Fifth Edition (5e) clearly has placed an emphasis on simplicity. While this is a very good focus for new players, Secret Garden believes that we can use this as an opportunity to add nuance that opens up design space. As an example, we bring you some of our additions to combat actions.
The ten “Actions in Combat” that the core 5e rules presents cover a pretty wide range of options for a player whose character is caught in battle. However, once we started looking at the plethora of weapons and martial arts in Southeast Asia, we realized that we wouldn’t be able to do justice using only those ten choices. So we will introduce two (so far) new combat actions; the first is Defend which offers a middle ground for a player that is somewhere between a full-on Attack and a completely defensive Dodge. This action will allow the character to still attack, but also increase their survivability. This is particularly true if they are using a Defensive weapon (see below). The other, Bind Weapon, is actually an addendum to the Ready action that gives players that choose to, a way of tying up a particularly dangerous enemy weapon.
When you take the Defend action, you sacrifice attack power to focus on blocking enemy strikes. With this action, you make one melee attack with disadvantage on both the attack and damage roll. See the “Making an Attack” section for the rules that govern attacks. Until your next turn, you add your proficiency bonus to your Armor Class against melee attacks if you can see the attacker. Until your next turn, you cannot take opportunity attacks.
You must be wielding a melee weapon with the Binding property and you must have proficiency with it. If you have taken the Ready action, you may use your melee attack to restrain your opponent’s melee weapon. To do so, when you take the Ready action, declare that you are readying a bind. After that, whenever an opponent that you can see attacks you with a melee weapon, you may choose to either let the attack pass or trigger the bind. When you trigger the bind, you make an attack roll with a weapon that you are wielding with the Binding property. This attack is contested by the opponent’s attack that triggered the bind. If you succeed, you have bound the weapon, neither your attack, nor your opponent’s does any damage. If you fail, your opponent has disadvantage on the damage roll and your attack does no damage.
Your opponent cannot attack or in any way use a bound weapon. A creature with a bound weapon can use its action to attempt to free the weapon. To do so, it must succeed in a Strength (Athletics) check contested by your Strength (Athletics) check. You may release a bound weapon at any time as a free action.
If you are wielding a weapon with the Defensive property and have taken the Defend action in combat, you can use your reaction to deflect a blow when you are hit by a melee attack. When you do so, the damage you take from the attack is reduced by the amount shown next your weapon’s Defensive property. Example: Defensive (1d4).
As an example of how this opens up design space for more advanced combat tactics, here is the rough draft of a Hook Sword and some preliminary Feats that complement it and the Actions seen above. Please note that not only are these rules rough drafts, but some of them are not necessarily going to be in our Core Rulebook.
Longsword, hook 1d8 slashing Defensive (1d4), Binding
Prerequisites: Proficiency with Long Sword; Dexterity 13 or higher.
You have trained in the Hook longsword, also known as Hook Swords or Tiger Hooks. You gain the following benefits.
Prerequisites: Tiger Hook Adept feat; Two-Weapon Fighting Style class feature; Strength 13 or higher.
You have mastered the art of wielding the exotic, but deadly hook longsword. You gain the following benefits.
Legal Information Permission to copy, modify and distribute the files collectively known as the System Reference Document 5.1 (“SRD5”) is granted solely through the use of the Open Gaming License, Version 1.0a. This material is being released using the Open Gaming License Version 1.0a and you should read and understand the terms of that license before using this material. The text of the Open Gaming License itself is not Open Game Content. Instructions on using the License are provided within the License itself. The following items are designated Product Identity, as defined in Section 1(e) of the Open Game License Version 1.0a, and are subject to the conditions set forth in Section 7 of the OGL, and are not Open Content: Dungeons & Dragons, D&D, Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master, Monster Manual, d20 System, Wizards of the Coast, d20 (when used as a trademark), Forgotten Realms, Faerûn, proper names (including those used in the names of spells or items), places, Underdark, Red Wizard of Thay, the City of Union, Heroic Domains of Ysgard, EverChanging Chaos of Limbo, Windswept Depths of Pandemonium, Infinite Layers of the Abyss, Tarterian Depths of Carceri, Gray Waste of Hades, Bleak Eternity of Gehenna, Nine Hells of Baator, Infernal Battlefield of Acheron, Clockwork Nirvana of Mechanus, Peaceable Kingdoms of Arcadia, Seven Mounting Heavens of Celestia, Twin Paradises of Bytopia, Blessed Fields of Elysium, Wilderness of the Beastlands, Olympian Glades of Arborea, Concordant Domain of the Outlands, Sigil, Lady of Pain, Book of Exalted Deeds, Book of Vile Darkness, beholder, gauth, carrion crawler, tanar’ri, baatezu, displacer beast, githyanki, githzerai, mind flayer, illithid, umber hulk, yuan-ti. All of the rest of the SRD5 is Open Game Content as described in Section 1(d) of the License. The terms of the Open Gaming License Version 1.0a are as follows: OPEN GAME LICENSE Version 1.0a The following text is the property of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. and is Copyright 2000 Wizards of the Coast, Inc (“Wizards”). All Rights Reserved. 1. Definitions: (a)”Contributors” means the copyright and/or trademark owners who have contributed Open Game Content; (b)”Derivative Material” means copyrighted material including derivative works and translations (including into other computer languages), potation, modification, correction, addition, extension, upgrade, improvement, compilation, abridgment or other form in which an existing work may be recast, transformed or adapted; (c) “Distribute” means to reproduce, license, rent, lease, sell, broadcast, publicly display, transmit or otherwise distribute; (d)”Open Game Content” means the game mechanic and includes the methods, procedures, processes and routines to the extent such content does not embody the Product Identity and is an enhancement over the prior art and any additional content clearly identified as Open Game Content by the Contributor, and means any work covered by this License, including translations and derivative works under copyright law, but specifically excludes Product Identity. (e) “Product Identity” means product and product line names, logos and identifying marks including trade dress; artifacts; creatures characters; stories, storylines, plots, thematic elements, dialogue, incidents, language, artwork, symbols, designs, depictions, likenesses, formats, poses, concepts, themes and graphic, photographic and other visual or audio representations; names and descriptions of characters, spells, enchantments, personalities, teams, personas, likenesses and special abilities; places, locations, environments, creatures, equipment, magical or supernatural abilities or effects, logos, symbols, or graphic designs; and any other trademark or registered trademark clearly identified as Product identity by the owner of the Product Identity, and which specifically excludes the Open Game Content; (f) “Trademark” means the logos, names, mark, sign, motto, designs that are used by a Contributor to identify itself or its products or the associated products contributed to the Open Game License by the Contributor (g) “Use”, “Used” or “Using” means to use, Distribute, copy, edit, format, modify, translate and otherwise create Derivative Material of Open Game Content. (h) “You” or “Your” means the licensee in terms of this agreement. 2. The License: This License applies to any Open Game Content that contains a notice indicating that the Open Game Content may only be Used under and in terms of this License. You must affix such a notice to any Open Game Content that you Use. No terms may be added to or subtracted from this License except as described by the License itself. No other terms or conditions may be applied to any Open Game Content distributed using this License. 3.Offer and Acceptance: By Using the Open Game Content You indicate Your acceptance of the terms of this License. 4. Grant and Consideration: In consideration for agreeing to use this License, the Contributors grant You a perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free, nonexclusive license with the exact terms of this License to Use, the Open Game Content. 5.Representation of Authority to Contribute: If You are contributing original material as Open Game Content, You represent that Your Contributions are Your original creation and/or You have sufficient rights to grant the rights conveyed by this License. 6.Notice of License Copyright: You must update the COPYRIGHT NOTICE portion of this License to include the exact text of the COPYRIGHT NOTICE of any Open Game Content You are copying, modifying or distributing, and You must add the title, the copyright date, and the copyright holder’s name to the COPYRIGHT NOTICE of any original Open Game Content you Distribute. 7. Use of Product Identity: You agree not to Use any Product Identity, including as an indication as to compatibility, except as expressly licensed in another, independent Agreement with the owner of each element of that Product Identity. You agree not to indicate compatibility or co-adaptability with any Trademark or Registered Trademark in conjunction with a work containing Open Game Content except as expressly licensed in another, independent Agreement with the owner of such Trademark or Registered Trademark. The use of any Product Identity in Open Game Content does not constitute a challenge to the ownership of that Product Identity. The owner of any Product Identity used in Open Game Content shall retain all rights, title and interest in and to that Product Identity. 8. Identification: If you distribute Open Game Content You must clearly indicate which portions of the work that you are distributing are Open Game Content. 9. Updating the License: Wizards or its designated Agents may publish updated versions of this License. You may use any authorized version of this License to copy, modify and distribute any Open Game Content originally distributed under any version of this License. 10. Copy of this License: You MUST include a copy of this License with every copy of the Open Game Content You Distribute. 11. Use of Contributor Credits: You may not market or advertise the Open Game Content using the name of any Contributor unless You have written permission from the Contributor to do so. 12. Inability to Comply: If it is impossible for You to comply with any of the terms of this License with respect to some or all of the Open Game Content due to statute, judicial order, or governmental regulation then You may not Use any Open Game Material so affected. 13. Termination: This License will terminate automatically if You fail to comply with all terms herein and fail to cure such breach within 30 days of becoming aware of the breach. All sublicenses shall survive the termination of this License. 14. Reformation: If any provision of this License is held to be unenforceable, such provision shall be reformed only to the extent necessary to make it enforceable. 15. COPYRIGHT NOTICE Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, LLC. System Reference Document 5.1 Copyright 2016, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Chris Perkins, Rodney Thompson, Peter Lee, James Wyatt, Robert J. Schwalb, Bruce R. Cordell, Chris Sims, and Steve Townshend, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. END OF LICENSE