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The Cloak as a Parrying Weapon

posted Mar 06, 2013 02:13:05 by Jefferiot
My player of the mechanisms rogue wanted to arm himself appropriately while in the big, civilized city of Pavis Outside the Walls, which is currently under Lunar occupation. He thinks he should be able to parry with his cloak whenever fighting with a dagger or a sword.

To this end, he has paid extra for a huge, sturdy, quilted linen cloak, and has already started his city skirmish weapon style with the trait that it is hard for Lunar patrols to perceive that he is fighting in the streets.

I am using the gladiator net listed under one-handed melee weapons as the archetype for his cloak, but he thinks his cloak is longer and heavier than the net. He wants to be able to parry a heavier weapon at a longer range.

I think it would be Herculean difficulty to entangle an opponent's weapon with such a stiff, heavy cloak, but that it could nevertheless be used to blind an opponent. He had big, heavy brass buttons put on the cloak to weight one edge of it for throwing over an opponent's head.

I hope the mechanism rogue doesn't turn Pavis Outside the Walls to a culture of Rennaisance dueling, cloak and dagger cold wars, and intrigue. To this end, I would appreciate any ideas on whether I can realistically foil the rogue's strategy (again).
"Who to be or not to be. That is the question." --Jeffspeare
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5 replies
DanTrue said Mar 06, 2013 07:57:55
I think using the net is accurate enough. You must emphasise that this is a gladiator net designed for use in combat - it's not some flimsy treaded net. It is likely weighed in the sides, to be able to trap a man and to be more easily thrown.

I think his cloak would fit this bill quite accurately. One could also argue that if it had a large SIZ and REACH it would effectively be SIZ L against larger weaposn and reach VL - which means his cloak would be a better parrying weapon than a longsword - which he must be able to see is ludacris.

Throwing it over an opponents head is a good idea - but remind him that he needs to disengage it from his neck first. If the cloak is long enough for him to throw it at an opponent head at reach L when it's around his neck, then he would stumble in constantly when not holding it up. If not, he must first take it off before being able to throw with it.

So, using it as a net sounds fair.


Hm, it really sounds like this guys way of handling the game is bothering you. If these are singular events you can (as you do) try to steer him in another direction, trying to make him not game the system. But if this is continuous behaviour, you might have a problem.

But, if he decides to play another style of game than you are running, the best way to reel him back in is through in-game events. Okay, he's playing cloak-and-dagger intrigue in the streets of the city - that's fine. But when he runs into a phalanx or a shield wall of Lunar guards, his cloak-and-dagger renaissance technique quickly breaks down into fantasy again. It's only "a culture of Rennaisance dueling, cloak and dagger cold wars, and intrigue" if the NPCs also change their weaponry and style of play.

- Dan
jjwdrake said Mar 06, 2013 12:09:53
I feel for you. It's really not fair on the GM to come up with these wheezes and expect them to be allowed unless the GM can argue the point about why they should not be.

As it happens...

He doesn't want a cloak, he wants a duvet - one with weights on the edge no less. He's going to look damned peculiar.
Cloaks are quite culturally significant items, and are made a certain way (google Roman Cloaks and you'll see what I mean - many types, carefully defined, fit for specific purposes). Making something that is entirely novel is like asking the local clokk-makers of Pavis to produce a 3-piece suit. Outside player character knowledge, and outside the frame of reference of the craftsmen required.

Fighting cloaks - now there's good ancient as well as medieval precedent for using cloaks as parrying devices. A 'fighting cloak' was worn by archaic greek aristocrats at the same time it was considered OK to go about wearing a sword (well prior to C5th BC), and peasant levy skirmishers would also use a cloak instead of a shield. but they are just cloaks.

A fighting style using a short cloak as a S size parrying device is do-able and reasonable. If the style has the trait 'thrown', then it is also doable he could throw it as a net. If it is weighted by coins in the hem,that's also good, and almost certainly necessary for the Thrown trait. In my own rules I would assume it is wrapped around the left arm for blocking with some trailing to help tangle a weapon. If the enemy uses a Damage Weapon effect, then apply that damage to the arm (less 1AP, max 2AP for the wrapped cloak)

A fighting style that allows a large (and probably stiffer) cloak to be used as a shield might let you have an S size parry in melee, perhaps M size parry vs missiles. You could require one of these functions to be at Hard difficulty (make the player choose when he sets up the style). Passive block for anything up to 5 locations (depending on cloak), but only the 1 or 2 AP of the cloak protects. If he wants better than that he shoudl get the thing enchanted, or carry round a door and call it a cloak. Thrown Weapon should not be an allowed trait,and wrapping around an enemy's head or weapon when in melee represented by an Entangle or Blind Opponent effect and a location roll!

Anyway, them's my thoughts. I bet Pete has better ones.
lawrence.whitaker said Mar 06, 2013 12:42:33
To this end, he has paid extra for a huge, sturdy, quilted linen cloak

Aside from the very pertinent points made by Dan and Jon, it might also be worth reminding the player that...

a) Pavis is hot year-round, and bloody hot in Fire Season
b) Carrying around a huge, quilted, line cloak is going to make him extremely hot if he's trying to wear it to look inconspicuous, and is bulky to boot. As Jon said, he's really carrying around a small duvet.

So although the duv - I mean cloak - may be viable as a parrying weapon, the character is likely to stick out like a sore thumb. Lunars HATE sore thumbs, and so he's likely to risk being stopped, questioned and even having said garment/bedding confiscated. Unless he can come up with a plausible reason for having it. Like going to a sleep-over at Gimpy's.

chryckan said Mar 06, 2013 17:05:43
Just have to ask, does his combat style even include a cloak? Otherwise he should probably be penalized for it as if he was using an unfamiliar weapon at the very least.
Jefferiot said Mar 07, 2013 18:09:43
Thanks! I'm so happy, because your suggestions have worked.

The attention to his cloak paid by the local hooligans embarassed the poor rogue into getting a *fasionable* cloak.

I'll be using the characteristics of the gladiator's net almost exactly in his new weapon style, euphemistically called city skirmish, which includes fighting with a hideable weapon and a fasionable wrap, the latter wieghted for throwing to blind a foe. It will be easy for the opponent to unentangle his weapon or himself from the cloak. Also, the rogue is content to parry with a club or a shortsword when his opponent strikes with a medium weapon. The trait of the style is such that it is formidable, then hard, then routine for the Lunar garrison to perceive street fighting, asuming the garrison stuck around long enough to do 2 more perception tests. This represents his use of the cloak to hide and muffle his strikes and possibly those of his opponent as well for up to two melee rounds.

I'm letting him feel good about his style, instead of making him call it what the thieve's guild calls it--mugging. :-/ Also, I'm letting him carry over half of his skill with his hideable weapons style directly to his street skirmish (mugging) weapon style, trainable to equal level without the necessity to alternate the training rolls with the experience rolls.

Gimpy has been enjoying his new duvette, a gift from an appreciative guest of his establishment.

The rogue said he still refuses to be happy until he has pushed the glow-line completely beyond both borders. I guess he means to game the Lunar rules all the way beyond the borders of both Prax and Sartar. Are all mechanisms rogues so determined?
"Who to be or not to be. That is the question." --Jeffspeare
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