We need to talk about the Slayer

The place for discussion of Cubicle 7 and Sophisticated Games' "Adventures in Middle-earth" OGL setting.
Otaku-sempai
Posts: 3126
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 2:45 am
Location: Lackawanna, NY

Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Otaku-sempai » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:04 pm

BookBarbarian wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:41 pm
Otaku-sempai wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:37 pm
I feel like I must be missing something here. In this context, what does 'light' mean in reference to the Dwarf Slayer and his tower shield (1d6, light)? Isn't the tower shield essentially the same thing as a great shield which weighs around 35 lbs.? I am not finding rules in AiMe (Player's Guide) for 'shield charge".
Light would be a necessary property to attack with a weapon in the offhand as a bonus action, but you actually need both weapons to be Light to do it according to the rules for TWF.
Okay. Neither a 35 nor 45 pound shield should be classed as 'light'. I can see how a standard Great Shield is effectively a Tower Shield (unofficial as it may be) for a Dwarf, but that just makes matters worse for attempting to use it for a bash.
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

User avatar
Anarfin
Posts: 62
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:21 am

Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Anarfin » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:22 pm

BookBarbarian wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:39 pm
You're free to rule however you want, but I find messing with the Action Economy, can have very undesirable consequences. Also I don't like giving things that are unique to a certain Class, Subclass, or Virtue away for free, but again you can rule as you wish.
I also agree that that "shield charge" declaration could be resolved differently (a normal attack action instead regular attacks or one of them, with some possible features like Shove if the Tauler is no more than one size larger than hero), but that single d6+5 (STR and BF bonus) hit wouldn't make any difference in the end. The problem with Dwarven Slayer lies elsewhere.
Otaku-sempai wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:04 pm
BookBarbarian wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:41 pm
Light would be a necessary property to attack with a weapon in the offhand as a bonus action, but you actually need both weapons to be Light to do it according to the rules for TWF.
Okay. A 35 or 45 pound shield should definitely not be counted as 'light'. I can see how a standard Great Shield is effectively a Tower Shield (unofficial as it may be) for a Dwarf, but that just makes matters worse for attempting to use it for a bash.
Yes, but still GM could base his ruling on Warrior feature or cultural virtue and any of them requires the shield to be 'light'.
Again, this one houserule to allow him "shield charge" (for 5 dmg after reduction at best) was not the reason why the 5th lvl hero beated almost single-handedly creature with CR9... ;]

Otaku-sempai
Posts: 3126
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 2:45 am
Location: Lackawanna, NY

Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Otaku-sempai » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:47 pm

Anarfin wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:22 pm
Yes, but still GM could base his ruling on Warrior feature or cultural virtue and any of them requires the shield to be 'light'.
Again, this one houserule to allow him "shield charge" was not the reason why the 5th lvl hero beated almost single-handedly creature with CR9... ;]
Yes, though that does not mean that the Great Shield should arbitrarily be re-classed as 'light', especially as it requires a Strength of 13 to wield effectively. Instead, the Dwarf Slayer should have been required to use a regular shield, maybe even a buckler (which is missing a write-up for AiMe). When I look under Weapons, I don't see any weapon weighing more than 3 lbs. listed as 'light', and not all of those. A regular Shield is 6 lbs. And, by the way, I am not attributing the character's victory to the charge.

I suggest the following stats for Buckler:
Cost: 5s; Armour: +1; Strength: - ; Stealth: - ; Weight: 3 lb.; Notes: If wielded offensively, a Buckler causes 1d4 bludgeoning damage and is classed as 'light'.

And the description (from TOR):
Buckler
Circular and made of wood reinforced by a protruding metal boss, bucklers are usually smaller and lighter than regular shields.
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

User avatar
Anarfin
Posts: 62
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:21 am

Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Anarfin » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:34 pm

Otaku-sempai wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:47 pm
Yes, though that does not mean that the Great Shield should arbitrarily be re-classed as 'light', especially as it requires a Strength of 13 to wield effectively.
Agreed. Still that re-classing was not the point of this discussion as it had neglible impact on the outcome of this encounter :)
Otaku-sempai wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:47 pm
Instead, the Dwarf Slayer should have been required to use a regular shield, maybe even a buckler (which is missing a write-up for AiMe).
And that's something I do not understand. Why he should have been requred to use specific shield type (especially buckler)? Because he's a Dwarf or a Slayer?

As for the buckler, I am not sure if they are even mentioned in Tolkien's books and it's worth to remark that designers specifically emphasized that "Only weapons and armour specifically mentioned in Tolkien's works are included in these tables [...]" AiME PG p.151
On my part, I am glad that bucklers, crossbows and other "vanilla D&D-ish fantasy weapons" were omitted in the weapons table :)

Getting back to the topic - the problem with Slayer lies in his resistance and ability to pump up his AC value beyond capabilities of ordinary Warrior. That is something that probably requires rebalancing and I do not think that introducing "buckler as a barbarian shield" (or even taking the proficiency in Great Shields from that class) would solve that problem.

User avatar
Majestic
Posts: 1728
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:47 pm
Location: Seattle, Washington

Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Majestic » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:18 pm

Excellent summary of the battle! Sounds like it was still a thrilling battle, though I definitely understand the concern of how powerful the Slayer is.

FWIW, I've found that the CRs of monsters and the overall formulas are at best just a ballpark. This is even worse in 'regular' 5E, where you (often) have even more powerful magic weapons. In my ongoing 5E D&D game, I've tried to be frugal in distributing magical gear, and yet my party is so large and powerful (they're about 7th level) that I have to take what the formula says would be a 'Deadly' encounter, double it, and then add some more besides! All that, and they still usually waltz through their opponents (including a dragon with legendary actions and lair actions).

In my AME game, the characters are higher level, have gained powerful magical weapons (after helping reclaim the Greydelve), and have quite powerful abilities, too, so I understand where you're at (back in TOR they chased off a Ringwraith, and now in AME they defeated a dragon!).

BTW, there are Buckler's in AME (and TOR). Our Mirkwood Elf has a Spearman's Shield (see p. 159 of the PG) which is a buckler.
Michebugio wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:01 am
Before initiative: the Treasure Hunter enters alone the Millfort, while the other Companions (a Scholar, a Wanderer and the Dwarf Slayer) wait at some distance; he retrieves the Roadwarden’s staff, but gets ambushed by Tauler. Tauler hits him with its beak during the surprise round and paralyses him.
One final point regarding the excellent battle summary: technically there are no such thing as "surprise rounds" in 5E. Even if a character is surprised, you figure out their initiative, and if they roll high enough, their turn might happen (they don't get to take any actions at that point, as they are surprised) before the enemy even goes (for the first time), and from the end of their turn onwards they are allowed to do certain things (like take Reactions). So no more "surprise rounds" where only one side gets to beat up the PCs (or the PCs beat up adversaries) while the other side does nothing.
Adventure Summaries of our campaign, currently playing through The Darkening of Mirkwood

BookBarbarian
Posts: 401
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:34 pm

Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by BookBarbarian » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:38 pm

Anarfin wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:22 pm
Yes, but still GM could base his ruling on Warrior feature or cultural virtue and any of them requires the shield to be 'light'.
You could, but a Weaponmaster might look at that and say "Why did in choose this fighting style if it's something I could have done for free by saying 'I do a Shield Charge?'".

Should I give the Warrior the effects of a Battle-Fury if they say "I go into a fury at the start of battle."

Or give the Scholar the Wanderer's Know Lands abilities if they say "I know these Lands."

These abilities like shield bashing as a bonus action are distinct class/subclass/virtue features.
Anarfin wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:22 pm
Again, this one houserule to allow him "shield charge" (for 5 dmg after reduction at best) was not the reason why the 5th lvl hero beated almost single-handedly creature with CR9... ;]
This likely true. However one more round and the Slayer would have been out of that Battle-Fury. Some extra hitpoints for the badguy, even just a few, would have had more impact at the end of the fight. It very well could have been the Dwarf's last stand at that point.

User avatar
Anarfin
Posts: 62
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:21 am

Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Anarfin » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:41 pm

BookBarbarian wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:38 pm
You could, but a Weaponmaster might look at that and say "Why did in choose this fighting style if it's something I could have done for free by saying 'I do a Shield Charge?'".
I agree but as I mentioned before:
Anarfin wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:01 pm
I think Michebugio allowed this bonus action [...] as a "one time fluff feature" in a moment of confrontation with powerfull foe, not realising in that moment that Dwarf won't be needing that for whooping Tauler's arse... ;)
In other words, I think in that situation Michebugio aimed for RAF (Rules As Fun) http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/sage-ad ... nd-rulings
There is nothing wrong with it, if it's fun for you and all your players.
BookBarbarian wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:38 pm
However one more round and the Slayer would have been out of that Battle-Fury. Some extra hitpoints for the badguy, even just a few, would have had more impact at the end of the fight. It very well could have been the Dwarf's last stand at that point.
Primo:
Michebugio wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:01 am
Round 6: [...] Tauler uses its Beak but misses (+9 to hit vs. AC 21), but since I roll secretly, I decide that he hits anyway. 12 damage reduced to 6, the Dwarf once again passes the poison saving throw (damn Dwarves!).
Even if LM decision about this extra attack 'weakened' Tauler robbing him of this 5hp, his second decision weakened player even more (6hp) so I would call this even ;)

Would be nice if the initial bonus attack ruled by the LM was the reason that Dwarven Slayer lvl 5th defeated monster CR 9, but we all know that was not the case.

Otaku-sempai
Posts: 3126
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 2:45 am
Location: Lackawanna, NY

Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Otaku-sempai » Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:10 am

Anarfin wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:34 pm
Still that re-classing was not the point of this discussion as it had neglible impact on the outcome of this encounter :)
Yes, I knew that from the start and acknowledged in in my last post. It's just the part of the larger discussion that interested me the most. :geek:
And that's something I do not understand. Why he should have been requred to use specific shield type (especially buckler)? Because he's a Dwarf or a Slayer?
Not because he is a Dwarf, but in order to use a shield as a light secondary weapon. Just that. And even then, a regular Shield (at 6 lbs.) is probably too heavy to permit that. Classifying a shield that is taller than the character holding it as 'light' is just fundamentally wrong.
As for the buckler, I am not sure if they are even mentioned in Tolkien's books and it's worth to remark that designers specifically emphasized that "Only weapons and armour specifically mentioned in Tolkien's works are included in these tables [...]" AiME PG p.151
On my part, I am glad that bucklers, crossbows and other "vanilla D&D-ish fantasy weapons" were omitted in the weapons table :)
Hmmm, apparently that was not deemed a strict necessity for TOR. Still, the buckler has a long history and would not be out of place in Middle-earth. Perhaps it will show up in a later supplement.

Getting back to the topic - the problem with Slayer lies in his resistance and ability to pump up his AC value beyond capabilities of ordinary Warrior. That is something that probably requires rebalancing and I do not think that introducing "buckler as a barbarian shield" (or even taking the proficiency in Great Shields from that class) would solve that problem.
[/quote]

Agreed. I only suggest including the Buckler for diversity and practicality, though it would not specifically nor exclusively be a "barbarian shield".
Last edited by Otaku-sempai on Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:54 am, edited 2 times in total.
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

Otaku-sempai
Posts: 3126
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 2:45 am
Location: Lackawanna, NY

Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Otaku-sempai » Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:19 am

Majestic wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:18 pm
BTW, there are Buckler's in AME (and TOR). Our Mirkwood Elf has a Spearman's Shield (see p. 159 of the PG) which is a buckler.
Thanks! I knew I had seen that somewhere. I'm not sure that is a true buckler (close enough!) as it seems to be strapped to the forearm rather than being hand held. A bowman's shield would be much the same, if not identical.
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

User avatar
Anarfin
Posts: 62
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:21 am

Re: We need to talk about the Slayer

Post by Anarfin » Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:01 am

Majestic wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:18 pm
BTW, there are Buckler's in AME (and TOR). Our Mirkwood Elf has a Spearman's Shield (see p. 159 of the PG) which is a buckler.
Yes, there are bucklers in TOR. Yes, Spearman's Shield type in TOR is descripted: Spearman's Shield (buckler). It gives "buckler parry bonus"

On the Armor list in AiME there is no buckler. Spearman's Shield type is descripted: Spearman's Shield (shield). It gives normal shield bonus to AC.
Yes, in it's description is "a buckler" but it's because it was converted from TOR to AiME. Using that as an argument for existing bucklers as a separate shield class is... well... controversial to say the least ;)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests