View Full Version : Save Against Sword

2011-06-09, 01:15 AM
Alternative Attack Resolution
When a melee attack is declared, the target must make a Reflex Save + Armor bonus against
[10+BAB+Str] or suffer damage equal to [Weapon Die + Strength]

Simple as that really. Can be applied to a lot of things.
How crazy is this? Mildly deranged or poo-throwing bonkers?:smalltongue:

Does anyone have the guts to try it out?

2011-06-09, 01:42 AM
Melee has enough problems without being subject to further nerfs, friend.

2011-06-09, 01:50 AM
So I take it your vote is poo-throwing bonkers.
Alright, what about without Armor bonus. Armor is DR now. What then?

2011-06-09, 01:59 AM
Look at first level. A rogue has about a +5 Ref save (2 base + ~3 Dex) and is wearing studded leather (chain shirts are expensive) for a total of +8. A first level goblin warrior (1 base + 2 str) sets a DC of about 13. That means a rogue is hit about 20% of the time. A fighter has ~2 Dex and ~5 armor and 2 shield (full plate is expensive too) so he has about the same odds of avoiding damage. The goblin has leather armor, a light shield, +1 dex and poor ref save for a total of +4 on a DC between 10 (rogue with >12 str) and 16 (raging barbarian with 18 base str). This means PC's, in general, will be harder to hurt than monsters. At first level.

Tenth? Rogue has 7 base Ref, 6ish Dex bonus, another 3 from a cloak of resistance, another 6 from armor for a +22. Fighter has 3 base Ref, 3 Dex, 3 from a cloak of resistance, 9 from armor and 4 from shield for also +22. Nine headed cryohydra swings nine times with a DC of 24. PC's evade 90% of attacks. The hydra avoids attacks with a +17 and the fighter sets a DC of 10+10(BAB)+6(Str)+3(magic weapon)+2(feats) or 31 so the hydra takes 30% of attacks.

This bit of calculating suggests that well-equipped PC's benefit from this rule but in general it makes anything that takes an attack roll much less effective so things (spells) which don't rely on attack rolls become stronger in comparison. It also means that a slugging match between that hypothetical fighter and the hydra will take much longer than in the previous system. If that's what you want, then go for it, but I would advise against it. I expected the rogue to pull ahead via good Ref save but armor helps the fighter types keep up. Of course, exploits like full plate on a rogue break the equality here. Paladins also are harder to hit than fighters due to +cha to saves, Barbarians might take it on the chin due to poor Ref and a disinclination to use heavy armor.

Edit: Armor as DR means the fighter is hit much more often than the rogue but the DR helps some. The hydra does 1d10+5 so DR of 9 makes that not very threatening. There are surely monsters which do lots of damage in few attacks which the rogue would be better against, so I think the system skews to favoring good Ref too much. How should shields factor in?

2011-06-09, 01:59 AM
How does natural armor, deflection bonuses, etc work?

What would be the conversion from AC to DR?

2011-06-09, 02:49 AM
This is basically what Star Wars Saga Edition did, except they had it the other way around: you had a Reflex Defense, which was essentially your Reflex save and Armor Class rolled into one, and you made an attack roll, whether you were wielding a weapon or a Force power or what have you. Bascially, if you wore armor you replaced your base save bonus with your armor bonus, and certain classes had features that let you add parts of the two bonuses together (no book right now; can't remember exactly how it works).

From what little I played Saga, it worked pretty well.

2011-06-09, 02:54 AM
Natural armor would also translate to DR I suppose. Possibly supplanting any existing DR? From a simulationist standpoint it would make sense for shields to add to Ref, but I have no idea of the balance implications.

Ultimately this post is a part of a series of posts I intend to make on the subject of turning standard D&D/Pathfinder assumptions on their head, just to see what happens.
AC being apart from Saves struck me as a little weird and redundant. Mundane attacks and supernatural effects requiring fundamentally different resolution mechanics seem like an artificial disconnect that encourages wonky design.
Also, I've felt for a while that rolling attack against a static defense puts the responsibility to failure on the attacker. Though the rules say the roll failed because they dodged, the fact is that you took action and they did not, thus what is communicated is “They stood there, stiff as a board, while you flailed around like an idiot”. That’s why they call it a ‘Whiff’. You swung at an inanimate object, sitting right in front of you, and somehow managed to miss. Nice work there ace.
If the responsibility for failure is on the defender, then if the attack misses, it feels more like it was because the target was just to damn swift, rather then you being to damn useless.

2011-06-09, 05:43 AM
That's the entire idea of damage in Mutants & Masterminds. And True20.

All damage, whether it's a power (magic), or a fist, is a save-or-die. "Save vs Sword" is called Toughness Save.

It works great, but you have to get rid of hit points and make a whole bunch of alterations for it to work on D&D. For example, there are no iterative attacks.

(The upside is, obviously, that fights are deadlier, and melee is just as good as magic. If you like that sort of thing.)