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Rpg combat tactics

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impyo
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Joined: 12/31/2015

hello all!

I am designing a dark fantasy rpg board game which is on early stage and i havent decided yet all the mechanics and ways of play(will it be with dice pools or hit/success rolls or d6s or d20s etc) but for me right now the hardest part is to give tactic to combat and make players think before they act and also make their choices meaningful.

I want the game to be tactical but keep it simple and not to overload it with rules and calculations.

I mean is it the weapon choices depending on the situation ? The action points/turns per round?Is it a time/action limit that pushes players do some things?

Just for the curiosity whats your favorite rpg combat mechanic that made your choices really matter or had some good tactical combat thinking and why ?

What you like the most?

adversitygames
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Check out Savage Worlds, D&D5

Check out Savage Worlds, D&D5 and 13th Age. They're my favourites.

Savage Worlds is a bit less polished than the others, but has a lot of interesting ideas in it. D&D5 and 13th Age have some good ideas on keeping combat simple but with meaningful choices. I particularly like how 13th Age handled Fighters, giving the typical "hit stuff and be tough" class some real choices and thought.

(edit)
Oh I actually missed that you were doing an RPG *board game*.

But still, I think the combat systems in there might be helpful.

mcobb83
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Joined: 06/07/2016
The combat mechanic that I

The combat mechanic that I have the most memories of is actually the Critical Miss. I don't know that it ever influenced tactics because it is strictly luck based, but when I look back over the decades of role playing that I have done, the most things I remember are the critical misses. They were the most entertaining, and the events that caused the most intense parts of the game. Of course our DM typically had critical misses be a lot more than just a miss.

One time we had a dwarf holding a bottle neck canyon against a bunch of orks or something. It was so tightly bottle necked that nobody could get beside him, but one of our casters decided to conjure an ice elemental, which could see over the dwarf and provide some fire (well, it was an ice elemental, figure of speech) support. The dwarf critical missed his opponent and instead hit the ice elemental. Where he rolled a double critical hit and blew the elemental to shards in one shot. This even happened probably 15 years ago, and it is sill one of my clearest memories of gaming.

impyo
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Interesting

@iamseph Interesting ill check them out.Thank you

@mcobb83 Yes i know i have played myself games that are luck based and had much much fun with all these strange things and situations happening at random times.But i want some basic tactic on my game.Nothing special though just some tactics that will make the "good" player having better results/rewards than someone that goes full burst on combat doing random attacks or skills

mcobb83
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Maybe then one of the

Maybe then one of the simplest tactics that could make a big difference would be to use weapon reach. You know, typical sword axe whatever has a 5 foot reach, whilst spears and their ilk have 10 foot reach. Special weapons like whips, or maybe the chinese meteor hammer or rope dart could have longer reaches. Of course shooting attacks have superior range.

This forces players to choose their targets carefully or work in concert with other players to achieve the desired effect. Someone with a spear is good for keeping enemies away, but as soon as an enemy closes, the spear is less effective.

ren
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Edge?

One thing I really like is Shadowrun's edge. A character has a certain amount of edge. They can then be spent to add to their dice pool (instead of rolling 9 d6s, use your 3 edge to roll 12), or to re-roll failed rolls. It's basically a luck stat.
This can be handy in a place where you have characters of various "oomph". More powerful characters could have less edge, so they have to really think about where they spend it. The less powerful characters that are fun to play for other reasons could have more edge, making them more playable in combat (perhaps bard or a hybrid support).
In Shadowrun you gain the edge back, but in a board game it could be something where when it's gone, it's gone, having people really conserve it. Or somewhere halfway where perhaps an item gained can allow you to regain an edge (or whatever it would be called) once per round or when something specific happens.

ren
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impyo wrote: just some

impyo wrote:
just some tactics that will make the "good" player having better results/rewards than someone that goes full burst on combat doing random attacks or skills

Hmmm, my edge suggestion may not be what you're looking for, then. The weapon reach above is a great idea, I've seen that done to good effect. Another would be abilities that worked off of others, either own abilities or other player's abilities, MMO style. Like in EQ2 where you have heroics that do something special if you do certain types of abilities in a certain order. Flanking is another tactic.
Give the creatures players are fighting abilities that are difficult to overcome unless a plan is formed. One could have AE so they'd have to somehow reconfigure for all ranged or rush in/rush out attacks, another could teleport so a character with CC would be much used during that battle.
The problem would be needing a balanced party, but with enough abilities spread out, or items, it could be interesting.

THwapp
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Joined: 09/12/2016
One of my favorite combat

One of my favorite combat mechanics is opportunity fire. This works better on a map with zone of control. I don't know if it would fit with how combat works in your game.

TwentyPercent
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Joined: 12/25/2012
One of my favorite combat

One of my favorite combat mechanics is how the D&D Adventure Board Games work. You roll a d20, add any ability or item modifiers, and are trying to hit a target number (or higher). It's simple and allows for a lot of flexibility.

Some of the challenge comes from which monsters to attack. If there is a room of lots of minions, a few tougher enemies, and a mini-boss, do you start clearing out the weenies first? Do you focus-fire on the mini-boss first?

Another element to the strategy is when to use certain abilities. Some items and abilities only have a certain number of uses, so you have to decide when to use them. This makes for an exciting decision. "But if we use the scroll of teleportation to catch the boss off guard, we won't have a means for an easy escape if we find ourselves overwhelmed."

Combat can be done many ways, but it's most important to make the players feel like their decisions can make or break their success.

questccg
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Acronym gone wild!

"Riot" "Police" "Gear" = RPG, Right?! lol :P

In that case you'll need "Pepper spray", "Water cannon trucks", "Helmets", "Body sized shields", "Mallets", "Tazers", "Tear gas grenades", "Rifles with rubber bullets", etc.

(OMG => You meant "Role" "Playing" "Game"!!! No worries... it's all good!)

Update: Call it "R.P.G." a coop game where your control the crowd!

Update #2: I mean rioters are like Zombies... They're just as CRAZY and DANGEROUS... Ok so they won't bite you... But still they'll beat the living crap out of you! You could use everything a Zombie game has and set it in a "current" city with streets you block off, etc... To try to control the crowd...

Update #3: I realize this has nothing to do with the OP. Just got to thinking that a non-apocalyptic setting for "Zombies" could be modern day MOBS (or rioters...)

radioactivemouse
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What I suggest

I think you need to go out and do some research.

Yes, it's great to ask the community what they think, but you know what kind of game you want to make, so all of our suggestions isn't really going to hit what you may be looking for in a mechanic. It's like we're trying to hit a dunk tank bullseye while blindfolded.

Use the internet. Go out and watch Dice Tower or any other review site videos on RPG board games (even other board/card games). If all you're looking for is a mechanic, then you'll run through more game mechanics watching videos than waiting for the few responses from this forum. Then you'll have quite a few ideas that you can choose from.

I almost never ask people here for game mechanic ideas. Not that there aren't any intelligent people here (there certainly are a lot of very intelligent people here), but when I make a game, its focus has to be so sharp that I either have to hunt a mechanic down or modify/create a new mechanic. My mechanics have to account for a lot of things, so I use a whiteboard to map out the impact of my mechanic as it relates to everything else in the game.

It's like, "Hey, I'm building a house, how should I build it?" Well, you have to look at several things...cost, location, availability of resources, who's going to live in the house, how are they going to live, how it all affects everything else. How you build your house has to account for how you're going to use it...and only you can answer that.

I know this isn't really a straight answer, but this is how I approach looking for a game mechanic for something I'm creating.

impyo
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Joined: 12/31/2015
Hmm

@mcobb83 hmmm yeah ill think about weapon reach and stuff and maybe weak side attack etc.Seems interesting thank you.

@ren I dont like so much big dice pools(like 12 d6s) but i like the point that less powerful characters are fun to play for other reasons.ill think of it.
I really like the certain types of ability in a certain order.Something like combos or something i guess.sounds tough to pull out but cool!

@THwapp Yes i was thinking something like that.Attack of opportunity so the player will have to use objects blocking sight or high/low terrain advantages and stuff.

@TwentyPercent I have watched dnd board game playthroughs but i havent played it myself so i didnt get the feeling.Ill check more in depth again .thank you

Soulfinger
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Okko: Era of the

Okko: Era of the Asagiri

Excellent combat design.

mindspike
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It's about position.

mcobb83 wrote:
Maybe then one of the simplest tactics that could make a big difference would be to use weapon reach. You know, typical sword axe whatever has a 5 foot reach, whilst spears and their ilk have 10 foot reach. Special weapons like whips, or maybe the chinese meteor hammer or rope dart could have longer reaches. Of course shooting attacks have superior range.

This forces players to choose their targets carefully or work in concert with other players to achieve the desired effect. Someone with a spear is good for keeping enemies away, but as soon as an enemy closes, the spear is less effective.

This is good advice. Tactical choices in general are about positioning. If you wish to break it down, there are three elements of tactical conflict: creation of opportunity, control of position, application of force. Manipulate these three elements to control the tactical flow of scenario.

I think DD5 does this pretty well with the combination of "move-attack-move" and "opportunity attack" mechanics. The player has a great deal of control over this battlefield, but every choice yields an opportunity to the opponent.

impyo
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Joined: 12/31/2015
Thats correct

@radioactivemouse Yes i totally agree with your opinion.I know that i didnt give much information about the game in total cause its in early stage and nothing is for sure.Of course iam searching everywhere for ideas or mechanics but i havent played all these games iam just watching some reviews.And from reviews sometimes you cant get the feeling a games mechanic creates.Thats why i asked here for some further info.Definitely though my job is to search more and more videos and reviews.

@Soulfinger Cool i didnt know about this game and seems interesting enough.Thanks for the suggestion

@mindspike Yes i liked the idea of weapon reach etc.Also comments like yours which categorize things like what gives tactic in a game(like you said there are 3 elements)makes my search more efficient and straightforward.Thank you

Jarec
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Joined: 12/27/2013
This might be a bit off

This might be a bit off topic.
I've been mulling over a simple coop synergy mechanic, that innately has some tactical decision making.

Different attacks and abilities give colored tokens to allies or enemies, for others to cash them in (to keep things somewhat simple, I think 3 different colors are plenty enough). Tokens on enemies usually do bad things, and tokens on allies do good.

For example a warrior might have a Buff which gives red token to enemies with his attacks, or he might to use his Bleed skill to give a bunch of tokens at once. These tokens do nothing on their own until something makes them pop.
Against that heavily armored enemy, a warrior might not do a lot of damage with his weapon, but can be more of a credit to his team to stack tokens to it. A mage after him can then use his Hemorrhage spell to cash red tokens to damage which bypasses armor completely.

Another example might be a shield bearer who opts to go in a full defense stance, gaining yellow tokens for himself every time he blocks an attack. Then a rogue might use his Backstab skill, which makes him take all yellow tokens from any nearby ally, and add them to his damage.

Or maybe the mage has a Light spell, which does nothing else, but give a bunch of blue tokens to someone. Then, a ranger might have a Buff which makes his attacks consume blue tokens from target, but make him deal more criticals or hit easier.

radioactivemouse
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To be honest...

impyo wrote:
@radioactivemouse Yes i totally agree with your opinion.I know that i didnt give much information about the game in total cause its in early stage and nothing is for sure.Of course iam searching everywhere for ideas or mechanics but i havent played all these games iam just watching some reviews.And from reviews sometimes you cant get the feeling a games mechanic creates.Thats why i asked here for some further info.Definitely though my job is to search more and more videos and reviews.

Looking back I think I was a tad bit cold in my response and I apologize. I think at the time I just didn't have anything in mind which is probably why I gave the response I did. When I get stuck I find myself hunting down game mechanics in reviews...especially bad games because sometimes there's a great mechanic that just didn't realize itself in that game.

The trick is to find something that fits your game direction while being something that appears new and fresh. That's my advice.

impyo
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Joined: 12/31/2015
@radioactivemouse Thank

@radioactivemouse Thank you.Really no need for apology.
I know creating a game is more what i like to do and how i want to do it.No one can make it for me
or understand exactly what i want.

I know its hard to create a game and needs research and time.Its just iam not experienced enough
and the slightest idea of you people can change my world of thinking.I hope to finally decide what
mechanics i need soon so i can give you a better idea and information and be more specific about it so you can understand more!
Yes iam searching for all kind of games no matter how high/low ratings they have and i also check for the "bad" things the good games have or you know like things to avoid etc.
Thanks for the suggestion!

@Jarec Man this is really interesting.I really like it.In this way you can do your abilities or you can think of giving a benefit to an other player because
your ability might not be good enough on this type of monster.Also there is room for combos and stuff between players!Definitely gives tactic.I will brainstorm on this thank you so much!!

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