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Old 10-08-2014, 10:05 AM   #55
Peter V. Dell'Orto
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: New Jersey
Default Re: Double Defense (AoD) and Feint

Originally Posted by T.K. View Post
Do I DA beyond effective skill 16, thus loosing crit, or cap at 16 to keep maximum crit range and reduce critical failure range as well?
Right, that's the tradeoff. It's actually fairly straightforward:

- one approach maximizes the chances of penetrating defenses overall, even at a cost of critical hits (which, at the very least, bypass defenses, and in Advanced Combat have a table roll for further effects) and slightly more critical misses (which can be disastrous at times). This is usually done with lots of Deceptive Attack, close to the minimum skill - aka the "go to 12" approach.

- the other approach maximizes the chances of getting critical hits and minimizes the chances of critical failures, at the cost of less hits overall across the length of a battle. This is the "stay at 16 or 17" approach.

Both are independent of Feint, though - Feint can greatly boost both, if you have superior skill. Like I said, they stack, and attacks aren't always free and unlimited (as Parry U and double-dagger weapons users know.)

Of course, you can freely mix both - you can stay at 16-17 most of the time, then bust out a "go to 12" approach for a target that needs it or when the consequences of a critical failure are low/non-existent or when the upsides of a critical success just don't matter (or, when you can't hit skill 16 in the first place!). That's probably the most fair assessment of our most consistently successful (in combat) players in my games, that they err heavily on the conservative side until a situation comes up where the upsides of risk exceed the downsides of failure.

The ones who consistently err on the cautious side, though, tend to survive longer. I have a pair of brothers, one of whom is best exemplified by a recent comment that boiled down to - "12 or less? That's like 100% chance of success!" and the other is extremely conservative and careful. One is on his third character this campaign and his Weapon Master in the previous game died at least twice that I remember. Maybe three times. The other played one character in each campaign and neither needed Resurrection.
Peter V. Dell'Orto
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