Peter Maranci (bobquasit) wrote in runequest_brp,
Peter Maranci
bobquasit
runequest_brp

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Dodge, etc.

This started out as a response to an earlier thread, but it exceeded the maximum comment length. Trust me to babble on and on! :D

tcpip > Oh, I agree. That's good programming sense. Heck, I do the same thing to political-economic systems.

So do I. Of course, I have a ring-side seat here in the US as our political system is being tested to destruction. :(

tcpip > Ummm... can I ask what was flawed about it? I know a lot of people read it as meaning if you dodge you can't attack, but that didn't seem the case to me.

This is difficult to explain, but the point is definitely valid. Let me see...

The problem is that statistically, anyone who relies on Dodge as a defense is certain to die.

Why? Let's take two cases: Joe, who parries with (let's say) a shield, and Errol, who relies on Dodge.

There are five possible outcomes on both sides:
Fumble
Failure
Success
Special
Critical

We may discount the results of fumbling a defensive roll. It's equally bad for Dodge and Parry.

Likewise, if Joe or Errol fail, the result will be the same for both: they get hit, assuming that their opponent had at least a success. If a special or crit hit was rolled, the defender takes the full effect.

Errol is likely to take the worst of that, since Dodge tends to make more sense when wearing lighter armor, but that's a logical consequence of the choice the Dodger makes and is therefore acceptable - it's not a system error.

But what about success? Let's say that Joe and Errol have both rolled a success in their defense. What's the result?

If the attacker rolled a failure or fumble, there is no difference.

If the attacker rolled a success, Errol avoids all damage and Joe's shield or weapon absorbs its AP in damage. Against a high-damage opponent, Errol is better off. Joe also runs the risk of having his weapon damaged.

BUT - if the attacker rolls a special or critical, Errol is in serious trouble. His successful Dodge has NO EFFECT. He is hit with the full effect of the special or critical hit. Meanwhile, Joe's successful Parry means that his shield/weapon will absorb its AP in damage, possibly even nullifying the spec/crit - and certainly making it a lot more survivable.

Likewise, even a special Dodge sucess is completely ineffective against a critical hit. It's as if the defender simply stood there. But a special Parry is effective even against a crit.

Therefore the Dodge rules as written make it very likely that special or critical attacks will be devastating. It's a matter of pure luck: the Dodger must hope that s/he will be lucky enough to roll a special or critical success whenever their opponent does. The odds are extremely poor, except perhaps for Hero-level Dodge.

The solution that my group applied was a simple one: each "level" of Dodge success reduced the effect of the opposing attack by one category. Therefore:

A normal Dodge success negates a normal attack, reduces a special attack success to a normal one, and reduces a critical attack to a special one. The logic is that the Dodger moved partially away from or with the movement of the attack, reducing its effectiveness.

A special Dodge negates special and normal attacks, and reduces a critical attack to a normal success.

A critical Dodge negates any attack.

Of course another question arises: can a Dodge reduce a failure to a fumble? We chose not to go that route, since it seemed likely to overcomplicate things.

Sorry, that was a long explanation.

By the way, I agree about special knockback; it was another bad rule. It would make more sense to say that...hmm...each point of damage in excess of the defender's SIZ + AP (or armor ENC, although the ENC system is cumbersome) knocks the defender back by 1 meter. Perhaps a DEX x 5 roll should be allowed to the defender...or a Jump roll. But that should be modified by the amount of damage received, right?

Perhaps instead of a DEX x 5 or Jump roll, a resistance roll of STR vs. the damage is necessary to avoid knockback.

Hmm. That rule could also be used generally for attackers who are simply trying to knock their opponents down, in which case the resistance roll might be required no matter HOW much damage was done. Of course, with low damage the chance of success would be minimal...and such a sweep/push attack would probably be limited to inflicting half of the actual damage, at best. In other words, the entire damage would be considered for knockback purposes, but only half of it would be "real" damage.

Hey, that would even work with combatants who are trying to push each other over! They could even both succeed, which makes sense. Wrestling! Jeeze, I love this rules system. :D
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