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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: Two combat system in one rpg.  (Read 1995 times)
MJGraham
Member

Posts: 49


« on: July 17, 2007, 04:10:40 PM »

While my game Defiance (formerly known as Insurrection) is undergoing the process of having artwork created for it, I've decided to try my hand at a short and sweet RPG (preferably no longer than 32 pages). My inspirations for the game are Agon by John Harper (for its setting and its competitive nature) and Fist of the North Star (for its ludicrous yet totally enjoyable combat).

This new and as yet untitled RPG uses two systems for combat. One is for when characters fight hordes of enemies or as my friends who are in to Fist of the North Star would call them fist-fodder. The other is for when character's fight important enemies (e.g. the high priest of the lizardman cult) or powerful mythological beast ( e.g. basilisks or manticores). In the first system it is designed to allow characters to quickly dispatch tens of enemies at a time. The second one is for longer conflicts against one or two foes.

My two questions are can having two combat systems in one game work and if it can work what are some of the potential pitfalls?
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Wrageowrapper
Member

Posts: 6


« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2007, 04:38:10 PM »

Having two combat systems in one came can work but the main pitfall is that it may lead to confusion. For example in the game I am creating at the moment I have regular combat and vehicular combat. Both serve two different, yet equally important roles but problems arise when you want to quickly go between one and the other as you loose the flow. But that may not be an issue for everyone and for every system.

By the way, it sounds like a really cool idea. I think some computer games have done similar things but I have not heard a Pen and Paper RPG do something akin to that before.
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MJGraham
Member

Posts: 49


« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2007, 05:25:17 PM »

Wrageowrapper

Lately, I've been into Streets of Rage 2 and one of my friends compared my newest RPG effort to Dynasty Warriors so I can definitely see the analogy to computer games or in this case console games.

I have an idea for how to do both kinds of combat similtaneously. I think it might work without being too confusing as one system is derived from the other. If that fails, I may have to resort to some sort of convention where the big bad guy doesn't fight until his hordes of minions are eliminated. Why doesn't he fight until then? Because that's how it works in action movies and console/computer games.

I hope I can make both work together. But part of me still wants to use the convention because of how it follows the "rules" of action movies and computer games.
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Seth M. Drebitko
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2007, 06:03:21 PM »

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Charlie Gilb
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Posts: 42


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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2007, 06:25:24 PM »

Another system worth looking at that does this very well is Burning Wheel. You basically just have a success comparison system for less important battles and then detailed "FIGHT!" mechanics for those that are more pivotal or one-on-one. This might give you a little inspiration.
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xenopulse
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Posts: 527

Heretic Forgite


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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2007, 06:46:14 PM »

Yay for Feeeest of the North Star! It's inspiring one of my designs these days, too. As such, I have a couple of thoughts on the subject. There are several ways in which you can deal with hordes of mooks without making a completely different combat system. 

One is to pack them into groups that resemble a big single enemy. Inflicting damage then represents taking out individual guys.

Another is to give player characters the ability to attack all foes within a certain area for little damage. It wouldn't be enough to damage a boss with soak/damage reduction/resistance or whatnot, but it'll take out most of the mooks.

You could also check out how Scarlet Wake handles it. That game could actually be used to run something like Feeeeeest. Smiley
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Justin Nichol - BFG
Member

Posts: 95


« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2007, 08:44:31 PM »

I dunno, my initial instinct would just be to have one combat system but do like was stated and just have the possibility of raising the difficulty to hit multiple times, apply damage across the board the same, and have the henchmen be considerably less powerful (shouldnt be a problem if FotNS is an inspiration.)
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Narmical
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Posts: 21

Mitch "Narmical" Morris


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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2007, 09:47:53 AM »

I think it depends on how seperate the two systems are.

If they are too similar, it might be confusing. If they are too diffrent it may be combersom.

The 7th sea idea is a good one, but its not realy a seperate system. its just basicly a week guys have one dammage.

Im just imagining a play expericance where attaking the hords has hand fulls of dice flying midlessly all over the table. But the personal battles involving more complex rules. Maybe someting drasticly diffrent. Like magic the gathering, with many diffret ablites to use, resorces to spend, and planning to do.
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David Artman
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Posts: 570

Designer & Producer


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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2007, 10:05:05 AM »

Could you subsume Mook Slaying into Boss Fighting, like this:

* Success with an action generates some resultant value ("damage" points, successes, Kills, whatever).
* That value may be applied to more than one target, at the actor's discretion.
* Mooks have no ability to reduce that resultant value.
* Bosses have some stat (plus some abilities, maybe) that can reduce that resultant value.

So, if I do my Power Sword Slice and generate, say, ten "Kills", then I can slice down 10 Mooks (each can only withstand one Kill). Meanwhile, same attack, same number of Kills; but the Boss can reduce Kills by, say, 8, and it takes 5 Kills to actually defeat him. I'd have to use the same attack two more times, successfully, to defeat him (and one of those two attacks could be split, to Kill a Mook that shows up while still applying the attack's remaining 9 Kills - 8 to the Boss).

This could apply to anything with levels of success: a chase scene, hiding versus perception, etc. Basically, it's just using Dice Splitting to reduce the number of discrete actions a Hero must take to defeat Mooks, while using Soak to increase the number of discrete actions a Hero must take to defeat a Boss.

?
David
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J. Scott Timmerman
Member

Posts: 164


« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2007, 12:44:35 PM »

Nobody has mentioned Exalted yet?

Exalted makes use of two combat systems.  The system it uses for Mass Combat is modeled after Standard Combat, and has similar mechanics.  It has extra systems for company rout and formation.  It's fairly abstract but very story-relevant.  It speeds up battles with mooks (called extras in Exalted) and even between hordes of demigods and demons, but it's complicated enough that my players didn't get the hang of it until after a few mass battles.

There's even a third combat system: Social Combat.  Again, it keeps the action of a Social Combat epic and story-relevant.  It does take a while, however, to get the players used to knowing what their options are in, say, an argument.

(plug) I actually made an effort, in my own system, to use a similar Magnitude rating to Exalted.  Using exponential orders of two for everything, with a dice mechanic that is fairly seamless on that sliding scale, you can unify Mass Combat and Standard Combat into a single system, with this variable and implications thereof being the only difference. (/plug)

-Jason T.
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zakueins
Member

Posts: 13


« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2007, 11:43:10 PM »

Here's an idea...

Keep it as one combat system, the one for the "big" fights.  Hordes of weaker enemies count as one "monster", with an autofire attack based upon how many of them are there...

While my game Defiance (formerly known as Insurrection) is undergoing the process of having artwork created for it, I've decided to try my hand at a short and sweet RPG (preferably no longer than 32 pages). My inspirations for the game are Agon by John Harper (for its setting and its competitive nature) and Fist of the North Star (for its ludicrous yet totally enjoyable combat).

This new and as yet untitled RPG uses two systems for combat. One is for when characters fight hordes of enemies or as my friends who are in to Fist of the North Star would call them fist-fodder. The other is for when character's fight important enemies (e.g. the high priest of the lizardman cult) or powerful mythological beast ( e.g. basilisks or manticores). In the first system it is designed to allow characters to quickly dispatch tens of enemies at a time. The second one is for longer conflicts against one or two foes.

My two questions are can having two combat systems in one game work and if it can work what are some of the potential pitfalls?
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