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What are your thoughts...? (Dice Combat)

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theboss.bhg
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I'm working on some basic combat mechanics for a game in development. What do you guys think about the following setup.

Each Class has an assigned number of Attack Dice for Melee and Ranged attacks, an Attack Modifier calculated by Attributes and Skills, and a Defense Value Calculated by Armor, Attributes and Skills.

For a Melee attack a character rolls their Melee Attack Dice and add the Attack Modifier (which is permanent for this discussion).

For a Melee Defense the Character rolls their Melee Attack Dice and add the Defense Modifier (again permanent for discussion).

The attacker does damage equal the difference of the two players' values, and if the players can see each other, have the opportunity to, and have the required speed, the attack can be instantly countered.

For Example: Chris (Melee Attack Dice = 2d8+1d4)(Attack Mod = +3) / Joe (Melee Attack Dice = 4d6)(Defense Mod = +6)

Chris Melee Attacks Joe:
- Chris Rolls 16+3 = 19
- Joe Rolls 18+6 = 24
- Resolution: Joe blocks/dodges Chris's attack and counters with 5 points of damage.

The same method applies for ranged attacks.

If I don't want Special Abilities/Effects/Magic to play out the same way, what could be a good way to intertwine the two combat systems.

Obviously this is a tiny part in a gigantic project, but what do you think about the basic combat system so far and what are some suggestions for Special Abilities/Effects/Magic?

questccg
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My input

In the sample attack between Chris and Joe, the resolution is that the attack by Chris is countered and that Joe deals 5 points of damage.

This is COOL because it is a "Melee" attack...

What's NOT COOL is if the same would be applied to "Ranged" attacks. Meaning that "Ranged" attack - because you are "further away" cannot be "countered".

This is my variant for your "combat system" and the difference between "Melee" and "Ranged"!

Soulfinger
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On an unrelated note, you

On an unrelated note, you might want to look into the viability of your company name. The term "Black Hands" with a comparable black hand logo features prominently in Kenzer & Co.'s "Knights of the Dinner Table" comic. Considering the popularity of the magazine, there is definitely room for consumer confusion, and it gets even more grey if you have a Monkey Hunters game, because hey-oh, there's a monkey associated with that slice of the IP. Even if they haven't formally registered "Black Hands," they've been publishing the comic for somewhere around 20 years, which could be a headache for you in the future.

Obviously, Black Hand is a common enough term and the associated logo is pretty much inevitable, but that's part of the problem. White Wolf used it for a Sabbat faction in the Vampire RPG, there's a game listed by that title on BGG, and on-and-on. You'll never be able to protect your company's name.

theboss.bhg
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On the Ranged Attack

questccg wrote:
What's NOT COOL is if the same would be applied to "Ranged" attacks. Meaning that "Ranged" attack - because you are "further away" cannot be "countered".

I had thought about that at first, but I wanted to get around that. So then I found that there are certain things to consider.

I previously stated "The attacker does damage equal the difference of the two players' values, and if the players can see each other, have the opportunity to, and have the required speed, the attack can be instantly countered."

So in the case of Ranged attacks, if two characters knew where the other was, both had ranged weapons, and had qualifying speed, a character could, in effect, side-step an arrow and throw his axe.

This would only be able to happen in certain situations. If someone was hiding on a hill or in a tree and shooting at an unarmed person this would not be possible. Again if both characters could see each other but the defender had no ranged weapon, they would not be able to counter.

Perhaps the Counter-Attack should be an acquired skill/ability?

questccg
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Nope

theboss.bhg wrote:
So in the case of Ranged attacks, if two characters knew where the other was, both had ranged weapons, and had qualifying speed, a character could, in effect, side-step an arrow and throw his axe.

I doubt that is true... Why do you think Ranged attacks are done from a distance. Usually because one player is the attacker - ranged attacker and the opponent is a sitting duck. There's no logic in thinking there could ever be a "counter-attack"...

Your explanation sounds very far fetched...

What I'm reading: "If the opponent can somehow avoid the attack and then miraculously counter the attack with a weapon of same range because everyone knows an axe can be thrown as far as an arrow or a dart..."

I just can't picture it.

theboss.bhg
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If Creativity, Imagination, and Far-fetchedness is the Point...?

What about Fire breathing dragons, the ability to turn invisible, the dead coming back to life, and the skill to jump into a wagon of hay from a sky-scraping church steeple?

Far-fetched?

It wouldn't be a miracle to "luckily" be "missed" by the arrow of a drunk guy whose only weapon at the time was a bow, and then because you had coerced the drunken man to fight in the first place, you had your weapon out and were able to throw it immediately after the arrow flew past you across the bar and hit the bullseye in the dart board behind you. Only the bullseye would be a miracle.

I understand your point, but our job as designers is to be creative, and sometimes far-fetched. I'm not saying this is exactly what's going into the game under development, but what if? Because maybe I'm not looking to create something to the laws of physics or the norms we understand and live by. But that's why I asked for input, so thank you.

And since it appears that you're the only person to have read the thread and offered anything of worth, what do you suggest for adding a special powers/abilities, or magic system to the combat work?

questccg
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Don't get me wrong...

I didn't say it was a BAD idea - I just said, to me, it seems a little bit of a stretch.

Again I didn't want to offend you or your idea.

I was just thinking that your combat system could use some variance between "Melee" which is close-by distance in which it makes complete sense that the opponent would get the opportunity to strike his opponent, following a complete miss...

But you are right - as far as imagination goes - it could be possible...

To me it sounded like you had a clear reason to make "Ranged" vs. "Melee" combat be different. You might not believe this, but sometimes the hard part of a design is making everything "different" enough so players don't get tired always using the same mechanics for different classes or characters.

I've been struggling with my own "special" powers system. I think I am going to dumb down the system to "each player has 5 'Mana' points". "When you lose a duel, you gain +2 'Mana' points for the next duel". Assuming that players want to play a best 2 out of 3 games...

Something to balance the system out... Even though it is very simple...

questccg
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Others will comment

theboss.bhg wrote:
And since it appears that you're the only person to have read the thread and offered anything of worth, what do you suggest for adding a special powers/abilities, or magic system to the combat work?

Don't worry you'll get more feedback from other designers.

I'm trying to be constructive. But I'm blocked by Magic or D&D. Magic you're a Planeswalker with the capability to cast spells and use creatures. D&D you have to be the right class of character to be able to use magic...

Anything else - and I guess I haven't found something more original.

Maybe instead of magic as spells, you could have SCROLLS!? Anyone who reads the scroll allows you to cast a spell. This way any class of character could be able to use incantations! That could be a hybrid between both Magic and D&D...

That's what I got... We'll see what other designers think! :)

Cheers!

Update: You can maybe integrate a simple stat system which is like a level check or an ability check (per scroll). Could be cool, IDK...

theboss.bhg
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How's that Working Out?

questccg wrote:
"When you lose a duel, you gain +2 'Mana' points for the next duel"

I have a similar mechanic in another game I'm working on, after each round, the loser would play first. This is a good advantage because the second player in the round would have weaker defenses that he would have to rebuild, or a different set of cards from which to add to his attack.

For yours that would be good, but you simply need to keep in mind not to make that advantage too strong to completely shift the game after one duel.

questccg
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Good point!

Never thought about "going first" as an advantage... But you are correct - it gives you the opportunity to "strike" first...

Which is cool - because it sets up a "passive" ability like "First Strike", which could ALTER the order! And this could be a "dwarven" ability of a "Mountain King" (Warlord)...

Very cool. My game has "passive" and "active" abilities. Abilities can occur at some point in time (defined by the ability):

  1. Pre Combat
  2. During Combat
  3. Post Combat

Because it's about formulating the right mathematical equation... order and when an Ability gets triggered is important.

So "my spells" are just innate "abilities" that units have. I don't refer to them as "spells"...

questccg
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Other MAGIC systems

Runes are another magic system you could use... This is more theoretical than practical... I personally prefer the scrolls/incantations because it's easier to work with.

Alchemy could be another system.

You could use various objects and create a whole "combinatorics" system about how different items could be used to formulate a spell.

Just some other ideas.

OR your magic can be by "Rings of Power"... Each ring can channel a different spell. But this has to go with your theme. IDK what it is... So I'm just giving you some examples off the top of my head!

Update: more generic and it could be "relics", you unlock various spells from the items in question... Could have maybe even different EFFECTS based on your class... There's a lot you can do with unlocking the power in items...

questccg
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For Ranged Combat

Hi,

I got another idea for Ranged Combat... Which is similar to your "drunken archer" concept.

With melee the points (from the difference) are automatically removed from the unit in question. Either the attacker or the defender.

Here's my Ranged Combat variation:

With range there are categories (in terms of the difference) that specify what happens next.

1-5: Nothing happens.
6-8: Automatic retaliation (Ranged unit only)
9-11: Automatic retaliation (Melee unit also - proximity).

But basically it would be a small table that says what happens if the defender scores HIGHER than the attacker.

Maybe you like this idea better?!

Cheers.

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