[Runequest] Runequest Digest, Vol 30, Issue 25

Pete Nash the.iqari at gmail.com
Fri Nov 19 09:36:06 EST 2010

> The issue is that often there was no reason to wait around for a "telling
> blow"; if you can hit someone's arm a good strike with a staff, that'll move
> things toward the intent to defeat him too, rather than wait around for an
> opening that's actually more likely to come if you've already numbed that
> arm.  While its' all fine and good to want that finishing shot, waiting
> around for it rather than taking the targets you're presented seems, well,
> suboptimal.

Who said anything about waiting around for a finishing shot? You only get to
select a Combat Manoeuvre if you gain one or more levels of success over
your foe. In the meantime you are still happily bashing away at them as per
normal. :)

What you do with an attacking CM when you get one can be a multitude of
things; Choose Location, Trip, Disarm, Damage Weapon, Bleed, Impale, Bash,
Change Range, Grip, Stun, Sunder, Entangle, etc, etc. Merely selecting
Choose Location can often be a very poor choice depending on the foe(s) and
tactical situation. The Defensive Combat Manoeuvres can be just as fun.

An arm shot in my opinion is in itself a 'telling blow', and one I myself
use frequently (pro-actively) in both real world tournaments and in MRQ2.
Negating a weapon arm generally wins me the fight in either... and for MRQ2
in particular can be a more rapid way to defeat a foe than repeated strikes
to a 6AP helmeted head! ;)

I suppose what it comes down to is how you interpret what the model means in
real life. For instance, in the following MRQ2 example a warrior makes an
attack with the intent of taking out his opponent's arm:

*Warrior Fails, Defender Succeeds* - The attack is too obvious. Not only
does he miss, but the defender reads his intent and turns it to his
advantage, inflicting a defensive Combat Manoeuvre on the warrior.

*Warrior Succeeds, Defender Succeeds* or *Warrior Crits, Defender Crits* -
Neither can gain advantage over the other. Instead of waiting for the arm to
become exposed, the warrior sees a random opening reactively strikes at it,
but the defender parries the blow. No CM but damage may penetrate depending
on the weapons involved.

*Warrior Succeeds, Defender Fails* - The warrior deliberately forces the
defender to expose his arm; wrong footing him, feinting at a different
location, sidestepping etc. The warrior uses his offensive CM to Choose
Location, in order to guarantee striking the arm through the briefly open
defence. Damage isn't reduced by the parrying weapon.

*Warrior Crits, Defender Succeeds* - As above. However if the warrior
doesn't have a weapon normally capable of overpowering the defender's
parrying weapon, then selecting Choose Location is pointless. The CM would
be better spent on something like Trip or Disarm instead.

*Warrior Crits, Defender Fails* or *Warrior Succeeds, Defender Fumbles* -
The warrior gains such an advantageous position, he tricks or draws out the
opponents arm to full stretch beyond the wide open defence, not only
striking the arm but hitting it with a perfect blow too. He selects Choose
Location and either Maximise Damage or Ignore Armour (both Critical only
CMs), and damage isn't reduced by the parrying weapon.

*Warrior Crits, Defender Fumbles* - The warrior has manipulated the defender
perfectly and can inflict a world of hurt. Select 3 CMs

Now I've gotten to the end of this example I've completely forgotten what
point I had intended to make. Possibly something about how often CMs occur
and that Choose Location isn't anywhere near the best CM to take. Something
more about realism? Oh well, maybe I'll remember later. :)
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