D&D 5E Universal Creative Combat Maneuver System (UCCMS)

Raiztt

Adventurer
In the spirit of people complaining that fighter's need a boost, I present the following. I have no doubt that this won't settle anything because, after all, I'm posting this on enWorld. Similarly, I'm certain many people will say this either goes too far, or doesn't go far enough. However, I believe this is a simple way to give martials the ability to be more impactful during combat, as well as to encourage more creative and engaging combats for people who don't have access to magic.




Universal Creative Combat Maneuver System (UCCMS)

Step 1:
Attack roll vs. target – if successful, continue to Step 2.

Step 2: Target makes a save vs. the relevant DC (8 + proficiency + relevant modifier) – if target fails, continue to Step 3.

Step 3: Target suffers the relevant effect for a number of rounds equal to the attacker’s proficiency bonus. They may make another by spending their action to end the effect if the DM determines that is possible. The target makes a new save at the end of each of their turns to end the effect.




Step 1: The PC makes a normal attack roll vs. the target – it benefits from anything and everything that would normally add to an attack roll. The DM will determine whether this attack does damage based on the context of the situation.

Example: The PC wants to strike a gnoll with their weapon in such a way that it hinders/slows its movement. If the attack roll is successful, this would do damage. Conversely, if a PC wanted to throw sand into the eyes of a gladiator to blind them, this would likely not do damage.

Step 2: If the PC’s attack hits, the target must make an appropriate saving throw vs. a DC based on the attacker’s relevant ability modifier. Fighters always include their proficiency bonus in this calculation. The attribute added is based on the situation or context of the maneuver.

10 + Proficiency Modifier + Relevant Ability Modifier = Maneuver DC

Example: A Fighter attempts to goad an ogre into attacking them. In this case, rather than make an attack roll, the Fighter would spend an action to accomplish this maneuver and go directly to the 2nd step. In this case, the DC would be calculated based on the Fighter’s Charisma, and the Ogre would save using their Wisdom ability modifier. If a Fighter wanted to shoot a wand out of a wizard’s hand, the DC would instead be calculated based on the Fighter’s Dexterity, and the wizard would save using their Dexterity or Strength modifier.

Step 3: If the target fails their save, they suffer the intended effect for a number of rounds equal to the Fighter’s proficiency bonus. At the end of each of the target’s turns, they make another save to see if they end the condition. This will not always be relevant for certain maneuvers, such as shoves, knockdowns, disarming, etc. If reasonable, the target may use their action to attempt to end the condition by making the save.

 

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Reynard

Legend
One idea I had was to have players expend damage dice to apply conditions based on maneuvers. This work require some regularization of damage and a few tweaks here and there, but would work like this:

When you roll damage for a hit (probably one die at low levels unless a crit or some other bonus die from an effect; more dice higher level) you can use a die (or more) to "buy" an effect. The cost of the effect -- ie the minimum value on the die used to buy it -- would vary based on the power of the effect. So, for example, a fighter you does 2d10 damage with his sword and rolls a 3 and a 7 might "spend" the 7 (thereby not doing the damage) to stun the target for a full round. No save necessary.

It would obviously take some thorough analysis to figure out what the right values are for different effects and some testing to determine if it is actually fun and performs its intended purpose, but I think there is potential in the idea.
 

Stormonu

Legend
I've been working on a slightly different approach, haven't had the chance to playtest yet, though:

# Advanced Combat Options
During their turn, any character, with the DM's approval, can attempt any one of the following stunts as a bonus action or reaction, as indicated by the ability. To qualify for an action that activates on an attack, you must have made a melee weapon, melee spell, ranged weapon or ranged spell attack. Spells that have an effect on a failed save cannot be used with combat options that require an attack to be used. At the DM's option, a character may expend a point of inspiration to perform one of the listed actions below without it taking up a bonus action or reaction. In any case, no more than one combat option listed below can be used by a single character per round.

These combat options are not suggested for use by creatures run by the DM, unless it is an extraordinary example of its kind (in general, a "named" NPC or otherwise unique NPC).

DMs and players are encouraged to create their own additional combat options to further spice up combats and cover unusual or one-shot actions that might occur in the combat - such as interacting with furniture or obstacles, targeting specific opponents or performing unusual tactics.

### Avenge
You swear to wreck vengenance on an opponent who felled an ally.

As a reaction when an opponent drops an ally to 0 hit points, you can move half your speed and make a single weapon attack or a single cantrip attack.

### Avoid
You give ground to avoid an opponent's attack.

As a reaction when an opponent misses you with an attack, you can move up to half your speed away. This does not provoke an attack of opportunity for the opponent that just missed, but may provoke opportunity attacks from other creatures.

### Blind
You take a moment to render your opponent unable to see.

As a bonus action against an opponent you just hit, you can force them to make a Dexterity saving throw against a DC of 8 + your attack bonus. On a failure, the target is blinded until the end of its next turn.

### Brace
You prepare for an opponent's approach.

You convert your bonus action into an extra reaction that triggers the original bonus action when an opponent moves into your reach.
\column
### Cleave
Your attack continues through a fallen enemy.

When you reduce a foe to 0 hit points with a melee or ranged weapon attack, as a bonus action you can choose an adjacent opponent with the same or worse AC. Any damage you did in excess to the original target's hit points is applied to the secondary target.

### Cower
You make yourself look unworthy of being harmed.

As a reaction, if you have not attacked an opponent who is about to attack you, you can force the opponent to make a Wisdom saving throw against a DC of 8 + your Persuasion (Cha) skill. On a failure, the opponent chooses another target in range to attack, if able.

### Deafen
You deliver a blow that leaves the enemy's ears ringing.

As a bonus action against an opponent you just hit, you can force them to make a Constitution saving throw against a DC of 8 + your attack bonus. On a failure, the target is deafened until the end of its next turn.

### Fluster
You make a snide remark designed to unbalance your opponent.

As a reaction you choose an opponent that can hear you within 30 feet. The opponent must make a Wisdom saving throw against a DC of 8 + your Intimidate (Cha) skill. On a failure, the target's next attack has disadvantage.

### Focus
You steady your resolve.

As a bonus action, you ready yourself for action. Until your next action, when you are required to make a saving throw or concentration check, as a reaction you can gain advantage on the roll.

### Frighten
You strike fear into your foe, diminishing their resolve.

As a reaction when you have more than half your hit points and an opponent targeting you has less than half their hit point total, you can force them to make a Wisdom saving throw with a DC of 8 + your Intimidate (Cha) skill. On a failure, the target is frightened of you until the end of its next turn.

### Guard
You protect an ally from harm.

When an opponent attacks an ally within 5 feet of you, as a reaction you can force the opponent to make their next attack with disadvantage.

### Hound
You prevent an enemy from easily escaping.

As a bonus action, you can select an enemy within melee range of you. If the selected opponent attempts to move away, even by means of disengaging, as a reaction you can make an attack of opportunity against them or move half your movement rate to follow them.

### Interact
You use a piece of furniture or other item to your advantage.

You gain one of the following, but you cannot use both in the same turn. After interacting with an item, the DM should adjucate if it can be used again or is destroyed or expended by the interaction.

  • As a bonus action you gain advantage on your next attack.
  • As a reaction, you inflict disadvantage on your opponent's next attack.

### Limber
You prepare yourself for physical activity.

As a bonus action, you give yourself advantage on the next Athletics (Str) or Acrobatics (Dex) skill check you make during your turn. If you climb or jump, you increase the distance you cover by 50%.

### Goad
You bully your opponent into attacking you.

As a reaction you choose an opponent that can hear you within 30 feet. The opponent must make a Wisdom saving throw against a DC of 8 + your Intimidate (Cha) skill. On a failure, the target must target you for its next attack.

### Grapple
You grab your opponent.

As a bonus action against an opponent no more than one size category larger than you that you hit with a melee weapon or unarmed attack, you can force the target to make a Strength saving throw against a DC of 8 + your Athletics (Str) skill. On a failure, the target is grappled.

### Pin
You nail your opponent in place, preventing them from moving.

As a bonus action against an opponent you just hit, you can force the target to make a Strength saving throw against a DC of 8 + your Athletics (Str) skill. On a failure, the target is restrained until the end of its next turn.
\column
### Push
You shove an opponent.

As a bonus action against an opponent you just hit, you can force the target to make a Strength saving throw against a DC of 8 + your Athletics (Str) skill. On a failure, you can move the target up to 5 feet x your Strength modifier.

### Stun
You knock your opponent senseless.

As a bonus action against an opponent that you score a critical hit against, you can force the target to make a Constitution saving throw against a DC of 8 + your attack bonus. On a failure, the target is incapacitated until the end of its next turn.

### Target
You set your sights on a single opponent.

As a bonus action, you can choose an opponent that you can see and make an Insight (Int) check against the target's passive Perception. On a success, when you make your first attack roll against the target in the same turn, you gain advantage on the attack roll.

### Trip
You knock your opponent to the ground.

As a bonus action against an opponent no more than one size category larger than you that you hit, you can force the target to make a Dexterity saving throw against a DC of 8 + your Athletics (Str) skill. On a failure, the target is knocked prone.

### Tumble
As a bonus action, if you are in light armor or no armor, your have an AC of 10 + your Acrobatics (Dex) skill when opponents make an opportunity attack when you attempt to move out of their reach.
 

toucanbuzz

No rule is inviolate
Sounds a lot like the Level Up Advanced 5E rules by your enworld folks already did.

Everyone can try basic maneuvers like pushing and shoving. Fighters (and other martial classes to a lesser extent) get a pool of points they can spend on advanced maneuvers. Fighter types basically get their own spellbook. Rather than re-invent the wheel, worth a look. My only caveat is that if you purchase the book, find the fan-created document that better organizes these maneuvers.
 

Raiztt

Adventurer
Sounds a lot like the Level Up Advanced 5E rules by your enworld folks already did.

Everyone can try basic maneuvers like pushing and shoving. Fighters (and other martial classes to a lesser extent) get a pool of points they can spend on advanced maneuvers. Fighter types basically get their own spellbook. Rather than re-invent the wheel, worth a look. My only caveat is that if you purchase the book, find the fan-created document that better organizes these maneuvers.
The difference here is that this ability is unlimited and does not include pre-defined options - the idea is for people to come up with things on the fly for the situation they're in.
 

Stormonu

Legend
The problem is most people won't attempt things if they don't have an idea of what options are available to them - or at least, that is my experience. It's fine to have an open-ended list, but like spells, if you generally don't provide some up-front options it can be tough or a tug-of-war to iron out what is acceptable.
 

Raiztt

Adventurer
The problem is most people won't attempt things if they don't have an idea of what options are available to them - or at least, that is my experience. It's fine to have an open-ended list, but like spells, if you generally don't provide some up-front options it can be tough or a tug-of-war to iron out what is acceptable.
Shrug. I just present this as a balanced, flexible system for adjudicating on the fly creative/impromptu actions in combat. If players are uncreative and try to resolve every problem with 'button pushing' on their character sheet I can't do anything to fix that.
 

toucanbuzz

No rule is inviolate
Shrug. I just present this as a balanced, flexible system for adjudicating on the fly creative/impromptu actions in combat. If players are uncreative and try to resolve every problem with 'button pushing' on their character sheet I can't do anything to fix that.
In other words, we all know Monks can stun as a class feature because it's specific to the class. We know some subclasses can "taunt" an enemy into attacking them. It is unknown however, that everyone could attempt to "taunt," normally reserved for a specific subclass, which is where I think the confusion could lie. It wouldn't be a case of your players being "uncreative" or "button pushing." The game is designed with expectations that only certain classes can do certain special things. If you're changing that, just give folks a heads up, and if this would impugn or diminish another class by giving their special feature to another class, let that be known in advance.

Also of concern is consistency. If you were to have a player attempt all of @Stormonu 's proposals, for example, would you have consistent application? I want to scare/goad/blind my opponent. A year down the road, will I get the same result as I did on day 1?

There's no correct answer, only that you have one.

When I ran AD&D and there were no rules for fighters who tried crazy stuff not listed in the rules, it was clear that whatever I made up on that game day at that specific moment applied. It might not be the same next time. For example, AD&D rogues had a backstab attack that only applied if directly behind the target. A player asked if he leapt off a cliff onto a dragon's back with his sword, if that would count as his rogue backstab. Although it wasn't the technical rule, I said sure. The "rule of cool" applied, and it was a more memorable story than if I had said "the rules don't allow it."
 

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