Grok This Minigame: 3-Option Combat

GMMichael

Guide of Modos
Mooks are supposed to die quickly and painfully. They make homicidal PCs feel better about themselves! So to get the killin' in, without wasting time on mooks, what do you think about this system:

PCs get three combat action/choices:
  • Attack: kill a mook, but take damage if it attacks.
  • Defend: roll to prevent an attack. Succeed and take no damage while the mook dies (free attack). Fail and take damage.
  • Move: take a better position for a bonus on your next action. If opponent attacked, take damage.

NPC mooks get three combat action/choices:
  • Attack: damage a PC, but die if it attacks.
  • Defend: roll to prevent an attack. Succeed and survive, and cause the PC damage. Fail and die (if PC attacked).
  • Move: take a better position for a bonus on next action. If PC attacked, die trying.

To enhance the rock-paper-scissors feel (or prevent GM-cheating feel), the GM chooses/rolls an action for the NPCs and reveals it when the PC has chosen an action. NPC actions can be scripted or random, but not determined after the PC has chosen an action (hence the pre-roll).

Observe that the contest rolling happens only when one side defends and the other attacks. If both sides defend, no one gets hurt. If both sides attack, both sides get hurt.

Is there a singular best strategy here? Or does it vary, depending on how much damage a PC is willing to take, or how valuable the movement bonus is to the following action(s), or how well the PC defends?
 

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