- I like Iridium
- I'm starting a new campaign. Soon.
Now, my main problem with Iridium (in all its incarnations, that is) is the combat mechanics. Bill, you probably remember all those posts I wrote, bitching about armor and damage and defense and... Here are my main concerns with V1 combat :
- Tactics (dodge, parry, block...)
DAMAGE & ARMOR
Weapons can deal an AWFUL lot of damage. A LOT. For now, I'll do as I've always done with Iridium to date : I'll stick with it. My other game was not combat intensive, so I didn't encountered many problems. But ablative armor is not my kind of armor. I like that your chainmail gets less effective as it's beaten up, but not that it's considered as another pool of hit points with a different name. So I've come up with this new mechanic that can seamlessly incorporate to the system by replacing the ablative one. Any piece of armor has two rating :
SOAK : The soak rating will tell you how much damage will be absorbed by the armor. However, the value is not in damage points, that is, a rating of 4 will not just absorb 4 damage points. It will lower the number of damage dice, then the type of dice and finally, the number of damage points. Here are some examples :
- 5d12 vs 4 soak : The armor will soak 4 dice, bringing the total down to 1d12. Roll for damage
- 2d8 vs 3 soak : The armor will bring the number of dice to 1d8 with 1 point of soak. The two points left will bring the dice type down to d6, then to d4. So, 1d4 damage.
- 1d8 vs 3 soak : The armor will bring the dice type to d4 with two points and the last soak point will impose a penalty of -1 to the damage rolled. so, 1d4-1 damage.
INTEGRITY : The integrity rating will determine if the armor is damaged by an attack. It represents an amount by which an attacker must roll over the defense of its adversary in order to "break" the armor. If the attack surpasses the defense by this much, the soak rating of the armor goes down 1 point. If the armor is reduced to 0 soak, it's no longer effective. Here's an example : An attacker rolls an attack of 23 against his opponent defense of 13. Since he hits by 10 and that the integrity of the armor is only of 8, the soak rating goes down 1 point.
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That's it. I still have to assign ratings to the armors, but this is how the system would work.
COMBAT & TACTICS
I don't mind that the skills of %based and combat is d20 based, the the should not cross each others path. As the system stands, Parry, Block, Dodge and Disarm are %based rolls. Also, they are not modified by the quality of the attack they try to counter. But, in order to interact with the weapon use skills, they must be d20 based. Let's suppose they are and then consider these alternatives :
PARRY : Parry is now an combat roll opposed to the attack roll of the opponent. Parry is bought like any weapon skill specialties, except that you can't by up damage because a parry doesn't deliver any. So you can buy pluses to the parry roll like pluses to the attack roll and additional parries like additional attacks.
Also, weapons should have a parry penalty that reflects their ability to maneuver in order to deflect an attack. This should not be a positive number, except for rare weapons built for parry (like a main-gauche or something like that).
Having a parry skill in the weapon you want to parry with is NOT mandatory. If you want to parry with your weapon without skill, you have to roll a d20, plus your dexterity bonus, minus the parry penalty of the weapon and you'll have to use your own attacks as parry actions, up to half the normal number of attacks with your weapon. With specialization, you can up your chance to parry and add a number of parries with a specific weapon. Note that you cannot trade parries for attacks.
A successful parry deflects the attack entirely.
In Iridium, a block is a parry for unarmed attack. I'll change this entirely. You want the old block? You do a parry. This is the new block : interposing a shield between one's body and a weapon. With this system, a shield becomes a weapon like any other weapon. The Shield Use skill is a one-time buy that prevents you from having a -8 to you block attempts. Here are the base stats for a shield :
Shield - # of att. : 2, Dam. : 1d10, Block bonus : (depends on the shield used) (Note : Since it is also an armor, different types of shield will have different soak and integrity values)
Mechanically speaking a block should be treated like a parry, except that it has a number of uses that do not depends on the number of attacks you possess with the weapon you're using. The shield has a base of two actions and more can be bought using the correct shield specialty (like parry, you can only buy pluses to "hit" to aid you block roll and additional "attacks" to have more blocks). So it's easier to block with you shield than to parry with your weapon, since it doesn't eat up you attacks. Also, shields don't have block penalties (like parry penalties for weapons) since they were built to do this.
However, the main difference is that a shield is treated like another layer of armor on the arm used to carry it. Chances are that not much damage will penetrate (soak ratings for shields should be high, since they're made of a thick layer of wood/metal, unlike armor which would get too heavy if it were that thick), but you'll probably feel the BANG of bigger weapons and have a sore arm after the fight, which is better than a severed arm or a big gash in the chest! And, eventually, your shield will break...
Iridium Core V1 treats dodge as a skill you roll every round in order to boost your defense without any penalties. Here what I've changed : a dodge is an attempt to get out of the way, be it in close combat or under a rain of arrows. It doesn't allow you to do anything else than to try to save your a... eh, skin. So, an unskilled dodge roll is a d20 roll plus your Dexterity initiative bonus against a difficulty of 10. For every two points you roll higher than 10, you have +1 bonus to defense. You can buy a Dodge skill like a weapon specialty, but only the bonus to "hit", which will represent bonus to get out of the way. There's only one type of dodge skill, unlike parries and blocks.
If you already acted this round, you can dodge with a -5 penalty and you are force to continue your dodge the next round, with a fresh roll, that is. That's because dodge is almost a panic attempt to get out of the way. It's not "Oh! An arrow! I'll try to sidestep it." kind of move. This is represented by your defense. You always try to sidestep an arrow. No, dodge is "F**K!!! Get out of the way!!! Out! Out! Drop everything and run!". So if you want to break up from a combat, you can make a dodge and the next round, assuming you can still walk, you would be considered out of combat, except if you're in a plain, assaulted by archers. Then you would have to find cover and dodge your way there.
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And that's it, people! Wow, that's my longest post EVER! Note that these rules are not playtested. Yet. Feel free to comment and suggest. I like feedback. I'll give some myself when I've tested the rules in-game.