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Modiphius > Mutant Chronicles RPG

Staying Alive

posted Mar 09, 2016 16:44:21 by Citizen-171
If I understand this correctly, a character will only get a single Dodge or a single Parry as his Response action during his opponent's turn, and that action is only good for attempting to negate a single enemy's attack action.

What's to stop a group of characters from all targeting the same enemy?

I don't see why any group og heroes, when faced with a significant threat like a Nepharite, should not immediately focus all their firepower on that target. With the option to "buy" successes and extra attacks with Chronicle points, the SENSIBLE thing for them to do is to go for the Alpha Strike solution and then mop up any dregs later.

I'm not really faulting my players for being smart, and I am sure that killing a Nepharite or some-such in the first round will go down as a big win. I just think some of the magic will be gone by the third time this happens...

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3 replies
JakeBernstein said Mar 09, 2016 18:12:00
Isn't this an "issue" in every game, though? One of the ways you mitigate this, if you see it as a problem, is to never, ever have a single Big Bad Guy face the PCs alone. That's usually suicide. In MC3, like all reasonably modern and well-designed games, there's a clear Action Economy. The PCs have a limited pool of actions each turn with which to take down enemies. This creates the potential for interesting tactical problems: do you all attack the Nepharite and try to kill it or do you take out his support, so you don't take a ton of attacks from weaker enemies?

The trick, of course, is to ensure that the weaker enemies pose credible threats. If you send a Nepharite in against a group of battle-hardened PCs with a few Undead Legionnaires, then the PCs are likely to ignore the minimally-dangerous Legionnaires and focus on the Nepharite. But if the Nepharite goes in with multiple squads of Legionnaires or squads of Necromutants and Centurions, then the PCs' choices become less obvious.

Citizen-171 said Mar 09, 2016 23:14:43
Yes, it certainly is an issue in virtually every game, but perhaps more noticeable in games where enemies have a singly-use defensive action. In d20, a Boss creature may have static armor class and resistances that, while passive, will be applicable against repeated uses of the same attack type; it's the game mechanic for balancing offence against defence. In MC3 the Parry/Dodge actions offer options that at first glance seems like a equitable counter to the attack action, and it looks fine when dealing with a one-on-one encounter.

However, with a group the balance is skewed in favour of offense. In a group of four characters you have 4 attack actions and 4 response actions. Set two of these groups against each other and have them focus fire on one target each, then each group is making 4 attack actions but only 1 response action - focus fire means each group "wastes" 3 response actions and 3 of its attack actions go unopposed, in some cases guaranteed hits with lots of bonus Momentum.

Sure, I can take steps to break up the combat: Interesting zones, line-of-sight blocks, tactical reasons for the PCs to spread out etc. But that basically means achieving balance by moving the encounter to one-on-one fights.

Also, I can mix up the encounters with multiple threats, but... I don't want every Boss fight to be about the players deciding whether to suffer the tender attentions of a big bruiser, or to take him out first and instead be nickle-and-dimed by the rest of his entourage.

Ok, I realize that I sound like I'm just complaining, that I don't like the system. As far as I can tell, the system is mostly OK and I'm trying to get to grips with it without letting my experiences and habits of previous rules systems carry over unchallenged.

JakeBernstein said Mar 10, 2016 02:29:57
One idea is to let Nemesis NPCs take as many Response Actions as they like, at an increasing cost of DSPs. Another is to say that they can pay 1 DSP per Reaction, but the Difficulty of their Reaction increases each time by 1. Yet another option would be to say that Supernatural Agility grants bonus Reaction Actions.

The great thing about 2d20 is that you can really begin to fiddle with it and have it be relatively unlikely that you will break the system. That's definitely the benefit of a system that is surprisingly crunchy but also fairly abstract.

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