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[Dungeon Crawl] Weapons and Combat

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Mortimer
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So I'm working on a dungeon crawl ruleset in the vain of Heroquest/Warhammer Quest and the ilk. As such it involves moving around a board, fighting monsters and buying new weapons and equipment between games.

In addition I wanted to bring in some lite roleplay elements such as experience levels, players growing stronger as they progress through games. As such each 'adventurer' a player can choose has 3 core attributes (so far, I'm thinking of a fourth) - Strength, Agility, Mind is what I'm calling them for the moment.

So taking heroquest as my main inspiration, roll a number of attacking dice, 4, 5's are hits, 6's are critical hits, opposition rolls dice in defense and needs 5, 6's to block hits.

I came up with the following ideas to tie strength and different weaponry to how effective they are in combat. The main goal is to give players a sense of progression, without inflating the 'dice pool' to heavily.

 photo wepchart.png

So on this chart you cross refence your weapon to your strength, this shows how many dice you roll. I was planning on having weapon cards have a mini table (basically a single row showing how strength effects THAT weapons damage). Weapons do have other attributes ontop of this, but as a means to determine what you roll I was hoping this made sense.

Some feedback didn't care for it though (no playtesting yet).


The next alternative was all weapons had a fixed dice value, so a short sword is say 3, a battle axe is 5, etc. And some what D&D'sque your strength attribute would apply a 'bonus' via this table.

 photo weapontab2.png


The final alternative I came up with is that the dice rolled in an attack are based directly off an adventurer's strength and are modified by a the weapon used. -1 Unarmed, 0 Light Weapons (Daggers, Staves), +1 Medium Weapons (Short Swords, Maces, Spears), +2 Heavy Weapons (Broad Swords, Halberds) and +3 Two-Handed weapons (Battle-Axes, Great Swords). The problem with this one is it hits my first concern of inflating the dice pool a bit to much.

Any feedback/suggestions would be great, and if a particular mechanic appeals more than the others.

Edit: Sorry, not up on how images and formatting work out on this forum.

ElKobold
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Some points to consider

In real life, all melee weapons have more/less same lethality rating. What usually is different is balance, reach, armor piercing capability, cost to produce.

Also. This is warhammer - http://www.weapons-universe.com/Brands/Museum_Replicas/German_War_Hammer...

This is mace - https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3356/3490450928_1562bbb238.jpg

Fun fact: you can kill a guy in full plate armor with a dagger. You will have a very hard time killing the same guy with a sword.

Fun fact #2: Two handed great sword weights ~3.5 kilos.
About the same weight as modern rifle.
You don't have to be Conan the Barbarian to be able to swing one ;)

let-off studios
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Fantasy vs. Reality

When one is developing an abstract representation of combat, even more so when it's fantasy-realm combat, I think there's a lot of wiggle room in terms of combat effectiveness. As long as the internal game system remains consistent and doesn't seem *too* unfamiliar to the player, then it will hold. For example, what's a "Dwarf Axe" and how different is it from a "Battle Axe"? I never really had to worry about the specific differences beyond the descriptor "Dwarf" in the name.

I think "piercing vs. slicing vs. bludgeon" damage isn't something the original poster is looking for, so abstracting based on a "bigger is better" concept seems good enough, at least to start. I don't recall anything that complex in my Hero Quest days, and that seems to be a chief inspiration here.

Regarding feedback on battle systems: If you're concerned about inflating the dice pool, then just go with the method that uses the fewest dice and test it out. From what you've listed here, it seems like your second option fits what you want the most. Very similar to Hero Quest, and mildly factors in character customization.

If you go with that method, then I strongly suggest you also allow for an Agility- and/or Mind-based adjustment to defense as well, to balance out the utility of the Strength statistic. Again, testing will sort what seems to work best for the system you're trying to create.

ElKobold
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let-off studios wrote:When

let-off studios wrote:
When one is developing an abstract representation of combat, even more so when it's fantasy-realm combat, I think there's a lot of wiggle room in terms of combat effectiveness. As long as the internal game system remains consistent and doesn't seem *too* unfamiliar to the player, then it will hold. For example, what's a "Dwarf Axe" and how different is it from a "Battle Axe"? I never really had to worry about the specific differences beyond the descriptor "Dwarf" in the name.

I'm not saying "it's bad cuz it's not realistic".

The presented system is quite detailed for a boardgame. Which is fine. And I`m personally ok with abstractions. However, complicated abstraction kinda defeats the point. If it's complicated, why not also make it realistic? Or if it's abstract, why not make it simple?

Misconceptions I've mentioned above are surprisingly widespread thanks to movies and D&D traditions, though.
Perhaps the topic starter's goal was to create a fairly detailed AND realistic system, with weapon types and everyhting but he was not aware about those things. Which, again, is not a crime.

So, to sum up. I understand simple abstract mechanics and complex realistic mechanics, but complex abstract... not so much.

let-off studios
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Apologies

I didn't mean to imply I thought you were being "too complicated," you misunderstood his point, or whatever. I apologize if it came off that way.

ElKobold
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let-off studios wrote:I

let-off studios wrote:
I didn't mean to imply I thought you were being "too complicated," you misunderstood his point, or whatever. I apologize if it came off that way.

No need to apologize. It's internet and none of us can read minds :)

By the way, dropping the 'bigger is better' approach allows one to create much more interesting choices as, suddenly, more weapons are viable (you don't discard your dagger, once you've got a sword - you keep it to finish-off that nasty antipladin boss in full plate). So that guy has a shield? Great, I`ll use the ability of my flail to hit behind the shield. So he has no shield? That spear will come in handy. So there's a bunch of orc pikemen? I`ll use my two-handed sword to chop their pikes in pieces and negate their reach advantage Etc.

Jarec
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One way to limit the size of

One way to limit the size of the dice pool could be such system that would use your alternative system, but instead of just checking your strength, you'd check the strength difference of your dude and the enemy (or strength vs. constitution). This would not limit the dice in overkill situations of course.

Dynamic dice pool games usually make the pool inflate. Unless of course you've made it hard-capped to like 5 or something.
Static dice pool would also be one answer, like D&D and its D20. Or maybe always use 3D6 instead, if you like to have a bell-curve to your balancing.

Also, when the talk comes to dice pools and the number in them, I've always been on the other side of the fence, liking the big pools. It's feels damn good on your power fantasies to roll 20+ dice when you've buffed up your dude and drank all the strength potions.

I've have play tested like four different Heroquest variants my crew's been cooking up, and the biggest hurdle has always been the quantity of the monsters (and the amount they can cover ground). Sometimes no enemy can even lay a finger to our dudes, and sometimes they flank us in no time.
This dice system especially when combined to character progression(=bigger difference in dice amounts) can be pretty brutal and binary.

Mortimer
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I'll be honest. The D&D style

I'll be honest. The D&D style damage difference is supposed to be a feature, I wanted to have that feeling of getting different weapons provides a rewarding boost - to capture that aspect of an RPG.

There is actually some rules for edged, blunt, piercing, but I was leaving those out of the post for the moment.

X3M
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Is it a better idea to have a

Is it a better idea to have a fixed dice pool?
Like 3d6?

And simply add X for each level?

That way you always have the same amount of dice.

***

Meaning that level 0 gives 3-18.
level 1 gives 4-19.
level 2 gives 5-20.
etc.

If a weapon is blunt, you do +2 or +3 for each level for the blunt effect. While other effects only receive +1.

You could even do so that some effects for some weapons receive 0.

In short, you have a level that adds a score to what you roll.

Now then, the number of hits.
Simply put that in a table:
no hits: 3-12
hit: 13-22
2 hits/critical hit: 23-32
etc.

I don't know what distribution you really want. So you could try the system that I suggested, but add your own numbers for your desired results.

Mortimer
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Well I was going for a system

Well I was going for a system where you read each die rolled individually rather than add them all up ... one die is one possible hit ... you just read if any of the dice rolled had a 4 to 6 on them, those count as a hit, any others is a miss ... each hit does 1 damage, unless the opponent can counter it by rolling a 5 or 6 on there defense roll (Simulating the basic Heroquest dice really, which had 3 sides with skulls 'hits' 2 sides with white shields 'blocked hits for heroes' and 1 side with a black shield 'blocked hit for a monster' - except in this version adventurers and heroes roll the same thing for defense, and one of the skull sides is counted as a 'critical hit', the 6 in this case).

Hope that makes sense, its a system I really quite like and want to stick to in some form.

X3M
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Well, sure I understand.But

Well, sure I understand.
But I think you need to sacrifice something of your mechanic if you want to keep your number of dice to an absolute minimum.

The only other way that I think is possible would be simply saying:
I roll 1 die all the time.
If the level is higher, simply a multiplication is added to what you roll.

So if you have level 3, and you roll a critical. Than you have 3 critical for that hero.

But I doubt that you want something like that.

***

Something just crossed my mind.

You go from 1 to 2. That is +100%.
And some weapons pause for a level.

Are you happy with that?

Because there is such thing as a re-roll if you roll a certain number. Just a one time re-roll.

And you add them up. It still can be done with critical too.

My favourite is:
level 0: 1 die
level 1: 1 die, re-roll when 1 is rolled.
level 2: 1 die, re-roll when 1-2 is rolled.
level 5: 1 die, re-roll when 1-5 is rolled.
level 6: 2 dice
level 7: 2 dice, first you roll 1 die without re-roll. Then the second die, re-roll when this second die rolled 1.
level 8: 2 dice, first you roll 1 die without re-roll. Then the second die, re-roll when this second die rolled 1-2.
etc. etc.

It gave me a good system that can be used for any die, with any worth. And with this system you have a +16,7% increase in damage regardless of what a die is worth.

Jarec
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An agility mechanic that's

An agility mechanic that's there just for the sake of keeping the dice amount in check: an agile Ratman would allow players to roll up to 4 dice when hitting it. This would also deepen the target acquisition choices players have to make, since the burly dude's ten dice would maybe better spent on some other target.

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