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Discussion: 'Dive for Cover' and Non-Area Attacks


Binnister
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First, a explanation of what I'm taking about:

 

5th Revised, pg 394

 

Dive For Cover is most useful for avoiding attacks that cover a large area, such as Explosions and Area Of Effect attacks. However, characters can use it to avoid regular (non-area-affecting) attacks as well. For example, a character who desperately wants to avoid being chopped in two by an axe-wielding Denebian autochthon could Dive For Cover to get away from his attacker. If a character successfully Dives For Cover this way, the non-area attack automatically misses; if the Dive For Cover roll fails, the attacker makes his Attack Roll at +2 OCV.

 

 

When a character Dives For Cover to avoid a non-area attack, he’s not required to literally dive behind cover or the like — all he has to do is travel far enough to get away from the effect of the attack. In many cases, moving 1” out of the way does the trick; in other cases, he may have to move further. Th e GM may, of course, establish a minimum distance based on the nature of the attack, or specify that the character has to Dive in a particular direction. For example, a character trying to Dive For Cover to avoid an attack by a spear-wielding opponent should have to Dive at least the length of the spear. In any event, a clever opponent may try to take advantage of the character’s ½ DCV if he simply dives a mere 1” away. As always, common sense, dramatic sense, special effects, and the GM’s discretion should apply.

 

Here is my question: When faced with a Non-Area Attack, under what circumstances would it be 'better' to Dive for Cover that it would be to Dodge (+3DV), or even Martial Dodge(+5DCV)?

 

When I first read this, I thought 'Hey...that's cool...'Auto-miss'. But, it's really not that great. Consider:

 

Character A

DEX 23 (DEX Roll 14-, OCV/DCV 8)

SPD 5

 

Character B

DEX 24

SPD 5

 

'B' attacks 'A'. 'B' needs a 11- to hit. 'A' aborts his action.

 

 

If 'A',

Dives for Cover (1" away)
= a 13- roll to have attack auto-miss (84% chance of the attack missing)

Dodge
= 'B' needs 8- to hit. (or a 74% chance of the attack missing)

MA Dodge
= 'B' needs a 6- to hit (or a 91% chance of attack missing)

 

So, at first blush, it seems that DFC is better than Dodge...but, remember that after 'diving' you end up being on the ground and prone (1/2 DCV) until your next phase (and, in this example, 'B' would go before 'A'...)

 

But, what if you are already at 1/2 DCV? (i.e. 'Braced' the phase before, Did a 'Sweep' or 'Rapid Fire' attack)? Using the above example:

 

 

If 'A',

Dives for Cover
(1" away) = a 13- roll to have attack auto-miss (84% chance of the attack missing)

Dodge
= (DCV 8 +3 / 2 = 6) 'B' needs 13- to hit. (or only a 16% chance of the attack missing)

MA Dodge
= (DCV 8+5 /2 =7) 'B' needs a 12- to hit (or a 26% chance of attack missing)

 

 

 

So, it seems, that Dive for Cover can be useful vs. a non-area effect attack. If your DCV is already penalized (Flashed, Haymaker, Sweep, etc), you can make use of this to basically 'put off' getting hit for, at least, that phase (might be useful if you have a teammate who can then come to your rescue).

 

Is there any other situations that might come up?

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Re: Discussion: 'Dive for Cover' and Non-Area Attacks

 

Use of Persistent or Constant power that requires Concentration, particularly Defensive powers; for example, a Desolidified character discovers that his enemy is using a power with an Affects Desolid advantage (and wasn't pasted the first time) can use it to put off that second hit.

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Re: Discussion: 'Dive for Cover' and Non-Area Attacks

 

DfC is independent of the opponent's chance to hit. If your opponent hits you on a 17-, DfC becomes a lot better, comparatively.

 

Also, in some situations, you can DfC to safety (through a door that closes behind you, onto a transporter, into the range of an ally's defensive powers), which can make the negative effects moot - or at least worth it. With Teleport (and SBT) this becomes a lot more common.

 

But when facing multiple roughly-even foes, it's not usually the best choice.

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Re: Discussion: 'Dive for Cover' and Non-Area Attacks

 

I believe that you can also use dive for cover to help someone else (not just yourself). There are other things to consider as well. DFC lets you MOVE as well as avoid the effect. There are lots of reasons to use your aborted action to move as well as avoid the attack. (if you abort to dodge you cannot move during that phase).

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Re: Discussion: 'Dive for Cover' and Non-Area Attacks

 

Yeah, it's already been noted but DFC is not usually the best option against a foe with a similar CV/Speed, and it's usually not the best option against a whole swarm of foes. It's highly effective, if you have a high DEX and SPD compared to your single opponent. It can be abused, though, so one of the few houserules we run with is to dump dive for cover as a seperate maneuver, and retool Dodge to allow movement under the same conditions as DFC. The difference is that attacks (melee or ranged) aimed specifically at the dodging character, treat him as dodging, while AoE attacks use "in or out of area" to determine if they hit. In both cases, if the character ends his dodge move behind appropriate cover, he can get protection and/or a DCV bonus.

 

So under these rules, in melee combat, or if he is being shot at, a character can choose to try and get out of the way of the attack: in both cases, he is treated as dodging (+3 or +5 to DCV) whether he moves away from his current location or not. If he is attacked by an AoE at the same time, he can still try to get out of the way of an attack (with a DEX roll modified by distance) ... and is still treated as dodging for the purposes of the other attacks.

 

This prevents a DEX 28 character knowing that he can neutralise 97% of melee attacks by DFC, regardless of his opponent's skill, but doesn't hose high DEX characters: they can still dodge, and still try to get away from AoE attacks. They can also make use of terrain to try and better the odds. It's pretty simple and it works for us. It also avoids the problem of someone with very high DEX or levels in DFC being able to neutralize almost any melee attack.

 

cheers, Mark

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