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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:34 pm

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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:56 pm
Posts: 1108
Location: Texas... what country are you from?
Comment: Yesterday is history,
Tomorrow is a mystery,
But today is a gift.
That's why it is called "the present".
I, of all people, know that the last thing we need to add to combat is more dice rolls. Keeping the system flowing smoothly and quickly is always the primary focus. However, this may be a roll worth considering to add a little extra spark of life to your fight scenes. As always, use or lose at your discretion. Oh, and I just came up with this idea like 10 minutes ago, so any suggestions to help refine it are always welcome.

As we all know, the Perception Roll has a really handy use as a tool for GM's to help particularly unlucky players find that little something they absolutely have to have in order to keep the storyline rolling along. However, I have often marveled at how little Perception Rolls are used in combat situations, save for maybe noticing an ambush about to be launched at a party. My idea takes this a step further by potentially giving a character a bit of a boost in a fight if he happens to be particularly observant on the battlefield. I must stress that this does NOT have to be done throughout an entire fight scene; that's REALLY going to bog down the works. Just use this for particularly crucial moments in the fight, like ones involving the life or death of a character or achieving that critical victory to save the world, get the girl and carry home the cash.

During combat there are literally thousands of moments where the difference between avoiding damage or taking a massive hit hinges on whether or not the target just happens to notice the shot coming. This applies when dealing with attacks that are coming in from the side (getting flanked), attacks from the rear (backstabs), attacks from concealment (ambush) and attacks from a great distance (snipers!). In MOST of these cases, a simple Perception Roll can be used to add a little more drama to the scene. Note the following examples...

1> In the heat of battle your character fires his rifle/swings his sword/casts his spell/et al into the fray. As he/she bravely fights the enemy, a sudden blast from the left slams into their ribs, knocking them to the ground , mortally wounded by the unseen attack.

2> In the heat of battle your character fires his rifle/swings his sword/casts his spell/et al into the fray. As he/she bravely fights the enemy, the distinctive flash of a muzzle blast is glimpsed from the corner of the hero's eye on his left flank. Instinctively, he dodges quickly to the side.... but not quite fast enough as the blast slams into their ribs, knocking them to the ground, mortally wounded.

Okay, yes, in both examples the hero gets blasted, but at least in the second one a well-timed and successful Perception Roll gave them a shot at getting the heck out of the way of certain death. See where this is going? Okay good... let's take it to the next step then...

So your character is being flanked on the battlefield, fighting for his or her life in a battle with 2 fronts, bullets whizzing in from all different directions. What's a hero to do? Well, maybe the successful Perception Roll you got in order to notice those pesky little sneak attacks can be used in some way to save your skin. How? GM's you'll need to do a little work in judging how difficult it would be to even get a success on the roll in the first place... that means setting the Perception Target Number as usual, anywhere between 1 and 20 with 1 being ridiculously easy (The bad guys are charging at us from the left side with a bulldozer!) and 20 being life threateningly difficult (The sniper is directly behind you with a silenced high powered rifle and a 20x at a range of about 2000 meters). Once you set the target number, the player makes the roll. If the roll succeeds, the difference between the player's roll and the target number could be applied as a bonus to the player's defense roll, whether parrying or dodging. The bonus could even be applied to a Roll with Impact roll against an empty handed melee attack. The same option can also be used for attacking. Let a player spend an attack or two trying to determine a particularly weak point in an enemy's defense or armor. Set a target and make the roll. If they score a success, let the difference (or some fraction thereof) be applied to the player's next strike roll. Personally I'd say your player would have to spend a certain minimum number of attacks to get a decent chance at finding a weak point, though. Spending 1 attack might get you a quick once over of your opponent and give you a target of maybe 19 at best, but spending 4 or 5 attacks can get you a pretty decent idea of what your opponent is really like and net you a target number of about 12, maybe even as low as a 10. Of course the differences between a successful roll and a target number can get pretty ridiculous. Thus, you'll likely want to keep the bonus down to about a +1 for every 3 or 4 points in the difference, rounding fractions up. Thus, if the target number is a 15 and the player rolls a 20, he's looking at a +2 bonus to whatever attack or defense roll his perception in combat is giving him.

Again, I must stress that this SHOULD NOT be done with every single attack or even every single fight, not even the one's that fall into the above categories... something like this can easily get abused and, if over-used, WILL slow game play to less than crawling speed. Reserve this option for those particularly tense moments during high pitch battles against really tough opponents where your players are really sweating on the edge and need all they can get. Also, throughout the Palladium system, there are a myriad of powers, OCC's, races and so on that grant or have bonuses way above and beyond the norm... Rifts Juicers and their vaunted Auto-Dodge against any and all attacks, including the ones from behind... the Heroes Unltd. powers of Radar, Extraordinary PP, Heightened Sense of Hearing and a laundry list of others that boost one's awareness and/or reaction times... Ninjas and Superspies Martial Arts powers like Martial Arts Awareness... all of these and hundreds, if not THOUSANDS more, don't really need the benefit of a Perception Roll bonus in combat. Not to say a situation won't arise where it couldn't be used, they're just not as likely to have a need for another bonus being tacked on to the already extensive list of bonuses they already have. Characters with these particularly high powered awareness/reaction bonuses more or less 'built-in' already should make use of this option even more sparingly. And finally, if you think this particular option might get out of hand from the player's use of it... get really nasty and let the bad guys do the same thing... What's good for the players is good for the NPC's too, you know :twisted:

Good luck and great gaming :D

Sure, lions and tigers are stronger...
But I've never seen a wolf jump through hoops in a circus

Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:04 am

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Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2000 1:01 am
Posts: 431
Location: Woodbridge, VA USA (S of Wash DC)
Very player dependant.

In the game I play in, we use Perception regularly.

In the game I'm running, not so much. I've been giving nudges/reminders, but soon won't be bothering as addl are experienced gamers both in general and Rifts specifically.

--the VAwitchy Gamer Chick
Help my eggs & hatchlings to grow to hatch: Get your own @


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