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An Honor & Intrigue Review

 
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Baelor
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:21 pm    Post subject: An Honor & Intrigue Review Reply with quote

I posted part one of a review of Honor & Intrigue, along with some thoughts on converting the setting to run historical fiction in an earlier period - namely the mid-fifteenth century.

Why then you ask? Because the inspiration for the idea was the fine series Tom Swan and the Head of St. George.

I will be posting part two next week, which will have more of the H&I part of things.

You can view the post here:

http://d-infinity.net/blog/clint-staples/book-review-and-little-more-part-one-tom-swan-christian-cameron
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Baelor
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Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Part two of a review of Honor & Intrigue and the Tom Swan stories with an eye toward an RPG experience in the same period and style has been posted today at d-Infinity.net. You can find it here, if it interests you:

http://d-infinity.net/blog/clint-staples/book-review-and-little-more-part-two-christian-camerons-tom-swan-game-honr
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BASHMAN
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very cool. Regarding heavier armor in medieval times, that seems like an interesting idea; more armor between two combatants getting an Advantage bump. Is this meant to also continue using the "when you Yield Advantage you lose more the first time" when wearing armor?

Allowing more starting Advantage would mitigate this drawback I think, without eliminating it.

What if there are more than 2 people fighting? Is it the most heavily armored person in the combat (maybe +1 to both in case of a tie).

Using RAW, I have had the PCs run into armored enemies on a few occasions, and those fights were HARD. The master swordsman was squaring off against a guy with a kite shield, plate mail, and helmet. At first, she'd hit and have most of her damage swallowed by his 1d6+1 soak from armor.

When the PC began taking called shots, she could do damage to him, but had the problem of not hitting the way she usually does (-4 to hit on top of the opponent's already good Defense and Mastered Parry with a Shield and Mastered Dodge) meant a much higher "whiff" factor than normal. When she did get a hit in, he Yielded Advantage. He was a master of one style (she was a master of 3) so his Advantage dropped from 4 to 2.

At this point she became able to turn the tables on him, spending Fortune for a Bonus Die on a Called Shot lunge. She got a Mighty Success (if he Yielded Advantage, he'd have to Yield 2 and lose anyway) and found his throat hiding beneath a gap in his gorget....

But it was definitely one of the most difficult one-on-one fights she'd ever been in.
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Baelor
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had envisioned it as an add to the existing system. so the more heavily armoured fighter would still Yield more Advantage , but he would start with higher Advantage, and get the benefit of that it would also encourage armoured folks to 'take the hit' and rely on their armour value; in order to keep the Advantage.

I don't know how it would work in a melee. I have not actually had a chance to playtest it. But I would probably give it to the single heaviest armoured person. This would encourage players to get and wear armour, which reflects the Swan stories well.

I would probably also have a short list of situations in which heavy armour did not grant Advantage. Some of these might be tactical, like falling prone, which could encourage smart play on the part of the disAdvantaged.

As for the armoured combats becoming hard due to high skill people not being able to the get one in regularly, I think some of that will be offset by the heavier damage of the common weapons [most are 1d6+1 or 1d6+2]. Fighting Schools with techniques for penetrating armour were around then, and things like half-swording and similar can help with that, so new [or rather old] fighting schools would help. I also suspect that you will have more people choosing Might in order to wear armour and hit harder.

having said all of the above, it is just a set of guesses. It would all need to be tested to be sure. I think the fact that your example has the high skill person winning after a tough exchange is accurate and what would be expected in teh RAW situation. My question would be 'Was it fun for the player and Gm to go through, or simply frustrating?'
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BASHMAN
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a good point about the damage; the PC in question was not very strong because she didn't need to be to be a deadly combatant 90% of the time (and of course, she DID kill the guy; it was just not a cakewalk).
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Baelor
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My big concern in the example is whether the fight dragged, or remained exciting. One of the things I liked a lot about H&I was that the fights never descended to slugfests like D&D.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It remained exciting; she had to begin using other maneuvers to help get an edge and fend him off. It was also exciting in the sense that she was in actual danger, where most duelists she can beat rather easily. She even Yielded some Advantage in that fight (she still had an edge over him though).
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Baelor
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome!

That is one of the best parts of this game, IMHO.

The fights are always exciting, at least in the games that I have run. And that is in large part due to the Advantage system, the manuevers, and the fighting schools, but also because of the fluid, inclusive nature of the game. Rather than strict definitions of things, the game encourages a general approach to Career definition and what you can and cannot do in a situation.
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