Considering bonuses and penalties

I am this close to calling Kalos Mechanism 4e “done”. The last thing that bugs me is this:

That is a whole lot of modifiers. I really want there to be fewer, or at least to make the modifier for each condition more intuitive. As it is, I don’t think anything about this table is intuitive.

I have standard modifiers (-/+3) and major modifiers (-+6). I like the idea of that, but even though the major modifier only applies in a couple of conditions, it still seems like something tacked on arbitrarily. I am considering getting rid of the major modifier.

There are SO MANY conditions, and they all seem to have a different effect.

I am really only completely happy with four conditions:

  • Character is attempting a called shot (+1 damage bonus for each -1 AV penalty)
  • Character is using suppressing fire (-1 damage penalty for each +1 AV bonus)
  • Character is distracted or surprised (-3 AV, -3 DV)
  • Character is prone in ranged combat (+3 AV, +3 DV)

Hmm. What if I flipped this around, the way I did with equipment? Rather than sifting through to find the appropriate maneuver or condition, and then seeing what numbers are attached to it, how about I list two basic conditions — a combat bonus (+3 AV, +3 DV) and a combat penalty (-3 AV, -3 DV). And then give a few examples. Like so:

If something significantly aids or impedes the character, the GM may apply a combat bonus (+3 AV, +3 DV) or a combat penalty (-3 AV, -3 DV).

Only the highest bonus applies, but all penalties are cumulative.

Some examples of circumstances which grant a combat bonus are being invisible, hidden, or behind cover, being prone in ranged combat, and being part of a team (see Working Together).

Some examples of circumstances which impose a combat penalty are attempting to disarm or takedown a target, being prone in hand-to-hand combat, being blinded or in the dark, being distracted or surprised, and being underwater or weightless.

Additionally, a character making an attack may trade accuracy for damage, or vice versa. For example, a character may choose to incur a -2 AV penalty in order to gain a +2 damage bonus if the attack is successful.

Finally, a character may dodge. A dodging character gains double the normal combat defense bonus (+6 DV), but incurs double the normal combat attack penalty (-6 AV).

What do you think?