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How useful is Hardness at low values?

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Lioness View Post
    RAW most weapons aren't poisonable as the tag appears almost exclusively on light thrown weapons. While not the most realistic way to handle it kind of makes sense in context of it's interaction with hardness.
    Most of the time I've used poison, it was through MA charms. Serpent and Black Claw, obviously.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by Lioness View Post
      RAW most weapons aren't poisonable as the tag appears almost exclusively on light thrown weapons. While not the most realistic way to handle it kind of makes sense in context of it's interaction with hardness.
      Eeeeeehhhhh... by that logic you can't use a sword whilst mounted.

      Given the presence of the One Handed tag in Archery, I choose to interpret Poisonable in Thrown to mean you can't poison a boomerang rather than you can't poison any weapon other than darts, needles and shuriken.

      http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...52#post1211052

      http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...84#post1215684
      Last edited by JohnDoe244; 05-11-2020, 05:49 PM.


      Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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      • #63
        There's not really a take on it that isn't dumb. You can't poison sling bullets or a boomerang but you can poison a chain or a hammer... okay then.


        Onyx Path Forum Moderator
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        • #64
          Originally posted by Chausse View Post
          (doesn't subtract Initiative or give malus to attack rolls because it makes things slower going on).

          Any ideas ?
          It's kind of hard to add a drawback that doesn't slow things down in some sense.

          That said, maybe something like: After Hardness that persists longer than a turn is used to negate damage, on the next turn it cannot be applied unless the user makes a Misc. Action to reset it, otherwise it will return the turn after that.

          Basically, Hardness from longer duration sources would default to only working every other turn, or you'd have to flurry in a Misc. Action (and there might still be a window for someone to hit you before you go even if that's going to be a fairly uncommon set of circumstances where they'd need higher Init than you, and still have less than necessary to defeat your Hardness). However powers like DoOM and the Twilight Anima non-automatic version would allow you to have Hardness every turn at the cost of motes.

          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
          Those are my out of character tactics using the striders to create drama.
          Um, yeah, that was kind of my point? It's not the claw striders acting in a fashion driven by "what would a claw strider do?" it's ignoring what a claw strider would do (and not picking an enemy that might more naturally behave that way) and having them use tactics designed to add significant risk to the PCs engaging in fighting weaker foes with the understanding that they're going to be at risk from attrition in the scenario at hand.

          Okay so what do you do for the 90% of times when you don't enhance what the antagonists statblocks put out?
          I don't recall specifying any level of frequency.

          How I design foes for PCs is dependent on what my goal is. Not every fight the characters get in is going to even be combat, let alone challenging combat, just enough that the combat heavies (even if that's the whole group) feel like they're having their fun.

          I don't see why weak effects meant to counter weak opponents should be likewise strong against powerful opponents.
          Because... this is a strawman?

          Weak effects are meant to counter weak effects. Hardness 5 stops a 5i attack from a peasant dirt farmer nobody as well as it does from a Solar.

          Taking some low level Hardness because you foresee fighting a lot of Dragonblooded isn't because you're thinking of Dragonblooded as weak opponents.

          Despite my frustration with it, you already made the point here earlier: a Charm that's the same as a weaker Charm, but better in every way is bad design.

          If you want a better Excellent Strike Charm, you don't make Excellent Strike obsolete, you make an upgrade Charm, or something that's better but has major drawbacks (like resets, or harder to regain resources like WP, etc.).

          But that's basically how Hardness works. You don't upgrade weak Hardness to keep up with stronger attacks. You buy better Hardness and leave the weak Hardness behind. Even if Artifact light and heavy armor have reasonable trade offs side by side, as you add Charms, XP, get larger mote pools, etc. You can buy away the negatives of heavy armor, but you can't upgrade the light armor (outside of home brewed Evocations and such, but you could make super-heavy with the same thing, so I think it's reasonable to consider that a wash) to match.

          One of the things the lowers the utility of low Hardness values is that they become obsolete instead of getting built on; and frequently become made obsolete by relatively low level stuff.

          Again, not everyone is going to want to sink three or four Charms into making heavy armor's drawbacks go away, and they'll be fine with light's Hardness.

          But in the grand scheme of how useful Hardness is at different levels, this design reduces low Hardness usefulness.

          Yeah, that's why they launch a flurry of decisive attacks right off the bat and then when their fellows all get slaughtered by the Solars the last ones just book it, or die.
          Or, really, when they notice they've been spotted (they're ambush predators, and 6 dice might work against a yeddim, but if that's enough to gank a group of Solar PCs... the Solars are probably in for a very rough time beyond the animal attacks), they wait for something less observant to pass by.

          If the claw striders are being attacked before they've even gotten to launch that flurry of decisive attacks... what are they sticking around for? I mean, your whole example is predicated on them failing to get in their ambush at the start of the fight; justifiably, but that ambush is their primary tactic.

          I don't understand the difference.
          A narrative focused combat system is about resolving a fight based on the needs of the story. QCs wouldn't be stated up as condensed characters, but as a series of traits for the different roles in a fight. Narrative combat systems don't need to tell you the difference in accuracy and damage between two claw strider attacks, they need to tell the GM what kind of narratives they're meant to be good for, and then have a simple way to translate that into resolution. For example instead of bite and claw, they'd have a very impressive first round attack, a mediocre second round attack, and shitty third round or more attacks, to fulfill a roll of being their mostly to pose a risk of attrition in a short fight as part of the narrative of grinding down the party as they proceed through a dangerous trek.

          An emulation system is one focused on establishing a feel to how combat flows to create an aesthetic experience. Exalted 3e is already a good example of it. Instead of a WoD fight where characters are attacking each other as everyone gets weaker and weaker, and the winner is the one that can hold out the longest, Exalted 3e adds on the Initiative layer to emulate action set pieces better.

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          • #65
            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
            But in the grand scheme of how useful Hardness is at different levels, this design reduces low Hardness usefulness.
            Okay, the bottom line is basically this. As a storyteller I use plenty of low initiative attacks at all levels of play. I find it does a good job of making otherwise not very threatening enemies matter more, it's good for finishing off enemies that are close to death, and just making combat a lot more meaningful and dramatic overall as players go through a series of scenes slowly accruing battle damage.

            I even use them as a player, especially when something like a big badass enemy is sitting at 30i and ready to one hit KO my circlemate, and then somebody launches a decisive to put him down...which ends up only putting him to his -4. Why is an enemy in their -4s still dangerous? Well maybe their dicepools are just that good, or maybe they have wound penalty ignoring charms, or maybe their last health level isn't even a -4. At that point I turn on Burning Fury Wreath to ignore their 5 Hardness and fire off my last attack to kick them down for good. Or even when they're not that dangerous but I just don't want to waste a huge damage attack inflicting the last 1-2 health levels I need.

            You might not think it works, but I use it, and it definitely works for me. In my games if you have a Twilight anima banner active, you will get use out of it even at high level, you don't need to upgrade to Hardness 10 when you get past Essence 3. Nevermind the fact that with Supernal and Solars you could well have an Essence 1 character who's twice as badass as an Essence 5 one anyway.

            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
            Or, really, when they notice they've been spotted (they're ambush predators, and 6 dice might work against a yeddim, but if that's enough to gank a group of Solar PCs... the Solars are probably in for a very rough time beyond the animal attacks), they wait for something less observant to pass by.
            Well maybe they're starving and just going to go for it until some of them start dropping.

            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
            An emulation system is one focused on establishing a feel to how combat flows to create an aesthetic experience. Exalted 3e is already a good example of it. Instead of a WoD fight where characters are attacking each other as everyone gets weaker and weaker, and the winner is the one that can hold out the longest, Exalted 3e adds on the Initiative layer to emulate action set pieces better.
            Okay I was using the terms wrong. In an emulation style though I still don't have to match up what the character is wanting do to with what I'm wanting to do. The character is going for a killshot almost every time, that's their strategy. When they try to make a 4i decisive attack they are very legitimately attempting to kill their enemy, it just won't be lethal to a full health character because the fights that Ex3 is trying to emulate don't go down like that.
            Last edited by DrLoveMonkey; 05-11-2020, 09:11 PM.

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            • #66
              Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

              It's kind of hard to add a drawback that doesn't slow things down in some sense.

              That said, maybe something like: After Hardness that persists longer than a turn is used to negate damage, on the next turn it cannot be applied unless the user makes a Misc. Action to reset it, otherwise it will return the turn after that.

              Basically, Hardness from longer duration sources would default to only working every other turn, or you'd have to flurry in a Misc. Action (and there might still be a window for someone to hit you before you go even if that's going to be a fairly uncommon set of circumstances where they'd need higher Init than you, and still have less than necessary to defeat your Hardness). However powers like DoOM and the Twilight Anima non-automatic version would allow you to have Hardness every turn at the cost of motes.
              I think I like Epitome's proposition to reduce Hardness from the Initiative Damage Pool you would have taken. No dices involved, the player just mark the malus, and it still makes the fight going forward because it means you will take damage later on.

              Not to combine with idiotic 5 useless PNJ who spam Decisive Attacks but I'm not this kind of ST so this should be good with me.


              My homebrew (Leave comments if you want to help improve) : A quick recap of all the pools and stats for Quick Exalted 3E characters

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              • #67
                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                Weak effects are meant to counter weak effects. Hardness 5 stops a 5i attack from a peasant dirt farmer nobody as well as it does from a Solar.

                Taking some low level Hardness because you foresee fighting a lot of Dragonblooded isn't because you're thinking of Dragonblooded as weak opponents.

                Despite my frustration with it, you already made the point here earlier: a Charm that's the same as a weaker Charm, but better in every way is bad design.

                If you want a better Excellent Strike Charm, you don't make Excellent Strike obsolete, you make an upgrade Charm, or something that's better but has major drawbacks (like resets, or harder to regain resources like WP, etc.).

                But that's basically how Hardness works. You don't upgrade weak Hardness to keep up with stronger attacks. You buy better Hardness and leave the weak Hardness behind. Even if Artifact light and heavy armor have reasonable trade offs side by side, as you add Charms, XP, get larger mote pools, etc. You can buy away the negatives of heavy armor, but you can't upgrade the light armor (outside of home brewed Evocations and such, but you could make super-heavy with the same thing, so I think it's reasonable to consider that a wash) to match.

                One of the things the lowers the utility of low Hardness values is that they become obsolete instead of getting built on; and frequently become made obsolete by relatively low level stuff.

                Again, not everyone is going to want to sink three or four Charms into making heavy armor's drawbacks go away, and they'll be fine with light's Hardness.

                But in the grand scheme of how useful Hardness is at different levels, this design reduces low Hardness usefulness.
                This is something I feel I can productively engage with.

                I don't think this is true.

                Yes, if you wear Heavy Artifact Armor with Armored Scouts Invigoration then the Hardness 10 trumps the Hardness 4 of DoOM. But you can still use DoOM against Withering attacks. And you can still use DoOM' s Decisive damage reduction to add 2 pseudo-Hardness. Diamond Body Prana doesn't stack with any armor, but you can still use it to get Hardness when you are not wearing armor. And it stacks with/upgrades DoOM.

                If you were already using Light Artifact Armor, then Armored Scott's Invigoration gives a bonus instead of removing a penalty (so you CAN improve Light armor, even with canon Charms). If using Medium then it's cheaper than using Heavy.

                Invulnerable Skin of Bronze has numerous drawbacks that DoOM doesn't have. And yes, I'll give you Hardness doesn't stack but the Soak will stack with your Artifact Armor and the Hardness will stack with DoOM.

                I don't think there are any Solar effects that give Hardness which you will never use once you get a better source of Hardness. I'm not familiar enough with Lunars to comment, but it's not a problem I have personally had with Dragon-Blooded.

                I get the perception ("I have Hardness 10. An effect with gives Hardness 4 is useless!"). I just don't get how this actually happens in actual play.


                Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                  You might not think it works, but I use it, and it definitely works for me.
                  I'm not saying that it "doesn't work." I'm saying, "DrLoveMonkey's personal style," doesn't automatically counter the reasons expressed for why Hardness at low value is either practically or aesthetically less useful than it seems like it should be.

                  Telling people to run games more like someone else isn't really a satisfactory answer to a lot of people either.

                  Originally posted by Chausse View Post
                  I think I like Epitome's proposition to reduce Hardness from the Initiative Damage Pool you would have taken.
                  Sure, just offering a different option.

                  Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                  But you can still use DoOM against Withering attacks. And you can still use DoOM' s Decisive damage reduction to add 2 pseudo-Hardness.
                  Yes, as well acknowledged already up-thread, DoOM remains a useful Charm because of the damage reduce part of it, even if the Hardness part doesn't (it's also useful in upper level combat if the "ignore Hardness" effects start to get broken out).

                  But the question isn't "is DoOM a decent Charm even if you have better sources of Hardness," but, "are lower levels of Hardness really that useful?"

                  If you were already using Light Artifact Armor, then Armored Scott's Invigoration gives a bonus instead of removing a penalty (so you CAN improve Light armor, even with canon Charms). If using Medium then it's cheaper than using Heavy.
                  ASI's bonus isn't to light isn't to armor stats. Frankly, it's a waste of 4m unless you have zero Awareness or other JB enhancing Charms (which you could have bought instead of ASI). 4m for an indefinite re-roll one failed JB die isn't anything to write home about.

                  And if you're, say, using Glorious Solar Plate, ASI activates for free when you turn it on. And with how 3e handles the 'item out of glowy light Charms,' you're not even cutting yourself off from Evocations.

                  I get the perception ("I have Hardness 10. An effect with gives Hardness 4 is useless!"). I just don't get how this actually happens in actual play.
                  Easily. Because it's not about if Hardness granting effects become useless even if the Hardness aspect of them does. DoOM, ISoB, etc. remain useful because the do more than grant you Hardness, even if the Hardness they also grant you is something you never end up using. It's about the fact that you're not using them for Hardness.

                  Or, to put it another way, if DoOM was a Uniform Charm, with just the reduction aspect, and Diamond Body Prana granted the same Hardness as it does in combo with DoOM RAW, I don't think anyone would complain or even notice. Diamond Body Prana would just be the "I want to go unarmored route," Charm, and people that want to use armor would pick up that part of the tree instead. Everyone would still be taking DoOM because damage reduction like that at Essence 1 is really useful.

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

                    I'm not saying that it "doesn't work." I'm saying, "DrLoveMonkey's personal style," doesn't automatically counter the reasons expressed for why Hardness at low value is either practically or aesthetically less useful than it seems like it should be.

                    Telling people to run games more like someone else isn't really a satisfactory answer to a lot of people either.
                    If you don't think a game element is fun, there are two options:

                    1. The game is wrong. Houserule a change to fix this.
                    2. You are playing wrong. Change your playstyle to fix this.

                    The Doctor and I enjoy Hardness. If you played more like us, I think you'd like it too. If you'd rather houserule a change, I'm sure the community could help with that.

                    Yes, as well acknowledged already up-thread, DoOM remains a useful Charm because of the damage reduce part of it, even if the Hardness part doesn't (it's also useful in upper level combat if the "ignore Hardness" effects start to get broken out).

                    But the question isn't "is DoOM a decent Charm even if you have better sources of Hardness," but, "are lower levels of Hardness really that useful?"
                    Yes. For the reasons also enumerated upthread, low levels of Hardness are useful.

                    The ultilty of low level Hardness is going to depend on playstyle. This is true for literally every game element.

                    Easily. Because it's not about if Hardness granting effects become useless even if the Hardness aspect of them does. DoOM, ISoB, etc. remain useful because the do more than grant you Hardness, even if the Hardness they also grant you is something you never end up using. It's about the fact that you're not using them for Hardness.

                    Or, to put it another way, if DoOM was a Uniform Charm, with just the reduction aspect, and Diamond Body Prana granted the same Hardness as it does in combo with DoOM RAW, I don't think anyone would complain or even notice. Diamond Body Prana would just be the "I want to go unarmored route," Charm, and people that want to use armor would pick up that part of the tree instead. Everyone would still be taking DoOM because damage reduction like that at Essence 1 is really useful.
                    I think people whose characters wear non-artifact armor would notice.

                    I also think the current design is great game balance. If you don't have Hardness, DoOM gives you Hardness. If you do have Hardness DoOM is still useful. Same for ISoB.

                    Low levels of Hardness stop weak attacks.
                    You literally cannot get low levels of Hardness unless it's attached to an effect that's still useful even if the Hardness isn't.
                    The uses of Solar Hardness may be niche (only when Crashed, only when caught out of armor, only when I summon armor made of golden light, only when I spend time to cast an Obvious spell, only when wearing conspicuous magic armor (with a mobility penalty)) but they're never useless.

                    Even if you have Heavy Artifact Armor, DoOM is still useful for Hardness if you are attacked outside of your armor. AND the Charm is still useful whilst wearing armor, even if the Hardness isn't.

                    I don't expect this answer will be satisfactory to you, but all I can suggest is that you houserule something different. Maybe say all sources of Hardness are always Hardness 10, for example.
                    Last edited by JohnDoe244; 05-14-2020, 01:29 PM.


                    Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                      If you don't think a game element is fun, there are two options:
                      You seem far too intent to make everything a binary when it's not.

                      1. The game is wrong. Houserule a change to fix this.
                      2. You are playing wrong. Change your playstyle to fix this.
                      There's actually a third option: play the game anyway. Hardness isn't some lynchpin of the system where the game falls apart without it. I've played a 3e heroic mortals game... which makes Hardness something basically nobody has (not impossible because mortals can still access sorcery, but in that game we were asked not to make sorcerers). It was fun.

                      For our Solar games, pretty much all of the Hardness granting powers are part of packages that are useful even if the Hardness part isn't really that useful because you can get better elsewhere.

                      The lack of lasting utility to low Hardness levels is unfun, but also avoidable enough that it's easier to move on and play than doing extensive house rules or trying to change our playstyles.

                      If you played more like us, I think you'd like it too. If you'd rather houserule a change, I'm sure the community could help with that.
                      My dislike of how Hardness is implemented goes beyond the scope of this thread (which I've pointed to before this), so I highly doubt I would be happy with it just because more low damage decisive attacks were being thrown around. I can assure you that for myself, I would find taking a low Hardness power just to avoid dealing with my ST's focus on attrition combat encounters exceedingly grating. I don't play Exalted to get my long term resource management survival kick (there are plenty of games that do that well, which I enjoy playing). I play Exalted to play epic heroes

                      This is not the first thread in which I've brought up my discontent with Hardness; haven't really gotten much help in the past about that. I've gotten a lot of, "Hardness is fine, just play different," in response though.

                      Yes. For the reasons also enumerated upthread, low levels of Hardness are useful.
                      But the question isn't binary. How useful is it? Well, as you acknowledge, it's rather niche.

                      I think people whose characters wear non-artifact armor would notice.
                      If you're wearing non-Artifact armor... GSP has an option for you. Since the prereqs for GSP are useful to armor of any type, if you're planning on playing a Solar that uses armor the investment to get to GSP's 10 Hardness isn't going to seem onerous. Or, other options that are out there.

                      It also makes unarmored Resistance Solars and armored Resistance Solars have different styles (unarmored doesn't get as high, but has the reflexive stuff, armored trades that speed for better protection).

                      Though it doesn't really feel like you're engaging much with the thought exercise posed.

                      I don't expect this answer will be satisfactory to you,...
                      Because you refuse to actually engage with the premise of the discussion.

                      Let's try something different:

                      Is Lionesses assessment in post #31 accurate?

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                        Telling people to run games more like someone else isn't really a satisfactory answer to a lot of people either.
                        Well, to be fair here that isn't how I used to run Ex3. I used to think "Okay, this guy has basically zero chance to kill the player with 6i, and he knows that, so he's not going to decisive." which ended up with a lot of people buying healing magics and wound penalty ignoring charms that were otherwise useless. Then eventually the one big enemy who was actually badass enough to get into a position of strength, and keep it long enough to hit with a decisive attack came around...and then he misses that attack anyway with bad luck. Or he hits, maybe deals some sizable damage, but then like an in-game week passes by without anything really critical happening, especially nothing risking dealing health level damage to the wounded PC, and we're back to square one.

                        Since changing my strategy though, things have been running a lot better. I've been able to use more base enemies without having to pile on homebrew modifications to them, combat has more punch, there's really good reasons to take charms that otherwise wouldn't be useful, and my players have become a lot more thoughtful about the game.

                        I'm not bending over backwards to try and make low Hardness work, I changed my game style based on the suggestions of some other people on the site and the whole combat game is better, and as a result also lower values of Hardness now are seeing more use. I also take the instances of low Hardness to be an indication that this is how the game is supposed to be run, along with the number of antagonists/charms that gain bonuses against enemies suffering from wound penalties, or who themselves gain bonuses by having wound penalties.


                        Something else I've basically never used even now is cover. The Solar charm Angle-Tracing Edge would be 100% useless in every game of e3 that I've run so far. Also difficult terrain, I believe I may have used it at some point, but I can't quite remember. Now though I'm thinking "Hey, what if I had some enemy archers up somewhere in cover, and the only way to get to them is through difficult terrain?" that's a pretty smart tactic anyway and makes a lot of the lesser used charms better if that's an element of the game to boot.

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

                          You seem far too intent to make everything a binary when it's not.



                          There's actually a third option: play the game anyway. Hardness isn't some lynchpin of the system where the game falls apart without it. I've played a 3e heroic mortals game... which makes Hardness something basically nobody has (not impossible because mortals can still access sorcery, but in that game we were asked not to make sorcerers). It was fun.
                          I would suggest that if Hardness being unfun is a non-issue for you, then arguing about it for five pages is not a productive use of time. As ever, I am impressed with your grasp of rhetoric but bewildered by what you actually want.

                          Are you just venting?

                          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                          Let's try something different:

                          Is Lionesses assessment in post #31 accurate?
                          Yes, I think that's fair.

                          I've built my entire 3E character around the Smashing tag -- he uses it on every attack in every combat (except maybe and handful of times when he was Crashed or threw javelins instead). I suppose one could do the same with Hardness. My character also has the Reaching tag -- never used it once. I suppose the same could be true of Hardness. My character also has Hardness 8 and the Two-handed tag, comes up every other session or so -- when I was forced to fight without Hardness, I really noticed the difference, just as being Grappled is an immediate game-changer for my character.

                          Do you agree that low levels of Hardness have utility comparable to a weapon tag?
                          Last edited by JohnDoe244; 05-14-2020, 01:32 PM.


                          Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                            I used to think "Okay, this guy has basically zero chance to kill the player with 6i, and he knows that, so he's not going to decisive."
                            For my group, the decisive decision is, well, if the decisive has a chance to significantly alter the stakes/situation/outcome of the battle 6i decisive attacks happen, they just usually mean a gambit rather than a damaging attack is being attempted. 6i is plenty to establish a grapple, or use a Disarming weapon to disarm.

                            It just didn't really help improve my impression of low Hardness.


                            Something else I've basically never used even now is cover. The Solar charm Angle-Tracing Edge would be 100% useless in every game of e3 that I've run so far. Also difficult terrain, I believe I may have used it at some point, but I can't quite remember. Now though I'm thinking "Hey, what if I had some enemy archers up somewhere in cover, and the only way to get to them is through difficult terrain?" that's a pretty smart tactic anyway and makes a lot of the lesser used charms better if that's an element of the game to boot.
                            And... cover and rough terrain come up in my first 3e fight (and Reach for JonDoe's examples), because our ST decided to use mounted enemies figuring it would give them a bit of a boost against a bunch of Solars. Which it did until my character uses some Athletics Charms to boost his efforts to knock down a bunch of trees to rough up the terrain against their melee fighters, and give our ranged fighters some cover.

                            I'm not really sure what point this makes... but perhaps not all of this is really just play style.

                            Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                            I would suggest that if Hardness being unfun is a non-issue for you, then arguing about it for five pages is not a productive use of time.
                            I never said it was a non-issue, I said it was an issue I can get past and still enjoy playing the game with my friends. I've never played an RPG that didn't have some mechanic somewhere that annoyed me, but a lot of the people I play with aren't up for a lot of house-rules and tinkering. So generally I save my advocacy for changes for rules that would negatively impact me a lot more than stuff I can easily just avoid by not taking it.

                            As for the productivity? Why aren't use asking DrLoveMonkey the same question? Or is that a question that only matters if someone holds a different position than your own?

                            As ever, I am impressed with your grasp of rhetoric but bewildered by what you actually want.
                            To actually discuss the topic of the thread. I have my opinions about it, you have your opinions about it, they differ... so I'd like to see if there's a reason beyond play style to actually consider here.

                            But even when it seems like when it seems like there's actually more to agree on that it seems, it's like pulling teeth to get there.

                            It's like trying to debate against a Rule Zero Fallacy with someone that refuses to acknowledge that's what they're doing. You come off as so far into "here's how we make low Hardness matter more," mindset that you don't realize that you're also coming off as arguing that low Hardness needs to be lifted up; whether by changes to style, rules or whatever.

                            Are you just venting?
                            Do you realize that this sort of questioning of my motives negatively impacts the way more innocent intended questions are intended to be taken?

                            Yes, I think that's fair.
                            OK. We both agree that low Hardness is, by itself, a niche effect that's generally only taken as part of a pack of effects; and thus the answer to the general question of the thread is, "not very, but you'll probably have it from one of those packages, and when it is useful hey, you'll have it."

                            We don't need to debate about how good DoOM is, or if Solar sorcerers perhaps get a bit too much for the investment, or any of that? Most of the last 4 pages really?

                            Do you agree that low levels of Hardness have utility comparable to a weapon tag?
                            In a very broad sense, as I consider the weapon tags an ugly mess of mixed utility.

                            But this gets back to an earlier point: the subjective "fun" factor. Weapons are, generally speaking, free. Yes, they have a Resources cost attached to them, but there's lots of ways to get weapons even without money. A weapon with a tag that you never end up using didn't effectively cost you anything. Chopping is probably one of the lowest utility/most niche weapon tags due to the cost of use relative to benefits gained, it's not like you're paying extra just to have it.

                            Hardness, as a supernatural/superhuman effect, has a cost to it. All the cool packages that include it seem safe to assume would be cheaper if they didn't include Hardness.

                            As a hypothetical thought experiment, imagine players could pick between two different versions of DoOM. One RAW, and the other without the Hardness attached. As Charms the cost the buy them is inherently the same. So, the second version of DoOM, as it gives less, should still cost less, right? It would be fair to say, cost 1m less to activate?

                            Because that's part of the issue beyond agreeing that low Hardness is already a relatively niche effect that most people only have because it's part of a bigger package. I can't buy my hypothetical no-Hardness DoOM where I can get the part I'd use a lot, without the part I barely if ever use, and save 1m per use. I've got to take the package deal.

                            So I feel like I should be getting something for what I'm paying for. Isn't that a fair feeling to have about this?

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                              This is something I feel I can productively engage with.

                              I don't think this is true.

                              Yes, if you wear Heavy Artifact Armor with Armored Scouts Invigoration then the Hardness 10 trumps the Hardness 4 of DoOM. But you can still use DoOM against Withering attacks. And you can still use DoOM' s Decisive damage reduction to add 2 pseudo-Hardness. Diamond Body Prana doesn't stack with any armor, but you can still use it to get Hardness when you are not wearing armor. And it stacks with/upgrades DoOM.
                              Complementary to this, it's important to remember how you receive decisive attacks. And, again, the fact that hardness comes in a package.

                              Outside enhanced multiattacks, the enemy usually has to build initiative up. This is expensive, and won't always ignore hardness.
                              If you have, say, hardness 10, a pretty Invincible Fury Of The Dawn + Fire & Stones Strike with perfect hit thresholds will need to have anywhere from 14 to 35 initiative to deal damage. The former is much easier to get but you're paying 8m 1wp for 8 dice of damage (more if you account for the probable excellent strike to make that hit threshold safer). And a single DoOM activation whiffs all of them if the assailant doesn't build another 4 to 10 initiative.

                              Back to more standard applications, the attacker needs to build more initiative than the defender's hardness to deal decisive damage.

                              Let's look at the habitual 4-10 hardness range.

                              Consider Eevil Kneevil is at 9i and withered you for a nice 18 raw damage attack. If you have 8 soak, he likely upped to 15i. If you have 15 soak, he likely went to 12i.
                              If you had low soak, you will deny him a decisive against your hardness if you deal 5 to 11 damage. If you had high soak, you will deny him by dealing 2-8 damage.

                              Hardness means the enemy doesn't want to Thousand-Cuts you, and can't gamble into a death spiral. Damage and Soak are how you force the enemy into that scenario.

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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                And... cover and rough terrain come up in my first 3e fight (and Reach for JonDoe's examples), because our ST decided to use mounted enemies figuring it would give them a bit of a boost against a bunch of Solars. Which it did until my character uses some Athletics Charms to boost his efforts to knock down a bunch of trees to rough up the terrain against their melee fighters, and give our ranged fighters some cover.

                                I'm not really sure what point this makes... but perhaps not all of this is really just play style.
                                I think it shows it IS about playstyle. What is useful and fun at one table is not going to universally be useful and fun at all tables.

                                Sounds like it was a fun encounter.

                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                As for the productivity? Why aren't use asking DrLoveMonkey the same question? Or is that a question that only matters if someone holds a different position than your own?
                                The only reasons I use this forum is to get ideas to help me enjoy Exalted and to help other people enjoy Exalted more.

                                If someone says "this isn't fun for me", I'll happy spend twelve pages helping them have fun. I have no intention of spending so much as a single page arguing with someone about how to play the game right.

                                I didn't/don't understand your posts and didn't see a productive conversation happening, so I stopped responding until DrLoveMonkey and yourself came to a place where I felt I could help. I understand why DrLoveMonkey is posting: if I understood why you were posting I'd try to help you, I don't understand so I asked.

                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                To actually discuss the topic of the thread. I have my opinions about it, you have your opinions about it, they differ... so I'd like to see if there's a reason beyond play style to actually consider here.
                                The game is the game.

                                You can make a compelling argument that the game is wrong... but that doesn't change the words printed in the rulebook.

                                You are right that I like to reduce complex issues down to a binary. It's how my brain works. You are welcome to voice your opinion. My opinion isn't any more valid or correct than your opinion.

                                My entire point is that I do what DrLoveMonkey is suggesting, and I love the Hardness mechanic.

                                You don't love it, and that is fine. Your opinion is valid. If you are happy not loving it, then carry on with my blessing. When I present a binary option like "change the rules or change your playstyle" then I'm posting from the assumption that, like me, you are using the Exalted community because you want to enhance your game. If that's not why you're posting, then I can see why my posts aren't helpful to you: I'm treating this as a problem to be fixed. It is not my intent to invalidate your feelings, and I apologise if that's what I've been doing.

                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                It's like trying to debate against a Rule Zero Fallacy with someone that refuses to acknowledge that's what they're doing. You come off as so far into "here's how we make low Hardness matter more," mindset that you don't realize that you're also coming off as arguing that low Hardness needs to be lifted up; whether by changes to style, rules or whatever.
                                Exalted 3E does not work like other RPGs, including Exalted 2E and 1E.

                                If you approach 3E like a "typical" RPG, then many of the rules and setting elements will not be fun.

                                I've found (false binary) that you can either assume the game is wrong (and either try to fix it, or do as you have done and soldier on against game elements that are not fun) or you can assume you are playing wrong (and play differently).

                                Some 3E mechanics are wrong. I haven't found any playstyle that makes the Naval Combat system fun.

                                But mostly, the system just isn't intuitive. If you change the way you play to reflect the way the game is nudging you, rather than the way you think you should play, then suddenly it becomes fun. This isn't limited to Hardness.

                                If you are having fun, then play however you like. This isn't actually a right/wrong dichotomy -- it's really about subjective levels of fun. If you are having fun, you are doing it right.

                                But my point isn't "if you change the way you play, Hardness is more useful". My point is "if you play in line with how the game is built, then you'll have more fun".

                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                Do you realize that this sort of questioning of my motives negatively impacts the way more innocent intended questions are intended to be taken?
                                I... continue to not understand what you are saying.

                                I want to know what your motives are so we can have a productive discussion. I cannot infer motive from what you have written, and I would be grateful if you could clarify. If you'd rather not engage with the questions I'm asking, I have no power to compel you.

                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                OK. We both agree that low Hardness is, by itself, a niche effect that's generally only taken as part of a pack of effects; and thus the answer to the general question of the thread is, "not very, but you'll probably have it from one of those packages, and when it is useful hey, you'll have it."

                                We don't need to debate about how good DoOM is, or if Solar sorcerers perhaps get a bit too much for the investment, or any of that? Most of the last 4 pages really?
                                Also "high" Hardness. Hardness is a niche effect. Like Resolve.

                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                Hardness, as a supernatural/superhuman effect, has a cost to it. All the cool packages that include it seem safe to assume would be cheaper if they didn't include Hardness.

                                As a hypothetical thought experiment, imagine players could pick between two different versions of DoOM. One RAW, and the other without the Hardness attached. As Charms the cost the buy them is inherently the same. So, the second version of DoOM, as it gives less, should still cost less, right? It would be fair to say, cost 1m less to activate?

                                Because that's part of the issue beyond agreeing that low Hardness is already a relatively niche effect that most people only have because it's part of a bigger package. I can't buy my hypothetical no-Hardness DoOM where I can get the part I'd use a lot, without the part I barely if ever use, and save 1m per use. I've got to take the package deal.

                                So I feel like I should be getting something for what I'm paying for. Isn't that a fair feeling to have about this?
                                All feelings are fair feelings. Your feelings are valid. You have every right to not like Hardness.

                                I'm not sure your underpinning thoughts on "costing" Hardness are valid.

                                You can't get Hardness in isolation, like you can't get "Overwhelming" on a weapon without also getting "Damage". Costing the value of "Overwhelming" seperate from "Damage" is a pretty difficult task -- even though there are many effects that give increased Overwhelming from Charms to Tags to weapon class, which may or may not be linked to increased Damage (or decreased Accuracy/Defence). Likewise costing Hardness seperate from the other effects it is packaged with is... really difficult.

                                I think DoOM without Hardness is probably still worth 3m. I also think that a standalone Charm that just gave Hardness 4 for a tick is probably also worth 3m (maybe 2m, depending on how it interacts with things like Diamond Body Prana).

                                ****

                                Low Hardness (1-7) is useful because it stops Anima Flux and low Initative damaging Decisive attacks. That's what it's for. That's why it's useful.

                                High Hardness (8+) shares all the advantages of low Hardness and also forces your opponent to build more Initative before attacking you with a straight attack. It is often found on Heavy Armor, and combines with high Soak -- this combination helps you tank combats.

                                Low Hardness remains useful, because it is usually tied to convenient, low cost, effects where High Hardness is usually tied to inconvenient, high cost, effects. Low Hardness covers weaknesses in the High Hardness powersets, and tend to be part of packages which have useful effects outside of Hardness.

                                ****

                                Needless to say, I agree with Synapse and am grateful for the helpful example provided. Very illustrative, thank you.
                                Last edited by JohnDoe244; 05-14-2020, 01:33 PM.


                                Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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