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  • Static defense, good or bad?

    I already had a discussion regarding if the system for defense works well for folks here and it seems the concensus is that defense works quite fine and requires a mindshift if you are coming from Chronicles of Darkness which I do. Link below is for that discussion about defense:
    http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...es-for-defense

    What I'm struggling with now is a criticism that one of my players had for tonight's game. He found it very hard to accept that PC's must roll their defense while even Minor Threats have a 3 defense (page 139). I kind of agree with this thought, mostly because the defense system RAW probably is my least favorite aspect of this system, and got to thinking how bad it would really be to implement a static defense for PC's as well. This way you won't have to roll as much which makes combats slightly quicker. If the players want to roll away or dive for cover (things you normally do as part of your defense roll) they can do so with a Skill + Attribute (primarily Resilience) either as a dedicated full action or combine it with an attack as a mixed action.

    So in summary I wonder about two things:
    1) Is the idea of PC's having a static defense too bad to even start pondering about?
    2) If the answer to 1) is no, then how would you suggest I go about implementing a static defense for PC's? What obvious pitfalls should I avoid?

  • #2
    My opinion as far as I tested it:

    1) Static defense to PC is not that bad, actually could work fine if you want.

    2) In TCF they used a slightly different combat system where the defense is basically 1 and you can resist or not the damage (basically your approach of dive for cover roll away). It seams to work fine, but I didn’t test yet. The problem there is, the damage system is not the same, so it would be a bit harder to use as is.
    Another option is making defense a optional action that is part of your regular action. Kind of a mixed action, but not exactly. When you have focus, you do a mixed action (regular action and desired defensive action) and reserve some successes to do reactive actions when attacked. You can’t dodge (it’s part of the static defense), but you can try to parry, roll away or dive for cover.
    The problem there is you will have to split your action whenever you are fighting. The good part is that you can play as offensive or defensive as your dice allow it.

    Also, you may need to play test to define the static defense. I would suggest it’s 1 +1 if Resilience 3 or +2 if Resilience 5 or +3 if Resilience 7. It will result in a pretty high defense, worth testing.
    Last edited by Mateus Luz; 07-26-2020, 10:01 PM.


    House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
    Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
    Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux

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    • #3
      It could work, but the players would lose access to defense stunts. Granted, my group almost never uses any other defense stunts than Dodge. For Tier 2 characters, I'd do like Mateus did and use their highest Resilience stat to affect their Defense. So, they start with a Defense of 1, add in the Defense bonus Mateus suggested, and then add soft armor.

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      • #4
        A second option is Defense equal to 1 +1 for Resilience 3 or +2 for Resilience 6. I think increasing on 5 may be too much already with all the other ways to increase defense.

        I try to make it more solid, check Edges and powers that may affect it somehow.


        House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
        Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
        Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux

        Comment


        • #5
          Static Defense
          Instead of rolling defense every round the character is attacked, defense becomes a static value. The defense value is 1, at the most relevant Resilience Attribute 3 the defense increase to 2, at the most relevant Resilience Attribute 6 the defense increase to 3.

          Defensive Stunts
          While the character have a static defense, it’s still possible to do defensive stunts. The character use their regular action to do a mixed action, combining Attack and Defense, using the successes to attack and saving some to defensive stunts when or if attacked later before next focus. Successes not spend on defensive stunts are lost when the character get focus again.
          Defensive action can be done using Close Combat or Athletics skills, what means that most close combat will use the regular dice pools, while ranged combat may suffer a reduced pool. In both cases, the character will have to balance the attack and defensive stunts every round, making the system more strategic.
          The possible stunts are the same as described in Trinity Continuum Core Rulebook, page 105, except for the changes bellow. Also some new stunts are available, as described below.
          Dodge (variable successes): Dodge increase the defense against a single attack, not all attacks until next focus.
          Parry (1 success): This stunt, increase the Soft Armor value by 2 against a single attack in that round. To be able to use this stunt, the character must use an object (or part of the body) that is capable of absorbing harmlessly the kind of damage (don’t try to parry a bullet with your hands, unless you have a power for that).

          Edges and Other Powers
          A few Edges and Gifts are changed by the change in the rules.
          Edges
          Precise Martial Arts - Defensive Fighting: The second dot in this edge changes minimally, instead of granting +1 to Dodge, it increases the Defense by 1 until next Focus.
          Cool Under Fire: The additional dodge applies only to the attack that triggered the Dive for Cover stunt.
          Deflection Adept: The enhancements can only be used if the character had made a mixed defensive action, and only against non ballistic ranged attacks, as described.
          Waiting to Greet the Storm: The Counterattack stunt works as the Dodge stunt, affecting only one attack, but it can be split among attacks. The resulting counterattack have 1 enhancement +1 for every point the attacker missed, up to the dodge stunt used against that attack, that are used to buy attack stunts against the attacker.

          General Power Effect
          Enhancements in Defensive Rolls: The working of the power don’t change, except the available stunts and when using them. This enhancements can only be used if the character made a mixed action to attack and defend at same time, even if none of the successes are spent on defensive stunts.


          House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
          Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
          Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post
            Static Defense
            Instead of rolling defense every round the character is attacked, defense becomes a static value. The defense value is 1, at the most relevant Resilience Attribute 3 the defense increase to 2, at the most relevant Resilience Attribute 6 the defense increase to 3.

            Defensive Stunts
            While the character have a static defense, it’s still possible to do defensive stunts. The character use their regular action to do a mixed action, combining Attack and Defense, using the successes to attack and saving some to defensive stunts when or if attacked later before next focus. Successes not spend on defensive stunts are lost when the character get focus again.
            Defensive action can be done using Close Combat or Athletics skills, what means that most close combat will use the regular dice pools, while ranged combat may suffer a reduced pool. In both cases, the character will have to balance the attack and defensive stunts every round, making the system more strategic.
            The possible stunts are the same as described in Trinity Continuum Core Rulebook, page 105, except for the changes bellow. Also some new stunts are available, as described below.
            Dodge (variable successes): Dodge increase the defense against a single attack, not all attacks until next focus.
            Parry (1 success): This stunt, increase the Soft Armor value by 2 against a single attack in that round. To be able to use this stunt, the character must use an object (or part of the body) that is capable of absorbing harmlessly the kind of damage (don’t try to parry a bullet with your hands, unless you have a power for that).

            Edges and Other Powers
            A few Edges and Gifts are changed by the change in the rules.
            Edges
            Precise Martial Arts - Defensive Fighting: The second dot in this edge changes minimally, instead of granting +1 to Dodge, it increases the Defense by 1 until next Focus.
            Cool Under Fire: The additional dodge applies only to the attack that triggered the Dive for Cover stunt.
            Deflection Adept: The enhancements can only be used if the character had made a mixed defensive action, and only against non ballistic ranged attacks, as described.
            Waiting to Greet the Storm: The Counterattack stunt works as the Dodge stunt, affecting only one attack, but it can be split among attacks. The resulting counterattack have 1 enhancement +1 for every point the attacker missed, up to the dodge stunt used against that attack, that are used to buy attack stunts against the attacker.

            General Power Effect
            Enhancements in Defensive Rolls: The working of the power don’t change, except the available stunts and when using them. This enhancements can only be used if the character made a mixed action to attack and defend at same time, even if none of the successes are spent on defensive stunts.
            Thanks a lot for a very exhaustive and excellent guide for how to do this! I am going to try these rules out at some time and see how they work.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Aristarkos View Post

              Thanks a lot for a very exhaustive and excellent guide for how to do this! I am going to try these rules out at some time and see how they work.
              Please do, I am really curious on how it’s going to work.


              House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
              Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
              Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux

              Comment


              • #8
                My issues with static defense are the reverse - I don't like how it works for SGCs. Specifically, the combination of Defense and Soft Armor into the same stat, because it makes it harder for PCs to take advantage of Stunts. If a PC with Defense 2 and Soft Armor 2 is attacked by a SGC for 3 successes, the SGC can buy 1 die stunts even if they can't actually inflict damage. However, in the reverse situation, the PC just flat-out misses and can do nothing, locking them out of one of the most narratively engaging parts of the system. I've been tempted to split the two back out again, but I'm not sure about how much work that might be. Does anyone have any experience with it?

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                • #9
                  I had an planned event that would send me into this situation, so I adapted a little. The situation was in my Aberrant game, the adversary was a mega resistant nova that just don’t care to be hit at all, but the characters would be able to disarm and tackle him to stop.

                  My solution is decided in 2 parts:
                  Scale add A complication that if not bought will block some of the stunts (in this case inflict damage) instead of a flat +2 in defense per scale above (he was 4 scales above).
                  Defense of SGC is divided into 2 parts, defense and armor, that varies according to the character, a more agile will have higher defense and an resistant will have higher armor. Just split the defense according to the situation, keeping at least defense 1.

                  Remember that the archetypes are reference, and even the examples in the book have different values, also there are edges and anomaly powers that affect this values, so, you can split and change as you wish in the end.

                  This will help also when you are in the higher scale and can use inflict damage multiple times, each time costing the Target armor, if it’s 0 it’s automatic max once you hit, if it’s higher armor and lesser defense it will be harder to do more damage but easier to hit to start.
                  Last edited by Mateus Luz; 08-12-2020, 04:56 PM.


                  House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
                  Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
                  Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux

                  Comment

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