Over the last weeks I got a lot of feedback from gamers all over the world and I had some time to think about how to make WR&M combat better. Here are a few optional/alternative rules you can use to tweak WR&M to fit your style of gaming better.
In WR&M armor adds to the Defense of a character, making him harder to hit. This is reminiscent of classic fantasy games, speeds up play but is not very realistic. It also can lead to the strange situation that certain characters can’t possibly hit a well-armored opponent. The following options allows GMs to handle armor differently. It is highly recommended to use the precise hit option when using alternate armor.
Option #1: Damage-reducing armor
Instead of increasing Defense the armor now reduces the damage taken. The listed Defense value If the armor worn is the amount of damage that the armor reduces from each attack. Please note that shields still grant their Defense bonus.
Example: a soldier is wearing chain armor which has listed Defense of 5. He is hit by an attack which causes 7 damage. Because of his armor, he only suffers 2 points of damage.
Option #2: Armor with Hitpoints
Instead of increasing Defense armor adds additional hit points that are used before the character is damaged. The listed Defense value of the armor times five is the number of additional HPs granted. When the armor reaches zero hit points it is considered destroyed and must be replaced or repaired. Hitpoints granted by armor do of course not heal naturally.
Example: a soldier wearing chain mail armor (25 hp) gets struck by an axe which causes 3 damage. This damage is subtracted from the armor’s HPs. The armor is now down to 22 hit points.
In WR&M the precision of an attack does not add to the damage caused. Especially when using one of the armor options, this can lead to absurd situations, where armor can’t be overcome by the characters or their adversaries. This is where the "precise hit" option comes in. When using that option, the damage caused by an attack is increased by the margin of success of the attack roll. This additional damage is capped at the maximum damage the weapon can normally cause. The maximum damage for a weapon with 1d6 damage is 6 for example.
Example: A soldier using a sword attacks an opponent with a Defense of 6. His attack roll is a 9. So the margin of success is 3. He then rolls for damage. With a damage roll of 4 plus the 3 additional damage, he causes 7 damage to his opponent.
Parrying and Dodging
Characters wielding any melee weapon can try to parry attacks. In order to be able to parry they also have to be aware of the attack. Parrying always consumes the defending players’ combat action. If you already acted this turn, you can choose to forfeit your next action instead. This does not apply to characters with Dual-wield. They can use their off-hand weapon to parry freely.
To parry successfully the result on a Warrior check has to be equal or higher than what the attacking player rolled. The GM may add modifiers to that roll when parrying against a much stronger foe. There should also be penalties when you try to parry a swing by a two-handed sword with your dagger. Players can add in their weapon skill bonus when trying to parry. It’s usually not possible to parry ranged attacks.
Dodging works similar to parrying. You have to forfeit one combat action and your check result has to be higher than your opponent’s attack roll result. But in the case of dodging Rogue is used and players can add +2 if they have the Acrobatics skill. When trying to dodge missile attacks you have to use Mage and Awareness instead. Especially in the case of dodging fast-travelling projectiles like crossbow bolts or bullets, GM discretion is advised.
“Look Out, Sir!”
This talent allows you to protect one of your allies from, by jumping into the way of the attack and taking the damage instead of them. This talent is most effective when used with the alternate armor rules. In order to do so, you make a Dodge check against the attackers attack. When successful you take the damage instead of your ally. Armor applies as normal.
With GM’s discretion this can also be used by your henchman, if you also have the henchman talent. He then can use this talent to protect his patron.
Your great skill in your weapon of choice allows you to parry even missile attacks. You have to pick one weapon of choice which you must be skilled in. You can then use this weapon to try to parry ranged attacks directed at you. Parrying missile attacks always costs you one combat action, even if you have the Dual-wield talent.
This talent allows you to dodge without forfeiting a combat action.
I hope you like the additional options for WR&M. There will be more of those coming in the next weeks. Stay tuned!