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Author Topic: Playtest Results  (Read 2659 times)
Bill Cook
Member

Posts: 501


« on: November 08, 2004, 12:13:11 AM »

I was trying, in solo playtest, to resolve striking distance in a duel by pace counts. That was about as effective as bluffing in solitaire. So I called up some friends, and whadaya know, two came over to help me out.

After I got them up to speed on the mechanics and we started scripting, immediately, tracking of distance doubled. It made me think, the overhead will only grow with six players at the table. Movement is an absolute bugbear! At one point, I had a swordsman sprint away in order to gain ground for successive volleys of Charges; the player in that duel pursued, keeping the distance even. After a few exchanges of back and forth with nothing in range, he said, the hell with it, and moved towards the other match to wail on his buddy’s opponent, who’d Gotten Inside and had him in a Lock. (Heh heh.) So how far apart was he from them? I guessed ten paces, and we moved forward.

Getting In straddles movement and action. As I understand it, you have to have (1) the paces moved to close to zero and (2) a Charge or Get Inside scripted. Once again, the issue of precedence reared its head, and I had to resolve things in an order that made the most sense.

For example, the player I was Inside on, with a Lock, scripted Escape, Get Outside (dash). I scripted H. Strike, H. Strike (-). Well, he broke the Lock. That worked fine as as, since its penalty had nothing to apply against. But for the next action, he was either Inside with no penalty or three paces away, out of range for an H. Strike. I know you could say, well, he H. Strikes as the other guy Gets Outside. But that’s functionally before. Even if all action results are suspended, they must resolve in some order, where one conditions the other.

Two things kept me from finishing off that PC: (1) I forgot to make called shots to bypass armor and (2) all of us kept forgetting to enforce VA.

** ** **

Something I noticed about the move category of martial actions: given equal or fairly well-matched resources, they rarely succeed. The fact that ties go to the defender raises the bar even further. I’ve got two things in mind to accelerate their instance: (1) for ties, both sides re-roll failures. (2) If the tie persists, re-roll full pool.

** ** **

Building on the weapon reach table I compiled/extrapolated in Resolving Combat Distance, I created a sequence of distinct states of striking distance for mismatched weapon reaches, from greatest advantage to greatest disadvantage:
    [*]Prevent access.
    [*]Prevent access; lunge.
    [*]Allow access; opponent lunges.
    [*]Allow access.
    [*]Allow access; lunge.
    [*]Prevented; opponent lunges.
    [*]Prevented.
    [/list:u]

    Getting Inside is not part of the sequence, having varying applicability: the assassin (knife) always wants in; the mercenary (sword) has a comparable advantage vs. the guard (pole weapon) with the H. Strike option, but otherwise wants out; and the guard always wants out.

    The following lists denote the sub-range of advantage by mismatch:
      knife vs. sword
      [*]Allow access.
      [*]Allow access; lunge.
      [*]Prevented; opponent lunges.
      [/list:u]
      knife vs. pole
        [*]Allow access; lunge.
        [*]Prevented; opponent lunges.
        [*]Prevented.
        [/list:u]
        sword vs. knife
          [*]Prevent access; lunge.
          [*]Allow access; opponent lunges.
          [*]Allow access.
          [/list:u]
          sword vs. pole
            [*]Allow access.
            [*]Allow access; lunge.
            [*]Prevented; opponent lunges.
            [/list:u]
            pole vs. knife
              [*]Prevent access.
              [*]Prevent access; lunge.
              [*]Allow access; opponent lunges.
              [/list:u]
              pole vs. sword
                [*]Prevent access; lunge.
                [*]Allow access; opponent lunges.
                [*]Allow access.
                [/list:u]
                [/list:u]

                ** ** **

                I’m going to have to make a break with pace counts. It’s in the works with revised edition, anyway, and feedback from my playtesters—as well as the taste of additive overhead—has confirmed it. The colors of advantage, enumerated above, are worth preserving. Honestly, I’m on the fence about how to dole out movement penalties. And I need a cleaner division between action and movement in a handful of important cases.

                These are some ideas I have for resolving movement and striking distance:
                  [*]Express Outside as "neither of two" and Striking as "one or more of two" having access. (e.g. Sword vs. knife may prevent access, having to lunge; even though one opponent is prevented, the distance is still categorized as Striking for both.) Express distance categories as Outside, Striking and Inside.
                  [*]Adopt these movements: Advance (increase the distance category), Maintain (move conditionally, keeping pace), Withdraw (decrease the distance category), Hold (allow Withdraw; resist Advance) and Footwork (improve Striking advantage).
                  [*]Let Get Inside be subsumed by a vs. Sp test to affect combat distance; let the margin indicate advantage for mismatched Striking. Resolve ties as above.
                  [*]Condition Charge and Push to Inside.
                  [*]Resolve movement, then action. Note that Withdraw reverts to Hold inside a Lock.
                  [*]Let Charge, Push and Throw force an opponent into Striking. Test Sp, with the margin as obstacle, or fall prone.
                  [/list:u]
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