Sunday, July 28, 2013

Changing combat dynamics through iniative and HP recovery

"Fight til you drop" is the motto of D&D combat. What if you had some benefits from pulling out of an encounter, at least momentarily, and got to mitigate some drawbacks if you did so too?

Here are a couple of rules I've been running through a spreadsheet to see how they could change game dynamics in D&D.

Rule 1
Getting hit makes you lose you next attack. In an encounter you may either win or lose initiative. Getting hit makes you lose your next available attack. That means

  • If you lose initiative and you're hit you can't attack that round. As you lose your next available attack.
  • If you win initiative you'll attack first, if you miss and in turn get hit you'll lose your next attack if you win initiative in the next round. If you were to lose initiative the next round you'll have an attack at the end of that round if you're not hit by your opponent who does have an attack at the beginning of the round.
  • Same thing applies to monsters. If you hit them and cause damage they lose the attack.
This motivates constant barrage of attacks to suppress the enemy and never let them counter attack effectively. Of course this requires you to win initiative and promote it as a skill to have. On the other hand getting hit once may lead you to win initiative on the next round (since you're good) and send you on a spiral of constant attacks against you. To mitigate this is the following rule.

Rule 2
Disengaging from combat resets the initiative/hit counter. Pulling out from the line and waiting a round allows you to reenter combat without the drawback of having been hit. Since hit points are a skill and luck thing too pulling out from the line also allows you to recover half the hit points lost in the last attack (only the last).

I posted rule 1 on its own a while back and got some feedback saying that it was unfair since a dragon met by 40 peasants would never have a chance to attack. Truth is otherwise. Doing some math 3 or 4 times in 20 the dragon is stopped, the other times the village is roast, and that wasn't considering rule 2.

Try it and tell me what you think. It has allowed me to see other combat tactics come into play, much faster attacks intended to suppress and kill the enemy quicker. It also calls for team play as some members draw away from the line and rejoin later. More so it puts the fighter in the forefront of battle since only a skilled warrior could have the skill to attack first on and on again and be less prone to taking a debilitating blow that would eliminate his or her attacks.

Image source (some very nice images here!)

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