Black Company Errata

This forum is for the discussion of Green Ronin's various campaign settings, such as Freeport, Thieves' World, Black Company, and the Mythic Vistas titles.

Postby RJS » Fri Mar 25, 2005 10:07 am

Yep 1d3 should be 1d4
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Postby Old One » Sat Mar 26, 2005 1:02 pm

RJS,

Thanks!
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Postby Soulmage » Sun Mar 27, 2005 2:55 pm

I've been thinking about the augmenting an instantaneous duration issue for a bit and I don't think that the patch described above is the way it should be resolved.

Why? If I want to create a lasting Wall of Fire effect, I shouldn't have to blend Create Energy with another spell effect in order to accomplish this.

Instead of a special "patch" applied to blended spells to allow for longer duration energy damage, I believe all that really needs to be developed is a special augmentation for Create Energy that allows it to be exempted from the "no extending durations of instataneous effects" rule.

At this time, I'm not aware of any other instantaneous duration effects for which this is a concern. Is sombody is, please chime in. Failing that I think the tweak should just be applied to create energy, which is the problem, not all blended spells.

My two cents anyway. . .
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Postby RJS » Sun Mar 27, 2005 8:12 pm

So, I've been working on this a bit on the side. So far, I've come up with the following augmentations to be added under Duration:

Change Instantaneous to 1 round: +20*

*If you augment a spell effect that deals damage to increase the duration from instantaneous to a duration of 1 round or longer, the damaging force is fixed and deals damage each round to creatures and objects in the area of effect.

And under Area:
Direct the Spell within Range** +20
**This augmentation allows you to redirect a spell with a duration to affect new targets by changing the location. For example, a spellcaster who adds this augmentation could move a 20-foot emanation of fire started by the Create Energy (fire) spell anywhere within its range for each round it’s extended.

Thoughts?
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Postby Morfedel » Mon Mar 28, 2005 5:16 am

It could work.

I was about to post that I had the opposite opinion, that I liked the idea of linking damage duration to blending.

Why? well, look at all the spells in the BC novels. Most of them were... well, weird. And usually could be looked at as Blending.

Imagine, for instance, a Rain of fire spell, combining Fire Talent and Water Talent (creating Rain), to have fire rain down on an area.

Would't be much of an advantage generally, under normal circumstances. But with blending, if duration was linked to it....

Maybe a seperate DC modifier for when blending spells instead?



Side note: You know? I'd love to see all the spells we saw in the BC novels turned into spells here for numerous examples.
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Patch!

Postby Jackdelavert » Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:49 am

RJS wrote:So, I've been working on this a bit on the side. So far, I've come up with the following augmentations to be added under Duration:

Change Instantaneous to 1 round: +20*

*If you augment a spell effect that deals damage to increase the duration from instantaneous to a duration of 1 round or longer, the damaging force is fixed and deals damage each round to creatures and objects in the area of effect.

And under Area:
Direct the Spell within Range** +20
**This augmentation allows you to redirect a spell with a duration to affect new targets by changing the location. For example, a spellcaster who adds this augmentation could move a 20-foot emanation of fire started by the Create Energy (fire) spell anywhere within its range for each round it’s extended.

Thoughts?


Sorry but IMHO I think this isn't as good as the blending Idea, The Blending of spell effects is what caught my eye with the magic system, it promotes new ideas, not just working out a formula ('ok I want it to last 2 rounds so thats another +20' ) even if you only blend with figment to create a 'look' for the spell otherwise, all you will get is another Destroy spell that lasts 2 rounds, forcing people (even against their will) to blend to achieve a desired effect promotes individuallity (a horrible thought apparently to most d20 gamers (joke)). If you want the cost to be higher why not just say that the 'Timed' part must have a higher base DC than the Damage part of the blended spell (this would stop people adding a 10-20 point effect just for duration), I'll stop before this turns into a rant!
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Postby Dakkareth » Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:23 am

A question about taking extra time for spellcasting:

Is the progression supposed to be

I: 4 actions -> 4 minutes -> 40 minutes -> 4 hours -> ...
or
II: 4 actions (2 rounds) -> 2 minutes -> 20 minutes -> 2 hours -> ...
or
III: 4 actions -> 1 minute -> 10 minutes -> 1 hour -> ... ?

I used the first one so far as it seems to me, that it makes the most sense. One could argue, that one should increase from rounds to minutes, though. The example on page 152 under Taking Extra Time seems to favor the third version:
** For example, increasing the casting time from 4 actions to 1 minute counts as one degree longer.

Is this a mistake? It should read "4 minutes" if I is true and "2 minutes", if II is true.
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Re: Patch!

Postby Jackdelavert » Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:36 am

Though the redirecting rule has merit, how about a duration of 'concentration' ?
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Postby Dakkareth » Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:47 am

Some other ideas:

Increase range by 500 ft. -- +30

Increase duration to one hour -- +20
For every hour after the first -- +5
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Curious

Postby iganinja » Sun Apr 03, 2005 10:56 pm

If you link the emanation augmentation to a damage effect... say if you were to take the Force hammer, and change it to be a 10' emanation, would the damage then require a reflex save for half? For that matter, if you were to change it to a cone or burst, would that also come with a reflex for half save?
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Postby Dakkareth » Mon Apr 04, 2005 3:47 am

Yes it would, that was already answered earlier.
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Postby iganinja » Mon Apr 04, 2005 9:13 am

Actually, I can't find the answer to that question anywhere in this thread. I just did a search on each page(to make sure I wasn't crazy) for burst, cone, emanation, and reflex and only came up with my post and the one about adding "Direct spell within range +20".

If I've missed it feel free to point it out to me.

So if you're changing to burst, emanation, or cone, the spell save changes to reflex for half?

EDIT: Found the answer to burst in a different thread, but that still leaves cone and emanation. =) I would assume yes also, but I don't like to assume.
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Postby Dakkareth » Mon Apr 04, 2005 11:49 am

It should be the same for each area effect, I'd say.
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Postby Morfedel » Mon Apr 04, 2005 5:19 pm

Really, the answers to this errata should be compiled in a single list uninterrupted by responses, questions, etc, so the answers are easier to find.
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Postby Soulmage » Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:03 am

They will be eventually. Robert is just busy at the moment. Besides, the later that happens, the more complete it wll be when its done.
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Postby Zindahjira » Tue Apr 05, 2005 10:49 am

In the meantime, nothing stops anyone who wants to do so from compiling an unofficial errata from the ones mentioned to date; I'm sure RJS would not exactly be heartbroken if someone did so. At worst, it is little help; at best, it's a timesaver both for people looking for errata in the meantime, and for him, later, when he does have time to compile the offical errata.
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Postby Deinonychus » Wed Jan 25, 2006 6:52 am

RJS wrote:Yeah. I'll be pulling an errata list together soon.


Did this happen? I looked on the GR site and didn't find it. I was in a rush admittedly, so can anyone confirm any new location for collected errata?

thanks
D-
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Postby playwithbob » Wed Sep 06, 2006 11:00 am

to the front with you
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Postby jdrakeh » Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:31 pm

Here's a totally unofficial errata document culled from this thread:

Unofficial Black Company Errata

My copy of the book arrived this afternoon and I wanted to start using it as quickly as possible, so I went ahead and put this together.

Enjoy!
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Re: Black Company Errata

Postby Kerrec » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:15 am

I see the last post was made in 2006 and it is now 2012. I hope this forum is still suppored, because I'm completely confused with the Company Scale combat.

I ran a battle at the company scale, and basically what happened is several platoons ended up shattered and then quickly destroyed. It just seems like my groups interpretation of the mechanics isn't balanced.

The crux of the problem from what I gather, is the interpretation of the unit's BAB. The definition on Pg. 137 is (assuming a class with good attack bonus) the units BAB is equal to it's Hit Dice. My group chose to interpret this as:

1 level 1 character has 1 Hit Die.
1 level 2 character has 2 Hit Die.
1 level 3 character has 3 Hit Die.

2 level 1 characters have a cummulative 2 Hit Die.
2 level 2 characters have a cummulative 4 Hit Die.

And so on.

So a Squad of level 1's have 8 Hit Die, and being fighters they have 8 BAB
A Squad of level 2's (Trained) have 16 Hit Die, and being fighters they have 16 BAB.
When this ramps up into a platoon, the BAB gets very large (my player's best platoon of trained troops had a BAB in the 70's), and that was just TRAINED. I couldn't fathom the BAB for a Platoon of Veterans or even Elites.

At first, my personal interpretation of the mechanics was that a squad's BAB was the average (or mean) of the unit's member's Hit Dice, ie: the dice they roll each level to gain hit points. For example, a squad of 8 scouts would have an average Hit Die of 6 (x .75 for average class BAB). A squad of 8 Rangers would have an average Hit Die of 8 (x 1 for having good class BAB), and a squad of 8 Fighters would have an average Hit Die of 10 (x 1 for having good class BAB).

Now, when my group was trying to decipher how to calcualte BAB, they kept referring to the examples shown on Pg. 141., and as a whole, they don't make sense. To illustrate:

Side A), the Urban Cohorts had two squads of lvl 1 warriors. Each squad had HD (again, Hit Dice... really need to differentiate between a unit's health and the over used "Hit Dice") of 8d8. I assume that warriors roll a d8 each time they level to gain Hit Points, and there were 8 of them in the squad. Now the BAB for those squads is 8, but who knows where that comes from because 8 is used twice...

The Platoon of Urban Cohorts, made up of lvl 2 warriors, have HD of 24d8. I assume there are 3 squads of 8 to make up the value of 24 (or 4 squads of 6 or some other combination). Given my groups interpretation, being level 2, this platoon should have a BAB of 48, but the book states their BAB is 24.

So, given the squad example above 8 individuals produce a BAB of 8, and a platoon of 24 individuals producing a BAB of 24, it seems the BAB is equal to the sum of individuals (and then you multiply based on class).

But then we move on to the definition of the Black Company Platoon. They are level 5, and they have a HD of 58d8. 58 individuals (?) and their BAB is surprisingly, 58. Seems to follow the pattern I explained above...

EXCEPT the definition of a squad is up to 8 individuals, and the definition of a platoon is up to 4 squads. Assuming the Black Company Platoon had 4 full squads, it should have 32 individuals maximum (as defined on page 135!!!). So where in the heck did 58 come from?



We were so confused with six of us trying to decipher this, so I went with the majority and let my players assume that a a squad of level 2's would have a HD of 16, and put into platoons, this gives the platoon a BAB of around 64. I figured it wouldn't matter because in the end, my troops would have the same advantage.

Didn't work out so well. Problem is the defenders have to roll a Fortitude save against a DC15 + Damage Value. The Damage value was often in the range of 10-15, which gives a final DC of around 25-30 (sometimes higher). Given that fortitude was usually around 4-7, and a d20 could roll a 19 (20 being an automatic save), the best they could ever roll would be a 26. Seeing as they weren't always rolling well, often they failed by more than 10 and their unit sustained injuries and were shattered.

And to add insult to injuries, in order to recover from being Shattered you have to roll a Command check against the same Fortitude DC that they failed to become shattered. So even with a much better Command compared to Fortitude, they often ended up remaining shattered. But again, even with a good Command score, you NEED to roll well to beat a DC that high. Didn't happen. ( I started to feel so bad, I let them make a command check as a leader AND do their movement as a platoon so they could have a CHANCE of not being hit again to be destroyed).

Finally, after an agonizing battle of trying to recover from being shattered all the time, the battle ended. Many of my player's units ended the battle in a shattered state, and then when they rolled casualties.... Boom, 100% casualty rate, because ending with Shattered gives an extra 10 to the DC.



So, PLEASE clear this up. How do you establish a unit's BAB? Is it based on the quantity of individuals in the unit (squad, platoon, company)? Or is it some strange formula related to the unit's class Hit Dice, which can result in a platoon (32 individuals max) having a HD of 58d? and a BAB of 58 (before adding more for feats, etc...).
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Re: Black Company Errata

Postby Zapp » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:40 am

Hi,

I can't answer your questions, but what I can do is suggest you google a phrase such as
"black company" mass scale combat

and check out any discussions revolving around the issue. (The quotes around black company are there to filter out the majority of talk regarding mass combat rules in general, since only a small part involves this particular, and if I may say so, rather obscure by now, game).

Perhaps you will even find somebody that has actually used these rules in real play. Good luck!
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Re: Black Company Errata

Postby Kerrec » Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:39 pm

Thanks for the suggestions, but about 30 minutes of digging into the links generated by that search only provides people comparing the various mass combat systems between different systems. Nothing going into the specifics of the BCCS Company Scale mechanics.

I spent about 2 weeks making my own homebrew system using the confusing/flawed system in BCCS. We try it out in a couple of weeks. Now that it's done, I'm not that interested in how its supposed to work out of the book. Just a shame I spent all that time "fixing" the Company Scale Combat system, instead of fleshing out the actual story/game I'm running.
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Re: Black Company Errata

Postby Zapp » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:24 pm

Do share your findings :). You might be the only one actually using that subsystem.
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Re: Black Company Errata

Postby AlterEgoZoe » Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:48 am

Wish I saw this posting earlier. My Black Company group did Company Scale for a session during the summer.I circumvented the NPC Unit Statistics by plugging in units from other sources (Many were from the "War in Midwinter" modules, and I think I supplemented the Party's company with a mobbed unit from Heroes of Battle, plus a unit from "War in Midwinter").

For the party's stats we basically did a "law of averages" on everything, so we averaged everyone's saves, attacks, etc (since it was so long ago I don't remember how close to the rules we were).

From what I remember, I think going from Company Scale to Character Scale and back was kind of wonky, and my adding mob rules for one unit on top of it didn't really help too much.

On other streamline rule sets for a battle larger than character scale, check out: War D20, Fields of Blood and Heroes of Battle

One book my Black Company game can't live without is Mercernaries d20. I highly recommend it. :)
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Re: Black Company Errata

Postby Metatron » Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:28 am

I have determined a method that works for my games.

1: Calculate the squads BAB average: e.g. 10 1st level fighters and 10 3rd level fighters would have a +2.
2. Add in attack modifiers. E.g. Strength 13 gives +1 modifier, +additional modifiers
-e.g. Attack bonus +3
3. Roll d20 + modifier. E.g. D20 roll =10 (10+3)=13.
4. Compare to AC of target unit. 13 vs. AC 12 for example.
5. If it misses, move to next in initiative, if hit move to 6.
6. Compare modifiers (here is the big change)
- Calculate each units total HD. 10 level 1s and 10 level 3s is 40HD.
- Check targets hit dice. We will use 20 as an example.
- Multiply attack roll by attackers hit dice. (13x40=520)
- Divide by targets HD. (520/20=26)
- Subtract targets AC (26-12=14)
- Divide by 5 (for each interval of 5 you get an additional hit) (14/5=2.8 )
- You get 2 additional hits.
7. Roll damage. Longswords 1d8 + Strength +1 + extra hits from 6. +2. (1d8+1+2 or 1d8+3)
- Let's say average 4+3=7.
8. Target checks for injury or shattered. DC= 10+Hits taken (7)=17
9. Fail = injury, fail by 10+ = shattered.
10. Morale checks etc., etc.
11. Next in initiative.

The multiplications and division of HD is to calculate strength of numbers and power level. Because a unit of 30 level fives should beat out a unit of 15 level 5s any day. Or 20 level 2s, etc. This system has worked really well for me, but I've only tested it for a about a week, there are certain to be flaws. And you will need a calculator handy... Regardless this is my solution. Took me a few hours of planning and play testing to make it work. Additionally I've tried injury DC=5+ hits and targets were too early injured and DC=15+hits targets were injured almost everytime. 10 seemed to work really well. Let me know what you guys think. :)

Source of experience: DM for 10 years.
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