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Mike mentioned that the combat superiority dice could be used to deal more damage, soak damage, defend an ally, or some other interesting combat tricks. Could you give us some more examples of any of those combat tricks you’re looking at now?
Sure. Right now, we’re looking at the ability to knock people prone, to push people around (think tide of iron, 4E players), to shift around the battlefield, to make quick jabs that deal less damage, to be able to damage multiple enemies with a single attack, to riposte when an enemy misses, and so forth. We’re still working out the details for how many of them would work, but we think there’s a lot of potential for building your own fighting style based on how you use your dice.
How quickly will a fighter be able to emulate multiple fighting styles? For example, can a 1st-level fighter choose to use combat superiority in combat to do more damage one round, and then defend an ally the next? Or is that versatility something that comes after a few levels?
Every fighter starts out with two “freebie” uses of the dice: adding damage onto your attacks, and reducing damage from incoming attacks. We’re also looking at giving you a third right out of the gate, based on the fighting style you selected. As you gain levels, you’ll periodically gain access to new uses for your combat superiority dice. So, you’re likely to have a growing array of options, we just need to peg the right number of options for a 1st-level character. Luckily, we have lots of active playtesters who will help us gather data on what that correct number really is.
What do the fighter's combat superiority dice represent in the context of the game world? How do you think they would be described in the flavor section of the class?
Combat superiority and the dice they provide are a representation of active focus with a fighting style. When two dueling swordsmen face off against one another, they (frequently subconsciously) shift their attention between footwork, attacks, defense, predicting their opponent’s next move, and so forth. Beginning fighters can only split their attention so much. They’re still better at the basic use of their weapons than other people, but they can’t focus on as many different variables as a more experienced fighter can.
As a fighter gains levels, he or she not only increases skill at swordplay (represented by the dice growing larger in value), the fighter also learns to divide up his or her attention between multiple aspects of the fight (represented by gaining more dice). Furthermore, in many cases the fighter learns to focus more intently on a particular task, or perform more complex maneuvers than were possible when he or she was less experienced. So, the fighter learns new techniques (new uses for the dice), and also learns how use old maneuvers in ways that were previously beyond the scope of his or her skill (greater numeric values from the dice).
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