Combat options

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
The Undying
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:10 am

Re: Combat options

Postby The Undying » Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:07 pm

Keep in mind that someone existing solely/mostly for the purpose of keeping the characters from advancing would likely be taking a Defensive Stance (-3 to their tests but +3 to their defenses). Given that, you may not need to give them a special "push back" option - the game already has a mechanic to make the mooks buy time for their leader.

Slimcreeper
Posts: 394
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:18 pm

Re: Combat options

Postby Slimcreeper » Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:46 am

But can't the PC's just go around them in a lot of circumstances?

The Undying
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:10 am

Re: Combat options

Postby The Undying » Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:26 pm

Option 1: Use existing stuff. Offensive social Talents/Skills to harass the PCs enough with penalties that they feel they must address the mooks, or use Knockdown attacks/abilities like a mad person.

Option 2: Adopt a 'sticky combat' house rule that keeps people from easily moving past/out of close combat.

Our 'Sticky Combat' house rule: Once you attack or are attacked in close combat, the two people involved become Engaged. Engaged status lasts two turns (current and next), and it refreshes with every close combat test. An Engaged creature can only leave close combat by either taking their Standard Action to leave or to take one (1) Strain and count as Harried for the rest of the turn. If an Engaged creature wants to take the latter option to keep their Standard Action, they must declare this when they begin their action so that their action is affected by Harried.

Personally, I don't like always on Sticky Combat. It further penalizes spell/ranged combatants. As people try to force more 'realistic' close combat into the system, it degrades the other systems, which isn't balanced. However, we use it in my group, mainly because people started doing weird stuff (Initiative 5: I circle around enemy to hit blindside. Initiative 4: Enemy circles around you to hit blindside.).

What I would consider a BETTER option - a close combat maneuver. Occupy: on a successful close combat test, the attacker may spend one extra success to press the defender and force them to pay closer attention to their defense. Until the end of the next turn, the defender can only leave close combat by either taking their Standard Action to leave or to take one (1) Strain and count as Harried for the rest of the turn. If the latter option is taken, the defender must declare this when they begin their action so that their action is affected by Harried.
Last edited by The Undying on Sun Aug 28, 2016 4:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

Telarus_KSC
Posts: 744
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:26 am

Re: Combat options

Postby Telarus_KSC » Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:47 pm

I resolve "sticky combat" this way:

- Moving 2 yards (1 hex) costs you 1 point from your Initiative Result. This allows others to interrupt movement without rolling high and then holding their action. Easy to estimate for theatre of the mind situations.

- Moving through some-one's "controlled space" takes a Dexterity test VS their Physical Defense, failure means you are halted before you can enter the controlled hex and can take the rest of your movement at Initiative count 1. Who-ever has initiative can still take an Action (remember moving 1 hex costs you 1 Initiative).

- A single person can "control" their hex, and the 2 hexes on either side of them, allowing classic Roman spaced-out shield walls if needed (longer weapons can increase control range to the 3 hexes in front of the character and break charges while they are still out of their weapon range). Also encourages flanking in order to not get engaged. You also see creative use of Great Leap, etc.
Last edited by Telarus_KSC on Sun Aug 28, 2016 6:02 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Slimcreeper
Posts: 394
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:18 pm

Re: Combat options

Postby Slimcreeper » Sun Aug 28, 2016 9:03 am

You don't want to just give them attacks of opportunity <grin>?

Telarus_KSC
Posts: 744
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:26 am

Re: Combat options

Postby Telarus_KSC » Sun Aug 28, 2016 5:58 pm

Right! I DON'T! ;)

I think of it this way. Trying to get past some-one with a pole-arm who doesn't want you past them is definitely as bad as pushing through a packed market. Failing a Dex test to move through a controlled space is the same as failing a Dex test in terrain with a Heavy Movement Penalty, "In addition, characters might need to pass Dexterity tests to avoid tripping or having their movement halted (this test should not suffer the -4 penalty)."

I let them keep their remaining movement so they can back off if desired. They get to use it at the end of the round unless they take some cool action, like Great Leap (result in movement), or even narrate tumbling backwards as part of an Avoid Blow (1 hex).

The Undying
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:10 am

Re: Combat options

Postby The Undying » Sun Aug 28, 2016 7:37 pm

As I've said before, I'm not a fan of growing close combat to make it more 'realistic'. Enhancing close combat tends to penalize ranged/spell combat. Sticky combat is a great example - it basically become "haHA, squishy one! I have run up to you and engaged you, now you must take penalty to leave!"

Aside from that, though, I'm all for interesting things that are adequately costed and/or penalized. One possible way to handle this 'bodyguard' situation is with a new combat option:

Zone of Control: Creature loses his Movement for the turn and no longer acts on his turn in the Initiative. Instead, he creates a zone of control around his person with radius in yards equal to his RANK in Melee Weapon or Unarmed Combat, whichever is higher. Other creatures passing through this zone of control count it as heavy terrain for purpose of movement penalty. Furthermore, the zone controller may attack any creature that moves into or through his zone. The attack must be declared during the movement through the zone, at the completion of the move within the zone, or when the mover is about to leave the zone. The attack ends the creature's movement immediately, the zone controller moves anywhere within the front arc of the creature, and the zone controller receives their Standard Action for the turn, which must be spent using one (or more) close combat Talents/Skills. The creature still receives its Standard Action for the turn, but all remaining movement is lost. Once the zone controller attacks a creature, the zone of control ends - creatures no longer receive movement penalty when moving through the zone, and the zone controller cannot attack any other creatures that move through the zone.


What are the benefits of this approach? (1) It's a combat option, meaning that it supersedes initiatives, which was one of Tel's (entirely valid) concerns. (2) It is aggressively costly but almost completely on-flavor. (3) It has risk on the part of its use - the controller must decide when something is a big enough threat to engage, ending their control - which builds tension/drama.

Dougansf
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:43 am

Re: Combat options

Postby Dougansf » Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:54 pm

How do your various "Sticky" combat options interact with the various Move-by attacks (Move, Attack, Move)?

The Undying
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:10 am

Re: Combat options

Postby The Undying » Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:54 pm

Honestly, it's not something that's come up at our table...


Return to “For Game Masters”



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests