Two questions regarding deeds of arms

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Two questions regarding deeds of arms

Post by larsdangly » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:54 pm

I have two questions regarding deeds of arms:

(1) As far as I can tell, there is no penalty for failing to perform a deed; i.e., if your deed die does not score a natural 3, you still succeed or fail at your attack as if no deed was attempted. Is this right? If so, doesn't it mean a warrior should ALWAYS attempt a deed every attack? It seems like there is nothing at risk of failure, so you can only gain by trying. That is fine with me if it is the intent, but I want to be sure I'm interpreting it correctly.

(2) There are many examples of deeds that imply results which don't involve bodily hard to the target. For example, certain disarming results. Is it assumed that you always do damage to a target on a successful deed, as per a normal attack, regardles of the deed's intent? This too is fine with me, though it could easily lead to some strange results. Like, you knock a foe's sword from his hand and he immediately falls over dead.

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Re: Two questions regarding deeds of arms

Post by shadewest » Sat Jun 02, 2012 4:03 pm

You are correct on all counts. You might as well call a deed, since you still get a normal hit. You do get normal damage for a successful hit, including the value for the deed die, and the deed goes off as well. Of course, if your deed is something that wouldn't cause damage, your judge might make a ruling.
...unless the judge rules otherwise.

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Re: Two questions regarding deeds of arms

Post by TheNobleDrake » Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:01 pm

I agree with everything that shadewest has said in his post, and would also like to point out that the warrior or dwarf performing the deed can choose to deal subdual damage with a non-lethal deed by rolling one smaller die for damage... that way no one drops dead from a particularly expert disarm.

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Re: Two questions regarding deeds of arms

Post by Ravenheart87 » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:40 pm

larsdangly wrote:Like, you knock a foe's sword from his hand and he immediately falls over dead.
Well, if you chop down someone's arm, he's not only disarmed, but will possibly die too. :)
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Re: Two questions regarding deeds of arms

Post by larsdangly » Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:01 am

Perhaps the reasonable thing to do is simply decide on the fly whether damage should be normal or subdual based on the intent of the deed. If you try to blind someone with an axe, that is obviously normal damage; if you attempt the same thing by throwing sand in their face, that is obviously subdual damage. And so forth.

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Re: Two questions regarding deeds of arms

Post by Colin » Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:36 am

larsdangly wrote:Perhaps the reasonable thing to do is simply decide on the fly whether damage should be normal or subdual based on the intent of the deed. If you try to blind someone with an axe, that is obviously normal damage; if you attempt the same thing by throwing sand in their face, that is obviously subdual damage. And so forth.
I'd simply rule that attacks/deeds that aren't meant to actively cause damage (such as a disarm) *don't cause damage*. Reason over rules. :)

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Re: Two questions regarding deeds of arms

Post by GnomeBoy » Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:05 am

RAD Colin wrote:I'd simply rule that attacks/deeds that aren't meant to actively cause damage (such as a disarm) *don't cause damage*. Reason over rules. :)
Do you mean that as in 'never'?

"I'll kick him in the wrist, causing him to drop that axe..." *rolls dice*

I'd leave it up to the player if they don't want to deal damage, unless there were some severe, overriding circumstances...
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Re: Two questions regarding deeds of arms

Post by larsdangly » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:53 pm

Yah, some sort of balance is probably called for here; you don't want to punish the players for dreaming up deeds by having their characters not do any sort of damage. They will quickly figure out they have to play it safe and just deliver bland attacks if they want to put anyone on the ground.

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Re: Two questions regarding deeds of arms

Post by Colin » Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:52 pm

GnomeBoy wrote:
RAD Colin wrote:I'd simply rule that attacks/deeds that aren't meant to actively cause damage (such as a disarm) *don't cause damage*. Reason over rules. :)
Do you mean that as in 'never'?

"I'll kick him in the wrist, causing him to drop that axe..." *rolls dice*

I'd leave it up to the player if they don't want to deal damage, unless there were some severe, overriding circumstances...
No, I mean that as in, "If the attack would not logically cause any damage, subdual or real, it won't cause damage." If you kick someone in the wrist, of course it could cause damage. On the other hand, if you chop the handle of the axe in twain, no damage to anything but the axe.

This is not a Judge vs. Player issue, it's simply an issue of clear intent/description of the Deed, and making obvious calls based on Player and Judge cooperation.

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Re: Two questions regarding deeds of arms

Post by TheNobleDrake » Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:59 pm

My method of "reason over rules", a mantra I can firmly stand by, is this:

roll attack with deed as normal, describe whatever results occur in the most reasonably way possible:

Examples, based on the disarm deed and enough damage to reduce a foe to 0 hp.

A) Normal damage - the foe is crippled with the loss of an appendage, and in shock at the experience, no longer willing to fight but still alive.

Had he not hit zero HP, he'd be fighting through the pain and behaving normally... with one less hand.

B) Subdual damage - the foe loses his weapon, and the will to bother trying to pick it up and continue the fight.

Had he not hit zero HP, he'd probably dive for his weapon and rejoin the fight.

Basically, I use reason to change what 0 HP means - not to take the damage dice out of the player's hands.

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Re: Two questions regarding deeds of arms

Post by Colin » Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:05 pm

larsdangly wrote:Yah, some sort of balance is probably called for here; you don't want to punish the players for dreaming up deeds by having their characters not do any sort of damage. They will quickly figure out they have to play it safe and just deliver bland attacks if they want to put anyone on the ground.
What exactly is unbalancing about having that a Deed that wouldn't logically cause any damage, not do any damage? How exactly is this "punishing" them? I'm not that arbitrary or control freakish, and luckily my Players wouldn't disagree with logical rulings nor be so uncreative as to just spam boring attacks instead. I work with my Players, and give them leeway narrating scenes too (f'rinstance, if they want to use/grab, etc. something that would logically be in their surroundings, *even if I didn't actually describe it* I let them).

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Re: Two questions regarding deeds of arms

Post by Colin » Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:12 pm

TheNobleDrake wrote:My method of "reason over rules", a mantra I can firmly stand by, is this:

roll attack with deed as normal, describe whatever results occur in the most reasonably way possible:

Examples, based on the disarm deed and enough damage to reduce a foe to 0 hp.

A) Normal damage - the foe is crippled with the loss of an appendage, and in shock at the experience, no longer willing to fight but still alive.

Had he not hit zero HP, he'd be fighting through the pain and behaving normally... with one less hand.

B) Subdual damage - the foe loses his weapon, and the will to bother trying to pick it up and continue the fight.

Had he not hit zero HP, he'd probably dive for his weapon and rejoin the fight.

Basically, I use reason to change what 0 HP means - not to take the damage dice out of the player's hands.
Where I'd differ is that I'd have most opponents surrender or flee if they lost their weapon, long before their HPs were depleted. I evaluate everything based on what would be most likely to happen given the situation and individual (or would be the most dramatic and fun), and it doesn't always come down to simply whittling away HPs to achieve any lasting impact. :)

I wouldn't take the ability of the Players to have an impact out of their hands just by forcing them to deplete HPs.

I need to shut up now though, as this is entering houserule debate territory and has gone beyond the OP's initial questions. Have fun with whatever approaches you all use. :)

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Re: Two questions regarding deeds of arms

Post by reverenddak » Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:13 am

Yes on both.

Don't forget that DCC RPG (as with older editions of D&D), combat it abstract. Damage can reflect more than physical damage, such as cuts & bruises, but it also represents the breaking down of ability to defend against dying. So doing damage, even though the "mighty deed" was going for a disarm, is fine. You can interpret a low Deed roll to mean you didn't disarm him, but you nicked his wrist instead. Or a really high Deed roll can mean you literally cut off his arm. Get creative.

My players go for the eyes or the neck all the time. A killing blow with successful Deed roll is always the most extreme version THEY can think of, decapitation or eyeballs at the end of their spears. An unsuccessful Deed roll but a hit will always shave some eye lashes or nick their adam's apple. And don't forget to add some color when they fumble or crit.

But yes, Warrior/Dwarves that don't ALWAYS declare a Mighty Deed are doing it wrong. They absolutely should.
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Re: Two questions regarding deeds of arms

Post by bill4935 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:12 pm

reverenddak wrote: But yes, Warrior/Dwarves that don't ALWAYS declare a Mighty Deed are doing it wrong. They absolutely should.
I agree that it has no downside, but I can see a couple of reasons why my Warriors (and I'm going to play nothing but) would not declare a deed every time, or not use my most devastating move over and over.

1. To keep combat moving briskly and leave time for other characters to get into combat, or to save game time for explorin' and jawin', so other characters' specialities can be used.

2. I really really like the Mighty Deeds for the implication that players share some of the responsibility to tell a good story along with the gamemaster. Well of course they do, but this rule is good reinforcement. I think I would try matching the Deed to the story. Are we in the climax of the night's adventure, or just battling a flood of run-of-the-mill phosphorescent squid-beetles? To tell a good story, you have to keep the excitement building, right?

So at the very beginning of a big battle I might use the Deed Die to attempt low-key moves like knockbacks or disarming, and then as things get more intense switch to more dramatic moves (swashbuckling, flips, etc) and when facing the Big Bad I would attempt grand gestures like dismemberment or blinding...

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Re: Two questions regarding deeds of arms

Post by GnomeBoy » Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:32 pm

Colin, I hope I didn't get your dander up -- certainly didn't mean to... Just wanted to clarify what sounded like an absolute.

The way Deeds were presented to me (and that was in a pre-Beta playtest) was that Deeds let you do some tricky maneuver AND deal damage, too, all in one swell foop. In some cases, it could even look like you got 'two' actions (a la damage and a disarm).

As a GM, I'd be reluctant to deny somebody's Deed doing damage, unless there were some heavily mitigating circumstances. Sundering the axe handle of a foe in two? Fine, and your sword slashed across his chest, too, all Jim Kirk-like...

Anyway, that's my take on it...
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Re: Two questions regarding deeds of arms

Post by Colin » Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:20 pm

GnomeBoy wrote:Colin, I hope I didn't get your dander up -- certainly didn't mean to...
No worries, you'd need to dress a lot more provocatively to achieve the former. ;)

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Re: Two questions regarding deeds of arms

Post by GnomeBoy » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:51 pm

*tidies décolletage*
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Re: Two questions regarding deeds of arms

Post by Devil Swine » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:06 am

This seems too much for me. Every round I have three warriors doing Deeds all over the place? With no reason to not do a deed they will be done every round! At the same time think about the npc warriors they will be fighting? Why would ANY warrior or dwarf npc ever attack the pc's without a disarm/blind/trip? Every game will be filled with the pc's being disarmed,blinded and beaten to a pulp.

The PC's going up against 6 warriors all doing MD every round? Silly.

Seems like everyone fell into the silly 3.5/4E mind set that if every attack isn't some over the top mind blowing cool move its somehow boring and cookie cutter wrong.

Now maybe its supposed to be a PC ability only (though I cant find that said anywhere). If so it still bothers me as it will make every encounter insanely harder to build so that its a challenge but not a death sentence.

Now I don't mind someone going for a disarm now and then or a blinding attack or whatever but there needs to be at least some balance to it.


If you remove the Deed die used for to hit and damage IF they do a MD you will end up with MD's only done when there is a appropriately valid need for such heroic actions.

I think this will be my house rule anyway.

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Re: Two questions regarding deeds of arms

Post by TheNobleDrake » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:38 am

Devil Swine: I think if you try it out - don't worry about building encounters specifically to account for Deed possibilities, just build encounters that you think would be cool and let the Players do as they wish... and if it is a death sentence or a cakewalk, so what? Those are fun too -you might actually find that you like it.

As for whether NPCs are meant to use PC classes... a quick read-through of the Men & Magicians section of the Monsters chapter shows spellcasters with per day limits on spells, an assassin with a completely different skill system than the Thief, a berserker and a knight both devoid of Mighty Deeds, and a list of others showing that NPCs actually using the same class rules as PCs is a rare thing.

All in all, I think that you will find your worries are easily solved by just letting PCs have their awesome tricks, and fill their lives with terrible monsters that will push them to their very limits.

Edit to add: Also, removing the Deed die from to-hit and damage will not encourage use of Deeds when the situation grows dire... it will encourage only using Deeds against foes you are likely to destroy in one hit.

...and it also basically makes the Warrior the least likely to hit a foe, or when leaving the to-hit bonus and removing the damage in exchange for the Deed, leaves the Warrior without the one thing that really gives them an advantage over other classes when using weapons.

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Re: Two questions regarding deeds of arms

Post by larsdangly » Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:45 pm

That's right; paying a penalty of the deed die on the to-hit roll will make it pretty unlikely you would ever attempt deeds, unless you were in a circumstance that required some unusual outcome to win. Also note that if you do it this way your chance of succeeding at a deed won't actually rise much with level because you have to succeed at the attack for a deed to occur, and your attack roll will be stalled at the same bonus you had at 0 level.

I decided to just play it as written and encourage everyone to make quick decisions about their deeds. I suspect people will self-edit by just rolling normal to-hits when they inevitably can't think of anything to do some rounds.

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Re: Two questions regarding deeds of arms

Post by TheNobleDrake » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:10 pm

larsdangly wrote:I suspect people will self-edit by just rolling normal to-hits when they inevitably can't think of anything to do some rounds.
I have actually decided that Deeds are so integral to the contribution made by Warrior and Dwarf class characters that there will be no such thing as "I didn't do a Deed this round."

Of course, I am taking the work of the player and making a default list of Deeds - weapon type used determines the standard default Deed, unless the player makes a signature Deed list as recommended in the book.

I would encourage others to try it out as well - or at the very least, treat any undeclared Deeds as defensive maneuvers.

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Re: Two questions regarding deeds of arms

Post by Devil Swine » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:36 pm

Played this afternoon as a player in one of my friends DCC adventures as a 2nd level warrior. My default MD was to disarm but I did a ton of trips,cuts above eyes to blind,slashing of armor straps and knocking monsters off stairs and a few times into pools.

It was stupid how easy it was. Granted I think this is one strong example of why starting at higher levels is a bad idea and why with a brand new system that the GM isn't used to its better to start with a bought module than a homemade conversion.

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Re: Two questions regarding deeds of arms

Post by GnomeBoy » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:54 pm

Devil Swine wrote:...With no reason to not do a deed they will be done every round!...
Attempted every round, not done. The Deed only gets done if the attack succeeds and the Deed die result is high enough in your opinion as a judge to do what was attempted in the current circumstances. You can't blind a man wearing a full face plate with a club.

There may perhaps be a bonus if the Deeds are dirty and done dirt cheap...
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Re: Two questions regarding deeds of arms

Post by drnate29 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:22 am

Disclaimer: I have not played the game yet, just read through the rules fairly thoroughly. That said, I can see DevilSwine's point. MD's were my biggest balance concern after looking through the book. It seems like MD's would happen quite a bit by about 4th Lv and would lead to a lot of walk-overs by the party and the feeling that Fighters and Dwarves are a lot more powerful than other classes. I think most creative players could come up with ways that a successful MD would nearly eliminate a foe (e.g. blind, chop off limb, etc.). Likewise, while I fully agree that DCC involves PC's actively participating in the storymaking, I don't think players should be asked to not have their PC's try their best to win a combat. So far, I haven't heard any counterarguments to DevilSwine's point that convince me that MD's as listed would not be overpowered. I like the concept, by the implementation might need to be tweaked for some.

I'd be interested in other's houserules for MD's (as well as compelling arguements why MD's aren't overpowered) from those who have played the game. One thought I'd have to to say MD's occur on Natural 20's, and a priori create a list for each character of roughly 6 things the MD would do. Then its a d6 roll to find out. The list of possible MD results could be based on the PC or the weapon used.

Very much interested in feedback, positive or negative!

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Re: Two questions regarding deeds of arms

Post by Raven_Crowking » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:34 am

drnate29 wrote:Disclaimer: I have not played the game yet, just read through the rules fairly thoroughly. That said, I can see DevilSwine's point. MD's were my biggest balance concern after looking through the book. It seems like MD's would happen quite a bit by about 4th Lv and would lead to a lot of walk-overs by the party and the feeling that Fighters and Dwarves are a lot more powerful than other classes. I think most creative players could come up with ways that a successful MD would nearly eliminate a foe (e.g. blind, chop off limb, etc.). Likewise, while I fully agree that DCC involves PC's actively participating in the storymaking, I don't think players should be asked to not have their PC's try their best to win a combat. So far, I haven't heard any counterarguments to DevilSwine's point that convince me that MD's as listed would not be overpowered. I like the concept, by the implementation might need to be tweaked for some.

I'd be interested in other's houserules for MD's (as well as compelling arguements why MD's aren't overpowered) from those who have played the game. One thought I'd have to to say MD's occur on Natural 20's, and a priori create a list for each character of roughly 6 things the MD would do. Then its a d6 roll to find out. The list of possible MD results could be based on the PC or the weapon used.

Very much interested in feedback, positive or negative!
The way I read the rules, a successful Mighty Deed has done something, but the degree to which it is successful determines just how much is done. Moreover, the opponent also has a bearing....what might chop the hand off a lesser opponent might give a more powerful opponent a negative to his attack rolls instead. In some cases, the judge may allow the opponent to make a save.

There are examples in the book. If you examine those examples, it should become clear that a thing can be a Deed without being an autowin. Or, in some cases, a Deed may well be enough to change the course of an entire combat. So what? The easier the encounter, the fewer the XP earned. Let the players feel mighty once in a while. A well-cast spell will do the same.

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