Thursday, June 18, 2009

Now that my turns done, im going to wander off and get some coffee, tell me how much damage I took when I get back

This flaw is one that is pervasive in a vast number of turn based games. One your turn you do things, and then you sit back and wait till your turn rolls around again. Sometimes this can take awhile too. You roll your attack and other actions, then wait as people do things to you against static defense numbers. Saving throws are the one exception.

And Saving Throws had it right. I believe it was Arneson who once said he thought players should roll saving throws because it gave them a sense of control over their characters destiny. Dice rolling adds ownership and forces involvement.

In Piecemeal you have defensive rolls. Now the tactics of what type of defense you are using (none, blocking, dodging, parrying) are different "risk V reward" mechanisms and can be explained in detail in the next blog post. In this case the mechanics basically work as thus.

The attack roll is a modifier + d20, then the defender must roll a modifier +d20 to evade or otherwise stop the blow from doing damage. This is different from rolling against a static number.

Why is this good? It gives players something to do when its not their turn. It makes them as responsible for whether or not they are hit as the attacker. Sure if may still just be a die roll, but if who rolled the dice didn't matter people wouldn't mind just handing them over to the GM.

Having things to do when its not your turn is a key element in keeping people engaged.


  1. Hey Zzarchov! Nice post on Defensive rolls! In my game to keep things more dynamic and moving I added something called Fencing Points (FP). I'm play testing it out right now to see how smoothly it plays, but basically they get their Char level in points and can use a point to block, parry, or dodge an attack..

  2. Here is the info on FP.

    Fencing Points = to your character level. These refresh every level and can be used to block, parry, or dodge an attack from an enemy. After the attack has been declared a success, but before damage has been dealt, you state whether it is a dodge or a block/parry. Dodge= Dex mod check or Tumble DC their attack roll. Success means the attack misses and you shift one square of your choice. Block/Parry. You roll an attack roll DC their attack roll. Success means you block/parry the attack. If you are successful you can spend 3 action points to get an extra move action on a dodge choice, or an extra attack option in a block/parry choice.

  3. I must admit I have never played 3e, I was in second ed..then started the machinations of tinkering (shown all over this blog) and never looked back. So I might be somewhat out of the loop, that said I was wondering if you'd noticed a shift towards higher defense with two methods of defense static (Armour Class) and Defense rolls?