Why Use Divided Attack?

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Why Use Divided Attack?

Postby Matt H » Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:12 am

Divided Attack is a greater action that allows you to split your combat dice between two or more opponents. However, the straight-up Attack is a lesser action, meaning you can presumably preform two of them in a round. Given this, I can't see any scenario in which it is preferable to use Divided Attack against two opponents rather than just using your full test dice twice (with the right combination of weapons with the Fast and Off-Hand qualities, a Combined Attack maybe, but not a straight-up Divided Attack). Even against 3 opponents, it seems like you would need to have Fighting 6 to make that many effective attacks.

I was expecting to find a rule saying you could only take one normal Attack action per round, but I didn't see anything like that. Is there something else I'm missing?
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Re: Why Use Divided Attack?

Postby Patchface » Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:49 am

Matt H wrote:Is there something else I'm missing?

I don't think so. Unless I'm missing it, too, that is... :)

There's definitely a mistake there; the rules as written don't make much sense at all.


Matt H wrote:I was expecting to find a rule saying you could only take one normal Attack action per round, but I didn't see anything like that.

I suspect that such a rule was supposed to be included in the quick-start and will be in the core rulebook; I just don't see characters getting two attacks per round on a regular basis.
Another possibility would be to make Divided Attack a Lesser Action (or to make regular Attacks greater actions, but that just seems silly).

Even after that error is fixed, I don't think Divided Attack will be overly useful. It could be under certain circumstances, I guess: for very powerful characters, or for average characters fighting very weak ones.
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Postby Zapp » Wed Jul 02, 2008 12:59 pm

Interesting. Divided Attack is obviously SIFRPs answer to the Full Attack of d20 and the Swift Attack of WFRP. But it also has similarities to how you attack multiple opponents in RM/MERP/HARP.

As you say, we can probably assume the full rules will prohibit more than one attack per round (just like d20 and WFRP).

The other dimension of this action is more problematic. In RM/MERP/HARP what you divide between your attacks is your "offensive bonus", but this is only part of your attack (most notably, you add D100 to each attack). This way, multiple attacks may make sense, because X+D100 and X+D100 might well be greater than 2X+D100.

But in SIFRP, your offensive bonus is the dice! Because you need to exceed a Combat Defense and then Armour Rating too, I would think nD6 and nD6 will never be better than 2nD6, except when you face truly insignificant foes! (I would say even the example given on page 14 illustrates perfectly why it's a bad idea to use Divided Attack! :wink:)

Not that this in itself is wrong - SIFRP might well be a game where you simply do not make multiattacks...
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Postby Patchface » Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:31 pm

Zapp wrote:Interesting. Divided Attack is obviously SIFRPs answer to the Full Attack of d20 and the Swift Attack of WFRP. But it also has similarities to how you attack multiple opponents in RM/MERP/HARP.

My guess is that GR's very own Split Attack power feat from M&M2E served as a model here; it works pretty much the same way.

Take note that the Fast weapon quality makes Divided Attacks slightly more effective, if only 1B die. The Combining Attacks option (Divided Attack + Two-Weapon Attack) helps some as well. But, yeah, all things considered, Divided Attacks don't seem so powerful.

Of course, there could be Character Qualities in the corebook that let you do multiple attacks with more dice, but it seems that not every character will be able to do that effectively by default. And that may actually be a good thing.
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Postby Matt H » Wed Jul 02, 2008 2:04 pm

Patchface wrote:My guess is that GR's very own Split Attack power feat from M&M2E served as a model here; it works pretty much the same way.


The first thing that occurred to me was Pendragon, so it is apparently an idea with quite a bit of precedent.


Patchface wrote:Of course, there could be Character Qualities in the corebook that let you do multiple attacks with more dice, but it seems that not every character will be able to do that effectively by default. And that may actually be a good thing.


An excellent point. Unfortunately, we may not know if that is true for a while.
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Postby RJS » Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:29 pm

In time, there will be more options for divided attack characters, but it may or may not make the RPG book.
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Postby Helderik » Thu Jul 03, 2008 12:32 am

Okay, but still it is not clear to me...

Is it allowed to make two (lesser action) attacks in one round or not? I am going to run the test adventure tomorrow, and still it is not clear to me... When I look at the rules, it seems logical that only one attack per round is allowed...

Is there an official GR answer because this will have a serious impact on the try-out...

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Postby Zapp » Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:08 am

Based on Rob Schwalb's reply in the errata thread I would guess this issue was news to the dev team.

I would furthermore guess the intention was indeed to allow two "lesser" attacks - why otherwise not simply slapping on the "no two attack actions" rule? Especially as this is a rule that on the surface doesn't seem to add any problems, and as it's a rule Rob must be well acquainted with (standard in both WFRP and Dark Heresy)... :-)

Let us await the final rulebook. (This is another great argument for releasing the pdf version early, so the fans will have time to scour through the text in time for the printing of the paper book! :))
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Postby Patchface » Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:48 am

Zapp wrote:I would furthermore guess the intention was indeed to allow two "lesser" attacks

I'm getting the same feeling...

If that were the case, why not just make Divided Attack a lesser action as well? Given the limitation of splitting your dice between opponents, I don't think this would make Divided Attack overpowered at all.

To a somewhat lesser degree, the same is true for Two-Weapon Attacks (and, accordingly, the Combining Attacks option). Using the Two-Weapon Attack option gives the player a modest bonus to damage while he loses some defensive bonus at the same time (either by temporarily losing the Defensive quality of the off-hand weapon, and/or by having to fight without a shield).

Looking at it from a different perspective, if normal Attacks can be used twice a round and Two-Weapon Attacks remain greater actions, I don't see why anyone would want to sacrifice their shield (and, more importantly, their second attack per round) for a relatively small off-hand damage bonus they can only use once a round. (Let's forget about the "style over substance"-maxim for a second, just for argument's sake. :wink: )


So, to sum things up, I'm saying that there are two ways to solve this issue:

(1) Normal attacks should only be usable once a round; or, if that wasn't intended,

(2) Divided Attacks, Two-Weapon Attacks and Combined Attacks should be lesser actions as well.


PS: Thanks a lot for the official input here and in the other threads, Rob! I really appreciate it. :)
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Postby Zapp » Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:20 am

I think I'll simply await the final rulebook (assuming it hasn't been set in stone just yet).

For the purposes of the Quick-Start, having only the simple Attack Lesser action is enough for me.

:)
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Postby Steve Kenson » Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:59 am

The rule is going to be "one attack action per round" – if you want to attack multiple foes, you need to use Divided Attack.
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Postby Patchface » Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:10 am

That's what we thought. 8)

Thanks, Steve!
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