Best skills for a beginning scout?

Hello! I am a very new guy to LARPing, (in case you couldn't tell.) and the Alliance is the closest Larp that interested me.

While I was researching the Allaince, I found the Race I wanted to be right off the bat. (Barbarian.) The only thing is, I know I won't be very good in an open fight.

So I searched around some more and found the classes. The Scout speaks to me because I'm not the best fighter, I'm not the stealthiest, and I'm not an Artisian. (Maybe one day, it sounds fun!)

So, what kind of skills would a new guy like me want to get when I start off as a barbarian scout?

~Nøkk Grayoak
 

Kevar

Fighter
Seattle Staff
Marshal
Good afternoon Nokk,

First and foremost I highly recommend you reach out to your local chapter. Most alliance chapters have a New Player Rep that is great at working with folks on bringing their vision to a reasonably playable character card!

That being said lets get to work, one barbarian to another! Scouts make great skirmishers as you are able to really take advantage of a movement that happens during regular combat. That being said they have a handful of challenges when playing them as a new character. The main challenge is a volume of options you have with you skills. It is best to choose a starting side (The fighter side, or the rogue side) and make that your focus until a benchmark, than catch up the other side. Building this way will keep you effective, and with consistent power increases. That being said you will %100 notice that fighters and rogues of similar level are way outshining you. Be patient because Scouts are awesome!

Beginning skills:
-Choose a cheap weapon skill. I recommend One Handed Edge. Careful taking the masters that allow you all types.
-Choose how you fight (2 hander no more skills needed) Shield or two weapon fighting.
-If you are wearing armor get Blacksmithing (1) to be able to repair your own armor.
-Can you read? If so get Read/Write...caution is it CRAZY expensive for a barbarian scout.
-Buy a weapon prof first, or build towards it with Crit Attacks.
-Buy a backstab second, or build towards it with Back Attacks.

And that's it! There are a lot of places to go from there but that is you basic run of the mill starter scout. Below I will put a few recommendations for where to go from that point!

Recommendation #1: If you want to be able to read/write...get it as close to the start of your character as you can because it will take a LONG time after you start playing. I recommend read/write on just about every character ever.

Recommendation #2: Archery is a really amazing way to round out the scout even more. Using a longbow you get x1.5 of your weapon profs to damage, and 1 per backstab. It fits with the scouts 'swiss army knife' style of play. But, it isn't for everyone.

Recommendation #3: If you go two weapon fighting consider a spear/short sword and a long sword/short sword equally. The spear tip pointed down gives your character a massive blocking surface to skirmish around with.

Recommendation #4: After your first damage abilities! This is kind of contrary to what I said above about picking fighter skills or rogue skills and specializing, but hear me out. I recommend 2 profs and 2 backstabs early. You can than get your first Parry, and your first Dodge. This gives you a great build to have a taste of all of the core skills the class has to offer! You will also be doing 4 normal from the front, and 8 normal from behind! Your main stopping point is going to be 5s/10s which is one more of each. It is a nice amount of damage to call all day long and it feels effective! After you are at this point it is really up to you which side of martial combat you want to do...the game is your oyster!

I hope this helps, and I am sure some folks will disagree. These are just my opinions on playing a low/mid level scout...and I hope you enjoy! Alliance is a ton of fun!
 
It is hard to answer this question without knowing more about your preferred fighting style and whether or not you want to participate in packet combat. Also, "starting" is kind of a nebulous term. It can mean a fresh 15 build character, a low end character with anywhere from about 40-50 build (gained from roughly one year of NPCing before making a character, or even a mid-low character with about 75 build (usually gained from NPCing multiple chapters for a year).

Also, I don't know whether you mean just what skills you should start with or whether you are asking what skills you should learn during your first year or so.

I am going to try to answer as comprehensively as possible to cover any and all bases, but you may find some of this answer overkill.

Scouts tend to work best with archery builds (because bows add both backstabs and proficiencies to damage) and two weapon fighting builds. Now, don't take that to mean they can't work with other builds, just that the various benefits congeal the best for the above. Other workable options include poison/fighting combo, two-handed weapon scout (offering really good damage both from behind and front), and weapon trick builds (basically tons of "prepare to die" skills).

The first big question is whether or not you want Waylay. It uses a large chunk of BP (6) for amazing utility in some circumstances and none in others. I can't make a recommendation here because I don't know whether your play style can make it work. Just know that if it can, it is definitely worth the cost.

Beyond that, you should spend your initial BP on your weapon of choice and your play style. If you have any points left over, grab a critical attack so you don't need to be taught it later. In general, you want to buy both profs and crits split no worse than 30/70 (any split higher than that and you are better off as a pure rogue or pure fighter, in terms of BP cost). I personally play a 60/40 towards rogue skills. However, in the early levels, unless you are VERY stealthy, you should start with proficiencies, purely for utility purposes. I recommend at least 2 before starting to buy rogue skills.

Once your character has about 90 BP total you should have 2 profs, 2 backstabs, and a weapon style (and a few racials) and you will really start to feel like a scout (rather than just a fighter). This is usually where you can begin to define your character. Start looking at once per day skills like parry, evade, dodge, eviscerate, slay, shatter, disarm, stun limb, etc. Pick the ones that feel like they make the most sense for your character. You also want to start to think about whether you will stay even split on fighter and rogue skills or start to tilt one way or the other. Scouts are particularly good at defensive skills (having access to dodge, evade, parry, and riposte), but that doesn't mean they have to be built defensively (just that they excel at it if that is your desire).

Continuing in next post....

-MS
 
All of the above is based on the stereotypical scout build. However, you may not be interested in that and that is completely fair.

For example, I mentioned a poison build earlier. If you want a poison build, you may want to start with your weapon skills and buy read and write from the start (assuming you can afford it), just to avoid needing to find a teacher later. With this build, your rogue side is allowing you to buy alchemy at reduced cost and you should probably pick up alchemy 1 no later than 40 BP total and alchemy 3 soon after (this lets you throw gasses).

There are two ways to go with this. If you want to throw gasses primarily, you are probably best primarily using a melee weapon. I would actually recommend a two handed weapon because it is relatively easy to take a single hand off your weapon, throw a gas, and then grab the weapon again with a two handed weapon. Doing that with a shield or with a second weapon is much more awkward. If you primarily want to use contact poisons (or vorpal), I recommend a bow, since arrows are much easier to use with contact poisons than melee weapons. Either way, your fighter side will probably mostly be proficiencies and defensive skills, since your alchemy can most duplicate or substitute for other fighter skills.

If you are interested in being a pure two handed weapon using rogue (a concept that might work well with a barbarian), the advice in the above post mostly works. The reason this particular build is interesting has to do with damage output. If you were fighting side by side with a pure rogue of the same level as you that had all backstabs, from behind that rogue would deal roughly 15% more damage than you. However, from the front, that rogue is always dealing 2 damage, while your damage is increasing in a linear scale with your level. At roughly level 10, you would probably deal about 5. At roughly level 20 you would probably deal about 8. Basically, a slight loss of damage from behind is more than made up for by a significant increase in damage from the front.

Finally, if the "tricksy" scout is your thing, just know that your damage output will be less that most other scouts. Instead you will have a whole mess of Disarms, Shatters, and Stun Limbs at your disposal. Combine that with some defensive skills and you make an excellent support fighter that is terrifying when on an enemy's flank. With this build, you probably won't really feel like a "real" scout until about 110 BP total.

-MS
 
~Kevar and Mikestrauss

Thank you both very much! I'll definitely put some thoughts behind these decisions.

As for the talking about Build points, most of that went over my head due to the fact of my inexperience. But given time (and actually reading the rule section that includes that) I'll fully understand it.

I appreciate the amount of time both of you took out of your days to stop by and help a newbie out!

~Mikestrauss

The Two handed weapon scout is definitely what I was planning to do. I just keep thinking of sneaking into an enemy camp, Waylaying who ever I can, then be able to hold my own in a fight if anything goes south. A Battling Rouge, or a Sneaky Fighter was what I'm going for.

I also thought that being a scout would open me up to even more social positions that a pure fighter couldn't, and get out of combat situations that a pure rouge couldn't. Because breaking the locks and kicking in doors isn't allowed.

As for using Bows, I never really thought about it. I guess they would make sense for a scout. I'll have to break out my old compound and start practicing again!

For the Tricky scouts, I like being able to turn the tide of the fight. I'll have to check those out.

~Kevar

As for reaching out to my local chapter, it is currently closed and I do not know when it shall open again.

I will be sure to follow those guidelines when leveling up, and I'll see what I can do about getting a spear and a bow!

I also enjoy being a Swiss Army knife of a group. My blade is just gonna be a bit bigger than normal.



~Safe Travels to both of you, may your weapons never fail!
 

Inaryn

Knight
My only advice to add to any of this is, if you're starting at less than 45 build, you will almost certainly have an easier time building your character, and probably a greater amount of fun playing your card at game if you start with one of the "pure" classes that make up the scout. A fighter or a rogue will get more bang for their bp at that low end. We have a sliding class system, so in order to go from either to a scout, you simply start purchasing the other abilities. When the math says it would be more advantageous to be a scout, you just become one.
 
~Inaryn

Ahhhh, I believe I understand. Similar to Multiclassing in DnD, start with one and once you get to a certain level with that one you start with a new one!

I will keep this in mind. Thank you for pointing that out, Marshal!
 
It's not really multiclassing; you just stop being a Fighter and start being a Scout instead. You'll stay the same Race and keep all your skills, but your Body Points and the Build Point cost of all your skills will change accordingly, and it doesn't matter how long you were a Fighter before making the switch, as Body Points are calculated based on which class you are currently and how much total Build you've got. You can switch classes at any time, so long as the cost for all your skills doesn't exceed your total Build.

There's a Build Calculator spreadsheet floating around the forums here, it's worth downloading so you can play around a little bit will your class and skill choices before committing the points. :)
 

Ragnarok

Scout
Marshal
Just want to chime in here and address something that might've been overlooked and make sure it's addressed. Alliance doesn't use true strung bows and LARP safe arrows (though that would be awesome and then I'd actually play an archer) but instead we use boffer bows (bent or moulded PVC or similar materials covered in foam) with the addition of packets like we use for spells but arrow packets will always be blue.

Wanted to make sure that was said before you started to invest in LARP arrows or a fancy bow.

Also Barbarian race is best race.
 

markusdark

Knight
Another thing to think of - if you're talking about being a 'scout' scout - one that is out in front, tracking, etc. You may want to pick up the Craftsman skill and have a Tracker or Scout. This is a non-official skill that technically only gives you an extra silver piece per logistics period. However, there are chapters will allow special RP instances where you can apply this.

"Their camp is empty, I look for tracks as to where they might have headed off."
Plot: "You see some tracks that disappear towards the north so you can't follow them far, but you do notice among the boots, there is a set of skeletal prints as well."
 
~Ragnarok

Thanks for the heads up! I'm less of a thrower and more of a shooter, but maybe for some relatively close combat where I can actually hit when I throw.

~Markusdark

Huh. It would be helpful to actually be a scouting Scout, wouldn't it? I'll have to check that out as well.

~Thanks to both of you!
 

Redcloud

Scholar
All of the above is based on the stereotypical scout build. However, you may not be interested in that and that is completely fair.
There are two ways to go with this. If you want to throw gasses primarily, you are probably best primarily using a melee weapon. I would actually recommend a two handed weapon because it is relatively easy to take a single hand off your weapon, throw a gas, and then grab the weapon again with a two handed weapon. Doing that with a shield or with a second weapon is much more awkward.
-MS
We've clearly been away from HQ for too long! ;-)

But yeah, my 2 cents
Sword and Shield, alchemy 3, archery
Work on your Profs (Get at least 2,to get your Parry) [now you swing 4s]
Work on getting 4 backstabs (4 evades and 2 dodges help survivability alot!)
Back to profs (2 more, for a 2nd parry and a riposte)
Combat skills next (slay, evis, assassinate, terminate)
then decide if you wanna murder face or sever spines and go from there.
 
~Redcloud

"Murder Face, or Sever Spine." I'm gonna have to start using that line more often!

Thanks for your two cents, I'll definitely consider those.
 
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