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How would you handle this unusual game mechanic?

Bicorn

Active member
Validated User
In the Lamentations of the Flame Princess module No Salvation for Witches there is a monster with an interesting attack power.

When it strikes an opponent, the opponent has a choice of either taking the damage, or letting one of their teammates take slightly more damage. However, each time the latter choice is taken, the damage for the next strike increases. So being selfish and dumping the damage on others effectively makes the monster stronger.

However, the module doesn't say whether the PC struck gets to choose who the damage is transferred to, or if the GM picks. Which way would you do it if you were running the module? I think it'd make a fair amount of difference in what many players would choose.
 

beholdsa

Tab Creations
Validated User
I'd let the player choose. My reading of it is that that's what was meant: "...the opponent has a choice...".
 

CarpeGuitarrem

Blogger and gamer
Validated User
I'd say to randomize it. Not only does that make it fairer from your perspective, it removes some certainty from the equation. If you can choose where it goes, then that means it turns into an HP-management exercise where players who can't afford the HP damage offload it to players who can afford it. But if you don't exactly know where the damage is going, then it goes back to being the "selfish choice" sort of thing...
 

Bicorn

Active member
Validated User
I'd let the player choose. My reading of it is that that's what was meant: "...the opponent has a choice...".
I read it as just the choice of whether to take the damage themselves or not. It's ambiguous about whether you also get to pick who takes it in your stead.
 
Last edited:

Bicorn

Active member
Validated User
I realized that an exact quote might be more useful for guessing the author's intent. Though I'm not only interested in the original intent, but also what method would just work better. Randomizing the target is a possible idea, but choice (either the victim's, or the GM's/monsters) also has interesting potential dynamics.

...the player can choose to take 1d4 points of damage, or allow another player character to take 1d6 points of damage.
...if the latter is chosen, then the second time that she hits, the question becomes, "Would you rather take 1d6 points of damage or allow someone else to take 1d8?" And so on.
 

keehnelf

is overly critical
Validated User
My read is that this mechanic is actually more insidious than it seems at first. The language "allow another player to take X damage" suggests that it opens up the option but that someone else has to bite in order for it to happen.

Like, another player needs to step up and volunteer to take the damage on your behalf, knowing that the damage for the rest of the encounter will be greater--so it simultaneously allows the team to cover one another, but disincentives them from doing so.

I like it.
 
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