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Botched Attacks and Botched Dialogues

Started by Brimshack, April 20, 2009, 01:54:16 PM

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Okay, I am 2 years into designing this RPG. As part of Game Testing, we have been running a campaign, literally just a campaign that happens to use this system. It's been the most productive and enjoyable experience I've had in gaming, ever. But recently we lost key players to moves and new players are leading to some adjustments.

I am having trouble with a new player over what I see as an essential design element. At some point I am likely to buckle down and just say the particular feature is off the table at this point, but first I am inclined to run through the possibilities, both in terms of GM options and game design options.

Yes, it's a high-fantasy rpg.

General Rules Background: All rolls 3d6 modified by relevant stats. Two 6s is a Critical Success doubling the value of the 3rd dice, and two 1s is a Critical Blunder, meaning the two 1s don't count and the 3rd dice is all that matters.

Durability is arranged on 2 tracks (one for mental and one for physical) of points in Damage slots of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 respectively. Points in a given stat (Athleticism for Physical Durability and Focus for Mental) will be added to each slot, so someone with an Athleticism of 4 will actually have the following Durability: 5, 6, 7, 8. 9. As each slot is crossed through from taking damage you incur a point of Fatigue, which is a penalty to all die rolls, to movement, and to Aid bonuses provided when helping other Characters. If you reach 0 Physical Durability you are dead (and a Miraculous Healing spell will save you, but that is VERY difficult to accomplish). If you reach 0 Mental, you panic and either run or stand terrified.

The number of actions a character may take on a Turn varies, but each roll made in combat is subject to an increasing penalty of -2, and players have the option of spending extra actions on any given die roll to gain a bonus of +1 on that die roll.

Attack and Defence are opposed rolls and damage is the difference modified by various Lethality Bonuses or Invulnerability Bonuses for the Defender.

Now, Attacks are dangerous for both attacker and defender. In Melee, if you begin a Turn Locked in Combat with an enemy (i.e. already threatening her), you will take damage in the event that you attack and miss. We call this a Botched Attack. It works in Magic too, affectig the Mental Durability instead. Damage on a Botched attack is equal to the difference -your Athleticism or Focus (for Phsysical and Mental attacks respectively), but a minimum of 1 point occurs if you bury the difference with the Stat in question.

So, two encounters:

In one, we faced a spell caster with a Bonus of +4 on his Melee defence, and this player took a creatue that is tactically speaking like the Tasmanian Devil of Loony-toons (so high Speed, lots of actions) and ran him into the spell caster. Great move. He gets there in 1 Action and has 3 more to go. So, instead of just attacking the player says he wants to grab the Mage. Okay, that's a Special Attack-Grapple, you take a penalty of -2 on the die roll if you succeed, you have ahold of him. He tries and comes up short by a couple points, takes 1 point of damage. Okay, so he has 2 more actions to go. Now he says he wants to grab the casters coat. I explain it's still a grapple, so that's -2 for the grapple, and -2 more because it's his second attack of the Turn. I add that he can burn the last action for a +1 bonus to the attack. He says he wants to grab the guy's boot and run. ...still a grapple attack I say. Player counters that he isn't grabbing the guy, he's grabbing the guy's stuff. I tell him I am going to treat it as a grapple whenever he tries to control the opponent. Player wants to tie the opponents shoe laces together. I tell him it's impossible. So, he goes back to the original plan, rolls at a -4 and ends up losing fairly badly, taking enough damage himself to incur a fatigue Penalty of -1. One action left. I let him know that he can also just leave the action alone and do nothing, but he opts to attack again at a penalty of -4 for the two previous attacks and -1 more for the Fatigue. By now he has all but cancelled his own character's bonuses. Added to this, he says he still wants to grab the guys boot. I remind him that's a total penalty of -6 before even dealing with Fatigue. He goes for it anyway. This time he rolls low, something below 10 on the die roll. Mage rolls three 8s. Character takes enough damage that it kills him. 3 separate Characters work together to get off a Miraculous healing spell and save him. Whew!

Player talks to me for roughly an hour after the game. He hates the Botched attack rule. He argues that you should not be able to damage someone without spending an Action to do it. He also argues that the caster should have had to drop his spell to damage his character. I agree with that and tell him I will change the rule accordingly. Back to the general argument over Botched attacks. He leaves unsatisfied.

Next game. We are on rough terrain (with half our characters on a ship and half on a rocky shore line). We are attacked by 8 enemy that we can see. An Archer with a speed of 6 (6 Actions) and a mage with a speed of 4 ( 4 Actions) and 6 grunts with a speed of 2 (you get the idea). The archer shoots 3 people, severely damaging all three. Player responds by sending his fastest Waggamaeph (the Tasmanean Devil-type things) to the archer. He gets to within 1 Move Action of the archer with 2 Actions on his Turn, so he could close and strike. Instead he jumps on a rock and runs in circles. Archer shoots him first on her next turn. The player did ask me if the enemy was at all confused by what they were seeing. The answer was no. Archer shoots him and leaves him with 1 or 2 Physical Durability Points left. ...fatigue of -3 or -4 and death is quite imminent. ...and of course teh Waggamaeph is very far from the healers. Next a grunt closes and attacks, missing. Archer moves on to new targets as the furry thing is essentially out of commission. Players next turn, he attempts to grapple the grunt and run out into the water (he has an ability that will let him run across the top of the water). So, again, that's a -2 for the special attack, piled onto a -3or4 fatigue. He blows the attack by 5 or 6, and takes enough damage to kill him.

We repeat the aftergame discussion of botched rules from the previous session, this time taking almost 2 hours.

On the one hand, I think we are looking at different playing styles. This player defnitely wants to tell the more interesting story, whereas I am more inclined to play out the rules of the system. (There is another problem emerging with respect to roleplaying situations as well.) I do see the player pounding the round peg into the square hole, and I feel for him even as I cringe myself. He is smart enough to assess the odds, and to know for example that he could get himself killed on an attack. But he seems intent on playing as thoug that is not a possibility, then complaining that it shouldn't have happened when it does. The efforts to press me on the matter after the game seem like part of the same campaign, essentially denial of an established rule with really significant consequences. I am tempted to talk to him about different playing styles, but honestly my impression is that nothing I say on the subject has any impact. He does not like this aspect of the game and he is determined to ignore it.

Me, I like the Botched attacks, not the least of reasons being that they make combat faster. If you launch a melee attack or cast a spell, someone is very likely to get hurt, and that means we don't have the extended rounds of swing and miss such as I often experienced in all versions of D&D. I also envision this as an active defence which includes the possibility of a counter strike (and one positive outcome of the discussion is that I will revisit the rule-book and try to explain this better). I.e. the Defence roll is at least partly a roll to see if you do take advantage of any opening your opponent leaves. The other player is determined that you must spend an Action to harm an opponent. To him, this is intuitively obvious. To me it isn't.

I have 2 options for modification that are at least plausible: Whether I pursue them or not is another question:

1) Drop the minimum 1 point damage on a Botched Attack. Although this means making an exception to a more general rule in the game that reducing damage never brings it below 1, it isn't too elaborate an exception, and it would increase the range of general misses that occur in the game. Perhaps, it would ring more true to some players if there were more chances that an attack could just result in a miss. ...Possible, and not too big a change in the general balance of things. Not a huge pay-off; not a huge problem either.

2) Suggested by the player... If you wish to harm an opponent on a Botched Attack, you have to Go on Hold. This means that you drop 1 Action from your Speed on your next Turn, so you Activate later and do less on that Turn. There is already some precedent for this pattern in the game (Aiding another character means you go on hold, and it does create an interesting dilemma for the Defending player. On that level, I really like it. I can even start to run with it a bit in my head and see some really interesting possibilities here. (Say you face three opponets and Opponent number 1 Botches, damage him or hold out for Opponent number 2?) I do like that.

Problem 1: This change is a huge change in the system, and many things will have to be rebalanced once we do this. Frankly, it's tweaking a central design element of the game system at a stage where I want to be fine-tuning the details. Problem 2: It substantially reduces the overal danger of the game. Some characters will attack without risk in some situations (because you cannot go on hold when you are already there). This I genuinely don't like. Problem 3: I honestly don't know that there is a problem here that needs fixing. I like the way it works now. My established players like it too, and the many others who have tried the game seem to think it's a g. To date, this is the only player that does not like this. Maybe, I really do need to just say I've considered it, and we're keeping it as is.


THree 6s. The Mage rolled three 6s. Dernit!


Alright that post had well more than my alloted number of allowable typoes and brain farts. My apologies to those who struggled through it.
I am largely thinking with my keyboard about this. I have been so spoiled for the last 2 years, that thes sorts of problems, which used to be old hat are now bugging me quite a bit.


Let me just take another minute to explain a role-playing problem I am experiencing with the same player, maybe it's 2 related role-playing problems.

1) He wants to role-play in combat, and to do so in ways that often lead to sub-optimal outcomes. For instance, you can see in the first encounter described above that the player took a character with a decent chance of hitting the mage (barely missed onits first attack and could have tried again with the same odds) and tried a number of different angles on the attack, each one decreasing his odds of success. I think he was looking in a sense to get outside the game design so to speak and invite me to grant him an advantage on the normal odds (e.g. it's not really a grapple, because I am actually grabbing his boot). I often find this with players who get creative in combat, and I'm not sure that it's entirely about narrative emphasis. That is at least coupled with an assumption about how the GM will make various judgement calls. To me if the target for jumping a certain distance is 12 on the die roll, telling me you are also going to step off your enemy's head and do a sommersault in the process will probably mean I raise the Target because you are now adding complications to your initial plan. I think to some players though, the creativity of the combat narrative they produce needs to be matched with a certain narrative permissiveness, or at least an assumption that characters have heroic capabilities from the outset. My own preference is for gritty, and for a sense that starting characters at least are still trying to learn how to hold a sword. They may know the basics, but they are oinly just beginning to feel what it is like to swing it at a live opponent. The characters may become badass and do amazing things, but the odds are set so they won't be able to accomplish those things for many game sessions.

In summary of point 1, I think at least part of what I am seeing with this player (and with another new player to a much lesser extent) is a preference for narrating very specific combat flourish combined with an expectation that the flourish lies within the competency of a low-level character (and at least a hint of the notion that odds will improve when you get the GM to wing it instead of sticking to actions with clear and estabished odds).

2) We are also having trouble with seemingly random and highly counter-productive actions in role-playing. E.g. threatening a powerful police official inside a prison, engaging in petty theft at an inn, or trying to knock over a random bar paton while the rest of the party is engaged in touchy negotiations with spies at the main table. So, of course the spies no longer want to deal with the characters because they can't keep a low profile and the bar owner kicks everyone out of the place, and that 's two important bridges burned (a 3rd 5 minutes later). I've known quite a few people who seem to do this in role-playing and often these are players who prefer role-playing to combat. I see two problems at least here:

a) A clear choice of individual story-lines over cooperative projects. Disruptiveness in the bar adds to the storyline of the character in a sense, but it does so at the expense of the larger story-line the group is trying to put together. Either the player does not realize the one will detract from the other, or he does not care. ...perhaps both. He may also expect the GM to simply overlook predictable social consequences such as a covert criminal contact avoiding the obvious trouble-makers. I'm not inclined to do that much, or let's put it this way; I can fudge a little and drop a hint. Do it too much and you burn bridges (losing Experience Point opportunities in the process).

b) Often I think players with this approach assume the world is a playground for their characters. The Characters are an elite group of creatures and people who can basically storm their way around town without suffering too many serious consequences for the most antisocial behaviors. I am actually inclined to assume just the opposite. The bartender has dealt with ruffians for many years. He has gained experience from every scrape that that occured over the course of his career. If the fight has to happen, then he is not going to be a push-over. He may in fact be far too powerful for the players to take. And if the party does beat the bartender, then the sherrif is next, and if he doesn't win, which he will, then... The notion that a player character is going to be able to screw with others at will does not work out in my campaigns, and that is clearly what this player has in mind.

So, I am thinking 2 things on this, maybe 3.

1) I may need to include guidelines in the game describing the odds that various creative flourishes will succeed or not, the idea here being to communicate a sense of how much fancy flourish characters may reasonably expect to manage at various levels of development. This sort of thing actually is built into the game to a degree, so I think that's the appropriate level at which to address it.

2) I need to somehow let the player know that my judgement calls will NOT be substantially more forgiving than the normal odds of basic combat options (and here I am specifically thinking about trying to skip a grapple roll by grabbing a coat or confuse a determined opponent by dancing instead of attacking). So, while elaborate combat strategies may succeed if they are plausible and the dice roll nicely, the odds of success will not be taylored to ensure the latter.

3) Just as a GM to players, I should communicate something about my sense of the relative power in the world around the characters. I need to let the players know that they are not the baddest creatures in town.

Daniel B

Hello Brimshack,

congrats on having built a system that was enjoyed by most people you've played it with.. I'm afraid I have trouble following the mechanics in my head so I won't comment on it. (I'm a very hands-on, see-it-to-understand-it type of person.)

As for that player attempting the combat-flourish with little to no success, I know where you're coming from as a GM, but I'd like to think I understand where the player is coming from too, as I've been in both positions myself. When a group of people play a game like Monopoly, there is only one game going on. If it's in the written rules, it's fair, but if it's not, it's cheating. I can't buy off the mayor to accept my hotel development proposal over my opponent's, and set up a hotel on a sweet piece of real estate. There IS no mayor in Monopoly, and no development proposals. In a roleplaying game, I think it's different, because we're presenting situations as though they were really happening. In a real fight for survival, people will do what they need to to keep the upper hand: pull hair, bite, kick in the crotch, what have you.

This doesn't answer the questions about combat flourish, however, because you're right about the fact that the players' actions would often be extremely counter-productive in real life. (Someone on the Forge once complained about a player mouthing off to an Ancient Shadow Dragon, LOL) However I think it does lend some insight. There is a disconnect because you, the GM, are playing the written Monopoly rules while the player is in a fantasy street fight, looking for advantages despite the written rules.

Combat flourish is cool, in my opinion, and really adds some interesting colour to the game, but a GM can't let it go too far. The example you gave is the character defeating the Bartender, then the Sherriff, .. where does it end? I try to take a middle-of-the-road approach by making it clear that for their actions, there will be natural consequences. This only works so well, though, because at least in D&D their power will grow to the point that they can defeat any "normal" NPC they want. Fortunately it doesn't usually come to that, but it's a worry for me.

Your ideas sound like they would work (i.e. the #1, 2, and 3 you mentioned). I think you should stick with that.

Arthur: "It's times like these that make me wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was little."
Ford: "Why? What did she tell you?"
Arthur: "I don't know. I didn't listen."


Thanks ST. Your sense of the situation sounds about right. One of the reasons I wanted to think through this a bit is I am trying to sort just how much of this is an interpersonal problem, how much is a feature of campaign issues, and how much is about Game Rules. One thing another player suggested is that we are just beginning to see how much of the game is system driven (perhaps a legacy of the original "Skirmish" design), because most of the players who stuck around before were quite comfortable with heavily structured game options. Give them a good numerical bonus and they'll take it without worrying too much abut what it means in terms of the imagined activities. Both of our new players prefer to tell us the story and ask me to taylor the game to that story. I do think the one player is looking for an extra edge in the process, and perhaps the street fighting analogy helps to explain his behavior. I find myself revisiting the list of options to ensure that I have a sort of 'other' category to provide the GM with guidelines for dealing with non-standard combat actions. To some extent I am inclined to suggest a GM may adjust targets for acrobatics and other odd heroics according to taste. For me, early characters will probably always struggle to hold a sword properly, but that needn't be the case if a GM and her player would prefer more high profile heroics.

Let me take another crack and a brief summary of the combat rules:

All rolls are 3d6. If a player rolls two 6s, the value of the 3rd dice is doubled. If two 1s are rolled, they are ignored and the 3rd dice is all that counts on the die roll. Whatever the roll, it is modified by a Functioning Stat such as "Melee Attack" or "Melee Defence." Functioning Stats are usually comprised of two "Crunch Stats." Crunch Stats include; Aggression, Athleticism, Caution, Distance, Focus, Magic, Melee, Missile, Presence, Spirit, Swiftness. Stats are purchased directly through experience points with a cumulative cost system (1 x.p. for a +1, 3 x.p. for +2, 6 x.p. for +3, etc.) So, a player with 15 Experience Points could for instance buy a +2 in Aggression, +3 in Caution, +4 in Melee. This would give her a +6 Melee Attack Bonus and a +7 Melee Defence Bonus.

Attacks are always made by opposed rolls, and the difference in scores on a successful attack provides the base damage on the attack. This is then modified by Lethality Bonuses (e.g. +5 to Damage for a Great Axe, +2 on a charge, and so on) or Invulnerability Bonuses for Armor (-6 for Plate, for example). Invulnerability Bonuses cannot reduce damage below 1 point.

Damage is scored off two tracks, one for Mental Durability and one for Physical Durability. Players start with 15 points of each, and each is divided into 5 slots of Durability: Slot A = 1 point, Slot B = 2, Slot C = 3, Slot D = 4, and Slot E = 5. A player adds 1 point to each slot in Physical Durability for each point of Athleticism and 1 to each slot of Mental Durability for each point of Focus. So, for example a Character with an Athleticism of 4 would have a Physical Durability of A=5, B=6, C=7, D=8, E=9.

Why is Durability divided up into 5 slots? You mark off damage from Slot E to slot A, and as each slot is crossed off the Character incurs a Fatigue Penalty of -1. This penalty applies to all die rolls, to the total movement for a Turn, and to any bonuses provided to others when "Aiding" them. So, long before a character dies, she will become far less effective. Most severely injured Characters will eventually go on Total Defence, doing nothing in the round and simply adding one's Speed to her Defence rolls. ...then you simply pray for healing spells. If a player reaches 0 Physical Durability, then she dies. If she reaches 0 Mental Durability, then she panics and cannot fight any more.

Actions and Initiative. A Character's Swiftness score (a Crunch Stat) +1 will be her Speed (a Functioning Stat), and her Speed governs how many Actions she can take in a Turn, and when she will activate. Speeds of 5 will Activate before 4s, and so on. Once Activated, a Character may take 1 Action per point of her Speed score, but each die roll she makes during the course of her Turn is made at a penalty of -2 per previous die roll on that Turn. She may spend unused Actions on bonuses (+1 per Action) to any given die roll, however, so for example a Character with a 5 Speed could attack 5 times at the following penalties (0, -2, -3, -4, -6) or she could attack once at a total bonus of +4 (burning the extra 4 Actions on the bonus). She could attack once and move for 4 actions, per perhaps attack once at 0 penalty, then burn 2 actions on the second attack to roll at no penalty (this using 3 total actions on the second attack). ...lots of ways to play with Speed, ...yes it's a god-stat. So, it is very expensive.

The Game-Rule that is most in contention with this player is this, when you attack someone in Melee and Magic, there are 3 possibilities. You may damage the enemy by rolling a higher total than she does, you may tie and nothing will happen, or you may come up short of her Defence roll. In the latter case, the attacker suffers damage equal to the difference minus her Athleticism for Melee Attacks or her Focus for Magic Attacks. Whenever someopne attacks and ends up damaging themslves it is called a "Botched Attack". When subtracting Athleticism or Focus for a Botched Attack, you cannot lower the damage below 1 point (as with any other "Invulnerability Bonuses"). ...Missile is the only safe way to attack anyone.

The rule makes the game much more lethal as almost all attacks lead to damage to one party or another. It also makes for an interesting build-option (Take Riposte as a Special Ability giving you Lethality Bonuses when Enemies "Botch" an attack against you in Melee, then crank your Melee Defence as high as you can get it, go on total defence whenever you can, and dare the enemy to try.)

The player I am having problems with objects to this mechanism, the Botched attacks. It strikes him as counter-intuitive as he believes a Character should have to do something to score damage. When I explain that the Defender is actually doing something as he is actively defending and part of that defence includes mounting a credible threat of counter-attack. A Botched Melee Attack means the defender was actually able to strike the attacker. The player insists on that an Action, at least must be used to signal the activity of the Defending character. To him this is intuitively obvious. To me, it isn't.

Although I do not agree that we have a problem that needs fixing, the player has suggested an solution with interesting implications of its own. A defending Character may elect to damage the enemy on a Botched Attack, but in so doing, she must go on "hold," thus lowering her Speed until her next Turn is ended. If she has a Speed of 3, then she will activate on her next Turn at a 2 instead of a 3, and she will only get 2 Actions. This parallels the mechanism for Aiding another character. (One can "Aid" any character within 1" when they must make a roll. Doing so burns a resource, characters have a limited allotment of Aid Bonuses they can provide, and places one on Hold. You then add half your own Bonus on the roll your ally must make to his own roll. If you have a Trait in common with her, then you can also invoke the Affinity and add 3 more points to your Aid Bonus ...Aiding is a powerful mechanism.) One consequence of going on Hold is that it removes the possibility of doing something else that will place one on Hold, so according to the current rules, the option to damage an attacking enemy and go on Hold, would mean one could only do this once per Turn. The game would be less lethal, but the dilemma of damage now or hold out for a bigger botch on a later roll is interesting.

Another option I am considering is that I may say that Athleticism and Focus can reduce damage on a Botched attack to 0, making an exception to the general rule that damage reductions never reduce damage to 0. This would mean that a bigger range of attacks would lead to simple misses. This might be more intuitive for some people, myself included. It would not answer my player's objection.


Correction, in the example above, detailing the cost of Crunch Stats, the total experience cost of the stats in question would have been 19.

"So, a player with 19 Experience Points could for instance buy a +2 in Aggression (cost of 3 Experience), +3 in Caution (cost of 6 Experience), +4 in Melee (cost of 10 Experience). This would give her a +6 Melee Attack Bonus and a +7 Melee Defence Bonus."


Several games suggest a stunt description bonus. If you set a limit on the bonus, and strong criterion for how neat the description has to be (usually either uses elements of the canon like philosophy and chi, or the setting of the fight), and you make it clear that the stunt bonuses still are applied to equal or lesser chances of success based on the moves realistic (according to you) merits, you might meet both needs.


Quote from: Brimshack on April 21, 2009, 02:50:02 AM
Thanks ST. Your sense of the situation sounds about right. One of the reasons I wanted to think through this a bit is I am trying to sort just how much of this is an interpersonal problem, how much is a feature of campaign issues, and how much is about Game Rules.

I think you're right on the money, here.  There's a disconnect between you and this player.  I think you shouldn't change any of those rules.

You're not designing a omni-game, one that any random group of people could play in any which way.  I think you would describe this system as "This is a game of gritty fantasy, with inexperienced heroes struggling to make their mark on the world!"  And this player heard only the words "game," "fantasy," "heroes," and "make their mark on the world," and constructed his own game universe in his head that doesn't match yours.

I think this player wants to play a different game.  Tell him so. 

Be kind.  Also tell him that he's being _successful_ at playtesting, because he is.  Players in your game who go for flashy moves instead of tactically sound options fail.  He's proven that.  Players in your game who go around disrupting the status quo get in trouble.  His characters get in trouble, he's proven that.  Let him know that you're perfectly willing to watch him continue to try and bend your game into another universe, and fail to do so.  He's helping you by making you remain true to your core vision of the game. 
But he's going to continue to be the guy who always fails and dies. 

If he's not OK with that, then he better get on the "grim and gritty, low level' page that you're on.  If he doesn't want to get into the game you are running, and he doesn't want to keep failing by choosing flashy and loud over tactical and realistic, then he should come back when your group is playing something different, or start it himself. 


Yeah, I think that's where I am going on the conflict with this particular player. I've been both fascinated and irritated, but it's time to try and establish a few things about expectations with him. We'll see how it goes.

Chance13, could you please tell me a little more about how stunt bonuses work? It sounds interesting, but I'm not quite sure I understand the mechanic.


My experience is based on Scion and Weapons of the Gods. Scion is easier to explain.

For reference Scion uses a version of the White Wolf game system found in Abberrant and Trinity. Roll stat+skill d10s, 7 8 and 9 are 1 success, a 10 is 2 succeeses. Task resolution is trying to get enough successes to succeed (difficulties are 1-3 succeseses usually). Important part: extra dice don't assuredly add anything to a test, but they are likely to.

Based on neat description and whatever else the group enjoys, a player can earn +1 to +3 extra dice.
+1 is for describing the action (this is to get players into at least trying)
+2 is a good interesting description
+3 is an awesome description. This sort of thing can recharge willpower.

"I attack the giant with my sword." They would roll their Dex+Melee skill.
"Anton slashes at his foes face to keep him off balance." Dex+Melee+1
Player describes how they muster strength despite their growing exhuastion and time a blow so that it is harder to avoid, while leaving them over committed. Dex+Melee+2
Player describes sidestepping the last blow, rolling along the giants massive club and arms, then after Gerards blows staggers to foe, runs up the shattered wall and leaps past the giants head, striking a blow as he flies by. Dex+Melee+3

Note I am terrible at making things fancy, but thats the idea.

For your game, each of those tactics might earn a lower and lower base penalty, however, if the stunt was a worthy and enjoyable addition to the scene, you can counter some or all of the penlty for fancy action with a bonus to reward the creative thought and imagery.


Just wanted to say thank you for posting that, Chance13. It's an option I hadn't considered. I haven't used the idea because I don't think it fits what I am working on, but it's been rolling around in the back of my mind and looking for an opportunity to come out after all.