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So what game does gridless ('theater of mind') combat well?

 
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:37 pm    Post subject: So what game does gridless ('theater of mind') combat well? Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

With D&D it's made with grids in mind and you can handwave gridless combat.

But what combat heavy game is built from the ground up with tactical gridless combat? And does it well?

I'm thinking 'theater of the mind with maybe some minis to look nice' and not "break out the tape measures"


Last edited by OgreBattle on Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:33 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Krusk
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Most wargames do this. They measure distances with a rules and inches.

*edit well now after your edits i look illiterate.


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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Warhammer FB/40K for instance.
And there is a variant of Battletech as well.
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Foxwarrior
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It's odd how many threads OgreBattle has started where I really feel like mentioning my own game would be appropriate. Sometimes when the topic gets elaborated on a bit, I realize that the paths have diverged, but still.
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Antariuk
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'd say Numenera/The Cypher System qualifies. It's basically another murderhobo-simulator, but distances are handled quite abstract (immediate/short/long distance). I'm not a big fan of the Numenera setting as written, but I've used the Cypher System to run a gridless Shadowrun game with satisfying results.
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Foxwarrior wrote:
It's odd how many threads OgreBattle has started where I really feel like mentioning my own game would be appropriate. Sometimes when the topic gets elaborated on a bit, I realize that the paths have diverged, but still.


I ask the big questions! And always welcome to hear ideas that diverge from expectations

Quote:
but distances are handled quite abstract (immediate/short/long distance)


How does it handle blast attacks, intercepting, defending, use of terrain and so on? That's the conundrum I've been facing where I try to design a gridless abstracted combat system but find having a grid is just easier to track.
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Foxwarrior
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ah, I see that you edited your actual response into the first post.
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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Frank's "Warp Cult" also used a gridless combat system. Cleaning up Necromunda, and run off of Shadowrun's dicepools essentially.
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The other day I played Colt Express, a board game with a train to move around on.

Movement and actions was done with a hand of cards drawn from your deck, shuffled and redrawn every turn.

Damage was represented by getting a junk bullet card stuck into your deck. So getting shot didn't knock you out of the game in a hard way, but softly increased the chances of you not getting the right action cards to fulfill your goals.

THere's also that card heroes game where your hero's class and equipment is a deck you draw cards from to sword/magic/move about.

So I've got cards on my mind as a way to do gridless combat. Having a separate 'terrain deck' that players interact with like... maybe a card is played each turn ( " 'obscuring rain' is now in effect for this turn") or maybe players can take an action to draw a card from it blind ("I got 'fireplace' and throw the goblin into the fireplace")

As we're all familiar with MtG here, perhaps terrain and event cards are like enchantments, auras, blockers to bypass.

Combat will need to be rather abstracted so you don't wind up with 20 goblins each having a deck of 20 cards.


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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

If we're doing card-based combat, I could definitely see minions being treated more like equipment in an encounter's hand rather than separate players unto themselves. In fact, the GM probably shouldn't be managing more than one hand even when there's multiple powerful monsters involved. Instead of each monster having their own hand, I'd give each monster their own tableau. The GM can play cards onto a monster's tableau and the party can deal damage to fill up the monster's tableau, thus decreasing the total number of effects the GM can have out at one time.

Trash minions like your standard goblins or gnolls or whatever can probably be played outside those tableaus, while equipment and abilities have to be played on the tableau of a monster capable of using that ability. So, if you have a death knight and a necromancer, you can play plate armor on the death knight but not on the necromancer, and you can play ray of enfeeblement on the necromancer but not on the death knight. Playing skeleton cards off of the tableau might also require that the necromancer's tableau have a free spot on it, something you could represent by having the last card slot on the necromancer tableau have "animate dead" or whatever printed on it. Alternatively, animate dead could be a specific card that the necromancer can play on his tableau that allows skeleton cards to be played off of it, but that runs into the problem where the GM's hand might fill up with useless skeleton cards that he can't deploy because he can't find any of his animate dead cards.

A deckbuilder RPG could be a lot of fun, but the drawback is that every new class or Monster Manual would be an expansion set instead of a book. That's not a drawback at all to established companies who can afford the initial print run and then sell that to players, but it's definitely a drawback to random dudes on the internet trying to homebrew a game.
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shlominus
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

https://sentinelsofthemultiverse.com/

i assume this might be the hero-game you mentioned, ogrebattle. it does contain a seperate terrain deck that can be interacted with in several ways. minions as equipment is also a thing.

it doesn't feature any movement at all though.
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Harshax
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Savage Worlds has card based positions and distance for three dimensional combat. I added facing based on suit: aces front, spades rear, hearts and clubs left and right flank. This was added to introduce the importance of turrets vs the firing arcs of fixed mounted weapons. Never got to use the RAW or optional rules in play.
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Hiram McDaniels
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Some games like 13th Age and Marvel Heroic Roleplaying use range "bands" like melee, short and long ranges.

Fate uses "Zones", which basically divide the tactical space into landmarks. So in an old-time-y saloon fight, the zones might be the swinging doors, the piano, the bar, and the balcony.

This works fine for narrative games, but falls apart when you try to add in D&D style tactics like AoE spells, flanking, attacks of opportunity, etc. I've tried writing abstract movement systems that account for these things, but the result always winds up being more convoluted than just saying: move 6 squares (or 30 ft.) and roll to attack.

Maybe someone out there has come up with something simpler and more user-friendly, but I haven't seen it yet.
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hiram McDaniels wrote:

Maybe someone out there has come up with something simpler and more user-friendly, but I haven't seen it yet.


How does Fate cover multiple combatants in one zone? Things like defending, flanking in the game?
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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

To the extent that things like flanking exist at all in Fate, it's through the Create an Advantage action, which is incredibly broad. There is also a dedicated Defend action, although I'm not sure what that has to do with zones. Maybe you meant defending a chokepoint to prevent people from reaching squishy back line characters, or otherwise bodyblocking attackers from reaching teammates? That would fall under Create an Advantage, which would create a situation aspect for the scene, which either the bodyblockers or the back line could pay a Fate Point to invoke and get various goodies for doing so. A front line character could use this aspect to get a bonus against any enemy who's attacked the back line anyway, and a back line character could use it to get bonuses to their defense rolls.
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Hiram McDaniels
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chamomile wrote:
To the extent that things like flanking exist at all in Fate, it's through the Create an Advantage action, which is incredibly broad. There is also a dedicated Defend action, although I'm not sure what that has to do with zones. Maybe you meant defending a chokepoint to prevent people from reaching squishy back line characters, or otherwise bodyblocking attackers from reaching teammates? That would fall under Create an Advantage, which would create a situation aspect for the scene, which either the bodyblockers or the back line could pay a Fate Point to invoke and get various goodies for doing so. A front line character could use this aspect to get a bonus against any enemy who's attacked the back line anyway, and a back line character could use it to get bonuses to their defense rolls.


There are also obstacle rules, which state that characters can move freely from zone to sone as long as there is nothing obstructing them; but if there are obstacles in the way, like rubble, a patch of ice, or a dude with a sword, then the GM assigns a difficulty for the PC to roll against in order to move.
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Mask_De_H
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hiram McDaniels wrote:
Chamomile wrote:
To the extent that things like flanking exist at all in Fate, it's through the Create an Advantage action, which is incredibly broad. There is also a dedicated Defend action, although I'm not sure what that has to do with zones. Maybe you meant defending a chokepoint to prevent people from reaching squishy back line characters, or otherwise bodyblocking attackers from reaching teammates? That would fall under Create an Advantage, which would create a situation aspect for the scene, which either the bodyblockers or the back line could pay a Fate Point to invoke and get various goodies for doing so. A front line character could use this aspect to get a bonus against any enemy who's attacked the back line anyway, and a back line character could use it to get bonuses to their defense rolls.


There are also obstacle rules, which state that characters can move freely from zone to sone as long as there is nothing obstructing them; but if there are obstacles in the way, like rubble, a patch of ice, or a dude with a sword, then the GM assigns a difficulty for the PC to roll against in order to move.


These rules also kick in for defending against Create an Advantage actions against a specific target, and are extrapolated into being able to take hits for multiple people.
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