The Self-Sacrifice Feat, take all the Damage for yourself!

A while ago this came up on the Discord server, so I thought I’d put it here as well.
The idea of this Feat is to allow a character to fully protect an Ally using the Defend Action while taking some drawbacks in return, somewhat similar to a few mechanics/spells from other systems.


Cost: 2 Points


  • Tier 1: Agility 4, Might 4, or any Extraordinary 4
  • Tier 2: Agility 7, Might 7, or any Extraordinary 7

Description: You are able to protect your allies by sacrificing your own well-being. This might come in the form of a Paladin throwing themselves in the line of Attack or a very short mind-switch.

Effect: When taking a Defend Action against an Attack targeting an ally, you may choose to take any effects of the Attack as if it had targeted you instead. If you reach 0 HP from this, the additional Damage you would have taken is transferred to the original target.

  • Tier 1: Your Defend Roll is treated as your Defense Score against the Attack.
  • Tier 2: Your Defend Roll is treated as your Defense Score against the Attack with a minimum of your Defense Score of the type the Attack targeted.

Special: Because you are focusing on not letting the original target get affected, you cannot activate Battlefield Retribution when taking a self-sacrificial Defend Action.

The idea here is to add a few drawbacks to using this Feat in addition to costing Feat Points to prevent it from being an all to effective and fight-trivializing method of Damage and prevention.

In case it wasn’t obvious, this also works for Bane Attacks.

A few things are indirectly respected such as Deathless Trance. The fact that remaining Damage is transferred means that popcorn Healing tactices with a sort of “sacrificial lamb”, maybe a Companion won’t work easily if at all, as well as adding a real risk. Tier 2 is available at Level 5 at the earliest, meaning that the Self-Sacrifice stays a meaningful and risky choice for a long time.

I hope the risk and choice between Battlefield Retribution and Self-Sacrifice means that Defender characters have a more diverse and interesting skill set.

That said, I want to hear any suggestions and feedback. I am mostly not sure about the Prerequisites, as they are copied from Battlefield Retribution for Tier 1 and pretty arbitrary for Tier 2. Do you think Defensive Reflexes should be a Prerequisite, maybe lowering the Attribute Prerequisite by 1 in turn?

this line doesn’t make sense to me after reading it several times, specifically with a “minimum of …” what is this trying to say and how is it different from Tier 2?

Tier 1 of the Feat makes the Defend Roll be treated as your Defense Score directly, you don’t get the usual “it only replaces your Defense Score if it’s better” from a normal Defend Action. If you Roll a 4, your Defense Score against that Attack is 4.

Tier 2 makes it behave like a normal Defend Action, so if you Roll below your say Guard against a sword slash the Damage is calculated on your Guard as with a normal Defend Action.

I did this to make a self-sacrificial Defend Action be something to be thought about and not just a straight upgrade to a normal Defend Action. That way, every Self-Sacrifice holds more weight and is more of a sidegrade to the normal Defend Action which, if it fails, does nothing.

Well, both the defender and the defended can move after a Defend Action, so you don’t get nothing to be fair.

only part here is I would use the Defense Score of the target, not yours. That’s how a normal defend interrupt works, and considering you are in some way jumping in front of, or somehow sending out your essence or a shield to take the damage which feedbacks to you, it makes sense that it shouldn’t be based off your Defense, as you are having to affect the attack which was targeting something else originally, and strain yourself to be in its path in some way.

Though I think this can be done already without a feat and just using a Defend action as normal (which I’ve talked about doing in the discord before I think?), I suppose it can be good to codify something.

Pre-requisites should just be “Score of 4/7 in Attribute Used to Defend”

Probably add a Pre-requiste of Defensive Reflexes or a Defend Interrupt related feat?

Also… I don’t know, this just feels too complex with multiple tiers, and the punishment too severe, plus it seems to auto succeed, which I also feel is just wrong.

I think it should just be simple, like the same way I would handle it without a feat:

If you succeed on the Defend Interrupt, you take the damage the target would have taken. Otherwise you just weren’t fast enough.

This would be a decision beforehand, btw:

Do I try and Deal damage back (if you have Battlefield Retribution)

Do I try and lessen the damage they take?

Do I just sacrifice myself to take the damage they would take instead b/c I’m beefier, etc?

You hav eto decide/declare which you are doing before you do the Defend Interrupt Action.


I suppose instead of “Succeeding” on teh Defend Interupt, you have to at least get higher than the Target’s Defense you are trying to protect.

Yes, it was my intent of deciding which type of Defend Action you do before Rolling.

If you do a Defend Action, normally the original target still takes any remaining Damage or a full Bane, if it was a Bane Attack. That is something people were thinking about and I wanted to see what would happen if I made a Feat that made the defender take the Damage/Bane instead. Then I decided it would be too strong because then you really only need one character or even Companion to be built defensively and have Sentinel to be too effective at tanking for the entire party.

So I added the drawbacks of more risk through a potentionally critically low Defense Score in case the Roll was low and any remaining Damage “bleeding through”, for example a character jumps in front of a sword strike to defend his friend only to be violently pushed back into said friend. I still wanted it to be a strong Defense for the protected target, but potentionally crippling for the defender. That’s the somewhat “auto-succeed” part.

Mostly it is designed to be potentionally very dramatic and powerful but also risky, somewhat like Deathless Trance for example.

I personally don’t feel it is too complex. It itself is pretty simple but can make strategy more complicated, something I personally like though.

I also thought of potentionally making it a one Tier Feat (just the second Tier in that case) but requiring Attack Redirection as a Prerequisite. It would still work the same with Attack Redirection btw, so if you Rolled high enough on a self-sacrificial Defend Roll you could still redirect the Attack completely.

Results of bad internet and being out in the heat a lot.

Succeed in this case means getting higher than the target’s defense score in the original thing I posted…

No, I get what you were wanting to do, and what others have thought of, that’s why I was offering a simplier thing for the feat, that you just have to roll at or higher than the target’s defense score to take the damage.

It could be dramatic, but lots of things can be that. There aren’t too many “free” things though, and allowing yourself to take the hit, even if it makes your defense really low vs the attack, means you can keep an important ally in the fight, BUT, it shouldn’t auto-succeed. That just feels too powerful too me, and easily abused (character with high HP just taking all the hits, and most of the time rolling high on the defend interrupt anyways).

In the case of attack redirection, you not only have to “succeed” by my standard (getting higher than the target’s Defense score) but you have to meet or exceed the Attack Roll.

In this case you are only having to get as high as the target’s defense score, which could easily be lower than your defense score (though maybe not). Whatever the case, you are still taking the damage, as I worded it, you are taking the full force of the damage the Target would have taken, regardless of your roll.

That’s where it makes it more of a choice, between trying to hit back the damage to the attacker (if you have the feat), or simply nullifying the damage/bane (or redirecting it) b/c you rolled higher than the attack roll, or just taking the damage for yourself.

That’s why a tier 2 isn’t needed, b/c Tier 2 is doing the other Defend Interrupt that is normal. That makes it much more risky and still gives strategy (saving the mage so they can deal that bane or area attack that is needed when you see the roll is too high for you to probably get higher than, but you can still sacrifice, etc).

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