Just a recap of what’s been added/changed/removed since the last update –
I’ve added a tactical incentive by adding the concept of Flanking. I know original huh? It combines with the MOB mechanic (multiple opponent bonus). With MOB you get +1 on your melee attack roll for each ally also attacking your target with melee. (slightly different than the Gang Up rule of Savage Worlds). In addition if you and an ally are on directly opposite sides of the target you gain an additional +1.
The idea is to promote teamwork and tactical movement, get players playing together rather than a bunch of characters who happen to be interacting with the same other set of characters. I think 4E is the first system that really encouraged that that I’ve used with all the set up movement, buffing, debuffing, marking and etc. Cleric’s getting hit? Fighter’s mark the targets and they instantly get -2 to hit the cleric. Rogue needs help? Warlord yoinks his target between them giving the rogue combat advantage so he can get a sneak attack off. That kind of thing.
A lot of that comes back to engaging the players at the table. But that’s a topic for another post that I keep meaning to write and getting sidetracked on.
I’ve also added Backstabber as a Knack. It adds +1 dice of damage to a melee attack. The catch is you have to have Flanking with an Ally and you get it only if you go immediately after your ally hits the same target with a Melee attack. I’m trying to make it useful enough to take but not so useful that everyone takes it. I think the +dice of damage is pretty significant but since it requires teamwork and synchronizing actions to get the bonus damage, the limitations offset that.
This Knack has the pre-req of you must have the Sneaky Bastard knack which currently gives you the following benefits, against an non-active target (i.e. someone not in combat) you get both a bonus on your attack roll and get to roll twice and take the higher of the two. You also grant +1 MOB bonus to an ally of your choice when you’re both attacking the same target. Another positive reinforcement for team play.
I’m also going to add special mechanical effects to some powers, at the very least the Direct Damage power and probably the Area Effect Damage powers. When you take the power you pick an effect assigned to it along with the appropriate flavor text. Like Fire Bolt or Acid Stream or Force Ball.
Each effect only lasts a single turn or instance and the target gets to make a general saving throw against it since it doesn’t cost anything for the caster to use it. The effects were originally designed around elemental flavor text for the powers, fire for the dot, earth for the blind, etc. But you could use various elements in various incarnations to achieve each one. So now you pick the effect with your power. If you want a different effect you have to spend a level up to buy the power again with a different effect.
The DD power obviously affects one target. My current thinking is with the AOE Damage power that it affects the closest target to the center of the AOE, players choice if more than one apply.
- Dot – You have a chance to put a one round DoT (damage over time) on the target. Opposed by Resolve.
- Blind – You have a chance to blind the target for one round. Opposed by Intellect.
- Slow – You have a chance to slow the target for one round. Opposed by Strength
- Push – You have a chance to slide the target one square. Opposed by Fortitude
- Splash – You have a chance to deal half damage to one target adjacent to the original target. Opposed by Grace
As possible option I might make the effect guaranteed but have it cost one power point. I’m not sure which way I like it more. As a resource management tactic or randomly generated? Anyone have any thoughts on that?
Synergy rolls are getting some love or at least attention. I really want groups a chance to be able to sneak as a group without the inevitable bad roll jacking it up. I want characters are who are well skilled in something to be able to help the ones that aren’t do better.
Also teamwork rolls, I need to figure out how I’m going to do that. For instance do I set a ‘required strength’ to be able to lift heavy objects? So a heavy portcullis might require a 40 strength roll. So one person would have to get really lucky and have their attempt explode. Or two characters would have to get reasonably lucky. Or three characters with just average rolls could raise it up. Which reminds me, feats of strength now incur a level of Fatigue. So you can make a few attempts but then you’re laying exhausted on the ground. Hopefully you nailed the roll on that last one before you slipped into unconsciousness.
Added Charging and Grapple rules. Pretty basic and simple, I don’t want to get into complexity with them. Grapple is very 4E. You can whack someone grappling you and they can try to hurt you with the grapple. Forced movement on either grappler or grapplee breaks the grappler. THe grapplee gets to make one escape attempt using either Strength or Grace and the grappler can try to oppose by one of those. A success means the grapplee gets free. With two degrees of success they get to act normally on their round although the escape does count as an action which subjects them to an appropriate MAP.
Charging just grants a bonus to damage to a melee attack at the end of the end of the charge or the charger can make an strength roll to try and shove the target, pushing it one square for each degree of success.
Most mechanics I just want enough complexity to give them an appropriate feel, I don’t want to recreate reality.