Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Combat in Roguish, a fork in the design road

Now that I have character creation sorted, I have one more design fork in the road.  Dynamic or passive combat resolution.

Both have merit, and play testers are split.  As a referee I like rolling as well as in combat players...but in the wrong hands that mechanic could lead to a "versus" feeling between referee and players...

Here are the options and reasons as I see them


Dynamic Combat
Attacker: Roll 3d6+stat bonus + ability bonus ..VERSUS
Defender: Roll 3d6+ armor bonus + ability bonus

If attacker’s total is higher than the defender roll for damage, if not-no damage done.
·         Positive: combat feels more dynamic in play both for players and referee
·         Negative-a lot of dice rolling and it does lengthen combat.

This method gives the attacker a bonus based on natural ability and specialized skill. The defender is also seen as actively avoiding being hit by also using dice +abilities to defend.

Net result: This method leaves much to the randomness of dice, or fickleness of fate if you prefer.  This randomness is somewhat mitigated by the bell curve of using 3d6 instead of complete randomness of a d20

Passive Combat
Attacker: Roll 3d6 + stat bonus + ability bonus
Defender: Armor Protection + any applicable ability total.
If attackers total exceeds defender AP + ability total, damage is rolled against defender.  If not defender is safe.
This method follows a more modern d20 style of play.

Positive: simple to adjudicate and quick to resolve.
Negative: lacks dynamic feel in combat as player juts waits to see if hit or not.  3d6 bell curve also means heavier armors make players/foes much more difficult to hit.  This makes that armor very valuable and sought after which also means in game economics, there is a good reason for very high prices.
Net result-well if you have played the reverse (modern) AC system then you know what to expect here.

Below is the play test chart I have used for Roguish if you’d like to have a go, let me know your opinion.

Armor
Bonus
Protection
Rating
none
0
9
L
Padded/furs
+1
10
L
Leather
+2
11
L
Ring/brigandine
+3
12
M
Chain
+4
13
M
Banded
+5
14
M
Scale
+6
15
H
Plate
+7
16
H
SHIELDS
Bonus
Protection
Rating
Small Shield
+1
+1
L
Shield
+2
+2
M
Tower Shield
+3
+3
H

3 comments:

woþbora said...

Either works well... Make it an optional component.

A design question. Why add a bonus for armor? Have the armor provide a "Soak Bonus," but makes one easier to hit because of the restrictive nature of wearing something bulky over one's body.

A high Dexterity would provide a quickness and dodge advantage over a plate covered opponent. Sure, the quick character can hit more often, but for less damage. The armor clad character may hit less, but against bare flesh it would be devastating.

elrics said...

I am right there w/wopbora...Armor doesn't make you harder to hit! That's a D&D-ism that other FRPGs would do well to drop, IMO. Since ROUGISH already has a damage resistance mechanic, why not have Armor apply to that, and come up w/a set of defensive skills to resist being hit in the first place?

Fenway5 said...

@ Wo & elrics-thanks for taking time to consider and respond. Of note I do have an optional damage soak rule (give up points of AP to remove damage) that make armor damageable. this system grew out of a want to have D&D stuff useable with my rules set, but clearly from your opinions, it may not be worth doing.

My original playtest rules trend more towards TFT with regards to armor soak, and perhaps I should revisit those based on your feedback.