It is currently Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:40 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 25 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Round by Round Combat Resolution: Timing Discussion
PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 10:38 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:43 pm
Posts: 2112
Location: Melbourne, Australia
This thread is for discussing Timing issues with Round by Round Combat Resolution.

_________________
Ian Plumb
Illustrations for Gamers
Lyonpaedia
Griffin Grove Gaming
Kraftworks for Kids School Holiday Program


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Round by Round Combat Resolution: Timing Discussion
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:46 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:43 pm
Posts: 2112
Location: Melbourne, Australia
I think that the Timing issue is the one that is most likely to be a game breaker for Round by Round Resolution. It is the issue that is most likely to frustrate the players because their carefully planned strategy is most likely to come undone, from a rules perspective, due to timing issues. When the rules and their interpretation are to blame for a scene resolving unexpectedly or "illogically" that's when the players will be dissatisfied with the game.

So, how then to stitch up the Timing issue?

Firstly, I think that the short, variable Round duration described in TRoS Core is problematic. It may or may not be realistic to say that melee combatants strike at each other every 1 or 2 seconds, but the practical result for the game is that it is very difficult for those outside the melee to interact with those inside the melee when an entire combat lasts ten or twenty seconds. As a result, unless you are running a game where everyone is a warrior of some kind, there will be player characters outside the melee. It would be good if those players had a reasonable shot at influencing the melee in some way.

Secondly, I think that the Terrain Roll has become overburdened with responsibility. Look at the sheer number of situations that TRoS Core and TFoB resolve with a Terrain Roll. It has become the universal roll. I think that there may be times when issues that are resolved with a Terrain Roll should be resolved with a roll that is CP-neutral. In other words, there are times when you want a random determination that doesn't affect anyone's CP. For example, if the referee wants to know when some event will transpire that is unaffected by the melee -- say the closing of the portcullis -- but doesn't want to be arbitrary about it (and therefore potentially accused of railroading the outcome).

I would like to see the definition of a Round tightened up. The Round should be an amount of time that is unrelated to a physical action -- which introduces variability -- but rather be an arbitrary amount of time. I would like to see the amount of time extended so that it can reasonably be seen to cover all melee-combat actions and allow time for characters external to the melee to potentially interact with the melee.

Therefore, I suggest:

Quote:
A Round has a duration of six seconds. A Round consists of two Exchanges. An Exchange has no specific duration -- it simply represents the opportunity to attack an opponent or the need to defend oneself from an opponent's attack. Within a six second period there will be two opportunities to attack/defend while the remaining time is occupied by seeking to produce those opportunities through positioning, feinting, and so on.


The timing of events is important even in Round by Round resolution. It is deliberate that the Exchanges may occur anywhere within the Round. Conceivably a warrior could dispatch his opponent at the start of the Round and have three or four seconds in which to potentially interact with another pair of combatants. Should we allow for such interaction? Or is the Round sacrosanct? Must the character wait until the next Round to interact with another pair of combatants?

In the end I think we will still need a Timing Roll for situations where events external to the melee influence events within it. When, within the Round, does the spell go off? That sort of thing. I think that this roll should be CP neutral -- it just determines when within the scheme of things something will transpire -- but that the players may influence it through CP allocation (making it a contested roll between the referee and the player(s)).

Regards,

_________________
Ian Plumb
Illustrations for Gamers
Lyonpaedia
Griffin Grove Gaming
Kraftworks for Kids School Holiday Program


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Round by Round Combat Resolution: Timing Discussion
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:14 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 8:25 am
Posts: 21
Ian,

Its interesting to me that you've raised these topics as I have been struggling recently to reconcile a lot of what you're suggesting in a rules mod of TROS that I've been working on.

Basically, the idea I came up with that reconciled the issues of timing and pacing best (in round by round style) with the advantages of cinematic combat (because as you acknowledged, there are certain things that need to be remembered from the round previous) is a two-tier round.

The premise of it is that everyone acts inside a higher level round structure, using more traditional simulationist techniques for management. Within that higher level structure, individuals can nominate to enter into hand to hand combat. If two (or more) individuals engage in hand to hand combat they run that through for a couple of exchanges and then revert back to the higher level round pacing.

I came to this idea because I realised that for the most part, most actions outside of exchanges operate at a substantially slower speed, unless you are breaking them down into (what I consider boring) minutae. My best example of this is the archery system; its interesting having to draw aim and fire once, but repeatedly actioning through those elements I personally considered kind of boring. I found it more interesting to identify what I considered the 'fun' element - the shooting of the arrows, and reconcile my rounds around that (of course, it offers less control to said archers about how much they fill their CP)

There are advantages and disadvantages for these ideas. I think it empowers archers, which are generally significantly disenfranchised in a skirmish style combat in TROS (I've been complained at a few times about how archers fit), by regularly injecting them into the combat scene. It gives Sim players a reassuring framework to work within, while capturing a lot of the basics of the cinematic combat feel and arguably it reflects a sentiment I picked up (either from Burning Wheel or somewhere on the Forge) that good rules improve a game, because they take pressure off the referee, whereas the more freeform structuring of TROS to an extent places more pressure on the referee to assist everyone getiting a reasonable amount of playtime.

I think it can also work to the advantage of other elements that you've been talking about. Instead of 'engaging' in hth combat, participants can make 'move' actions to achieve other goals etc. which can be resolved with OOC mechanics.

I don't know if this is a better approach than that in TROS; I actually quite like the cinematic style of combat personally, but this rule conversion has been prompted for making the game more accessible for devout simmies (and I've tried converting them). But, it seems like its in tune with what you're thinking about.

-James


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Round by Round Combat Resolution: Timing Discussion
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:09 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:40 pm
Posts: 106
Location: Texas
Ian.Plumb wrote:
I think that the Timing issue is the one that is most likely to be a game breaker for Round by Round Resolution. It is the issue that is most likely to frustrate the players because their carefully planned strategy is most likely to come undone, from a rules perspective, due to timing issues. When the rules and their interpretation are to blame for a scene resolving unexpectedly or "illogically" that's when the players will be dissatisfied with the game.



Ian,

Timing and logical, expected resolution is exactly why I would go with a round-by-round system. The players know exactly what actions can be performed in a given round and how many rounds it might take for an extended action.

I do not understand why Timing would be the game breaker for round by round.

Please give me an example or talk me through it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Round by Round Combat Resolution: Timing Discussion
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:28 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:05 pm
Posts: 2035
Location: Estonia
James wrote:
The premise of it is that everyone acts inside a higher level round structure, using more traditional simulationist techniques for management. Within that higher level structure, individuals can nominate to enter into hand to hand combat. If two (or more) individuals engage in hand to hand combat they run that through for a couple of exchanges and then revert back to the higher level round pacing.
Hi James! I've already come up with a similar writeup some time ago: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=384

People liked it, but it wasn't a huge hit and I don't think it was actually used by anyone.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
In the end I think we will still need a Timing Roll for situations where events external to the melee influence events within it. When, within the Round, does the spell go off? That sort of thing. I think that this roll should be CP neutral -- it just determines when within the scheme of things something will transpire -- but that the players may influence it through CP allocation (making it a contested roll between the referee and the player(s)).
You mean for R-b-R combat or in general?

In general, I think everything works just fine when "adding the rounds together" (example: after PC1 has fought for 4 rounds and PC2 has fought for 3, the PC3 isn't just starting to reload his crossbow, but he's been doing that for 7 rounds already).

The solution would be having spellcasters and archers simply interrupt when their prep time or casting rounds are over. There's this intense combat going on and then when new round is announced, to everybody's surprise, the archer player suddenly goes: "An arrow whistles past, travelling towards the mook near the gate."

_________________
"Brothels are a much sounder investment than ships, I've found. Whores seldom sink, and when they are boarded by pirates, why, the pirates pay good coin like everyone else."
- Lord Petyr Baelish, A Game of Thrones


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Round by Round Combat Resolution: Timing Discussion
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:59 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:43 pm
Posts: 2112
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Slymoon wrote:
Timing and logical, expected resolution is exactly why I would go with a round-by-round system. The players know exactly what actions can be performed in a given round and how many rounds it might take for an extended action.

I do not understand why Timing would be the game breaker for round by round.

Please give me an example or talk me through it.


All of the examples -- and there are many -- are in this locked thread:



Regards,

_________________
Ian Plumb
Illustrations for Gamers
Lyonpaedia
Griffin Grove Gaming
Kraftworks for Kids School Holiday Program


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Round by Round Combat Resolution: Timing Discussion
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:40 pm
Posts: 106
Location: Texas
I would love to dig into each of your points, however I feel a little 'locked' into not doing it.

A quick read of the Movement issues you describe, I see no issues save you are married to the exact phrasing in the book. Which is fine and I understand the exact phrasing/ words in the book mean that Round-by-round does not work.

I will read your points further. They are actually a very good guide as to the issues that need to be resolved to make Round-by-round work.

I am not as hell-bent on R-by-R as it may seem. Understand that as the 'standard' of gameplay in general, R-b-R is often the default to try and understand a new system.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Round by Round Combat Resolution: Timing Discussion
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:55 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:43 pm
Posts: 2112
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Ian.Plumb wrote:
What though if we want to Drift TRoS combat towards a Simmy, round-by-round approach? What if we want to get out the minis and watch this combat unfold rather than just talk about how it unfolds? What areas of the system might need to be tweaked in order to get this to work smoothly? The following posts look at this goal.


Slymoon wrote:
I will read your points further. They are actually a very good guide as to the issues that need to be resolved to make Round-by-round work.


That was indeed the goal of the discussion.

Slymoon wrote:
I am not as hell-bent on R-by-R as it may seem. Understand that as the 'standard' of gameplay in general, R-b-R is often the default to try and understand a new system.


Round-by-round is a holdover from "I go, you go" systems. There is little point trying to understand a non-"I go, you go" system from the perspective of "I go, you go". Better to scrap the preconceptions and ask "How do people play this game when the players do not follow the "my turn, your turn" paradigm?"

Regards,

_________________
Ian Plumb
Illustrations for Gamers
Lyonpaedia
Griffin Grove Gaming
Kraftworks for Kids School Holiday Program


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Round by Round Combat Resolution: Timing Discussion
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:04 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:40 pm
Posts: 106
Location: Texas
Ah hah!

But that is precisely the point now isn't it.


How does a person who is very experienced in a round-by-round system (28years) learn to play a system that is 100% not what said person is used too.

Well, in this case it becomes a how do I relate question. And in my case I relate by falling back onto a round-by-round system.

*Particularly* in this case when the core rules leave so much unresolved. The core rule book is what I currently have, hence my obviously lack of understanding. Hence back to the 'relate to existing experience'.

Try telling a person who has been crippled all his life to walk normally after he has been healed. Not so easy...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Round by Round Combat Resolution: Timing Discussion
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:36 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:05 pm
Posts: 2035
Location: Estonia
Slymoon wrote:
How does a person who is very experienced in a round-by-round system (28years) learn to play a system that is 100% not what said person is used too.
By running a bunch of duels... before running two duels that happen in the same area... before running two duels that happen in the same area and where the duellists try to outmaneuver each other using terrain rolls...

If you run a bunch of duels and the things get over too quickly, invest more dice in defense.

When you run a series of two duels that happen in the same area, assume both characters will start fighting at once, but only one of them gets the attention, while the other is "off-camera" and simply keeps his opponent at bay. Experiment with "good stopping points" when you switch to another pair.

So, IMO "a good stopping point" would be a after a round where:
a) a PC is severely disadvantaged
b) an enemy is dispatched
c) none of the combatants are wounded (the Shock, etc, is much easier to use right away, rather than wait and then mess with tables/modified dice pools again)

So, in case of A, PC2 can decide which is more important, fighting his own enemy and having PC1 deal with his own trouble, or rush to help. In case of B, just switch to PC2, but don't let him miss the fun by allowing PC1 to join in immediately. In case of C, when some (3-4) rounds end with no tangible result, switch to another player (or let the PC1, who dispatched his enemy, join in).

If you have that going well, add more complicated Terrain Rolls.

_________________
"Brothels are a much sounder investment than ships, I've found. Whores seldom sink, and when they are boarded by pirates, why, the pirates pay good coin like everyone else."
- Lord Petyr Baelish, A Game of Thrones


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Round by Round Combat Resolution: Timing Discussion
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:53 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:43 pm
Posts: 2112
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Slymoon wrote:
How does a person who is very experienced in a round-by-round system (28years) learn to play a system that is 100% not what said person is used too.


I remember how difficult it was to get my I-Go-You-Go entrenched group converted across to TRoS. Two dropped out, believing that (in GNS terms) Simulationist RPing was the only way to game. But getting out of the rut (so deep it was a canyon) and into the Narrativist mode was worth it for those that lasted the distance.

TRoS Proselyte: Guess what?

I Go - You Go Devotee: What?

TRoS Proselyte: I've found an RPG with a combat system where the skill of the player outweighs the numbers on the character sheet.

I Go - You Go Devotee: (Thinking inside the square) What does that even mean?

TRoS Proselyte: It means that a good player with an average character will beat an average player with a good character more often than not.

I Go - You Go Devotee: (Pulling out slide-rule) Statistics don't lie. If I have better numbers on my character sheet than the other guy then, statistically speaking, I will win more combats -- even if I barely understand what the actual numbers represent. It has always been so -- and always will be.

TRoS Proselyte: Not with this system. Combat is based on manoeuvres -- not a percentage number that you need to roll under in order to strike successfully. If you don't understand what the manoeuvres represent in real life combat you won't be able to get your opponent into a position to strike a decisive blow. Conversely, if you do understand the manoeuvres then you will be able to string together a combination of manoeuvres that eventually allow you to strike successfully -- even if your character is the weaker character. In this system, the player's skill is more important than the character's numbers.

I Go - You Go Devotee: (Setting aside his slide rule somewhat warily) Tell me more of what you speak...

They were hooked by the idea that combat was unpredictable, with the holy grail being a system where combat wasn't simply a character sheet numbers game. TRoS offers a combat system where the player actually has to play well, not just roll well.

How do you learn the system? Use this forum. Grab one other player, create two identical characters and play out a combat -- noting down all the decision points. red/white, stance, opening manoeuvre and CP allocation. Post the combat on the forum, ask questions, receive feedback. There are plenty of combat junkies here. Once you and one other player understand the system well, then introduce the system to the other players in your group. That way there will be two of you to answer all the newbie questions.

Regards,

_________________
Ian Plumb
Illustrations for Gamers
Lyonpaedia
Griffin Grove Gaming
Kraftworks for Kids School Holiday Program


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Round by Round Combat Resolution: Timing Discussion
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:10 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:40 pm
Posts: 106
Location: Texas
I have a pretty good grasp of the combat system. I am slow at it and need to reference the book. However, I do get it and I agree, the combat/ duel system is exceptionally cool.

The issues I have have practically nothing to do with that aspect. It is all the other items that occur that actually get into round-by-round. Multiple combats, multiple combatants. Combats that occur simultaneously, combats that occur nearly simultaneously but do not start at the same time.
Combats involving non-combatants, combats that involve ranged characters.


Those are the issues that make me lean back on R-b-R.
Again, the combat in a duel situation is great, I love it.

The fact of the matter is that with five players, not everyone will want to melee. And if I do completely convert all my players, I doubt the ranged characters and magic users of the group will be absolutely thrilled to play when they are effectively sidelined for the majority of any combat.

The other concern I have is that the system is relatively freeform in the action/ turn area. On any of the exciting combats that will occur, I can see a plethora of: "I want to shoot now, I want to cast now, If I saw X then I would have Y but you wouldnt let me"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Round by Round Combat Resolution: Timing Discussion
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:43 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:43 pm
Posts: 2112
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Slymoon wrote:
I have a pretty good grasp of the combat system. I am slow at it and need to reference the book. ...

...

The other concern I have is that the system is relatively freeform in the action/ turn area. On any of the exciting combats that will occur, I can see a plethora of: "I want to shoot now, I want to cast now, If I saw X then I would have Y but you wouldnt let me"


It is good you've picked up the mechanics of the combat system. Now to address the implementation.

From the outset everyone has to be weened off the idea that there is some sort of timeline progressing, with each character having an opportunity to do something at a specific point on that timeline. Instead, they need to understand the concept of limelight and that they get to do something when their character is in the limelight. Just like a movie or a piece of fiction.

Your job as referee is to determine when each character is in the limelight. A particular duel runs until something dramatic happens. That might be at the end of one round. It might be at the end of four. It just doesn't matter. What does matter is that the limelight shifts at that dramatic moment -- giving someone else the opportunity to do something about what is unfolding. As referee, you control who goes in the limelight. It doesn't just shift from one character to the next around the table.

The players though aren't passive in this. They can expend Luck/Drama in order to grab the limelight and do something. Or they can just wait until the limelight falls on them. That decision is in their hands. They don't get to sit there and whine that you didn't let them do something.

Regards,

_________________
Ian Plumb
Illustrations for Gamers
Lyonpaedia
Griffin Grove Gaming
Kraftworks for Kids School Holiday Program


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Round by Round Combat Resolution: Timing Discussion
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 7:14 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 8:06 am
Posts: 1495
Location: Vienna, Austria, Europe
Ian.Plumb wrote:
Instead, they need to understand the concept of limelight and that they get to do something when their character is in the limelight. Just like a movie or a piece of fiction.

That's an excellent analogy, one that has often been used to explain TRoS combat, and I would therefore like to dwell on it a bit more.

Think of any movie where two or three buddies have to go hand-to-hand with some opponents; think for example the end combat of of The Mummy, where Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz and John Hannah (?) fight it out with the mummy and his revived girlfriend to put the the mummy down again. Or any other movie combat.

In such combats, we don't have:
A swings - cut - B swings - cut - C swings - D swings - cut - A swings - cut - B swings - cut - and so on.

It goes:
A swings - B reacts to A - A reacts to B - B reacts to A - A reacts to B - B reats to A - cut - C swings - D reats to C - C reats to D - D reacts to C - and so on.

The camera stays with one action hotspot for some time before cutting to the next action hospot. And nobody gets hung up about not knowing what happens with Han Solo and Princess Leia down on Endor in theis very second just because the camera stays on the duels of Luke Skywalker with Darth Vader for a few moments -- everybody knows that, after some time, the scene will shift to Endor and we will learn what has transpired down there during the very time the camera stayed on Luke and Darth, not after it. Problem for the viewer? Hell, no!

Now why do movies do it that way instead of "round by round". Because it's more dramatic than round by round, that is! Now go and grab this very drama for your own game -- TRoS lets you do it!

Break the combat down into engagements and don't hop madly from engagement to engagement -- keep your camera on one engagement until it is either resolved or until it reaches an interesting stage, ten leave it with this cliffhanger and pan to the next engagement.

And if a character is unengaged, or wants to cross from one engagement over to another one, use Terrain and Timing rolls as outlined on this board. :)

_________________
My real name is Michael; use it, if you like.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Round by Round Combat Resolution: Timing Discussion
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:28 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:05 pm
Posts: 2035
Location: Estonia
It is indeed a great analogy, made even better by Michael's insightful commentary. I can't even think anything useful what I could to add to this. :)

_________________
"Brothels are a much sounder investment than ships, I've found. Whores seldom sink, and when they are boarded by pirates, why, the pirates pay good coin like everyone else."
- Lord Petyr Baelish, A Game of Thrones


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 25 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron


Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group              Designed by QuakeZone