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steph

Dive for cover in fantasy

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Hello hero friends

 

In the book Fantasy complete, i understand that the Dive for cover maneuver can be used at any time. I always thought that this maneuver could only be used in specific situations like explosions and that to avoid a sword stroke you have to use a dodge. In your campaigns would you allow a player to use a dive for cover against an arrow or a sword?

 

Steph

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In the case of a missile I would probably allow it if they are diving for cover behind something.  For instance the players are in a bar and a fight breaks out and someone has a crossbow and is shooting it at a player who isn't wearing armor (in a bar after all).  They can dive behind the bar and get 100% protection.  If they have acrobatics I would probably require that they make the normal dive for cover roll.  If they didn't have acrobatics I would add an additional -1 penalty to the normal dive for cover penalties.  If they say I am diving behind a table (that hasn't been flipped up on its side) I would just say that was FX for a dodge.

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I think that it is a legitimate tactic. Each manouevre has its advantages and disadvantages. You could try blocking to avoid damage completely, that has some drawbacks. Dive for cover avoids all the damage but you need to leap and make a roll and end up prone.

 

What is so bad?

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Diving for Cover has such severe penalties I don't think many players will choose it over Dodging.

 

It's not that you CAN'T do it for anything but Area Effect attacks. It's that it's usually only in your interests to do it to escape such attacks.

 

Lucius Alaxander

 

Ducking behind a palindromedary

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Against an arrow, yes; it actually is a valid tactic at range, you can hit the dirt (for example) just as the archer releases the arrow and it will go over you.  Against a sword, you're just abandoning all defense and taking an easy hit.  Seriously, its of no value whatsoever.  Nobody this side of the Flash can dive out of the way of a sword before it can be swung to hit you.  Even in the wildest wild martial arts genre I cannot remember or imagine that being used as a tactic.

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 In your campaigns would you allow a player to use a dive for cover against an arrow or a sword?

Sure I'd allow it ... for both scenarios.  And most GM's under which I've played would, too.  Why?  Because you end up prone after a Dive for Cover ... which is bad mojo against a swordsman or archer who is faster than you ... :)

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A couple of more things to consider...

 

Dive For Cover requires a successful DEX roll that can only be improved by Skill Levels with DEX or the particular movement ability being used (Running, Leaping, Flying...).  CSL's cannot be applied.  The only exception is Overall Level which can be applied to anything except Familiarities and Cramming.

 

I made the following post back in the 5e days but it's still applicable today even though Missile Deflection's name was changed to Deflection.

 

From: http://www.herogames.com/forums/topic/43216-alternate-defensive-maneuver-names-free-of-implied-sfx/?p=43216

 

I have seen a lot of threads on Block, Dive For Cover, Dodge and Missle Deflection lately.

A lot of them seem to be about applying rules based on one particular sfx interpretation.

I think this has a lot to do with the names of the manuevers themselves.

Here are my suggestions for alternatives that might mitigate some of the confusion:

Free maneuvers:

  • Passive Evade - replaces Dodge. I use 'passive' to highlight that it affects all attacks equally well.
  • Active Evade - replaces Block. I use 'active' to highlight that it targets a specific attack with the intent of getting ahead of an attackers higher DEX (initiative).
  • 1-Shot Evade - replaces Dive-For-Cover. I use '1-Shot' to hightlight how it only affects 1 particular attack* in a phase and actually lowers overall DCV vs all other attacks whether it succeeds or not. Attacks occuring after the Evading character's acting DEX (aborted action or not) will not be negatively affected.
Martial maneuvers:
  • Martial Passive Evade - replaces Martial Dodge.
  • Martial Active Evade - replaces Martial Block.
  • Martial Moving Evade - replaces Flying Dodge which is already an Improved Dive-For-Cover/Martial Dodge combination.
Powered maneurvers:
  • Active Evade/Ranged - replaces Missle Deflection.
  • Active Evade/Ranged/Reflection - replaces Missle Deflection plus Reflection.

I'll be the first to admit that the martial and powered versions do not roll off the tongue as easy as the originals but they ALL use a consistent language to describe variations on a consistent idea: actions designed to avoid taking damage.

 

HM

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In your campaigns would you allow a player to use a dive for cover against an arrow or a sword?

I generally think of Dodge and DFC as basically the same thing except with one mechanic for attacks targeting the individual and a different mechanic for resolving area effect attacks. A bit oversimplified, but in other words if a player says "I Dodge" before learning the attack is AOE, then that's Dodge gets changed to a DFC mechanically.

 

Would I let a player DFC against a non-AOE attack? Probably, if there was some reason for it like diving behind a wall. That's probably more realistic than dodging bullets while standing in place anyway.

 

DFC against a melee attack? Maybe, again if it seemed to fit the situation better than Dodge. I don't think it's ever come up, as the consequences of ending up Prone usually outweigh the benefits.

 

The only potential for abuse I can think of is if the player had a high Breakfall score and was trying to use DFC as some kind of free Abort To Move cheat code. Never seen anyone try to pull that tho.

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I'd allow Dive for Cover against most any attack. The opportunity costs of the maneuver are entirely appropriate to the benefits. I would also allow the common variant "Dive To Avoid Cover" where you dive to provide cover for someone else; automatically taking the hit instead of them (even if said attack would have missed the original target).

 

The only potential for abuse I can think of is if the player had a high Breakfall score and was trying to use DFC as some kind of free Abort To Move cheat code. Never seen anyone try to pull that tho.

People who simply want to be able to Abort To Move are much, much, better off purchasing Flying Dodge instead. It lacks the Automiss clause, but allows you to Abort to a full move with a DCV bonus without requiring a Roll of any kind. In that regard I am thankful Flying Dodge didn't make it into CC/FHC (although it originally made me sad).

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Against an arrow, yes; it actually is a valid tactic at range, you can hit the dirt (for example) just as the archer releases the arrow and it will go over you. Against a sword, you're just abandoning all defense and taking an easy hit. Seriously, its of no value whatsoever. Nobody this side of the Flash can dive out of the way of a sword before it can be swung to hit you. Even in the wildest wild martial arts genre I cannot remember or imagine that being used as a tactic.

Next time I watch one of my cheesey martial arts movies, I’ll keep an eye out cause I think I might have seen that tactic use. I’m thinking of the Hero who does a backflip to get out of the way. Technically he’s not prone but if one accepted the game penalties.

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Yeah but that sounds more like a moving dodge or just a fancy special effect to dodge, not a dive for cover.

I can see that too. But sometimes they do drop to the ground and jump up. I guess that can be a Dodge still.

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Yeah but that sounds more like a moving dodge or just a fancy special effect to dodge, not a dive for cover.

 

Whoa!  Are you ascribing special effects to a game mechanic here (regardless that the naming of the mechanic appears to do so)?

 

If you are wielding a HtH weapon and I leap 2m backwards (flipping as I go) then that might be described by a number of different game mechanics.

 

It might be dodge, or moving dodge, or even dive for cover.  It might even be block.  What would matter is the mechanical state I am looking to achieve and what I need to get there.  

 

There are obvious issues with each of the options.  With dodge and moving dodge the issue of whether I am hit still essentially rests with how well my opponent rolls and opposes his OCV versus my DCV.  With block I am risking OCV versus OCV and seeking an advantage in the next action and, if I fail, I take damage.  With Dive for cover, the issue on whether I am hit is entirely within my ambit, though I will be considered prone (half DCV) until my next action.

 

Those are all decisions I make as player and convert them into how it looks in the real world.  I do think that in 6th, Steve should have put more thought into stripping the SFX from the game mechanical options - though I fully understand why he did not.

 

 

Doc

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Whoa!  Are you ascribing special effects to a game mechanic here (regardless that the naming of the mechanic appears to do so)?'

 

 

I think it has to do with how I envision someone diving for cover vs dodging.  A dive for cover is to me a desperate move to get distance from something rather than a tactical method of remaining in combat and engaged.  Ducking or flipping back from a sword: flashy dodge.  Leaping to get away from a grenade: dive for cover.  Dive for cover makes you awkward, prone, and far from the target.  One is a method of avoiding being hit, the other is a desperation move to minimize damage.

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DFC is a good way to get killed if you're fighting more than one opponent. 

 

It's really only useful, in my opinion, vs *small* AoE or when you're completely outclassed (like your opponent having a 20 OCV against your 8 OCV and 5 DCV - dodging or blocking won't save your bacon then).

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DFC is a good way to get killed if you're fighting more than one opponent. 

 

It's really only useful, in my opinion, vs *small* AoE or when you're completely outclassed (like your opponent having a 20 OCV against your 8 OCV and 5 DCV - dodging or blocking won't save your bacon then).

 

I was not saying it was a great option, just that it should be an option.  :-)

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I was commenting to the topic at large.  I agree that it should be an option for all attacks.

 

A bad option.:)

 

If the OP is having a problem with someone *always* diving away from the big bad guy's big attack then multiple attackers is by far the easiest way to put the tactic back to 'desperation move' level.

 

Now, if he's having a problem with the heaviest armor character using it to defend other characters *all the time*... I've seen that too and it can get pretty annoying sometimes (I had a player whose follower was literally just around to do this - Hold his action and Dive to protect his boss).  Also easy to work around, ultimately, though.

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