour is known to be very good against slashing weapons. Piercing weapons have a easier time since they can get through the joints, while blunt weapons get through by sheer weight.

Have you ever considered making maces and their like (in some way also axes) harder to use because of how imbalanced they are (ever tried to swing one of those 1.5 kg hammers like a sword? Even though the weight is only 30 cm away from your hand it's already a pain to control, imagine having about twice the weight twice as far. If my physics doesn't fail me that's about 8 times as hard). Swords on the other hand have a counter weight in the pommel.

Gah, rambling as usual.
GoldenAri
Well, like I said I did no math or anything with the rules I wrote. I agree that the armor load thing doesn't work [edit]and so I removed it [/edit]. It was just the first thing I thought of that integrated peoples complaint that trolls get screwed because heavy armor slows them down too much while elves run around with no problem. That being said, so far your armor by weight system seems to be the most consistent one out there. So you've got yourself a convert.

As far as armor rating, I agree with you there as well. I don't think you should see armor much higher than 4.

Now weapons. While I agree that armor values are too high, I really feel that weapons as you have them are scratching the bottom of the barrel in terms of Damage codes. If most things do Moderate or Light damage and have a power hovering around Str, then what youre say is that I can incapacitate someone just as easily with my fist (unless your changing unarmed damage as well) as I could with many weapons.

I could punch you with this gauntlet for (Str)M physical or I could come at you with a longsword for (Str+1)M, OR I could up my Strength by one wear some heavier armor and then punch you with this gauntlet for the same as that long sword was just doing.

Then there's the thought, just how many arrows do I have to plug a guy with (especially if he's in armor) to bring him down if I'm doing (Str+1)L.

I don't know. Maybe I'm missing something but that seems wrong. It just seems that you making weapons way under effective.

Now on to magic.
Yeah, it's pretty crappy to be a low power mage. Your essentially worthless. You've got lots of spells (12 or so at Force 2) but your scared to use them. When you do use them that rarely work, and frequently cause you lots of pain. However, the future is bright you work at it for a few game session and you can make yourself an ally spirit who's kicking ass and taking names. You could enchant some magic items (foci would have to be cheaper than they are now), that will bypass some of your problems. You can learn techniques that help you cope with the difficulties of being a mage. I think this is totally fair, considering that all a mundane character can do is better his skills and stats. I think mages would not suffer too long even under those conditions.

Also, Filtering and "Temples of Healing" that are aspected (giving bonus dice), power sites, and ley lines I think could make it tolerable. To each his own, I'd play a mage in this world simply because it's a challenge.

I would think the Forgotten Realms would have higher counts than that with all the dragons and battles and gods and uber magic running around.

As for full force for drain resistance, I think that between self-only spells, fetishes, foci, exclusive spells, and spirit assistance it loses a lot of it's potency.

I like the gold cheat. My GM is overly rules oriented, so it might just work the first time I do it (just have to remember to buy enough pots).
GoldenAri
Shouldn't riding be based off of Reaction?
Austere Emancipator
I don't have the time or the interest to really dwell deeply into facts about medieval weaponry or armor. Perhaps, however, it would comfort you, Sigfried, that "masterwork" swords will be as good as those you can find in CC in my games -- the best long swords will do (Str + 2)M and sometimes up to (Str + 3)M if it's of exceptional quality. However, the average sword that an average infantryman might have fought with certainly wasn't of as good quality as current swords.

QUOTE
Btw, plate armour is known to be very good against slashing weapons. Piercing weapons have a easier time since they can get through the joints, while blunt weapons get through by sheer weight.

Even though my field plate armor is rated at B/P/S 3/3/3, it works out that it is better against swords because swords simply have poorer Penetration ratings than maces, warhammers and the like. Against full plate (B/P/S 3/4/4) the effect is even clearer.

Str 5 + long sword = 6M Slashing, +1 Penetration. Against field plate, that's 6-(3+1)=2 for 2M.
Str 5 + mace = 6M Bludgeoning. Against field plate, that's 6-3=3 for 3M.
Str 4 + 2-h sword = 6M Slashing. Against full plate, that's 6-4=2 for 2M.
Str 4 + 2-h warhammer/polehammer = 6M Bludgeoning -1 Penetration. Against full plate that's 6-(3-1)=4 for 4M.

Considering that my rules are more geared towards simplicity, abstractness and balance than towards extreme realism and descriptiveness, I think the +/- 1 or 2 figures are quite enough.

QUOTE
Have you ever considered making maces and their like (in some way also axes) harder to use because of how imbalanced they are [?]

Well, not as such, but just about all hafted weapons and polearms have a base Defense TN of 5, whereas swords have a Defense TN of 4. So while maces, hammers and axes are better against armored opponents, and certainly cheaper, the price for that is reduced flexibility and defensive potential.

QUOTE (GoldenAri)
If most things do Moderate or Light damage and have a power hovering around Str, then what youre say is that I can incapacitate someone just as easily with my fist (unless your changing unarmed damage as well) as I could with many weapons.

Oh, right, I forgot to mention unarmed damage because that kind of stuff is already changed in my current, 2060s Shadowrun game. biggrin.gif

Unarmed does (Str)L Stun, and has poor penetration. A gauntlet won't be much better, though I might be convinced to give some forms of gauntlets and fist irons (Str + 1)L Stun. The penetration stays just as poor. And then there's reach.

QUOTE
Then there's the thought, just how many arrows do I have to plug a guy with (especially if he's in armor) to bring him down if I'm doing (Str+1)L.

If he's in armor, has a shield, knows you're shooting at him and doesn't like it: Lots. If he's not in armor and you're a good bowman: Not that many.

I will give you that the bow damages might be worth up-tuning a bit. But I don't know how to go about it. (Str+2)L for all warbows with battle arrows might be OK, bringing the damage of the average shortbowman to 6L. I'm not exactly thrilled by the idea of making arrows Moderate, but (Str + 1)M or perhaps (Str)M/-1 Penetration is still a possibility.

Keep in mind that without many of the ways of lowering TNs that exist in the 2060s, someone with even +1 to TNs (Light wound) is in a significant disadvantage in the ensuing melee -- possibly enough of a disadvantage to encourage the guy with the arrow now sticking out of his thigh to make a run for it. +2 to TNs spells almost certain death in a melee, and would usually be enough to "drop" or at least drive away brigands, thugs, and other more practical foes.

Re:Magic.
You're perfectly correct. I forgot for a moment there that not everyone wants pure-Awakened adventuring parties. That "virtual Background Count" system would probably work extremely well together with low-level chargen to create a group of starting adventurers very close to D&D standard with respect to power level and Awakened vs Mundane distribution.

QUOTE
I would think the Forgotten Realms would have higher counts than that with all the dragons and battles and gods and uber magic running around.

There certainly will be several areas with very high Background Counts, and even Mana Warps. However, the average tract of wilderness probably wouldn't have more than 1 or perhaps 2, unless the group is very unlucky (or very lucky, depends).

QUOTE
As for full force for drain resistance, I think that between self-only spells, fetishes, foci, exclusive spells, and spirit assistance it loses a lot of it's potency.

True, true. It won't work to stop mages from kicking ass. It will simply make them kick a bit less ass, which is all I'm looking for, since I don't mind there being a large-ish number (upwards of 1/3rd) of mages in the adventuring business.

QUOTE
I like the gold cheat. My GM is overly rules oriented, so it might just work the first time I do it (just have to remember to buy enough pots).

rotfl.gif rotate.gif spin.gif

QUOTE
Shouldn't riding be based off of Reaction?

Heh, yeah. That's more sensible in many respects...

[Edit]Right, Common Items are now done, all of the Gear thus finished, and the file is 15kb bigger. Next up: Melee combat skills and maneuvers. Deep breath...[/Edit]

[Edit #2]Canon maneuvers and most of canon martial art styles done. Out of Coca-Cola. Getting sleepy. dead.gif[/Edit #3]
Austere Emancipator
Got more Coca-Cola. Canon styles and maneuvers are done. Starting to add Forgotten Realms styles, starting with martial arts for the different kinds of monks from the FR sourcebook, then maybe from the Sword and Fist sourcebook, then moving on into the fighter-class fighting styles.

There is one Finnish pagan god in the FR pantheon and one character from our national epic. Additionally, there are dozens of magical items with Finnish names in the Encyclopedia Magica's. W00t.

Why am I posting this crap? Probably to get my thoughts organized so that I don't just write down random stuff. Or maybe I'm bumping. Or maybe both.

[Edit]Updated the skill list above with the Shield skill. How'd I miss that one, when it's mentioned in the rules...[/Edit]
Fortune
QUOTE (Austere Emancipator)
There is one Finnish pagan god in the FR pantheon and one character from our national epic. Additionally, there are dozens of magical items with Finnish names in the Encyclopedia Magica's. W00t.

Pick up the old D&D 1st Edition Deities and Demigods and you'll find a wealth of information on Gods and Heroes from Finnish mythology. smile.gif
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (Fortune)
Pick up the old D&D 1st Edition Deities and Demigods and you'll find a wealth of information on Gods and Heroes from Finnish mythology.

Kewl. Perhaps I ought to get that on principle. biggrin.gif Not that I'll actually need it having read Kalevala (I think twice), like just about every Finn.
Req
Ever since I read the Chung Kuo series I've wanted to read the Kalevala, but I've never gotten to it.

Chung Kuo = very cool scifi, if you can get past the graphic rape scenes without tossing the book.
Fortune
Chung Kuo is the series of books dealing with the Earth totally covered by cities. I liked the first few, and the premise, but the last couple of books sucked ass, as far as I'm concerned.
GunnerJ
If we're on a tanget about Chung Kuo, let me just point out that I loved that fucking series. Never read Marraige of the Living Dark, which I heard sucked hard, and Days of Bitter Strength was a little weak, but the whole series is worth reading, IMO.

Shit, now I want to read it again. The only other people I know who've read it are my parents, it's cool to see that we're not it.
Req
I ended at Days of Bitter Strength I think. But they were so damn good near the beginning of the series. I felt kinda bad though, I identified so much more with DeVore than with most of the supposed "heroes."
Austere Emancipator
After that, I don't feel bad about posting my crap, since at least it's on topic. smile.gif

I've now got 21 martial arts, including all the SR canon ones, and a few that are not unarmed (for example, the Path of the Ever Watchful, a shield-using martial art of the templars of Helm) with minor flavor text explaining how they fit into the FR world. Next: Scouring the D&D 3rd Ed sourcebooks for more maneuvers (preferably more of the weapon-oriented ones than unarmed combat) and the styles to go with them.

After that... I dunno. I thought about doing "Advanced Maneuvers", or Feats, which would be more powerful versions of the common maneuvers but would also cost more and not be available before one gets a very high skill rating and usually some other basic maneuver, too. This isn't really a priority, though, since they won't be available to starting characters.

So maybe I'll start on the rules for magic use. We'll see...
GunnerJ
As I saw it, there really weren't any "heros." Everyone was at least a little bad. Well, maybe not that dude from the Clay (forgot his name). He seemed to be the only "pure" character.

As a VERY simplified breakdown, you had the T'angs, and their minions, who were basically not that bad, but their ideals were unsympathetic; and you had those opposed to the T'angs, whose ideals we might be sympathetic to, but the actual characters are mostly despicable.
Fortune
It'd be a great setting for a Shadowrun/Cyberpunk style game though. At least the setting as portrayed in the first few books. I'm still trying to forget the last couple.
Austere Emancipator
Urgh. I think that does it for basic melee maneuvers, of which there are now 21. Also added 5 ranged combat maneuvers (more to come) and 6 riding maneuvers (maybe more to come). There are now 27 distinct fighting styles, of which 10 armed combat styles, and there definitely are more coming.

Added Rage and almost all its extras into Edges. Minor tweaking.

Since I've got the prestige classes and feats fresh in my memory, I'll now compile the Adept Powers. That list might get pretty god damn long...

10:16 AM. I wonder where my meat body is. And how hungry (or should I say malnourished) it is.
GoldenAri
So have you tried writing up the stats for the famous characters of the world?
GunnerJ
Say, Austere, did you make a page for this stuff? If so, can I have a link? (If you already posted it, sorry, couldn't find it.)
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