View Full Version : [3.X]Combat stances

2011-03-04, 05:47 PM
So Iron Heroes by Malhavoc press brought up the idea of combat challenges, which inflict a penalty to attack or defence in return for a smaller bonus. They were somewhat broken however and I didn't like how there were three tiers of them. So, I've simplified them and corrected most of the more unbalanced ones.

Challenges cannot be used with Power Attack or Combat Expertise, and you can use no more than one challenge per round. All challenges work for one round.

Lesser combat challengesLESSER ATTACK CHALLENGES (–2)
Bonus Damage: You make a wild swing at your opponent,
one that compensates for its inaccuracy with raw power. You
gain a +1 bonus to melee damage.
Fight Defensively: You keep back from your opponent,
making tentative strikes as you focus on defence. You gain
a +1 active bonus to defence. While wielding a shield or
using a second weapon defensively, this bonus increases
to +2.
Hamper Movement: You tangle your opponent’s legs,
slash at his thighs, or otherwise make it tough for him to
move. He suffers a –1 square injury penalty to movement
for 1 round.

Defensive Roll: You roll with each hit you suffer, making
yourself easier to strike but harder to injure. You gain a +1
bonus on all damage reduction checks for armor. This option
works best against highly skilled opponents who have an
excellent chance to hit you.
Reckless Strike: You drop your guard to focus solely on
hitting and injuring your opponent. You gain either a +2
bonus to damage or a +2 bonus to attacks for 1 round after
accepting this challenge.
Steely Focus: You set aside the chaos and din around you
to focus on an action. You gain a +2 bonus to a single skill
or ability check of your choice as you lower your defenses to
complete the task before you. You must complete this check
on your next action after taking on this challenge.
Greater combat challengesGREATER ATTACK CHALLENGES (–5)
Force Movement: You drive your foe back with a mighty
blow, forcing him to cede ground in the face of your advance.
Your target must move one square to allow you to move into
at least one square that he occupied. If you use this as part
of a standard attack your opponent chooses where to move,
and if you instead use this as a full-round action you choose
where your opponent moves. If all the available spaces present
any sort of physical or environmental threat, such as a fire or
a pit, your target may attempt a Reflex save (DC 10 + half your
base attack bonus) to cancel the movement.. You can force an
opponent to move only once per round, and you do not gain this
benefit on attacks that are not made as part of your standard or
full-round action. For example, you do not gain this benefit
on attacks of opportunity.
Superior Bonus Damage: As described above for the
bonus damage lesser attack challenge, except you gain a
+3 bonus to melee damage.
Impenetrable Defence: You make only a few careful
swipes at your foe, preferring instead to concentrate on parrying.
You gain a +3 active bonus to defence. As with the lesser version
of this challenge, this bonus increases to +4 while using a shield
or using a second weapon defensively.
Wild Flurry: You gain an additional, inaccurate
attack. You strike one extra time applying the challenge penalty
to all attacks made that round. You may use this option as part of a
full-round action only.

Heedless Strike: You pay little mind to your defences as
you leap forward to attack. You gain either a +3 bonus to
damage or a +3 bonus to attacks for 1 round after accepting
this challenge.
Burst of Speed: You press ahead, reducing your defenses in favor
of covering ground. You gain a +1 square (5-foot) bonus
to speed. This bonus applies to your base walking speed.
Determine other movement modes, such as climbing, based
on your improved speed.
Greater Defensive Roll: As for the defensive roll lesser
defence challenge, except you gain a +3 bonus to damage
reduction checks.
Focused Determination: You reduce your defences to buy
yourself time for a skill or ability check. After you suffer this
challenge’s defense penalty for 1 round, you may attempt a
skill or ability check without provoking attacks of opportunity.

So playground, what do you think? I'm Sure I'm overlooking something. Am I being fair in not allowing them to work with power attack and combat expertise? Is it fair to allow no more than one a round?

2011-03-04, 05:57 PM
Well, I think you're required by the OGL to quote that this material is from Malhavouc Press.

They work fine in Iron Heroes. They're probably too weak to ever get used in the normal D&D environment. Personally, I always prefered the Stunts system to the Challenges.

2011-03-04, 06:05 PM
Ah true. I'll cut the ones I flat out don't like, which might remove the weaker ones.