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Old 09-12-2014, 09:42 AM   #11
Gollum's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: France
Default Re: Dodge - Active or Passive?

In my humble opinion, the best answer to this question (Dodge - Active or Passive?) is: both, my Captain!*

Indeed, Dodge is reflexes.

Are reflexes passive? Yes, they are. If your reflexes are good, they don't need reflexion. They don't ever need decision. When you have to think before acting, it is not anymore reflexes. It becomes an action while reflexes are just supposed to be a reaction. A spontaneous reaction. A barely conscious one.

Are reflexes active? Yes, they also are. If you don't perceive the danger, you don't react. Which is the definition of GURPS dodge. Reflexes may be barely conscious, they are not totally unconscious: someone unconscious cannot move (even if he still has some tiny reflexes, like pupil dilatation)...

So, in my humble opinion, Dodge is passive and active.

It is especially passive when you roll against your basic score. You can then dodge any number of attacks, without penalty. It doesn't mean that you make several dodges; you can dodge several attacks with only one move (after all, all the attacks are supposed to strike you at about the same time in a turn which lasts only one second).

And it is especially active when you choose a maneuver that improves your dodge score: acrobatics, retreat... You can do that only once in a turn, which means that it requires attention and conscious decision.

That is how I handle dodge. Like reflexes. Unless choosing a special use of dodge, you don't have to declare that you will dodge since you can dodge any number of attack you are aware of without the least penalty. But you still have to perceive these attacks, or you won't be able to dodge them. Thinking dodge in term of reflexes solves most issues and makes more sense.

Parry and blocks are reaction too, but not really reflexes, since you have a decision to take. Multiple parries or blocks gives penalties.


*I don't know at all where this French expression "Les deux, mon Capitaine!" comes from but it is a classical answer in France.
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