Monday, 20 April 2020

Quick Fix for Boring Combat

I'm running my game in a few minutes, so I'll be brief.

Sometimes fights in D&Dish games can get stuck in boring land: Rolling to hit is consistently (viewed as) the best option, so everyone just rolls to hit. Was just discussing this on a reddit thread, came up with the thing below. Figured it should be here too.

So. Here is a simple set of mechanics you can add to your D&Dish game. Put it on your character or summary sheets to make it obvious to your players they can do other things than bash.

The key here, I think, is that the non damaging actions are easier than hitting the thing.

<Edit: From the game mentioned above: Oliver Wickersticks, the grim and drug addicted hunter, wandered into the forest at night after a dangling golden necklace. Turns out it was a very large spider with glinty gold eyes. Classic. He was webbed up and almost dragged into the trees before his companion cut him free with the Blade from Between Worlds. Other companions drove off the spider with burning brands. Alas! They discovered that Oliver was bitten in the forearm, through his Cephalosaur cloak. One of the party had seen these bites before - swift amputation seemed a better bet than rapid and fatal decomposition. Several days later: Oliver now has a steel, articulated prosthetic arm, and has to learn to use it. The party learned that the Blade from Between Worlds cuts through arms like butter, but draws no blood. Good times.>

Some Combat Options!

Strike: Roll to hit target's AC. Deal Weapon Damage.

Impede: Roll to hit unarmoured AC +/- target's dex mod. Til your next action, target suffers penalty to Attack or AC for a round of -2 (or your basic attack bonus, whichever is higher). One impede per target.

Set Up: Spend this round's action climbing, luring and baiting, manoeuvring, or otherwise exploiting your target. Next round you get +4 to attack and damage that target. Or Advantage. Or both. Whatever - you can balance your system.

Assist: Make an ability check relevant to how you describe helping. Target ally gets a bonus of 2+ relevant-ability-bonus to hit or AC. One assistant per ally.

Evade: Roll to hit unarmoured AC +/- target's dex mod. If you succeed, you can move away without consequence. If you fail, target has -2 to attack you for the next round.

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