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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 76 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Alternate combat system  (Read 7835 times)
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2004, 10:42:45 AM »

I'd like to point out a correllary that I come up with from Ron's statement. That is, if the "combat" system isn't really a combat system per se, but just a way to take care of any complex resolution situation, then combat can be handled by the standard system. In fact, I've played it out that way before, and it works just fine, IMO. One roll, combat's over, with weapons, demon abilities, etc, all just adding dice as role-playing bonuses, and rollover to represent things like "damage".

Basically, if you only end up doing very few actual "combats," they're a fun break in the otherwise long series of "normal" rolls. Think in terms of one or less per session, with all other conflicts simply using the regular resolution system.

Oh, and any system that takes "too long" in general is anti- whatever it's aims are. That is, there are gamist systems out there that take too long, and narrativist systems that don't take long enough. You may feel that the Sorcerer system takes "too long," but many of us seem to have the opposing opinion. That is, it seems to a lot of us that the Sorcerer complex system takes just the right amount of effort to produce the effects sought. The question of mode is completely irrelevant here.

Mike
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andy
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« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2004, 01:49:05 PM »

Mike--

Thank you for your post.

I'm not saying that Sorcerer combat takes too long per se, I'm just looking for a way to simplify it on the same lines that the rest of the conflict system works. I know many (many,many,many) fans of Sorcerer believe that the game works great the way it is written (it does) and take exception to proposed changes. That's OK with me, I don't want to change the way that they play...I'm just evaluating a different way. I figured that this would be a good forum to get input, and it has been.

As to the concept of singular resolution systems, someone far more experienced than I to the ways of the Forge has addressed the issue of dual resolution systems in words that I am hard-pressed to improve upon:

Mike's Standard Rant #5: The Myth of Opposed Rolls

When RPGs started resolution rolls were all of the "Roll vs. Target" type. Soon thereafter, however, somebody invented the idea of the "Opposed Roll". Where does this come from? As one moves from the early completely combat based resolution systems, and skills get introduced, you get situations occurring where characters are testing skills against each other in conflicts outside of combat. Well, with no target number, the obvious thing to do is to simply roll and see who gets the better result. Thus you get the dichotomy where skills used against things that are not rated via skills are rolled against a target number, and skills used against characters with similar skills are rolled using the "Contested Roll" method.

This all seems well and good until you consider that you've just created two entirely different resolutions systems for a single game. Now I can go on and on about the benefits of only having single systems for resolutions, but the advantages should be pretty obvious. The question becomes why do you need to have two systems? Bound by this particular tradition, most designers have to date continued to include dual systems for resolution. If you ask them how many resolution systems they have in the game, many will proudly claim one. But in fact, there are two similar systems. If you point this out the designer will say that it's just a modification of the single system for a certain type of circumstance, and an easy modification at that. The point still stands, however, that it's extra rules. Why is it needed?

....
The point is that any well-designed resolution system can be used to adjudicate any situation. One does not need to have separate systems for opposed vs. unopposed situations as long as the method is designed properly. Which takes no more effort than creating a system that is not designed to handle such.

As usual in my rants, this is not a revolutionary idea, or something that I came up with by myself. Certainly many systems exist in which there is a single resolution system for everything. It’s just one of those problems that I see crop up again and again and the assumption of the necessity of such dual systems irks me. As always I’ll caveat this and say that such dual systems are not broken or unplayable….



Ironically, Standard Rant #5 is one of my motivators in considering resolving combat with the Sorcerer's Simple Conflict resolution rules.

I think that you were spot on, and I still do.


Andy
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2004, 02:09:47 PM »

Did you read further in that thread?

The point of it is not that more than one system is automatically bad. It's that having two systems when one will do is bad. Sorcerer's second system has a distinct purpose. Futher, your proposed system is just as "bad" as the other alternate system.

That is, if you really wanted to go by what I'm saying in the rant, then you'd simply adjudicate all conflicts using the "normal" Sorcerer resolution system. Which you can do, as I mention above. There is no reason for any additional rules at all.

If you agree that there's room for things like "damage" and weapon types and such, then you agree that there should be two systems. In which case you can no longer use my rant as an argument for what you're doing here.


You miss my point about the system being "good enough." I'm not saying that you can't improve on it. Simply that it does serve narrativism needs fine as is. Every day. My point is that it's not at all about gamism/narrativism. You can have a tremendously long and complicated resolution system that supports narrativism. In fact, I'm all for such systems (I like complexity, just not for it's own sake). You're displaying the standard fallacy that light = narrativism.

Again, if all you're doing is trying to make the system faster, and still provide what it does, then go for it. I'm all for that. You're just not making it any more supportive of narrativism than it already is. Just more elegant or with a shorter handling time.

Then you'll have to defend that supposition, but that's another question entirely.

Mike
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2004, 02:12:07 PM »

Hello,

I think we can all put aside the Gamism reference in the first post. Bluntly, Andy, I think you were only saying that to be provocative, as it has nothing at all to do with your points. So let's just ignore that whole G vs. N thing and focus on the points.

Best,
Ron
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andy
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« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2004, 05:27:29 PM »

Ron--

I'll leave off the GNS references, but for me "gamism" is not a dirty word.

Hell, I am a gamist.

Thanks for being our Ringmaster.

Andy
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2004, 05:26:02 AM »

Andy,

I'm one of the guys who made it OK to say "I'm a Gamist," historically. No one said anything about it being a dirty word.

This is the third time that your posturing is getting in the way of your making any kind of meaningful point, and it hit my limit. I'm telling you: climb off that snotty horse of yours, now.

This thread so far has nothing to do with alternate systems for playing Sorcerer. You haven't presented an alternate system. You keep talking about "using basic resolution" for combat, and haven't provided any examples or explanations. You are apparently more committed to wearing your Freethinker I-Worship-No-One Hat than to presenting an actual idea.

You now have a choice: pat yourself on the back for successfully annoying me, in which case you can expect your posts to be considered flames from me no matter what the content is; or get down to cases and give us some content.

Think carefully before you hammer the keys in defiant reply.

Best,
Ron
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andy
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« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2004, 07:37:30 AM »

No Ron, I'm done.

I disagree with your comments and your characteriztion, but since this is your backyard and we're playing with your bat and your ball, I won't be churlish enough to argue with you.

The only flaming on this thread has been yours.

Sorcerer is a great game. It is not perfect. It can be improved.

I guess this constitutes a defiant reply.

Thanks to all and good gaming.

Andy
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