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Using Raises for Combat Maneuvers

 
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Hagen von Hohenstein
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Joined: 06 Apr 2004
Posts: 23
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 3:16 am    Post subject: Using Raises for Combat Maneuvers Reply with quote

It has been a long time since my last post but I have been lurking this forum and playing Savage Worlds (mostly fantasy) and other games all the time...

One of these other games was Legend from Mongoose - and while I quickly converted to SW for various reasons I found the idea of special Combat Maneuvers for good attack rolls quite interesting. Especially because my players seldom use maneuvers like disarm, grapple, called shots, ... because of their penalties/disadventages. They also always keep rolling their attack rolls even when the raise threshold is already reached - and the groan when ther great attack of 25 only results in 5 damage because of a bad damage roll. Thus I had the idea to make really high attack rolls more "useful" and maneuvers other then a normal attack easier...

Combat Maneuvers
Attack rolls (Fighting, Shooting or Throwing) are no longer limited to just 1 Raise. Each success and raise can result in 1 of the maneuvers listed below, as desired by the attacker. The GM may disallow any maneuver in the given situation, ruled by common sense.

Basic Maneuvers:
    Damage: The attack does normal damage. This is the basic hit – no other maneuver directly damages the target unless combined with this maneuver.
    Batter; Roll damage against one of the targets held weapons (including shields) or the torso armor. A raise is needed to attack any other item. The usual rules for breaking things apply.
    Disarm: The target must roll Strength or looses a weapon of the attacker’s choice. Two-handed weapons grant a +2 bonus to the target’s Strength roll. The defender suffers a -2 penalty if a raise was used for this maneuver.
    Disengage: The attacker may disengage the target without suffering a free attack.
    Distract: The target must roll Smarts or his Parry is lowered by -2 until his next action. The defender suffers a -2 penalty if a raise was used for this maneuver.
    Entangle: The attacker pins either one of the target’s weapons or his weapon arm (requiring a raise). Both opponents may not use the entangled weapons (or the entangled arm) and may not withdraw or move without dropping the locked weapon, but may otherwise act normally. Use the rules for breaking a grapple to break the entanglement. (Fighting only)
    Force: The target must give 1” ground or suffers a Critical Hit (see below). The attacker may choose the direction if a raise is used for this maneuver. This may provoke free attacks if the target is also engaged with other opponents.
    Grapple: This initiates a grapple as described in the core rules. The target is also shaken when a raise is used for this maneuver (as per core rules). If the attacker has only 1 free hand, all rolls to hold the target suffer a -2 penalty. (Fighting only, requires free hand)
    Push: Works as described in the core rules . The attacker gains +2 to his Strength roll if a raise was used for this maneuver. Using a Push without a successful Fighting test provokes a free attack from the target. Furthermore, Size directly adds to both Strength rolls. (Fighting only)
    Trip: The target must roll Agility or falls prone. The defender suffers a -2 penalty if a raise was used for this maneuver. Size also adds directly to this check and all creatures with more than 2 legs add +1 per additional pair – it is not easy to trip a giant centipede… (Fighting only)

Damaging Maneuvers:
These maneuvers require the Damage maneuver and thus can usually be chosen only with a raise:
    Critical Hit (may by chosen more than once): Attack does +d6 damage when chosen for the first time, +1 damage thereafter.
    Choose Location: The attack hits the location chosen by the attacker – use the appropriate armor value for that location. Further effects apply depending on the chosen location:
      Arm: The target must roll Spirit when at least shaken or drops any item held with the targeted arm. Any Vigor rolls during the aftermath (Extras) or when incapacitated get a +2 bonus.
      Leg: The target must roll Spirit when at least shaken or drops prone and looses any remaining movement when currently moving. Any Vigor rolls during the aftermath (Extras) or when incapacited get a +2 bonus.
      Head: The damage roll is increased by +2

    Ignore Armor: The attack has hit an unprotected area or a weak spot of the targets armor. Ignore armor completely. This is usually used against targets in full body armor – otherwise use Choose Location.
    Painful Blow: A target shaken by this attack suffers a -2 penalty to Spirit rolls to unshaken due to pain.

All maneuvers but Critical Hit and Ignore Armor may be declared before the attack roll. The roll then suffers a -2 penalty and the declared maneuver must be chosen before any others, but it is then treated as if a raise was used for it (basic maneuvers) or the attacker gets a free Damage maneuver (damaging maneuvers).


What do you think? I know, it is somewhat slower but (hopefully) worth it for a group like mine. And are the maneuvers balanced in your opinion?
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Jux
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Joined: 17 Oct 2012
Posts: 303
Location: Estonia

PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mongoose Legend system is one of my favorites too. It seems interesting, but I like SW for it's simplicity.
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Zadmar
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Joined: 10 Nov 2010
Posts: 2006
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting idea, although some of the options seem a bit strong, and allowing players to combine multiple maneuvers could become quite complex to track.

WotD has a setting rule whereby 2+ raises replace the +d6 bonus damage with an automatic headshot. One possibility might be to make that an optional maneuver, and then add additional maneuvers that can be selected after rolling an attack - only one maneuver per attack, but some could require (or gain further benefits from) multiple raises.
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ValhallaGH
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Joined: 25 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm reminded of the Stunt system from the Dragon Age RPG (not a bad tabletop game, but combat is really grindy unless you're getting a lot of Stunts, or are a powerful mage).

The idea in that system is that combat rolls are 3d6, one of which is unique (the Dragon Die). If you roll doubles on any two of the dice then you get "stunt points" based upon the roll of the dragon die - these points cannot be stored up, and can be applied to purchase various stunts off of a menu. Stunts cost between 1 and 5 points to activate, and you can use as many as you can afford. Knockdown is cheaper than Double Strike, and the options for ranged attacks are slightly different than for melee, and the options for magic stunts are very different.

It might be a helpful inspiration.
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kevin
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Joined: 15 May 2011
Posts: 477

PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this is a great idea, but the execution needs work. Too much book referencing, not FFF. Feels like Popular Generic Icosahedron-based Fantasy Roleplaying Game (TM).

What you might do is simply let the player describe their attack maneuver on a raise, and apply whatever small situational effect you feel is appropriate at the time. Basically, that gives you all the same mechanical effects you've already talked about, gives the player more control and creativity (players like that), and eliminates ALL the bookwork to keep the game fast.

Also, this might encourage them to pull special moves that use their environment. That's always fun.
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ValhallaGH
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Joined: 25 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kevin wrote:
What you might do is simply let the player describe their attack maneuver on a raise, and apply whatever small situational effect you feel is appropriate at the time. Basically, that gives you all the same mechanical effects you've already talked about, gives the player more control and creativity (players like that), and eliminates ALL the bookwork to keep the game fast.

Also, this might encourage them to pull special moves that use their environment. That's always fun.

So, the inverse of Seventh Sea stunts? Instead of getting a bonus, to achieve a great roll, for a great description, the great roll allows for a great description to grant a small additional bonus? A very interesting idea.

I feel that might be too much of a good thing. Though the high number of improbably high-rolling players at my tables may be coloring my experiences. (I had two players that consistently rolled extremely well. One of them rolled a skill, untrained, at a -24 modifier and succeeded with a raise. That experience taught me to never allow a roll unless I was willing to accept success or failure for the task.)
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