Dear Open Legend Community,
I stumbled upon this great game some weeks ago when planning a D&D campaign, and decided to switch to it. Reading the bane resist rules, I thought that they don’t seem to be very appealing, as there is a better than 50% chance to lose any bane, without any variability (except for feats granting advantage/disadvantage). So I googled the bane situation and came across this thread discussing an alternative rule using attribute rolls instead of plain d20. Due to the length of the thread I must confess that I didn’t read through it all, but I noticed that there were some concerns about balancing. However, it inspired me to find another solution, which is as close as possible to the core rules for balance reasons, but still has the possibility for deep and meaningful interactions with banes.
So, let me present the rules I came up with, and then discuss the balance and relation to the core rules afterwards.
Banes function the same way as in the core rules, but the “failures to resist” counter is replaced by up to three “sticky points” marked on the bane.
Resist Banes (move action)
You can use a move action to recover from one or more banes afflicting you. This move action cost is a simplified way of representing any number of different ways you might go about shaking off the wide range of banes you might be afflicted by. Roll 1d20 (with no attribute modifiers). If your roll is lower than 10, you fail in your endeavors and even worsen the situation. Put a sticky point on the bane, unless it already has three. If you roll 10 + 3 * number of sticky counters, you succeed in resisting the bane and remove its effect. If you roll more than 10, but not enough to remove it, your struggle at least eases the burden and you remove one sticky counter from the bane. Note that some banes have different rules for how they can be resisted.
Shake Single Bane (move action)
Instead of resisting all Banes at the same time, you instead focus your efforts on a single bane you want to remove. Choose an attribute which makes sense narratively (GM decides) and make an action roll against a CR of 20 + PL of the bane. (Usual success with a twist, or fail, but plot continues, applies)
Changes to Bane Attack
If the bane you inflicted has a duration of ‘Resist ends’, and your attack exceeds the target’s defense by 5 + PL of the bane, you invoke the bane with an additional sticky counter.
You invoke the bane ‘Immobilized’ (lvl. 1) and roll a 25 vs your target’s 20 defense. Since you rolled 5 more than necessary, your bane will be invoked with a single sticky counter.
Salumgar, Worldender hits you with his finger of ‘Death’ (lvl. 9). His attack roll of 44 hits your toughness of 24 with 20 excess points. Therefore, you get the death bane with 2 sticky counters already on it.
Changes in Features:
Potent Bane I - III
Cost: 1 point
- Tier 1, 2, 3: Ability to invoke chosen bane
Choose one bane that you can invoke that has a duration of “resist ends”. Whenever you invoke the chosen bane (this includes exceptional damaging attacks), it is invoked with an additional sticky counter per tier of this bane. (Note, that no more than three sticky counters can be placed on any bane.)
You may select this feat multiple times. Each time you take it, choose a different bane.
Cost: 2 points
When you roll to resist or shake a bane, ignore up to one sticky point on that bane.
I am a fan of calculating probabilities, so I calculated the expected number of turns one would have to resist a bane dependent on the number of sticky points. For this it is necessary to solve a rank 4 linear equation. The result is:
sticky counters 0 1 2 3
expected duration 1.53 2.40 3.49 4.49
I compared this to the number of turns one suffers a bane in the core rules (3 x fail = 1 min = 10 rounds): 1.56. That’s close enough for the vanilla bane. If we have to resist a potent bane, we will suffer an expected 4.58 rounds from the bane. That is very close to the duration of a bane with 3 sticky points (which is the reason I changed the feat). If you are resilient, you will need only 0.33 rounds to resist. Since I did not want to introduce advantage into this system (mainly because disadvantage prolongs the duration of sticky banes far too much, and where there is advantage, people expect also disadvantage). I couldn’t find an easy solution to reproduce the core rules resilience, so I created my own an reduced the cost, since it is less powerful.
Now for the move “Shake Single Bane”. This move gives you the ability to exchange for example a 10% success probability (3 sticky counters) with 45% probability of reducing the difficulty) for a 4% - 16% probability at attribute level (AL) 1, 7% - 26% at AL3, 12% - 46% at AL5, 24% - 58% at AL7, and 49% - 80% at AL9. So the chances of shaking a bane are higher than resisting it mainly if it has many sticky counters and if you have a high applicable attribute. The drawback is that you can only use it on a single bane. It is thus not strictly superior, but it has its niche.
Concerning the practicality of this approach: The mechanics are not more cumbersome than those in the core rules. You simply make a roll for each of your banes, and have one marker for each (number of fails in core, sticky pointers here). So there is no overhead. Only if you do not succeed four or more times, you still make rolls for banes, while in the core rules, the banes just persist. However, I would argue that it is as cumbersome to track the duration of a bane (usually 10 rounds) on three failed attempts to shake it, and this is avoided with sticky banes.
If you are still reading this, I would humbly thank you for your time and kindly ask to leave a comment. If anything is unclear, or if I have misunderstood a rule, or if there is some edge case that I didn’t consider, I would like to know. I will also appreciate any opinion or thoughts on this idea. Thank you for your time.
P.S.: The critical success of the attack makes all banes with “Resist End” more powerful. To counteract this, it might be prudent to find critical success effects for other combat-focused banes, such as knockdown. Here it would make sense, for example, to inflict extra damage, as in – the knockdown was so hard that it hurt.