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Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture
QA: Duelists & Maneuvers
duelist, rules question

Link to thread on reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/7thSea/comments/591mqe/questions_pertaining_to_...
(Thanks to Mike Curry for taking the time to answer these)

Question #1) How is Matador's Flourish meant to work? I get that it reduces Wounds taken, but the way that Torres' style bonus is worded, it implies that the Duelist could use MF prior to taking wounds, making it work similar to Bash in terms of reducing the damage before it occurs (which is very fitting for a style that evolved from bullfighting). Is this correct, or does the Duelist have to wait until after taking Wounds (much like Parry or Riposte) before using Matador's Flourish?

Answer) Matador's Flourish functions like Parry. You aren't intended to use it before the Wounds are dealt, but after. Bash says "the next time the target would deal Wounds, she deals one less" while Parry says "prevent Wounds." So, Matador's is a second Parry, similar to how Leegstra's is a second Slash.

Question #2) Do Iron Reply and Sabat Gambit follow the same rules as Riposte and Lunge except where noted? So Iron Reply (Eisenfaust) doesn't specifically say that you can only use it in response to taking Wounds, and Sabat Gambit doesn't say that you can't prevent Wounds. My assumption was that apart from their noted differences, each would still follow the general rules of the Maneuver they are replacing. Is that correct?

Answer) You are correct. The language in Riposte and Parry is a bit clunky, where it talks about "you must perform this Maneuver immediately following" blah blah blah stuff, so that language is being removed when we do errata. Originally, the idea was to enforce a much more back-and-forth, but it just feels kind of crappy that you can't defend yourself until your turn. The fact that you're taking the Action ahead of time is built in to how Action order works, so it's unnecessary and confusing wording.

Question #3) Can a Duelist spend Raises to boost the effectiveness of a Maneuver? In short, could a Duelist chose to spend additional Raises when using Slash to deal more Wounds? My initial thought was yes (even if it's woefully inefficient to do so), but after some re-evaluation I've changed to thinking they can't, and that a Maneuver's listed damage is what it does, and that Raises can't be spent for extra effect, with the exception of Lunge.

Answer) No, Maneuvers have a set effect when you perform them unless otherwise noted (Lunge, specifically). So you can't spend multiple Raises to make your Slash stronger. You spend one Raise, you perform Slash, and Slash always does X. Originally this was not the case, but having Maneuvers with variable effects REALLY slowed down Dueling as it added another step to a process that was intended to be pretty fast paced. Step 1 was choose your Maneuver, step 2 was choose how many Raises you want to use to perform that Maneuver. It sounds simple, but it turned gameplay intended to be a quick back-and-forth into 5 minutes of chess, where both people are doing math back and forth to figure out how many Raises to spend on this Parry so that they can still do XYZ later in the round, etc. So, now it's simplified, and while some of the complexity was lost we gained a TON of speed.

Question #4) With Bash, can this be used to reduce the damage suffered from a Lunge? My thought is that based upon how Bash is worded, you're not "avoiding" or "preventing" the damage from Lunge, just simply reducing the effectiveness of it. It would also help curtail some of the viciousness of Lunge, especially for those players that use it as an auto-win button in duels to first blood.

Answer) This is correct. If you anticipate their Lunge and Bash them preemptively, their Lunge does fewer Wounds. The language on Lunge just means you can't spend Raises AFTER they Lunge to take less damage, either from Riposte or Parry or just 1:1 Raises. You MUST predict the Lunge, or take all of it.

Question #5) What in this system would constitute "first blood" in regards to such a duel? My thought (based in large part upon the old 1e Swordsman's Guild sourcebook) is that first blood is equivalent to suffering a Dramatic Wound. Or is it just the first person to deal a Wound that isn't countered by the target?

Answer) I'd say first Dramatic Wound as well, but mileage may vary.

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Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog
http://jedimorningfire.blogspot.com/

Antti Kautiainen
Antti Kautiainen's picture

One important question is simple: If lunge wounds are unavoidable, that mean every single first blood due ends on the action of first duelist. He just lunges, and that's it. Are you sure you wanted this?

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Despite the example in the core rulebook, I'm of a mind to say that "first blood" = first dramatic wound, just like I did back with first edition. Still very doable with a capable duelist, but not always, especially against a villain.

 

Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

It depends on the Strength of the opponent as to whether going straight to Lunge is a viable tactic, or if you should hold off and save the Lunge for later in the Round.

A starting Duelist Hero is going to generate 3 to 4 Raises on a Weaponry Risk on average, meaning if they go for a Lunge it'd be 5 or 6 points of damage, presuming base 3 for Weaponry at Rank 3 and including that you have to spend a Raise to activate Lunge in the first place.

A Villain that's Strength 7 or above isn't going to take a Dramatic Wound from that, and now has 3 or 4 Raises of their own to begin literally carving you up, and you've got no means to defend against it since you've already burned your Raises on that ill-advised Lunge.  If your Hero managed to roll awesome and came up with a substantial number of Raises (6 or more), then maybe the Lunge might have more of an effect.

And while it is possible that a Duelist Villain with a Strength of 9 or higher could go straight to Lunge and end said duel right off, that's also a sign of poor GM'ing in that you've completely undercut the player's chance to have a cool swordfight sequence.  Granted, it also risks the Villain being put in a bad place if there's a Hero nearby with the Astute Virtue, which seems to be a favorite for at least one player to have in the games I've run or played in thus far.

It's going to largely depend on what the player is looking to get out of the one-on-one "first blood" duel.  If they just want to demolish foes and build a rep as a brutal swordsman, then yeah you're going to see that character do a lot of Lunges being made.  If the player wants to have some fun with the fight (much as Inigo and Westley did during the Chatty Duel in Princess Bride), then you may rarely see Lunge used, if at all.  While in the real world the objective of a fight is to win it as quickly as possible, 7th Sea is more concerned with cinematic "reality" and rule of cool; it's one thing to simply cut a man down with a single thrust of your sword, but it makes a far more lasting impression if you methodically dismantle the other guy while issuing pithy remarks at their expense to demonstrate just how much better you are.

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog
http://jedimorningfire.blogspot.com/

Antti Kautiainen
Antti Kautiainen's picture

You avoided my question why lunge has no avoidance? Would you please answer to that most importang question I asked. As good GM I remove lunge altogether as it makes no sense at all. The no avoidance is such super-ability I see sense at all why it is there.. 

Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

You'll have to ask the devleopers on that one.  I just posted the answers I got on the questions I did ask (and that Mike was considerate enough to answer) simply as a point of reference for folks here that may not visit the reddit page but may have similar questions.

Personally, I'm guessing the developers wanted to be an "all or nothing" attack, a desperate last effort, and didn't figure that players or the GM would be a bunch of meta-gaming cheese-weasels power-gamers that would make Lunge their go-to combat option.

For what it's worth, I do agree that Lunge is, as-written, too good, especially the ramped-up Sabat Gambit version.  I personally avoid using it with the Castillian Duelist I'm playing in a friend's game, and the buddy of mine that's played the Montaigne Duelist in a couple of short adventures I've run for a different group have done the same.  But then, neither of us would fall under the header of meta-gaming cheese-weasel power-gamers, so we understand that Lunge isn't meant to be the "go to" tactic in a duel.

Of course, as far as insta-winning a duel to first blood, one shouldn't overlook the Victorious Arcana, whcih lets you inflict an automatic Dramatic Wound when you deal so much as a single Wound to the target.  So open up with a Feint or a Bash, dealing a single point (enough so that most foes won't bother to Parry or spend a Raise to negate), activate your Victorious Arcana, and insta-win that duel to first blood.

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog
http://jedimorningfire.blogspot.com/

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Quick question, since we're talking about it. At what point can you no longer lunge as an action? Since it requires you to go all in with raises and the wounds cannot be avoided, is there a point where you can no longer do it? Say when you have 1 or 2 raises left?

Antti Kautiainen
Antti Kautiainen's picture

I honestly see no point in lunge except it is super all raise damage slash. And it is totally contradicting what fencers call lunge. It is desperate move and suicide against more skilled fencer. The rules does opposite - it is almost always best option for first blood duels, as there is no way stop the dramatic wound. Thus lunge is super-slash with no real disadvantages, but huge advantage.

I would myself lift the no-avoiding of damage and add 1 more damage to lunge. It is desperate, but if enemy can parry it well enough he won't get dramatic, you are in deep shit. At present, there is reason for villain not to start with lunge in first blood duels. THe one who goes first wins quite likely with current system.

Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

Based on how things are worded, I'd say that as long as you have a Raise to spend, you can do Lunge.

Which comes in handy if you're able to act before your opponent, courtesy of being a Villain (auto-win on ties) or have the Quick Reflexes (Weaponry) Advantage (you count as having 1 extra Raise when determining who goes in what order).  Since everyone's down to their last Raise, you might as well Lunge and prevent your foe from using Parry to stop the damage, especially if they're real close to hitting that 4th Dramatic Wound.  You just simply won't get any additional damage beyond your Weaponry rank since at that point you're out of Raises.
 

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog
http://jedimorningfire.blogspot.com/

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

It is desperate move and suicide against more skilled fencer. The rules does opposite - it is almost always best option for first blood duels, as there is no way stop the dramatic wound.

Right! And thus my question. If you had to spend ALL OF YOUR RAISES in the round, as in on your first action, Lunge makes perfect sense. It extends your defenses for a desperate attack that leaves you vulnerable thereafter. But if you can blow through the round and lunge on your last raise, it flips the whole thing on its head. Because yeah, it becomes counter intuitive. Or maybe I just don't understand fencing (which is quite possible).

Antti Kautiainen
Antti Kautiainen's picture

As I do not have reddit access, I have to ask here.

If dueling maneuvers only allow one action to be performend, and no augmentation, doesn't that mean that opponent without Duelist advanatge cannto deal single wound, as they cannot perform Slash? I see no point in this,as it would also indicate you cannot use extra actions on non-duel when Duelist uses their special maneuvers. And that is not stated out in the rulebook.

We decided that intention of parry was to use it like damage avoidance as reaction. I see no point put it into action, nor I would let slash, parry, slash. On the other hand I see riposte as action including parrying thus requiring action - and if opponent has several actions before your action, you cannot riposte any attack action but one which was performed before your own action.

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

I think you are reading too much into the word: slash. It's very simple. A duelist is just that much better than the average combatant.

I'm not really sure what you mean when you ask if one maneuver does a single action. Now, if you're talking about waiting til your next action to parry or riposte, yeah that didn't make sense and I believe they are errata-Ing that. While combat is not as abstract as OD&D, I don't read fights in 7th Sea as a point by point sequence. There's a lot going on between the exclamation points. 

Now, it does need some fine tuning. But on the whole, I do think it's better than the previous edition – on paper anyway. We'll see how it plays out when we start playing regularly in January.

Joachim Deneuve...
Joachim Deneuve du Surlign's picture

I think you may be confusing 'Duellist actions' and 'actions taken during a duel'.  Only a duellist may take the duellist actions (slash, parry, lunge, bash, riposte) but anyone may use the basic maneouvers (attack, defend etc).  If a non-duellist is in a duel, they only have access to the basic maneouvers, but can still do them normally.  Thus, if they want to do multiple wounds at once, they need to spend multiple raises as a single action.

Does that make sense?

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