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RPGs - Defensive Actions

They are often not glorified, but in many more realistic game systems, defensive actions exist for a reason.  If damage is deadly, or getting hurt leaves you wounded and less capable than you were before, defending yourself (even sometimes at the expense of your own offensive actions) is the best strategic decision.

Some games provide space for characters who build their combat strategy on defensive actions, to the chagrin of storytellers world-over.

So, what do you think?  Do they have a place in mobile RPGs?  Cyber Knights gives you a Dodge and Cover action whenever you are targeted by an enemy, and I personally use them often (especially on Brutal, where Perma-death lurks).  Fun, indifferent, annoyed?  What about bad guys who use them against you?


  1. It depends entirely on the game I guess. I loved playing tank back when I was playing wow, but then again most mmos are built on roles in group play. So is dragon age.. Kind of. But if it makes the game more clunky and less fun it shouldn't even be included or at least not balanced on it. Like in kindoms of amalur dodging felt good but blocking felt meh.

    In Cyberknights its has lvaid tactical use,adds depth to the combat and makes sense.

  2. @joel - thanks for the feedback! I think as we continue to diversify the ecosystem of Weapons, Armors, and Damage types, the CK defensive actions will become more important as well.

    I've been mulling over the tactics and system for a fantasy RPG again (in the Secrets family) and am thinking a lot about insuring that defensive fighters and defensive actions have a place in the system and wanted to know how people felt about them!

  3. Counter-attack/riposte is always satisfying when defending successfully. Like dodging an enemy's blow and then striking him quickly when out of balance (at least vs less skilled foes or heavy weapons), parrying and then doing a riposte or blocking with your shield and when the enemy pulls back with his weapon (if he does) following up with a strike or bash with the shield. Of course if you are successful depends on yours and your enemies skill and how many enemies you are facing. Combat can be really complicated or simple (both for the player and the dev). Just a matter of balance.

  4. @joel - thanks for the great feedback. I personally love riposte, but it takes a certain kind of player to enjoy that style. I find it appealing because its a realistic part of the "back and forth" of combat.

    Maintaining simplicity while allowing for complexity is a challenge in game design--both pen and paper and mobile.

    I am really hoping to see some interesting defensive / offensive fighting styles available in Heroes of Steel (fantasy RPG).


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