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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 145 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Keeping combat from dragging  (Read 2319 times)
btrc
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« on: February 09, 2009, 02:09:47 PM »

i]not<do get a bonus to skill use proportional to the length of the round, as befits the game system in question

Example: If this was in EABA (1 second rounds), then rounds would be 1 sec, 2 sec, 4 sec, 8 sec, etc. In each round after the first you get +2 to movement distance and -2 to your "to hit" difficulty. So, in round 4, it is an 8 second round. You don't get any extra actions, but you do get +6 to move and -6 to hit.

What it does:<deus ex machina for outside influences to come into play. That is, if a single round of combat is taking 2 minutes, then the odds that reinforcements, your escape helicopter or whatever will arrive, and you don't have to play clambering aboard it on a second-by-second basis.

Thoughts?

Greg Porter
BTRndo get a bonus to skill use proportional to the length of the round, as befits the game system in question

Example: If this was in EABA (1 second rounds), then rounds would be 1 sec, 2 sec, 4 sec, 8 sec, etc. In each round after the first you get +2 to movement distance and -2 to your "to hit" difficulty. So, in round 4, it is an 8 second round. You don't get any extra actions, but you do get +6 to move and -6 to hit.

What it does:<deus ex machina for outside influences to come into play. That is, if a single round of combat is taking 2 minutes, then the odds that reinforcements, your escape helicopter or whatever will arrive, and you don't have to play clambering aboard it on a second-by-second basis.

Thoughts?

Greg Porter
BTRC
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Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2009, 03:07:35 PM »

Hey Greg,

By round 2 I'm hiding in the bushes by the side of the road. By round 5 my movement has grown enough that I can make it all the way down the road past the NPCs who want to shoot me from the distant bushes near my parked pick-up truck and to a position behind them, and also achieving good cover from my truck for myself. They're going to have quite a good opportunity to shoot me while I'm moving, and bonuses for doing so.

Do they deplete more ammunition than they would in an earlier round? Do they do more damage if they hit me?

Paul
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Callan S.
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2009, 05:00:47 PM »

Hi Greg,

I might not know sim very well, but what's wrong with it taking a long time? Isn't it getting at the detail you want? Or is it working in too fine a detail? Your helicopter example might indicate that - working out each step of getting into a chopper is too fine a focus?

Is there a limit on how large the rounds can grow to?
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btrc
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2009, 05:05:36 AM »

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Bert
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2009, 02:29:22 PM »

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jerry
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2009, 10:45:17 PM »

Bert, thinking about some extreme scenarios where this might change the course of combat may be useful for the first part of your question. These fringes are where Greg's idea that fascinates me.

Imagine a conflict between a group of player characters and a super-flying-robot-alien. The alien robot has great targeting and pretty much hits one character every round. The alien robot has great defenses and is pretty much impossible for the player characters to hit.

As time moves forward, the characters' chances increase while the alien robot's chances remain the same (it was always successful anyway, getting better doesn't help it). This simulates the stuff you might see in a movie or in a book, where the main characters will figure something out the longer they fight. Now, whether this should be simulated in the success rules or left to the player characters, I don't know. But it's a fascinating idea.

Now, imagine a conflict between a group of player characters and a horde of slow-moving zombies. The zombies can't hit the player characters, and the player characters can hit the zombies all they want but they can't hurt them (or maybe more just keep coming). The players are going to have to either come up with a new way to attack the zombies or they're going to need to retreat, because as rounds progress the zombies are going to start getting more and more success bonuses.

This is kind of like the down system of American football: something must be happening, and if something isn't happening something needs to change. If this is the purpose of the system, an increased defense would be counterproductive.

The increased movement and the increased time both help ensure that things happen: increased movement increases the area where action occurs, which increases the possibilities of what can be brought into the action; and increased time means longer and longer actions can be attempted; and also increases the possibility of external forces coming into play.
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Jerry
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btrc
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2009, 05:12:47 AM »

Quote
Are you trying to sim the compound probability of success from multiple rolls (assuming 1 action per second, despite a single resolution roll for increasing periods of time)

Yes. Part of how the expanded time scale makes combats shorter in "real" time is that you get progressively less "misses". Each round has a higher chance than the previous one of removing one or more combatants from the field. You continue to get one "action" but what you can do in that action can get progressively more complex.

Example: So, instead of "run to the truck, climb in, and start it up" being several movement actions, climbing in as an action and starting it as one or two actions, it could be just one expanded scale action, while your friends are shooting up zombies as their action. For that matter, it means it makes more sense to not try complex action sequences like this until<Then run for the truck.

The combination of increased chance of success and combined actions hopefully shortens the "real time" aspect. If there is an endless supply of zombies, then getting the getaway truck is the choke point. Eliminate all the rounds of getting to the truck and getting it started eliminates that many rounds of "players fighting zombies". You've cut the real time of the encounter in half, but lost none of the drama (the zombies are getting a lot closer and have a better chance to grab you).

Quote
That is, if mods apply equally to offensive capability and defensive capability.

They don't. Only the offensive side increases, meaning that each side has an increased chance to hit, provided they have sufficient supplies for their offensive force.

Example: If you fire your muzzle-loading rifle in round 1, you don't have another shot in round 2, so you do not get a combat bonus unless you have a bayonet and are going to use it.

Like I mentioned earlier, it does not directly affect damage. So, no matter how long the timescale, you do not necessarily get to beat your way out of a prison cell with your fist. But, come to think of it, it does sort of work for prison escapes. It's an insanely difficult task, so you have to accumulate a lot of bonuses over an ever-increasing timeframe in order to have a chance of pulling it off (okay, I'll use the "1 year turn" bonus to finish the escape tunnel...").

Quote
Could you have a situation where opponents are operating at different mods/round durations, reflecting differing tactical positions?
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Hereward The Wake
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2009, 09:02:32 AM »

It seems that this idea would work in a situation like WWII combat where units woul doften get bogged down after an initial push by the attackers, but that is more a warganing situation, I can't imagine a situation where inndividuals would want to get stuck like this, and has been mentioned you would need some way of resetting the time scale to "1" again. It loks as though its something that would be situation/context specific in other situations it would not work at all.
Best
JW
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Bert
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2009, 02:55:12 PM »

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btrc
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2009, 07:25:35 AM »

Quote
What about compound actions or turning multiple actions into multiple action types? Say you have a  player describing what their character is going to try and do in a round.

If you can end up doing too many things that require die rolls in a "round", then you won't be speeding things up any. I think that people will be limited to one combat action, one movement action, though these can be increasingly complex in scope, they should thematically be a single "task" that can resolve with a single die roll. So, you could do the "run to truck, open the door, climb in and start it" as one action, or "shoot a bunch of zombies" as one action. The latter however, would take a penalty. Instead of using the expanded time scale modifier to guarantee a "kill", you are spreading out your effort. If you succeed at your single "shoot a bunch of zombies" roll, you take down a bunch of zombies, but if you fail, you merely wing a bunch of them without removing any from the fight.

This is one of those things where I'll have to quantify the rules and test it out. Right now it is all theoretical. I don't know of any system that actually does this. Right now I'm just getting feedback to see if it had any obvious "dead in water" flaws. It doesn't seem to, so I'll probably codify it and see how well it works in my pet rpg system (EABA).

Greg
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Chronologist
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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2009, 08:35:38 AM »

I really like the idea of each round being twice as long as the previous, up to a point. 1 sec, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512... round ten or so is going to take 8 and a half minutes. How about the time frames are 5 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 2 min, 4 min, and thereafter in increments of 5 minutes (5, 10, 15, 20, 25 etc.). That way time really speeds up, but not to the point where the 15th round is going to be four and a half HOURS long. Short term, your current system works, but if for any reason combat drags out, then it slows down considerably.

Granting bonuses to move and attack seem alright, though it does force players to be agressive, since you can't "weather the storm", so to speak. I'm not a big fan of forcing players' actions. I think that if the bonus/minus was 1, not each round, that it would give players more time to figure out their action plan, or at least let them stay defensive for a little longer.

Chronology
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