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Difficulty with parry skills over 100%


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I'm designing a BRP-/OpenQuest/Mythras-Hack where a main mechanic is instead of numerical penalties and bonuses I use an advantage/disadvantage system like CoC 7th edition and Dragonbane, but I've run into a point where my system breaks.

In my hack parries and dodges are free actions that don't cost a reaction or an action point, instead every following parry or dodge after the first one gets a cumulative disadvantage. I thought this was rather elegant, but the breaking point would be a character who has 100+ in Dodge or Parry, which leads to the point that the character can only be hit if they roll a fumble, which is a 00 which has a 1% chance.

I've made a Surrounded/Flanked rule, which means that if you get surrounded by an amount of enemies equal to your fighting skill/5 (rounded up) all your rolls to parry or dodge are hard (half value). But this rule would penalize people with less than 100% or 80% in fighting even more. (Creatures with double or triple the size of their enemies are exempt from this rule).

How would you solve this?

Thx in advance!

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21 minutes ago, Nokaion said:

How would you solve this?

I wouldn't use an advantage/disadvantage system for difficulties. But if I understand you correctly, I think it's not an option. ūüôā

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1st Parry - roll normally

2nd Parry - roll with disadvantage

3rd Parry - Only a Critical/Special succeeds

4th+ Parry - roll with disadvantage, and only a Critical/Special succeeds

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My advice would be to: Use/adapt one of the older Attack/Parry Matrices. In old RQ (RQ1-3) a it was much easier to break weapons due to how the A?P Matrix worked and how parrying weapons took damage. This made the success level of the parry very important bot only for stopping an attack but for protecting the defending weapon (and possibly damaging the attacking weapon).  This would discourage highly skilled character from attacking groups as they could get their weapon damaged with that many parries. Likeiwse in the older versions a Dodge had to be of the same success level as the attack to succeed. That would keep the 100%+ dodges in check. 

 

Another option would be to continually increase the difficulty of the next prry/dodge. Either per attempt in a round, or by success level of the current defense. say the difficulty goesd up unless they get a special success of better. Then the guy with 100% still won't want to fight twenty guys at once.

58 minutes ago, Nokaion said:

I've made a Surrounded/Flanked rule, which means that if you get surrounded by an amount of enemies equal to your fighting skill/5 (rounded up) all your rolls to parry or dodge are hard (half value). But this rule would penalize people with less than 100% or 80% in fighting even more. (Creatures with double or triple the size of their enemies are exempt from this rule).

Fighting skill/5?

  • First off that many people probably can't even attack one person at the same time. Not with most melee weapons. Try to get ten swordmen to attack the same guy and see how it work¬†out. THey will mostly be in in others way, because 90% of the bodies out there belong to one of their allies.
  • Secondly, how would anyone know what that magic number of opponents would be? For instance say you got 20 opponents ganging up on one guy, but the¬†guy has 105% skill, so the gang up doesn't work at all.

I thin you'd be better served here by giving the gang modifier based entirely the size of the gang, not the skill of the defender (otherwise it just exacerbates your problem with high skilled characters). Personally I'd go with two foes is difficult, four is very difficult.  Of course I cut my teeth on RQ, where was for highly skilled warriors (RuneLords) not to taken on multiple foes as that negated most of their skill advantages. Runelords had retinues so that they could take the enemy apart one on one, not have "a fair chance" taking on a group by themselves. 

 

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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3 hours ago, Nokaion said:

This was a typo. The formula is Fighting skill/20 (rounded up).

That's much better. Still, I think a flat modifier for number of opponents is better. Either that or you should factor in the skill of the opponents. After all wouldn't two  90% foes be at least as difficulty as nine 20% foes?

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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I mean, how the Evade/Parry vs Attack works?

In the sense that, is it by Level of Success [a la classic BRP]? In that case this only becomes a problem with very high skills, because the disadvantage will make them Crit and Special less while their opponents can grab specials and crits. I personally increased Special to Half the Skill instead of Skill/5.

Or just with any success you obtain full reduction?

Maybe your problem comes more in how the attack hits by itself. And so, you should modify attack and defense interaction, more than the defense skills.

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Quote

I mean, how the Evade/Parry vs Attack works?

It works very much like CoC 7th edition and Rivers of London where there are success levels (Regular, Hard, Extreme, Critical) and the one with the higher success level succeed. If it comes to a draw, the defender wins.

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1 hour ago, Nokaion said:

It works very much like CoC 7th edition and Rivers of London where there are success levels (Regular, Hard, Extreme, Critical) and the one with the higher success level succeed. If it comes to a draw, the defender wins.

Then the issue is not there, as conajofa pointed out. If the roll is differential, a 100% defendant is by no means invulnerable, just hard to hit. It will become increasingly hard to roll better than regular for him, while the attacker has still his full chance of rolling criticals.

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3 hours ago, Nokaion said:

It works very much like CoC 7th edition and Rivers of London where there are success levels (Regular, Hard, Extreme, Critical) and the one with the higher success level succeed. If it comes to a draw, the defender wins.

That's incorrect. Per the Attack/Parry Matrix on page 127 UGE it's possible to partial parries and dodges on a defender success, even against a critical or special attack. It just downgrades the attackers SL by one. And I think that's your problem, right there. The 100% defender is always going to be able to downgrade the attack a success level. And since penalty dice aren't so much of a penalty at high skill levels they can literally do this all day long, as many times a round as they want.

So high skill + penalty dice +UGE combat matrix = almost perpetual defense. 

In RQ3 the defender needed to match the success level of the attack to dodge an attack (so specials were hard to sidestep). Also in RQ and some other  BRP  games, a parry only stopped so much damage so an attack that did a lot of damage could get through. There were all sort of advantages for beating the opponent's success level, so there penalty dice would be a big deal. But in UGE equal success levels levels let a parry stop all of the damage, you method of giving the defender multiple parries really favors the defense, as any attack needs to be at least a special to have a chance of hurting the defender. 

Another BRP game that had parries stopp all the damage was Stormbringer, but it had a Parry/Riposte rule; you could make successive parries, each at a cumulative -20%, and  the Riposte rule let a master (90%+skill) turn a successful parry into a riposte attack (also at a cumulative -20%). But penalty dice wouldn't work all that great there either.- you need the skill drop.

So I think you either need to use an alternate Attack/Defense Matrix, or drop the penalty die idea.

 

What if instead of giving the defender penalty dice you gave the attacker(s) advantage dice? I mean giving a guy with 100% a penalty die isn't going to reduce their chance of parrying much, but giving an advantage die to their 50%  opponent certainly would up the ante. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Atgxtg

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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Posted (edited)

The last draft of Mongoose's RuneQuest rules had an interesting idea concerning parries.

When both opponents rolled the same success level, damage was reduced by the parrying weapon's Armour (a number between 4 to 6, IIRC), or twice that number if the defender's roll was superior to the attacker's.

I loved that idea.

It was written by Kenneth Hyte, IIRC, then edited by Mongoose team to become the carastrophic 2 rolls system that was in the published version...

I don't remember how dodge worked, but it was certainly more binary. It seems to me the defender avoided the blow if his roll was superior, but lost some actions.

Edited by Mugen
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