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Combat Maneuvers As An Option


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If one character gets a margin of success victory at least 1 (i.e. normal vs failure, special vs normal, critical vs special etc), they get to pick a minor tactical advantage / effect (e.g. a free (HARD) attempt to disarm or trip their opponent; they impose a -10% penalty on their opponent's observation skills for the next round etc etc). If they get a margin of 2 (critical vs normal, special vs failure) they get a normal disarm or trip or impose a -25% penalty; for a margin of 3 (Critical vs failure) they get an easy disarm or trip, or impose a 50% penalty.

Common sense should dictate what's plausible and what's not - it's difficult to see how a dagger could trip an opponent, but it could well manage a disarm or a slash above the eyes that causes blood to impair the opponents vision for a round or so.

The GM should encourage players to be inventive without dithering excessively and be prepared to make quick judgements to assign proportionate benefits / penalties - but to be honest, it's pretty much how I've run BRP combat for years any way...



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Is there a simple method for adding RQII combat maneuvers to the BRP system as a bolt-on option i.e. adding the CM system to BRP with as little impact on the rest of the core BRP rules and options as possible?

Basically yes. With some caveats. CMs are generated by degrees of success and RQII has two degrees success (critical and normal) while BRP has 3 (critical, special and normal). BRP would make CMs significantly more common than RQII.

Other thing to remember is that CMs replace both 'special' results (i.e. criticals) as well as pre-rolled tactics in RQII. This means that you would have to replace combat tactics which are decided before a roll (e.g. hitting to disarm) with tactics which are chosen after a qualifying roll. I reckon you would have to remove those aspects of BRP rules and replace them with CMs. Running them in tandem risks the combat system grinding to a halt. You would also need to decide whether to keep BRPs 3 degrees of success or replace them with the 2 degrees model.

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As Deleriad said, the key factor is remembering that you do not make any tactical decision before rolling, except the skill you are using. Everything else is decided after the roll.

There are also other BRP rules you have to remove. Firstly, you have to drop the combat result matrix: if A makes a special attack and B a normal parry, then B parried normally but A gained a manoeuver.

Secondly, all effects normally related to criticals and specials become manoeuvers that you can choose if you roll a special or critical success. Several MRQ2 maneouvers already duplicate the effects of a BRP special effect. Remember to use the MRQ version of these manoeuvres, because otherwise you risk getting them too often (all successful missile hits will be impales, and the BRP impale is too nasty to have it happen so often).

Lastly, there is no reason to alter the success levels. Most manoeuvers are achieved by someone missing a roll, and since in MRQ this happens because of the skill reduction rules (absent in BRP) this will compensate the increased chance of getting a manoeuvre because of a special success.

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Maybe this thread can be used as an opportunity to brainstorm ideas and codify a semi-official, BRP Central Combat Maneuver BRP options system. Or some such. I think the RQII combat designers lurk around here. Maybe they can add some thoughts.

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