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Good usage of rock. paper. scissors system

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Sean
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Hi everyone

I am working on a card game at the moment and have reworked the combat system a few times and was wondering what peoples thought might be.

At first I was trying to using dice (each character has a value that would equal an amount of dice they roll to form a dice pool) but was concerned that this might create too much randomness. I did implement other systems to try and mitigate this (one die could be used to boost other dice rolled if the player met certain criteria) but want to explore other options.

Lately I'm using a Rock, Paper, scissors system as the core. Each card has a symbol on it, and when combat is initiated, the player draws 3 cards plus an amount of cards equal to their attack value. Players then organise their hand of cards (usually 5-6) in any order and proceed to play them one after another in a game of R/P/S. Each success counts as a HIT, and once all cards are played the total is tallied for each side (attacker/Defender). The attacker calculates the difference, if its positive they win, if its negative bad stuff happens. There is also a phase before and after a round of combat to affect card draw/resolution/etc.

However I am not sure if this is still open to too much randomness. I would like it if the phases before and after combat can grant certain abilities if they play their cards in a certain order, but maybe someone else has gone through this path with a similar system and found issues. I would love to hear any advice.

Thanks for looking and any advice would be much appreciated.

Corsaire
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As a player I want clear

As a player I want clear balance between effort and reward. If I perceive a system to be the equivalent of a dice toss but have to dedicate 10 times more time to it, then I'm not going to appreciate it.

If there are payoffs for the sequence of cards, but the card competition is pure RPS then I still don't have an interesting decision and will simply sequence my cards.

Now if I am playing one card at a time and am deciding the next card weighing between play payoffs and winning, then things start to get interesting. If I have extra knowledge (direct or intuited) of my opponent's cards, that is even more interesting.

However, if this consumes a lot of time and is not the central mechanic, then it becomes distracting.

If it isn't core and you are simply trying to solve out dice/randomness, look at something like Cosmic Encounter where you have numbered cards that are depleted from your hand. Or look at the more recent dice-chuckers with symbology rather than numbers (e.g. I just played "878 Vikings" this week.)

In many wargames RPS is a factor during force construction and engagement, and may be less welcome when playing. However, I also played "Sid Meier's Civilization" board game this past weekend, and it has RPS cards (spearmen beats horse, horse beats archers, archers beat spearmen) with varied strength cards played along a line of engagement. The army itself is a generic container for your cards.

X3M
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Adding randomness to an RPS

Adding randomness to an RPS system can have unwanted effects if you do it wrong.

As you have stated, too much randomness might kill the RPS.

What you need to find is a balance between your RPS system and the randomness.

Truth is, only simulations might show you the results.
Unless, you are really really good in math.

FrankM
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RPS

So if the basic idea is that, say Lunge > Bash > Riposte > Lunge, you can mix that up using card series.

In a really simple case, each has a prep-style card that increases its effectiveness. If Charge is played immediately before Lunge then it does double damage. A player seeing Charge might pick Riposte which can counter any Lunge, but the ne'er-do-well actually plays a Bash card instead, which counters the Riposte (but gets no set-up bonus).

Obviously it would need to be a bit more complicated than that (possibly including some abstract notion of position), but I can see that working. Note that it would need to be the core mechanic of the game. No one is going to go thru this much effort for a low-stakes side mechanic.

Tbone
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Each Option Connected to Gamepley

In a game I was (and still will eventually) creating, each option (rock, paper, scissors) is tied to a resource of some kind in the game (resource meaning anything players gain or need).

I used Agility, Intelligence, Might. Agility => Might => Intelligence => Agility. Agility, when won, gave you better positioning, Might reduced the enemies victory points, and Intelligence gave you card draw. This creates a bit of meta to the decisions. You may really need card draw, but the enemy is high in victory points, the enemy might prioritize victory points so you choose to counter with Intelligence. This is important because the players have to weigh their options. Create something that fogs the priority one has to certain options to make it interesting.

Sean
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Corsaire wrote: Now if I am

Corsaire wrote:

Now if I am playing one card at a time and am deciding the next card weighing between play payoffs and winning, then things start to get interesting. If I have extra knowledge (direct or intuited) of my opponent's cards, that is even more interesting.

However, if this consumes a lot of time and is not the central mechanic, then it becomes distracting.

I like that idea. I'll think of ways to give the players insight into their opponents hand. But you are right about with time. One game I very much enjoy is Doomtown, which to many feels quite clunky, and has a similar issue with combat drawing out quite long. However, in DT the results of combat are vital to the game state. That's kind of where I want to be with this combat system. IE its central to the game, but other things like positioning help/aid those situations of combat.

Sean
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X3M wrote: As you have

X3M wrote:

As you have stated, too much randomness might kill the RPS.

True I'm no mathematician, but the thing I wonder is if pure RPS is as random as rolling a D6 for the highest number for example. Without looking at numbers, it feels like flipping cards or rolling dice, will have the same effect, in that the player 'might' get lucky and win because the right card came out. Of course, that is the very nature of card games but I definitely want to implement a system that allows the player to plan their turn with a desired outcome. I just gotta think of it... ;)

Sean
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FrankM wrote: In a really

FrankM wrote:

In a really simple case, each has a prep-style card that increases its effectiveness. If Charge is played immediately before Lunge then it does double damage. A player seeing Charge might pick Riposte which can counter any Lunge, but the ne'er-do-well actually plays a Bash card instead, which counters the Riposte (but gets no set-up bonus).

This is GREAT! Really like the idea of a step before each card is played. You might have cracked this one for me. Now the only thing is to make sure the combat is smooth and effortless, as well as affects the board state in a meaningful way. I'll likely make another post with ideas for movement once i have this combat locked. THanks!

Sean
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Tbone wrote: I used Agility,

Tbone wrote:

I used Agility, Intelligence, Might. Agility => Might => Intelligence => Agility. Agility, when won, gave you better positioning, Might reduced the enemies victory points, and Intelligence gave you card draw. This creates a bit of meta to the decisions. You may really need card draw, but the enemy is high in victory points, the enemy might prioritize victory points so you choose to counter with Intelligence. This is important because the players have to weigh their options. Create something that fogs the priority one has to certain options to make it interesting.

Also, a great idea that might help push the game state and give a player choices. I'm not using resources at the moment but I am using a similar scale (Might->Tech->Sorcery->Might) so maybe if a player uses a 'Tech' card in combat, it affects units outside of combat (IE the tech move is gaining intelligence on the enemy and therefore allows the player to move a unit in a better position)? At least that is one application. Another might be that Tech allows the player see the card(s) their opponents hand of cards in combat.
Might cards could charge up if more are played in a row to perform a deathly blow. Sorcery have some kind of summoning effect, or change an opponents combat card into a different kind.

X3M
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I had to be carefull, not to make a tldr post

Sean wrote:
X3M wrote:

As you have stated, too much randomness might kill the RPS.

True I'm no mathematician, but the thing I wonder is if pure RPS is as random as rolling a D6 for the highest number for example. Without looking at numbers, it feels like flipping cards or rolling dice, will have the same effect, in that the player 'might' get lucky and win because the right card came out. Of course, that is the very nature of card games but I definitely want to implement a system that allows the player to plan their turn with a desired outcome. I just gotta think of it... ;)

Battling randomness with randomness.

In a certain card game, you have this power 3 beats power 2. That is 100% sure. You don't know if you pick the 3 or the 2. And if you pick one card, the other player will pick the other card. You either win or loose, and it is decided by the cards.

That is a problem due to randomness.

However, if both cards need to flip a coin to either add or subtract 1 to their power. Then you can have 2-4 against 1-3. There is a slight chance now that the 2 wins or ties with the 3.

Depending on if you add/subtract or multiply/divide. Or only go into add or multiply. Results can differ a lot.

That is the solution.

Don't go to far.
And multiplying/dividing by 0 gives the most extreme results.
If you do that. Then the power doesn't matter any more.
1 beats 1000. hue hue hue.

***

PS. Have you searched this forum for other RPS topics?
Some might be of great help.

Sean
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I've looked but not much to

I've looked but not much to be fair. I will do so as soon as possible. Thanks.

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