Wednesday, December 1, 2021

More bits and rulings from Session 161

Here are a few things that came up in play on Sunday.

Concentration in close combat

Can you take the Concentrate maneuver while in close combat?

We've long ruled no, not with a hostile foe. You can step out as the Step portion of your Step and Concentrate maneuver, and then Concentrate, but you can't while you are there in close combat.

I'm not sure this is an actual rule.

One of my players said he can't find it in DFRPG, and wanted to know if, therefore, we should allow you to Concentrate in our DF/DFRPG hybrid game. I said no - our standard ruling applies here. We do use the rules in DFRPG as the basis to operate from, and then expand out from there. But just because a rule isn't operational in DFRPG doesn't therefore mean it isn't operational in DF Felltower.

This might be a bit strict, but we already expand what is - and is not - allowed in close combat in our game. We use the expanded close combat rules in GURPS Martial Arts, which isn't even standard for GURPS DF, nevermind DFRPG. We use Telegraphic Attack, trading attacks for Feints, Defensive Feints, multiple Blocks, spells like Zombie and Create Servant - all not in DFRPG. So, "It's not in DFRPG" isn't really a good argument that something shouldn't be so.

I'd be curious if someone can find a page reference about Concentration in close combat - I'm certain we play it how we play it, but I can't find an actual mention of this in Basic Set or otherwise from a casual search.

I'm not blaming my player for asking, I'm just faulting the logic here.

Shields in Close Combat

I know we got this wrong last session, and applied the penalty too broadly. I have zero sympathy, because I also know it happened to someone who didn't reduce his damage swinging in close combat with a Reach 1+ weapon, so I guess it evens out in a way. Also, it didn't even matter to any significant degree - if at all.

The actual rule? See Basic Set p. 392, or DFRPG Exploits p. 51.

I know I should know all of the rules . . . but I've said it before. I don't always remember them all at the time. I have a lot on my plate. I'm expected to run all of the foes, judge the results of all of their actions and all of the players' actions, and then also remember every little rule that affects each player and NPC. You want to make sure things go right for you based on those rules? Know them, and have a page reference handy - not a quote, I don't trust people's quotes:

"I think it's a -2" is less than "I have a -2 for that according to my cheat sheet" which is less than "I have a -2 to for that according to Basic Set, page 391."

Why? Because people write things down wrong, remember wrong, forget bits, and misunderstand the whole - and sometimes all of them. Convince me by quoting me the number.

Opportunity Fire

This is mostly a note for my players - if you want to Wait and then shoot, you need to use Opportunity Fire - Exploits p. 43 is the relevant rule here.

Minimum spell casting penalty for range

I enforce a minimum -1 to cast a spell at range, unless you are touching the subject. This requires a "to hit" roll in combat - even to touch an ally, who doesn't have to defend. If you cannot touch the target, you suffer at least a -1.


  1. "I know I should know all of the rules..."

    You get a mighty nod of sympathy from me. This is why I have a 'booklet' of Cheat Sheets for "rules that change circumstantially" and Close Combat has it's own page. I also reference my House Rules on my Cheat Sheet and page numbers in case I can't remember the full long version of the rule.

    "Opportunity Fire'

    Thanks, that reminds me I need to add Opportunity Fire to my Wait Cheat Sheet.

    "Minimum spell casting penalty for range"

    Interesting, I've never seen anyone else do that, it's always been "if you reduce range to 0, IE same hex" you're fine. Granted that requires entering "Close Combat" with a Friend or Foe, usually I only see this happen with Clerics doing healing and usually they're fine touching the subject, but sometimes they aren't (acid still present, rot grubs, etc).

    But I can also understand wanting to codify into "touch or take a -1 (or greater)" just avoid confusion and technically (the best kind of correct) GURPS Ranges always round up, so anything that isn't absolutely 0 (Touch) would be 1 yard in the case of most Regular Spells.

  2. Thus the use of the Staff spell, so touch can be 1-2 yards


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