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Luis Olmeda
Luis Olmeda's picture
Guards brutes ability
brutes
Hi everyone! I have a doubt about the guards special ability. The Corebook says that you can activate the ability to force an attack just made against a Villain to target themselves instead, and reduce the Wounds dealt by one. Does it means that they suffer all the damage minus 1 wound, or they just reduce the damage done to the Villain in one point?
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BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

It means the brute jumps between the villain and the hero, takes all the damage from the hero's blow, and then falls helpless to the floor, leaving the villain unmarked.  No villain worth his salt would have it any other way.

Yanecky
Yanecky's picture

But isn't it one per brute? So, if a villain has 4 Guard Brutes around him, and he is attacked by a hero who deals 5 damage, you activate Guard, the Brutes fall over trying to protect their master, but the final 5th wound lands on the Villain. Or does it?

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

I would argue that no.  One brute jumps in front of the villain and takes all 5 wounds.  Otherwise it isn't worth the Danger Point.  But maybe I need to reread the Guard ability.

Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

I would agree, you can use this ability a number of times equal to the Strength of the  Brute Squad. This is how I would run it and also makes it useful to remove the Brute Squad before dealing with the Villain. I would ignore the 'reduce one Wound' as that doesn't really matter in this reading.

However, upon reading it carefully, it sounds like "As written" the ability reduces the Wounds taken by the Villain by 1 but the Villain takes the remainder of the Wounds. Since you can do that by spending a Raise and potentially negating more damage, I don't see that as written it's useful.

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Ok.  Reread the Guard ability and yup, I'm wrong.  Only reduces wounds by 1.  Which is kinda lame.  Since most heroes do 1 wound per raise, and since they redid Villain Death Spiral, I would upgrade it to counter an attack (X wounds v 1 wound).  But I can definitely see how that could be abused, too.  So I dunno.  Try it out both ways and see what works.  I don't think upgrading it will break the game.

An interesting aside, it says the brute forces "an attack just made against a Villain to target themselves instead, and reduce the Wounds dealt by 1. "  It doesn't say that the attack kills the brute (though that's definitely implied).

Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

I guess you could leave it up to the GM as to how many Brutes just in the way of the attack, and reduce damage by 1 Wound / Brute for 1 Danger Point. That would definitely be an upgrade vs. Negate 1 Wound / 1 Raise.

John

Catalina Arciniega
Catalina Arciniega's picture

If said ability os written as "an attack just made against a Villain to target themselves instead, and reduce the Wounds dealt by 1. " what I understand is the Hero deals as many wounds less one to the brute squad instead of the Villain.

So, if a Hero rolls 6 raises and attacks the Villains and the narrator activates the guards, the brutes take 5 wounds and the Villain takes none.

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

I think that's a pretty...liberal interpretation of what is written.  Not that it's not a bad way to do it, just that I think it's fairly clear that isn't how it was written.  However, compare it to the other abilties:

Duelist: do x2 Wounds

Assassin: act before players (wound = current strength)

Pirate: kidnap someone and leave

Thief: steal something and leave

Then you get Guards: die to soak 1 Wound for the villain

Doesn't really add up, does it.  By comparison, I think spend a Danger Point to counter 1 wound dealing action by a hero is much more comparable.  But hey, that's just me.  I'm sure my PLAYERS would disagree.  ;D

Carlo Lope
Carlo Lope's picture

I agree with you there... it seems the Guards are even less powerful than the other types of Brutes. However, think about this:

1) Player uses Lunge to inflict a lot of Wounds to a Villain while another player (who is not a duelist) will take care of the Guards. You activate the Guards' ability and they get targetted by Lunge instead. Yeah, they are probably cosmic dust due to that Lunge but the Villain didn't receive a   8, 10 or whatever damaged Lunge inflicted.

2) Player uses Riposte after being slashed by a Villain, GM activates the ability of the Guards and they take the Riposte instead.

I guess using the ability as written is open to a lot of interpretation... I don't really like the idea of duelist skills affecting multiple opponents (I loved your idea of Whirl from 1st ed) but I would simply let the Guards take all the damage. After all, they are Brutes and they are there to do what they are set out to do, guard the Villain with their lives in this case :P

Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

One of the issues I have with 'as written' is that I keep hearing that Guard Brutes are a good way to prevent Villains from taking the DW from a gunshot, but if they only block X damage, it's possible that the Villain still takes the DW unless you rule that the Brutes absorb it.

Carlo Lope
Carlo Lope's picture

Mmm... Well, the way I understood it, the book states that "they force an attack made against a Villain to target themselves". When you shoot your pistol, you are targetting a Villain so, if the GM activates the Guards' ability, I would say that the Guards take the gunshot instead. Luckily for the Guards, there is no rule for how many Wounds a Dramatic Wound is(The rules do not say a DW = 5 W) and only 1 Guard would be killed (1DW and 1W from the gunshot), plus they reduce the damage inflicted by 1 Wound. The gunshot would actually do 1 DW only unless I'm missing something.

What do you think about this? Changing targets more or less means they step between your shot and the Villain. Would you rule it like this? I think it is coherent to say so... but what have you done so far when this happened in your games?

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

It's a tricky scenario.  If you use the ability to counter an attack, it comes out as "spend a danger point to negate the hero's intent", which feels wrong to me.  OTOH, spend a danger point to reduce villain wounds by 1 seems lackluster.  Neither one is really ideal.  Maybe someone needs to cook up a better Guard Ability?  I wonder if The East will offer an alternative.

 

Carlo Lope
Carlo Lope's picture

Yeah... I guess using it on Riposte is a bit too much...

I don't know why but whenever I read about the ability I can't help but think how a Villain would just take some of their own and push it in front of him a la "you are here to die for me, worms!"

 

By the way BluSponge... about the East. I read that GM throws dice for Brutes now and they can use a Raise to inflict their Strength as Wounds (2 Raises would be 2 times they manage to Wound someone) among other things. I started thinking that rolling for every Brute squad will slow the game a lot but rolling only once and making them go all at the same time seems very cheap. What are your thoughts?

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

By the way BluSponge... about the East. I read that GM throws dice for Brutes now and they can use a Raise to inflict their Strength as Wounds (2 Raises would be 2 times they manage to Wound someone) among other things. I started thinking that rolling for every Brute squad will slow the game a lot but rolling only once and making them go all at the same time seems very cheap. What are your thoughts?

Since about the time the core rules were released, I've been playing with the idea of an intermediary step between Brutes and Villains, something like henchmen in the previous edition but not really.  My thinking has been throwing 20 brutes against a duelist is silly.  Why not 5 baddies who can take 4 wounds each?  But I kept going back and forth between whether or not these "threats" (lieutenants would be misleading) would roll dice like villains, or not (like brutes).

Anyway, this is a roundabout way of saying I'm really looking forward to checking out how the East handles this in detail, and I will probably integrate it into my game.  However, I like brute squads the way they are – wandering bags of consequences with next to no bookkeeping required.  So I will probably distiguish them as two seperate classes of opposition.  Or not.  Maybe.  We'll see.  :D

And I don't think spending a DP to negate Ripsote is too much, but I can certainly see where it really starts to mess with the game system in a "yes I did"/"no you didn't" kind of way, which is not a good thing.  Hmmm...maybe putting a "once per round" limit on it would work.

Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

I really want a good 'Henchman' category of Villain/Brute as well. I know by the rules you can just use a low-powered Villain, but I think having something in between could be very helpful. Something to give the duelists a focus without it always being a big time Villain. 

I haven't fleshed this out completedly but I'm thinking of building Henchmen similar to Monsters. 

Henchman

Choose a "Rank" for the Henchman. This can be a number between 1 and 5. Anything less than 1 is a Brute. Anything more than a 5 is a Villain. 

A Henchman rolls a number of dice for Risks equal to its Strength+1.

A Henchman has a number of Dramatic Wounds equal to its Strength. (With 4 "Wounds" in between as a Hero)

A Henchman is considered to have Dynamic Approach (Using a Danger Point)

A Henchman may choose a number of Henchman Qualities equal to its Strength+1.

Qualities (Some examples) - Each Quality may only be taken once unless otherwise noted

1) Choose a Virtue for the Henchman

2) Choose a Hubris for the Henchman (Gain a Danger Point)

3) Choose a Background Quirk for the Henchman (Gain a Danger Point)

4) Choose a single Sorcerous Power (May be taken more than once)

5) Choose a Trait. Any Risks using that Trait roll +1 Dice (May be taken more than once with different Trait)

6) Choose 3 Skills. Any Risks using those Skills roll +1 Dice (May be taken more than once with different Skills)

7) Gain the ability to deal Henchman Strength in Wounds with each Raise and to reduce Wounds by Henchman Strength with each Raise

8) Gain an non-Dueling School Advantage that costs equal to or less than the Henchman's Strength (May be taken more than once)

9) Gain a Dueling Maneuver (General or School specific) with Weaponry equal to Henchman Strength

 

That's the start of it :)

 

John

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

That's...pretty close to where I was.  Basically give a single Brute a Strength score (5-10).  They can take that many wounds before dropping.  So a 10 Str "Threat" could take 10 wounds before becoming helpless.

You've obviously been putting more thought into them than I did.  Maybe once we see what the East has in store, we should combine our efforts!  MUHAHAHA!

Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

From the Khitai Quickstart:

A Brute Squad rolls a number of dice equal to its Strength. They can spend their Raises as follows:

1) Create a Consequence: A Raise can be spent to cause a Wound Consequence equal to the Brute Squad's Strength. Any Hero (Targeted or otherwise) can use a single Raise to overcome this Consequence.

2) Activate an Opportunity or Consequence: A raise can active any Opportunity that makes sense or the Consequence they created with a previous Raise to cause Wounds to a Hero.

It sounds like Brute Squads need to spend 2 Raises to Cause Wounds: One to create the consequence and one to activate it immediately. Brutes go in the normal initial order according to their Raises and go after Heroes in a tie. It doesn't say but I assume Heroes dispatch Brute Squads by dealing Wounds equal to their Strength.

Carlo Lope
Carlo Lope's picture

I am still torn between the new "a Villain" or in this case "henchmen" can soak as many Wounds as their Strength before they get a DW and so many DW... Perhaps it's me missing the old 1 vs 1 where one of the players had a personal Vendetta and wanted to tackle the Villain alone or, due to consequences, he had to while the rest tried not to die or other things.

That is why I thought about letting henchmen and Villains have the same death spiral as the Heroes but giving them one Advantage that, when SP are spent, they are healed a number of DW equal to the number of SP the GM used but that could only be used once, like burning their last card and go all flight or fall thing.

You guys have ran 7th sea 2nd a lot more than I did. What do you think about these things? I know that more than one Hero against a Villain is fine but, what about 1 vs 1? Do you have to lower their power or your players manage to defeat them in despite being at a disadvantage?
 

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Well I've yet to put my players up against a real villain, so I can't quite say.

My issue has more to do with packing 20 brutes into a 10x10 room with a single duelist.  Yes, I know 7th Sea isn't meant to be a simulation but that's a lot of folks shoved into the same space.  If I can have 5 guys do the work of those 20, with the same results, all the better.

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

So lemme get this straight.

A Str 8 brute squad rolls 8 dice and gets 4 raises.

The squad spends 1 raise to create a wound consequence equal to its Strength, so an 8 wound consequence.  Then they need to spend a 2nd raise to activate that consequence.  But any hero can spend 1 raise to counter all 8 wounds.  So its a 2:1 raise split between brutes and heroes.

Hmmm...I don't think I like that.  Are you sure you're reading it right?

Carlo Lope
Carlo Lope's picture

What I read on reddit was that, with your example, they get 4 Raises

They can spend 1 Raise to create a consequence equal to their Strength. 8 Wounds consequence in this case.

They can use Raises to activate consequences or opportunities relevant to the scene. This includes activating the Wound consequence inmediately, with emphasis on "inmediately".

From what I see... Perhaps I'm wrong but if they create the Wound consequence and decide not to activate it right away, the consequence hurts the players at the END of the round. Or they can spend a Raise to do it at that very moment instead of using their Raises for something else... Makes more sense to me.

It seems they can get multiple attacks or decide to do things like spending Raises to take hostages or change the scene to favor them in certain ways or to work against the Heroes in more unexpected ways. If I'm not wrong, it would mean that you don't need two squads of 20 Brutes anymore. They would hurt the duelist a lot or so it seems.

Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

I believe Carlo has the right interpretation. It seems to take 2 Raises to activate the Wound Consequence 'immediately' (When the 2nd Raise is spent) or 1 Raise to create the Consequence and allow it to take effect at the end of the Round.

It does seem the costs are higher, but there's nothing preventing a Strength 8 Squad with 4 Raises from creating four 8 Wound Consequences that take place at the end of the Round instead of the usual 1 they get now. It does make multiple Brute Squads more flexible as well as Carlo said, they can create Opportunities, etc.

I still recommend multiple Squads instead of 1 big Squad, depending upon the purpose of the scene.

John 

Carlo Lope
Carlo Lope's picture

One question remains... and that is if the same kind of consequence can be set multiple times if it has not been dealt with before. The 8 Strength squad creating four 8 Wound consequences is terrifying.. so I wondered if you can have more than one active consequence of the same kind created by the same npc (squad in this case).

Further down that question... What is stopping the squad to create a consequence, activate it and create it again? Is there a limit on how many Raises they can spend before is someone else's turn? let's say our squad (they are getting kinda famous :D) creates a 8 Wound consequence and activates it again. Can they, with their two Raises left, create the same again or use them for something else? Or does the "activating a consequence/opportunity end your turn?

Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

1) I saw nothing in the quick start Khitai rules that says you can't create the same Consequence multiple times. However, i think it would be more fair to have to either Activate the Consequence or have it overcome by a Hero before you could "Create" a second one. Creating the consequence in my mind is the Brute Squad readying themselves for a fight, so you can't really 'ready yourself' for a fight twice without fighting or being knocked around a bit

2) Spending a Raise to create the consequence and spending a Raise to activate it are two separate Actions. So unless the Brute Squad has 2 more Raises than all Heroes (Heros win ties), someone at the table *could* spend their Raise to remove the Consequence before it's activated.

Carlo Lope
Carlo Lope's picture

1) Yep... I guess it makes sense... It would also mean that if you have that consequence and reduce the Brutes Squad's Strength in some way, the consequence is reduced as well? or once is created, it must be overcome (1 Raise in this case if I'm not mistaken) at its original value?

 

2) I thought bad guys win ties :/

Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

1) I would say when the Brutes Activate a Consequence, they do Wounds equal to their Current Strength regardless of their Strength at the time it was created.

2) Villains win ties, Brutes lose ties

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