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Inactive Forums => The Riddle of Steel => Topic started by: Alan on January 30, 2004, 05:15:32 PM



Title: Multiple Opponents - Terrain Rolls & Initiative
Post by: Alan on January 30, 2004, 05:15:32 PM
In several other threads, Jake has recently clarified a number of rules for me about handling multiple opponents, terrain rolls, and initiative. I thought I'd gather my understanding here to make it easier for others to find with the Forum Directory or search engine:


Multiple Opponent Combat

Terrain Rolls - the outnumbered combatant makes his roll to limit his opponents before Inititive is thrown.  The results of the Terrain Roll last one round and must be rerolled before maneuver declaration every round thereafter.

Throwing Initiative - Anyone not excluded by a terrain roll throws initiative.  If one combatant is still outnumbered, he has the option of throwing init separately against each opponent, or singly against all.  (Eg. If Alaric failed to limit his attackers, he can choose to throw inititiave in pairs - first Alaric vs. Charles, then Alaric vs. Berthold; OR just Alaric vs both.)  (In any case, Alaric will have to allot CP separately for his response to each opponent.)

Order of Declaration - The aggressor with the lowest Reflex declares first, then the agressor with the next higher Reflex, etc.  Finally, the Receiver(s) declare - in reverse reflex order too if necessary.  (Ties can be broken with context of Reflex/TN6 roll or any other acceptable way.)

Order of Execution - Aggressors execute in order of highest to lowest Reflex.  At Seneschal discretion, ties may result in simultaneous attacks (and wounds!) or if he may allow a Reflex/6 roll contest.

Joining an Ongoing Fight - A combatant (Charles) joining an on-going fight, either because he is new, or because he was excluded from combat last round by Terrain, may declare attack or defense as he wishes.  If the outnumbered combatant (Alaric) has gained initiative against his first opponent (Berthold), A & C declare in reverse reflex order.  Also, the outnumbered combatant (Alaric) may choose to give up inititiave and defend.


Is that cosher, Jake?

One last question: who decides which opponent is excluded by a Terrain Roll?  Is it the person making the roll, or his opponents?  Should it depend on how well he made the roll?


Title: Multiple Opponents - Terrain Rolls & Initiative
Post by: Brian Leybourne on January 30, 2004, 06:08:38 PM
(INJNDIPHOTV, but...)

Yup, that all looks pretty good.

The guy making the terrain roll decides who he faces each round.

Brian.


Title: Multiple Opponents - Terrain Rolls & Initiative
Post by: Valamir on January 30, 2004, 07:30:42 PM
A house rule I've not had occassion to use works thusly.  When faced with multiple opponents, 1 success on the Terrain Roll will allow you to face a single opponent.

Each success allows the player to designate 1 of the opponents which will *not* be that one.

Thus with only 2 opponents, a successful terrain roll gives choice.

With 3 opponents, you can eliminate 1 of them, but the GM gets to pick which of the other 2 you get...unless you succeeded with 2 successes, etc.

I came up with this idea when envisioning a scenario such as an Eorl surrounded by his House Carls.  A player charges into the midst of them and finds himself facing 7 opponents.  It seemed unreasonable that with a successful Terrain Roll that he could bypass all of the body guards and go straight for the lord.  

With this house rule he'd have to get 6 successes on the Terrain Roll before he could just choose the Lord as the one he'd face.  Combined with the higher TN for that many opponents, it would make such an attack virtually impossible.

Which is what being surrounded by armed guards should do...no?


Title: Multiple Opponents - Terrain Rolls & Initiative
Post by: Half-Baked on January 31, 2004, 10:18:24 AM
I was thinking the same thing Valamir for exactly the same reasons.


Title: Multiple Opponents - Terrain Rolls & Initiative
Post by: Jake Norwood on January 31, 2004, 03:21:56 PM
Ralph-

I really like that house rule. We might have to add that to TFOB, if it's alright.

Jake

p.s. That all looks very kosher, yes.


Title: Multiple Opponents - Terrain Rolls & Initiative
Post by: Brian Leybourne on January 31, 2004, 03:40:35 PM
Quote from: Jake Norwood
I really like that house rule. We might have to add that to TFOB, if it's alright.


You're the boss and all (so what you say goes) but I actually disagree.

For one thing, although it fixes up the issue that Ralph mentions, it instead creates the exact opposite problem - it's far too easy for a player to get only a single success, and specify that the boss/captain/whatever will NOT be able to attack him at all. All you've done is spin the coin to the opposite side of the same problem.

I far prefer a system where the player gets to decide (as per the current standard rule) but the opponents can make terrain rolls of their own; if the single character succeeds, then he only faces one opponent, and if none of the opponents roll or beat his successes then he chooses which (like now). However, if any of the opponents beat his number of successes on the terrain roll with their own rolls, then the decision falls to them - they can decide among the ones with more successes which one will (or will not) face the single fighter this round.

To me, that's the essence of terrain rolls - if the single guy is the only one rolling, he gets to pick. If the opponents care enough who he can or cannot fight, then they have to make terrain rolls too. It's all about what's important enough to you to split off those dice. The better fighter (guard captain, boss monster. whatever) who probably has more dice than his underlings, now gets an actual say in whether he does or does not fight each round, instead of it all being determined by the single guys roll.

Brian.


Title: Multiple Opponents - Terrain Rolls & Initiative
Post by: Valamir on January 31, 2004, 05:12:28 PM
Quote from: Brian Leybourne

For one thing, although it fixes up the issue that Ralph mentions, it instead creates the exact opposite problem - it's far too easy for a player to get only a single success, and specify that the boss/captain/whatever will NOT be able to attack him at all. All you've done is spin the coin to the opposite side of the same problem.


If I may challenge your choice of phrase.  It didn't create that problem.  In the current rules you have that problem already.  Say rather you see two problems and my house rule only fixes one of them.

The idea of opposed Terrain Rolls has occured to me, but I think it gets a bit squirrely in the interpretation.  Meaning I think it would easily lead to a situation where the exact interpretation of what "I beat that guy, but this guy beat me" actually means becomes difficult.  Or at least difficult enough to cause the combat to halt while the issue gets thunk over.

I think right in the middle of a high stress one on many battle, any thing that could cause the pace to stall would be undesireable.

I don't disagree with your reasoning, but it occurs to me, that if one takes a Player as protagonist perspective...the issue of the bad guy not getting a chance to decide to attack himself becomes less important.


I suppose it would be possible to combine the two ideas...

Sure...how about this.  An opponent who makes a terrain roll of his own, renders himself immune to being the one picked by the player.  Or to go a step further, if the player REALLY wanted to pick him, he'd have to spend one more success from his Terrain roll then the opponent got to ensure it.  

Could work, without being too cumbersome...


Title: Multiple Opponents - Terrain Rolls & Initiative
Post by: Bob Richter on January 31, 2004, 11:13:35 PM
This gives us extra terrain roll successes being used for one of two purposes (the first still just ensures you face but one foe)  --
1) They can exclude a single given opponent from facing you
2) They can negate a single sucess used by a single given opponent for the above purpose.

So say Jen and Jim are fighting Captain Thule and his six bodyguards.

Jen and Jim are pretty good, so they each toss a few dice into a control roll to trim down the odds a bit.

Captain Thule's six bodyguards aren't very good, so they don't. They just hope they don't get smooshed.

Captain Thule is a god among men, and therefore rolls six dice on his terrain check leaving the remainder to fight with.

Jen and Jim both get two successes. Captain Thule gets four.
Jen and Jim didn't want to fight Thule, so they both use their dice for purpose #1: Avoid engagement with Captain Thule. Captain Thule, on the other hand, wants to kill Jen to spite Jim, so he puts 2 dice on Jen for purpose #2 and 2 on Jim for purpose #1.

Thus Jim avoids engagement with Thule and slays one of his bodyguards, but turns to find himself facing Thule's five angry bodyguards with Jen's still-bleeding corpse at his feet and no Thule in sight.

Hm. I like this rule. :)


Title: Multiple Opponents - Terrain Rolls & Initiative
Post by: Ian.Plumb on February 01, 2004, 01:02:14 AM
Hi,

Quote from: Bob Richter
(Snip rule mechanism)
So say Jen and Jim are fighting Captain Thule and his six bodyguards.

Jen and Jim are pretty good, so they each toss a few dice into a control roll to trim down the odds a bit.

Captain Thule's six bodyguards aren't very good, so they don't. They just hope they don't get smooshed.

Captain Thule is a god among men, and therefore rolls six dice on his terrain check leaving the remainder to fight with.

Jen and Jim both get two successes. Captain Thule gets four.
Jen and Jim didn't want to fight Thule, so they both use their dice for purpose #1: Avoid engagement with Captain Thule. Captain Thule, on the other hand, wants to kill Jen to spite Jim, so he puts 2 dice on Jen for purpose #2 and 2 on Jim for purpose #1.

Thus Jim avoids engagement with Thule and slays one of his bodyguards, but turns to find himself facing Thule's five angry bodyguards with Jen's still-bleeding corpse at his feet and no Thule in sight.


How would you express the tactical consideration that Jim will confront Thule if he attempts to strike Jen, but otherwise will not seek an engagement with Thule?

Does TRoS use miniatures in the tactical (ie combat) environment, to handle facing and opponents and so on?

Cheers,


Title: Multiple Opponents - Terrain Rolls & Initiative
Post by: Bob Richter on February 01, 2004, 04:47:15 AM
Well, first to the easy question: no.

To the harder question: Hm. Interesting question. Yikes. Mass melees get even more complicated. Back to the drawing board, Valamir?


Title: Multiple Opponents - Terrain Rolls & Initiative
Post by: Valamir on February 01, 2004, 07:31:32 AM
That doesn't seem particularly hard, although the more complicated you make the tactical situation the more you have to stop and think about how to resolve it.

Off the top of my head (with about as much deep thought as I'd give to it if I were a GM, this came up in a game, and I didn't want to call a halt to the action.  I'd give Jim the option to abort his declared Terrain roll to engage Thule...but then he'd be stuck facing Thule AND someone else as if he'd never made the Terrain roll.


Title: Multiple Opponents - Terrain Rolls & Initiative
Post by: Lance D. Allen on February 01, 2004, 11:08:48 AM
Personally, I always allow the opponents the option of counter-rolling terrain. This session I ran yesterday had a lot of terrain rolls, mostly because I had two characters dashing around the castle corridors trying to avoid being captured or killed by the guards. They were mostly using terrain to break past the guards, rather than maneuvering them so only one could face them. In some cases, the guards attempted to maneuver back into position to stop their flight, but this failed in almost every instance. Even when they failed, however, they usually got to take a swing at the PC while they dashed past. The players managed to survive on a combination of guts and luck, though by the end, I threw in a plot twist to take the heat off of them.. There was no realistic way they were going to get out of the castle alive, if I didn't.

Anyhow, my point is that it's not actually all that complicated to allow counter-terrain rolls. Have all combatants that choose to roll do their roll, compare, then decide how it falls out. If Thule (Savaxen god of single combat?) wants to maneuver to strike Jen, and rolls 4 successes, Jen and Jim want to avoid that so roll 2 each.. I'd do it as such.. Whoever has the highest success gets to engage whoever they want. Whoever has second most, engages whomever they want so long as it doesn't preclude the previous.. Anyone with less or no successes engages whoever has chosen to engage them, or no one, if that be the case.

So.. Thule engages Jen. Jen has no other option, so chooses NOT to engage the other mooks. Jim, also seeing this, maneuvers to engage Thule.. Suddenly the options aren't so much in his favor.

YMMV.


Title: Multiple Opponents - Terrain Rolls & Initiative
Post by: Brian Leybourne on February 01, 2004, 09:09:05 PM
Lance,

That's pretty much what I was getting at.

Brian.


Title: Multiple Opponents - Terrain Rolls & Initiative
Post by: Melkor on February 01, 2004, 09:27:19 PM
What if a character is trying to avoid multiple opponents and is fighting on "bad" terrain ?

As the rules are writtien, would he have to spend CP before initiative to limit his opponents to one, and spend additional CP at some point (not sure where in combat this second Terrain Roll is supposed to happen if there are two rolls)) to roll against Terrain to see if loses half of his remaining CP (on a failed roll), or all of his remaining CP (on a fumble) ?

Thanks.


Title: Multiple Opponents - Terrain Rolls & Initiative
Post by: Brian Leybourne on February 01, 2004, 09:38:44 PM
Yup. Terrain rolls cover various situations, there's no reason why you can't use them more than once in a given round.

Brian.


Title: Multiple Opponents - Terrain Rolls & Initiative
Post by: Melkor on February 01, 2004, 10:38:52 PM
Thanks Brian - would you say that the CP you use for the Terrain Roll and the CP you use for the Multiple Opponents roll must be split, or the total CP you put into a Terrain Roll would apply to both ?

In other words, if you were fighting 2 opponents on Slippery Ice, and you decided to take 4 from your CP to try to avoid slipping on the Ice, and limit the melee to one opponent, would you make 2 rolls splitting that 4 CP (however you choose), or would you use the total 4 CP dice for both rolls ?


Title: Multiple Opponents - Terrain Rolls & Initiative
Post by: Richard_Strey on February 02, 2004, 01:27:25 AM
If you look at it logically, those rolls have *nothing* to do with each other. Watching your step on an icy surface will not have your enemies magically change positions in your favor. So I'd call for two terrain rolls, with their respective TNs, for both of which you have to allocate your CP dice.
Yes, having to carefully watch your step and try to maneuver around is difficult, to say the least. Sucks to be you. ;)


Title: Multiple Opponents - Terrain Rolls & Initiative
Post by: Brian Leybourne on February 02, 2004, 02:35:08 AM
Yep, Richard has it. What a terrain roll is is you choosing to use some of your concentration for something other than attacking your opponent. The more concentration you devote to running around, or not slipping over on slippery ground, or whatever (the more dice you use on terrain rolls) the less concentration you have left for your opponent to hit him or not get hit (you have fewer dice left).

If you want to do more than one thing that needs concentration, that's even less that you have to spare your opponent, so it costs more dice.

Brian.


Title: Multiple Opponents - Terrain Rolls & Initiative
Post by: Lance D. Allen on February 02, 2004, 07:54:22 AM
I suppose it would have made more sense to do it that way, but I personally just eyeballed the TNs and bumped it up a bit. This way I wasn't adding any additional rolls to the mix.


Title: Multiple Opponents - Terrain Rolls & Initiative
Post by: Lxndr on February 02, 2004, 08:19:02 AM
I recall you having them split rolls ONCE.  Just once.  When... Slaine, I think, was barrelling up the stairs and trying to get past guards.  One roll to get past the multiple opponents, and one roll to not fall down the stairs.  Right?


Title: Multiple Opponents - Terrain Rolls & Initiative
Post by: Melkor on February 02, 2004, 11:43:15 AM
Thanks again for the responses.

I have to say again that the first time I read through TRoS, I was a bit "confused" - this after playing Rolemaster for years, not because it's "harder" or "chart filled", but because it is different.

The more I read, ask questions, and understand the rules, the more TRoS seems to rock......I really love the Terrain roll system.


Title: Multiple Opponents - Terrain Rolls & Initiative
Post by: Lance D. Allen on February 02, 2004, 01:30:17 PM
It was Kaelin.. and I thought I just eyeballed it. You could be right, tho'.


Title: Multiple Opponents - Terrain Rolls & Initiative
Post by: Pyske on February 03, 2004, 08:05:35 AM
Quote from: Wolfen
So.. Thule engages Jen. Jen has no other option, so chooses NOT to engage the other mooks. Jim, also seeing this, maneuvers to engage Thule.. Suddenly the options aren't so much in his favor.


Except... does Jim have that option?  Thule made his terrain roll, after all.  It still sounds to me like one roll is needed for "avoiding people" and another for "catching people".

Also, what effect does sprinting vs hurried movement have on all this?  If Jen is hurried and trying to avoid Thule, and Thule is willing to sprint to catch her, does that give him any significant advantage?

 . . . . . . . -- Eric


Title: Another suggestion
Post by: Stephen on February 03, 2004, 10:01:28 AM
It sounds to me like we should use a different name for them:  call them Engagement rolls, and rework the system.

The TN of an Engagement Roll is determined by the terrain, factoring in footwork stability, room to move and swing, and so on.  Note that they can differ for opposing sides; three Gols trying to reach a single fighter in a narrow stairwell will have a much higher ETN than that fighter.

The successes gained on an Engagement Roll can be used for various things:

1)   If you're outnumbered, every success can be used to reduce the number of opponents you're facing by 1.  (Suggest increasing the max odds to 4 to 1 in this case, so you have more tension between Engagement and Attack/Defense rolls.)  The opponents pick who's excluded.

2)  By spending *2* successes per opponent, you can choose who gets excluded, allowing you to outflank and isolate your weakest target and cut your opponents' numbers down.

3)  If you're on the outnumbering side, every success can be used to counter an opponent's success.  This gives the advantage to the numbers, because a Boss can, if he chooses, simply spend 1 of his Engagement successes rather than 2; this allows him to stay in or out of the melee at his discretion....

What do people think?


Title: Multiple Opponents - Terrain Rolls & Initiative
Post by: Brian Leybourne on February 03, 2004, 09:12:40 PM
Quote
What do people think?


I think you're needlessly overcomplicating something that we all like in the first place because of its simplicity.

Brian.


Title: Multiple Opponents - Terrain Rolls & Initiative
Post by: Stephen on February 04, 2004, 07:01:17 AM
Quote from: Brian Leybourne
I think you're needlessly overcomplicating something that we all like in the first place because of its simplicity.


EDITED:  True, the original rule for engagement (terrain roll; success = fight 1 opponent, failure = fight 2, fumble = fight the maximum of 3) is very simple.  But the fact that people are bringing in house rules at all suggests that there are aspects it doesn't cover, doesn't it?


Title: Multiple Opponents - Terrain Rolls & Initiative
Post by: Jake Norwood on February 04, 2004, 03:43:06 PM
"Engagement Rolls..." I like that.

Quote
EDITED: True, the original rule for engagement (terrain roll; success = fight 1 opponent, failure = fight 2, fumble = fight the maximum of 3) is very simple. But the fact that people are bringing in house rules at all suggests that there are aspects it doesn't cover, doesn't it?


That depends on priorities in play.  I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with GM fiat on this one, which is how I run it, and how its written.

Jake,
who usually makes the poor guy that gets caught be the one with the highest Move score.