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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 4:44 pm
  

D-Bee

Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 12:25 pm
Posts: 33
Location: Canada, eh
Well I tried to search for a topic like this, but couldn't really find one. Although I do have a specific question I also have a more general one that will hopefully get some good discussion going.

Usually the players I GM over have characters that own. Even when I try to limit their 'power' by saying "no you can't take such and such for this campaign" they always manage to outclass various baddies regularly. Is this a problem? Heck no. I slowly ramp up the difficulty, give them situations where failure affect more than them and doesn't involve combat etc. But I'd like to have situations where even though they are more powerful than their enemies, they need to think to defeat them (and not just try to find out what 'element' will harm the otherwise invincible baddy)

One idea I had for more interesting combat was having baddies shoot sides of buildings and have the building or debris fall on a character. Even if they had supernatural strength, getting out of there would be a chore and allow for the baddies to flee/focus on other characters. How would you handle that? Would they be able to dodge? How much damage would it do etc.

And of course, any other ideas/anecdotes for interesting combat?

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Coalition NPC: Wait, are you a juicer?
PC: No, of course not.
NPC: You'll have to prove it.
PC: Well, can a juicer do THIS? *Starts flying*
NPC: *Begins shooting at character and calling for backup*

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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 5:40 pm
  

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Palladin

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tough, to say, because most MD weapons "mist" or "vaporize" SDC materials, depending on your own interpretations of the Rifts GMG. It'll definately "mist" softies like SDC squishies. I think there's an example that mentions what a MD weapon will do to a car or something. Make sure to check it out to CYA.

They'll probably get a chance to dodge or roll with anything crashing down on them, especially once it happens a few times.

as for combat, maybe go over the combat terms in the books and make sure you follow them exactly, so that you're not glossing over anything...things like making sure players aim for X actions or take X actions to pull off a HTH move. then learn how to get the most out of it, which combat moves really work best/quickest for each situation.

you can try stuff where baddies with TK discharge the PCs own weapons at distance to force them to safety each one. then un-safetying means an extra action when combat suddenly arises.

Kuseru might be a good guy to get info on "quick & methodical" combat, as he's very good at HTH (among other things). I lurk in the N&SS forum and one guy mentioned HTH Ninjitsu is nice because after a few levels its easy to knock guys down, which I think means, loss of initiative & loss of 1 action (they have to get back up). Sorry it's been a few years since I looked at it closely.

There's probably plenty of guys who can give you ideas like that, where suddenly it's not roll dice, shoot, die...and some thinking is involved. Same with Vehicle Combat and so on.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 5:49 pm
  

D-Bee

Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 12:25 pm
Posts: 33
Location: Canada, eh
I'm glad you mention HTH, it was another area I was considering. It seems that if it doesn't do damage or 'only' sdc damage the players won't bother with it. Tossing/entagling baddies just never registers as an option, if they engage HTH at all.

For rules, we do things a bit differently which might make me initiate the 'proper' rules. Such as dodging - for taking up an attack, all we do is reduce the number of attacks that person has that round (IE they don't miss their turn, just lsoe an action). So the combat goes:

player 1: strike
player 2: dodge
pl2: strike
pl1: dodge
pl1: strike.... etc

A lot of the initiative rules I believe we're overlooking as well. At least, I think we are. Then there's the house rule that PP bonuses apply to everything. Next game I'm taking that out, along with adding more capture missions to encourage taking people alive.

As for the building, I figure depending on the weapon it would punch a hole in a nearby building that would scatter small debris for area damage, allow large chunks of the building to fall off, or completely comprimise the structural integrity of the building enough to caus eit to fall. Reason I asked if they could dodge is that, well, it's a pretty huge piece of matter heading at them.

That TK firing sounds like a good idea. I think I'll add some more TK mischief in my games, but I'd like to have more realistic things occur as well, like cover and flanking;

players encounter baddies who are under good cover, can't manage to hi or destroy them and are forced to find another way around. Which could lead them to traps, which I also tend to neglect.

_________________
Coalition NPC: Wait, are you a juicer?
PC: No, of course not.
NPC: You'll have to prove it.
PC: Well, can a juicer do THIS? *Starts flying*
NPC: *Begins shooting at character and calling for backup*

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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 7:57 pm
  

D-Bee

Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2003 12:14 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Las Vegas
Rhineville wrote:
For rules, we do things a bit differently which might make me initiate the 'proper' rules. Such as dodging - for taking up an attack, all we do is reduce the number of attacks that person has that round (IE they don't miss their turn, just lsoe an action). So the combat goes:

player 1: strike
player 2: dodge
pl2: strike
pl1: dodge
pl1: strike.... etc

I used to do that too, but it stoped making logical sense to me. It took me a long time to understand the mechanics and flow of combat. Dodging should take the next attack cause it makes a kind of sense. The defender remains "on the ropes" while the attacker lays down fire. Think about a movie where there was a shoot out. Usually you have one guy firing shots while the other ducks, dives and dodges for cover. Then (next round?) the other guy eventually gets initiative and fires back...rinse repeat.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 8:01 pm
  

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Palladin

Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2002 2:01 am
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yeah, I played with some guys who did "insert" combat moves, where let's say that everyone has 4 attacks per melee on both sides, but one guy has 6 attacks.

most people wait until the end to add in the +2 attacks for the one guy, well if he's that skilled...why should he wait until the end ? why not let him choose where he wants those attacks to come ? It may need to be worked out in more detail, but you get the general idea.

you might not agree with that, as it could take some getting used to, but it might be a way for you as a GM to give an NPC a little extra "oomph" to a given combat.

PCs: "Oh, crap! Another high-level Juicer!" :lol:

I just got Rifts Mercenary Adventures and one of the 1st or 2nd level Combat Magic spells is called "Slam" where a magical force body slams a target, resulting in the loss of init + 2 actions. Depending on the dodge. It can also affect some MD creatures. So even a low level mage (or two) ganging up on the "PC combat stars" could seriously affect a combat round with something like that (not to mention Magic Net or even Cloud of Smoke). There's probably a zillion ways, but you can impair their ability to see or use actions without too much trouble.

TK Force Field is another good one. :D

PCs: "Oh, crap! Another high-level Delphi Juicer!" :lol:

Other good magical "thorns in the side" are the spell Havoc, Wisps of Confusion and the middle option of the Ice spell. All will serious limit actions/impair dice rolls and/or movement of the target (and affects an area or more than one person). Just hit them with Havoc or Wisps and they'll suddenly be severely impaired, combat-wise.

Just be careful not to get your own people. :P

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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 10:17 pm
  

D-Bee

Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 12:25 pm
Posts: 33
Location: Canada, eh
That inserting combat moves makes sense (and sounds like a neat idea) but with battles happening with 6+ seperate individuals it could make the pre-fight calculations a bit more bothersome. Something to think about though.

Normally the whole "on the ropes" thing makes a lot of sense, but we never really got into the right way just because we saw no real tangible difference. I think I may reinstate it just because of something I read on backflips and escape maneuvers that lead me to find out the real version of combat (without autododge, of course) I love how ninjas/other martial artists with escape manuevers not only dodge with a stylish backflip or summersault, but make it far enough away that the opponent loses an action closing the distance and gives the ninja the initiative. Enough incentive for me to get into the right groove :)

_________________
Coalition NPC: Wait, are you a juicer?
PC: No, of course not.
NPC: You'll have to prove it.
PC: Well, can a juicer do THIS? *Starts flying*
NPC: *Begins shooting at character and calling for backup*

Image


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Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:41 am
  

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Dungeon Crawler

Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2006 11:08 am
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Never underestimate the power of HTH combat even in Rifts. Character I once played was not only a good shot with a gun, but was an absolute terror in HTH (Very high HTH bonuses due to High PP, RCC and OCC combo. It wasnt actually intentional)

As a result I actually more often than ont wound up putting away the guns and pulling out a pair of swords. Which at first drew incredulous stares untill the enemy was quickly cut to pieces.

Disarming worked quite well too. The character in question was actually on a Rifts MUSH so there were a few cases of character fighting character. There were a efw who were better with a gun than I was. But that didnt really matter if I disarmed them.


This sort of mentality would likely work quite well with juicers and other high PP characters etc. Also things like knockdown, knockout, pin attacks etc.

Sure.. they dont do damage. But.. what if say.. one NPC pins a character while another pulls out a handgun to shoot him? You could quite easily wind up wtih a PC being taken hostage.

And.. well to my line of thinking. If the PCs say attempt to shoot their way out of it. The NPCs in question, will not hesitate to kill the hostage even if it's a PC. But then I tend to play alot of Shadowrun and its just one of those sorta games where you face off against that kinda stuff quite often. And PC death is really to be expected (what with all the billions of doublecrosses, screwjobs, jobs gone bad etc)

I still resolve it via established combat rules of course. But I try to make my PCs think abit more beyond 'oh lets just shoot them'.

Also maybe pit them against NPCs they MUST subdue rather than kill. With an obviously very unwilling to co-operate NPC.

Not sure on the kinda game your running but one example I've used (Though again from SR, which alas is all I've had a chance to play last two years) is this..

You'll have an NPC say.. put a bounty on another NPC. Or maybe the NPC in question has vital information that only they know. So obviously you need this person alive.

But their more than willing to do what it takes to -kill you-. Maybe they'll even try to suicide once in captivity if your extra evil.

So how do you subdue him? Well.. generally HTH is the only real option unless you've got a taser or something. ANd given its the Rifts setting just give him MDC EBA. Most 'taser' type weapons that work through EBA in Rifts will have a very high chance of killing some one if used on the kinda power level required to stun someone through MDC bodyarmor.

Most wont even be able to do that.

EIther way try to present them with a few scenarios where disarming/subduing is the optimal course of action, or even the only one that will save a hostage or some such.

Like Little Mary Hopkins has been taken hostage! Her hostage takers are juicers in EBA with laser weapons and when the PCs are there one of the hostage takers has a gun to her head. Eevn if they get a shot off they likely wont kill the guy in a single hit without risking misting the hostage, and if the hostage taker survives the hit he WILL kill the hostage.

ANd if that happens have them chased out of town by an angry pitchfork and las rifle wielding mob or something.

And then have NPCs come after them out of revenge, maybe even cause other trouble for them.

Be EVIL :twisted:


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Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:25 am
  

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Palladin

Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2002 2:01 am
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Kesslan wrote:

I still resolve it via established combat rules of course. But I try to make my PCs think abit more beyond 'oh lets just shoot them'.



yeah, that's where RL and RPGs can split away, often you can't kill someone with a single shot, in alot of RPGs.


Kesslan wrote:

Also maybe pit them against NPCs they MUST subdue rather than kill. With an obviously very unwilling to co-operate NPC.



good idea :ok:

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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 5:35 am
  

Champion

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2000 1:01 am
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Location: Australia
Quote:
But I'd like to have situations where even though they are more powerful than their enemies, they need to think to defeat them

Do you want them to have to think to defeat the baddy, or just to think?

I say this cause while many GM's might say this, they would instantly fudge away the result of failure (ie, PC death). In otherwords, it's not about avoiding defeat - they just want the players to do, like, interesting stuff.

If your going to fudge away defeat, you need to use something real to get that interesting stuff.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 10:39 am
  

D-Bee

Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 12:25 pm
Posts: 33
Location: Canada, eh
I don't fudge in obviously dead-end situations. I always give a chance to live/win, but I never fudge.

I don't even really want to ramp up the difficulty that much (thinking or stat-wise) I just want my PCs to hav more fun than just rolling dice through combat.

_________________
Coalition NPC: Wait, are you a juicer?
PC: No, of course not.
NPC: You'll have to prove it.
PC: Well, can a juicer do THIS? *Starts flying*
NPC: *Begins shooting at character and calling for backup*

Image


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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 4:39 pm
  

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Champion

Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 8:21 pm
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Comment: The next group of player characters to surrender in one of my games are going to play Russian roulette.
I run combat on my PBP Robotech game as half melees let players state half their attacks in one post. I allow one dodge cover everything coming at them for that half melee, a player can opt to dodge continuously if they so chose. This helps if they are attacked by more missiles then they can dodge in one attacks/action (4 or more per the rules).

This keeps the game dynamic, which I think is important in any game, table top or PBP.

OK that gets the die roll issue out of the way, now on to the creating fun combat without the die rolls.

Because of the severity of the situations I place my characters are placed in; they are usually outnumbered and have to use cleaver ideas in order to survive. No amount of “just shooting, dodging, and piloting” (i.e. die rolls) is going to allow characters to survive in my games. Decisions such as how to get down to the next deck of the ship or where to go once that elevator opens up and you find yourself outnumbered 4 to 1 are very critical to the outcome of the combat encounter.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 5:10 pm
  

Champion

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2000 1:01 am
Posts: 1697
Location: Australia
Rhineville wrote:
I don't fudge in obviously dead-end situations. I always give a chance to live/win, but I never fudge.

I don't even really want to ramp up the difficulty that much (thinking or stat-wise) I just want my PCs to hav more fun than just rolling dice through combat.

Well, your PC's don't exist - players do, so I'll assume you want them to have more fun.

Aren't they having fun right now, during combat?

Before it sounded like you weren't having fun during them. Are you sure your trying to help your players?


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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 5:46 pm
  

D-Bee

Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 12:25 pm
Posts: 33
Location: Canada, eh
Noon wrote:
Rhineville wrote:
I don't fudge in obviously dead-end situations. I always give a chance to live/win, but I never fudge.

I don't even really want to ramp up the difficulty that much (thinking or stat-wise) I just want my PCs to hav more fun than just rolling dice through combat.

Well, your PC's don't exist - players do, so I'll assume you want them to have more fun.


Yes, that's what I meant :D

During combat, there seems to be a trend - stand-still-till-I'm-dead-keep-firing-at-the-enemy type mentality. What I'm looking for is a discussion on different techniques and situations to use as GM to create more fun and interesting combat overall. For players, me, everyone. I thought that was pretty clear.

_________________
Coalition NPC: Wait, are you a juicer?
PC: No, of course not.
NPC: You'll have to prove it.
PC: Well, can a juicer do THIS? *Starts flying*
NPC: *Begins shooting at character and calling for backup*

Image


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Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 1:17 am
  

Champion

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2000 1:01 am
Posts: 1697
Location: Australia
Well its not really clear at the mo - you said your looking for interesting combat techniques, but haven't said who actually desires this? Really, the answer is to find out who doesn't find it interesting right now and why (that then leads to answers) - but there's no clue who that is yet.

BTW, I was just thinking today, as I played the STALKER first person shooter, how stuff that I do could seem quite boring to an uninvolved observer, but are quite tense and gripping for me.

GM's tend to be uninvolved observers more than they think they are. They think they are involved, but really they are like a person watching a race, while all their friends have a bet laid down and they don't. No, their not really involved in that event, that's why it seems the race needs sprucing up.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:20 am
  

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That whole creating rubble thing is a cool idea! :ok:

In hi tech games, I tend to have the bad guys ( well trained/equiped and smart) use smoke screens, booby traps and concertrating fire on specific individuals.

They try and use lots of blast/area effect weapons to maximize damage and increase chances to hit.

They also never just stand there and shoot at the heros either.. They try to out flank, they fall back to better spots.. And if they do get into close combat, they try called shots to hands and arms, they dont go for out right kills but for wounds.. and then finish off the heros later if they can.

But like I said, I do this for highly trained and armed bad guys..

Smart Supernatural creatures, tend to be more sneaky and try and stalk the heros and make quick fast attacks. They go for KILL shots to head and neck areas if need be. They think like a predator, so i try and make them act like them too.

Hope this is what you are looking for.
Regards

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Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:24 am
  

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Dungeon Crawler

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Shotgun Jolly wrote:

They try and use lots of blast/area effect weapons to maximize damage and increase chances to hit.



To clarify this.. They aim for where near where they are standing. Aim for the ground and let the blast radius do the work.. Grenades Grenades Grenades :)

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Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:49 am
  

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Hero

Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 2:55 pm
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well .. never know when a baddie is gonna have a few npc' under his ... well his thumb and for whatever reason.

you got mutants in Rifts ... one conversion book has SOME of the ones listed. well you take the ones that keep the Meta-being as SDC only, and small things like that. blackmail them into working for you, kidnap a sibling/child or the significant other.

i was thinking more like 'spin at high speeds' .. and the control over making small twisters to pester and blow gunk in the eyes ... or to have it sprout up in front of the lightest PC .. and suck them up and then stop while the pc is in the air. inside MDC armor, no real damage. once the armor and body hit the ground. the damage bypasses the armor and goes to the body inside. not really deadly, just really annoying.

you don't have to outright INJURE the PC's .. just make them think of themselves. make a picture of the area the 'ambush is in, put the baddies as one color item. pennies if you need them. the pc's as .. oh say 25 cent pieces. and the big baddie at the end as a silver dollar or something like that. helps if you make some of the items the baddies hide behind as being raised 3D items ... [behind your screen so you have an idea where they are if its tabletop] and have them place miniatures where they plan on moving. thus YOU have an idea where they are .. and how open they might be. nothing ruins a plan when you have a pit trap with a sniper to take a shot the the knee or some joint like that. make the 'roll against pain' happen. not enough of that about in the games anymore.

well .. just a couple of thoughts .. could add more, but i think i've mumbled enough for now. laters and good luck

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Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:44 pm
  

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 7:39 pm
  

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Big BOre weaponry is great for slowing down pc's. Wind rush and CoA great to do to players also especialy for splitting up the party. The slammer missles and concussion gernades in Triax are great as well. I would also look at the Bee Hive gernade by Wilks it has some narly blinding effects. However a word of causion after you use these tactic against them they will probly use them themselves. In our group Combat rarely goes longer than a round or two thanks largely to the common use of dirty tricks.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:08 am
  

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Another tip for added fun in combat:

Any time during combat, make character's roll perception rolls to see a new adversary or adversaries joining combat from around the corner and whatnot, and throw in tougher baddies again(more perception rolls). Works great :lol:

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