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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 2:13 am 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
So in the ACS I'll define an exchange as taking up to fifteen seconds, and that any spell can be cast within that time frame.


This also fixes melee for archers! You are on a roll!

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 2:57 am 
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I am excited over what you are proposing about exchanges in melee. With the idea that an exchange in combat is a variable, cinematic piece of time largely unrelated to fixed "seconds", you now allow for everyone to sit at the same combat table.

I confess that I think of the archery rules as largely absurd. Anything that makes my group's archer go outside and have a smoke or read a paperback while waiting for his "turn" to come up in combat, is frustrating to me as a rules set.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
The problem here is that many writers for the game have assumed that position (and thus distance) are determined accurately and that timing is also determined accurately. Neither is correct. So we end up with a magic system that talks about cast times down to the second and we end up with combat expansions that talk about ranges down to the yard.


From TFOB, page 7:

"Note that missile rounds are
identical to melee rounds (which are a variable
1-2 seconds long, remember), so a preparation
time of 3 missile rounds takes 3 melee rounds
(6 exchanges) to finish. On the fourth melee
round, the missile character is ready to release
his missile with his Proficiency in dice."

I completely agree with your point, Ian. This bit from TFOB encourages no one to run an archer!

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 3:14 am 
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pbj44 wrote:
I confess that I think of the archery rules as largely absurd. Anything that makes my group's archer go outside and have a smoke or read a paperback while waiting for his "turn" to come up in combat, is frustrating to me as a rules set.

I agree. One of the players I had most hoped to convert to TROS was completely turned off the first time he played, because his archer sat around bored during most of the first combat. That was really frustrating.

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 5:56 am 
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pbj44 wrote:
Well, let’s see,

She really loves the fact that now she can participate fully in melee in her own right. She feels that the ACS adds a lot to her gaming experience.


Firstly, what follows is excellent feedback. Please pass on my thanks to your player -- I appreciate her effort. Now if only she could be encouraged to participate in this thread directly...

pbj44 wrote:
1. She wishes that ACP was calculated using the same formula as her SP pool. She felt that it would be more intuitive that way and would also be one less item to budget Spiritual attribute points for. She is very thrifty in her magic use and seldom uses the mana spells and so the DRAW attribute is not something she is keen on building up.


It would indeed be easier to calculat the ACP if it were identical to the SP. I don't even particularly mind if you mod it that way for your world. In a sense, it is just a number. But for myself I'm a little fond that the ACP is derived the way it is.

The ACP being significantly smaller than the SP also implies that the opposite might occur. This would allow for a wizard with a small SP but she turns out to be a gun arcane duellist. I'm not really convinced that it is a really good idea to have the most powerful spellcasters also be the most powerful duellists.

pbj44 wrote:
2. She wanted to know more about the arcane flow and how it would appear to others around the casters and the dangers it would pose to them. She felt that was not touched upon and would like more information about that.


Yeah, me too.

How does this sound? The idea is that the longer the wizards strive for control of the arcane flow the stronger the arcane flow manifests itself...

Round 1 Arcane Combat:
In the first round of arcane combat the arcane flow between the opposing wizards manifests itself as a just perceptible heat shimmer type of effect. Touching the flow causes no physical damage but it is somewhat disconcerting for anyone who hasn't seen this before. The manifested arcane flow doesn't move.

Round 2 Arcane Combat:
In the second round of arcane combat the arcane flow shimmers with all the colours of the rainbow. Visibility is halved for those looking through the manifested arcane flow (archers and so on looking into the area of conflict). Passing through the arcane flow causes a level 1 wound. The manifested arcane flow doesn't move.

Round 3 Arcane Combat:
In the third round of arcane combat the arcane flow crackles with power. The colour shifts -- at the point closest to the wizard it is their signature colour (let the player choose but encourage them to pick something that could be associated with their primary Vagary). Near the middle, it is a hue appropriate for the melding of the two colours (a colour wheel could be useful here). In the exact middle it is white, like lightning. Objects now appear as shadowed forms when looking through the manifested arcane flow. Passing through the arcane flow cause a level 2 wound. Touching the arcane flow causes a level 1 wound (those characters deemed to be adjacent to it). The manifested arcane flow ripples like a wave is running through it, covering an area 6 foot wide.

Round 4 Arcane Combat:
The arcane flow is now fully manifested; its raw power is both very obvious and very dangerous. It arcs like lightning between the wizards, with smaller sparks grounding themselves all along its length -- damaging objects and people in its wake. The arcane flow is now difficult to pass through, repelling all but the most determined efforts (WP check, TN9). Passing through causes a level 3 wound. Being within 10 feet of the manifested arcane flow causes a level 2 wound. Objects within this area are also repeatedly struck by the arcing flow and are likely to be damaged (expend Drama or Luck to avoid such a fate).

The combatting wizards are immune to these effects. Wizards not participating in the arcane combat are not immune.

pbj44 wrote:
3. She feels that the level requirements to use most of the maneuvers was too high and would most restrict her to only the most basic ones. I pointed out to her that she could spend SA’s and advance in their use just as warriors advance in those related to them…

She replied “yeah, but they fight bad guys all the time and unless enemy sorcerers start falling out of trees, I’m not going to see much of a gaming return for investing a lot of points into my FORM stat. I like growing my magic, but I want to build other character qualities as well. My character supposedly trained in magic use all her life. Can’t we just say that she spent many years sparring in ACS and let her use the full range of maneuvers on the rare occasion that she gets in a magical fight?”


My tongue-in-cheek response would be that we have a sorceress who doesn't want to develop Draw or Form but wants to be a mega-kick-butt arcane duellist...

OK, what about an Arcane Combat proficiency? Use it instead of Draw and Form. It develops like any other proficiency, but there's only one of them. No defaulting. The wizard still has to sacrifice development in something else to pump up this proficiency, but it develops more easily than the stats. Is that a reasonable compromise? We then drop the numbers by 3 so that when you open the Proficiency you can fight for control of the arcane flow.

What do you think?

pbj44 wrote:
4. She would like to see the winner of an ACS combat have to roll some kind of WP check to get their spell off. She feels that ACS is pretty stressful for a sorcerer (she swears it is! LOL!) and it should be a little difficult to cast after being “winded” like that.


This made me lol. :)

This could well be more dramatic -- fight for control, finally get control, but then fail the stress test. What happens if you botch? Hmmmm.

How about this? WP check is made at the end of combat with the TN equal to (10 - dice remaining in the ACP at the start of the round). So let's say you cream your opponent so they have 0 ACP at the start of the round while you have all 8 of your ACP intact. That's a WP check against a TN of 2 -- easy! However, if you just scrape in -- they have 0, you have 1 -- then its WP against TN of 9. You'll be luck to get the spell cast before it is back into the arcane fray...

pbj44 wrote:
5. She wants to be able to magically strike, slam or hurl her opponent around using the arcane flow. In our campaign her sorcerer has a hated rival I bedevil her with that she would love to beat down in an ACS contest. She informs that just the thought of that possibility puts her in a good mood!


How about a range of manoeuvres that open up at Arcane Combat Proficiency 10+ that allow the combatant to use the manifested arcane flow to strike at their oponent? These strikes and defenses would affect both the physical realm and the arcane realm (causing real damage as well as reducing an opponent's ACP).

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 6:32 am 
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pbj44 wrote:
I am excited over what you are proposing about exchanges in melee. With the idea that an exchange in combat is a variable, cinematic piece of time largely unrelated to fixed "seconds", you now allow for everyone to sit at the same combat table.


If you swing at someone and they parry and riposte the whole thing takes a second or two. But to say that all maoeuvres are comparable to that most basic of actions from a timing perspective is simply incorrect and causes significant problems for the game.

A Stop Short doesn't take a second. Circling an opponent doesn't take two seconds. Taunting an opponent -- come on, any creative taunting takes some time. You have to give your opponent time to appreciate just how insulting you've been! Anything that causes a disengage. There are many events that don't fall into the 1 - 2 second theory, and there is no other timeline available to the melee environment.

pbj44 wrote:
I confess that I think of the archery rules as largely absurd. Anything that makes my group's archer go outside and have a smoke or read a paperback while waiting for his "turn" to come up in combat, is frustrating to me as a rules set.


Absolutely. I mean you're basically telling the archery players that their action will take place at a precise moment in time: 2 - 4 rounds of prep and fire. Meanwhile you're telling the combat guys that they'll keep rolling dice until something interesting happens. That might be one round, that might be four, but it doesn't matter because it is cinematic combat anyway. This is a significant design disconnect, IMO.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
The problem here is that many writers for the game have assumed that position (and thus distance) are determined accurately and that timing is also determined accurately. Neither is correct. So we end up with a magic system that talks about cast times down to the second and we end up with combat expansions that talk about ranges down to the yard.


pbj44 wrote:
From TFOB, page 7:

"Note that missile rounds are identical to melee rounds (which are a variable 1-2 seconds long, remember), so a preparation time of 3 missile rounds takes 3 melee rounds (6 exchanges) to finish. On the fourth melee round, the missile character is ready to release his missile with his Proficiency in dice."

I completely agree with your point, Ian. This bit from TFOB encourages no one to run an archer!


In our Lyon campaign we usually have one character in the player party that would be classified as a warrior. I mean it's a real-world urban setting -- how many warriors should there be? For a group like that the non-combatants interacting with the combat environment has to work. The alternative is that most of the players are off having a drink and a chat while I run the warrior through a combat. :roll:

Look, nobody wants a crossbow to act like a gattling gun. But rather than saying that the archer gets one shot per gaming session it is far better to run everything through the terrain roll.

The terrain roll is there to resolve all issues of timing in the melee environment. If a player wants to know whether his character can reach another pair of combatants before the next exchange of blows then he makes a terrain roll -- sacrificing some dice from CP in order to have a chance at reaching his companion. The same mechanism should be used for the archer.

The archer is on opportunity fire, ready to shoot. The player wants to shoot a particular enemy who has just dropped one of the PCs and is moving in for the kill. Make a terrain roll -- sacrificing dice from their MP. the number of dice sacrificed shows the referee how important this action is to the player. It also stops a player from being on "opportunity fire" for ten minutes and then unloading with their entire MP.

I think this is how it should work for anyone outside the combat environment wanting to interact with it. Make a terrain roll, sacrificing dice from whichever pool you are using to perform the action. If the terrain roll is successful then your character has their opportunity. If they miss the terrain roll then they miss their chance -- the timing is off.

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 1:32 pm 
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Wow, where to begin!

Ian.Plumb wrote:
Firstly, what follows is excellent feedback. Please pass on my thanks to your player -- I appreciate her effort. Now if only she could be encouraged to participate in this thread directly...


I have encouraged her to do so...sigh.

Ian.Plumb wrote:

It would indeed be easier to calculat the ACP if it were identical to the SP. I don't even particularly mind if you mod it that way for your world. In a sense, it is just a number. But for myself I'm a little fond that the ACP is derived the way it is.

The ACP being significantly smaller than the SP also implies that the opposite might occur. This would allow for a wizard with a small SP but she turns out to be a gun arcane duellist. I'm not really convinced that it is a really good idea to have the most powerful spellcasters also be the most powerful duellists.


Yep, once I read your reply to her she agreed that yours was the most thoughtful way to go between the two choices. The last bit about the most powerful spellcasters not necessarily being the best dualists, sold it!

Ian.Plumb wrote:

Yeah, me too.

How does this sound? The idea is that the longer the wizards strive for control of the arcane flow the stronger the arcane flow manifests itself...

Round 1 Arcane Combat:
In the first round of arcane combat the arcane flow between the opposing wizards manifests itself as a just perceptible heat shimmer type of effect. Touching the flow causes no physical damage but it is somewhat disconcerting for anyone who hasn't seen this before. The manifested arcane flow doesn't move.

Round 2 Arcane Combat:
In the second round of arcane combat the arcane flow shimmers with all the colours of the rainbow. Visibility is halved for those looking through the manifested arcane flow (archers and so on looking into the area of conflict). Passing through the arcane flow causes a level 1 wound. The manifested arcane flow doesn't move.

Round 3 Arcane Combat:
In the third round of arcane combat the arcane flow crackles with power. The colour shifts -- at the point closest to the wizard it is their signature colour (let the player choose but encourage them to pick something that could be associated with their primary Vagary). Near the middle, it is a hue appropriate for the melding of the two colours (a colour wheel could be useful here). In the exact middle it is white, like lightning. Objects now appear as shadowed forms when looking through the manifested arcane flow. Passing through the arcane flow cause a level 2 wound. Touching the arcane flow causes a level 1 wound (those characters deemed to be adjacent to it). The manifested arcane flow ripples like a wave is running through it, covering an area 6 foot wide.

Round 4 Arcane Combat:
The arcane flow is now fully manifested; its raw power is both very obvious and very dangerous. It arcs like lightning between the wizards, with smaller sparks grounding themselves all along its length -- damaging objects and people in its wake. The arcane flow is now difficult to pass through, repelling all but the most determined efforts (WP check, TN9). Passing through causes a level 3 wound. Being within 10 feet of the manifested arcane flow causes a level 2 wound. Objects within this area are also repeatedly struck by the arcing flow and are likely to be damaged (expend Drama or Luck to avoid such a fate).

The combatting wizards are immune to these effects. Wizards not participating in the arcane combat are not immune.


She loves it! She had me read it to her twice over the phone and thought it was excellent!

Ian.Plumb wrote:

OK, what about an Arcane Combat proficiency? Use it instead of Draw and Form. It develops like any other proficiency, but there's only one of them. No defaulting. The wizard still has to sacrifice development in something else to pump up this proficiency, but it develops more easily than the stats. Is that a reasonable compromise? We then drop the numbers by 3 so that when you open the Proficiency you can fight for control of the arcane flow.

What do you think?


Very strong! She likes that idea and feels that it is right on target!

pbj44 wrote:
4. She would like to see the winner of an ACS combat have to roll some kind of WP check to get their spell off. She feels that ACS is pretty stressful for a sorcerer (she swears it is! LOL!) and it should be a little difficult to cast after being “winded” like that.


Ian.Plumb wrote:

This made me lol. :)

This could well be more dramatic -- fight for control, finally get control, but then fail the stress test. What happens if you botch? Hmmmm.

How about this? WP check is made at the end of combat with the TN equal to (10 - dice remaining in the ACP at the start of the round). So let's say you cream your opponent so they have 0 ACP at the start of the round while you have all 8 of your ACP intact. That's a WP check against a TN of 2 -- easy! However, if you just scrape in -- they have 0, you have 1 -- then its WP against TN of 9. You'll be luck to get the spell cast before it is back into the arcane fray...


Yep, you nailed it. Again, she loves your solution and wants to go with that in our next round of playtesting.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
How about a range of manoeuvres that open up at Arcane Combat Proficiency 10+ that allow the combatant to use the manifested arcane flow to strike at their oponent? These strikes and defenses would affect both the physical realm and the arcane realm (causing real damage as well as reducing an opponent's ACP).


She likes that okay, but wonders if the ability to do harm to your ACS opponent could somehow be related to the round by round growing deadliness of the arcane flow mentioned above? She likes the idea of both the ACS combatants and onlookers being merely on opposite sides of the same gradually heating pot, arcane flow-wise.

I see her point, as the arcane flow becomes more deadly on the outside, it also becomes more "solid" on the inside (the caster-dualist environment) and its affects on the dualists becomes more tangible as they get to the point where they can actually twist the flow to cause physical injury to their opponent. This energy is released when the spell is cast.

But at what point would ACS dualists be able to harm one another?

Would the casting of a spell return the arcane flow back to its round one state or would it still be at a round four level of danger?

I told her I liked her idea (great cinematic stuff!), but would leave it to you to decide it's merit.

PJ

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 9:44 pm 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
Firstly, what follows is excellent feedback. Please pass on my thanks to your player -- I appreciate her effort. Now if only she could be encouraged to participate in this thread directly...


pbj44 wrote:
I have encouraged her to do so...sigh.


You can but ask.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
How about a range of manoeuvres that open up at Arcane Combat Proficiency 10+ that allow the combatant to use the manifested arcane flow to strike at their oponent? These strikes and defenses would affect both the physical realm and the arcane realm (causing real damage as well as reducing an opponent's ACP).


pbj44 wrote:
She likes that okay, but wonders if the ability to do harm to your ACS opponent could somehow be related to the round by round growing deadliness of the arcane flow mentioned above? She likes the idea of both the ACS combatants and onlookers being merely on opposite sides of the same gradually heating pot, arcane flow-wise.


I don't like the idea that both of the wizards are, in affect, holding on to an electricity cable and someone is gradually turning up the ampage. A wizard's training is about tapping the arcane flow without taking damage in the process. In-game rationale aside, I can't think of many players of wizards who would enjoy a system where their character gets damaged before a spell is even cast. I know a few who would happily let the other PCs fry under their opponent's spells rather than risk detection or join an arcane combat that might damage their character before a single spell was cast.

pbj44 wrote:
But at what point would ACS dualists be able to harm one another?


As I see it, you wrest control of the arcane flow from your opponent and then you cast a spell at them. Isn't that enough damage to the opponent -- given they can't magically defend themselves as they do not control the flow?

There are a number of reasons to restrict the direct damage from the arcane flow to manoeuvres that require an Arcane Combat proficiency of 10+.

Firstly, it ensures that new characters (and new players) get used to arcane combat before being physically torn apart by an opponent.

Secondly, by differentiating the referee can tailor the opponent to the PC. Got a new player -- then there's no need for their first (or tenth) opponent to have access to the 10+ manoeuvres). Got an experienced player with a new character -- then you can up the ante by giving them a 10+ opponent with a lower ACP. They might lose the first bout but they should be able to win the subsequent bouts if they play well.

Thirdly, if the PC can't access those manoeuvres then presenting them with an opponent who can actually means something and the player should react accordingly. The opposite situation is equally valid -- imagine the potential for in-game repercussions if your 10+ PC throws a 10- opponent around like a rag doll.

pbj44 wrote:
Would the casting of a spell return the arcane flow back to its round one state or would it still be at a round four level of danger?


It returns to the start. You don't want the arcane combat to dominate the melee combat. In the end, combat isn't all about the wizards -- just as it isn't all about the archers or anyone else not directly involved.

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 1:48 pm 
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Got it, thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 2:25 am 
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Okay I have been a busy bee since yesterday! I have now re-written book 4 of the alternate rules, which now includes a a write-up of the ACS adjusted to reflect the use of nodes and draw lines instead of the flow.

I incorporated all the discussed adjustments, emailed my group sorcerer a copy and began round two of playtesting.

We are having some titanic clashes! The description you provided of the affects occuring through four stages really adds to the sense of contest!

There was a lot of crockery breaking during the first combat (staged by me in a deserted inn)!

After three separate battles, the only touch we ending up adding to the system was having Arcane Toughness only offset Arcane Strength. We did this from the second match on and combat was much more lively. The will-power check for getting a spell off was a little tough but we both decided that we liked it as is. It adds real dramatic moments to the contest and is a real cliff-hanger. We also decided that you were correct about the ACS being non-damaging. Being blasted by spells was quite enough for both of us. :?

Anyway we couldn't find much of anything to change at this point. It just rocks! Well done! We both feel that you have met you design goals! This is a good system and I am sold.

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 3:44 am 
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pbj44 wrote:
Okay I have been a busy bee since yesterday! I have now re-written book 4 of the alternate rules, which now includes a a write-up of the ACS adjusted to reflect the use of nodes and draw lines instead of the flow.

I incorporated all the discussed adjustments, emailed my group sorcerer a copy and began round two of playtesting.


You rock! Your group rocks! :P

Your group's enthusiasm for the mod has made it easier for me to remain focussed on tieing up the loose ends.

pbj44 wrote:
We are having some titanic clashes! The description you provided of the affects occuring through four stages really adds to the sense of contest!


One question -- are you finding that it takes more than for rounds to get to the end of a bout? Would it help to have five or six or even more rounds of description and effect for the manifestation of the arcane flow?

pbj44 wrote:
There was a lot of crockery breaking during the first combat (staged by me in a deserted inn)!


Real men eat with their hands anyway...

pbj44 wrote:
After three separate battles, the only touch we ending up adding to the system was having Arcane Toughness only offset Arcane Strength. We did this from the second match on and combat was much more lively.


Yep, I think that's a good change.

pbj44 wrote:
The will-power check for getting a spell off was a little tough but we both decided that we liked it as is. It adds real dramatic moments to the contest and is a real cliff-hanger.


One question -- what ACP did the characters play with?

I really do like this rule, it was a great suggestion.

pbj44 wrote:
We also decided that you were correct about the ACS being non-damaging. Being blasted by spells was quite enough for both of us. :?


That's good. I could see that if you just had a couple of wizards duelling then making that combat centre stage is appropriate and opening up the more martial ACS manoeuvres would be cool. In the bulk of scenes though I think the ACS is plenty spectacular as it is.

pbj44 wrote:
Anyway we couldn't find much of anything to change at this point. It just rocks! Well done! We both feel that you have met you design goals! This is a good system and I am sold.


I'm glad it has worked for you and your group. I'd love to see a "combat report" from a live game that describes the melee and the arcane action.

Now I have some amendments and additions to discuss in the next post. 8-)

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 4:27 am 
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Amendments to the Arcane Combat System

Is the Arcane Combat Pool too small?

A bout of arcane combat simply determines which wizard gets to try to cast a spell. It doesn't, usually, harm either participant directly. So I'd like a spell to be cast at least every four or five rounds. Does the formula for calculating the ACP give a pool that is the right size? Would it be useful to add the Draw attribute as well?

The Sphere of Protection.

Not every wizard wants to stand front-and-centre and give the opposition archers an opportunity to take a pot shot at them. The ACS does make it easier to find the enemy wizard since the manifested arcane flow runs between them. Well, it stops some distance from them but you get what I mean -- it makes their location very obvious to the enemy.

I think it would be good if the arcane flow created a Sphere of Protection (SoP) around each wizard participating in the arcane combat. The sphere has a 12' diameter that is centered upon the wizards brain. Other people could conceivable be accommodated within the SoP, protecting them from the random damage of the manifested arcane flow. The SoP itself appears like the first stage of the manifestation -- a heat shimmer. It is tinged in colour according to the wizards predominant Vagary.

The SoP makes it harder to be seen and it also offers a degree of physical protection. The SoP raises the ATN of being hit by a missile weapon by 2. It raises the CTN of an incoming spell by 2 (the target(s) are effectively within the Arcane Flow which makes targeting the spell very difficult. Anyone trying to breach the SoP physically (to make a melle attack) must make a WP v TN 6 check. Successfully breaching the SoP causes a level 2 wound.

The SoP can also be cast as a Spell of One by all wizards.

Arcane Combat proficiency: The Benefits of being level 10+

When a wizard reaches 10 in the Arcane Combat proficiency they have such an intimate feel for the manifested Arcane Flow that they are able to exert a measure of control over it. These experienced duellists may elect to add any of the following physical descriptions to their normal arcane manoeuvres -- effectively creating a physical manifestation of their arcane manoeuvre. Defensive arcane manoeuvres can have offensive physical manifestations and vice versa.

I am assuming that the SoP ammendment is being used.

Note that these physical manifestations require the arcane flow itself to have manifested to Round 3 level or above.

Surge:

The colour drains on the wizard's half of the manifested arcane flow, draining towards the wizard's end where it is drawn into the SoP. It builds in intensity and colour and is then unleashed towards something or someone. The ACP dice committed to the manoeuvre are used to resolve the attack (in other words those dice are going to be rolled twice, once for the physical attack and once for the arcane manoeuvre).

The range for the attack is up to 10' per round of the current bout of the arcane combat. So that's up to 30' in round 3, 40' in round 4, and so on. This resets once the current bout ends and the spell is cast.

The ATN is 8. The dice available are equal to the dice being used for the arcane manoeuvre plus 1 dice per round of the current arcane combat bout, capped at the wizards Draw attribute.

If this manoeuvre is performed then the manifested arcane flow in the wizards half appears as it does in Round 1 and causes no damage to those around it. This change only lasts as long as the exchange.

Fortify

The wizard is able to draw more of the manifested arcane flow into their SoP. This appears as above but it is not released as an attack -- instead the arcane energy crackles all over the SoP. The ATN of an incoming missile weapon is raised by 4 (usually requiring the attacker to roll a 0 and then reroll to get above the ATN. Missile weapons that fail to penetrate are simply incinerated. The CTN of all incoming spells is raised by 4. Anyone trying to breach the SoP physically (to make a mellee attack) must make a WP v TN 9 check. Successfully breaching the SoP causes a level 4 wound. being adjacent to the SoP causes a level 2 wound.

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 5:32 am 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
You rock! Your group rocks! :P


Thanks! We are very pumped over this! The feeling is that this has opened a new door for everyone! Sorcerous combat is a rarity in my game but even the players who run fighters are getting excited.

Everyone has a feeling that something important is being introduced. This not only affects the sorcerer types but it also is going to have an effect on how the overall TROS game is being played by my group.

The players running warriors are now beginning to chatter back and forth on how best to mesh "their" sorceress into the mix.


Ian.Plumb wrote:
One question -- are you finding that it takes more than for rounds to get to the end of a bout? Would it help to have five or six or even more rounds of description and effect for the manifestation of the arcane flow?


In one of the three bouts today it did take more than four rounds for one wizard to achieve victory. We love your descriptions and would welcome a few more rounds worth of them!

I go out of my way in being descriptive for all combats anyway, so this really adds to the moment. The ACS is MUCH stronger with the descriptions and effects of the flow added to it. One of the players who runs a warrior type was sitting in with us and was really enjoying the descriptions of the arcane manifestations. He was jazzed when the lightning began to arc!


Ian.Plumb wrote:
One question -- what ACP did the characters play with?

ACP was 15 points per caster with 5 of those points being SA add-ons for each caster.



Ian.Plumb wrote:

I'm glad it has worked for you and your group. I'd love to see a "combat report" from a live game that describes the melee and the arcane action.


I would be happy to provide one from our next game! An encounter has been building for a while between the sorceress and her hated rival, so when the two groups next collide, it will be "Katie bar the door"!

PJ

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 6:01 am 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
Does the formula for calculating the ACP give a pool that is the right size? Would it be useful to add the Draw attribute as well?


We are going through the ACP pool pretty quickly! Unless the two opponents hate each other and have SA points to throw into the mix or another strong SA related reason to fight, I would say that four to five rounds in ACS combat should easily produce a zero ACP situation for one of the wizards.

Adding the Draw value into the mix would likely fuel more creative attack and defense combinations and could very well make things even more interesting. Would you like me to give it a try?




Ian.Plumb wrote:
The Sphere of Protection.
(SNIP)
Arcane Combat proficiency: The Benefits of being level 10+
(SNIP)
Surge:
(SNIP)
Fortify
(SNIP)

I love ALL of it! I was just talking about something like the SOP today with the players! Damn, you beat me to it!

Yep, Surge and Fortify give great reasons to strive for level 10 Expertise! That was a neat touch adding level three conditions as a prerequisite. Gotta test this!

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 8:16 am 
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If you could run a playtest where the wizards have an SP of 20+, and ACP of 20+, and an Arcane Combat proficiency of 12+ that'd be handy. I'm interested in a few things. How many rounds do the bouts go for? Do the wizards bother using Arcane ST and TO? Do Surge and Fortify become too powerful? Does Fortify need to be Draw limited like Surge?

If you could run another test where you have your usual wizards adding Draw into their ACP and see how that goes that would be handy too.

Next thing to think about is adding multiple wizards into the ACS. We need the system to handle multiple unaligned wizards, each seeking to control the arcane flow. We also need to know how two wizards in a SoP can cooperate.

Once again, many thanks to you and your group for the feedback. It is much appreciated.

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 8:37 am 
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pbj44 wrote:
We are very pumped over this! The feeling is that this has opened a new door for everyone! Sorcerous combat is a rarity in my game but even the players who run fighters are getting excited.

Everyone has a feeling that something important is being introduced. This not only affects the sorcerer types but it also is going to have an effect on how the overall TROS game is being played by my group.

The players running warriors are now beginning to chatter back and forth on how best to mesh "their" sorceress into the mix.


This sounds really positive. The reaction we might of got was:

Warrior 1: "Great, something else to resolve before it's my next turn..."

but it sounds like the warriors see this as increasing their tactical options.

By the way, are the warriors using terrain rolls to push their opponent's into the manifested arcane flow?

Ian.Plumb wrote:
One question -- are you finding that it takes more than for rounds to get to the end of a bout? Would it help to have five or six or even more rounds of description and effect for the manifestation of the arcane flow?


pbj44 wrote:
In one of the three bouts today it did take more than four rounds for one wizard to achieve victory. We love your descriptions and would welcome a few more rounds worth of them!


I will look at this soon. One of the things TRoS Core magic has is the sense that when wizards start throwing spells at each other there is no option for the mundanes other than run away (at best) or hide (at worst). I'd like to bring that sense back with the 5+ descriptions, where the arcane flow manifests to the point where it simply starts manifesting certain spell effects randomly. I'd also like to allow wizards to expend an SP point during an exchange to raise the level of arcane flow manifestation by 1 level.

pbj44 wrote:
I go out of my way in being descriptive for all combats anyway, so this really adds to the moment. The ACS is MUCH stronger with the descriptions and effects of the flow added to it. One of the players who runs a warrior type was sitting in with us and was really enjoying the descriptions of the arcane manifestations. He was jazzed when the lightning began to arc!


Oooh, bright, shiny lights ... Who doesn't like a good arc of lightning?

Ian.Plumb wrote:
One question -- what ACP did the characters play with?


pbj44 wrote:
ACP was 15 points per caster with 5 of those points being SA add-ons for each caster.


So with 15 we're usually not getting beyond 4 rounds per bout. OK, that sounds like the pacing is OK. Are you running 1 bout per "time in the limelight"? Or are you splitting it up between a couple of goes for that player?

Ian.Plumb wrote:

I'm glad it has worked for you and your group. I'd love to see a "combat report" from a live game that describes the melee and the arcane action.


pbj44 wrote:
I would be happy to provide one from our next game! An encounter has been building for a while between the sorceress and her hated rival, so when the two groups next collide, it will be "Katie bar the door"!


I look forward to reading this!

Regards,

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