Feb 19, 2010

Aiming and Evasion Reloaded

Thanks to everyone who posted comments on yesterday's article on Aiming and Evasion! They seemed straightforward, but Jeff Rients and Kensan Oni rightly pointed out that it didn't make statistical sense to give up an attack one round to make a single attack with a greater chance of hitting in the following round. It would always be a better idea to attack in each round. While I think situations like a sneak attack could use yesterday's aiming rule, you aren't keeping track of combat rounds before combat begins - so that would be better as a "surprise attack" type rule instead.

Kensan also pointed out that giving up your attack completely just to evade seemed a bit much, and many players would see that as a bad contribution to the "team effort".

So these rules need a bit more work. :)

My goals for adding rules for aiming and evasion are:

  • Keep the regular attack as a good option for most characters from round to round

  • Avoid slowing down combat by splitting the round into smaller segments

  • Use the re-roll and take higher/lower option as a game mechanic (instead of math to adjust the "to hit" number)

  • Have a symmetry between aiming and evasion so that they cancel each other out

  • Make the rules as straightforward and brief to describe as possible

Timeshadow also made a really helpful comment:

"In modern gunfighting, shooting on the move is the name of the game... Back in the days of the ‘Wild West’ folks rarely stood there and exchanged shots. That largely went out with Aaron Burr and Hamilton, or at least Andrew Jackson."

The reason for this being that if you just stand there, taking careful aim, you're more likely to get shot yourself.

So the symmetry I'm looking for is:

Aiming: You're more likely to hit, but you're more likely to get hit as well.
Evasion: You're less likely to get hit, but it's harder for you to hit anything as well.

Which leads to our reloaded rules for Aiming and Evasion...

Roll twice and take the higher result for attack and stamina loss rolls by this character, and made against them, during this round.

Roll twice and take the lower result for attack and stamina loss rolls by this character, and made against them, during this round.

Aiming and Evasion
Attacks between characters who are Aiming and Evading are resolved as regular attacks with no extra re-rolls.

So effectively a character who is aiming gets to reroll a miss... but so does any opponent attacking them. If they hit they roll twice for damage and take the better result. An evading character gets to make an enemy re-roll a hit against them, but they must in turn roll to hit twice to be successful during this round. They're also more likely to cause (and take) less stamina loss during the round as well.

Looking over these rules and the ones from yesterday, I'm really pleased I decided to give this another shot (heh).