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    Default How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    Okay, I'm making fun of the other guys post, but I thought it might be cool to make all you guys stat out the individual warriors of the shinsengumi.
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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    Not as badly as Lu Bu's men butchered Lu Bu...
    Or, delivered him to be butchered, at least

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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    The entire 300-man police force? Pretty badly considering he's just one man. Granted: He's a great warrior, but he's hardly superman.

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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    300 man? Note: Lu Bu's reputation was for singlehandedly facing hordes. Some up to 1000 or more. He may have been a self-serving swine, but give the man his credit.

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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixRivers View Post
    300 man? Note: Lu Bu's reputation was for singlehandedly facing hordes. Some up to 1000 or more. He may have been a self-serving swine, but give the man his credit.
    Yes, single-handedly facing hordes while backed up by an army. Courage is not directly proportionate to martial skill. Romanticization of his accounts puts him at 1,000 men or more, but reality says that it's a rare man indeed who beats three trained warriors to one. Little lone three hundred.

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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroNumerous View Post
    Yes, single-handedly facing hordes while backed up by an army. Courage is not directly proportionate to martial skill. Romanticization of his accounts puts him at 1,000 men or more, but reality says that it's a rare man indeed who beats three trained warriors to one. Little lone three hundred.
    Reality says also that the difference between 3 and 300 is endurance. There's a limited number of people that can effectively engage at any one time. Once you can handle that number, once you know the common openings, and attack at reach? Your odds go way up.

    As for people who best 3 trained warriors? In most cultures, they called them "cavalry" and "pikemen". In D&D, we call them "PC's".

    Odd, Lu Bu had both under his belt. Simply put, group fighting is group fighting. When we're referring to one of the most noted warriors in feudal China? I'd say that qualifies as "a rare man".

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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixRivers View Post
    Reality says also that the difference between 3 and 300 is endurance. There's a limited number of people that can effectively engage at any one time. Once you can handle that number, once you know the common openings, and attack at reach? Your odds go way up.
    I think possibly you mean "kung fu movies" here, not "reality".

    Do you really think that if you're attacked by a mob of three hundred people, two hundred and ninety-seven of them will stand around patiently waiting for you to take out the first three before engaging?

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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    Quote Originally Posted by quicker_comment View Post
    I think possibly you mean "kung fu movies" here, not "reality".

    Do you really think that if you're attacked by a mob of three hundred people, two hundred and ninety-seven of them will stand around patiently waiting for you to take out the first three before engaging?
    Do you really think three hundred people can surround a single person so that all of them can get at him at once? PR has a point.

    I mean, it's more like twenty than three, but it's not three hundred.

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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    Quote Originally Posted by quicker_comment View Post
    I think possibly you mean "kung fu movies" here, not "reality".

    Do you really think that if you're attacked by a mob of three hundred people, two hundred and ninety-seven of them will stand around patiently waiting for you to take out the first three before engaging?
    If they're using swords, then yeah. Throw in some spears and it's more like two hundred ninety are standing around.
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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    First, if a man chooses where he makes his stand, it's possible to limit the number of attackers severely.

    Whether it's a single soldier, or a relatively small force of a few thousand, led by 300 Spartan soldiers (Thermyoplae), use of terrain, training, and equipment can take a few, and hold off forces 10, 100, or 1000 times larger.

    There's only so many that can get close. There's only so many that won't hesitate, after their ranks get broken by a warhorse, and four of their friends are mangled on the ground, with three to six more mangled by halberd. A furious assault affects the nerve of people. Hesitation creates openings. A skilled warrior, between effective terrain use, intimidation, battlefield tactics, and fallback positions, can take out many more than three.

    It's the concept that Tucker's Kobolds are based on.

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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    Quote Originally Posted by Arang View Post
    Do you really think three hundred people can surround a single person so that all of them can get at him at once? PR has a point.

    I mean, it's more like twenty than three, but it's not three hundred.
    Six with most melee weapons. Pikes boost this up significantly, but pikes have mobility problems vs lone targets anyhow, they're meant for formation combat.

    If those 300 are archers/javelin throwers or something, then the lone guy has real problems.

    Keep in mind that if you keep moving, too, you can reduce the number of people that can effectively engage you at once pretty harshly, but this is very tiring.

    I believe you'd also have to assume a huge skill difference, and at the minimum, excellent equipment for the loner.

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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    I did not mean to imply that our hero would find himself whacked-upon by three hundred people full-attacking every six seconds. I meant that I think it's likely that the 297 people would eventually figure out that they can use tactics that take advantage of their overwhelming numbers.

    They could, for instance, completely surround the poor guy and have about half of them attacking him at range with whatever ranged weapons they had available, all while the other half are keeping pikes and shields pointed at him from all directions.

    Even if they were a mindless melee mob, our hero is going to be surrounded by six to ten people at any one time. Since he'll be completely surrounded, there'll be several combatants in his blindspot no matter what direction he's facing. Real people are pretty fragile -- being caught unaware by one blow could be enough to end the match. That's why people generally keep their eyes on their opponents when they have the chance.

    Taking this tale as literal truth just because it's written down in an old book is completely nonsensical.
    Last edited by quicker_comment; 2009-11-01 at 03:36 PM.

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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    I don't think he'd have to kill every single one to defeat them. I mean, lets be honest, if the last fifty or sixty to face him have all died, how thrilled are you going to be to be #61?

    And, if he's in melee with multiple opponents, it's unlikely that ranged will be able to do much to him.

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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    Out in the open field or in the alleyways of a city?

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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    Quote Originally Posted by quicker_comment View Post
    I did not mean to imply that our hero would find himself whacked-upon by three hundred people full-attacking every six seconds. I meant that I think it's likely that the 297 people would eventually figure out that they can use tactics that take advantage of their overwhelming numbers.
    Ever hear the phrase, "A plan is the first casualty of battle"??

    It's a military way of life. You can intellectually choose that. But when three people in front of you get cut down, how much does it matter to you that this excellent plan will win after only 10-30 more kills?

    People behave differently when their life is on the line, and a man who is whispered about in legend is staring you in the face, and promising death.

    Suddenly, they worry about their own skin. They fear. And they guard themselves instead of covering their comrade. And then their comrade dies.

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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    Hmm...

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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixRivers View Post
    People behave differently when their life is on the line, and a man who is whispered about in legend is staring you in the face, and promising death.

    Suddenly, they worry about their own skin. They fear. And they guard themselves instead of covering their comrade. And then their comrade dies.
    And then their general steps in front, the general who has led you into countless victories, and he stares at your face and promises you glory.

    Suddenly, the don't worry about their own skin. They charge. And they get impaled on Lu Bu's spear. They die, but not before seeing their comrades jumping over Lu Bu who has his spear stuck on your guts.

    Really, Lu Bu ended up defeated by overwhelming numbers.

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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    I should have specified, the officers of the Shinsengumi. Also, after the 10th man got killed, the 11th might consider turning tail and running if it weren't for the fact that according to the law of the Shinsengumi he'd be forced to kill himself anyways. And if he didn't his squadmates would happily do it for him.
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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    Sort of like so: http://www.penny-arcade.com/images/2004/20040220l.jpg

    And while I wouldn't say any man could take on an army single-handedly, there are the (a little anecdotal, I admit) tales of Matsutatsu Oyama's (the Godhand) kumite, where he faced three hundred men over the course of three days, masters in their own right, and beat every single one. Supposedly, eventually there was no ass left for him to kick, and he was reluctantly forced to stop.

    EDIT: Goddamn, do I like talking about that guy, or what?
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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    Quote Originally Posted by quicker_comment View Post
    Taking this tale as literal truth just because it's written down in an old book is completely nonsensical.
    No way man, it's ancient asian wisdom. Did you know katanas could, like, cut a tank in HALF?

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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixRivers View Post
    People behave differently when their life is on the line, and a man who is whispered about in legend is staring you in the face, and promising death.
    You've forgotten the culture they've grown up in. 8/10 of these men are samurai who have given themselves completely over to service of their lord. They're men who've faced death and chose to act according to the plan rather than according to their survival instincts.

    Further, 8 out of 10 of those men will be trained with horses, spears, swords, bows, armored and unarmored fighting. Most certainly they could and would disengage and shoot Lu Bu with bows or encircle him with spears and swords. Either way, there is no defense applicable against an attack from all directions.

    Finally, the Shinsengumi fought to the death for running away was rewarded with death. Lu Bu would most certainly have to kill them all, and while he was an exceptional warrior I highly doubt he could face all three hundred of them at once without being overwhelmed.

    Quote Originally Posted by dyslexicfaser View Post
    And while I wouldn't say any man could take on an army single-handedly, there are the (a little anecdotal, I admit) tales of Matsutatsu Oyama's (the Godhand) kumite, where he faced three hundred men over the course of three days, masters in their own right, and beat every single one.
    So 100 unarmed fighters per day? Granted, a punch hurts but when you're stabbed, slashed or otherwise cut by steel it is rarely a wound that allows you to continue functioning. Being punched in the gut hurts, but comparatively even a knife to the gut is inevitably fatal without immediate medical attention. I doubt immensely that he could replicate that feat in one day, when everyone is armed and without any rest in between.
    Last edited by ZeroNumerous; 2009-11-02 at 03:56 AM.

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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%BC...u.27s_downfall

    his end does appear to have been somewhat anticlimactic
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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    Quote Originally Posted by Oslecamo View Post
    And then their general steps in front, the general who has led you into countless victories, and he stares at your face and promises you glory.

    Suddenly, the don't worry about their own skin. They charge. And they get impaled on Lu Bu's spear. They die, but not before seeing their comrades jumping over Lu Bu who has his spear stuck on your guts.

    Really, Lu Bu ended up defeated by overwhelming numbers.
    Actually, he ended up defeated when he was captured by his own men, in his sleep.

    And, when generals appeared, by the most accurate text concerning this? He usually rode them down and skewered them. Then the "general who has led you to countless victories" has something of the opposite morale effect when his head rolls to rest at your feet.
    Quote Originally Posted by ondonaflash View Post
    I should have specified, the officers of the Shinsengumi. Also, after the 10th man got killed, the 11th might consider turning tail and running if it weren't for the fact that according to the law of the Shinsengumi he'd be forced to kill himself anyways. And if he didn't his squadmates would happily do it for him.
    One doesn't need to run to hesitate. One doesn't need to run to fear. One doesn't need to run to hang back for a second, not wanting to be the first to charge.

    One doesn't need to run to make mistakes wrought from fear.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroNumerous View Post
    You've forgotten the culture they've grown up in. 8/10 of these men are samurai who have given themselves completely over to service of their lord. They're men who've faced death and chose to act according to the plan rather than according to their survival instincts.
    Incorrect. Not every samurai had nerves of steel, resoluteness in the face of death, and were honorable servants to their lord. Many did as many people do today. Pay lip service to the concepts considered good, without truly devoting.

    Fear does not equal fleeing. It does delay reactions, and cloud judgement. It creates openings in those around you.
    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroNumerous View Post
    Further, 8 out of 10 of those men will be trained with horses, spears, swords, bows, armored and unarmored fighting. Most certainly they could and would disengage and shoot Lu Bu with bows or encircle him with spears and swords. Either way, there is no defense applicable against an attack from all directions.
    Unless it's terrain use to block line of sight, seperate foes, and limit the attack. They weren't looking down from above, as we would with a RTS. They were actually chasing him, and the coordination it takes to catch a lone fleet skirmisher is rather high, when you have the fog of war. Archers further tend to not engage when the lone man is engaged with many of your own comrades.
    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroNumerous View Post
    Finally, the Shinsengumi fought to the death for running away was rewarded with death. Lu Bu would most certainly have to kill them all, and while he was an exceptional warrior I highly doubt he could face all three hundred of them at once without being overwhelmed.
    Who said anything about all at once?

    Fighting and killing 300 in a battle is as much denying the enemy information, choosing fights, hit and run, terrain manipulation... As it is anything else. That's where you win. It's not 300 swordsmen and pikemen, surrounding you in a perfect series of concentric circles.

    It's 10-15 on you, while the rest have fanned out to look for you in squads. If you're quick, and you ambush, you take full advantage of the initial charge, the strike, and half that squad can be dead in an instant.

    The battle of 1000 men was won a few kills at a time.
    Last edited by PhoenixRivers; 2009-11-02 at 05:21 AM.

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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixRivers View Post
    Incorrect. Not every samurai had nerves of steel, resoluteness in the face of death, and were honorable servants to their lord. Many did as many people do today. Pay lip service to the concepts considered good, without truly devoting.
    Those born into a family of samurai during a time of peace could not be counted on. However the Shinsengumi served between the ending of the Tokugawa Shogunate and the beginning of the Meiji era. They were veterans who had fought wars already, and were hardly soft or paying lip service. Further, they fought several battles throughout their existence as a police force. You're not quite giving them the credit they're deserved.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixRivers View Post
    Fear does not equal fleeing. It does delay reactions, and cloud judgement. It creates openings in those around you.
    Again, these men have already faced the fear of death. It takes long years of soft living to get rid of that, and I highly doubt we'd be comparing the two at any time other than their strongest moment.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixRivers View Post
    Unless it's terrain use to block line of sight, seperate foes, and limit the attack.
    A poor assumption to make concerning Lu Bu. He was nothing if not arrogant to a fault, and a 'mere' three hundred men would not cause him to use the tactical skill you're attributing to him.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixRivers View Post
    They weren't looking down from above, as we would with a RTS. They were actually chasing him, and the coordination it takes to catch a lone fleet skirmisher is rather high, when you have the fog of war.
    Conversely, Lu Bu would also not be looking down from above. He'd only know what he sees and hears concerning the disposition of enemy forces and their deployment. Unfortunately it works more against him than for him because any attempt on his part to kill or otherwise defeat any members of the Shinsengumi will draw everyone nearby to that area. Inevitably they need only to move as a group in order to make their position unassailable.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixRivers View Post
    Who said anything about all at once?
    You assume Lu Bu gets to chose how many to engage when they can simply move in force.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixRivers View Post
    Fighting and killing 300 in a battle is as much denying the enemy information, choosing fights, hit and run, terrain manipulation... As it is anything else.
    Granted, but that's meaningless in a battle of three hundred to one. Even if they spread out and Lu Bu picks off a few here and there, the loss of their comrades will draw the entire unit together and they'll move as one. Lu Bu has to fight and kill them all at once then or not at all.

    Further, you assume Lu Bu is able to move freely without drawing attention to himself. How, precisely, will he do this? A horse loud enough to be heard for a hundred feet or more? Sneaking around while wearing the metal scale armor he's frequently portrayed in? No, I have a hard time believing he'd be able to sneak up on a group that large with those tools.

    That leaves him hitting and running or making a stand in a small enclosed space. The first is met with spears to kill his horse, the second with fire to smoke him out of hiding. At best he's killed, lets be generous, 30 men. One man against an army is nice and romantic, but hard reality is not as pretty.

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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    Well, let's see. Veterans of several wars. Equates to 300 people between level 3-6. Maybe 1 level 8. Ok, great. That's an elite force.

    Now let's look at the statted out Lu Bu (since that was the OP's question).

    Well, numerous people on the board have already gone so far as to put him at a 20th level gestalt. Warblade on one side, and either fighter or barbarian. Either way, ubercharger.

    By the numbers, statted out? This would be a slaughter.

    Historically? Who knows, precisely. But Lu Bu was called the most fierce warrior of his time for a reason. He led armies for a reason. He wasn't stupid. Maybe uncharismatic, but you don't become the best by underestimating foes. That's not how one becomes legend. Your idea that Lu Bu would casually stride out to engage 300 in a straight up plains battle? Doubtful. If anything, that's what's embellished, as the victor writes the memoirs. I'd be more inclined to believe he fought dirty, REALLY dirty, than he was accustomed to meeting armies of pikemen and archers on open plains.

    Cavalry's principle advantage lies in numbers. A lone horse can be evaded. Lone horses don't charge packed formations. They're used to get from one place to another quickly.

    And, in an army where 8 in 10 are capable of riding, 1 horse's travel won't seem so extraordinary from a distance. Lu Bu has another advantage in this scenario. A target Rich Environment. Whereas the Shinsengumi have to close to investigate every horse before firing... Lu Bu can safely assume everyone and everything he sees on the horizon is an enemy. He has certainty, where the enemy has doubt.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroNumerous View Post
    Granted, but that's meaningless in a battle of three hundred to one. Even if they spread out and Lu Bu picks off a few here and there, the loss of their comrades will draw the entire unit together and they'll move as one. Lu Bu has to fight and kill them all at once then or not at all.
    This isn't the 21st century. They don't have walkies. They won't find out quickly and in a uniform fashion that comrades are dying. Even moreso, such contacts generally draw troops towards disturbances, not back to regrouping. Differing distances, and the limit of distance the sound carries would show that troops would be more likely, in a sweep and clear to hunt a smaller force, to come in, in smaller numbers.
    Last edited by PhoenixRivers; 2009-11-02 at 07:18 AM.

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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    Quote Originally Posted by ondonaflash View Post
    I should have specified, the officers of the Shinsengumi. Also, after the 10th man got killed, the 11th might consider turning tail and running if it weren't for the fact that according to the law of the Shinsengumi he'd be forced to kill himself anyways. And if he didn't his squadmates would happily do it for him.
    This gets slightly less problematic when you're in an 11 man squad.

    Frankly, the whole "fearless warriors who always fight until death" is just as subject to historical stretching as is the "one man defeats an army solo".

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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixRivers View Post
    Well, let's see. Veterans of several wars. Equates to 300 people between level 3-6. Maybe 1 level 8. Ok, great. That's an elite force.

    Now let's look at the statted out Lu Bu (since that was the OP's question).

    Well, numerous people on the board have already gone so far as to put him at a 20th level gestalt. Warblade on one side, and either fighter or barbarian. Either way, ubercharger.

    By the numbers, statted out? This would be a slaughter.
    Okay, I had a reply all written out to this, but I'll save you my nerd rage and just assume you already know that "simulating" things with D&D is completely ridiculous. If a twentieth level Warblade can slaughter 300 armed men singlehandedly in one battle, that simply implies that it would not ever be appropriate to stat out a real person as a twentieth level Warblade. From what I know of power levels in D&D, letting the elite squad be 2nd level and Lu Bu be 4th or 5th level would be much more appropriate -- assuming you want to "stat out" the historical Lu Bu, a real person, and not the mythical Lu Bu. (In any case, no matter how you "stat out" real persons, numerous inconsistencies will crop up, because real life does not work by D&D rules.)

    I completely agree that morale is a factor. However, with three hundred facing one, the advantage of the three hundred is so obvious and so overwhelming that I can't imagine the morale of the three hundred warriors would suffer significantly before they won the battle. (Unless we're not so much talking "Lu Bu could take out three hundred warriors in a fight" as "Lu Bu could trick three hundred superstitious warriors into fleeing rather than fighting him".)

    Now, we are talking about a guy who, according to Wikipedia, is "most well known" for his amorous relationship with a "most likely fictional" woman. He's the stuff of myths and legends, which does not only mean that he did some crazy things, but also that people made up stuff about him. The superhero genre is thousands of years old: myths and romanticizations tend to exaggerate the personal power of individuals, because people want dramatic stories with powerful heroes and villains.

    I can't really refute this specific tale with any sort of authority, because I'm not an expert on the subject, but if you really do believe that Lu Bu literally could beat 300 trained warriors singlehandedly, I encourage you to ask in the "real world weapons and armour" thread to hear if the military history guys think this is at all feasible. This is turning into a pop-cultural versus thread, and those are pretty pointless.

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Default Re: How Badly Do You Think a D20 Statted Out Shinsengumi Would Have Butchered Lu Bu

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroNumerous View Post
    The entire 300-man police force? Pretty badly considering he's just one man. Granted: He's a great warrior, but he's hardly superman.
    Fun fact:
    "He's just one man!" is the leading last sentence among victims of Captain America related deaths, and a close second for Sgt. Rock related fatalities, shortly following "Amerikaner Swine".
    Last edited by chiasaur11; 2009-11-02 at 01:14 PM.
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