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A Proposed Combat System
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Aycarus
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2005 6:50 pm    Post subject: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Here's an idea for a combat system I've been tossing around. I'd like to know if the idea is workable, and further if it could be balanced. This is for a system that's mostly unrelated to d20 (in fact, it's a point-buy system), but based off of a similar concept. The system is designed as such in order to increase realism and flexibility in combat, work with the point-based foundation, and maintain simplicity comparable to the d20 system.

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. A haste spell or equivalent can increase this to 9 and a slow spell or equivalent can decrease this to 4. Movement rate is a measure of how far the character can briskly walk in about 2 seconds. Again, for most medium-build characters this is 5 feet. Further, characters have something known as a 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.

The combat round consists of a 12 second period where characters have the ability to act. Characters begin the combat round with full action points.

A combat round consists of a number of segments, which are measured by the amount of time it takes for all characters to take one action. In a segment, the highest initiative roll acts first, followed by the second highest, etc. On their initiative, a character makes a single action which has an associated cost in action points. This cost is then subtracted from their action points for the round and their action is resolved.

After all characters have acted, a new segment begins and all characters with remaining action points may act a second time. This continues until all characters are done acting for the round. A character may carry over any remaining action points to the next round, up to one half his speed.

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).

Here is a sketch table of the cost in action points for various actions:

Combat Actions
Attacking - # of action points for weapon (3 for dagger or knife, 6 for greataxe)
Activate a magic item - 4 or by magic item
Defenseive move - 1 per (character's move distance)
Draw a weapon - 2
Hold initiative - 0*
Hold ground - 0**
Parry - # of action points for weapon
Trip - # of action points for weapon

Sacrifice Defense
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

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

** Holding ground indicates the character is not moving but is done acting for the round. Up to half his speed in remaining action points may be held over to the next round.

Thoughts are, as always, appreciated.
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Murtak
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2005 7:09 pm    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List


- The initiative system sounds decent enough, apart from the carrying over to the next round part. That sounds like a broken mechanic to me. What is it supposed to accomplish? If it merely represents characters waiting for their opportunity to strike it would probably be better to have that option just maximize your initiative score for the next round (or maybe add an arbitrary bonus).

- Differing attack action points will be broken if your system features damage bonuses.

- How will your parry system work?

- Trip (and sunder and Disarm if you have them) should be grouped together with the regular attack action. That will make it easier for you to not write confusing rules later.

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Aycarus
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2005 7:21 pm    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Murtak wrote:

- The initiative system sounds decent enough, apart from the carrying over to the next round part. That sounds like a broken mechanic to me. What is it supposed to accomplish? If it merely represents characters waiting for their opportunity to strike it would probably be better to have that option just maximize your initiative score for the next round (or maybe add an arbitrary bonus).


It's designed to prevent action points from being thrown away arbitrarily at the end of the round (hence players getting annoyed when they're wielding a weapon with speed 4 and constantly being left with 2 spare action points that they have nothing to do with). Under the carry-over system, they would get 3 attacks every 2 rounds instead of the weaker 2 attacks every 2 rounds with 2 spare action points each round.

Quote:
- Differing attack action points will be broken if your system features damage bonuses.


Weapon damage should be scaled appropriately. For example, a dagger is a small weapon with speed 3. Since it's small, characters can only apply half their strength bonus to attack damage. On the other hand, an axe is a large weapon with speed 6. Since it's large, characters apply 1.5x their strength bonus to attack damage. So in the end, the axe ends up winning out with respect to damage bonuses. There's no such thing as a +1 weapon in this system, so there's no universal sense of +1 damage.

Quote:
- How will your parry system work?


A character that declares that he's parrying makes no attacks for the segment and gets to add twice his weapon's deflection score to his own defense (normally he'd just add 1x his weapon's deflection score) until his next action. Staves have the best deflection scores (+4), axes have poor deflection scores (+1), and swords are in between (+2/+3).

Quote:
- Trip (and sunder and Disarm if you have them) should be grouped together with the regular attack action. That will make it easier for you to not write confusing rules later.


Good idea.
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Murtak
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 12:46 am    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List


Well, I am not sure how deadly your system is, but someone carrying over the actions of an entire turn may end ambushes pretty quick. It might be better to have players start their action in turn one and have it finish as their first action in turn 2.

So a 6 action point player will get 2 actions in turn 1, start his next attack and finish it in turn 2, leaving him with 4 more points for that turn (6 - the 2 points he needs to finish his axe attack).

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Aycarus
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 2:26 am    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Murtak wrote:

Well, I am not sure how deadly your system is, but someone carrying over the actions of an entire turn may end ambushes pretty quick.


I'm not sure I understand why.
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RandomCasualty
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 5:43 am    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Generally I'm against any kind of system with a "number of actions" stat of any kind. Stated simply, I've never seen a balanced game where people can have more actions available than others. In such games, any ability or bonus which grants extra actions (or action points) is so powerful it's a must have.

As for balancing weapon speeds, you're essentially going to have to have a flat damage divisor. So fast weapons are damage / 2, normal weapons are normal damage, and slow weapons are damage * 2 or something like that. And this would have to apply to all damage. Basically use the multiplier or divisor after all calculations are made. Nothing should be added to the damage after the multiplier is applied.

That can be done, but I'm not sure how you'd intend to adequately balance characters with different amounts of actions, I don't really even think that's possible, unless you keep the action gap very small.
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Aycarus
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 6:16 am    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

RandomCasualty wrote:
That can be done, but I'm not sure how you'd intend to adequately balance characters with different amounts of actions, I don't really even think that's possible, unless you keep the action gap very small.


I think I'd like to do it such that *all* characters have 6 action points per round and any effect or power that changes that is an inherently very temporary effect (likely measured in rounds with some possible consequences).
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RandomCasualty
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 9:42 am    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Aycarus wrote:

I think I'd like to do it such that *all* characters have 6 action points per round and any effect or power that changes that is an inherently very temporary effect (likely measured in rounds with some possible consequences).


I wouldnt' really get into that. As has been shown by 3.0 haste, stuff that grants extra actions is going to be overpowered. And eventually everyone has to have it or they'll be underpowered.

If you're going to increase the number of action points, then you'd generally want to do it by level, such that everyone of a given level (and monsters of a given CR) gains more action points, that way every level 6 character is going to be equivalent as far as actions go. So you could give higher level people more attacks, and wizards more spells, that way.

Never however introduce extra actions that some people have and other people of the same level don't. That's where imbalances occur. It's ok for higher level people to be somewhat faster than low level ones, but every level 6 guy should be getting the same number of action points.

Also, it should be noted that giving away more action points will cause some odd effects, Since high level people will be doing in one turn what low level people would take two or three to do, initiative becomes a bigger concern at higher levels. The more action points you have, the more "going first" matters, since you're going to end up 8 or 9 action points behind instead of 6. So under thgis paradigm you'd have to make sure that the relative "value" of an action point goes down, unless you want to see the system become more deadly at high level.
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Murtak
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 9:49 am    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Aycarus wrote:
Murtak wrote:

Well, I am not sure how deadly your system is, but someone carrying over the actions of an entire turn may end ambushes pretty quick.

I'm not sure I understand why.

I am assuming that in am ambush the ambusher gets a round's worth of actions before the defender gets to participate.

Carrying points over from the last round the ambusher gets to have 14 action points instead of 9. An extra two attacks before the defender has a chance to act seems like it would make ambushes much more deadly, for no reason at all. It basically gives everyone who ambushes someone, charges into a room or the likes an extra half round's worth of actions.

If you just let the actions carry over from turn to turn instead of the action points you avoid all of that.

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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 9:41 pm    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

RC wrote:
As has been shown by 3.0 haste, stuff that grants extra actions is going to be overpowered. And eventually everyone has to have it or they'll be underpowered.


Actually, the conjunction you are looking for is OR. Not "and". By definition either the extra actions stuff is over powered or everyone who does not have it is underpowered. Not both. Of course, if those abilities are not universally available at the same time to the whole party, the difference is acedemic (as the game is ruined either way), but that kind of lax terminology undermines your argument.

But on another note: what, if anything, is the point of this system? Aycarus, what exactly do you intend to have this do? Assuming that you still have a six second combat round, what possible justification do you have for an attack with any particular melee weapon taking up any particular amount of action points? I can stab a knife a couple of dozen times in six seconds, so there already is not a one-to-one correspondance between swinging your weapon and making an attack roll, so what exactly are you getting at?

-Frank
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Aycarus
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 10:22 pm    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Murtak wrote:
Carrying points over from the last round the ambusher gets to have 14 action points instead of 9. An extra two attacks before the defender has a chance to act seems like it would make ambushes much more deadly, for no reason at all. It basically gives everyone who ambushes someone, charges into a room or the likes an extra half round's worth of actions.

If you just let the actions carry over from turn to turn instead of the action points you avoid all of that.


An extra two attacks? If we assume that both sides have a 6 action points per round then the ambushers can make an attack on the surprise round (say with weapon speed 4) and then carry the remaining 2 over to the next round. Thus next round they have 8 action points and so can make two attacks. If they win initiative, then they'll have another attack and have 4 action points left. The defenders then act normally and then on the second segment of the second round, the attackers get a second attack. So the attackers really only get one extra attack. Under the d20 system, you'd get the same effect anyway assuming the attackers won initiative.

If I understand you correctly on carrying forward actions, the attackers make their first attack on the first round, then make a second attack on the first round, stealing 2 action points from their next round. Then assuming they win initiative on the second round, they get a third attack before the defenders get to act. So if I'm understanding this correctly, under your system the ambushers are granted two extra attacks before the defenders, but only one is granted under the system as written.
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Aycarus
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 10:29 pm    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

RandomCasualty wrote:

I wouldnt' really get into that. As has been shown by 3.0 haste, stuff that grants extra actions is going to be overpowered. And eventually everyone has to have it or they'll be underpowered.


Is there no way to balance it? I could see a haste spell that forces "time borrowing" to be somewhat workable. For example, a character who is currently hasted to 9 action points per round is immediately slowed to 4 action points for two subsequent rounds. Thus characters would only really use haste if they needed the time now, knowing that they'll suffer for it in the future.

Alternatively, there could be a spell that allows your character to steal action points from an ally. The addition of this mechanic does present some options for flexibility, assuming it can be balanced.

Quote:
If you're going to increase the number of action points, then you'd generally want to do it by level...


Except this system is for a point-based system, so there's really no concept of level. If there's no possible way of balancing it with a variable set of action points, then I'd impose an unchangable 6 action points per character per round.
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Aycarus
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 10:48 pm    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:

But on another note: what, if anything, is the point of this system? Aycarus, what exactly do you intend to have this do? Assuming that you still have a six second combat round, what possible justification do you have for an attack with any particular melee weapon taking up any particular amount of action points? I can stab a knife a couple of dozen times in six seconds, so there already is not a one-to-one correspondance between swinging your weapon and making an attack roll, so what exactly are you getting at?


This system's supposed to be a mechanism for handling combat for a point-based system designed with the given axioms I presented above. As stated in my original post, the system's supposed to be more realistic and flexible than the d20 system while preserving a similar level of simplicity (encapsulated simplicity, of course - a point based system will generally be more complicated than a level based system, but it can have a combat system with comparable simplicity).

Anyway, the rationale for having weapon speeds is twofold:

from a realistic standpoint, a knife moves faster than an large axe. Arguably, a knife could be stabbed eleven or twelve times in that duration rather than the 3 imposed herein, but the point of note is that a person with a knife can generally make more attacks than a person with an axe. Now, this can be disputed of course, and not being a weapon master myself, I simply base it on how I perceive things and how other systems have handled weapons. The Alternity system, which gave me quite a bit of inspiration for this design, uses maximum number of attacks per round (4 for a dagger, 2 for an great axe) for example.

from a flexibility standpoint, weapon speed provides another facet for adding merit to each weapon. In the core d20 system a barbarian would never master using a dagger because it would do a lot less damage than a great axe, seeing as he'd get the same number of attacks per round with either. If he knew he could perform more attacks with a dagger, it might provide some interest.

Probably foremost as a counter argument though is - why not design a system with weapon speeds? The merit of the design process is enough justification to me; at the very least, it'll point me in a better direction if it doesn't work out.
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Murtak
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:20 am    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Aycarus wrote:
An extra two attacks? If we assume that both sides have a 6 action points per round then the ambushers can make an attack on the surprise round (say with weapon speed 4) and then carry the remaining 2 over to the next round.

You just described my proposed fix to your system.

What happens in your system is this:
round 1: cast haste
round 2: carry over the entire round (9/2) to the next one
round 3: Kick in the door, with an extra 4 or 5 action points


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Murtak
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:25 am    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Aycarus wrote:
from a realistic standpoint, a knife moves faster than an large axe. Arguably, a knife could be stabbed eleven or twelve times in that duration rather than the 3 imposed herein, but the point of note is that a person with a knife can generally make more attacks than a person with an axe.

Of course axes and swords have quite a bit more reach, making it much more likely to get an opportunity to attack. How are you going to handle reach?

Aycarus wrote:
from a flexibility standpoint, weapon speed provides another facet for adding merit to each weapon. In the core d20 system a barbarian would never master using a dagger because it would do a lot less damage than a great axe, seeing as he'd get the same number of attacks per round with either. If he knew he could perform more attacks with a dagger, it might provide some interest.

From a realism standpoint daggers do not get used when you have real weapons available, simply because they are inferior to them.

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RandomCasualty
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 9:46 am    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Aycarus wrote:

Is there no way to balance it? I could see a haste spell that forces "time borrowing" to be somewhat workable. For example, a character who is currently hasted to 9 action points per round is immediately slowed to 4 action points for two subsequent rounds. Thus characters would only really use haste if they needed the time now, knowing that they'll suffer for it in the future.


When you pay "future time" for current time, you generally run into one of two problems. If your combats are short, the future time your spending may not even be in combat. If your combats are long, the future time you're losing may actually be more serious of a drawback, and make the spell more or less useless.

Basically it comes down to the guy with the haste effect trying to time the point when he blows his wad to the point where the enemy will die that round and he won't have to worry about dealing with the fatigue cost. The problem with future costs is that you can very well avoid paying them entirely by ensuring that the future rounds aren't combat rounds, in which case having less actions isn't so bad.

The problem with this sort of thing is it leads people to solely perfect "nuke" combos. A thing I believe isn't good for an RPG as a whole. In an RPG, you generally want a trading of blows. Everyone should get their turn and can try to do something (whether unsuccessful or successful). It's no fun not to have a turn at all, and adding action points moves toward that paradigm. You shouldn't encourage people to try to develop one round nuke combos.

I've seen a lot of games which supported multiple actions and multiple turns, from D&D, Vampire the Masquerade, Shadowrun, to even Magic: the Gathering. In all those cases, multiple actions produce an experience that is not only unbalanced but also isn't very fun either.

About the only system I can say where multiple actions worked alright was the old d6 version of Star Wars, where anybody could take a multiple action at a penalty to all actions. This worked because it presented a way to quantify an extra action and because everyone got effectively the same number of actions (which was as many as you wanted).

However, any attempt to give away an unbalanced amount of actions seems doomed to failure. Or to put it another way, if it can be done, nobody has done it thus far, and it certainly isn't for lack of trying.


Quote:

Alternatively, there could be a spell that allows your character to steal action points from an ally. The addition of this mechanic does present some options for flexibility, assuming it can be balanced.


No, it can't be balanced. Mainly because the "ally" you could be stealing them from might be his rat familiar Binky or some 1st level spear carrier. So you're gaining more actions for your 15th level wizard and losing Binky's actions. There's no way to balance a trade like that.

The thing with actions is that their power is entirely relative to the guy using them, that's why they're imposisble to balance. An action point for Thor is worth an astronomical amount more than an action point for Binky.

Now it might be possible to be able to steal actions away from something with an equal or greater CR. IF you design your CRs right, then that should conceptually work, however I can really see few people actually wanting to use that ability. Most PCs come to the game to do stuff, not hand off their actions to some other player. And while an interesting tactical option, it isn't particularly fun for the PC playing the part of the action donor.
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RandomCasualty
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 9:49 am    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Aycarus wrote:

from a flexibility standpoint, weapon speed provides another facet for adding merit to each weapon. In the core d20 system a barbarian would never master using a dagger because it would do a lot less damage than a great axe, seeing as he'd get the same number of attacks per round with either. If he knew he could perform more attacks with a dagger, it might provide some interest.


I don't know, to me, a barbarian really shouldn't be using a dagger in the first place, at least not as effectively as a larger weapon.

If all weapons are equal, then why bother carrying around a heavy axe or greatsword when you can have an easily concealable dagger?

Weapon speeds and extra actions are pretty meaningless for melee combat. Anything you can do with multiple attacks you can probably do with one attack that is simply resolved as a series of blows. This is advantageous since it reduces down to a single die roll as opposed to several and speeds up play.
Basically you either do what D&D does, and say that heavy weapons are "better". Or you create certain balance systems, where light weapons are good against unarmored targets, since they stab multiple times and heavy weapons are good at penetrating DR, since they combine their force in one good swing.

About the only time that I consider the amount of attacks to ever be important is in gun and arrow battles, where you might actually care how many shots are used. In any even, I have yet to see an RPG truly adequately simulate a good gun battle. All that I've played, from D20 Mod to GURPS to Shadowrun are very too leinent on ammo usage. In most systems you can go through a whole mission, or at least most of one, without ever reloading your gun. My experiences from playing myriad FPS games tell me differently.
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Murtak
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 11:06 am    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

RandomCasualty wrote:
In any even, I have yet to see an RPG truly adequately simulate a good gun battle. All that I've played, from D20 Mod to GURPS to Shadowrun are very too leinent on ammo usage. In most systems you can go through a whole mission, or at least most of one, without ever reloading your gun. My experiences from playing myriad FPS games tell me differently.

(bolding mine)
Big Grin

Back on topic:
If you are trying to make weapons equally desirable by using weapon speeds it is probably better to have daggers be concealable, useable in grapples, useable without training, cheap, legal or the likes. You state one of your goals is realism. Having daggers be the damage-dealing instrument of choice, right next to (or even over) polearms, axes and swords does not give you more realism.

Any argument towards being able to swing a dagger swiftly can be countered by the "but swords have more reach" and "it is easier to attack with a bigger weapon" arguments. Really, the only advantage I can see is the one RC mentioned - to have the large weapons work better vs armor and the small ones better vs unarmored targets.

Unless you want this feature in your game (or something none of us has thought of so far) I suggest you rethink weapon speed altogether. The attack action in DnD works just fine in my opinion.

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Aycarus
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 4:09 am    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Murtak wrote:

You just described my proposed fix to your system.

What happens in your system is this:
round 1: cast haste
round 2: carry over the entire round (9/2) to the next one
round 3: Kick in the door, with an extra 4 or 5 action points


True. It seems poor (or at least contrary to the spirit of the system) to be able to carry over actions from a round when you're not even considered to be in combat.
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Aycarus
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 4:15 am    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Murtak wrote:

Of course axes and swords have quite a bit more reach, making it much more likely to get an opportunity to attack. How are you going to handle reach?


Well, part of designing a combat system is being choosy with what you want to generalize and then building a system around that. I choose not to handle reach because I couldn't think of a good mechanism for handling it - if you have a suggestion on how it could be integrated while maintaining the flexibility of the system, I'd like to hear it.

Quote:
From a realism standpoint daggers do not get used when you have real weapons available, simply because they are inferior to them.


Daggers and knives are the weapon of choice nowadays when it comes to melee weapons because they're inherently fast, easy to use and easily concealed. Somebody who wields a battle axe could be easily overcome by somebody wielding a knife simply by taking advantage of a few moments of weakness that come from swinging around such a heavy weapon.
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Aycarus
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 4:43 am    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

RandomCasualty wrote:

When you pay "future time" for current time, you generally run into one of two problems.
...
In an RPG, you generally want a trading of blows. Everyone should get their turn and can try to do something (whether unsuccessful or successful). It's no fun not to have a turn at all, and adding action points moves toward that paradigm. You shouldn't encourage people to try to develop one round nuke combos.


So the way I see this is somebody can trade current time for future time - he'll either succeed and have the result pay off or fail and end up getting screwed for it. There seems to be some merit in making that choice, however - knowing that you're taking a chance performing a haste and it might work or it might not, depending on how resiliant your opponent is. Knowing that he has an option to do so and making the right choice means that it would be a good use of a spell.

(Aside: I think that abilities under this system should be founded in a similar manner - ie. the character has a choice to use it or something else. Making the right choice provides reward, and a wrong choice is punishment - or, at the very least, a wasted spell. As a result, there's no guaranteed mechanism for destroying an opponent - each mechanism has its pros and cons and they should be weighed in each decision)

In order to prevent "nuke" combos, it's just a matter of limiting the amount of stuff a character can do in a single round - preventing stacked haste combos or stuff that would grant more than 9 action points.

Quote:
I've seen a lot of games which supported multiple actions and multiple turns, from D&D, Vampire the Masquerade, Shadowrun, to even Magic: the Gathering. In all those cases, multiple actions produce an experience that is not only unbalanced but also isn't very fun either.

...

However, any attempt to give away an unbalanced amount of actions seems doomed to failure. Or to put it another way, if it can be done, nobody has done it thus far, and it certainly isn't for lack of trying.


How do people break it? I don't think it's reasonable to throw it away as an idea knowing it's failed in other systems - the flaws should be analyzed and determined whether they can be fixed. I like being thorough and understanding why its broken when something sounds like a good idea in my head Smile

Quote:
Now it might be possible to be able to steal actions away from something with an equal or greater CR...


Here's an example where it would be useful to steal actions from something of an equal or greater CR - imagine your character is a fire wizard and your friend is a frost mage. You face a creature with fire weaknesses and hence the frost mage transfers actions to you. Next you face a creature with cold weaknesses and hence you transfer actions to him.

Mind you, this would make the spell useful, but it would inherently break any sense of spotlight balance (ie. equal time in the spotlight for each character - the fire mage would be bored in the fight against the frost weak creature and vice versa). I imagine I should add that avoiding this is one of the principles I'd like to build a system around.

Anyway... I agree that "borrowing an ally's time" can be effectively thrown out as a possibility for all the reasons listed above. However, the idea of "borrowing the future" seems more reasonable (or at least viable) from a spotlight balance and game balance point of view.
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FrankTrollman
Serious Badass


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 27147

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 4:50 am    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Aycarus wrote:
Daggers and knives are the weapon of choice nowadays when it comes to melee weapons because they're inherently fast, easy to use and easily concealed.


And legal. Carrying around a two-handed sword is against the law. Carrying around a knife is questionable, but noone gives a crap.

People kill other people with knives, not because knives are any better at killing people than halberds, but because the police take a dim view of people wandering around with halberds. Larger weapons are more expensive and difficult to use. That they were used at all is testament to the massive superiority they enjoyed when it came to actually killing people.

If you want to "realistically" enhance peoples' use of small blades, enforce the fvcking Law. That is the only thing that has ever convinced any but the poorest individuals from killing people without the benefit of larger blades.

Concealability and plausible deniability are the only reason to use a knife over a sword. Really. People with swords kick the asses of people with knives in straight up combat. This isn't open for discussion even.

-Frank
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Aycarus
Journeyman


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 4:51 am    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

RandomCasualty wrote:
Basically you either do what D&D does, and say that heavy weapons are "better". Or you create certain balance systems, where light weapons are good against unarmored targets, since they stab multiple times and heavy weapons are good at penetrating DR, since they combine their force in one good swing.


I've noticed this conversation has somewhat sidetracked from the combat system to the weapon system. Though, I should probably note that in the design of the weapon system, I'm aiming for the later of your mentioned goals. Weapons were broken into categories and each category was designed for its pros and cons. Daggers are designed to be useful for their quick attacks, axes are heavy damage dealers, swords are middle of the road, staves are highly defensive weapons, etc. Anyway, the armor system is a soak system too, so daggers do inherently less damage anyway against targets with armor. Their merit becomes apparent though once you've specialized enough with them and are able to begin bypassing armor.
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RandomCasualty
Prince


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 3511

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 10:06 am    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Aycarus wrote:

So the way I see this is somebody can trade current time for future time - he'll either succeed and have the result pay off or fail and end up getting screwed for it. There seems to be some merit in making that choice, however - knowing that you're taking a chance performing a haste and it might work or it might not, depending on how resiliant your opponent is. Knowing that he has an option to do so and making the right choice means that it would be a good use of a spell.

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.

As for combos, you'll have combos regardless of how much stacking you allow. Simply hasting everyone in round one and nuking is a combo. And you can likely eliminate a lot of the opposition just doing that. Also you've got to worry about specific spell combos, like cloudkill + forcecage and so on. When you grant more actions there's more ability to cast spell combos without your opponent being able to act at all.

Quote:

How do people break it?

Just by using it. Seriously. 3.0 haste was something you absolutely had to have to be competetive. In vampire, celerity is something you needed to have to be competetive in combat. In shadowrun, having some kind of reaction enhancement was essential in any kind of major battle. In magic the gathering, spells like time walk, whcih granted extra turns, were insanely powerful.

There isn't really any strategy to breaking these powers. Often they are broken standing alone.

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Essence
Knight-Baron


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 536
Location: Olympia, WA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 3:00 pm    Post subject: Re: A Proposed Combat System Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
Somebody who wields a battle axe could be easily overcome by somebody wielding a knife simply by taking advantage of a few moments of weakness that come from swinging around such a heavy weapon.


Perhaps if the wielder of the battleaxe was either nonproficient or too weak to be wielding the weapon. But in normal circumstances, when the axe-wielder was proficient and strong enough to maneuver his weapon, most axes can be startling defensive. The point of contact between the haft and the blade can be used to trap a wrist and disarm, the flat of the blade makes a moderately functional if makeshift shield, and the mass of the head means that relatively slight motions have a lot of force behind them, so getting parried by an axe is likely to disarm you, throw you off balance, or at least hurt, depending on how commited the attacker was.

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