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A Proposed Combat System
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Murtak
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 3:43 pm    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List


Back to the original post ....

Aycarus wrote:
Every character has two more new scores - their speed and their movement rate. Speed is a measure of the number of action points a character gets in a round, and is 6 for most characters.

Movement rate is fine as a separate stat. Unless you have wildly differing rates of movement you should be fine.

Speed is tricky, but balanceable, especially if the characters are going to be within a small spread and you mainly use the full range of action points for monsters.

Aycarus wrote:
A haste spell or equivalent can increase this to 9 and a slow spell or equivalent can decrease this to 4.

Keep in mind that haste can quickly become a must-have effect, as it has become in many systems.

Aycarus wrote:
The combat cycle begins with all characters rolling a Reflex check to determine initiative. The initiative then holds for the duration of the combat. (snip explanation)

Sounds fine.

Aycarus wrote:
Actions are broken up into 2 types: Combat actions, which allow a character to retain their defensive bonus, and actions that sacrifice defense, which cause a character to lose their defensive bonus (equivilant to dropping to AC 10 + dex mod).

Again, sounds fine.

Aycarus wrote:
Attacking - # of action points for weapon (3 for dagger or knife, 6 for greataxe)

For all the reasons outlined in this thread you are probably better off with a single cost for all attack options, regardless of weapon type. You can still incorporate special weapon styles, like power-attacking for more damage but with a higher cost, or even some dagger specialist reducing the delay on his dagger attacks. But for your average proficient wielder you are best served with a uniform action cost.

Aycarus wrote:
Activate a magic item - 4 or by magic item
Defenseive move - 1 per (character's move distance)
Draw a weapon - 2
Hold initiative - 0*

All fine.

Aycarus wrote:
Hold ground - 0**

Problematic, as already outlined. Instead let characters start actions in round one and finish them in round two.

Aycarus wrote:
Parry - # of action points for weapon
Trip - # of action points for weapon

Fold into attack action for easier rules reference.

Aycarus wrote:
Casting a spell - # of action points for spell
Drink a potion or apply an oil - 4
Move - 1 per 2x(character's move distance)
Retrieve a stored item - 2

All fine.

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User3
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 5:41 pm    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

RandomCasualty wrote:

Well, here's the thing. If you can wipe out one opponent faster, generally it may well be worth paying the cost. Normally you'd have 18 APs over 3 roudns. If you can haste for 9 on round 1, then go to 8 APs for the following two rounds combined, you'd end up with only 17 APs total, a loss of only a single AP. However, you'd be wiping out enemies faster, and thus taking a lot less risk in those future rounds.


Hmm... clearly, it's still too far towards the too-powerful-to-not-be-used-every-combat side. I'd be inclined to spot-weld the idea further by making a character affected by this kind of haste fatigued on those subsequent rounds as well. The idea is starting to skate the dangerous line of becoming useless once that's added though.
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RandomCasualty
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 9:22 pm    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Guest (Unregistered) wrote:


Hmm... clearly, it's still too far towards the too-powerful-to-not-be-used-every-combat side. I'd be inclined to spot-weld the idea further by making a character affected by this kind of haste fatigued on those subsequent rounds as well. The idea is starting to skate the dangerous line of becoming useless once that's added though.


I wouldn't worry too much about having a haste effect that's useless. Because no matter how bad the penalties, you can *always* find situations where it pays to get a round and a half worth of actions this round, even if it means you do nothing for the next two rounds. If you can wipe your opponent out with a haste burst, or you'll be dead next round anyway, it doesn't matter how stiff the penalty is. So long as you can use it in situations where you're most likely not going to be in combat the round after, it is a very worthwhile choice.

Given that haste effects almost universally end up crazy overpowered, you should start with what you would consider a "useless" effect and then work up from there. A useless spell doesn't break the game, where an overpowered one does. Thus you should always choose caution to start out, especially when dealing with a mechanic proven to be highly volatile.

Generally if you must start anywhere, I'd probably start at "gain 3 APs, lose 6 from the future round", though even that may end up being too powerful in playtesting.

It's probably much easier to just stick with slow effects though, and not worry about hasting people at all.
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Aycarus
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 1:50 am    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Murtak wrote:
...


Thanks Murtak. That was a really good overview of the post.

Quote:

Aycarus wrote:
Hold ground - 0**

Problematic, as already outlined. Instead let characters start actions in round one and finish them in round two.


I'm still concerned about this suggestion. I see where you're coming from with holding actions off, but if characters can start actions on round one and finish them on round two, you can still run into ambushers getting two attacks before the defenders get one (assuming a weapon speed of 4). Effectively an ambusher with a surprise round can start his second attack on the first round and steal actions from next round, still getting that second attack in before initiative is even rolled.

I'd be more inclined to block action point forwarding in non-combat rounds - rather: A character can only perform the "hold ground" action on a combat round - defined as either "a round where all sides of a combat are given the opportunity to act or a surprise round" or "a round where parties remain on both sides of the combat following the initial initiative roll for the combat."

Thoughts?
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Aycarus
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 2:21 am    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I should probably add a bit about the weapon system I had in mind incorporating with this system, since it appears to be notably intertwined with the combat system (at least on the weapon speed issue). This type of system for weapons may seem slightly complicated, but I figure it's easier to create something complicated and remove elements than build something simple and add things on.

Weapons have been categorized by type and each type is designed to provide certain pros or cons - some, such as axes, specialize in high damage and defense penetration whereas daggers are designed for speed and concealment; swords generally fall in the middle as good versatile arms while staves are designed to be highly defensive weapons. Maces and clubs deal impact and stun damage (unless modified with a well-placed nail), useful against undead, or for the purposes of knocking a target out. Polearms have added reach, so they can keep targets at bay, and can be braced to damage charging opponents.

Weapons are mastered with a series of strong skills, which grant combat techniques and improve the merits of a weapon while slowly removing the detriments. Hit chance is pretty much constant, almost exclusively dependent on a character's associated stat. Heroes are differentiated by having statistics about twice as good as those of a peasant.

Weapons have the following characteristics, roughly balanced between weapon types:

- Type: The skill associated with this weapon (axes, clubs and maces, short blades, long blades, staves, etc.)

- Damage Type: The type of damage dealt by this particular type of weapon - either slashing, piercing, impact or by energy type. Armor uses a soak-based system, with certain types of armor better against certain damage types.

- Damage (Ordinary / Good / Amazing): These three values indicate the amount of damage dealt by the weapon to the target on a successful hit (categorized by severity of hit).

- Range: Working range on the weapon. Most melee weapons have a range of 5ft. Long polearms have an active range of 5ft to 10ft, with a character suffering penalties for melee opponents that push in closer. Ranged weapons have short, medium, and long ranges that penalize his hit chances within these confines.

- Actions: Weapon speed in actions.

- Deflection: Certain weapons are easily be used to deflect attacks and so add to the wielder's deflection (AC) when being used. For example, a quarterstaff is much more useful at providing defense against damage than an axe (untrained, at least) - based on Essence's earlier comments, a character that advances his axe skill could probably increase his deflection to more competitive levels or pick up a technique for automatically attempting to disarm an opponent when the weapon deflects a blow. Shields can thus be treated as weapons that do not inflict any damage but grant a large deflection bonus.

- Size: Small weapons apply only half of a character's strength bonus to damage. Large weapons apply 1.5x a character's strength bonus to damage.

- Concealment: The penalty imposed on a character's disguise check when attempting to conceal this weapon.

- Weight: Weight of the weapon in pounds.
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Murtak
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 10:22 am    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List


Aycarus wrote:
Murtak wrote:
Aycarus wrote:
Hold ground - 0**
Problematic, as already outlined. Instead let characters start actions in round one and finish them in round two.

I'm still concerned about this suggestion. I see where you're coming from with holding actions off, but if characters can start actions on round one and finish them on round two, you can still run into ambushers getting two attacks before the defenders get one (assuming a weapon speed of 4).

If you really want to change that you can always have actions take effect when they finish, not when they start.

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Aycarus
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 3:31 am    Post subject: A Proposed Combat System - Rewritten x1 Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Alright, so I removed weapon speed and adjusted the system appropriately. It seemed that after removing weapon speed, action points added needless complication to the system, so I removed those as well. This design attempts to actively prevent multiple attacks per round rather than encourage them (so it's quite a change from the original design). As usual, comments or thoughts are appreciated.

Atlas Combat Mechanics v2
Every character has a movement rate. Movement rate is a measure of how far the character can briskly walk in about 6 second. Again, for most medium-build characters this is 30 feet. Further, characters have something known as an Reflex check, which indicates how quickly they react - this is a balanced skill of some sort, roughly equivilant to their initiative bonus.

The combat cycle begins with all characters rolling a Reflex check to determine initiative. The initiative then holds for the duration of the combat. During each round, the highest initiative roll acts first, followed by the second highest, etc. On his initiative, a character resolves his actions for the round. Every round a character may take either one full action and one short action (in any order) or two short actions.

Action Types
Actions are broken up into 2 types: Combat actions, which allow a character to retain their defensive bonus, and actions that sacrifice defense, which cause a character to lose their defensive bonus (equivilant to dropping to AC 10 + armor bonus). If any of a character's actions for the round cause him to sacrifice his defense, the resulting drop in armor class applies until his first action next round.

Further, each type of action is broken into full actions and short actions. Full actions are considered to take a long time in order to complete, such as riffling through a pack, activating a magical item, or even attacking. Short actions can be completed in two or three seconds, often simultaneous with a full action. Short actions include drawing a weapon, making a step, etc.

Triggering an Action
When a character moves through the threatened area of a creature who has not yet acted this round, that creature may react to the character. He may immediately trigger his full action, but only if acting against the threatened character. For example, an orc has not yet acted this round and is currently guarding a 10 foot wide corridor. A character attempts to rush past the orc, entering its threatened area while doing so. The orc may immediately react and attempt to block the path of the character or attack him.

Combat Actions
Attack
Activate a magic item
Block the path - prevent a character attempting to move through a threatened area from continuing
Defensive move - move at your characters movement rate
Hold initiative*
Parry

Short Actions
Draw a second weapon
Step - move 5 feet

Sacrifice Defense
Charge + Attack** - move at your characters movement rate x 2 and attack (must be in a straight line)
Casting a spell
Deliver coup de grace
Drink a potion or apply an oil
Move - move at your characters movement rate x 2

Short Actions
Draw a weapon
Retrieve a stored item

* Holding initiative to a lower initative does not cost an action since the character will be able to act at a later point in this round.

** Your character maintains his defense against the target he is attacking, but sacrifices his defense against all creatures in his path towards the target.
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RandomCasualty
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:36 pm    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System - Rewritten x1 Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Well first I can say that you might as well make the movement rate higher. Rather than haivng stuff like "movement rate * 12".

Also, your rules for triggering an action were puzzling. You say that "When a character moves through the threatened area of a creature who has not yet acted this round," however, when you're using a cyclical initiative system in which initatiive doesn't change, then you generally don't have situations where a creature has not acted yet in a given round, since rounds are determined as the space between your actions and there is no independent round count.

Rather than write it in such a complex fashion, just require that the character hold his initative perhaps, or treat it like an AoO but the character loses his action for the round.

As for dropping defenses while charging, that's very harsh and likely unless you've got some broken charge build going, nobody is going to bother to charge with that restriction.

Also you never defined what a short action is.
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Aycarus
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 2:29 am    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System - Rewritten x1 Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

RandomCasualty wrote:
Well first I can say that you might as well make the movement rate higher. Rather than haivng stuff like "movement rate * 12"... Also you never defined what a short action is.


Heh... reasonable suggestions. I've corrected the text

Quote:
Also, your rules for triggering an action were puzzling
...
Rather than write it in such a complex fashion, just require that the character hold his initative perhaps, or treat it like an AoO but the character loses his action for the round.


That's a good idea - effectively equivalent to what I was saying except have the creature only able to block the overrunning character.

The idea behind triggered actions is simply to prevent obvious abuses that D&D covers up with its attack of opportunity system and still maintain the system as having one attack per round.

For example, a character that attempts to move past a guard with the capacity to act this round should be blocked - a low initiative doesn't make him incapable of reacting until his turn. Holding initative doesn't help in this situation because the target creature has a lower initiative anyway.

Quote:
As for dropping defenses while charging, that's very harsh and likely unless you've got some broken charge build going, nobody is going to bother to charge with that restriction.


Well, it only causes loss of defense in the path towards the target - it means that an attacker can quickly get to his target and make an attack in the same round, but needs to ensure that his path is clear towards that target. It's an effective mechanism for moving from your current target to the nearest target and still make an attack (effectively this action replaces the move/attack action in d20).
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