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GoddessGood
11-17-2008, 01:13 PM
Reading through the wonderful link (http://www.bazzalisk.org/exalted/201X.pdf) Darelf posted, I noticed (yet again) that my group had perpetrated a rules violation in our last session ;). The rule is in regards to onslaught penalties, but first some background.

In Exalted, combat strategy is more about timing than location (as is discussed in the link above). Combat is based in one-second long ticks rather than turns. Every action you can take in combat lasts a certain number of ticks before it's your turn to go again. Your defense against other characters is a passive, static value called a DV (for defense value). You have one for dodging and one for blocking (or parrying) and you generally use whichever is higher to defend against a given attack. When you take an action in combat this imposes a penalty against your DV because, by acting, you make yourself less able to defend. This penalty goes away on your next action (in game terms it "refreshes").

The onslaught penalty is a nasty bugger. If someone attacks you 2 or more times it is called a flurry and each attack after the first gives a -1 cumulative DV penalty. So if I attack you 3 times, your DV suffers no penalty for the first attack, a -1 penalty for the second attack and -2 for the third.

My group and I were under the impression that this penalty sticks with the defender until his next action. If another person attacked him before his DV refreshed, he would still have that penalty against him as well as any others that accumulated. After reviewing the rules we find out that this is not true. The rules state that onslaught penalties only apply to the attacker that caused them and only against the single flurry that caused them.

So if A attacks B with 5 attacks, then B would be at a -4 penalty to the 5th attack. However, if C then immediately attacks B, B suffers no defense penalty despite the fact that he was just brutally attacked by A. If A attacks B again before B's turn, B also suffers no defense penalty for these attacks despite the fact that A has attacked him before and regardless of how many total attacks he's suffered (unless A attacks him multiple times, in which case the normal onslaught penalties would apply to those attacks).

This, to me, does not seem realistic. If I take 5 sword attacks in quick succession and then suffer a 6th within the span of a few seconds then I don't feel this is sufficient time to recover completely. I feel that a penalty of some sort should still be "stuck" to the defender. There is a mechanic for coordinating attacks that says the leader of the attack makes a roll to organize everyone into a certain strategy. If that roll succeeds then a penalty is applied to the defenders DV that is relative to the number of attackers.

I'm considering a houserule such that a defender suffers a DV penalty after defending equal to the number of attacks he has suffered before his DV refreshes. Therefore in the example above B would be at -5 DV for C's attack and -6 for A's second attack. This, to me, seems more realistic and it makes powers (called Charms) which let you ignore DV penalties even more potent.

MortonStromgal
11-17-2008, 03:15 PM
I agree with you, however exalted I feel simulates more of the old hong kong action movies where a new attacker would be easy to shrug off.

GoddessGood
11-17-2008, 03:22 PM
Exactly. I feel this rule choice was made to uphold the feel and theme of the game rather than realism (which is fine, and I can agree with the intent). There is an oft stated principle in Exalted that defense is greater than offense. However, I feel that this example goes above and beyond that principle and makes it hard to suspend my own disbelief. This is why I proposed the compromise of the houserule. But you do raise a good point, so I think modifying it would be ok. Since Exalted 2e is fond of halving things and rounding up or down:
The defender suffers a DV penalty equal to half the number of the attacks he has defended against, round down for Exalts and heroic mortals and round up for everyone else.

MortonStromgal
11-17-2008, 04:28 PM
I actually had a similar house rule for melee combat in Shadowrun 2e where for each attack you defended against your Target Number to defend went up +1 for the combat round, the source of the attack did not matter. I did that because per the rules someone with a bazillion attack would loose because it was all about who had the higher skill regardless of how fast you were. I found that silly (as the melee was a vs test looser taking damage) because the slower more skill opponent some how speeds up against a faster attacker.

darelf
11-18-2008, 09:01 AM
hmmm... I just don't like the reasoning. By definition, the other attackers are spreading out their attacks and aren't coordinating them ( there is a separate coordinated attack option in Exalted ), and while 1 second may not seem like much it can be a looong time when you have adrenaline pumping ( or when you're in a boring lecture ). The idea in mind that you have seems to assume that at the very moment one attacker finishes their attack the next attack is follwing... but that assumes a lot about a situation as fluid as combat... actually that assumes that the attackers are intentionally coordinating their attacks to simulate a very long flurry.

It seems like if the intent is to simulate multiple attackers giving one person a hard time there are unexpected attacks and coordinated attacks for that very reason.

From a rules/game system standpoint it seems like making a change like that would have pretty devastating effects on the combat system, in the sense of making it basically impossible to survive against even two opponents. ( which may be what you're after.... I don't know )

GoddessGood
11-18-2008, 10:14 AM
actually that assumes that the attackers are intentionally coordinating their attacks to simulate a very long flurry.
Funny enough, that's the sort of situation that brought this up.

The nature of combat in exalted is that the maximum speed of any action you take is 6 (equivalent to six seconds). In those six seconds any number of enemies could move in, make any number of attacks against you and move out on the next tick. What the rules say, as is, is that I could fend off a literal horde of enemies indefinitely assuming any single one of them does not have a weapon with a high enough Rate or roll enough successes on an attack to overcome my DV. With a DV of 6 or 7 and the enemies as mortal soldiers, this is entirely possible. This is not only really unrealistic, it'd get boring really fast.

Then again, you're talking to some one who falls asleep during kung-fu movies :laugh:

boulet
11-18-2008, 10:20 AM
Then again, you're talking to some one who falls asleep during kung-fu movies :laugh:
What a paradox that your favorite game is Exalted then !

GoddessGood
11-18-2008, 10:26 AM
I fall asleep during kung-fu movies because of the long-as-hell fight sequences. The movie becomes more about "Look at me and how cool I am" (a la Dragon Ball Z) than it is about the plot of the movie. Y'know, the reason I wanted to watch it in the first place. Couple that with the facts that I've got lousy eyesight, a small TV and they tend to film the fight sequences at breakneck speeds ... most of the time I can't even see what's going on :redface:. It pretty much gets reduced to "X is fighting Y" and that gets boring after a few minutes and I end up falling asleep waiting for the plot to come back.

Yeah, you're also talking to the person who went to see War (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0499556/) just to see if Jason Statham took his shirt off. :p

MortonStromgal
11-18-2008, 11:17 AM
Yeah, you're also talking to the person who went to see War (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0499556/) just to see if Jason Statham took his shirt off. :p

Hehe reminds me of the row of college girls behind me when I went to see 300. I've never heard such uncontrolled ooohs and ahhhs before.

darelf
11-19-2008, 12:36 PM
Funny enough, that's the sort of situation that brought this up.

The nature of combat in exalted is that the maximum speed of any action you take is 6 (equivalent to six seconds).

Well, not exactly. The action has a speed that determines how long you wait between actions, not how long the action itself takes (i.e. you can move on every tick even if it's not your "action" tick) to accommodate recovery time. Besides which, only a certain number of enemies can surround/attack you at once. But more importantly, one of those "flanking" characters is going to get an Unexpected Attack which drops your DV to 0. I'm not sure how this doesn't solve your quandary....

If you're after making it easier to quickly overwhelm characters, the game already supplies that if your enemies act intelligently. ( Yes, there are charms for reacting to those attacks, but obviously in this situation you wouldn't have access to such things... )

Or it is entirely possible I don't understand what you're after.