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Disarm Revisited

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  • Disarm Revisited

    After reading your response to DoctorBoson's thread on disarm, I feel like Disarm is still likely to need a boost. Requiring an action to pick up weapons does help a little bit, but I feel it still needs some oomph.

    Effectively, the enemy becomes an unarmed defender until the start of their next turn and they need to spend an action to pick it back up.

    The Pros:
    • Melee attacks against them have +2 until they can pick up their weapon.
    • Any other actions they take on their turn will be at -2.
    • These stack with Vulnerable and Distracted.

    The Cons:
    • -4 makes it very tricky to pull off, especially compared to a Trick against an Attribute you suspect is low (Athletics against a lumbering giant, Taunt against a dumb bruiser). Generally if you want to disarm someone, they probably have a fairly Fighting, and thus a high Parry.
    • You need to be in a position to get a melee attack in before they can pick their weapon back up to take advantage of Unarmed Defender. This isn't a huge issue, especially if you have Two-Fisted or an ally going before them, but it does make it a little more situational. It also doesn't help with ranged attacks or Powers, making it less valuable than Vulnerable.
    • In line with that, if they pick up their weapon, the multi action penalty only applies to their regular actions, not to things like rolls to resist spells the way Distracted would.
    • If the enemy has another weapon on him, he can simply draw it as a free action on his turn, negating the MAP.
    • It also steps on the design space of Tests, since its effects are very similar to Vulnerable and Distracted. You're essentially forgoing a regular attack action to give them a situational -2 penalty and a situational +2 against them.
    • Unlike Tests, it can't render the enemy Shaken.

    I would say right now you're usually better off just performing a Test rather than Disarm. You're much more likely to succeed and may even make the enemy Shaken.

    Lessening or removing the penalty would help, but you still have the problem that it steps on the toes of Tests a bit. My recommendation is this: Have the weapon fall out of the enemy's space, making them have to move to pick it up. This not only costs them the action, but may require them to withdraw from melee, drawing free attacks from the person who disarmed them and their allies. It might also make it easier for an ally to grab the weapon instead, depriving the enemy. The penalty would help ensure that it wouldn't be strictly better than a straight attack, but would give it a clear purpose and differentiate it from a Test.

  • #2
    It all depends on the specific situation and we're happy with it as it is now. Thanks for the input though.