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Engaging Battle/Combat Mechanics

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questccg
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I think this topic has surfaced before this writing.

What I am asking fellow designers is:

"Do you have any ideas for an EPIC Battle/Combat system???"

I have been made aware that when dice are used to resolve combat, that's too much luck for some gamers - those who prefer more deterministic combat resolution.

But in some games, like "TradeWorlds", it makes a difference because it introduces the nuance of Initiative and having the upper hand on the attacker or even worst - counter-attacking and destroying either one opposing starship or maybe an entire fleet!

Dice rolls can lead to MEMORABLE moments. You remember a player that always rolls a "6", or the opposite, a player who always rolls a "1"!

Right now I am working on "SpellMasters" combat resolution system. Let me share what I have ... and maybe someone may have tips or ideas about HOW to improve it!

On to the description of what I have...

questccg
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Is it too simple???

Each Wizard has Life Points and a pre-set of weapons he can use/unlock. Unlocking is done by spending Experience Points (XP). Each weapon has an attack value.

For example:

Ceremonial Dagger = 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Attack.

At first the dagger has an attack of ONLY 1 Atk. During combat, the player rolls 4 fate dice which will give an Attack of +5 to -3. If the outcome is LESS than 1 (Your basic attack), the monster rolls his Damage dice and deals "X" damage to the player.

If on the other hand, the player rolls 1 or higher, the attack proceeds and the player rolls his weapons Damage die + the fate bonus. This inflicts wounds to the monster and damage token are used to keep track of the amount of wounds done.

My problem is this: Is this TOO SIMPLE??? Will it cause memorable moments?? Is it TOO EASY and not challenging enough? Do the players mostly do the most of the damage...?

Since this is a COOP game, when ONE (1) Player dies, all players lose the game... And since this is a Dungeon Delve, the opponents get progressively more and more difficult.

Anyways if you have some ideas/comments/feedback... Feel free to reply.

Cheers.

ElKobold
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I suggest you ask yourself

I suggest you start with the following question:
Are there any interesting decisions for the player(s) to make during combat?

You ask if resolution method is "too simple". Complexity of choice is good.
Complexity of resolution is bad and should be minimized.

If there's no player choice in combat, then a simple "roll a die, if you roll a certain symbol - you win" is your best option.
Complicating the resolution, adding damage rolls etc. brings little real value (if any).

X3M
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I don't know

The fate dice make it very deterministic for the player to NOT receive damage from the monster. Especially when the player is half way through the XP tree. To make matters worse, the last level is a certain win.

http://anydice.com/program/c427

But then again, we don't know what else you have in mind around this mechanic. Nor if the given example is exactly what you are going to use in the game.

It is simple enough.
How is the "descision making" going to be added?

questccg
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A sense of progression?!

ElKobold wrote:
I suggest you start with the following question:
Are there any interesting decisions for the player(s) to make during combat?

I see... Well Players may use SPELLS to combat instead of weapons. But spells require Mana meanwhile weapons do not. Some players have the ability to protect a Player (Boons, Auras, etc.), so you choice in deciding if you want to protect a weaker player is valid.

ElKobold wrote:
You ask if resolution method is "too simple". Complexity of choice is good. Complexity of resolution is bad and should be minimized.

Well using fate dice gives players better odds (again depending on the Monster) to roll favorably. Also some spells allow players to ALTER the fate roll: like re-roll one fate die of your choice. But also require Mana...

ElKobold wrote:
If there's no player choice in combat, then a simple "roll a die, if you roll a certain symbol - you win" is your best option.
Complicating the resolution, adding damage rolls etc. brings little real value (if any).

Actually I disagree with this - damage die adds a layer of progression. A level 1 orc maybe can only do 1d6 damage. But a level 5 orc can do 2d6 damage (double the damage)... For example. That complexity adds layers to create or simulate progression in the game; and therefore making monster more and more difficult to defeat.

Right now I have four (4) ladders: 1-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10 (Boss). And the monster stats vary according to the level.

I know it sounds dumb: "If the enemies get tougher as you play, what is the point of leveling up... You're going to always have difficult battles..."

But that sort of the issue: some enemies will be relatively easy. So by upgrading, when you encounter them, based on relativity, you can defeat them easier than another more difficult monster.

And ya, the Boss on Level 10 can be a real bitch to defeat. Again depending on the randomization of which Boss you encounter. Stats-wise some are tougher than the others.

questccg
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Can we discuss further???

X3M wrote:
To make matters worse, the last level is a certain win.

If you are combating a Giant Spider with 9 Resistance, sure you can be an expert with your Ceremonial Dagger ... But it requires a +4 fate roll to hit it.

So no, it's not a certain win. You'll have to rely heavily on Magic or have experience with stronger weapons...

X3M wrote:
But then again, we don't know what else you have in mind around this mechanic. Nor if the given example is exactly what you are going to use in the game.

I'd love to discuss it further...

X3M wrote:
It is simple enough.
How is the "descision making" going to be added?

Like I said, I'm open to other ideas. Please PM me if you would care to discuss this further...

Cheers and thank you!

questccg
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In principle

The basic idea is that if you have upgraded your skills and unlocked like a 7 Atk using a Short Sword... And you are combating a Red Dragon with a 9 Resistance... You'll need to fate roll a +2 roll to wound this opponent...

So no, there are no guarantees.

Right now my tech tree is about 250 XP per player. Need to balance it out with the points given by the game tiles... Waiting for the latest prototype to playtest.

We don't need to PM... Anyone with other ideas??? Thanking you all in advance.

Super-Tooned
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What's the purpose of the fate die?

Quick question, what's the purpose of the fate die? Wouldn't that make the game harder and more complicated.

Take you time to respond.

Thanks.

-Super

X3M
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questccg wrote:X3M wrote:To

questccg wrote:
X3M wrote:
To make matters worse, the last level is a certain win.

If you are combating a Giant Spider with 9 Resistance, sure you can be an expert with your Ceremonial Dagger ... But it requires a +4 fate roll to hit it.

So no, it's not a certain win. You'll have to rely heavily on Magic or have experience with stronger weapons...

X3M wrote:
But then again, we don't know what else you have in mind around this mechanic. Nor if the given example is exactly what you are going to use in the game.

I kinda had given the answer myself there. You already had your back up plan ready in the form of Magic and stronger weapons.

Correct me if I am wrong. But having the dagger with maximum XP. Would render any monster with strength, to be doomed.
On the other hand, a monster with strength 10, would always be safe, if the player does not yield magic.

You need a good XP system to allow for this. But also make sure that players still want to use the dagger. I can imagine that player will simply skip any weapon that you can think of. And go for the best weapons there are.

Henceforth the next question:

X3M wrote:
It is simple enough.
How is the "decision making" going to be added?

questccg wrote:

Like I said, I'm open to other ideas. Please PM me if you would care to discuss this further...

Cheers and thank you!

Well, I don't have much idea's right now. But what about allowing different amount of fate dice?

Since you are using magic (cards). How about putting +1 on either the damage, or allow for removing/re-rolling a number of - on the fate dice?

That way, the player chooses a weapon, based on the magic card that it holds.

questccg
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Fate dice add some variability

So the player who's turn it is to combat a minion (think Monster), rolls 4 fate dice. And we know from fate dice that the value can be -4 to +4.

The purpose of this roll is to add some variability in determining how "successful" your attack is. Much like the Fate RPG System, it determines how well the attack has succeeded. From -4 (really poor) to +4 (great success).

This fate roll of the dice, determines the modifier to your weapons' stat. So if you were a Master in use of the "Ceremonial Dagger" you would get a 5 Atk + fate roll value. That determines the "strength" of your attack.

So let us assume that you are a Master with the Ceremonial Dagger (5 Atk) and your fate roll is a +4 (great success) = up to 9 resistance and therefore the toughest of minions you would successful attack.

That's what the fate dice are used for: to determine IF you can attack the enemy based on his toughness (resistance).

questccg
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Damage die

Once you have successfully determined the maximum "toughness" of your attack, if it is greater or equal to the minion, you then get the chance to roll your weapon's "damage die".

This will indicate how many wounds tokens you give the minion (or if you have finally killed the enemy).

Since it is based solely on weapon, we can also ADD from the Atk points over and beyond the required "toughness".

Let's look at an example:

Say I am fighting a level 1 Orc with a "toughness" or 3 resistance. I am a Novice (1 Atk) with the "Ceremonial Dagger". To wound the Orc, I MUST roll a +2 or higher in the fate dice roll.

For sake of the example, let's say I roll a "3" fate dice. So my attack = 1 Atk + 3 fate = 4 Atk. The Orcs' "toughness" was 3. Therefore my Dagger does 1d6 damage + 1 (from 4 Atk - 3 toughness). I roll a 4 + 1 = 5 damage. Nearly a fatal blow since the Orc has 6 hp...

Something like that...

X3M
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tbh, I don't think that the

tbh, I don't think that the chances of -3/+3 or even -4/+4 matter.
Both 5% and 1%.
The XP gain isn't lineair at all. It grows "exponential", then it slows down "logaritmic".
That is, if the right targets are targeted.
All other targets are either, very easy, or very hard, in a short amount of time.

Instead of 4 fate dice. What about 2 modified d10?
2x -2,-1,0,1,2 per die.

Unfortunately, they don't exist yet. Which is a shame,... and odd if you ask me. Since they work the same, but have a wider range.
Instead of 5 and 1%. You get 8 and 4%. Much higher chances, if you truly want those numbers to matter.

See the difference:
http://anydice.com/program/c44f

Let me know, what you think.

I like complexer games, so don't ask me for an oppinion on the mechanic in a whole ;)

questccg
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Ramon that's AMAZING!!!

Thanks bro... I think we can make this possible:

Instead of having two (2) custom d10s with various numbers... I'm going to have a 2 decks of 10 cards: one is white, the other is black.

You draw 1 cards from each 10 card deck and voila...!

Man showing me the difference of those odds and making it more possible to reach the "very hard" values of -4 and +4 is fantastic.

For now what I am saying is the "custom" d10s are something the Publisher can decide to get made with their print run of the game... Using the d10-100s could be like "2+", "1+", "0", "1-", "2-". I'm sure a Publisher can make this happen.

Thanks a bunch Ramon... You are right, those odds are really that much better and actually have more meaning given that distribution!

Cheers!

Note: It's neat because it can be "simulated" in a prototype with the two (2) decks and then can actually be manufactured if the game gets picked-up by a Publisher...

Super-Tooned
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Confusion...

I'm still confused about the fate die. In my opinion, it isn't needed. It would make the battles tougher and make the players very frustrated. I've read up on your blog about SpellMasters V2.0 and that made me more confused.

Farther explanation would be great.

Thanks.

-Super

questccg
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Explanation

Super-Tooned wrote:
I'm still confused about the fate die...

You = an Abjuror with a Ceremonial Dagger. Your stat with this weapon is "Familiar" (2 Atk).

Your opponent = an Orc with a Spear. His "toughness" = 3.

Say you would want to ATTACK the "Orc", how can you? His TOUGHNESS > experience with the Dagger [3 > 2].

So now you would ROLL the fate dice and hope to score +1 or higher. If you roll a "1" (total fate dice), then you would be able to roll 1d6 to inflict damage on the "Orc".

The idea is that based on XP and dice rolls, you can attack STRONGER foes. But at the same time, it can "backfire" and the Orc if you roll 0 or less can COUNTER and inflict wounds to You (by rolling HIS Damage die).

This example is as clear as I can explain to you the process of how combat system is meant to work in SpellMasters.

Let me know if you understood. Cheers.

Super-Tooned
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Fate RPG System

Okay. Now I understand. Thank you and sorry for the inconvenience. But...I've read a lot of your post because I'm interested in SpellMasters and one of your post talked about a Fate RPG system that you are using for you game. Can you explain to me how this RPG system connects with SpellMasters?

Thank you!

-Super

X3M
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Super-Tooned wrote:I'm still

Super-Tooned wrote:
I'm still confused about the fate die. In my opinion, it isn't needed. It would make the battles tougher and make the players very frustrated. I've read up on your blog about SpellMasters V2.0 and that made me more confused.

Farther explanation would be great.

Thanks.

-Super

I think, this questions should be answered in general.

Randomness turns the black/white of a game, into different shades of grey.
If you are not going to add other "hidden information" parts to your game. This randomness is a nice addition.

Of course, the complexity should be kept at a minimum. Or else you get either determinism again, or a random game.
On the other hand, no randomness means that the game is decided from the start.

I am sure, there are many more reasons, for adding randomness to a game.
But the most important reason would be, to soften things up.

***

As far as I can see, this game explanation so far, is simple enough.
And I am sure that there will be a lot of cutting excess material will happen.
I have seen Tradewars. And that game "looks" simple in design, yet has very deep strategy and thought to it.
I am sure, something good will come out of this.

questccg
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FATE/Fudge RPG systems

Super-Tooned wrote:
Can you explain to me how this RPG system connects with SpellMasters?

Well its connection with Fate RPG System is the use of "ladders" and experience to manage those ladders. So Fate has a clear and definite ladder. It goes something like this:

  • +8 Legendary
  • +7 Epic
  • +6 Fantastic
  • +5 Superb
  • +4 Great
  • +3 Good
  • +2 Fair
  • +1 Average
  • +0 Mediocre
  • -1 Poor
  • -2 Terrible

I have "adapted" the idea to my weapons such that each "weapon" uses its OWN ladder and it look like something like this:

  • 5 Master
  • 4 Expert
  • 3 Average
  • 2 Familiar
  • 1 Novice

The label remain the SAME, but the "values" (1-5) vary per "weapon" used.

The next step is introducing the fate dice (as I have already explained). It alters the situation to determine if the Player is successful or not. So if you are Average (3) with a "Ceremonial Dagger" you can still attack a stronger foe ... with the luck of the dice.

I am going to simulate custom 2d10(100s) using 20 cards. But in essence it will be the same, with the exception that the production version will use dice instead.

So that is the "connection" with the Fate RPG System. I honestly believe it is probably more similar to the Fudge System because that system still uses Player statistics and well "weapon" ladders are Player statistics.

But in all honesty, the combat mechanics evolved from me reading the Fate system and tweaking the "ladders" into something that I could use.

Cheers.

Super-Tooned
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Wow!

Wow!Thanks! That is super cool! Like...That is an amazing system. Now I might have an idea...

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