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 Post subject: The Archer Rises
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:40 am 
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Hi all. I've finally gotten close to finishing my long-promised Archer profession rules. I consider these rules to be in late draft status and I'm keen to hear any input or constructive criticism.

Cheers,

-Kyle


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 Post subject: Re: The Archer Rises
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 1:41 am 
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Excellent work. Very well rounded pdf. Still too much of that feeling of superhero powers, maybe if these were available late in the game it would make npcs easier to play. Or maybe you threw in a lot of very, very minor archer abilities like spotting bonuses for long distance scanning, minor bonuses to perception.

Also the ability to anticipate heat waves in terrain, better accommodation of moving target penalties, low light/silouhette targeting, anticipation of soft cover/shooting through curtains/vegetation bonuses.

We don't have much in the way of cover rules I guess....

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 Post subject: Re: The Archer Rises
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 8:27 pm 
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Nice work Kyle!

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 Post subject: Re: The Archer Rises
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 5:29 pm 
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WodenKrait wrote:
Hi all. I've finally gotten close to finishing my long-promised Archer profession rules. I consider these rules to be in late draft status and I'm keen to hear any input or constructive criticism.

It's always brave, as a writer, to subject your work to the public, so many thanks for sharing.

I propose some discussion points:
  • The player of a sorcerer character when their magic points have run out can be pretty frustrating, and I'm sure the same could be said for an archer without arrows. Is the archer too much of a one-trick-pony?
  • Drop references to the Longbowman and Hunter and include the Archer's abilities in full - there's nothing more annoying during play than having to rifle through a rulebook to find only half the information, the other half of which you have to rifle through another book to find (or, in this case, up to two additional books!)
  • The ability compatibility matrix is quite complicated. I'd word the descriptions of the abilities such that it's obvious which are passive bonuses, which apply to everything, and which are active abilities, only one of which may be used with each attack. If there are special rules where one ability could stack with another, mention it in the ability description.
  • Other than a throwaway mention at the beginning that the Archer is a master of his craft because he's warped his body to the needs of his weapon, what impact does this abuse of his body have on his other adventuring abilities/weapons?
  • I'd make the Archer a bow-only profession and not include other missile weapons. At the very least, I'd drop crossbows, which are simple weapons by design.

I'll illustrate my next point with an example:

An average 7th rank Archer has an Attack score of 15, a shooting bonus of 9, and is likely to have Precise Shot which, with a Defence score of 9, adds a further 3 to his Attack score. All this gives a total of 27 Attack with a bow, meaning he will hit a housefly (+13 to his) 250m away (+7 to hit) 35% of the time (40%, if he aims for a round first). If the character also has Fast Shot and Earth Quiver (again, not unreasonable at 7th rank as he'll have ), he'll more than likely hit 1 fly at that range each round (until he runs out of arrows). Also, a 7th rank Archer has the Evasion of a Barbarian and an Assassin, an effective combat ability (Att/Def) of a Mystic, and a goodly number of Health Points to boot. All before some professions pick up their first Skills of the Mighty.

I guess what I'm saying is I would simplify the Archer:
  • Keep just the Shooting Bonus ability for non-Mighty Archers (i.e., ranks 1-7)
  • Make the profession bow-only
  • Significantly extend the missile rules such that any character could take advantage of some of the Archer's (and Hunter's) special skills. If a character wanted to stab his arrows in the ground to make them quicker to fire (Earth Quiver), then I'd allow it - it's not something a character that has been trained from birth has to have been trained from birth to know how to do (nor is, for example, fletching - surely anyone could learn to make arrows?) If a character wants to fire more arrows per turn by splitting his Attack score, then I'd allow it, but unless you've got a good Attack score (or Attack+Shooting Bonus), then you're not likely to hit.
  • I'd consider granting the Master Bowman ability earlier than a Knight gets it and the same for Quick Draw (because it's not quite as good as the Knight's 8th rank Quick Draw ability, but it is close...).
  • Sharpshooting could be substituted with just some additional called shot penalties to bypass armour (which, again, anyone could do). The kernel of that idea is in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=216#p1927. And there are precedents in the main rules.

But there is a trend in Dragon Warriors for professions to pick up skills which give them fantastical abilities at earlier ranks. Whilst I prefer a low-fantasy style of play (one of the reasons I love Dragon Warriors so much in the first place), the fantasy superhero is starting to creep into Dragon Warriors now, so perhaps this is just the fashion? It certainly makes the game more attractive to players used to the fantasy superheroes of D&D and it's clones.

Anyway, thanks again for sharing - my opinion is just that and the above only illustrates my own thought processes and principles behind how I would approach integrating a new profession into Dragon Warriors. The direction in which both the Players' Guide and Cadaver Draconis seem to be taking Dragon Warriors professions would suggest I'm in the minority...

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 Post subject: Re: The Archer Rises
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:01 am 
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Thank you for your suggestions Kharille.
Kharille wrote:
Still too much of that feeling of superhero powers....

I specifically tried to avoid putting anything too outlandish into the Archer, so can you please tell me what you had in mind here?

Cheers,

-Kyle


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 Post subject: Re: The Archer Rises
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:26 am 
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Hm..

maybe its because I'm a pure original 6 books person so I'm anxious about the amount of abilities thrown in. Perhaps something as simple as an original book 1 profession would be nice. With all these abilities the knight and barbarian will be wondering why everyone else's round is so colourful and complex. Then again, it works out compared to the new professions.

Maybe and adventuring party should be composed mainly of meat shields with a few circus performer types....

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 Post subject: Re: The Archer Rises
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:57 am 
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Thank you very much for your input Cobwebbed. You've given me a lot to think about. Here are some of my initial reactions though:

Cobwebbed Dragon wrote:
The player of a sorcerer character when their magic points have run out can be pretty frustrating, and I'm sure the same could be said for an archer without arrows. Is the archer too much of a one-trick-pony?

I think they're relatively versatile, but they definitely have a very sharp spike in competency in one specific area, obviously. I don't see this as a bad thing though because don't think there's any merit in the notion that all professions must be "balanced" in simple rules terms, as long as they all have the potential to participate in a fair slice of the game. I think the Archery definitely fits here.

An archer without arrows is in trouble, true! Fortunately half his shooting bonus can be used for any missile weapon, so he could still be formidable just chucking rocks and furniture! I also think skill with ranged attacks has potential for less obvious use of their skill, where they can be experts at shooting out a lock from behind a fence, getting a grapnel on a parapet, distracting a guard with a well placed tossed stone etc.

Cobwebbed Dragon wrote:
Drop references to the Longbowman and Hunter and include the Archer's abilities in full - there's nothing more annoying during play than having to rifle through a rulebook to find only half the information, the other half of which you have to rifle through another book to find (or, in this case, up to two additional books!)

I feel the same way. I confess however that I'm uneasy about repeating the work of others verbatim in my own works for IP reasons, although of course in the case of Cadaver Draconis the license specifically allows this.

Cobwebbed Dragon wrote:
The ability compatibility matrix is quite complicated. I'd word the descriptions of the abilities such that it's obvious which are passive bonuses, which apply to everything, and which are active abilities, only one of which may be used with each attack. If there are special rules where one ability could stack with another, mention it in the ability description.

I did attempt to include this information in the skill descriptions themselves, and then included the matrix as a handy reference to save the reader from having to leaf through the supplement to find the right part. It looks like it doesn't come across clearly though! I'll give it another go.

Cobwebbed Dragon wrote:
Other than a throwaway mention at the beginning that the Archer is a master of his craft because he's warped his body to the needs of his weapon, what impact does this abuse of his body have on his other adventuring abilities/weapons?

Good question. I'll need to do some research to see if mediaeval bowmen and their counterparts elsewhere in the world suffered any health problems from their distorted frames.

Cobwebbed Dragon wrote:
I'd make the Archer a bow-only profession and not include other missile weapons. At the very least, I'd drop crossbows, which are simple weapons by design.

I agonised over this so many times! In the end I included other missile users simply to reflect the historical reality of slingers, spearmen, and crossbowmen. Archers get all the publicity but many other missile weapons were important in premodern warfare, and there were distinct troop specialisations for each of them.

Granted none of them have quite the same potential as the archer (particularly the crossbowmen) but I feel that that is reflected in the rules themselves. I don't think I'd choose to create a crossbowman character, in fact, due to their limited usefulness, but I'm still reluctant to exclude them, particularly as the bow alone is already emphasised in the Hunter and Longbowman professions.

Cobwebbed Dragon wrote:
An average 7th rank Archer has an Attack score of 15, a shooting bonus of 9, and is likely to have Precise Shot which, with a Defence score of 9, adds a further 3 to his Attack score. All this gives a total of 27 Attack with a bow, meaning he will hit a housefly (+13 to his) 250m away (+7 to hit) 35% of the time (40%, if he aims for a round first). If the character also has Fast Shot and Earth Quiver (again, not unreasonable at 7th rank as he'll have ), he'll more than likely hit 1 fly at that range each round (until he runs out of arrows).

You highlight an issue I was acutely aware of when devising this profession, but I see it as a problem not with the archer, but with the existing DW missile combat rules themselves, which I find basically unsatisfactory. As they stand, you have the same chance of hitting a target with an arrow at 126 metres as you do at 250 metres, even though in reality the target at the further range would present one-quarter of the area of the nearer target, to say nothing of the extra wind drift and target movement that would apply at the longer range. With a crossbow, this is even more pronounced in the standard rules (and not for any reason I can identify, incidentally, as quarrels usually actually have a flatter and more predictable trajectory). I would prefer to overhaul the ranged combat rules altogether (I'm sure Kharille would echo this!) but I was trying to stay within the established rule set. Having said that, I actually have a supplemental rule that would resolve the above problem, and its one founded on the real world: Weapon Precision.

The idea is that no matter how good your aim is, the Attack you use can never be better than your Weapon Precision; this reflects the fact that no weapon will always land its projectile on the exact same spot every time, even if all other variables are accounted for.

For instance, let's say that at short range, all weapons have unlimited maximum Attack, at medium range the maximum Attack is 30, and at long range, the maximum Attack is 20. This means that a master archer is no better than a merely very good archer with an Attack of 20 when shooting at long range, due to the many variables beyond anybody's control. Now the Archer will only hit that housefly with a natural roll of 1.

Cobwebbed Dragon wrote:
Also, a 7th rank Archer has the Evasion of a Barbarian and an Assassin, an effective combat ability (Att/Def) of a Mystic, and a goodly number of Health Points to boot. All before some professions pick up their first Skills of the Mighty.

Perhaps that Evasion is a bit high...

Cobwebbed Dragon wrote:
Significantly extend the missile rules such that any character could take advantage of some of the Archer's (and Hunter's) special skills. If a character wanted to stab his arrows in the ground to make them quicker to fire (Earth Quiver), then I'd allow it - it's not something a character that has been trained from birth has to have been trained from birth to know how to do (nor is, for example, fletching - surely anyone could learn to make arrows?)


I'm sympathetic to this idea, but I think it would need to be extended to all other professions (within reason) too. Anybody should be able to learn how to pick a lock, brew a potion etc. Only certain very special abilities, like spellcasting or Shock Attack should ever be completely off-limits to outsiders.

Cobwebbed Dragon wrote:
If a character wants to fire more arrows per turn by splitting his Attack score, then I'd allow it, but unless you've got a good Attack score (or Attack+Shooting Bonus), then you're not likely to hit.

I agree. In fact I think this should be extended to melee attacks too.

Cobwebbed Dragon wrote:
Sharpshooting could be substituted with just some additional called shot penalties to bypass armour (which, again, anyone could do). The kernel of that idea is in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=216#p1927. And there are precedents in the main rules.

I'd be very reluctant to do this; I love my Sharpshooting rules because they are simple and universal; there's no need to remember anything arbitrary like hit locations or damage multipliers for vital organs etc. The numbers decide and the player roleplays to turn the abstract into the specific. I must confess I haven't playtested the rules however, so they could be ghastly in application. On the other hand maybe it could be something anybody can learn. Spend a couple of hours being instructed by an Archer, sacrifice a couple of xp and then you've got it; at the end of the day if you're lousy at missile combat Sharpshooting won't do you much good, after all.

I'll keep tinkering and I'll try out your ideas (particularly with regard to the balance of skills at different ranks), and thank you again!

Cheers,

Kyle


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 Post subject: Re: The Archer Rises
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:04 pm 
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Kharille wrote:
Hm..

maybe its because I'm a pure original 6 books person so I'm anxious about the amount of abilities thrown in. Perhaps something as simple as an original book 1 profession would be nice. With all these abilities the knight and barbarian will be wondering why everyone else's round is so colourful and complex. Then again, it works out compared to the new professions.

Maybe and adventuring party should be composed mainly of meat shields with a few circus performer types....

Hahaha. Well there were once Harlequins in Warhammer 40k.

To be honest, if the DW ranged combat rules were better I'd be happy to hone the Archer back to just a few key abilities, specifically Shooting Bonus, Sharpshooting, Rapid Shooting, Quick Draw, and mounted archery. However the rules are so bad that a bit more is needed to expose some of the abilities that real archers had that don't emerge organically right now.

Things that would mitigate against this problem:

Proper range modifiers
Weapon modifiers
Proper movement modifiers (shooter and target)
Proper size modifiers
Rules for cover
Rules for using defence while shooting
Spotting rules

etc...


Cheers,

-Kyle


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 Post subject: Re: The Archer Rises
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 4:03 pm 
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Rogue trader, nothing beats rogue trader. Funny thing is I didn't get my hands on a copy of chapter approved until around 2007. The one with the elder pirates and mercenaries.

The rules as they are for shooting are simple and fine for book 1 only players. Perhaps in a original 6 book adaption we can remove most special abilities until rank 8, apart from the fletcher arrow making. Also out in the open there would be other factors like precipitation, wind direction and velocity, especially for longer ranges. Barely anything on cover except 'smaller target'. I also wonder about things like shooting through vegetation or anticipating a charging horse as it disappears behind a tree or building. An expansion on shooting rules would be nice but again a simplified version that is quick and memorable.

I'm also thinking about the light/heavy infantry concept. Perhaps archers are more mobile in vegetation, water or other terrain. Perhaps we should introduce some kind of landscape skills, pathsmanship to help travel (more appropriate for the hunter mind you), stuff that is good to have and unique and doesn't affect combat so much.

I'd say a higher EVASION is appropriate since they seem to know more about physics than other professions.

Thinking about the historic role, from ancient bronze age battles to medieval times, has the archer's role changed to any extent? Masters of distance and open space, until the knights and barbarians come charging in.... except chaubretian knights vs elleslandic archers....

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 Post subject: Re: The Archer Rises
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 6:36 pm 
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My thoughts on the Archer profession :


1° D6+5 HP again, I'm bored of that many Characters with the same amount of HP. D6+6 would have been better, at least for a change.

2° Again, 6 in Defense; I would had like for an Attacking Archer at range but a defending Char at close combat, since it's a mobile/agile fighter, i.e. 7 Defense. Since there is only 1 Char: the Knight, that as that much DEF, it would make for a good change. At worst, reduce his Attack to 11, but I don't think it's a good idea.

3° Since it's not a close combat fighter, what would be the good reason to ask for 9 Strenght ? I believe 9 Intelligence sounds better for a range combat Char. And probably ask for 11 or 12 Reflexes would be better, according to the multiple skills that he got.

4° In Rapid Shooting, the distance between the 3 targets shouldn't be relevant, since you DIVIDE the Attack in 3, you should be able to shoot at them in a 180° in front of you, up to the weapon range. Close targets are mandatory only if you keep full Attack.

5° To me the Archer is a fast-moving/fighting Char, so a basic AF of 2 sounds better. At best, do like the Hunter class and add a 'Soldier' skill, to reach no more than AF 3: Ringmail/Hauberk. That will mostly differentiate the Archer from the Hunter class, which is a very good thing.



You also got a couple of errata :

1. In the Special Abilities p. 3, the sentence say that you may choose 1 additional special ability, and the dot sentence say 2 Special Abilities.
2. You repeat the word 'Lantern' twice in the equipment list p. 7.
3. In the Expanded Archery Rules p. 10, you repeat 'Running' twice.


I think this Char is quite good and is directly playable in my setting. I hope that I'm making constructive criticism and I don't wanna be rude or anything, since those are just... my 2 cents! ;)

Ok, by the number of answers, it must be a complete dollar... canadian. :P

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