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Re: (TFT) HTH initiation during movement is not so easy...

In a message dated 11/22/2006 10:35:30 PM Central Standard Time, pvk@oz.net 

> I think a major reason many of us would like better HTH engagement rules
> is that they are so random and take so little of the character's stats
> into account, and that it can be easy therefore for an otherwise strong
> figure to get mobbed by even ST6 DX 6 hobgoblins, and also that they then
> can get stuck there.

Well I sat down some time back to write up a set of HTH rules "from the 
ground up" a while back and I came away with the following lessons: 

1. Writing a good set of HTH rules is hard - harder than it looks. 

2. It's easy to make HTH rules over-complex, if one tries to take into 
account everything that looks like it should be taken into account. 

3. Entering into HTH is an extremely powerful move, especially for figures 
such as animals (wolves, bears, big cats) who are good at fighting in HTH. 

4. Making it hard to enter HTH doesn't balance it very well, if it's also 
hard to get out of HTH. Instead it turns attempting HTH into a "win or die" 

5. But making it easy to escape HTH risks making HTH too weak. 

I decided that for my own campaign I wanted entering HTH to be a good move 
against unarmed and dagger-armed figures, especially wrt keeping them from 
running away. But I also wanted entering HTH to be a *bad* move against opponents 
armed with melee weapons. 

The first thing I did was to simplify (and weaken) HTH by dropping the 
bonuses: No +4 Dx for fighting in HTH, and no damage bonus for daggers or animal 
teeth-and-claw attacks. 

The second thing was to allow "opportunity attacks" at +2 Dx against 
opponents attempting to enter ones hex for HTH combat. This was just an extension of 
the opportunity attack rules I'd already adoped for regular melee combat. 
However - a character does not get an opportunity attack agains an opponent 
entering his hex if the character is unarmed or only armed with daggers (or other 
small & light weapons "suitable for HTH combat") 

The third thing was to change the disengage from HTH rule: I allow a 
character in HTH to shift one hex during movement, leaving HTH without having to make 
a die roll. On the other hand, the character's opponent can also immediately 
shift one hex to continue the HTH combat. But on the gripping hand, the 
character gets an opportunity attack against his opponent, if he shifts to continue 
HTH, provided the character has a melee weapon. 

There are other bells & whistles, but that's the core of my HTH rules. It's 
very hard to escape HTH if your opponent wants to keep you in HTH, but if you 
have a melee weapon you can make your opponent regret keeping you in HTH. (If 
neither side has melee weapons, then fighting in HTH isn't much different from 
regular melee, except that it's much harder to break away and run.) 

Finally, I don't try to pretend that my rules are at all "realistic"; I just 
find that they make for a good fun game. 

Erol K. Bayburt
Evil Genius for a Better Tomorrow
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