[REGISTER] or [LOGIN] to browse without adverts

6 posts / 0 new
Last post
Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture
Villains and the Dueling Styles
Villian, duelist, rules question

Okay, so as I understand it, the only way for a Villain to inflict more than one wound with a Raise is for them to purchase a Duelist Style with the pool of Advantage points they start with (Strength+5).

But, if a Villain does purchase a Duelist Style, should they also get that school's special maneuver?  Personally, I see the special manuevers of a school as being something for the PCs to make use, giving them that little bit extra flair to make them that much more distinct.  Plus there's the notion that a combat-orientated Villain with a high Strength (6 or more) has already got enough going for them (Heroes need to inflict more wounds to cause a Dramatic Wound, Villains can change their 'approach' without penalty, have Danger Points aplenty where Hero Points are a more limited resource) that adding the special maneuver of a Duelist style just seems like it's overkill.

Came upon this particularly quandry while working up some sample Villains for a future blog post, one of whom was a stereotypical Vesten raider.  From what I understand by RAW, if I purchase Duelist Academy for this brute (Strength 7), and pick Leegstra (suits him really well), then he'd be able to dish out some pretty frightening damage in three consecutive raises (Slash -> Leegstra Crash -> Slash), leaving most Heroes reeling from that much punishment, especially if the Hero isn't themselves a Duelist.  Granted, this Villain is offset by a fairly low Influence (only a couple of points, enough so that he can call up a Brute Squad on short notice if need be), so he's not rolling lots of dice (I figure on average he'll be able to make between 4 to 5 raises on his Risks).

Thoughts?

0 votes
+
Vote up!
-
Vote down!

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

Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

I would absolutely give any Villain the special style for a school if they buy the Advantage. Literature and movies are filled with Villains that have special maneuvers and Villains are just as likely to have studied at the academies as Heroes.

If you have the time and inclination you might even make the Villain Special Styles a little different to keep the Heroes on their toes. Maybe reserve this for special Villains though.

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture

Oh yes, it is totally fair game for the villains to use and abuse duelist styles when appropriate. 

In fact, when you consider it's normally 3-5 on one, they probably need to have them more than the heroes do.

Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

So on a related note, there's a thread over on reddit that's discussing the possibility of a "Duelist Lite" Advantage that would probably address my concern from the inital post.

In short, it'd let a GM build a Villain with a limited selection of Duelist Maneuvers (Slash and Parry, plus one other of your choosing but no style bonus) that can give a Villain some useful combat options without overloading them or worrying about how the style bonus would impact the Villain's threat level; Veronica's Guile for a Strength 8 Villain could get ugly for the Heroes if the GM has Danger Points to spend (presuming that GM can spend Danger Points as though they were Hero Points in this instance) or Sabat Gambit to utterly maul a Hero before they even get a chance to act.

Personally, I like this notion, since it lets a GM build a Villain who can be a capable threat in combat to a Duelist but doesn't necessitate having to worry about which Maneuvers to use from Action to Action.

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

Lord Rumfish
Lord Rumfish's picture

I'm always in favor of building the right challenge for your playgroup.  If no player character is a duelist, for instance, then a "Duelist Lite" might be just what the doctor ordered, offering up quite a challenge but without some of the deadliest tricks.  On the other hand, if EVERY player character is a duelist, they could probably take apart a Strength 20 villain even with a duelist style bonus.  Every color of the rainbow is in-between these two examples, so balancing the villain is always on the shoulders of the GM.  You might create a fully-optimized villain duelist, only to realize the players are getting stomped, so the villain may start playing a bit less cleverly with their maneuver lineup.

 

Whatever works, I say.  I saw a suggestion in another thread where someone mentioned having one maneuver available as an Advantage for 2 points, and I thought that sounded pretty fair.

Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

Whatever works, I say.  I saw a suggestion in another thread where someone mentioned having one maneuver available as an Advantage for 2 points, and I thought that sounded pretty fair.

That was at the heart of my Advantage "Student of the Duel" - 2 Points

Choose one basic Duelist Maneuver and an associated skill: Aim, Brawl, Weaponry. You can use that Maneuver with that skill once / round, replacing Ranks in Weaponry of the original Maneuver with Ranks in the chosen Skill above. You can take this maneuver multiple times but each time requires choosing a different Maneuver / Skill combination.