Newish with a couple arbitrary questions.

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Sheakhan

Adept
Just curious on a few things, and as our chapter has asked we begin transitioning to the National forums, I figured I'd field these questions here. I used to larp with SOLAR when I lived in Florida, and as the system there is roughly based on the same basic ruleset, I've had a few curiosities that were either answered there but ambiguous here, or that seemed intuitive there but not as much with Alliance.

1. Ritual Creation: Is there a precedence for ritual creation OOG or IG? Obviously rituals had to be crafted in the first place, as scholars discovered the potential uses of higher magics. Is creating them or modifying them prior to casting even possible within the rules here?

2. Staff Fighting: The rules seemed a little ambiguous, but I'm curious: Can you fight with a staff and shortsword provided you possess Two Weapon Fighting, and only use the staff as a blocker in the same fashion as fighting with a bow and sword?

3. Rogue/Fighter combat abilities: These classes seem wildly underpowered and expensive in comparison to Scholars (specifically celestial). Keep in mind that in Solar, there are no lesser prerequisites like Back Attack and Critical Attack. The skill tree goes: Weapon Skill>Backstab/Weapon Prof>Assassinate(Dodge)/Slay(Parry).
In SOLAR, assassinates and slays are interchangeable at each logistics period with their defensive counterpart, so you can choose which you anticipate needing more. In addition there are no higher power abilities (save for Fatal Blow) and Assassinate and Slay read much more like Alliance's Terminate and Eviscerate, and are not stopped by any commonly possessed abilities as Alliance allows. This is not the issue, merely a preface.

What I'm curious to know is... What incentive is there to build a combat Rogue, or an Offensive fighter?

A celestial caster gains the equivalent of an Assassinate or Slay at their first 6th level spell (lightning storm), totaling 38 build. A Rogue can get an assassinate at 38 build as well, the difference however is that Lightning Storm is ranged, does not require you hit a specific target, and cannot be parried, evaded, or riposted, nor blocked by magic armor. In addition to the effective "assassinate+" that a celestial caster gets, they also receive an additional maximum total of 230 1/day damage they can sling around at will between all of their damage spells available up to that level. Whereas a rogue gains an additional +2 bonus damage to all of their swings against living targets provided they are hitting them in the back, and nothing else. This does not account for purchasing anything aside from the necessary skills to get to that assassinate on the rogue side, nor does it account for the scholar being able to drop say, half of that damage and memorize utility and defensive spells instead, which in my opinion makes them even more powerful than if they were slinging raw damage.

A more fair comparison is the fighter (who gets a better deal than the rogue) at 39 build total, and the Earth caster who gets a worse deal than Celestial at 64 build for his first 30 damage skill. The fighter gaining a +2 bonus damage to any target anytime for their trouble, and the earth caster gaining an additional potential 128 1/day damage or 64/day with healing or utility/defensive spells.

The issue I'm seeing is that the disparity grows exponentially, with it costing a fighter/rogue another 34/33 build to score a damage increase and another 1/day with limited potential (raising their total to +3 weapon damage and 100/day abilities), whereas a celestial caster/earth caster can score an additional 75/50 damage 1/day for 8/11 build respectively.

So in short, as a player who builds their character to fit their persona and roleplay, but also desires a character that is useful and capable of staying alive, is there any likelihood that, as a rogue, I can expect a change in this disparity, or am I going to always be several steps behind even casters half my level simply because of the role I've chosen to play? Perhaps I've grown accustomed to SOLAR, and rogues/fighters being on par with their spellcaster counterparts (though still somewhat less powerful, as it should be, magic is scary stuff).

On that note, if there is likely to be a rule change to fix what I (and from what I can gather, many others) see as an issue, how will that effect me? Will I be permitted to rebuild my character in light of the rule change to make use of the adjustments? Will it be done automatically? As it stands now, I have three Back Attacks that I sorely wish I could trade in for alchemy or celestial levels due to the inherent weakness of rogue combat skills.

4. Double Assassinate: Provided I had the build and the incentive to work up to two assassinates, and florentine or two-weapon fighting, am I allowed to call Double Assassinates? I'm aware the verbal would be 100 Assassinate (or 50 Assassinate if striking two separate targets) if this is allowed. To clarify, in the system I am used to, a character with two assassinates could strike one target with two weapons and expend two assassinates, or strike two separate targets with one weapon each and do the same. Is there a rule allowing/disallowing this in Alliance? Has it ever come up?

5. Taking Trophies: If I subdue a player character or any creature capable of resurrection and, for example, hack off it's hand to keep as a trophy or for other nefarious purposes... Is there a way to keep said trophy from dissipating when the victim is restored/resurrects? I'm uncertain if this question is something answered by the scope of the rules, or something one would have to find out in game, hence my posing it.

I believe I've asked enough questions for now, I hope it's not too much trouble answering them!

Thanks for your time,
Keegan.
 
2: Yes. I use it quite effectively in a defensive mode.

3: Swinging for 20+ all day long and armor/defenses vs limited # of spells/wands and limited defense ability.
 

mguarino

Artisan
Marshal
1. Not quite sure what you mean by "ritual creation." In Alliance, we have Ritual magic that is cast from Ritual Scrolls. PCs cannot create Ritual Scrolls except by purchasing Local Chapter Only scrolls with goblin stamps. PCs can "spellcraft" scrolls, which gives a temporary or otherwise reduced effect, but does not expend the scroll. PCs can modify the casting of rituals in two ways: "fishing" for a particular flaw - I'm not entirely certain how this works, and by "empowering" a ritual via High Magic expenditure and additional RP.

2. Yes, you can wield staff-and-short-sword so long as you do not strike and only block with your staff. You may block and strike with your sword.

3. Actually, with the proliferation of Magic Items, I consider fighter to be the "optimal" build for "powergaming" purposes. That said, I personally recommend that you build for flavor/playstyle. Every class is capable of staying alive and being useful, and if these are your concerns, again I'd actually recommend fighter or rogue.

4. You can effectively perform a "double Assassinate" by expending two Assassinates in succession. These could be delivered by one weapon twice or two weapons, one after the other. You would need to remain behind your target for both strikes, and the verbal would be "50 Assassinate! 50 Assassinate!" rather than "100 Assassinate!" (This is assuming you have only two ranks of Assassinate; the damage numbers would change otherwise.) Note that these are two separate instances of the skill and as such would require two resolutions by the target (e.g. "Magic Armor, Dodge" or "Got it, got it").

5. Yes, this is a FOIG and will vary based on the IG situation. That said, anyone who grew up on Fortannis would know that were you to try something like that, if the body dissipates, so does your trophy, but if it perms, you have a nifty token of victory! OOG, this can really go either way: if you have a "goblin hand" rep that you'd like to use, I would wait until goblins come to town, and then when you slay one, announce "I cut off your hand," and then ask a marshal who will (most likely) say that you can now display your rep.
 
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Toddo

Knight
HQ Staff
Marshal
1. There is nothing in place IG, OOG you'd submit a proposal to your owner who would decide if it would go up for vote or to the Rules Committee.

4. Not allowed.

5. Body parts are typically not harvestable unless the creature permanently dies.
 

Sheakhan

Adept
SkollWolfRun - Not if you're building as I've suggested, going straight for the "prize" so to speak. In the example of the rogue/celestial comparison, the rogue is only calling 2 additional damage, and only from behind as their only other ability aside from the single assassinate. The celestial caster has access to all of the defensive and offensive spells from 1st-6th level, and can also cast spells directly from scrolls, all of which are more difficult to defend against than an assassinate which can be brushed off with evades, dodges, parries, ripostes, and the low level spell Magic Armor which, incidentally, the Celestial caster can cast four times from his/her own memory alone.

The info on the staff/sword combo is awesome, thank you!

mguarino - I meant actually creating a ritual to accomplish something that another ritual cannot accomplish. In this particular instance, creating a spirit from nothing or modifying an existing spirit. (Please don't reply with anything potentially IG, I'm enjoying pursuing this and the roleplay involved)

Thanks for the staff/sword reply, that's awesome.

As far as playstyle building, I'm doing that, going for a jack of all trades, unfortunately as a rogue you can't delve into combat skills without severely depleting your available non-combat options, especially at low levels. My character is one to dabble in everything, currently at level 7 he's an alchemist, a celestial caster, a craftsman, a minor combat rogue, and a legerdemaine and my next skill purchases will be towards blacksmithing, merchant, craftsman, and possibly some additional celestial as combat, once again, is waaaay expensive for a dabbler (or, in my opinion, a straight combat character as well)

I've yet to encounter any magic items personally, but I can imagine they'd change the game a bit, having one. That being said I don't intend on power gaming, I'm not looking for optimal damage output or superhuman survivability, I'm looking for utility as my character himself would, and with the expense and usefulness being considered, combat skills don't fit into that UNLESS I had a considerably powerful magic item to pick up the slack.

The assassinate knowledge is good to have, not much less efficient, I suppose I could've figured that one out on my own.

Good to know. I figured some of it out IG, but it seemed like there were some questions regarding trophies taken from players, so I wanted to make certain.

Toddo - Noted. Hopefully I can roleplay it out, if it comes to that.

Gotcha.

Unfortunate, but I look forward to figuring out a workaround IG.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
4. You can call a "Double Assassinate" by expending two Assassinates in succession. These could be delivered by one weapon twice or two weapons, one after the other. You would need to remain behind your target for both strikes, and the verbal would be "50 Assassinate! 50 Assassinate!" rather than "100 Assassinate!" (This is assuming you have only two ranks of Assassinate; the damage numbers would change otherwise.)
What? No. This is not a thing. This can't possibly be a thing.
 

norman b

Squire
Oregon Staff
Marshal
Being a jack of all trades makes you suffer in other places. a better class for that would be adept if you plan to apply yourself in more than 3rd level spells. No one class is going to be awesome at everything. As a rogue, I swing for 10s all day. a celestial caster may be able to throw 5s with their wands at my level but they will run out. they will run out of spells. I will still swing for 10s i swung for 10s before level 10. A celestialist only can throw so many spells before falling back on melee which they can only swing for 2s. this is where the disparity between damage lessens.
 

Toddo

Knight
HQ Staff
Marshal
What? No. This is not a thing. This can't possibly be a thing.
You can bang out as many assassinates as you want in succession provided your target doesn't turn around. Assassinate doesn't require surprise, just placement.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
Oh, the fact he put it in quotes made me think he was talking about a Double Assassinate verbal.
 

mguarino

Artisan
Marshal
Sorry, I see how my response could have been misread. I'll edit that so it's more clear.
 

Alavatar

Baron
To clarify a few rules related potential misunderstandings:
  • Backstabs do not require 'living' targets. You can Backstab undead and elementals, for example.
  • Evade may not be used against Slay/Assassinate.
Keegan, if you are curious about rituals that are not "Formal Magic" (cast from a ritual scroll), find out in-game. :)

Re: Power disparity between Fighters/Rogues and Scholars - Historically (the last 12 years or so ... but I may be remembering it wrong), this game has viewed Fighters/Rogues as more powerful than Scholars. The primary reasons for that include:
  • A caster's spell is expended on incant. If you mess up the incant or miss your target you do not get a second chance.
  • A Slay can be called for up to 10 minutes when being blocked/missed until a valid strike is made.
  • Fighters/Rogues get Stun Limb, which has a huge impact on a caster's ability to cast.
  • Fighters/Rogues get more Body and more Armor. Remember, that Lightning Storm has to get through Armor in order to be a threat. That Fighter can use that 30 Slay on the caster (who will likely have 15 Armor or less, and less than 15 Body) and effectively fall down if they don't have a protective. A Fighter with armor, on the other hand, struck by a Lightning Storm will shrug it off and keep charging the caster.
Personally, I have always thought for short battles that Casters are more effective against Fighters/Rogues. But, for doing a lot of things and/or long battles the Fighters and Rogues can do things all day when the Casters are in their corner whining about not having any more spells or wand charges.
 
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fyrechild

Artisan
I had a long post written out but then Seth posted and was much more more concise in saying the same thing :)
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
IMO, it's part of the reason that, at higher levels, Templars become more popular. I can go on mods and expend 25 build that won't come back until Logistics. But a fighter might go three or four mods without expending a thing if his team is good.
 

Avaran

Baron
  • A Slay can be called for up to a minute when being blocked/missed until a valid strike is made.
One minor correction of the above:
As with all "Prepare to Die" skills (Slay, Eviscerate, Stun Limb, Disarm, and Shatter), the following duration applies:

The Slay applies to only one landed blow,
and will remain active until the blow is landed
or ten minutes pass.
 

Sheakhan

Adept
Thanks for the input Seth.
I realized after the fact that I was incorrect about Backstab, and I missed the bit where evade doesn't negate those abilities.

I figured that was the case, in regards to your response on formal rituals. I'm glad to get some solid feedback, so I don't feel like I'm going in circles.

Understand, in regards to the power disparity, that where I am used to playing, PvP was a fact of life. It was nearly unavoidable. Where Alliance, you fear going out alone at night because of monsters, in SOLAR you didn't go out at night because players would get you. In that respect, a Celestial caster is simply far too powerful for a single fighter or rogue to defeat without that fighter or rogue being quick, and having abilities to negate the inevitable spell hitting them. Casters have control effects, defensive spells, and so much damage at their disposal that they are tactically more capable of taking on a single opponent than any other base class. As I suggested in my example, the two hypothetical characters being compared would look like this on paper:

Rogue:
One-Handed Edge (5)
Backstab x2 (30)
Assassinate (3)

Scholar (Celestial):
Read & Write (3)
Read Magic (4)
Celestial 1x4 (4)
Celestial 2x4 (4)
Celestial 3x4 (8)
Celestial 4x3 (6)
Celestial 5x2 (6)
Celestial 6x1 (3)

Both of these are straight-line specialized, low level characters.

You have a rogue who has only two abilities that are useless in one on one combat, and in ideal conditions convey a total of 4 damage in melee, and a single 30 damage strike. After expending this assassinate, he can reasonably expect to be calling 2 damage for the majority of his encounters.

and

You have a scholar who has no melee capability, but who can protect themselves with: Fortress, Magic Armor (which would negate the Rogue's single 1/day ability), Repel, Shield, Wall of Force, Shun, Spell Shield (Which would negate his own most powerful ability), and Elemental Shield, as well as anything cast from a scroll (if he has one) enabling him to utilize up to 9th level celestial defensives. He also has control abilities such as: Disarm (Which is an immediate advantage over a fighter or rogue of the same level), Pin, Bind, Shatter (Permanent disarm, effectively), Web, and Sleep.
The remainder of the scholar's spells are utility/general purpose and attack spells which could easily drop an equal level fighter or rogue, especially when used in conjunction with the control or defensive magics.

I understand that each class has its strong points, but the scholar starts off so far ahead capability wise that it not only excels in areas the other two classes do not, but also in the areas those classes are good in, on top of being able to single-handedly defeat either of the other two classes one on one (or if talented, both at once). Yes, the scholar runs out of spells eventually, however they never lose their ability to cast from scrolls which can be beyond their normal ability anyhow.
Basically, the all-day damage that a rogue gets is less than 50% useful, and even considering the every day damage a fighter gets, it takes only two spells at most (barring crazy formal weirdness, which is equally available to ALL classes, so I won't factor it in) to bring down a fighter at any level.

Unless I'm mistaken, a slay is expended when it hits the magic armor that any worthwhile scholar will have active, and fighters finding themselves bound or webbed cannot effectively defend themselves.
Once again, I think magic should be more powerful than combat skill, but to this point it makes playing a non-caster seem like a waste of potential both in game and out. (If your character is concerned with their own capability, that is. Obviously not every PC feels like they need to live up to a standard of usefulness like mine)

If a fighter or rogue pursues Stun Limb, they trade their damage potential for the ability to negate florentine, sword and board, casting, and two handed fighters. They trade their Lightning Storm comparable ability for a Disarm/Bind comparable ability. It is still single use, and still doesn't span the gap.

Armor is a definite bonus, easily countered by Shatter. The extra body as well is easily countered by an additional damage spell. The scholar can outright negate your first attack, and if quick to act, put up another defensive immediately.

I don't mean this to come across as complaining, if it appears that way, as I enjoy my non-combat rogue. I merely wish combat skills were more rewarding for the build invested. Three build towards spellcasting or alchemy opens all sorts of interesting new doors. Three build towards combat skills gets you 1/10th of the way to an ability that won't truly be powerful until you purchase it two or three times.
 

MKing

Scout
It all comes down to the fact that equal level fighter/rogue vs caster with no MIs, if it's face to face, caster is going to win but if either the fighter or rogue get the drop on the caster..caster is going down hard..2 shots most likely. .
 

Mobius

Squire
In general, you're fairly accurate in your deconstruction of the various class-abilities. There's no question, one-on-one Scholars will mash Fighters/Rogues; whether it's flash-damage or utility, there is almost no way a stick-jock can stand against a packet-pitch in am upfront fight - magic is, as you say, scary.

The saving grace of the fighting classes, and the reason there hasn't been and is unlikely to be a major rewrite, is attrition. I don't know how SOLAR functions, but an Alliance weekend is a long series of grinding encounters. A standard PC adventuring group will likely fight five to ten times their number of monsters during any given adventure; over the course of the weekend, that same group will also fight a number of "large" monsters with a long list of protectives and hoopty-goo amounts of body points. If we localize to any single melee between a PC and a monster, yes, Scholars obliterate; but when that monsters has 15 friends behind her ready to roll into the group, the Scholar's limited resources suddenly become burdensome. The disparity is even more apparent when fighting a "large" monster who has X-number of defenses that toally negate a caster's spells. This game of attrition is where swinging pipe becomes useful. A fighter may "pay" more for each skill, but over the course of the event, their unit cost will decrease dramatically since they are only limited by their stamina. More often than not, though the Scholars might 'seem' like they're more effective (because of their flashy, one-shot takedowns) the Fighters will have more notches on their belt. Of course, your mileage may vary and there are umpteen threads on this forum dedicated to this exact question. Give 'em a gander and you'll see those far wiser then I enumerating the various points.

Returning to one of your original questions: yes, if and when there is a MAJOR (as decided by the Rules Committee and Owners) rules rewrite, you will be given the opportunity to fully "rewrite" your character's skill-set to align with the new system.
 

Avaran

Baron
What I'm curious to know is... What incentive is there to build a combat Rogue, or an Offensive fighter?

Thanks for your time,
Keegan.
Hi Keegan, welcome to the boards (and game)!

Your question above could have many different answers based on whether or not you are taking PvP or not; the Presence of Magic Items or not; and or Higher-end build totals or not.

If one is wanting to worry about the PvP game, Alchemy 3 (which is cheapest for Rogues, you'll note) and a handful of gas globes is generally the way to go. Any class can get it if you are willing to pay the Skill Point cost, and unless your target has lots of Magic Items or Dodges, you will take down most anyone with 2-3 packets (depending on your target's race, of course).

Since you're talking primarily Rogues, you have to talk about Dodge.
Dodge is really the bread-and-butter of Rogues, and in my mind, coupled with Alchemy, is the primary way they are meant to combat Scholars and Fighters. Dodge is an insanely good defensive ability, and when coupled with Alchemy makes Rogues very dangerous to Scholars - especially Celestial Scholars who don't have access to Poison Shield - and Fighters. (Again, talking no Magic Items here.)

What makes things more fluid is the existence of Magic Items and to a lesser extent, race. Magic Items allow all classes to do all kinds of things, and any class with lots of Magic Items is very dangerous. An individual's race may allow them to negate some packet attacks.

In a more realistic scenario, the Mage is going to have to land multiple take-out packets (Sleep, Confine, Web, Death, Prison, etc.) while trying to keep their distance (unless Archery or Alchemy is involved) to defeat a Rogue or Fighter because of Magic Items or Racial abilities. And in that time, a higher-end Fighter is swinging 20's and doing some major damage (and honestly, depending on how many MI's they have, a Fighter won't really need to use any per-day skills like a Slay; most Scholars cannot take more than 2 or 3 hits of 20 before falling over, and if they try to, they are casting Magic Armors instead of throwing those take-out spells).
 

Durnic

Squire
Owner
Oregon Staff
Marshal
...most Scholars cannot take more than 2 or 3 hits of 20 before falling over, and if they try to, they are casting Magic Armors instead of throwing those take-out spells).
Or if they're in a big scary golem. D:
 

OrcFighterFTW

Spellsword
The other thing to remember and something I really love about Alliance is that it is designed to be a team game. Your weaknesses are the strengths of others, and synergy is definitely a thing. As a rogue, team up with another rogue and maintain position keeping your target in the middle, ensuring either one of you has their back at all times. There are many other strategies as well, such as gas globes, to make a rogue an offensive role. If you find yourself in a one v. one situation at night, shout for help! Someone will come a'runnin and then just play defense until they get there, using dodges, evades, etc. Don't get lost in the rules of combat and forget it's still a role-playing game with characters out there who love coming to the rescue!

Basically, there are many types of strategies to play the game, all are valid, some are more build efficient, some are more team/individual efficient, but it really comes down to personal preference for playstyle.
 
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