Friday, June 17, 2011

Finish Him!

So one of the things that I really like the idea of is a 'Finishing Move'. Something over the top and flashy that makes the crowd go wild.

Now, 4e D&D is all about the finishing moves, they just call them 'Daily Powers'. However, a Gladiator using a Daily Power as a finisher isn't exactly inspired, cinematic combat. As such, here are my thoughts on Finishing Moves...

A Finishing Move is something that makes you famous. A fighter can work on a finishing move and try it out, but more commonly, the crowd may see a brilliant maneuver and decide that's the finishing move for the fighter.

So, what's a finishing move? Well, first of all, it's a sequence of at least three Standard Actions, with any number of move or minor actions as well. The more actions in a move, the harder it will be to pull off, but the more 'Crowd Pleasing' it will be.

Secondly, a finishing move has to FINISH your opponent. Most duels will be to either first blood or to the death. If you have a 4-round finisher, and you kill/bloody your opponent on the second hit, you didn't 'finish' him. The crowd will 'oooh' in anticipation, but they'll let out a collective groan when the foe falls too soon.

Thirdly, a Finishing move has to 'Start' dramatically. The first round of a Finishing move should tell the crowd you mean business. A daily power might start a finishing move, but an At-will power alone never will. However, a Finishing move *could* start with a move action to get adjacent to a previously un-engaged opponent, a minor action to draw two weapons and flourish them over your head, and finally an at-will power to make the first attack. The key here is that when you start a Finishing Move, you're committing to something for the crowd. As a new gladiator, you won't have a crowd-known finisher, so they won't be building up as they watch you... but if you start using the same finisher more than once, they'll start to look for it.

Fourth, a finishing move can evolve. As you gain powers, or find yourself in slightly different situations, you can make minor changes/additions to your finisher 'on the fly' and still have it 'count'. You can't change it too much, though, or the crowd will be disappointed that you flubbed your move.

Once you've developed one or more Finishing Moves, you can utilize them in the arena. If every attack roll of your Finishing Move hits, and you win the fight with the final attack, the crowd is going to go wild. You'll get a multiplier on the number of Fame/Infamy points you'd normally get for winning, for one. You'll pick up more Fans... arena enthusiasts who pull for you above all other fighters. Fans and Fame/Infamy are the out-of-combat stats that determine your value to the powers that be. The higher these go, the better your life becomes.

Failed finishing moves... ones that miss somewhere in the chain, or if you get 'knocked out' of them by a big maneuver, or if they fail to finish/finish too soon generally mean no bonus/no penalty. However, should you fumble the last move, or get beaten mid-finisher, then the truly epic failure could cause you to lose fans as they see their hero totally screw the pooch.

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