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Author Topic: Cinematic Weapons and Narrating Damage  (Read 7041 times)
zaal
Member

Posts: 33


« on: May 30, 2003, 11:59:35 PM »

Hi all,

I'm working on an action setting, so right now my mind is on emulating high-flying cinematic butt kicking in RPGs.  I'm not posting this in the game design forum because I’m going to use the Fate RPG, an existing game system.

One thing I want to try is ignoring damage ratings for weapons, an idea that existed as some shadowy, amorphous entity floating around in my head for some time. Fortunately, my thoughts on this matter were crystallized when I read Wushu by Daniel Bayn, a neat action RPG.  I’m going to briefly talk about how Wushu handles weapons, discuss why I think removing the mechanical benefits for weapons is an excellent option for cinematic roleplaying and how I will implement this in Fate, and then ask the forum for help with narrating the perplexing (at least for me) issue of missile weapons.

I have a some points I’d like to make before I continue.  First, I plan on ignoring the effects of armor in addition to the effects of weapons.  However, I’m only going to talk about weapons in this post because armor isn’t so problematic for me.  Second, just as I don’t plan on giving weapons intrinsic benefits, I don’t plan on giving weapons any intrinsic weaknesses.  Third, I don’t want to give the impression that the “benefit-less” weapons idea is the One True Way (tm) to play cinematic games.  YMMV, “if your gamet ain’t broke don’t fix it,” and all the other caveats of respect for your way of playing apply.

The way Wushu handles weapons is that weapons don’t actually factor into damage at all.  Indeed, weapons don’t have any intrinsic benefits and are, in effect, just embellishment.  In Wushu, cool descriptions give the character bonuses to his role; if the character uses a weapon, it is essentially part of the scenery which can be used to get descriptive bonuses.  

This is easy enough to port over to Fate (and likely many other RPGs) – I won’t give weapons any inherent advantage and will narrate the coolest result based on the wound scored.  I think this method of handling weapons would focus play more on the action and reduce “packratting,” which I think is undesireable in an action movie game.  Unless, of course, packratting is part of a character concept, but even then I won’t give any actual in-game benefits/hindrances for the stuff people pick up. (if there’s interest, I’m willing to explain, in another thread, what I’d do to prevent undervaluing a packrat concept)

Not giving weapons any mechanical benefits seems like an easy way to “equalize” character concepts.  For example, in the games I’ve played, a bare-fisted martial arts master concept is usually at a disadvantage when fighting a sword master concept.  While this is probably realistic, I don’t think this effectively reflects cinematic reality.  

So removing inherent tactical benefits from weapons seems like a good idea for the kind of game I want to play.  However, missile weapons bug me.  Missile weapon versus missile weapon isn’t so bad, and missle weapon versus hand weapon at close range isn’t bad either – it’s missile weapon versus hand weapon at a distance that is my problemThe ability to attack at range is a tactical advantage that I can’t wrap my mind around.

I think it would be helpful if I describe my planned method of task resolution, especially on how damage is dealt.  I plan to make use of Fortune in the Middle (FitM) and what I call “effects-based damage” (which, I’m sure, is already in use in other systems, possibly under a different name).  Effects-based damage is defined below.

Character A and Character B engage in combat.  They roll the dice (traditionally that’s 4dF – four Fudge dice, which for those who don’t know are d6’s with two “+” sides, two “-“ sides, and two blank sides – but it could be different) and add the relevant attack skill.  A and B compare results and determine the winner of the exchange.  In the Fudge RPG, this way of adjudicating contests is called simultaneous task resolution; in the Fate RPG, this is called exchange-based turns.

The damage done to the loser is proportional to winner’s degree of success – a larger degree of success results in a correspondingly more severe wound.  In Fate, there are four wound levels:  “Clipped,” “Hurt,” “Injured,” and “Taken Out.”  A Clipped wound is very short-lived – it only penalizes the character’s next roll.  A Hurt wound gives a penalty that is more lasting.  According to the way I would run this (which is slightly different from standard Fate), the effect of being Hurt stays with the character until the character spends a turn addressing it, but usually lasts no longer than a scene.  An Injured wound is even more severe, plaguing the character until it heals (whatever that means).  Finally, a Taken Out wound removes the character from the fight.  The ultimate fate of a character suffering a Taken Out wound is up to the winner of the fight (who is hopefully on the side of the Taken Out character!).

What I like most of this kind of damage system is that a wound doesn’t necessarily have narrated as physical damage – using FitM, the severity of the wound can be used as a guide to describing the results of the exchange in an entertaining manner.  Because only the mechanical effects of the wound matter, I call this “effects-based damage.” It’s like the effects-based power system of Champions, which models a fireball and ice bolt as the same basic power – “attack blast” or something (I’m actually only familiar with the Fuzion name for the basic power, but I believe it’s the same concept).

For example, let’s say we’re playing a swashbuckling game and sworsdman A engages swordsman B.  A wins, scoring a Clipped wound on B.  Given this genre, the Clipped wound that A inflicts could be narrated as a jarring elbow strike that momentarily disorients B, manuvering B into a momentary positional disadvantage, or unleashing a witty barb so insulting to B that B is temporarily stunned.  In a similar manner, the other wound levels can be narrated in a variety of ways (although, given their generally long-lasting effect, I have difficulty thinking of ways to narrate Injured wounds that aren’t physical damage to the character).

My dilemma arises when a character using a missle weapon.  Say character A is far away from B.  A is using a pistol while B has only his sword.  While I could run this as an opposed roll between A’s attack skill (“Pistol”) versus B’s defense skill (“Dodge”), I feel this gives A too much of an advantage because A gets to fire at least one shot at B before B can attack.  Another option is allowing B to use Fate’s optional “Fighting Defensively” rule, whereby B can receive a small bonus to his defense but can’t do damage to A.  However, this feels kind of clunky and cheesy to me, because Dodge is a defensive skill and I generally wouldn’t allow the character to fight back anyway.

What I would prefer is using A’s attack skill versus B’s attack skill, as if it were any other contest (I kind of view it as A and B vying for narrative control of the exchange – I may just distill offensive skills down to “Physical Attack,” “Mental Attack,” and “Social Attack,” to better reflect this).  But I can’t think of many “believeable” ways to narrate the outcome if B wins the contest.  I’m not so concerned with movement rates and exact distances, so in most cases I wouldn’t be opposed to B closing the gap in the span on one round.  However, if B is routinely far enough away from A I think that, over time, this would stretch the players’ suspension of disbelief to the breaking point.  Another idea I’ve had is that A’s weapon could misfire, but this could get old fast and is not always appropriate to describe the more reliable firearms of more modern eras.  I have also thought that B could use the scenery to somehow injure A from a distance.  This is the old “cutting-the-rope-that-holds-the-chandelier” routine.  Yet another idea is that, because only the effects of the wound matter, there doesn’t even need to be narration – A suffers a wound but there’s no apparent effect.  While this is playable, it’s rather bland and probably should only be used a last resort.  However, after these, I’m out of ideas for narrating this situation.

So, in the end, I guess I’m basically trolling for ideas on how to narrate this kind of situation and “sell” it to the players.  Even as I write this I’ve become aware of new possibilities (the chandelier thing just came to me), but help is very much appreciated.  And, of course, discussion on "benefit-less" weapons is also welcome.  This post has turned out a lot longer than I thought it would be, so I hope it was interesting!  :)

Thanks,
Jon

[edited for some typos]
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Garbanzo
Member

Posts: 108


« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2003, 04:19:56 AM »

Jon-

Sounds like a good system that meshes well with the style of play you want.  My take is that you've got contradictory desires, though, and that's why no clear answer is shining through.

Either:
---missile weapons confer an advantage at a distance ('relse why use them?)
or
---they don't ('cause all weapons are just flash)

The easiest answer is full-on anime.  (The whole thing where folks jump into the air, the background gets all streaky, and suddenly range has closed.)  
I'm not hearing much concern for "reality": "[dodging a missile weapon] gives A too much of an advantage because A gets to fire at least one shot at B before B can attack."

If the tone's not that extreme, my solution is to lay this on the players' shoulders.  Put the onus on them.  Make them come up with a rationale before handing them the dice.  Damage for the shooter has a max of "clipped" without this rationale.  (And "clipped" is easy - anything that'll give them an edge for next round.)


-Matt
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iago
Member

Posts: 863


WWW
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2003, 08:19:41 AM »

Wow!  Thanks for bringing Fate up here, and thanks for putting so much effort into making sure people get the context.

I'm going to focus on what I see as the main thrust of this post, though -- the question of a ranged attacker versus a not range-capable defender.

One thing to remember about Fate combat is that you aren't always "competing to wound one another".  Wounding someone is just a possible outcome -- which can be traded out for any other "maneuver result", by looking at the level of the wound you would have inflicted, and instead opting for a more advantageous position, a non-wounding suboptimal circumstance for your opponent (disarming's a good example of that), and so on.

So, here's our two combatants -- Sniper and Dodger.

Sniper's range of successes are pretty clearly laid out -- the greater a margin he gets, the more on-target his attack is, and the more wounded Dodger becomes.

Dodger, meanwhile, is mainly working on getting out of the way.  Let's look at the range of possibilities if he were actually able to wound Sniper by successfully dodging, cooked down from their wound level to the severity of the result:

* Scratched (the tie) - Negligible result
* Clipped - Minor result
* Hurt - Serious result
* Injured - Major result
* Taken Out - Supreme result

(Interestingly, something like this is going to show up in our next revision)

Using this, I can think about this from two perspectives -- one, "how much better of a position does Dodger end up in?", and two, "how successfully does Dodger deprive Sniper of his ability to take a shot?" -- and pretty easily translate it into narration.

Examples, based on a statement by Dodger of, "First priority, don't get shot -- take cover where I can.  Second priority, close the distance with Sniper so I can explode with kung-fu action at my next chance."

* Scratched (Negligible) - "Sniper's firing but not hitting Dodger, who's running and diving all over the place to stay ahead of Sniper's aim, but can't seem to find any cover that lasts."

* Clipped (Minor) - "Dodger ducks and weaves with Sniper's shots falling wide of the mark.  He manages to make his way over to a wide column, enough to hide behind for a while, but not positioned well enough to make an escape."

* Hurt (Significant) - "Dodger makes his way across the battlefield -- every time Sniper gets a bead on him, he's made it to another bit of cover and the shots don't land.   The distance between the two of them closes dramatically, but it will still be another exchange before Dodger can get a chance to lay hands on Sniper if Sniper keeps shooting and stays his ground."

* Injured (Major) - "Dodger ducks, weaves, and then suddenly barrels forward and -- out of sight.  Where is he?  Sniper looks through his scope, swinging his rifle around, trying to relocate his target.  And then -- Dodger's there, maybe half a dozen paces away.  What do you do?"

* Taken Out (Supreme) - as above, but "And then -- Dodger's there, right on top of Sniper, closer than the rifle barrel is long.  There's no way to bring the gun to bear, and he's got the drop on you in this next exchange."

This is just one set of examples, meant to illustrate a point.  The big important thing is to listen to what the character's trying to achieve, and if they succeed, to interpret the results in terms of the position along the continuum from a "neutral" result (Scratched) to a "perfect" result (Taken Out).
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zaal
Member

Posts: 33


« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2003, 04:59:18 PM »

Hi Matt,

Quote from: Garbanzo
Sounds like a good system that meshes well with the style of play you want.  My take is that you've got contradictory desires, though, and that's why no clear answer is shining through.

Either:
---missile weapons confer an advantage at a distance ('relse why use them?)
or
---they don't ('cause all weapons are just flash)

I am definitely in the second category - I don't want missile weapons to confer an advantage at distance.  However, I can't seem to find too many convincing ways to narrate around this.  It seems like the ability to attack at range is an inherent, irremovable advantage of weapons.  If an NPC with a knife enters a contest against a PC with a gun at a distance and we do things my way, I can easily see the player crying "foul," saying he should get at least one free shot at the NPC.

The problem seems like a conflict between the player's Sim perspective and my Nar perspective.  The player could simply ignore his concerns, kind of a "we won't go there" policy with this ruling, and "play along" with my way.  However, I prefer to have a firmer theoretical foundation as a way to "sell" this to the player.  

Quote from: Garbanzo
The easiest answer is full-on anime.  (The whole thing where folks jump into the air, the background gets all streaky, and suddenly range has closed.)  
I'm not hearing much concern for "reality": "[dodging a missile weapon] gives A too much of an advantage because A gets to fire at least one shot at B before B can attack."

It does help that the setting I'm going to make is action anime  :)  .  I would like to extend this to less over the top cinematic games, where the "anime jump" is always appropriate.  And yeah, I don't really care about "mundane" reality (as opposed to cinematic reality).

Quote
If the tone's not that extreme, my solution is to lay this on the players' shoulders.  Put the onus on them.  Make them come up with a rationale before handing them the dice.  Damage for the shooter has a max of "clipped" without this rationale.  (And "clipped" is easy - anything that'll give them an edge for next round.)

I definitely plan on making players do their share of the narration work!  :)  

As far as limiting damage to Clipped (you say "shooter" when I think you mean "hand weapon user"), if I limit the amount of damage the hand weapon user deals I would, IMO, be priveleging the shooter.  The hand weapon user suffers a limit that the shooter doesn't.  I would really like to avoid that if I can.

Thanks!
Jon
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Shreyas Sampat
Member

Posts: 970


WWW
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2003, 08:40:10 PM »

Firmer theoretical foundation:
What's firmer than saying that you have a rule that applies equally in all situations?  If you've stated explicitly that weapons provide no mechanical advantages ever, then you shouldn't need to justify a single instance of that rule,  particularly if you've already justified the rule in the grander sense.  Otherwise, you might see the knife fighter crying foul, saying that your rules commit sins of inconsistency.
If you want a Sim defense, all you have to do is say that it's genre emulation - in any action cinema, it's never the accoutrements that affect the interplay of opposing forces.  Depending on the subgenre, the real forces change, but the overlying principle is constant - the craftsman needs no tools.
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fitheach
Registree

Posts: 2


« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2003, 08:58:47 PM »

Hi zaal,

Quote from: zaal
Hi all,
My dilemma arises when a character using a missle weapon.  Say character A is far away from B.  A is using a pistol while B has only his sword.  While I could run this as an opposed roll between A’s attack skill (“Pistol”) versus B’s defense skill (“Dodge”), I feel this gives A too much of an advantage because A gets to fire at least one shot at B before B can attack.  Another option is allowing B to use Fate’s optional “Fighting Defensively” rule, whereby B can receive a small bonus to his defense but can’t do damage to A.  However, this feels kind of clunky and cheesy to me, because Dodge is a defensive skill and I generally wouldn’t allow the character to fight back anyway.


I am more or less faced with an equal problem. I am about to play an flick (hong kong action movies) and manga style cinematic campaign in a cyberpunk setting. I have thought about the missile vs. melee weapon issue myself, I basically decided to trust in common sense. No player will expect to be allowed to do an attack maneuver, when for example Play A (the swordsman) is (far) away from Player B (a both guns blazing yakuza killer). In this is situation it is more then clear, that A is in a defence position and B in an attack position. No doubt about it.

But what means defence in such movies? Nothing more, then that you will use the defence maneuver to get closer to the attacker. So, in a cinematic style game a dodge maneuver can of course simply mean to dodge behind a dust bin, when a gun using combatant is firing at you. But what about a situation like this? And keep in mind, I am using something in between a scene based and a round based combat system in Fate for my campaign.

Player A is the mentioned swords man. A professional melee fighter. no doubt he is deadly, when he reaches close combat.  A walks down a street heading for his favourite cafe, when suddenly an enemies bodyguard (Player B) pops up in the street and opens fire at A. Well, pretty easy what to do, if you are a anime, manga or hong kong action movie addict.

A declares he is evading B's fire by jumping to the side, and after some cool acrobatics maneveurs (Aren't all melee fighters in action movies also acrobats? ;) over some dust bins on an awning. And from there the dodge of course ends in long jump heading up to the position of B.  This is one action in my eyes, cause it is a single decicion and movement action. A desires to react with this maneuver, and of course will try to accomplish it fully.

As B is also a professional, he also knows what to do in such a situation, and declares, that he jumps from his car, rolls over and opens fire at A.  And he also knows how B will react, so he of course is trying to fire at A while A is doing is high fly acrobatics action.

Well, then A and B also have to roll dice. Of course. Well, if A ends up as the winner, then he is uninjured and ends up where he desired to end up. Beside B and ready to attack him in close combat. If B is the winner of this contest, then he may have hit A for a wound or so. But of course he managed to reach a position, where he is still in advantage and not inside melee range of A.

This jump, rolling and wild acrobatics action can be played until we end up in melee, or one of the combatants flees or is severely injured.

Personally I find it pretty easy to act and narrate this out. We also tried this, when we were working and deciding on the system of choice for hour campaign. We spent a whole evening and night with playtesting. We very complex ideas how to solve it, but nothing proved worthy to use, and after some dicussion we  decided, that Fate gives us all we need. We simply have to make the combat staging a little bit more flexible, and the rest can be narrated and the rules cover it.

You can also think about giving B (the gunman) an "superior armanent" bonus as long A is not in melee range, cause this covers the facts pretty nice.

As soon as you end up in melee, where both can attack and doge, it is even in my perpespective. John Woo showed us, that a gun fighter is an even enemy for a melee fighter, when he is willing to do high flying maneuvers for dodging. I never forget the back flip maneuver a triad killer does in "God of Gamblers" to evate a blow with a sword to his head. He ends up lying flat on the floor and his big bad gun is pointing at the melee fighter. *bang* and he won.

This is the style of cinematic game I have in mind. Ok, maybe yours won't be such high flying and so on. But may be I could help you at least a little bit.

Best regards,
Oliver
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zaal
Member

Posts: 33


« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2003, 09:05:25 AM »

Hi Iago,

Quote from: iago
Wow! Thanks for bringing Fate up here, and thanks for putting so much effort into making sure people get the context.

Thanks!  Hopefully I’ve also successfully separated the issues of cinematic weapons and narrating damage from too much of a Fate background, because I think they can be applied to many other games.  

Quote from: iago
One thing to remember about Fate combat is that you aren't always "competing to wound one another". Wounding someone is just a possible outcome -- which can be traded out for any other "maneuver result", by looking at the level of the wound you would have inflicted, and instead opting for a more advantageous position, a non-wounding suboptimal circumstance for your opponent (disarming's a good example of that), and so on.

Well, the way I would like to run things is that characters are, in fact, always competing to wound another  :)  .  So, I would like to run a disarm as an actual wound.  Or rather, being disarmed is one way to narrate, say, an actual “Hurt” wound.  

Let’s say swordsman A scores a Hurt wound on swordman B.  B suffers the game effect of a Hurt wound, which is a penalty to the die roll until B takes a turn to “address” the wound (in standard Fate that’s a –1 penalty).  But B’s player might point out that B is an accomplished hand-to-hand fighter, who should be able to fight on without a penalty.  I’m pretty secure about the rule in this situation - instead of saying B is physically wounded, I am saying B has been “dramatically” wounded.  In my opinion, physical wounds should be the same as dramatic wounds – or, perhaps more accurately, physical wounds are a subcategory of dramatic wounds.  

B has suffered a dramatic turn of events with a certain degree of severity (a Hurt wound).  Exactly how B addresses the wound is up to B’s narration during the “healing” turn.  For example, swordsman B can address/heal the wound by picking up his dropped sword, by regaining his composure and readying his fists or another weapon, or whatever.

As an aside, I’m being to think that “healing” is a better term for “addressing.”  While healing damage may imply something purely physical going on, I’m beginning to think it’s also very appropriate term for recovery from dramatic damage.

Interpreting wounds in this manner seems character combat/opposition will be very abstract (certainly more abstract than I’ve ever seen, although my RPG experience is limited).  There also is a danger of feeling like all PCs are the same.  However, in Fate, differentiation between the characters and the ways in which  they interact with one another is achieved by having different Aspects (which can be invoked in different situations) and different Skills (which, going with Fate’s Sorcery/Stunt rules, allow them to do super kewl things within their character concept).  Other systems may have similar ways to differentiate character concepts.

Jon
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zaal
Member

Posts: 33


« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2003, 09:20:12 AM »

Quote from: Shreyas Sampat
Firmer theoretical foundation:
What's firmer than saying that you have a rule that applies equally in all situations?

Okay, you are right  :)  .  I guess what I really want are more ideas for narrating this situation but probably the best thing to do is as Matt (Garbanzo) said in his earlier post - put the onus of narration on the player.  However, I would like to have as many "pre-thought" ideas as possible in order to stimulate player creativity.  I feel that if I was in that situation I would be hard pressed to figure a cool narration without at least some starting point.

Thanks,
Jon
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damion
Member

Posts: 198


« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2003, 01:25:21 PM »

Here's my two cents:

Well, if weapons are just color, I'd say you could do the same thing for range.  This is very similar to what Fred said, but I think you could just loose the entire concept of range.

I'll assume we have two characthers, Gun Person(G) and Melee Person(M), both are trying to hurt the other.

Possible Results are:
Scratched- No effect. M couldn't get close enough to land a blow, G couldn't hit

G-Scratched = M disconcerts G by getting into Melee Range
M-Scratched= obvious

G- Clipped = M got close and landed a blow
M-Clipped = obvious

G - Hurt = M sneaked up behind G and landed a telling blow
M- Hurt= duh

G- Taken out= M really got up close an clobbered G
M-Taken Out= obvious

You could also do the reverse: Say G and M are in melee, both trying to hurt the other, I'll just do G this time, as M's effects are what you'd expect.

Scratched= same as before

M-Clipped= G managed to disengage and attack at range next time

M-Hurt= G reached a great sniper postion, (M must spend a turn getting up there)

M-TO= duh

Just a thought, anyway, sounds like a cool game.
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James
zaal
Member

Posts: 33


« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2003, 01:25:28 PM »

Hi fitheach,

Welcome to the Forge!

Quote from: fitheach
And keep in mind, I am using something in between a scene based and a round based combat system...

This interesting statement.  I don't intend to have very well defined rounds, so maybe my concerns aren't that big of a deal.  That is, I'm not going to mandate that rounds are 4 seconds, 10 seconds, or whatever, so the duration between one character's "damaging" of another could easily be contained in the narration.

I guess rounds could be thought of as a sequence of mechanically important evnets.  From the perspective of the game mechanics, the only things that really matters are who gets hurt, how severe is the wound, and in what order does the person get this wound.  What, exactly, happens between these events doesn't really matter so much.  I definitely will think this over.

Here's an example from the Pale Rider movie, starring Clint Eastwood.  It contains some spoilers, so I wrote the text in white.  In order to read the text, highlight it with your mouse.

SPOILER
Near the end of the movie, when Eastwood's character, the Preacher, is fighting the thugs of the corrupt US Marshall.  Basically, this scene involves the step by step removal of the thugs, where we watch a thug search for the Preacher by wandering around the town, then get shot as the Preacher appears out of nowhere.  One of the most striking examples is when a thug move past a horse trough, only to get shot when the Preacher appears from the trough!

If this were an RPG that was played according to the way we were discussing, a round could be the that time between two thugs being shot.  The player got a Taken Out result both times, narrating how this result appears as Clint doing cool things.  Even though it takes a relatively long amount of game time, to the system the only thing that matters is who gets hurt when.

Quote from: fitheach
... I never forget the back flip maneuver a triad killer does in "God of Gamblers" to evate a blow with a sword to his head. He ends up lying flat on the floor and his big bad gun is pointing at the melee fighter. *bang* and he won.

This is the style of cinematic game I have in mind. Ok, maybe yours won't be such high flying and so on. But may be I could help you at least a little bit.

Yeah, high-flying, over-the-top action is what I have in mind  :)  .  And you certainly have given me food for thought, so thanks!

Jon
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fitheach
Registree

Posts: 2


« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2003, 01:53:27 PM »

Hi zaal!

Quote from: zaal

Yeah, high-flying, over-the-top action is what I have in mind  :)  .  And you certainly have given me food for thought, so thanks!


One thing I forgot is my mook rule for my campaign. Feng Shui, the rpg I started my odysee from, contains different hit rules for named and un-named characters. Named chars are the PCs and the major NPCs, that means everybody that has some significance at all. Everybody who gets a real name and not the normal Mr. Smith and Mr. Brown, has significance and is fully developed in my campaign. More or less. At least they have a story and a thread level.

All the rest, that means all these Yakuza gun men thrown at the NPCs, are unnamed black suit wearing guys with guns. Thats all. A lot of them are naturally thrown at the PCs in Hong Kong movies, but not to threat the PCs but to stop their advancement.

So, how to deal with these guys? Pretty easy. Feng Shui states that you have to hurt them, so they are taken out. And if you not pass this check, they are still fully functional. Translated to Fate, this means, if you achieve a hurt result or more you have taken the guy out, and if you don't make it, he will continue to slow your advance.  Thats all, and you have a nice system to cover the action from Hong Kong action flicks.

The unnamed chars can of course still hurt you, as all other NPCs can do it. But think of a group of fair skilled gun men vs. a superb gun slinger? They won't scratch him at all, but they will stop his advance, as he of course simply can't just walk through them, without risking to get big mali on his actions. Sometimes it is okay for me, that he is doing this to reflect his superiority and to cover the cool scenes from terminator and so on. But naturally he has and will behave normally. Cause my players know, that a 3+ result is always possible, and sometimes surprisingly happens when they roll a 2- or so. No cheating, but I declare this as some kind of fate. This is what I call my dramatic freedom for a well balanced and narrated story.

Bye,
Oliver
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zaal
Member

Posts: 33


« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2003, 02:14:53 PM »

Quote from: damion
Just a thought, anyway, sounds like a cool game.

Thanks, although I believe the game will still be, at heart, Fate (which I, unfortunately, I didn't write  :)  )  And with regards to narrating G vs M, I think you're dead-on about distance being embellishment and window dressing, just as the weapon is.  filtheach's post really helped me with this (although I don't think I'm going *exactly* the route he is  :)  ).

Jon
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Adam Cerling
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Posts: 159

WhiteRat


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« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2003, 11:42:09 AM »

Perhaps you might ensure that all PCs are capable of both melee and ranged attacks?

A barehanded monk might also be able to project chi missles, a ninja assassin would have shuriken to complement her katana, and a street tough would have twin pistols to back up his switchblade.

If all the PCs are prepared with ranged attacks, it'll always be within their power to move the exchange into a ranged-vs.-ranged space that they might find more believable.
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Adam Cerling
In development: Ends and Means -- Live Role-Playing Focused on What Matters Most.
Walt Freitag
Member

Posts: 1039


« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2003, 01:57:08 PM »

WhiteRat, that's a great idea.

But surely, one of the choices for a character's ranged weapon could be "improvise."

Dr. Jones (Indy's father) with an umbrella, vs. fighter pilot with machine guns. Sounds like an equal match to me.

- Walt
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Wandering in the diasporosphere
zaal
Member

Posts: 33


« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2003, 06:11:18 PM »

Quote from: WhiteRat
Perhaps you might ensure that all PCs are capable of both melee and ranged attacks?

If the range attack is somehow in keeping with the character concept, I don't have a problem with the player narrating damage as such.

I'm not even opposed to the idea of characters getting actual mechanical benefits for weapons or armor, as long as it's paid for and every character has at least the potential to buy the bonus.  I'm thinking that PCs can "buy" on-the-spot combat advantages using the game's currency (in Fate, that's checking off Aspect or Skill levels, or spending Fate points).  One of these advantages might be the ability to initiate an attack that the defender can't immediatly respond to (although he can still defend).  So basically, the defender can't do damage if he wins the exchange.  If the attacker wins, the attack can be narrated as a ranged attack, a sneak attack, or whatever.

I think a character suffering from such a one-sided attack could spend points to offset the effect.  However, right now I don't want to want combat to be bidding wars about who gets a one-sided attack.  I also have to give some thought about being caught off guard.   That is, whether surprise should be an incidental thing, a paid-for thing (like paying for the sneak attack I mentioned above), or just a part of the narration ("Wow - I got such a high roll I must have surprised him!").

Jon, who is beginning to think this thread may be more appropriate for the in the Game Design forum after all :)
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