Creative Corner > Game Design

The return to Gradual & Binary Defenses

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Bronzebeard:
After reading SneeR's excellent theory thread with it's accompanied replies I fell enamored with the idea and wanted to come up with something of that sort. Unfortunately, I was prompted that the thread is old and to reply only if I'm absolutely sure. Hence the new thread.
I came to something close which I wanted to run by you all and hear your different opinions.

The basis is that each ability has a few stages a la StarWars saga condition meter.
There is one positive stage to represent temporary boons.
Three negative stages that are steps. First one is a minor case (-2), usually no special disadvantage. Secondary is slightly bigger negative (-4 or -5), maybe special ruling e.g. can't use full round action when Exhausted (-5 at constitution). After this, major penalty which makes the character nigh impossible to take action at certain aspects, like Paralyzed (-10) at dexterity. This would place more importance at working together and avoiding or helping inflicted teammates.
The last one is essentially "death" state. If you've been inflicted 4 times at the same ability then you're out. Attempting to mimic the Gradual Defense in SneeR's post.

Here are the conditions from the 3.5 edition arranged as described above. At this point I'm not sure whether it is relevant to keep the conditions as they are or change it to something new.

BonusMinor-PenaltyPenaltyMajor-PenaltyK/OStrength (Weakness)**Weak*HelplessDexterity (Immobile)**EntangledPinnedParalyzedConstitution (Fatigue)**FatiguedExhaustedUnconsciousIntelligence (comprehension)**DazedFascinatedConfusedWisdom (Fear)**ShakenFrightenedPanickedCharisma (Persuasion)****Dominated

One thing that is missing is the Hp row.
I think that it is possible to implement something similar for it, incorporating the 3 Death save rolls into the 4 condition steps and also creating new conditions, such as Bleeding, Wounded, Maimed and bloodied (from 4th edition). One thing different is that while the ability saves requires you to attack higher then the saves themselves (vs. ability score), the hp is a pool that usually drains away - you chip away at it until you reach zero and fell your foe. Can it exist within the condition meter? Does it needs to change? Not sure.


Your input greatly appreciated.

Amechra:
I remember that someone did something kinda similar for M&M. At least, he organized the different conditions into 4 tiers, where the 4th Tier was a "death" condition. He included some stretching that let you incorporate 4 steps of mental control, for example.

Here it is.

EDIT: It was mostly a suggestion for names and such, though I do find the penalties he assigned more interesting than just a numeric penalty. Though I do notice that you accounted for that - good show.

I don't think implementing a death spiral for HP is a good idea, personally.

Bronzebeard:

--- Quote from: Amechra on June 29, 2015, 12:41:07 PM ---I don't think implementing a death spiral for HP is a good idea, personally.
--- End quote ---

Please explain your reasoning?

Thank you,

phaedrusxy:

--- Quote from: Bronzebeard on June 30, 2015, 09:12:09 AM ---
--- Quote from: Amechra on June 29, 2015, 12:41:07 PM ---I don't think implementing a death spiral for HP is a good idea, personally.
--- End quote ---

Please explain your reasoning?

Thank you,

--- End quote ---
At a guess it encourages boosting initiative and ambush tactics even more than the current system.

Amechra:

--- Quote from: Bronzebeard on June 30, 2015, 09:12:09 AM ---
--- Quote from: Amechra on June 29, 2015, 12:41:07 PM ---I don't think implementing a death spiral for HP is a good idea, personally.
--- End quote ---

Please explain your reasoning?

Thank you,

--- End quote ---

I chose the words "death spiral" for a very particular reason. Namely, having penalties for lost HP means that losing a few HP makes it easier to lose HP. If you get a hard hit in at the start of a fight, the other guy has lost.

For some games - horror games or gritty games, especially - that really works; it makes getting a good hit in a really important part of the game.

It doesn't work for heroic fantasy. And D&D is designed to emulate heroic fantasy.

A better model for HP, I would think, would be if the conditions carried no inherent penalties, but if there were abilities that triggered off them. Kinda like how Bloodied works in 4e.

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