New Damage Call PLAYTEST

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New Damage Call PLAYTEST

Post by AD on Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:25 pm

Hey, all! This is Rob speaking through the AD account, because this seems like the 'voice' it should be said by.

So I realize this is short notice, but in this coming September 2017 game we will be strictly playtesting a new damage call exclusive to certain weapons. I cannot overstate the playtestiness of this playtest. We decided doing this at the end of season will be easier to manage as we can use the information gathered to work with over the off season. This as opposed to hurriedly trying to make it work for the next month's game. There is another asterisk to that, but I'll get to that.

Please bear with me as I in long detail this so that you might all have some context.

This directly relates to our resident barbarian, Krond, and his player, Tony. Some of you may recall how he came into game with an absurdly oversize greatsword not unlike that of a certain video game character's. While technically within Epoch's legal dimensions for that weapon class, the girth and width were certainly much more. Over time we thought about how we could introduce a new weapon standard, tentatively called 'Buster Class', that being a step up from the 'Greatsword'. This would include swords, hammers, axes all with exaggerated proportions. Basically: creativity is good! We've already seen how other players can certainly do that... I may or may not be referring to a ninja with giant buzzsaws (you can't tell me those aren't buzzsaws).

So why? Well, in a game like Epoch with boffer fighting, as exhilarating as it can be and as much skill as it certainly can take, it is not real fighting. It is a tagging game of sorts (however exhausting). That's not to say we can't all get into it and feel the amazing tension, so there are certainly exceptions to what I am saying. What much of it comes down to, however, is the speed factor: when all one needs to do is tap their opponent with the tip of their weapon, usually the lighter, longer weapon wins. This is part of the reason we introduced the Fighting Spirit Award, but that's another topic.

So again, why? (I know, I go on) We already have a great diversity of weapons, certainly. But there's something to be said for over the top designs and how crazy people can get with them. Epoch is still medieval fantasy, mind you... don't expect to get away with absolutely anything. Referring again to light weapons and their proposed advantage, a big, heavy buster sword is not just heavy... it's awkward. It is a spectacle and it shows in how much space it needs to traverse and much more needs to be accounted for when even returning to form. That would be fine, if it didn't have its two greatest tools stripped of it because of our saftey rules (again, which are there for SAFETY): gravity and its own weight. Something like that cannot be used AS threateningly because it cannot swing overhead (for danger of headshots) and it cannot be swung with force (thus transferring force and pushing people around). A big weapon like that should have presence, and does not.

Thus, the Buster Class: these weapons would have their own specified dimensions, being as long or slightly longer than greatswords and especially having a far wider blade or hammerhead. The weapons' 'prerequisites', as it were, would be 'this needs to be clunky, heavy, and OOG HARD to use.' We realize this would come with its own set of rules, measurements, and XP costs, all of which would be hashed out in the future (over the off season). But none of those things mean anything if the class idea does not have a saving grace, and I don't just mean 'hitting harder'.

Therefore, at this upcoming event, Tony, playing Krond, will be playtesting the Buster Class exclusive mechanic called 'Sunder Damage'. The class would be effectively built around this damage call, for the sake of it, and for its powerful nature the unwieldly nature of its weapon would need to be assured, to balance the two out. Currently, the 'buster sword' he uses is the only one in game that would match those specifications, and indeed what we would be using as the standard for in the weapon class: axes and hammers would need to be decided.

Tony will not be calling for higher damage, rather, for this new 'Sunder Damage'. And that not all the time. Normally he will be calling for his regular 12 (or is it 13? the idea still stands) Metal. But at any time, should the wielder choose, they can 'incant' for Sunder Damage. Here is how it works:

1. The user must chamber their weapon and ground themselves; they are not allowed to dash or run away from or towards their opponent, though they may shuffle and not completely leave themselves open, for their guard may not be up.

2. While in this stance, with their weapon in 'batter up' position, the user makes a count: 'Sunder 1, Sunder 2, Sunder 3' not unlike a killing blow count, though only to 3 of course.

3. After the count of 'Sunder 3' the user swings their weapon at their opponent calling for their usual base damage value but instead of their normal weapon's damage type (metal) they call '12 Sunder'.

This 'incant' and action only affects the subsequent swing and must be repeated every time the user wishes to call for Sunder Damage.

Sunder Damage does the following:

1. Grating force: Ignores Wear Armour or Armour thresholds (though does not ignore toughness)

2. Cleaving asunder: Deals damage to the target's Armour Points and Hit Points simultaneously.

3. Shockwave: Should the opponent raise a weapon or shield to intercept and guard against it, the force is transferred through their guard to their next defense; if they wear armour, the damage travels through the shield and only damages their Armour Points (still ignoring Wear Armour and Thresholds). If they wear no armour the damage travels through and damages their Hit Points directly.

Now before everyone starts shouting 'OP', bear in mind that time has been taken to deliberate this and do some limited testing with Tony directly. Secondly, this is what playtesting is for.

The hope for this is that it creates a new player to NPC dynamic and indeed a new player to player dynamic. The buster weapons will have presence and players will be able to pressure with them, creating spacing between them and their opponents. Much like holding a normal sword up against something of such immense size to take its blow head on would be foolish, so will this require the opponent to distance themselves when the Sunder call is being made; a large, hefty cleaver like this demanding respect and the call to grant it. Indeed, say someone is counting down the call against you, you can certainly backpedal and even run away. Bear in mind they cannot chase you without canceling their call. The countdown requires them to drop their guard and gives you time to respond. This can be used as well to possibly close the gap and rush them before they can bring their guard back to form. Either way, this 'charge time' could potentially determine the tempo of an encounter, forcing the opponent to make a decision and the sunder user to time the ability well and use it when it is most effective and not compromising to their saftey.

This is all, of course, easy to say and theorize about, but we will see how it fares during playtesting. I encourage everyone to think of it as simply a new mechanic as any other that might enrich the experience.

We will be covering this again during safety speech before game this weekend and I myself will go about after game is called and gather people's impressions.

If anyone has any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to PM myself or Sharon or even reply on this topic. Additionally, before game I can certainly do my best to answer any questions and explain the mechanic further and (hopefully) preemptively iron out any bugs.

Thanks for your patience, see you at game!


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