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NeoTanuki's picture
Questions - Dueling Lunge/Sabat Gambit
dueling, swordschools

Hello friends!

I'm a long-time 7th Sea fan who just received the 2nd edition core rules and ran my first test session. So far, my circle of friends/GMs/Players is very excited about the new edition, and we really like the streamlined character creation and the new mechanics so far. (We tend to be a very "storytelling" group overall so it works well for us.)

However, while I like the revisions to the new dueling schools and maneuvers, a few things about the way Lunge is worded have me confused. Can anyone help me answer the following questions, please?

1. The wording for Lunge says, "When you perform Lunge, spend all your raises." (p. 237) Does this mean (A) you MUST lunge at the beginning of your round and spend all your raises, doing nothing else? Or (B) could you spend a few raises to perform other maneuvers first, then spend your remaining raises to perform a Lunge? My initial interpretation was B, but I was unsure after re-reading Lunge.

2. Reading the text that says wounds from a Lunge "cannot be avoided or prevented", I understand that means Wounds inflicted by a Lunge can't be cancelled using a Parry, Riposte or by spending Raises to cancel Wounds after being hit. However, if the duelist performing the Lunge was previously hit by a Bash, would this reduce the amount of damage inflicted by the Lunge? If I'm reading the way Bash works correctly, it doesn't prevent wounds after they're inflicted, but rather disorients the opponent so his next attack isn't as effective. So as a GM, I'd allow Bash to affect damage inflicted by a future Lunge, but what do others think about this?

One of the reasons I'm asking these questions is that as a GM, I'm a bit concerned about Lunge overpowering other maneuvers in a duel, it seems to me extremely powerful compared to other Maneuvers, especially if the duelist uses the Sabat school. If anyone can offer answers to the question above and share how Lunge has worked in their games, I'd welcome your feedback and thoughts, because I'm seriously considering some sort of house rule to tone down Lunge. Thanks!

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Salamanca's picture
You are correct in both your interpretations. You may lunge later in a round. And Bash will reduce effectiveness.
LibrariaNPC's picture

I'm no one official, but here's my view:

1) I'm go with Option B on this: you may use Lunge and any time and it spends all of your Raises to do so. I think the biggest appeal of that is to essentially give an equivalent of "Slash plus Raises." If you could lunge at the start of the round, it'd be a pretty boring combat. To give an example:

Drexel Swordsman In 1st Edition: I have four actions, two of them at the start. For my first action, I pommel strike (*rolls, hits, deals wounds*), and for the second I lunge with four raises. I'll use a normal attack and then save the last for an Active Defense.

If a Lunge had to be used at the beginning, you wouldn't get any of the setup, and it would take away from the drama. Just my thought and reading of it.

2) I would agree that Bash would reduce Wounds from a Lunge. From a narrative standpoint, it is designed to disorient your target, as you said, and a disoriented target isn't going to hit hard or well. (Speaking from experience; I don't hit as well after a bell-ringer). From a rule perspective, it even states that Bash is to ensure the next strike is less effective, and that the attack deals less damage. It says nothing about preventing or reducing.

I'm playing it the same way you are: Bash would reduce the damage caused by Lunge.

"Smilies exist because no one's bothered to create a sarcasm font." --Lost_Heretic

NeoTanuki's picture

@Salamanca and @LibraiaNPC: Thanks for the responses! I feel better now...if there was no way whatsoever to counter a Lunge, I would feel the need to house rule it to prevent abuse by players (or players ragequitting because they can't stop a Lunging villain).

But since it can be mitigated by Bash, and only performed once per Round, I think I can handle that as a GM for now. I'll keep an eye on this in my games and see how it goes. I appreciate your help answering my questions.

P.S. It's still early days (I've only run a single test game and done some character conversion/creation) but so far my friends and I are really happy with how MUCH, MUCH faster 2e combat is to run (So far!). My longtime friend and Eisen player approves of the new version of Eisenfaust and Hexe magic...he doesn't even mind losing Dracheneisen all that much.


LibrariaNPC's picture

I'm still trying to get my group together (most are professionals and have conferences until next month), but so far, everyone has been ecstatic with how fast character creation is. All but one player has been in an old 7th Sea game of mine, and they all look at the old character creation rules with horror in comparison, especially since one player had his character done in five minutes after knowing the rules.

+1 for streamlining already!

"Smilies exist because no one's bothered to create a sarcasm font." --Lost_Heretic

Lord Rumfish
Lord Rumfish's picture

I like your interpretation of Bash here, but as far as the Rules As Written, I must disagree.  This is not a value judgment on my part (I personally feel Lunge being unpreventable/uncounterable is too powerful), but rather my strict interpretation of the rules.  Lunge says, "These wounds cannot be avoided or prevented."  Bash prevents Wounds, and the words themselves really leave nothing to interpretation.  Let me state, again, that I am in favor of houseruling Lunge to be less powerful.

The Sabat Gambit is an even weirder and murkier situation.  It does not have the non-prevention text of Lunge, despite the fact that it replaces it.  It also does not force you to use all of your raises, potentially allowing it to be used earlier in a combat sequence.  Most scary of all, Sabat Gambit does not have any text stating that it can only be used once per round.  You can prevent the damage, but it is a SUPER-Slash that completely dwarfs Leegstra Style by comparison.  If you want to read more of my thoughts on this, I'm about to start a new thread on the topic.

Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

Yeah, I'd go with Bash to be used to reduce the damage of a Lunge (and Sabat Gambit) since it takes place before the Lunge.  But then I'm usually more of a "spirit of the rules" guy due to my own past in freelance game design (a couple of books in WotC's Saga Edition line) as well as playtesting for a couple different RPG companies, both both an official and unofficial capacity.

So with Bash, it seems the spirit of the rules is that it cuts down the damage your foe can deal, putting him off-balance in some way so that their next strike isn't nearly as effective.  It also cuts down on the power of Lunge, which as has been noted in other threads can be very easily abused if the GM permits it.  And if you do go by a strict reading of Bash, nowhere does it say it prevents Wounds (which the rules here seem to take as meaning "reduce the Wounds taken after your opponent has acted."  Bash just says that next time the target deals Wounds, they simply deal one less Wound per rank of Weaponry you've got.

I'm also of the thought that any time a style bonus says it replaces a pre-existing Maneuver, the style bonus still has to follow all the rules of what it replaced, even if the text doesn't explicity say that all the same cavaets apply.  Personally, I'm very much against the rules-lawying notion of "well, it doesn't say I can't do that thing, so obviously I can do it!"  Thus, Iron Reply follows all the general rules of Riposte, and Sabat Gambit's damage can't be prevented or avoided.

I'm under the impression that as far as the Dueling rules go, any ambiguity is largely intentional, to give individual GMs wiggle room to adjudicate things to suit their respective style of GMing.  But that seems to be the current trend in the industry general, with big name RPG companies like WotC and FFG going for a lighter touch on the rules so that the GM has greater wiggle room in determining how things work, a stark contrast to early days of the d20 system and D&D 3.X where there had to be a rule for everything and everything had a rule.

Edit: So I got a clarification from Michael Curry courtesy of the 7th reddit about Matador's Flourish.  Based upon its use of the word "prevent" it's meant to effectively be a second Parry, making it a contrast to Leegstra with it's second Slash.

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog

Lord Rumfish
Lord Rumfish's picture

Those all sound like good changes, especially cutting back Sabat Gambit to once per round like Lunge if it's going to be unavoidable.  With the change to Bash though, there's at least a fighting chance of interacting with the opponent if you manage to go first.  More than anything, I wish my current GM would stop overusing Lunge before anyone else can go in the initiative order.  It may not be very efficient damage, but there's no responding to it.  We just have to hope we can power down the villain or escape before he knocks out too many of us.

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