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 Post subject: House Rule Combat System
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2015 10:26 pm
  

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Dungeon Crawler

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I've been thinking about making the combat system more to my liking, as many have. I don't really mind the system as is. My problems are common ones: when attacks per melee are unbalanced and someone doesn't get to participate, when attacks/spells take more than one action, and how does that resolve exactly? etc. To this end I have come up with slight modifications I think I like. I'm posting them here because I think they're good, but I'm not really sure 'cause I don't have a chance to play-test them at the moment. I'd love some constructive input.

I'm hoping that they run relatively smoothly, provide a little added tactical decision making (and therefore fun), and conform to the intentions of the original system. The system is written with Rifts primarily in mind, but it should work for all worlds. The system is based on the idea of 5 "phases," which is no revolution, but if anything else is the same or similar as any other system, that is totally by accident (perhaps these changes are what everyone does, but I haven't seen it, I promise).

Also, I hope that they're well enough written to be understood. They're house rules, so they don't have to be too clear 'cause the GM can explain directly, but I'd like it to be written clearly regardless and I'm not sure I've done that. I'll annotate them with my intentions below in italics. In all instances, if not explicitly stated otherwise, the RAW (RUE) apply.

Thank you for your time. I hope it's interesting enough.



5 phases per melee. Each phase represents approximately 3 seconds.

Players may choose in which phases to act. No more than one action per phase (unless character has more than 5 actions).
In any given phase, action order is based on initiative role for the melee round.

If a character has more than 5 actions, player can stack no more than one more action per phase (a maximum of 2 in a phase, limited to and by their total number of actions). If character has more than 10 actions, player can stack yet another one, and no more than one action per phase (a maximum of three in a phase, limited to and by their total number of actions). This limitation increases for every increase of 5 attacks per melee. The character can announce their desire to stack at any time before the opportunity passes. If the character has extra attacks when the round ends, and has not used them in any phase, the player cannot use more than the allowable amount in one phase (1 or 2 or 3, based on total attacks per melee) and loses the rest (new round begins).

If a character has more than one action in a phase, the subsequent action (stacked action) takes place after all other players have used their original actions in that phase according to initiative order. Subsequent actions (stacked actions) for all players follow initiative order in this way.

Movement is based on phase, not action (up to 5 phases of movement for every character regardless of actions per melee--character can move one fifth of their range per round in each phase, unless an action in any given phase prevents movement). Movement can be used alongside attacks as usual, as movement is essentially a separate action within the phase (but see below for some specific exceptions). [Even if a character has only 2 attacks per melee, they have 5 phases of movement. This is a tactical device and also gives players with low actions some proactive involvement in an entire round.]

Called shots/aiming require the usual actions to complete. A player must announce a called/aimed shot. If a called shot is taken during a phase where a character elects for stacked actions, the shot will complete on the subsequent action within the phase, or in the next phase (the player must use an action in that next phase to complete the shot, and it must be their first available action after calling the shot). Aimed called shots require three actions, and may either be completed in three phases, or within as few phases as possible given available actions of the character (the character must use three consecutive actions after calling the aimed shot--if character has more than 5 actions than completing in two phases is possible, if more than 10 actions than completing in one phase is possible---other players may still act between stacked actions as usual). Movement cannot occur in a phase that is used to begin or complete a called/aimed shot. However, if possible, players may stack other actions before or after the shot. [Here the character must make a tactical decision. They don't just say "I use two/three actions and get a bonus an advantage before anyone else can respond." The character must announce the intention, and the opponent has a chance to respond. The aimed shot is a calculated risk. It is possible for a very fast/high attack character, with the initiative over all other characters, to set up an attack by stacking a shot at the end of a phase, and finishing at the start of the next phase (before anyone has a chance to respond). My own house rule follows more closely to the RMB, where called shots only suffer a negative modifier, not an extra action, and aimed shots are only two. Otherwise it works the same way.]


Magic actions cannot be stacked with other actions or movement. Only one magic action per phase. Magic actions that take more than one action to complete will complete in a subsequent phase (one action/phase, regardless of available actions within a phase), and no further actions may be taken in that phase, including movement. [I like the idea in the RMB and Fantasy that magic actions take more effort than pulling a trigger, you gotta concentrate, and it requires some strategy. However, I also feel the desire to do a little damage with magic when the occasion calls for it. No stacks with magic limits it a bit, and can possibly cause loss of actions if the character has high attacks per melee, or uses high level spells. This is a feature, not a bug. For spells that take multiple attacks to cast, there is always the chance of interruption. If, however, you prefer to have walking fireball-machineguns for magic users, then simply remove the stacking limitation.]


Bursts work in a similar fashion to magic. Bursts may not stack with other actions or movement. Bursts that take more than one action to complete will complete in a subsequent phase (one action/phase), and no further action may be taken in that phase, including movement. Damage from a burst is calculated and split evenly per phase/action of burst. If possible, targets may try to avoid or counter any given phase-portion of the burst. [I think that this solves all my burst issues. No movement while bursting is a tactical decision. Your mileage may vary, but I would make any burst in a phase with movement "wild" at best. This also might make RMB energy weapon burst feel more viable.]



I think that's all for now. Lemme know what you think. Pointers. Confusions/questions. Possible ambiguities (even if you get it). Anything. I'll edit here where it makes sense to, and answer questions in replies. Thanks again.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 1:33 pm
  

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Knight

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Comment: Don't waste your time gloating over a wounded enemy. Pull the damn trigger.
Pretty close to what I do. It's worked pretty well the past sessions since I implemented it. Though I only allow additional actions to be attacks if they spend 3 at once, so they'd need 11 apm. Other than that, aiming and called shots, power punch, jump kick etc can work immediately if you spend two actions.

Big difference is dodging. Usually it uses your next attack, but under this system, you can use extra actions to dodge (but only once, if you need to dodge twice it still uses your next action as normal).

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Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2015 2:21 pm
  

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Dungeon Crawler

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Not sure what you mean by "additional actions." I would determine actions per melee as normal in Palladium for my system above. The significant difference is movement, which is divided by phase to keep the calculation harmonious among characters with different actions per melee and to provide some more tactical/decision making type activity.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:00 pm
  

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Palladin

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So if a character gains one Attack per critical hit rolled, and critical hits on a rolled 13 or higher.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:33 pm
  

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Dungeon Crawler

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say652 wrote:
So if a character gains one Attack per critical hit rolled, and critical hits on a rolled 13 or higher.


Im so confused.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 6:57 pm
  

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Knight

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Comment: Don't waste your time gloating over a wounded enemy. Pull the damn trigger.
I meant that, if you have 8 actions per melee, there are still only 5 phases. The way I do it is that you would "attack" 5 times still. The other 3 actions could be used to dodge, power punch, aim etc, but letting them attack twice in the same action is...problematic.

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Mark Hall wrote:
Y'all seem to assume that Palladium books are written with the same exacting precision with which they are analyzed. I think that is... ambitious.

Talk from the Edge: Operation Dead Lift, Operation Reload, Operation Human Devil, Operation Handshake, Operation Windfall 1, Operation Windfall 2, Operation Sniper Wolf, Operation Natural 20


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Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:14 am
  

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Dungeon Crawler

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Aha!

So, I think the way I set it up makes it not very much different than the RAW in practice. A player cannot willfully make multiple attacks in a row in one phase. The initiative order still applies, and one has to wait until everyone either uses up their possible actions or chooses not to act. If a player has many more attacks than others involved, then instead of all those attacks being stacked at the end, as is normal, they can spread them out (which may allow others to counter) or hold them close for the end, which at worst will create the normal situation, and may even result in loss of actions.

Again, I havent play tested it. There may be more ways to game the system, or situations I havent thought of. But basically it should result in people acting in turn one action at a time (even while "stacking" multiple actions in one phase--they have to wait for everyone else to act in order to use the stacked action).

Higher apm results in an advantage. im not trying to take that away. Im trying to increase tactical choice for both the high apm person and the low....and also streamline/make sense of some other stuff (like bursts).


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Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:46 am
  

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Im on my phone, and I suck at writing on my phone, but ill try to give a short combat example.

Ill name the combatants based on just initiative order and "side."

1-NPC has 7 attacks.
2-PC has 2 attacks.
3-PC has 4 attacks.

Phase one.
1-NPC shoots 2-PC. 2-PC dodges.
2-PC runs away to cover (movement).
3-PC moves to a more advantageous position/cover.
1-NPC (can move, and can stack one more action--of two possible stacks for the round-- if it chooses). Shoots again with a called shot (around cover, giving up movement).

Phase 2
1-NPC forced to use attack finishing called shot. (Cannot move this phase).
2-PC runs away some more to better cover.
3-PC casts a carpet of adhesion.
1-NPC mad. Shoots burst at 3-PC in cover (last possible stack).

Phase 3
1-NPC finishes burst at 3-PC.
2-PC shoots 1-NPC
3-PC shoots 1-NPC and moves to better/not obliterated cover.

Phase 4.
1-NPC reloads
2-PC is out of actions but can move.
3-PC shoots 1-NPC (can also move).

Phase 5.
1-NPC shoots 3-PC (behind cover)
2-PC can move (perhaps has been moving behind 1-NPC? Or is getting to the chopper?)
3-PC shoots again (or perhaps dodged earlier and has no more actions). Can also move.




If 1-NPC had never stacked then he would only have the option to stack once at the end of phase and would have lost the 7th attack.


I think I did my math right there. Hard to proof on the phone, but it should give the right idea.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:04 pm
  

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Dungeon Crawler

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I'm wondering now if I should be more restrictive of movement. Perhaps no movement at all in a phase with an attack or the attack gets a negative modifier (wild--which it maybe is meant to be). Or can movement be limited/cut in half/something, to allow for both?

Also, I think movement should be called at the first available opportunity in a phase (according to initiative order). No movement on a stack, or as a later free action.

Also, power punches and death blows. I think it would be weird to make an attempt require waiting until the next phase. Aside from game balance issues, I never liked the "power punch is a wind up punch" thing...unless you're playing Popeye and your windup is a 5 second windmill. I'll settle on "a power punch or death blow requires a lot of energy, and you don't have enough in the tank for that last jab in the round." Perhaps for some specific attacks, like those, the attack goes off when requested, but a penalty of one extra attack is applied (basically how it originally works).


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Unread postPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 1:32 pm
  

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I like it. I've seen a few "5 phase" systems before, and they're all pretty similar and seem to work well, though I've never actually used one. Certainly cuts down on the high APM characters just getting a bevy of attacks all at the end of a round, and I like that there's a bit of "use it or lose it" built in, which slightly decreases the "power" of extra attacks.

I think attacks being wild in any phase where you move is a good idea (and possibly the intention of the RAW), and also helps the low APM characters slightly - they can still move in a phase they wouldn't/couldn't have attacked in anyway, whereas if a high APM character chooses to move, they can either take the penalty or risk losing an attack.

I also agree about the power punch (and other such attacks that take 2 actions) - have the attack take place immediately, and just subtract the extra action(s) from the character's total for the round. Alternatively, the attack takes place immediately but they lose their next action, whether it be a stack they "burn," if available, in the current phase or their (first) action from the next phase.


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Unread postPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 6:54 pm
  

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Knight

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Comment: Don't waste your time gloating over a wounded enemy. Pull the damn trigger.
Hope this is still working out. I personally am looking forward to trying savage rifts.

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Mark Hall wrote:
Y'all seem to assume that Palladium books are written with the same exacting precision with which they are analyzed. I think that is... ambitious.

Talk from the Edge: Operation Dead Lift, Operation Reload, Operation Human Devil, Operation Handshake, Operation Windfall 1, Operation Windfall 2, Operation Sniper Wolf, Operation Natural 20


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Unread postPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 8:32 pm
  

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We have played a game called burning wheel. It uses a 3 phase sequence. Depending on what you want to do it uses more than one action per turn. It works really well. Check it out.

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Unread postPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 8:46 pm
  

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Monk

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Hmm, I just have a segment per second. A chart with what segment you'd go in if you had x attacks. Everyone has a first segment action unless there is extenuating circumstances. Spell take a number of segments equal to their level to cast, rituals take an hour per level. You can only dodge if you have an action in the same segment as the attack. Actions can be held and used in any segment after. Actions do not carry over into the next segment. Can not do simultaneous attack unless you have an action to spend.

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Unread postPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 1:38 am
  

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Dungeon Crawler

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i posted something like this awhile back, all turns must be taken in 5 phases as you call it, PC double up on phases of their chosen if they have more than 5 actions per melee, this method avoids characters like Juicers having 3 free actions at the end of a melee round while other PC's just sit and stare, but reflects their speed during the melee, if a PC has only 4 actions per melee, they chose what phase to skip, initiative still stays the same, highest rolls goes first or cane chose to skip a phases

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Unread postPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 12:25 pm
  

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I wonder if 4 phases makes more sense than 5? I know 5 fits better with the 15-second round, but that 15 seconds is a bit abstract anyway, and I really can't think of any reason/situation in which each phase is ~3.75 seconds rather than ~3 seconds would be problematic.

Four phases fits with what I feel is sort of the "baseline" 4 attacks per melee. Not a big deal really, and probably not much of a difference in play either, but it would alleviate some characters having to sit out a phase, since most PCs are going to have 4 attacks, but not all will have 5+. Just a thought.


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Unread postPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 12:28 pm
  

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
Hmm, I just have a segment per second. A chart with what segment you'd go in if you had x attacks. Everyone has a first segment action unless there is extenuating circumstances. Spell take a number of segments equal to their level to cast, rituals take an hour per level. You can only dodge if you have an action in the same segment as the attack. Actions can be held and used in any segment after. Actions do not carry over into the next segment. Can not do simultaneous attack unless you have an action to spend.


I've thought of trying this as well, but in the end it seemed a bit over-complicated and onerous to track. Your rules definitely make for a bit "harsher" combat, with certain things having to take place in the same segment.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 8:13 pm
  

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Adventurer

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One thing I recently did to account for a character that had a lot more APM than the others, was to have them take 1 action first 'action', then 2 back-to-back there after, in classic PB initiative order.

Worked well. They could 'assess' the threat & what their fellows are doing, then act from there.

So far, it tends to have them finish about the same 'time' as the others.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:49 am
  

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5 phases works for us because it makes movement easy. Movement per phase is equal to Speed in meters. Our other hiuse rule is that if movement is greater than 1/2 P.P., the strike roll is at -2, and if it is greater than P.P., the attack is then -6 (wild).

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:45 pm
  

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Dungeon Crawler

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I chose 5 because I think it creates tactical choice early given that most characters probably have 4 attacks for a while. For instance, one can choose to use all 4 actions in the first 4 phases, or skip a phase and save an action for the last phase (like a "hold").


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