Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Roll for unnecessary heroism

Combat in 3.5 was never spectacular. I assume that this must be the reason behind the 4th edition flamboyance.  My idea was to allow the characters a roll for for unnecessary heroism instead of their usual roll for improbable events. This had the advantage of not risking to kill or inconvenience the rest of the group, while providing a more spectacular way of fighting back with enhanced prowess. In essence it was giving up power but gaining control.

The mechanics were rather basic, the player would roll 2d6 and look up the effects in a table. An additional 1d6 was awarded if the player was at or below 25% health and another 1d6 was awarded for being the 'last man standing', the last party member with the ability to stand.

The original table has long been misplaced, but I shall attempt to reconstruct it as best I can:

  1. the player is awarded another move action
  2. the player is awarded another standard action
  3. the player may make an unarmed attack with no risk of attack of opportunity, roll again
  4. the player may take a 5 foot step, roll again
  5. +4 strength, +4 dexterity
  6. the player is awarded another basic attack
These are in addition to the actions awarded to each payer during their turn. Players were given extensive freedom to describe their actions, with all necessary jumps, tumbles, heroic antics and use of the environment succeeding without the need for further rolls.

An alternative roll for flamboyant casting would replace these results  for various metamagic feats. I don't recall that ever being used though.

In particularly tough fights the questions were usually raised: do I roll for improbable event or for unnecessary heroism? do I wait until I take more damage or am last man standing and risk getting killed or do I do it now? should I just save these in case something worse happens later?

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