Shield and Forge Armor, why not?

Discussion on playing Earthdawn. Experiences, stories, and questions related to being a player.
Lys
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Re: Shield and Forge Armor, why not?

Post by Lys » Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:30 pm

It's important to remember that damage gaps between spellcasters and primary fighters are intentional, as not having that gap is unfair to the fighters. Consider the following: A Warrior is only ever really good at combat. He is excels at individual fights, group fights, taking damage, giving damage, leading men into battle, and most other things related to war. Those are his areas of expertise. As good as he is at those things though, he is poorly equipped to do anything else besides that. A Spellcaster on the other hand has a broad-ranging tool box that is helpful across a wide variety of situations.

If you have a mystery to solve the Warrior is going to have to stand by in case things get rough, but the Nethermancer can be summoning Ally Spirits to ask for their help, the Illusionist can use her charms to get information out of people, the Wizard has magical investigation spells. Spellcasters may do less damage in combat, but outside combat they can nearly always find something to do, some way of applying their toolbox to the problem. The only tools the Warriors have is violence and the threat of violence. Therefore if casters can match Warriors in damage, there little reason to ever be a Warrior. The two are not equal, the casters are better.

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The Undying
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Re: Shield and Forge Armor, why not?

Post by The Undying » Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:06 am

Warrior is the extreme example and not really a valid comparison. Yes, Warriors are the combat king. But no one is going to be dethroning that Discipline, even if magicians received a significant power bump. By Circle 8, it's possible for a Warrior to have four (!) attacks per turn. It's also possible for them to have more than +Circle damage bonus on each hit from Talents alone (Crushing Blow + Spot Armor Flaw). By design, they are war gods at the expense of having very little meaningful Talents to bring to bare outside combat (but a Warrior can easily get lots of skills if so inclined). Trust me, their position is secure, with Sky Raider a distant second.

Your statement is true, though, that Close/Ranged combat is more effective than spell combat, as a rule (there are always outliers, same goes for very specific spells for certain Disciplines). Also, yes, this is by design. However, this gap became more pronounced in 4ED as a design goal. The question that seems (at least to me) to be asked is "has the gap gotten too big"?

Again, though, I think that's a question for another thread (if people even want to keep exploring that topic ... much of it has been discussed thoroughly, although new insight is always welcome). At the end of the day, though, it is what it is, unless people want to house rule changes (I don't see a system modification, even as optional rules, ever happening).

CPFCPF
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Re: Shield and Forge Armor, why not?

Post by CPFCPF » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:27 pm

I'm a gamemaster and I have my ED4 campaign Forging still maxed at basic weapon damage. A Dagger with damage step 2 can have a maximum of 2 steps of forging, a two handed sword with damage step 8 can have an additional 8 steps of forging.
I'm still limiting that because of the ridiculousness a dagger with a +20 (15 talent and +5 for a group pattern , eventually more from other items) forging would be for us. And there shoould be a reason to wield heavy weapons such as two handed swords. If a dagger comes with damage step 22 and the two handed sword is maxed at 28, that feels odd.

For the question why to put more than rank 8 in forge weapon:
- Higher chance for good forging rolls (ok, that's obvious)
- possibility to learn some vool talent knacks (example: Forge weapon rank 10 could give access to a talent knack, that allows you to add a flame W4 as a replacement for 2 forging steps, and so on)

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Kosmit
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Re: Shield and Forge Armor, why not?

Post by Kosmit » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:49 pm

CPFCPF wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:27 pm
If a dagger comes with damage step 22 and the two handed sword is maxed at 28, that feels odd.
It's magic and having roughly (very, very roughly) even damage step encourages interesting roleplaying choices. Finally Warrior have some other choices than two-handed swords. Warrior with two daggers? Great!

Slimcreeper
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Re: Shield and Forge Armor, why not?

Post by Slimcreeper » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:14 pm

I'm actually with CPFCPF on the dagger vs 2-handed sword damage, although I think there should be a greater spread in basic damage steps, not a limit on the Weaponsmith. And social reasons to not carry military grade weapons everywhere. And tactical reasons why a dagger would be an advantageous choice. Inside a claustrophobic cavern or dense forrest would cause -2 penalty to attack with 2-handed weapons.. After all, 2 daggers with damage step 22 is objectively better than 1 two-handed sword at 28, and that's difficult to wrap my head around.

Dougansf
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Re: Shield and Forge Armor, why not?

Post by Dougansf » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:38 pm

IMO, ED has never really had very good reasons to use 2 handed weapons. +3 Damage doesn't make up for the loss of shield and/or second weapon. Especially if you consider that said shield/weapon could also be a Thread item.

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etherial
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Re: Shield and Forge Armor, why not?

Post by etherial » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:49 pm

Dougansf wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:38 pm
IMO, ED has never really had very good reasons to use 2 handed weapons. +3 Damage doesn't make up for the loss of shield and/or second weapon. Especially if you consider that said shield/weapon could also be a Thread item.
Your belt buckle could be a Thread Item. Your nose ring could be a Thread Item.

Dougansf
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Re: Shield and Forge Armor, why not?

Post by Dougansf » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:52 pm

etherial wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:49 pm
Your belt buckle could be a Thread Item. Your nose ring could be a Thread Item.
Your stinky left sock could be a Thread Item. :D

emeketos
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Re: Shield and Forge Armor, why not?

Post by emeketos » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:55 pm

The Undying wrote:
Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:22 pm
Remember that there are consequences to changes. They may seem small at the time but then get out of hand. When they do, you end up having to add more custom, potentially arbitrary, rules to wind back or reign in the first rule change. For example, if Forge Armor can suddenly augment shields by improving defense, how are you going to handle the sudden additional 5-9 physical/mystic defense your characters are toting?
Shield Willow already does this my windling elementalist had +4/+4 defense before 5th circle now at 7th he is +5 (and more from the group pattern)
there is already enough in the game to boost Physical Defense & Mystic Defense

Shields have a cost to use be it a lower initiative for better protection or minimal for hopes of a better initiative. A crystal buckler with shield willow is what I use. My windling doesn't get hit often

Reciprocity
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Re: Shield and Forge Armor, why not?

Post by Reciprocity » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:11 pm

Well I have read some interesting comments and learned a lot of game mechanics from this discussion I dredged up.

I am glad I did. Lots of interesting opinions to. I can see the merits of each different point of view. I especially like the 2 daggers vrs two-handed sword argument. I have run across that more than a few times in D&D especially when DM's added de-buffs due to confined spaces. Or the social implications of walking around with a huge sword strapped to your back.

Undying re-printing his kick starter blog post gave great background.

Now we need Mataxes to find the time to make his points.

Which will probably start another thread storm :)

But that is good too...

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