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One of the mechanics of KO

One of the mechanics, actually the base, bedrock level, mechanic I'm putting in K.O. is that all rolls are opposed rolls.  There are no static DC/TN's to beat.

In that same vein, characters (mostly players and bosses, mooks will ikely have one defense for ease/speed of GM control) choose how they're going to defend against an attack (mental of physical although mental is still back of the mind).  There are three D's to defense, Dodge, Deflect, Dull.  When a creature is attacked they choose which way they're going to avoid getting hurt by a) getting out of the way b) directing the attack somewhere else or c)  reducing the impact of the attack.   The type of defense they choose, if they're successful opens up a small list of resource based options.   For example a Dodge might let them Disengage and not suffer OA's from their attacker, a Deflect might let them direct a melee attack against an adjacent target and a Dull might let them shield bash their attacker and force them to disengage.

One of the bigger problems I have with experienced (read jaded) players is when it's not their turn in  a tactical turn based situation, they disengage from what's going on because they can't do anything in the vast majority of game systems and nothing happens to them that they can do anything about.   If they get attacked they typically can only see how badly it is, not do much about it.  And it's hard to blame them because after a million fights it's hard to get excited to watch someone else (especially at the start of a fight) "I roll to hit, I hit?  I roll damage, okay it takes xx damage.".  Especially in systems that are damage sink attrition mechanics where it can take 20 successful attacks to deal enough damage to reach a point where a blow might matter.

With K.O. I'm trying to 'fix' that 'problem' by letting them make active and valid choices when it's not their turn when they're attacked.  And using the various resource systems I'm going to make it possible for them to interpose when it's not their turn by taking advantage of opportunities.  For instance if an enemy they're engaged in becomes impaired then by expending resources they may be able to take advantage of that by making a OA or disengaging or using a focus ability etc.

Additionally the combat system or rather the health / damage system is going to fall more on the brutal side than the gradual attrition side. One thing I noticed with systems ala Savage Worlds where it was possible to be killed in one roll due to exploding dice, players paid a lot more attention to what was going on.  Not so much with 4E (until I made some changes anyway) where it was impossible to 'die' from even 3 or 4 attacks.

Anyway, that's one of the many things that are going through this jaded old gamer's mind these days as he tries to advance gaming on a personal level.

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