DV Negation Changes
In this variation of the standard rules, a character’s DV is reduced by half – rounding up or down as appropriate to the character type – rather than reduced to zero when he is subjected to an unexpected attack, or held inactive in a grapple. Other effects which would reduce his defenses to zero – such as being totally incapacitated, or facing an attack against which no defenses are applicable – function normally.
This change results in less lethal but still extremely advantageous sneak attacks and clinching. It scales in direct proportion to the standard approach (the greater the target’s normal DV, the greater the effective benefit), so the primary mechanical value of these actions remains unchanged.
By making it impossible to guarantee a hit by conventional means, it reduces the ability to use these approaches to overcome enemies far outside a character’s normal capabilities, and thus reduces the necessity for every significant character to have immunity from them, while keeping those protections valuable.
This rule, combined with the Heroic Wounds System makes for a fairly robust resolution to the problem of extreme lethality in Exalted.