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Old 06-19-2021, 04:49 PM   #1
hcobb
 
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Default Can animals dodge?

Or is it just smart and agile animals like wolves that can dodge?
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Old 06-20-2021, 03:33 AM   #2
Nils_Lindeberg
 
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Default Re: Can animals dodge?

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Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
Or is it just smart and agile animals like wolves that can dodge?
I would never have an animal dodge, no matter how smart (for an animal) or agile they are. If they had a good rider, sure, but not on their own. Maybe if they were trained to charge attack enemies in some sort of zig-zag pattern, but again, not instinctively.

I would allow them to defend, that is dodging against thrown weapons. Because you can see them coming and don't have to anticipate them like a missile weapon. The rules only allow for (defend against melee and thrown weapon), when you are engaged, but that rule could be handwaved, to include defending when not engaged, but only have an effect against thrown weapons and reach weapons.

One could possibly argue that an animal, moving very fast, is harder to hit, but there are no such modifiers in TFT. The opposite actually, since you can only dodge when you are running half your max move.

Possibly I would give an archer a cover modifier, or concealment or general problems when shooting at a fast animal moving low weaving through the under underbrush. And I guess that could be simulated by calling it an automatic dodge. The animal can't move full MA under those conditions, so it would be fair. But never on an open field. Animals don't attack at half-speed anticipating crossbow bolts.
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Old 06-20-2021, 03:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: Can animals dodge?

I would rather discuss animal and NPC behavior in TFT in general.

Things like Bears going up on their hind legs roaring to scare people away. Wolves hunting in packs, scaring and harassing their prey, and basically running them to death taking turns to chase them at a jogging pace. And if they are really aggressive trying to hamstring their prey to slow them down and bleed them out. Often retreating as soon as the "prey" turns out to have the capability to attack back or just stand their ground and not getting scared enough to run. Often animals, especially animals that hunt are real cowards/careful. They know that one misstep one lucky blow from a hoof, a kick, an antler, or whatever can crack a rib or just do them enough damage that they can't hunt properly and they will starve to death.
Sure there might be fantasy versions of said animals, and they probably can both dodge and do mass attacks and go for the throat. And you will have circumstances when they protect their young, fight for territory, or are so starved that they throw caution to the wind, but not yet so starved that they are weak. But those cases should be the exceptions.

I would say that one man with a sturdy quarterstaff, that he might, or might not have talent with, should have an even chance of driving away a pack of normal wolves passing by. If you go by TfT rules and have suicidal torpedo wolves, he wouldn't stand a chance against even one wolf.

And in extension, this would also go for most fights against human adversaries. Fighting to the death, using every turn to it's maximum, being super-efficient, and that no matter the odds, are kind of standard which is very unhistorical and very unrealistic.

I wished there were talents for intimidation and tougher morale, rules for morale, and more encouragement to the GM to roleplay opposition in a less murder hobo way. And that in turn would mean that players might also turn into less of a murder hobo gang. And the distinction between an NPC and a PC might be in more than just talents, it will be in the willingness to go above and beyond, to attack to save his mates, instead of defending to save his own skin, fighting and risking the bitter end instead of throwing down their weapons or run away when things start to go south, etc.
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Old 06-20-2021, 10:24 AM   #4
Rolando
 
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Default Re: Can animals dodge?

i would say that depends on the animal "personality" and tactics, I can see some cautious animals dodging. Wolfs, for example, attack in packs, surrounding the target and some of them get close and doge while those behind the prey go for the kill.
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Old 06-20-2021, 11:31 AM   #5
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Default Re: Can animals dodge?

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Originally Posted by Nils_Lindeberg View Post
I wished there were talents for intimidation and tougher morale, rules for morale, and more encouragement to the GM to roleplay opposition in a less murder hobo way.
I have some simple Fear mechanics (look for them in a forthcoming Hexagram) that could be adapted for this. I could see Tactics, Naturalist, and possibly Mimic as being useful here.
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Old 06-20-2021, 02:17 PM   #6
Nils_Lindeberg
 
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i would say that depends on the animal "personality" and tactics, I can see some cautious animals dodging. Wolfs, for example, attack in packs, surrounding the target and some of them get close and doge while those behind the prey go for the kill.
Defend, sure, but Dodge? They have no concept of a crossbow, so why would they jump around in order to avoid it? Defending in melee or being close to enemies where they might be attacked, sure. They might even jump away from a thrown weapon, but that is included in the Defend option when engaged.

And animals that are very small, fast, or instinctively using cover for hiding purposes, I could see them giving attackers a neg DX bonus, many animals already give that. And I think you could say they "dodge" because their movement is hard to predict or some such as a rabbit trying to Defend against a chasing fox. But not intentionally and not in intelligent response to an archer.

It just feels very wrong to me.
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Old 06-21-2021, 12:39 PM   #7
Rolando
 
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Defend, sure, but Dodge? They have no concept of a crossbow, so why would they jump around in order to avoid it? Defending in melee or being close to enemies where they might be attacked, sure. They might even jump away from a thrown weapon, but that is included in the Defend option when engaged.
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Old 06-22-2021, 01:39 AM   #8
Steve Plambeck
 
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Default Re: Can animals dodge?

Perhaps it would be better/easier to view the defenses of animals as "baked in", but varied by species. The precedent for this is the Giant Snake (-3 DX to hit, and it has no side hexes to give its attackers the +2 side bonus.) And it gets its defensive advantages regardless of moving over 1/2 MA. Nor does it have to pick a particular option like Dodge or Defend to utilize its defenses, they are just always "on".

It would though be a big undertaking to write defensive bonuses for all the animals that can turn up in play, and then appending them to the rules along with their other attributes.

There certainly must be species for which being "harder to hit" might make more sense than an armor rating for their integument. Not that some really hard-to-hurt animals couldn't have both.
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Old 06-26-2021, 11:19 AM   #9
Nils_Lindeberg
 
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It would though be a big undertaking to write defensive bonuses for all the animals that can turn up in play, and then appending them to the rules along with their other attributes.

There certainly must be species for which being "harder to hit" might make more sense than an armor rating for their integument. Not that some really hard-to-hurt animals couldn't have both.
When all animals/monsters were written down and statted, we didn't have weapon and shield expertise. Now that a character can give enemies -1, -2, or -3DX to hit as well, maybe it is time to introduce it for every character and monster. Or skip it completely and admit it wasn't the best of ideas.

I am a proponent of the second solution, delete it completely. Why? It is just an unnecessary step, one more question to ask the GM, one more thing to forget and remember 1 turn later and it gives very little back.

The same thing goes for the defend option, where it could be 4, 5, or 6 dice to hit. You have to ask each time.

TFT is a fast system, the fewer questions you have to ask the better.

One marker for Defend, always 4 dice and if people are better at defending, let them attack while defending. This means that other players only need to know if they are defending or not and never any small modifiers or number of defense dice. And the defender knows his own stats and talents and will roll with different modifiers when defending and attack back. No need for questions again.

The least need for communication, back and forth during a combat turn, the better. Especially true when your players are half asleep or you play in a forum game.
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Old 06-27-2021, 02:52 AM   #10
Steve Plambeck
 
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The same thing goes for the defend option, where it could be 4, 5, or 6 dice to hit. You have to ask each time.
Very much agreed. All these multiple dice situations is one of my least favorite changes to the Legacy edition.
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