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04 March 2015 @ 02:38 pm
[Exalted 2.5e] Redone combat actions  
This is my attempt to retool Exalted mortal-level combat into something I like a bit better and that's more suitable for people who aren't leaping all around the landscape all the time and who don't have dozens of discrete rule-breaking packages to draw on. It draws on a few ideas I've mentioned before, which I'll summarize here for the benefit of putting it all in one place rather than scattering it over a handful of different blog posts, often months in the past:
  • Flurries Don't Exist: Everything has a Speed and everything is a single action. The closest to an old flurry is Double Attack, and that still takes place on separate ticks.

  • Defense Is Rolled: References to DVs below always refer to the total defense value, i.e. the raw Strength + [Ability] + Defense or Dexerity + Dodge + Essence, which is rolled in response to an attack. The smaller dice pools available to mortals and the removal of flurries should make this a much more tenable option.

  • Grapple Is Extensively Changed: I wrote about this before, but see below for more finalized rules.

  • DVs Do Not Naturally Refresh: Combatants must take the Guard action to refresh their DVs. The intent of this is to model constant attacking leading to combatants overextending themselves and leaving themselves vulnerable, which is what stacking DV penalties on flurries used to do before I hacked them out.

  • Movement Is Not Reflexive: This is more experimental than the others, but I'm going to try removing reflexive movement and requiring an action for each move.
Several of the descriptions are taken from here, though some parts have changed to account for the rules above.

(Speed 3, DV -1)
When Aiming is declared, choose a target. Aborting to attack the target adds a number of dice to the attack equal to the ticks spent aiming (max 3). Aborting to any other action gives that action a -2 internal penalty. Aiming may be maintained indefinitely.

(Varies, DV -1)
Make an attack. Speed is based on weapon type. There are several types of attacks which carry their own characteristics.

  • Brutal Attack (Speed Varies, DV -1): A Brutal Attack action is identical to an Attack action, save that it has an Accuracy penalty of -1 and it increase the raw damage of the attack by three. Punch and kick are thus replaced by unarmed Attack and unarmed Brutal Attack, respectively.

  • Charge Attack (Speed +1, DV -2): This combines a Move and an Attack into a single action, allowing the character to advance up to twice their Move rate and immediately make an attack at the end of it. Anyone currently taking the Guard action gains a +2 bonus to defend against a Charge Attack.

  • Double Attack (Speed Varies, DV -3): A Double Attack action makes two separate attacks with the same weapon, one right after the other. The Speed of the whole action is the highest Speed of the weapons involved, though the second attack takes place one tick after the first. The first attack suffers an Accuracy penalty of -4, and the second suffers an Accuracy penalty of -8. Weapons with Rate 1 or with the 2H tag cannot be used to make a Double Attack.

  • Quick Attack (Speed -1, DV -2): A Quick Attack action is identical to an Attack action, save that its DV penalty is -2, it has an Accuracy penalty of -2, and it reduces the Speed of the attack by 1.

  • Thrust (Varies, DV -2): A Thrust action is identical to an Attack action, save that its DV penalty is -2 and it carries the Piercing tag.

Coordinate Attack
(Speed 5, DV -2)
When Coordination is declared, choose a target and participating allies (which may include yourself). Roll Charisma + War, difficulty (Half the number of participants, round down). Allies included usually need to Aim or Guard until your next action. During your next action, the target's suffers an external penalty to their DV equal to the number of successes rolled, to a maximum of (number of participants) against any attacks made by any participant during that tick.

(Speed 3, DV -2)
Dash allows the character to move [(Dexterity + 6) - Mobility Penalty] * 3 yards, or half that amount of hexes if using a battlemap. As a special condition of Dashing, characters cannot apply their Dodge DV while performing a Dash action.

Defend Other
(Speed 5, DV -2)
This combines the effects of Defend Other and Blockade Movement. The character may interpose their own Parry DV between an attacker and a target within the range of their weapon. If the attack misses, no further effect occurs. If the attack hits, the character may choose to suffer the hit themselves or allow the threshold successes to continue through to the target, who may also defend separately against it. In addition, the character may make a contested [(Strength or Dexterity) + Athletics] roll against anyone moving within range of their weapon. Success stops that character in their tracks, and they must Disengage to escape combat. Only melee weapons may be used for Defend Other.

(Speed 2, DV -0)
When one character wishes to withdraw from combat without being attacked, they may make a contested [(Strength or Dexterity) + Athletics] roll against those in melee range. The character rolls only once, though anyone in range of her may oppose their roll. If any opponent beats the character's roll, they may make an Unexpected Attack against the character if they choose to Move away from combat. If none of them do, the character may move up their Move rate away without suffering attacks.

(Speed 6, DV Special)
Make a Grapple roll [(Strength or Dexterity) + Martial Arts] as an attack with Speed 6, Acc +0 and Rate 1. If it hits, the character gains a number of clinch points (CP) equal to the threshold successes. Clinch points do the following:

  • Reduce the target's DV by the total CP.

  • Reduce the target's effective Strength + Athletics for Feats of Strength by the total CP.

  • If CP reduce the target's DV and Feats of Strength score to zero, the target may not move or defend and can only attempt to break free of the clinch.

  • If CP exceed the target's Stamina, the attacker may throw them up to [Strength] yards away. The target checks for knockdown.

  • CP may be converted at a one-for-one ratio to dice of Bashing damage, which is treated as a Step 8 damage calculation. This damage is Piercing, and each die of Bashing damage reduces the amount of CP on the target by 1.
The character who is clinched may roll [(Strength or Dexterity) + Martial Arts] against the current CP total, with each success reducing it by one. Multiple characters may attempt to clinch the same target simultaneously, and add their CP together to determine its effects.

(Speed 3, DV Special)
Guard resets the character's Defense back to maximum. A Guarding character may abort to another action on any tick after the first, but may otherwise maintain this action indefinitely. In addition, they may make appropriate social attacks (calls for surrender, attempts to intimidate, etc.) while Guarding.

Miscellaneous Action
(Speed 5, Varies)
This is the term for any number of combat actions that don't fall into the other categories, like standing up from being prone, drinking a potion, picking up a dropped weapon, and so on.

(Speed 2, -0 DV)
The character moves [Dexterity - Mobility Penalty] * 2 yards, or half that amount of hexes. The Mobility Penalty cannot reduce the character's effective Dexterity to less than one for the purposes of calculating Move distance.

The intent of this is to establish interesting tactical choices in the absence of the Charms that usually carry that responsibility in Exalted, but it's entirely possible that this will make combat a hell of confusion and annoyance. I'm most worried about the removal of reflexive movement, and I might end up reintroducing move-per-tick but keep it at the minimum of 2 yards per tick--I won't prevaricate, it's basically reinventing the Five-Foot Step. But as long as I don't have a giant chart of Attacks of Opportunity, I should be okay.

I'm inspired a bit by the guy at Dungeon Fantastic who's running a dungeon crawl game using GURPS, which is much more on the level of game systems I find interesting even if I wouldn't want to use it specifically. And that does rely on the players, too. It's entirely possible that this system will work and hang together and be consistent but the players won't like it, which makes it pointless. It needs more playtesting, is what I'm saying.
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: The History of Philosophy podcast
marianlhmarianlh on March 5th, 2015 05:32 am (UTC)
I initially misread the first bullet point as "FURRIES don't exist", and was about to launch into an impassioned defense of lunars. :p
dorchadasdorchadas on March 6th, 2015 12:38 am (UTC)
Poor Lunars.  photo emot-crying.gif

I think I liked them best in the pre-alpha when they were the insane, unplayable allies of the Fair Folk. Every change since then I've liked them less. We'll see if 3e breaks the trend!
marianlhmarianlh on March 6th, 2015 01:29 am (UTC)
I love the roleplaying possibilities of "your PC is the reincarnated spouse of their PC". But the game mechanics implementation has always kinda sucked.

I hope 3E does good things with them too, but I think our definitions of "good things" are different. ^_^
dorchadasdorchadas on March 6th, 2015 02:03 am (UTC)
I liked 1e's approach where there were no actual rules for it, since I got a lot of mileage out of that in the game I ran. Especially the conflict between ancient feelings and modern ones. I'm generally a fan of social mechanics, but I don't know that it would have helped here.

I think our definitions of "good things" are different.

It is possible!

The leaked pre-layout PDF has some info on the Lunars, but not more than a few pages. Not really enough to tell if they're going in a new direction at all.