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Old 07-30-2021, 11:54 AM   #1
Hrothgar Rannúlfr
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Default Experience with Comparative DX for Combat?

Hi, everyone.

In scanning the forums, recently, I ran across an interesting house rule that I saw mentioned in at least a few posts.

The house rule modifies how hard it is to hit a figure based upon the relative dexterity scores of each combatant.

Here are some quotes that I've pulled from other threads about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David L Pulver View Post
... Any defense rules will slow down a fight somewhat.

- Defense rules that impose a penalty to your adjDX based on the other fellow's talent/adjDX will additionally change/slow the game because you must always ask the GM (or player) about the other fighter's statistics. Still, it is doable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
What I used to do, when we played a lot back in the day, was to use "comparative DX".

Simply put thus means that, under existing rules, if Aragon has adjDX 16 and the Orc has adjDX 10, Aragon will hit on 90% plus and the Orc will hit on 50%. So Aragorn's high DX isn't helping him as much as it should.

Under "comparative DX" the difference between the combatants is 6 (or +3/-3). Taking 10 as the middle score, Aragorn gets +3 or adjDX 13 and the Orc gets -3 or adjDX 7.

This means Aragon still has a very high hit % but the Orcs hit percentage is much lower.
Quote:
Originally Posted by zot View Post
When you had an odd difference, did you put the larger half of the points above or below 10?
For those that use this house rule, has it been a positive or negative modification to your games?
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Old 07-30-2021, 05:38 PM   #2
TippetsTX
 
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Default Re: Experience with Comparative DX for Combat?

"O, that way madness lies; let me shun that;
No more of that."
- King Lear

Seriously though, I did try this out for awhile, but since DX is the stat for overall character prowess (not just for combat, mind you), using it to create a defensive advantage/disadvantage mechanic on top of that felt unbalanced to me as well as my players. Remember that the higher adjDX also has first strike capability which means much more in TFT than D&D.

And the orc in Chris' example may hit 50% of the time w/o the 'comparative DX' adjustment, but that's only part of the picture. As the more experienced warrior, Aragon will have more than just his higher DX working for him... high ST for hit points and increased damage-dealing, advanced combat talents, toughness, etc. all provide him with significant advantages over his opponent.

P.S. For a more interesting and thematically appropriate application of this idea, however, I would encourage readers to look a the variant fencing rules in Hexagram #6.
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Last edited by TippetsTX; 07-30-2021 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 07-30-2021, 08:20 PM   #3
Hrothgar Rannúlfr
 
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Default Re: Experience with Comparative DX for Combat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TippetsTX View Post
"O, that way madness lies; let me shun that;
No more of that."
- King Lear

Seriously though, I did try this out for awhile, but since DX is the stat for overall character prowess (not just for combat, mind you), using it to create a defensive advantage/disadvantage mechanic on top of that felt unbalanced to me as well as my players. Remember that the higher adjDX also has first strike capability which means much more in TFT than D&D.

And the orc in Chris' example may hit 50% of the time w/o the 'comparative DX' adjustment, but that's only part of the picture. As the more experienced warrior, Aragon will have more than just his higher DX working for him... high ST for hit points and increased damage-dealing, advanced combat talents, toughness, etc. all provide him with significant advantages over his opponent.

P.S. For a more interesting and thematically appropriate application of this idea, however, I would encourage readers to look a the variant fencing rules in Hexagram #6.
Thank you for the feedback, TippetsTX. Not having a lot of experience, with The Fantasy Trip (or GURPS Dungeon Fantasy), I thought I'd ask about this houserule before trying it out.

One of the reasons that I'm interested in The Fantasy Trip is because it isn't D&D. Our group keeps houseruling D&D in various ways because it never quite feels right. And, the classless (or near classlessness) of The Fantasy Trip along with it's seeming simplicity (next to GURPS) makes it look promising.

But, our initial playtest of melee felt strange with everyone's roll to hit being against their own DX rather than somehow making a roll against something that had to do with their opponent. So, this houserule looked very appealing.

And, it didn't add a defense roll, like GURPS.
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Old 07-30-2021, 09:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Experience with Comparative DX for Combat?

Yes, coming from D&D is a big shift in thinking, but that is also part of the problem with this particular house-rule (for me, at least). In D&D, you wouldn't use the difference in level between a 10th and 5th level fighter to dictate bonuses or penalties to hit one another, right? But in a sense, that is what this rule is trying to compare... DX is the way TFT measures a character's raw ability to do things, all sorts of things. Even though DX and DEX both refer to 'dexterity', it is a mistake to assume that TFT and D&D define or use the attribute in the same way. Each stat in TFT is really an amalgam of multiple character qualities and abilities, unlike D&D's more literal attributes.

I actually really enjoy D&D (most versions, anyway) as well as a wide variety of other RPG systems, but I love TFT. The game design is simple, but allows for surprising depth. The combat system is rich and tactical, deadly but extremely rewarding. Many elements require you to accept a more abstracted (and perhaps counter-intuitive) simulation of reality, but you'll soon realize how elegant and balanced the gameplay actually is.

Welcome to The Fantasy Trip!
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Last edited by TippetsTX; 07-30-2021 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 07-31-2021, 04:12 AM   #5
Chris Rice
 
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Default Re: Experience with Comparative DX for Combat?

I think I may have been the originator of the thread you refer to. We played a TFT campaign that ran for many years. While the standard rules were fine for a while, it began to grate on me that DX was never affected by the skill of the opponent: your DX 12 Fighter was as effective against a DX 8 orc as against a DX 16 fencer. We used comparative DX for years with no issues at all and if I was running a long campaign now I’d use it again.

The rules as written in respect of DX are fine for one-off battles or short campaigns but I wouldn’t use them for longer campaigns. I also don’t like the idea of adding Talents to get around things and I’m not a fan of some of the new spells and talents in the legacy edition, especially the weapon mastery talents. But that’s just my particular taste.

However, I suggest you try the RAW for a bit first. I only introduced my changes after playing for some time and you may find the rules work for you with no changes.
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Old 07-31-2021, 07:45 AM   #6
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Experience with Comparative DX for Combat?

Comparative DX is very important. Being one point faster than the foe can make a world of difference.

Extremely high DX only counts if you've got advanced talents.
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Old 07-31-2021, 02:04 PM   #7
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Experience with Comparative DX for Combat?

I really enjoyed using Chris' house rule. It does several things that I like:

* It does what Chris says, making high DX have some defensive value.
* It means that high-DX figures hit each other much less than they otherwise would, so high-DX combat is not so much a matter of almost always hitting each other.
* It makes combat in general less predictable. Few figures can count on hitting.
* It means there is value is getting as high a DX as you can.
* It means that low-DX figures can hit other low-DX figures more often.

Many veteran players of the original game tried various house rules to do something like this, using different mechanics, and this is the one I've enjoyed most (if you don't count GURPS as a TFT house rule ;->).

It does sort of add value to high DX, but it also sort of helps lower-DX fighters, because not only can low-DX fighters hit each other more often, but the higher-DX fighters hit even the lower-DX fighters less reliably, which means they can count less on being able to take foes down before they get a chance to hit.

There are a few things I'd like to study and tweak, if and when I ever get time to playtest it more.
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Old 07-31-2021, 04:28 PM   #8
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Default Re: Experience with Comparative DX for Combat?

I'm missing something then. How do "high-DX figures hit each other much less..." and visa versa with the low-DX fighters? Are you assuming in those statements that the DX values are both high (or low) but still unequal? 14 vs 15, for example?

One of the other things that bothered us in our playtesting was that a high-DX wizard gained a combat advantage over the lower-DX hero. That may just be a bias from other game systems, but it felt off somehow.

We also didn't like the way that it reveals a fairly important strength (or weakness) of one's opponent.
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Old 07-31-2021, 05:35 PM   #9
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Experience with Comparative DX for Combat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TippetsTX View Post
I'm missing something then. How do "high-DX figures hit each other much less..." and visa versa with the low-DX fighters? Are you assuming in those statements that the DX values are both high (or low) but still unequal? 14 vs 15, for example?
No. With these house rules, figures with the same adjDX have to roll a 10 or less to hit each other, whether they are both adjDX 7 or both adjDX 18. Without the house rule, the adjDX <9 fighters miss each other a lot, and the adjDX 15+ fighters almost never miss each other.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TippetsTX View Post
One of the other things that bothered us in our playtesting was that a high-DX wizard gained a combat advantage over the lower-DX hero. That may just be a bias from other game systems, but it felt off somehow.
I didn't apply this house rule to spellcasting. In what way did they gain an advantage the way you played it?


Quote:
Originally Posted by TippetsTX View Post
We also didn't like the way that it reveals a fairly important strength (or weakness) of one's opponent.
Their adjDX? Yes, that's a point. Unless the GM handles the calculations.
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Old 07-31-2021, 05:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: Experience with Comparative DX for Combat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
No. With these house rules, figures with the same adjDX have to roll a 10 or less to hit each other, whether they are both adjDX 7 or both adjDX 18. Without the house rule, the adjDX <9 fighters miss each other a lot, and the adjDX 15+ fighters almost never miss each other.
Yes, I definitely missed that rule.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
I didn't apply this house rule to spellcasting. In what way did they gain an advantage the way you played it?
No, just talking about melee... DX 14 wizard with a dagger (or staff) vs adjDX 10 hero with a broadsword. Or even a DX 12 Fencer vs that same wizard. In both cases the heroes are at a disadvantage which seems off given their superior combat training.
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