Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Questions Answered, Questions Asked

Looking over my last post, I can't help but wonder: Did I just discover a design flaw?

On the one hand, it does all hold to the same logic. Bigger things are easier to hit but harder to damage, and smaller things are harder to hit but easier to damage. But on the other hand, in order to apply that logic consistently, it makes the game rules inconsistent. Certain actions take size modifiers, but other, related actions do not.

I could ignore it. AiO has been on the market for 4 years now and it's only now that this has even come up. I've gotten stronger criticism regarding the magic system (which actually did have a flaw, which I have made the effort to fix). Perhaps all of the people running the game out there haven't done many adventures dealing with creatures and characters with vastly different Sizes. Or perhaps they ignored the rules, or at least their implications. It's a light, loose system, anyway. Ignoring one rule isn't going to break the whole thing.

But if I thought like that, I'd be no better than '90's era White Wolf.

Since 2 maneuvers are impacted and they each work differently, this is going to take 2 fixes.

The change I'm thinking of to fix Painful Strikes is a change I really don't want to make. I really wanted flat, non-twink-able damage values to break combat-focused players out of their comfort zone. Also, as a long-time Game Master, I've lived in fear of having my big bad boss monsters go down in a round or two thanks to lucky damage rolls and critical hits.

But I must be brave, because I must separate attack and damage to allow both of them to have separate influences from Size.

So when a larger character attacks a smaller character, they do Wits damage equal to the Size difference between the two characters (minimum 1). So Jim the Cab-horse (Size 4) would do 2 points of damage if he was kicking a wolf (Size 2), but only 1 point of damage if he was facing off against a Nome (Size 3) or if the Hungry Tiger (Size 4) got a little too hungry.

Optionally, an attack that did more Wits damage than the character had remaining Wits would convert the excess damage into bonuses on a Hit Location roll to see which limb got crushed in the assault. This would, naturally apply only to instances where the attack would do multiple points of Wits damage

Though when a smaller character attacks a larger character, there's a possibility that damage may not happen at all. If your foe is more than one Size larger than you (maybe 2. I haven't quite decided), you will only do your 1 point of Wits damage on a special success. Though since you will be getting a Size bonus to hit, that will increase your chance of special success. Just not as much as your basic chance of success.

In the case of Knockdown attacks, my thought is to have them resisted by Size rather than Athletics. No Size modifier to hit, but your challenge is not hitting, but moving him. I'm half tempted to find some way for Athletics to be a factor (so an Athletics 1, Size 5 giant is more of a pushover than an Athletics 5, Size 5 giant), but I'm not sure how to do it without adding more complicated math. And before you mention it, I don't see a problem with having giants roll against a 5 to Knockdown other giants. It's called the Cube-Square Law.

What do you think? Do you think these fixes would work? Are the problems worth fixing? Have you already fixed them yourself? Do you use any other house rules when playing AiO? Heck, is there something you've wanted to see in AiO that didn't make the cut?

With the combat fixes, as well as the Transmutation hack, I'm half wondering if an AiO Revised should be in the works. I don't think that enough changes really need to be made to make it a Second Edition. Just a Revised.

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