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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 11:19 am 
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Cobwebbed Dragon wrote:
I also have a house rule that if you don't move at all, you can add 3 to your Reflexes for the purposes of determining turn order.


I like that. I assume you mean if you're not just not moving, but not doing anything else either; if I'm casting spells or cranking up my crossbow I don't get an initiative bonus presumably?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 11:30 am 
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There are some interesting ideas in this thread to make combat more realistic - differentiating between blocking, parrying, and dodging, and applying bonuses/penalties for using specific weapon types in specific circumstances, all of which are already reflected in other game systems and can be ported from whichever set of rules you like.

But I always wonder how much additional complexity do we want to add to combat? Combat already consumes a significant amount of table time and doesn't generally progress the narrative by as much as other role-playing activities (especially relative to the table-time it takes up). But at least no-one's proposing to introduce my guards ;).

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 11:39 am 
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WodenKrait wrote:
Cobwebbed Dragon wrote:
I also have a house rule that if you don't move at all, you can add 3 to your Reflexes for the purposes of determining turn order.

I like that. I assume you mean if you're not just not moving, but not doing anything else either; if I'm casting spells or cranking up my crossbow I don't get an initiative bonus presumably?

In each combat round, I allow my characters to move a third of their movement (10'), followed by a combat action (cast a spell, strike with a weapon, etc.). If you don't move, your combat action happens sooner (by 3 initiative steps). Once you're engaged in melee, your attacks can happen sooner in the round (unless you try to manoeuvre) than someone who still has to move to engage (all other things being equal).

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 12:30 pm 
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Cobwebbed Dragon wrote:
There are some interesting ideas in this thread to make combat more realistic - differentiating between blocking, parrying, and dodging, and applying bonuses/penalties for using specific weapon types in specific circumstances, all of which are already reflected in other game systems and can be ported from whichever set of rules you like.

But I always wonder how much additional complexity do we want to add to combat? Combat already consumes a significant amount of table time and doesn't generally progress the narrative by as much as other role-playing activities (especially relative to the table-time it takes up). But at least no-one's proposing to introduce my guards ;).


I don't think it needs to be zero-sum (am I using that term correctly?). Adding rules doesn't necessarily make combat more protracted (it make do the opposite in fact, if providing more options helps to break a combat stalemate or to deal with loads of mooks more quickly), and it certainly doesn't necessarily make it more tedious, which is a problem at the moment.

More on this soon; time I was in bed...

Cheers,

-Kyle


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:36 pm 
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WodenKrait wrote:
Adding rules doesn't necessarily make combat more protracted (it make do the opposite in fact, if providing more options helps to break a combat stalemate or to deal with loads of mooks more quickly), and it certainly doesn't necessarily make it more tedious, which is a problem at the moment.

I agree, and that's the kind of thing I've wrestled with in my own games - how to draw attention away from the mechanics of combat so it doesn't become just an exercise in rolling dice, retains combat's narrative/role-playing element, but not paralyse a player with too many choices (and be simple/familiar to boot!) Ploughing through mooks is the easy bit <insert rapid or abstract combat mechanic of choice here>, it's making the big fights meaningful, varied, and elegant that's the real challenge.

I'm very interested to see what you've come up with.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:06 am 
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OK then, based on the conclusions above, we know that we have some usable extra effort in a round, provided we're happy to waive our defence. This effort amounts to one-quarter of a regular action.

There are a few ways we can use this extra action:

1: For actions dependent upon a score (such as Attack), we can conduct that action again at 1/4 normal strength. For instance, I can Attack once at full strength then attack again at 1/4. This is slightly more useful than it seems thanks to the critical hit rule. Also we get an additional 1/16th of a standard move if we attack using our Defence action. Alternatively...
2: For actions dependent upon a score, we can add one-quarter to our normal score. If I have an Attack of 16 I can waive my defence and get an Attack of 20 instead. If you allow multiple attacks in one round, this makes the multiple attacks more credible.
3: The above also applies to actions dependent upon some other quantity, like movement. If you run and waive your defence, for instance, you can run 25 metres rather than 20.
4: For actions not dependent upon a score or an amount, we can attempt that action with a 25% chance of success. For instance, we can cast another spell, but only succeed on a roll of 1-5 on d20.

I'll work up a list of all the actions and what this means for them soon.

On the other hand, does this work backwards? Can we waive our regular action to boost Defence? This is much trickier!

1: Waive your normal action and get five defence actions?
2: Waive your normal action and get a single defence at X5 the normal Defence score.

This bit doesn't sound at all right and I'm inclined to disallow it.

Anyway, what does everybody think so far?

Cheers,

-Kyle


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:13 am 
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Seems a bit complicated. I think that people should either get to strike and defend, move and strike with no defence or run with 0 defence and full evasion for the purposes of defence. That would apply to all sword strikes in the path of the runner.

I seriously think dodging falling masonry is a full action, you're not going to manage to do hand to hand and dodge masonry, need to fix your attention on it. Just like that example of letting go of a rope, if you don't, you ought to get hit automatically.

Its also a means of disengaging from combat.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:39 am 
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WodenKrait wrote:
Seems a bit complicated.


It might be, but only for the GM. From a player's perspective, they'd just be saying "I have good armour and this bloke only has a club. Can I attack extra hard instead of defending" or some such.

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-Kyle


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:35 am 
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Hm.. true, berzerk for non berzerkers... especially if you're encased in good armour or attacking from behind.

and what use is defence when you're attacking from behind?

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:32 am 
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Kharille wrote:
berzerk for non berzerkers


In a way. Note the subtle difference between berserk (or Cobwebbed's Offensive manoeuvre) and what I call my "all-out attack": when you trade off Defence for Attack, it pays to have a good Defence to start with so you have more to trade. With an all-out attack your Defence score doesn't matter; you get a straight 25% bonus to Attack regardless. You also get a slight movement boost too. Its quite powerful for defensively poor characters (like Barbarians!) if you look at it that way.

Kharille wrote:
especially if you're encased in good armour or attacking from behind.

and what use is defence when you're attacking from behind?


Of course there's added risk too, because the PC may has misassessed the tactical situation and find themselves defenseless at a bad time. That's a good thing! Players should be making decisions rather than just rolling dice ad nauseam.

Cheers,

-Kyle


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