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Idea: Shove Attack
Sep 24, 2020 16:08

Seeking feedback

We’re considering replacing the swordsman’s Riposte skill with a Shove Attack skill. (Riposte I would replace Punt. Punt and Riposte II would get punted.)

To do a Shove Attack, you would click on an unoccupied space directly or indirectly behind an adjacent monster. The monster will be shoved back to that space, and you’ll move to the monster’s original space and do a sword attack from there. You would get attack bonuses (Full Swing, Press, etc.) based on the new location.


1 - You can only shove humanoids (has or had two legs) and only if they have just 1 h.p.
2 - You cannot shove if there are two monsters between you and the target tile.
3 - You can shove a monster into a pit (where it will fall to its death), but only if there are no other tiles that the monster could be shoved to. (eg. If the 3 tiles behind a monster were a pit, a flame, and another monster, then you could shove the monster into the pit.)

Skill Levels:

Shove Attack I - Shove with a -2 sword attack
Shove Attack II - Shove with a -1 sword attack
Shove Attack III- Shove with a sword attack

Sep 25, 2020 12:23

Honestly, it doesn’t matter what you do as you have not addressed the fundamental flaws of the game.

A) Level Ups are too far apart, and don’t make much difference anyway. Attacks don’t get much better. Defense doesn’t get much better. And, the random spin for a weapon makes all the difference. There is not any significant growth to the character.

B) The randomness of the attacks gets old quickly. I roll a 1 a bunch of times, and the campaign is over. By level 6 or seven, I should have another HP and a better attack.

C) As the only character that’s free, the best attack is always the suicide run. Anytime he is surrounded, the enemy just crushes him. And fleeing doesn’t help most the time, as you have to enter another room that’s similar.

D) Monsters never change. The game is the same thing over and over.

Sep 25, 2020 15:30

I like the “shove them in a pit”; but I don’t like the rest of it. Maybe that could be an extra skill.

Sep 26, 2020 0:35

BOC_forever: +1 or +2 or +3 on two skills makes a big difference. You can play campaign with human to something like 20-25 dragons. From there on it gets hard with human. The game is more about “improving your own tactical skill”.

That said, The new skill is hard to value for me without “having played” it, but I try. The Pit-thing sounds funny, but not like a real benefit (if you hit, the 1-health monster, it is dead anyway). I like, that the human gets more agile in the fight. The shoving could be a real improvement against the typically problematic case of “running away archers” with still close combat-fighters running around. Currently you cannot defend with a good sword in that case (because it does not help against archers defense), so you need to use a scroll or take damage from the archer. I would give it a try.

Maybe you can even expand the shove to human-adjected tiles. If you click on the (must-be-free) field behind them, the monster will not move, but the human “shoves” itself one field and attacking BOTH fields that are adjected to the starting and the final field of the human. That will make he human help to make stronger use of the free swing against several monsters. It is just an additional idea, but not anything against the original one!

Sep 26, 2020 15:42

A feat could be triggered when throwing a monster into a pit! Maybe as a bonus at the highest level of the skill, because this sounds strong. However, it happens not every day (because 3 fields need to be blocked). This is why I would say: Make it so!

Sep 26, 2020 16:15

I pretty much agree with @Rellik Nogard. I also like that it might make the human more agile. As it stands, unless you roll big and get feat mode, he cannot actually move away from monsters. The dwarf can charge and the elf can leap. The human has to stand and fight (which he’s pretty good at) or use doorways/scrolls. And yes, archers are problematic for the human.

Sep 26, 2020 17:27

As long as Riposte isn’t gone for good (it works well and makes sense for a swordsman), the mechanic for “Shove” works fine. The name, however, seems to imply that you stay still and throw a critter, as in the soon-to-vanish “Punt.” Maybe “Bull-Rush” or “Shield-Rush” or “Stampede” might work better to imply that you’re moving into them and buffaloing them along with you.

Sep 26, 2020 18:47

Relik - I don’t understand the human shoving himself idea. Could you explain it again?

Cugel - “Bull Rush” would be good, since it’s used in D&D. Curious what others think.

Sep 26, 2020 22:28

No, sir, I don’t like it.

Again all it does is take gameplay away without adding anything useful.

Sep 27, 2020 8:07

So in principle the “shoving himself” idea means that you expand the ability to more fields in a distance of 2. If there is no monster in the direct way and you can clearly move on a “straight line” in that direction, it could be the case that you “pass along” one or two monsters you would not shove normally. The idea is to hit those with the move when going. So that extension is not a real shove to the enemy, but more a “shove along”, “push forward”, “Roundhouse-punt” or whatever. It is a different mechanic in reality although it could “click similar”. It provides the agility into another direction, but I am not sure if it makes sense to combine that to “one skill”.

@Arcxjo? What is taken away? Riposte II? Do you have that? Punt? Do you need that? It is really funny, but it always comes with “avoidable damage”.

I also like the riposte skill. It just feels good and useful.

Sep 27, 2020 9:37

Regarding Punt - Is it only funny the first few times, or does it continue to provide a little comic relief on an ongoing basis? In other words, will you miss it?

Sep 28, 2020 7:35

Shove seems like a very poor replacement for riposte. Riposte can actually kill something, while shove is typically going to only prolong the fight. I would much rather eliminate a threat then push it back for a turn. If shove were added as an additional feat or skill, rather than a replacement, that would be a much better improvement. I think the real issue is that level ups are rarely of any real benefit. Also, the heroes seem to roll low often, while even small monsters seem to frequently roll high. I’m not sure if this is weighted that way on purpose or not, but the rng on dice rolls seems flawed.

Sep 28, 2020 9:44

Havoc - Shove is not just pushing back a monster for a turn. It moves the monster, moves you, and gives you an attack against that monster. It thus provides the ability to go from a bad position (multiple adjacent monsters) to a good position (one adjacent monster), without losing your attack. It’s hard to say whether this will be more or less advantageous than Riposte II & III, but our hope is that by giving the swordsman more tactical options and “agility”, it will be more fun to play.

Sep 28, 2020 23:40

@Rowdius Luckily punt is happening not very often, so it still offers some (little) joy. Maybe you can convert that towards a “rare character showing” of our heroes. So you state somewhere “Wilhelm is hot-tempered” (and may describe the influence).
E.g. he has a chance to punt after any attack of small humanoids between 0.1 and 1%. Under the same conditions:
The dwarf might be “fast offended” with a chance to stun the same kind of creatures for one turn. The elf might be “shy” and has a chance to move away from the same kind of creatures (if the target field has no other monsters adjected). So this would be not really a skill, but a rare fun emotion with little benefit.

Sep 29, 2020 13:18

I like the idea of shove personally; it gives the human a mobility-related skill, which both the dwarf (charge attack) and elf (leap, leap attack) currently have. Riposte is good, but seems to be fairly rare to me, as I find I’m usually defending anyway when it activates (but only have Riposte 1). Punt only activates when things are already bad, against only easy monsters, and often doesn’t make much difference. Also, the pit thing can be an enormous benefit, especially against opponents with super high stats (very common on e.g. hunt). I agree with the e.g. “bull rush”, “shield bash/rush”, etc. names for the new skill.

Sep 30, 2020 1:02

Can you also shove slimes with a big shield? ;)

Oct 3, 2020 9:03

I think it would be a great new skill but the punt is just more helpful in general where the shove attack is good in certain situations

Oct 3, 2020 16:28

Maybe we should leave Punt as an ability, and make Cleave something that only happens with Full Swing. So instead of Cleave being an ability which could happen any time, we would make it solely a function of the Full Swing skill, and increase the chance of it happening with Full Swing hits.

Oct 4, 2020 8:21

@Gpsithlord: Punt is helpful? OK, you are new… at the end, you will not need punt, because you have a stronger attack (and defense). These “certain situations” are those where you would take damage even with high level. This is why these are so problematic for the human.

To fuse the cleave is interesting, but makes it more rare for the human to perform it. Will it then be a higher chance?

Oct 4, 2020 11:26

Yeah, I think 10% cleave chance as a baseline skill is much more helpful than punt. Punt is far too situational, and is completely useless vs hard monsters and dragons. Cleave, even at 10% chance, can finish off a dragon with 2HP left.

An alternate idea is just to replace punt with shove attack I, just so that all mobility-related skills (charge, leap, shove attack) are intrinsic abilities. On the other hand, I get the feeling that the original proposition may be more useful for human. Any comments about the usefulness of shove attack II-III vs. riposte II-III in terms of usefulness?

Also, could shove attack work against e.g. an ettin/giant/etc with only 1HP left, as they are in a weakened state?

Oct 4, 2020 15:47

@BareHand -

Yes, if we fused Cleave with Full Swing, we’d raise the chance of cleaving on a full swing.

@studentofbrand -

I agree that making Shove an ability would be more consistent with Charge and Leap. However, with the human being used by first time players, we are afraid that that Shove will add too much complexity right at the beginning. So we will probably make it a skill.

We are leaning towards making the shove restriction based on max hp, not current health - but no final decision has been made. Aside from the obvious advantage you’d get from being able to shove large injured monsters, which approach do you think would feel/play better?

Oct 5, 2020 8:36

I am not sure, but usually there are no range-fighters together with giants or ettins? Maybe with a skeleton (giant/lord) it helps. Can you shove the lich, then? ;) I understand the problem with “beginners” and haven’t thought of that, yet. Maybe you can make shove an ability and easen the use, but we have to think of that carefully:
1. If the target is blocked and falls into a pit AND you get a sure feat, then you can REPLACE the normal attack with the shove.
2. If there are more monsters able to attack (without penalty) the old spot than the new, you WANT to shove (automatically).
3. If you only want to shove for strategic reasons you typically do not want to shove, except that there are mages you can get closer to. But this does not feel like a “must-have”. Have I missed anything?
If you would be able to implement these rules and shove on a random field (if more than 1 free) it might be good enough to just have a normal attack mechanics and nothing goes wrong for beginners.

Oct 6, 2020 9:14

@BareHand The rules are nice, but the most complicated thing is the “equality” in 2. E.g. you have one archer shooting at you now and only one (new) close combat foe next to you when shoving. When shoving you loose the full swing in that case, but maybe that’s worth to avoid the archer. 2. and 3. is too complicated and cannot be fully automated. What I could think of is a real simple rule and boiling the question down to what it is (a move):

Rule of “standard-attack-click” for human with shove ability:
If there are full swing conditions, the attack is normal, but if the enemy is killed the human gets the choice to step on the bones or stay where he is (with defense bonus?).
Otherwise (at least 2 adjected foes), shove forward. If it is a miss and the foe is a close-combat one, go back in shame to the old position, (but keeping the achieved distance). If he hits, he gets the choice to go back or stay where he is (with defense?).

Nevertheless the pitfall should happen if the conditions are given (and a feat should trigger). One could also implement a punting easteregg:
Shoving small humanoids that are blocked by small humanoids performs a chain-shove if the last one falls into the pit (which gives a feat of course!)

Oct 7, 2020 10:58

@barehand, rellik: I get the feeling that trying for such rules might make it more difficult to use due to complexity. Skills/abilities in this game are simple, and any complexity comes from their usage. Any automated decision-making between very different mechanics for the same skill runs counter to this theme, and only makes play more difficult.

On the other hand, a user-toggle for the shove skill would be similar to the charge/bow toggle for dwarf, adding mechanical consistency. It could default to off, to prevent unexpected behaviors on skill unlock.

After these comments, I do feel shove as a skill would be better than shove as an ability, to simplify things for new players especially.

@Rowdius: In regards to the max- or current-HP question, if shove is a toggleable skill, ignoring the obvious advantage, I think the two options are similar in terms of playability for someone who’s familiar with the skill.

However, I can see potential for initial confusion if it’s based on current HP. For example, if a player sees he can shove on an ettin with 1 HP left, he may plan to try it on an ettin with 2-3HP, and end up in a bad situation.

Oct 7, 2020 11:02

On a more personal note, I would prefer it to be based on current HP, to boost human just a touch. It adds an interesting layer of strategy and pre-planning that I think would be fun to play, which could help offset any initial confusion.

Plus, the idea of shoving an injured giant into a pit sounds like great comedy potential, in terms of voice/sound effects.

Oct 7, 2020 18:23

I am a big fan of the shove attack idea. I feel that the human was missing a way to gain a bit of extra mobility and this could be a great way to get out of a tricky spot.

Personally, I would prefer the shove attack to replace punt - punt is an ability that has never seemed at all useful for me. I don’t even want to attempt to use it because you have to let the cretins beat up on you for it to work at all. I like the idea of kicking the little guys, but it would be more fun as an active shove attack than as a passive ability.

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