Monday, September 25, 2017

Optional Rules: Offensive / Defensive Stances

Basic combat is a give and take economy. For each action, there is a reaction, for each risk taken, there is a corresponding cost. The standard combat rules give us how the "average" combat round goes, where risks and strategies are balanced. But from time to time, players (and monsters) will attempt to take greater risks than usual as they go on the offensive, or perhaps choose to go on the defensive if things start to go sideways.

In order for a character to engage in one of these combat options, they must declare they are doing so before Initiative is decided for the round. If the enemy gets to act first, any penalties or bonuses that would apply to the character are applied at that time, even if they have not yet acted.

Here are several typical "Combat Stances" that may be performed:
  • Flailing Wildly - The character is desperately overextending themselves and being reckless in an attempt to strike their opponent. (+2 to hit, -1 damage, AC suffers by 1, no shield use for defense this round.)
  • Powerful Attack - The character forgoes defense to make a more successful and telling attack (+1 to hit, +1 damage, AC suffers by 2.)
  • Fighting Defensively - The character attempts to protect themselves at the expense of offense. (-1 to hit, AC improves by 1.)
  • Total Defense - The character goes all out defense, forgoing attack opportunities. (AC improves by 2, no attacks this round.)
If the DM so wishes, they may have monsters engage in combat stances according to the action, or they may roll randomly to see what the monster is doing. It is suggested that the DM use these options sparingly, choosing the appropriate maneuver that best suits the situation and temperament of the combatant.

Roll 1d6:
  1. Flailing Wildly
  2. Powerful Attack
  3. Normal Attack
  4. Normal Attack
  5. Fighting Defensively
  6. Total Defense
We would be very interested in other people's ideas on this, so please feel free ask questions and discuss below.

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