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  • Mortal Combat

    I'm running a game of heroic mortals that will eventually lead into them exalting as solars, and am running into some stumbling blocks regarding the internal consistency of combat mechanics. I think i may be doing something incorrectly (though i know not what) thats causing the issue.

    So 2/3rds of my characters are pretty proficient at combat, with 3 dice in dexterity and 3 dice in melee, and a specialty. The issuing is coming from their ability to get past the passive defense of not only Quick Character writeups, but also more solid mortal NPC opponents, and vice versa.

    Their melee attack is running at: 3+3(dex+melee)+2(medium acc)+2(good stunt)= 10 dice total for a withering attack.
    Their (and similarly built NPCs) defense is 3+3(dex+melee)+1 (specialty)/2 = 4 parry. This is further modified by +2 for wielding a medium weapon and a shield respectively for a total of 6 parry.

    Now, this is creating a situation where they cannot reliably penetrate the defenses of even the equivalent of medium infantry. Statistically speaking, it should take 3 dice to create a single success, requiring atleast 18 dice to reliably penetrate their defenses. Thats simply impossible for a mortal to even handle, and we are not even talking about a combat specialized champion or anything.

    Even if we restrict an NPC to just the base stat block without bonuses from equipment, a mortal character is still needing 5 successes on 10 dice just to hit them. What exactly am i doing wrong here?

  • #2
    Mortal characters double 10s on all die rolls (except for decisive damage rolls) and 1s don't subtract successes for them in 3e. That rule isn't anywhere in 3e core, and assuming it carries over leads to situations like the one you're facing.

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    • #3
      I'm not sure how you're getting +2 extra parry from having a medium weapon and a shield. A shield is a medium weapon which gives +1. You only benefit from the parry of 1 weapon at a time (specifically, the BEST weapon you have to parry with). Those guys shouldn't have a parry of higher than 5 from that calculation.

      Also +2 dice is from a base level stunt (which is definitely the level you want to sim at, but making sure you're not considering that a medium stunt. A second level stunt would be +2 dice and +1 auto success).

      And as nihnoz said above, rolling for mortals is identical to rolling for Exalted, just without charms. The rules are the same for dice actions.


      I post Artifacts in this thread. How I make them is in this thread.
      I have made many tools and other things for 3rd Edition. I now host all of my creations on my Google site: The Vault of the Unsung Hero

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      • #4
        Yeah, in exalted you should get half your pool in successes on average, not a third.

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        • #5
          First, it's only 5 parry - as pointed out, you don't get to add both shield's and another medium weapon's Parry bonus to your score, as shields are medium weapons like any other medium weapon, and the rules of wielding two weapons (which, again, a shield counts as one) disallow stacking of bonuses like that.

          Second, as also pointed out, it's half the dice that come up as successes on average, not thirty three percent. So these guys with 10 dice should on average be rolling 5 successes on every attack. Which is exactly how much they need to beat the Defense of 5.

          So no, there is no problem, and characters on the same level of competence can (statistically) always hit each other reliably. At least with Withering attacks...

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          • #6
            Also a "bounce" in 3e is a hit not a miss. If their parry is 5 and you get 5 successes, you hit with 0 extra successes. I don't want to presume, but don't forget that detail; I know my group often has.


            I post Artifacts in this thread. How I make them is in this thread.
            I have made many tools and other things for 3rd Edition. I now host all of my creations on my Google site: The Vault of the Unsung Hero

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            • #7
              Yup, Defense is literally the Difficulty of hitting someone.

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              • #8
                Indeed. The attack fails when the attack roll produces fewer successes than the target's defense. The attacker needs to equal or exceed the defense value to hit.

                With a target number of 7 and double 10's, a single die can expect half a success. So a pool of 10 can produce an average of 5 successes and will hit defense value 5 slightly more than half the time (in fact, it has a probability of 0.57195).

                That's why there's a divide-by-two in the calculation for defense value - a contest using equal attack and defense modifiers is supposed to be ballanced with a slight bias towards the attacker.

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