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February 22, 2012 / Wythe

Fighter –> Soldier

P.D. said:

I have a crazy hair in my head about how to fix the Soldier in a way that makes her way more bad ass. I think, though, this is going to require me making Combat Maneuvers NOT LAME (they are currently LAME). I’ll see how this goes, let you know if it ends up making a good thing and not a bad thing.

Okay. So I have been going back through the PF rules for combat maneuvers. In a way, they are quite cool. I always thought that the system should encourage people to do more than just “Attack + Target.” The more that battle seems like a varying tapestry of different decisions the better. And decisions that aren’t just which person do I point the damage ray at? Also, it occurs to me that FFF is built upon so much more Firearm Combat than is PF—as such, accommodations should be made.

1) Extra Weight: PF has separate rules for Charging, Overrunning, and Bull Rushing. This, to me, seems dumb. These are all combat things about being “on the run.” They should all work on the same rules, with contextual tweaks based on what you want to accomplish (doing damage, pushing a dude back, pushing past a dude). Also, Disarm and Sunder exist as separate Categories… these should be same. If I’m hitting something out of your hand, I can decide if I’m ALSO trying to break it. And then Grappling, which is complicated but honestly kind of awesome.

2) Non-Gun Stuff: So… Disarming things makes sense with a gun, I could pinpoint YOUR gun to try and knock it from your hand/destroy it. Okay, but I can’t Grapple with a gun, and I can’t Charge with a gun… really… but at the same time the ability to disarm you with my sword and my rifle are SUCH different things… maybe this implies that… well… we need gun-specific combat maneuvers?

I was mulling both of these things over. It seems like more and more and more what we’ve been doing with classes is pulling the complexity OUT of the system at large, and localizing the complexity in one specific way compartmentalized by class. Meaning, that if the framework is simple, the pieces fit together well (hopefully) but that if the nugget that generates how each class plugs into the system is doing a little more work, the player will be happy to monitor that because it’s how they define their character. Which is all to say, what if what makes the soldier DIFFERENT is that they don’t have the same combat rules as everyone else? Consider:

General System: You are any non-soldier class. For you, combat is a simple and sometimes scary affair. You know how to do Melee Attack (d20+BAB+STR) and Ranged Attack (d20+BAB+DEX). Simple enough. If you want to do something fancy, like charge, disarm, or grapple in melee, you take a -4 penalty, you incur an attack of opportunity, and you make your roll.

Soldier System: You understand that combat is not douchebags swinging limbs. It is a collaborative kinetic sculpture where douchebags swing limbs at YOU while YOU make precise acts of violence. When you attack, you attack with purpose. Namely: 1) WOUND, 2) DISABLE, 3) IMMOBILIZE, 4) RUSH. You might specialize in one of these or dabble in all. What’s true is that you always make the right attack at the right time.

So the 4 categories of attack boil out to different actions depending on whether Melee or Ranged:

Mode of Attack







Disarm, Sunder, Cripple

Disarm, Sunder, Cripple





Charge/Overrun/Bull Rush


What I think this means, practically, is that instead of having a simple Base Attack Bonus, that you have different scores for each of these, and that depending on what you want to do, you would use a different score. The key of it would be that in general, the Soldier would be able to take enough ranks in them to generally be better at them than randos, but can also choose to specialize.

What do you think? Does this ADD complexity rather than streamline? Does this too-fundamentally alter the PF combat system?

I said:

Holy shit this is awesome!

Scout should get IMMOBILIZE: ranged.
Monk should get IMMOBILIZE: melee.
Barb should get RUSH: melee.
What about Gunslinger, though?


One Comment

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  1. Paul / Feb 22 2012 2:19 pm

    Gunslinger gets disarm ranged. They can shoot shit out of people’s hands and whatnot.

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