Author Topic: Mistborn RPG Rules Questions  (Read 5124 times)

bigbobbiek2

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Mistborn RPG Rules Questions
« on: December 18, 2011, 12:15:53 PM »
I know many people have play tested the rules and collaborated to make them as good as possible, but a number of things have struck me about the Physical Combat Section that I am just not following,

First: a character can "take a step" to move from one range increment to the next closest or farthest away, but next to the increments they give a rough distance of what that represents. Some of these increments are rather large, and if you are using a consistent Beat length, say 10 seconds, there is a lot of discrepancy for how far you can move in a single Beat.

In the combat example at Keep Hasting, Carrow takes a single step closer to Thorrow from Striking to Close, so a few paces. Meanwhile, in the same beat, the Hasting guards take two steps towards Thorrow and Koel to use their spears, so they moved from Medium to Striking. being that it is in the same Beat, and thus the same amount of time, theoretically the guards could have moved 110 paces (roughly 275 feet) in the same amount of time it took Carrow to move a few feet in and swing a dagger. I understand the room in the example is probably not that large, but the theoretic capability is still there.

Alternatively If Carrow had instead thrown his dagger at Thorrow and then taken a step back, and the guards had taken a step in and thrown they're spears, then with similar actions the guards could have moved a far greater distance than Carrow, which seems a little unbalanced (I know the guards and Carrow are on the same side, but it could just as easily be an Extra vs a Hero). In addition to this, the guard who runs to the stairs is not specified how far away he is (rightly so, because the players have no idea how far they are). But if he is a Medium distance from the stairs, and takes two steps as described to Striking Distance, and he started out Medium distance away from Koel (like the other guards in relation to Thorrow), then where does that put him in relation to the Heroes after his turn? Is he still in coin-shot range at that point? Is he then Extreme distance away (having taken two steps away from the heroes)?

Second: Carrow's first attack against Thorrow: Thorrow put Carrow on the ground before Carrow could act, and he clearly remains on the ground for the next round (would getting up be considered taking a step?). As Carrow doesn't seem to move, how could he have made the dagger attack against Thorrow without changing his action last minute?

Third: Carrow's Ironpull: It is not specified, but I would assume that Carrow would have had to get out of the way somehow? His Ironpull would have pull the guards to him, lying on the ground. He is at the same distance from Thorrow as the Guards are, so shouldn't a Steelpush have been more appropriate? Unless the idea is that Carrow is skilled enough to give a hard pull just long enough to get the guards moving, and being on the ground already he's clear of them.

I guess I'm just a little confused on what exactly was going on and some of the rules, and it may be possible I am over thinking it. Any clarification would be appreciated!
« Last Edit: December 18, 2011, 12:23:02 PM by bigbobbiek2 »

Skywalker

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Re: Mistborn RPG Rules Questions
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2011, 12:57:11 PM »
First: a character can "take a step" to move from one range increment to the next closest or farthest away, but next to the increments they give a rough distance of what that represents. Some of these increments are rather large, and if you are using a consistent Beat length, say 10 seconds, there is a lot of discrepancy for how far you can move in a single Beat.

Don't sweat the detail. FWIW I don't think the exact distance of the Guards is ever specified in the first round. The GM seems to be exercising his discretion in no setting a specific distance for people not in the room, simply having the Guards spending the first turn entering the room and the fight.

The combat system is meant to be free flowing and cinematic, relatively unconcerned with exact positioning. The size of the Steps is more like the level of focus than a spatial measurement IMO; people are either in the intense conflict zone of a melee or somewhere over there :)

If you want some spatial underpinning, then a way to look at it is that in melee you are forced to weave and move cautiously due to the presence of an opponent. Further away, you can move unimpeded and directly.

In terms of where the other Guard is, again, you don't measure distance until it is important. Then simply decide the distance based on the narrative and drama. Again this is not a tactical combat system with exact spatial relationships all the time.

Second: Carrow's first attack against Thorrow: Thorrow put Carrow on the ground before Carrow could act, and he clearly remains on the ground for the next round (would getting up be considered taking a step?). As Carrow doesn't seem to move, how could he have made the dagger attack against Thorrow without changing his action last minute?

I would make the knock down a -2d to his next action as it was 2 Nudges worth. The actually effect and Carrow's action are glossed over, so its hard to say what was done here. But the freedom of Mistborn allows the effect to differ to suit the drama..

I don't get the rest of the question. Thorrow doesn't move so he is within range of Carrow, so he continues with his dagger attack as declared. Are you getting at the differing melee ranges of the two weapons? If so, then I think Carrow would still be able to close the distance in his action.

Third: Carrow's Ironpull: It is not specified, but I would assume that Carrow would have had to get out of the way somehow? His Ironpull would have pull the guards to him, lying on the ground. He is at the same distance from Thorrow as the Guards are, so shouldn't a Steelpush have been more appropriate? Unless the idea is that Carrow is skilled enough to give a hard pull just long enough to get the guards moving, and being on the ground already he's clear of them.

The Guards aren't in Striking range with Thorrow as they declare that they will rush him at the start of the second round. They don't act before Carrow, so they are still some distance away for his Ironpull. I imagine its an Ironpull on the Guards toward him as he rolls to the side, hitting the guy who was standing above him. I don't think it need be more complex than that.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2011, 01:05:59 PM by Skywalker »

Skywalker

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Re: Mistborn RPG Rules Questions
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2011, 01:14:31 PM »
FWIW what I don't get is why Thorrow would change his action? Instead, it seems better to attack as planned at 12 dice and simply reserve most of them for defence. Thorrow might take Carrow out before his Ironpull and he gets to act first.

Changing his action and dropping down to 6 dice, as well as acting later, seems an odd decision.

bigbobbiek2

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Re: Mistborn RPG Rules Questions
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2011, 01:31:50 PM »
Don't sweat the detail. FWIW I don't think the exact distance of the Guards is ever specified in the first round. The GM seems to be exercising his discretion in no setting a specific distance for people not in the room, simply having the Guards spending the first turn entering the room and the fight.

I can get behind that. Distance is not so much an exact measurement, but more an idea of where you are in relation to others, and using steps to say the guards weren't focused on fighting just yet.

In terms of where the other Guard is, again, you don't measure distance until it is important. Then simply decide the distance based on the narrative and drama. Again this is not a tactical combat system with exact spatial relationships all the time.


So more like the Guard is in fact running, but so as to give the heroes the chance to react he's not completely out of their range on this turn, even if he does move two steps. I can also see that as a good tool to use, giving the players the opportunity, and if they don't take it THEN deal with the consequence.


Third: Carrow's Ironpull: It is not specified, but I would assume that Carrow would have had to get out of the way somehow? His Ironpull would have pull the guards to him, lying on the ground. He is at the same distance from Thorrow as the Guards are, so shouldn't a Steelpush have been more appropriate? Unless the idea is that Carrow is skilled enough to give a hard pull just long enough to get the guards moving, and being on the ground already he's clear of them.

I imagine its an Ironpull on the Guards toward him as he rolls to the side, hitting the guy who was standing above him. I don't think it need be more complex than that.

That would make sense. It goes back to glossing over minute details in order to create a more exciting story for the Players and Narrator.

I am really enjoying this system, I can't wait to play it. I think there will be a few things to get used to; I swear if you ask my players every bow has a range finder and every mage can eyeball distances to within a foot of accuracy, ha ha.

FWIW what I don't get is why Thorrow would change his action?

I saw this as more of a successful psychological attack from the Narrator targeting the Player. "Paul" panicked when he thought he was about to get hit by two heavily armed guards (the assumption also needs to be made that Carrow anchored himself on something here), which would be a reasonable reaction in that situation.

What I wonder about is Koel taking out the guard going for help. Wasn't there mission to draw as many people as possible away from the library and the rest of the crew? Shoulda let him go and get the others, then beat a retreat and attack from a different area lol!

Skywalker

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Re: Mistborn RPG Rules Questions
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2011, 02:38:57 PM »
So more like the Guard is in fact running, but so as to give the heroes the chance to react he's not completely out of their range on this turn, even if he does move two steps. I can also see that as a good tool to use, giving the players the opportunity, and if they don't take it THEN deal with the consequence.

Given its unclear what the Guards will do when entering the room, I think it makes sense to keep the distance narrative. The Step system measures relative distance between two people, essentially at the point where two people have honed onto each other to fight. Its not really useful for just general spatial measurement.

Agent 333

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Re: Mistborn RPG Rules Questions
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2011, 08:20:42 PM »
Also keep in mind that it's an example, so any bad decisions that the players make (such as changing their action) may just be to highlight another facet of the rules.
When all your problems are nails, all your tools start looking like hammers.

mach1.9pants

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Re: Mistborn RPG Rules Questions
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2011, 01:25:20 PM »
My initial confusion is the action and reaction idea. So in the example:

"Cordal flings several coins at Koel, clearly planning to Steelpush. That’ll be Steel targeting Health..."...
"This is a Contest of Cordal’s Steel against Koel’s Physique."

How against Koel's physique? He defends using action dice. So it is irrelevant what the attack targets because his action dice are determined by his action NOT his reaction.
This is proved by what actually happens, he decides to use all of his Action Dice to attack the fleeing guard. The Steel vs Physique (which becomes a steel vs steel) reaction is never mentioned. The attack auto succeeds due to no Action Dice being used for defence by Koel.

EDIT: taken to the extreme this would mean if it was a brilliantly intelligent Koel was using his action to disable some device using Wits he would be able to use any spare Wits related dice for his defence against the attack of Cordal (attempting to kill him before he disables it)

Colour me confused? Should there be a roll of Steel vs Steel or what? It makes no sense and really needs to be cleared up for print.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2011, 01:36:57 PM by mach1.9pants »
Gloria Finis

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Re: Mistborn RPG Rules Questions
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2011, 01:44:43 PM »
Colour me confused? Should there be a roll of Steel vs Steel or what? It makes no sense and really needs to be cleared up for print.

I think this is how it is meant to work:

1. Cordal rolls Steel. This would normally be opposed by Physique to dodge, but as you say it is actually irrelevant as Koel spends Defence dice that is determined by her declared action.

2. If she didn't declare an action (say she just Defended) it would be Physicque.

3. Koel also gets to roll Steel, which Cordal must also overcome. In other words, Cordal must overcome Koel's Defence result and her Steel Result to hit.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2011, 01:49:13 PM by Skywalker »

Skywalker

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Re: Mistborn RPG Rules Questions
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2011, 01:51:35 PM »
I could be wrong here, but the text in the previous Chapter on Conflicts which covers the same conflict seems to be correct. The example in the Physical Combat Chapter is wrong.

Quote
Brandon (continuing with the first of the Bylerum Boys): “Cordal flings several coins at Koel, clearly planning to Steelpush. That’ll be Steel targeting Health...”

Becky: “I also Steelpush Cordal’s coins, away from me.”
Brandon: “No problem. That’s your Steel vs. his attack then, but while Cordal’s targeting your Health you’re reacting with a defense. What else would you like to do?”
Becky: “I get to do more?”
Brandon: “Countering the Steelpush is a reaction. You’re still due your action for the round.”

Cordal Bylerum is using Steel to Push coins at Koel. His Steel is 6 and he has no applicable Traits. The coins are necessary for the action, so they don’t count as Tools (without them the action simply isn’t possible), and Brandon rules that no other Circumstances apply either (Cordal being surprised is covered by the adjusted order in which everyone declared actions). Cordal has 6 Action Dice.

Koel is reacting to Cordal’s Steelpush and then Pushing on her own. The reaction is ignored when gathering Action Dice, so Brandon focuses on her action. She has Steel 4 with no help from Traits or Tools, and she doesn’t benefit from Circumstances either. Koel has 4 Action Dice.

Cordal’s Steelpush is also a Contest, in this case against Koel’s Steel. There’s no Difficulty here — the coins are definitely going somewhere; all that’s in question is where they wind up.

Koel’s attack is a Contest as well (her Steel against the guard’s Physique), but in her case there is a Difficulty as the coins are being shot blind and through the wall. Brandon had originally planned to assign a Difficulty of 4 but since Koel is burning Tin he reduces it to 3.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2011, 01:57:08 PM by Skywalker »

Skywalker

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Re: Mistborn RPG Rules Questions
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2011, 02:36:44 PM »
This issue seems to be more confusing that I first thought. I have moved it to the Errata thread as I think it needs addressing.

mach1.9pants

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Re: Mistborn RPG Rules Questions
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2011, 02:40:15 PM »
OK that first section makes sense, the example on page 205 is incomplete/incorrect. In message edit: yeah I was going to do that. the example is great but needs to be more explicit in exactly what is rolled in each section. Probably take 5 seconds to explain at the table but just reading....

But does that also mean that it is often silly to just defend?
a) If you don't actively defend:
1. you get to roll your defence (in this case steel if you can steel push or physique if you can't or don't want to- higher physique than steel) which is a 'free' reaction (which will happen unless you are moving twice).
2. You can always use all your dice from a declared action apart from 2 to defend as well no matter how irrelevant the action to what you are defending against (like my example of disabling a device, if you have a high Wits action pool just use 2 for the device and the rest to defend against the attack)
b) If you actively defend:
You get one action pool roll.
Obviously sometimes that one action pool will be a better chance for doubles that 2 individual sets of rolls for doubles. If we look at the case of a slightly different cowardly noble: if he had no table to hide behind and no cowardly trait he would be better to try to do something in which his dice pool would be 4 or higher. E.g. he would get his Physique of 3 as a defence against an attack and if he (say with a high charm of 5) attempted to intimidate the attackers to go. It is not going to work so he only puts 2 into the attempt but uses the other 3 of his 'action pool' to defend against the attack. Thus he gets a roll of his physique (3) and a roll of his defence (3) against the attack rather than just on attempt (active defence physique of 3) against an attack.
Now this is a convoluted example obviously, and against the spirit of most play. But to further my understanding is this correct (as far as it goes) and is there something I am missing. Like if he fails the intimidate badly against the free reaction of the targets wits does he suffer burdens or complications? Or do free reactions not cause complications and burdens (which I guess is the case)
Thanks for you answers Skywalker, good that I get them Kiwi time rather than having to wait for the next day! ;)
Gloria Finis

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Re: Mistborn RPG Rules Questions
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2011, 02:48:09 PM »
But does that also mean that it is often silly to just defend?

...

Now this is a convoluted example obviously, and against the spirit of most play.

Sorry, it was so convoluted I couldn't follow it.  :)

I think you do need to roll Defence Dice in able to defend. A Difficulty may also apply based on circumstances (range, cover) but you would need to beat both the Difficulty and the Defence Result to hit.

I could be wrong but the Ironpull and Steelpush reaction seems almost like it should be a Difficulty and set a second layer of defence that the Attacker needs to beat.

mach1.9pants

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Re: Mistborn RPG Rules Questions
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2011, 02:59:24 PM »
Ah OK I will try and make it more obvious. In the books example instead of using the action to attack the fleeing guard Koel is going to send those coins in an attack on the noble. In this example there is no table to hide behind and Ignus does not have the 'snivelling coward' trait to gain those extra die for each on active defence.

So Ignus could either 'Actively Defend' and gain a pool of 3 dice (his physique) to defend against the attack

or

He could try to intimate Koel into giving up using his superior Charm (in this example I have chosen 5). This would mean he gets a free reaction of physique (3 dice as per the example in the book cos it is a steel attack against physique i.e. exactly the same as active defence) AND he could use 3 of his Charm dice action pool to defend against the attack leaving 2 for the attempt to intimidate.

So is this how the rules work (leaving aside the narrator could say NO to using Charm dice against a physical attack)? Is there any penalty to Ignus if he fails his intimidate attempt? I guess not so he might as well do it!
Gloria Finis

dbmeboy

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Re: Mistborn RPG Rules Questions
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2011, 03:20:34 PM »
I've been having the same problem.  When is defense a reaction vs. when do you have to use dice from your action pool to defend?

Skywalker

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Re: Mistborn RPG Rules Questions
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2011, 03:25:53 PM »
I've been having the same problem.  When is defense a reaction vs. when do you have to use dice from your action pool to defend?

The only reactions in the RPG that I have seen are Steelpushing and Ironpulling. So its not something that arises more generally.