Rally, the Sixth Basic Power
I’ve mentioned before how I came up with five basic powers for every character: Attack, Guard, Engage, Cheer, and Block, which I called a “chassis.” Earlier this week, I devised a sixth power to help round things out a little bit, and to give player characters one more option in combat: Rally.
In keeping with the other powers, Rally has at least two primary functions, which are intended to lend it a degree of versatility. Its basic effect requires a Standard action to activate, granting the character a +2 bonus to attack until the end of their next turn, and removing one ongoing effect from them – a counterpart to Guard.
If you’re familiar with the Tome of Battle, you’ll probably note a similarity to a maneuver called “Iron Heart Surge,” which was certainly part of the inspiration here. The other major inspiration was of course the “Saving Throw” which is one of those iconic D&D things. I wanted a comparable, but unique effect.
Rally is intended to lend a bit more to the idea of morale in combat. It enables the character to redouble their efforts and focus on attacking, and you can bet there will be effects designed specifically to enhance this basic power. Cheer has also been tweaked to allow your ally to benefit from Guard or Rally.
I’ve been making a concerted effort to integrate “status effects” at the core of the game, and I think it’s important to have a proactive power like Rally to emphasize the need for paying attention to a character’s status. It may be necessary for several characters to Cheer one ally to shake off stacked effects – but it’s possible.
I also get a real kick out of the idea of “Cheer Rallies” because part of me is quite stupid. Really, really incredibly stupid. *sheepish*
Now with Rally expanding the utility of Cheer, I might make a move to limit the use of Cheer in one turn. Then again, I might not. I like the possibility of players using Cheer multiple times, potentially helping out the whole party. Then again, it might turn out to be too much of a good thing. Or someone might do all of the cheering.
Rally brings the total number of Standard-action basic powers up to three. Currently the only Sudden-action basic power is Engage, Cheer is the only Swift-action basic power, and Block is the only Readied-action basic power. I’m kind of fine with that for now, since there are choices that can be made. Choices for how to act in a turn.
Having a choice is nice.