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Some good abilities for warriors and rogues


Mr. R
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We have the spell users, what ever the flavour you have chosen.  But what do you give the warriors/ rogues so that they don't feel overshadowed.  I have been in games with both,

A ) a DND 2nd edition game where we quickly learned that warrior had durability (HP) and great saves

B ) a Palladium game where we learned that the raw power of a caster totally overshadowed any similar leveled warrior and that the argument "But you get magic items to compensate!" was.... yeah!

 

So to those GMs of fantasy..... How do you keep the non-casters feeling special?

I am looking at thing like Tuala Morn's Warrior feats or abilities like 25% Dam. Red. (only when aware of the attack), or even abilities and talents that you restrict to the warriors only

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I'm not sure I can offer much help: In the last Fantasy Hero game I played in, the GM started by saying, "Spellcasters are not available as PCs. Magic is of such a nature that your characters could not possibly have access to it." Discussion over.

 

We found ways to make interesting and effective characters anyway. My PC was a fencer with Martial Arts, some Talents, and Penalty Skill Levels to make certain tactics more viable. Another PC was a burglar whose medusa ancestry enabled her to briefly paralyze people who met her gaze. (A supernatural power... but not spellcasting.) It was an edge, but not enough to dominate the campaign or, indeed, most encounters. Another PC was just exceptionally strong and tough. Etc.

 

Most importantly, we gave our PCs good personalities and social connections, and we had a GM who made use of them.

 

I would suggest that if magic overpowers everything else in a game, or there's no other way for characters to be cool and effective, that's on the designers. Fortunately, the Hero System does not compel such choices.

 

Dean Shomshak

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Talents are what you are looking for.  Most of the ones in the base rule book are fairly basic, but there are some important ones there.  Combat Luck, Combat Sense, Danger Sense, Deadly Blow and Weapon Master are good place to start.  The Fantasy Hero book has a few more that are worth looking into.  The Hero System Martial Arts book has a whole chapter on martial arts abilities that would be useful. Many of them will work even if you are not using an Asian martial art.  

 

You can also allow your players to write up their own talents.  Just be sure to go over any of them to make sure they are not overpowered.  

 

For the most part restricting things to any specific character type is unnecessary.  For the most part the cost of the abilities will do this for you.  The character who tries to do too much ends up not doing anything well.    
 

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1 hour ago, LoneWolf said:

Talents are what you are looking for.  Most of the ones in the base rule book are fairly basic, but there are some important ones there.  Combat Luck, Combat Sense, Danger Sense, Deadly Blow and Weapon Master are good place to start.  The Fantasy Hero book has a few more that are worth looking into.  The Hero System Martial Arts book has a whole chapter on martial arts abilities that would be useful. Many of them will work even if you are not using an Asian martial art.  

 

You can also allow your players to write up their own talents.  Just be sure to go over any of them to make sure they are not overpowered.  

 

For the most part restricting things to any specific character type is unnecessary.  For the most part the cost of the abilities will do this for you.  The character who tries to do too much ends up not doing anything well.    
 

True!

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On 8/26/2021 at 7:34 AM, IndianaJoe3 said:

FWIW, D&D 4e had a lot of martial feats that went beyond the various flavors of, "I hit it with my sword."

Not being familiar with DND 4th, can you give some examples.

 

Note I do own the Book of Nine Swords and I really liked their take on Martial Adepts.  I remember describing one 9th level strike being able to do over 100 hp damage and he went OverPowered, till I said Power Word Kill!

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Two examples I can think of though a mite fuzzy but still gets the idea and I think they’re from 3.5 Ed are Mighty Cleave and Whirlwind strike. Whirlwind is as you can imagine you get a chance to hit everyone surrounding you. Mighty Cleave, iirc, you get to do a follow up attack on the opponent behind the first one if the first went dow. That or it was you knocked down the opponent with your mighty attack!

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I found that this was not really necessary in my games. From my perspective, wizards had neat powers, but they, like the warriors, were limited by the total amount of energy available to them: END. Wizards do not put points into physical skills, they put them into spells. Warriors put points into physical skills. Both are capped by game and campaign DC maxima (at least at first) and they both specialize in their own particular way of doing damage and avoiding it. It just comes down to flavor.

 

In my observations, the rapidly increasing power curve of wizards observed in traditional D&D systems does not exist in Fantasy Hero. A wizard with a lot of points simply has more spells and skills available, but they are still capped at the game's Active Point maxima. What they do have in their favor is the flexibility of spells which give them many alternative courses of action or even neat tricks, where warriors specialize in dealing and absorbing damage almost exclusively. Both can be enhanced with Magic Items, which may increase their ability to do damage, add to their durability in a fight, or add to their total energy, in addition to giving them all manner of bonuses, benefits, and buffs.

 

But I don't see warriors competing for power or getting overshadowed at all.

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15 hours ago, Mr. R said:

Not being familiar with DND 4th, can you give some examples.

 

There are feats ("exploits") that let you self-heal, strike multiple opponents, move allies or opponents around the battlefield, impair their movement, or increase your damage.

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I have played both a 'tank' and 'nimble' fighter in Hero games with different GMs.  I never felt particularly overshadowed.  When I did it generally had more to do with the GM and they combat situations they set up rather than a comparison with my character.  For instance my current character is a nimble dualist - he fights w/ two scimitars, has martial arts, plenty of skill levels and penalty skill levels, a high DEX/SPD/OCV/DCV.  He is virtually untouchable if he is just using a thrust on his opponents, especially if he uses his skill levels in DCV.  He has one ranged weapon, a sling.  When we have been in fights lately the only player who really has been effective was the mage - LOS 'elemental' arrow (he can pick the element - Variable SFX).

 

I had a tanky character - warrior priest.  Kind of like a paladin but without all the stupid LG stuff.  He was a warrior who was also a priest.  He has some 'spells' that would improve his abilities and the parties abilities but he didn't have any 'combat spells'.  He wasn't hard to hit, he could dish out some crazy damage and take some crazy damage.

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Quote

There are feats ("exploits") that let you self-heal, strike multiple opponents, move allies or opponents around the battlefield, impair their movement, or increase your damage.

 

They are talents, translated into D&D for 3rd edition :) Literally, that's the origin, they borrowed a Hero idea.  So that's the answer to me: plenty of talents to give mundane combatants "spells" to use to enhance their abilities and do special maneuvers.

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31 minutes ago, bluesguy said:

 Kind of like a paladin but without all the stupid LG stuff.

Just as an aside, 5th ed D&D doesn't force paladins to be lawful good. Paladins are defined by their "oath," a transcendent cause that they serve. Not all of them are shiny happy niceness; for instance, the Oath of Conquest or the Oath of Vengeance. (There's still the Oath of Devotion for the "classic" LG paladin.)

 

Dean Shomshak

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And, of course, martial arts are another option.  Remember: Martial Arts are not an eastern Asian thing.  They are simply regimented, stylized combat systems of regular patterns.  Boxing is a martial art, but so is one school of fencing or a particular region's teachings on how to fight as a knight.

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Some examples of warrior and rogue type talents from the upcoming Jolrhos Player's Guide:

 

BASH: You are able to strike your target so hard it interrupts the action they are taking.  This requires a successful attack roll and then the opponent must make a CON roll at -1 to keep doing what they are doing.

Cost: 2 points, +2 points per -1 penalty (based on Change Environment)

 

VICTORY RUSH: Gives the character a surge of morale and triumph with each defeated foe.  When a target is knocked out or killed, the character is healed 1d6 Endurance automatically.  Can only trigger once per turn.

Cost: 12 points

 

VALOR: This leadership talent inspires great confidence and courage in all around him.  The effect is an Aid of 1d6 Ego Defense* and defensive Presence each (only for fear and intimidation effects), fading at 5 points per turn.  Requires a Presence Roll at -1 and ½ DCV concentration over a full phase of incantation  

Cost: 5 points

 

CLOSING STANCE: This stance is used to close on and engage enemies at range, and is not useful for combat in other situations.  It adds 12m  of movement only for increasing half moves and grants +2 DCV against ranged attacks, while reducing OCV by 2 while in effect.

Cost: 5 points

 

LIGHT TREAD: Allows the character to move up to 10m over any surface without triggering any weight-based effects such as sound or traps; maximum movement half normal running speed.

Cost: 5 points

 

COWER: Causes attackers to make a Perception Roll at -2 or lose track of and ignore the character until they make an aggressive action.  This requires an attack roll and a Stealth Roll to succeed, and only works on a single target within 3m.

 

*All characters in Jolrhos Fantasy Hero start with EGO/5 in Mental Defense

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Here is a sample list of 10 "feats" from DND 5e that are favored by the warrior classes:

 

https://www.nerdsandscoundrels.com/fighter-feats/

 

To provide some possible rough hero translations, which could easily be written up as talents

 

Charger: 

Method 1: +12m movement, may only half move and attack, must move in a straight line, +2 CSL's with same.

Method 2: +12m movement, may only half move and shove, must move in a straight line, +X STR with same, only to shove.

 

Crusher:

Naked "Double KB" on up to Xd6 HKA, only crushing weapons.

 

Slasher:

Change Environment, -4m Running, No Range, Must be paired with slashing weapon attack.

 

Dual Wielder:

Prerequisite - Two Weapon Fighting

+2 DCV, only when dual wielding

 

Resilient:

50% Energy Damage Resistance, RAR: Ego, 3 Charges, Costs END

 

Lucky:

Not going to attempt this one, you can cost rerolls however you like in your game.

 

Weapon X Expert:

Fast Draw + Lightning Reflexes + CSL's with whatever weapon you like.

 

 

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On 8/30/2021 at 9:49 AM, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

They are talents, translated into D&D for 3rd edition :) Literally, that's the origin, they borrowed a Hero idea.

3e feats could be seen that way, sure, but he was talking about 4e powers.  4e stole from Hero even more dramatically, in that powers were game mechanical bundles that you could assign special effects to - they came with a sample description, but it was open to being what you wanted.

 

So, another answer is simply to let non-casters go ahead and buy powers. 

 

On 8/31/2021 at 2:25 PM, Christopher R Taylor said:

And, of course, martial arts are another option.  Remember: Martial Arts are not an eastern Asian thing.  

Excellent point.  

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I've not found martial / caster disparity to really be a problem in the Hero System. As others have mentioned, characteristics, Talents / Super Skills, and gear offer plenty of design space for non-casters to be impressive or extraordinary. 

 

Here's some materials I provided back in the day for FightersRogues, and other D&D type classes suggesting various ways to model common tropes, but it's not hard to dial in the awesome for non-casters using the tools provided by the system. 

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