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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 62 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Your take on combat systems  (Read 3690 times)
Sarah
Registree

Posts: 3


« on: May 31, 2005, 10:37:09 PM »

Hello I'm new here ^_^

My brother is making a rpg combat system, and I'd like to compare it with other existing systems to see how it fares. I'm sure there are better ones than Dungeon and Dragons to compare with(not saying it's bad in itself!)

So, I'd like to know of all the table top rpg's (DnD, Shadowrun Etc.) and computer rpg's (MUDS, text based, fully automated with graphics, any types) you ever played or known, which one has the deepest, most detailed, best combat system, and why?

I give no criterias, use your own, it's kinda subjective anyway. Looking forward to your comments :D
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Bill Cook
Member

Posts: 501


« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2005, 10:41:48 PM »

Hi, Sarah. Welcome to the Forge! We don't do polls. You should post a summary of your brother's system to direct comparisons.
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FzGhouL
Member

Posts: 76


« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2005, 10:47:53 PM »

Welcome to the Forge! (My first welcome as I am a newbie as well).

So, greatest combat systems eh? Being totally biased, I'd say my combat system, but... thats not fair.

I personally like Sacred Steel's combat system more than basically any other Table Top RPG I've seen. Google it, you'll find it.
Other table top RPGs...none come to mind with incredibly impressive mechanics IMHO that would give you any "insight" since I am under the assumption you want a Gamist type game rather than Narrative or Sim.

CRPGs.. Chrono Trigger for SNES is nifty in that it has different area types of attacks and combos. Legend of Legia on the PlayStation is a good Action Point based system, I enjoyed it alot. Earthbound on the SNES has a good combat system because it doesn't use stereotypical classes, rather it makes characters incredibly weird, but balanced (IE: Magic User as the fastest). Vandal Hearts on the PS is a good Tactical RPG. Other CRPGs have systems that are way hard to implement in tabletop gaming so not much to say about those.
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Bankuei
Guest
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2005, 11:07:32 PM »

Hi Sarah,

Welcome to the Forge!

The real question to ask, is what is the point of the game your brother is designing?  Is it supposed to focus on combat?  If so, how much time & detail is going to be fun, at least as you all are defining fun?  If the game isn't focused on combat, wouldn't it make more sense to look at other rules, systems, and mechanics?

If you don't know if the vehicle is supposed to go on land, water, or air, it doesn't make much sense to try to figure out what engine is going to work best for it, does it?

If your brother is interested in help in developing a finished game(as in playable, doesn't have to be in a book or anything like that), he's welcome to come post and ask questions.  There's plenty of people to help, although he might find a lot of folks telling him to check out a range of different games to help him figure out all the different ways games can work- because there's a LOT out there that folks don't know about.

Chris
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Victor Gijsbers
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 390


WWW
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2005, 11:09:30 PM »

Hi Sarah,

The number one question - the one it is absolutely and totaly essential that you and your know how to answer before you start designing anything - is: what do you want this system to achieve?

Do you want it to be a tactical, strategic system, where players must survive combat by using their wits and thinking up brilliant tactics? (And are you sure this is what you want?)

Do you want it to be a detailed, realistic combat system, that emulates how real combats are fought? (And are you sure this is what you want?)

Do you want the combat system to ensure that combats always tie in to the emotional and moral conflicts of the characters, and that characters must make difficult moral decisions when fighting? (And are you sure this is what you want?)

These questions barely scratch the surface, but they are a good start. I heartily recommend you to read the "GNS and other matters of roleplaying theory" article under the 'Articles' link at the top of the page. You'll see where my three questions come from. You'll also see why there cannot possibly be something like 'the best combat system'.

Also, are you sure you need a combat system? Many Forge-wrought systems don't have one, since fighting is not handled differently by them than other actions of the players.
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contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2005, 11:41:34 PM »

Quote from: Sarah

So, I'd like to know of all the table top rpg's (DnD, Shadowrun Etc.) and computer rpg's (MUDS, text based, fully automated with graphics, any types) you ever played or known, which one has the deepest, most detailed, best combat system, and why?


For my money, Conspiracy-X, original edition.  I think there were some later changes.  It's primary claim to fame is speed of resolution, becuuase you only roll for those situations that are indetereminate.  In many cases, no roll will be needed, on the basis of a comparison of values.  This convention both speeds play by reducing the number of rolls, but also gives the players a great feeling of competence and confidence, as they never whiff against trivial opposition.
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Troy_Costisick
Member

Posts: 802


WWW
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2005, 05:57:53 AM »

Heya,

Quote from: Sarah

So, I'd like to know of all the table top rpg's (DnD, Shadowrun Etc.) and computer rpg's (MUDS, text based, fully automated with graphics, any types) you ever played or known, which one has the deepest, most detailed, best combat system, and why?

I give no criterias, use your own, it's kinda subjective anyway. Looking forward to your comments :D


I think that Sarah might just be asking for a few good games to use as a reference to build his/her library.  That's cool.  I'd highly recoment The Riddle of Steel as deep and detailed and also I'd recomend Ember Twilight for a more methodical style of combat.

Peace,

-Troy
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Sydney Freedberg
Member

Posts: 1293


WWW
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2005, 08:57:40 AM »

Besides the specific games folks have recommended, I'd strongly suggest a look at these two Forge threads that take exception to the way most RPG combat systems are designed:

Mike's Standard Rant, about why maybe you don't need a combat system at all.

Fear and Confusion, a thread I started about the often-neglected psychological aspects of combat, with a lot of interesting mechanics proposed or cited in people's responses.
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Sarah
Registree

Posts: 3


« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2005, 03:21:25 PM »

Thanks for the suggestions and tips everyone, it was really interesting.

Quote from: Victor Gijsbers

Do you want it to be a detailed, realistic combat system, that emulates how real combats are fought?
.


Yeah this is more what I'm talking about, this is how my brother is making his engine. I just want to compare it to current systems of the same kind(realistic systems)just for fun.

I read a bit about your suggestions, and the one that cought my attention was Riddle of Steel. It seems innovative and different from current trends, and it seems to have a strong reality base. If I understand correctly though, it's a system that deals mostly with 1 on 1 fights, fencing style? So not really suited for group fights?

Oh yeah and FzGhoul, what is your system?
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Sarah
Registree

Posts: 3


« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2005, 03:23:18 PM »

sorry double post :/
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FzGhouL
Member

Posts: 76


« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2005, 04:49:10 PM »

The title is Speed and Spirit, and its mostly just for me and my friends at this point.

Essentially, Characters have 6 Main Attributes: Attack, Defense, Speed, Spirit, Balance, and HP. There is a list of "moves" that can be preformed to create tactics that follow a strategy. Per turn you can spend Speed, Spirit, and Balance to do actions, based on how much you spend and what moves you spend it on. There are 70 non-Magic moves ranging from punch to healing moves to defensive moves. There are about 100 Magic moves thus far, characters make up their own magic moves that stay in the scope of the combat system. There are ways moves can be changed, called alterations such as raising, which causes an attack to be aimed higher than usual, etc.

A Player who cannot grasp tactics will lose, its mostly a cinematic tactic based game. As far as I've seen, its unique in the sense of how integral things are with each other (an example are speed balance conversions.)

Every player I've had always end up having a few opinions: 1) It is way complex, mind blowingly detailed, and semi annoying in the amount of rules (I'm not done writing it...but...my combat system will probably be 50'ish pages.... =\) 2) It allows for an enourmous degree of freedom in character customization, which is its main strong point. 3) It becomes addicting and uses up alot of free time while not playing, because players will try to master details so they can use them for their characters.

It takes very little for most Table-Top RPGs, and is more similar to CRPGs but still quite different.

All non-combat conflicts are handled through narration.

This post is getting off topic, so PM me if you want more information, and I wouldn't mind looking through your brother's game, I adore/love/am addicted to complex combat systems.
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Sydney Freedberg
Member

Posts: 1293


WWW
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2005, 07:58:22 AM »

Oh, good grief -- none of us has brought up The Burning Wheel, which even has a forum on this site. It's less tactically detailed than The Riddle of Steel but has an innovative system where each player "scripts" his/her character's next few moves (strikes, parries, etc.) in advance, and then everyone compares scripts and discovers they zigged when they shoulda zagged.
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