Sunday, June 30, 2013

Coolness under Fire

I see coolness under fire replacing initiative in my modern warfare game. Characters have to roll against their mettle attribute. Those that roll less than or equal keep their cool, the larger the margin of success the more in control the character is. A failed roll indicates a hesitant and slow to respond character.

How does this unfold in actual play? Characters have a set of attributes, you know strength, dexterity, etc. One of such attributes is mettle which represents the strength of character and is basically your average off the mill 3d6 roll. A coolness check is done by rolling 2d10. If you roll less than or equal to your character's mettle you have "right of response". That is, you might not necessarily act first if you decide to yield, but when things unfold you will be able to interject before anyone else.

Mettle is also an attribute that can be increased, so battled hardened soldiers will respond much better than green troops. They will also frighten less. When taking suppression fire they will remain cool and react even if their options are limited. Greener troops will hide and hope for the best. A character who is strafed close to his position will have to succeed in a mettle check or be suppressed.

Leadership and morale are elements that also affects mettle checks. They can't improve each soldier's mettle, but they can facilitate the roll with certain bonuses and manage to rally your unit into responding to the enemy and turning the tide of the attack.

Overall I see coolness as a better value than random initiative because it factors in the strengths (or weakness) of the character, allows combat experience to create a better response under fire and allows for team work and leadership to come into play.

Thoughts?

Image source

http://www.funnyjunk.com/funny_pictures/4590197/Finals+Week/
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