7
\$\begingroup\$

I have been in the following situation as a player in the past and now as a GM I have a player facing the same problem:

The Character in question is using a weapon with a relatively high WGS of 12. The other characters (4-6) go up to 9, most around 8. Enemies go up to 10 at most.

Because of that each attack costs them more Ticks than the other players, so compared to other Characters this player gets to act less often the longer the fight goes. Between each attack the Character has to occasionally defend themself consuming even more ticks before they can act.

When the are finally able to attack (given they score a hit), even small enemies (think ratlings) survive by a few HP. One-Hit-KOs are rare.

Now the player is bugged out because their actions do not feel satisfying. They get to act after long waiting times and the result does not feel appropriately rewarding. Missing a hit is extremely frustrating. Enemies surviving the hit by just a bit require another attack with long waiting time or an allay, who gets to take the glory.

Seeing everyone acting about twice, before you can do anything (other than defending), kills any feeling of meaningful participation for them.

What can we (the player or me the GM) do, to make combat for this Character feel more rewarding?

Further problems we see/feel:

  • Calling maneuvers ist even more risky: Handicapping your rare chance to strike increases the number of turns "wasted" by missing the enemy. Maneuvers halving damage impact large slow weapons even more than other wepaons.
  • Performing opportunity attacks: Due to the high WGS you will be ahead 30 Ticks very fast, taking away the ability for any reaction, rendering the Character vulnerable.

Options we tried or thought about:

  • Using magic in combat: The Character in question does not use a lot of magic and has not invested much in this direction so far.
  • Using even more Ticks to seek a gap: It's 6 Ticks for +3 on their attack roll. It seems to be better for enemies with exceptionally high defence. Goes for all characters anyway.
  • Doing other things in combat: The player wants to actively participate not be "just suppoorting". Making a character not use his mighty twohanded weapon and instead distracting enemies also feels really bad.
  • Letting the player help the GM in managing: Works sometimes, but if the player gets to act, the GM or another player has to pick up that managing job again, distracting the flow.
  • Lowering the weapons WGS by magic or crafting: It is expensive and other player can do the same, shifting the problem but not solving it.
  • Speeding up combat: As a GM I already try to take the enemies turns as fast as possible because combat is just time consuming. Making the other players rush their turns does not go down well with anyone.

Answers should be based on experience with Splittermond.

Solutions using the the rules (did we miss something?) or altering handling at the table (other than just letting them help manage; we tried) are equally welcome.

Changing Character/used Weapon is not a preferred solution.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ What moonsign and masteries does the character have? What weapon are you using? \$\endgroup\$ – Akixkisu Mar 3 at 10:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ They are using a primarily a Zweihänder and their Moonsign is the Second Face. But the problem encompasses most two-handed weapons. For masteries they got Vorstürmen, Todesschlag and Umreißen \$\endgroup\$ – Kekse Mar 3 at 10:29
6
\$\begingroup\$

You are addressing two problems:

  1. lack of satisfaction from the impact the player has on the fight
  2. boredom because of a low amount of actions

The first one is more complex:

(I will talk about early game numbers here)

The balancing aspect

I do often see characters use big weapons and usually those hit decently hard, since from an in character perspective there is no reason to choose a really heavy weapon which results in higher weapon speed ratings, unless you know how to handle them. If you know how to use it, you should hit most enemies with more than one success grade ("Erfolgsgrad") which results in twice the bonus damage with most heavy weapons, because auf the heavy ("Wuchtig") feature of the weapon. Which in turn results in far higher damage numbers than normal swordplay.

I commonly see numbers of about 20-30 point of damage from a single swing of a two handed battle axe, while swords more often than not deal single digit damage. If these numbers do not suffice to kill or heavily wound your PCs opponents, that would surprise me.

The playstyle and tactics aspect

I do see your point, that if you only look at which weapon does the highest average points of damage per "Tick" over a very long fight, you would most likely pick a sword or spear ("Klingenstab" for example). The unquestionable tactical advantage is that an early heavy hit from a big weapon, wounds most standard enemies, decreasing their threat potential by taking at least one row of lifepoints from them. This advantage multiplies if we are talking wide attacks ("Rundschlag").

In addition to that, heavy weapons are bigger and therefore the character uses far more space, giving you other tactical aspects to play with. You as a gm can especially use that to have tactically interesting fights. Introduce terrain into your fights at try to encourage your players to make use of their surroundings.

If your player does not see these effects they maybe chose his weapon poorly and you as a gm can lead them to something more suited to their needs.

The experience and fantasy aspect

Unless your group is going for the typical "dice throw orgy", you can simply describe the effects their blows have on the opponents with far more appeal. Let them cleave deep wounds into the enemies they kill with the big hits. Have the little ratlings be flung away two meters (close enough so they can back at them without a "walking" action). Simply let them know that they pose a threat to the enemies and that the enemies know that.

The boredom aspect

I would not recommend to make fights faster. This makes the fights even more about the raw numbers, which is exactly what causes the first big problem. If you have few actions, every single one counts. Teach the player to think about what they do instead of blindly hacking away.

Instead of directly telling your players to do so you can have their enemies use the surroundings and teach your players the useful aspects of that with first hand experience. If your player simply wants to kill and throw a lot of dice they should go for a quicker playstyle and roll smaller weapons. The whole thing comes down to what they enjoy more.

I hope this gives you some points to work with.

| improve this answer | |
\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.