Terrain effects

In the first test game for Dragon In Ninth Heaven there was an elite foe who threw crates at the characters. The possibility for character powers that used terrain was raised and I want to list a few ideas here for discussion.
Some of the effects that were raised as options are:
  • Powers that only work if a wall is nearby; like leaping off a wall to attack
  • Powers that do extra damage or effects if a wall is nearby; a strike that shifts the target and causes knockdown if the target is moved into terrain
  • Attacks that do extra damage if a large object is used as a missile weapon; kicking a crate at your target
  • Acrobatic attacks that do more damage if you start the attack 10′ higher than the opponent
  • Acrobatic attacks that let you end your turn in the air
  • A Defender power that allows a ranged interrupt on an enemy who attacks an ally; kicking a barrel into the path of the attacking creature

These could be handled in many ways;

  1. Feats
  2. Optional class features that replace existing features
  3. Special additions to existing encounter and daily powers
  4. Replacement of daily and encounter powers with new ones
  5. Utility powers that enhance other powers

Given that Dragon in Ninth Heaven is a wuxia game, I’m more inclined to add some of these abilities directly into existing powers and include utility powers that enhance any other attack. Here’s an example of adding a special, terrain-based ability to an existing daily power from Golden Temple Bells kung fu:

Buddha Sweeps His Hand
Kung Fu Attack 1
You charge into combat knocking foes back with the power of your defence
Encounter * Martial, Weapon
Standard Action            Melee weapon
Target: One creature
Attack: Strength vs. AC
Requirement: You must charge and use this power in place of the basic melee attack
Effect: Any enemy that attacks you with an opportunity attack triggered by your charge takes damage equal to your secondary attribute modifier and is pushed 1 square.
Hit: 1[W] + Strength modifier damage.
Special: If the target of your attack has blocking or difficult terrain behind them they are knocked prone on a hit.

This has not changed the power in any way other than enhancing it. The question of this being overpowered is now valid – but as long as the terrain effect is uncommon then it will probably be ok.

A utility power can be more general in application:

Wall Spring
Kung Fu Utility 2
You leap off a nearby wall, surprising your opponent as you land behind them
Encounter * Martial, Weapon
Move Action            Personal
Requirement: You are adjacent to a wall or other blocking terrain at least 10 ft. in height.
Effect: You shift 3 squares. This movement may be through enemy occupied squares. You gain combat advantage against adjacent targets until the end of your next turn.

Given that it is time to move on to the level 2 powers for the classes I believe terrain-based powers might be a good idea.

Does anyone have any comments or ideas?


2 Responses to “Terrain effects”

  1. 1 Cynan
    July 14, 2010 at 12:28 PM

    I like what I am reading. I think many of those effects should be built into the powers by default. But you could also do some of them like the Arena fighting feats from Dragon 368 or Style Feats (Martial Power 2) where you only get the special bonus with specific abilities. You could use this to balance the more powerful effects with the need for a feat to get the complete effect.

  2. 2 Ruadatha
    July 16, 2010 at 7:22 AM

    I think this is a fantastic ability as it truly introduces static effects on environment interaction, something that so many systems either ignore completely or put up as separate subskills beneath your attribute, i.e Acrobatics falling under dexterity etc, and as such having no outright “moves” per se. I’ve always seen this as a problem and it’s why i’ve been reltatively strict in my other games about environment effects. But abilites like the ranged interrupt is absolutely fantastic 😀

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