Thursday, April 16, 2020

Damage Mitigation for Swashbucklers

One thing that I've always felt that D&D does poorly is lightly armored warrior types. Additionally, a major issue for tired or neophyte DMs and  players is that they often allow combat to become devoid of any real drama. Strictly speaking, from an entirely gamist perspective, there's not much reason to move about, sunder, or do anything but cause direct damage once a melee type gets in range of another melee type.
 To that end, I offer a potential rule addition that I think should be useful for both new and old school games. It is somewhat similar to the Shields shall be splintered rule in that it has the potential to make fights last longer(which may be a good or bad thing), but I believe that it may prove beneficial for a suitably cinematic playstyle.

Rolling With The Blow
 I suggest for balance that this be made into either a feat, class/kit ability, or proficiency unless you want to encourage this to be used by everyone. A character with this ability who is not encumbered, and is in light or lighter armor may make a choice when his character is struck in melee combat. He either takes the damage or rolls with the blow. In the simplest version of rolling with the blow, the character takes no damage but "suffers" some other sort of ill effect at the DM's discretion, such as being forced to move out of his current location or losing a held/worn item. This rule can be expanded on with tables and even saving throws and  hit locations that determine the type and severity of the effect.

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