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Reducing the number of combat rolls?


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So combat currently requires three rolls in normal situations. One percentile roll to attack, one percentile roll to defend (parry or dodge), and one non-percentile roll to inflict damage.

Are there any optional rules to reduce this further? For example, reducing combat rounds to just the players rolling defense rolls to determine how much damage they suffer?

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There's the Pendragon solution, which does not differenciate attack and defense rolls.

In one-on-one fights, each protagonist rolls under his skill, and only the one with the best roll hits the other.

When facing more than one opponent (no more than 3), a character will oppose each of them with a reduced skill.

It's also possible to chose an offensive or defensive stance, which will change how oppositions are resolved.

*****

It's also possible to base damage on the tens of the attack roll, or the difference between the attack and the parry tens, counting crits as 10s.

Then, add a modifier based on the weapon used, and subtract another based on the armour worn.

*****

The option you're asking for, where players only roll to know how much damage they take, also exists in Pendragon, but is only used in Battles, and each round represents the opposition faced during a time longer than a combat turn.

Edited by Mugen
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On 2/21/2021 at 7:18 PM, el_octogono said:

A quick and dirty speed up is to make the percentile and damage rolls together. Any other change I can think of would mess the dice probabilities.

I learned RQ before there was a BRP.

We rolled %-to-hit + d20-hit-locatioon + damage in one handfull, a single roll.   Very fast.  Defender has %-parry dice ready as attacker rolls:

  1.   Attacker "racks dice" in-hand:  D% / D20loc / Damage; they do this BEFORE their turn, ready to throw as soon as the GM calls for it.
  2.  Attacker rolls the dice, trying to maintain order (it takes a bit of practice, but a few casts of the dice advance your rolling-skill quickly).
  3.  Attacker reads the dice as a narrative sentence:
  4.  "I hit with a 14!  That's a special! ..." <pause, look at Defender>
  5.  Defender, rolling parry/dodge in tandem with attacker, announces parry results (crit/special/success/fail/fumble).  Attacker modifies the rest, accordingly... 
  6.  "... to the 5, that's the Left Leg, doing ... 7 points of damage"

An entire exchange took 5-10 seconds.  We regularly resolved entire combat-scenes (multiple parties on both sides, multiple rounds of combat) in just a few minutes.

YMMV

[ edit:

n.b. I do recall -- now that I cast my memory back to the mists of time -- that some of the early-session rolls were reported as just-numbers, before we got familiar with the rules (or when a new player joined):
Player:  "I roll a 14% to location 5, for 7 points"
GM:  "What's your Attack-skill with that weapon?"
Player:  "75%"
GM:  "Ooooh!  That's an Impale!  Your spear slips just inside his shield, and sinks deep into his left leg; with a cry of agony, he crumples!"

This whole exchange DID take longer, maybe 30 seconds-ish... but still pretty quick!   YMMstillV  ]

Edited by g33k
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On 2/21/2021 at 2:54 PM, MoonRightRomantic said:

So combat currently requires three rolls in normal situations. One percentile roll to attack, one percentile roll to defend (parry or dodge), and one non-percentile roll to inflict damage.

 

Plus possibly a roll for hit location.

On 2/21/2021 at 2:54 PM, MoonRightRomantic said:

Are there any optional rules to reduce this further? For example, reducing combat rounds to just the players rolling defense rolls to determine how much damage they suffer?

Officially no. Generally speaking the drawback of doing so outweigh the advantages. One key thing about BRP games is that damage and injury tends to be much more severe than in most FRPGs. So the parry and defense mechanic is much more important than something like the Armor Class value in D&D. 

Perhaps the best work around, as already mentioned is the Pendragon solution. In Pendragon (which uses d20 instead of D100) characters don't alterate attacks and parries and instead both roll at the same time with the results treated as a opposed contest, with the  winner inflicting damage on the loser. If the loser's roll was under his skill score then the loser gets a "partial success" and gets protection from his shield. This could be ported over the BRP.

 

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  • 1 month later...

You  could reduce the whole of combat down to a single die roll if you like, or even no rolls at all if you want. Lots of 'games' out there do that.

Others have said about the clever way you can roll more than one dice at a time, and even in advance! You only have to imagine it and other things and it can be done.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had a similar problem as the OP.

I am running a Play by Post BRP pulp adventure, and to speed up the combat back-and-forth rolls between players and NPCs, we are using the Resistance Table to compare relevant combat skills. There is an Optional Rule in BRP about this (page 174 of the 'Leonardo cover' book), simply divide the opposed skills % by 5, rounding to the nearest whole number, and compare the results on the Table. (This also makes it possible to compare a 3d6-based characteristic to a Percentile-based skill).

So, (attacker Brawl 55% vs defender Dodge 22%) becomes (11 vs 5) resulting in a 80% chance to hit that takes into account the target Dodge. It's probably a bit broken applied to combat, but it's working fine for our pulp game.

I even added the % values to a customised Resistance Table spreadsheet for my own usage.

Edited by dr_B
added specifics of the BRP book I got the rule from
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On 2/28/2021 at 6:46 PM, g33k said:

I learned RQ before there was a BRP.

We rolled %-to-hit + d20-hit-locatioon + damage in one handfull, a single roll.   Very fast.  Defender has %-parry dice ready as attacker rolls:

  1.   Attacker "racks dice" in-hand:  D% / D20loc / Damage; they do this BEFORE their turn, ready to throw as soon as the GM calls for it.
  2.  Attacker rolls the dice, trying to maintain order (it takes a bit of practice, but a few casts of the dice advance your rolling-skill quickly).
  3.  Attacker reads the dice as a narrative sentence:
  4.  "I hit with a 14!  That's a special! ..." <pause, look at Defender>
  5.  Defender, rolling parry/dodge in tandem with attacker, announces parry results (crit/special/success/fail/fumble).  Attacker modifies the rest, accordingly... 
  6.  "... to the 5, that's the Left Leg, doing ... 7 points of damage"

An entire exchange took 5-10 seconds.  We regularly resolved entire combat-scenes (multiple parties on both sides, multiple rounds of combat) in just a few minutes.

YMMV

[ edit:

n.b. I do recall -- now that I cast my memory back to the mists of time -- that some of the early-session rolls were reported as just-numbers, before we got familiar with the rules (or when a new player joined):
Player:  "I roll a 14% to location 5, for 7 points"
GM:  "What's your Attack-skill with that weapon?"
Player:  "75%"
GM:  "Ooooh!  That's an Impale!  Your spear slips just inside his shield, and sinks deep into his left leg; with a cry of agony, he crumples!"

This whole exchange DID take longer, maybe 30 seconds-ish... but still pretty quick!   YMMstillV  ]

That's how we do it to this day.  We even use the Location Die and Damage to narrate misses.  A large damage roll means a mighty hack or blow that simply missed or was parried with a loud ringing clang, while a low damage roll means a weak thrust or raking blow that is easily side stepped or "rasps harmlessly" off of the target's armor.  

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