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Old 07-23-2021, 12:46 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default thoughts on giving maneuver choices to Springing Attack's prep?

MA87 doesn't really talk about that 1st maneuver of prep except that you can't do anything but crouch...

I'm not sure if that's like "even an active defense spoils your prep" or "you can't even opt to spoil for an active defense, it's like you made an all-out attack" though.

There isn't any kind of skill roll involved but if there were (ie so the prep could fail even before trying the attack... but you won't actually know) maybe that could open up some variety to trying different skill choices? You'd get the benefit of possibly defending yourself (or of defenses not ruining your springing-focus) in exchange for requiring two consecutive passes to get a high-damage attack.

If you could just expend an attack instead of a full second it also seems fairer to those with Extra Attack, since they lose out more on wasting a turn than normal folk do. This would also allow "quick springs" for those with EA to attack in a single turn, for example.

IE maybe you squat too deeply, wind up your first too far, etc

Perhaps there could be some ideas on how to use the Technique Design rules to canonically modify Springing Attack to fit these ideas? I think it's something like +1 bonus (to offset penalties) if you need to make an extra success roll, for example.

Based on "failure makes the technique fail" it sounds like you're still obligated to try the technique (ie if you have "requires IQ check to get +1 damage" you still throw a punch but it misses?) it's just that you probably don't make the followup roll if the 1st fails...

Interestingly that might protect you from critical failing the 2nd roll, so it'd be a standard miss where you can't hurt yourself or an ally? Unless GM opts to have you make that 2nd roll anyway to see if that happens (it just means crit/norm success gets treated like norm fail?)

The basic benefit of springing attack is the +2 or +1/die which is -2 to skill normally, which is Springing Attack's penalty...

Which actually seems kind of strange (almost underpowered) for a cinematic thing, since it also has drawbacks which you'd think would more than offset it...
a) effectively a Do Nothing BEFORE the technique (MA91 only talks about giving +1 if this happens AFTER ... before seems worse to me but I don't know if it'd be enough to warrant a +2... but seems like it should also warrant at least a +1

b) can't defend at all during that pseudo-Do-Nothing (it actually seems more like a Wait/Concentrate/Ready so you shouldn't be able use recovery from Stun to prep a Springing Attack... or with Cole's Last Gasp, I'm guessing a Springing Attack wouldn't roll HT+4 for recovering AP if you didn't trigger it, just perhaps HT if you abandoned attacking next turn? MA91 assigns "+2 to default per -1 to all of one’s active defenses" so I'm not sure what "can't defend at all" should be unless you build Springing Attack from a baseline of All-Out Attack

c) -2 on DX and active defenses (not sure if that stacks to -3 on parries/blocks) on a miss. Not sure if this would be worth +1 since normally a +2 comes from getting a defense penalty ALWAYS not just on misses. There also doesn't seem to be a suggestion for temporarily getting attribute penalties.

d) fall down on a critical miss (presumably in addition to standard crit table rolls). Compared to the -1 for "Bypassing the DX roll to avoid falling on a miss" I don't know if this would be worth +1. Guaranteed falling is worth than "fall on an extra failed DX roll" but "triggered by crit miss" is less frequent than "triggered by miss".
So maybe most of this comes for paying a sort of "unusual technique" tax since it's not a standard combat option in basic set. Instead of the cost of a perk (which for buying off average techniques offsets a -2 penalty) it just gives -2 worth of drawbacks?

Or maybe it's even -3 or -4 (as listed in A-D above it's hard to quantify as drawbacks fall outside guidelines) because "a new technique everyone with a combat skill can use, it's just cinematic to buy it up!" is still a really big benefit (above and beyond not needing to invest a character point) so perhaps that's why you'd need unusually large drawbacks to disincentivize it except for niche uses?

Basically a general consideration when thinking of new techniques applied to pre-existing skills in general. Would be cool to look at the new techs in MA which expand options for the Basic Set HTH/WP skills to see if they have similar 'worse than the sum' as Springing Attack.

Unless perhaps these are just a general upgrade because they were seen as too expensive for too little benefit compared to DX? That still really only applies to the 1st point in the skill though, since you can still boost those techniques via DX boosts once you get the skill, unless you do a "DX beyond 20 doesn't improve skills" kind of rule.

If it were something you could even use at DX w/o a skill I could see doing an even worse penalty.

Perhaps it could operate something like a Concentrate (ie you make a will roll if you do an active defense or take damage) because it seems weird that defending/suffering injury are equated in terms of distraction for some tasks but not others.

IE if I'm a giant with 100 hands and 100 eyes who can normally to dozens of parries against an incoming army without batting an eye, it seems odd that even a single parry would distract your concentration for a springing attack...

To encompass the immobility I was thinking "you lose 1 step" so that it prevents people from walking unless using Committed Attack in which case they forgoe the +2 to skill and get a penalty on their defenses.

To encompass the inability to defend I was thinking something like "counts as if you made a parry with the limb you're preparing to attack with".

Perhaps it might also make it obvious to onlookers things they might not normally know in advance, like what limb you will be launching the attack with, and what direction you'll be attacking with it?

For example, if you think of the classic Mortal Kombat style uppercut or Street Fighter "shoryuken", in both cases (not that the old versions of the game have any left/right contrast, not sure about new ones) the character is obviously kneeling a particular shin on the ground, and will be punching with that side's fist, and he will be attacking someone directly in front of him.

Those are the types of things you don't tend to know a turn in advance which can allow a lot more strategic planning by opponents. Including the classic "I think maybe I won't walk up to him" or "maybe I should back away until he stops crouching" responses.

Springing Attack doesn't specify maneuver choice on the next turn when you actually deliver the attack, so it seems like there could be a wide variety of ranges you could use it with... like you might do Full Move on either a Move and Attack or doing an All-Out Slam. Or you might just stay in place with a Defense/Standard attack.

If Springing Attack were to limit what the follow-up maneuver was, it sounds like maybe that could be a drawback too, but it's the type of thing I could see maybe applying to a precursor roll (during the prep turn, not delivery turn).
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