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Single Combat

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NetWolf
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Joined: 12/31/1969

I'm working on a game where the players are pitted in a series of one-on-one combat contests (Melee weapons). Even though my original idea worked well, the game concept has grown beyond the original design. Now I've got designer's block. I would like an entertaining and unique way to have these one one one fights without being overencumbered by dice or cards (No custom decks, no large dice pools). Any ideas?

TheReluctantGeneral
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Re: Single Combat

NetWolf wrote:
I would like an entertaining and unique way to have these one one one fights without being overencumbered by dice or cards (No custom decks, no large dice pools). Any ideas?

Can you be more specific? Once dice and cards are removed - what is left? Character sheets? A rulebook? Do you want a random element, do you want fighters to grow in experience and carry over between fights? Are there any kind of magic spells involved?

TheReluctantGeneral
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Single Combat

Oops - my bad! You didn't say no dice and no cards, just simple dice and simple cards. Sorry.

The most original fighting mechanic I have seen to date is in the Doomtown CCG, which has a wild west setting, and which players resolve shootouts by playing hands of poker. All the cards have two functions, one as a 'dude', object, actoin or whatever and another as a playing card (all cards are marked with suits in the corners).

Doomtown is a rich vein of cool ideas - perhaps you'll find some useful. The best quick overview of the game I found was in wikipedia.

Julius
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Single Combat

Well, you could do a combat without dice or cards using a sort of bidding system.

For example, players have a number of tokens say 10. To fight, Player A secretly puts some tokens in his hand (anywhere from zero to ten, but let's say three). Player B then secretly puts some tokens in his hand (say four).

Both players then put their closed fists in the center of the table or whatnot, and simulatneously reveal them. If you beat your opponent, you score a 'hit.' (ties count as a hit for each player). Players then discard these tokens.

So for our example, Player B has scored one hit (because four beats three). He now has 6 tokens remaining, while Player A has seven. For the next round, the players draw from these diminishing pools.

Play continues until one player has scored three hits.

It doesn't matter by how much you beat your opponent with an attack, just that you do. 7 tokens vs. 1 still only counts as one hit.

Should one player run out of tokens, then they are at the other player's mercy, basically (say, if they exhausted themselves in the first attack, the other player can simply make small attacks knowing there is no way the first player can fight back).

Should both players run out of tokens with no way for three hits to be scored (I don't know if this would actually happen in practice, but say if both players dump all 10 tokens on the first attack), then the fight is a draw.

NetWolf
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Single Combat

That's an interesting idea Julius. It's an idea I may consider.

Perhaps I should be more clear though: it's not that I don't want ANY dice or cards, it's just that I don't want a massive dice pool (5 or more per person) and I don't want the players to have to build a custom deck (Which would turn it from a board game into a CCG).

Originally the game used a single deck of cards that all had numbers and one of three symbols: offense, defense, or multi. Offense and Defense are pretty clear, they are used for their purpose and only their purpose. The Multi-card could be used on its own as either an attack or block, but it could also be combined with an attack or a block. It made the game pretty interesting, though very, very static. After a few rounds it became entirely about blocking everything thrown at you and trying to, in turn, attack with the biggest number possible. There was almost no strategy. Since then, the game has grown past this simple mechanic, so I need something more.....

Infernal
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Single Combat

Well you could have the various skills as differnet dice. The lowest level would be D4 and the highest level D12. The players roll toeir dice and the highest wins. The player with the highest skill level will most likely win, but it still gives a chance for the lower level player too.

erael
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Single Combat

Julius wrote:
Well, you could do a combat without dice or cards using a sort of bidding system.

For example, players have a number of tokens say 10. To fight, Player A secretly puts some tokens in his hand (anywhere from zero to ten, but let's say three). Player B then secretly puts some tokens in his hand (say four).

Both players then put their closed fists in the center of the table or whatnot, and simulatneously reveal them. If you beat your opponent, you score a 'hit.' (ties count as a hit for each player). Players then discard these tokens.

So for our example, Player B has scored one hit (because four beats three). He now has 6 tokens remaining, while Player A has seven. For the next round, the players draw from these diminishing pools.

Play continues until one player has scored three hits.

It doesn't matter by how much you beat your opponent with an attack, just that you do. 7 tokens vs. 1 still only counts as one hit.

Should one player run out of tokens, then they are at the other player's mercy, basically (say, if they exhausted themselves in the first attack, the other player can simply make small attacks knowing there is no way the first player can fight back).

Should both players run out of tokens with no way for three hits to be scored (I don't know if this would actually happen in practice, but say if both players dump all 10 tokens on the first attack), then the fight is a draw.

I think that (or some derivation of that) is a REALLY cool idea.

Krakit
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Joined: 11/26/2011
Single Combat

Julius wrote:
Well, you could do a combat without dice or cards using a sort of bidding system.

For example, players have a number of tokens say 10. To fight, Player A secretly puts some tokens in his hand (anywhere from zero to ten, but let's say three). Player B then secretly puts some tokens in his hand (say four).

Both players then put their closed fists in the center of the table or whatnot, and simulatneously reveal them. If you beat your opponent, you score a 'hit.' (ties count as a hit for each player). Players then discard these tokens.

So for our example, Player B has scored one hit (because four beats three). He now has 6 tokens remaining, while Player A has seven. For the next round, the players draw from these diminishing pools.

Play continues until one player has scored three hits.

It doesn't matter by how much you beat your opponent with an attack, just that you do. 7 tokens vs. 1 still only counts as one hit.

Should one player run out of tokens, then they are at the other player's mercy, basically (say, if they exhausted themselves in the first attack, the other player can simply make small attacks knowing there is no way the first player can fight back).

Should both players run out of tokens with no way for three hits to be scored (I don't know if this would actually happen in practice, but say if both players dump all 10 tokens on the first attack), then the fight is a draw.

This is a great idea. I may just steal that for a game myself. Do you mind?

Carl

zaiga
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Single Combat

Krakit wrote:

This is a great idea. I may just steal that for a game myself. Do you mind?

Whether he minds or not is irrelevant, because it is a mechanic that has been used in various games before. So go ahead and use it if it suits your game.

Julius
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Single Combat

zaiga wrote:
Krakit wrote:

This is a great idea. I may just steal that for a game myself. Do you mind?

Whether he minds or not is irrelevant, because it is a mechanic that has been used in various games before. So go ahead and use it if it suits your game.

Krak it - If I don't want an idea stolen, I wouldn't post it on the internet for all to see. Like many people on the forum, I do believe I keep my best ideas secret, and unshared. If I post something, it is something I don't mind being used elsewhere - particularly if I post it as a solution to someone else's problem.

Zaiga is completely correct, though: I didn't make it up entirely from scratch. I was inspired by the (countless) card combat systems that involve players placing two cards face down and simultaneously flipping them over to reveal the attack/defense values printed on their cards. Though I haven't seen the system I described (using a fixed number of tokens) used in a game, I wouldn't be surprised if it already has.

NetWolf
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Single Combat

Infernal wrote:
Well you could have the various skills as differnet dice. The lowest level would be D4 and the highest level D12. The players roll toeir dice and the highest wins. The player with the highest skill level will most likely win, but it still gives a chance for the lower level player too.

That's an interesting idea. This way, the players could develop their Combat and Defense separately, but there would be consequences to each. A character with a d12 Combat would dominate in the arena, but at the same time his d4 Defense would leavce him vulnerable...

Infernal
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Single Combat

If you want character advancement (or if you want differences between characters for any reason), you could have each player get an innital set of points (say 6) and for each point a player puts into a stat (attack or defence or others like damage, health, etc) then that will cost 1 point. Characters built with more points will of course be better than characters built with less points.

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