This is my first time posting on a forum, so please forgive any improper behavior, I will do my best to follow protocol (as best I understand.) Also, I am not a particularly skilled writer, so some of this may be difficult to understand or cringe worthy, sorry in advance.
This post is just kind of a fun, theory crafting post, and not a complaint about Open Legend (a system I really enjoy btw.) Perhaps the idea in this post is great and could improve many peoples games, or perhaps it absolutely terrible and should be completely disregarded, probably somewhere in the middle. Whatever it is, it definitely is not what it could be, and constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated.
I was watching a youtube video covering player facing combat (in particular a video on the channel Dungeon Craft named Player Facing D&D (Episode #147)) and thought the idea was really cool. The basic idea being PCs roll to defend themselves, as opposed to the GM rolling to attack. I was trying to figure out how player facing combat would work in Open Legend, and this is what I have come up with so far. I attempted to make as few changes as possible to feats, banes, or boons to make it as easy to use and compatible as possible.
The Basic Concept: PCs no longer have static defenses. When a PC is attacked, they roll for their relevant defense against a static Attack CR that is attached to the attacking NPC. NPCs retain their static defenses.
The Defensive Roll Formulas
Guard = An Agility or Might roll + (Armour + Feats + Boons)
Toughness = A Fortitude or Will roll + (Feats + Boons)
Resolve = A Will or Presence roll + (Feats + Boons)
Gamified Description: PCs no longer have static defenses. When a PC is attacked, they are given a Defense Action, a free action allowing them to roll a defense score relevant to the incoming attack. Should a PC choose not to roll, their defense is 0. NPCs retain their static defenses, and are given an Attack CR."
Defense Action: A free action granted when targeted by an attack. The PC rolls the relevent defense vs the Attack CR.
Attributes rolled during the Defense Action action gain no bonuses, advantages, or disadvantages unless specifically stated otherwise.
Vera rolls her agility during her Guard Defense Action against a river troll, she has Defensive Reflexes I, as well as Skill Specialization II (Agility), but neither of these apply to Defense Actions, so she gains no advantage on her agility roll.
Defend Actions: Defense Actions do not replace Defend actions. Defend actions can still be taken after (or before) rolling a Defense Action, and act identically to how it would work normally.
Exceptional Success: If your defense roll is lower than the target’s Attack CR by 10 or more, it is considered an exceptional success for the attacker.
Advantage and Disadvantage: Advantage and disadvantage can be simulated by adjusting the Attack CR appropriately, increasing it for advantage, and decreasing it for disadvantage.
Vera is staring down a River Troll, before it suddenly lunges at her. The Trolls attack is against guard, so Vera must make an Guard Defense Action. Her Agility is higher than her Might so she chooses to roll Agility. Vera rolls an 8, then she adds her armor bonus of +1, and she has the Resistance boon applied at PL3, adding an additional +3 to make a total guard score of 12. The trolls’ Attack CR is 25, so Vera takes 12 points of damage and because she rolled 10 underneath the trolls Attack CR, she is inflicted with a bane, and the troll uses its overwhelming strength to knock her off her feet, choosing the Knockdown bane.
After Vera’s next turn the River Troll lunges at her again. Her Guard Defense Action roll is a 15 against the trolls Attack CR of 25, an exceptional failure, but instead of suffering the effects of the attack, she attempts to use her defend action to create a wall of force with the Protection attribute, and rolls a 27 using Protection, avoiding all damage from the troll.
NPC Attack CR Table - Prototype
(Based on “Challenge Ratings By Difficulty Table” in Chapter 2 of the Core Rules)
Weak Attack CR: 15
Medium Attack CR: 20
Powerful Attack CR: 25
Very Powerful Attack CR: 30
Extremely Poweful Attack CR: 35
Advantage: +2 to CR.
Disadvantage: -2 to CR.
- Easy to plug n play from the player end, almost all current systems appear to work with little to no changes.
- Players rolling more dice is good.
- More intuitive for players describe how they avoid an attack/react to situations, potentially leaving less work for the GM.
- Less player downtime during GM turns.
- Obvious asymmetrical combat.
- Multi-target attacks are not dependent on a single die role (for NPCs)
- Static modifiers stray from open legend design.
- Confusion between defend actions and defense actions.
- Player on Player combat might be a little wack. (I’d probably just revert back to static defenses for PvP).
- Summon Creatures boon might need some tweaking (maybe make the defensive die the same as the Defenses Score - 10).
- NPC creation is different.
- No NPC explosions (no dice explosions anyway, you can still blow NPCs up).
- Obvious asymmetrical combat.
- While it is not necessary to use a Attack CR, and just make contested rolls for NPC attacks/actions, it would probably just give NPCs higher defenses on average, meaning players do less damage and combat will likely become slow and unnecessarily drawn out + harder on the fly math.
- Practically no play testing has been done with this system.
1. What should the new action be named?
2. General problems with this system?
3. Is there any incompatibilities with the base system?
4. While adding static modifiers is a safe way to keep the defense scores balanced, it’s also inconsistent with how all other rolls are handled. Is there a formula for rolling defense scores that doesn’t involve static modifiers?
5. Is Attack CR a good name?
Hopefully all this was written clearly enough.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post.
Edit: Added the defense action name. Added the exceptional success block. Added advantage and disadvantage block. Crossed out question 1. Added question 5. A few other tweaks. Thanks RemixTheIdiot.