Codex interactions with SRD/PFRPG rules

Frequently Asked Questions about the Codex

Codex interactions with SRD/PFRPG rules

Postby Ioannes » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:43 pm

Okay, in the process of making cheat sheets, I came up with some questions.

Questions:

AP bonus for half-swording, or bypass bonus? It seems to me that the only time you see references to half-swording, it's two guys on foot in a plate harness. So it suggests to me that half-swording should have an advantage against armor.

Is there a bonus for bypassing at grapple range?

How does this system interact with the Charge mechanism in SRD? p154 in 3.5 PHB

Same question for Bull Rush? Which leads into the next question.

Offensive shield usage. You made the same questionable call I usually see in roleplaying games regarding shields. When used offensively, the primary purpose in most rule sets is to cause damage, and that's not the benefit of a shield. Usually, your sword or mace is far more efficient at doing direct damage. The offensive benefit of a shield is that you can push your opponent off-balance, and even off his feet sometimes. I'd like a mechanism for that.

Grapple with pole arm vs. Shield--does it require the shield grab MF? I also disagree with the prerequisite feat for that--the ability to grab at someone's shield is not predicated on the ability to use a shield yourself, especially if you are going at it with a poleax or something.

Movement to onset costs 1 MP? That's what I got from reading the FAQ thread (if it's in the book, I overlooked it). As I understand movement, you get a free movement once per turn that doesn't cost a MP die. Right? I'm presuming that this can be either a 5' step (doesn't provoke AoO, other bennies) OR a standard movement (up to 30' for an unarmored person). I allowed one change of range in melee to count as your 5' step, since it's considerably less than 5'. And at least attempting to control the range a little is basic fighting footwork 101. To do it once per round shouldn't take an MP. Flip side is that I'm also considering allowing the move from onset to melee for 1 MP or in lieu of the free move. Not considering this for grapple range at all.

I'm still leaning heavily toward allowing the fighter who won initiative to use some of their held die for things other than active defense. So fighter A uses 2 die, then says "I'm holding these 2". Fighter B burns through his martial pool, but fighter A only used one die for active defense. So once Fighter B is done, or exhausted his MP, then Fighter A gets to use his remaining die for another attack. This could result in high-level fighters glaring at each other and throwing sniper attacks a lot.
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Re: Codex interactions with SRD/PFRPG rules

Postby Galloglaich » Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:51 pm

Ioannes wrote:Okay, in the process of making cheat sheets, I came up with some questions.

Questions:

AP bonus for half-swording, or bypass bonus? It seems to me that the only time you see references to half-swording, it's two guys on foot in a plate harness. So it suggests to me that half-swording should have an advantage against armor.

It does, you get to attack with your longsword or arming sword at grapple range.
Is there a bonus for bypassing at grapple range?

Yes, unless your opponent is using a dagger or some other short weapon, they don't get their defensive bonus for their weapon at grapple range. Half-swording gives you the ability to attack with your sword at grapple range which you normally couldn't do. So for example, no more +4 Defense for the Partisan. Effectively, that gives you a +4 to bypass.

How does this system interact with the Charge mechanism in SRD? p154 in 3.5 PHB

Same question for Bull Rush? Which leads into the next question.


I'm not sure off the top of my head I'll have to get back to you on that. I may not use those due to how the Codex uses movement differently.

Offensive shield usage. You made the same questionable call I usually see in roleplaying games regarding shields. When used offensively, the primary purpose in most rule sets is to cause damage, and that's not the benefit of a shield. Usually, your sword or mace is far more efficient at doing direct damage. The offensive benefit of a shield is that you can push your opponent off-balance, and even off his feet sometimes. I'd like a mechanism for that.


Hmmm.... an interesting suggestion. Let me think about that a little.

Grapple with pole arm vs. Shield--does it require the shield grab MF? I also disagree with the prerequisite feat for that--the ability to grab at someone's shield is not predicated on the ability to use a shield yourself, especially if you are going at it with a poleax or something.


No it doesn't, you make a grapple attempt with your weapon, targeting the shield. If you get a 'hit', the shield is out of commission for the next attack (if you have remaining MP). I'm going to make a specific rule for this in th next release of the core rules just to clarify this a bit more.
Movement to onset costs 1 MP? That's what I got from reading the FAQ thread (if it's in the book, I overlooked it).


This is covered on page 12 of the core rules under "Changing Range". You are supposed to spend one MP to change range categories from onset to melee to grapple and back. One MP for each step. That is how we do it in my last campaign and it seemed to work well, but if you prefer another system you can house-rule how you like. It's the same for moving into grapple but that provokes and AoO and if they have sidestep, they can just move back. Some other Martial Feats let you change range 'for free'.

As I understand movement, you get a free movement once per turn that doesn't cost a MP die. Right? I'm presuming that this can be either a 5' step (doesn't provoke AoO, other bennies) OR a standard movement (up to 30' for an unarmored person). I allowed one change of range in melee to count as your 5' step, since it's considerably less than 5'. And at least attempting to control the range a little is basic fighting footwork 101. To do it once per round shouldn't take an MP. Flip side is that I'm also considering allowing the move from onset to melee for 1 MP or in lieu of the free move. Not considering this for grapple range at all.


You do get a five foot step for 'free'. I don't give a shift of combat range for free except that you automatically move closer if you make multiple attacks, but it seems reasonable to me to give one free range move per round if you want to.

I'm still leaning heavily toward allowing the fighter who won initiative to use some of their held die for things other than active defense. So fighter A uses 2 die, then says "I'm holding these 2". Fighter B burns through his martial pool, but fighter A only used one die for active defense. So once Fighter B is done, or exhausted his MP, then Fighter A gets to use his remaining die for another attack. This could result in high-level fighters glaring at each other and throwing sniper attacks a lot.




Yeah that seems reasonable too.

G.
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Re: Codex interactions with SRD/PFRPG rules

Postby Ioannes » Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:49 pm

Galloglaich wrote:
It does, you get to attack with your longsword or arming sword at grapple range.

Yes, unless your opponent is using a dagger or some other short weapon, they don't get their defensive bonus for their weapon at grapple range. Half-swording gives you the ability to attack with your sword at grapple range which you normally couldn't do. So for example, no more +4 Defense for the Partisan. Effectively, that gives you a +4 to bypass.


Okay, so why do I want to use half-sword at grapple range against another longsword fighter who is using a half-sword? I always presume there's an advantage to this or no one would put it in the manuals. It also seems to me that the thrust is going to be considerably stronger, and more precisely controlled, than is a posta longa transition (so I like Fiore better than the Germans). If there were no advantage to it, you'd maintain range and keep fighting. And since you never go to half-sword against an unarmored opponent, that advantage must only materialize against an armored opponent.

After all, the manuals show half-swording mostly against other half-swording fighters. So the advantage of fighting at grapple range when other fighter can't, is pretty much moot. After all, anyone at fourth level who is a polearm fighter is going to have half-staff also.
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Re: Codex interactions with SRD/PFRPG rules

Postby Galloglaich » Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:19 am

Conferring an AP bonus for half-swording is cool with me if you want to implement it that way.

The logic of how it's implemented currently is as follows. The way I learned half-swording for blossfechten (unarmored) fencing was initially as a close-in fighting option. This confers a big advantage in the Codex rules. So yes you may very well be fighting another guy with a longsword, but if you have the half-swording MF and they don't, you have a huge advantage close-in, which will allow you to fairly easily get bypass attacks. Remember not everybody is going to have every feat that is how fighting strategies get customized.

You can make a harder thrust in a half-sword grip for sure but from what I gather, it's still really more about aiming for the gaps than for brute force. Still, it's open to interpretation if you prefer to do say +2 AP that works for me)

When you get the Advanced Half Swording MF you then get an additional MP ("Free Dice") for attacks, which makes it still more offensive.

This way the bonuses for both MF are useful both for armored and unarmored fighting. But further enhancements are probably reasonable. Half-swording was also used defensively against longer reach weapons (like when using a sword against a spear) and as leverage for throws and disarms. At least in German fencing I don't know Fiore very well.

G.
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Re: Codex interactions with SRD/PFRPG rules

Postby zarlor » Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:01 pm

I can't speak to Fiore, but certainly in Marozzo he considers half-swording to be an advanced technique and critical for the experienced fighter to know. I think his explanation partially explain why it seems to be so prevalent in the manuals, but not necessarily so in a fight. Essentially since they are techniques that give you more options if the fight closes to grappling range (whether you wanted it to or not) there is an obvious advantage to knowing them. If your opponent also knows such techniques, however, then the author will need to further spend time on how to deal with someone who also has those techniques available to them. Whereas I think many students would be far more familiar with techniques at wide measure and, in some sense, require a bit less detail in covering, I think.

Overall I think the usefulness in unarmored combat is just to have options, to know what to do if the fight does get close, not that it would provide you with techniques that would somehow be deadlier than attacks performed at range. So while the usefulness in armored combat is fairly obvious, I don't think that same obviousness is there when unarmored, necessarily, but having options in a fight is always a good thing and well worth knowing, IMHO. And that is why I think we see so much half-swording -v- half-swording in some of the manuals.
Lenny Zimmermann

"A soldier uses arms merely with skill, whereas a knight uses them with virtuous intention." - Pomponio Torelli, 1596.

- Systeme D'armes, New Orleans, Louisiana
http://www.sdanola.com
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Re: Codex interactions with SRD/PFRPG rules

Postby Galloglaich » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:38 pm

Well anyway I think it's reasonable to grant a +2 AP for half-swording instead of the grapple range fighting if that is what you prefer.

Should it be +2 or +4 though?

G.
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Re: Codex interactions with SRD/PFRPG rules

Postby zarlor » Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:19 pm

Yeah, OK, so I was rambling and derailing, I get it. ;)

Let's see, since grappling range would, in most cases, remove the Speed Bonus of a weapon, what might be considered the average DB of those? That might be the number to work around. Or maybe look at it as at what point it becomes most useful? By that I mean If we see that a Leather Doublet has a Hardness of 2, then half-swording against it with a +2 AP would be the same as if their was no armor being worn. Whereas for a Heavy Leather Doublet it would be as if they were wearing some kinds of Cloth Armor. At +4 you would be treating Brigantine as being unarmored and Mail would become similar to Leather in protectiveness. Personally I think the latter sounds about right, however I think that the AP bonus should only apply for Piercing attacks and does not stack with the Mortschlag attack from the Advanced Half-Sword MF. Although speaking of Mortschlag maybe +2 is better to bring it in line with that.
Lenny Zimmermann

"A soldier uses arms merely with skill, whereas a knight uses them with virtuous intention." - Pomponio Torelli, 1596.

- Systeme D'armes, New Orleans, Louisiana
http://www.sdanola.com
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Re: Codex interactions with SRD/PFRPG rules

Postby Ioannes » Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:39 pm

Sorry I haven't been as active lately, but I've been busy.

First, regarding Advanced MFs, I'm mostly ignoring those at present because the assumptions I'm building into the campaign world is that experienced professional soldiers are going to be 4th level, and 6th level is the ceiling for normal NPCs. So these techniques are essentially the province of sword masters, not common fighters.

Second, I'm leaning towards a +2 AP bonus for thrusting when half-swording because that means that you're still mostly relying on trying to bypass when you're dealing with plate harness. Mail, you can punch with a truly solid hit, but it will still eat a glancing blow (ie, a low damage roll).

The impression I get from the manuals, and I haven't done a truly in depth study so I could be wrong, is that while it is a possibility in unarmored combat if the combat gets to grappling range, half-swording seems to be a preferred technique in armored combat. And that means that there should be some sort of advantage. But a +2 still means you are mostly going to be trying for a bypass attack or beating someone in the head with your pommel in order to cause TBI. And a modern (ie, last 5 years) understanding of TBI leads me to believe that this was a major factor in medieval armored combat just as it is a significant factor in modern combat with armored vehicles and the first effective post-medieval body armor.
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Re: Codex interactions with SRD/PFRPG rules

Postby Galloglaich » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:08 am

On the halfswording MF, ya'll have talked me into it. This is going to be the new revised entry:

Half-sword Fighting
Special sword fighting technique for use with most swords which allow the weapon to be used in close combat (that is, at Grapple range). The technique involves grabbing your sword blade with your free hand
Prerequisites: Weapon Focus with any sword which can cause Piercing damage (or equivalent sized staff weapon).
Benefits:
1) Gain +2 AP for thrusting attacks only with your sword.
2) While in Grapple your weapon can still be used to make thrusting (piercing), Bludgeon, and Slash attacks but not Chop attacks, regardless of the weapons size. Bash damage of a sword pommel is equivalent to a light mace.

Restrictions:
1) You lose your Reach To Hit Bonus (RTHB) while halfswording.
2) Rolling a natural 1 while using half sword techniques without heavy gauntlets or mail lined gloves causes you to injure yourself (D4 Damage) and you must roll a Reflex Save DC (15) or drop the weapon.
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