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Author Topic: Walk me through Grapple:Screaming Club  (Read 5577 times)
Crafty_Pat
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« Reply #105 on: August 01, 2012, 04:34:11 PM »

Hey everyone,

First, thanks for the feedback. All of it's been useful, even when it's a counterpoint to an official or desired stance.

Second, I just scripted a little something I'm going to send Alex in a few. It's based on some ideas we had at the last summit, and I think it satisfies the needs of (honestly) everyone who's spoken up here. It isn't difficult to use, it's stronger overall than any of our previous grapple rules sets, and it both allows cinematic staples out of the box and protects specialty maneuvers while letting experts shine.

Obviously I can't post my thoughts yet - they're nascent and need vetting, and then playtesting, and then one more pass through the tiger cage for good measure - but I wanted you all to know this hasn't been a fruitless endeavor. Even if these initial thoughts don't make it to press, they're a basis for something, and we can count that a win.

I'd still like to see the discussion continue. Just today several new posts have helped to clarify what we need to do, and I'm sure that will continue. I may occasionally pop in with more questions - sometimes related to our new designs and sometimes not. We strategically ask these questions to get at the core of what's needed, not necessarily to lead the discussion toward any particular destination, and as you can see in the questions I've posed so far as much about playing devil's advocate and deducing what we don't want as anything else.

For now, carry on! But please do keep it friendly. There's no need for anything else.
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Patrick Kapera
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Crafty_Pat
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« Reply #106 on: August 01, 2012, 04:42:06 PM »

I've also started up a related thread over in the Spycraft Third boards so we can exercise our creative muscles. Go post some thoughts!
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Patrick Kapera
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« Reply #107 on: August 01, 2012, 04:45:39 PM »

1)  There needs to be some method of quickly taking down and capturing Standard Characters.  It's just too prevalent in source inspiration.
I am fine with this.

2) This method need not be automatically available to all - it might require something like a "Police Training" feat (or chain).
Nah: I agree with the idea that "standard character takedown" should be available to everyone.

3) To avoid anti-climatic scenes, Special Characters should be more difficult - requiring specific specialised training or abilities.  Including PCs.  New NPC qualities could also make them difficult / impractical to grapple - again, to avoid a totally anti-climatic finale to your mission.  Please note that I'm not saying "Impossible" - just "more difficult"
Again I think everyone should be able to grapple a special character, it should just be harder.

4) Certain grapple options can stand to be divorced from the subsystem - Screaming Club can easily be an "inflict and done" action.  Personally, I'd feat-gate it as part of a "Monstrous Brawler" chain (but with a better name) - but it could very easily be a standard combat action (just like Trip or Bullrush).  Same can be said for manipulating an opponent's gear - it can be a standard combat action (via Prestidigitation, perhaps).
I'm not asking for "divorced".  I'm just asking for "in addition to".  See my above post.


For #5 I'd just be repeating myself a third time form #2-3.
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« Reply #108 on: August 01, 2012, 05:07:06 PM »

For 2 / 3 - I was just putting "Might" because I'm trying to avoid mechanics at the moment.  Just think of some tenets that we can all go "hey, that's about right" to.

I personally agree with you on those 2/3.  I think everyone should be able to do it, and specialists should do it better.  Just like everyone can use a Spear - but take the 3 feats and you can use one really well.  The reason for 4 I said divorced (and again, it's more a maybe) is because it'll reduce reprinting - if a screaming club is a screaming club, why print it twice?  I really like the concept of those one and done options as being in the same vein as Bullrush, Trip et al.  I am however, totally happy for it to go either way.


@ Pat:  If you want a group of powergaming bastards roleplayers, I'm happy to volunteer my group to playtest said rules. Wink
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Crafty_Pat
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« Reply #109 on: August 01, 2012, 05:09:32 PM »

@ Pat:  If you want a group of powergaming bastards roleplayers, I'm happy to volunteer my group to playtest said rules. Wink

We're obviously not ready to start playtesting Spcyraft Third and related systems yet - but when we are, and if we need more play groups - we'll be putting out a call. This will be one of our first stops if/when we get there.
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Patrick Kapera
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« Reply #110 on: August 01, 2012, 05:11:06 PM »

Random wacky moment of what I want to be able to do with S3
I want to be able to trip someone, then grapple them, then GIANT SWING them as a human club ala whirlwind attack.
And If i have to take 6 feats and a forte to do it, I am ok with that.
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« Reply #111 on: August 01, 2012, 05:58:58 PM »

This reminds me of a meme I've seen that fits perfectly I wish I could post the image directly but I get an uploader full message. It's a little NSFW b/c of language.

http://weknowmemes.com/2012/06/ill-beat-a-motherfucker-with-another-motherfucker/
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"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - A. Einstein
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« Reply #112 on: August 01, 2012, 05:59:07 PM »

Hey everyone,

First, thanks for the feedback. All of it's been useful, even when it's a counterpoint to an official or desired stance.

Second, I just scripted a little something I'm going to send Alex in a few. It's based on some ideas we had at the last summit, and I think it satisfies the needs of (honestly) everyone who's spoken up here. It isn't difficult to use, it's stronger overall than any of our previous grapple rules sets, and it both allows cinematic staples out of the box and protects specialty maneuvers while letting experts shine.

Obviously I can't post my thoughts yet - they're nascent and need vetting, and then playtesting, and then one more pass through the tiger cage for good measure - but I wanted you all to know this hasn't been a fruitless endeavor. Even if these initial thoughts don't make it to press, they're a basis for something, and we can count that a win.

I'd still like to see the discussion continue. Just today several new posts have helped to clarify what we need to do, and I'm sure that will continue. I may occasionally pop in with more questions - sometimes related to our new designs and sometimes not. We strategically ask these questions to get at the core of what's needed, not necessarily to lead the discussion toward any particular destination, and as you can see in the questions I've posed so far as much about playing devil's advocate and deducing what we don't want as anything else.

For now, carry on! But please do keep it friendly. There's no need for anything else.

You know, in all my prolonged anticipation, excitement, and yeah, frustration with Spellbound I've managed to forget just how nice it is to even have the writers of the game around and open to not just questions and clarifications, but debate and actual growth- I don't think I've ever seen you or Alex voice that machined "must support the product as-is, if it is not infallible, all will collapse," mentality that seems common among developers, and though I've grown accustomed to it now, there was a time when I was in awe of it.

I know I haven't been part of this discussion so far, I have been watching it with significant interest, because I share a lot of the opinions being tossed around here, but I just wanted to make the point that, at least speaking for myself and my players (who tend to be... around), though we may seem less appreciative, you guys have gotten no less awesome, thanks for being both cool and people.
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« Reply #113 on: August 01, 2012, 06:07:07 PM »

Personally I think that any Grappling should be Cinematic, not the baseline "if someone has a higher athletics score than you, you can literally do nothing in the grapple but go get your friends some snacks and wait until someone rescues you or you have been inevitably killed."

The way I picture it happening is that the baseline grapple should be replaced by "Grabbed", a condition where you've just got a hand on somebody and you're keeping them more or less in place. You've seen it in movies all the time, the villain grabs the hero by the arm or the cuff of his shirt and starts wailing into him with punches, but the hero can still get a few good hits in or maybe flip the villain over. This condition would weaken the guy being grappled more than the guy doing the grappling, but they'd more or less now be focused on each-other in a fight. They could do a variety of benefits like trying to throw or trip each other, trying to take something from the other person, simply beating them in the face or stabbing them with a small weapon (as an attack check with a penalty if you're the grabbed guy, not as an Athletics Check), or things like trying to grab an opponent's arm and keep them from stabbing you (disabling them from using their weapons, but they can still headbutt you or knee you in the groin or try to break the grab in various ways.) This action should be able to be done by anyone since it just represents grabbing a guy and all it would do is mean they lose their attribute bonus to AC and can't move away from you unless they become the grabber or make a drag or something. This is where a lot of nifty effects would go that would be cinematic without gamebreaking, like slamming someone into something or tossing them through a saloon window. This would also be what people could use to get Zipcuffs on someone in a Spycraft game if they're not skilled, but since they're not fully skilled it would be pretty hard and would maybe require them to have the guy on the ground or have both of his arms held before you can attempt it. This way even someone without the grapple feats could grab a guy and start punching him, then snap some cuffs on him after a bit of a struggle (unless of course you just knock the poor sap out and you're free to cuff him however  Wink)

Full-on Greco Roman Wrestling and Pinning is hard when people aren't trying to make a show of it like on professional wrestling and I think should be limited to a feat chain. The first one lets you maybe grapple someone to put some harsher penalties on them, but still not completely shut down their actions. They'd always be able to bite or knee or headbutt you for some damage, or maybe having an Athletics Check be what you use to gain control of the grapple (or in this case, simply go back to being "Grabbed" and let you hit your opponent or something) and an Acrobatics check be used to merely escape it. This would be a much harsher penalty, possibly negated if you too have the feats (which would be interesting since two trained wrestlers would be going at each-other nicely without it always being "one guy is totally helpless and one guy is completely in control".) The sway of power would shift and they'd both get winded and bruised in the process. Maybe the feat that lets you grapple also lets you choose to inflict some minor subdual damage when you're grappled?

Pinned, now Pinned would be a fight ender. That's the point of being "pinned"; you're completely stuck to the ground and the only thing you can do is flail and -maybe- stab/bite someone with fangs, claws, or a dagger at a pretty hefty penalty. Pinned would be at the end of the Grapple Chain, probably with the middle just including some new cool stuff you can do in a grapple like a Suplex or a Submission Move that does hefty stress damage or something. The end of the chain would allow you to Pin someone, a move you can take from a Grapple (but not a grab) so that it takes a minimum of two turns being in the grapple/grab before someone super-skill can lay you out. I'd still say you should be able to use Athletics or Acrobatics to escape the pin, but a Pin (being so intense and focused) should make the Pinner nearly as weak as the Pinned person. Perhaps make it even take three turns by having to be pinning a Sprawled or Prone opponent, as even the most skilled of wrestlers can't just slam a serious opponent right to the ground and make them completely helpless immediately.

Now, there should also be a trick that wrestlers gain that is their 'instakill' against Standard Enemies. Perhaps when they gain a Grapple Benefit (or maybe even a Grab Benefit since other chars can kill standards as a half action) they're allowed to either immediately instigate a pin against them (it's a standard, who cares if you're OP against a standard) or do some crazy ass wrestling move that causes them to immediately fail a save. It's basically like being Mike Haggar; against the little shmucks you can grab one, smack him around a few times, then break his spine with a suplex and move onto the next one. With the big guys the best you can typically get is a firm grab and some serious punches, maybe throwing him into something painful before he's back in the fight and able to keep going.

I like the ability to Grapple, I really do. I also love that FC has stuff for Wrestlers. Perhaps this would allow someone to build an entire character around being a Wrestler while also allowing the game to be more balanced and cinematic at the same time. You could have more sexy moves with Grab and Grapple (who DOESN'T want to throw a dude through a saloon window!?) while also giving more options for the grabbed and grappled person besides just laying there and taking it.

But that's just my two cents. Hope it helps. Also, you Crafty Writers are awesome for listening to us like this. You are quickly becoming my favorite publishers, second only to Paizo just because I am in total <3 with the Golarion Setting.
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« Reply #114 on: August 01, 2012, 07:04:19 PM »

4) Personally, I'd feat-gate it as part of a "Monstrous Brawler" chain (but with a better name)...

This idea makes me a bit tingly as a player of a big-ass monstrous critter.  Smiley
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« Reply #115 on: August 01, 2012, 08:36:20 PM »

This reminds me of a meme I've seen that fits perfectly I wish I could post the image directly but I get an uploader full message. It's a little NSFW b/c of language.

http://weknowmemes.com/2012/06/ill-beat-a-motherfucker-with-another-motherfucker/

Alzad, head back to the original post, and click on the spoiler button.

Yep, this conversation has gone full circle.  Evil

[makes more popcorn]
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Crafty_Pat
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« Reply #116 on: August 01, 2012, 10:11:29 PM »

You know, in all my prolonged anticipation, excitement, and yeah, frustration with Spellbound I've managed to forget just how nice it is to even have the writers of the game around and open to not just questions and clarifications, but debate and actual growth- I don't think I've ever seen you or Alex voice that machined "must support the product as-is, if it is not infallible, all will collapse," mentality that seems common among developers, and though I've grown accustomed to it now, there was a time when I was in awe of it.

I know I haven't been part of this discussion so far, I have been watching it with significant interest, because I share a lot of the opinions being tossed around here, but I just wanted to make the point that, at least speaking for myself and my players (who tend to be... around), though we may seem less appreciative, you guys have gotten no less awesome, thanks for being both cool and people.

Thanks for the kind words, Deral. We appreciate it! Smiley
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Patrick Kapera
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« Reply #117 on: August 02, 2012, 02:48:23 AM »

Without interfering too much in the discussions of people with far more play experience than I have, since I read the grapple rules for the first time I have wondered why it's based on Athletics rather than unarmed attack bonus?

To me this would make more sense? I understand that opposed attack rolls are not really used whereas opposed skill rolls are, but surely somebody trained to fight and with an unarmed forte should be better at grappling than an experienced swimmer/climber?

As a GM, when designing foes, having to give most 'warrior' type opponents Athletics as a signature skill just to stand a chance in a grapple against a PC burglar who has full ranks in Athletics feels wrong. It almost makes Athletics a compulsory skill in any game where combat is common.
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« Reply #118 on: August 02, 2012, 03:47:18 AM »

Without interfering too much in the discussions of people with far more play experience than I have, since I read the grapple rules for the first time I have wondered why it's based on Athletics rather than unarmed attack bonus?

To me this would make more sense? I understand that opposed attack rolls are not really used whereas opposed skill rolls are, but surely somebody trained to fight and with an unarmed forte should be better at grappling than an experienced swimmer/climber?
Well I will tell you I personally love the fact that its a separate skill and not based on the unarmed attack bonus (or any attack bonus).  It means that the courtier can be an excellent wrestler. 
Grappling and Striking are 2 very different skills. 
Take a look at your typical High School Wrestler they can grapple the heck out of a person but it doesn't mean they can box you.
Also I think Athletics is a stable of Soldiers.
Interesting factoid for you the regions around the global that developed and made heavy use of metal armor have well codified grappling systems.  It is a battlefield art. 
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cjs65
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« Reply #119 on: August 02, 2012, 05:42:57 AM »

Well I will tell you I personally love the fact that its a separate skill and not based on the unarmed attack bonus (or any attack bonus).  It means that the courtier can be an excellent wrestler.
Grappling and Striking are 2 very different skills. 
Take a look at your typical High School Wrestler they can grapple the heck out of a person but it doesn't mean they can box you.
Also I think Athletics is a stable of Soldiers.
Interesting factoid for you the regions around the global that developed and made heavy use of metal armor have well codified grappling systems.  It is a battlefield art. 

I can see what you're saying and I agree to an extent (it's good to allow use of skills in combat), but swimming/climbing/wrestling are also very different skills. And if it's a battlefield art, then the soldier should be the master grappler, surely? Also, basing it on BAB/Unarmed proficiency reduces the disparity between characters with high Athletics skill and those without.

As an example: A 7th level Pech Burglar with maximum ranks in Athletics and 0 Str bonus has Athletics +10. A book-standard TL 7 Gnoll has Athletics +3 (no skill, competence only). So the Pech Burglar has +12 (size advantage) vs. +3 to initiate a grapple with the Gnoll and the Gnoll then has +5 (size advantage) vs. +10 to try to break the hold if the grapple succeeds. So because the Pech player wanted a decent climber, he can take down Gnolls with little problem in a grapple. Even if the Gnoll had the entire Wrestling feat chain, he would still likely lose. Now, I know the Gnoll could be given Athletics skill, but this just reinforces my point that Athletics almost becomes a mandatory skill in any game with frequent combat.

This just doesn't feel right at all.
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