Monday, January 18, 2010

Disarming: Making combat more varied

One thing that bugs a fair number of players is combat being attack, rinse and repeat. While I've added things to reduce that, where each round is a risk VS reward choice, not simply "attack".

Warriors have been given "combat tricks" to let them add more changes. But some of the more common flaws are things like disarming.

In disarming its often a pointless decision. Make a difficult attack roll to inconvenience the opponent as they draw another weapon (discounting special cases like a sword that makes its wielder invulnerable). The other option would seem to be to make disarming easier, but that that point it ends up where disarming becomes TOO common.

I've recently put in a change where a normal attack can be turned into a disarm AFTER the attack roll, but before the defense roll. This means the player has a bit more choice and tactical a 17 a high enough roll to risk an extra -5 to hit? Thus disarming can become a useful defensive opportunity, since at the very least it may neutralize this rounds attacks.

Not sure how I like the mechanic of changing the action after the roll thus far, but in this case it seems to be working out well.


  1. If every hit matters, then disarming is very useful for taking prisoners, say, or making an impression. Generally swordsmanship techniques with disarm also tent to involve a lock or throw, or maybe a dagger to the face, so one should consider this as a gameplay decision, not one based on reality.

  2. Perhaps some account should be given for a disarmed combatant being less able to defend themselves with parries and such. That makes it a bit more appealing for situations where you knock the sword out of the opponent's hand to set up your big guy ally to give him a killing blow.

    In D&D terms perhaps a character that isn't wielding a weapon (excluding those trained in that way of combat) takes an AC penalty of 2 or so.

  3. Your proposed method is very interesting. :)