Bow of the Galadhrim and Kings Blade

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Yepesnopes
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Bow of the Galadhrim and Kings Blade

Post by Yepesnopes » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:08 am

Hi to everybody new and old!

I was checking my "recently" acquired Adventurer's Companion and while reading about the cultural reward Bow of the Galadhrim for Elves of Lorien player characters, some old memories came to me.

The Bow of the Galadhrim (Great Bow) reward reads "(...) Additionally, if you roll an extraordinary success on an attack using such a bow you automatically score a Piercing blow." With a great bow! Nice!

Which is kind of similar to the old version of the Hobbits' King Blade. A version which was nerfed due to some popular pressure :) as people were claiming it was too powerful.

Now, I never had the chance to try in my games the "old version" of the King's Blade (short sword) (If you roll an great or extraordinary success on an attack using a King’s Blade, you automatically inflict a Piercing Blow.), since I had no Hobbit players by that time. Neither I have had the chance to try the new "revised version" (If you roll an great or extraordinary success on an attack using a King’s Blade, spend 1 point of Hope to automatically inflict a Piercing Blow.) as my Hobbits players (two) think it is not worth it.

For this reason I have decided to house rule it to "If you roll an great or extraordinary success on an
attack using a King’s Blade, spend 1 point of Hope to automatically inflict a Piercing Blow, add your Valour score to your weapon's Injury rating
".

In any case, the Bow of the Galadhrinm makes me re-think that may be the old version of King's Blade was not that overpowered, at the end, the Injury Rating of a short sword is 14 (potentially 16) while a great bow is 16 (potentially 18). Of course I don't want to have ninja stabbing halflings in my games a la D&D, but with such a low injury rating, I guess the sword was only effective to low-armour, or medium-armour-weary enemies.

It is for this that I would like to ask if there is any of you who is playing by the old version of the King's Blade and wants to share his/her experience with me.

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Falenthal
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Re: Bow of the Galadhrim and Kings Blade

Post by Falenthal » Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:02 am

I also haven't tried any of the versions, but another difference between both weapons, besides their Injury rating, is that bows usually have a harder time hitting their targets (higher TN).
A hobbit with good skill could adopt a Forward stance and get a Piercing blow once every two or three attacks.
Of course, that also implies that the hobbit is more vulnerable to incoming attacks himself. But he can decide, depending on the situation, if the wants to be a Snaga killer or retreat into Defensive when facing a Troll. An archer can't decide that.

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Indur Dawndeath
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Re: Bow of the Galadhrim and Kings Blade

Post by Indur Dawndeath » Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:44 pm

There is a big difference between Great success and Extraordinary success.
I had a Hobbit player who started with Kingsblade old rule, and then had to accept the change to Hope cost.
The utility of the sword is far lower now and I'm sure he will trade it in for something else given the chance.
There are Many sessions between sceens where he spends hope on it...

That is why, when I saw the Galadhrim bow, I immediatedly thought about House ruling Kingsblade to same effect. Havent done it yet though...
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Glorelendil
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Re: Bow of the Galadhrim and Kings Blade

Post by Glorelendil » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:12 pm

The original King's Blade was too powerful but I've always felt the nerf swung too far in the other direction.

Extraordinary successes are sufficiently rare that I suspect (I haven't actually run the numbers) that it's a happy medium.

The flaw with the bow, in my opinion, is that by the time you get to 4 or 5 dice your best strategy, as with a normal bow, is to make called shots every round, negating the bow's benefit.
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Indur Dawndeath
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Re: Bow of the Galadhrim and Kings Blade

Post by Indur Dawndeath » Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:24 pm

Glorelendil wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:12 pm
The original King's Blade was too powerful but I've always felt the nerf swung too far in the other direction.

Extraordinary successes are sufficiently rare that I suspect (I haven't actually run the numbers) that it's a happy medium.

The flaw with the bow, in my opinion, is that by the time you get to 4 or 5 dice your best strategy, as with a normal bow, is to make called shots every round, negating the bow's benefit.
Rain of Arrows cannot be attempted with a Great Bow, otherwise you could have made the Called shot to hit two targets and used the Extraordinary success to score piercing.
But I guess that is intentional!
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Yepesnopes
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Re: Bow of the Galadhrim and Kings Blade

Post by Yepesnopes » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:28 pm

I don't know. For me it is difficult to determine why it is deemed as so powerful.

I will try the previous version of the King's Blade, and asses. I will tell the player before hand that if it is too powerful, we will use my house rule version of it.

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Rich H
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Re: Bow of the Galadhrim and Kings Blade

Post by Rich H » Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:43 pm

I really don't like Rewards that require Hope to be spent in order to access one or more of their abilities - I prefer that kind of mechanic to be associated with (some) Virtues as they are more internalised to the character than Rewards are. Just a personal preference though.

With that in mind, I altered King's Blade in the following way:

If you roll a great or extraordinary success on an attack using a King's Blade, you may choose not to apply the additional damage in order to inflict a Piercing blow.

For me, that was a nice mid-point between the original and revised rules.
TOR resources thread: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=62
TOR miniatures thread: viewtopic.php?t=885

Fellowship of the Free Tale of Years: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=8318

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Yepesnopes
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Re: Bow of the Galadhrim and Kings Blade

Post by Yepesnopes » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:11 pm

Rich H wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:43 pm
With that in mind, I altered King's Blade in the following way:

If you roll a great or extraordinary success on an attack using a King's Blade, you may choose not to apply the additional damage in order to inflict a Piercing blow.

For me, that was a nice mid-point between the original and revised rules.
I thought of this option as well. Do you have (had) any player that uses it?

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Rich H
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Re: Bow of the Galadhrim and Kings Blade

Post by Rich H » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:02 am

Yepesnopes wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:11 pm
I thought of this option as well. Do you have (had) any player that uses it?
I ran a short term Hobbits-only campaign set in and around the Shire. Two of the players had the old version in the rules and then we altered to this towards the end of the campaign. The players felt it was nice to be able to choose between extra damage (for a Hobbit this is pretty small) and a piercing blow (also a pretty low score for short swords).

To be honest, I'm not sure it's that great a Reward whatever option you go with. It looks really dangerous but when you consider the low injury rating/score of short swords, is it really that amazing? Not against larger opponents but it is against goblins etc. However they don't have high endurance anyway so a decent attack would whittle that down rather quickly anyway... However, in my game, the hobbits did take out a Stone Troll with these attacks, but they'd already wearied it and therefore had improved their chances of wounding. I was thinking of replacing the piercing blow with making the opponent automatically Wearied instead but didn't have the opportunity to try that out in actual play. The alteration I made seemed to work okay though.
TOR resources thread: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=62
TOR miniatures thread: viewtopic.php?t=885

Fellowship of the Free Tale of Years: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=8318

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Falenthal
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Re: Bow of the Galadhrim and Kings Blade

Post by Falenthal » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:21 am

Although this might belong better in the House-rules subforum, I'll post here for completeness my own approach to King's Blade. It's untested, so it might not work as intended.
First of all, I have to say that Short Swords (and Daggers) in my game are house-ruled so that their Called Shot is Piercing blow.

King's Blade works like this:
When the King's Blade forces a Protection test (because of Edge or Called Shot), spend 1 Hope point to add +4 or your Valour (whichever is higher) to the Injury rating of the weapon for that attack.

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