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Brawling and Melee as opposed checks

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As in the topic: what do you think about the idea? I suppose the fights will get longer, so I'd reserve it for battling nemeses (and maybe rivals). But this way actual skill of the character would matter, it is very frustrating for players if they consider themselves sword masters (for example 4 brawn and 4 melee skill) and still get hit by mooks.

I haven't tested it yet,but perhaps the idea appeared in Beta?

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I bought this up over at the D20 forums and it was discused in the excellent Order 66 podcast. Basically the expert defence nature of a martial arts master/ swordsman come from the abilities/talents rather than being inherent in the skill. So once a player starts taking these they become a lot harder to hit. Even level one Dodge makes a big difference over the course of a melee.

It was felt the using brawl skill as the opposed difficulty would on the whole throw up strange events. Take a real fierce big beast - they need a good brawn/brawl to be effective when charging in and swiping. But they can't really defend themselves from taking hits. If you used their brawl dice as negative dice when they get hit they would be very hard to hit.

What it took time for us to really take in is that your level 2 melee beginner character is not really an expert martial artist they can just hit hard. They need to train up to be good blockers. :)

In the end I think the system mirrors learning martial arts fairly well a low to mid rank exponent can normally hit pretty well but still gets hit. Higher level exponents tend to avoid getting hit until you get to the expert level slipping attacks with little movement stage - which you can with the talents.

Hope that helps

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It is actually pretty easy to swing a sharp thing at someone and hit them, unless they are trained to block and dodge you.

Now, whether you deal damage depends on how accurate the attack and not-tanky they are.  Opposed melee checks basically makes things way more complicated than they need to be.  And, it penalizes less-trained people from trying to pick up weapons or punching people by making it worthless.  

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So far we have been using target agility as the difficulty for brawl and melee attacks. It has worked pretty well so far but we aren't using talents yet (I am playing with kids so I am getting them use to the system a piece at a time) so I may change this later.

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The other thing about it is, engaged-range attacks are at a SEVERE disadvantage versus almost any ranged weapon. While running Shadows of the Black Sun on free RPG day, the poor Wookiee character (who is basically a doctor with some brawling capability) could barely exceed the soak of the opposing minions, while the droid (with a weapon damage of 9!!!!) was taking out entire platoons with one shot.

 

Personally, I wish Brawling and Melee attacks/weapons had lower crit requirements than ranged weapons, or something else to make them an interesting trade-off with ranged weapons. As it is, anything short of a lightsaber and you are basically gimping yourself versus picking up a humble blaster. Evidently, Han Solo was right!

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Personally, I wish Brawling and Melee attacks/weapons had lower crit requirements than ranged weapons, or something else to make them an interesting trade-off with ranged weapons. As it is, anything short of a lightsaber and you are basically gimping yourself versus picking up a humble blaster. Evidently, Han Solo was right!

 

I believe this is intentional.  Unless you're a Marauder, don't bring a vibroblade to a blasterfight. 

 

 

I would like to see the Lightsaber skill used in an opposed fashion in some kind of dueling system though. Maybe that'll get into a later game like Force and Destiny.

 

From your lips to Yoda's ears!

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Personally, I wish Brawling and Melee attacks/weapons had lower crit requirements than ranged weapons, or something else to make them an interesting trade-off with ranged weapons.

 

With the exception of fists, most Melee weapons do have lower crit ratings than ranged weapons; the vast majority of the ones in the core rulebook have a crit rating of 2, as opposed to the ranged weapon standard of 3.

 

In addition, Melee weapons have a much higher incidence of qualities like Pierce and Vicious, meaning you're going to do more damage, and hit harder when you do land a crit.

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Something to remember... because its kind off in the combat chapter... all Brawl attacks have Disorient 1 and Knockdown (p.211 is where this is noted.)  This means that Brawl can be used to pin a target so they cannot move out of engaged and attack you with a blaster (sort of.)

 

Brawl and with two Advantage you can knock the target prone.  On their turn they can use a maneuver to get up and either have to take strain t disengage and blast you or exchange their action for a maneuver. 

 

Wraith428

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Something to remember... because its kind off in the combat chapter... all Brawl attacks have Disorient 1 and Knockdown (p.211 is where this is noted.) 

 

Wow, good catch! I had not noticed that all!

 

That makes things much more fun, IMHO!

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The other thing about it is, engaged-range attacks are at a SEVERE disadvantage versus almost any ranged weapon. While running Shadows of the Black Sun on free RPG day, the poor Wookiee character (who is basically a doctor with some brawling capability) could barely exceed the soak of the opposing minions, while the droid (with a weapon damage of 9!!!!) was taking out entire platoons with one shot.

 

Personally, I wish Brawling and Melee attacks/weapons had lower crit requirements than ranged weapons, or something else to make them an interesting trade-off with ranged weapons. As it is, anything short of a lightsaber and you are basically gimping yourself versus picking up a humble blaster. Evidently, Han Solo was right!

Give that Wookie doctor some stun gloves and get him Pressure Points and see who's laughing then.

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I think, as it was stated, a happy medium is using Agility score for melee/brawl.  Could this potentially get beastly with some of the other talents? Yes, but then again a player is severly investing a lot of their XP into this and essentially centering their character around one aspect.  Also a moot point if someone is at some range with a blaster.

 

Opposed checks seem just a little bit more... Clunky in this game and perhaps it is something with me but I dislike the house rule I made for melee (Using opposed checks). It just doesn't seem to "fit".  

 

So using the agility score to "dodge" attacks seems like a good compromise, because it allows creatures to have high brawn and brawl ratings without being impossible to hit.  But also, if a character wants to invest, gives them a little bit of an edge in melee combat.  The only problem I can see it can run into is, when Jedi are used, that basically players will just invest all their XP into agility.  Though we aren't even close to Force and Destiny so I am not too worried about that.

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The trouble I see with using Agility as a "parry" stat is that it makes Agility even more powerful than it already is. It also seems to punish a lot of melee-focused characters. If I'm building an in-your-face buttkicker, I'm going to focus on Brawn. The guy who benefits is the Agility-focused sniper or pilot. Doesn't make much sense to me that they're harder to hit than the trained melee fighter.

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The trouble I see with using Agility as a "parry" stat is that it makes Agility even more powerful than it already is. It also seems to punish a lot of melee-focused characters. If I'm building an in-your-face buttkicker, I'm going to focus on Brawn. The guy who benefits is the Agility-focused sniper or pilot. Doesn't make much sense to me that they're harder to hit than the trained melee fighter.

Exactly.  People should stop recommending Agility as a defense against melee stat.  I know it has been drilled into our heads by d20 systems that Dex gives you defense, but not anymore.  If you make it harder to hit people, combat is going to get drawn out, and people are going to do less damage.  That's no fun.  The best parts about this system are how lethal certain things can be in this game.  I love it.

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If you have got close enough to hit the object, a good agility is not really going to help it. Whereas good dodge is :)

Think of it this way maybe - Usdain Bolt and Bruce Lee are probably as 'agile' as each other, if I was standing next to Bolt ready to hit him his agility is not really going to stop me, if I am standing next to Lee or say Ali their blocking, slipping, ducking and weaving are going to make it a LOT LOT harder for me to hit them... In game terms they have good skills in Dodge, prepared stance etc etc.

 

I was a bit peeved at the 2 purple dice defence in all melee when playing the Beginners game and when this carried over to the Core book at first I was concerned and bought the question up for the D20 Radio Order 66 podcast guys - who then put me onto the talents that would help. Now I see how well it covers everything - Brawn (and being a a good brawler) is not going to make them harder to hit, just harder to damage- think Gorilla; Agility is not going to help once one is in their mixing it already - think Ballet dancer. So characteristics are no good to use as defence; brawl skill is no good on its own, I have a lot of good big mates who get into brawls on the rugby pitch often, they are pretty hard and come off best most of the time, but it is their ability to take hits (Brawn/soak) not the fact they dont get hit. SO... It is left to talents to come to the rescue if you want that Jackie Chan type martial arts master.

 

More I get into the system the more depth it seems to be throwing at me; hence very happy bunny.

 

Rich

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With the exception of fists, most Melee weapons do have lower crit ratings than ranged weapons; the vast majority of the ones in the core rulebook have a crit rating of 2, as opposed to the ranged weapon standard of 3.

 

In addition, Melee weapons have a much higher incidence of qualities like Pierce and Vicious, meaning you're going to do more damage, and hit harder when you do land a crit.

 

That's true! How did I miss that? (That's what I get for posting without my book handy.)

 

Something to remember... because its kind off in the combat chapter... all Brawl attacks have Disorient 1 and Knockdown (p.211 is where this is noted.)  This means that Brawl can be used to pin a target so they cannot move out of engaged and attack you with a blaster (sort of.)

 

Brawl and with two Advantage you can knock the target prone.  On their turn they can use a maneuver to get up and either have to take strain t disengage and blast you or exchange their action for a maneuver. 

 

Wraith428

 

That's a really great point.

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I just need to point out that the game has only been out a month or so. (I wasn't part of the Beta) There are rules in the game to make you harder to hit, (talents rather than skills), and yes, I can agree that if someone else made the game is would have been entirely plosible to let skills be used for defense as well as offense, but that is not how the rules work now. I think the game is way way to new for anyone to be ready to point out where it is broken. (most games are somewhere, but it is just too early to know yet)

My recomendation is to play the game as written (that does require that you read and play all the rules) before you decide to change things.

I will point out that putting defense in the Talents instead of skills actually favors players. Only Nemisis level villans are likely to have any tallents. So that means that despite the fact that they may be threats to the PC's by being able to attack pretty well, PC are a serious threat to most villian since their defenses will for the most part be unmodified. This of course does not hold true for nemisis level villians who of course are supposed to be able to survive contact with the PCs

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The thing is it wouldn't punish the character who put a lot of it in brawl. Because agility would just be about dodging but not reflecting damage or the ability to hit. Your ability to hit would still be your brawn/brawl, and your damage would still be that way.

 

Though just the difficult to hit -you- would be the agility rating.

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It would punish them though. A high agility gunslinger will deal a large chunk of damage to an approaching melee fighter, which they already do, and then be harder to hit once the melee fighter closes with them. I also fall into the camp of preferring dodge, side-step, an defensive stance talents, as well as the no talent required defensive maneuver that adds a setback to attacks both from and against you. It is very possible to make a defensive beast even without going into an exile with maxed out sense.

 

Also I always imagine wounds as partly being able to make sure any hits are grazing or at least non-lethal, so my character is "agile" even if their stats indicated a walking tank.

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I read early on in the beta somewhere (I think back on the beta boards) that opposed rolls were considered originally. The problem was that it tended to make melee combat too hard for a majority of characters unless you specialized in it. So people just defaulted to blasters. The balance was switching to the two diff die for melee. Talents and stances and, I'm sure, future abilities will enhance melee combat, especially once F&D releases.

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Plus, the fact that it is possible for some lucky bastard to go up and PUNCH a Sith Lord in the face is AWESOME.

I mean, did you WATCH the Hope trailer for SWTOR?  Jace Malcom is obviously a ranged expert, but when he runs up and decks Darth Malgus to save Satele's life?  You can't tell me that wasn't awesome.

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