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20 May 2015 @ 12:28 pm
Exalted: Mortal-level Tactics  
I've seen several complaints about how Exalted mortals-level combat doesn't have much tactical depth, and this post springs out of my bafflement at that statement. I mean, Exalted has disarming, called shots, Fierce Blows, blocking enemies' movement, defending others, knockdown, stunning, bleeding, morale rules, etc. It doesn't have flanking by default, but playing on a grid it's easy enough to add it in (-1 external penalty to DV vs. attacks from the side, -2 external penalty vs. attacks from behind. Boom). A lot of this isn't worth keeping track of when the Exalted are chopping boulders in half and doing backflips over buildings, but it's still there.

As one example, I was originally thinking about writing up a way to include non-Charm counterattacks before I realized I didn't need to. The way to do a counterattack without magical aid is the same way you do one in real life--you wait for the attack (Guard), size up an opportunity after defending (Aim), then Attack. Since Exalted 2e combat is timing-based rather than action-based, there's no need to add a special "counterattack" action as a way to exceed the normal action limits.

One I just thought of is that hit-and-run tactics are viable. Any Lethal wound causes bleeding and possible infection, so striking from ambush, doing a little damage, and running is a great way to wound anyone who doesn't have medical training or access to healing magic. A single good hit doing two or three Health Levels of damage will causes a target to bleed into unconsciousness in ~15 minutes if it's left untreated, and then you can tie them up / finish them off at leisure.

Some of this only comes out through banning flurries, because otherwise the optimal action is always "attack as many times as your weapon's Rate allows, Gate of Babylon, win." But it's there. I wonder if people just haven't tried it out--considering all the "why would I ever play something weak and puny like a Dragon-Blood?" sentiment I see out there, that wouldn't surprise me.
 
 
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