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Subject: Procedural Roguelike - combat system too fiddly? rss

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Charilaos Bacharis
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A few things about my initial thoughts on the combat system and how it works. I would appreciate some feedback. It is the first iteration, and trying to determine if the mechanic is interesting or not worth working on. There are a lot or things to alter and details to fit in of course.

When each battle starts the player rolls a pool of 6-sided dice. Each die is a of a particular color corresponding to the 3 stats of the game [Body/Red, Mind/Blue, Spirit/White]. The composition of the pool is determined in the following way:

1) 3 character dice. Colors depend on character
2) A number of dice contributed by the enemies involved in the fight. Colors depend on enemies

The dicepool represent the chaos of combat, the threats and the opportunities presented.

As an action the player can play cards which determine what actions he can do. These actions can be Regular [only during your turn] or reflex [during or out of your turn]

An action card is composed of the following parts:

1) Name of the card
2) Cost to buy the card during character creation or level up
3) Color of Card: Red/ Body, Blue/mind or White/Spirit. Can be only one or be multicolored. Can also have a symbol indicating if it belongs to a particular substat [for example it can be Red/Body/Strength]. The color indicates which actions you can boost with this card. [the substats explained below]
4) Action: Indicated what you can do with this card. You can boost the action of the card with other cards. You can use only cards that share the same color.
5) Boost effects. Beyond spending cards to boost the main action you can also spend them to activate the boost effects. Unlike the action boosts that require the same color cards as the action, the boost effects might require another color or even a particular substat to activate. [for example a red attack card, might have a boost effect that if you spend a blue/mind/Perception card allows you to notice a chink at the enemies armor and increase the armor penetration of the attack]
6) Time Cost: Your round last 6 time points. You can use as many actions you want but their total time cost must be 6 or less.
7) Dice: Now we come to the action resolution. Each card has one or more dice at the bottom [so it might have a red die with the 5 face showing, or a different face or color ]. Each card you use to boost your action, adds its die to the action dice pool. When you use a card for its action or boost you can select to either to use the die painted on the card or a die from the combat pool of the same color.

Resolution mechanic:

Each monster has
1) Defense
2) Armor
3) Endurance

When you make the attack action and create you action pool you get the following results:

1) Accuracy = highest die - the lowest one. You must have an accuracy equal or less than the monsters defense to hit it
2) Armor Penetration = the lowest die. If your Armor penetration is higher the Armor of the monster, decrease your damage by the monsters Armor
3) Damage = the highest die. If you damage [after being affected by armor] is higher than the monsters endurance you kill it.
4) Matching dice = You can use the highest matching dice [ex if you have a pair AND 3 matching dice, you can only use the 3] to activate weapon special abilities.

The whole idea is that if you wish you have great control at your action pool by using the die on the cards. Or you can use the dice in the combat pool which reduce you control of your pool bu have a benefit as each die left in the combat pool boosts the monsters instead.

I kind of like this system, but I worry it is to fiddly. What is your opinion?




 
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Kristian Järventaus
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gparali wrote:
I kind of like this system, but I worry it is to fiddly. What is your opinion?
Maybe a tad.

Well, you know it is, which is why you're here. At the moment I can't really make any really good suggestions, because I'm not sure which parts are important (to you?) and which are disposable. You probably need to figure out which limb your baby needs chopped off by yourself, at least initially.

Have you done the math / Anydice work on your dice things? Here are some things I see:

1) Accuracy will be better the more dice you have in your dicepool. Also subtraction... Well, I've fiddled with that kind of distribution before (highest minus lowest), and it's difficult to replace with something else, if the distribution is what matters.
2) Armor penetration will be better the more dice you have in your dice pool, but the rule is a bit counter-intuitive (I first read it the other way around). The lower the armor value of the monster, the greater the chance of it triggering, but of course then it also has a lower effect.
3) Damage is better the more dice you have in your pool.
4) You get more matching dice the more dice you have.

So the more dice you have, the better. How does this tie into "monster" dice? Do easy monsters add more dice?

I've been on an anydice binge today and yesterday, maybe I'll revisit this thread later.

Good luck with your endeavour.
 
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Charilaos Bacharis
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First of all thanks for the answer. It was very helpful.

I haven't tested yet. I am at the daydreaming stage. Once I am happy with how it plays in my head, the real work begins

Actualy I only focused on the disadvantage of having a lot of dice in the combat pool, and I didn;t consider that a lot of dice would mean that it would be easier to get the results you need. You are absolutely right at this and I am going to rethink the whole approach.

Regarding the way the results work, and being countintutive, I agree. That was one of the problems I had.
 
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Jason Mancini
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My advice is something I have learned thanks to the people here and it's very very useful. FAIL FAST.

In other words....pick how you want to do things. Don't take forever agonizing over the decision, just pick how you want to do things. Ideally just go with your gut instinct and how you currently have things laid out. Throw together some quick/easy/cheap pieces that you can use to play test your idea and playtest the heck out of it. If it doesn't work you will find out quickly. If it is too slow, too fast, too whatever, you will find out and that's when you make adjustments/changes/even outright tossing entire concepts and going back to the drawing board. But the thing is you found out quickly whether or not what you wanted to do was worth continuing down the current path or if you needed to make changes.

The thing is, you will have to make changes, and lots of them, time and time again. But that's how you eventually drill down to what works and what doesn't and come up with a finished product. If you do things that way you don't waste a ton of time, money, and effort on concepts that just will not work.

So in a nutshell......start your playtesting now with whatever you can scrape together to test your ideas.

I hope this helps.
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John Swanson
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gparali wrote:

I haven't tested yet. I am at the daydreaming stage. Once I am happy with how it plays in my head, the real work begins
I highly recommend you play test what you have, even if it means just rolling dice for several mock-up fights. I am constantly astounded at how much I learn from going through the actual motions of a new rule or combat system. By physically running through the rules, you will probably discover issues that you couldn't otherwise predict from playing through it in your head. There is value in tactile experience. You might also discover things you really like about it and want to expand on.
 
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