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  • Attack of opportunity in WoD?

    So, I've been experiencing with the system for such a long time, but I haven't come to agree on a way or rule to deal with "Non-sensible" actions during combat (e.g. an unarmed vampire trying to grapple a werewolf in crinos form with two huge claws prepared for attack...). So have you guys ever thought of a way to introduce the idea of Attack of Opportunity in WoD? If so, what rules have you used?

    Just for clarification, I already use a rule suggested in vampire books to have one character with a longer range weapon automatically win initiative against shorter range ones, e.g. someone with a bow prepared to fire against another character using a dagger etc. But still I find that it's not quite enough to deal with "stupid" actions in the game lol...

  • #2
    Another situation that comes to mind just to give another exempli gratia is when a player is fighting a horde of enemies with weapons pointed at him etc and he simply declares that he's going to jump on enemy mage that is behind a wall of followers without thiking that such an action is basically suicidal. In d&d when we have attack of opportunity this kind of action is tantamount to suicide, while unfortunatelly in the storyteller system there is no clear consequence for this kind of recklessness, besides, of course being attacked by everyone on their respective turns, but this is not really enough many times as it gives him time to finish the wizard in a very unrealistic fashion etc.

    I'm thiking about how to implement such a rule within the storyteller system to avoid making everything look like it happen just because the storyteller say so, that's the main point of the thread by the way.

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    • #3
      Giving extra attacks in the WoD system is pretty risky, especially a free one that won't be defended.

      If you wanted to represent the danger for it, let the target of the crazy attack, or other person that would get the "attack of opportunity" move their action up the initiative order to before the attacker or victim of the AOO;

      You're charging someone with a pike set against you; I don't care that you had better initiative, you're practically impaling yourself already.

      That being said, I'd give warning to the PC before they make that move, and make sure it works in their favor if appropriate, say fighting frenzying vampires.

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      • #4
        That's a good idea and it basically falls in the case I mentioned that most core books suggest that initiative should be given to the one with the "longest range" weapon/attack etc. I always warm my pcs about such actions, but you know there's always a PC that wants to "be the hero" and attempt the action nonetheless. While I'm content with things as they are at the moment in my game (using the streamlined combat system we discussed in another thread helped immensely with handling combat, it's much smoother now), I'm always striving to make it better so to speak.

        Talking about the streamlined combat system one option I thought of is allowing the PC to attempt to "ignore" the immediate threats around him, but by forfeiting their "passive defense", so that they would be attacked first and would have no defense against the enemies on their way to the "man on the other side of the room" etc. But I think that just giving every other character that is attacking him a better initiative could prove to be enough of a deterrent to such reckless kind of actions.

        Thanks for sharing your view.

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        • #5
          I don't run initiative in "turns" as you describe it. Rather, I run it in Rounds.

          Everyone declares, in reverse initiative order (lowest first), what they would like to do. A high initiative therefore lets you decide your action with foreknowledge of what everyone else will do.

          Then everyone rolls simultaneously. I then, as the ST, narrate what happens in the Round.

          Using this system, it would be very difficult to vault past the guards in your example. The player declares "Imma bum rush deez fools". The guards say "Aw heeel naw" and extend their pointy deathsticks. The player rolls Dex-Athletics (for example), and the guards roll their attacks. It all happens at the same time.


          Furthermore, I believe Carthage should be destroyed.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by pang4 View Post
            I don't run initiative in "turns" as you describe it. Rather, I run it in Rounds.

            Everyone declares, in reverse initiative order (lowest first), what they would like to do. A high initiative therefore lets you decide your action with foreknowledge of what everyone else will do.

            Then everyone rolls simultaneously. I then, as the ST, narrate what happens in the Round.
            That's very similar to how I run things as well. Everyone has a fixed initiative score and declares in reverse order. Unopposed actions go off first, then everyone makes simultaneous combat contests.

            The combat system I use when playing Vampire with my playgroups is based on an "X vs Y" contest where there's a "winner" and a "loser" every round. If we're swordfighting, we both roll Dex+Melee against each other and the higher total hits. (Sometimes in certain situations there can be mutual misses or mutual hits, especially with ties.)

            The rules would handle the "being set to receive a charge" by giving advantage to the pikers -- which means that they would each roll their Dex+Melee twice (instead of once), take the higher result, and would get to add one to the result. (The rolls are made on a single D6 and you just add your Dex and Melee score to whatever you roll.)

            The rules would also separately make the charger decide how he was dealing with multiple opponents -- in the course of closing the distance in order to nullify the pike advantage he could pick one of three options: evade everyone ("Float Like a Butterfly"), evade one person giving away advantage and attack another while giving away advantage on both and evading everyone else at zero ("Split Decision"), or he could just attack one person and evade everyone else at zero ("Sting Like a Bee").

            Any time someone would need to make an "Attack of Opportunity" in my games, it would probably be handled either by giving Advantage or using the multiple combat rules. THe only other situation I can think of is where someone wants to perform a non-combat action, like pressing the button to stop the countdown or something, and someone else wants to stop them by slicing them in half with the a sword. That would generally just be an evade action by the button pusher, and an attack by the swordsman. The swordsman would probably get an Advantage if he was *between* the button and the pusher. If the button pusher were still alive after the attack, then he'd push the button.

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            • #7
              I find that using common sense and simplicity makes things the simplest when running games.

              If the situation seems to allow one character to attack first, then they can make the roll. Then the following round things proceed as normal. As much as we might want a system mechanic in place to handle this, it really should be a narrative mechanic. If you boil it down to just system mechanic then players will eventually try to rules lawyer it.

              As for the situation where a vampire is trying to grapple a crinos werewolf as a surprise attack... first that is usually suicide so if the character is attempting this consider making it their awesome last stand/deaths scene. Next the vampire had better have comparable stats and some form of grappling martial art, otherwise we are back to suicide again.

              On the other hand if the vampire and the werewolf are sitting at a dinner table during a discussion, the werewolf goes crinos, and the vampire smashes a bottle of tabasco sauce in the werewolf's snout, I would be fine with allowing the vampire a attack of opportunity while the werewolf is coughing and sputtering with its amped up senses on fire from hot sauce and broken glasses being in uncomfortable places.

              Like I said, if you make it a flat system mechanic it can be abused and create troublesome scenarios, but if you keep it a narrative mechanic, then it just makes for awesome scenes.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Thoth View Post
                I find that using common sense and simplicity makes things the simplest when running games.

                If the situation seems to allow one character to attack first, then they can make the roll. Then the following round things proceed as normal. As much as we might want a system mechanic in place to handle this, it really should be a narrative mechanic. If you boil it down to just system mechanic then players will eventually try to rules lawyer it.

                As for the situation where a vampire is trying to grapple a crinos werewolf as a surprise attack... first that is usually suicide so if the character is attempting this consider making it their awesome last stand/deaths scene. Next the vampire had better have comparable stats and some form of grappling martial art, otherwise we are back to suicide again.

                On the other hand if the vampire and the werewolf are sitting at a dinner table during a discussion, the werewolf goes crinos, and the vampire smashes a bottle of tabasco sauce in the werewolf's snout, I would be fine with allowing the vampire a attack of opportunity while the werewolf is coughing and sputtering with its amped up senses on fire from hot sauce and broken glasses being in uncomfortable places.

                Like I said, if you make it a flat system mechanic it can be abused and create troublesome scenarios, but if you keep it a narrative mechanic, then it just makes for awesome scenes.

                Non-sense! We need rules otherwise the game becomes a "pretend play". Of course I can just tell the players things happen because I want them to, but RPG should be set upon rules and that is the point of the thread, although I think I've already reached a point of agreement with what some posts here adviced and my own house rules, so I think there are already enough ways to deal with the situation. And in the case of "rules lawyers" it's very simple to deal with such as a storyteller, but then again we need rules to make the game better and more enjoyable, to not say "fair".

                Anyway thank you for sharing your opinion, but now just get out of my sight, whelp!

                Comment


                • #9
                  The reason I think one can focus on story over structure in WoD games are because it is such a darn elegant system to begin with. Everything is based upon each other thing, and every kind of roll is modular. Humanity, Dice Pools, the dice themselves, are all based on 10s.

                  What this means is that storytellers have an extremely easy time improvising and making up rules on the fly, for situations one could never have anticipated. The insane potential for house-ruling, as has been demonstated in this thread, is whatallows Rules-hippies like me to stand their ground.


                  Furthermore, I believe Carthage should be destroyed.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pang4 View Post
                    The reason I think one can focus on story over structure in WoD games are because it is such a darn elegant system to begin with. Everything is based upon each other thing, and every kind of roll is modular. Humanity, Dice Pools, the dice themselves, are all based on 10s.

                    What this means is that storytellers have an extremely easy time improvising and making up rules on the fly, for situations one could never have anticipated. The insane potential for house-ruling, as has been demonstated in this thread, is whatallows Rules-hippies like me to stand their ground.

                    I understand it perfectly as it's the system I chose more than 2 decades ago, I love the setting and I like the system, but that doesn't mean I don't want to improve gameplay. That's why I always use house rules, to improve gameplay so that I don't need to waste too much time thinking about rules and can focus on the story instead. In any case, the point of this thread is to get an idea of how to deal with a given situation that occurs in many storyteller games, so I am (or rather was as I think that for now I have a solution) talking about how to make the system I use even smoother than it already is compared to the RAW. Creating a system for the given situation in this case only makes things easier and not harder as one guy here seemed to imply. My goal is to balance things, improve gameplay and make the game better overall.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pang4 View Post
                      I don't run initiative in "turns" as you describe it. Rather, I run it in Rounds.

                      Everyone declares, in reverse initiative order (lowest first), what they would like to do. A high initiative therefore lets you decide your action with foreknowledge of what everyone else will do.

                      Then everyone rolls simultaneously. I then, as the ST, narrate what happens in the Round.

                      Using this system, it would be very difficult to vault past the guards in your example. The player declares "Imma bum rush deez fools". The guards say "Aw heeel naw" and extend their pointy deathsticks. The player rolls Dex-Athletics (for example), and the guards roll their attacks. It all happens at the same time.
                      This is how the game is supposed to work. If you're following the rules you don't need "opportunity attacks" because it functions perfectly fine under this system. It might take a while to resolve but it fully accounts for reactive actions already.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Herr Meister View Post
                        Non-sense! We need rules otherwise the game becomes a "pretend play". Of course I can just tell the players things happen because I want them to, but RPG should be set upon rules and that is the point of the thread, although I think I've already reached a point of agreement with what some posts here adviced and my own house rules, so I think there are already enough ways to deal with the situation. And in the case of "rules lawyers" it's very simple to deal with such as a storyteller, but then again we need rules to make the game better and more enjoyable, to not say "fair".

                        Anyway thank you for sharing your opinion, but now just get out of my sight, whelp!
                        Rules have two primary uses, the first is to provide a backbone for the game to function but none of the meat of the game (that's the story), while the second use is to provide Players and STs with a way of handling in game situations when they have no real world experience with the topic.

                        If the ST and Players are experienced in the real world topic the rules are supposed to manage, then they tend to rely on their own experiences to make narrative judgement calls rather than going back to the dice. Thus if you have real life military training the games tend to run combat a bit differently than some one who has only watched action movies or anime. There is for example no rule about imposing an automatic penalty or attack of opportunity on a character who enters a room without "clearing the corners" as they enter, but if your group is more strategically minded, then not using standard CQB techniques in play pretty much means your character dies.

                        This gap between the rules set and participant knowledge/experience is part of the reason why some game mechanics are nearly useless in some groups, while they are practically game breaking in other groups. A good example is the Thaumaturgy Path of Conjuring, just a few dots and you can just wave your hand to make things appear. For the average player this means you can do some cool party tricks or make some interesting characters, for a power gamer this means you are never with out equipment or resources, but a player with an IRL background in chemistry or demolitions..... the Path basically turns them into a walking factory of countless game breaking products.

                        So if you "need" mores rules in place to cover a lack of understanding, well that is what they are there for. But please don't confuse a mechanical crutch for the entirety of STing in games. The point of being a "storyteller" is to tell a story, it is not called "Rules-Teller" for a reason.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Herr Meister View Post
                          I understand it perfectly as it's the system I chose more than 2 decades ago, I love the setting and I like the system, but that doesn't mean I don't want to improve gameplay. That's why I always use house rules, to improve gameplay so that I don't need to waste too much time thinking about rules and can focus on the story instead. In any case, the point of this thread is to get an idea of how to deal with a given situation that occurs in many storyteller games, so I am (or rather was as I think that for now I have a solution) talking about how to make the system I use even smoother than it already is compared to the RAW. Creating a system for the given situation in this case only makes things easier and not harder as one guy here seemed to imply. My goal is to balance things, improve gameplay and make the game better overall.
                          Refinement and improvement are relative concepts based on the needs of a given group or in some cases the individual. If your group says it wants a mechanic home brewed for the situation then you do it, but if you are the only one wanting this add-on, then you are not improving the game for anyone but yourself, which isn't the point of a group play game like this.

                          The larger a game group is, the less detail oriented combat mechanics can be because it will take too much time (2nd Edition Exalted springs to mind). But that lacks depth for smaller groups who are combat minded. Alternatively if your group is all social influence types, then adding more combat rules is utterly useless because they just don't apply.

                          It's all well and good to try to refine something, but you have to keep in mind what is actually the net gain of adding the rules refinement. Especially when you can just use narrative methods to deal with it as is under the current rules. But hey, some people love reinventing the wheel, so more power to you if you have fun with it.

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