Counterattack

Do you have suggestions? Questions? Are there mechanical or balance problems?

Counterattack

Postby Maugh » Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:16 am

Counterattack is an awesome ability. Brutally effective. At one point, I had the text for the counterattack ability state that it was variable based on the speed of the weapon, but in doing editing for clarity, this was a really messy mechanic.

So counterattack will read that if a character is able to defend something by at least 3, they get a free melee attack against the person who is attacking them.

Problem is that the margin of 3 might be a little strong. I was considering doing 4 or even 5 for this number.

Any thoughts? Is 3 too easy to counter? Is 5 too hard?
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Re: Counterattack

Postby Wazat » Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:00 pm

Tricky. I thought varying it by weapon speed was a good idea for balance, but I suppose clarity and simplicity are important enough to change it..

The trouble is, a counterattack with a dagger (+1 parry, 1d6) isn't nearly as brutal as a counterattack with a greatsword (+1 parry, 2d10) or heavy shield (+3 parry, 2d6 damage). A crit or double-crit on the return attack roll could be nasty with a light blade (disarm them, ignore armor, attack again, etc), so there's that. But there's otherwise little compensation for the very fast but light vs very slow but powerful weapons.

Maybe the counterattacker takes a couple of initiative damage (half or a fourth his weapon speed, rounded down)? But again, that's adding complexity. In contrast, the way it was written before, the player figures out their counterattack threshold once based on their weapon, writes it on their character sheet near the weapon's parry entry, and doesn't worry about it again.

*shrug* I don't know... Simpler may not be better in this case.
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Re: Counterattack

Postby abfinz » Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:30 pm

I think 3 is definitely too strong for slow, high-damage weapons, but it's likely just right for daggers and other small weapons that rely on critical hits. Perhaps the best way to handle it is to tie it directly to the critical threshold of the weapon. That way, high-damage weapons are harder to counter attack with but do way more damage when you do, and smaller weapons that do less damage with be able to counter more often. Also, by tying directly to a number that's already on the character sheet, it avoids getting too messy.

Granted that will make it quite difficult to counter attack with a large weapon, but doesn't that make sense anyway?
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Re: Counterattack

Postby Maugh » Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:45 pm

Amp is not a bad stat for it, but Amp is probably more a measure of the weapon's sharpness (theoretically,) than it is a measure of the weapon's weight, which is more represented by the weapon's speed.

If you think about it, the best theoretical measure of how well a weapon can counter is probably its parry value, which would measure the weapons maneuverability when being used to defend against attack. Since the parry modifier already makes it easier for the weapon to defend by a larger margin, that alone makes it easier for high-parry weapons to counter-attack, and is built into the attack equation already.

In order of generally higher parry modifiers, Shields would be best, followed by light swords and daggers, followed by spears and axes, and the worst counter-attacking weapons being the heavy mauls and awkward weapons, like the scythe.

The other thing that puts quicker weapons at an advantage for counterattacking is the fact that the counterattack ability is built into the agility ability section. This means that quicker weapons, like daggers, lightswords and spears, will also have access to the "finesse" ability in each of their respective weapon trees, which means a character playing higher agility is more likely to take those weapons, and is also more likely to take the counterattack ability.

Together, this doesn't prevent someone from countering with a Maul, (a great image,) but it means that they would have to win the offensive versus defensive roll by a margin of 6, (parry -2, counterattack margin of 4), versus a dagger's 3, (parry +1, counterattack margin of 4.), and their character would have to have an agility of at least 9, (if I'm remembering the Agility requisite correctly.) which DOESNT affect their attack rolls, like it would if they were using a finesse weapon.

Yeah, I think I'm going to do this next book at a defending margin of 4, and see how that works out. If people are interested in trying one versus another, I would be very interested to see how it works out.
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Re: Counterattack

Postby Wazat » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:27 am

Neat.

Assuming a d12 in attack and a d12 in defense attribute, 5 melee and 5 parry, and attacker has a +0 attack weapon and rolls a very average attack of 6 on his d12 (+5 from weapon):

-2 parry (Mace): 33.3% to dodge, 0% to counter (literally cannot roll high enough to counterattack that roll)
-1 parry (Maul): 41.7% to dodge, 8.3% to counter
+0 parry (Greatsword): 50% to dodge, 16.7% to counter
+1 parry (Dagger): 58.3% to dodge, 25% to counter
+2 parry (Shield): 66.7% to dodge, 33.3% to counter
+3 parry (Heavy Shield): 75% to dodge, 41.7% to counter

In other words, your chance to parry is your chance to counter minus 33.3 percentage points (100/12 * margin).

Remember that this is vs an average roll of 6 on the attacker. Things get more complex when the attack roll variation also needs to be included (and unfortunately I've forgotten how to do that).
I don't know whether I calculated these right, but if I did, then seeing the results of using 4 vs 3 vs 5 as the margin is easy: just adjust counter chances on the chart above up or down by the difference. Likewise, if the attacker has a -1 or +1 to attack or rolls higher or lower than 6, that adjusts the chart up or down.

I hope I did that right.
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Re: Counterattack

Postby TheMatt » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:15 am

I'm not actually a huge fan of counter-attack. It takes time to counter, and without that being included, it makes them into free attacks. On the basis of which (a free attack) the threshold for them to occur should be much higher.

Amp was, at one point, used as a metric for what triggered a counter.

Is counter-attack a weapon ability or a mechanic these days? (Hopefully the former).
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Re: Counterattack

Postby TheMatt » Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:11 am

If equal, you may counter-attack, if better, you may interrupt? Two tiers of weapon ability?
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Re: Counterattack

Postby Maugh » Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:05 am

counter-attack is a weapon ability in some cases, or an agility ability.
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