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The utility of the Dodge Action in play?

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  • The utility of the Dodge Action in play?

    So, a quick 30 seconds of reading answered my original question for me; Defense subtracts dice from the attack where as Dodge subtracts successes; more successful in clutch situations.

    So, since I can't delete the topic, alternative Q is gave you as a player or ST used a Dodge action in game? How often, How effective is the tactic?


    --Keeping the original portion for posterity only, found the answer--
    Hi folks, I'm trying to do a deep dive of defense and offense numbers in Chronicles, hoping you could help me grok how effective the Dodge action really is.

    So, you give up your guaranteed passive defense to instead roll x2 that defense, counting only successes against your opponents successes. You also sacrifice your turn for this opportunity.

    Maybe it's just my risk aversion, but this seems patently worse. I could see the dodge action as a variant rule instead of standard defense; but to also give up your action for the round?

    So.. what am I missing here?
    Last edited by Janissary87; 07-17-2020, 10:32 AM.


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  • #2
    It's situational. Sometimes Dodges are used to escape highly damaging attacks (like the machinegun turret my Deviant faced in an open field; his Defense against firearms really saved his skin) with the idea to reposition the character using movement during your turn. Other times it's used to minimise danger while trying to talk down the opponent. Sometimes it's mixed with Fighting Styles to allow for disarming your opponent or even counterattacking if the Dodge is successful.
    In high powered games Dodging combined with counter attacks is the most viable strategy against large amounts of mooks. Defense can never reduce a dice pool below chance die, meaning there's always at least a 10% risk of being hit no matter how high your Defense is. If you're shot at by ten mooks, the risk is pretty substantial (even if they never score more than a single success). By instead contesting the attack roll, the risk of being hit is dramatically reduced.


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    • #3
      Some gamelines also provide additional benefits to dodging. Like, in mage for example some of the mage armours allow for redirection of attacks or giving enemies beaten down if you successfully use the Dodge action and spend mana.


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      • #4
        An important note is, if you are trying to exit combat and running away, without it counting as a chase yet, dodging or sprinting are both appropriate actions but dodging can help you if you know your opponent will be attacking regardless.

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        • #5
          On the math side of things, Dodge and Defense are practically even in terms of impact on your opponents chance to hit you. Defense can take them to a chance die and thus has the chance of them Dramatically Failing, while Dodging can't but doesn't leave them that 10% to hit you if you're that much better at defense than they are at offense. Spending Willpower on Dodge is also slightly more effective.

          The game also tends to give a small edge to offense in combat to avoid situations where too many rounds pass of nothing happening.

          So, for a baseline character it's a situational option that you might need to use once and a while.

          Of course, then you factor in what Merits and supernatural powers can do, and you can build whole combat strategies around Dodging like a maniac and being one hell of a counter-puncher.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
            On the math side of things, Dodge and Defense are practically even in terms of impact on your opponents chance to hit you.
            An attack dice pool of 9 dice scores on average 3 successes. A Defense rating of 6 removes on average 2 successes. When Dodging, that Defense rating is rolled as 12 dice which averages 4 successes. With just Defense the attack should score one success on average. With the Dodge you should score one success more than the attacker on average. Or am I missing something? I recall many discussions back and forth so I'm not actually sure right now.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Tessie View Post
              An attack dice pool of 9 dice scores on average 3 successes. A Defense rating of 6 removes on average 2 successes. When Dodging, that Defense rating is rolled as 12 dice which averages 4 successes. With just Defense the attack should score one success on average. With the Dodge you should score one success more than the attacker on average. Or am I missing something? I recall many discussions back and forth so I'm not actually sure right now.
              No, I think that's correct.

              Removing one dice from the opponent is statistically the same as rolling 1 dice yourself and removing successes from the opponent if you score a success. But Dodging gives you twice the amount of dice, so it's just simply twice as good on average. It has higher variance, though.

              One thing that could muddy the field is cases where opponents have dice tricks. If someone can attack as a Rote action, it's probably going to be better to let your defense reduce their dicepool, but I haven't done the math on that, just my gut feeling. With 8-Again or 9-Again it'll matter a lot more what the size of the relative dice pools are, I suppose.

              Hmm... actually, "Rote" can't possibly double the average value of a dice (since all the ones that succeed aren't re-rolled), so even then you're likely still better off Dodging on average, so long as you have the same X-Again value as the opponent. I guess if someone has both Rote and 8-Again then each of their dice is effectively 2 dice (since you're guaranteed to roll the entire dicepool again after the first roll) so then their attack pool is kinda doubled just like your Dodge pool is, so then the only difference in value is relative X-Again qualities, which is what makes me say that with Rote that is likely the deciding factor.

              Would be interesting to see someone mathhammer this! Work is too exhausting right now for me to want to use much numbers outside of it. xD
              Last edited by Unahim; 07-26-2020, 03:57 PM.


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              • #8
                Yes, sorry, my earlier post was aimed more at the lower end of final dice-pools where you might actually get them to zero instead of dealing with dice-pools that are likely to hit your base Defense.

                -----

                If your opponents have dice-tricks to attack and you don't to Dodge? Well that's going to create all sorts of grey areas. There's not going to be a simple formula there of when to Dodge and when to stick with Defense; esp. since you don't know what your opponent has for dice-tricks (esp. regarding things like if they have to spend resources to get them per attack, or have them always, etc.). Of course, almost anything that can provide dice-tricks to attacking can get them for Dodging, so I'd personally look at that as a wash.

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                • #9
                  Shamelessly stealing math from here for a moment:http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...8759#post38759

                  Without 10 again: (3/10)
                  10 again: (3/9) or (1/3)
                  9 again: (3/8)
                  8 again: (3/7)

                  Rote Action:
                  Chance Die without 10 again: (9/50)
                  Chance Die 10 again: (1/5)

                  without 10 again: (51/100)
                  10 again: (51/90) or (17/30)
                  9 again: (51/80)
                  8 again: (51/70)
                  In other words:

                  Dice trick: Avg value of flat defense opponent has this dice trick, per point / Avg value of rolling dodge if you have this dice trick, per point

                  Without 10 again: 0.3/0.6
                  10 again: 0.33/0.66
                  9 again: 0.375/0.75
                  8 again: 0.429/0.858

                  ROTE
                  without 10 again: 0.51/1.02
                  10 again: 0.56/1.12
                  9 again: 0.6375/1.275
                  8 again: 0.729/1.458

                  So find your opponent's dice trick for attack in the above data, record the value left of the "/". Then find your own dice trick for Dodge, record the number to the right of the "/". If the second number is higher than the first, then Dodge will provide better protection.

                  This is assuming you can't bring the opponent down to Chance dice, of course. In that case depending on your pool you might have larger chance to not be hit by dodging, but the value gets quite low compared to trying an attack yourself meanwhile.

                  As you can probably tell, Dodge tends to overwhelmingly lead to better protection (unless you are way outmatched in dice tricks)... which is good, considering that's all you're doing on that turn then!
                  Last edited by Unahim; 08-02-2020, 06:18 PM.


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                  • #10
                    If you are trying to exit combat and running away, dodging can help you if you know your opponent will be attacking regardless.


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