Combat

The rule engine that drives the e20 System in play.

Moderator: GMSarli

Combat

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:58 am

I was wondering how we would want to approach certain aspects to combat, like Attack of Opportunities and things like that.
Would we want to keep them or toss them?

Same for Initiative. Keep it as 3.5, or do like in SWSE and make it a Skill?

Would Armor be a Damage Reduction thing or would it provide a Defense bonus as normal?

What about other little combat systems that, over the years, bugged the goblins out of you.
User avatar
Stacie_GmrGrl
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:26 am

Re: Combat

Postby JaredGaume » Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:29 am

* Didn't like to roll more than once to resolve an action. Lose the confirmation critical hits, reaction rolls, saving throws on hit, etc...

* Rules as written initiative is cumbersome. Would rather not roll for it if at all possible. Maybe have a static initiative, everybody just "plugs" into their ordering slot. Use special abilities like action points, talents, delayed actions, and the like to change your initiative position.

* Didn't like how skills were normally not integrated into the rest of the game. You usually had 2 different games happening, a tactical combat game, and a skill jockey game. There was very little overlap.

* Do not like most combat systems. Tend to be overly cumbersome and take a lot of table time to resolve something that supposed to be brief and violent. Would like to see a combat system that is fast, efficient, and sufficiently brutal (it is combat after all).

* Would like to see a "universal" system that plays the same in or out of combat, at least similar dynamics. The system is fast, but sufficiently deep to maintain interest.

* Keep the d20 resolution system.

* Take a long jaundiced look at all other d20 conventions and how they play or don't play with each other.
User avatar
JaredGaume
 
Posts: 390
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:49 pm

Re: Combat

Postby Jimmy Plamondon » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:53 pm

JaredGaume wrote:* Didn't like to roll more than once to resolve an action. Lose the confirmation critical hits, reaction rolls, saving throws on hit, etc...

* Rules as written initiative is cumbersome. Would rather not roll for it if at all possible. Maybe have a static initiative, everybody just "plugs" into their ordering slot. Use special abilities like action points, talents, delayed actions, and the like to change your initiative position.

* Didn't like how skills were normally not integrated into the rest of the game. You usually had 2 different games happening, a tactical combat game, and a skill jockey game. There was very little overlap.

* Do not like most combat systems. Tend to be overly cumbersome and take a lot of table time to resolve something that supposed to be brief and violent. Would like to see a combat system that is fast, efficient, and sufficiently brutal (it is combat after all).

* Would like to see a "universal" system that plays the same in or out of combat, at least similar dynamics. The system is fast, but sufficiently deep to maintain interest.

* Keep the d20 resolution system.

* Take a long jaundiced look at all other d20 conventions and how they play or don't play with each other.


I absolutely agree with the above list. Especially about the fact that combat should be fast & furious. A player should be "stressed" about the fact that his turn is coming fast and he needs to find a strategy now. With all the rolls and confirmation of critical hits... it is really cumbersome. Let's streamline the system.

I also agree that skills should be further integrated into combat. Being good at acrobatics, athletics or intimidate should open some combat actions otherwise unavailable to others.
Alright you Primitive Screwheads, listen up! You see this? This... is my boomstick! The twelve-gauge double-barreled Remington. S-Mart's top of the line. You can find this in the sporting goods department. That's right, this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retails for about a hundred and nine, ninety five. It's got a walnut stock, cobalt blue steel, and a hair trigger. That's right. Shop smart. Shop S-Mart. You got that?
Jimmy Plamondon
 
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:27 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Re: Combat

Postby j0lt » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:23 pm

JaredGaume wrote:* Didn't like to roll more than once to resolve an action. Lose the confirmation critical hits, reaction rolls, saving throws on hit, etc...

I actually like critical confirmation rolls. Sure, they slow down the game a bit, but they're so dramatic that they don't reduce tension.

* Rules as written initiative is cumbersome. Would rather not roll for it if at all possible. Maybe have a static initiative, everybody just "plugs" into their ordering slot. Use special abilities like action points, talents, delayed actions, and the like to change your initiative position.

I don't think a static initiative will work. Too many people will have the exact same number and will end up having to roll anyways.

* Didn't like how skills were normally not integrated into the rest of the game. You usually had 2 different games happening, a tactical combat game, and a skill jockey game. There was very little overlap.

* Do not like most combat systems. Tend to be overly cumbersome and take a lot of table time to resolve something that supposed to be brief and violent. Would like to see a combat system that is fast, efficient, and sufficiently brutal (it is combat after all).

* Would like to see a "universal" system that plays the same in or out of combat, at least similar dynamics. The system is fast, but sufficiently deep to maintain interest.

* Keep the d20 resolution system.

* Take a long jaundiced look at all other d20 conventions and how they play or don't play with each other.

YES! The skills system and combat system should definitely be more integrated. The only skills I can ever remember using in combat are Bluff and Tumble.
User avatar
j0lt
 
Posts: 173
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:29 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Combat

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:35 pm

I detested Critical Confirmation rolls with a passion...nothing worse than rolling that infamous natural 20, only to fail. Or confirming, then rolling minimal damage.

Totally lame.
User avatar
Stacie_GmrGrl
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:26 am

Re: Combat

Postby Elsidar » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:52 am

Something important that I haven't seen yet:

Defenses should be keyed off of two complimentary ability scores.

Something like this:
  • Primary: Not certain how this would be calculated yet, though Gary has mentioned that fast characters wearing no armor would have similar scores for Primary and Reflex defenses.
  • Reflex: Uses the higher of Dexterity or Intelligence modifiers.
  • Fortitude: Uses the higher of Constitution or Strength modifiers.
  • Will: Uses the higher of Wisdom or Charisma modifiers.

This way, a swordsman (Strength) who battles his foes using tactical brilliance (Intelligence) and guile (Charisma) isn't totally hosed when it comes to defenses.
Elsidar
 
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:49 pm

Re: Combat

Postby Kaldaen » Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:01 am

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:I detested Critical Confirmation rolls with a passion...nothing worse than rolling that infamous natural 20, only to fail. Or confirming, then rolling minimal damage.

Totally lame.


Agreed. I think SWSE was smart to do away with confirmation rolls, and just grant a critical on a natural 20. Rolling minimal damage on that critical still stung, though. D&D 4E dealt with the latter problem by having critical hits deal maximum damage.

I think both of these advances would be welcome in e20 combat.
User avatar
Kaldaen
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:37 am

Re: Combat

Postby j0lt » Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:19 am

Kaldaen wrote:
Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:I detested Critical Confirmation rolls with a passion...nothing worse than rolling that infamous natural 20, only to fail. Or confirming, then rolling minimal damage.


Agreed. I think SWSE was smart to do away with confirmation rolls, and just grant a critical on a natural 20. Rolling minimal damage on that critical still stung, though. D&D 4E dealt with the latter problem by having critical hits deal maximum damage.

That created a new problem: If a character can ONLY hit on a 20, then it's crit or nothing, which really doesn't make sense. That's why the confirmation roll was there in the first place.
User avatar
j0lt
 
Posts: 173
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:29 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Combat

Postby GMSarli » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:38 am

j0lt wrote:
Kaldaen wrote:
Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:I detested Critical Confirmation rolls with a passion...nothing worse than rolling that infamous natural 20, only to fail. Or confirming, then rolling minimal damage.


Agreed. I think SWSE was smart to do away with confirmation rolls, and just grant a critical on a natural 20. Rolling minimal damage on that critical still stung, though. D&D 4E dealt with the latter problem by having critical hits deal maximum damage.

That created a new problem: If a character can ONLY hit on a 20, then it's crit or nothing, which really doesn't make sense. That's why the confirmation roll was there in the first place.

Easy fix: It's a crit only if it the attack roll is high enough to hit (i.e. attack >= defense).
User avatar
GMSarli
Site Admin
 
Posts: 521
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:09 am
Location: Denton TX

Re: Combat

Postby j0lt » Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:33 am

GMSarli wrote:
j0lt wrote:
Kaldaen wrote:I think SWSE was smart to do away with confirmation rolls, and just grant a critical on a natural 20. Rolling minimal damage on that critical still stung, though. D&D 4E dealt with the latter problem by having critical hits deal maximum damage.

That created a new problem: If a character can ONLY hit on a 20, then it's crit or nothing, which really doesn't make sense. That's why the confirmation roll was there in the first place.

Easy fix: It's a crit only if it the attack roll is high enough to hit (i.e. attack >= defense).

Damn you and your simple and elegant solutions! :lol:
User avatar
j0lt
 
Posts: 173
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:29 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Combat

Postby Shawn Burke » Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:49 am

Would it be possible to just eliminate initiative? Just arbitrarily choose order and assume everything happens at once...
Shawn Burke
 
Posts: 187
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:33 am

Re: Combat

Postby j0lt » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:05 am

I think initiative is important. While everything happens more or less at once, some people do act/react more quickly than others, so their actions are resolved first.
If we want to streamline/simplify it, there's always group initiative (which my group tends to do anyways); everybody rolls, but only the highest roll from each side is counted.
User avatar
j0lt
 
Posts: 173
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:29 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Combat

Postby bone_naga » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:07 am

I don't really like rolling for initiative. It generally feels like extra dice rolling without any real sense of tension attached to it. However, it is important. I usually just assume everyone took 10 on their rolls, and ties go to the PCs.
User avatar
bone_naga
 
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:08 pm

Re: Combat

Postby j0lt » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:14 am

bone_naga wrote:I don't really like rolling for initiative. It generally feels like extra dice rolling without any real sense of tension attached to it. However, it is important. I usually just assume everyone took 10 on their rolls, and ties go to the PCs.

Passive initiative could work, I think it was suggested earlier, but with the simplified skill system a large majority of characters are going to have identical initiative scores, rendering such a system meaningless.

And rolling initiative can add tension to the game, here's something I did to my players when I was GMing once:

*everybody sits down*
GM wrote:Roll Initiative!

players wrote:What? Crap!

Instant tension! :lol:
User avatar
j0lt
 
Posts: 173
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:29 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Combat

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:57 pm

Has anybody seen the book Book of Iron Might? It has a really cool and versatile combat system where people can pretty much come up with their own combat tricks for their character, either preplan them or on the spot, and its a combination of stunting and feat application... and I think this system can work for skills as well...

Why not give the players a system like this for their characters to use, give them the versatility to come up with their own unique maneuvers? This system can be versatile so people can describe cool stunts..."I'm going to rush up to the railing, leap off into the air, grab onto the chandalier and drop on top of the bandits that have infested the tavern where I like to drink after a hard days adventuring." And with a combination of different skills that are used to create this stunt, the final action would be a d20 roll and compare to a DC (I'll use DCs since that seems to be what the majority like....ugh, so much simpler to simply tell the player, ok, make a roll using Dexterity and you need to achieve a Excellent success, but that's just easier in my mind to adjudicate things...if the stunt isn't as detailed or they just want to jump to the chandalier but not also drop to the floor this turn, they can make their Dexterity check and only need a Good success instead... and I wouldn't have to calculate the various numerical factors that would be involved with DCs).

Giving players a versatile stunting/maneuver system so they can make their own actions more their own would be a good thing...add some cinematic and dynamic flavor into the game... and if they pull it off, they gain a benefit of some kind.
User avatar
Stacie_GmrGrl
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:26 am

Re: Combat

Postby j0lt » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:45 pm

Sounds like a similar mechanic to MCWoD's magic system.
User avatar
j0lt
 
Posts: 173
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:29 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Combat

Postby bone_naga » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:10 am

I am a huge fan of the Book of Iron Might, and that stunt system was one of the best things to come out of that.
User avatar
bone_naga
 
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:08 pm

Re: Combat

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:08 am

I say, we consider using the Book of Iron Might stunt system as part of our core system, and either consider using them in conjunction with feats, or replace feats with the stunt system altogether. At least I didn't say we have to. :) I'm getting better.
User avatar
Stacie_GmrGrl
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:26 am

Re: Combat

Postby GMSarli » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:49 am

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:I say, we consider using the Book of Iron Might stunt system as part of our core system, and either consider using them in conjunction with feats, or replace feats with the stunt system altogether. At least I didn't say we have to. :) I'm getting better.

LOL
User avatar
GMSarli
Site Admin
 
Posts: 521
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:09 am
Location: Denton TX

Re: Combat

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:54 am

Just another thought of many... What about the possibility of changing how combat works? How about a Speed/Tick combat speed system?

Set it up so different actions have different speeds, and as you attack you move up the tick chart, and the starting initiative roll could determine where people initially start on the tick chart. Whoever rolls highest starts at position 0, second highest starts at position 1, third highest at position 2, etc. Then, as each person acts, they just move up the chart. If somebody is at position 0 and does a tick 4 action, they go up to tick 4. Then tick 1 goes, then tick 2 goes, etc.

Some actions could be as low as 2 ticks, or as high as 6.

This could work for different fighting styles, maybe the quicker styles, while acting quicker, don't do as much damage...whereas those that take longer, when they hit, do a crap ton of damage. Feats and Talents could play off this.

Weapon Focus (Feat) - maybe it could decrease the tick speed of an action with that weapon by 1, allowing people to attack more often with it during combat, down to a minimum of 2 ticks. That's just an example.

You can tie this with the Stunting idea from Book of Iron Might...different types of stunts can take up different tick speeds. The more complex the stunt, the more ticks it takes, but the more impressive it will be as well.

Just depends on the style of character the player wants to play. Plus, everybody would be more likely to stay glued to their character because you never know when your tick will come up.

Different actions could also cause others ticks to increase...like, lets say you stun somebody. Instead of saying their stunned and can only do one action (idk how stunned really works), you get bumped 1 tick because of being stunned, thereby delaying you a small bit. If you get disabled, that could be 3 or 4 ticks. if you get helpless, that could be 10 ticks.

Or Defensive actions, lets say somebody is coming at you, and you want to defend yourself. Maybe Full Defense is an action that delays your next tick by 2 but your Defense goes up by 4 until your next tick comes.

The idea is a more fluid and chaotic combat, which is how combat should be. Combat should be fast, spontaneous, random, not rigid and structured. If you think about the nature of combat, you really shouldn't know when your turn is coming up.
User avatar
Stacie_GmrGrl
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:26 am

Re: Combat

Postby Ole One Eye » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:51 am

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:Just another thought of many... What about the possibility of changing how combat works? How about a Speed/Tick combat speed system?

Did you ever play AD&D with everyone announcing their actions at the beginning of the round, weapon speed factors, and casting time in segments? I found it to be cumbersome, slow, and complicated. It is particularly bad on the GM having to figure out what each of his 5 separate monsters is doing, keeping track of when their particular turn comes up, then remembering what each of their actions were when their time came up. Not to mention what happens when a player opts to use his slow, but hard hitting Mondo-Attack ability when the enemy opts to use the quicker Stab-and-Step Away ability such that the player's opponent isn't even adjacent when it comes time to use his Mondo-Attack.

I love the sentiment of making combat more fluid and dynamic than 1st roung: orc's turn - Suzie's turn - Joe's turn - dragon's turn - Peter's turn; 2nd round - orc's turn - Suzie's turn - Joe's turn - dragon's turn - Peter's turn. However, I feel this is best accomplished by talents that allow reactions and interrupts rather than altering the basic d20 combat system.
Ole One Eye
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:06 am

Re: Combat

Postby bone_naga » Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:10 pm

I agree. Speed factors, and later combat phases (Combat & Tactics) looked much better on paper than they did in play.
User avatar
bone_naga
 
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:08 pm

Re: Combat

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:09 pm

No I never played any version of D&D before 3.0, for good reason...looking back on that system it actually amazes me that D&D as a system ever made it past a few years, let alone over 20 using the same antiquated, really bad system. But that's me.

I'm coming from the vein of Exalted 2e, which uses a tick system that works and it works really well. Its great not knowing exactly when I'm going, I hate knowing that I'm going to fall in the same lineup round after round, that's just not how combat should be. But for larger combats I can see it being cumbersome, but for smaller combats or certain types of campaigns, I can see it being better. Depends on the style of game we are going for.

I also like Savage Worlds card mechanic. Flip a card at the beginning of each round face up for each person, go from A down to 2. Resolve ties in reverse order of Suits - Spades trump Hearts trump Diamonds trump Clubs. For people with an Improved Initiative feat, they get two cards, pick the one they want. Get the Joker, you get a +2 circumstance bonus to Attacks and Damage. When somebody gets a Joker, the whole deck gets shuffled.

I actually love the card idea more than the tick system idea. It would be a visually, very easy system, and for GMs, they can flip a single card for each category of npc's: main villain gets a card, his melee henchmen get a card, his ranged ones get a card, or however the GM wants to do it. Each PC gets his own card.

For initiative its actually faster than rolling and havinng somebody write up a list or try and keep track of initiative on index cards. Its spontaneous, and its visual.
User avatar
Stacie_GmrGrl
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:26 am

Re: Combat

Postby ronin » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:13 pm

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote: I also like Savage Worlds card mechanic. Flip a card at the beginning of each round face up for each person, go from A down to 2. Resolve ties in reverse order of Suits - Spades trump Hearts trump Diamonds trump Clubs. For people with an Improved Initiative feat, they get two cards, pick the one they want. Get the Joker, you get a +2 circumstance bonus to Attacks and Damage. When somebody gets a Joker, the whole deck gets shuffled.


I like the idea of using cards instead of dice but I'd work it a bit different. Each player would have a card assigned to them, say the ace thru the 5 of hearts for a 6 player game. All of the npcs have cards assigned by the DM, say 4 enemies have the jack thru king of clubs. The DM then mixes the cards. Once combat starts he throws the first card down on the table and whoever has that card takes their turn. Continue thru the deck until done, mix them back up, and go thru the process again for every round until combat is done.

I like this because it takes all of the pre planning out of the equation. Players wouldn't be able to coordinate every action like a finely tuned combat machine. If things like improved initiative, dex bonus, and others like it would be included we'd have to figure out how that works. Maybe improved initiative means the players gets 2 cards in the pile instead of one, a high dex could mean something else, etc.

The Savage World mechanic is good but I like having the player find out mere seconds before their turn instead of seeing the round laid out before them. It seems to make combat move quicker as well.
ronin
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:48 pm

Re: Combat

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:46 am

ronin wrote:
Stacie_GmrGrl wrote: I also like Savage Worlds card mechanic. Flip a card at the beginning of each round face up for each person, go from A down to 2. Resolve ties in reverse order of Suits - Spades trump Hearts trump Diamonds trump Clubs. For people with an Improved Initiative feat, they get two cards, pick the one they want. Get the Joker, you get a +2 circumstance bonus to Attacks and Damage. When somebody gets a Joker, the whole deck gets shuffled.


I like the idea of using cards instead of dice but I'd work it a bit different. Each player would have a card assigned to them, say the ace thru the 5 of hearts for a 6 player game. All of the npcs have cards assigned by the DM, say 4 enemies have the jack thru king of clubs. The DM then mixes the cards. Once combat starts he throws the first card down on the table and whoever has that card takes their turn. Continue thru the deck until done, mix them back up, and go thru the process again for every round until combat is done.

I like this because it takes all of the pre planning out of the equation. Players wouldn't be able to coordinate every action like a finely tuned combat machine. If things like improved initiative, dex bonus, and others like it would be included we'd have to figure out how that works. Maybe improved initiative means the players gets 2 cards in the pile instead of one, a high dex could mean something else, etc.

The Savage World mechanic is good but I like having the player find out mere seconds before their turn instead of seeing the round laid out before them. It seems to make combat move quicker as well.


That's pretty hot. I didn't think of that. That would really simplify it. I was thinking of Basic Rules and Advanced Rules. Having something like this would certainly be basic.

---------

Another topic for Combat... for another combat option, for a more tactical element to the game, maybe for just Advanced Rules or something, so not in the Basic game, is going with a Combat Speed system.

Each round, everybody gets, we'll say for simplistity here, 10 Combat Speed. So, when their turn comes up, they have 10 Speed to do something. Maybe every 5 feet they move is 1 or 2 Speed. Maybe a Swift action is 1 Speed, a Move action is 4 Speed, and a Attack Action is 5 or 6 Speed.

Or, using the idea of ticks, but instead of ticks its Speed, different kinds of attacks have different Speeds. A Punch is a 3 Speed attack. A Broadsword is a 5 Speed attack. So, somebody moves 20ft, thats 4 speed, attacks with a Broadsword, that's 9 Speed used, uses that last 1 for a slight Defense boost.

Or, somebody stands in place, using a Dagger, attacks with the Flurry action. A Flurry Action is an action that allows a person to attack more than once in a round, but each attack after the first adds +1 Speed to following actions. Dagger has 3 Speed. First attack is at 3 Speed, second is at 4 Speed, total 7. Maybe with Feats or Talents a dagger master could somehow get more total Speed, so he swings a third time which would be a Speed 5 Action, for a total of 12 Total spent.

Defensive Stances can use some speed, but provide defensive boosts.

Maybe a Focused Attack action... Somebody Focuses their whole round on a single attack. For every 2 speed lost this way, they do +1 to Attack and Damage on the roll. So, using the Dagger, Speed 3. Loses 7 Speed, gains +3 to hit and damage.

Different spells can be simulated with casting times doing this. His turn comes up, a basic spell might have a Speed of 4, while a more powerful or advanced spell has a Speed of 8.

This system wouldn't cross speeds like the Tick system would. When a persons turn comes up, they use up all their Speed when their turn comes up. Then the next person would use his. Then the next, and the next.

I personally like the Tick style system more as it would have a more Fluid overall flow of combat, but I like this also because its more than just the typical Move and Attack.

And if we do a Basic Rules section, then add in Advanced Rules, or Optional Rules, then I'd put this in the Advanced Rules, not Basic Rules.
User avatar
Stacie_GmrGrl
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:26 am

Re: Combat

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:13 am

I'm just posting this link in case no one has ever seen these rules sets before, these were done years ago but they are pretty damn cool even to this day since they've never been adapted to a big release core rules set... was wondering what people think of these health and combat options here... One of them is Ken Hood's grim'n'gritty rules, which are pretty amazingly gritty.

http://riivo.talviste.pri.ee/dnd/grim-n-gritty/
User avatar
Stacie_GmrGrl
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:26 am

Re: Combat

Postby bone_naga » Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:42 pm

I made extensive use of his grim n gritty rules in 3e. Great stuff right there. He also had an excellent skill and feat based psionic system. That was my absolute favorite psionic system ever but unfortunately does not mesh well with 4e.
User avatar
bone_naga
 
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:08 pm

Re: Combat

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:11 pm

I think that for combat actions, regardless of if we at least try playtesting a different kind of combat system (cough tick/combat speed cough) type of combat... I think that the kinds of actions should be narrowed down to something like Half Actions-Full Actions.

In a round, people can take two half actions or one full action.

And if you want to make it easier, get rid of Opportunity Attacks, but I'm either for them or against them. Combat would be easier if you just get rid of them though, would make things a little smoother.

I am going to write out some options for a tick system and a combat speed system. I just think that a tick system would really make combat fluid, especially once people get used to it. I promise what I write up won't be that hard, it will be full of holes, and in the end we probably won't use it, but at least if some people try playtesting it, who knows, it might be something that could spice up the game some.
User avatar
Stacie_GmrGrl
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:26 am

Re: Combat

Postby Ole One Eye » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:21 pm

The combat tick system as you are describing it sounds really interesting. I would like to hear more. Seems a nightmare to balance.
Ole One Eye
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:06 am

Re: Combat

Postby DTemplar5 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:04 am

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:I am going to write out some options for a tick system and a combat speed system. I just think that a tick system would really make combat fluid, especially once people get used to it. I promise what I write up won't be that hard, it will be full of holes, and in the end we probably won't use it, but at least if some people try playtesting it, who knows, it might be something that could spice up the game some.


A tick system would have to balance with the Initative skill, and you'd have to worry about people going at the same time as well as problems with high speed actions. However, it can add a new tactical diminsion; do you have the time to perform whatever manuver/cast the spell/re-ready your defenses? It might also help with the Reaction issue.

The question is, do we want to add an extra layer of tactical thinking into this game, and will it be fun enough to justify this?

Edit: I've played Exalted 2e as well, so I can think of where you'd be going with this, Stacie.
DTemplar5
 
Posts: 201
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:00 pm

Re: Combat

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:38 am

DTemplar5 wrote:
Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:I am going to write out some options for a tick system and a combat speed system. I just think that a tick system would really make combat fluid, especially once people get used to it. I promise what I write up won't be that hard, it will be full of holes, and in the end we probably won't use it, but at least if some people try playtesting it, who knows, it might be something that could spice up the game some.


A tick system would have to balance with the Initative skill, and you'd have to worry about people going at the same time as well as problems with high speed actions. However, it can add a new tactical diminsion; do you have the time to perform whatever manuver/cast the spell/re-ready your defenses? It might also help with the Reaction issue.

The question is, do we want to add an extra layer of tactical thinking into this game, and will it be fun enough to justify this?

Edit: I've played Exalted 2e as well, so I can think of where you'd be going with this, Stacie.


Exalted 2e is so fun because of it...Scion is even better as its a more simplistic version.

I'll try to work out more details.
User avatar
Stacie_GmrGrl
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:26 am

Re: Combat

Postby JaredGaume » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:17 pm

Just an observation:

The more "free" tactical options you give players, the longer it takes to resolve a given turn/round.

I like combat to be fast and furious table-timewise, both from player and GM perspectives.
User avatar
JaredGaume
 
Posts: 390
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:49 pm

Re: Combat

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:26 pm

JaredGaume wrote:Just an observation:

The more "free" tactical options you give players, the longer it takes to resolve a given turn/round.

I like combat to be fast and furious table-timewise, both from player and GM perspectives.


I use a timer :) If they don't have a decision in 30 seconds, they are on Full Defense that turn. I don't let players dink around in combat. I like my combats to be fast and furious, it doesn't matter what game or system it is. If they don't have their decision ready when its their turn, they are taking their time defending themselves that turn.

I've done it with Exalted, d20, Savage Worlds, 4e, and I'll do this with any game. I can't stand combats that last forever because a player is dinking around thinking and thinking all his options... this is not chess.

Any system can be fast and furious once the players are focused, doesn't really matter how detailed it is. One of the main reasons why combats last so freaking long is unfocused players, not really the game system. Just my observations of just about every game I've ever been in when I am just a player.
User avatar
Stacie_GmrGrl
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:26 am

Re: Combat

Postby JaredGaume » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:33 pm

I would then argue that if you have to use an egg timer to keep things moving, doesn't some of the blame fall on the system? Shouldn't the system encourage naturally quick resolutions, egg timer or no?

Note: Every time I've asked to use a timer, anyone I've played with completely rejects it. If the system says they get something they don't want an artificial constraint blocking them.
User avatar
JaredGaume
 
Posts: 390
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:49 pm

Re: Combat

Postby jazzencat » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:51 pm

JaredGaume wrote:I would then argue that if you have to use an egg timer to keep things moving, doesn't some of the blame fall on the system? Shouldn't the system encourage naturally quick resolutions, egg timer or no?

Note: Every time I've asked to use a timer, anyone I've played with completely rejects it. If the system says they get something they don't want an artificial constraint blocking them.


I have heard of using a timer as well. It can create the mood of the fast-paced, frentic atmosphere of combat. nWoD utilizes 3 second rounds. People have complained about not being able to do more than one attack in a round or getting penalized for it. When playing RPGs we don't realize how SHORT 3s is. If you're ducking and weaving around (boxing) it is extremely difficult to keep up consistent, accurate punches at a rate of 1 per 3 seconds. So penalizing multiple attacks in that time span is not unreasonable. Eventually you get the case where players stack a whole bunch of "free" actions because the rules say they do and then expect to get their X attacks/round on top of that without penalty. This can make combat really really drag out. I'd say it is actually a good idea to utilize an egg timer or chess clock. You give each player 90s or 120s to act. In smallish groups that is manageable, if you have 6 players then you might want to restrict it to 20s or 30s (which is still 10x longer than the actual round).
jazzencat
 
Posts: 510
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Combat

Postby Elsidar » Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:16 pm

JaredGaume wrote:I would then argue that if you have to use an egg timer to keep things moving, doesn't some of the blame fall on the system? Shouldn't the system encourage naturally quick resolutions, egg timer or no?

Note: Every time I've asked to use a timer, anyone I've played with completely rejects it. If the system says they get something they don't want an artificial constraint blocking them.


Quoted for the win. Hemming and hawing over "too many options" is only so much of a problem. If you need a timer to force players to "act," then there's something wrong with the combat system. If you need that timer for a tick-based or weapon-speed system, then that should tell you something.
Elsidar
 
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:49 pm

Re: Combat

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:07 am

Elsidar wrote:
JaredGaume wrote:I would then argue that if you have to use an egg timer to keep things moving, doesn't some of the blame fall on the system? Shouldn't the system encourage naturally quick resolutions, egg timer or no?

Note: Every time I've asked to use a timer, anyone I've played with completely rejects it. If the system says they get something they don't want an artificial constraint blocking them.


Quoted for the win. Hemming and hawing over "too many options" is only so much of a problem. If you need a timer to force players to "act," then there's something wrong with the combat system. If you need that timer for a tick-based or weapon-speed system, then that should tell you something.


I use the Timer for all my games
I started using it with 3.5...because people would take so freaking long making decisions over where to put a spell for best possible placement and debate for ten freaking minutes where to put it, and because of so much outside game conversation that I got tired of it.
That is my table rule, I stick with it, and after a couple of combat I've gotten players attentions, they focus, they learn their character sheets, and they don't diddle daddle... It doesn't depend on what kind of actual combat system is designed, but in D&D its the worst.

As a player I have no control of this...my last pathfinder session, a group of 6 lvl 7's fought against 5 creatures, that combat length was two hours long. So much out of character conversation, and so much looking up rules in the book, and so much time wasted people looking and examining the mat to figure out where to move to, which way to move, does this way provoke an AoO, or should I go around this way, counting squares three different way, and then finally deciding to fire his bow. About five to seven minutes. MINUTES, for an action that's supposed to take 6 seconds. For one round to take a move action and take a standard action.

The only game where this happens in all my experiences is D&D and 3.5, and really any game that really focuses combat on possible grid like play. This happens in just about every D&D game I've ever played in. It doesn't happen in nWoD, it doesn't happen in Scion or Exalted, it doesn't happen in Secrets of Zir'an, or BESM, or even Hero System.

I've had Hero System fights with 6 PCs and 6 villains go faster than your normal D&D combat of 5 PCs and 5 monsters, and Hero system is freaking complicated as heck.

The basic design of the combat system in 3.5 is really boring. You roll, you either hit or miss. That's it. It is boring. There is nothing that adds any real dimension of fluidity to it, each round is identical, you go in the same order, and your hoping to hit that natural 20 for a crit. Feats add a little, Talents add a little, but overall the system is really boring. And it should play really fast, but it doesn't. It should be exciting, but its just to rigid.

The coolest game I've ever ran of a combat in D&D was when I had everybody the first round of combat write down what their first instinctual reaction is when that combat started. So everybody wrote down what their action for that round will be. Combat is supposed to be fast, its supposed to be chaotic, and random. It's supposed to be furious, and the chances of random things happening should be possible. Then I had them roll initiative, and go in order. Great fun. Because they didn't know what each other was going to do, they couldn't metagame. They couldn't tell other players what to do, or where to go.

The barbarian won intiative, charged into combat and took down a kobold. The fighter went up next to him, attacked and missed. The wizard, seeing this, wanted to change his action. I told him to make a Reflex check to see if he could force himself to change his action in the split second of that 6 seconds of combat for him to do something else. He failed. he cast a area effect spell that hit 4 monsters and those two players. Ranger fired into combat at the kobold he targeted. Back then we had a house rule that if you fire into melee and you hit within that 4 AC range that the Defender gets, you hit what was giving him cover, and this ranger didn't have precise shot. He hit the Barbarian. The cleric cast bless on the party.

In that single round of combat it took five players a total of maybe a minute to resolve all their actions. Great fun. They knew what they were going to do, and nobody else could talk to them to change their mind, there was no metagaming of possible actions that turn. Then it went back to normal, and how boring it got.

My D&D combats last maybe 20 minutes. If I am attacking with 6 skeletons, I move all 6 on their turn, pick up 6 d20, point at which is which, and roll all at once with matching damage dice. I roll in the open. I don't stall or beat around the bush. Combat should be fast. I let players see what happens so they know I don't lie. I hate Gm screens, never use them. I always tell them what AC to hit, or if I roll off I tell them what my modifier is so they know I won't cheat them.

It should be exciting. I have to add a few things to make it exciting, but the base system as its been is really, really boring.

Having an Opposed Roll system would make it exciting. Every swing, every attack, every defense would be exciting. Instead of targetting the same lame AC number again and again and again... and again... defenses are not supposed to be static, each attack roll, IMO, should have a matching opposing defense roll. One attack you see coming, you get your defense up in time. The next one, you roll low, you just got blind sided. You roll off at the same time, see who gets the better result.

Do I hit him? Does he defend against my attack? Opposed rolling is exciting, when both sides get to see dice rolling on the table. Then the skill of both sides comes into effect, not just one side. Does he decide to rush into melee and swing his Sword, using his Sword skill, or does he stand back and fire off his Bow, using his Bow skill? Does the target block with his Shield, using his Shield skill to defend, or parry with his Sword, using his own Sword skill as a defense roll, or if fired on, does he roll Dodge to move out of the way?

Systems like this, really cool. Gets more people into the action. Armor Class is boring.

If he's using a spell that effects his mind, he uses his Spellcasting skill to cast the spell? His target makes an opposed Will skill defense roll? who wins, is his Spellcasting check good enough to bypass his defense or is his mental will strong enough to oppose it? Static Defenses takes this cinematic feel out of the game. Instead, each attack is against the same number, again and again and again and again... totally boring. No randomness, no change. That's not combat at all.

Combat should be exciting. If a person describes his action, saying he's using is sword skill to attack at his opponent and leap into the air and bring his sword down upon his foe, sure, give him a +1 to the roll. His opponent can then describe a defensive action, like, as that spawn of good raises his sword to slay me, I'll bring my sword up above my head to deflect his sword aside. Okay.... both roll, lets see who wins. Defender rolls higher, he just got his sword up in time. Attacker wins, his sword slices him down his front, cleaving him in two.

You want combat to be fun and exciting. Not boring and static. This is, IMO, the greatest single design flaw in the game. Static Defenses. But, that's my opinion. Its slightly longer with opposed rolls, but when everybody is watching both dice roll across the table to see if the attacker hits or not, people won't care about that slight difference because they are more engaged, and that means they are quicker to act.
User avatar
Stacie_GmrGrl
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:26 am

Re: Combat

Postby Kaldaen » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:44 am

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:(...)

Do I hit him? Does he defend against my attack? Opposed rolling is exciting, when both sides get to see dice rolling on the table. Then the skill of both sides comes into effect, not just one side. Does he decide to rush into melee and swing his Sword, using his Sword skill, or does he stand back and fire off his Bow, using his Bow skill? Does the target block with his Shield, using his Shield skill to defend, or parry with his Sword, using his own Sword skill as a defense roll, or if fired on, does he roll Dodge to move out of the way?

Systems like this, really cool. Gets more people into the action. Armor Class is boring.


Most RPG systems have been moving away from opposed Defense rolls because they slow down combat resolution and make people wait on both the attacker and the defender to roll their dice.

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:If he's using a spell that effects his mind, he uses his Spellcasting skill to cast the spell? His target makes an opposed Will skill defense roll? who wins, is his Spellcasting check good enough to bypass his defense or is his mental will strong enough to oppose it? Static Defenses takes this cinematic feel out of the game. Instead, each attack is against the same number, again and again and again and again... totally boring. No randomness, no change. That's not combat at all.


You've just described saving throws as they were used in D&D 3.x, and there's a reason d20 doesn't use them anymore. Static Defenses were included to speed up combat and increase the cinematic feel of the game.

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:Combat should be exciting. If a person describes his action, saying he's using is sword skill to attack at his opponent and leap into the air and bring his sword down upon his foe, sure, give him a +1 to the roll. His opponent can then describe a defensive action, like, as that spawn of good raises his sword to slay me, I'll bring my sword up above my head to deflect his sword aside. Okay.... both roll, lets see who wins. Defender rolls higher, he just got his sword up in time. Attacker wins, his sword slices him down his front, cleaving him in two.


This is how Mutants and Masterminds does things. Even your primary Defense is an opposed roll. Combat is sloooooooow.

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:You want combat to be fun and exciting. Not boring and static. This is, IMO, the greatest single design flaw in the game. Static Defenses. But, that's my opinion. Its slightly longer with opposed rolls, but when everybody is watching both dice roll across the table to see if the attacker hits or not, people won't care about that slight difference because they are more engaged, and that means they are quicker to act.


With each round taking "slightly longer," the opposed defense rolls will add up to combat taking a whole lot longer. When your character is the target of an NPC's attack, it's tempting to think, "just one little Defense roll would stop it from hitting me and the flow of the game would be okay and I really want to do something because it hits hard and the GM just rolled really high -- argh!" But imagine the reverse situation. You're making an area attack that catches 6 skeletons in its blast. The GM has to make opposed Defense rolls for each of them.

Every. Single. One.

Every. Single. Time.

Now imagine that each of your party members also tries an area attack that catches multiple skeletons. For each attack roll from a player, the GM has to make 6 opposed Defense rolls. See how these add up?

You think combat takes too long now? Wait until your players start rolling for Defenses, double- and triple-checking to make sure they've taken all of their bonuses into account, inspecting the die to make sure it's not tilted or leaning on anything, holding up an attack resolution because they need to fish their "lucky d20" out of the Crown Royal bag, etc. It will not be faster, and it will not be more fun.
User avatar
Kaldaen
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:37 am

Re: Combat

Postby valetutto » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:20 am

I just wanted to make a quick comment on initiative.
I'm all for improvements that don't bog down or slow up the game however the current mechanic isn't all that bad. Yes players can swat team their actions for perfect coordination, and IMO thats fine, what if they ARE playing a swat team. There are things GMs can do to fix this for games that are not. Simply don't let your players idly talk, or give them their 6 seconds and time them. If they talk "let" the badguys hear them and react accordingly. If they are slow to make their action time them and if they dont react in the time you've alloted inform them their action is to delay and move on until they are ready. There are plenty of good things. It might be useful to list some of those in the books as advice for the unsure player in that section.

I've played Savage Worlds and Deadlands and they use the card system. It IS fun but its not for everyone. The thing to remember is some players want a character that can react fast. If I'm playing a martial artist I'll want a way to stack up my speed so I can react very fast. In deadlands you get to draw more cards, in D20 you can stack the score and skill ranks or whatever. I think that can be a good thing to allow those types of characters to work in the intended way. While the card system is fun we may just want to list it as an optional rule and stick with the standard d20 roll+skill as cards are not always appropriate for some venues or themes.
valetutto
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:26 pm

Re: Combat

Postby jazzencat » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:16 pm

You don't make individual opposed rolls for mooks. You take the average of their defense rolls and roll once, especially if targeted by an area spell. Each player gets a defense roll against an area attack, but they are the heroes. Mooks don't. Mooks die. And fast. Opposed roll systems can be streamlined as well. They can even work well as resolution systems for mass combat. Attacking force rolls, Defending force rolls. Positive difference favours attackers, negative the defenders, zero is a dead-lock. Combine this with an HP system representing troop-strength. You capture the back and forth of combat. The same system allows a player to have an epic duel with their nemesis. Possible systems: the linear d20 mechanic. Attacker rolls d20 + attack + mods vs d20 + defense + mods. Or die-pool system, use something like ORE's (can be ported into aspects of d20 system without borking it). Matched pairs and sets are compared. 2x3 loses to 2x6.... 4,5,6 loses to 5,6,7 runs and so on. It's easy enough to establish general, simple rules, but still have exciting results. I have also played games where tables were used. You had them printed out as part of the char-sheet. Tables can indeed be very cumbersome especially when buried across hundreds of pages in books. But you can also have a few with the right rule set-up and it can make tracking things very easy. You place a marker on the relevant section of a damage table, move it as damage increases. If the table integrates all hit-locations in one grid it's easy, especially with laminated sheets. 20% damage to torso, 3% to L hand, 1% to head and so on. Chaotic's CCG uses a tracking system like this: you have a number lines for different attributes and you just use sliders to track your current level vs max level. Sort of like using a Crib board to track damage or what have you.
jazzencat
 
Posts: 510
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Combat

Postby Elsidar » Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:31 pm

jazzencat wrote:You don't make individual opposed rolls for mooks. You take the average of their defense rolls and roll once, especially if targeted by an area spell. Each player gets a defense roll against an area attack, but they are the heroes. Mooks don't. Mooks die. And fast.


Except when they all save against that huge area spell you've been saving because one of them saved. This is a terrible solution to the opposed-roll problem, and anyone who's played under a DM who's used it knows that the first time they see a massive area attack wasted in such a fashion.

jazzencat wrote:Opposed roll systems can be streamlined as well. They can even work well as resolution systems for mass combat. Attacking force rolls, Defending force rolls. Positive difference favours attackers, negative the defenders, zero is a dead-lock. Combine this with an HP system representing troop-strength. You capture the back and forth of combat. The same system allows a player to have an epic duel with their nemesis. Possible systems: the linear d20 mechanic. Attacker rolls d20 + attack + mods vs d20 + defense + mods. Or die-pool system, use something like ORE's (can be ported into aspects of d20 system without borking it). Matched pairs and sets are compared. 2x3 loses to 2x6.... 4,5,6 loses to 5,6,7 runs and so on. It's easy enough to establish general, simple rules, but still have exciting results. I have also played games where tables were used. You had them printed out as part of the char-sheet. Tables can indeed be very cumbersome especially when buried across hundreds of pages in books. But you can also have a few with the right rule set-up and it can make tracking things very easy. You place a marker on the relevant section of a damage table, move it as damage increases. If the table integrates all hit-locations in one grid it's easy, especially with laminated sheets. 20% damage to torso, 3% to L hand, 1% to head and so on. Chaotic's CCG uses a tracking system like this: you have a number lines for different attributes and you just use sliders to track your current level vs max level. Sort of like using a Crib board to track damage or what have you.


How many times does it have to be repeated on these boards? Tables won't speed up anything. Tables are not meant to be rolled on for combat results, and tables are especially not for players to use. They break the train of thought from combat to referencing information that's not on the battlefield, whether you're using minis or not. Further, if you need to xerox those tables out of the book to look them up during combat as a player, then that's no better than leafing through the books every time you make a roll. They are not simple, and they create more problems without solving anything.
Elsidar
 
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:49 pm

Re: Combat

Postby jazzencat » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:57 pm

deleted. Not relevant to the discussion.
Last edited by jazzencat on Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
jazzencat
 
Posts: 510
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Combat

Postby jazzencat » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:23 pm

This is for a different element of combat: I have seen/heard a few gripes about AC reducing to hit chances, but if you do hit armour does nothing against damage. I think what happened is this: AC was used as a quick abstraction for the elements that go into defense for combat using medieval weapons. In a fight, you try to break my important squishy bits and I try to stop you from breaking them. And vice versa. I have a number of ways of stopping damage to me: 1) I make your weapon/attack miss (parry/deflect), 2) I get out of the way (dodge) and 3) I put something tougher over my squishy bits so that they aren't damaged (armour). AC as implemented would seem to represent an amalgamation of weapon parry and armour being able to deflect or stop weapons in the d20 system. Shield bonus, defensive item bonuses and dexterity (dodging/evasion) is added to that. The lack of damage reduction on a successful hit roll is meant to simulate the successful attack that punches through the shell of armour and gets the squishy bit. The variable damage from damage roll also represents the idea that sometimes armour or other factors mitigate damage (dodging back so the thrust isn't as deep, getting a gauntlet or whatever partially in the way and so forth).
In this sense AC is a good mechanic that keeps the combat reasonably simple but still reflects the complexity of combat to a degree. The one issue is that even without armour but wielding a sword or staff or whatever, you can still parry and evade attacks, but because AC was tied soley to armour type, it gave the unarmoured or lightly armoured classes some grief because they were easier to hit. To top it all off the light- and un-armoured classes also had the lowest HP so that further reduces their survivability.

A possible modification of this system while keeping the same idea is to allow part of the weapon skill to function as defensive (you learn to parry when using weapons) as well as distance control and dodging. Armour can take away some mobility but adds the benefit of not being impacted by flank or rear and surprise attacks. Swinging at a breastplat can make the blade or whatever skitter off and not deal damage (a miss roll) or it can reduce the damage effect (like kevlar does for non-AP ammunition and lower velocity or smaller calibre guns). Armour class can be kept as a recognizable term. Calculate the Defense Rating (which opposes the attack roll) as a combination of Armour, weapon, and dodge scores. Armour might reduce the effective dodge and speed due to weight, but it could also have a flat damage reduction rating as well. So the sword thrust goes through but Studded leather takes off 1 point of damage, a breast plate takes off 3 for example. For those who want it simple armour has a global damage reduction rating, the defense rating is calculated as static value. Those who want more crunch can assign different damage reduction scores to different parts of armour and/or make the defense rating dynamic.

This system can then be scaled up and used for vehicular combat as well. While the D&D as written works fine on a personal level with humanoid sized combatants and slow moving weapons, it doesn't make as much sense to "miss" a gargantuan dragon at melee range. More likely an attack simply didn't do anything to get past the armour. The same issue applies for combat between capital ships or spaceships using supersonic weaons and beamweapons (which are nigh-impossilbe to evade). A Mon Calamari Battlecruiser is not going to miss a Super Stardestroyer on a broadside with beam weapons. Nor is either capital ship capable of evading a beam weapon. At dogfighting distances with small agile fighter craft you can miss. What saves capital ships from severe damage are either energy shields if available and/or ablative/non-ablative armour. This would be represented by damage reduction. The attacker needs a certain amount of energy to punch through the armour, just as a solider needs to swing hard to punch through chainmail or plate armour.

By making the character's defense rating not dependent soley on armour it gives lower-armoured classes and vehicles a chance in combat. The big ones have a higher damage reduction rating, so they can just sit there and shrug more of the blows off. A low-damage character/vehicle can still hurt a capital ship/dragon by using a called-shot mechanic. Most of these mechanics are already present in d20 and probably just need a little tweaking for a generic system so that the same mechanic can work with vehicles and high-tech weaponry as well. Fighter Jets have armour, and their defense rating is a combination of ECM, Chaff, Pilot skill and manoueverability ratings.

Thoughts, clarifications, changes?
jazzencat
 
Posts: 510
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Combat

Postby Kaldaen » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:47 pm

Gary Sarli has already given a rough outline of how Defenses would work. The full post can be found here. A lot of what you've said fits that mold, although AC has been supplanted by "Primary Defense" to accommodate settings in which armor is rare or not used.

However, there was no mention of incorporating weapon skill into a character's Defense scores, and I think that's for the best. The biggest problem I have with using the weapon mechanics to drive Defenses is the potential for mismatches between attacker and defender. Consider a few examples -- how would you handle the following scenarios?

  • Attacker armed with a greatsword, defender armed with a dagger
  • Attacker armed with a firearm, defender armed with any melee weapon
  • Attacker armed with a melee weapon, defender armed with a firearm
  • Attacker and defender both using firearms
  • Attacker using magic, defender having no aptitude for magic
  • Attacker has a conventional weapon, defender only has magic

Each of these match-ups is going to require a different method of calculating Defenses. When the combatants have similar melee weapons, a direct comparison like this is simple. But when attacker and defender are wielding weapons with significantly different properties, from different categories or even from different eras, things get much more complicated. A dagger may help me parry an attack from another dagger or even a rapier, but it will be much less effective against a two-handed sword. No melee weapon will help defend against a firearm, and firearms won't help deflect attacks from anything. Magic has whatever offensive and defensive properties the author writes, but it is certain to make things even more complex.

What you're going to end up with is a mechanic that requires the target of an attack to recalculate his Defense scores based on what kind of weapon the attacker is wielding. If the enemy NPC's are carrying a wide variety of weapons, the players will have to recalculate their Defenses at least once per weapon type, and those numbers may become meaningless in the next encounter, when the enemies could have a completely different arsenal.

This kind of thing is far too simulationist for a system like d20. We should be aiming for more a more gamist approach to combat.
User avatar
Kaldaen
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:37 am

Re: Combat

Postby jazzencat » Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:57 pm

Kaldaen wrote:Gary Sarli has already given a rough outline of how Defenses would work. The full post can be found here. A lot of what you've said fits that mold, although AC has been supplanted by "Primary Defense" to accommodate settings in which armor is rare or not used.

However, there was no mention of incorporating weapon skill into a character's Defense scores, and I think that's for the best. The biggest problem I have with using the weapon mechanics to drive Defenses is the potential for mismatches between attacker and defender. Consider a few examples -- how would you handle the following scenarios?

  • Attacker armed with a greatsword, defender armed with a dagger
  • Attacker armed with a firearm, defender armed with any melee weapon
  • Attacker armed with a melee weapon, defender armed with a firearm
  • Attacker and defender both using firearms
  • Attacker using magic, defender having no aptitude for magic
  • Attacker has a conventional weapon, defender only has magic


The idea was adding part of weapon skill to defense (for melee weapons adds the parry aspect for characters who do not have armour or only light armour to increase survivability. Would have to play-test it. I wouldn't add all the weapon skill score to the defense, probably only half. Sorry I didn't make clear that this was only applicable to melee weaponry in melee range. It doesn't make sense for ranged weapon skill to add defense, you can't parry with them.
1. Defender is pretty screwed, run like hell or hide behind the Barbarian, throw the dagger. Greater range of the sword means even without adding 0.5*weapon to def, the dagger wielder suffers an AoO unless they stay out of range and throw the dagger. Thrown weapons can be parried, though likely at a penalty.
2. Bring a knife to the gunfight and you're liable to get shot. Even under the current AC/Primary Defense rules, the guy with the knife is screwed. Same as if I have a longsword and the other guy is an archer or a wizard with a fireball spell. Same mismatch under either system. Best option: take cover.
3. Don't charge directly at an entrenched defender with a ranged weapon. Same issue if the defender is on the castle ramparts with a bow and you have a greatsword. The defender can shoot you before you get close in any case. Have the ranged character or wizard (as applicable) deal with them. (Bayonet fighting might qualify for weapon-parry mechanic again)
4. Parry mechanic doesn't apply to fire-arms. Neither should dodge, especially not with super-sonic/hyper-sonic and/or beam weapons. Best bet is using cover and ablative armour. Weapon skill should not factor here.
5. My sword isn't much use against fireball or magic missile anyway. Spells would ignore weapon parry, magic doesn't qualify for that (again my error in not making that clear)
6. Depends on the spell used, magician summons a magic energy-sword, then yes he gets part of the skill applied to defense for parry, defender could conjure a shield, teleport away, go invisible, entangle the attacker, fry the attacker, teleport the attacker away, drop a meteor on them and so on. Mages and psychics can be very very dangerous even when unarmed.

Each of these match-ups is going to require a different method of calculating Defenses. When the combatants have similar melee weapons, a direct comparison like this is simple. But when attacker and defender are wielding weapons with significantly different properties, from different categories or even from different eras, things get much more complicated. A dagger may help me parry an attack from another dagger or even a rapier, but it will be much less effective against a two-handed sword. No melee weapon will help defend against a firearm, and firearms won't help deflect attacks from anything. Magic has whatever offensive and defensive properties the author writes, but it is certain to make things even more complex.

What you're going to end up with is a mechanic that requires the target of an attack to recalculate his Defense scores based on what kind of weapon the attacker is wielding. If the enemy NPC's are carrying a wide variety of weapons, the players will have to recalculate their Defenses at least once per weapon type, and those numbers may become meaningless in the next encounter, when the enemies could have a completely different arsenal.

This kind of thing is far too simulationist for a system like d20. We should be aiming for more a more gamist approach to combat.


I suppose. I was thinking of Feats like Combat Expertise, Improved Feint, Improved Disarm. At least some of the combat rules in D&D 3.5 seemed to be trying to address some of these questions. Attack of Opportunity is not unlike the riposte. But I suppose it could add unwanted complexity for some. The attempt was to give the un-armoured characters a bit more survivability than having the majority of defense come from wearing pieces of metal that stop arrows and swords (which is exactly what armour is supposed to do).

In the case of modern weaponry and defenseive systems the weaponry doesn't add to defensive score, but we have dedicated systems for that (Chaff, ECM), but piloting skill may well qualify as adding to defense in aerial combat (dogfighting). In naval combat sonar skill would add to defense (part of the defense being finding the other guy first and shooting them before they shoot you) along with hull plating and other ECM.

Simulationist type rules could be side-bared since we are trying to make a universal d20 system, and likely some would like at least the option for adding some or many simulationist elements. Comes down to how much optional crunch can be justifably added given space constraints of a book.
jazzencat
 
Posts: 510
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Combat

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:24 am

Elsidar, you've never played Talislanta 4th edition have you? Its the game where I got my primary idea for have a Single Action Table that is Use for ALL Actions. A SINGLE TABLE on each character sheet that handles results for ALL actions, skill actions, combat actions, magic actions. Not a seperate table for each style of combat, or different types of magic, or each skill.

And, the GM can, based on how the player describes his action, how he does a stunt, and what he's doing, applies a modifier to the roll.

Player rolls. The table in Talislanta is this (I might not have it exactly right):

1 Fumble
2-5 Failure
6-10 Miss
11-15 Half Success
16-19 Full Success
20+ Critical Success

In this game, if a player rolled with a attack, lets say a sword that does 8 damage right, and rolled a Full Success, he did 8 damage. A half success is 4 damage. Miss is miss, Failure is either miss or something worse, depending on the type of action. Critical Success is either damage x1.5 or x2, depending on how lethal you wanted it to be.

That is it. Every single action possible in the game worked off this kind of table. Characters defenses were penalties on the action roll. So if you attack with a sword with a skill of +9, and their defense was a 6, you roll with a +3 to your roll. It was very, very easy. Way easier than current d20 standards.

I don't understand why your so against the idea of something similar to this, because something like this is exactly what your talking about, in the Stunt thread, where your letting players describe an action and use skills in a variety of ways to come up with really cool stunts, the only difference is that this uses a unified single mechanic that works for everything. I mean, it'd even save from coming up with a appropriate DC values for all the different skills. It would cut out so many tables that are already used.

A skill description could be this simple:
Climb - active skill - Strength
You use your brute muscle to climb up and down walls, hills and cliffsides. On a miminal success you hold on and move a quarter of your speed. On a partial success, you move half your speed. On a Full success, you move your full speed value. On a Critical success, you can move double your normal speed. On a Failure, you either freeze in place and don't move at all. On a Fumble, you fall.

I mean, skill descriptions can be pretty simple and short. The GM can determine modifiers based on her judgement of how she sees the scene happening. If its a fairly slanted hill and your using a rope, maybe you get a +3 to the roll. If its raining outside and its night time, and your not using a rope, then you could be at -6. It's up to the GM how she sees it. Give her the ability to make those decisions, based on how the player plays it out.

This could cut out a lot of space used for all those DC tables with all their DC modifiers for all those seperate skills, and that can be rolled up into a single Condition table for the Gamemaster to use.

I could see a few skills having more depth to its detail, but not all of them.

A unified mechanic that works for all actions really streamlines the game system, and it opens the way for more options than is possible now. You'd give the players to really stunt, it'd give the gamemaster the power to be versatile and open the door to many more possibilities. Plus it'd save a whole bunch of space in the book that can be used for other things.

So I don't understand why your so against this idea...this is not Rolemaster that I'm suggesting. Omg not rolemaster, where every single weapon had its own super detailed critical hit chart. Heavens no.
User avatar
Stacie_GmrGrl
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:26 am

Re: Combat

Postby babs » Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:24 am

Kaldaen wrote:Gary Sarli has already given a rough outline of how Defenses would work. The full post can be found here. A lot of what you've said fits that mold, although AC has been supplanted by "Primary Defense" to accommodate settings in which armor is rare or not used.

However, there was no mention of incorporating weapon skill into a character's Defense scores, and I think that's for the best. The biggest problem I have with using the weapon mechanics to drive Defenses is the potential for mismatches between attacker and defender. Consider a few examples -- how would you handle the following scenarios?

  • Attacker armed with a greatsword, defender armed with a dagger
  • Attacker armed with a firearm, defender armed with any melee weapon
  • Attacker armed with a melee weapon, defender armed with a firearm
  • Attacker and defender both using firearms
  • Attacker using magic, defender having no aptitude for magic
  • Attacker has a conventional weapon, defender only has magic

Each of these match-ups is going to require a different method of calculating Defenses. When the combatants have similar melee weapons, a direct comparison like this is simple. But when attacker and defender are wielding weapons with significantly different properties, from different categories or even from different eras, things get much more complicated. A dagger may help me parry an attack from another dagger or even a rapier, but it will be much less effective against a two-handed sword. No melee weapon will help defend against a firearm, and firearms won't help deflect attacks from anything. Magic has whatever offensive and defensive properties the author writes, but it is certain to make things even more complex.

What you're going to end up with is a mechanic that requires the target of an attack to recalculate his Defense scores based on what kind of weapon the attacker is wielding. If the enemy NPC's are carrying a wide variety of weapons, the players will have to recalculate their Defenses at least once per weapon type, and those numbers may become meaningless in the next encounter, when the enemies could have a completely different arsenal.

This kind of thing is far too simulationist for a system like d20. We should be aiming for more a more gamist approach to combat.


I like the simulationist approach, but I fully agree that calculating defenses as proposed is way to cumbersome. A general primary defense score to incooperate all these things seems to work best. As for the simulationist argument, I think this would be best modelled using feats and talents (or combat moves). Consider for example:

Firearms make poor melee combatants
You gain a +2 melee attack bonus whenever you attack an opponent armed with a firearm.

Magic Hunter
You gain a +2 attack bonus against anyone who relies on magic for defense.

Babs out!
babs
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:56 am

Re: Combat

Postby GMSarli » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:27 am

First, I want to remind everyone to to be polite and constructive even when we have sharp disagreements. So far, we've managed to do so, but I can sense that some frustration is building on some topics, such as this one. Part of that is because we don't have firm answers to some basic questions yet -- and for many things we can't, since I can't put things to a vote until after the March 15th deadline.

So, let's do two things:
  1. If you want to propose a semi-radical idea that goes a long ways from established d20 conventions, check the FAQ to see if I've already said something that would definitely be incompatible with that. For example, since I've said we're definitely using classes, any discussion of a class-less system should be carried out in terms of a thought experiment: "Let's think about the strengths and flavor of class-less systems and ask ourselves what we can do with a class-based system to make it capture that same sort of feel of flexibility."
  2. If someone is proposing an idea that you really don't like -- even if it's one that would seem to be explicitly off the table -- try to discuss it in terms of #1, above: "Well, the FAQ says we're definitely not using a class-less system, but let's discuss the pros and cons so we're all on the same page ..."

Stacie_GmrGrl wrote:Elsidar, you've never played Talislanta 4th edition have you? Its the game where I got my primary idea for have a Single Action Table that is Use for ALL Actions. A SINGLE TABLE on each character sheet that handles results for ALL actions, skill actions, combat actions, magic actions. Not a seperate table for each style of combat, or different types of magic, or each skill.

And, the GM can, based on how the player describes his action, how he does a stunt, and what he's doing, applies a modifier to the roll.

Player rolls. The table in Talislanta is this (I might not have it exactly right):

1 Fumble
2-5 Failure
6-10 Miss
11-15 Half Success
16-19 Full Success
20+ Critical Success

In this game, if a player rolled with a attack, lets say a sword that does 8 damage right, and rolled a Full Success, he did 8 damage. A half success is 4 damage. Miss is miss, Failure is either miss or something worse, depending on the type of action. Critical Success is either damage x1.5 or x2, depending on how lethal you wanted it to be.

That is it. Every single action possible in the game worked off this kind of table. Characters defenses were penalties on the action roll. So if you attack with a sword with a skill of +9, and their defense was a 6, you roll with a +3 to your roll. It was very, very easy. Way easier than current d20 standards.


I think I can answer this.

Even if you have one table that you use for anything -- "fumble, failure, miss, half success, full success, critical success" -- those terms aren't self-explanatory, so you still have to define what those terms mean for each skill, talent, attack, etc. That takes up space in the book, and it's one more thing you have to look up during game play (or memorize).

Does this mean we can't have tiered effects? Not necessarily, but we have to keep in mind that they do add an extra step to the game, and things should be written in a way that makes it easy to have all relevant details at your fingertips. This is an example of something that 4E does pretty well -- their powers are designed to fit on little power cards (which you can buy pre-made or print yourself, e.g. using D&D Insider tools) so you can always have all the information you need right there in front of you without opening the book. Similarly, 4E's monster stat blocks have all the detail necessary to completely adjudicate each monster's powers without having to look up things very often at all.

I want e20 to try to match this standard. In my opinion, you know you've made a really good game when you don't have to open any books during an entire adventure. :)
User avatar
GMSarli
Site Admin
 
Posts: 521
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:09 am
Location: Denton TX

Re: Combat

Postby jazzencat » Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:14 pm

A sticky with the current mechanics as they stand, perhaps?
jazzencat
 
Posts: 510
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Combat

Postby Stacie_GmrGrl » Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:46 pm

For a person like me, its a whole lot easier to remember a few lines of text on what the different effects mean for things than it is to have to take game time to look up each and every DC table for all the various skills, talents, and feats that use DCs as a value to test because each and every skill has its own DC modifiers for different ways of doing them, each Talent might have its own DC value to have to look up, etc, etc... so either way, there's game time look up.

It's just easier for me because my mind works better with words than numbers. And to me, just saying, it makes more sense to get rid of all the tables that, in my opinion, are utterly useless when there are options out there that greatly simplify it.

Its easier for me to remember description and text more than charts and charts and charts of numbers and DC values. It's been one of my bigger pet peeves with the d20 system as a whole, over-reliance on tables for each skill. I pretty much avoid games like this, whereas games like Talislanta, Eclipse Phase, Shadowrun, Harp, Hero System, etc... give you a core resolution technique and then give the GM all the advice he needs to come up with his own numbers to hit and his own situaitonal conditions chart to adlib on the go so the players aren't always asking, "What's the DC?" or things like that, and the DM isn't looking in the PHB for the different charts for the different things that use DC type system.
User avatar
Stacie_GmrGrl
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:26 am

Next

Return to Combat & Actions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest