Jeff Clough wrote:
> As this discussion seems to have been rekindled, I might have missed or
> forgotten some things that were discussed earlier. If so, I apologize.
> There's a lot of criticism of the attack of opportunity system from
> D&D3.5, which is the point of the discussion, but in an effort to steer
> things in a productive direction, what would you think is a good
Yes, that's the purpose of this thread. Not to bash D&D3, but to ask
about why specifically its AoO mechanics are to heavily criticized, so
that I can avoid those mistakes in making comparable mechanics in my
homebrews, first Modern Action RPG and then later (very much based on
how lots of stuff works out in actual MA RPG playtest) in Sagatafl.
> The base problem that these rules are trying to fix is apparent: If a
> character attempts an action that "leaves them open to attack" and
> another character is capable of exploiting this opportunity, how should
> this be resolved?
Mostly "en passant"-moves, yes. "I run past the warrior to slay the
The standard RPG community solution is to simply not do that, because it
isn't done in the real world, without pauying any attention whatsoever
to the character's perspective, and ensuring that the character has good
and logical reasons for not doing it.
> D&D is very much a miniatures-oriented game so we can know exact
> distances between characters and so-forth. Given the information
> available (relative positioning, the action the "threatened" character
> takes and the ability of the other combatant to respond) what would be
> an effective and fair resolution?
Letting the second pawn pwn the first pawn.
The only real question is how to formulate rules for when it can happen,
and whether there should be bonuses or penalties to the to-hit roll or
to the damage roll (insofar as those are separate rolls - they're linked
in Sagatafl and in MA RPG there is no damage roll).
In MA RPG and Sagatafl, if the desire is to penalize the first pawn,
denying it a defensive roll, e.g. a Parry or Block or Dodge roll, is a
quite heavy penalty.
Rules can also be made to keep track of how many such Attacks of
Opportunities - or Tactical Strikes as I've started calling them in my
systems (there's even a weapon Enchantment that can let the wielder make
extra Tactical Strikes every Round - a character can make per combat
Round. Either a finite amount, or else just one, and then each
additional AoO is at a cumulative penalty to the to-hit roll (or the
damage roll, or both). Or in systems with detailed fatigue tracking each
AoO could cost more fatigue than the previous.
The challenge lies in formulating solid, fudge-light (ideally
fudge-free) and easy-to-understand rules for when such AoOs can take
place, so that players do not lose their characters due to
misunderstandings, nor fail to have their characters strike at reckless
 Or extra regular and fully flexible attacks, but at a much higher
 Not good in Sagatafl, because the Stamina system is not designed
with the intent of balancing combat, but rather simulate real-life
exertion, including endurance sports such as marathon runs.