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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 158 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Calvinballing for viable combat?  (Read 4039 times)
BeUrgaust
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Posts: 19

Mike "the Lensman" Wormley


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« on: August 09, 2006, 09:29:05 PM »

Okay lets set a scene... lets do a wuxia kungfuish game with a strong narritive bent. However, the rules for combat are as follows:
The participant of combat that initiates combat is called the Aggressor, the other (since all combat will be one on one break downs with NPCs waiting their turn if not engaged with a PC) will be called the Defender.
The Aggressor begins by making up a move with a distictive name such as High Bending Fire,
The Defender counters with another move with a distictive name that has not been used this combat.
The Aggressor counters with another move with a distictive name that also has not been used this combat.
This back and forth continues until either the Aggressor or Defender yeilds , or a name is repeated in which the counter fails and follows the particular damage resolution this game uses. The major key is that none of these named moves are listed anywhere in the crunchy sections of the book, and only in passing in setting. Whether the move does or does not actually exsist in the text is not the issue, just the ability to quickly come up with something that sounds like a move and not repeating ones self. It also should be noted that if any of this fight is to be transcribed it would be advised for one transcribing it to only list the finishing move by name. All of this will very overt in the book with a paragraph saying something like:

Moves
In this section or any other section of the resolution mechanics you will not find a list of moves, the intention is to improvise the names of the moves on a combat by combat basis. Moves, however are named usually with some description of motion (upward falling) and either an animal(monkey), or elemental (Earth ,Fire, Water, Stone, Metal) descriptor, sometimes a combination of the three.

This is my first impulse after reading 'Must...learn...crane technique!' Design idea. but I feel that it does not really fit as a response and I may be using this technique in my own games if the consensis is that:
  • Its cool.
  • It would work, even if it takes practice to do so. That is what combat heavy intro sessions are for.
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Death and dice level all distinction. -- Samuel Foote, The Minor
Callan S.
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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2006, 11:18:07 PM »

Nice, sharp memory game with creative edge!

In a short RPG game I made years ago, it generated two props per player per scene. You got points for each one you used. Props were like a roaring fire, or a fruit cart (it was a pulp detective theme). There were also points for a single line of dialog, and a bunch of other stuff like this.

It was actually quite hard to include all those components in something cohesive, made you think hard. Wasn't particularly interactive between players, but it was fun and challenging (stupid me, I too have a bit of a habit of leaving fun games behind).
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Philosopher Gamer
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matthijs
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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2006, 04:28:43 AM »

I easily see this ending up as a boredom resolution mechanic, if players really want to win; it's not that hard to come up with new names, and after three minutes of ongoing combat, chances are that 1) people have already forgotten the first move, and 2) people are getting bored.

"Whooping Crane!" "Spunky Spider Stance!" "Pedestrian Pedalling of the Seven Spirits!" "Mouse Tiger Shark Fish Mouse Mouse Kick!" "Bite of the Tongue!" "Jump of the Elevated Stockbroker!"

If, however, players got some fan mail-like bonus from other players when they came up with cool moves, you might get everyone engaged in play, and have some reason to come up with cool names.
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BeUrgaust
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Mike "the Lensman" Wormley


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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2006, 01:27:34 PM »

If, however, players got some fan mail-like bonus from other players when they came up with cool moves, you might get everyone engaged in play, and have some reason to come up with cool names.

Could you explain a bit further what you mean by "fan mail-like bonus"? Or maybe give an example if one exsists.

Are you talking something like "Dude, that was really cool!!! Here, have a plot chip." ? (note: I have not descided if I'm going to use plot chips or whatever in the game this will eventually go into.)
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Death and dice level all distinction. -- Samuel Foote, The Minor
matthijs
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2006, 12:08:58 AM »

Oops, sorry. Fan mail is a mechanic in Prime Time Adventures. It's like what you said - when someone does something cool, that you like for whatever reason, you give them a token. They can later use this token as a bonus in conflicts.

In PTA, tokens come from a common pool, which is filled up as the GM uses his resources against the players in conflicts.
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Filip Luszczyk
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roll-player


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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2006, 01:15:35 PM »

Brilliant.

Some months ago I had similar idea for a wuxia game with combat consisting of improvised names of techniques exchange. I couldn't find a good way to utilise the names mechanically, though - e.g. I've been trying to actually give techniques mechanical effects depending on words used and stuff. But yours idea is so insanely simple...

I can advice you three things:

1.You could enforce time limit for thinking up the name, overwise players will keep thinking up new names ad infinitum. 10 seconds. Or 5 seconds. Or simply, you have to make it on the spot, without any hesitation. Or base "the time window" on a stat of sorts, e.g. character's rank - low ranked fighters could have no time limit, advanced fighters could have a limit of around 10 seconds, masters could have 5 seconds, and grand masters would have to shout their techniques right away. (But: I'd advice not going the "you have that many seconds as your Dex" way - tracking things would be impractical; such solution would probably work better with different "time windows" per rank, like 1-3 seconds, 1-5 seconds, 1-10 etc.).

2.It's possible, that the game will require some impartial referee to observe the exchange and work as an umpire. I don't really envision GM engaged in the exchange on the NPC's part and still moderating the game.

3.Don't overdo things and don't add too much rules here. The basic exchange you outlined makes a good base for a combat system, without adding much more in the resolution area. Techniques guidelines are more or less good as they are (not that you couldn't improve them, but I can see it as workable). If you want to expand the system, add some more twists to the combat, but avoid complicating the exchange. Of course, that reduces need for any character stats, maybe apart from some health indicator and "time window" if you decide to go that way. You could differentiate characters by allowing players to chose a number of favourite words, that would form the distinctive fighting style, and deal greater damage and/or award some kind of resource when used in a move (possible choice of effect on a word by word basis). But that could be risky, since such mechanical effects could break the flow of the exchange if too complicated in application. Good way to expand such a game would be to create some out of combat rules, like relationships or reputation system.

But I'd say that you have a root for a very fun game here, anyway.
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Thomas D
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2006, 09:47:44 PM »

In this section or any other section of the resolution mechanics you will not find a list of moves, the intention is to improvise the names of the moves on a combat by combat basis. Moves, however are named usually with some description of motion (upward falling) and either an animal(monkey), or elemental (Earth ,Fire, Water, Stone, Metal) descriptor, sometimes a combination of the three.

A quick thought.  I'm thinking you'd have an impartial referee start throwing out word types that must be used in the attack names.  When the referee changes, the players have to incorporate the new style:

ref: "Animal!"
Aggressor: "Double Monkey Strike!"
Defender: "Metal Tiger Slash!"
Aggressor: ""Black Lion Stomp!"
ref: "Color!"
Defender: "Blue Moon Rising!"
Aggressor: "Red Monkey Slap!"
... and because the Aggressor used the word "monkey" after it was used in the Double Monkey Strike, the Red Monkey Slap doesn't work.
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BeUrgaust
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Mike "the Lensman" Wormley


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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2006, 08:59:07 AM »

A quick thought.  I'm thinking you'd have an impartial referee start throwing out word types that must be used in the attack names.  When the referee changes, the players have to incorporate the new style:

ref: "Animal!"
Aggressor: "Double Monkey Strike!"
Defender: "Metal Tiger Slash!"
Aggressor: ""Black Lion Stomp!"
ref: "Color!"
Defender: "Blue Moon Rising!"
Aggressor: "Red Monkey Slap!"
... and because the Aggressor used the word "monkey" after it was used in the Double Monkey Strike, the Red Monkey Slap doesn't work.
Okay I like the ref thing but the way I'm probably do it especially in the case of NPC vs PC is that everyone not involved can yell out a category but someone will be appointed to determine when its over. I also like using the categories but I don't think a Red Monkey Slap would stop that combat, maybe a Red Monkey Strike. I mean if we limit what one of the three words has to be, then I think that the other two simply cannot be repeated together. So if any two words are repeated then the counter fails.
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Death and dice level all distinction. -- Samuel Foote, The Minor
tj333
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Posts: 76


« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2006, 08:42:14 AM »

It doesn't seem like the best combat mechanic on its own.
The Fan mail idea or perhaps limiting a character to a certain category (This guy is 12 Animals Style so his moves are best with animals in the name and so on.) or something else needs to go with it to me.

On the other hand the use of categories or styles to limit your choice of moves would make this a good drill.
Something like a player has 6 health. Each move is rated on three points; in category, origional, and judges descretion. You take damage based on the difference in point value of the moves used. I'm going to head over to the Endeavor forum and write it up there later today.
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