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[Rules] Some problems with Counter Attacks and the Crane Style

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  • [Rules] Some problems with Counter Attacks and the Crane Style

    Hi,

    Our group recently hit the Essence 3 mark, and with it we hit some problems regarding the counter attacks, especially when it comes to the Crane Martial Arts Style.

    First of the counter attack is not described properly in the combat section, which is rather annoying. We tried to figure everything out with the existing counter attack charms.

    With the help of the unofficial faq https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...a-5XIhVM_PQEc/ we found some solutions, but many of them seem a bit of and have no backing ruleswise.
    With the rules above the correct sequence for ALL counter attacks is:
    Attacker tries to hit
    Defender announces Counter Attack
    Defender tries to hit
    Defender rolls for damage
    Attacker rolls for damage (which is NOT altered by the counter)

    And this is so stupid, what is the advantage of an counter attack, if you get the damage in any case. One member of our group and myself so practice, martial arts, mma and swordfencing (european and asian) and it is against everything you learn. If an opponent hits you, you either block it and THEN in case of an successful block you make an attack in the opening the failed attack has provided (this is my interpretation of an counter attack) OR you attack in the same instance as your opponent and try to get an successful strike at your opponent and deflect his attack with yours (my interpretation of an clash).
    But you will never, (or only in very very few cases) "take the hit" to hit your opponent.

    We think if the counter attack works this way it is really flawed. Sure, if you could "counter" every hit, it would be to powerful. But the current ruling makes the crane style very weak, most of it's charms are counter attack charms and you will "wear off" during the fighting very quickly, if you are gonna use them. (For clarification I don't use this style, but an other member of my group does)

    Then there are some additional flaws with two charms of the crane style:
    Feather-Stirred Arrow Deflection:
    "Whenever the martial artist could validly make a counterattack in response to a ranged attack..." what the heck... okay this implies you could possibly counterattack a RANGED attack with some melee weapons. This could be very stylish, but this charm enhances this option, but we did not find any more references to ranged-melee counterattack in the book. WHEN is it valid to make such a counterattack? What are the "normal" rules for it? This is the same problem with the counterattack rule itself, it are no rules for it. And even more this charm/option lacks any logic, if you redirect the arrow/spear/whatever flies there, according to the ruling above you still get the damage?

    Mournful Crane’s Cry -> Fluttering Wing Flourish (War Fan)
    This charm has a very fluffy description, but ruleswise... no real crunch. " Instead of making a counterattack, the martial artist rebounds the original attack back on the character who made it"
    Okay but which pools to use, the ones from the attacker, defender? Which damage/tags? This charm suffers heavily by the missing crunch which the counterattack rule lacks of.

    These two charms are either totally useless (if you implement the rules mentioned as above) or totally overpowered (if you let them reduce the damage dice of the attacker) ...
    Either way, we get the feeling the whole counterattack and with it the crane style did lack some serious proofreading, OR we are missing some very vital points/rules.

    So please could some of the devs help us and enlighten us? :-D

    Best Regards :-D

  • #2
    In the case of Withering attacks, losing initiative is not identical to getting hit in real-world Martial Arts. Getting "hit" with a Withering is, generally, to be put into a more disadvantageous position — an attack that put you on bad footing or screwing up your reaction time, stuff like that. It's more comparable to "Advantage" than "Damage". when Crane Style counters a Withering attack, it's about exchanging advantage, not exchanging damage.

    In the case of Decisive Attacks, it depends how you describe it. If the enemy goes through your defenses and you counter, it's just that: you didn't counter well enough to deflect their attack yet still managed to hit. you're not "taking the hit to attack", you're still trying to block. You just failed.

    Clash Attacks might be a closer analogue to real-world counters, yeah — both attack, best attack wins.

    Mournful Crane’s Cry -> Fluttering Wing Flourish (War Fan)
    This charm has a very fluffy description, but ruleswise... no real crunch. " Instead of making a counterattack, the martial artist rebounds the original attack back on the character who made it"
    Okay but which pools to use, the ones from the attacker, defender? Which damage/tags? This charm suffers heavily by the missing crunch which the counterattack rule lacks of.
    The key words are "rebounds the original attack" and "the redirected attack". The attacker attacks themself. It is litterally "use the attacker's attack against them." No re-roll, no change of tags, nothing. Everything the attacker did or would have done to you, they do to themself with their own weapon, charm effects, everything.

    I think this also means accuracy successes, but I'm not sure.
    Last edited by Fata-Ku; 04-11-2017, 08:58 AM.


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    • #3
      Counter-attack is a trade-off. Instead of trying to attack you opponent and then letting your opponent try to attack you, you wait for your opponent to try to attack you, then quickly hit him first before he can finish his attack. It means you give up control of the pacing of the battle (which a clever enemy can use against you) but you get the advantage of already knowing what your opponent is doing when you decide your attack, and even what your opponent's attack roll is, which is a net benefit if you happen to have Charms to take advantage of this knowledge to mess with your opponent's attacks at the last moment (which is what Crane Style is all about).

      The game is using the term "counter-attack" in the same way that fencing uses the term: responding to an attack with a faster attack that can complete before the original one connects. What you're thinking of would be called a "riposte".

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      • #4
        Here's how I understand Feather-Stirred Arrow Deflection to work:

        Let's say we have a Solar Crane Stylist fighting the Wyld Hunt. She's got Crane Form up and is doing Full Defense each action, trying to maximize her defense and either talk the Terrestrials down (tough chance, but who knows?) or slowly wear them down with counters.

        One of the Shikari gets an idea - the Anathema can counter his punches and kicks and swords with her own punches and kicks and swords and fans, but she can't counter what she can't reach, right? So he Disengages, then moves to Medium Range for extra safety, Readies his Powerbow, Aims, and finally shoots.

        Now, based on Crane Form, the Solar can respond with a counterattack to any attack against her - this includes this arrow rapidly approaching her face, but all Crane weapons are close range only, which in this case leaves her with a potential target she cannot reach. Unless... the Solar smirks and activates FSAD - now the range of her counterattack matches that of the original attack! She catches the arrow with her flowing sleeve, spins around and slingshots the projectile back at the shooter - this is essentially a stunt, as she's actually using the stats of her own attack other than range.

        In short, what I understand the Charm does is let you counter ranged attacks with other Crane Charms that generate counterattacks.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Batrachian View Post
          what is the advantage of an counter attack, if you get the damage in any case.
          You get to unload your damage and other nastiness as a last-minute "fuck you" before taking wound penalties to your attack roll from the triggering attack's damage. This is not an insignificant advantage, especially considering that you get to keep your normal action as well!


          I made dis

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          • #6
            Also, nobody's forcing you to get hit, at least in the case of Crane counterattacks.

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            • #7
              It's worth remembering that you can Counterattack and still apply your Parry rating. You're parrying and attacking at the same time. Like a fencer does. You might succeed at your attack but fail to deflect the incoming attack, or vice versa, but it's still doing both at once, which is the way that makes sense, yeah?

              I do like Clashing, too, but there's a subtle difference between simultaneous offense and defense, and defending through superior offense.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Batrachian View Post
                what is the advantage of an counter attack
                The big thing to me would be getting two opportunities to attack your opponent in a single round instead of one, even if you open yourself up to the possibility of taking damage.

                Not only does this potentially hurt your opponent, you've just increased his onslaught penalty by 1 "until his next turn" (page 194), which can help out your allies -- and yourself, if you haven't taken your full action yet.

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                • #9
                  Our problem, is as u see, that the "Throwing back the attack at our opponent" with the fans, doesn't protect u from the initial attack, as further to read in the text. And for the other one, when are u able to mace a legit ranged counterattack with MA?

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                  • #10
                    That specific charm doesn't protect you, no, but that's what the rest of Crane style is for - defense buffs that protect you. Also Excellencies and Dodge. Comboing charms (which is free in 3e) exists for this reason.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Wotan View Post
                      Our problem, is as u see, that the "Throwing back the attack at our opponent" with the fans, doesn't protect u from the initial attack, as further to read in the text.
                      Why would it? The only protection counterattacks offer is of the "are you sure you want to attack me and eat my counter?" variety.

                      And for the other one, when are u able to mace a legit ranged counterattack with MA?
                      As I wrote in detail above, you can make a legit ranged counterattack when all of the below conditions are met:

                      1. You are being attacked from range,
                      2. You're using a Crane Charm that lets you make a counterattack, and
                      3. You use FSAD to increase the range of said counterattack.

                      I'll grant you that the wording isn't the clearest on Feather-Stirred Arrow Deflection, but if you think about it for a minute, you'll find this interpretation is both valid and working.

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                      • #12
                        Ok, I'll get the ranged thing About Fluttering Wing Flourish (War Fan), it says Instead of making a counterattack, the martial artist rebounds the original attack back on the character who made it. Whow is this done, an I mean by the Book, no "could be like". You make this instead of a counter attack, when does it take place? What is the timing, and we've been making up Housrules for the whole stuff so opinions are welcome but a real Clerification would be nice!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Wotan View Post
                          Ok, I'll get the ranged thing About Fluttering Wing Flourish (War Fan), it says Instead of making a counterattack, the martial artist rebounds the original attack back on the character who made it. Whow is this done, an I mean by the Book, no "could be like". You make this instead of a counter attack, when does it take place? What is the timing, and we've been making up Housrules for the whole stuff so opinions are welcome but a real Clerification would be nice!
                          The thing is, 3e is written in "natural language" - admittedly, not my first choice for a crunch-heavy, exception-based system, but this is what we've got, take it or leave it. With such a setup, if a Charm feels unclear, you won't get anywhere parsing the text word after word and hoping some unmistakable meaning will finally reveal itself. Instead, you have to go with something that a) doesn't directly contradict the text, and b) makes sense for the game.

                          With that in mind, what FWF does is that instead of rolling your own Dex+MA(Crane)+Weapon Acc for the counterattack and potentially applying your own Charms to it, you use your opponent's attack as it was applied to you, including all Charms the opponent had used to enhance it (and you can potentially enhance it further with Crane Charms). The only thing really unclear is whether you take the enemy's dice pool and roll it or take the same amount of successes they'd rolled against you, though personally I'm leaning towards the latter, as I feel it makes more sense for what I think the Charm tries to accomplish.

                          As for the "doesn't protect from the attack" part, it's just a clarification that despite its differences, the Charm still works as a counterattack, giving you a chance to hit the enemy back but not mitigating the initial attack in any way.

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                          • #14
                            Ok, then I think we just have to go with this, thanks a lot! Another issue, that I can think of is: As mentioned it isn't a counter attack, so would you be able to responde with it TO a counter attack?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Wotan View Post
                              Ok, then I think we just have to go with this, thanks a lot! Another issue, that I can think of is: As mentioned it isn't a counter attack, so would you be able to responde with it TO a counter attack?
                              I would call shenanigans on that. The entire point is that you redirect the attack so that you're no longer the target of the attack. You can't counter an attack that's not incoming. I think that's what the rules would say.

                              As a ST, what I would say is, when the attack was incoming, you responded to it by redirecting. Your window has passed.

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