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 Post subject: Round by Round A vs B question
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:18 pm 
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I am new to the system and been reading quite a bit to get the gist of everything, including the discussions that have gone on previously.

As a preface like many people I come from a traditional Round by Round environment, giving each player the opportunity to take a turn, fight their fight, jump into someone elses fight or any other situation they might so desire.
Round by round places an order on actions by characters that may or may not truly occur at the same time or in succession in a real life situation.

Granted I now understand the system was designed as a narrative, the senechal/ GM giving information and telling the story as it unfolds. The dueling system as stated in other threads is beautiful, very fluid and an excellent playable simulation of true combat in my experience (true and in game).

The issue comes in when a seemingly arbitrary decision by the senechal leaves the player/ character feeling as though he did have a chance at saving his buddy from a fatal blow but thwarted. Just because the senechal deems the action undoable does not mean the player truly accepts or understands the abstract fight in the senechals head. The fight which is playing out and leading to those 'arbitrary' decisions. Basically do your players trust you as a fully fair and just senechal or do they doubt your rulings? Doubting a ruling is not the sign of an unhealthy group or other underlying issues in RL relationships. It can be simply understanding of the imaginary battle and/ or disagreement on the ruling. This is where round by round (with clean guidelines) can be very easy and desirable. Player A knows without a shadow of a doubt that every other player/ character will be held to the same or similar restrictions based on situation. Hence the ruling is accepted as fair and the game goes on. House rules come into play when the rule is argued by the group and a agreement/ house rule comes into play.

So that was my schpeal on that: not saying round by round is right or wrong, just some points about it. I do wish there was a system that was not round based that worked with multiple combats in concert.



Next point or question/ statement:

Crow Caller wrote:
Tell me which is more of an annomaly, Player A in round 4 rushing to aid Player B in Round four, knowing that A uses a Greatsword and B a rapier, thus B's rounds most likely took a little less time than A's. Or Player A making a Terrain Roll at the end of his 20 round combat to just make it to B's side during B's 5 round combat. Note that in the latter one there is a minimum time differential of 10 seconds (assuming A's rounds lasted 1 second each and B's lasted 2 seconds each).



The issue I have seen stated multiple times is regarding 2 rapier combatants and 2 greatsword combatants, are their rounds equal in length, if group A stops at round 3 when can they interact with group B, round 3, 4, 5 ??

Assumed the stated opinion/ fact that the rounds are not equal as per Core Rules, no one has actually addressed the situation where Player A is a rapier vs. player B using a greatsword. Granted in real life situation this is very very bad and not a desirable combat. However, in a game system this can and does happen or similar situations. Are we saying that in the world of the two combatants that each now have equal time to their exchanges, though the previous situations we have defined that each type of weapon round/ exchange move at different speeds/ times.

So now in fact it seems not only is there time distortion to two separate duels using different weapons not meshing well, but also time dilation within a single duel allowing both weapon types to move at the same speeds.

Lastly I see the old threads locked, though I also see no pointed comments slights or otherwise.

I hope this is not a wound opener and can get into real discussion again.
Even to go as far as hashing out "How to" as far as round-by-round and so on. I see collections of old house rules, but see no clear defined collection that is easily reviewable.

Thanks,

I look forward to running this and getting into the discussion.


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 Post subject: Re: Round by Round A vs B question
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:38 pm 
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Hi Slymoon, and welcome to the boards!

The round-by-round issue indeed flamed up quite some passions back then, but the timing issue has been lately re-explored in the following three threads:

Mod: "The duration of an Exchange is up to 15 seconds." viewtopic.php?f=23&t=383
In which Ian presents Timing Roll -- a mechanic similar to Terrain Roll -- you allocate dice from your CP and roll against some TN. The longer the time gap between the characters is, the higher the TN is. Success indicates that character reaches the other character in time and can attempt to accomplish the action he wants using his remaining pool.

Small Scale Tactical Combat (my take on Ian's 15-sec mod) viewtopic.php?f=23&t=384
In which I'm doing same thing as Ian proposed, but rather than rolling dice, I'm assigning fixed costs to specific actions. It makes the battefield movement quite alike D&D and I could see it being done with miniatures and battle grid.

TRoS Combat Rounds as is. viewtopic.php?f=23&t=386
In which Crow Caller asks why both of us are reinventing the wheel. We should just add the combat rounds together and assume that no-one gets hurt while he's off-camera. So, 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. Also, this thread discusses the question when it is the right time to switch to another player in combat.

Just for the record, I use the combat rounds "as is", not this mod I wrote.

As for the weapon speed difference in the same duel... say, fast rapier vs. slower greatsword... I don't think it's an issue -- the weapon TNs handle that rather elegantly. If the rapier attacks first, there is very little chance of greatsword parrying it, and the reverse is true as well (rapier DTN goes up). The fight is all about getting the initiative and hoping the other doesn't full evade, and it makes sense like that too. :)

Hope this helps. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Round by Round A vs B question
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:40 pm 
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higgins wrote:
Hi Slymoon, and welcome to the boards!


I'll second that; new posters always welcome!

higgins wrote:
...the timing issue has been lately re-explored in the following three threads:


Nice summary Higgins!

The timing issue doesn't go away if you play round by round -- it only seems like it goes away. Yes, four combatants striking at each, going toe-to-toe, may well take roughly the same amount of time. TRoS though is about manoeuvres and those manoeuvres can take different amounts of time -- Stop Short, Evade -- and initiating combat can take different amounts of time -- comparing red/red to white/white, circling, taunting.

Rather than going round by round it is better to have some agreed mechanic for resolving the situation where someone is seeking to influence the result of a melee combat that they are not currently engaged in. When the limelight hits the character and the player decides that she wants to engage with those combatants over there, the player needs to know upfront how that will be resolved so that the player knows whether they have made a sensible tactical decision.

higgins wrote:
As for the weapon speed difference in the same duel... say, fast rapier vs. slower greatsword... I don't think it's an issue -- the weapon TNs handle that rather elegantly. If the rapier attacks first, there is very little chance of greatsword parrying it, and the reverse is true as well (rapier DTN goes up). The fight is all about getting the initiative and hoping the other doesn't full evade, and it makes sense like that too. :)


Yes, that's it -- weapon speed on the one hand and weapon length on the other indicate that both weapons are unlikely to parry successfully. So grab that initiative!

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: Round by Round A vs B question
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:34 pm 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
Nice summary Higgins!
Thanks!

Did the Timing Roll mechanic get past the initial development phase, btw? Does your group use it?

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 Post subject: Re: Round by Round A vs B question
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:27 am 
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higgins wrote:
Did the Timing Roll mechanic get past the initial development phase, btw? Does your group use it?


We don't call it a Timing Roll -- for us, it's just how the Terrain Roll works. But yes, that's how we play it.

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: Round by Round A vs B question
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:43 pm 
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Interesting, I will have to review both methods this weekend and work through them. As I do not have a fluid understanding of the system yet it is a step by step review.

Last weekend a friend and I were working through the core rules and came up with a few solutions regarding rounds/ timing and so on.
When I get it written up I will get into specifics. However, simply speaking it leans on reflex as an indication of turn.

lowest reflex to highest reflex involving movement and or combat. Currently there is no move + engage. But there is a 1st exchange evasion then a 2nd exchange move (provided the full evasion was successful).

In the case of 2 attackers vs. 2 attackers. 1 red and 1 white on each side.

A1(red) & A2(white)
vs.
B1(white) & B2(red)

Where B2 decides to cross attack A1 (given A1 is slower and thus declares first) A2 can choose to buy initiative an attempt to strike B2 first interrupting the undefendable attack. I have also thought of adding a maneuver (high prof rating) specifically used to not attack the opponent but 'attack' his blade as an interrupt in this situation. Ie: that last ditch, save your friend effort in the case that that might be more desirable.

Anyway... just thoughts.


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 Post subject: Re: Round by Round A vs B question
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:11 pm 
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Sorry, but I find your post very confusing. You mean that you plan players taking turns in order of the relfex? And then... you lost me. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Round by Round A vs B question
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:55 pm 
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haha, yeah that was what I was afraid of...


yes so far in my 2 person play testing we made sense of round-by-round by basing it off of reflex, starting lowest to highest.

Meaning characters/ npc with higher reflex scores can react to the decisions of slower characters/ npcs.

As far as the move + attack comment:
Many game systems have options to actively move and perform an attack within their turn. Shadowrun for example incorporates moving and attacking in the same round. Movement modifies TNs to perform the action/ attack and so on. What I was thinking, since combat (exchanges) happen independent of active movement. (active in this case means players deciding where they want to go) I did not want to muddle exchanges and movement with the same round.

For example: Character A decides to move to engage Character B who is standing still. A moves, then B (assuming is paying attention) can then initiate the combat by calling for an initiative. This is really unnecessary with a duel, but comes into play more commonly with multiples in combat.
On the case of leaving combat, I have proposed that this can only happen *safely* with a successful Full Evasion (first exchange) then on second exchange can move a total of 1/2 the desired move rate. (The reason for 1/2 is that movement with-in an engagement is already stated as 1/2 move per exchange, indicating action while the combat occurs.)

I have not completely worked this out, but that is the initial rough concept.

The last part of my post was rally a different part of a multi-combatant melee.
In that example, lets say I have 2 players and 2 NPCs all roughly within striking distance of each other. However, they are like normal focused on each other seperatly. ie: A1 vs B1 & A2 vs B2.
In some cases A1 might want to attempt a cross strike at B2. Attempting to strike a slower aggressor (B2) who is unable to defend himself, since B2 has already declared his attack on A2.

Now if you are not confused enough:
If this is the case, then what recourse does B2 have except eat an attack since he is being engaged conceivably at the same time as his attack. The only recourse I can see is:
1. allowing the attacker to 'buy' a defense. Which I think is a Huge error since that would nearly 100% kill Red/Red possibilities.
2. Allow B1 (formerly in defense) to buy initiative and attack A1, who is now in the midst of attempting a blindside attack on B2. Which are within given rules iir.
3. Create a Maneuver that is specifically geared towards intercepting an attack not directed at oneself.

My thoughts are using option 2 & 3.

Again, this has yet to really be put through the wringer. It could have holes all in the execution of the concept.


Last point (back to the reflex score and round by round actions.)
Combat actually occurs on the reflex score of the fastest combatant in a duel.
for example:

A1 has a reflex of 3
A2 reflex of 5
B1 reflex of 7
B2 reflex of 4

Prior to actual engagement the players and NPCs would go in this order:
A1,B2,A2,B1. (slowest to fastest)
Once both parties are engaged (in this case lets assume 2 individual duels)
would take their turn on the Aggressor (or controllers) reflex score.

Which means in this example it would be very possible to have order become dynamic within the combat sequence.


Hopefully that is *slightly* less confusing.
Maybe when I read it again I will also be confused.

bah.

Thanks,


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 Post subject: Re: Round by Round A vs B question
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:33 pm 
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Before I get into this can I ask, at a game design level, why you want round-by-round combat resolution?

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: Round by Round A vs B question
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:55 pm 
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Much confusing stuff again, but I'm suggesting how I'd handle your main issue. :)

Slymoon wrote:
In that example, lets say I have 2 players and 2 NPCs all roughly within striking distance of each other. However, they are like normal focused on each other seperatly. ie: A1 vs B1 & A2 vs B2.
In some cases A1 might want to attempt a cross strike at B2.
If A1 wants to strike B2 while not being threatened by B1, he must make a Terrain Roll vs. fighting with 3 opponents. Two enemies, plus he's got to make sure he avoids A2. Now, there's two options:

a) A1 fails the Terrain Roll -- everyone keeps fighting as they did.
b) If A1 succeeds in the Terrain Roll, he's forcing A2 to perform the same roll as well. Again, we have two options:

1) A2 doesn't make or fails a Terrain Roll. He has to deal with both B1 and B2 while A1 has maneuvered himself behind B2. Most likely, this will simply mean that the guys switch opponents. B2 turns to face the new threat (A1) and B1, not reaching A1, attacks A2 instead.
2) A2 succeeds in the terrain roll. B2 has to face two opponents while B1 is left stranded.

If the opponents are however toughest of the tough, they can opt for opposed Terrain Rolls. Opposed Terrain Rolls are covered in TFOB. Basically, if anyone declares a Terrain Roll and the intent of it, his opponent(s) may also declare the Terrain Rolls against the same TN to intercept this movement.

For example, A1 declares a Terrain Roll to get behind B2 while avoiding everybody else. B1 doesn't want this to happen, so, he also declares a Terrain Roll to stop A1. If B1's Terrain Roll matches or beats A1's, everybody keep fighting as they did.

Let's assume B1 doesn't opt for a roll or the roll fails or the result is simply too low. Now, A2 also declares a Terrain Roll as he doesn't want simply to switch opponents. B2 realises that if A2 succeeds, he'll have both A1 and A2 on his back and B1 can't help him. So, he can also declare a Terrain Roll to maneuver himself at a better position.

If B2 beats A2, then the switch happens. A1 got behind B2, but B2 also avoided A2. Now it's A1 vs. B2 and A2 vs. B1.

If A2 beats B2, the B2 will of course get butchered by A1 and A2 while B1 is helpless an can only watch... most likely B2 is between A1&A2 and B1 while this happens, or some tree or tavern table is in B1's way.

Simple, yes? :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Round by Round A vs B question
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:40 pm 
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@ Ian,

Round by round, because that is how I and my player are used to systems working. It is straight forward and easy to track and no one gets their panties in a wad if they are denied a chance to get involved at a particular instant in any ones combat and so on.

Basically it is a clear set of guidelines that everyone can be on the same page.
ie: Using a grid, if character A1 is outside of his move range it is clear concise and not arguable. Well at least we can all count or measure the distance and say "no" and understand why.

My fear, particularly with my group is how they react to what is seen as an arbitrary ruling.
ie: character A1 wants to reach A2 who is currently engaged. I (in my mind have visualized this) say, "sure you can try but they are a ways off, and there is a log... and a stream... and um the leaves are wet and... so TN 15!" there would be an eruption. "How did they get so far away we were together, I would have never left their side.... blah blah blah".

It is not that my friends are children and immature, but they like to understand what is going on. Visual aids such as maps help that tremendously. (not to mention the vast majority of systems strongly advise visual aids.)

Secondly archers... when do they take their action? When did they start nocking, draw and aim? When does the MP start to accumulate? Again this seems like an afterthought and very arbitrary for the senechal to 'allow' the archer to shoot when the senechal decides *and* with the number of MP. For example I can always say, "yes the there have been 10 engagments, yes you started preparing on round 1, but the speed of the melee means you have just now started accruing MP. Again, I as a player would not appreciate that and likely would not want to play that ranged character or even the game depending.

So all that leads me back to a method of order in which the players feel is fair within the confines of the game.



@ Higgins

That is elegant as is the base system. What happens when someone (ie: archer) who accrues MP in a round fashion wants to shoot? (see example above).

I agree the terrain roll and a *non* miniature/ map game is very smooth.
We like to use minis and it seems Minis & map do not mix with an abstract distance system.


You both have drug me into posting far more than I expected prior to the weekend!

Maybe with an understanding of when/ where archers, sorcerors and non-combat come into play I would begin to not lean so heavily on round-by-round.

It would also likely help greatly to see a game in action.


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 Post subject: Re: Round by Round A vs B question
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:15 pm 
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Slymoon wrote:
Secondly archers... when do they take their action? When did they start nocking, draw and aim? When does the MP start to accumulate?
I'm assuming you use the core rules? DON'T! Use the ones in The Flower of Battle. Basically, if the archer nocks his arrow and draws the string, he has his Proficiency dice in his MP immediately and he can shoot. If he doesn't shoot and waits for a round, Aim is added to that pool. MUCH simpler and MUCH better!

Slymoon wrote:
Again this seems like an afterthought and very arbitrary for the senechal to 'allow' the archer to shoot when the senechal decides *and* with the number of MP. For example I can always say, "yes the there have been 10 engagments, yes you started preparing on round 1, but the speed of the melee means you have just now started accruing MP. Again, I as a player would not appreciate that and likely would not want to play that ranged character or even the game depending.
The job of archer player is to count the rounds his character is preparing the missile, and if he's ready to shoot, then he should interrupt and ask for the opportunity to take the shot.

One more question though. What books do you own? There's an excellent example of archery and melee in TFOB.

Slymoon wrote:
I agree the terrain roll and a *non* miniature/ map game is very smooth.
We like to use minis and it seems Minis & map do not mix with an abstract distance system.
Why not just rearrange the minis to represent the fact that B2 is between B1 and the others and the B1 can't reach neither A1 nor A2? ALL characters move in combat and can quite freely be rearranged. It's not some D&D where everybody has to stay fixed on their square. It would add plenty of fun to the archer player whose viable lines of sight get resetted with every Terrain Roll. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Round by Round A vs B question
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:33 am 
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Higgins,

All I currently have is the core as I was trying to evaluate the system prior to really getting neck deep in supplements, additional rules, alternate rules and so on.

I suppose this is why I am having an issue, if the core is not really a good go-by for all the extras beyond duels.


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 Post subject: Re: Round by Round A vs B question
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:10 am 
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Okay, don't delve into the supplements yet, BUT read about archery from TFOB. ;)

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- Lord Petyr Baelish, A Game of Thrones


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 Post subject: Re: Round by Round A vs B question
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:20 am 
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Slymoon wrote:
All I currently have is the core as I was trying to evaluate the system prior to really getting neck deep in supplements, additional rules, alternate rules and so on.
higgins wrote:
Okay, don't delve into the supplements yet, BUT read about archery from TFOB. ;)

Seconded, with emphasis. The rules are like day and night, you just have to use those from TFoB.

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