Multi die attacks, bypass and dynamic criticals

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Multi die attacks, bypass and dynamic criticals

Postby Galloglaich » Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:43 pm

So drkguy3107 mentioned in this thread that he thought the 4 or 5 die attack, seeking bypass, and with the dynamic critical rule, was a bit too powerful, since rolling a 20 means a probable instant kill. Especially since the defender can only block if they get a 20, and that doesn't mean that much (the attacker will just attack again).

I mentioned that there are already some MF which can help counter this, such as Miesterhau - Countercut, and Defanging the Snake. Other strategies such as a Feint or a Contra Tempo can help interrupt the attack; a guy with a shield and distance fighting MF could defend with the same amount of dice (4) and still have 2 left over for a counter attack. You can also combine this with Desperation Defense to throw in a couple more dice if necessary.

Finally, doing a 4 or 5 die attack against one opponent is really dangerous if there are any other opponents around because they can attack you, close to grapple whatever, and you can't do anything about it. In my own games this is what usually prevents players from making such all-out attacks.

But in a one-on-one fight or when ganging up on a smaller force this attack is still very powerful and more problematically, a bit too random and lethal. So maybe there should be some better ways to deal with it.

Should bypass and dynamic criticals work together?
The first thing I thought of was to just make an optional rule that if you bypass, you don't get the effects of a dynamic critical; i.e. you don't get the extra damage dice. Since most people or creatures in the Codex system don't have all that many hit points, a bypass is still a fairly viable type of attack - and the large number of potential damage dice with a dynamic crit, especially in a piercing or bludgeon attack, still make it a multi-die attack a viable strategy. But this is also kind of nerfing. Not certain if I like it or not yet.

Should a natural 20 be an automatic hit?
Maybe a counterattack (natural 20 on defense) should trump a Critical hit? Or maybe if both score critical hits, the tie breaker should be the total die roll bonus?

Do we need new martial feats?
This is usually my favorite design approach- and there usually are real-life ways to cope with real life strategies. Sometimes in sparring you DO get attacked with a phenomenal all-out effort, and there are several ways to cope with it. I think there are a couple of ways that would fit pretty well, one method you use in sparring is when you get a really hard attack, you absorb the impact of it with a hanging guard 'weak' in the bind, or some other deceptive measure, to kind of lure their attack in and redirect it, while also using the momentum of their attack to snap your weapon around to their most vulnerable opening. You can also do this with a shield, when you get a bind (which is covered by the Bind and Strike MF).

So in game terms, it might mean something like, the more dice they put into their attack, the more dice you get to use in your counter.

The problem is that this is related to the concept of zucken which I've already defined more specifically as a special MF allowing a type of true -edge / false edge cutting which gives you a speed bonus. Which is a real thing but it may not be the best term to use for that. So right now I'm looking into what a better term might be for these two concepts.

There is also another way to counter with a defensive Durchlauffen, by passing through their attack. And by reading their intent and voiding by stepping out of range. So I may need to define a couple of different MF designed to cope with this all-out type of attack.

Thoughts and opinions are welcome.

G
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Re: Multi die attacks, bypass and dynamic criticals

Postby drkguy3107 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:48 pm

So first off, I do not use desperation defense (out of merely forgetting it) in my games, and that could help pull it out for the defender. If I am correct, you can use as many dice as you want to roll after a failed defense, at the cost of dropping your initiative to bottom of the roster?

Also, I have never quite understood feint. What do you feint against? Is it your die versus their passive defense? Do they get a free die? Do they have to spend one of their own? Is it against they Empathy or Sense motive skill, cuz that would be broken as that skill is meant to be added to a die.

As for MF's, how does defanging the snake help? Can it be launched as a counterattack? Isn't it only mastercounter cut that occurs same time as normal attack? You are right about shields fixing this.

@ should a natural 20......
Defense always trumpts offense in a tie. But the problem is often in a multi-die attack, the automatic hit on a 20 rule means that even with a bypass penalty, a hit is scored against a much higher defense. Lets say I have a spear and have a +10 at onset (bab+reach+etc), and bypass against milanese harness, I have a -15 to my roll, I roll a 20, defender rolls a 19. I rolled 15 (20+10-15=15), they rolled 27 (19+5+3=27) yet still I hit and bypass, and with a dynamic critical.

I think the easiest solution is to do what most d20 games do. A 20 is an automatic hit, but it is not an automatic critical. For it to be a critical, the roll must be high enough to hit, even without the natural hit rule. So in the above example, I would have gotten a bypass, but not a critical, since I have so penalized my score and because they rolled quite high as well. If in the above example I were to roll 20 (20+10-15=15) I would get a 15 same as before, but maybe they rolled much less, like 5 (5+5+3=13) they would have only a 13, now I have not only automatically hit, but also scored my dynamic critical.

This makes the whole affair seem more fair (the whole 'I actually rolled much better than you, why did I die?' goes away), makes force-crit-bypasses more stupid, even with all your die, and keeps the auto-hit on 20 rule from being abused. It also requires no additional roles or time, you simply have to add up your math as normal.
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Re: Multi die attacks, bypass and dynamic criticals

Postby Daeruin » Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:43 pm

There's already a rule to handle one of the situations you mentioned. If the attacker gets a natural 20, and the defender also gets a natural 20 on active defense, the defender gets a counterattack that happens simultaneously with the crit. So you'd have to keep that in mind. This rule kind of sucks, actually, because if you've put all your dice into defense to increase your chances of getting that natural 20 (especially knowing your opponent is rolling 4-5 dice on the attack), you don't have any dice left to attack with and you still get killed. I guess feats like Riposte or Counterstroke would give you dice to attack with in that scenario, but you're still likely to get killed. I would almost rather consider this situation with opposed natural 20s as a bind, so the defender has a chance to use Winden when the attacker has no MP left.

Feint always seemed pretty clear to me. You have to spend one MP, and it's a contested skill check. You roll your Bluff or Intimidation, they roll their Sense Motive. If you beat them, they lose one MP. Using Improved Feint, you could take a die away from someone's attack before they get to roll, which could take some power out of an all-out attack. The thing I'm not totally clear on is whether they have to use MP to roll their Sense Motive. If not, you're basically spending a die to get rid of one of their dice, which in my opinion isn't that useful at all until you get Improved Feint.

I like the idea of making a void a more viable defense overall. In real life, isn't stepping or jumping back the easiest defense of all? I remember seeing a thread on the HEMAA forum about how to defeat someone who keeps running away, and there weren't a whole lot of options. If you see their attack coming, you ought to be able to use your MP to jump back and get out of the fight. Right now, a void is less effective than using a weapon or shield to block an incoming attack.
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Re: Multi die attacks, bypass and dynamic criticals

Postby Galloglaich » Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:40 pm

Daeruin wrote:I would almost rather consider this situation with opposed natural 20s as a bind, so the defender has a chance to use Winden when the attacker has no MP left.


Maybe that could be added to the Winden Feat.... and some of the others which are triggered by binds.

Feint always seemed pretty clear to me. You have to spend one MP, and it's a contested skill check. You roll your Bluff or Intimidation, they roll their Sense Motive. If you beat them, they lose one MP. Using Improved Feint, you could take a die away from someone's attack before they get to roll, which could take some power out of an all-out attack. The thing I'm not totally clear on is whether they have to use MP to roll their Sense Motive. If not, you're basically spending a die to get rid of one of their dice, which in my opinion isn't that useful at all until you get Improved Feint.


As you say, it is a skill check so it doesn't require any MP (though you can add one to improve your chances for success). It's use is often tactical, you can take away someones last attack, their last defense, or their last chance for an attack of opportunity. We had a guy in my last session who was a very good grappler with a high Charisma, and the Mobility Feat which confers an extra MP for movement. He used feint to repeatedly draw off MP then charge to grapple range.

I like the idea of making a void a more viable defense overall. In real life, isn't stepping or jumping back the easiest defense of all? I remember seeing a thread on the HEMAA forum about how to defeat someone who keeps running away, and there weren't a whole lot of options. If you see their attack coming, you ought to be able to use your MP to jump back and get out of the fight. Right now, a void is less effective than using a weapon or shield to block an incoming attack.


Well, this is pretty much how the Distance Fighting MF works:

"Whenever you are attacked in Onset range, you
receive a Free Dice for any void. A void means an Active
defense using no weapon or shield bonus (only your Base
Defense). This MF can be used with the Nachriesen MF."


This is designed to cover exactly the type of fighting you are referring to. I agree however that an all-defensive strategy should give you even better defensive 'help' - if you have room to keep running away you can be hard to hit especially with a shorter weapon. It should probably be a general rule not an MF, I just need to think of a good name...

G
Last edited by Galloglaich on Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Multi die attacks, bypass and dynamic criticals

Postby Galloglaich » Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:44 pm

drkguy3107 wrote:So first off, I do not use desperation defense (out of merely forgetting it) in my games, and that could help pull it out for the defender. If I am correct, you can use as many dice as you want to roll after a failed defense, at the cost of dropping your initiative to bottom of the roster?


If you have the initiative, yes. If you don't have the initiative, you lose an MP the next round, which is obviously dangerous.

Also, I have never quite understood feint.

See above

As for MF's, how does defanging the snake help? Can it be launched as a counterattack? Isn't it only mastercounter cut that occurs same time as normal attack? You are right about shields fixing this.

Both defanging and Miesterhau-Countercut (which I really need to rename to Versetzen for the next update) occur simultaneously to the attack. Defanging also gives you a chance to disarm your opponent, though damage is stepped down. Sheild helps a lot as does distance fighting + nachriesen.

@ should a natural 20......
(snip)
I think the easiest solution is to do what most d20 games do. A 20 is an automatic hit, but it is not an automatic critical. For it to be a critical, the roll must be high enough to hit, even without the natural hit rule. (snip) This makes the whole affair seem more fair (the whole 'I actually rolled much better than you, why did I die?' goes away), makes force-crit-bypasses more stupid, even with all your die, and keeps the auto-hit on 20 rule from being abused. It also requires no additional roles or time, you simply have to add up your math as normal.


I like this, mind if I use it? I can credit you.

G
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Re: Multi die attacks, bypass and dynamic criticals

Postby drkguy3107 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:42 pm

You can use it, and credit me if you wish, but I just took it from Mutants&Masterminds. I also think that it has been around as OGL for a very long time. But it does fix the problem very succinctly. (Perhaps you should look up the ogl on it, or I could I suppose)

So with feint, I use a die, then they get a free one to roll against it, and if I succeed then they lose a die? That seems to suck pretty hard. I may as well just attack them, if it misses and they active defense it is the same difference, as it also uses up one of their die in exchange for one of mine, also this way I may actually hit and do damage. :mrgreen: I only see this working well if you already have more die, or you have the improved version. Also you can't use it to take a die out of an opponenets attack roll because you can only feint on your turn unless you have the improved one.
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Re: Multi die attacks, bypass and dynamic criticals

Postby Galloglaich » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:57 pm

Improved feint makes it a lot better but that is not an 'Advanced Martial Feat', it's just a regular feat, so if you are going to use Feint you will probably get it anyway. You don't have to be 6th level, you just have to have a relatively high Int and Combat Expertise.

Even without the Improved version, if you have a high Cha, it's a useful MF. If you attack them they may not always expend a die for defense, especially against a single-die attack. If you feint (if you have a high Cha and Bluff skills and they don't have a good Sense Motive) it's more likely to be successful.

With the Improved version Feint is very powerful because you can disrupt things like Miesterhau, and you can constantly interfere with their attacks.

Combat Expertise, combined with Distance Fighting and Nachreisen, is another nice package to defeat a big multi-dice attack... you could do a void while stepping back, put 3 of your own dice in, for a 5 die defense, then still have 2 dice for your counterattack or follow-up attack on your initiative.

G
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Re: Multi die attacks, bypass and dynamic criticals

Postby drkguy3107 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:46 pm

So I just looked up the new version's feint, and it mentions free dice, but you don't get any free dice using feint right? You still have to expend one of yours.
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Re: Multi die attacks, bypass and dynamic criticals

Postby Galloglaich » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:51 pm

Yes, that is poorly worded in there. You have to expend an MP.

I may change that in the next update though and let you have a free 'feint' attempt once per round. I have to think about it.

G
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