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 1 
 on: Today at 12:54:04 AM 
Started by TKDB - Last post by TKDB
As a further way to boost damage output, what did you think of the forum discussion of feats granting abilities for weapons with Load to punch through a target and hit the guy behind? (As an alternative to blackened sky etc).  I came up with a trick for one that seems fairly simple:

Line them up (ranged attack trick): when you successfully target the closer of two adjacent opponents with a weapon that has Load but not spread, you may also deal half the damage, with half the AP, to the more distant of the two opponents.

(Basically granting a more limited version of Spread...)
Definitely fitting! I actually considered that sort of effect for the Mastery trick, but I felt that a debuff would be more appropriate for the sort of "guerilla" style I had in mind for the crossbow feats. It would definitely be a good fit in a Sniper B/M/S chain for black powder weapons with a "long range and overwhelming impact" theme like I'm thinking of, though. Or maybe in a more general feat chain intended as a counterpart of sorts to Angry Hornet/Blackened Sky for load weapons.

 2 
 on: Today at 12:26:59 AM 
Started by TKDB - Last post by paddyfool
Comprehensive indeed!

I don't think I like mighty for the hand crossbow. It's just too small to have that kind of punch.

As a further way to boost damage output, what did you think of the forum discussion of feats granting abilities for weapons with Load to punch through a target and hit the guy behind? (As an alternative to blackened sky etc).  I came up with a trick for one that seems fairly simple:

Line them up (ranged attack trick): when you successfully target the closer of two adjacent opponents with a weapon that has Load but not spread, you may also deal half the damage, with half the AP, to the more distant of the two opponents.

(Basically granting a more limited version of Spread...)

 3 
 on: July 03, 2015, 06:39:52 PM 
Started by TKDB - Last post by TKDB
It's pretty well-known that crossbows in Fantasy Craft, as-written, are uniquely underpowered. While basically every other weapon has its own mix of pros and cons that make it at least a viable option, ideal for certain uses and broadly useful enough to justify picking over other options (even if it's not, overall, the absolute best weapon), the crossbow basically has no use that isn't better served by other weapons. This issue has been discussed in some length in this thread, from which I will excerpt the mathematical breakdowns I did there weighing crossbows against conventional bows and guns:

(click to show/hide)

In short, while crossbows do have some advantages over conventional bows, those advantages are far too narrow and minor to make up for the issues posed by low rate of fire. Unless you're comparing only a single shot (not even a full round of attacks), the conventional bow's higher rate of fire lets it match or exceed the overall performance of the crossbow in spite of lower range increment and threat range.

Not much discussed in that thread, but repeating crossbows -- while considerably better than those with load times -- are also somewhat underpowered. They do get the indirect quality, which is certainly useful and unique, but they pay for that with heavy drawbacks compared to bows. Compared to a longbow, it has the same range, lower threat, lacks AP, and costs 33% more; comparing to a reflex bow, it's 10 ft longer range, but costs more than three times as much; comparing to a short bow, it's twice the range, but lower threat range and more than double the cost. And compared to all bows, it has the advantage of indirect fire, but the inaccurate drawback. While certainly not lagging as badly as the load-time-limited hand, light, and heavy crossbows, it could certainly use a boost.

I'm going to walk through a process of evaluating changes to bring crossbows up to a level that justifies their use as a viable option. To begin with, I'll examine crossbows under a suite of changes that I've seen commonly proposed:
  • Make longbows an exotic weapon: It's a small step, but one that will help a little bit. With its longer range and built-in AP, the longbow is the closest to edging in on the crossbow's niche. Making it an exotic weapon, requiring forte to use with proficiency, lets us compare only against the less-powerful reflex and short bows when considering the crossbow as a backup weapon for a non-specialist (assuming no investment beyond mere proficiency and the acquisition of the weapon itself).
  • Reduce load quality for non-repeating crossbows by 2: Some have proposed this in the form of an upgrade or an extra item (akin to the bandolier for black powder weapons), but I think it should be a change to the base stats of the crossbows themselves. Crossbows are pricey enough to begin with, so charging extra for something that's necessary to make them worthwhile to use doesn't strike me as fair.
  • Increase the base damage of non-repeating crossbows: I would do this by adding a new weapon quality to the hand, light, and heavy crossbows:
       Mighty: This weapon increases the damage for its ammo by one die (eg, when firing ammo normally dealing 1d4, it deals 2d4, ammo dealing 1d6 deals 2d6, etc). This does not increase any additional damage modifiers, such as sneak attack or the damage modifiers from Superior or Crude materials upgrades.
  • Drop the inaccurate quality from repeating crossbows: While indirect is a really cool ability, I think the lower threat range and significantly higher price tag should be sufficient to balance it out compared to bows, without adding an additional penalty.
  • Exclude Handle Item actions from the usual rule that you may not take a Bonus 5-ft. Step in the same round you take a Movement Action: The inclusion of Handle Item actions among the things that preclude taking a 5-ft. Step always struck me as more of an artifact of the action type classifications than an actual intended limit, and at any rate is both unnecessary and excessively restrictive.
  • Prohibit bows from use while prone, but allow for crossbows and guns: I'm not sure if this ought to be framed as an explicit rule, as it seems to me more like a common-sense ruling that I imagine most would use even if otherwise using bows & crossbows as-written, but I figure it's worth noting here.
  • Call for Resolve/Concentrate checks to use a bow when adjacent to an opponent, but not not for crossbows or guns: I've seen this framed as a Campaign Quality, but to me this (like the issue of shooting while prone) seems to be in that gray area between ruling and rule, given the open-ended nature of when to use Concentrate checks. At any rate, I will assume this to be the practice in my further analyses of the pros and cons, whether it's considered a hard houserule/campaign quality, or simply a consistent policy on how to apply the existing Resolve/Concentrate rules.

The higher damage and lower load times give the crossbows an intermediate position between bows and guns -- slower to fire and harder-hitting than bows, but faster and weaker than guns. I'll compare each kind of non-repeating crossbow to bows and guns, both for use as a fire-and-forget backup weapon (taking a single round of actions to fire) and for sustained use over several rounds. Repeating crossbows will be compared only to bows, and only as a primary weapon, as the functioning of the two is fairly similar. In all cases, I will use the assumed example stats I did in my analysis quoted above from the old thread: A matchup giving the wielder a 50% base chance to hit.

(click to show/hide)

In conclusion: Running the numbers, it turns out that these changes actually work quite well to give crossbows a viable niche for entry-level users. A bit too well, in fact, for the hand crossbow, which probably should get either the reduced load or the mighty quality (depending on whether you prefer the idea of hand crossbows as fast plinkers or slower weapons with more punch), but not both.


Finally, since it's relevant to the topic, I'll post my take on Bits's Crossbow B/M/S feats from this thread -- modified somewhat since my post there, for use in conjunction with these houserules and generally based on my own evolving ideas on the topic. Acknowledgements are also due to a poster on another forum, whose own take on a Crossbow B/M/S chain I also borrowed from.

CROSSBOW BASICS
Slow and steady wins the race.
Prerequisite: Bows proficiency
Benefit: You gain double the normal bonus from Aiming with bows with the load quality. Also, you gain a stance:
  Thinking Ahead (Stance): When you Aim, Anticipate, Reposition, or move no more than half your speed with a Standard Move, you may make a single Handle Item action to reload as part of that action. You may remain in this stance even when becoming prone (but not when becoming sprawled).

CROSSBOW MASTERY
Keep on the move, keep 'em guessing.
Prerequisites: Crossbow Basics, Bows forte
Benefit: Your attacks with bows with the load quality deal additional damage equal to your Int bonus (minimum +1) as long as your last ranged attack was made at least 10 ft. from your current position. If you attack while benefiting from 1/2 or better cover, this damage bonus is doubled. Also, you gain a trick:
  Head-Spinner (Bow Attack Trick): With a hit, the target must also make a Fortitude Save (DC equal to the damage dealt) or become Sickened for a number of rounds equal to the weapon's Load quality.

CROSSBOW SUPREMACY
Sometimes, one shot is all you need.
Prerequisite: Crossbow Mastery
Benefit: Your threat range with bow attacks increases by 1. If your bow has the load quality and you are Aiming at the target, your threat range increases by an additional 1 (total +2). Also, you gain a trick:
  Deadly precision (Bow Attack Trick): You inflict 2 additional dice of sneak attack damage. If the target is flat-footed, this attack also gains keen equal to 4 x your bow's load quality.


I suspect this would probably make a dedicated crossbow sniper better at that role than a sniper using a longarm, given that the Black Powder B/M/S feats don't do a great job of taking load time issues into account, but that can be fixed with a suitable Sniper B/M/S feat chain or the like catering to gun-users.
(I'd actually initially thought about making a generic Sharpshooter B/M/S that would be equally usable for crossbows and guns, but thinking about it I came to the conclusion that it would better fit the general design philosophy of keeping weapon groups play differently if they used separate feat chains, with the crossbow chain geared toward a sneaky, mobile style while guns might take a different tack, perhaps focusing more on range and raw damage. The assumption that a corresponding chain for longarm snipers was actually the main force behind changing the Supremacy trick from all sneak attack, as in my original proposal in the old thread, to a mix of sneak attack and keen -- I figured overwhelming damage should be a gun thing, but the crossbow sniper still needs a way to get potent, decisive strikes in, and keen is a good way to do that.)

 4 
 on: July 03, 2015, 04:32:47 PM 
Started by TheTSKoala - Last post by TheAuldGrump
Starting the process of a new SteamCraft game...

This time based around the idea of ground war between the UK and Prussia. (A bit after the Franco-Prussian war. Timeline changes - the united Germanies are called Prussia, not Germany. Kaiser Willhelm was assassinated, and Bismark was acting Regent when he was also assassinated.)

Mostly spawned by a Dreamforge Leviathan Crusader that one of my friends got on sale...

Sad thing - he got the bloody 'umungous 28mm version - but I would be wanting the 15mm version for this game.


British


Prussian

I would be using them for smaller mechs in 28mm - which would make them about twenty feet tall.

Not sure if I would make the Leviathans vehicles or Transmechs....

And the Germans may be replaced by Russians - but somehow the Mortis just looks more German to me. (Anybody familiar with 17th century German memento mori would know why....)

The Auld Grump

*EDIT* I would have to add churning black smoke to the stacks, to give it a properly grotty steampunk feel.

 5 
 on: July 03, 2015, 01:44:42 PM 
Started by Morgenstern - Last post by RusVal
With all the hub-bub about XCOM 2, it's easy to forget that Firaxis is still working on a Civilization game!

E3 Playback - Dissecting the Rising Tide Demo

 6 
 on: July 03, 2015, 10:24:20 AM 
Started by Crafty_Pat - Last post by TheTSKoala
I love you guys.
If you could sneak one Koala pic in there somewhere (maybe even as "background" but holding something that looks suspiciously like a piece of tech...) that would be EPIC  Grin

Also, absolutely need a mastermind monologuing to some captives.

I am picturing Blofeld addressing his minions about a plot to control the minds of the worlds animals. In the scene behind him is a menagerie of caged animals and at the bottom corner is a koala in one of the cages. If you look close, you can just make out the recording device it is manipulating to transmit the villains plans back to the home office.

But don't worry, koala. The extraction plan is still a go once you are done there.

Oh good.. and here I was worried about the need to demonstrate Marsupial Maga.  Or Hopping-Roo-Shu.

 7 
 on: July 03, 2015, 07:07:21 AM 
Started by Antilles - Last post by Ares
My stealthy ambushes so far were a bit hit and miss  Grin
If we all could inflict a pummel attack in the surprise round, the old priest should go down quickly.

 8 
 on: July 03, 2015, 06:41:46 AM 
Started by Antilles - Last post by Mister Andersen
Your martial arts (Int) feat makes you probably the best hand-to-hand combatant in the group, but given Barden's core ability yes he definitely needs to take part.

 9 
 on: July 03, 2015, 06:33:33 AM 
Started by Crafty_Pat - Last post by Crafty_Pat
I love you guys.
If you could sneak one Koala pic in there somewhere (maybe even as "background" but holding something that looks suspiciously like a piece of tech...) that would be EPIC  Grin

 Grin

 10 
 on: July 03, 2015, 06:07:01 AM 
Started by Antilles - Last post by Ares
So,
thinking about the ambush, it would probably be best if Barden, Janus and Aiden took care of it.
I don't want to spend spellpoints or charges needlessly for a disguise and Drin probably should also keep his SP in reserve.

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