# (TFT) Active Defense: the Block

• To: tft@brainiac.com
• Subject: (TFT) Active Defense: the Block
• From: Sgt Hulka <hulkasgt@yahoo.com>
• Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2008 11:31:23 -0700 (PDT)

```I've noticed some discussion on this list in the past about how to incorporate "active defense" in TFT. Between some begrudging agreement with some of the points made in those posts and my own dis-satisfaction with the way shields and dodge/defend work, I've been thinkin for some time about how to incorporate an "active defense".
&nbsp;
There's another game, Battlelust, by Columbia Games, based on their Harn role-playing game that I've always liked, but that has some fatal flaws. One of the things I like best about that system, though, is their treatment of shields. An armed or shielded defender makes his own attack roll simultaneous to the attacker's roll. By cross-referencing the relative success of the attacker and the defender, you come up with a number of attack outcomes.
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The simplest version of this, as it pertains to TFT, would be to allow an armed&nbsp;defender to roll against his dexterity just as the attacker rolls against his dexterity. If the defender succeeds, the attack is blocked. Note that in that case ties go in favor of the defender, so really you only have to roll an attack if the block fails.
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More complicated&nbsp;is&nbsp;a system of&nbsp;"critical success" and "critical failure" mechanic in Battlelust. Again, instead of a crit being based on a set number (a "20" in D&amp;D or a 3, 4, or 5 in TFT), it's based on the "type" of roll...since Battlelust is based on percentile dice any roll that ends in a 5 or 0 is a critical. If the roll succeeds, it's&nbsp;a critical success. If it fails, it's a critical failure (or fumble). Recently I realized you could do the same thing with TFT by counting doubles as crits. So if you need to roll an 11, and you roll&nbsp;a 2, 2 and 3, that would be a critical success. But if you rolled a 4,&nbsp;4 and 5, that would be a critical failure.
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Using that presumption, you could come up with active defence by simultaneously rolling the attackers Dex and the defenders Dex and using the following matrix (which you could draw into a very simple table but I'm typing out as text due to the limitations of e-mail):
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Attacker Critical Success + Defender Critical Success=Block.
Attacker Critical Success + Defender Success=Attack Hits.
Attacker Critical Success + Defender Failure=Attack Hits for Double Damage.
Attacker Critical Success + Defender Critical Failure=Attack Hits for Triple damage.
&nbsp;
Attacker Success + Defender Critical Success=Attacker Drops Weapon.
Attacker Success + Defender Success=Block.
Attacker Success + Defender Failure=Attack Hits.
Attacker Success + Defender Critical Failure=Attack Hits for Double Damage
&nbsp;
Attacker Failure + Defender Critical Success=Attacker&nbsp;Drops Weapon
Attacker Failure + Defender Success=Block
Attacker Failure + Defender Failure=Block
Attacker Failure + Defender Critical Failure=Attack Hits
&nbsp;
Attacker Critical Failure + Defender Critical Success=Attacker Breaks Weapon
Attacker Critical Failure + Defender Success=Attacker Drops Weapon
Attacker Critical Failure + Defender Failure=Block
Attacker Critical Failure + Defender Critical Failure=Block
&nbsp;
Using this system, shields don't provide armor protection. Instead they provide a bonus to Dexterity while defending. So a small shield would provide +1 to Dexterity, a large shield +2, and a tower shield +3, while they provide 0, -1 and -2, respectively to Dexterity while attacking. Furthermore, shields would allow characters to block ranged attacks.
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You could get even more fancy only allowing weapons of the "Sword" category and shields to block. If you did that, though, you should probably decrease the strength requirement of two-handed axes and pole weapons by one to balance them out with the now-superior swords.
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