.10 - Unintended Consequences of Targeting Rules

Muir

Fighter
Hello all, I don't think I've seen this change addressed:

Shatter: Note that if this effect is delivered via the Weapon qualifier, no target may be called and only the target which is struck will be affected. Shatter will now work on any suit of armor, even if it is over 20 points. If it is delivered via the Weapon qualifier and strikes any part of a suit of armor, the suit of armor is considered the target. Shatter now affects any single item up to a Door-sized item (instead of Shield-sized). If it is an invalid target for a Shatter (such as an object greater than door-sized) the object will remain unaffected. If Shatter is used on an indestructible suit of armor, the armor will still be reduced to 0 points (and thus require a refit before its Armor Points are restored) but the tag will not be destroyed. This damage also occurs on magical armor sources such as Arcane Armor.
Disarm: Note that if this effect is delivered via the Weapon qualifier, no target may be called and only the target which is struck will be affected. If it is an invalid target for a Disarm (such as an item which is not held in the hand) the object will remain unaffected.

This strikes me as a marshalling nightmare in the making. At present, and so far as I can read under the .10 rules, we do not define what part of a character's costume specifically counts as part of their armor phys-rep. Does hitting the tail of a cloak worn over their armor count? Knocking their scarf off, even if it was not evaluated as part of their armor? Does a shot to the bandoleer of potions I have sewn into my shirt cuff count for the armor or the potion? Arcane armor (by default, and as Celestial Armor) does not -have- a phys rep, and therefore by the rules cannot be effected by Shatter, as there is no valid target to strike. This rule also generates a much greater liability for Fighters and those who require more areas covered to reach their armor totals, making the trend of Celestial Formalists being the go-to class even stronger, and further punishing people who choose to wear sub-optimal but atmospheric and cool things like plate armor.

It appears to me on reading that the text under Shatter concerning Arcane Armor is operating under the assumption that it targets like 1.3, and takes effect on any valid weapon blow.

Next, what happens if two people swing at each other's weapon at the same time, both with shatters? Are both destroyed? If so, what stops anyone with the skill from turning shatter into a primarily defensive skill, called as soon as someone swings at you with a shatter or disarm? Is this the intent of the rules?

When combined with the disarm change, this also opens up a serious safety concern, where the best move on the part of a player is to make a questionable safety call and start throwing their offhand in front of shatters and disarms so as to be able to call 'no effect'. Perhaps even specifically not wearing armor on that hand and forearm for that purpose.
 
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MaxIrons

Squire
Oregon Staff
Marshal
So, this is my take on it:

For Shatter, as garb applies to your armor total, any hit to garb is a hit to armor. Even blocking with a bare arm is still being struck in an armor location. The armor location idea means that AA and CA are affected by any strike that hits a person, but doesn't hit a potentially shatterable thing.

Disarm worries me more, as to disarm something small and handheld, you have to take a shot at their hands. It's fine for shields or weapons, but a lot more worrisome for things like wands, a lich's bottle, or the small MI a thief has palmed.
 

Muir

Fighter
I agree that garb counting as armor would follow logically, but the wording on the ability doesn't really support it.

Also still runs into questions such as 'I'm wearing a body suit because it's easier to get my dark elf/stone elf/wylderkin look down, does that count as garb or skin? How about my tail/horns/dwarf beard?'
 
I agree with Muir's concerns and some of the other concerns I have seen posted in other threads. Targeting is weird with Shatter / Disarm.

I think a possibly elegant solution (that should makes for an interesting compromise) is make "Prepare to Die" an optional part of fighter strikes. If you use the phrase, the blow strikes like a spell in terms of targeting. If you don't use the phrase, the blow strikes like a standard weapon blow. This allows fighters to choose between a surprise strike that can be blocked by shields or weapons, or a shot with warning that can't be. Obviously, targeting words (<your weapon>, <your armor>, etc.) would have to be added back to the Disarm and Shatter skills.

It could also be used to simplify the Evade skill. Evade guards any weapon blow that doesn't have a "Prepare to Die" preamble. So, it could be used against a Terminate sometimes, but not others, and when it can and can't be used is VERY clear.

-MS
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
Optional calls? Aren't we trying to keep it simple? ;)
 
Optional calls? Aren't we trying to keep it simple? ;)
Optional calls already exist. I throw a Wither Limb without any clarification, in which case you choose the limb. I can optionally specify and Wither your arm, which still gives you some option. I can be extremely specific and Wither your left arm. The same is true for Shatter or Disarm (in slightly different ways). I still think that it is a rather simple option that would do a heck of a lot for clarifying and be really easy for new players and old to adapt to.

-MS

P.S. - I realize right now that you were just teasing, but I wrote all that and, darnit, I don't want the effort to go to waste, even if I realize this post really isn't necessary at this point.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
My AA is cast on my Spirit, which is treated - and always has been treated - as a separate and distinct item that is different from my Body, which is what is being hit. That's the whole point of Spirit Effecting rituals - they stick around after you resurrect, where rituals on your body don't.

Point of fact, I'm pretty sure the only time you can target or "hit" a Spirit is when casting a ritual or using some form of Dragon Magic.

This absolutely is counter to the whole "must hit the actual target" theme of the ability OR gives a very distinct advantage to people like me whose AA is on their spirit instead of a physical item.
Ehhhhhhh, hold up there.

The magic item is your Spirit, absolutely. That doesn't mean the effect isn't on your Body. In fact, if your argument is that the only time your Arcane Armor can be hit is via Dragon Magic or a ritual, I'm pretty sure that makes an Arcane Armor absolutely pointless, right? Unless the weapons that are trying to stab your sweet, sweet fleshy self are also Dragon Magic.

As an example, evocation spells: These don't target Spirit, obviously. But they absolutely effect Arcane Armor. I don't see why Shatter couldn't damage AA under the same idea.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
I don't think it's hard to envision the invisible barrier of force that exists in the game world as part of the item itself, personally. Yes, it does not exist as a tangible effect in real life, but in the world? That barrier exists. It's a physical thing. It may be constructed of magic, but it's just as much a thing as a chair or a tree branch.

That's just my thoughts, though.
 

MondayMcGee

Scholar
San Francisco Staff
I don't think it's hard to envision the invisible barrier of force that exists in the game world as part of the item itself, personally. Yes, it does not exist as a tangible effect in real life, but in the world? That barrier exists. It's a physical thing. It may be constructed of magic, but it's just as much a thing as a chair or a tree branch.

That's just my thoughts, though.
I don't have any issue with that thematically, but where does that barrier extend to? That needs to be clearly defined. Armor locations makes a certain amount of sense, but has some problems. Hands are (part of) an armor location but not a legal melee target. Elbows and knees are arguably not armor locations - does my arcane armor not cover those? Garb has the aforementioned issue of making easy targets of things like cloaks, plus it adds another exception -- normally a hit to garb from a melee attack (other than a spellstrike) has no effect, yes?
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
I don't have any issue with that thematically, but where does that barrier extend to? That needs to be clearly defined. Armor locations makes a certain amount of sense, but has some problems. Hands are (part of) an armor location but not a legal melee target. Elbows and knees are arguably not armor locations - does my arcane armor not cover those? Garb has the aforementioned issue of making easy targets of things like cloaks, plus it adds another exception -- normally a hit to garb from a melee attack (other than a spellstrike) has no effect, yes?
That barrier extends to the entire body. Thematically, there's no such thing as an illegal striking area. We have that as an OOG thing, but the ARB specifically reminds people that our combat system is a simulation of IG combat. While we're simulating combat, our characters are thrusting at faces, hands, etc. A Disarm may be interpreted as getting my hand whacked, a Waylay is getting my head whacked, and an Eviscerate or Terminate might be getting my neck whacked.

Arcane Armor is, as far as I interpret it IG, an invisible cloak of flexible eldritch force (that flexibility means it can break under enough repeated pressure and force, where a Prison is rather indestructible) that wraps around my physical body (but not outside my garb or anything). A Shatter used against it has the power to "undo" those threads of magic until I spend the time and concentration to repair it.
 

MaxIrons

Squire
Oregon Staff
Marshal
If they wanted to make it simpler, yet still allow a strike to item instead of to the person it could be re written to the following for both:

Shatter or Disarm require an item call when used. If the delivery hits either the called item, or is a legal strike against the possessor of such an item, the effect happens.

It means that you can strike either the person, or the item. It also gets rid of a lot of these weird problems and makes fighter attacks of this type on parity / better than the magic versions.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
The issue with Shatter is that it's powerful, but it's also incredibly niche. PCs require NPCs to use weapons, and not claws, in order for it to be useful. NPCs in a lot of chapters won't use it at all; either it's going to hit newer characters with destructible weapons and make combat unfun or it's going to be thrown at people with indestructible weapons, rendering it pointless.

I don't think it should go away, by any means. Caster's lockpick!

I think giving it an alternative use (damaging armor) is actually a good option for it to hit play that doesn't ruin new character play. I just wish it didn't destroy non-rendered armor; I would much prefer if it just "damaged" non-rendered armor, requiring refit but not a new tag.
 

MondayMcGee

Scholar
San Francisco Staff
If they wanted to make it simpler, yet still allow a strike to item instead of to the person it could be re written to the following for both:

Shatter or Disarm require an item call when used. If the delivery hits either the called item, or is a legal strike against the possessor of such an item, the effect happens.

It means that you can strike either the person, or the item. It also gets rid of a lot of these weird problems and makes fighter attacks of this type on parity / better than the magic versions.
This also nicely solves the issue of making wands and other handheld items effectively un-Disarm-able.
 
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