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Problem with "Alignment"

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questccg
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If you have ever played "Dungeons & Dragons", you are probably familiar with the concept of "Alignment". To explain it defines if a character is Good, Neutral or Evil. There is a second layer in D&D which is how characters react with the law and so you have Chaotic, Neutral and Lawful.

In my design "Monster Keep" (MK), I am "borrowing" half of the "Alignment" part. Specifically my underlings can be: Friendly, Neutral, and Hostile.

MK's "alignment" allows players MORE "flexibility" and another layer of strategy to help drive the game and "stimulate" MORE battles/combat.

All that is great, except there is ONE (1) (only one) piece of the puzzle which I have yet to solve. Let me explain.

If you choose to make your underling "Hostile", he may attack any opposing underling which is in "range".

These "Hostile" rules are pretty SIMPLE:

  • Hostile vs. Hostile: each player does Extra Damage (to each other).
  • Hostile vs. Neutral: each player does Normal Damage (to each other).
  • Hostile vs. Friendly: each player does Less Damage (to each other).

If you choose to make your underling "Neutral", attacks should be based on the RPS-9 combat rules (to determine which underlings will attack, counter-attack, etc).

These "Neutral" rules are a bit more complicated:

  • Neutral vs. Neutral: using the RPS-9, figure out which underlings may attack an opposing race dealing Normal Damage.
  • Neutral vs. Friendly: *** Here is my PROBLEM... ***

I am okay with Neutral vs. Neutral combat, it's pretty straight forward. BUT my real issue is "Neutral vs. Friendly".

HOW should these situations be handled???

If you choose to make your underling "Friendly", he cannot initiate an attack against any other underling - but may "counter-attack" depending on the opposing underling's "alignment" (and associated rules).

The "Friendly" rules are also very simple:

  • Friendly vs. Friendly: nobody attacks - these underlings are at peace.

So it leaves me with ONE (1) case which is a bit more complicated:

"Neutral vs. Friendly"

How do I handle this case??? Anyone with a suggestion. As usual comments/questions/feedback/ideas are all welcome.

Cheers!

let-off studios
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Neutral Attacker = Hostile

Switch an underling's Alignment to Hostile as soon as it attacks anything.

Although I can somewhat understand why you would want to keep a unit Neutral or Friendly if it's being attacked, I don't see why you would want a non-Hostile unit to be able to attack. It doesn't seem to make sense to me, based on the typical definitions of those words.

questccg
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I hear you...

let-off studios wrote:
Switch an underling's Alignment to Hostile as soon as it attacks anything.

Well if I do that - it breaks the rules associated with "Neutral" underlings: namely that they rely on a RPS-9 to figure out who they can or cannot attack.

In some other terms, you could say that there might be "complexe" rules to which Races will combat another Race. Same races, like Holy Humans, when Neutral will NOT "engage" another Holy Human because they are the SAME Race. But at the same time, the "Chaotic Dark Elves" are sworn enemies of the "Holy Humans"... Humans attack those elves with More Damage and it is ONE-WAY (meaning that the Holy Humans deal More Damage and the Drow cannot counter-attack).

let-off studios wrote:
...I don't see why you would want a non-Hostile unit to be able to attack. It doesn't seem to make sense to me, based on the typical definitions of those words.

Because there are more complexe rules of engagement when it comes to NEUTRAL underlings. Like I said "Neutral vs. Neutral" means that combat/battles respect a "Race-related" chart which decides which underlings battle.

I guess I could use the RPS-9 AGAIN for "Neutral vs. Friendly" and make the Damage be "Less Damage" where the "Neutral vs. Neutral" can be "Normal Damage"...

Maybe that's a VALID solution...?

questccg
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To explain further

"Hostile" underlings can ATTACK "anyone". But at the same time, each underling that "is attacked" may "COUNTER-ATTACK".

Where as "Neutral" underlings follow race-related battle rules. Neutral means that same race will NOT battle itself. Moreover in relation to some races, "Neutral" underlings MAY "counter-attack" but they might also be submitted to solo attacks (one-sided, no counter) and even Extra Damaged attacks depending on the race which is attacking.

Lastly "Friendly" underlings do not attack. They ONLY "counter-attack". The relationship this "alignment" has is to cause LESS DAMAGE when being attacked.

So I guess the RPS-9 with Lesser Damage would be a valid solution to "Neutral vs. Friendly" attacks. It means that the Neutral underling is following the race-related combat rules and do "LESS" Damage because they are facing a "Friendly" underling.

I know it's not perfect. But it goes a long way to changing how the game plays out. The Advantage of "Neutral" is to be able to attack without any counter-attack. The Advantage of "Hostile" is you can inflict wounds to anyone else (at the price of a counter-attack). "Friendly" units are generally peaceful (and "on-guard") and suffer LESS damage when attacked. So in a way they are more "resistant" to combat damage.

Yeah - I guess it works... Sort of...

FrankM
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Posturing

How about "posture" instead of "alignment"?

One can be Aggressive, Normal, or Defensive with essentially the same effects you described above.

questccg
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More understandable

FrankM wrote:
How about "posture" instead of "alignment"?

I think I would prefer "disposition". Would this be okay?

FrankM wrote:
One can be Aggressive, Normal, or Defensive with essentially the same effects you described above.

I am understanding how this makes much more sense. I just wish there could be "shorter" words. There isn't exactly too much space on the cards.

Would "Defense" > "Normal" > "Offense" be acceptable??

What do you think @FrankM???

FrankM
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Accidentally gave useful advice???

questccg wrote:
FrankM wrote:
How about "posture" instead of "alignment"?

I think I would prefer "disposition". Would this be okay?

FrankM wrote:
One can be Aggressive, Normal, or Defensive with essentially the same effects you described above.

I am understanding how this makes much more sense. I just wish there could be "shorter" words. There isn't exactly too much space on the cards.

Would "Defense" > "Normal" > "Offense" be acceptable??

What do you think @FrankM???


I thought these might end up as little tokens (chosen by the player) placed on the cards. If I misunderstood and they are card traits, then yes the shorter words make sense.

questccg
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Card traits

FrankM wrote:
...I thought these might end up as little tokens (chosen by the player) placed on the cards. If I misunderstood and they are card traits, then yes the shorter words make sense.

Yes they are "card traits". Basically what happens is in SECRET, you choose three (3) out of five (5) cards to be your party for that round. Then you allocate "Health" points according to the dice and formula (closest to 0). Next, in combination, you select the Formation (basing yourself on the Range of your underlings) and Disposition to match.

I'm trying to BROADEN the possibility to use Formation, Range and Disposition to make more strategic selection about HOW your party will engage the opposition.

Because the Wizard can cast "Magic Missiles" and has longer reach with his Staff, he can be on the offensive and not worry about retaliation because of the Range between him and his opponent.

Of course he is also a target for other ranged underlings (such as 2 or 3)... So it's a chance you take. All risk and odds coming into play.

Smart and clever stuff such as this...

FrankM
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"I'm not usually like this..."

If you included some ways to affect underlings (friendly or an opponent's), changing a card's disposition could seriously affect its usefulness.

questccg
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Good point!

FrankM wrote:
If you included some ways to affect underlings (friendly or an opponent's), changing a card's disposition could seriously affect its usefulness.

Yes that is true, that is why each player chooses the "disposition" of his/her own underlings prior to revealing to the everyone their cards.

Once a "disposition" is chosen, you cannot modify it. At least not currently. Maybe at some point I could introduce an Advanced Tactic which breaks this rule and allows you to modify one party member's "disposition".

But for now, it cannot be changed.

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