Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Special Combat Manuevers?

I finally got ahold of a copy of Mongoose's Runequest II.  After a first go through, I'm fairly impressed.  It's still more fiddly than I like - I still think that SIZ is one stat too many, the Parry rules have too many qualifiers, hit locations, etc. - but really it's pretty slick.  The thing that really grabbed my attention was the idea of Combat Maneuvers.  It's the first time that I have seen the idea implemented in this way: rather than choose a Maneuver before you roll and face a penalty, you roll and if you achieve great success, you earn a Maneuver.

That's clever.  It removes a huge waste of time at the front end when the player usually has to decide if he wants to do a special move.   So that has me wondering about using something like that in my gaming.  That's always a suspect thought - "I just saw something cool in some other game; I'll add it into mine!"  That doesn't mean that it is a bad idea, just suspect.  But let's set that aside for the moment and see how it might work.

In my One-Roll Combat, you succeed on a roll of 11+ with each point in the one's place being the base damage (so 11 gives 1 point, while 14 gives 4 points).  Unlike most iterations of Ye Auld Game, this means that the Combat Roll has "success levels" or "margins of success".  And that's what RQII's system is based on.  But my roll also takes damage into account which RQII doesn't.  Thus, here's a first thought:

On a roll of 15+, a character may reduce his Combat Roll by 5 to take a Special Maneuver instead.

If the roll was 15, that takes it down to 10, which means no hit point damage is inflicted (a zero in the one's place), but you get the Special Maneuver instead.  If the roll was a 17, it would go down to 12, meaning you do 2 points of damage plus the Special Maneuver.

RQII has a list of Maneuvers that go on a bit too long for me.   I'd do something like this:
  • Wound - the opponent rolls on the Wounds Table (which usually happens only if reduced to 0 or less HP).
  • Knock Down/Back - the foe must stumble back a few feet or fall down.
  • Disarm - um...disarm.
  • Stunning Flurry - a flurry of disorienting blows that forces the foe to lose his next turn.
  • Deadly Display - the character's display of martial prowess is so intimidating that the foe must immediately make a Morale Throw.
So, does that seem like something  that would add flavour to Dying Sun or just add complexity?  I'm not sure right now.


  1. Dragon Age has something similar in it's stunt system. 3d6 are rolled for the attack roll. One of them is distinctive. If doubles are rolled and an attack hits the distinctive die's score is used as stunt point to modify or enhance the attack.

  2. While I'm ambivalent about them myself, I think a lot of player's do like combat manuevers. The way you're talking about instituting them doesn't seem terribly complicated.

  3. Excellent - I think this would really enhance DS combat by giving it more of a pulp swashbuckling feel without being complicated.

  4. it should work,

    if you want to complicate things maybe different characters could have different maneuvers