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Author Topic: QCQ: Quick Combat Question...Feedback on two ideas needed.  (Read 869 times)
Excalibur
Member

Posts: 94


« on: February 21, 2010, 10:07:13 PM »

Greetings, and thanks for such a wonderful community.

First off, let me say that my combat mechanics are inspired by Warrior Dice by Warpspawn games. I'm here to neither praise nor tarnish this game's mechanics.

I'm here to see if an idea based on this game can be used.

I was going to use this game's mechanic as it stood for the combat system I'm currently working on, but it falls short due to issues with races, stats, and the intricacies of damage type vs defense. The combat also tends to be rather random, sometimes too random (a single d10 roll determines whether the result is an attack, defense, or a special type of action. Based on who is the attacker and who is the defender, the results mean something different.)

So a few friends of mine and I started talking about how we could develop a similar combat system that incorporated the above aspects (race, stats, damage type, defenses).

Our initial ideas:
  • Regardless of the attack, if it succeeds at overcoming a defense, it does it's remaining damage to Hit Points.
  • 10 Combat maneuvers reside in a table and the result of the roll of a d10 indicate a proper to-hit, miss, or defense.
  • Critical hits and misses are determined by the roll of an accompanying d6 with 1 being a wiff (ignore the d10 and move to the next player) and a 6 being a critical hit (x2 damage).
The problems we had derive from the inspirational game's method of creating combat maneuvers. The player chooses the amount of damage an attack does or a defense blocks through a point pool of 100 points for attacks and 100 for defenses (attacks and defenses are multiples of 10, 4 of each with 2 special actions).

The main problem is that this pool system does not work for defenses where stats are involved. Ideas were tossed around about moving everything to multiples of 10, about using ratios for determining damage, to providing strange additions and subtractions based on which stats were higher or lower between two combatants. Another problem arises when considering those who like to min/max their characters and how they would always go for the characters with the best starting stats (15 races, 5 stats).

I came up with a few ideas that take this more away from the original game's mechanics and get rid of dice altogether. Instead we have a card mechanic. You can use standard playing cards and a table with the combat maneuvers or you can print out blank cards and use them without the table.

  • Each character has 5 stats ranked from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).
  • Races provide a minimum rank a stat must be for a character to obtain that race.
  • Each character has 21 stat points to distribute across their stats, they must meet the minimums of at least one of the races.
  • Each stat has two bonuses. The first is the general bonus (used for attacks and other non-defense action resolution) and a defense bonus.
  • The general bonus is the stat's rank / 3, rounded down. The defense bonus is the stats rank / 3, rounded up.
  • Attacks have a type based on the stat it originates from such as physical from strength or psionic from intelligence.
  • An attack has a force which has a base value equal to the general bonus of its governing stat. Based on equipment, skills, aspects/talents, this number can go up or down.
  • A defense has a force which has a base value equal to the defense bonus of its governing stat. Based on equipment...etc.
  • Defenses have no type, they simply indicate whether a character can defend or not.
  • Each player starts with a deck of 10 cards, 3 of which must be attacks and 3 of which must be defenses.
  • Each player has a starting hand which is limited to the sum of all the character's general bonuses for the stats.

Play starts with everyone shuffling their respective decks and drawing their hand limit in cards.
Initiative has two components: Initiative, to determine attack order, and Maneuver, to determine who is more 'combat savvy'.
Each player selects one card from their hand to be their initiative card and another to be their maneuver card. The force values of the cards is the initiative and maneuver score. So if you want to win either, you're going to play a card that has a high force.
All players flip their initiative and maneuver cards over simultaneously. The one with the highest initiative attacks first. The one with the highest maneuver gets to decide when he gets to play his attack or defense cards.

(we will assume two combatants)
Player 1 is the attacker and has won initiative, but did not win maneuver, that victory goes to player 2. Each has sacrificed a good attack/defense card in order to win their respective cards.
Since player 2 won maneuver he has the option of playing his defense card after seeing player 1's attack card. OR he may wait until the counterattack phase at which point he may play his attack card after player 1 plays his defense card.

Other than this, it's a straightforward resource allocation mechanic. If you've put enough into your attack and your opponent did not put enough into his defense, you do damage equal to the difference. If the defender put more into his defense, you do no damage.

Now, if both players played the same maneuver, what happens?
Answer: Both combatants player their attack and defense cards face down then reveal them after all cards have been played.

What about tied initiative? Maneuver breaks the tie. If both initiative and maneuver are tied, the speed stat breaks the tie. If all are tied, combat is finally simultaneous, you may play either an attack or a defense and hope for the best.

The second mechanic uses a yahtzee kind of outcome. You roll 5d10 3 times, each time you choose which dice you want to keep. You must have 3 of a kind in order for the selected combat maneuver to succeed. Otherwise, it's very much like warrior dice. The main difference is that you can now use dice combinations to trigger special effects. 5 of a kind is a critical hit, full house is a +10 to the result, etc.

I'd say more about the second mechanic except that it's pretty much that cut-and-dried. The biggest issue is remembering when a special effect takes place. In the card mechanic, special effects are listed on the cards.

Any thoughts would be great![/list]
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-Curt
Excalibur
Member

Posts: 94


« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2010, 10:51:52 AM »

OK, I guess the questions would be:

Do you like the idea of the "yahtzee"-style mechanics above?
Do you like the idea of the card mechanics above?
Which do you think would make for faster, simpler play?
Which do you think provides the best choice to the characters while still having randomness?
Do you have any suggestions or ideas to add to what is described above?
Do you need an example of a few rounds of combat (neither system has been playtested)?

This is primarily a combat game. Players create their characters and duke it out one-on-one or in a free-for-all grand melee. Weapons multiply the general bonus, armor multiplies the defense bonus, and unarmed/unarmored combatants deal damage equal to the general bonus and block damage equal to the defense bonus (respectively).
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-Curt
Locke
Member

Posts: 85


« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2010, 02:18:17 PM »

- I'm not a big fan of trample systems, unless the max damage is under control.  Remember the party will be fighting many monsters, and its possible using trample damage that a couple good rolls can put a player character down.  I would suggest to keep it under control.  I don't believe a player's fun should be ruined b/c of one or two bad rolls.  Your weapons could have a max damage.  Meaning a sword could have a damage of 3 which means that the most damage it could cause would be 3.  A dagger would comparatively be 2.

- i don't like using cards, its an extra thing that takes time.  But some people do like them, be sure that it fits in from a usability standpoint not just mechanically speaking.  You don't want to waste 30 sec after each round worrying about cards  b/c after 20 rounds of combat you lost 10 min.

- maybe instead of using cards to determine based on randomness, you could use them to make a bidding system.  A player has to give cards for initiative, attacking, and defense.  Players and monster's bid (blind auction style) to go first, make an attack or defense.  If you are a warrior and want to protect the mage, then you would bid high on attacking or on imitative to get in the monster's way.  While the mage would bid high on defense to kepe from getting hit.  By bidding you could get rid of the time consuming Yahtzee thing.

Just some ideas.  i would try to keep mechanics as similar from one type to another w/o having to mix it up between them. 
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Check out my game Age Past, unique rolling system, in Beta now.  Tell me what you think!
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Thanks!
Jeff Mechlinski
Excalibur
Member

Posts: 94


« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2010, 04:16:24 PM »

Thanks for the reply!

Quote
- I'm not a big fan of trample systems, unless the max damage is under control.  Remember the party will be fighting many monsters, and its possible using trample damage that a couple good rolls can put a player character down.  I would suggest to keep it under control.  I don't believe a player's fun should be ruined b/c of one or two bad rolls.  Your weapons could have a max damage.  Meaning a sword could have a damage of 3 which means that the most damage it could cause would be 3.  A dagger would comparatively be 2.

The combat system has to be modular because a majority of my friends I game with think that RPGs are the road to Satan. Sad, but true fact for me (they'll play RPGs on video game systems, however...go fig). So, that's why I have been developing this 'trample system.' The damage doesn't really escalate all that far, to be honest, it's a straight multiplier. Nobody should be getting any attacks larger than 4x-5x their dominant stat when they begin their characters. No stat may go above 10 when starting (so that's capped) and unless you spend a lot of creation points or experience during character advancement, the character can only have that one, big attack in their arsenal. Due to the cost of a 4-point weapon, that would leave them with 6 points remaining to choose their other attacks (the rules changed so that the cost of the weapon is added to the cost of a basic attack). They must have 3 attacks (again, to start), and the basic attack costs 2 points to add to the combat style. So, they could add another advanced attack such as an unarmed strike, a 1-point weapon, or something else. But they can't just load up on super-heavy attacks and defenses and stomp everyone. I have been toying with limiting max damage to the actual stat value...So in the case of  someone with a 10 strength wielding a sword with a damage of 3, their general bonus is 3 and the weapon multiplies that by 4 (x3 for the weapon plus the x1 for normal attacks), giving them 12 points total. But since their strength is 10, they can only do that much damage.

Please keep in mind that all characters have base defenses of at least 1 point and as many as 4 (in the case of someone with a 9 or 10 as their stat that is being threatened) so that 12-point attack will drop to 8-11. This does not include armor which is also a multiplier but for the defensive bonus instead of the damage bonus.

Quote
- i don't like using cards, its an extra thing that takes time.  But some people do like them, be sure that it fits in from a usability standpoint not just mechanically speaking.  You don't want to waste 30 sec after each round worrying about cards  b/c after 20 rounds of combat you lost 10 min.

- maybe instead of using cards to determine based on randomness, you could use them to make a bidding system.  A player has to give cards for initiative, attacking, and defense.  Players and monster's bid (blind auction style) to go first, make an attack or defense.  If you are a warrior and want to protect the mage, then you would bid high on attacking or on imitative to get in the monster's way.  While the mage would bid high on defense to kepe from getting hit.  By bidding you could get rid of the time consuming Yahtzee thing.

The cards are like record sheets for your combat techniques and are pretty much the combat chart that each character has taken out and displayed as an individual thing instead of in a line. It has the total force, any special effects (blinding attack, stun effects, and the like), the character's bonuses for the type of combat technique, etc. You should be able to tell at a glance what the total force of your technique is when comparing to another card. And I have designed the testing cards in that way. They are probably going to change as we determine what needs to be there and what doesn't. In many ways, the cards are awesome for pre-generated weapons, armor, and martial arts techniques since all the player will have to do is fill out the relevant bonuses from his character's stats and record the final force of the card.

The size of the deck is relatively small, at 10 cards to start, and there's just been a rule change that forces the players to reshuffle their decks and draw a new hand after every combat round. This increases the randomness of it all.

I liked the card idea because players can "bid" on when to go first by playing the highest force card they wish. When it comes to initiative and maneuver, the type of card does not matter, just the total force of the card. Highest goes first. So if you *really* want to get in between the monster and the mage in order to protect the mage, you'll play a high initiative card. If you want to cherry pick your defense (in the case of the mage) you play a high maneuver card and if you win maneuver against the monster, you can play your defense card after seeing the monster's attack. Hopefully it'll be high enough to stop most of the damage.

This game, by the way, is a classless game. All of the experience goes towards improving skills, buying abilities, and increasing stats. It's up to the player to decide which they want to increase and hopefully there will be enough diversity in characters that it'll be quite fun. I still have to get people to attempt a playtesting, but I need to see what everyone things about the combat system first.

Quote
Just some ideas.  i would try to keep mechanics as similar from one type to another w/o having to mix it up between them.

Just thought of this, actually, if you want to use the dice mechanic, you can arrange your combat technique cards in any order then assign them a number from 1-10. Then a d10 roll will work or a yahtzee mechanic will work as well.

I actually prefer the card mechanic because you can keep your bids secret and I believe people will be forced to abandon choice attacks and/or defenses in order to try and defeat their opponent or get the maneuver advantage.
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-Curt
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