A discussion on ENworld got me to thinking: what would combat stance rules look like in Modos RPG? I see them mostly as a close-combat tactical decision, so I’m not sure that magic-users or shooters would use them. But a swordsman or martial artist might like to gain advantages from certain stances. Rules that might come into play are the typical physical conflict rules: damage, protection, initiative, actions, max damage, and posture.
The easy way to use stances would be to reimagine posture. Offensive posture is an offensive stance, allowing a character to make the most progress possible at the expense of safety. Defensive posture would be accessible in every conflict, and protect a character from damage while limiting offensive options.
But I think the idea of “stance” might be better captured with a more complex rule/rule module. Each stance should be a tradeoff: it makes something go better, but also increases a vulnerability. Choose a stance at the beginning of each round:
Paper: increase damage die type, opponent(s) does same
Scissors: fix turn before opponent’s turn, your max physical damage decreases by 4
Rock: gain Large Size perk (without growing), your protection die type decreases.
A stance could also come with a benefit and a fixed cost: initiative or actions. Choosing a stance increases your damage die type or protection die type with a specific weapon or armor, and the price of doing so is spending an action or delaying your turn after one combatant. However, matching your opponent’s stance could move your turn before the previous opponent’s turn. The gamble(s) here is that your new stance will be worth the loss of an action, or that having or keeping an earlier turn gives your action priority when your opponent takes max damage, who would then be unable to damage you.
As always, designing rules modules is part of the fun of Modos RPG, but make sure you have your game group’s approval to start using one :)