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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 12:54 pm 
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Ian.Plumb. wrote:
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?


LOL! Stop reading our minds! Yes, this did occur during testing on the last bout and the NPC fighter suffered a very badly burned head. Being herded into the flow is horrifying! The fighters want to do this some more!

Ian.Plumb. wrote:
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.


Yep, I am in agreement, and I think you are on to something important. There are reasons why sorcerers should be burned at the stake. This should be high on that list.

The players also wanted to know if they could purchase extra ACP points with SP. I promised I would ask you!

Ian.Plumb. wrote:
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?


A round of testing consists of each player fighting a complete ACS fight from start to finish, to the death. During this round of playtesting, we got in three rounds per participant, so that was nine complete ACS fights.

Ian.Plumb. wrote:
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.


LOL! I am on it! We are getting together tomorrow for a larger round of testing with 5 players and myself (we are in between games, but everyone wants to get away from yardwork, so they are all coming over to hang out with me!)

Ian.Plumb. wrote:
Do the wizards bother using Arcane ST and TO?


This I can answer right now! Both are very important and after the first couple of bouts, no one wanted to fight without them.

More playtesting to come!

PJ

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 10:13 pm 
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pbj44 wrote:
The players also wanted to know if they could purchase extra ACP points with SP. I promised I would ask you!


When the arcane combat commences the wizard:

Assembles their SP dice,
Determines how many dice they want in their Arcane TO. These dice are removed from the SP and placed beside their Arcane TO marker,
Determines how many dice they want in their Arcane ST. These dice are removed from the SP and placed beside their Arcane ST marker,
Assembles their Arcane Combat Pool (KAA + Draw + Arcane Combat proficiency + applicable SA(s)),
Determines whether they want to boost their ACP with dice from their SP. If so these dice are removed from the SP and placed into their ACP.

I'd advocate that wizards use one dice colour for their SP and another for their ACP so that the dice can be visually differentiated.

During the bout the level of arcane manifestation may be boosted by 1 by setting aside a dice from their SP. This may happen at any time in the round, from either wizard, but only 1 boost is allowed per round (not one per round per wizard).

At the end of the bout if the wizard won the combat then the wizard may cast a spell with the dice that remain in their SP.

The wizards may then reallocate their SP dice from Arcane TO, Arcane ST, the ACP, arcane manifestation boosts, and the dice remaining in their SP (taking into account that some are lost through the spell casting process).

How does that sound?

There are a lot of options for use of SP dice. One thing we need to ensure is that a wizard doesn't pump all of their SP into their ACP, ensuring every round can be won but that no spell can be cast.

There are a couple of options here.

Firstly, the wizards could nominate what spell they are trying to cast before the bout begins. This certainly makes sense for the first round, where the wizards find themselves in arcane combat when they try to cast the spell. This in turn could lead to a minimum SP calculation -- say based on the CTN or depending on the modded system there could be better calculations.

Secondly, we could limit the number of dice that may be taken from the SP in total to the wizard's Draw attribute. I am leaning in this direction because, once again, I don't want this exercise to be about who has the largest SP. By limiting the dice that may be taken from SP arcane dueling remains a specialty.

What do you think?

pbj44 wrote:
A round of testing consists of each player fighting a complete ACS fight from start to finish, to the death. During this round of playtesting, we got in three rounds per participant, so that was nine complete ACS fights.


OK, I'm guessing that in a normal game you would run the wizards through two rounds of combat before moving on to the next combat pairing. Does that sound about right?

pbj44 wrote:
LOL! I am on it! We are getting together tomorrow for a larger round of testing with 5 players and myself (we are in between games, but everyone wants to get away from yardwork, so they are all coming over to hang out with me!)


I'm going to be busy today with non-gaming stuff today. While I'd like to come over too the concrete floor won't get sealed unless I do something about it. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 3:48 am 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
Determines whether they want to boost their ACP with dice from their SP. If so these dice are removed from the SP and placed into their ACP.

we could limit the number of dice that may be taken from the SP in total to the wizard's Draw attribute.


This is the way to go I think. It's fair, and while allowing for a little tweaking of the ACP, it keeps things managable.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
I'd advocate that wizards use one dice colour for their SP and another for their ACP so that the dice can be visually differentiated.

Yep, I should have mentioned this myself, though my players thought of it before I did.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
During the bout the level of arcane manifestation may be boosted by 1 by setting aside a dice from their SP. This may happen at any time in the round, from either wizard, but only 1 boost is allowed per round (not one per round per wizard).


Okay, we will try this and let you know how it worked out.


Ian.Plumb wrote:
The wizards may then reallocate their SP dice from Arcane TO, Arcane ST, the ACP, arcane manifestation boosts, and the dice remaining in their SP (taking into account that some are lost through the spell casting process).

How does that sound?


Yep, moving things around and adjusting one's stratagy makes sense. My guys are doing that now, so this works well I think.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
Firstly, the wizards could nominate what spell they are trying to cast before the bout begins. This certainly makes sense for the first round, where the wizards find themselves in arcane combat when they try to cast the spell. This in turn could lead to a minimum SP calculation -- say based on the CTN or depending on the modded system there could be better calculations


I have been playing this so far much as you have written it. I have both opponents each secretly (don't want an opponent to get cocky, "Hmm...he's only casting a growth spell on a daisy.") write down their spell and set aside the sp dice needed to fuel the initial spell.

In my mind both spells have already "begun" for both casters, with each battling to control the flow and "finish" their spell. As you pointed out, this is only applicable to round one. This has been interesting as many times the spell being cast is not related to the contesting wizard at all, but instead at one of the opposition's warriors, who may or may not be around to see the contest decided.

That's just how the cards play out in round one and adds the occasional desperate situation where a wizard "really" needs to resolve round one in a hurry so that the chosen spell is still relevant to the scene.

Quote:
OK, I'm guessing that in a normal game you would run the wizards through two rounds of combat before moving on to the next combat pairing. Does that sound about right?


Yes, that's the plan!

As a side note, players seemed obsessed with hiding everything from their opponent, so I have passed out a couple of game screens for my brave mystic warriors to hide behind. They seem well satisfied with this CRITICAL (LOL!) addition to their ACS combat.

PJ

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 3:38 am 
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Well everyone had a blast yesterday!

Once we had gathered, I supplied each player with a sorcerer (SP = 25 and ACP= 25) and seven support troops. Each of the five combat groups was color labeled as either Red, Gold, Blue, Black or Green.

I then gave all teams their missions and turned them loose in an old fortress I have had for many years (Ravenscrag by Judges Guild).

I did this so that I could sit back and take notes and provide the occasional "OMG! That was a great move!" I was also very interested in not only testing the ACS but also the style of combat tactics and play that it fostered.

The clashes were great! Like two cans joined by a string, wizards used sweeping moves of the flow connected SoP's in conjuction with terrain checks to attempt to "flow grind" enemy troops. Many tricks were employed by the various sorcerers including letting the flow hover on tables and such and having those items blow and hurl shrapnel everywhere.

Level boosting should definetely be confined to one boost per round!

Quote:
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).


One of the ideas that the players had was to have flow damage ignore AV during rounds 2 and 3, and ignore both AV and TO during round 4! This gave plenty of the terror that you were looking for Ian!

Quote:
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?


The average bout was six to seven rounds in duration with some a little less and two much longer.

Arcane ST and TO are now combat staples that everyone uses.

Surge and Fortify were fine once we DRAW limited Fortify.

Again, we had a blast!

PJ

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 10:37 am 
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pbj44 wrote:
Well everyone had a blast yesterday!


That my friend is a very bad pun.

pbj44 wrote:
Once we had gathered, I supplied each player with a sorcerer (SP = 25 and ACP= 25) and seven support troops. Each of the five combat groups was color labeled as either Red, Gold, Blue, Black or Green.

I then gave all teams their missions and turned them loose in an old fortress I have had for many years (Ravenscrag by Judges Guild).


Nice idea.

pbj44 wrote:
The clashes were great! Like two cans joined by a string, wizards used sweeping moves of the flow connected SoP's in conjuction with terrain checks to attempt to "flow grind" enemy troops. Many tricks were employed by the various sorcerers including letting the flow hover on tables and such and having those items blow and hurl shrapnel everywhere.


I like these tactics.

pbj44 wrote:
Level boosting should definitely be confined to one boost per round!


Is it too over the top. Should the SP used for this be expended rather than available for use after the next spell is cast?

Quote:
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).


pbj44 wrote:
One of the ideas that the players had was to have flow damage ignore AV during rounds 2 and 3, and ignore both AV and TO during round 4! This gave plenty of the terror that you were looking for Ian!


This was actually my intent -- penetrating the arcane flow causes a wound, not an attack that can be soaked with armour or TO. Is that just too scary for the mundanes?

Quote:
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?


pbj44 wrote:
The average bout was six to seven rounds in duration with some a little less and two much longer.

Arcane ST and TO are now combat staples that everyone uses.

Surge and Fortify were fine once we DRAW limited Fortify.


That's just great. The Draw limits make sense to me, it just puts a lid on things in a situation where players have SP to burn or loads of SA points.

I'm glad everyone had a good time.

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 10:54 am 
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Quote:
Is it too over the top. Should the SP used for this be expended rather than available for use after the next spell is cast?


Since the main point of pushing up the energy level is to kill one or more unshielded opponents, my vote goes towards the SP point being expended. The players didn't carp about that at all when I ruled that the SP point was gone.

Quote:
penetrating the arcane flow causes a wound, not an attack that can be soaked with armour or TO. Is that just too scary for the mundanes?


Actually, it really added a measure of excitement to the combats. It turns out that with two aggressive wizards slugging it out, you really have to stay on your toes to avoid "flow grinding".

This whole project has been a lot of fun! Was there anything else you wanted to test for ACS? Just let me know!

PJ

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 3:36 pm 
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Hey Ian,

Just wanted to take a moment and thank you for your hard work on all of this material. I am not normally gushy in my praise, but the ACS, is sound, lots of fun, and changes the relationship of wizards and fighting men within the melee side of the game. Couple that with the clarified notion of that an "exchange" actually is (which even the game's writers seem confused over) a variable portion of time that is anything but finite, and that broadens melee combat even further, to include not only mages but other support types as well, namely archers. This change may seem small but it would make a huge difference in folk's games if they embraced it. My players have played a number of different systems and all claim to have never experienced anything like the fights they had on Saturday. This is not a tribute to me but to YOU and your work. Well done and all of our thanks!

PJ

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 9:45 pm 
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pbj44 wrote:
Just wanted to take a moment and thank you for your hard work on all of this material. I am not normally gushy in my praise, but the ACS, is sound, lots of fun, and changes the relationship of wizards and fighting men within the melee side of the game. Couple that with the clarified notion of what an "exchange" actually is (which even the game's writers seem confused over) -- a variable portion of time that is anything but finite -- and that broadens melee combat even further, to include not only mages but other support types as well, namely archers.


Many thanks for your kind words; I appreciate it. I think we've managed to cover off the initial design goals:

1. When the players and the NPCs have a mage in their party the resulting combat is difficult to manage for the referee.

2. Arcane combat -- mage v mage -- is boring for all the players.

3. Wizards unbalance melee combat, with the potential to make the warrior's player's favourite part of the game about the wizard rather than about the warriors.

In so doing we've managed to integrate everybody into the melee timeline which is an added bonus. The non-combatants actions (like running to get help, or picking a lock, or whatever) can be handled meaningfully against the backdrop of a TRoS combat. Those seeking to interact with the melee combatants without being a part of them -- the mages, the archers -- are able to do so without having a decided advantage (like hitting a warrior on the second exchange when their CP is depleted).

pbj44 wrote:
My players have played a number of different systems and all claim to have never experienced anything like the fights they had on Saturday.


For me, even after all these years, there is no melee combat system that compares to TRoS. Unfortunately the 1 - 2 second round rule really prohibits anyone except the melee combatants from not just participating in the combat scene but even from having anything meaningful to do. Put a bullet into that concept and suddenly the melee combat scene opens up for everybody.

I'm glad the ACS has added something useful to your game and I hope others give it a try and provide some feedback on their results.

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 9:48 pm 
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The next things to be added to the ACS are rules for:

Allowing more than 1 wizard in the SoP to combine their powers.
Allowing a wizard in a SoP to drain mundanes within the SoP to bolster their ACP.
Allowing a wizards to reinforce a stationary SoP with spell effects (air, fire, earth, water) to make the SoP harder for mundanes to penetrate.

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 11:22 pm 
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Ian,

I have been thinking about how best to handle multiple spell casters within the ACS. I remembered that you had written some ideas in the past concerning Terrain checks that I found quite original and well thought out. I propose giving them a second look. First I will quote your original text and then share an idea based on your original thoughts. I hope that it works out!

Quote:
“I've never liked the idea that only the PC gets the opportunity to turn a multiple opponent situation into a single. In straight Core it seems very easy for a PC to turn what should be a deadly situation into a relatively fair fight. It seems like the author is saying "In Core, we let the PC get away with this all the time -- after all, the story is about them. In TFoB we're suggesting that in culminating scenes you might like to allow the major NPC to oppose the terrain roll."

To me it all seems very Errol Flynn. The PC is almost always going to have CP to burn compared to a non-SA charged opponent. To me that makes the Terrain Roll a no-brainer for the PC, and in the scheme of the fight throwing three or four CP at an unopposed Terrain Roll that removes all opponents’s except one seems disproportionate to the other ten spent trying to deal with the remaining opponent.

I would much prefer to see this as a defensive maneuver of some kind that is automatically opposed by the opponent's attacks.”


I have re-worded your rule change option. Maybe this would fit the bill for multiple casters in ACS combat:

Multiple Opponents in Arcane Combat

“All four of the men in black robes stared at Khemsa. Their vulture-like faces were immobile, their eyes introspective and contemplative. But Khemsa shook like a man in an ague. His feet were braced on the rock, his calves straining as if in physical combat. Sweat ran in streams down his dark face. His right hand locked on something under his brown robe so desperately that the blood ebbed from that hand and left it white. His left hand fell on the shoulder of Gitara and clutched in agony like the grasp of a drowning man. She did not flinch or whimper, though his fingers dug like talons into her firm flesh.

Conan had witnessed hundreds of battles in his wild life, but never one like this, wherein four diabolical wills sought to beat down one lesser but equally devilish will that opposed them. But he only faintly sensed the monstrous quality of that hideous struggle. With his back to the wall, driven to bay by his former masters, Khemsa was fighting for his life with all the dark power, all the frightful knowledge they had taught him through long, grim years of neophytism and vassalage.

He was stronger than even he had guessed, and the free exercise of his powers in his own behalf had tapped unsuspected reservoirs of forces. And he was nerved to super-energy by frantic fear and desperation. He reeled before the merciless impact of those hypnotic eyes, but he held his ground. His features were distorted into a bestial grin of agony, and his limbs were twisted as on a rack. It was a war of souls, of frightful brains steeped in lore forbidden to men for a million years, of mentalities which had plumbed the abysses and explored the dark stars where spawn the shadows.”

Robert E. Howard – The People of the Black Circle


When a group of sorcerers decide to attack the same opponent they have the option of performing Formation Casting. In effect, they operate as a unit -- not shoulder to shoulder necessarily, but as disciplined wizards with a common objective and a good understanding of each other's capability and casting style.

One of the wizards in the Formation is determined to be the Leader. His ACP/SP is the one used for the fight and he performs his Arcane Maneuvers as usual, as per a standard one-on-one fight with the opponent.

His companions perform the Formation Fighting maneuver for offense and defense. They make their rolls as usual -- except their successes are not used to attack or defend directly. Instead, the Formation participants must roll their dice first to see how many dice they may add to the Leader's ACP or SP for the new exchange.

The Leader then fights the defender in a standard one-on-one fight -- the difference being that his ACP/SP is now a variable that changes from exchange to exchange as well as round to round.

Assuming for the moment that the SA-fueled PC is the defender being assaulted by a group of fledgling wizards, the fight has the potential to be quite even. The player will have a great deal of trouble predicting when his opponent is low on ACP or out of SP and that should make the fight interesting for the player and referee alike.

If the PC incapacitates the Leader, then the next caster takes over the role of Leader and the fight continues (with the second Leader having less ACP/SP than the first).

Keep in mind, the Leader isn't the only person fighting the opponent. They are all fighting. However, in Formation Casting the others in the formation are working together to reduce the options available to their opponent. The extra dice that the Leader receives is a reflection of how effective his companions have been in that task.

In addition, there is nothing to say that the others in the group have to perform the Formation Casting maneuver. They can elect to fight directly if they wish, and perform any maneuver they have available.

Defense works the same as offense with the Leader and the opponent fighting their duel, but with the Formation participants rolling their dice first to see how many dice they add to the Leader's ACP or SP for the new exchange.

As with offense, the successes from the Formation participants add dice to the ACP/SP of the Leader -- thus improving his options and reducing the likelihood of success of the opponent.


Let me know what you think!

PJ

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 10:43 am 
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pbj44 wrote:
I have been thinking about how best to handle multiple spell casters within the ACS.


Golly, you have been busy!

Just a reminder -- the SoP has a 12' diameter. It should be centered on his stomach, not his brain. This means that the sphere extends six feet in all directions from his stomach -- which isn't actually a lot of room. This is deliberate.

The wizard standing over his fallen comrades and providing some desperately needed protection will have to make terrain rolls to avoid accidentally exposing them to the edge of the SoP.

pbj44 wrote:
When a group of sorcerers decide to attack the same opponent they have the option of performing Formation Casting. In effect, they operate as a unit -- not shoulder to shoulder necessarily, but as disciplined wizards with a common objective and a good understanding of each other's capability and casting style.


I wouldn't want every wizard having access to this. Wizardry is an ego-driven, isolated obsession. I don't think this sort of cooperation should come easily -- unless it is specific to the sect or cult to which the wizard belongs, such as a coven of witches (who forgo other benefits in order to gain this one, of being able to magnify their capability when working together).

Support (9)
If there is more than one wizard within the SoP then the wizard with the highest Arcane Combat proficiency is responsible for the ensuing arcane combat. Every other wizard within the SoP with sufficient knowledge of arcane combat (9+) may lend their strength to the combatant by performing the Support manoeuvre. The base ACP (plus applicable SAs) of the wizard is rolled against a TN of 7. All successes are added to the superior's ACP for that round. After the first round of combat, if the combating wizard does not hold the initiative at the start of the next round then the Support TN becomes 8. If they do hold the initiative at the start of the round then the Support TN is 6.

If the bout is won then any wizard -- the combatant or a supporter -- may cast their spell. A non-Supporting wizard within the SoP (or outside for that matter) may not cast.

If the combating wizard is defeated -- unable to continue the arcane combat for any reason -- then those wizards who Supported the wizard in the previous Round of arcane combat are damaged. They lose the number of dice they were able to support the combating wizard with in the previous Round from their SP (they are expended, as if used in spell casting).

So what I'm after here is a suitable risk/reward scenario.

Anyone in the SoP with the wizard already has the advantage of being safe or safer from the arcane flow (they can still be damaged by inadvertently or deliberately touching the SoP). If they can also pump up the wizards ACP without risking anything then it is a no-brainer that they will do so. I don't want that -- I want this to be a conscious decision, a risky decision. So there are penalties for backing the losing side. Of course pumping up the ACP makes losing less likely, so the TNs are set fairly high.

Let me know what you think.

Drain (11)

A wizard may deliberately drain those within the SoP in order to extract a quick boost to their ACP. The TN is 6 for wizards, 8 for mundanes (wizards are closer to the flow, mundanes further away). This is an all-or-nothing manoeuvre -- it works against everyone else in the SoP or nobody.

The successes on the manoeuvre may be allocated to those within the SoP as the wizards sees fit. A success allocated to a mundane causes 1 level of wound, but only 4 may be allocated to any one mundane. A success allocated to a wizard causes 1 SP to be expended (as if used in the casting of a spell). Any number may be allocated to any one wizard, limited only by available SP (those already expended in casting spells are not available).

Each allocated success results in 3 dice being allocated to the ACP for the next two exchanges (even if those exchanges are in different Rounds or even different Bouts but not different combats).

Here I'm looking for something that is just a little bit evil -- and quite a bit tempting when things get desperate...

All feedback welcome.

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 2:34 pm 
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Quote:
Just a reminder -- the SoP has a 12' diameter. It should be centered on his stomach, not his brain. This means that the sphere extends six feet in all directions from his stomach -- which isn't actually a lot of room.


Okay, I have updated Book Four with this change. It makes sense.

Quote:
So what I'm after here is a suitable risk/reward scenario.

Anyone in the SoP with the wizard already has the advantage of being safe or safer from the arcane flow (they can still be damaged by inadvertently or deliberately touching the SoP). If they can also pump up the wizards ACP without risking anything then it is a no-brainer that they will do so. I don't want that -- I want this to be a conscious decision, a risky decision. So there are penalties for backing the losing side. Of course pumping up the ACP makes losing less likely, so the TNs are set fairly high.

Let me know what you think.

I actually find myself liking this better than the "Formation Casting" concept and think this is a bit more risky...(that means more fun!)


Quote:
Each allocated success results in 3 dice being allocated to the ACP for the next two exchanges (even if those exchanges are in different Rounds or even different Bouts but not different combats).

Here I'm looking for something that is just a little bit evil -- and quite a bit tempting when things get desperate...

All feedback welcome.


LOL! You are a bad man! I like this and think it should be a load of fun!

Quote:
Allowing a wizards to reinforce a stationary SoP with spell effects (air, fire, earth, water) to make the SoP harder for mundanes to penetrate.


Good idea, I can hardly wait to see what you come up with!

PJ

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 8:19 pm 
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Our next round of testing is coming for this saturday. A few players want to get together and ACS duel, so "play-testing" is back on the menu. We will test SUPPORT and DRAIN but is there anything else you want to test while we are at it?

PJ

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 10:15 pm 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
pbj44 wrote:
Our next round of testing is coming for this saturday. A few players want to get together and ACS duel, so "play-testing" is back on the menu. We will test SUPPORT and DRAIN but is there anything else you want to test while we are at it?


There are a couple of things.

Firstly, moving with the SoP. I'll cover this later, but we need rules for failing and botching the terrain roll.

Secondly, reinforcing the SoP. It doesn't make sense to me to reinforce the SoP with a spell to make it harder for mundanes to penetrate, particularly in the early rounds. After all, it is in the nature of the arcane combat for spells to be difficult to cast in a timely manner.

So rather than this being a spell casting function I think this should be seen as a function of the SoP.

The SoP can be cast as a spell without their being an arcane combat. It establishes a defensive perimeter around the wizard. I'm thinking of this being cast at the start of rituals, particularly summoning rituals, where the wizard might be concerned about backfires or spell failures or botches where the wizard might need protection against the malignant affects of spells -- even his own miscast spells, or summoning that failed and the daemon seeks retribution.

So, if a wizard has an elemental vagary then when the SoP is created they may choose to reinforce it with their elemental magic. There is no casting -- simply having the vagary means that the SoP can be tailored as it is created to include arcane reinforcement. For each SP that is expended (expended just as if used to cast a spell) the SoP is reinforced with 1 level of the relevant vagary.

What are the effects of reinforcement? It depends on the vagary, and vagaries can be combined to create other effects:

Fire -- easy, that's a fire attack of the relevant strength. Animals should make a moral check (even those within the SoP), attackers get their standard rules-based absorption.

Air -- surprisingly, has a few uses. Firstly, it prevents other gases from entering the SoP as it creates a bubble around the outside of the SoP. Secondly, it allows the wizard and their SoP to be submerged without drowning. This can be very handy, though keep in mind buoyancy issues (if there isn't enough weight inside the SoP then it will difficult for the wizard to move it). Thirdly, for each level remove 1 dice from the MP of incoming missile attacks (the air is moving, causing deflections). Finally, at level 5 the Air becomes a tornado whipping around the SoP. It only extends out a few feet from the SOP, but any creature trying to penetrate the SOP will find it difficult. Basically anything under 80 pounds per level will have to make an ST check to get through.

There are others but I don't have time to detail them now. I'll continue this tonight.

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: Arcane Combat System
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 11:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:00 am
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Location: Cary, North Carolina
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What are the effects of reinforcement? It depends on the vagary, and vagaries can be combined to create other effects:

Fire -- easy, that's a fire attack of the relevant strength. Animals should make a moral check (even those within the SoP), attackers get their standard rules-based absorption.

Air -- surprisingly, has a few uses. Firstly, it prevents other gases from entering the SoP as it creates a bubble around the outside of the SoP. Secondly, it allows the wizard and their SoP to be submerged without drowning. This can be very handy, though keep in mind buoyancy issues (if there isn't enough weight inside the SoP then it will difficult for the wizard to move it). Thirdly, for each level remove 1 dice from the MP of incoming missile attacks (the air is moving, causing deflections). Finally, at level 5 the Air becomes a tornado whipping around the SoP. It only extends out a few feet from the SOP, but any creature trying to penetrate the SOP will find it difficult. Basically anything under 80 pounds per level will have to make an ST check to get through.


This sounds like a lot of fun and I could see a great deal of variety in the way an SoP is constructed. For example, the elements of Fire and Water combined yielding a dense fog throughout an area when combined to a level 5 intensity. I like where you are going with this!

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