Corefinder Design Digest #37: SUNDER!

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Many years ago in a 3.0/3.5 campaign with a number of WotC folks, the Epic Level Handbook had just recently come out, and we were talking about some of the truly terrifying monsters in there. Some folks talked about the super-deadly vermin with impossibly high poison save DCs, but me and another friend were like, “Um, no, THIS monster can totally trash your STUFF! You can kill me all day long and I can come right back, but you start messing with my loot and now we’ve got a problem!” I don’t even remember which monster it was, but it does point to the challenge of dealing with breaking stuff in combat. PCs don’t want to do it, because they’re kind of hurting themselves by destroying potential treasure. It’s also not necessarily any great advantage vs. just attacking for damage.

It also invokes rules for item hardness and hit points and calculating things like that on the fly, which inevitably feels hard. In Corefinder, we plan to flatten out item destruction using a scaling damaged condition rather than specific item hit points for *most* things like adventurer-level gear. If you want to chop a hole through a mountain, that’ll be something else, but for using a maneuver to bust up your enemy’s stuff, we think we’ve found an easier way. We’ll see how it rolls in playtest.  

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Sunder (Attack)

You smash an object your target is wearing or wielding.

Special Modifiers: You take a -4 penalty if you are unarmed and attempt to sunder a weapon wielded by an opponent, you provoke an attack of opportunity from your target.

If you are wielding a weapon, you apply any gear bonus you have on your CMB. If your opponent has a gear bonus on the item you are attacking, they apply that bonus to their CMD.

Critical Success As success, but the target item is damaged 1 even if you fail to exceed its hardness, or damaged 2 if you exceed its hardness.

Success You strike the target item. Roll damage against the item. If it exceeds the item’s hardness, it is damaged 1.

Failure If you attack the target’s weapon, you deflect its path and they take a -1 penalty on their next attack roll with it unless they take a use action to adjust their grip. Otherwise, no effect.

Critical Failure You provoke an attack of opportunity from the target.

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