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Author Topic: Deciding a Combat System  (Read 225 times)

Renegade_Productions

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Deciding a Combat System
« on: May 04, 2021, 06:13:26 PM »
A tangent of another thread I made a while back -- https://www.therpgsite.com/pen-paper-roleplaying-games-rpgs-discussion/everyone-moves-at-once-gridtotm-combat-can-it-be-done/ -- which I can't find a related thread for, even with this archive -- https://www.therpgsite.com/design-development-and-gameplay/design-alternatives-analysis-archive/ -- since the links are a bit weird so, here we go.

When there are multiple combat systems you like in TTRPGs, but you can only choose one variant for a game...

Along with playtesting, is there a method to help determine which system would work best? Moreover, is allowing multiple variants within the same product a good idea?

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For context, here is what I'm comparing between each other, and my system is a D6 only/pool system, as well as roll under w/ 3D6 for things like Dodging a thrown item or fired bullet or melee/hand to hand attack.

#1: Intentions Phase variant - This one was thanks to Philotomy_Jurament in the first mentioned thread. I like the idea, and it pushes teamwork, but still seems more geared towards a retroclone or AD&D itself than what I have in mind.

#2: By The Second variant - I've seen this done in Hackmaster, Aces and Eights (1/10th of a second), and Scion. The appeal is high with this one, and coming up with timeframes to tie actions to is simple enough.

#3: The Fallout (Action Points) variant - Essentially, every PC and NPC, on their turn, has a number of Action Points that can be used towards moving, attacking, reaching for something, etc. Storing Action Points for the following rounds by not using them is also possible.

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Thoughts?

VisionStorm

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Re: Deciding a Combat System
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2021, 06:45:35 PM »
Moreover, is allowing multiple variants within the same product a good idea?

My guess would be that it depends on how much the different systems deviate from each other, and whether any of them require different combat statistics and such (on which case I'm not sure it would be a good idea). However, older editions of D&D used to include options for Group vs. Individual Initiative, so it wouldn't be unheard of.

I suppose that it depends on how well you are able to present them as variants that work well within the same system, perhaps presenting one as the default/recommended method and the others "Optional Rules" for DIY types who like to customize their play experience.

FYI/Semi-Unrelated: Looking over at philotomy's post from the other thread, that's actually a similar combat sequence to the one I tend to use, only mine is more simplified, with "Ready" actions first (melee within melee with weapons drawn, ranged within range with weapons drawn & loaded) followed by "Delayed" actions (anything that takes minor preparation, like drawing weapons, loading ranged weapons, moving into position, casting most spells, etc.) and finally Full-Round actions. I also prefer either to not roll initiative (everyone in the same phase acts at the same time) or to roll initiative only between acting opponents (i.e. you roll initiative vs your chosen opponent at the time you act to see who acts first between you two; if multiple characters are attacking the same opponent, they all roll initiative at the same time).

Renegade_Productions

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Re: Deciding a Combat System
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2021, 07:04:18 PM »
Moreover, is allowing multiple variants within the same product a good idea?

My guess would be that it depends on how much the different systems deviate from each other, and whether any of them require different combat statistics and such (on which case I'm not sure it would be a good idea). However, older editions of D&D used to include options for Group vs. Individual Initiative, so it wouldn't be unheard of.

I suppose that it depends on how well you are able to present them as variants that work well within the same system, perhaps presenting one as the default/recommended method and the others "Optional Rules" for DIY types who like to customize their play experience.

Yeah, that's one problem. I like the By The Second idea the most, but that doesn't gel well with doing things Fallout-style. Intentions could work as the optional rules, though.

Quote
FYI/Semi-Unrelated: Looking over at philotomy's post from the other thread, that's actually a similar combat sequence to the one I tend to use, only mine is more simplified, with "Ready" actions first (melee within melee with weapons drawn, ranged within range with weapons drawn & loaded) followed by "Delayed" actions (anything that takes minor preparation, like drawing weapons, loading ranged weapons, moving into position, casting most spells, etc.) and finally Full-Round actions. I also prefer either to not roll initiative (everyone in the same phase acts at the same time) or to roll initiative only between acting opponents (i.e. you roll initiative vs your chosen opponent at the time you act to see who acts first between you two; if multiple characters are attacking the same opponent, they all roll initiative at the same time).

Hmm. Might be able to work that into a BTS system. Sounds fun.

Jaeger

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Re: Deciding a Combat System
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2021, 07:33:49 PM »
...
When there are multiple combat systems you like in TTRPGs, but you can only choose one variant for a game...

Along with playtesting, is there a method to help determine which system would work best? Moreover, is allowing multiple variants within the same product a good idea?

Thoughts?

What game system will you be using?

What Genre are you trying to emulate?

« Last Edit: May 04, 2021, 07:48:58 PM by Jaeger »
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Renegade_Productions

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Re: Deciding a Combat System
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2021, 08:25:29 PM »
...
When there are multiple combat systems you like in TTRPGs, but you can only choose one variant for a game...

Along with playtesting, is there a method to help determine which system would work best? Moreover, is allowing multiple variants within the same product a good idea?

Thoughts?

What game system will you be using?

What Genre are you trying to emulate?

It's a custom system; D6 pool (Attribute [Max 6] + Skill [Max 8]) w/ thresholds (2 to 16) similar to Shadowrun/o&nWoD or Roll Under w/ 3D6, situation depending.

As for genre, it defaults to a modern Urban Fantasy setting, so mostly WoD with a bit of Call of Cthulhu.

Mishihari

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Re: Deciding a Combat System
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2021, 11:41:24 PM »
Without any knowledge of the systems you are considering, I think the key is to consider what kind of decisions and actions each system encourages, and thinking about if it matches what you want your game play to look like.

Renegade_Productions

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Re: Deciding a Combat System
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2021, 03:18:22 PM »
Without any knowledge of the systems you are considering, I think the key is to consider what kind of decisions and actions each system encourages, and thinking about if it matches what you want your game play to look like.

In that respect, the Intention Phase variant probably wouldn't fit that well. It does encourage teamwork by getting all the PCs to decide on actions to take before anyone does anything, though it feels more fitting for an AD&D w/ armies kind of game rather than a modern times Urban Fantasy game where combat is not a major focus and parties of more than 4 are uncommon.

The Action Points variant is one I'm more familiar with. It's a turn based system, just with actions all having a point cost, so it's as much strategy as resource management. Example: You have 5 Action points thanks to your Reaction/Agility score. If you haven't readied a weapon like a pistol, it costs you 3 of your 5 points to ready it, leaving you 2. Those 2 can be saved for the next turn, which will give you 7, spent to run away from the spot, or spent to ready a standing defense of melee/hand to hand attacks, and your turn ends in favor of the next in line.

The By The Second system is similar to the Action Points one, but it functions on a tracker like a clock (Scion) or line of blocks (Aces and Eights). Everyone rolls Initiative, then are placed in order of highest number; the highest number goes first. If an action takes longer than one segment, it can be interrupted (spells) or leave the PC unable to act for a few tics (side-by-side shotgun reload).

I like VisionStorm's idea of rolling Initiative when two or more characters are about to engage, and that would work with either the Action Points or By The Second system. More so with the By The Second system, unless I went with a Lowest to Highest method for characters that are all on the same segment/tic, which would discourage landing on tics with enemies.