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Sunday, August 23, 2009

[RPG] Critical Strikes & Attack Bonus-

Another of the issues that the LGS owner discovered when creating his character was that the cost of Attack Bonus is higher over the entire run than the much more flexible, Focus Points.
--He didn't feel that the One Round switch-out to re-allocate Focus was enough of a balancing factor to reflect the cheaper cost, especially given the fact that AB and Fo can be used in conjunction.

He and his wargaming buddy then offered slightly more complicated ideas to make Focus more finicky, such as requiring a roll to Maintain Focus, and so forth.
--While I think that is a cool idea, I'm pretty certain that the same net effect can be achieved without adding a recurring mechanism, let alone one that requires an additional roll.

Prior to his noting that mathematical error on my part, I had been contemplating the nature of Critical Strikes, and how I wanted character skill/ability/prowess to reflect more on their frequency than the simple 'dumb luck' of rolling a 20 on the die.
--I am currently thinking of the following, or something like it:

* (AB / 2) lowers the Critical Threshold

This simply means that more proficient fighters would benefit from more frequent Critical Strikes.

AB +2: 19-20
AB +4: 18-20
AB +6: 17-20

I still plan on revising the cost of both AB and Focus, but I am asking for your input on the matter of removing pure luck from the Critical Strike.



  1. I think you need more inspiration from Dave Hargrave. Have a chart where you can put out a friends eye, chop off an innocent bystanders head, or hack both of your own legs off.

    Oh wait, those are fumbles.

    Seriously though, there should maybe be a tad of luck involved in a crit. In my AD&D I have crits go down on a natch 20, which is all luck. I keep trying to think of a way of taking skill and experience into account, but I just can't hammer it into the system. Maybe let higher level characters crit on a natural 19 or 20? High level fighters on a 18,19, or 20? I just dunno.

    It does make sense to have skilled folk crit more often due to skill rather than luck, like Samurai of old who often studied body charts as part of the sword training. But even the most modest mouse should get lucky and skewer a heart or kidney from time to time.

  2. Brunomac,

    Thanks for commenting. :)

    I may include an optional Gonzo chart-set with higher-intensity Fumbles and Crits. Currently, UWoM's combat is simply suitably deadly, but it could easily be adjusted up or down the wahoo!-scale by the Referee.

    So, your vote is recorded as a tentative [Y]es. :D

    Thanks again for posting. Always appreciated. :D

  3. I don't think there should be a difference between luck and skill when it comes to crit hits. It's a crit hit either way. The only difference being the surprised or 'that's what I meant to do' expression after the body hits the floor.

    I have to agree with Brunomac. There is nothing worse than going all game hoping for a hit and finally you land a crit. Woo hoo. More damage is okay, but a cool effect is always crowd pleaser. GURPS has the absolute worst crit hit table. It's boring. Have fun with it. Limbs a loping, heads a flopping and blood a soping.

  4. Tim,


    In my combat system, it isn't simply more damage. It is unconscious and dying. The damage is done directly to the 'negatives', with Physique (Con in D&D) + Pow mod. (Str mod.) as the Terminal Threshold.
    --All DP are wiped-out in that one strike as if they hadn't been there at all.

    '1d3 fingers severed from primary hand, roll Dex at -4 to retain weapon or held item. Bleed for 1 HP per round.' --could be fun, and I will seriously consider the possibility of including that sort of chart.

    I'm currently toying with the idea of an optional distribution of TT points across the body parts, a la, RuneQuest, but that isn't front-burner material right now.

    Truth be told, as I write this, I can see how easilyt the AB boost to Crits could be abused into making 3.5-like 1-Hit Crit-Killer characters, and that makes me puke a bit in my mouth. :(