It is currently Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:26 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Timing and the Terrain Roll
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 7:14 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:17 pm
Posts: 16
Ok, I shall take the plunge an open my big mouth. ;)

1) I hope people are cooling off from what seems to have been an argument, and start posting again! :)

2) Should the threads concerning round-by-round combat resolution be moved to the Arena?

3) After all the discussion I am still not quite clear on one thing:
The situation has been mentioned several times on this forum of two PCs engaging two NPCs in combat, and pairing off to fight one-to-one. Firstly, which bout should get resolved first? Secondly, after the first PC dispatches their foe and rushes to help their friend, how exactly is this resolved? People have mentioned using a Terrain Roll, but how is the TN set, and how exactly is the result interpreted? How do the two timelines get joined?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Hey Ian, what's the deal?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:31 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:43 pm
Posts: 2112
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Anthemius wrote:
1) I hope people are cooling off from what seems to have been an argument, and start posting again! :)


Me too!

I just got my PC back after nearly a week with the techs. My posting during that time was intermittent to say the least.

Anthemius wrote:
2) Should the threads concerning round-by-round combat resolution be moved to the Arena?


The University is the place to discuss issues of game design (rather than the specifics of a games design), as well as things that do not fall easily into the other forums. That's why we have the Lexicon thread in here. Later the R-b-R threads may be mirrored to The Arena, but while we're discussing the "Why game like this?" as much as the "What do the rules mean?" then we'll leave it here.

Anthemius wrote:
3) After all the discussion I am still not quite clear on one thing:

The situation has been mentioned several times on this forum of two PCs engaging two NPCs in combat, and pairing off to fight one-to-one. Firstly, which bout should get resolved first? Secondly, after the first PC dispatches their foe and rushes to help their friend, how exactly is this resolved? People have mentioned using a Terrain Roll, but how is the TN set, and how exactly is the result interpreted? How do the two timelines get joined?


There are two solutions:

Cinematic Combat: Play each combat pair until something interesting happens. "Something interesting" will happen every 1 - 3 Rounds. When one combatant wins his bout and s/he determines to interact with another bout, the player asks the referee how long it will take, in Rounds, to reach the chosen combatants. The referee replies with a number of Rounds based upon the assumed distance that must be covered, the number of Rounds difference between the two combat pairs, and the MOVE score of the character. If the player is unhappy with the number they may ask for a Terrain Roll to reduce the number. The TN of the Terrain Roll is determined by the number of Rounds reduction that the player is trying to achieve from the referees original number. So the timelines are joined either by the player accepting how long the referee said it would take to intercept the other combatants or it is joined simply by making the Terrain Roll. If the Terrain Roll is failed then revert to the original number of Rounds, if botched then the referee is free to apply a penalty -- either it takes longer or require a second Terrain Roll (further reducing available CP to the moving character).

Round-by-Round Combat: Play each combat pair one Round at a time. Track the movement of all character precisely using figurines and a hex mat. Each exchange move each combat pair half of their MOVE score in an appropriate direction. When one combatant wins their combat, measure the distance between the figurine and the location the player wishes to occupy and calculate the number of Rounds it will take to reach the location based on the movement speed the player elects to use. Track this movement with each exchange of the combat pair, as their "random" exchange movement will change where the moving character wants to go. Make Terrain Rolls as required for the moving character based on the terrain being covered and the speed being used. Issues of timing are ignored as there is an underlying assumption that all Rounds have the same duration.

Regards,

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Timing and the Terrain Roll
PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:31 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:17 pm
Posts: 16
Quote:
Cinematic Combat: Play each combat pair until something interesting happens. "Something interesting" will happen every 1 - 3 Rounds. When one combatant wins his bout and s/he determines to interact with another bout, the player asks the referee how long it will take, in Rounds, to reach the chosen combatants. The referee replies with a number of Rounds based upon the assumed distance that must be covered, the number of Rounds difference between the two combat pairs, and the MOVE score of the character. If the player is unhappy with the number they may ask for a Terrain Roll to reduce the number.

Ah, got it! :idea:
So when the first PC drops their foe and rushes to help the second PC, the referee declares the number of rounds of combat that will be resolved now for the second fighting pair, before the first PC is able to join them.

Quote:
The TN of the Terrain Roll is determined by the number of Rounds reduction that the player is trying to achieve from the referees original number.

Ouch! Doesn't that mean that the more you want to reduce the number, the lower the probability that you will manage to reduce it at all?

Quote:
So the timelines are joined either by the player accepting how long the referee said it would take to intercept the other combatants or it is joined simply by making the Terrain Roll.

With success meaning that the rounds are reduced by the amount the player aimed for in the first place? And the character arrives with their CP drained by the Terrain Roll. And if they fail, they arrive late but with their full CP?

I am not sure I quite like the fact that the referee has to decide how late the PC arrives, and how difficult it would be for them to arrive sooner. The player also has two variables to decide on; "how much to rush" in rounds (which must be balanced against the risk of failing) and "how hard to rush" in CP dice sacrificed to the Terrain Roll. Isn't that a bit complicated? Why not just subtract successes from the referee's time estimate? The TN would then have to be determined differently as well. What do you reckon?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Timing and the Terrain Roll
PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 10:07 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:43 pm
Posts: 2112
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote:
Cinematic Combat: Play each combat pair until something interesting happens. "Something interesting" will happen every 1 - 3 Rounds. When one combatant wins his bout and s/he determines to interact with another bout, the player asks the referee how long it will take, in Rounds, to reach the chosen combatants. The referee replies with a number of Rounds based upon the assumed distance that must be covered, the number of Rounds difference between the two combat pairs, and the MOVE score of the character. If the player is unhappy with the number they may ask for a Terrain Roll to reduce the number.


Anthemius wrote:
So when the first PC drops their foe and rushes to help the second PC, the referee declares the number of rounds of combat that will be resolved now for the second fighting pair, before the first PC is able to join them.


Spot on.

Quote:
The TN of the Terrain Roll is determined by the number of Rounds reduction that the player is trying to achieve from the referees original number.


Anthemius wrote:
Ouch! Doesn't that mean that the more you want to reduce the number, the lower the probability that you will manage to reduce it at all?


Correct. Keep in mind that only 1 success is required to accomplish the task. And that the TN of the roll has, practically speaking, a low range of possible values.

Quote:
So the timelines are joined either by the player accepting how long the referee said it would take to intercept the other combatants or it is joined simply by making the Terrain Roll.


Anthemius wrote:
With success meaning that the rounds are reduced by the amount the player aimed for in the first place? And the character arrives with their CP drained by the Terrain Roll. And if they fail, they arrive late but with their full CP?


For myself I would rule that their CP is reduced in either case. If getting their with full CP is the aim, accept the referee's decision on how long it takes. If you want to change that then you risk something (in this case, reduced CP).

Anthemius wrote:
I am not sure I quite like the fact that the referee has to decide how late the PC arrives, and how difficult it would be for them to arrive sooner. The player also has two variables to decide on; "how much to rush" in rounds (which must be balanced against the risk of failing) and "how hard to rush" in CP dice sacrificed to the Terrain Roll. Isn't that a bit complicated? Why not just subtract successes from the referee's time estimate? The TN would then have to be determined differently as well. What do you reckon?


The referee will set the number of Rounds based on how dramatic he wants to make the scene. If the referee says "6 Rounds", he is essentially telling the player to make a Terrain Roll and join the combat with reduced CP. If he says "1 Round" he is offering the player a tactical decision -- and whether the player asks for a Terrain Roll or not says something about the player.

The referee's setting of the TN is quite straightforward. The character will be sprinting across the terrain type. That sets the TN of the the movement action. If there is also a Round reduction involved, then increase the TN 1 or 2 places.

If the player really wants to make it happen then they'll allocate 1 dice to the terrain roll and burn a Luck/Drama point to guarantee success. By doing this -- from their perspective -- they arrive at the fight, one CP down, ready to go.

As for your suggestion, it is a bit mechanistic. For me the Terrain Roll is a dramatic tool, a catch-all that basically asks the player to reduce CP in order to make something they want to happen transpire. I don't see many players throwing a lot of dice at Terrain Rolls -- if the TN is too high they'll burn Luck/Drama, otherwise they'll throw 2 or 3 dice at the roll.

Regards,

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Timing and the Terrain Roll
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 2:23 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:17 pm
Posts: 16
Quote:
Quote:
Anthemius wrote:
With success meaning that the rounds are reduced by the amount the player aimed for in the first place? And the character arrives with their CP drained by the Terrain Roll. And if they fail, they arrive late but with their full CP?

For myself I would rule that their CP is reduced in either case. If getting their with full CP is the aim, accept the referee's decision on how long it takes. If you want to change that then you risk something (in this case, reduced CP).

Of course! :oops: What I meant to say was, if they do not take the roll, they arrive late but with their full CP.

Quote:
The referee will set the number of Rounds based on how dramatic he wants to make the scene. If the referee says "6 Rounds", he is essentially telling the player to make a Terrain Roll and join the combat with reduced CP. If he says "1 Round" he is offering the player a tactical decision -- and whether the player asks for a Terrain Roll or not says something about the player.
<...>
As for your suggestion, it is a bit mechanistic. For me the Terrain Roll is a dramatic tool, a catch-all that basically asks the player to reduce CP in order to make something they want to happen transpire. I don't see many players throwing a lot of dice at Terrain Rolls -- if the TN is too high they'll burn Luck/Drama, otherwise they'll throw 2 or 3 dice at the roll.

Ah, now that sounds a lot better - as you said, the TN of the roll has a short range of possible values. And of course the Drama mechanic allows the player to push things when it is important enough to them.
I like it more, now! ;)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Timing and the Terrain Roll
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:48 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:43 pm
Posts: 2112
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote:
For myself I would rule that their CP is reduced in either case. If getting their with full CP is the aim, accept the referee's decision on how long it takes. If you want to change that then you risk something (in this case, reduced CP).


Anthemius wrote:
Of course! :oops: What I meant to say was, if they do not take the roll, they arrive late but with their full CP.


Ah, well then yes you'd be playing it like I play it.

Quote:
For me the Terrain Roll is a dramatic tool, a catch-all that basically asks the player to reduce CP in order to make something they want to happen transpire. I don't see many players throwing a lot of dice at Terrain Rolls -- if the TN is too high they'll burn Luck/Drama, otherwise they'll throw 2 or 3 dice at the roll.


Anthemius wrote:
Ah, now that sounds a lot better - as you said, the TN of the roll has a short range of possible values. And of course the Drama mechanic allows the player to push things when it is important enough to them.

I like it more, now! ;)


Yep, you've got it right there.

Regards,

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Timing and the Terrain Roll
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:52 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:40 pm
Posts: 106
Location: Texas
I like the concept of the terrain roll and the CP being a this or that thing. Ie: you sacrifice your combat ability for pushing to move. Or keeping your combat ability but moving slower and so on.

I do have one issue with the way CP is calculated when split for non-combat uses ie: Terrain roll for movement.

CP is calculated using the proficiency in a weapon. Meaning, will have dice to use when moving if I am using a weapon I have no or little proficiency with, and move more chance of moving well when I have a weapon with which I am highly skilled.

Concept wise, A character would use the same amount of dice to perform the same movement activity no matter what weapon he was using. But in gameplay a player will end up spending less dice on the movement.

In some camps that is perfectly acceptable, and if I do not think about it I find it acceptable as well. However I have thought about it and so it does bother me. And seems the CP should be determined by attributes only with the proficiency being some sort of 'bonus'. Off hand I do not know how that would work...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Timing and the Terrain Roll
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:29 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 8:06 am
Posts: 1495
Location: Vienna, Austria, Europe
Slymoon wrote:
I do have one issue with the way CP is calculated when split for non-combat uses ie: Terrain roll for movement.

CP is calculated using the proficiency in a weapon. Meaning, will have dice to use when moving if I am using a weapon I have no or little proficiency with, and move more chance of moving well when I have a weapon with which I am highly skilled.

Concept wise, A character would use the same amount of dice to perform the same movement activity no matter what weapon he was using. But in gameplay a player will end up spending less dice on the movement.

Hi there Slymoon! Welcome.

You touch upon a problem that isn't confined to the terrain roll -- it also extends for instance to the dodge. You dodge less well (i.e. with less dice) if you hold a weapon in hand you are less proficient with than one you are more proficient with -- even if you do nothing but dodge and do not even use said weapon!

A solution to the latter dilemma is to allow the best Proficiency to apply, regardless of weapon currently wielded, if the character does nothing but dodge. But there simply is no solution when you swing your weapon on exchange one and then dodge on exchange two -- and find yourself stuck with the worse dicepool from that weapon.

My advice? Roll with it. Reason that it is in part a psychological thing, that fighters are more confident and move with more confidence if they wield their favourite, trusty weapon. And be up front with the players that this a slight fallacy of the otherwise fantastic system and that they should please accept the above reasoning to save a very cool and dramatic mechanic (the terrain roll) from geting bogged down in technicality.

Because if you try to fix the low-Proficiency-low-dicepool-for-all-actions dilemma, the combat system will most likely lose a whole chunk of sleekness.

And, btw, something I pester all newbies to TRoS with and that’s pertinent to your problem:

TRoS is about the twin premise of “What is worth killing for?” and “What is worth (risking) dying for?”; it uses the SAs as a mechanic with which the players flagpost the answer for their characters.

In extension, and Jake (Norwood) has admitted that this is unfortunately too obscure in the rules, there should be no unavoidable combat without any of all participating PCs’ SAs firing. None.

Please try to wrap your head around this. For you as a referee, it means that unless SAs are firing you are not to present your players with any instance where they have to fight. Never ever. (I can’t stress this not-once-in-a-million-years strongly enough.) If you do, you undermine the entire premise of TRoS of only drawing your sword when there is a worthy cause (“worthy” not in a moral, chivalrous sense, but in a sense of what a PC, who may be quite a blackguard, considers worthy); combined with the SAs, this is the very Riddle of Steel, that steel is nothing and the mind everything.

By which I mean that with numerous SAs at a high level firing at once, the major part of the CP will not derive from Attributes and Proficiency, but from sheer resolve. Many people, I among them, consider the weight of resolve unrealistic, but then TRoS is, despite its realistic combat system, not designed to simulate the oftimes dirty real-world realism but rather the gripping adventure tales and movies where the down-and-out hero grits his teeth, summons his resolve, mobilizes his last scrap of strength and wins through despite all that is to be expected.

Why do I write all this? Because when you realize that, you realize also that the CP will always contain some SA dice, and that these SA dice do distort the CP. The size of the CP, with the SAs, does not simulate anything realistic, but is in itself unrealistic, an abstract entity geared towards simulating not strict realism, but rather the flow of a thrilling yarn.

And when you’ve realized this, the problem of the realism of a few dice more or less in your CP simply dissolves into nothing. :)

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Timing and the Terrain Roll
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:52 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:40 pm
Posts: 106
Location: Texas
Wow, talk about a passionate speech!


That is likely one of my issues right at this moment. In sample bouts and vignettes to understand how the system runs we have eliminated SAs. Again simply to try and understand the flow of the system.

I will be implementing those when at least two of us have a clue how to run a scenario sans page flipping. I do not think designing scenarios that involve the players SAs will be an issue at all. For many years now I have only written bare bones story arcs, filling them as the characters approach them based on what has happened with the character/ their background and so on.

Our group has played many many games from the non-deadly to very deadly.
D&D for example, through to Rolemaster and Stalking the Night Fantastic with many shades inbetween.
Even so, I think the main clencher that the group will have to learn is that it is very possible to get into a combat (not ambush) where you are on defense until you die, with no option to attack save for buying initiative. Also that a simple cut *can* hit your CP bad enough to make you a sitting target. Unlike most other games that deal with that scenario with a 'stun' mechanic which is usually more difficult to have happen.

Alright, regarding the statement you have above.

There should be no combat without all PCs having some SAs firing.

That is an eye opener, I had assumed some situations might happen with not all pcs having SAs involved.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Timing and the Terrain Roll
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:05 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 8:06 am
Posts: 1495
Location: Vienna, Austria, Europe
Slymoon wrote:
That is likely one of my issues right at this moment. In sample bouts and vignettes to understand how the system runs we have eliminated SAs. Again simply to try and understand the flow of the system.

That's very likely it. At the heart of TRoS lie the SAs; it has often been said that combat gets players into TRoS and the SAs keep them there. TRoS is designed around the SAs in a way Jake Norwood didn't consciously realize back then. Subtract the SAs, and things start to fall apart.

Slymoon wrote:
There should be no combat without all PCs having some SAs firing.

That is an eye opener, I had assumed some situations might happen with not all pcs having SAs involved.

Not exactly. The point is that TRoS is all about deciding what it is worth fighting for -- and what isn't. If you spring SA-less combat upon the group, you have to do it in a way that not fighting is a viable option. Avoidng the fight may be costly, but it must not be prohibitively so. By the same token, if you signal to the players that down the path their characters are heading lies major grief and the players still persist in heading there, even without SAs to fuel this, you are also justified to hit them without any of their SAs firing. It's just that players will not usually do this once they realize the role of SAs.

And about the entire group being involved SA-wise -- a way to chicken out from this is to recommend mutual loyalties as SAs for the PCs. This is indeed a cheap and ugly solution I would not normally recommend, but until players and referee are used to SA-driven scenario construction and also to pick SAs with punch, I think that such loyalty does make for a passable SA. But only just.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Timing and the Terrain Roll
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:51 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:05 pm
Posts: 2035
Location: Estonia
Grettir wrote:
And about the entire group being involved SA-wise -- a way to chicken out from this is to recommend mutual loyalties as SAs for the PCs. This is indeed a cheap and ugly solution I would not normally recommend, but until players and referee are used to SA-driven scenario construction and also to pick SAs with punch, I think that such loyalty does make for a passable SA. But only just.
Yeah, that ground should be trod very carefully. I remember Crow complaining how all those "Loyality to Buddies" SAs caused disproportionate CP rises in his group, as the players in his group viewed SAs as combat bonuses and picked relevant wordings for them to be more effective in ALL combats no matter the concept.

Slymoon wrote:
Even so, I think the main clencher that the group will have to learn is that it is very possible to get into a combat (not ambush) where you are on defense until you die, with no option to attack save for buying initiative.
What exactly do you mean?

_________________
"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: Timing and the Terrain Roll
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:04 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:40 pm
Posts: 106
Location: Texas
Higgins,

What I mean is that nearly every other game system has an 'I hit, you hit' aspect to it.
Even in Middle Earth RP (watered down Rolemaster) which is pretty deadly, everyone gets a turn to attack. In some games ala Shadowrun you get an active chance to defend as well as an attack.

However in TRoS, it is possible to lose every exchange and thus be forced on defense only. Unless of course you buy initiative (if I understand it correctly that it can be bought from defense)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Timing and the Terrain Roll
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:45 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 8:06 am
Posts: 1495
Location: Vienna, Austria, Europe
One more thing, and then I'll stop before I derail this thread entirely:
Grettir wrote:
And about the entire group being involved SA-wise -- a way to chicken out from this is to recommend mutual loyalties as SAs for the PCs.
higgins wrote:
Yeah, that ground should be trod very carefully.

Absolutely. "Loyalty to the group" might be acceptable once, in a pinch, for absolute beginners, or for some very rare character. On the other hand, "Loyalty to PC thusandthus" (a single other PC) would often be acceptable, and several such SAs scattered throughout the group and hopefully in accordance with the PCs' backgrounds and fictional personalities, might also serve to keep the the group involved in the same struggles.

But there are many threads on SAs, and you are sure to find some other recommendations there, Slymoon. A probate method is to demand some kind of positive SA, details left to the players, towards the same person or institution from every character.

End of derailment. :mrgreen:

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Timing and the Terrain Roll
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:16 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:05 pm
Posts: 2035
Location: Estonia
Slymoon wrote:
However in TRoS, it is possible to lose every exchange and thus be forced on defense only. Unless of course you buy initiative (if I understand it correctly that it can be bought from defense)
Ah, now I get what you mean. Yes, you can buy initiative from the defensive (again, TFOB has MUCH better rules for this: simply an activation cost dependant on your proficiency (the higher the skill, the lower the activation cost), followed by red-red rules where ties favour the one who initially held the initiative).

You can also ignore a blow and attack yourself, but this means that your blow will land second. Might be useful though if you're heavily armoured and opponent heavily under-invests the attack... which COULD be a feint, so watch out. ;)

Also, there are maneuvers like simultaneous block and strike, where you can defend and attack at the same time, say, blocking an attack unsuccessfully... be it tie or your armour saves you... and then you immediately follow up with your attack in the same exchange for which your opponent is defenseless against (unless he's using a similar technique). Some people argued about game balancing of using those maneuvers defensively, but I don't recall any good solutions for altering the mechanics that would make those maneuvers more "balanced".

_________________
"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  [ 14 posts ] 

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