Combat Trickery

So, I've been thinking about Combat Trickery, and the fact that the special combat moves are, generally speaking, a low-percentage play. Most of the time, reliably knocking off hit points is going to be better strategy than taking a reasonably hefty penalty for a possible special move that the target gets to save against anyway.

I don't have an issue with that, but it does make the Combat Trickery proficiency a bit of a poor performer. A slightly better chance to pull of a low-percentage play that might be worth attempting once or twice in a capaign due to some bizarre convergence of unusual factors. Seems likely to be an utter waste of a proficiency slot.

However, it dawned on me the other day that the mechanics for RQ6/Mythras special effects offer a way of making those proficiencies more versatile, without turning then into no-brainers that get used constantly because they're now better than normal attacks.

Basically, I would keep the proficiences exactly as they are, but add in that, any time a character beats the required attack throw result by 4+, they can elect to use the relevant special move, even if they hadn't declared they were going to. So, for example, a fighter with Combat Trickery (Disarm) that really wants to disarm an opponent can take the -2 and go for a disarm as normal. Or, they can fight normally and then, if they beat the required target by 4+ on a given attack, can immediately elect to forgo normal damage, and turn the attack into a disarm attack, moving to the target save.

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This is a really cool idea.

I like this idea. Perhaps also make it a bonus effect of any natural 20 to hit.

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Perhaps also make it a bonus effect of any natural 20 to hit.


Don't think I'd go there, myself. However, I could see this working as an option for Weapon Focus -- choose between double damage, or normal damage plus a combat manoeuvre.

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Heroic Fantasy Handbook, which lets you crit on a attack result of 10 or more target AC - if the target fails a Petri/Para save, the attacker can roll for a random critical effect (which includes combat trickeries) or, if they have the associated trickery prof, pick that trick instead.

Letting only a proficiency holder pick their specific effect on a "lesser critical" of 4+ AC seems completely fine in relation.

Mm, generally I don‚Äôt like ‚Äúbeat their AC by n points‚ÄĚ mechanics much because of the extra subtract-and-compare operation per attack. I like the nat-20 option though.

I made a slight adjustment.  When a player wants to do a special move without combat trickery, they attack with disadvantage (roll twice take lower roll).  When you take the proficiency, there is no disadvantage.  

Being on the ground in ACKs iin combat s a bad place to be.  I am reallynsuprised my playes don't use it more.  I'm mad at myself for not having higher level NPC  fighters using it my last big combat.  Other than occasional wrestling rolls and overruns, my PCs hardly ever use them even with the rules change.