When attacked, a character has four possible methods of defense to avoid being hit and damaged. Each has advantages and disadvantages to its use.

1. The default is Armor Defense (AD). This is determined by the character’s protective gear and Dex modifier, from a base of 10. Since in YAOSC an active force defeats a passive force on a tie, to-hit rolls that match the Armor defense are successful, and cause damage. The main benefit of this defense is that it is always available. Even unconscious, a knight in armor is harder to harm than someone in civilian clothing.

The formula for determining AD is:
10 + [armor value from gear] + [Dex modifier (positive or negative)] + [other modifiers]
(Other modifiers include situational bonuses or penalties due to lighting, footing, etc.; magical boons or curses; “aid” actions by allies of one side or the other, and so on.)

2. A character with a shield in hand and the Armor skill can choose instead to use a Blocking Defense (BD), rolling to oppose the to-hit. This risks a poor roll, but gives better overall defense (since the average result of 2d10 is 11, compared to the base of 10 for AD). A character using this option may also choose to sacrifice their shield to ameliorate the effects of a failed defense or certain failed saves. BD can be used once per round per shield held (important if you have extra arms!).

The formula for determining BD is:
2d10 + [armor value from gear] + [Dex modifier (positive or negative)] + [other modifiers]

Note that since BD is an active roll, attack rolls do not have priority over it. In the case of a tie, each character has several options:

  • The defending character may fall back to divert the brunt of the attack.
  • Either character may initiate a lock (unless the weapon was ranged).
  • The defending character may drop (not sacrifice) their shield.
  • If none of the above options is chosen, the attack hits for half damage (rounded up).

3. A character with a weapon in hand and points invested in Combat Prowess may use a Parry Defense (PD, or just “parry”). As above, a tie can result in a lock, the defender falling back or dropping their weapon, or (if no other option is taken) a successful hit for half damage. A parry can be used once per round per weapon held. Unlike armor- or shield-based defenses, parries have a -2 penalty against ranged attacks.

The formula for determining PD is:
2d10 + [defender’s skill with the weapon in hand] + [other modifiers]

4. A character who wants to avoid all physical contact may dodge (“Dodge Defense,” or DD, if we must). Unlike the two active defenses (block and parry) above, this may be used (in theory) an unlimited number of times per round. However, a dodging character must always fall back; if they are unable to fall back, they cannot dodge. In case of a tie, the dodging character automatically takes half damage. Dodges have a -1 penalty against ranged attacks.

The formula for determining DD is:
2d10 + [value of Combat Mobility skill] + [Dex modifier (positive or negative)] + [other modifiers]


YAOSC (Yet Another Old School Clone) Confanity Confanity