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Friday, November 22, 2013

Re-Doing Dodging

Why the hell didn't I think of this before?

I've been struggling with a really simple way to include a dodge option without the need for extra math, too many steps, or tables of dodge values. I figured out I wanted to base it on comparing opponent speeds -- a faster combatant has a chance to dodge attacks from slower combatants -- but wasn't completely satisfied with what I was coming up with.

But hey, hit points for many old schoolers are luck, stamina -- and the ability to dodge. So:
A character can try to dodge an attack from a single opponent per round if the character's Move rating is higher than the opponent's Move rating. The character takes damage only if the damage is greater than a 1d6 roll.
There, simple. And Fighters can dodge as many attacks per round as their level.


  1. This makes encumbrance all the more significant, something which I'm always in support of.

  2. Couple points. First, why restrict it to Fighters when classes like Thieves should be better at dodging? Second, limiting it by level adds complexity for little gain as it only applies to monsters with large numbers of attacks which aren't that common at low levels. Finally, this rules makes large slow monsters doing multiple dice of damage undodge-able when they should be easier to dodge rather than harder. This is compounded by the fact that large monsters like Ogres and Giants tend to have higher Move values.

    1. (1) Why should Thieves be better at dodging?
      (2) Where I have limited it by level?
      (3) Why does it only apply to monsters with multiple attacks, and not multiple monsters attacking?
      (4) How is even a purple worm undodgeable?

    2. 2 - "Fighters can dodge as many attacks per round as their level"
      3- "an attack from a single opponent per round" You can dodge one opponent but as many attacks as your level.
      4-If a purple worm does 2d12 points of damage, his average damage will be 13 points, well beyond the range of a d6.

    3. #2 isn't a limit, it's an expansion of the base ability. And thus #3 is wrong: *people who aren't fighters* cans dodge one opponent per round. *Fighters* can dodge multiple attacks, whether they come from one opponent or many.

      Now, purple worms... I don't have *any* monsters that use a d12, but I'll go along with that. 2d12 does an average of 13 points. It also goes as low as 2 points. Purple worm rolls badly, player rolls well: damage blocked. So, not undodgeable. Just very difficult to dodge... But easier to dodge than the rules as written, which don't cover dodging at all.

  3. If you're abstracting combat into one-minute rounds (as I believe you do), why would you include a dodging mechanic? That seems way below the level of abstraction implied by a one-minute round.

    Every character gets a dodge stat - it's called Hit Points. As can be seen from an analysis of the early game, level-based increasing HP is best seen as an alternative to increasing AC as characters level up. So more HP=More likely to dodge (i.e. more likely to not be reduced to 0 HP by a given attack).

    1. Well, yeah, dodging is subsumed under hit points. That's why this dodge mechanic models dodging as a temporary extra hit die.

      As for "why include it?" it's for when players say "I want to dodge!" and also gives a benefit for faster characters. There is a Con modifier to hit points, but no such modifier based on Move.

  4. I find this interesting because you're turning dodging into something like damage reduction, when most people who argue for an alternate AC system argue for armor to do that. I like it though, it makes sense that its easier to dodge a bruising or scraping wound than a direct hit, which is what a higher damage roll would indicate.