4E Flowery power names vs pragmatically descriptive.

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Some powers seem very mundanely named like say a Cleave interestingly I have heard far more flowery named maneuvers in real life Hema texts from the knight era than many we have for the fighter. Others like Steel Serpent Strike sound closer to authentic.

I have a couple I named Twisting Disarm and Smashing Disarm. Which are rather mundane. Surgical Strike (which requires you to be trained in healing) may be a little better but I think maybe "Bite of the Chiurgens Blade" could be better.

To me one of the advantages of the flowery language is it doesn't imply your method of accomplishing the thing is generic. A barbarians Smashing Disarm might not cause them to grant advantage when using it and have Barbarian/Bezerk clauses. So naming the fighters ability "Brazen Reaving of Steel" ... could be an idea and sounds more disciplined/sophisticated perhaps.

I just had an epic image of Sauron like knight swinging ones huge two handed weapon and disarming a number of lesser enemies with one sweep. (and realized a multi-target attack defeating a bunch of enemies could be visualized that way just fine)

Anyway
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
End Him Rightly Fighter Attack 1
You hold your spear and sword together on your arm, unscrew the pommel of your sword and throw it at your opponent vigorously, close in with the throw and use your sword or spear, whatever suits you best.
Encounter • Martial, weapon
Standard Action Ranged
3
Requirement: You must be wielding a blade and a spear.
Target: One creature in range
Attack: Dexterity vs. Will
Hit: The target is surprised until the end of your turn.
Effect: You can shift up to two spaces towards the target and make a melee basic attack against it using your sword or your spear.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Honestly I feel like it’s a bit weak for an encounter power, but the talk of attack names made me think of it, and I couldn’t resist.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Honestly I feel like it’s a bit weak for an encounter power, but the talk of attack names made me think of it, and I couldn’t resist.
You used surprise as a the jargon technical turn i was kind of surprised by that ... are there other powers doing that mid fight?
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
You used surprise as a the jargon technical turn i was kind of surprised by that ... are there other powers doing that mid fight?
I don’t really remember, it’s been so long since I played 4e. Honestly, my first instinct was to go with Stunned, but I remembered Stunned being really powerful, so I looked up a list of 4e Conditions and went with Surprised based on the name. Seemed like the most appropriate reaction to having a sword pommel thrown at you 🤣
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I don’t really remember, it’s been so long since I played 4e. Honestly, my first instinct was to go with Stunned, but I remembered Stunned being really powerful, so I looked up a list of 4e Conditions and went with Surprised based on the name. Seemed like the most appropriate reaction to having a sword pommel thrown at you 🤣
Granting Combat Advantage and unable to take opportunity actions might be away or step it up a notched to Dazed which is like but jump more ... lots of possibilities come to mind which would be based on balance issues could up the level as an option too. I will have to look through a few encounter powers and decide details, the concept is fun.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Er...wouldn't throwing the pommel of your sword away make the sword a lot harder to use, because now it's unbalanced?

Also, a true hard-core rules lawyer would look at the name "End Him Rightly" and say that, as shown by the very name of the ability, females are immune..... :)
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Er...wouldn't throwing the pommel of your sword away make the sword a lot harder to use, because now it's unbalanced?
They had pommels with daggers in them and similar I am sure most did not even have pommels that were easy to remove (ie it was probably custom designed that way and probably a surprising trick to use at the beginning of the fight *(even with the name)
ALSO why only with spear and sword? Ie the sword in question may have been designed as properly balanced without the pommel
Also, a true hard-core rules lawyer would look at the name "End Him Rightly" and say that, as shown by the very name of the ability, females are immune..... :)
I figured gender free was probably a good idea - hence my "End Em Rightly" (I went there before you just not so explicitly neener neener)
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Er...wouldn't throwing the pommel of your sword away make the sword a lot harder to use, because now it's unbalanced?
This is an actual technique described in multiple historical manuscripts. The flavor text is a slightly-paraphrased translation of the direct quote from the Vienna Gladiatoria manuscript. A more complete translation would be something along the lines of:

“Note the twelfth play. If you want to end him quickly, hold your spear and sword together on your arm, unscrew the pommel of your sword and throw it at him vigorously. Close in with the throw and use your sword or spear, whatever suits you best.”

The manual in question was specifically about tournament fighting and dueling, not military technique, so the technique, which sounds completely absurd out of context, was meant for use in a one-on-one fight, where both opponents were outfitted in full plate armor, a sword, probably a buckler, and a spear. That’s why in my mock 4e power referencing it, you need to be using a sword and a spear. You can imagine how, in this context, your opponent suddenly throwing their sword pommel at you might catch you off-guard, just enough to buy them a moment to rush in and “end you quickly.” In this context, it doesn’t really matter that having the pommel removed from your sword would unbalance it (not to mention making the grip liable to fall off the tang), nor that unscrewing the pommel of the sword would take for ever, because the whole point of the technique is to use it right as the fight starts to distract your opponent, and take advantage of the distraction by bum rushing them. In theory, they should be dead or eliminated from the duel pretty much right then and there.

Also, a true hard-core rules lawyer would look at the name "End Him Rightly" and say that, as shown by the very name of the ability, females are immune..... :)
“End him rightly” is a mistranslation of “ob du wilt reschlich mit ym entten,” which as Garthanos pointed out would be more accurately translated as “if you want to finish him fast.” This particular mistranslation was made famous in 2014 by HEMA Youtuber Skallagrim when he made a video making fun of how impractical the technique seems on the surface, and it became something of a meme. I intentionally used his exact mistranslation for the name of my mock 4e power because, well, that was kind of the whole joke.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
They had pommels with daggers in them and similar I am sure most did not even have pommels that were easy to remove (ie it was probably custom designed that way and probably a surprising trick to use at the beginning of the fight *(even with the name)
Well, I’m the accompanying art in the manuscript, you can clearly see that the sword hilt has a screw at the bottom, not a dagger. But yeah, swords of this design were probably pretty rare at the time. There is some archeological evidence of such designs from the period, but very, very little. It became more common later though.

ALSO why only with spear and sword? Ie the sword in question may have been designed as properly balanced without the pommel
As mentioned earlier, the technique was meant for use in duels where each duelist was equipped with a sword and a shield (and plate armor, and probably a buckler.)

I figured gender free was probably a good idea - hence my "End Em Rightly" (I went there before you just not so explicitly neener neener)
Yeah, in hindsight that would have been the wiser move, but I opted for reproducing Skallagrim’s mistranslation exactly.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Probably bad of me but even classic names like "fire ball" annoy me at how utilitarian many of them were.

I posted a Druidic daily disarm in another thread to sort of disarm the thread drift but.. the title was "Turning of War Spirits" - it sort of eats heat metal/warp wood and such.

I actually have quite a set of 4e disarm abilities... they are a vivid part of action adventure combat and I think they needed embraced and presented in the way 4e embraces action adventure tropes.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I think there’s an interesting tension between utilitarian power/spell names and more flowery ones. The more utilitarian ones do raise questions of why one needs this special Power just to perform this seemingly simple technique. But on the other hand, every attack having a fancy name has a rather shounen anime vibe to it that may not be a good tonal fit for everyone’s games.

Personally, I’m a fan of more general, practical names for at-will Powers, names that describe the specific technique (End ‘Em Rightly being a good example) for Encounter powers, and more elaborate, flowery names for Daily Powers. In effect, the more powerful and complex the maneuver, the fancier its name. I might attack every round with something simple like “lunge-and-slash,” occasionally perform a more involved technique like “ Bonetti's Defense,” and my big finishing move might be something super involved extra cool-sounding like “White Lotus Double-Whirlwind Technique.”
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I think there’s an interesting tension between utilitarian power/spell names and more flowery ones. The more utilitarian ones do raise questions of why one needs this special Power just to perform this seemingly simple technique. But on the other hand, every attack having a fancy name has a rather shounen anime vibe to it that may not be a good tonal fit for everyone’s games.

Personally, I’m a fan of more general, practical names for at-will Powers, names that describe the specific technique (End ‘Em Rightly being a good example) for Encounter powers, and more elaborate, flowery names for Daily Powers.
Yes you are probably right having both is important. (I still think we do need more things like Mordenkainen's X or Bigbies Y and fewer generics like Lightning bolt. )

That might work and perhaps those at-will disarms should be more awesome so they warrant being an encounter power that said at-wills which are similar can vary by class (I mentioned the berserk vs fighter flavor of disarm)

Using the flowery names is ironically authentic even in the martial arena AND allows one to have more sometimes subtle distinctions in how they work which like different fighting schools (and character classes). This is basically the opposite of HERO games thinking but works for D&D's game of lists.

How about a power like I just made up "Bolt from the Clear Blue" which hits a single spot with splash shock damage around the target location till next turn A soft control version of lightning bolt by making the ground dangerous.
 

Bohandas

Explorer
I have a couple I named Twisting Disarm and Smashing Disarm. Which are rather mundane. Surgical Strike (which requires you to be trained in healing) may be a little better but I think maybe "Bite of the Chiurgens Blade" could be better.
I recommend against impronouncable old/middle/early-modern english spellings (ie. chirurgeon, gaol, draught) just for the sake of ease of understanding.
 

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