Saturday, December 11, 2010

Some More About Resolve

I’m absolutely LOVING how Resolve works… to whit:

• As an archer with high Stealth, you decide to burn a Resolve point to add your Stealth to a Fighting roll with your bow; you make your foe think you’re aiming one place, and at the last second you redirect your shot to another vital area your target has now left exposed…
• As a cleric with high Healing, you use a Resolve point to add your Healing to an armor soak roll, surrounding yourself in a holy aura that turns back the enemy strike.
• As a warrior with high Stamina, you spend a Resolve point to add your Stamina to a damage roll, physically throwing your body into the blow, dealing Might + Weapon Rating + Stamina damage on this particular attack.
• As a capable wizard, you have low Intuition (+1), but at the beginning of a scene, you need a great sequence roll. You use a Resolve point and your remarkable Focus +7 to appraise the situation, calculate the locations and relative strength of your enemies, and rapidly devise a plan of attack before your enemies can get the jump on you, rolling +8 on sequence.

As long as you can explain HOW you are applying the ability to this roll, you get to use it. It’s cinematic, it’s intuitive, it’s easy to adjudicate, and it gives you a TON of flexibility.

However, I’m also thinking that you can use a Resolve point to get an effect (formerly what resulted from trading wounds in previous Resolute editions) in addition to the damage you deal… here are some options:

• Disarm- force a target carrying a weapon to drop it
• Knock Back- throw the target backwards a number of units equal to your might rating.
• Living Shield- force a target in melee range to absorb a blow for you.
• Stun- force the target to lose a few turns
• Draw Aggression- force a foe to focus exclusively on you for the rest of the combat

The best part is that you get to decide in building your hero how much you want to deal with this stuff in play. If you want to have a number of tactical options every fight, you are going to take high Resolve. If you want to have a simple approach to combat, you distribute your points among abilities you use every turn, and only put a few points (or none) in Resolve. For example, a mercenary fighter may not have much Resolve (you’re going to swing your sword every round- that’s your thing) but a paladin is going to have high Resolve, constantly finding ways to use abilities to stack in different ways, constantly changing his strategic game plan. The characters who tend to be most inventive in fights (Batman, Captain America) are also the characters who are going to max out Resolve- this in itself is a great solution to some other balance issues- cap has to designate about 1/3 of his points just to resolve.

In fact, let’s rough him out right now for fun:

Cap Rough Cut (99 CPs)

Armor +2; Fighting +8 (Shield Use); Might +2; Precision +7 (Finesse); Stamina +6; Focus +2; Resolve +10 (Leadership); Intuition +5

Note: The shield is a melee/thrown weapon that also grants 8 shield points each scene. As a melee weapon, he deals +15 damage (+7 from his precision modified by finesse; +8 from his shield- the cap being his precision +1). His Resolve +10 allows him 10 times each scene to stack abilities or perform special tricks. Additionally, his leadership allows those around him to take huge bonuses to their rolls as well; with Resolve +10 and leadership, his allies get to draw from a pool of 10 opportunities per scene to stack +10 to any action, resist, result or soak roll, as needed.

I’m thinking that maybe leadership should be either a ranked ability or an application. Here’s the difference:

As an application (in this case of Resolve), your allies have a total of 10 points in a pool to draw from to add to action, resist or result rolls, as needed.
As an ability, your allies get to take a static rating as a bonus, rating number of times per scene. With leadership +2, allies get to take +2 twice per scene (between them- not 2 chances each, but 2 chances for the whole team to draw from); with leadership +6, there are six opportunities per scene for any one of your allies to take +6 to one action, resist, result or soak roll, as needed.

You can give all of these points to one ally, or you may distribute them (as desired) among your allies. You get to decide when and where allies apply these points. They can’t double up this with their own use of Resolve points; generally, your allies default to drawing upon your leadership when the chips are down and they’ve already burned all of their own Resolve.

Since Cap’s leadership is one of his key qualities (possibly as important as his resolve), I’m tempted to bump his Resolve back down to +8, and move the other 10 CPs into leadership as an independent ability. Here’s how he looks now:

Cap Rough Cut #2 (99 CPs)

Armor +2; Fighting +8 (Shield Use); Might +2; Precision +7 (Finesse); Stamina +6; Focus +2; Resolve +8; Leadership +6; Intuition +5

Note: The shield is a melee/thrown weapon that also grants 8 shield points each scene. As a melee weapon, he deals +15 damage (+7 from his precision modified by finesse; +8 from his shield- the cap being his precision +1). His Resolve +10 allows him 10 times each scene to stack abilities or perform special tricks. Additionally, his leadership allows those around him to take huge bonuses to their rolls as well; with Resolve +10 and leadership, his allies get to draw from a pool of 10 opportunities per scene to stack +10 to any action, resist, result or soak roll, as needed.

This one feels closer to Cap. He’s built on exactly as many CPs as Wolvie, which also feels balanced to me.