I had a player do something like that, in my game. The group was trying to save an important NPC from magical attack, and things weren't going so well - the lightning bolt was in the air already. The player, who's character was a guard and pretty fanatical about protecting those he looked after, declared he would jump in the way and take the blast. So I asked him to give me a total.
It was awful. He had nothing related to speed, or movement. All he had were his 'unflinchingly brave'-style traits; nothing to actually perform the action, but plenty to motivate it.
So I asked what he did have, and he was Made of Stone 10w, Tough, and so forth. He could make a fantastic total for absorbing damage. We decided to roll for that instead, to assume he made it into the way - the check was for how badly that went for him. A much more interesting contest than his pretty much guaranteed failure at the other one would have been. Of course, he rolled a 20 and I a 1, so that was the end of Moranus; but he saved the king and was a hero even so.
Framing the more interesting contest seemed to work pretty well. Sorry for dragging out another combat example, though.
-- Jakob Pape "Sometimes subtlety comes in the form of large explosions and jammed open airlock doors."
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