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Shield mechanics for turn-based combat

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devaloki
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Hi all,
So I've been continuing to work on the combat system for my game.
And in particular working on the aspect of how shields should work.

Here's an overview of what the stats for characters in game currently are and what they affect:

1. Exploration: affects how easy it is to explore on board and to sift through treasure when found.
2. Strength: increases damage in melee, determines max carrying capacity.
3. Dexterity: increases accuracy, and ranged damage.
4. Agility: increases evasion and speed. (dex and agi may become one stat though in the end)
5. Willpower/Intelligence: determines max castings of spells as well as damage that some spells do. allows you to sift through more skills when gaining skill cards. (may be split into two separate stats depending on game balance)
6. Resolve: affects max hit points, max energy points, and Overworld acion points.

The way I have it envisioned so far:
The game is generally 2d6 based.
In combat you roll to hit, then if you hit you roll to see how much damage you do and then lastly the opponent rolls to see how much their armour reduces damage by.
The target number for what you have to roll on 2d6 in order to hit an enemy is based upon a comparison of dex vs agility (or agi vs agi if weapon accuracy and evasion is combined in one stat). If you roll equal to or higher you hit.
Sometimes you can get "bonus dice" for rolls. In which case you roll those extra bonus dice in addition to your 2d6 and then you can choose the two highest dice out of the entire pool. So bonus dice don't add to the roll, they simply allow you to get possibly better results.
I was also on the inverse going to have "penalty dice" where i works in the opposite, you would choose the lowest dice. But I found penalty dice made things very difficult.

Weapons and armor have individual tables they roll on that determine how much damage they cause/damage they reduce.

Basically here's my question:

What is a way I could implement shields? Would it be better to have shields reduce the "to hit" chance or should they affect the opponent's damage roll?

I want shields to affect things in a passive way where they boost your defensive capabilities as well as your offensive abilities too.
I was originally going to have them give penalty dice to opponent's to hit rolls but I found that penalty dice just makes thing very difficult to do.

devaloki
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And any ideas on a mechanic I

And any ideas on a mechanic I could use that would reflect the defensive and offensive capabilities of shields?
Besides the "penalty dice" thing that I've scrapped, I thought perhaps too of having it (if it affects the damage roll) so shields reduce by a certain -# (depending on the shield) the damage roll. Or they could simply add to the Armor Points a bit...

JewellGames
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Something like it forces the

Something like it forces the opponent to reroll their highest rolled die. Shields may be unreliable (they could get same or better reroll sometimes) so you'll have to rely on armor for the damage that does get through.

schattentanz
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Both Options

Facing an opponent with a shield, I've got two options:

1.) I try to hit the opponent but not his shield.
In that case, the opponent becomes harder to hit.

2.) I say "screw it, I'm just going to bash right through the shield".
In that case, the opponent does not get harder to hit, but his shield deflects a lot from the force of my attack. So my damage gets reduced.

So I'd say, give a fighter both options and let him choose each time he attacks.

Dan Felder
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It depends. Is your goal

It depends. Is your goal simulation or good gameplay? If the latter, what do you want combat gameplay to feel like?

devaloki
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Dan Felder wrote:It depends.

Dan Felder wrote:
It depends. Is your goal simulation or good gameplay? If the latter, what do you want combat gameplay to feel like?

I've already explained this.
And why do you proposition "simulation" as not being compatible with good gameplay?
The game is not meant to be super cruncy in terms of detail with combat, but I don't want it as simple as most board games are with how combat is handled.
I want combat to feel like a mix between a table top rpg and a turn based console rpg from the ps2 era. That kind of cinematic and dramatic feeling of hacking away and casting magic against a foe, reducing hit points, healing your guys, etc..

devaloki
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JewellGames wrote:Something

JewellGames wrote:
Something like it forces the opponent to reroll their highest rolled die. Shields may be unreliable (they could get same or better reroll sometimes) so you'll have to rely on armor for the damage that does get through.

That could work, but I also want there to be a differentiation between shields and how effective they are, especially in regard to their size (small, medium, and large shields).
Making the opponent reroll their to hit roll I was already going to use as the "Dodge" action for characters.
Making them reroll a specific die such as their highest rolled die would be an interesting mechanic nonetheless though.

devaloki
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schattentanz wrote:Facing an

schattentanz wrote:
Facing an opponent with a shield, I've got two options:

1.) I try to hit the opponent but not his shield.
In that case, the opponent becomes harder to hit.

2.) I say "screw it, I'm just going to bash right through the shield".
In that case, the opponent does not get harder to hit, but his shield deflects a lot from the force of my attack. So my damage gets reduced.

So I'd say, give a fighter both options and let him choose each time he attacks.

That's an interesting perspective on how to do it.
So if they choose #1 then their roll to hit would be harder.
but in case #2 their damage roll would be reduced...
Perhaps shields then could have stats that reflect how well they are at #1 and #2...

Jarec
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Remember this? From before?

So I might have thrown this one at you already in other threads, but here I go again.

Having the shield fully absorb the first incoming hit to its user.
It gives the support type characters something meaningful to do besides healing or waiting for their spells, and it does add a strategy to target selection overall.

devaloki
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Or perhaps instead of

Or perhaps instead of absorbing just the first hit, you can choose when to have it absorb damage, but you have either flip the card over to show it's been used, or perhaps some shields can block multiple times per combat and they have a limit, like you put counters/tokens on them to show how many times they've been used.
One other alternative I thought of this morning would be to have it so shields have their own saving throw chart that's resolved on one d6...you roll the a separate coloured d6 at the same time when rolling for armour and that die roll on that d6 determines how much the shield protects you.

larienna
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I can gieve you a glimpse of

I can gieve you a glimpse of the system I used for my wizardry legacy video game.

I split defense in 2 stats:

Active Defense: Determines the ability to deflect completely a blow. Active defense if increases mostly by shield, some weapons (ex sowrds), and slightly by armor.

Damage Resistance: While damage resistance is the ability to reduce the damage made by an attack. It's simply a D20 check where a success reduce damage received by half. Damage resistance is mostly given by armor and slightly by shield.

Ecarots
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How about

How about the player can decide how they want to allocate their roll, x% to attack, y% to shields? That shield figure would stick around until the next roll. This would be changeable for each turn depending on their roll .
It would be a good idea to keep your shield allotment secret.

devaloki
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Ecarots wrote:How about the

Ecarots wrote:
How about the player can decide how they want to allocate their roll, x% to attack, y% to shields? That shield figure would stick around until the next roll. This would be changeable for each turn depending on their roll .
It would be a good idea to keep your shield allotment secret.

I should mention to yall a very important aspect of the game I forgot to mention: the players are fighting against the game itself (since it's co-op) and not each other. The creatures are AIs like in Castle Ravenloft board game.

Ecarots, your idea sounds interesting but i'm not sure exactly how your idea works. Can you explain it more?

Here's the system I've been thinking of for my game for shields recently, let me know thoughts on it, this is a rough idea:

Shields have two functions: some can increase attack, some can give the player "parry" as a defensive reaction, and all of them provide some form of block.

There are 3 types of shields in the game. Small, Medium, and Large. Small shields are better at parrying but provide less block and less attack. Medium is balanced between attack, block, and parry. Large provides highest block, lowest attack bonus, and can't parry.

The attack bonus is either a bonus dice or a +# to the player's damage roll (+# is a # that you add to the roll itself, not to the damage total itself). It works passively.

Blocking works for free whenever you get hit by an attack (unless you chose to parry), it works in conjunction with armour. You roll for your armor save and your shield at the same time. 2d6 for armour and 1d6 for your shield (use different coloured dice to differentiate them); after rolling compare to the results to damage reduction table for the armour and for the shield. Shields basically can add a small amount of extra damage reduction when you are attacked. So for example, a shield could be like "Roll 1-3: +0 damage reduction. 4-5: +1 DR. 6: +2 DR". you add the DR provided by shield and armour together and that is how much you deduct from the opponent's damage. So sometimes you may get low on your armour but your shield may help you through.

Parrying works by having to spend a Defensive Action (you only get one per round generally speaking). Your opponent figures out first what they have to roll to hit you on 2d6 (the Target Number). Let's say they have to roll a 7+ on just 2d6 alone to hit you. You must decide whether you want to parry or not. If you do you spend the Defensive Action point. You have to choose BEFORE your opponent rolls, small shields though can choose to wait till AFTER the opponent rolls if they want to attempt the parry or not. After you opponent rolls you roll 1d6 +1 if using medium shield or +2 for a small shield (or alternatively the +# to your 1d6 parry dice is based upon some sort of stat or comparison of gear) and you must score equal to or higher than the total of your opponents 2d6 roll (yes, on just 1d6 +#) in order to parry. If you parry then they miss and, if you spend an action or an Energy Point or use a skill, you may take a free attack at them automatically in return with a bonus to your damage roll. However, if you fail the parry then they hit you (even if they failed to meet the target number) and their damage roll is considered a 12 automatically.

I'm going to work on that as a base for parrying in the game. Generally speaking, if I keep parrying in the game the idea for it is that it is a high risk high reward type of thing. The player should have about a 25%-40% percent max chance of being able to be successful with parries.

Any thoughts on these as rules for blocking and parrying?

Oh, and as an aside, for a "dodge" defensive reaction, I think I may just have it work by simply making the opponent reroll their to hit dice at the cost of 1 defensive reaction point. I'm not sure of this though.

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