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 Post subject: Re: EoS: Pre-Alfa Playtesting - Controversial Concepts
PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:34 pm 
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Seanachai wrote:
I see your point, but I always assumed that the idea was that BL wasn't about tracking how dead you are but how long after a fight you'll be on the mend. Most times it's going to be Pain that kills you because your CP is so low, right? Since a bout only takes a minute anyway, you're not going to die from blood loss but from that darn Level 4 or Level 5 wound.


higgins wrote:
In TROS there's two things that can kill you:
a) wound table effect
b) BL through HT loss

Pain cannot kill you. If only by the effect that you CP is too low to resist you opponent finishing you off (through either A or B).

If HT is 0, you're dead. If you're not dead, HT restores one point per day. The first healing roll will be after a week. So, unless you're a HT9+ character who ended up on HT1, BL has no effect on how long one mends (Pain determines that). And since you roll BL once per round when fighting... you really can collapse and die from BL in less than a minute (while fighting).


First off, by BL = time on the mend, I meant because of how long it takes to recover all that HT you lost. My poor wording.

Second, by Pain that kills you, I mean again indirectly because of the low CP, making you vulnerable to wicked attacks.

You have more experience than I do playing TROS no doubt, but haven't you found that what ends a character's life in combat is not HT 0 but having a CP so low that you take a mortal wound?

I'm not opposed to having a "BR Health Track" (apart from the idea that I don't like the word "reservoir"). My concern is the crunch of having five or more factors reducing my CP that I have to keep track of.

1. Activation costs (Temporary)
2. Maneuver effects (Temporary)
3. Shock (Temporary)
4. Terrain Rolls (which I call Tactics since it encompasses other things)
5. Pain
6. *Blood Loss

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 Post subject: Re: EoS: Pre-Alfa Playtesting - Controversial Concepts
PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:21 am 
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higgins wrote:
Bleeding is divided into three severities.
1. Significant: one hit per 15 minutes
2. Severe: one hit per 5 minutes
3. Massive: one hit per minute.


Does that mean you won't usually be making a blood loss check in combat since rounds are defined as "1-2 seconds"? At that rate, a combatant with a severe wound wouldn't make a BL check and lose BR points until after 150 rounds.

By the way, is it too nWOD to just call 5 + Strength "Blood Points"?

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 Post subject: Re: EoS: Pre-Alfa Playtesting - Controversial Concepts
PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:39 am 
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Seanachai wrote:
But I DID like the MOS idea. I liked it so much that I decided to follow the advice of making ALL rolls CONTESTED rolls. The storyteller rolls against the player for everything, representing fate or circumstance.

Personally, I quite like contested rolls all across the board – in heavily Narr systems. In a hybrid, I don’t really see the benefit. Players can less easily calculate outcomes, but I am not sure if in a Narr-Sim hybrid, they shouldn’t be able to calculate them to some degree. So I can’t really see this uncertainty as a clear-cut benefit, whereas I consider the additional rolling of dice a slight disadvantage.

But as the idea of making all rolls contested is an entirely new and quite major one, I feel that it goes beyond the scope of this thread and merits a thread of ist own to discuss in some depth.

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 Post subject: Re: EoS: Pre-Alfa Playtesting - Controversial Concepts
PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:08 am 
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Seanachai wrote:
First off, by BL = time on the mend, I meant because of how long it takes to recover all that HT you lost. My poor wording.
Yes, but as anyone recovers 7 points of HT before the first healing roll, so, it's largely irrelevant.

Seanachai wrote:
You have more experience than I do playing TROS no doubt, but haven't you found that what ends a character's life in combat is not HT 0 but having a CP so low that you take a mortal wound?
Yes, I'm aware of that, but technically it's the wound table effect that actually kills him, not the Pain. It's not like you're dead if you've accumulated 25 Pain.

Seanachai wrote:
I'm not opposed to having a "BR Health Track" (apart from the idea that I don't like the word "reservoir").
Yes, another native speaker complained on that, too. I'll probably change it to just "Blood", "Lifeblood", "Blood Loss" or "Blood Loss Fatigue" or something similar. Suggestions are welcome.

Seanachai wrote:
My concern is the crunch of having five or more factors reducing my CP that I have to keep track of.
See below.
Seanachai wrote:
higgins wrote:
Bleeding is divided into three severities.
1. Significant: one hit per 15 minutes
2. Severe: one hit per 5 minutes
3. Massive: one hit per minute.
Does that mean you won't usually be making a blood loss check in combat since rounds are defined as "1-2 seconds"?
Yes, that's exactly what it means. Bleeding is irrelevant while the CP refresh mechanic is active. In combat, you're in danger of dying via Pain induced CP loss and thus a wound table effect, but if you survive the combat with a wound and have nobody to provide first aid, that's where bleeding to death comes into play.

Seanachai wrote:
By the way, is it too nWOD to just call 5 + Strength "Blood Points"?
Yes, it's basically identical, but believe it or not, that mechanic was inspired more from TROS and discussions with Ian than from nWoD. I simply wanted HT loss penalties to begin earlier than HT1 but do it in a non-complicated way. So, some kind of boxes with penalties in them seemed the most straightforward solution. Ian suggested the amount of boxes being Stamina+Strength, IIRC, with stamina part having penalties and strength part not, but to me, the random amount of stamina would radically change the amount it takes to bleed do death in different individuals of the same species. Not having the Blood influenced by attributes at all seemed wrong too, so, I decided to go BASE+Attribute. How big a base? I tried finding out how long was the fastest a person could bleed to death. The closest approximation I found from the net was "a few minutes" -- given that I'd set the worst Bleeding "hit" at 3, I decided that failing all resistance rolls, a person with the weakest constitution can take two of those hits max, but an average person must be able to take at least three... A base of 5 just fit. That's how I found the base.

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 Post subject: Re: EoS: Pre-Alfa Playtesting - Controversial Concepts
PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:39 pm 
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higgins wrote:
A base of 5 just fit. That's how I found the base.


I like it. It might be possible to later give monsters or other races a higher base.

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 Post subject: Re: EoS: Pre-Alfa Playtesting - Controversial Concepts
PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:00 pm 
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Seanachai wrote:
I like it.
Thanks! It's nice to have someone with nWoD experience here to bring out these points. Without knowing the reasoning behind it, the mechanic probably indeed looked like a straight rip-off. :)

Seanachai wrote:
It might be possible to later give monsters or other races a higher base.
Yeah, I guess that's possible, but my reasoning was to use the same base and have the varying Strength make up the difference. That's why I put 7 spaces for Strength there (one point beyond INHUMAN! scale). Also, the monsters would probably have higher Stamina and some AV as well, making it tougher to produce the high wound levels in a first place.

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 Post subject: Re: EoS: Pre-Alfa Playtesting - Controversial Concepts
PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:59 pm 
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Hi Higgens! First, thanks for taking the time to put this document together. Looking at the document was very interesting. I see the old bugbear concerning the fixed timing of "Phases" or "Exchanges" awkwardly welded to now what is know as "Limelight". This is an issue I hoped we could resolve. I would still like to see a system where sorcerers and archers could potentially cast spells/fire arrows each round just as fighters fight each round. I admit I gave the document but a quick read so please let me know if I am missing some key improvement that will open up combat to those sorcerers and archers. Can't we simply treat a "Phase" as a variable amount of time and allow mages and archers to cast or shoot when their turn at the "Limelight" occurs? Not grumpy, just thinking...

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 Post subject: Re: EoS: Pre-Alfa Playtesting - Controversial Concepts
PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:24 pm 
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pbj44 wrote:
I see the old bugbear concerning the fixed timing of "Phases" or "Exchanges" awkwardly welded to now what is know as "Limelight". This is an issue I hoped we could resolve. I would still like to see a system where sorcerers and archers could potentially cast spells/fire arrows each round just as fighters fight each round.
Well, the melee fighters get to make two rolls per round minimum, that's true. However, if you'd want to put the ranged combatants not on the same level, but even as one action per round, that would means one shot per 1-2 seconds... The closest thing that comes to this in the playtest is the repeating crossbow which can be fired every other round.

So, I'm not quite sure how you'd see this working across the board for different ranged weapons, but to clarify... my version was to focus on the melee combatants and give the ranged combatants/spell casters ability to interrupt whatever's going on in the melee whenever they're ready to go. If there are no melee combatants then the ranged combatants try to use cover and outmaneuver each other for a clear shot, and the magic users would have whatever form of conflict is appropriate for the magic system at hand.

Firing once per round... that I can see happening only in case of multi-barreled weapons, single&double action cylinders, semi-automatic cartridge based systems, etc. However, as the ranged attacks are lethal and difficult to defend against, even a single enemy archer would most likely cause everybody to scatter and run for cover... and I think one can't ask more attention than that. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: EoS: Pre-Alfa Playtesting - Controversial Concepts
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:14 am 
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higgins wrote:
that would means one shot per 1-2 seconds...
The closest thing that comes to this in the playtest is the repeating crossbow which can be fired every other round.


This would be true only if we are chained to the "idea" that a phase or exchange is of .05 to 1 second in duration. If time during a round was to be declared variable or cinematic then magic, melee, and arrows are all harmonized with each other.

Then fighting, casting or shooting becomes consistant, with all characters able to use their talent during their limelight moment, and we have removed the old order of things; the possibility of mages or archers idle for more than one round while their spell or aim ripens. This just seems so fundamental to me; to be able to have one's turn during play.

My group for well over a year has used variable time during combat rounds and has cut away impeding magic and missile rules crunch. The result? Well, the sky has not fallen. Combat is fast and everyone at the table gets the same measure of play.

Now if you tell me that your're comfortable with an archer getting in one or two shots during a fight, or a sorcerer getting perhaps one spell off in a battle, then thats a large difference in our thought process:

From TFOB, page 7:

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

The above is an excellent example of pseudo-realistic, but poor game design. No one can read the above and get excited about running an archer type character! A good game design promotes play. Must we hold onto this style of rules like a crazy ol' lady hugging all her cats?

I am not convinced that a crunchy "realistic" set of missile fire rules is entirely necessary. In the end, at a meta-level, is it not better to have a more inclusive game?

To quote an old thread:

Core has an abstract combat environment. It has a cinematic representation of combat. Need to know where anyone is in relation to each other? Make a terrain roll.

But then we have a magic system that say a CTN 5 spell of one will come into effect precisely five seconds after spell casting begins...

The combat system doesn't time anything -- it is useless at determining when anything takes place. So there is no way for the magic system to interact with the melee system. TRoS has an abstract combat environment -- it just doesn't work with minis and accurate mapping of movement. Jake intended the combat to be cinematic -- the limelight sticks with a pair of combatants until something interesting happens, and then it flick to the next pair of combatants. Having different combatants get to an interesting point in their combat in the same round/exchange is purely coincidental. All timing issues that result are resolved through the terrain roll, that abstract mechanic that determines questions of relative positioning.

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

All of these cause problems for the game as it stands now. The one or two second combat round (as specified in Core, p. 11) only makes sense while the combatants are actively engaged in combat. The problem is that there are many other actions that also take a round but clearly cannot occur within such a time frame -- circling, taunting, full evade, moving to the next combatant. And 1 or 2 seconds is almost meaningless for any other type of action -- which implies that non-combatants can't really do anything useful while a combat is going on.

The other side of the coin, of course, is that while combatants are capable of striking at each other every other second combat scenes, whether in TRoS or in films or in books, take far longer than, say, 12 seconds. So, once again, the whole "1 or 2 second combat round" doesn't reflect the abstract nature of the combat environment. It just doesn't fit in.


That is just too compelling to be ignored...This issue has been a boat anchor around the game's neck from the beginning. Sheesh, let's fix this!

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 Post subject: Re: EoS: Pre-Alfa Playtesting - Controversial Concepts
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:18 am 
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pbj44 wrote:
The above is an excellent example of pseudo-realistic, but poor game design. No one can read the above and get excited about running an archer type character!
IMO there's another side for this coin. Who will be interested in playing a melee character if the combat flow will be broken at every refresh?

Also, I want to make sure that you've gotten my intention with this.
- let's say that the archer has arrows in the ground and he takes a shot
- now it's the melee character's turn. he fights for three rounds/refreshes
- in this three rounds time, the archer has already managed to nock and new arrow (2 rounds) and take aim (1 round)
- the time isn't scrolled back, ever

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 Post subject: Re: EoS: Pre-Alfa Playtesting - Controversial Concepts
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:38 pm 
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pbj44 wrote:
This would be true only if we are chained to the "idea" that a phase or exchange is of .05 to 1 second in duration. If time during a round was to be declared variable or cinematic then magic, melee, and arrows are all harmonized with each other.


Amen to that Brother!

pbj44 wrote:
A good game design promotes play. Must we hold onto this style of rules like a crazy ol' lady hugging all her cats?


:lol:

Pure poetry PJ!

pbj44 wrote:
That is just too compelling to be ignored...This issue has been a boat anchor around the game's neck from the beginning. Sheesh, let's fix this!


I think it has been shown conclusively that the 1 second combat Round:

a) Doesn't reflect actual melee combat, and
b) Ensures that the players of non-melee-combatants are bored throughout the scene.

In my opinion there should be no mention of time whatsoever in the melee combat system. An Exchange represents one opportunity to perform an action. As actions are often reciprocal (Attack/Parry, Riposte/Parry) a Round encompasses two Exchanges and CP refreshes when the Round ends.

When the limelight passes to the player of the archer that character has an opportunity to do something. Line of sight will determine whether that opportunity is to shoot something, or not, not some pseudo calculation of elapsed time. The same goes for the mage, or any other non-combatant.

Whether one character's action takes place before or after something else happens is handled through the Terrain Roll mechanic and/or the Drama mechanic -- not by a comparison of timelines.

If two combatants are going toe-to-toe for three Rounds, and then the Limelight passes to a non-Combatant who decides to run away, this does not mean that she starts to run away after those three Rounds have elapsed. It certainly doesn't mean that she started to run away 8.5 seconds after combat commenced. All it means is that at the first opportunity she decided to run. Whether she gets through the gate before the portcullis lowers into place is a Terrain Roll or an expenditure of Drama, not a calculation of distance, Mov, and the lowering speed of a portcullis.

At least that's how I see it.

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 Post subject: Re: EoS: Pre-Alfa Playtesting - Controversial Concepts
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:01 pm 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
pbj44 wrote:
This would be true only if we are chained to the "idea" that a phase or exchange is of .05 to 1 second in duration. If time during a round was to be declared variable or cinematic then magic, melee, and arrows are all harmonized with each other.
Amen to that Brother!
As you seem to agree with Phil that every PC should be limited to one round to ensure fun factor, does this mean that you've become an advocate of the "round-by-round" method of running TROS combat?

Ian.Plumb wrote:
When the limelight passes to the player of the archer that character has an opportunity to do something. Line of sight will determine whether that opportunity is to shoot something, or not, not some pseudo calculation of elapsed time. The same goes for the mage, or any other non-combatant.
Is this a suggestion to remove loading/prep times from the system?

Ian.Plumb wrote:
If two combatants are going toe-to-toe for three Rounds, and then the Limelight passes to a non-Combatant who decides to run away, this does not mean that she starts to run away after those three Rounds have elapsed.
I completely agree. The characters out of limelight can always state their intentions and the "round count" begins when the player has done so. The fact that time isn't turned back doesn't mean that the parallel actions cannot occur. So, if the character started running the moment fighting began, yes, he's been running three rounds. However, it's perfectly possible that the non-combatant gapes at the melee for two rounds before running off. In that case he's been running one round. And no, I wouldn't want to calculate distances either.

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 Post subject: Re: EoS: Pre-Alfa Playtesting - Controversial Concepts
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:41 pm 
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pbj44 wrote:
This would be true only if we are chained to the "idea" that a phase or exchange is of .05 to 1 second in duration. If time during a round was to be declared variable or cinematic then magic, melee, and arrows are all harmonized with each other.


Ian.Plumb wrote:
Amen to that Brother!


higgins wrote:
As you seem to agree with Phil that every PC should be limited to one round to ensure fun factor, does this mean that you've become an advocate of the "round-by-round" method of running TROS combat?


I don't see that mentioned in the quote above. To me, they're not related. While I lent some small assistance to PJ in the development of the Old School Style TRoS Combat thread via the Codex Arcana, I don't see the concept above -- a Round represents a variable or unknown amount of time -- as being linked necessarily to Round-by-Round combat resolution.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
When the limelight passes to the player of the archer that character has an opportunity to do something. Line of sight will determine whether that opportunity is to shoot something, or not, not some pseudo calculation of elapsed time. The same goes for the mage, or any other non-combatant.


higgins wrote:
Is this a suggestion to remove loading/prep times from the system?


A player character firing a missile weapon into a melee -- yes, loading/prep time is unimportant.

A player character firing a missile weapon at an enemy archer who is firing back at him -- no, loading/prep time is part of what makes this scene interesting for the player.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
If two combatants are going toe-to-toe for three Rounds, and then the Limelight passes to a non-Combatant who decides to run away, this does not mean that she starts to run away after those three Rounds have elapsed.


higgins wrote:
I completely agree. The characters out of limelight can always state their intentions and the "round count" begins when the player has done so.


I don't want six players yelling at me at the start of the combat scene in an effort to ensure that their character's "Round Count" commences simultaneously with every other character.

higgins wrote:
The fact that time isn't turned back doesn't mean that the parallel actions cannot occur. So, if the character started running the moment fighting began, yes, he's been running three rounds. However, it's perfectly possible that the non-combatant gapes at the melee for two rounds before running off. In that case he's been running one round. And no, I wouldn't want to calculate distances either.


If we're not calculating distances then why do we care how many Rounds that the character has been running? Why do we care which Round they commenced running? Why would the referee track this information? It seems to me that if we remove time from the equation and replace it with opportunity then we know that the character commenced running at the first available opportunity. Whether they stopped and stared at the combat, or not, isn't important. What is important is whether that action completes before another in-game event takes place -- the portcullis closes. That is determined by a Terrain Roll and/or Drama expenditure. The number of Rounds of running, the distance involved, the Round Count of the character, the Round Count of the portcullis, aren't factors in the outcome. If the character fails in the Terrain Roll or Drama expenditure (no Drama left) then the reason the character failed to get past the portcullis can be retrospectively attributed to a cause -- it was just too far, the shock of the combat caused hesitation, the cobblestones were slippery, whatever.

At least that's how I see it.

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 Post subject: Re: EoS: Pre-Alfa Playtesting - Controversial Concepts
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:52 pm 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
I don't see that mentioned in the quote above. To me, they're not related. While I lent some small assistance to PJ in the development of the Old School Style TRoS Combat thread via the Codex Arcana, I don't see the concept above -- a Round represents a variable or unknown amount of time -- as being linked necessarily to Round-by-Round combat resolution.
As I get it, the prime importance to PJ is that each character involved in combat gets to participate equal amount of rounds in which they can act. Preferably one after another, as giving one character multiple rounds per row = other players of his group getting bored. That's how I get him at least.

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 Post subject: Re: EoS: Pre-Alfa Playtesting - Controversial Concepts
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:09 pm 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
I don't see that mentioned in the quote above. To me, they're not related. While I lent some small assistance to PJ in the development of the Old School Style TRoS Combat thread via the Codex Arcana, I don't see the concept above -- a Round represents a variable or unknown amount of time -- as being linked necessarily to Round-by-Round combat resolution.


higgins wrote:
As I get it, the prime importance to PJ is that each character involved in combat gets to participate equal amount of rounds in which they can act. Preferably one after another, as giving one character multiple rounds per row = other players of his group getting bored. That's how I get him at least.


But do you get that from what he's posted in this thread or from what he's posted in the Old School thread? Above he talks about Limelight and the notion that whenever a player has his turn in the Limelight he should be able to do whatever the primary focus of the character happens to be. The idea that Limelight falls on a character but the player can't shoot or cast because there has been insufficient preparation time is problematic. Just as problematic is the idea that Limelight falls on a character and the player points out that they were entitled to shoot/cast some time ago. This problem cuts both ways. As I see it, PJ is suggesting that EoS should eliminate this issue. When the Limelight falls on a character, they can do whatever it is that their character is primarily designed to do -- be that swing a sword, fire a bow, cast a spell, or run away and hide -- regardless of the consideration of preparation time.

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