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  #1  
Old 05-31-2009, 07:31 PM
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Zeff Zeff is offline
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Simple Sixes Discussion

Welcome to the Simple Sixes discussion. Here's where we'll ask questions and decide on the answers together.
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Last edited by Zeff; 05-31-2009 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 05-31-2009, 11:17 PM
Le Chasseur Le Chasseur is offline
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Weapon Damage--any more specifics?

With apologies if this was covered in the rules and I missed it--is there any more detail on weapon damage? All I could find was a couple of references on page 14. I have a few specific questions--

How does a spear compare to a sword? What about when thrown? (The spear, that is... ) A dagger? Would a shield bash be an option?

Thank you,
~LC
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:10 PM
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No, you didn’t miss it. I’ll contribute a basic list of data to provide the short answer:

Basic Weapon and Armor Values
Large martial weapon damage: 15 (spear, sword, etc)
Small martial weapon damage: 10 (bow, hand axe or mace, dagger)
Large simple weapon damage: 10 (staff)
Small simple weapon damage: 5 (cudgel)
Shield protective value: 2 for a standard Lithwick shield
Armor deflection value: 2 (leather), 5 (mail)
halves round down

Advanced rule stuff:

~The combatant with the longest weapon automatically gets initiative, unless the narrative places the combatants at closer-than-optimal range for that weapon. Example: spear beats sword, sword beats hand axe or mace, hand axe beats dagger/unarmed (same range).
~The combatant with a ready weapon automatically gets initiative over the combatant without a ready weapon AND determines initial range. Example: drawn dagger beats sheathed sword, beginning range is set at “dagger/unarmed.”
~Combatants who are controlling a range inequality get a +5 attack modifier.
~Range control inequality goes to the character whose margin of success is highest in any given round.

How this works: A spearman faces a swordsman, both have weapons at the ready. When they engage, the spearman automatically gains initiative. He attacks with a +5 attack modifier, since he is automatically assumed to be controlling the range inequality. In essence, he is keeping the swordsman at bay, striking at the swordsman’s body, while the swordsman can only strike at the spearman’s extremities and/or attempt to close the range.
Despite the +5 bonus the spearman enjoys, let’s assume the swordsman’s beats his target number to attack by a higher margin. He has successfully closed the range and is now at sword range, attacking the spearman’s body. The spearman is forced to use the spear at a range it wasn’t designed for, attempting to fight his way back to long range. Alternatively, the spearman might drop his spear and draw another weapon. He makes a reflexes roll; if he beats his opponent’s attack roll he gets an attack the same round (albeit after the opponent’s attack).
When two combatants have weapons of equivalent range, nobody gets a +5 bonus.
Don’t forget that the +5 bonus often boosts the damage to a new damage class.

The reason for this: I’ve trained a fair bit with archaic weapons, and it’s just not at all accurate to say that a sword (or whatnot) is categorically more deadly than, say, a dagger. If the two combatants face each other in a soccer field, then yes, the sword has great initial advantages. But if we’re locked in a phone booth? Dagger every time.

More importantly, the humble dagger is terrifying at close range. It carves flesh right off the bone. It’s deadly beyond imagining if you’re, say, trapped with a knife-wielder in the trunk of a car. I’ve never seen a dagger used much in DnD games, but it’s historically a weapon of preference in tight quarters.

When you spar with unequal weapons, it becomes rapidly obvious what the game is: control the range. Archer beats spearman, spearman beats swordsman, etc…all skill levels being equal. And you know what? There’s a reason why historical warriors preferred longer-range weapons (bows, spears) in actual combat over the much more glamorous medium or short-range weapons.
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Old 06-11-2009, 01:17 PM
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I noticed that nobody had much to say about Simple Sixes. Thought that kind of odd; most players are way more concerned about rules minutiae than I am, so to be the only poster is sort of a new thing. Anyhow, I thought this would be a good time to introduce a new concept or two.

You’ve read about Valor Points in the Simple Sixes document and you know how to use them. Basically, Valor Points operate on the mechanical level: they allow you an extra roll as if you’d rolled doubles, or they let you ignore a snake eyes result as if it hadn’t happened. All well and good. That being said, a character earns Valor Points through game mechanics as well; namely, by rolling double-sixes or by gamemaster award.

Mostly, I give out Valor Points for good tactics and neat solutions to tricky problems. If I read it and said to myself “wow, that was clever!” then you’ll probably get a Valor Point.

Some examples of things that might earn a Valor Point: guessing the answer to a riddle, applying a creative combat tactic that works, using the environment in a fight, a clever turn of phrase in a post, or excellent timing.

In addition to Valor Points, I’d like to introduce Story Points. These work a little differently: in the most basic terms, they’re narrative collaboration opportunities. Spending a Story Point basically changes the gamemaster narration of a particular element of the story, or changes your character’s stats, or contributes to the gameworld’s history, or some other major revision.

Using Story Points well tends to ensure you get Story Points in the future. It’s bad form to bunny another player’s character or actually rewrite something that has gone before, causing unexplained plot inconsistencies. It’s much better style to contribute a twist to the narrative that makes everything more interesting while highlighting your own character. Usually the twist is illustrated by use of a well-written flashback to establish suspension of disbelief. The examples below are very bare-bones, so I hope you’ll give us much better and cleverer attempts in actual play!

Examples of how to use Story Points:

~ “It looked worse than it really was”: In this gambit, you spend a Story Point after suffering a setback. Your character’s condition meter is restored to 100% and you roll skill or attack rolls for 1d6 rounds (or until the threat is over) as if you spent a Valor Point each round. Examples: “The bullet must have struck me right on the crucifix the old hermit gave me!”

~ “Old Friends”: In this ploy, you spend a Story Point when dramatically appropriate to turn a threatening situation into a helpful one, often using a flashback or bit of clever dialogue. Example: the scene in Braveheart when King Edward has Irish infantry charging at Wallace's Scottish forces. As they meet in the center of the field of battle, the Irish and Scots embrace each other, and the Irish turn around to face the English instead.

~ “Planning It All Along”: You spend a Story Point when dramatically appropriate after suffering a setback to reveal that your character had been preparing for this situation all along, and has just baited the enemy into a clever trap. Example: “I have spent the last two years developing an immunity to Iocaine powder.”

~”Training Montage”: You spend a Story Point when dramatically appropriate while preparing for a confrontation or showdown in which your character would normally be outmatched to earn a Valor Point in every scene of the confrontation. This normally requires a phenomenal “montage sequence” narrative in cooperation with the other players. Example: “You have killed my master! Prepare to die!”

~”Betrayal”: You spend a Story Point when dramatically appropriate to reveal at a crucial moment that either A) you have been an enemy spy all along, and turn on your comrades, or B) one of the enemy’s henchmen has secretly been working with you all along. This is a tricky one to pull off, since it typically requires a good flashback and careful writing to not screw up the gamemaster’s mojo. Example: “It was Tony! Tony Almeida has been working with Starkwood all along!”

Since Story Points are so powerful, so plot-changing, I will probably be careful about handing them out. When a player’s excellent grasp of the dramatically appropriate shows a tendency to shine but not to gratuitously deep-six the gamemaster’s intentions, he (or she) begins to deserve a Story Point.

Here I’d like to mention that typically, it’s better form to just know when you can use a Story Point and how, rather than PMing me with your ideas and asking for comment. I like to be surprised by plot twists too! And it’s an interesting (and terrifying) possibility that the players might be able to utterly change or reverse the game direction this way. I trust you’ll use these privileges carefully, asking yourself first: does this course of action make the storyline cooler and more interesting? Did I just open up a rich dramatic space for the gamemaster and the other players to explore? Or did I just land everybody in a great big pile of suck and disbelief-stretching plot rewrites?

Make it awesome.
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