Saturday, May 23, 2015

Dual Wielding, Stumbling, and All Manner of Fumbles

In a constant effort to improve game play in Broken Contract I've looked at notes from playtesting and decided to make some changes that I think will make for a more enjoyable gaming experience. This is the first batch of suggested changes to the current Beta rules with their design explanations. A couple of other changes and some bits of errata will follow soon.

All of these need to be further tested in game play to see if they produce the desired results so please try them in your games at home and report back with your experiences. Thanks to @Robh and his gaming group for all of their feedback.

Dual Wielding

Certain weapons will now be marked as Dual Wielding, such as the Knife and Rock Hammer, While carrying two Dual Wielding weapons In Hand a Character can Strike with each for a single action. Each Strike should be rolled separately, in the order the Character wishes to Strike in case of a Fumble. So if Ari Gaylen is equipped with a Rock Hammer and Knife, for a single Strike she can attack with the Rock Hammer, resolving the complete Strike attempt, before attacking with the Knife, resolving that complete Strike attempt. A Character who is not Dual Wielding wishing to Parry or Dodge a Dual Wielding Strike must choose which weapon they wish to Parry or Dodge when they Interrupt.

Design theory: Currently Two-Handed weapons are just better "in game" and there is little advantage to possessing 2 smaller weapons. Combats between Characters with these less advantageous weapons can drag out for several turns. Dual Wielding makes combats more decisive. 


There are a variety of Actions and Interruptions that can result in a Stumble, the most common being rolling a natural 1 when performing a Rush! or Flee! If a Stumble occurs, the Character continues forward D3” and loses an additional 1AP for the move as they struggle to maintain their balance.  If the Character has no AP to spend on staying upright make an Agility check. If they succeed they manage to stay standing. If they fail place the model Prone.
Design theory: Currently it is believed that Stumbles happen too often and they slow down game play as Characters roll around on the ground. This change is meant to reduce the negative effects of Stumble without removing it completely as it is highly cinematic.

Ahhhhhh!, Fumble, and Malfunction

Combat is not without its risks. Guns jam, axe handles break, and grenades sometimes slip out of hand and land at a Character’s feet. Combat isn’t always a series of mishaps, sometimes things go even more successfully than you hoped, but when a Character rolls a natural 1 when checking against their Shoot or Melee stat it can have potentially disastrous results. Roll on the following charts depending on the type of weapon a Character is using.  
Ahhhhhh!: If a Character rolls a natural 1 while Toss Grenade they either have a dud, a terrible toss, or a grenade at their feet. Roll a D6: 1 Oh No! The Grenade has dropped at the Character’s feet. Resolve the Grenade against the Tossing Character. 2-3 Slippery Fingers. The Grenade travels D6” in a random direction from the Tossing Character. Resolve damage if it affects any Characters where it lands. 4-6 Dud! Nothing happens.
Fumble: If a Character rolls a natural 1 while checking against the Melee stat while using a Hand to Hand Weapon they have Fumbled. Roll a D6: 1 Weapon Broken. The Character has done irreparable damage to the weapon they are wielding. Discard it from their equipment. 2 Weapon Dropped. This weapon may not be used until it has been Picked Up again. Place a Weapon marker next to the base of the Character. 3 Off Balance. The Character loses an Action Point as they attempt to recover. If they have no AP available they must make a Successful Agility check or Go Prone. 4-6 Nothing happens.
Malfunction: If a Character rolls a natural 1 while Shooting a Pistol or Rifle it has Malfunctioned. Roll a D6: 1 Weapon Broken. The weapon is no longer functional. Discarded it from the Character’s equipment. It is truly a lost cause. 2 Out of Ammo. The Weapon may not be fired again unless they have the proper Ammon and perform a Reload Action for 1AP. 3 Weapon Jammed. This weapon may not be fired until the Character Clears Jam. 4-6 Nothing happens.
Design theory: All 3 "Critical Failures" happen frequently, even with Re-Rolls. Adjusting the respective tables to reduce the frequency of catastrophic results is meant to temper the negative effects of these "Critical Failures".

Weapons and Equipment

Weapon or no weapon, anyone with their arms intact can throw a fist. A Character using their fist simply must use their own Strength stat to Wound when making a Strike. If the Character Fumbles their Strike and rolls the Weapon Dropped result treat it as if they rolled the Off Balance result instead. If the Character suffers a Weapon Broken result they sustain a Wound.

Strength: As user
Special Rules: Dual Wield

Shock Fist
Shock Fists are heavy electrified gauntlets designed for the large builds of Gen-Mods. They strike with the weight of the glove and the force of the Gen-Mod behind it while simultaneously delivering a charge like a shock baton. A Prod Gen-Mod can charge headlong into a press of Breakers leaving a trail of convulsing bodies to be restrained by their unmodified co-workers. If the Character using a Shock Fist Fumbles their Strike and rolls the Weapon Dropped result treat it as if they rolled the Off Balance result instead.

Strength: 3
Special Rules: Dual Wield, Heavy, Shock
There you have it. Give them a try and let me know what you think.

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