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Author Topic: [Anima Hunters] P19 + Fighting  (Read 6610 times)
Ben Lehman
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« on: February 28, 2006, 05:50:36 PM »

1.) What is your game about?**

Anima Hunters is mostly single-token tactical RPG where you hunt down and kill exotic monsters with magical kung-fu.

1a.) Wait, do the monsters have the magical kung-fu, or do the characters?

Both.

2.) What do the characters do?**

The characters hunt down and kill exotic monsters with their magical kung-fu, and learn new magical kung-fu by killing them.

3.) What do the players (including the GM if there is one) do?**

The players strategize their characters and make on-the-fly tactical decisions, seeking the kill the specific monsters that they have to to get their magical kung-fu going on.  The GM controls the monsters that they're seeking, and tries to gack the characters with them.

4.) How does your setting (or lack thereof) reinforce what your game is about?

The setting is full of exotic monsters which need killin'.  Or, at least, are available to kill.

5.) How does the Character Creation of your game reinforce what your game is about?

I don't quite know how character creation works yet.  Largely, it just gives you a few numbers and special powers to start out with.  You're expected to do most of your build-up during play.

6.) What types of behaviors/styles of play does your game reward (and punish if necessary)?

The game rewards heavily tactical thinking during combat scenes.  It also rewards long-term character strategizing, but not as heavily as the tactical thinking.

7.) How are behaviors and styles of play rewarded or punished in your game?

Tactical victories are rewarded by allowing the characters to re-use their special powers, and also teaching them new types of kung-fu.  Strategic planning is rewarded by slightly increased character effectiveness.

Tactical loss results in a change of play -- you play the antagonists for the remainder of this hunt.  It does not, however, mean that you lose all of your advancement.  Rather, you can enter play as a new character with the same abilities as before.

8.) How are the responsibilities of narration and credibility divided in your game?

Players each control (usually) one character and, using dice, control their actions in and out of combat.  Likewise, the GM controls the actions of monsters and also non-magical people, but only within the strictures of the dice.

9.) What does your game do to command the players' attention, engagement, and participation? (i.e. What does the game do to make them care?)

The game is a tactical RPG where you kill exotic monsters with your magical kung-fu.  If you don't care about that, the game isn't for you.

10.) What are the resolution mechanics of your game like?

Out of combat, resolution is pretty simple -- each player has a chosen prey, and investigating towards that prey lowers the prey's range.  When the range drops low enough -- fight!  Also, the GM or other players can sick them with surprise fights.

The fighting mechanics allot tactical resources based on die rolls, which means that each round is an entirely new tactical situation.  Being able to manage this randomness is the core of the tactics of the game.

11.) How do the resolution mechanics reinforce what your game is about?

The resolution mechanics require tactical decisions at every point.

12.) Do characters in your game advance? If so, how?

The characters advance by learning new types of magical kung-fu, which they learn by killing exotic monsters.

13.) How does the character advancement (or lack thereof) reinforce what your game is about?

See above.

14.) What sort of product or effect do you want your game to produce in or for the players?

A sense of achievement and strategic thinking.  Friendly competitiveness.  I'd like it if the players could look at each other
after a game and, win or lose, say "good game, guys."

15.) What areas of your game receive extra attention and color? Why?

There will be around 300 magical kung-fu powers.  Probably more.  This is because the magical kung-fu is the heart of the game.

16.) Which part of your game are you most excited about or interested in? Why?

The combat system, because it is as far as I know a pretty uniquely new way of approaching tactical combat, although heavily inspired by D&D, Sorcerer, and Mechaton.

17.) Where does your game take the players that other games can't, don't, or won't?

The game gives them an excellent magical kung-fu fighting RPG.  It's one of the only games I can think of which has both a strategic and a tactical level, but the tactical is more important than the strategic.

18.) What are your publishing goals for your game?

I want to publish the game through my own company.  I'm considering whether or not to take this one into wider distribution.  Perhaps by the time it is finished this will not matter as much.

19.) Who is your target audience?

Gamers, particularly fans of Exalted and D&D, who are looking for new and more interesting tactical games that don't focus so much on character builds but rather moment to moment decisions.  Secondarily, anime fans and wargamers.

(more next post, including actual questions.)
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2006, 06:05:06 PM »

And here's how combat works.  The combat system is the core of the game, as you probably gathered above.  What I really need to know right now is:

1) Are there any fundamental tactical breaks in the system -- like it's always good to do this funky thing with your dice, or maneuver in this way, then attack in this way? 
2) Is the end of the round (which I imagine will be mostly rolling) satisfying at all?  Does it feel "too random?"
3) How many rounds would it take to finish a combat between two guys?
4) Is getting damage in in the beginning completely dominant?


You have the following types of dice.  Most are d10s, but there are also d8s and d12s.  Weapon and Armor dice can get down to d4s and d6s.

Anima Dice.  Anima dice are white.  They can be used for anything.

Manuever Dice.  Maneuver dice can be used for movement and the activation of kung-fu powers.  Manuever dice are green or blue.

Combat Dice.  Combat dice may be used for attack or defense.  Combat dice are red.

Speed Dice.  Speed dice are d20s.  For any effective but initiative, they are ignored.  You only get speed dice from special powers, so don't worry about them too much.  Speed dice are also Maneuver, Combat, or Anima.

Weapon Dice.  Weapons have either Grace or Heft, represented by one or more dice.  You don't roll these dice at the beginning, only when you're attacking.

Defense Dice.  You get these from armor and stances and stuff.  Again, you don't roll them at the beginning.

Anyway, you roll all your dice, and line them up in order from highest to lowest.  Higher sided dice come before lower sided dice.  After that, anima dice come before manuever dice come before combat dice. After that it doesn't matter.  Each of these dice is a potential action.

(Also, as a note when you are rerolling dice during the turn, only read the highest die.  So if I'm attacking you with an abort-action, and rolling two red d10 and one white d8, and they come up: 8, 3, 1, then that's an 8.)

The highest numbered die goes first.  Use it for an action, then discard it.  Here's what you can do with each type of die.

With a Speed Die, you can't do anything.  You can, however, abort as normal.

With a maneuver die, you can activate a special power or move a number of steps showing on the die.  You can always move less than what's shown on the die, even one.

With a combat die, you may attack someone within your range.  If there's no one to attack within your range, sucks to be you!  You lose your combat die just like you did attack, anyway.

Here's how an attack works.  You can only attack an adjacent target unless you have rules that say otherwise.  The attacker attacks with either just the die showing, without rerolling it, or aborts to a new attack.  In addition, the attacker rolls and considers his Weapon Dice, if any apply.

The defender can choose to defend with his top Combat or Anima die, or can abort for more.  In addition, the defender gets his Defense die, if any.

If the attacker's highest die beats the defender's highest die, the attack hits!  The damage is the number showing on the attacker's highest die.  We'll get to how damage works in a bit.

If the attacker's weapon has grace, he can count that die for his attack, but not for his damage.
If the attacker's weapon has heft, he can count that die for his damage, but not his attack.

A couple of times I've mentioned an abort.  Here's how that works.  In addition to the dice that you have right now, you pick up one or more of your other dice (speed dice are exempt) and use them for an action.  If you are attacking or defending, pick up Anima and Combat dice.  If you are manuevering, pick up Anima and Maneuver dice.  You have to take the highest applicable dice showing, so if you're aborting to attack, you take your highest value anima and combat dice only.  Remember, when you roll, only count the highest die.

Rolled dice leave the table.  When you're all done, if there isn't a clear victor, everyone picks up all their dice and rolls again.

In addition to any effects from anima powers, here's how damage works: You reduce the defender's highest unused non-speed die by the amount of damage.  If this drops it to zero, it's removed, and you apply the damage to the next die.  All dice you eliminate in this way are wounds -- the defender has to specially heal them before he can use the dice again.  If necessary, shift the order of the defender's dice (if I drop your 10 manuever die to a 2, then it goes down with the other twos.)
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2006, 06:17:03 PM »

Oh, hey, I forgot a rule!  If your opponent doesn't have any dice left and you're still dealing damage to them, all that damage carries over into the next round.  Just apply it to their highest non-speed die before anyone takes an action.

If anyone's testing out the combat system, here's how I've been making guys to do so.  This is totally non-final, especially the attribute part.  It gives you an idea of what kung-fu powers look like (Also -- those weapons are actually just kung-fu powers.)

Everyone gets two anima dice: d10 d8
Everyone gets to split: d10 d10 d8 d8 d8 between Combat and Maneuver.  If you give up two dice, take an anima die of one higher value (so two d8s gives you a d10, two d10s gives you a d12.)

Pick a weapon from the list below, plus "bare hands."

Long Bow:  Good for 5-12 squares range.  A Longbow is a draw weapon-- you must abort-attack to use it.

Short Bow: Good for 4-7 squares range.

Crossbow: Good for 2-6 squares range, adds 1d6 heft.  After it is fired, a crossbow must be drawn, which requires a Maneuver of 3 or more.

Staff: Good for 1-2 squares range, adds 1d6 grace.

Broadsword: Good for adjacent, adds 3d4 heft.

Big fucking axe: Good for adjacent, adds 1d10 heft.

Bare hands: Good for adjacent, no grace, no heft.

And pick one of these special powers
Dive Roll:
Activate: any Manuever
Duration: Remainder of round
 When aborting in defense, you may opt to take up maneuver dice instead of combat dice.  If you do this, and win the defense, you must move in a straight line half the number showing on your defense roll.

Combat Stance:
Activate: any Manuever
Duration: Remainder of round
 All attacks you make with a melee weapon this round are +1d6 grace.

Flaming Strike:
Activate: any Maneuver
Duration: One attack
 Abort your next highest attack die.  Roll the attack die together with this die in an attack.  If you hit, sum the dice for damage.
 You may only use this ability once per fight.  It may only be used in a melee attack.

Drain Energy:
Activate: Maneuver 5+
Duration: Instantaneous
 When you activate this maneuver, target an enemy adjacent to you. Roll your die.  The enemy must reduce his dice by that total number, and you may increase your dice by that total number.  Rearrange dice
as needed.  If the enemy exhausts a die to zero, it counts as a wound.

Vigorous Struggle
Activate: Maneuver 3+
Duration: whole fight
 After you activate this maneuver, you may roll any wounded dice as Speed Dice at the beginning of the round (they are d20 of the appropriate type, and like speed dice may be only used for abortive actions.)

Lightning Reflexes
Activate: None
Duration: Whole fight
 You gain one Anima speed die.

Refocus
Activation: Any maneuver
Duration: Instantaneous
 You may reduce your lowest die by some value, and add that value onto another die of the same type (anima dice may add to any die).  Dice reduced to zero in this manner are removed (but do not counted as wounds).  You may affect a total value of dice equal to the maneuver used to activate Refocus.

Healing Touch
Activation: Any maneuver
Duration: Instantaneous
 Target an ally adjacent to you, who can't be you.  They roll all of their wound dice.  Any dice which come up lower than the die you used to activate this maneuver are healed, and will come back into play next round. (I would only use this power if there are, like, six of you, and you decide to do teams.)
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2006, 06:37:03 PM »

This looks fun, Ben. I haven't read it all yet (I just wanted to let you know that I'm fulfilling my promise to do so).

Totally superficial comments:

1) Kung fu magic color is fun.

2) 300 is a very large number.

3) I really like how little prep this seems to take, though I haven't read the GM rules yet.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
dindenver
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« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2006, 07:23:04 PM »

Hi!
  Sounds like a cool premise.
Quote
1) Are there any fundamental tactical breaks in the system -- like it's always good to do this funky thing with your dice, or maneuver in this way, then attack in this way?
  The one design concern that leaps out at me is the complexity of possible combinations of all these special abilities...
  Speed Dice seem tacked on. Since speed is so important in this game, why not use the two highest dice. Have the player make one Speed, the other attack/damage. Adds a whole new level of tactics and alleviates you having to put "except speed dice" in every die related rule, lol

Quote
2) Is the end of the round (which I imagine will be mostly rolling) satisfying at all?  Does it feel "too random?"
  I think you can avoid the "randomness" by allowing a player to keep some dice in reserve. If you "have" to throw all dice, then you are a slave to your stats, instead of leveraging your stats to back up your chosen tactic... Maybe the Reserve dice are used to "Abort"?

Quote
3) How many rounds would it take to finish a combat between two guys?
  Looks like an "average combat lasts 4 rounds or so...

4) Is getting damage in in the beginning completely dominant?
  Yeah, I think whoever gets the first damage will have a huge advantage...

  I think this is a framework of a cool game!
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Dave M
Author of Legends of Lanasia RPG (Still in beta)
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2006, 07:37:50 PM »

Quote
2) Is the end of the round (which I imagine will be mostly rolling) satisfying at all?  Does it feel "too random?"
Quote
  I think you can avoid the "randomness" by allowing a player to keep some dice in reserve. If you "have" to throw all dice, then you are a slave to your stats, instead of leveraging your stats to back up your chosen tactic... Maybe the Reserve dice are used to "Abort"?

Hey, Dave, do you see that dice on the table are effectively your reserve dice, via abort-actions?  So if I have a red d10 showing a 1, I will not be using that to attack with, straight!  Rather, I will be re-rolling it with an abort-action.

Quote
4) Is getting damage in in the beginning completely dominant?
  Yeah, I think whoever gets the first damage will have a huge advantage...

Yeah, I'm pretty worried about this.  Gotta think of a decent way to handle damage...  Well, we'll see how it works in play.

yrs--
--Ben
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dindenver
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« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2006, 08:51:30 PM »

Hi!
  Just brainstorming, but maybe you should lose a number of Dice equal to the difference between the two rolls?
  That way you are not killing the other guy's highest roll right off the bat.

  I guess from the brief desription, I am not sure what aborting does. If I read it one way it almost seems to say that I can pick up die and re-roll them, but if the combat/task/conflict goes into a second round, I get less dice. From another angle, it seems like I just say, my character is not attacking, that attack die is not my highest die it is aborted. Or is neither of these right?
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Dave M
Author of Legends of Lanasia RPG (Still in beta)
My blog
Free Demo
Ben Lehman
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« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2006, 09:12:05 PM »

Hey, maybe an example would be a good idea.

C=combat
M=Manuever
A=Anima

So let's say I have the following showing:

5C, 3C, 2A, 2M, 1C

And you have
4M, 4C, 2A, 1A, 1C, 1C

And we're adjacent.

I attack you!  Since my 5 is pretty good, I choose not to abort.  So the value of my attack is a 5.

You have to take your highest applicable die to defend with (is this true?  Maybe you should be able to just take the blow?  Huh.)  Since that's a 4, which is less than my 5, you're going to get hit for 5 damage.  That sucks! (You'll lose your manuever die).  So you choose to abort.  That means that you pick up your one die showing a four, plus one or more other applicable dice that you pick up, and take the highest.

Let's say that you are very much against the hitting, and you pick up your 4C, 2A, and 1A (you have to pick up from highest to lowest.)  You roll them: 6, 3, 1.  Your six is higher than my five, so my attack doesn't hit.  All those dice you rolled go off the table.

Now I have:
3C, 2A, 2M, 1C

And you have:
4M, 1C, 1C

It's your go, because you have the highest die showing.  You could choose to use your maneuver to get away, but let's say that you choose to activate your Flaming Strike ability.  You have to abort to use this ability, so you choose to abort with all your dice.  You're holding a handful of three dice, which you're going to roll once I decide what to do.

I could defend with my 3C dice, but you'll probably beat that with your roll, and Flaming Strike does a hefty chunk of damage.  So I choose to abort, picking up all applicable dice (3C, 2A, 1C.)  I could have saved my 1C, but it isn't tactically sound to do so.

So you roll your attack and you get 9, 4, 2  The two is on the manuever die.
I get to roll my defense.  I get: 8, 8, 4.  My highest die is lower than your highest die, so the attack hits.  It does 11 damage (9 + 2 for the maneuver die from Flaming Strike.)

I take eleven damage.  My one die left on the table is a 2M -- it gets destroyed (and won't come back next round, 'cause it's a wound.)  In addition, 9 points of carryover damage are going to reduce my top roll next round.  Sucks to be me!

Since there are no dice left on the table, we roll all our dice again.  If there were dice left on the table, we would keep trading actions like this until there weren't anymore.


So does that make the process of play more clear?

yrs--
--Ben
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2006, 09:13:40 PM »

Err... by "trading actions" I mean that "the person with the highest die showing could take an action."

Yeah...

yrs--
--Ben
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dindenver
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« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2006, 10:59:44 PM »

Hi!
  OK, that makes a LOT more sense.
  I THINK that it is less random from how I imagined game play to go but it still seems like ther eis not a LOT of tactical choices...
  Maybe you need to find some way to make low dice more effective. Like you active actions remove high dice and Damage removes small dice. Damage will burn through dice pretty quickly, but at least they will DO something.
  Or a variation on Fallout from ditv? You can add your lowest die to your highest die, there is consequences...
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Dave M
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2006, 06:17:49 AM »

OK, this looks really interesting to me. I'll probably try to playtest it soon.

My only concern is that at the first glance the game requires quite a big number of dice, and what's worse in different colors. It could become rather unwieldy in handling, like in DitV. How many dice in total does a player have on average? How far can it get with advancement?
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2006, 06:54:37 AM »

OK, this looks really interesting to me. I'll probably try to playtest it soon.

My only concern is that at the first glance the game requires quite a big number of dice, and what's worse in different colors. It could become rather unwieldy in handling, like in DitV. How many dice in total does a player have on average? How far can it get with advancement?

Hi Filip, and welcome to the Forge!  (Since I see that no one else got to you first.)

I'm psyched that you want to playtest it!  Let me know if you need any clarifications, etc. prior to play, let me know.

If you want, you can use all the "cool" colors (blue, green, purple, black) for maneuver, all the "hot colors" (orange, red, yellow, brown) for Combat, and white and clear dice for Anima.  But, yeah, it is a lot of dice.

My initial thought on advancement is that characters don't gain a ton of dice with experience, but rather get better (higher numbered, more anima) dice and better abilities to use with those dice.  This could change, though!  Advancement is deeply half-baked at the moment.

yrs--
--Ben
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2006, 07:56:13 AM »

Quote
Hi Filip, and welcome to the Forge!  (Since I see that no one else got to you first.)

Oh, they had already got some half a year ago ^_^ It's just that I weren't too active - but I've been regularly ghosting this forum for more than a year ^_^ Still I've been too busy with promoting new ideas in my home country to post here.

Quote
If you want, you can use all the "cool" colors (blue, green, purple, black) for maneuver, all the "hot colors" (orange, red, yellow, brown) for Combat, and white and clear dice for Anima.  But, yeah, it is a lot of dice.

After first reading I got an impression that there are more colours (or that it matters whether dice are blue or green etc.). If there are only 3 groups of dice, that's much easier. But still it would be good to create some method of discerning dice apart from colour. Nothing comes to my mind right now, though. Maybe something will come out after I test the thing.
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StefanDirkLahr
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« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2006, 12:22:22 PM »

Requirement to havea huge pile of dice of particular shades doesn't bother me, but then i'm really into the idea of "dice as physical objects" on the table!
(Of course, Filip is right about the difficulties - there are "marketing" problems with such an approach...)

Ben:

You make mention of squares, and ranges - i take it the game is to be played on some sort of "battle mat"? Do you think i can break out my Samurai figurines as well?

Can a weapon have both grace & heft? (I was thinking of stas for something like a Naginata: Range 1-2, Grace 1d6, Heft 2d4)

Can all of your "cool powers" be used at once, or do you have to pick & choose from a deck?

Nifty game! I wonder how well it combines with Clinton's Ninjas? ;)
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Stefan Dirk Lahr, dreaming the impossible dream
xenopulse
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« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2006, 01:32:56 PM »

I think the rules clearly state that weapons have either Heft or Grace, and that's perfect. It needs to be a choice.

Now, Ben--I see you clearly need more than a simple dice roller program to test this out :)

I'm excited about it and I'll see whether I even have enough different dice at home to give it a whirl.
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