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Defenses compared to Attacks

Defenses relative to Attacks  

11 members have voted

  1. 1. If a 12 DC attack was standard in a campaign, how high should an average PCs defenses be?

    • Less than 18 PD/ED, ie, lower than 1.5 PD/ED per DC
      0
    • Around 18 PD/ED, ie, about 1.5 PD/ED per DC
      0
    • Between 18 and 24 PD/ED, ie, between 1.5 and 2 PD/ED per DC
      4
    • Around 24 PD/ED, ie, about 2 PD/ED per DC
      1
    • Between 24 and 30 PD/ED, ie, between 2 and 2.5 PD/ED per DC
      6
    • Around 30 PD/ED, ie, about 2.5 PD/ED per DC
      0
    • More than 30 PD/ED, ie, more than 2.5 PD/ED per DC
      0


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Relative levels of defense compared to attacks make a big difference to the feel of a game.

 

Relatively high defenses can lead to slugging matches, which can be time consuming in real world time.

Relatively low defenses can lead to fights being over quickly, but can also result in them featuring lots of defensive maneuvering, which can be time consuming in real time.

Defenses in between these can lead to both problems.

 

Hmm. Maybe this should be a poll.

 

Levels of defenses can also impact on what types of characters will appear in a campaign. At a certain point "trained humans" start to wear armour, "mutants" tend to feature defensive powers as part of their mutations and so on.

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I chose the 1.5 - 2.0, however really depends on the campaign to me.  More 4 color silver age would be higher, more gritty city game lower (my current campaign is this)

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The Poll question is not answerable for me, as it strictly depends on what kind of game you are going for. Either one of those could be the right and/or wrong answer for any given game.

 

Without context, I see no way to answer.

 

1 hour ago, assault said:

Relatively high defenses can lead to slugging matches, which can be time consuming in real world time.

Relatively low defenses can lead to fights being over quickly, but can also result in them featuring lots of defensive maneuvering, which can be time consuming in real time.

Defenses in between these can lead to both problems. 

You might be making a mistake by only looking at the time spend of combat resolution. What you should be looking at is the time players spend making meaningfull decisions.

 

Relatively high defense might cost time in combat resolution (propably why D&D does not have damage reduction/Element Resistance asa default mechanic). But on the other hand, you get to make active decisions. You do not spend all your actions on Aborting and get to make choices about how to approach any given problem. Including possibly non-damaging solutions (like a Grab).

 

Realtively low defenses often have one of two purposes:

a) Getting the players to look for non-combat solutions. i.e., get them to use more Social Skills or Roleplay more

b) creating a feel of a dangerous world

 

And wich one is right depends entirely on your group and is a decades old, hard game design problem. Or to quote Picard:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-J9dpG6-Pc

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23 minutes ago, Christopher said:

Realtively low defenses often have one of two purposes:

a) Getting the players to look for non-combat solutions. i.e., get them to use more Social Skills or Roleplay more

b) creating a feel of a dangerous world

 

This is the kind of feedback I am looking for. Neither of these options had occurred to me.

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25 minutes ago, Christopher said:

The Poll question is not answerable for me, as it strictly depends on what kind of game you are going for. Either one of those could be the right and/or wrong answer for any given game.

 

Without context, I see no way to answer.

 

I had better respond to this too.

 

I'm going for "generic supers". I'm trying to work out what other people think they are like.

 

I haven't cast a vote myself, but I see most characters (heroes and villains) being down around 1.5, with another cluster around 2.5, and not much in between.

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We loved combats a lot and had a high number of bricks and brick hybrids. So 24-30PD sounds about right, except for the high DCV types. I had a character with 30RPD, but that was a military armored suit. Yes those slug tests took a long time, but it allowed for people to revive unconscious team mates, set up maneuvers, and actually put villains in Stronghold. Real time concerns were irrelevant in high school as we would start gaming after school Friday; and wrap up about lunch time on Sunday. Good times. Later when I played in later Champions games at Planet 10 Comics and Games, it had a 4 hour limit before 6pm, but could go longer after 6. 

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I'm generally of the assumption def should be (3.5 x dice) - 15.  i.e. an average of 15 stun should get through on an attack.  Of course, this depends on the CON values of your players.

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