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Honor + Intrigue: New Dueling Maneuvers

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BASHMAN
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Honor + Intrigue: New Dueling Maneuvers

Post by BASHMAN »

So I had been thinking about adding a couple new Dueling Maneuvers to Honor + Intrigue and wanted to see what people thought of them. I am also looking for a better idea for a name for the "Guard" maneuver (I will point out that "On Guard" is right out because "En Garde" has another mechanical significance in the game vis-a-vis Advantage).

Guard
An enemy who becomes predictable becomes much less dangerous. You anticipate their mode of attack and prepare to defend against it.
Minor Action.
Choose an offensive Melee or Brawl maneuver. Your opponent gains a Penalty Die to use it against you. This lasts until you disengage (either on purpose or by Yielding Advantage), or use Guard again to name a different maneuver.
Mastery: Choose 2 maneuvers when you use Guard.

Study Opponent
Minor Action.
The GM will secretly roll a Savvy + Swordsman (Career) test for you vs. the opponent's Swordsman Career. If you succeed, you learn one fact about their fighting technique. On a Mighty Success you learn 2 facts. On a Calamitous Failure, you learn a false fact. Some examples of facts you can learn (you get to choose what type you want to learn):
  • What dueling style the opponent is using, and their level of mastery.
  • Their best Quality.
  • Their Rank in one Combat ability you've seen them use.
  • Their Rank in Swordsman career
  • What defenses they have against one particular maneuver. This would include if they are using Guard against it, as well as the difficulty to use it on them.
  • Their bonus to up to two maneuvers you've seen them do (includes whether they are a master of that maneuver or not).
Mastery: Bonus Die to use Study Opponent and +1 to resist Study Opponent by others.

As for Study Opponent, any other example "Facts" you should be able to discover?

The reason for creation of these two would be to increase the creativity of people engaged in a duel and prevent "Rinse & Repeat" use of dueling maneuvers (this hasn't been a problem in my own games, but I could see how some people with a particular technique maxed out might just keep using it all the time). If the enemy keeps using Bind, you Guard against Bind, and now they have a penalty die to try to Bind you. So they might just try something else. Since you can also choose to Guard against Bladework, you might make the enemy have to do something more risky like Lunge, or based on a less powerful Quality like Quick-Cut.

I was also considering creating a new Dueling Style that uses both these maneuvers (it is a very academic approach to swordsmanship) and one of the benefits of the style would be if an enemy uses a maneuver you are using Guard against and misses you, you can use Riposte against them.

As for execution at the table, I can see two ways of doing this.
1. Open declaration. When you use Guard, you say "I am guarding against X maneuver". This means the other person is probably less likely to use it on you.
2. Secret "match and show" style. When you use Guard, you write down the maneuver on a slip of paper. If someone uses the maneuver on you, you reveal it, and the penalty die is applied to the roll.

Both methods have their pros and cons. I'm thinking that which style (Open or Secret) be left up to the GM.

Do these maneuvers seem useful? Would you use them in your game? I am seeking questions and comments?
Chris Rutkowsky
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Post by The_GIT »

Hi Chris

I like the Guard manoeuvre but I'm not so keen on Study Opponent as a manoeuvre - it feels more like a Boon.

Also, for Guard, how about Anticipate, Intercept, Interrupt, Intercede, Nullify, Neutralize, Hinder, Suppress, Inhibit, Deflect, Reject, Deter, Impede, Thwart, Occlude, Obstruct, Prevent, Hold Back, Avert, Forfend, Ward, Obviate etc?
If things are to remain the same then there will have to be a lot of changes!
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Post by BASHMAN »

I think we are going to use "Anticipate Maneuver".

Study Opponent is somewhat important to allow as it can serve as an aid to (or way around) "Anticipate Maneuver".
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Post by The_GIT »

BASHMAN wrote:I think we are going to use "Anticipate Maneuver".
I personally preferred "Forfend" for the Guard manoeuvre but "Anticipate" is probably easier to understand.
BASHMAN wrote:Study Opponent is somewhat important to allow as it can serve as an aid to (or way around) "Anticipate Maneuver".
I can see how Study Opponent can help Guard but I'm not really sure how it acts as a way around. Also, I'm not against Study Opponent as a game mechanic. I just don't see it as a manoeuvre; I do see it as a useful Boon that isn't tied in with any particular fencing style.
If things are to remain the same then there will have to be a lot of changes!
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Post by BASHMAN »

The "Maneuver" part is that you are spending time and though (taking a minor action) that would otherwise have been used to do something else. This doesn't mean you are standing still doing nothing while doing it, just that you get fewer additional actions.

The part of The Princess Bride, during the duel "So you're using Bonetti's defense against me, huh?" etc. is both of them using Study Opponent and sizing each other up.

As a Boon, it would be too expensive I think. A Boon is worth double what a Maneuver is (Maneuver Mastery is a Boon that grants 2 mastered Maneuvers).

Also as a Boon it would mean it is something that only people who have that Boon could do; but I think anybody with a Dueling Style and / or the Duelist career ought to be able to do it.

That said, to make it more exclusive the maneuver might be limited to REQUIRE ranks in the Duelist (or Swordsman, etc.) career. Since not every character has this, it would mean they don't have the technical / formal training and cannot deduce as much from it.
Chris Rutkowsky
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Post by The_GIT »

BASHMAN wrote:That said, to make it more exclusive the maneuver might be limited to REQUIRE ranks in the Duelist (or Swordsman, etc.) career. Since not every character has this, it would mean they don't have the technical / formal training and cannot deduce as much from it.
This idea sells me on the manoeuvre option! By doing this you could allow a Duelist or Swordsman to chose this manoeuvre instead of one of the manoeuvres usually favoured by their dueling style.

Your point about Boons is well made.
If things are to remain the same then there will have to be a lot of changes!
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Post by BASHMAN »

I have been thinking about it, and I like the idea of using the word "Stance" in the "Guard" maneuver. Maybe "Forfending Stance"?
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Post by The_GIT »

"Forfending Stance" sounds pretty cool to me. I think using the word Stance does make sense - and you already know I like the word Forfend :)
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Post by The_GIT »

BTW - does the creation of these new manoeuvres mean you will be publishing a new H+I product as well? All the other duelling styles etc have been added in other products such as adventures and the GM screen.
If things are to remain the same then there will have to be a lot of changes!
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