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Old 09-10-2019, 06:52 PM   #11
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Forced Retreats

First, the dangerous hex thing means like a pit or a fire hex or something that has consequences of entering it. So if there is a safe hex, the attacker has to choose a safe hex. If there isn't, the defender gets a 3/DX roll - if successful, they don't have to retreat. If they fail, they go in the dangerous hex.

Having said that, Steve (much to my dismay) just posted an intended errata list, which includes deleting that line from the rules.

Seems like a mistake to me - we used both that rule, and the original rule where people with no place to retreat need to roll 3/DX or fall, AND a house rule where anyone falling next to a pit needed to roll scatter direction and then 3/DX to not fall in the pit. These sorts of rules give more meaningful effects to pits and terrain hazards and maneuvering. And even when you use all of them, there are usually plenty of ways to move safely and avoid facing them, and even so they rarely come up much, but are generally a JOY when they do (maybe excepting someone whose PC falls in a pit, but that rarely happens). They make narrow bridges by pits actually mean something interesting.

It seems (from a TFT Discord chat) it's some not-very-experienced playtest feedback driving the desire to remove it. Someone thought it was OP... I'd like to see someone demonstrate how, because we used those rules a lot and ended up adding more rules for chances to fall in pits, not less, and it still didn't happen much. Usually people getting knocked into pits or falling down from being cornered and forced to retreat are going to die anyway - much more fun if some of them fall in pits... ;->
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Old 09-11-2019, 04:16 AM   #12
Brazen Hussey
Join Date: Sep 2019
Default Re: Forced Retreats

Thanks Skarg, it looks like I might need to just play a bunch and come up with my own preferred rules with this. I totally agree with you that having forced retreats potentially incur dangerous consequences = fun. But I also don't want player characters stuck with cheap deaths they could do little to avert.

Most of the time the ability to shift before an action should keep them away from the pits.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:19 PM   #13
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Forced Retreats

Well that's the thing. That DOES seem to be the reasoning for the errata change, but in practice it really doesn't happen unless someone moves thoughtlessly. And even then, you also have to move to block off all other valid retreat hexes, hurt them, have them not hurt anyone, and then they have to fail a DX roll.

And without such a rule, pits are just not a hazard at all for anyone even fighting right alongside one, which doesn't represent the situation well, disappointing (why have a map with a pit if it doesn't exist for game purposes?), and not very fun or interesting.

Having played a ridiculous amount of TFT combat, and an even more ridiculous amount of GURPS combat, including on maps designed with pit-spanning bridges specifically for the purpose of that being an interesting fun situation for people to worry about, while I have seen some rather stupid PC deaths (all of which were nevertheless interesting and memorable and almost all fun), I have never seen a PC get knocked into a pit in actual play (except while climbing and failing a climbing roll and/or getting shot). I have seen them worry about the possibility, and tactics be shaped around that risk, and I have seen and experienced the fun of knocking opponents into pits. And, if a PC had fallen into a pit and died, I am sure that would have been taken as a fun and memorable death. All of that fun would be removed by removing the chance of falling into a pit. And in the theoretical cases where PCs are forced against pits and would have had a chance to fall in but were spared by this rule being removed, they probably would have just been killed anyway since it only happens when you're surrounded and getting hurt while failing to hurt anyone.

Last edited by Skarg; 09-11-2019 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 09-12-2019, 07:39 PM   #14
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Forced Retreats

I agree with the gist of these points: that the more you play the more you like the more punitive/attacker-friendly version, as it opens up more interesting tactics - which is what makes the game nuanced
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Old 04-16-2020, 08:48 AM   #15
Join Date: May 2008
Default Re: Forced Retreats

I concur - checked my old version of Melee, and it's in there.

I will also add that it is realistic. There are entire schools of martial arts that revolve around using space as a defensive tool. It is very difficult for someone to hit you with their magic Sword of Unavoidable Death if you have managed to successfully create some space [i.e. the Disengage]. That is intentional.

Unintentional is being FORCED back, which is also the goal of a number of martial arts combat skill sets. The force unto itself is not critical - it is to where you are forced by the opponent who is clearly working an advantage.

Long story short - I have edited both my copy of Melee and ITL-L [p.118].

Thanks for the thoughtful discourse!
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