The extra action rules have been removed. Instead, you may declare a number of different actions, up to your Action Limit (see below). Each additional action you take gives a +1 difficulty to all actions attempted.
Multiple Offensive Actions
Multiple attacks and multiple defenses do not qualify as different. You may declare you are both attacking and defending. This will give you one attack, at +1 difficulty, and one defense, also at +1 difficulty (effectively removing a defense success).
You may attack multiple targets in a single attack. This requires you to literally split your attacking die pool. If you have 9 attack dice, you may attack three different targets with three dice each, 7 dice to one and 1 to each of the others, or any other combination you wish. You cannot attack the same target more than once this way, however. To attack the same target more than once requires charm use.
- Keep in mind that this does not eliminate attack combinations. Rather, it assumes that each attack roll is a combination of attacks, rather than a single swing or thrust. That single attack roll may represent a single powerful lunge beneath your enemy’s guard, or a lightning-fast series of slashes. It is all in the description.
- I am attempting to speed up combat. The zillion-attack routine eats up too much time. By removing the multiple-attack flurry as a base ability, it really plays up the power of charms, and at the same time speeds up combat nicely, making it go back-and-forth more. Additionally, it removes many of my reservations about the Power Combat essence = ping system.
The maximum number of Non-Defensive actions you may take in a single round is equal to your Permanent Essence. This applies to charm-given actions, as well as normal actions. Splitting your die pool to affect multiple targets does not count as extra actions, however.
Multiple Defensive Actions
Defensive die pools are used the same way. If you declare a defense (or abort to one), you may split your defending die pool among multiple attackers.
Defenses declared on your action last until your initiative comes up on the next turn.
If you are the target of more than one attack by the same attacker, you do not need to allocate extra dice to them. Instead, you remove a defense die for each defense after the first from your defense pool. Note: This cascading defense applies to all defenses, even extra defenses granted by charms. If you wish, however, you may allocate an additional defense (if you have one), to refresh the cascade, or to substitute a different defense.
Aborting to a Defense
If attacked before your turn, you may abort to a defense, sacrificing your action. You may still raise/lower your Power Level when your initiative comes up, and release committed Essence Pool. However, you do not get your normal action. Extra action charms may still be used for actions at this time.
Initiative is rolled at the beginning of each round. The roll is DEX+WITS+d10. No weapon speed is included in this total. Ties are resolved by rolling a d10, high roll goes first. Re-roll any ties.
- I removed weapon speed for several reasons. First of all, weapon choice played too strong a role in determining combat capability, in my opinion. I prefer a system based more on the capability of the warrior, than the power of the weapon. Additionally, it neatly solves the problem of people using a fast weapon to get the initiative, then not using that weapon on their action. It also brings unarmed martial artists more in line with weapon users, allows sorcerers the possibility of going first, and doesn’t screw over bow users.
Unchanged, though there is no longer an accuracy bonus granted by weaponry.
Defense is not rolled. Instead, figure out how many dice are being allocated to the defense. Divide this number by two, rounding up. The resulting figure in the number of successes you are assumed to have rolled on the defense.
If you have automatic successes in your defense total, add them after dividing. Only dice that would normally be rolled are divided. Increased difficulties on defense rolls are subtracted from the total successes directly.
- This is a change I used in a Solar campaign I ran for quite some time. While it reduces the randomness in defense, it greatly speeds up play. I found the resulting effect helped the game. It may not be necessary in a Dragon Blooded game, especially using these rules, as the number of attacks flying around will be much lower than that in a Solar game. For the higher levels of power, however, it helps a lot.
- Additionally, if the same attack is both Dodged and Parried, rather than apply two separate defenses, you simply total the defender’s Dexterity, Dodge ability, and Melee/Martial Arts ability. This leads to Dexterity only applying once in the defense. This change is to overcome the old Fivefold Bulwark Stance + Flow Like Blood problem, that led to characters being nearly unhittable barring an act of fate or perfect attacks (leading to a perfect attack/defense arms race).
- Finally, any skill that can be used for both attack and defense is treated as two separate skills for the purposes of charm use. When enhancing the skill, you must declare if you’re enhancing the attack or the parry of that skill. You may enhance both, and they ignore each other for charm maximums. This is an attempt to fix the problem of getting extra melee dice from a charm. If boosting the melee skill aids both attack and defense, it becomes too powerful.
Damage rolls are used the same as before. The Essence = Ping rule from Power Combat is in effect.
- With the lessened number of extra attacks flying around, using the Power Combat ping rules works much better. Additionally, it eliminates the ‘power-sander-ping’ trick, used by people with high-rate weapons.
Soak is unchanged. Additionally, all beings with soak have Hardness is equal to ½ their applicable soak against each attack. Thus, everyone can ignore attacks that don’t at least exceed half their soak.
Oversoak has gained a different meaning in these rules. Each level of Oversoak is a health level of damage that is removed from the final total, after all rolls are made, and normal soak is applied. Oversoak can counter ping damage as well.